International Soccer - England

Liverpool squeak past Sunderland, reclaim 2nd place

Liverpool, England ( - Liverpool reclaimed second place in the Premier League on Wednesday after coming away with a nervy 2-1 victory over relegation-battling Sunderland at Anfield.

Liverpool entered their first home match since Feb. 23 in fine form riding a six-match winning streak in league play and coming off a 6-3 win over Cardiff City last week.

It took the Reds a little while to get rolling, but the hosts opened the scoring in the 39th minute after Luis Suarez was hauled down just outside the penalty area for a free kick in a dangerous spot.

Reds captain Steven Gerrard stepped up and ripped a magnificent free kick into the top right corner past Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The hosts made it a two-goal margin two minutes into the second half when Daniel Sturridge cut inside and curled a left-footed strike into the side netting for his 20th goal of the season.

Sunderland pulled one back 15 minutes from time when Ki Sung-Yueng got free at the back post on a corner kick and nodded it past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

But Liverpool's defense held firm over a nervy final few minutes to claim a seventh straight win in league play and move to within one point of Chelsea for the top spot in the Premiership.

West Ham 2, Hull City 1

London, England - A James Chester own goal proved to be the difference on Wednesday as West Ham United earned a 2-1 win over 10-man Hull City at Upton Park.

West Ham had the better of the play early on and got the first break of the match in the 23rd minute when Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor was shown a straight red card for a clattering challenge and Mark Noble buried the ensuing penalty kick to give the Hammers the lead.

Hull drew level in the 48th minute through former Everton man Nikica Jelavic, but the game broke back in favor of West Ham in the 54th minute as a cross from the right flank took a wicked deflection off Chester and into the net to hand the Hammers a crucial three points.

The result sees West Ham improve to 34 points with seven games to play, while Hull City remains in 13th place on 33 points.

03/26 18:15:12 ET