12 May 2004

Southampton (2) 3 (Beattie 19, Bramble (og) 39, Griffit 88)
Newcastle (2) 3 (Ameobi 7, Bowyer 35, Ambrose 90)

Newcastle twice lost a lead as their Champions League aspirations finally
died after a superbly entertaining 3-3 draw at Southampton tonight.
Newcastle were off to an ideal start when a long ball from Olivier Bernard
was nodded on by Shola Ameobi who then chased the loose ball himself. He
held off the challenge of Claus Lundekvam before drilling a low shot into
the bottom corner. The hosts levelled matters when Anders Svensson twisted
and turned in the area and although his shot was saved by Shay Given, it
fell to James Beattie who had a tap in from two yards. Newcastle battled
back and after Saints had a penalty appeal rejected when Stephen Caldwell
appeared to push Beattie in the area, they regained the lead when Ameobi
crossed from the right for Lee Bowyer's first time shot to give debutant
keeper Alan Blayney no chance. The lead lasted less than four minutes when
Fabrice Fernandes crossed from the right and Titus Bramble stuck out a knee
to divert it into his own net. The second half was more of the same, only
without the goals originally as both Caldwell and Darren Ambrose hit the bar
for Newcastle, whilst Blayney saved brilliantly from a Shearer header and a
Bowyer shot, both from close range. Saints also came close when Svensson's
shot was just wide and Paul Telfer forced a fine save from Given. They were
reduced to ten men with three minutes to go when, having already used all
three subs, one of them, Kevin Phillips, was forced off with a back injury,
however within a minute another replacement, Leandre Griffit, latched onto a
header from Beattie to slot the ball past Given and in. It was all over for
Newcastle although they did snatch a stoppage time equaliser when Laurent
Robert's corner was smashed in from long range by Ambrose, albeit courtesy
of a deflection, however that coveted fourth place will now go to Liverpool
unless Aston Villa can perform a goal scoring spree against Man United at
the weekend.

9 May 2004

Newcastle (1) 1 (Bowyer 38)
Wolves (0) 1 (Ganea 70)
MISSED PEN : Shearer (Newcastle) 81 - Keeper saved

Wolves are officially relegated despite a creditable draw at Newcastle which
dented the Champions League hopes of their hosts. Newcastle took the lead
when Lee Bowyer scored his first goal for the club with a close range finish
after Shola Ameobi did well on the right. The visitors levelled the scored
through Viorel Ganea who drilled in from the edge of the area after Mark
Kennedy's cross deflected into his path. Late on, the home side were awarded
a penalty when Gary Speed was adjudged to have been pushed by Paul Ince,
however justice was done when Alan Shearer's spot kick was superbly saved by
Paul Jones.

Fulham (0) 0
Arsenal (1) 1 (Reyes 9)

Arsenal have gone the entire Premiership season unbeaten away from home
after an horrendous error from Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar gifted them a
win at Loftus Road. The only goal came early on as the Dutch keeper looked
upfield to clear the ball. Jose Antonia Reyes was a little too quick for him
however and caught him in possession to leave himself with a simple tap in.
Should Arsenal avoid defeat in their final game at home to Leicester next
Saturday, then they will have completed a remarkable achievement of going
the entire season unbeaten, an unprecedent feat in the modern day and the
only time it's been done since the first ever league season in 1888-89,
consisting then of just twelve clubs.

8 May 2004

Man United (0) 1 (Van Nistelrooy 77)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Gronkjaer 19)
MISSED PEN : Van Nistelrooy (Man Utd) 43 - Keeper saved
RED CARD : Huth (Chelsea) 73

Chelsea are guaranteed second place after honours ended even in an eventful
1-1 draw at Old Trafford against third placed Man United. The visitors took
the lead when a corner was only cleared to the edge of the area where Joe
Cole's angled header found Jesper Gronkjaer. He made the most of United's
failure to close him down by taking a touch and hammering the ball into the
top corner, this time totally intentional unlike his effort in midweek.
United had the chance to level matters when Louis Saha was tripped in the
area by Robert Huth, however Carlo Cudicini was down sharply to push away
Rud van Nistelrooy's penalty. It wasn't the best afternoon for Huth who was
shown a second yellow card with seventeen minutes remaining after bringing
down Van Nistelrooy as he threatened to burst through and the numerical
advantage paid off within four minutes when Cudicini dropped a cross from
Mikael Silvestre and Van Nistelrooy found the empty net easily. With one
game to go each, Chelsea remain four points ahead of United in second place.

