21 December 2003

Southampton (1) 3 (Dodd 34, Pahars 67, Beattie 90)
Portsmouth (0) 0

Southampton moved into the dizzy heights of fourth place after a comfortable
win over South Coast rivals Portsmouth, who remain in the bottom three. The
hosts took the lead when they won a corner on the left and as Jason Dodd
swung it in towards the far post, it drifted toward the top corner and in
via a double ricochet off the woodwork and the head of Sebastian Schemmel,
who was supposedly guarding the post. The lead was doubled as Chris Marsden
found Marion Pahars 30 yards from goal, he beat two men as he cut inside and
then curled a beauty into the far corner, his first goal since his comeback
from an ankle injury. It effectively ended the game as far as the
destination of the points were concerned, however there was time, albeit
late in stoppage time, for salt to be rubbed into the Portsmouth wounds as
James Beattie added a third with a superb diving header from Dodd's cross.

Spurs (0) 1 (Poyet 63)
Man United (2) 2 (O'Shea 15, Van Nistelrooy 25)

Man United top the Premiership table at Christmas after a narrow 2-1 win at
Spurs put them a point clear of London duo Arsenal and Chelsea. United took
a deserved lead, when John O'Shea prodded a leg out to volley Ryan Giggs'
corner into the back of the net and they then doubled the lead ten minutes
later as Paul Scholes and Giggs exchanged passes before the Welshman sent
Van Nistelrooy through the middle, his shot taking a wicked deflection off
Anthony Gardner before finding the corner of the net. Spurs pulled one back
when Paul Konchesky provided a cross from the left which was helped back
across goal by Stephane Dalmat for Poyet to prod goalwards and in via the
body of Howard and the inside of the post.

20 December 2003

Blackburn (0) 0
Aston Villa (0) 2 (Moore 62, Angel 75)

Aston Villa won away in the league for the first time since January, easing
their relegation concerns whilst increasing those of Blackburn. The opening
goal came just after the hour as a header across goal from Lee Hendrie was
hooked in at the far post by Stefan Moore and the points were secured by in
form Juan Pablo Angel who converted J.Lloyd Samuel's near post cross to
double the lead.

Bolton (0) 1 (Pedersen 83)
Arsenal (0) 1 (Pires 57)

For the second away game in a row, Arsenal conceded a late equaliser
although on this occasion it was no more than Bolton deserved. The Gunners
took the lead when Thierry Henry set up Freddie Ljungberg and although his
shot was saved, Robert Pires was on hand to find the net with the rebound.
Bolton grabbed their equaliser with seven minutes remaining as a long ball
was headed back by Kevin Davies for Henrik Pedersen to smash a superb shot
into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.

Charlton (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 0

Charlton and Newcastle remain in touch for that elusive fourth place after a
goalless draw at the Valley. There were chances at both ends, however Jason
Euell came as close as anyone for the hosts as he was denied by the post and
then from a fine reaction save by Shay Given within the space of a couple of

Everton (1) 3 (Howey (og) 33, Rooney 71, Radzinski 79)
Leicester (1) 2 (Ferdinand 45, Scowcroft 58)

Everton lost, and then regained, the lead in a topsy-turvy clash with
Leicester. The hosts took the lead with a freakish goal as Lee Carsley
chased a long ball from David Unsworth and although his effort was saved,
the rebound seemed to strike the legs of Steve Howey and into his own net.
On the stroke of half time, Leicester equalised with a stunning 20-yard shot
from Les Ferdinand, finding the top corner after a free kick was tapped to
him and then in the second half, a cross from Jordan Stewart was nodded in
at the far post by James Scowcroft who slid in on his knees to get to the
ball! Off the bench came Wayne Rooney and, like last week, he made an
instant impact, driving home from just inside the area from Kevin Campbell's
touch back. The winner came just eight minutes later as Duncan Ferguson
flicked on a long ball, allowing Tomasz Radzinski in to find the bottom

Fulham (0) 0
Chelsea (0) 1 (Crespo 62)

Chelsea go level with Arsenal after one goal decided the West London derby.
The breakthrough came just after the hour as a cross from Wayne Bridge was
nodded in off the post by Hernan Crespo.

Birmingham v Middlesbrough : Match postponed due to waterlogged pitch
Wolves v Liverpool : Match postponed due to waterlogged pitch

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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