23 DECEMBER 2000

Liverpool (1) 4 (Gerrard 11, Owen 62, Barmby 70, Fowler 90)
Arsenal (0) 0

Liverpool have now beaten the best two clubs in the country after a
crushing win over Arsenal. Steven Gerrard crashed home a brilliant
25 yard volley after Babbel's long throw was headed clear. Arsenal
then dominated for a long spell before Michael Owen scrambled home
the second after Manninger failed to hold Heskey's shot. Smicer
slotted in Barmby for the third goal and then turned provider in
stoppage time to send Robbie Fowler through for the fourth.

Charlton (1) 1 (Svensson 9)
Everton (0) 0

Charlton put their recent poor run behind them thanks to a slender
victory over Everton. The winning goal came early on when Mattius
Svensson headed home a Claus Jensen corner.

Chelsea (1) 3 (Poyet 22, Dalla Bonna 68, Gudjohnsen 90)
Bradford (0) 0

Chelsea's fine home form continues with a comfortable victory that
confirmed Bradford's place at the bottom of the table. Gus Poyet
opened the scoring, firing home after Gudjohnson's shot had been
parried by Walsh. Sam Dalla Bonna doubled the lead with a fine solo
effort after running half the length of the pitch and Gudjohsen
completed the victory in stoppage time, smashing home after his
first effort was saved.

Derby (1) 2 (Carbonari 33, Burton 73)
Newcastle (0) 0

Derby pulled further away from the drop zone with an excellent win
over Newcastle at Pride Park. Horatio Carbonari scored the first,
blasting home after a weak defensive header. Deon Burton doubled the
lead late on from close range after Burley's excellent cross.

Leeds United (0) 1 (Woodgate 90)
Aston Villa (1) 2 (Southgate 43, Boateng 89)

Robbie Keane played the final 25 minutes, but couldn't help Leeds to
any points against Aston Villa. Gareth Southgate scored twice
against Leeds last season and he did it again just before half time,
heading home at the second attempt after Merson's corner crept
through. Villa made it 2-0 on the break after James had saved from
Keane, George Boateng prodding home Merson's cross. Jon Woodgate's
stoppage time header from a Kewell cross was nothing more than a
passing consolation.

Leicester (1) 2 (Izzet 26, Savage 63)
West Ham (1) 1 (Kanoute 8)

Leicester came from behind to sneak into third place against a
spirited West Ham side that wasted a number of good first half
chances. Frederik Kanoute put the visitors ahead, firing home a
cross from Rigobert Song. Muzzy Izzet levelled matters, scrambling
home after Rowett's cross found Akinbiyi whose header hit Song.
Robbie Savage grabbed the winner, slotting home a pass from Oakes
after Ian Pearce couldn't intercept the through ball.

Man United (2) 2 (Solsjkaer 20, 32)
Ipswich (0) 0

United go eight points clear at the top thanks to a double from Ole
Gunnar Solsjkaer. His first was a delightful one-two with Giggs, the
Norwegian neatly rounding the keeper before scoring. The lead was
doubled when he drilled home a fine long pass from David Beckham.

Sunderland (1) 1 (Hutchison 21)
Man City (0) 0

Controversy over the only goal of the game as Don Hutchison fired
home a fine free kick. City argued that they were still getting
their defensive wall together and that referee David Ellerly hadn't
blown his whistle. The goal stood, so did the result.

Spurs (0) 0
Middlesbrough (0) 0

No goals, but more controversy at White Hart Lane as Spurs bemoaned
a disallowed goal which they felt should have been allowed. Chris
Armstrong slotted home a cross, however the linesman's flag went up
against Stephen Clemence in the centre, although Spurs clamied that
he was not interfering with play.

22 DECEMBER 2000

Coventry (1) 1 (Thompson 33)
Southampton (0) 1 (Tessem 51)

Honours even at Highfield Rd which leaves Coventry struggling in the
drop zone. They went ahead when David Thompson's curling free kick
from the touchline was missed by everyone and it drifted inside the
far post. Jo Tessem thumped home a headed equaliser from a Hassan
Kachloul cross.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor - Soccerage (UK)