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Chicharito Scores Late But Manchester United Loses

  • Manchester United's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring his second goal against Wigan Athletic during their English Premier League soccer match at The DW Stadium, Wigan, England, Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super) NO INTERNET/MOBILE USAGE WITHOUT FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE(FAPL)LICENCE. EMAIL info@football-dataco.com FOR DETAILS

    Manchester United's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring his second goal against Wigan Athletic during their English Premier League soccer match at The DW Stadium, Wigan, England, Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super) NO INTERNET/MOBILE USAGE WITHOUT FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE(FAPL)LICENCE. EMAIL info@football-dataco.com FOR DETAILS  (AP2011)

  • Manchester United's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring his second goal against Wigan Athletic during their English Premier League soccer match at The DW Stadium, Wigan, England, Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super) NO INTERNET/MOBILE USAGE WITHOUT FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE(FAPL)LICENCE. EMAIL info@football-dataco.com FOR DETAILS

    Manchester United's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring his second goal against Wigan Athletic during their English Premier League soccer match at The DW Stadium, Wigan, England, Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super) NO INTERNET/MOBILE USAGE WITHOUT FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE(FAPL)LICENCE. EMAIL info@football-dataco.com FOR DETAILS  (AP2011)

Even a goal from Javier "Chicharito" Hernández couldnt stop the English Premier League leader, Manchester United, from stumbling to a second straight defeat by losing 3-1 at fierce rival Liverpool on Sunday.

Netherlands forward Dirk Kuyt scored twice in the first half and again in the 65th to complete his first hat trick for Liverpool, ensuring United wasn't able to capitalize on second-place Arsenal's draw against Sunderland on Saturday.

United, grabbed a late consolation through Hernández but remained three points above Arsenal having played a game more. Manchester City, which downed Wigan 1-0 Saturday, is four points further back in third.

Despite the loss, Hernández the first Mexican player in United history, has been a revelation for the EPL giant. In their previous game, Chicharito scored two goals to pace a rout of Wigan.

But things went very differently in this game. United, whose defense looked creaky at Anfield without center backs Nemanja Vidic (suspended) and Rio Ferdinand (injured), has lost three of its last five matches to keep the title race wide open.

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Manager Alex Ferguson, facing a charge of improper conduct after his criticism of a referee following the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, refused to speak to the media after the game but Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was more than happy to.

"We know it's a good victory for us," said Dalglish, whose side moved above Bolton into sixth, six points behind Chelsea and Tottenham but having played more games.

"We know Manchester United are a great benchmark, but our season is not finished. We want to keep going."

Steven Fletcher's late header earned Wolves a deserved draw after England striker Jermain Defoe scored twice for Spurs, his first goals of the season. Tottenham drew level on points with fourth-place Chelsea, which visits Blackpool on Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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