17 August 2003

Charlton (0) 0
Man City (2) 3 (Anelka (pen) 13, Sibierski 30, Jihai 83)
RED CARD : Fish (Charlton) 71

Man City began their season with a thumping win at Charlton, who finished
the game with ten men after the dismissal of Mark Fish. The visitors took an
early lead when Nik Anelka scored from the penalty spot after Scott Parker
had fouled Shaun Wright-Philips and Anelka was involved in the second goal
as he pulled the ball back for Antoine Sibierski to fire home. Mark Fish was
then red carded for pulling back Robbie Fowler as he raced goalwards and
Charlton's misery was complete late on when Anelka again saw his shot saved,
allowing Sun Jihai to net the rebound.

Leeds United (1) 2 (Viduka 24, Smith 57)
Newcastle (1) 2 (Shearer (pen) 20, 88)

Alan Shearer scored twice as Newcastle were held to a 2-2 draw by Leeds at
Elland Rd. The former England captain opened the scoring with a well taken
penalty after Lucas Radebe tripped Kieron Dyer, however within four minutes
Leeds were level as Jody Morris played in fellow debutant Lamine Sakho, he
laid the ball off for Mark Viduka who found the net inside the near post.
Leeds then took a shock lead when Alan Smith intercepted a poor header by
Oliver Bernard to slot neatly past Shay Given, however with time running
out, Radebe misjudged a long cross and allowed Shearer to sneak in and prod
home the equaliser.

Liverpool (0) 1 (Owen (pen) 79)
Chelsea (1) 2 (Veron 25, Hasselbaink 87)

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored a late winner as Chelsea won at Liverpool for
only the second time in 43 years. Chelsea took the lead on 25 minutes
courtesy of debutant Juan Veron, who swept in a cross from the right from
Jesper Gronkjaer, the pace on the shot giving Jerzy Dudek no chance, however
two strokes of luck put Liverpool level as firstly they were awarded a throw
in, despite the ball going out off Harry Kewell and from the dead ball,
Wayne Bridge wrestled El-Hadji Diouf to the ground for a penalty. Up stepped
Michael Owen and sent his kick well wide, however the assistant referee was
flagging and the kick had to be re-taken, presumably for the keeper moving
off of his line, although replays showed that it was minimal. Needing no
second chance, Owen crashed the kick into the roof of the net. Spurred on by
injustice, Frank Lampard chipped the ball in for Hasselbaink, who controlled
brilliantly, rounded Jamie Carragher, and slotted the ball into the bottom

16 August 2003

Birmingham (1) 1 (Dunn (pen) 36)
Spurs (0) 0

Birmingham began their campaign with a narrow win over Spurs who felt they
were hard done by over the only goal. It came from the penalty spot, coolly
converted by debutant David Dunn, however the tussle between Robbie Savage
and Anthony Gardner which led to the award seemed to be a matter of `six of
one, half a dozen of the other`.

Portsmouth (1) 2 (Sheringham 42, Berger 63)
Aston Villa (0) 1 (Barry (pen) 84)
RED CARD : Barry (Villa) 87

Portsmouth's first game in the top flight since 1988 ended in a 2-1 victory
against Aston Villa who had Gareth Barry red carded just minutes after
scoring a late consolation for the visitors. Portsmouth took the lead when
Patrik Berger sent Yakubu through the middle and although his effort was
saved by Thomas Sorenson, the rebound fell nicely for Teddy Sheringham who
volleyed in first time. Portsmouth doubled their lead with a superb goal
from Berger, although Yakubu was again involved as his chested pass fell to
the Czech star, who dribbled past two men before prodding the ball under
Sorensen and in. Villa gave themselves late hope when Barry cut in from the
left and although he seemed to kick the turf and fall, the referee felt that
there had been contact from Zivkovic and awarded a penalty, dispatched well
by Barry. Within three minutes, the scorer aimed a few well chosen words of
advice at the assistant referee when a throw-in went against him and was
promptly shown a straight red card.

