28 September 2003

Charlton (2) 3 (Lisbie 31, 42, 83)
Liverpool (1) 2 (Smicer 15, Owen (pen) 52)

Kevin Lisbie scored a superb hat trick as Charlton came from behind to
record a fine victory over Liverpool. After a very open start, Liverpool
took the lead when Vladimir Smicer was sent clear by Harry Kewell and
finished well as Dean Kiely raced from his line. Charlton levelled matters
with a similar effort as Graeme Stuart's through ball found Lisbie who
netted from the edge of the area and then, with half time approaching,
Liverpool failed to clear a corner and after Jerzy Dudek saved Shaun
Bartlett's shot, Lisbie was on hand to bury the loose ball. Early in the
second half, Liverpool were level again, this time from the penalty spot as
Michael Owen converted after Emile Heskey was fouled by Chris Perry, however
with time running out, Lisbie completed his treble with a terrific solo run
and curling finish from 20 yards.

Everton (3) 4 (Watson 29, 37, 52, Ferguson 39)
Leeds United (0) 0

A unlikely hat trick from Steve Watson sent Leeds into the bottom three as
they were hammered at Goodison by Everton. The utility man opened the
scoring when he traded pass with Duncan Ferguson before turning and firing
into the net. Eight minutes later, the lead and Watson's personal tally, was
doubled as Paul Robinson raced from his line to clear a through ball, only
to thump the ball straight to Watson who chipped into an empty net from 40
yards. Things went from bad to worse shortly afterwards as Ferguson rose at
the far post to crash a header into the net from Tony Hibbert's cross. The
rout, and Watson's hat trick, was complete early in the second half as Leeds
failed to clear a David Unsworth cross, allowing Watson to lob the ball in
from a tight angle.

Blackburn (0) 0
Fulham (1) 2 (Boa Morte 5, Saha 56)

Blackburn's poor week continued with another home defeat, this time at the
hands of Fulham. The visitors took the lead thanks to a surging run from
Steed Malbranque, whose cross was finished at close range by Luis Boa Morte.
Early in the second half, the lead was doubled when Louis Saha curled in a
superb effort from the edge of the area.

Man City (0) 0
Spurs (0) 0

Many people, myself included, expected a hat full of goals in this one,
however poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept denied Man City in a one
sided encounter. Spurs keeper Kasey Keller saved well from both Nik Anelka
and Paulo Wanchope, whilst Stephen Carr cleared an Anelka effort off the
line. Late on, Spurs almost snatched the win, however Robbie Keane failed to
connect with an acrobatic effort, although the point does move the London
side out of the drop zone.

27 September 2003

Birmingham (1) 2 (Clemence 21, Lazaridis 50)
Portsmouth (0) 0

Birmingham moved up to fourth with a comfortable win over last season's
first division Champions Portsmouth. The hosts took the lead when Stephen
Clemence was on hand at the far post to prod the ball home from Stan
Lazaridis's cross and early in the second half, the compliment was returned
as Lazaridis latched onto a Clemence through ball to slot into the corner.

Bolton (0) 1 (Davies 85)
Wolves (1) 1 (Rae 30)

A late Bolton equaliser denied Wolves their first league win of the season
after they'd taken the lead on the half hour. The opening goal was a stunner
as Alex Rae smashed a 25-yard volley into the top corner after the hosts has
failed to clear a corner, however Bolton earned a point when Kevin Davies
netted at the near post from Glen Little's volleyed cross.

Chelsea (1) 1 (Hasselbaink 43)
Aston Villa (0) 0

Chelsea moved to within a point of Arsenal after a tight win over an
impressive Aston Villa side. The winning goal came close to half time as
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink tapped into an empty net after Frank Lampard's shot
was only half saved by Thomas Sorensen.

Leicester (0) 1 (Sinclair 73)
Man United (3) 4 (Keane 15, Van Nistelrooy 16, 45, 52)

A Ruud van Nistelrooy hat trick kept Man United in touch at the top after
they crushed Leicester at the Walkers Stadium. Two goals in a minute
effectively decided where the points would end up as firstly Roy Keane
controlled a Paul Scholes cross, rounded the keeper and bundled the ball in
under pressure and then a minute later, Van Nistelrooy found the net after
he'd inadvertently blocked a Scholes shot. On half time, he scored his
second and United's third, controlling a long ball from Rio Ferdinand,
looping it over his marker before crashing the ball into the roof of the net
and his hat trick was completed in the second half when he latched onto a
through ball from Eric Djemba-Djemba to finish clinically. Late on, Frank
Sinclair scored a rare goal, heading in a Muzzy Izzet corner, but it made
little difference.

Southampton (0) 0
Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Christie 13)
RED CARD : Phillips (Southampton) 90

Southampton lost for the first time this season as Middlesbrough won 1-0 for
the third time in eight days. The only goal was a cracker as Malcolm
Christie collected the ball on the right wing, cut inside and then hammered
a firm shot inside Paul Jones's near post. A bad day for Saints was
completed late on when Kevin Phillips was red carded for kicking out at
Franck Queudrue.

26 September 2003

Arsenal (1) 3 (Henry 18, (pen) 80, Gilberto 67)
Newcastle (1) 2 (Robert 26, Bernard 71)

A controversial late penalty gave Arsenal all three points against a
Newcastle side who has twice come from behind to level matters at Highbury.
The hosts took the lead when Sylvain Wiltord's cross was horribly sliced at
the near post by Titus Brambles, allowing Thierry Henry top ghost in and
score with a tap in, however within seven minutes the scorea were all-square
when Kieron Dyer burst into the area to cross for Laurent Robert to find the
net with similar ease. Midway through the second half, the Gunners were back
ahead when Gilberto rose unmarked to send a header crashing into the net,
however this time Newcastle bounced back within four minutes as Dyer again
turned provider to thread a delightful through ball in for Oliver Bernard to
thump into the top corner. Arsenal won the match when Jermaine Jenas rose in
his own area to handle the ball and Henry kept his cool to chip the penalty
into the dead centre of the net.

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

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