Spurs beat Everton to reclaim fourth

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur survived a strong Everton fightback to secure a 2-1 home win while Fernando Torres scored on his first start in six weeks as Liverpool beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 in the Premier League on Sunday.

Coming after Manchester City's shock 4-2 win at Chelsea on Saturday, the results kept things tight in the battle for fourth place.

Spurs reclaimed fourth on 49 points, above City on goal difference. Liverpool remain sixth on 48 with Aston Villa, who lost 2-1 to Manchester United in the League Cup final on Sunday, seventh on 45.

Chelsea still lead the way with 61 points, one ahead of Manchester United. Arsenal, 3-1 winners at Stoke City, are third on 58 points.

Tottenham produced a dominant first-half display at White Hart Lane and led 2-0 at the break.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, who had scored twice in each of his last two games, opened the scoring after 11 minutes and Luka Modric got the second after 28 with a brilliant chip.

The game changed five minutes into the second half though when Tottenham lost impressive midfielder Tom Huddlestone and Everton began to take command.

They pulled a goal back after 53 minutes when Ayegbeni Yakubu cashed in on an error by Heurelho Gomes - the first Spurs had conceded at home in six league games - but the Spurs keeper made amends with good saves to deny Jack Rodwell and Steven Pienaar.

Everton, who came from 2-0 down at home to draw 2-2 with Spurs at Goodison Park in December, should have done the same 12 minutes from time when substitute Landon Donovan missed a sitter.

Steven Gerrard put Liverpool ahead after 20 minutes but Blackburn levelled with a Keith Andrews penalty following a Jamie Carragher handball.

Torres, starting his first game in six weeks following knee surgery, restored the lead a minute before halftime with a simple finish after goalkeeper Paul Robinson needlessly left his goal unguarded as he tried to close down Maxi Rodriguez wide on the right.

Liverpool struggled to put much together in the second half but though Blackburn had plenty of the game, they failed to fashion anything beyond half-chances until stoppage time when Christopher Samba had a header well saved by Jose Reina.

The day's other match between Sunderland and Fulham was goalless.