11 January 2004

Leicester (0) 0
Chelsea (2) 4 (Hasselbaink 12, 44, Mutu 88, Babayaro 90)

Chelsea found form again by crushing struggling Leicester at the Walkers
Stadium. Chelsea dominated the first half with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
giving them a decent lead at the break. It was ominous early on as the
Dutchman broke clear and rounded keeper Ian Walker, however having been
driven wide, his shot was straight at the recovering Walker when it arrived.
Minutes later, the goal did come as Joe Cole burst into the area and crossed
near post for Hasselbaink to flick home through his own legs. The lead was
doubled thanks to a cruel stroke of misfortune for the hosts. Hasselbaink's
30-yard free kick thudded against the head of Nikos Dabizas, leaving Walker
stranded as the ball wrong-footed him and went in. Two further goals
followed very late on as firstly Celestine Babayaro set up Adrian Mutu to
curl in a superb effort from 20-yards, ending his current barren run and in
stoppage time, Babayaro latched onto an underhit back pass from sub Paul
Brocker to fire in the fourth.

Man United (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 0

No goals in the annual Old Trafford goal-fest, although both clubs could
claim to have been harshly treated by the officials. Newcastle had the
better of the first half and felt they should have had a penalty when keeper
Tim Howard caught Alan Shearer in the area, however as the home side stepped
up a gear after half time, Mikael Silvestre had a goal disallowed, although
replays failed to show any obvious reason why!

10 January 2004

Arsenal (2) 4 (Henry (pen) 38, Queuedrue (og) 45, Pires 57, Ljungberg 68)
Middlesbrough (0) 1 (Maccarone (pen) 86)

Arsenal regained top spot, at least for 24 hours, with a comfortable win
over Middlesbrough, the first of four games in eighteen days between the
clubs. Two goals just before half time put Arsenal into the driving seat,
firstly when Thierry Henry converted a penalty after Patrick Vieira was
tripped by Ehigou, although the verbal slanging match before and after the
kick between Henry and Danny Mills was uncalled for, then in stoppage time,
Henry's free kick was sliced into his own net by Franck Queudrue. Henry also
set up the third, a square ball which was deflected into the path of Robert
Pires to slot home and then Kanu wriggled through to find Freddie Ljungberg
who scored off the far post. A late penalty from Massimo Maccarone after
he'd been brought down by Jens Jehmann made little impact on the scoresheet.

Birmingham (1) 2 (Clemence 16, Kenna 67)
Southampton (1) 1 (Ormerod 6)
RED CARD : Prutton (Southampton) 69

Birmingham came from behind to beat Southampton whose mid-season slump shows
no sign of ending. The visitors took the lead when Rory Delap's shot was
saved only for Brett Ormerod to fire in the rebound, however within ten
minutes, Birmingham were level when Stephen Clemence headed in at the far
post, although it did seem to go in via Saints defender Fitz Hall. The
points were won when Jeff Kenna completed a superb move down the the right
to slot home Clinton Morrison's cross, however frustration got the better of
the visitors as David Prutton was red carded shortly afterwards for elbowing

Blackburn (3) 3 (Gresko 3, Yorke 24, Cole 34)
Bolton (2) 4 (Nolan 14 secs, 78, Djorkaeff 43, Giannakopolous 73)

A kinds of entertainment and excitement in the A666 derby as BLackburn blew
a two goal lead to lose against Bolton. The visitors took the lead inside 14
seconds as Kevin Davies cut the ball back for Kevin Nolan to thump into the
roof of the net from a tight angle. Within two minutes, Rovers were level as
Vratislav Greso cut in from the left and drilled a shot into the bottom
corner from the edge of the area and within half an hour, they'd scored two
more. The first came from Dwight Yorke, finishing well after Brett Emerton
and Andy Cole set him up and then Cole got into the act, latching onto an
awful back header by Bruno N'Gotty to lob the third. Speaking of lobs, Youri
Djorkaeff then did similar from a tight angle to pull one back before half
time and the scores were levelled up when a header from Davies was driven in
by Stelios Giannakopolous. Nolan ended as he'd started, with a goal,
sweeping the ball in after Blackburn failed to clear a corner to secure the
points in a remarkable match.

Charlton (1) 2 (Euell 38, 79)
Wolves (0) 0

Charlton stay fourth and Wolves stay bottom as this home banker did exactly
what it said on the tin. Jason Euell netted both goals for the hosts,
firstly as he broke the offside trap to slot home and then from Scott
Parker's cross, he was well placed as Denis Irwin's clearance thumped
against him and into the net.

Fulham (1) 2 (Saha (pen) 45, Malbranque 46)
Everton (0) 1 (Kilbane 81)

Fulham's chase for Europe continued with a tight win at home to Everton.
They took the lead on half time when Gary Naysmith fouled Steed Malbranque,
allowing Louis Saha to score from the penalty spot and a minute after the
break, Malbranque added the second with a crisp shot into the far corner
from the edge of the area as Saha turned provider this time. Kevin Kilbane
pulled one back with a 25-yard belter, but an equaliser never arrived.

Leeds (0) 0
Spurs (0) 1 (Keane 56)

Two wins in four days for Spurs, two defeats in the same time span for
Leeds, leaving Spurs climbing and Leeds five points from safety. Leeds old
boy Robbie Keane scored the only goal, racing onto a clearance to hold off
Michael Duberry and fire home, although much like when he scored against
another former club, Wolves, a few weeks back, the usual celebrations were
very withdrawn.

Liverpool (1) 1 (Delaney (og) 36)
Aston Villa (0) 0

Two 1-0 wins in four days for Liverpool now as a fluke own goal gave them
victory over Villa. The only goal came from a cross by Harry Kewell which
struck Mark Delaney on the back and bobbled in.

Portsmouth (1) 4 (Stefanovic 19, Yakubu 52, 77, Sheringham 58)
Man City (2) 2 (Anelka 21, Sibierski 45)

Man City's awful recent run continued at Portsmouth as the hosts came from
behind to ease their relegation fears. They took the lead when Stefanovic
headed in Patrick Berger's free kick at the far post, however almost
straight away, Nik Anelka equalised after Antoine Sibierski and Trevor
Sinclair combined well. City hit the bar on three occasions in the first
time and on half time, Sibierski put them ahead with a first time shot from
Anelka's header, however early in the second half, Yakubu levelled matters
again from the edge of the area after Teddy Sheringham set him up.
Sheringham grabbed the third himself with a fine header from Berger's free
kick and Yakubu completed the comeback as he raced onto a clearance to fire

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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