6 February 2005

Southampton (1) 2 (Crouch 36, Camara 54)
Everton (1) 2 (Beattie 4, Bent 92)

Southampton move to within three pointa of safety at the bottom after a
stoppage time goal from Marcus Bent robbed them of a deserved win
against Everton who remain in fourth place. James Beattie took less than for
minutes to make his mark on his return to St Marys as he was on hand to volley a
shot into the roof of the net after Tim Cahill's header was well saved by
Paul Smith. The reserve keeper then saved equally well from Beattie and
James McFadden before the home side equalised as Rory Delap's long throw
was headed home at the near post by Peter Crouch. Saints began the second
half very well and after Henri Camara and Calum Davenport wet close, Camara
played a neat one-two on the right with David Prutton, cut inside and clipped
the ball neatly over Nigel Martyn for a fine goal. Everton threw everything at
their hosts late on and got their reward when Bent ran onto a ball from Duncan
Ferguson, beat a defender and crashed a shot past Smith at the near post.

Assists : n/a, Delap (throw-in), Prutton, Ferguson

Chelsea (0) 0
Man City (0) 0

Man City keeper David James produced a stunning stoppage time save to
deny Chelsea victory as they were held to a goalless draw by the only
team who've beaten them in a league game this season. The league leaders
took a while to get started, however after James saved well from Damien
Duff, Mateja Kezman could only put the rebound wide and then a
combination of James and Paul Bosvelt somehow kept out a William Gallas
header. Just before half time, City almost snatched the lead when Robbie
Fowler headed wide from a good position. In the second half, more of the
same as City remained strong at the back, especially James who kept out
a stinging free kick from Lampard and then with time almost up, he
produced an instinctive one handed save to push away Lampard's close
range volley. Chelsea go nine points clear of Man United, but is this
the start of a Chelsea sticky spell you wonder?

5 February 2005

Aston Villa 1 (Angel 74)
Arsenal 3 (Ljungberg 10, Henry 14, Cole 28)

Arsenal bounced back from the midweek disappointment with a comfortable
win at Villa Park in a match which was all over after half an hour. By
then, the Gunners were three ahead and it could have easily been double!
It started when Jose Antonio Reyes sent Freddie Ljungberg through and
his chipped finished nestled inside the far post and within four
minutes, Thierry Henry added a second, finding almost the same spot from
a similar angle having been put in by Patrick Vieira. The third was pure
class as Henry found Dennis Bergkamp, his first time ball sent Ashley
Cole clear and his excellent volley again found that same far post area.
Villa pulled one back late on when Ulises De La Cruz cut the ball back
for Juan Pablo Angel to score, however it was never going to be enough.

Attendance : 42,539
Assists : Edu, Vieira, Bergkamp, De La Cruz

Liverpool 3 (Morientes 9, Hyypia 63, Baros 77)
Fulham 1 (Cole 16)

Fernando Morientes scored his first Anfield goal for Liverpool as they
record their second win against London opponents in five days, this time
Fulham were on the receiving end. It took Morientes less than nine
minutes to get off the mark as he was on hand to head home Luis Garcia's
cross, however with seven minutes, Fulham were level when Luis Boa
Morte's cross was finished by Andy Cole's diving header. The third
headed goal of the game put Liverpool back ahead in the second half when
Sami Hyypia glanced in Steven Gerrard's free kick and the points were
secured when John Arne Riise's cut back was converted by Milan Baros.

Attendance : 43,534
Assists : Luis Garcia, Boa Morte, Gerrard (fk), Riise 

Manchester United 2 (Keane 55, Rooney 78)
Birmingham 0

Man United moved to within eight points of Chelsea with a comfortable
home win against Birmingham, although it was the visitors who came
closest to scoring before half time when Walter Pandiani stinging volley
crashed against the underside of the bar and bounced on the line before
spinning away to safety. United went ahead when Cristiano Ronaldo's back
heel fell to Roy Keane and after surging through a `Red Sea` style
defence, he shot crisply into the bottom corner to register his 50th
goal for United. The lead was doubled when Kenny Cunningham's underhit
back pass almost put Ronaldo through however after keeper Maik Taylor
half cleared, he was stranded away from goal and Wayne Rooney took full
advantage with an inch perfect lob.

