28 November 2004

Liverpool (1) 2 (Alonso 41, Mellor 90)
Arsenal (0) 1 (Vieira 57)

A stunning last minute strike by Neil Mellor gave Liverpool a deserved
victory over Arsenal, leaving the champions a full five points adrift of
Chelsea in the race for the title. Despite being played at a fast pace,
there were few chances in the first half, however when it arrived,
Liverpool took their's superbly. A long ball out wide was met by the
head of Harry Kewell who found Steven Gerrard inside. He played in Xabi
Alonso whose first time effort from the edge of the area tore into the
roof of the net to cap a terrific move. Arsenal started the second half
better and levelled matters with another well worked goal as Patrick
Vieira found Thierry Henry who in turn set up Robert Pires. His ball
through to Vieira was perfect, as was the clipped finish over the keeper
which bobbled agonisingly over the line. Both clubs could have won it,
however with just eight seconds of stoppage time remaining, a long
clearance from Chris Kirkland was only partially cleared by Sol Campbell
and Mellor unleashed a first time shot from 25 yards which found the
bottom corner and left Arsenal shattered.

Assists : Gerrard, Pires, n/a

Newcastle (1) 1 (Bellamy 5)
Everton (0) 1 (Carsley 56)

Honours even at St James Park as Newcastle lost a lead at home to
Everton, whose quest for a Champions League place continued. Newcastle
were ahead early on with a slick one touch move, starting with a
clearance from keeper Shay Given and culminating with a quick-fire one-
two between Patrick Kluivert and Craig Bellamy, resulting in the
Welshman breaking clear and firing home. Jermaine Jenas almost doubled
the lead but hammered a shot against the bar, however after Everton
ended the half well and began the second period in the same vein, they
grabbed a deserved equaliser when Lee Carsley left Given totally
stranded with a curling free kick into the top corner from 20 yards.
Bellamy then thumped a shot against the post and late on was presented
with a glorious chance to win it, but only hit his shot at Alessandro
Pistone from twelve yards. Earlier, Everton had almost gone ahead when
Marcus Bent was sent clear but having rounded the keeper, managed to
shoot wide from the edge of the area.

Assists : Kluivert, Bent (won fk)

Spurs (0) 2 (Defoe 49, Kanoute 76)
Middlesbrough (0) 0
SENT OFF: Queudrue (Boro) 40

Spurs ended their six match losing run with a home win against Champions
League chasing Middlesbrough, whose cause wasn't helped by a straight
red card shown to Franck Queudrue near the end of the first half. The
Frenchman was dismissed for a two-footed tackle on Noe Pamarot and
although they plan to appeal against the decision, it looked justified
to me. Spurs went ahead early in the second half when Jermain Defoe
swept in a cross from Pedro Mendes at the near post. The striker then
receieved a yellow card for taking his shirt off in celebration, his
fifth of the season, at least two of which have been for the same
offence, resulting in a one match ban. The points were confirmed with a
freakish second goal when Mark Schwarzer's clearance thudded against
Freddie Kanoute and rebounded straight into the net.

Assists : Mendes, n/a

27 November 2004

Fulham (0) 0
Blackburn (1) 2 (Gallagher 10, Dickov (pen) 77)
SENT OFF: Knight (Fulham) 76

Blackburn move off of the foot of the table after a comfortable 2-0
victory away at ten man Fulham. The home side were dreadful in the first
half and after Brett Emerton missed a great chance from a tight angle
inside two minutes, it was no surprise to see Rovers take the lead when
Paul Gallagher was left unmarked at the near post to fire in Steven
Reid's crosa. Thomasz Radzinski was then sent clear but shot wide with
only the keeper to beat as he looked to equalise, however Blackburn
continued to look the better side as their hosts looked to self
destruct, indeed Paul Dickov was sent through on goal courtesy of an
awful header from Zat Knight, however he shot at keeper Mark Crossley
when he should have done better. Fulham were jeered off at the break and
things ween't much better in the second half as Andy Cole was denied by
Brad Friedel whilst clean through and Papa Bouba Diop shot wide from a
decent position. Rovers doubled the lead when Knight handled to deny
Dickov a shot at goal, resulting in a second yellow and subsequent red
card for the Fulham defender and a spot kick converted easily by Dickov.
Within a minute, Brian McBridge headed straight at the keeper from close
range, summing up Fulham's day perfectly.

Assists : Reid, n/a

Birmingham (1) 1 (Morrison 9)
Norwich (0) 1 (Huckerby 64)

Two of the Premiership's draw specialists met at St Andrews and it was
no surprise to see honours even between Birmingham and Norwich. The
hosts took an early lead when Darren Anderton's cross was headed against
the bar by Emile Heskey, however Clinton Morrison was first to the
rebound and nodded into the empty net. They were unable to kill off
Norwich though and the visitors battled back after half time and earned
a valuable point when David Bentley's cross wasn't cleared and was
eventually tucked away at the far post by Darren Huckerby.

