28 DECEMBER 2000

Southampton (2) 2 (Beattie 38, Davies 39)
Tottenham (0) 0

Two goals in as many first half minutes saw off Spurs who crash to
their 8th defeat in ten away games this season. Southampton took the
lead when James Beattie charged down a Chris Perry clearance, cut in
from the left and fired a fine shot over Sullivan and into the far
corner. A minute later, Pahars found space on the right and his far
post cross was side footed in off the post from Kevin Davies. After
that, Spurs never looked likely to get anything from the game.

26 DECEMBER 2000

Arsenal (1) 6 (Henry 35, 66, 82, Vieira 50, Ljungberg 75, Adams 90)
Leicester (0) 1 (Akinbiyi 54)

Arsenal bounced back from their Anfield humiliation to wallop
Leicester, whose goalkeeper Tim Flowers was named man of the match,
such was the Gunners domination. Thierry Henry scored the first of
his hat trick with a stunning 20 yard volley direct from a Silvinho
corner. Patrick Vieira doubled the lead shortly after half time,
looping the ball over Flowers before tapping into an empty net and
although Akinbiyi pulled one back with a tap in after Manninger had
spilled Benjamin's header, Arsenal took total control shortly after.
Henry turned Elliott before smashing home the third and then
Ljungberg slotted home the fourth after Stepanovs's header hit the
post. Henry completed his hat trick when he rounded the keeper after
latching onto a through ball from Vivas. Tony Adams completed the
rout, crashing home a far post volley from Henry's cross.

Aston Villa (0) 0
Man United (0) 1 (Solsjkear 85)

United keep their eight point lead at the top thanks to a late Ole
Gunnar Solsjkear header with five minutes to go. His effort from
Beckham's cross was half saved by David James but he couldn't stop
the ball from finding the net. United dominated the first half,
although Villa will count themselves unlucky after Dion Dublin had a
goal ruled out for offside, TV replays showing that he was level
with the final defender.

Bradford (0) 1 (Blake 75)
Sunderland (1) 4 (Quinn 45, Phillips 48, 55, 85)

Bradford stay rooted at the bottom as Sunderland hit four at
Bradford for the second year in a row. A hat trick from Kevin
Phillips was the highlight, but the crucial goal came on half time
from Niall Quinn, blasting home after his originally header from
Gray's cross had been saved. Two in seven minutes from Phillips just
after half time wrapped up the result, both of which were crisp
finishes past Walsh. Robbie Blake pulled one back, striking home
after Sunderland failed to clear a corner, however Phillips
completed his hat trick with a superb shot from the edge of the box.
He also missed a stoppage time penalty, his firmly struck shot
parried away by Walsh.

Everton (0) 1 (Gemmill 85)
Coventry (0) 2 (Hadji 69, Breen 87)

A superb away victory for Coventry, their first on the road since
the opening week of the season and one that helps ease the pressure
on boss Gordon Strachan. Mustapha Hadji opened the scoring with
twenty minutes left, heading home from David Thompson's free kick.
Their efforts looked to be in vain when Scot Gemmill equalised,
latching onto a flick from Duncan Ferguson to fire past Kirkland,
however just two minutes another Thompson free kick found another
Coventry head, this time Gary Breen, to wrap up the points.

Ipswich (1) 2 (Crowcroft 44, Stewart 82)
Chelsea (2) 2 (Gudjohsnen 9, 17)

Chelsea were denied their first away win of the season thanks to a
spirited Ipswich comeback having been two down inside seventeen
minutes, both goals coming from Eidur Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic
international struck first with a fine volley from Melchoit's cross
and within ten minutes the lead was doubled when he converted a
Hasselbaink cross inside the near post. Crucially Ipswich struck
back just before half time, James Scowcroft heading home a cross
from Wilnis and in a sensationally finale, Marcus Stewart earned a
point, volleying home Scowcroft's header.

Man City (0) 0
Derby (0) 0

Goalless at Maine Road in the bottom of the table clash, however
Derby were left ruing a glorious chance for Deon Burton that went
begging. His shot, from a Kinkladze pass, crashed against the
underside of the bar and onto the line before Christie hit the
rebound against the bar! City can also point to a spectacular
opening when they hit the woodwork once and had two other efforts

Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Karembeu 40)
Liverpool (0) 0

Having beaten Arsenal and Man United, Liverpool travelled to
Middlesbrough and slipped up against one of the bottom three. In a
poor game, Christian Karembeu scored the only goal, tapping home
from close range after Fleming's shot was spilled by Westerveld.

Newcastle (2) 2 (Solano 41, Acuna 44)
Leeds United (1) 1 (Dacourt 10)

Five defeats in seven games for Leeds, despite taking the lead
against Newcastle at St James Park. Olivier Dacourt fired home a
free kick from inside the area after it had been moved 10 yards
forward for dissent. Nol Solano levelled matters with a remarkable
free kick just before half time, smashing the shot home from all of
35 yards! Clarence Acuna settled the destination of the points three
minutes later, heading home another Solano free kick.

West Ham (3) 5 (Di Canio 13, Kanoute 18, 82, Lampard 45, Sinclair 71)
Charlton (0) 0

West Ham showed just what they are capable of as they destroyed
Charlton in the east London derby. Paolo Di Canio opened the scoring
after a scramble, his looping effort appearing to go in via Richard
Rufus. Frederik Kanoute doubled the lead, collecting a Sinclair pass
before slotting across the keeper and inside the far post. Frank
Lampard added a third, tapping home Di Canio's cross before Sinclair
scored the fourth with a brilliant 25 yard volley. Kanoute completed
the rout late on, rounding the keeper after collecting Carrick's
through ball.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor - Soccerage (UK)