6 December 2004

Middlesbrough (1) 3 (Viduka 9, 54, Hasselbaink 65)
Man City (1) 2 (Fowler 39,Wright-Phillips (B) 79)

Middlesbrough move to within two points of Man United, and a Champions
League spot, after a pulsating 3-2 victory against Man City at The
Riverside. Boro took an early lead when Stuart Downing played in Mark
Viduka who collected the ball in his stride, nipped between two
defenders before clipping the ball in past the advancing keeper. The
lead lasted half an hour before City levelled matters when a high ball
forward was nodded on by Jon Macken and in one movement, Robbie Fowler
controlled and fired into the net. Nine minutes after half time, Viduka
restored the home side's lead as he played a neat one-two in the area
with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink before curling a beauty powerfully into the
far corner. Not to be outdone, Hasselbaink then added the third himself
with a stunning free kick from 25 yards which gave David James no chance
as it fizzed into the bottom corner, however with eleven minutes left, a
grandstand finale was ensured when Danny Mills nodded the ball down for
Bradley Wright-Phillips to turn and find the net from close range, just
three minutes after coming on from the subs bench for his Prem debut!
Five minutes later, he had a great chance to level things up but fired
wide from the edge of the area, whilst Joey Barton's piledriver was kept
out by Mark Schwarzer as City pressed for an equaliser.

Assists : Downing, Macken, Hasselbaink, Hasselbaink (won fk), Mills

5 December 2004

Crystal Palace (0) 0
Charlton (0) 1 (Rommedalh 90)
MISSED PEN: Johnson (58) - Saved

Dennis Rommedalh scored with the final kick of the game to clinch
victory for Charlton at Crystal Palace. After a drab opening hour,
Palace were awarded a penalty when Andy Johnson broke into the area and
was absolutely flattened by a rash challenge from Talal El Karkouri,
however as Johnson got to his feet to take the spot kick, his effort was
pushed wide by Dean Kiely who guessed correctly to his shot. A goalless
draw looked likely until the final seconds of injury time when Danny
Murphy found Rommedalh wide and after cutting inside, his drilled effort
from the edge of the area tore inside the near post.

Assist : Murphy

4 December 2004

Chelsea (0) 4 (Lampard 63, Drogba 69, Robben 89, Kezman (pen) 90)
Newcastle (0) 0

Chelsea moved into an eight point lead at the top of the table, at least
until the later afternoon games, after a hard fought win agaisnt
Newcastle. Indeed, the away side more than matched their illustrious
opponents for an hour or so before the breakthrough finally arrived. A
chip into the area by Claude Makelele was nodded down by Didier Drogba
and after controlling it with his chest, Frank Lampard volleyed the ball
in from cloe range. Roles were reversed sux minutes later when Lampard's
through ball was collected by Drogba and after cutting inside, he
slotted the ball into the bottom corner. It was almost three when Mateja
Kezman crashed an effort against the post, however they didn't have long
to wait as Damien Duff found Arjen Robben who ran at the defence and
shot home clinically from the edge of the area. In stoppage time, Duff
was fouled in the area by Shay Given, allowing Kezman to cheekily chip
home from the spot, his first league goal for the club. Ultimately it
was comfortable for Chelsea, but that was only really the case for the
last half an hour.

Assists : Drogba, Lampard, Duff, Duff (won pen)

Arsenal (1) 3 (Pires 33, Henry 80, 86)
Birmingham (0) 0

Arsenal moved to within five points of Chelsea, although they left it
late to finally see off a stubborn Birmingham side. Robert Pires opened
the scoring with a crisp shot into the bottom corner after his original
cross caused problems in the area and was eventually cleared back to
him. The points were secured with two late efforts from Thierry Henry,
firstly a solo run and shot after being found by Gael Clichy and then
with a stooping far post header after an excellent cross from Freddie

Assists : n/a, Clichy, Ljungberg

Aston Villa (1) 1 (Solano 44)
Liverpool (1) 1 (Kewell 16)

Honours even at Villa Park as Harry Kewell ended a ten month goal
drought for Liverpool. The Australian netted with a header after Jamie
Carragher had nodded Steven Gerrard's free kick across goal, however
despite being outplayed in the first half, Villa earned a point when Nol
Solano's 25-yard free kick deceived keeper Chris Kirkland and found the
centre of the net.

Assists : Carragher, McCann (won fk)

Everton (1) 3 (Ferguson 45, Gravesen 75, Jaidi (og) 85)
Bolton (1) 2 (Davies 16, 59)

Controversy at Goodison as Everton twice came from behind to remain in
third after a dramatic match against Bolton. The visitors went ahead
when a corner from Stelios Gianakopolous was only pawed away by Nigel
Martyn and Kevin Davies pounced to drill a shot into the corner. Right
on half time, Everton were level when a cross from Alessandro Pistone
was headed home powerfully at the far post by Duncan Ferguson, however
on the hour, Davies restored Bolton's lead with a superb looping header
from Andy Hunt's cross. Then came the moment which left Bolton boss Sam
Allardyce livid. A free kick right on the edge of the area was blasted
at the wall by Thomas Gravesen, however a re-take was ordered as it had
been blocked by Jay-Jay Okocha who had moved a couple of yards forward.
The second attempt was more accurate and was drilled into the bottom
corner by the same taker to equalise. Ten minutes later, the game was
won for the hosts when Leon Osman's shot was sliced horribly into his
own net by Rahdi Jaidi.

Assists : n/a, Pistone, Hunt, n/a, og

Man United (0) 3 (Scholes 53, Rooney 58, Ronaldo 87)
Southampton (0) 0

Much like Chelsea and Arsenal, Man United breezed past their opponents,
although they needed a scrambled effort to finally get started. The
breakthrough came early in the second half as Southampton failed to
clear a corner. The ball eventually fell to Rio Ferdinand and his ball
across goal was nodded in by Paul Scholes. Five minutes later, a solo
run by Ryan Giggs ended with a through ball to Wayne Rooney and he
blasted it into the roof of the net and the points were clinched late on
when Cristiano Ronaldo's cross was returned by Gary Neville for Ronaldo
to volley home.

Assists : Ferdinand, Giggs, G Neville

Norwich (0) 0
Fulham (1) 1 (Cole 7)

Norwich remain in relegation trouble after a narrow home defeat against
Fulham. The only goal came early after a slick Fulham move ended with a
flick from Brian McBride sending Andy Cole through and although he looke
marginally offside, he slotted the ball calmly home.

Assist : McBride

Portsmouth (1) 3 (Purse (og) 35, De Zeeuw 85, Lua-Lua 89)
West Brom (2) 2 (Stefanovic (og) 14, Earnshaw 45)

Portsmouth emulated Everton and twice came from behind to see off West
Brom, although they left it very late on a day of own goals. The clubs
shared errors in the first half and after West Brom had gone ahead when
Neil Clement's cross was fired into the roof of his own goal by Dejan
Stefanovic, Portsmouth levelled matters when Stefanovic himself made
amends with a fine near post cross, sliced in for another own goal by
Darren Purse. The visitors regained the lead when Matthew Taylor's poor
control in his own area gifted the ball to Ricardo Scimeca who took full
advantage and slotted it across for Robert Earnshaw to tap in. With five
minutes remaining, Eyal Berkovic curled in a free kick with was met
firmly by the head of Arjan De Zeeuw who powered the ball home and with
time almost up, Berkovic cross again for Lomana Lua-Lua to break the
offside trap, take time to control and the blast the ball into the roof
of the net.

Assists : og, og, Scimeca, Berkovic, Berkovic

Blackburn (0) 0
Spurs (0) 1 (Keane 56)

Spurs put their midweek disappointment behind them to record a narrow
win at Blackburn and move up to a respectable mid-table position. The
only goal of a poor game came early in the second half and although
Robbie Keane gets the credit for scoring, he had a massive assist from
Michael Brown who collected the ball in his own half, held off a number
of challenges before squaring the ball to Keane who fired home from
inside the area. Blackburn battled hard for an equaliser but were
largely restricted to long range efforts.

Assist : Brown

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