24 FEBRUARY 2002

Leeds United (0) 0
Charlton (0) 0

Leeds blew the chance to go into fifth place after failing to break down a
resolute Charlton defence. Robbie Fowler came as close as anyone when his shot
hit the post, however with this goalless draw, it would seem that Leeds'
European chances are getting smaller by the game.

Sunderland (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 1 (Dabizas 64)

Newcastle move into second after a narrow victory in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Visiting keeper Shay Given made a succession of excellent saves, notably from
Kevin Phillips and Kevin Kilbane, setting the way clear for a winning goal from
the unlikely source of Nikos Dabizas. The Greek defender, who came close on two
other occasions, headed home at the far post after Nol Solano's cross was helped
on by Alan Shearer.

23 FEBRUARY 2002

Arsenal (3) 4 (Lauren 5, Vieira 15, Henry 39, 59)
Fulham (1) 1 (Marlet 10)

Arsenal kept up the pressure on Man United at the top with a comprehensive
victory over London rivals Fulham. The Gunners took just five minutes to take
the lead when Lauren scored his first goal for 13 months, tapping in from close
range after Wiltord's cut back found him with ease. The lead lasted five minutes
before Steve Marlet equalised with a far post header from Rufus Brevett's deep
cross. Patrick Vieira then popped up with his first of the season, firing into
the net after Henry's square ball found him well, and before half time, Thierry
Henry increased the lead, slotting inside the near post having been put through
by Wiltord. Henry added his second, and Arsenal's fourth, although he knew
little about it as Lauren's header hit the post and rebounded in off Henry's

Liverpool (0) 1 (Anelka 72)
Everton (0) 1 (Radzinski 52)

Liverpool lose ground on the leaders after coming from behind to earn a point in
the Merseyside derby. Thomasz Radzinski returned from injury as a half time sub
to open the scoring early in the second half, bobbling a shot into the corner
from the edge of the area after a powerful cross from Pistone, however Liverpool
gained a point (or lost two?) when Nik Anelka equalised, slotting home having
been put through by Danny Murphy.

Leicester (0) 0
Derby (0) 3 (Kinkladze 53, Strupar 64, Morris 89)

Derby gave themselves hope of avoiding the drop at the expense of the one club
currently below them, East Midlands rivals Leicester. After a goalless first
half, Georgi Kinkladze scored a rare goal, finding the net from the edge of the
area, via a deflection off of Stefan Oakes, after being set up by Malcolm
Christie, and ten minutes later Branko Strupar celebrated his return from a long
injury spell when he doubled the lead, firing into the corner after Christie was
tackled in the area. In the final minutes, Lee Morris added a third, with again
Christie the provider, thumping his shot into the roof of the net, despite the
attention of Frank Sinclair. The result puts Leicester twelve points adrift of
safety and the road maps to Gillingham and Grimsby may well be on the verge of
being dusted off.

Manchester United (0) 1 (Van Nistelrooy 50)
Aston Villa (0) 0

United consolidate top spot with a hard fought victory against Aston Villa. In a
game of few chances, the only goal came when George Boateng lost possession on
the edge of his own area and after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's shot was blocked, the
ball fell to Ruud van Nistelrooy who turned and slotted the ball into the empty

Southampton (0) 0
Bolton (0) 0
RED CARD: Delap (Southampton) 88

Goalless at St Marys, as Bolton ease further away from the drop zone. Youri
Djorkaeff made his debut for the visitors and came as close to anyone to
scoring, his header tipped over by Paul Jones. Saints were reduced to ten men
late on when Rory Delap, having already been booked, kicked out at Stig Tofting,
giving the referee little choice.

West Ham (0) 1 (Kanoute 76)
Middlesbrough (0) 0
RED CARD: Ehiogu (Middlesbrough) 89

West Ham's relegation fears eased somewhat at the expense of fellow strugglers
Middlesbrough. The only goal came courtesy of an error by visiting keeper Mark
Schwarzer, whose poor kick fell to Labant. He found Frederik Kanoute and the
Hammers striker drilled home as Schwarzer was still trying to get back into his
goal. Late on, Boro's misery was complete when Ugo Ehiogu was sent off for a
second bookable offence, a foul on Labant.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK