United down nine-man Chelsea at the Bridge
London, England (Sports Network) - Manchester United climbed to within a point of first place in the English Premier League table on Sunday, claiming a 3-2 victory over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's first loss of the season sees its four-game winning run in league play come to an end, but the Blues still sit at the summit of England's top flight with 22 points through nine games. United has won three straight to improve to 21 points.
The visitors made a very bright start when Wayne Rooney found space on the right side of the penalty area and pulled it back for Robin van Persie. The Dutchman's shot rattled the post and came back into play only to trickle over the goal line thanks to a fortuitous deflection off of David Luiz.
United made it a two-goal lead in the 12th minute when Antonio Valencia squared a ball for van Persie to hammer home from the center of the box.
Chelsea was able to cut the deficit in half just before the break when Juan Mata curled a brilliant free kick around the wall and past David De Gea.
The Blues drew level shortly after the break when Ramires rose above Tom Cleverley and forced a snap-header past De Gea for his first goal of the season.
The match then turned sour for the home side as Chelsea had two players sent off in the span of six minutes.
Branislav Ivanovic was shown a straight red card in the 63rd minute when he clipped the heels of Ashley Young to deny the winger a scoring opportunity. Fernando Torres followed the Serbian down the tunnel shortly after when he received a second yellow card for an apparent dive.
United didn't waste time taking advantage of the two extra men as Sir Alex Ferguson immediately threw striker Javier Hernandez into the match. The Mexican rewarded the manager by nabbing the game-winner in the 75th minute, redirecting Rafael's powerful shot into the back of the net from close range.
Everton 2, Liverpool 2
Liverpool, England - Everton overturned a two-goal deficit to earn a point in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in Sunday's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
An own goal from Leighton Baines gifted the visitors the lead in the 14th minute before Luis Suarez doubled the advantage with a deft header in the 20th minute.
Leon Osman pulled one back two minutes later with a low shot through traffic, and Steven Naismith drew the Toffees level in the 35th minute.
Liverpool thought it had won the match at the death when Suarez turned in a Sebastian Coates header, but the Uruguayan striker was controversially ruled offside.
The Reds improve to 10 points as their unbeaten run in league play extends to four games, while the Toffees drop to fifth place with 16 points.
Newcastle 2, West Bromwich 1
Newcastle, England - Newcastle claimed a dramatic win at Sports Direct Arena on Sunday, scoring in the dying minutes to take a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich.
Demba Ba opened the scoring in the 35th minute before Romelu Lukaku got West Brom on level terms. But Papiss Demba Cisse picked a fine time to score his first goal of the season, striking in second-half stoppage time to claim all three points for the Magpies.
Newcastle moves up to 10th place in the table with 13 points, one point shy of the Baggies, who suffered their second straight loss.
Tottenham 2, Southampton 1
Southampton, England - A pair of first-half goals helped Tottenham secure a 2-1 win over Southampton at St. Mary's on Sunday.
Gareth Bale put Spurs in front at the 15-minute mark before Clint Dempsey doubled the lead six minutes prior to the break. Jay Rodriguez pulled one back for the home side, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.
Tottenham climbs to fourth place by improving to 17 points while Southampton remains second from bottom on four points.