30 DECEMBER 2001

Fulham (1) 2 (Legwinski 45, Marlet 89)
Manchester United (2) 3 (Giggs 5, 46, Van Nistelrooy 44)

Two goals from Ryan Giggs gave United their fifth win in a row and
put them to within three points of the top spot. Ryan Giggs gave
United the lead after home keeper Edwin van der Sar had miskicked a
clearance, the Welshman rolling the ball into the net from 25 yards.
The lead was doubled shortly before half time when Giggs crossed for
Ruud van Nistelrooy to volley home, however within a minute, Steed
Malbranque's free kick was met by Sylvain Legwinski to pull a goal
back. A minute after the restart, Van Nistelrooy headed on for Giggs
who crashed a shot inside the near post from an extremely tight
angle to give United their two goal cushion again. Fulham grabbed
late hope when sub Steve Marlet scored his first goal for the club,
tapping home Rufus Brevett's cross, but United held on for the

29 DECEMBER 2001

Arsenal (0) 2 (Pires 55, Cole 80)
Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Whelan 22)

Arsenal go top after coming from behind to win against Middlesbrough
at Highbury. Forgotten man Noel Whelan gave the strugglers the lead
midway through the first half, latching onto an error by Sol
Campbell to fire past Taylor. Ten minutes into the second half,
Robert Pires volleyed home a superb 25 yard shot which infuriated
the Boro players who felt that Ince was fouled by Henry as he went
to charge down the shot. The goal was allowed however and with ten
minutes to go, Ashley Cole headed the winner after Dennis Bergkamp's
superb far post cross. Pires' goal still wrangled with Boro however
and led to one of the quotes of the year from Noel Whelan, who said
of ref Andy D`Urso, "He must have been pi**ed!"

Aston Villa (0) 1 (Angel (pen) 90)
Tottenham (1) 1 (Ferdinand 38)

Villa left it very late to earn a point against Spurs. Les Ferdinand
gave the visitors the lead after his shot dribbled home having only
been partially saved by Schmeichel, however deep into stoppage time,
Darren Anderton was judged to have handled a Steve Stone cross and
Juan Pablo Angel converted the spot kick.

Blackburn (0) 0
Derby (1) 1 (Christie 40)

Derby won a league game for the first time on the road this season
courtesy of a Malcolm Christie strike before half time. The
youngster netted after collecting a Benito Carbone pass and running
at the home defence.

Bolton (1) 2 (Nolan 34, Ricketts 90)
Leicester (2) 2 (Ricketts (og) 22, Deane 27)
RED CARDS: Warhurst 19, Holdsworth 23 (both Bolton), Izzet 69
(Leicester) (Leicester)

An extraordinary game at the Reebok as Bolton came from two goals
down to earn a point despite being down to nine men after just 23
minutes. Paul Warhurst was the first to see red for a high tackle on
Robbie Savage and just four minutes later, Dean Holdsworth was also
shown a straight red after clattering...Robbie Savage! It came just
seconds after Michael Ricketts had put Leicester ahead with an own
goal, a fine header from Dennis Wise's near post cross. Savage was
then subbed by boss Dave Bassett, although in truth he had done very
little wrong. Four minutes later, Brian Deane doubled the lead,
heading in Alan Rogers' cross, although Jaaskelainen in the home
goal should have done better. Kevin Nolan then pulled one back,
heading past Ian Walker after Colin Hendry had found his run with a
header and in stoppage time, Ricketts made up for his own goal by
grabbing a last ditch equaliser, heading firmly into the net after
Nicky Southall perfect cross. By this time, Leicester were also
short on numbers after Muzzy Izzet was shown a second yellow card
for kicking the ball away.

Everton (0) 0
Charlton (1) 3 (Stuart 29, Euell 68, Konchesky 87)

Everton were jeered off the pitch after being well beaten at home by
Charlton. Former Evertonian Graham Stuart opened the scoring,
scrambling the ball in after Kevin Lisbie's header had beaten the
keeper and Jason Euell doubled the lead midway through the second
half, firing into the top corner after John Robinson's pass had
found him. Paul Konchesky added a third late on to seal the points,
volleying into the net from Euell's overhead kick.

Ipswich (4) 5 (Armstrong 15, 27, Gaarsdoe 26, George 31, Clapham 86)
Sunderland (0) 0

Three wins in a row for Ipswich now as their relegation fears ease
considerably over Christmas. Alun Armstrong began the rout against
Sunderland with a near post shot, although it appeared that the
effort was not quite as he had planed and Thomas Gaarsdoe made it
two ten minutes later, powering home a header from a corner.
Straight from the kick off, Armstrong added a third, nodding over
keeper Sorensen after a weak defensive header and before half time,
Finidi George made it 4-0, chipping home brilliantly from 25 yards.
Late on, sub Jamie Clapham put the icing on the proverbial cake,
crashing home from a tight angle.

Newcastle (1) 1 (Shearer 37)
Chelsea (2) 2 (Gudjohnsen 35, 45)

Newcastle lost top spot after an Eidur Gudjohnsen brace brought them
crashing down to earth. The Icelandic star opened the scoring ten
minutes from half time, collecting the ball on the half way line and
slotted in after running at the home defence, however within two
minutes, Alan Shearer equalised, heading home Nol Solano's free
kick. The game was won in first half stoppage time when Gudjohnsen
scored his and Chelsea's second, tapping home Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink's near post cross.

Southampton (0) 0
Leeds United (0) 1 (Bowyer 88)

Leeds move into third, a point behind the leaders, after a late Lee
Bowyer goal won them all three points as Southampton. Bowyer latched
onto a neat reverse pass from Mark Viduka to fire home with just 90
seconds left on the clock.

West Ham (1) 1 (Sinclair 39)
Liverpool (0) 1 (Owen 89)

Liverpool needed Michael Owen's 100th goal for the club to earn a
late point at Upton Park. Trevor Sinclair put the Hammers ahead
shortly before half time, drilling into the bottom corner from the
edge of the area after an excellent run by Jermaine Defoe, however
Owen earned a point for the Anfield side, blasting into the net
after Emile Heskey had cut back Jari Litmanen's cross.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK