16 April 2004

Arsenal (3) 5 (Pires 6, Henry 27, (pen) 33, 49, 67)
Leeds (0) 0

Thierry Henry scored four times as Arsenal took a step nearer an unbeaten,
Championship winning season after a comfortable 3-0 win over Leeds, who took
a step nearer the first division in the process. The Gunners began well and
took a sixth minute lead when Dennis Bergkamp's through ball played in
Robert Pires, whose first time effort from the edge of the area found the
bottom corner. Leeds responded well and had a decent fifteen minute spell of
pressure before they were caught by precision and pace again. Gilberto this
time was the provider with the through ball for Henry who broke clear of
Michael Duberry who appealed in vain for offside, and clipped the ball past
Paul Robinson to double the lead. Duberry was equally at fault for the third
goal as he handled in the area as Bergkamp threatened to break through,
allowing Henry to cheekily chip home the penalty. The slaughter continued
after the break as Gilberto used the pace of Henry again, the Frenchman
completing his hat trick with another cool finish and midway through the
second half, he collected a pass from Pires in midfield, ran half the length
of the pitch, leaving four Leeds players in his wake and slotted in his
fourth and the Gunners fifth.

13 April 2004

Leeds (0) 1 (Milner 50)
Everton (1) 1 (Rooney 13)

Honours even at Elland Road as Leeds remain in the bottom three, two points
from safety, whilst Everton are still not quite safe, lying six points above
the drop zone. Everton began well and took the lead after the hosts failed
to clear a corner. The ball fell to Wayne Rooney on the edge of the area and
his drilled effort found the back of the net. The lead was almost doubled
when Thomas Radzinski hit the inside of the post, however after that it was
all Leeds as former keeper Nigel Martyn produced a string of fine saves.
Leeds did grab an equaliser early in the second half as James Milner
combined well with Alan Smith and Mark Viduka to fire past Martyn from 20

Man United (0) 1 (Neville (G) 56)
Leicester (0) 0

A rare Gary Neville goal gave Man United a hard fought victory over
Leicester to put them to within touching distance of second placed Chelsea,
whilst Leicester are now six point adrift of safety in the relegation zone.
The only goal came when Cristiano Ronaldo's cross-shot bobbled across the
six-yard box and although Nikos Dabizas got a foot to it, Neville came
storming in to crash the ball home.

12 April 2004

Aston Villa (1) 3 (Vassell (pen) 39, Hitzlsperger 49, Hendrie 52)
Chelsea (1) 2 (Crespo 11, 90)

Chelsea lost the chance to close the gap on Arsenal after a defeat at Aston
Villa which kept the hosts in with a chance of Europe next season. Chelsea
took the lead when Hernan Crespo was left with a tap in after Adrian Mutu's
header his the post, however Villa came tearing back with a goal blitz
either side of half time. Firstly Darius Vassell equalised with a penalty
after Mario Melchiot clattered into the back of Gareth Barry and then after
the break, Thomas Hitzlsperger collected a pass from Vassell and drilled
into the bottom corner from 25 yards. A third followed within minutes as a
long throw was nodded on by Peter Crouch and Lee Hendrie netted after
turning in the area. In stoppage time, Joe Cole found Crespo who curled in a
beauty from the edge of the area, however it was too little too late.

Liverpool (0) 0
Charlton (0) 1 (Bartlett 63)

Liverpool remain fourth despite losing at home to Charlton for the first
time in over 50 years! The only goal came midway through the second half as
Claus Jensen's corner was nodded in by Shaun Bartlett.

Middlesbrough (2) 3 (Juninho 23, Nemeth 32, Maccarone 49)
Southampton (0) 1 (Beattie 70)

Middlesbrough maintained their hopes of a European place with a comfortable
home win against Southampton. The hosts had the game won by half time with
two goals in ten minutes. Firstly, Szilard Nemeth crossed for Juninho to
find the top corner at the near post and then after Massimo Maccarone was
halted by Antti Niemi, Nemeth was on hand to fire in the rebound. The lead
was increased early in the second half when Franck Queudrue found Maccarone
to prod in. Saints grabbed a consolation when James Beattie volleyed in
after keeper Mark Schwarzer's poor punch fell to him, but that was as good
as it got for the visitors.

Portsmouth (1) 3 (Stefanovic 45, Lua-Lua 62, Yakubu (pen) 73)
Birmingham (0) 1 (John 67)
SENT OFF : Maik Taylor (Birmingham) 44

Portsmouth took a massive step toward Premiership survival with a fine home
win over Birmingham, who had keeper Maik Taylor sent off for the second time
this season. The incident occured just before half time when he handled the
ball outside his area. Yakubu ran on and put the ball into the net, however
the goal was ruled out as Taylor was shown the red card. Reserve keeper Ian
Bennett came on as sub for Olivier Tebily and was promptly beaten by the
subsequent free kick from Dejan Stefanovic whose shot went in off the post.
In the second half, Lomana Lua-Lua doubled the lead after his fine solo run
saw an attempted cross blocked, however the loose ball fell back to him and
he drill it home. Birmingham pulled a goal back when Stern John turned and
shot at the near post after a cross from Damien Johnson, however the victory
was clinched when Yakubu's cross was handled by Kenny Cunningham and the
striker coolly slotted in the penalty.

Spurs (0) 1 (Defoe 52)
Man City (1) 1 (Anelka 25)

No 4-3 classic between Spurs and Man City this time, however this time it
was Spurs who came from behind at White Hart Lane. Relegation threatened
City took the lead when Steve McManaman found Nik Anelka and although his
first effort was saved, he was quickly on hand to tap in the rebound. Spurs
clinched a point when Gus Poyet's header found Jermain Defoe who controlled
well before shooting into the net.

Wolves (1) 1 (Camara 44)
Bolton (1) 2 (Pedersen 43, Davies 90)

High drama at Wolves as the bottom club again conceded a late goal to cost
them valuable points. Bolton took the lead when Ivan Campo's cross was
headed in at the far post by Henrik Pedersen, however within a minute, Henri
Camara levelled the scores after latching onto a long pass from Paul Ince
before driving into the roof of the net. Wolves bemoaned their luck,
claiming that they should have had a penalty in each half, most notably just
a minute before Bolton's stoppage time winner! Kevin Davies was the scorer
as he burst clear to drill home.

Fulham (2) 3 (John 26, 45, Boa Morte 60)
Blackburn (1) 4 (Cole 23, Douglas 48, Amoruso 51, Stead 74)

Blackburn eased their relegation worries after a dramatic 4-3 win at Fulham.
The visitors took the lead when a superb through ball from Tugay put Andy
Cole in to volley home from close range, however the lead had disappeared by
half time as Fulham battled back. Within three minutes, a shot from Martin
Djetou crashed against the bar and after it was headed back acros goal by
Steed Malbranque, Collins John was on hand to nod in from almost on the
line. In stoppage time, John netted again with a fine shot after Malbranque
had crossed, however early in second half it was Blackburn's turn to turn
matters around as John Douglas volleyed in superbly from Gary Flitcroft's
header and three minutes later, Amoruso blasted in a free kick from 25 yards
to put Rovers ahead. On the hour, Luis Boa Morte collected the ball in his
own half, played a neat one-two with John and ran on to slot home well.
Remarkably, Rovers regained the lead with fifteen minutes left as Cole found
Jonathon Stead who smashed home the winner from the edge of the area.

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