22 March 2004

Leeds (1) 2 (McPhail 23, Viduka (pen) 76)
Man City (1) 1 (Anelka 44)
RED CARD : Van Buyten (Man City) 75

Leeds moved off the bottom of the table with a vital win over Man City,
however they were outplayed for long spells and needed a stroke of luck on
more than one occasion. City dominated a scrappy first half, but went behind
to Leeds only shot at goal in the opening 45 minutes, although even that
wasn't originally an effort at goal. Stephen McPhail clipped in a free kick
from right which curled over everyone and into the net via the hand of David
James and the far post. The Irishman had only ever scored two previous goals
for Leeds, both away to Chelsea in the 1999-2000 season, one of which was
very similar to the one tonight. City were deservedly level just before half
time when Antoine Sibierski flicked the ball into the path of Nik Anelka and
his shot from the edge of the area went across Paul Robinson and into the
bottom corner. The second half saw more City domination, however again Leeds
struck as Alan Smith latched onto a flick on and as he bore down on goal, he
was fouled by Daniel Van Buyten and the referee awarded a penalty. Replays
seemed to show that contact was outside the area, however as he was last
man, Van Buyten was sent off, leaving Mark Viduka to cooly dispatch the spot
kick and win a crucial three points for Leeds.

21 March 2004

Portsmouth (0) 1 (Yakubu 68)
Southampton (0) 0

Portsmouth won the south coast derby and eased their relegation concerns
after a scrappy clash against Southampton at Fratton Park. The only goal
came when Yakubu converted Steve Stone's cross from close range. Saints
almost grabbed an undeserved equaliser in stoppage time when Kevin Phillips
hit the post, but in truth they were rarely in the game.

20 March 2004

Arsenal (2) 2 (Pires 16, Bergkamp 24)
Bolton (1) 1 (Campo 42)

Arsenal equal the record held by Leeds (73-74) and Liverpool (87-88) by
going 29 games unbeaten from the start of the season after a narrow win over
Bolton which keeps them nine points clear at the top. High winds delayed the
kick off, however when play did begin, the Gunners were off to a flyer as
Robert Pires collected a lay off from Dennis Bergkamp before curling a
beauty into the far corner. Eight minutes later the lead was doubled as
Bergkamp fired in at the far post after a breakaway and cross from Thierry
Henry. Bolton pulled one back when Bruno N'Gotty's shot was blocked and Ivan
Campo found the roof of the net with the rebound, but it wasn't enough to
spoil the Gunners' day.

Aston Villa (0) 0
Blackburn (2) 2 (Flitcroft 26, Stead 36)

Blackburn eased their relegation fears and put a dent in Villa's European
hopes with a comfortable win at Villa Park. Brett Emerton was provider for
both goals as firstly his cross was flicked over Olof Mellberg's head by
Garry Flitcroft who then finished well and then Emerton's corner was
converted at the far post by Jonathon Stead.

Chelsea (2) 2 (Gudjohnsen 7, Duff 30)
Fulham (1) 1 (Pembridge 19)

Chelsea stay second after a narrow win against West London rivals Fulham.
All the goals came before half time as Eidur Gudjohnsen got the scoring
underway with a fine run and shot from 25 yards with went in off the post.
Mark Pembridge levelled matters with a free kick which took a deflection
before finding the top corner, however the victory was clinched when Damien
Duff followed up to score after Frank Lampard's effort was saved.

Leicester (0) 1 (Bent 90)
Everton (0) 1 (Rooney 75)
RED CARD : Ferguson (Everton) 41

Leicester earned a vital point with a last minute goal against ten-man
Everton at the Walkers Stadium. The first half was goalless, however after
Marcus Bent had what looked a good goal ruled out for the hosts, Duncan
Ferguson saw red in more ways than one! Having already been booked, he
tangled with Stefan Freund and had a foul awarded against him, sparking a
verbal assault on the referee, who promptly showed him a second yellow card
for dissent. He didn't let it drop though and, as he walked off, grabbed
Freund by the throat and needed to be restrained from doing further damage.
A lenghty suspension looks likely! Against the run of play, the ten-men took
the lead late on when Thomasz Radzinski found Wayne Rooney who sidestepped
his marker before drilling home. Into stoppage time and Leicester snatched a
deserved point when Bent headed home Steve Guppy's corner at the far post.
Further sad news overshadowed the game when it emerged that an Everton fan
was killed beforehand due to falling debris in the strong winds.

Liverpool (0) 1 (Hyypia 90)
Wolves (0) 0

Liverpool left it late to break Wolves hearts with a stoppage time winner at
Anfield. The goal came from a Steven Gerrard corner and was headed
powerfully in by Sami Hyypia.

Man United (1) 3 (Giggs 30, Ronaldo 89, Bellion 90)
Spurs (0) 0

Man United stay third after beating Spurs handsomely, however they left it
late to confirm the points. Ryan Giggs opened the scoring with a neat
back-heel from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's cross, however it wasn't until the
final minute that the lead was doubled when Cristiano Ronaldo embarked on a
solo run half the length of the pitch before finding the net via the far
post. A minute later David Bellion added a third, jinking past a defender
before scoring with Giggs this time the provider.

Middlesbrough (4) 5 (Mendieta 5, Maccarone 21, 45, Southgate 30, Nemeth 90)
Birmingham (2) 3 (Forssell 23, 59, Morrison 44)

Two of the lowest scoring clubs in the Premiership met at the Riverside -
and provided an unlikely eight goal thriller! Middlesbrough were off to a
flyer as firstly Gaizka Mendieta netted from the edge of the area after
being found by Juninho and then Mendieta turned provider for Massimo
Maccarone to double the lead. It was soon halved as Birmingham pulled one
back when Mikael Forssell was found by Stan Lazaridis and fired into the
bottom corner. Boro added a third when Danny Mills headed a corner back
across goal for Gareth Southgate to find the net, however in first half
stoppage time, Birmingham battled back again as Forssell's shot was saved
and Clinton Morrison slotted in the rebound. Remarkably, Boro went straight
up the other end and restored the two goal cushion as Mendieta found
Maccarone who cut inside his marker and found the top corner brilliantly
from a tricky angle. The second half could never compete, although both
clubs did score again, firstly Birminham pulled it back to 4-3 as Forssell
got onto the end of a Lazaridis free kick and although his header hit the
post, it hit the unlucky Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer and dribbled over the
line, however the win was secured in stppage time when Matthew Upson made a
hash of a back header and in nipped Szilard Nemeth to round the keeper and
slot into an empty net.

Newcastle (2) 3 (Shearer 2, 77, Jenas 35)
Charlton (0) 1 (Jensen 54)

Newcastle's Champions League hopes remain alive after a controversial win
over fellow European hopefuls Charlton. The hosts took the lead within two
minutes when Alan Shearer headed home a Laurent Robert cross, although it
seemed to go in off his shoulder. The lead was doubled when Shola Ameobi was
blocked in the area and as Luke Young went to clear the ball, it ricocheted
off of Jermaine Jenas and into the net! Charlton pulled one back when Paul
Konchesky's cross was finished well by Claus Jensen, however Newcastle
clinched victory when Robert was felled in the area by Chris Perry, although
replays suggested that contact was minimal and that the Frenchman was
falling before any contact was even made. In laymans terms, he dived!
Justice was almost done when Shearer's penalty was pushed onto the post by
Dean Kiely, however the taker was quickly onto the rebound and netted with

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