Pressure grows on Benitez as Stoke's late show denies troubled Reds a win

STOKE City 1 Liverpool 1RAFAEL Benitez was denied a victory to lift the intense pressure on him when Stoke grabbed a last-ditch equaliser at the Britannia Stadium.

It was never pretty, but this much-derided Liverpool outfit stood up to be counted in a physical showdown. And they went ahead when former Rangers defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos scrambled home his first goal for the club early in the second period. But Stoke's relentless aerial assault produced an equaliser from Robert Huth in the 89th minute. It was a terrible blow for a Liverpool side facing pressure from all quarters, and they were even denied a winner in injury-time when Dirk Kuyt's diving header hit a post.

Manchester United 3 Burnley 0

MANCHESTER United claimed a much-needed victory over Burnley to ease their worries on the field even if they are piling up outside Old Trafford.

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Chants of "We want the Glazers out" from the Stretford End emphasised the debt mountain being carried by the Red Devils. For a long time it looked as though it was hanging round the players' necks too. But a five-minute purple patch just after the hour brought Dimitar Berbatov's seventh goal of the season and Wayne Rooney's 16th.

And, with new-boy Mame Biram Diouf adding another near the end, United had regained a sense of superiority, even if the outcome could have been vastly different if either former Hibernian striker Steven Fletcher or David Nugent had taken golden opportunities when Brian Laws' first game in charge was still deadlocked.

After the match Sir Alex Ferguson once again raised the spectre of Berbatov heading for a knee operation.

Wolves 0 Wigan Athletic 2

JAMES McCarthy celebrated his first start in the Barclays Premier League by setting Wigan on the way to their first win in six games. McCarthy, signed last summer from Hamilton, followed up his debut goal against Hull in the FA Cup with the 59th-minute opener before Charles N'Zogbia added the second for the impressive Latics.

Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann also saved a Hugo Rodallega penalty and both sides ended the game with ten men as Wolves defender Richard Stearman and Wigan midfielder Hendry Thomas were sent off.

Tottenham Hotspur 0 Hull City 0

TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp endured a frustrating 500th game as a Premier League manager after heroics from Boaz Myhill earned Hull a valuable point. Myhill pulled off a string of fine saves to deny Spurs.