Premier League round-up

Liverpool slip up, joy for Owen Coyle

January 26, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Liverpool lost further ground in the race for fourth place on Tuesday night after being held to a 0-0 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tottenham are three points clear in the final Champions League spot thanks to a 2-0 win over Fulham.

Steven Gerrard
GettyImagesSteven Gerrard shows the pain of disappointment

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Liverpool have now won just seven of their past 24 games in all competitions and their hopes of securing Champions League football next season suffered another setback in a turgid affair at Molineux. Despite seeing captain Steven Gerrard return from injury, the Reds mustered just one shot on target in 90 minutes.

Rafael Benitez's side sit in fifth place but Manchester City, Aston Villa and Birmingham City all have two games in hand and will overtake the Reds if they win both. It is Tottenham who currently occupy fourth spot following a 2-0 home win over Fulham, who started Chris Smalling after news emerged that he will join Manchester United at the end of the season.

Fulham also welcomed Bobby Zamora back into the side after he recovered from a collarbone injury but after missing a good early chance, the striker saw his former side take the lead when Luka Modric did superbly to set up striker Peter Crouch after 27 minutes. David Bentley, making only his third league start of the season, extended the lead with a deflected free kick after an hour. To end a personal jinx, Gareth Bale emerged on the winning side for the first time in 23 Premier League starts.

Bolton finally secured their first clean sheet of the season when defeating Owen Coyle's former side Burnley 1-0 to escape the bottom three and send the Clarets into the relegation zone at their expense.

After being taunted by the away supporters and labelled a 'Judas' following his decision to leave Burnley and replace Gary Megson, Coyle saw his new side take all three points at the Reebok Stadium when Lee Chung-yong's shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced over the line after 25 minutes.

With their transfer embargo partially lifted and new owners on the horizon, Portsmouth's fortunes could tentatively be described as improving and they battled back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with West Ham at Fratton Park.

Gianfranco Zola's side took the lead after 52 minutes when Matthew Upson converted from an Alessandro Diamanti corner but Danny Webber claimed his 50th career goal to give Pompey a point. They remain bottom and five points shy of Wolves in 17th place, while West Ham are out of the bottom three on goal difference.