25 April 2004

Leeds (0) 1 (Harte (pen) 83)
Portsmouth (1) 2 (Yakubu 9, Lua-Lua 51)

Portsmouth have almost secured their Premiership safety after a 2-1 win at
relegation rivals Leeds, for whom another nail was hammered into their
proverbial coffin today. Leeds began well enough, however they were caught
on the break by the first meaningful attack from the visitors as Steve Stone
made good ground on the right and crossed to the far post where Yakabu
nodded the ball past Paul Robinson. Portsmouth had the better of things
after that and Arjun De Zueew almost doubled the lead when he blasted over
from close range. Leeds were restricted to half chances from set pieces,
notable when Michael Duberry thumped an effort over after a corner wasn't
properly cleared. In the second half, more of the same as Portsmouth
dominated and, within six minutes, doubled their lead. A corner from the
left was headed at goal by Yakubu and although Robinson saved the effort, he
spooned the ball up into the air for Lomana Lua-Lua to nod in from almost on
the line. Leeds rarely threatened and only found a grandstand finish
courtesy of a late penalty when Linvoy Primas was adjudged to have pulled
the shirt of Duberry, although replays showed both players doing the same!
Ian Harte sent Shaka Hislop the wrong way to give Leeds hope and two minutes
later, they almost equalised when Nicky Barmby's close range piledriver was
brilliantly saved by Hislop. Overall, no complaints from this Leeds fan as
we were poor for the vast majority of the game. Good luck and well done to
Portsmouth, it would seem that we'll not be playing them again for a while.

Birmingham (2) 2 (Forrsell 34, Morrison 41)
Wolves (1) 2 (Cameron 6, Cort 75)

Honours even at St Andrews as bottom club Wolves came from behind to earn a
point which ultimately will probably not be enough to save them from the
drop. They actually took an early lead when Colin Cameron played a one-two
with Henri Camara before curling a fine shot into the net, however
Birmingham levelled matters when Mikael Forsell collected Clinton Morrison's
knock down, rounded keeper Paul Jones before slotting in. Morrison then put
the hosts ahead as Forsell returned the compliment with a through ball,
converted well as the keeper came out, however with time ebbing away, Wolves
snatched a point when Carl Cort reacted quickly to score after Mark
Kennedy's shot was only parried.

Newcastle (1) 2 (Ameobi 43, Shearer 48)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Cole 5)

Newcastle came from behind to beat second place Chelsea and keep alive their
hopes of Champions League football next season. Chelsea took the lead inside
five minutes when Frank Lampard slid the ball through for Joe Cole to run on
and toe-poke through the legs of Shay Given and into the net. They almost
lasted until half time, however Newcatle levelled matters courtesy of
another promising youngster as Hugo Viana's chip was controlled on the edge
of the area by Shola Ameobi, who then held of Marcel Desailly before
drilling into the bottom corner. That strike was bettered just after half
time as Olivier Bernard found Alan Shearer who also held off the attentions
of Desailly before smashing home a brilliant 25 yard effort. Chelsea almost
snatched a late point when John Terry volleyed against the post from close
range, however the defeat meant that a point for Arsenal at Spurs would
clinch the this space!

Spurs (0) 2 (Redknapp 62, Keane (pen) 90)
Arsenal (2) 2 (Vieira 3, Pires 35)

Arsenal are the 2003-4 Premiership Champions after clinching the title with
a 2-2 draw at arch rivals Spurs. They were off to an ideal start with a goal
inside three minutes as Thierry Henry sent Dennis Bergkamp away and his
cross was slid in at the far post by Patrick Vieira. The crisp, slick
passing machine came alive again half an hour later as Bergkamp sent Vieira
in down the left and his cutback was side-footed into the bottom corner by
Robert Pires. The Gunners eased off a little after half time and Spurs took
advantage, pulling a goal back through a long range effort from Jamie
Redknapp having been found by Michael Brown. Both clubs missed excellent
chances before a remarkable stoppage time incident earned the hosts a point.
Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann grapled with opposing striker Robbie Keane at a
corner and after both pushed and shoved each other, the referee awarded a
penalty, calmly converted by Keane. Ultimately, it gave Spurs some local
pride on a day which would have been hard for them. Congratulations to
Arsenal though who have a further four games to go to try and do the
impossible - go through the season unbeaten.

