Liverpool held by Stoke

Other News Materials 20 September 2008 21:32 (UTC +04:00)

Liverpool missed the chance to go three points clear at the top of the English Premier League Saturday as they were held to a goalless draw at home by newly promoted Stoke City, reported dpa.

Steven Gerrard had a goal disallowed for offside and Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane and Jamie Carragher all went close but Stoke's defence held firm.

The result leaves Liverpool top on 11 points, one ahead of Chelsea who host champions Manchester United on Sunday. Arsenal could go one point clear themselves if they win at Bolton later on Saturday.

Liverpool went into their match with Stoke full of confidence after wins over Manchester United and Marseille in the previous week.

And they thought they had made the perfect start after just one minute when Gerrard sent in a free-kick which evaded the Stoke defence and found the far corner.

The Liverpool captain celebrated what he thought was his 100th goal for the club but his joy was short-lived as it was ruled out for offside.

The home side's frustration at the decision set the tone for a match they totally dominated, but could not find the breakthrough.

Alonso, Torres, Keane and Carragher all had chances but Thomas Sorensen in the Stoke goal was the hero for the visitors.

Elsewhere, West Ham United moved up to fourth with a 3-1 win over managerless Newcastle United, with David Di Michele scoring twice to give Gianfranco Zola victory in his first match as manager.

Sunderland climbed to sixth in the table after they saw off Middlesbrough 2-0 in a north-east derby.

Michael Chopra scored both goals, putting the home side ahead 10 minutes from time and then sealing the win with a second in injury time.

Stewart Downing had missed a second-half penalty for Middlesbrough, firing over the bar, before Chopra made them pay with two late strikes.

Blackburn Rovers moved out of the bottom three with a 1-0 win over Fulham, with Matt Derbyshire scoring the only goal late on.