30 November 2003

Arsenal (0) 0
Fulham (0) 0

Arsenal surrendered top spot in the Premiership after a goalless draw at
home to Fulham, their first failure to score at home in the league since
April 2001. Fulham keeper Edwin Van Der Sar was the hero of the match,
saving on numerous occasions, but notably from Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis
Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, although ironically the best chance of the game
fell to the visitors when Steed Malbranque headed wide. Late on, Bergkamp
volleyed wide from a god position, whilst Van Der Sar again saved well, this
time from sub Kanu.

Chelsea (1) 1 (Lampard (pen) 29)
Man United (0) 0

Chelsea go top after a narrow, but deserved, win over third placed Man
United. The only goal came from the penalty spot after Roy Keane fouled Joe
Cole in the area. Frank Lampard stepped up and cooly slotted home the kick.
United were rarely in the game and only put any pressure on Chelsea late on,
although whilst Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Christiano Ronaldo had efforts
deflected wide, home keeper Carlo Cudicini didn't have a shot to save for
the entire match.

Liverpool (1) 3 (Gerrard (pen) 35, Kewell 69, Heskey 78)
Birmingham (1) 1 (Forsell 33)

Liverpool came from behind to beat Birmingham at Anfield, however the
visitors were left angered at the penalty which put them level. Birmingham
took the lead when Robbie Savage's free kick was thumped in at the far post
by Mikael Forsell. Two minutes later, Florent Sinama-Pongolle went down in
the area as he appeared to be held by Matthew Upson and despite the away
protests, a penalty was awarded and converted by Steven Gerrard. Harry
Kewell then put Liverpool ahead with a stunning diving header from John Arne
Riise's cross and ten minutes later, Salif Diao's deep cross was controlled
on the chest by Emile Heskey who then crashed an acrobatic volley into the
roof of the net.

Man City (0) 0
Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Jihai (og) 30)

Man City's poor week continued as they dominated against Middlesbrough but
ended with nothing thanks to an own goal. The only goal came on the half
hour as Mendieta's cross was diverted back across goal and inside his own
far post by Sun Jihai.

29 November 2003

Wolves (1) 1 (Blake 27)
Newcastle (1) 1 (Shearer 31)

Newcastle came from behind to earn a draw against struggling Wolves in a
game overshadowed by an injury to a female fan struck by a wayward firework
before kick off. Newcastle began well, however Wolves took the lead when a
long ball forward tempted keeper Shay Given out of his area, however he and
defender Jonathon Woodgate appeared to leave the ball to each other,
allowing Nathan Blake to nip in, run into the area and slot the ball into
the gaping net. The lead lasted four minutes before Lomana Lua-Lua slotted a
delightful through ball in for Alan Shearer to fire into the bottom corner.
Wolves struck the woodwork twice in the second half, but couldnt find the
elusive winner.

Aston Villa (1) 1 (Dublin 45)
Southampton (0) 0

Villa eased their relegation concerns with a narrow victory over faltering
Southampton. Early season Saints hero James Beattie was at fault for the
only goal as his weak defensive header from a corner fell for Dion Dublin,
who hooked the ball over his head and into the net.

Blackburn (0) 1 (Gresko 78)
Spurs (0) 0

Blackburn also collected a much needed victory, although it needed a fluke
goal to see off Spurs. Vlatislav Gresko was the scorer, although his 30-yard
effort needed a wicked deflection off of the back of Stephen Carr to spin
past Kasey Keller and into the far corner.

Bolton (1) 2 (Frandsen 26, Djorkaeff 46)
Everton (0) 0

Everton are back in the bottom three after a poor display at Bolton, who are
steadily climbing the table. The opening goal came when the visitors failed
to clear a long throw from Jay-Jay Okocha, allowing Per Frandsen to nod into
the net. Victory was clinched within 30 seconds of the second half starting
as Youri Djorkaeff's volley from the edge of the area took a deflection
before finding the back of the net.

Charlton (0) 0
Leeds (1) 1 (Milner 9)

Leeds stay bottom but collected their first win since early October to give
them a much needed boost. The only goal came from 17-year old James Milner
who completed a fine move from the visitors by collecting a pass from Mark
Viduka and firing crisply past Dean Kiely.

Portsmouth (0) 0
Leicester (1) 2 (Ferdinand 31, Bent 59)

Leicester rise to mid-table security with a fine win over Portsmouth, whose
early season promise seems to be fading (aside from walloping Leeds of
course!). Both goals came from set pieces as firstly Les Ferdinand had the
ball tapped to him from a free kick and found the top corner from 25 yards
with the help of a deflection and then Muzzy Izzet's free kick was stabbed
in at the far post by Marcus Bent.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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