Assists : n/a, n/a

Bolton (0) 0
Portsmouth (1) 1 (De Zeeuw 45)

After a week of turmoil for Portsmouth which saw the departure of boss
Harry Redknapp and sidekick Jim Smith, the players bounced back with a
fine win at Bolton. The only goal came in first half stoppage time when
Gary O'Neil's free kick was headed powerfully in by Arjan De Zeeuw.

Assist : O'Neill (fk)

Charlton (0) 0
Chelsea (1) 4 (Duff 4, Terry 47, 50, Gudjohnsen 59)

Chelsea continued their surge toward the title with a crushing win at
Charlton to put the pressure onto Arsenal who play at Anfield on Sunday.
As with last week, Chelsea were off to a flyer as Damien Duff again
scored early on, collecting a through ball from Eidur Gudjohnsen and
scoring from a tight angle with a neat flick with the outside of his
foot. Charlton held out until half time and then capitulated after the
break as they conceded three goals in a fourteen minute spell. It began
with John Terry scoring his first league goal of the season, nodding in
a corner from Duff and within three minutes later, he did it again from
the same source, this time Carvalho nodded the ball across goal for
Terry to prod past Dean Kiely who did manage to get hands to the ball,
but couldn't keep it out. A fourth soon followed as Frank Lampard sent
Gudjohnsen through and he finished with ease to wrap up another three

Assists : Gudjohnsen, Duff, n/a, Lampard

Southampton (0) 2 (Phillips 50, Jakobsson 76)
Crystal Palace (0) 2 (Johnson 48, Jakobsson 54 og)

Southampton twice came from behind to earn a vital point against fellow
strugglers Crystal Palace at St Marys. After a goalless first half,
Palace came out with all guns blazing and after keeper Kasey Keller had
twice denied Andy Johnson, it was third time lucky for the striker as he
met a cross from Aki Riihilahti with a superb glancing header to find
the net inside the far post. Saints were level within two minutes as a
cross from Fabrice Fernandes was missed by Dexter Blackstock, however
fellow forward Kevin Phillips was behind him to find the net from close
range. Palace came straight back again and regained the lead four
minutes later when Riihilahti found Wayne Routledge on the right flank
and after cutting inside, his shot was heading for the far post before a
deflection from Andreas Jakobsson took it inside the near post. He made
amends later though with the second equaliser for his club, slotting
home after Peter Crouch had nodded on a Graeme Le Saux free kick.

Assists : Riihilahti, Fernandes, n/a, Crouch 

West Brom (0) 0
Man United (0) 3 (Scholes 53, 82, Van Nistelrooy 72)

Man United's good recent form continued with a cruise of a victory at
struggling West Brom, who were hampered by first half injuries to Moore
and Contra. United took control after half time and took the lead when
Gabriel Heinze and Ryan Giggs combined to set up Paul Scholes who
drilled the ball into the bottom corner. The lead was doubled when Giggs
crossed for Heinze to ead across goal and Ruud van Nistelrooy was on
hand to nod into the net and late on, Scholes added a third when Giggs'
cross was met by Wayne Rooney and although his header was blocked,
Scholes completed the job with a close range header.

Assists : Giggs, Heinze, Rooney

Man City (2) 2 (Macken 29, Wright-Phillips 37)
Aston Villa (0) 0
MISSED PEN: Angel (Villa) 88 - Saved
SENT OFF: Hendrie (Villa) 90

Man City ended Aston Villa's five game unbeaten run with a comfortable
home win, courtesy of two first half goals on what was generally a bad
day at the office for the visitors. City went ahead when Robbie Fowler
sent Jon Macken away and after turning well in the area, he found the
bottom corner with a crisp shot. Eight minutes later, Villa could only
half clear a cross to the edge of the area where Shaun Wright-Phillips
drill the ball home superbly. Villa were a little better after the break
but rarely looked like staging a comeback until they were handed a late
lifeline when Richard Dunne fouled Luke Moore and although contact did
look to be just outside the area, the ref awarded a penalty. Justice was
done when David James kept out Juan Pablo Angel's kick and although the
rebound fell back to the Columbian, he then headed over the empty net
from six yards. Villa's misery was complete in stoppage time when Danny
Mills and Lee Hendrie squared up to each other after Mills took
exception to a tackle and kick out by the Villa man. Hendrie then
attempted to headbutt Mills and although no contact was made, the red
card was swiftly out for the visiting midfielder.

Assists : n/a, n/a

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