19 DECEMBER 2001

Leeds United (2) 3 (Viduka 18, Fowler 25, 70)
Everton (0) 2 (Max-Moore 83, Weir 90)

Leeds move within a point of the leaders after beating Everton,
despite another spirited late comeback against them. Mark Viduka
headed Leeds into a deserved lead on eighteen minutes, planting a
Gary Kelly cross into the bottom corner. Robbie Fowler then broke
his duck for Leeds as he netted for the first time since his move
from Liverpool. He collected a fine pass from Danny Mills on his
chest and slotted neatly past Simonsen to register a strike against
his favourite boyhood team. Fowler's tally for his Leeds career was
doubled in the second half when he fired home after David Batty's
shot was blocked. Everton pulled one back late on when Joe Max-Moore
crashed home Steve Watson's cross at the far post with a stunning
volley and then Leeds blood pressures were raised further when David
Weir headed home unmarked in stoppage time.

18 DECEMBER 2001

Arsenal (1) 1 (Pires 20)
Newcastle (0) 3 (O'Brien 60, Shearer (pen) 85, Robert 90)
RED CARDS: Parlour (Arsenal) 42, Bellamy (Newcastle) 72

High drama at Highbury as two players were sent off as Newcastle
came from behind to beat Arsenal 3-1 and go top of the Premiership,
whilst ending their London jinx in the process. Arsenal took the
lead courtesy of sublime skill from Thierry Henry who showed some
superb juggling on the right flank before sending the ball into the
area with an overhead kick. Ashley Cole fired the ball back across
and Robert Pires converted from close range. Shortly before half
time, Ray Parlour was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red
for a foul on Alan Shearer, although players from both sides,
including Shearer, were quickly over to the ref asking him not to
dismiss the Gunners midfielder. Newcastle took advantage of their
numerical superiority and equalised on the hour when Andy O'Brien
found himself unmarked at the near post to head home a firmly struck
corner from Nol Solano. This numerical advantage ended ten minutes
later when Craig Bellamy was also harshly red carded for catching
Ashley Cole in the neck with a flayling arm and although Bellamy had
previously been booked, referee Graham Poll brandished a straight
red card. Further controversy followed when Laurent Robert was sent
clear on goal and was judged to have been fouled by Sol Campbell,
although replays appeared to show that the Arsenal defender won the
ball. A yellow card was produced on this occasion for Campbell,
however up stepped Alan Shearer to crash home the penalty.
Sensationally, as we entered the second of SIX minutes of stoppage
time, Robert was sent clear by Lua-Lua and this time he found the
bottom corner unerringly. The victory was the first win in London
for Newcastle in over four years, covering 30 games!

17 DECEMBER 2001

Aston Villa (1) 2 (Angel 43, 70)
Ipswich (1) 1 (George 18)

Aston Villa came from behind to beat bottom club Ipswich, thanks to
a brace from Juan Pablo Angel. Ipswich took the lead when Richard
Naylor found Finidi George with a square ball, the Nigerian then
glanced up and fizzed a superb shot into the bottom corner past
Peter Schmeichel. Villa equalised near half time when Ipswich failed
to clear a corner and Juan Pablo Angel headed home Steve Staunton's
cross at the far post. Angel was again on target with twenty minutes
to go when, having been found by Alan Wright, his shot from the edge
of the area deflected off of John McGreal and looped in over Sereni.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK