1 November 2004

Man City (1) 1 (Flood 11)
Norwich (0) 1 (Francis 46)

Norwich are still without a league win this season, however a draw away
at Man City has moved them off of the foot of the table. Man City took
the lead early on when Shaun Wright-Phillips sent a long crossfield ball
across the edge of the area for the wonderfully named Willo Flood to
find the net with a fine first time volley, although keeper Robert Green
will be disappointed as the ball seemed to go through his hands as he
dived. The lead lasted until very early in the second half when Norwich
levelled matters just 12 seconds after the restart. A long ball forward
caused confusion between Richard Dunne and Danny Mills and as Michael
Svensson was tackled in the area, the ball fell nicely for Damien
Francis who side-footed in his second goal in as many league games. The
home side came close to regaining the lead when Flood hit the inside of
the post and Robbie Fowler had a shot blocked on the line by the arm of
Craig Fleming, however Norwich held out for a point.

Assists : Wright-Phillips, n/a

31 October 2004

Bolton (0) 2 (Diouf 52, Davies 70)
Newcastle (0) 1 (Ambrose 55)

Bolton return to fourth place after a well deserved victory over
Newcastle, their first defeat under Graeme Souness. The game came to
life after a drab first half with two goals in the space of four second
half minutes. Firstly, El Hadji Diouf gave the hosts the lead with a
stooping header from close range after a Jay-Jay Okocha long throw
wasn't properly cleared, allowing Radi Jaidi to nod the ball across
goal. It was Diouf's first goal since scoring for Liverpool AGAINST
Bolton in March 2003. The lead lasted three minutes when Darren Ambrose
latched onto a loose ball, dribbled past two men before unleashing a
superb 30-yard shot which tore into the top corner. Bolton clinched the
win when a free kick was sent high into the area and was nodded on by
Kevin Davies and after a weak clearing header by Stephen Carr, it
dropped back for Davies whose close range shot found the net.

Assists : Jaidi, n/a, n/a

30 October 2004

Birmingham (0) 0
Crystal Palace (1) 1 (Johnson 41)

Crystal Palace move above Birmingham in the table after a narrow 1-0 at
St Andrews earned them all three points. The Palace policy of defending
in numbers and playing on the break worked well, notably just before
half time when the hosts lost possession following a corner and allowed
Wayne Routledge to send Andy Johnson clear and as the keeper came out,
the former Birningham striker slotted home neatly via the far post.
Birmingham looked weak in attack and came closest when a Robbie Savage
corner hit Mario Melchiot on the back only for Fitz Hall to clear off
the line with a header. Melchiot also volleyed inches wide in stoppage
time as Birmingham went all out for an equaliser.

Assist : Routledge

Arsenal (0) 2 (Henry 67, Van Persie 90)
Southampton (0) 2 (Delap 80, 85)
MISSED PEN : Henry (Arsenal) 31 - hit post

A late equaliser by Robin Van Persie earned Arsenal a point after
struggling Southampton came close to ending the Gunners' 17 month
unbeaten home league record. The league leaders seemed to be suffering a
post-Old Trafford hangover as they huffed and puffed without breaking
through, even missing a penalty when Thierry Henry cracked his kick
against the post after Darren Kenton had tripped Dennis Bergkamp. The
goal eventually arrived midway through the second half when Bergkamp's
chipped pass sent Henry away having broken the offside trap and he
finished with ease. However, Saints then turned the script on it's head
with two almost identical goals within a remarkable five minute spell.
Firstly, Rory Delap headed in a left wing corner from Neil McCann and
five minutes later, the same two combined again, this time from a free
kick on the right to stun the home team. Salvation arrived in stoppage
time when Fabrice Fabregas set up Van Persie who made space and then
smashed a superb shot into the top corner.

Assists : Bergkamp, McCann (ck), McCann (fk), Fabregas

Charlton (0) 1 (Johansson 46)
Middlesbrough (1) 2 (El Karkouri (og) 21, Zenden 58)

Middlesbrough continued their quest for a Champions League position with
a narrow win at Charlton who are struggling to find any form at present.
The hosts went ahead with a freak of a goal as Bolo Zenden's shot hit
his own player in the shape on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and then
rebounded into the net via the leg of Tahar El Karkouri. Charlton
levelled matters early in the second half when Jason Euell sent Jonathon
Johansson clear and after rounding the keeper, he finished well from the
edge of the area. Boro clinched the points when Mark Viduka found Zenden
whose clipped shot beat the keeper and found the net.

