27 February 2005

Middlesbrough (0) 2 (Riggott 74, Graham 86)
Charlton (1) 2 (Holland 14, Bartlett 80)

Middlesbrough dominated against Charlton but twice had to come from
behind to earn a point. The visitors went ahead when Shaun Bartlett set
up Matt Holland whose shot from the edge of the area looped in courtesy
of a wicked deflection off of Franck Queudrue. Boro laid siege to their
opponents goal, however last ditch defending and a string of fine saves
from Dean Kiely kept them out until the latter stages when Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink's shot was parried into the path of Chris Riggott who
accepted the tap in. Six minutes later, Charlton regained the lead when
Bartlett drilled the ball home after Hermann Hreidarsson's cross found
it's way to him, however Boro battled back again and earned a well
deserved point when Queudrue's long ball sent Danny Graham clear and as
Kiely came out, the youngster looped a header over him, although he did
get a kick in the face from Chris Perry for his trouble.

Attendance : 29,603
Assists : n/a, n/a, Hreidarsson, Quedrue

Newcastle (1) 2 (Bowyer 35, Dyer 69)
Bolton (1) 1 (Giannakopolous 41)

Three home wins in a week for Newcastle as Bolton's European hopes took
a dive at St James. The home side went ahead when a cross from Stephen
Carr was headed firmly home by Lee Bowyer, however Bolton were level by
half time when Jay-Jay Okocha's pass was nodded on by both Kevin Davies
and Gary Speed before Stelios Giannakopolous drilled the ball home.
Newcastle secured the points when Alan Shearer's shot was blocked and
Kieron Dyer reacted quickest to volley the loose ball into the roof of
the net.

Attendance : 50,430
Assists : Carr, Speed, n/a

26 February 2005

Manchester United 2 (Rooney 8, 81)
Portsmouth 1 (O'Neill 47)

Man United move to within six points of Chelsea after a brace from Wayne
Rooney gave them all three points against Portsmouth. The striker struck
early when he swept home a cross from Gary Neville, however within two
minutes of the second half starting, Pompey levelled matters when Gary
O'Neil found the net from 25 yards after a run forward by Steve Stone
was halted on the edge of the area. United then bombared the visitors
goal but rarely looked threatening until nine minutes from time when
Ruud van Nistelrooy showed great close control and then found Rooney who
surged past his marker, draw a dive from the keeper and slotted the ball
into the gaping net.

Attendance : 67,898
Assists : G Neville, n/a, van Nistelrooy

Aston Villa 1 (Solano 46)
Everton 3 (Osman 17, 67, Cahill 48)

Everton move eight points clear of Liverpool as they consolidated fourth
place with a comfortable win at Villa Park. They went ahead when Tim
Cahill's cross was missed by Marcus Bent at the near post, however Leon
Osman was backing up at the far post and had an easy chance to nod the
ball home. The second half started in explosive fashion with Villa
equalising after just 17 seconds! Thomas Hitzlsperger was the provider
with a drilled cross which keeper Nigel Martyn could only parry into the
path of Nol Solano for a tap in, however within two minutes, Everton
were ahead again when Bent's cross was headed in by Cahill. Victory was
clinched midway through the half when Cahill battled through the defence
to set up Osman to slot the ball home.

Attendance : 40,248
Assists : Cahill, n/a, Bent, Cahill

Crystal Palace 2 (Johnson 41, 68 pens)
Birmingham 0

Crystal Palace eased their relegation fears with a penalty in each half
to see off Birmingham - their tenth and eleventh spot kicks of the
campaign! The first came when Tom Soars was bodychecked by Matthew Upson
and although Andy Johnson drilled the kick straigh down the middle, a
re-take was ordered due to encroachement. Johnson changed his tact this
time and found the corner instead. Midway through the second half,
Johnson was tripped by the unlucky Upson and got to his feet to blast
the penalty down the middle again, with no re-take needed this time

Attendance : 23,276
Assists : Soares, Johnson (won pen)

Tottenham 2 (Kanoute 78, Keane 90)
Fulham 0

Spurs keep their European hopes alive with two late goals from two subs
against Fulham. Freddie Kanoute scored the first with a fine 25 yard
free kick into the far corner and with time almost up, Simon Davies sent
Robbie Keane clear and after rounding the keeper he was left with a
simple tap in.

Attendance : 35,885
Assists : Reid (won fk), Davis

Southampton 1 (Crouch 67)
Arsenal 1 (Ljungberg 45)

Two goals, two red cards and a late goal disallowed as Southampton and
Arsenal shared the honours at St Marys. Southampton had the better of a
slow first half and then self-destructed in the latter stages. David
Prutton sparked matters off when, having already been booked for one
late tackle, he caught Robert Pires on the ankle with an equally late
lunge and having consulated with his assistant, the referee showed a
second yellow and subsequent red. Prutton did his case no use by
remonstrating with the assistant and pushing the ref out of his way on a
couple of occasions, eventually needing to be restrained by boss Harry
Redknapp. Pires was then stretched off and in the ensuing stoppage time,
Thierry Henry tried to turn in the area and found the unmarked Freddie
Ljungberg who fired the ball in. Early in the second half, Henry was
denied by a fine save from Paul Smith and within minutes, Robin Van
Persie caught Graeme Le Saux late and was shown his second yellow of the
game to make it ten against ten. Saints took full advantage and were
level when a corner from Jamie Redknapp saw keeper Jens Lehmann come
eight yards off of his line to collect, only to be beaten by the head of
Peter Crouch whose header bounced into the ground and in off the bar.
Smith then saved well from Henry again as well as Ashley Cole and
Ljungberg and with a draw looking certain, Arsenal pushed forward in the
dying seconds and Cole nodded in a Ljungberg cross at the far post,
however as they celebrated, the assistant had his flag up for offside.

Attendance : 31,815
Red Cards : Prutton 45 (Southampton), van Persie 52 (Arsenal)
Assists : Henry, Redkanpp (ck)

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