Attendance : 67,838
Assists : Ronaldo (x2)

Middlesbough 1 (Quedrue 35)
Blackburn 0

Blackburn continue to get dragged into the relegation dog fight whilst
Boro's surge towards a European place continued after their narrow win
at the Riverside. The only goal came when Stuart Downing found Framck
Queudrue on the left and after cutting inside, the Frenchman found the
net with a firmly struck shot. The only blot for Boro came late on when
Ray Parlour was sent off for a second bookable offence as he stupidly
kicked the ball away.

Attendance : 30,564
Red Card : Parlour 89 (Middlesbrough)
Assist : Downing

Newcastle 1 (Dyer 52)
Charlton 1 (Rommedahl 53)

Newcastle were jeered off the pitch after letting a lead slip for the
second time this week. Charlton more than held their own until early in
the second half when an Alan Shearer header wasn't cleared and Kieron
Dyer fired home courtesy of a big deflection off of a defender. The lead
lasted one minute before Andy O'Brien lost possession in his final third
and as Dennis Rommedalh set off across the edge of his area, he
unleashed a superb shot which flew in via the far post.

Attendance : 51,114
Assists : n/a, n/a

Norwich 3 (Fleming 45, Doherty 62, Francis 85)
West Brom 2 (Earnshaw 41, Richardson 49)

The bottom two met at Carrow Road and produced a classic game as both
Norwich and West Brom unhooked their shackles and went for victory. The
visitors took the lead when a poor clearance by Norwich keeper Robert
Green fell to Jonathon Greening. His pass sent Robert Earnshaw clear and
he slotted cooly in under the keeper. The hosts were level on half time
when a corner from Graeme Stuart was met by Craig Fleming and although
his header was weak, it deceived keeper Russell Hoult who allowed the
ball to drift in over his hands, although his claims that he was
impeaded were waved away. Early in the second half, West Brom regained
the lead as Earnshaw burst through again and crossed for Kieron
Richardson in the six yard box. He somehow managed to hit the bar with
his effort, however the rebound struck him on the knee and went in.
Again Norwich battled back and were rewarded when Darren Huckerby's
cross was nodded in by Gary Doherty and although West Brom had the
better of the next twenty minutes, a winner wasn't forthcoming for them.
It was however for Norwich and arrived when the visitors failed to clear
the ball and after Fleming helped the ball back with a cushioned header,
Damien Francis drilled in the clinching goal from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 24,292
Assists : Greening, Stuart (ck), n/a, Huckerby, Fleming

Tottenham 3 (Mido 34, 57, Keane 83)
Portsmouth 1 (Kamara 28)

New Spurs signing Ahmed Mido had a dream debut with two goals as his new
side came from behind to beat Portsmouth. Spurs dominated early on,
however Pompey took the lead with their first attempt at goal as Patrik
Berger's corner was nodded in by Diomansy Kamara. The lead lasted six
minutes before Simon Davies crossed for the unmarked Mido to head home
and then in the second half, he was on hand at the far post to crash in
a driven cross from Jermain Defoe. The victory was comfirmed late on
when another new arrival, Andy Reid, sent Robbie Keane away and he found
the net with a delightful lob from a tight angle.

Attendance : 36,105
Assists : Berger (ck), Davis, Defoe, Reid 

Crystal Palace 0
Bolton 1 (Nolan 31)

Bolton notch up their seventh win in a row, keeping Crystal Palace
firmly in the relegation dogfight after a hard fought 1-0 win at Selhurst Park.
Palace had the better of the opening stages, however it was Bolton who went
ahead with a controversial effort. A good build up saw Stelios Giannakopoulos
put through and althoughhis chip was cleared off the line, Kevin Nolan tried
to touch the loose ball in only for Emmerson Boyce to again scramble it
away,although this time the linesman flagged to say that the ball had
gone in, however numerous replays still failed to prove that it had. Palace's
luck continued to desart when in the second half as chances came and went,
notably through Andy Johnson who shot wide from six yards and Danny
Granville who hooked over in stoppage time.

Attendance : 23,163
Assist : n/a

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