Assists : n/a, Euell, Viduka

Everton (1) 1 (Bent 33)
Aston Villa (1) 1 (Hendrie 26)

Honours even at Everton where two different, yet excellent, goals
decided matters. Aston Villa took the lead when Juan Pablo Angel set up
Lee Hendrie whose 25-yard shot swerved into the top corner, giving Nigel
Martyn no chance. Seven minutes later, the home side were level when
David Weir played Marcus Bent in and he just managed to clip the ball
over the keeper and into the roof of the net.

Assists : Angel, Weir

Fulham (1) 2 (Boa Morte 33, Cole 61)
Spurs (0) 0

Spurs continue to find goals hard to come by as they were easily beaten
by Fulham in the London derby at Craven Cottage. The hosts took the lead
when Steed Malbranque played in Luis Boa Morte who slotted a shot past
the keeper. The lead was doubled when Boa Morte crossed for Andy Cole to
head home, leaving Spurs with only six goals to their name all season,
the worst such record in the land.

Assists : Malbranque, Boa Morte

Portsmouth (0) 2 (Unsworth (pen) 53, Yakubu 72)
Man United (0) 0

It was a case of 'after the Lord Mayors Show' for Man United as they
slumped to defeat at Portsmouth in a niggly game that saw Wayne Rooney,
among others, booked. United had the better of the first half but went
behind early in the second when Rio Ferdinand tugged the shirt of Yakubu
in the area, resulting in a penalty and a yellow card for the defender.
David Unsworth stepped up and smashed the ball straight down the middle
of the goal as Roy Carroll dived. Within minutes, United missed a
glorious chance to level matters when Alan Smith somehow shot over from
three yards and it proved crucial as the lead was doubled when a long
clearance sent Yakubu away and although his shot was deflected and
partially saved by Carroll, it still had enough power to dribble over
the line.

Assists : Fuller (won pen), n/a

West Brom (0) 1 (Gera 56)
Chelsea (1) 4 (Gallas 45, Gudjohnsen 51, Duff 59, Lampard 81)

Chelsea move level on points with Arsenal and are only kept off of top
spot on goal difference after crushing West Brom at the Hawthorns. They
took until first half stoppage time to go ahead when William Gallas
tapped in from close range after John Terry has headed a corner back
across goal. The lead was doubled when Damien Duff crossed for Eidur
Gudjohnsen to send a diving head into the net and although Zoltan Gera
smashed home a consolation after Kanu's shot had been saved, Chelsea
rarely looked in danger. Their third goal arrived shortly after Gera's
strike as Frank Lampard surged half the length of the pitch before
finding Duff who slotted home and Lampard belted in the fourth himself
from 25-yards after being set up by Arjen Robben.

Assists : Terry, Duff, n/a, Lampard, Robben

Blackburn (2) 2 (Bothroyd 16, Emerton 45)
Liverpool (1) 2 (Riise 7, Baros 55)

Blackburn move off the foot of the table after a battling draw against
Liverpool after both clubs took, and then lost, the lead. Liverpool
began well and took a deserved early lead when Xabi Alonso's long ball
found John Arne Riise cutting in from the left and his firm shot across
goal found the far corner. Within ten minutes, Rovers were level when
Paul Dickov sent Brett Emerton away on the left and his cross was tapped
in by Jay Bothroyd, making his first league start of the season.
Liverpool's cause wasn't helped when Djibril Cisse was stretchered off
with a suspected broken leg and in first half stoppage time, they went
behind when Barry Ferguson was tackled in the area and after Sami
Hyypia's poor clearance fell to Emerton, the Australian found the bottom
corner with a first time shot. Early in the second half, Liverpool were
level again when Rovers defender James McEveley took a free kick in
midfield and gave it straight to Luis Garcia. His long ball sent Milan
Baros clear who held off the challenge of Craig Short before firing
home. Short almost regained the lead when his header was cleared off the
line whilst Dickov was denied a winner after his shot was saved at point
blank range by Chris Kirkland. Liverpool almost snatched it in stoppage
time when Harry Kewell fizzed a shot across goal, but it ended level.

Assists : Xavi Alonso, Emerton, n/a, Luis Garcia
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