14 December 2003

Aston Villa (2) 3 (Angel 21, 24, Barry 48)
Wolves (1) 2 (Rae 36, Kennedy 80)

Villa moved out of the bottom three with a narrow victory over Midland
rivals Wolves, condeming them to bottom place at Christmas, regardless of
results next weekend. Two goals in four minutes from Juan Pablo Angel gave
Villa an ideal start, firstly when he slid in at the far post to convert
Gareth Barry's drilled cross and then with a tap in from Mark Delaney's cut
back. Alex Rae pulled one back as he drove through the home defence before
finding the net from the edge of the area, however early in the second half,
Delaney turned provider again as his deflected cross was volleyed in at the
far post by Barry. Mark Kennedy pulled one back late on, finishing neatly
having been put through by Kenny Miller, but it wasnt enough.

Arsenal (1) 1 (Bergkamp 11)
Blackburn (0) 0

Arsenal return to the summit of the Premiership with victory over Blackburn.
The only goal came after the visitors began the game well, however Kolo
Toure broke free down the left and his pass was slotted in at the near post
by Dennis Bergkamp.

Leeds (1) 3 (Duberry 41, Viduka 46, Matteo 88)
Fulham (0) 2 (Saha 47, 85)

Leeds remain second from bottom after a topsy-turvy game against Fulham
which they won thanks to a late Dom Matteo header. A poor first half ended
with Leeds benefitting from two strokes of luck to take the lead. Firstly
they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area even though Luis Boa
Morte appeared to win the ball in his tackle and although Ian Harte's effort
was punched away by Edwin van der Sar, the ball struck Michael Duberry on
the knee and rebounded in for only his second ever Leeds goal. Less than a
minute after the second half began, the lead was doubled as Mark Viduka
collected a throw in, turned his marker and curled a beauty into the corner.
Remarkably, within a minute, Fulham pulled one back as Louis Saha emulated
Viduka with good control and a fine low shot from the edge of the area.
Leeds held the lead until late on when, with five minutes to go, Saha
collected a pass from Steed Malbranque before firing home again, this time
via the hand of keeper Paul Robinson. Leeds rallied though and regained the
lead within three minutes when Harte's free kick found the head of Matteo
who glanced the ball into the corner for his first ever Leeds goal and three
vital points.

13 December 2003

Leicester (0) 0
Birmingham (1) 2 (Morrison 42, Forsell 66)
RED CARDS : Elliott 38, Walker 61 (both Leicester)

Leicester ended the Midlands derby against Birmingham with nine men, a
manager sent to the stands and no points. The first flash point came when
Matt Elliott seemed to lead with his elbow when jumping for the ball against
David Dunn, the referee showing a straight red card and to rub salt into the
wounds, within four minutes, they went behind as Jamie Clapham found space
on the left to cross for Clinton Morrison to tap in. Leicester boss Micky
Adams had words with the official at half time and subsequently found
himself sent to the stands for the second half and on the hour, things got
worse after keeper Ian Walker dived to handle the ball yards outside his
area and joined Elliott in the dressing room. Again, within minutes, the
visitors took advantage as Mikael Forsell headed home a cross from the

Man United (2) 3 (Scholes 7, 73, Van Nistelrooy 34)
Man City (0) 1 (Wright-Phillips 52)

Man United go top, at least until the Sunday games, after winning the
Mancunian derby thanks to three headed goals. It took the hosts less than
seven minutes to take the lead when Paul Scholes glanced a fine cross from
Gary Neville and later in the half, Ryan Giggs crossed for Ruud van
Nistelrooy to make it two with a cushioned header which wrong-footed keeper
David Seaman. City began the second half better and stunned their rivals
with a goal out of nothing. Shaun Wright-Phillips collected the ball in
midfield, nut-megged Scholed before taking on Phil Neville and John O'Shea
in the area and firing through the legs of the latter and inside the far
post. United restored their two goal lead when Kleberson crossed for Scholes
to lose his marker and crash home his second and United's third, again with
a header.

Chelsea (1) 1 (Crespo 22)
Bolton (1) 2 (N'Gotty 39, Terry (og) 90)

Bolton shocked leaders Chelsea with a victory at Stamford Bridge - their
first home league defeat of the season - courtesy of a last minute own goal.
Chelsea took the lead when John Terry's header was helped over the line via
the forehead of a stooping Hernan Crespo, however with headed goals
seemingly the norm this weekend, Bruno N'Gotty levelled matters with a far
post header from Youri Djorkaeff's cross. With Chelsea pushing forward
looking for a win, they were caught by a 90th minute sucker punch as sub
Henrik Pedersen broke down the left, his cross diverted home via the leg of

Liverpool (0) 1 (Heskey 75)
Southampton (1) 2 (Ormerod 2, Svensson (M) 64)

More problems for Liverpool after their fourth home defeat of the season,
this time against Southampton. The hosts took just 73 seconds to take the
lead when Brett Ormerod latched onto a clearance, outpaced his marker and
slotted the ball home past Chris Kirkland. The lead was deservedly doubled
in the second half when Jason Dodd's corner was crashed home via the head of
Michael Svensson and although Emile Heskey pulled one back after Steven
Gerrard's shot was saved, it was too little, too late for Liverpool.

Middlesbrough (0) 0
Charlton (0) 0

Four goalless draws at home in succession now for Boro in this drab
encounter against Charlton. Massimo Maccarone, Michael Ricketts and
Boudewijn Zenden all had shots saved, but the post match talking point was
largely about Danny Mills, who appeared to kick Paolo di Canio in the face
with the Italian grounded.

Newcastle (1) 4 (Robert 35, 55, Shearer 59, 66)
Spurs (0) 0

Newcastle move into fifth place with a thumping win over Spurs, who continue
to hover a little too close to the relegation zone. Laurent Robert conducted
his own goal of the month competition either side of half time, firstly with
a stinging 25 yard volley after Shola Ameobi had been tackled in the area
and then, having collected a pass from Gary Speed, he shaped to cross and
instead hammered another long range effort into the roof of the net. Four
minutes later, Robert turned provider as his corner was prodded in by Alan
Shearer - his 100th Newcastle goal at St James Park. He didnt have to wait
long for the 101st as another Robert corner saw him take full advantage of
awful defending to nod in at the far post, sparking a furious argument
between keeper Kasey Keller and defender Dean Richards, which needed Stephen
Carr to step in and put a halt to matters.

Portsmouth (1) 1 (Roberts 15)
Everton (2) 2 (Carsley 27, Rooney 42)

Everton came from behind to collect a vital win at Portsmouth, although both
remain precariously close to the bottom three. The home side took the lead
when Jason Roberts latched onto a through ball from Teddy Sheringham and
fire home from the edge of the area, however after the arrival from the subs
bench of Wayne Rooney, the visitors levelled matters when Gary Naysmith
crossed for Lee Carsley to slot home. Naysmith then set up Rooney for the
winner, the youngster scoring at the far post, however he was the centre of
attention midway through the second half when he pushed Steve Stone to the
ground. Remarkably, having walked off, presumably expected a red card, he
was called back to be shown a yellow instead!

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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