27 AUGUST 2000

Aston Villa (1) 1 (Nilis 9)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Desailly 30)

A frankly drab game at Villa Park that saw two first half goals and very little else.
Luc Nilis nipped in front of Frank Leboeuf to clip the ball up  and crash home a
fine volley. The equaliser came from a Dennis Wise corner. David James came
out to collect the ball and was blocked by Flo as Desially came in front and
thumped home the header. Otherwise, pretty awful.

26 AUGUST 2000

Arsenal (1) 5 (Vieira 17, 61, Henry 46, 67, Silvinho 88)
Charlton (2) 3 (Hunt 21, 29, Stuart 58)

A quite remarkable game on an even more remarkable day in the Premiership.
Arsenal go top both after coming from behind twice to see off a resolute
Charlton side. Patrik Vieira made headlines for the right reasons when he put 
Arsenal ahead, clipping in Kanu's through ball, however Andy Hunt stunned 
Highbury with two goals in eight minutes to put the Addicks ahead at the 
interval. His first was slotted home from Kishishev's cross and then a fine far 
post header from Robinson's ball in. Thierry Henry levelled things early in 
the second half with a brilliant 25 yard volley after some keepy-uppy on the 
edge of the area, only for Graham Stuart to restore the visitors lead with a 
crisp near post volley. Vieira then struck again to equalise with a drilled 
effort into the corner from 25 yards, before Henry added his second to 
make it 4-3. A brilliant solo goal from Brazilian Silvinho ended any doubts 
about the destination of the points.

Bradford (0) 0
Leicester (0) 0

Dull and drab at Valley Parade, however Leicester remain unbeaten and remain 
the only side yet to concede a goal. The best chance fell late on when Matt 
Clarke somehow kept out Akinbiyi's close range header.

Everton (2) 2 (Jeffers 37, Gravesen 40)
Derby (0) 2 (Sturridge 51, Strupar 69)

Derby came from two down to earn a draw for the second Saturday in a row 
as Everton followed Southampton in letting a lead slip. Two goals in three 
minutes put Everton ahead at half time. Francis Jeffers grabbed the first at 
the near post from Moore's cross and the celebrations had hardly died down 
when Thomas Gravesen added the second, slotting home neatly from Stephen 
Hughes' pass. Derby are made of stern stuff though and pulled one back 
through Sturridge's firm header before Branko Strupar earned them an unlikely 
point with a superb free kick.

Ipswich (0) 1 (Bramble 52)
Sunderland (0) 0

Titus Bramble enchanced his ever growing reputation with the winning goal 
against Sunderland who once again proved that their away form isn't a patch 
on their home. Bramble scored early in the second half as he burst through
the Sunderland defence, held off a challenge and fired home.

Man City (0) 1 (Horlock 78)
Coventry (2) 2 (Edghill (og) 23, Bellamy 45)

No away wins for 16 months and now two in four days for Coventry City. They
need a bit of luck to get off the mark though thanks to a wonderfully enjoyable 
own goal by Richard Edghill who headed past Nicky Weaver as the home 
keeper came off his line to collect a long ball. Craig Bellamy paid another 
chunk off his 6.5m transfer fee when he doubled the lead on half time with
a fine solo run down the left before scoring from a tight angle. Late on Kevin
Horlock pulled a goal back, converting after Wanchope's shot was saved to 
set up a grandstand finish, but it was a bridge too far for Man City.

Middlesbrough (0) 1 (Stamp 82)
Leeds United (2) 2 (Bowyer 6, Smith 12)

Leeds effectively had the game won inside the opening twelve minutes as they 
remain the only team with a 100%  record. Lee Bowyer struck first, firing home 
from the edge of the area after collecting a flick from Bridges, followed shortly 
afterwards by in form Alan Smith who deflected home a firm effort from Olivier 
Dacourt. Phil Stamp scored a late consolation, blasting home from close range 
after a scramble, but it was too little too late for Boro.

Newcastle (1) 2 (Speed 10, Cordone 66)
Spurs (0) 0

51,000 fans watched as Newcastle won their second home game in a row and in 
truth Spurs were rarely in the game. Gary Speed lobbed the opening goal on
ten minutes after breaking the Spurs offside trap whilst new boy Daniel
Cordone added the clinching goal midway through the second half, firing home 
after Sullivan had only half cleared a cross.

Southampton (0) 3 (Pahars 73, 89 El Khelej 86)
Liverpool (1) 3 (Owen 23, 63 Hyypia 57)

The comeback of the day came at The Dell as Southampton came from 3-0 
down with seventeen minutes to go, to earn an unlikely point against 
Liverpool. It began so well for the visitors when Micheal Owen opened  the 
scoring with a shot across the keeper and in off the far post. He added his 
second on 63 minutes with a similar shot across the keeper, coming shortly 
after Sami Hyypia had doubled the lead with a fine header from a corner. 
Saints looked dead, however a far post header from Marion Pahars gave  them 
hope, albeit what seemed faint hope. Moroccan El Khelej pulled another back 
with four minutes to go, nodding home after Beattie had headed a long cross 
across goal, and as the Liverpool bench glanced nervously at their watches, 
up popped Pahars to score again after a weak defensive header put him in to
complete an astonishing revival.

West Ham (0) 2 (Di Canio (pen) 86, Suker 88)
Man United (1) 2 (Beckham 5, Cole 48)

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that West Ham deserved a draw today, but will 
have been somewhat peeved at how his Man United side threw it away. A
trademark David Beckham free kick from 30 yards put United ahead, a lead
that was doubled by Andy Cole early in the second half when Giggs latched
onto Beckham's long pass. Lomas tried and failed to clear but only found
Cole who bobbled the ball home. Livewire Joe Cole then took over, winning a
penalty with four minutes to go after being tripped by Berg following a
fine jinking run. Paulo Di Canio converted and it was game on. Remarkably,
Davor Suker found the equaliser two minutes later, heading in at the far post 
after Silvestre made a hash of clearing a weak Di Canio cross and the 
unlikely comeback was complete. Beckham and Teddy Sheringham both all
almost ruined the fairy tale when they hit the post in stoppage time, but a
draw about right on a day when blood pressures around the football lovers 
of England rose collectively.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor - Soccerage (UK)