24 April 2004

Everton (0) 0
Blackburn (0) 1 (Stead 81)

Blackburn all but secured their Premiership survival with a late winner
against Everton who themselves are not 100% safe as yet. The only goal came
from one of the finds of the season as former Huddersfield striker John
Stead nodded in Andy Cole's cross to clinch the points.

Fulham (1) 2 (Malbranque (pen) 18, Davis 64)
Charlton (0) 0

Fulham won Saturday's London derby thanks to a goal in each half to see off
Charlton. Luis Boa Morte was at the heart of everything and when he burst
clear only to be brought down by Dean Kiely, it gave Steed Malbranque the
chance to score from the penalty spot which he did coolly. Boa Morte also
set up the second as his pass was clipped up and the volleyed home by Sean
Davis from the edge of the area.

Leicester (0) 1 (Scowcroft 66)
Man City (1) 1 (Tarnat 45)
MISSED PEN : Dickov (Leicester) 83 - SAVED!

Drama and controversy at the Walkers Stadium as Leicester and Man City
battled out a draw which did neither the power of good in their fight
against the drop. The visitors took the lead in first half stoppage time
when Michael Tarnat's 35 yard free kick was deflected it, however midway
through the second half, Ian Walker's long kick wasn't dealt with, allowing
James Scowcroft to sneak in and loop a header in. With time running out,
Muzzy Izzet was fouled in the area by Tarnat and a penalty was awarded,
however Man City felt that Izzet had handled in the build up and were
furious at the award. Cue a mass pushing and shoving situation on the pitch
which ended up involving officials from both clubs, the fourth official to
the referee and Steffan Freund who'd earlier been substituted. Four players
were booked and after five minutes or so, Paul Dickov eventually took the
penalty, only for David James to save confortably from a poor kick.

Man United (0) 0
Liverpool (0) 1 (Murphy (pen) 63)

More penalty drama at Old Trafford as Liverpool won their for the third time
in four seasons, Danny Murphy netting the winner on each occasion! The
award, unlike at the Walkers, was clear after Steven Gerrard was fouled by
Gary Neville, however Murphy's kick was pure textbook as he found the top
corner unerringly. It was the first penalty scored by an opposing side at
Old Trafford since December 1993 when Ruel Fox netted for Norwich in a 2-2

Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Job 41)
Aston Villa (1) 2 (Barry 45, Crouch 89)
RED CARD : Solano (Villa) 57

Drama also at the Riverside as ten men Aston Villa came from behind to win
and keep their European hopes alive. Boro took the lead when Gaizka Mendieta
found Joseph Desire Job who fired into the net via the post. In stoppage
time, Gareth Barry equalised with a far post header from Thomas
Hitzlsperger's cross, however early in the second half, the red mist came
down as Nol Solano and George Boateng clashed near the touching, the Villa
man catching Boeteng with a slight kick and flayling arm, although neither
could be considered nasty. Boeteng though `did a Makelele` and went to
ground as though he'd been hit by a sledgehammer and the referee sent Solano
off. Remarkably Villa grabbed all three points late on when Ulises De La
Cruz's shot was only half saved and Peter Crouch reacted quickly to tap in
the rebound.

Southampton (1) 1 (Pahars 21)
Bolton (0) 2 (Nolan 77, Davies 78)

Bolton's superb season continued with a fine win at Southampton thanks to
two goals in a minute late on. The hosts took the lead when Paul Telfer's
long ball was controlled well by Marion Pahars who then finished calmly with
a near lob. Bolton equalised when Kevin Nolan headed into the corner after
Kevin Davies lobbed the ball forward and within a minute, Davies netted the
winner against his former club with a header from Jay-Jay Okocha's cross.

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it
The Unofficial Premiership Site