20 December 2004

Charlton (1) 2 (Thomas 27, El Karkouri 66)
Fulham (0) 1 (Radzinski 82)

Charlton move into seventh place after surviving a late Fulham comeback
at The Valley. A goal in each half put Charlton in pole position,
firstly when Shaun Bartlett's cross wasn't clear by Papa Bouba Diop and
Jerome Thomas took advantage with a sharp far post finish. The lead was
doubled when Tahal El Karkouri headed home Danny Murphy's free kick and
although Fulham pulled one back when Tomas Radzinski fired home from
close range after Brian McBride's header was blocked on the line, an
equaliser wouldn't arrive.

Assists : n/a, Murphy (fk), n/a

19 December 2004

Sorry for delay, however I've been doing the pre-Christmas in-law
visiting routine.

Liverpool (2) 3 (Bramble (og) 35, Mellor 38, Baros 61)
Newcastle (1) 1 (Kluivert 32)
SENT OFF: Bowyer (Newcastle) 77

Liverpool up and down season continued with a fine 3-1 win over
Newcastle who cannot seem to get out of the bottom half in recent weeks.
After a poor opening half an hour, the match burst into life with three
goals in six minutes, starting with the visitors taking the lead. A
through ball from Kieron Dyer sent Lee Bowyer away and with only the
keeper to beat, he unselfishly squared the ball to Patrick Kluivert to
slot home. Liverpool were level inside three minutes when a Steven
Gerrard corner was headed into his own net by Titus Bramble under
pressure from Sami Hyypia and it wasn't long before the hosts went
ahead. Milan Baros was provider this time as he set up Neil Mellor to
find the bottom corner from 15 yards. The points were secured on the
hour when Harry Kewell sent Baros clear and having rounded the keeper he
was left with a simple tap in. Newcastle's misery was completed when
Bowyer was shown a second yellow card for a bad tackle on Florent Sinema

Assists : Bowyer, n/a, Baros, Kewell

Portsmouth (0) 0
Arsenal (0) 1 (Campbell 75)
Arsenal regain second place after a narrow win at Portsmouth, although
it needed an unlikely scorer to clinch victory. The only goal came with
a quarter of an hour remaining and was courtesy of Sol Campbell who ran
from the halfway line before drilling a shot home from fully 30 yards!

Assist : Vieira

18 December 2004

Birmingham (3) 4 (Savage (pen) 4, Morrison 24, Heskey 30, Anderton 80)
West Brom (0) 0

Bottom club West Brom were walloped by city rivals Birmingham in a game
that was effectively all over after half an hour. By then, the hosts had
scored three times, beginning with a Robbie Savage penalty after Darren
Purse had held back Clinton Morrison in the area. Morrison then doubled
the lead when he controlled a cross from Darren Carter and finished well
and six minutes later, Emile Heskey added the third with a clinical
finish after being set up by David Dunn. A late deflected free kick from
Darren Anderton completed the rout, but the match was won well before

Assists : Morrison (won pen), Carter, Dunn, n/a 

Blackburn (0) 0
Everton (0) 0

No goals at Ewood Park as Blackburn move out of the relegation spots
whilst Everton lose ground on leaders Chelsea. In truth, the strugglers
had the better chances and were unlucky late on when firstly Paul
Gallagher had a goal correctly ruled out for offside and then when Brett
Emerton's deflected effort struck the post.

Assists : n/a

Bolton (0) 0
Man City (0) 1 (Barton 52)

No win in seven now for Bolton as they slumped at home to Man City in
what was a poor game. The only goal came from the unlikely source of
Joey Barton who was on hand with a tap in after Nik Anelka broke clear
only to be brought down by keeper Jussi Jaskelainen. The referee played
the advantage and it resulted in the only goal.

