2 February 2005

Blackburn 0
Chelsea 1 (Robben 5)

Chelsea move eleven points clear of Man United after a narrow win at Ewood
Park against Blackburn. Chelsea went ahead with a swift breakaway when a
Rovers attack broke down. Frank Lampard launched the ball forward and
after it was glanced on by Eidur Gudjohnsen, the rest was down to Arjen Robben
who ran on and then drilled the ball home under the hands of keeper Brad
Friedel. Blackburn then had a golden chance to level matters when Robbie
Savage went down a little easy under challenge from Paulo Ferreira,
however Paul Dickov's penalty was superbly saved by Petr Cech.

Attendance : 23,414
Assist : Duff

Everton 1 (Doherty 78 og)
Norwich 0

Everton left it late to see off relegation threatened Norwich and even
then needed a stroke of luck to clinch the points. It came with twelve
minutes left and after Marcus Bent's header was saved, the ball was
prodded into his own net by Gary Doherty, under pressure from Duncan

Attendance : 37,485
Assist : n/a 

Birmingham 2 (Pandiani 12, Blake 51 pen)
Southampton 1 (Camara 52)

Two debut goals at St Andrews as Birmingham edged past struggling
Southampton. Walter Pandiani opened the scoring in his first ever Prem
game as the Saints defence went walkabouts, allowing him a simple, free
header from Jermaine Pennant's cross. The lead was doubled when Mario
Melchiot was fouled by Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Blake found the top
corner for his first goal for his new side. Southampton battled back and
one of their debutants, Henri Camara, netted a stunning strike and he
latched onto a Peter Crouch header to fire into the roof of the net. One
final note for trivia fans - Olivier Bernard made his debut for the
Saints, however they somehow managed to spell his name wrong on his
shirt (a la David Beckham - or Beckam - in the 96 Charity Shield).
Instead they had him as Barnard!

Attendance : 28,797
Assists : Pennant, Melchiot (won pen), Crouch

Fulham 1 (Clarke 90)
Aston Villa (Angel 55)

Amazing game at Craven Cottage as we saw a last minute equaliser and
THREE missed penalties! The fun began in the second half when Juan Pablo
Angel ended his 14-game goal drought with a near post header from Thomas
Hitzlsperger's corner. Seven minutes later, Luis Boa Morte was caught by
Olaf Mellberg and although he appeared to play the ball, a penalty was
awarded despite heated protests from the visitors, however justice was
seen to be done when Andy Cole sent the keeper the wrong way and the
ball wide of the post! The penalty count was evened out when Luke Moore
was bundled over at the far post by Moritz Volz and although Angel
struck the kick low and firmly, Edwin van der Sar did superbly to keep
it out. Remarkably, within four minutes, Moore was tripped by Liam
Rosenior and another penalty was awarded, however as boss David O'Leary
screamed for Gareth Barry to take the kick, Angel stepped up again and
put the kick in the same place, albeit a little higher, only for Van Der
Sar to get it right again and push the ball to safety, much to the
annoyance of the Villa chief. This was intensified in stopage time when
his side failed to clear their area and allowed Lee Clark to thump in an

Attendance : 17,624
Assist : Hitzlsperger (ck), n/a

Manchester City 1 (Fowler 49 pen)
Newcastle 1 (Shearer 9)

Honours even in Manchester as City came from behind to earn a point
against Newcastle. The visitors went ahead with a landmark goal for Alan
Shearer who latched onto a long ball from Titus Bramble and smashed it
inside the top corner for his 250th Premiership goal, the first player
to reach that particular figure. His day was ruined somewhat early in
the second half when Bramble fouled Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robbie
Fowler converted the spot kick.

Attendance : 45,752
Assist : Bramble, Wright-Phillips (won pen)

1 February 2005

Arsenal 2 (Vieira 8, Bergkamp 36)
Manchester United 4 (Giggs 18, Ronaldo 54, 58, O'Shea 89)

Heavy tackles, flaring tempers and quality football - yes, it's Arsenal vs
Man United again as the latter came from behind to win a stunning encounter
4-2 and move into second place. Arsenal began well, although Ashley Cole
was lucky not to get an early yellow card for a blatant dive in the area as
he challenged Roy Keane for the ball. They took the lead with an un-Arsenal
like goal as Thierry Henry's corner was nodded in by Patrik Vieira from four
yards. United levelled matters with a well worked goal as a Paul Scholes
chip was guided into the path of Ryan Giggs by Wayne Rooney and the
Welshman finshed well from the edge of the area via a deflection off of Cole.
The Gunners felt that they should have had a penalty when Robert Pires was
tripped by Mikael Silvestre, however they did regain the lead when Henry
slid in Dennis Bergkamp down the left and his powerful drive went through
the legs of Roy Carroll at his near post and fllew into the bottom corner.