Everton (0) 1 (Ferguson 68)
Bolton (1) 2 (Djorkaeff 14, 87)

Five wins in as many games now for Bolton as they make a late push for a
European spot after Youri Djorkaeff netted twice for the second game in a
row to see off Everton. His first came after Kevin Nolan played him in and
having wriggled past two defenders, he prodded the ball into the net. The
hosts levelled matters when Thomasz Radzinski's run and pass was helped
across the area by Leon Osman for Duncan Ferguson to crash the ball in. A
draw looked likely until late on when Simon Charlton's cross was touched in
at the near post by Djorkaeff, the ball bobbling inside the far post.

Leeds (2) 3 (Kilgallon 29, Pennant 41, Smith (pen) 69)
Charlton (1) 3 (Holland 11, Euell (pen) 76, 79)

Leeds' relegation was mathematically confirmed after a pulsating six goal
thriller against Charlton. Matt Holland gave the visitors the lead with a
stunning 30-yard strike which found the top corner, however Leeds equalised
when Stephen McPhail's free kick was floated to the far post for Matt
Kilgallon to slide into the net. Alan Smith then set up Jermaine Pennant who
jinked into the area and fired in. Into the second half, Michael Duberry was
fouled by Jonathon Fortune to win a lucky penalty, converted by Smith,
although keeper Dean Kiely did get his hands to the low shot. True to form,
Leeds then collapsed as Duberry returned the penalty favour with a foul on
Jason Euell, who then got up to neatly slot in from the spot and, three
minutes later, the Leeds defence got in an almighty tangle on the edge of
their six-yard box to allow Euell to equalise from close range.

Leicester (2) 3 (Taylor (og) 6, Dickov 27, Scowcroft 71)
Portsmouth (0) 1 (Quashie 66)

Relegated Leicester ended their home campaign with a comfortable win against
Portsmouth with Paul Dickov at the heart of everything. The Scot set up the
first after his cross was diverted into his own net by Matt Taylor and then
scored the second himself, curling in after being set up by Marcus Bent.
Pompey pulled a goal back when Yakubu's through ball took a deflection into
the path of Nigel Quashie who drilled home his first ever Prem goal, however
five minutes later, Dickov's shot was parried into the path of James
Scowcroft who made no mistake with the rebound.

Middlesbrough (2) 2 (Maccarone 8, Nemeth 32)
Man City (1) 1 (Wanchope 35)

Middlesbrough finished their home fixtures with a flourish as Man City were
beaten at the Riverside. Massimo Maccarone gave the hosts the lead when,
having been found on the left by Bolo Zenden, his shot beat David James at
the near post, although in truth it may well have been meant as a cross! The
lead was doubled when a Danny Mills cross was nodded down by Joseph Desire
Job for Szilard Nemeth to slide in. Paulo Wamchope pulled one back with a
shot inside the far post after wriggling inside the area, however it wasn't
enough for City.

Southampton (1) 1 (Phillips 45)
Aston Villa (1) 1 (Angel (pen) 39)

Aston Villa's European hopes took a dent after a 1-1 draw at Southampton,
although there was a hint of controversy over both goals. Villa's came from
the penalty spot after Danny Higginbotham was judged to have pushed an
opponent in the area, although interestingly, no Villa player actually
appealed for a foul! Juan Pablo Angel stepped up to find the bottom corner.
In first half stoppage time, Fabrice Fernandes played in Kevin Phillips who
fired inside the near post, however replays showed that Phillips and James
Beattie were at least two yards offside!

Spurs (1) 1 (Defoe 18)
Blackburn (0) 0

Spurs' dismal season could yet end on a high after a narrow win against
Blackburn. Jermain Defoe scored the only goal, latching onto a long ball
from Anthony Gardner to control well and blast into the roof of the net from
20 yards.

Birmingham (0) 0
Liverpool (1) 3 (Owen 29, Heskey 51, Gerrard 86)
RED CARD : Cunningham (Birmingham) 64

Liverpool consolidated fourth place with a comfortable win over ten man
Birmingham. They took the lead on the half hour when Emile Heskey sent
Michael Owen clear and having skipped past the challenge of Kenny
Cunningham, he clipped the ball inside the far post from a tight angle. The
lead was doubled early in the second half when Steven Gerrard found space on
the left and crossed for Heskey to shoot home first time at the near post.
Cunningham was then sent off for a professional foul as he pulled and
tripped Gerrard as he bore down on goal and it was then only a matter of how
many Liverpool would score. Just one more goal followed though as Danny
Murphy's crossfield pass gave Gerrard another run at goal and he side-footed
home from a similar angle to that of the opener.

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