LONDON, October 3- Former giants Liverpool were left languishing in the relegation zone after Blackpool's fairytale start to life in the Premier League continued with a 2-1 victory at Anfield on Sunday.
It was Blackpool’s first win at their north-west rivals’ once feared home ground since 1967 and left Liverpool, joint record 18-times English champions, with just a solitary win from seven league games so far this term.
Charlie Adam fired newly-promoted Blackpool into a 29th-minute lead from the penalty spot before Luke Varney scored what proved to be the Tangerines’ winner on the stroke of half-time.
Before kick-off some Liverpool supporters staged the latest protest against feuding American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who many Anfield regulars blame for saddling the club with a debt mountain they believe has restricted their ability to sign top-class players.
Former Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was aware of the boardroom strife when he arrived in pre-season but he, and the club as a whole, suffered a fresh setback when star striker Fernando Torres limped off just 10 minutes into the match with a suspected groin problem.
Glen Johnson’s foul on Varney allowed Adam to open the scoring before Varney made it 2-0 when he shot past Pepe Reina following Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s flick-on.
But Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, as he’s done so often for his hometown club, helped the Reds back into the match when from his free-kick Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos ran on to head in a 53rd=minute goal.
Kyrgiakos almost snatched a point for the Merseysiders late on but was denied by a brilliant save from Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks.
Earlier, Manchester City’s Adam Johnson came off the bench to score the winner in a 2-1 victory over Newcastle as Roberto Mancini’s big-spenders went second in the table — a position they would maintain unless Arsenal beat leaders Chelsea in Sunday’s late kick-off.
Johnson had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes before he fired City in front with a quarter of an hour left at Eastlands after Carlos Tevez’s early penalty had been cancelled out by Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez.
"What is pleasing is that the players have shown that there is substance in the result," City assistant manager Brian Kidd told ESPN.
"You know you’ve got a chance when you’ve got that in the squad."
Defeat for Newcastle was made worse by the early loss of Hatem Ben Arfa with a suspected broken leg after a crunching challenge by City’s Nigel de Jong.
"It seems as if he’s got a broken leg," Newcastle manager Chris Hughton.
"When something like that happens and then to have some incredible decisions go against us, it’s hard to take."
City took an 18th-minute lead when Tevez scored from a questionable penalty after he tumbled over the sliding challenge of Mike Williamson.
But six minutes later Newcastle were level when Gutierrez followed up his own half-cleared cross to shoot into the top of the net from 12 yards.
However, in-form substitute Johnson had been on the pitch only a matter of minutes when he put City 2-1 up with a quarter of an hour remaining.
The winger collected the ball out on the left, beat a couple of defenders and then shot low into the far corner.