Arsenal (1) 2 (Henry (pen) 35, Pires 58)
Everton (0) 1 (Radzinski 84)
RED CARDS : Campbell (Arsenal) 26, Li Tie (Everton) 87

Arsenal played for over an hour with ten men but still just enough to see
off Everton. The scores were goalless when Thomas Gravesen burst through the
home defence only to be tripped by Sol Campbell on the edge of the area. The
referee felt that the defender was the last man and showed a red card.
Within ten minutes, the Gunners took the lead after Alan Stubbs handled in
his area, Thierry Henry slotted in the spot kick. The lead was doubled just
before the hour when Robert Pires was on hand to score after both Henry and
Patrick Vieira were denied by keeper Richard Wright. Everton grabbed a late
consolation when Gary Naysmith set up Tomasz Radzinski to fire home, however
any hopes of a someback were dashed when Li Tie was sent off for a foul on
Ray Parlour, his second bookable offence.

Blackburn (2) 5 (Amoruso 17, Thompson 29, Emerton 52, Cole 79, 87)
Wolves (0) 1 (Iversen 71)

Wolves Premiership debut ended in a thumping defeat against Blackburn who
looked superb despite the loss of David Dunn and Damien Duff in the summer.
New arrival Lorenzo Amoruso gave the hosts a great start as he thumped in a
close range header from a corner and the lead was doubled when David
Thompson played a neat one-two with Matt Jansen before crashing the ball
home from the edge of the area. Another summer signing, Brett Emerton, added
a third when he latched onto a touch from Dwight Yorke to send another shot
crashing in from long range, and although Stefan Iversen pulled a goal back
from close range after his original effort hit the post, it was left to Andy
Cole to finish the rout. Firstly he netted with a near post effort after
being found by Tugay and then the Turkish star sent Cole through the middle
for the striker to lob the keeper and put the icing on the proverbial cake.

Fulham (1) 3 (Marlet 18, Inamoto 56, Saha 70)
Middlesbrough (1) 2 (Marinelli 10, Nemeth 81)
MISS PEN : Christie (Middlesbrough) 60

Fulham began their season with a narrow win over Middlesbrough in a
topsy-turvy encounter at Loftus Road. The visitors took the lead when
Martijn Djetou lost possession in the last third, allowing Carlos Marinelli
to nip in and slot home. Within eight minutes, Steve Marlet scored a rare
goal when he was found at the far post by Louis Saha and made no mistake
with the volley. Junichi Inamoto then put Fulham ahead, blasting in after
good work from Saha, however four minutes later, Inamoto handled in his own
area to concede a penalty which Malcolm Christie saw saved by Edwin van der
Sar. It proved costly as Saha then added a third for the hosts, side-footing
in Steed Malbranque's cross and although Szilard Nemeth scored with a late
lob, Fulham held on for the points.

Leicester (2) 2 (Dickov (pen) 5, Ferdinand 10)
Southampton (0) 2 (Phillips 76, Beattie 80)

Leicester blew an early two goal lead against a Southampton side
rejuventated by the half time arrival of new signing Kevin Phillips. The
home side started well and took an early lead when Paul Dickov netted from
the penalty spot, however the award of the kick, as Les Ferdinand and Anders
Svensson both jumped for a high ball, was a mystery to both sets of players!
Ferdinand then doubled the lead with a fine header from a James Scowcroft
cross, the ball thudding in off the bar. With fifteen minutes to go, the
Saints revival began as Phillips was found by James Beattie, shifted the
ball slightly to one side and then walloped a shot into the corner of the
net from fully 30 yards. He almost grabbed the equaliser himself as his
effort struck the post, however Beattie followed up to earn a share of the

Man United (1) 4 (Giggs 35, 74, Scholes 77, Van Nistelrooy 87)
Bolton (0) 0
MISS PEN : Van Nistelrooy (Man Utd) 72

Title favourites Man United started as they meant to go on, although they
left it late to finally kill off Bolton. An even first half was lit up by a
stunning free kick from Ryan Giggs, who scored from twenty yards off the
post. New 12m wonderkid Christino Ronaldo came on for the final quarter of
the game and wowed both fans and players alike and earned a penalty when he
was tugged in the area by Kevin Nolan, however Ruud van Nistelrooy missed
his second penalty in a week as Jussi Jaaskelainen did brilliantly to push
away the shot. The respite lasted two minutes as Giggs latched onto a
rebound after Van Nistelrooy was denied again by the keeper, the Welshman
scoring with a tap in. The third goal had more than a touch of controversy
about it as Eric Djemba-Djemba's through ball was touched on by Van
Nistelrooy, however despite being clearly offside, the flag stayed down and
Paul Scholes ran on to round the keeper and score with ease. Van Nistelrooy
added a fourth late on, thrashing the ball home after Roy Keane and Diego
Forlan had set him up.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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