Leeds United (0) 0
Liverpool (1) 4 (Ferdinand (og) 17, Heskey 61, 63, Owen 90)

Liverpool destroyed fellow title hopefuls Leeds United at Elland Road thanks to
top class performances throughout the team. The Anfield side needed a stroke
of luck to take the lead when Rio Ferdinand got the slightest touch on a Danny
Murphy free kick to find his own net. Leeds dominated the second half
possession, but Liverpool took their chances, clinically! Firstly, Emile Heskey
ran onto a through ball from Steven Gerrard to round Nigel Martyn and fire home
and he was on hand again minutes later to crash home from close range as
Leeds failed to clear a corner. Visiting keeper Jerzy Dudek made two excellent
reaction saves, before Michael Owen completed the rout, heading home from
close range after his original header had been tipped onto the bar.

Middlesbrough (0) 0
Charlton (0) 0

Honours even in a dull, uneventful clash at the Riverside. Boro had the better
of what few chances were created as Franck Queudrue drilled a free kick
goalwards only for Dean Kiely to tip over, whilst Gareth Southgate headed wide
when well placed.


Arsenal (1) 1 (Wiltord 40)
Southampton (0) 1 (Tessem 80)

Arsenal lost second place in the table after again failing to win at home. They
were ahead by half time when Sylvain Wiltord scored, firing home after Dennis
Bergkamp forced Paul Jones to drop a Thierry Henry cross, however with time
running out, Jo Tessem levelled matters for Southampton, heading an Anders
Svensson cross into the corner.

Derby (1) 1 (Morris 43)
Tottenham (0) 0

John Gregory's reign as Derby boss began with a victory over Spurs to give them
hope of avoiding the drop. The only goal came just before half time when
Fabrizio Ravanelli's cut back found Lee Morris and although keeper Neil Sullivan
got his hand to the shot, it dribbled over the line despite the best efforts of
Dean Richards to hack it clear.

Everton (1) 1 (Unsworth (pen) 27)
Ipswich (2) 2 (Peralta 11, Holland 44)

Ipswich move up to 12th (remember they were bottom at Christmas!) after a
fine victory at Everton. The impressive Sixto Peralta opened the scoring with a
powerful side-footed effort from the edge of the area, however Everton
equalised when David Unsworth scored from the penalty spot after keeper
Andy Marshall upended Kevin Campbell. Matt Holland, playing in his 201st
successive league match, won the game with a brilliant strike just before half
time, blasting home from 25 yards after a free kick was touched to him.

Fulham (0) 0
Aston Villa (0) 0

No goals at Craven Cottage and not a good game in truth. Barry Hayles came
closest to breaking the deadlock as he lobbed one effort just over and was also
denied by a fine save by Peter Encklemen to secure Villa's second goalless draw
in a row.

Leicester (1) 2 (Scowcroft 24, 69)
Chelsea (0) 3 (Hasselbaink 63, 89, Zola 80)

Chelsea broke Leicester hearts with a late goal flurry which turned defeat into
victory for the resurgent London club. Bottom club Leicester were twice ahead,
both from James Scowcroft. Firstly, he headed home a Steffan Oakes corner, and
then in the second half, he scored again when he provided a carbon copy of his
opener. Between his goals, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink equalised with a header
after a cross from Graeme Le Saux and with ten minutes to go, Gianfranco Zola
equalised, curling a 20 yard free kick into the bottom corner. With the game
heading for a draw, Hasselbaink scored again with a minute to go, firing home
having been sent clear by Mikael Forssell.

Manchester United (4) 4 (Neville (P) 6, Beckham 25, Van Nistelrooy 29, (pen) 43)
Sunderland (1) 1 (Phillips 14)

No problems for United as they walloped Sunderland and had the game sewn up
by half time. A brilliant passing movement ended with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
finding the surging Phillip Neville down the right and he scored a rare goal from
a tight angle. Sunderland equalised when Kevin Phillips found the corner with a
low drive from 25 yards, but that was as good as it got for the visitors. David
Beckham restored the lead with a trademark free kick, drilling home from the
edge of the area, before Ruud van Nistelrooy took over. Firstly the Dutchman
collected a pass from Beckham, turned and crashed the ball past Jurgen Macho,
and then he dispatched a penalty after Ryan Giggs was judged to have been
fouled by Varga.

Newcastle (2) 3 (Shearer 22, 42, Bellamy 79)
Bolton (2) 2 (Gardner 19, Southall 33)

Struggling Bolton were twice ahead in the first half against Newcastle, but went
back to Lancashire with nothing as the hosts move into second. Ricardo Gardner
opened the scoring, firing in off the far post after dispossessing Jamie McGlen,
but within three minutes, Alan Shearer fired home a free kick after visiting
keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was penalised for holding the ball too long. Nicky
Southall then restored the Bolton lead, crashing home from the edge of the area
after Newcastle only half cleared Mike Whitlow's cross, before Shearer equalised
again, his diving header from Aaron Hughes cross tearing into the net via the
hands of the Finnish keeper. Late on, enter Craig Bellamy who won the game
with a rare header, courtesy of a fine cross again by Hughes.

West Ham (1) 2 (Sinclair 16, Kanoute 56)
Blackburn (0) 0

A useful win for West Ham as Blackburn remain deep in trouble in the
relegation battle. Trevor Sinclair scored early on thanks to a fine run and
clinical finish from the edge of the area, and the victory was confirmed when
Freddie Kanoute slotted past Brad Friedel having been sent clear by Paolo
Di Canio.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK