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Liverpool's Xabi Alonso, right, and Ryan Babel trudge off the field after their team's 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday. ((Jon Super/Associated Press))

On a day when league leader Manchester United is idle, the news couldn't get any better for the storied side.

Second-place rival Liverpool dropped more points in the EPL title race Saturday, falling to a weak Middlesbrough squad 2-0.

Boro had some help from Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who scored an own goal in the 31st minute to open the scoring. Tuncay Sanli made it two on the hour. It was a massive win for Sanli's team, vaulting them one point out of the relegation zone.

It was also as huge a loss for the Reds, which find themselves seven points behind United with 11 games left in the season.

"In the first 30 minutes we had five chances and we didn't take them," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "It's clearly been a problem this season and today was the same."

To make matters worse, Liverpool was overtaken by Chelsea for second spot. The Blues defeated Wigan 2-1 thanks to a 90th-minute goal by Frank Lampard. The English midfielder headed in a last-minute Michael Ballack cross to secure the victory.

Chelsea gets nod

Though Chelsea and Liverpool are both on 55 points in the EPL standings, the Blues get the nod because of superior goal difference.

Arsenal, meanwhile, fell further back from a Champions League spot for next season. The Gunners were held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham at home. Arsenal now finds itself five points back of Aston Villa for fourth place.

The other match of the day saw Everton defeat West Brom 2-0. The win puts Everton only two points behind Arsenal for fifth place.

United is idle Saturday because they play Tottenham on Sunday in the Carling Cup final.

With files from The Associated Press