19 AUGUST 2001

Chelsea (1) 1 (Zenden 8)
Newcastle (0) 1 (Acuna 77)

The first ever Premiership pay-per-view game got off to a remarkable
start when the hosts took the lead, courtesy of an almighty howler by
Newcastle keeper Shay Given, who somehow allowed Boudewjien
Zenden's 20 yard shot to squirm out of his hands and through his legs,
ultimately dribbling almost apologetically over the line. Newcastle
looked the better side for long periods and were unlucky not to equalise
on a number of occasions before they finally broke through with 13 minutes
to go. Clarence Acuna was the man who did the damage, capitalising on
another goalkeeping error as De Goey spilled a shot from Laurent Robert
to fire home.

Manchester United (1) 3 (Beckham 35, Van Nistelrooy 51, 53)
Fulham (1) 2 (Saha 4, 48)

A two goal in three minute blast from Ruud van Nistelrooy gave
United all three points, but only having twice been behind against
Premiership new boys Fulham. Louis Saha stunned Old Trafford inside
four minutes when he latched onto a chipped ball from Sean Davis,
controlled well and lobbed over the advancing Barthez. A David
Beckham special levelled matters when his trademark free kick beat
the wall and crashed in off the underside of the bar. Three minutes
into the second half, Fulham and Saha did it again. This time Steed
Malbranaque provided the through ball, leaving the Frenchman to fire
home across his fellow countryman in the home goal. Enter Van
Nistelrooy who equalised with a toe poke past Van der Sar having
been put in by Andrew Cole, and within two minutes, the Dutchman
scored again for what proved to be the winner. A Beckham cross was
headed across his own goal by Barry Hayles, leaving the 19m man to
fire into a gaping net.

18 AUGUST 2001

Charlton (0) 1 (Johansson 58)
Everton (0) 2 (Ferguson (pen) 64, Weir 77)

Everton came from behind to win at Charlton and get their season off
to a good start. Both clubs had major injury problems and it was the
hosts who finally made light of their's when Jonaton Johansson
opened the scoring, looping a header home after David Weir's weak
clearance fell to him nicely. The lead lasted six minutes before
Kevin Campbell was clattered over by Steve Brown and Duncan Ferguson
levelled from the spot. David Weir was the unlikely scorer of the
winner, making up for his earlier error bu sweeping home Gravesen's
corner from close range.

Derby (1) 2 (Ravanelli 45, Christie 65)
Blackburn (0) 1 (Blake 75)

Almost a dream comeback for Blackburn as they had a last minute Matt
Jansen goal disallowed, having already came without touching
distance after being 2-0 down at Derby. Having had the better of the
first half, Blackburn went behind when Fabrizio Ravanelli curled
home a free kick on the stroke of the interval. Malcolm Christie
enhanced his reputation when he doubled the lead, firing home after
being found by Kinkladze. Nathan Blake pulled a goal back, blasting
past the keeper after Craig Hignett had sent him through, before
Jansen's late effort was ruled out to deny Rovers a deserved point.

Leeds United (0) 2 (Bowyer 67, Smith 81)
Southampton (0) 0
RED CARD : Lundekvam (Southampton) 89

Championship hopefuls Leeds United took a while to break down a
resolute Southampton team, however once Lee Bowyer had given them
the lead midway through the second half, the destination of the
points were never in doubt. Bowyer struck when he crashed home a
shot from the edge of the box after the visitors failed to clear a
corner. Alan Smith scored a delightful second, collecting a pass
from Eirik Bakke, turning his man with a lovely flick and then
curling his shot past Jones into the bottom corner. Saints misery
was complete late on when Claus Lundekvam was harshly sent off for
an apparent professional foul on Harry Kewell, although another
defender was at least level with the incident.

Leicester (0) 0
Bolton (4) 5 (Nolan 15, 41, Ricketts 33, Frandsen 45, 83)

Bolton's first win at Leicester in 40 years and their biggest ever
win in the Premiership, in what must rank as one of the most
astonishing results of the season, not so much for who won the game,
but the sheer margin of victory. Kevin Nolan opened the scoring, not
only for this game, but for the Premiership as a whole when he sent
a looping header over Tim Flowrs. It was only his second career goal
which made Bolton's third - and Nolan's third of his career, all the
more incredible. It arrived shortly before the break when he shot
home after Leicester failed to clear a free kick. Between Nolan's
pair, Michael Ricketts continued where he left off last season,
thundering a shot past Flowers from a tight angle. Per Frandsen
added a fourth on the stroke of half time with a low free kick that
fizzed into the bottom corner and then repeated the feat with seven
minutes left, this time with a curler, to end the rout - and
Leicester's suffering.

Liverpool (1) 2 (Owen 18, 77)
West Ham (1) 1 (Di Canio (pen) 30)

Two goals for Michael Owen saw Liverpool see off West Ham, however
they were made to battle and left it late to secure victory. Owen
started the proverbial ball rolling when he latched onto a fine
flick from Gary McAllister to slot calmly home. The Hammers levelled
matters on the half hour when Jamie Carragher's miskick was
collected by Todorov who was judged to have been fouled in the area
by StephaneHenchoz and Paolo Di Canio, ever the showman on the big
stage, chipped the penalty over Arphexad as the keeper dived.
Liverpool won the match when Owen was again on target, collecting a
pass from Dietmar Hamann, sidestepping his marker and the drilling
home in off the far post.

Middlesbrough (0) 0
Arsenal (1) 4 (Henry 43, Pires (pen) 87, Bergkamp 89, 90)
RED CARDS : Parlour (Arsenal) 51, Ehiogu (Boro) 86

Arsenal crushed Middlesbrough at the Riverside, however the emphatic
scoreline was only due to a late three goal blast. Thierry Henry
broke the deadlock shortly before half time after a headed clearance
by Ugo Ehiogu hit his own man, Dean Windass, and rebounded to the
Frenchman who made no mistake on the volley. Ray Parlour was then
dismissed six minutes into the second half for a second bookable
offence, a late tackle on Ehiogu and later on he was joined by
Ehiogu who saw red having brought down Ashley Cole in full flow.
Robert Pires scored from the spot to double the lead. Enter Dennis
Bergkamp who wrapped up the victory with two late goals, the first a
slotted effort past the keeper having been sent away by Cole and
just seconds later he scored with a similar effort with Pires the
provider this time. Not a good start for new Boro boss Steve

Sunderland (1) 1 (Phillips (pen) 38)
Ipswich (0) 0

Sunderland eased home against last season's surprise package
courtesy of a first half penalty by Kevin Phillips. It came about
when Titus Bramble was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Kilbane after
the Ipswich man lost possession in his own area, leaving Phillips to
send the keeper the wrong way. New Ipswich signing Counago almost
equalised with a header that Sorenson saved well and Niall Quinn
could have doubled the lead when he sent a free header inches wide.

Spurs (0) 0
Aston Villa (0) 0

Teddy Sheringham was ruled out before kick off and Les Ferdinand
went off injured inside 20 minutes - no major surprise that it ended
goalless in that case. There were chances with Hassan Kachloul
coming closest for Villa, forcing a fine save from Neil Sullivan,
however it was Spurs who almost won the points late on when Gary
Doherty's scorching volley crashed against the bar.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK