Saturday Premiership round-up
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manchester United opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table.
Manchester United opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table with an impressive win over Portsmouth, while it was all change at the bottom as Charlton and Watford both won.
Liverpool are starting to find some form and a Dirk Kuyt brace proved the undoing of Reading, but Bolton lost ground on leaders Manchester United as they were beaten at home by Wigan.
Manchester United were mighty impressive on Saturday, but Pompey contributed to their own downfall at Old Trafford as Dejan Stefanovic hauled down Wayne Rooney just three minutes in and Louis Saha gratefully accepted the gift as he beat David James from the spot.
The visitors looked like startled rabbits and the game was effectively taken away from them on the ten-minute mark as Cristiano Ronaldo rammed home a superb free kick from 25 yards.
Pompey improved after the break, but Nemanja Vidic took the wind out of their sails on 66 minutes as he headed home from a Gary Neville cross.
Following a sticky start to the campaign, Liverpool are starting to find some form and they proved too strong for Reading at Anfield.
Rafa Benitez reverted to type as he made two changes to the side which beat Bordeaux in midweek and it paid off as Kuyt netted a brace to hand The Reds three points.
The Dutchman tapped home a Peter Crouch knockdown on 14 minutes and was on hand to bundle home from close range 17 minutes from time as Marcus Hahnemann failed to collect a header from Crouch.
Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd has called for his players to turn draws into wins and they answered the call on Saturday, with Middlesbrough the first team to taste defeat against The Hornets this term.
Jonathan Woodgate was credited with an own goal on six minutes, as he deflected Hameur Bouazza's shot into his own net, and The Hornets secured the win their play merited when Ashley Young capitalised on an almighty blunder from George Boateng on the hour to beat Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the box.
Charlton ground out a gritty 1-0 win over Manchester City, but they remain bottom of the table.
City boss Stuart Pearce must have crossed a black cat on his way to The Valley, as his side passed up a glut of chances en-route to a 1-0 defeat.
Micah Richards and Hatem Trabelsi hit the woodwork, while Scott Carson made a number of fine saves for The Addicks and Darren Bent's header from a sumptuous cross from Jerome Thomas handed victory to Charlton.
Newcastle plunged to second from bottom as a Danny Webber header handed Sheffield United a 1-0 win at St James' Park.
Bolton remain third in the table despite being beaten by North West rivals Wigan at The Reebok. The Trotters failed to take some early chances and it proved costly as Lee McCulloch slammed home from the edge of the box on 79 minutes to hand The Latics their third win on the spin.
Fulham meted out a second defeat of the season to Everton with a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.
The Toffees paid the price for failing to turn their dominance into goals as Claus Jensen beat Tim Howard with a deflected 20-yard effort on 66 minutes to hand victory to Fulham.
Click below for full match reports:
|Charlton|| 1-0||Manchester City|
|Manchester United|| 3-0||Portsmouth|
|Newcastle|| 0-1||Sheffield United|