18 April 2004

Aston Villa (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 0
RED CARD : O'Brien (Newcastle) 9

No goals in the battle of sixth against fifth, leaving Liverpool to hold
onto fourth place after a game which could be subtitled - How Much
Misfortune Could Happen To One Team In One Game? Newcastle were the side who
were up against it from as early as the ninth minute when Andy O'Brien was
sent off after hauling down Darius Vassell as he bore down on goal. Cue a
re-arrangement in formation until half an hour later when Jermaine Jenas
also went off with an injury. Cue two substititions as Laurent Robert was
also replaced, albeit for tactical reasons and cue a third change early in
the second half when Craig Bellamy pulled a hamstring whilst in full flow.
As for chances, few and far between as the ten men defended solidly against
a powder-puff Villa attack. Marcus Allback should have done better with a
second half header for the hosts, whilst Lee Hendrie drilled an effort into
the side-netting. Newcastle created a couple of opportunities themselves as
Hugo Viana was denied by Thomas Sorensen and he also saved a late Alan
Shearer header.

17 April 2004

Blackburn (1) 1 (Dabizas (og) 42)
Leicester (0) 0

Blackburn eased their relegation worries with their second win in five days,
this time against fellow candidates for the drop, Leicester, who remain deep
in trouble. Rovers deserved the win, even if the only goal had an element of
good fortune about it, Nikos Dabizas sliding the ball into his own net after
good work on the right by Andy Cole.

Bolton (1) 2 (Campo 7, Pedersen 65)
Spurs (0) 0

Bolton are officially safe from the drop and on course for their best ever
Prem finish after a comfortable win over Spurs, leaving the London side only
six points above the drop zone. Ivan Campo opened the scoring with a rare
goal, as collected a pass from Jay-Jay Okocha and fired a long range effort
which bounced ahead of keeper Kasey Keller and into the bottom corner. The
lead was doubled when Anthony Gardner lost possession on the edge of his own
area to Henrik Pedersen and the striker slotted in with ease.

Charlton (0) 1 (Holland 86)
Birmingham (0) 1 (Morrison 84)

Charlton and Birmingham remain on course for a European spot after two late
goal gave each club a point at the Valley. The visitors thought they'd
clinched a win when Damien Johnson's cross was nodded back across goal by
Matthew Upson for Clinton Morrison to head in at the far post. Within two
minutes, Charlton were level when Matt Holland produced a textbook header to
find the corner from Chris Powell's cross.

Chelsea (0) 0
Everton (0) 0

Chelsea's title hopes faded further with a second successive goalless draw
at Stamford Bridge, this time Everton coming away with a point. Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink missed a host of chances, however unluckiest player must have
been Frank Lampard who hit the bar in the first half with a superb curling
effort and then struck the post later in the game with a shot from the edge
of the area.

Liverpool (0) 0
Fulham (0) 0
MISSED PEN : Gerrard (Liverpool) 49 - Keeper Saved

No goals either at Anfield as Liverpool do their utmost to throw away fourth
place, Fulham this time shutting the hosts out. The best chance fell, rather
luckily, to Liverpool who were awarded a penalty when Bobby Petta was judged
to have handled in the area, although it looked to have struck his shoulder.
Justice was done though when Steven Gerrard's well struck penalty was
superbly saved by Edwin van der Sar.

Man City (0) 1 (Anelka 78)
Southampton (1) 3 (Beattie 34, Phillips 55, 81)

Man City are just two points above the relegation zone after another home
defeat, this time against Southampton. The visitors took the lead when
Marion Pahars' cross was met at the near post by James Beattie, who bullet
header gave the keeper no chance. The lead was doubled when Rory Delap's
long throw was nodded on by Beattie and headed in by Kevin Phillips at the
far post. City pulled one back when Nik Anelka tapped in Paulo Wanchope's
cut back, however as City pressed for an equaliser, they were caught on the
break as Paul Telfer's clearance was latched onto by Phillips who outpaced
the defence and drilled home a superb third.

Portsmouth (1) 1 (Stone 36)
Man United (0) 0

Portsmouth eased their relegation fears and but a severe dent in Man
United's dwindling title hopes with a sensational 1-0 win at Fratton Park.
United had the better of the early stages without creating too much and it
was therefore against the run of play when Portsmouth took the lead. A cross
from the right by Lomana Lua-Lua was initially missed at the near post by
Steve Stone, however the ball rebounded back to him as Gary Neville tackled
Yakubu in the area and the midfielder made no mistake as he hooked the ball
into the roof of the net.

Wolves (1) 2 (Cort 28, Camara 62)
Middlesbrough (0) 0
MISSED PEN : Camara (Wolves) 89 - Keeper saved

Wolves remain six points from safety, but are refusing to go without a fight
after a comfortable win over Middlesbrough. They took the lead when Carl
Cort headed in at the far post from Mark Clyde's cross and it was doubled in
the second half when Henri Camara scored for the fifth game in a row, with a
fine volley after Cort had nodded on a long throw. It could have been even
worse for Boro, however Mark Schwarzer saved a late penalty from Camara
after Alex Rae had been fouled by George Boeteng.

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