Assist : Anelka

Chelsea (3) 4 (Duff 10, Lampard 34, Robben 44, Drogba 83)
Norwich (0) 0

No problems again for leaders Chelsea as struggling Norwich were swept
aside at Stamford Bridge. The hosts were three up by the interval
despite not showing their usual free flowing form and it was largely
down to defensive errors that let them in. After ten minutes, a loose
pass from Thomas Helveg was intercepted by Damien Duff who found the net
with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Gary Doherty was the
next guilty party as his misplaced ball found Arjen Robben who in turn
set up Frank Lampard to find the top corner from 25 yards. Robben added
the third on half time after a superb move involving himself and Lampard
culminated in a back heel from Tiago and a great volley from the
Dutchman. Late on, Didier Drogna added a fourth with a header from
Duff's corner as the blue manchine keeps on rolling.

Assists : n/a, Robben, Tiago, Duff (ck)

Middlesbrough (1) 3 (Hasselbaink 20, Job 68, Reiziger 88)
Aston Villa (0) 0

Middlesbrough were outplayed by Aston Villa for long spells, but poor
finishing and good goalkeeping kept the scoresheet blank at one end
whilst Boro scored three in reply at the other! Former Villa star George
Boateng set up the opener with a pass wide to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
he cut inside and drilled the ball into the net. The lead was doubled
midway through the second half when Stuart Downing played Joseph Desire
Job in on goal and he made no mistake. Late on, Michael Reiziger
completed the victory with a solo goal, cutting in from the left and
hammering a shot inside the near post.

Assists : Boateng, Downing, Cooper

Spurs (3) 5 (Defoe 8, 27, 61, Kanoute 44, Keane 88)
Southampton (0) 1 (Crouch 47)

Jermain Defoe scored his first ever Premiership hat trick as Spurs
demolished Southampton at White Hart Lane. Defoe's first came courtesy
of Freddie Kanoute who held the ball up well before cutting it back for
his fellow striker to blast home and just before the half hour, the lead
was doubled when Kanoute was tackled by David Prutton which
inadvertently put Defoe clear and his finish with the outside of his
boot was superb. Kanoute added the third on half time when he latched
onto Michael Carrick's chipped pass before firing home and although
Saints pulled one back when Peter Crouch nodded in after Ledley King
skyed a clearance, a comeback never looked likely. Defoe completed his
hat trick with a tap in after Michael Brown's shot was saved and with
time almost up, Defoe turned provider for sub Robbie Keane to prod a
fifth in, although keeper Antti Niemi seemed to allow the ball to slide
under him.

Assists : Kanoute, n/a, Carrick, n/a, n/a, Defoe

Man United (2) 5 (Scholes 22, 49, Smith 35, Boyce (og) 48, O'Shea 90)
Crystal Palace (1) 2 (Granville 27, Kolkka 46)
MISSED PEN: Rooney (9) - Saved

Remarkable game at Old Trafford that saw Man United consolidate fourth
place and move to within a point of Arsenal who play on Sunday after a
5-2 win over Crystal Palace. United should have scored inside the
opening ten minutes, however Wayne Rooney's low penalty was well saved
by keeper Gabor Kiraly after Danny Granville had tripped Darren Fletcher
in the area, although any contact was minimal. The inevitable goal
eventually arrived when Roy Keane played in Paul Scholes in the area and
having jinked past a defender, he fired into the roof of the net. Five
minutes later, Palace were level when Wayne Routledge's corner was
headed goalwards by Gonzalo Sorondo, however it hit his own player in
the shape of Andy Johnson before falling perfectly for Granville to prod
home. United regain the lead when Alan Smith rose superbly to head home
a corner from Scholes and it set up an explosive opening to the second
half where three goals were scored in the opening four minutes. It began
with Palace equalising again when Joonas Kolkka's header from Michael
Hughes' cross capped an excellent move, however a minute later, Kiraly
saved well from Rooney but from the rebound he got in a tangle from Gary
Neville's cross and Emmerson Boyce headed into his own net under
pressure from Scholes. A further minute on and Scholes added his second,
latching into a nod down by Smith to slide the ball in. The rout was
completed in stoppage time when John O'Shea's half-hit near post volley
from Ryan Giggs' cross found the net.

Assists : Keane, Johnson, Scholes (ck), Hughes, n/a, Smith, Giggs

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