The second half began at the same frantic pace as United equalised again
within nine minutes of the retart as Giggs sent Cristiano Ronaldo away
on the left and although the angle was tight, his shot back across goal was
perfect and nestled inside the far post. Three minutes later, Rooney
thudded the bar with a free kick and within a further minute, United took the
lead courtesy of a mad monent by Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia as he tried to
sheppard the ball out only for Giggs to cross for Ronaldo to tap into an
empty net from no more than a yard. Tempers had remained fairly even in
the second half until Silvstre tussled with Bergkamp in the area. As the ref
called a halt to it, the United defender then headbutted Freddie Ljungberg
as the Swede came across and was promptly shown the red card. Arsenal
struggled to make their numerical advantage count until the latter stages
when Henry's overhead kick was straight at the keeper and remarkably
within a minute, United clinched victory as Scholes found John O'Shea on the
edge of the area who found the net with a brilliant chip.

Attendance : 38,164
Red Card : Silvestre 69 (Manchester United)
Assists : Henry (ck), n/a, Henry, Giggs, Giggs, Scholes

Bolton 3 (Diouf 49 pen, Ben-Haim 86, Davies 89)
Tottenham 1 (Defoe 68)

Bolton move above Spurs in the upper mid table battle after a hard
fought win at the Reebok. All the excitement came in the second half,
although it needed a harsh penalty to open the scoring as Erik Edman
appeared to head the ball against his own arm, prompting the referee to
award a penalty, converted with ease by El-Hadji Diouf. Spurs were level
when a ood run by Robbie Keane saw him find sub Jermain Defoe on the
edge of the area and his shot found the net having gone through the legs
of keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Two minutes later, Fredi Kanoute launched
into a two-footed tackle on Anthony Barness and although no contact was
made, the ref showed him a second yellow card, followed by a red. Two
late goals in a minute clinched the win for Bolton as the visitors looked to
hang on for a draw. Firstly, a corner from Stelios Gianakolpoolos was
headed home by Tal Ben Haim and then Diouf broke clear to set up
Kevin Davies to sweep in the third.

Attendance : 24,780
Red Card : Kanoute 68 (Tottenham)
Assists : n/a, Keane, Giannakopoulos (ck), Diouf

Charlton 1 (Barltett 20)
Liverpool 2 (Moreintes 61, Riise 79)

Fernando Morientes opened his Liverpool account as his new club came
from behind to win at Charlton. The hosts took the lead when a Danny
Murphy corner was headed home at close range by Shaun Bartlett, however
after the interval, Liverpool took command of matters and were level
when Charlton lost possession on the edge of their own area and after a
quick side-step, Morientes drilled the ball into the net. With eleven
minutes left, Luis Garcia found John Arne Riise on the left and he
slotted in the winner.

Attendance : 27,102
Assists : Murphy (ck), Baros, Luis Garcia

Portsmouth 2 (Taylor 40, Yakubu 58)
Middlesbrough 1 (Christie 35)

Middlesbrough's European hopes were dented as Portsmouth came from
behind to win at Fratton Park. The visitors went ahead when Ray
Parlour's shot was only partially saved by the keeper, allowing Malcolm
Christie - back after four months out through injury - to slot home.
Five minutes later, Portsmouth were level when Matt Taylor's original
shot was saved, however as Aliou Cisse played the ball back to him, he
smashed it into the back of the net. Just before the hour, the home side
clinched the points when Yakubu crashed the ball in at the far post
after Ricardo Fuller did well to find space to cross, although there was
some debate as to whether defender Franck Queudrue had actually got the
final touch.

Attendance : 19,620
Assists : n/a, Cisse, Fuller

West Brom 2 (Campbell 82, Earnshaw 90)
Crystal Palace 2 (Johnson 47, Riihilahti 92)

Four goals, two of which came in stoppage time and a red card as two of
the relegation candidates battled out an exciting encounter at the
Hawthorns. Crystal Palace were up against it early on when Gonzalo
Sorondo brought down Geoff Horsfield as he ran clear and was shown a red
card for a professional foul, although it was by no means a clear
goalscoring chance. In the second half, Palace took the lead when home
defender Darren Purse ducked under a long ball forward, presumably after
getting a shout from his keeper, allowing Andy Johnson to sneak in and
nod the ball over Russell Hoult and into the net. They held the lead
until eight minutes from time when Zoltan Gera's cross was almost sliced
into his own net by Darren Powell, only for the keeper to tip the ball
into the air, however Kevin Campbell was alert enough to be on hand to
tap the ball over the line from a yard out. Into stoppage time and the
bottom club appeared to have won it when Campbell sent Robert Earnshaw
through and he cooly clipped the ball home, however with time almost up,
a Palace free kick caused a scramble in the home area and after Mikele
Leigertwood nodded the ball goalwards, Aki Riihilahti was there to loop
it home.

Attendance : 25,902
Assists : Kiraly (gk), n/a, Campbell, Leigertwood

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