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Man United rallies to beat Blackburn 4-1; Chelsea scores injury-time winner against Watford

Man United rallies to beat Blackburn 4-1; Chelsea scores injury-time winner against Watford

Manchester United rallied to beat Blackburn 4-1, and Chelsea scored an injury-time winner at Watford to keep the English Premier League a two-club race with seven rounds left on Saturday.
Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-sung and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer scored for United. The Red Devils lead with 78 points and are on course for their first league title since 2003.
"I think the fans are starting to smell it now _ and the players are beginning to taste it," United manager Alex Ferguson said.
Chelsea has 72 points after Salomon Kalou's header gave the defending champion a 1-0 victory at last-place Watford.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho acknowledged his side would have effectively conceded the title if it had drawn.
"I think so," Mourinho said. "Mathematically no, but if you go to eight (points behind United) it is much more difficult. It was a crucial goal and victory."
Also, Peter Crouch scored a hat trick for Liverpool in a 4-1 win over Arsenal that lifted the club into third place and ended a four-game losing streak against the Gunners.
Crouch scored in the fourth, 35th and 81st minutes, with Daniel Agger heading in the other goal for Liverpool at Anfield. American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who completed their takeover of the club this week, watched from the stands. William Gallas pulled a late goal back for Arsenal.
Liverpool has 57 points. Arsenal dropped to fourth with 55.
In other games, it was: Bolton 1, Sheffield United 0; Charlton 1, Wigan 0; Fulham 1, Portsmouth 1; Newcastle 0, Manchester City 1; and West Ham 2, Middlesbrough 0.
Man United fell behind when Carrick deflected the ball toward his own goal and Blackburn striker Matt Derbyshire ran on to score in the 29th.
Scholes kicked off a second-half fightback with the equalizer in the 61st minute. Carrick put United in the lead in the 73rd, and Park made it 3-1 in the 83rd after Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel failed to hold onto a free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo. Park then set up Solksjaer to finish the scoring in the 90th.
"The second half performance was our best of the season," Ferguson said. "It was the kind of performance you expect from a championship team. We showed resolve, determination and drive."
United lost defender Nemanja Vidic in the 28th when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder. He will be out for up to five weeks with a broken collarbone, United said.
Chelsea was held for nearly the entire game by a strong Watford defense.
Andriy Shevchenko started the winning move, crossing for substitute Kalou to head past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster. Earlier, Jay DeMerit had made a sliding tackle to deny Frank Lampard, who played with a lightweight plaster cast on his injured right wrist.
Arsenal knocked out Liverpool from the FA Cup and League Cup within four days in January, and Liverpool finally ended its run of losses to the Gunners with Crouch's first club hat trick. He also got a hat trick in England's 6-0 win over Jamaica in a friendly last June.
At the other end of the table, Charlton moved closer to safety with a 1-0 win over Wigan.
Darren Bent converted an 85th-minute penalty to move Charlton to 30 points _ only one behind 17th-place Sheffield United, which lost to an 80th-minute goal from Bolton's Kevin Davies.
West Ham is in 19th place with 26 points after a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. Carlos Tevez scored one goal and set up Bobby Zamora for the other.
Manchester City needed an 80th-minute goal from Emile Mpenza to edge past Newcastle.
Fulham salvaged a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth with a 90th-minute equalizer from Ian Pearce. Niko Kranjcar scored Portsmouth's first goal in four games with a 20-meter (yard) drive into the top corner.
Tottenham hosts Reading on Sunday, and Aston Villa plays Everton on Monday.
In the League Championship, leader Derby beat Barnsley 2-1 to move to 76 points. Second-place Sunderland beat Cardiff 1-0 to stay three points behind.
Birmingham is third with 71 points and plays Coventry on Sunday.