Reds top as Gunners flop
United’s brilliant Boxing Day was wrapped up in the evening when Arsenal dropped two points.
Arsene Wenger’s side drew 0-0 at Portsmouth and so failed to reclaim pole position in the Barclays Premier League.
Chelsea also slipped up, drawing 4-4 in an amazing game against Aston Villa. The Blues came back from 0-2 down to go 4-3 up in the 88th minute through Ballack, only for Ashley Cole to concede an injury-time penalty converted by Gareth Barry. Cole was one of three players to be sent off, the others being team-mate Carvalho and Villa’s Zat Knight. Villa’s other goals were scored by Maloney (2) and Laursen, while Shevchenko (2, 1 pen) and Alex also netted for Chelsea.
There was also late drama at Derby where Liverpool were heading for a draw until Steven Gerrard snatched the winning goal in the 90th minute. Torres had put the visitors 1-0 up after just 12 minutes, only for James McEveley to equalise midway through the 2nd half.
Liverpool’s winner not only dashed Derby’s hopes of a point, it also denied Everton the chance to gain some ground with their 2-0 win over Bolton.