Owen is Maine man
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
England vice-captain Owen had not scored from open play all season, but manager Gerard Houllier kept faith with the European Footballer of the Year and he repaid him in spectacular fashion.
The first came after just four minutes when Danny Murphy's corner caused problems in the Man City area and Owen was on hand to ram home from just four yards out.
Owen then made it 2-0 just after the hour-mark when England team-mate Steven Gerrard sent a telepathic ball through the middle for Owen to out pace Sun Jihai before controlling the ball and slotting past Danish veteran Peter Schmeichel.
Owen affirmed his status as Liverpool's leading striker with a great third to complete his set of three and claim the match ball. Another long ball over the top, again saw Owen out pace the City defence, before his clinical finish off the post.
The top two - Arsenal and Liverpool - are now the only teams in The Premiership with unbeaten records, after Chelsea suffered a shock 3-2 reverse against bottom of the table West Ham.
The Blues took the lead after 20 minutes when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink recorded his first goal of the season from the penalty spot, after German defender Robert Huth had been fouled.
However, Glenn Roeder's side came back strong and equalised just before half time through Jermain Defoe.
Paolo Di Canio then scored the first of fantastic brace. The ubiquitous Italian put West Ham ahead after just two minutes of the second half when he smashed a 25-yard volley past Carlo Cudicini in the home goal.
Substitute Gianfranco Zola then produced another great Italian master-piece when he curled home a free-kick with just 14 minutes left.
But Di Canio would have the final word as he produced a superb finish from a tight angle with just four minutes remaining to give his side all three points.
Middlesbrough took advantage of Chelsea's slip-up with great aplomb as they eased past Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart Lane.
Italian sensation Massimo Maccarone was once again the thorn in the side of a rival Premiership defence and he opened the scoring after 32 minutes when he picked up an Alen Boksic shot to smash home.
Boro doubled their lead after 55 minutes when Cameroonian star Geremi slotted home from 18-yards, after a great run by Maccarone.
Joseph Job then joined his international colleague on the score-sheet as he latched on to a Boksic through ball before lashing his shot past the helpless Kasey Keller to confirm Boro's first away win of the season.
Manchester United also moved above Chelsea, but they made hard work of their 3-1 win over Charlton at The Valley.
Danish midfielder Claus Jensen opened the scoring just before half time with a great 25-yard effort, but the Red Devils came back early in the second period when Paul Scholes scored on his return from injury, after good work from Ryan Giggs.
The Welshman then put United ahead from close-range after substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy had broken well down the right. The Dutch striker added the third himself in the final minute.
Everton recorded a good 2-0 win over Fulham at Goodison Park, with both goals coming in the final minute of the first half.
Everton captain Kevin Campbell grabbed his fifth goal of the season when he flicked home Mark Pembridge's cross and less than a minute later Thomas Gravesen broke through a static Fulham defence before firing home.
Bolton left it late at The Reebok Stadium to claim a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
The Saints had taken an undeserved lead with just eight minutes left after Wayne Bridge smashed the ball home, after playing a one-two with Anders Svensson.
However, Sam Allardyce's side never give up and they grabbed a last gasp equaliser through French star Youri Djorkaeff who got on the end of a Mike Whitlow flick-on to rescue a point.
Finally, Sunderland grabbed a 1-0 win over Aston Villa to lift some pressure off under-fire boss Peter Reid.
Reid made a number of changes after last week's Tyne-Wear derby defeat and one of those new men - David Bellion, grabbed the winner after 70 minutes when he burst on to a long ball to rifle home.
Click below for match summaries:
Bolton 1-1 Southampton
Charlton 1-3 Manchester Utd
Chelsea 2-3 West Ham
Everton 2-0 Fulham
Manchester City 0-3 Liverpool
Sunderland 1-0 Aston Villa
Tottenham 0-3 Middlesbrough
Click here for Premiership table