3 April 2005

Fulham (0) 3 (Cole 63, McBride 81, Boa Morte 90)
Portsmouth (1) 1 (Lua-Lua 32)
MISSED PEN : Malbranque (Fulham) 45 - Keeper saved

Fulham came from behind to beat Portsmouth as two of the clubs just
above the relegation zone met at Craven Cottage. The home side were poor
in the first half and went behind when Yakubu played the ball wide for
Lomana Lua-Lua who then cut inside and curled a superb effort into the
bottom corner, however in stoppage time, Fulham were literally handed a
lifeline when Dejan Stefanovic handled in the area. Just to sum up the
half though, Steed Malbranque's kick was saved by Jamie Ashdown who
recovered quickly to block Luis Boa Morte's effort from the rebound.
Fulham bounced back in the second half and were level when Boa Morte's
cut back was side-footed in by Andy Cole, however they needed some help
to complete the comeback and duly got in the final ten minutes. Firstly,
as Arjan De Zeeuw and Brian McBride chased a long ball, the defender
seemed to lose his bearings and headed the ball weakly back to his
keeper, an act which had been anticipated by McBride whose first time
volley found the net. Then in stoppage time, Boa Morte dispossessed
Linvoy Primas in the final third, rounded the keeper and kept his cool
to slot the ball home.

Attendance : 20,502
Assist : Yakubu, Boa Morte, n/a, n/a

West Brom (0) 1 (Gera 63)
Everton (0) 0

West Brom moved level on points with Southampton, but remain in the
bottom three on goal difference after a scrappy, yet crucial, win
against Everton whose grip on fourth place is getting looser by the
game. A poor first half saw the hosts hit the bar through a Thomas
Gaardsoe header, however only after the break did things liven up
slightly, culminating in West Brom taking the lead when Zoltan Gera
headed in a Jonathon Greening cross. Everton forced a succession of late
corners, however Gera came as close as anyone to adding to the
scoresheet when his close range shot was blocked by Nigel Martyn.

Attendance : 26,805
Assist : Greening

2 April 2005

Southampton 1 (Phillips 69)
Chelsea 3 (Lampard 22, Gudjohnsen 39, 83)

Chelsea move thirteen points clear at the top of the table after a
victory against relegation threatened Southampton at St Marys. They
needed a stroke of luck to go ahead midway through the first half when
Frank Lampard's 25 yard free kick clipped the shoulder of Rory Delap,
wrong footing the keeper and sailing into the centre of the net. The
lead was doubled when Eidur Gudjohnsen turned and shot home after a
superb run by Glen Johnson took him deep into the penalty area. Saints
pulled a goal back when Paul Telfer's drilled cross was side-footed in
by sub Kevin Phillips, however with seven minutes to go, Gudjohnsen
capped a superb passing move when he found the corner having been played
in by Didier Drogba.

Attendance : 31,949
Assists : n/a, Johnson, Telfer, Drogba

Arsenal 4 (Henry 19, og 22, 66, Ljungberg 50)
Norwich 1 (Huckerby 30)

Arsenal move into second place on goal difference after Thierry Henry's
second hat trick in succesive home league games helped see off bottom
club Norwich. Two goals in three minutes started matters off as firstly
Henry turned and shot into the bottom corner having been set up by
Robert Pires and then Lauren played the ball wide to him and having cut
inside, his drilled effort again found the corner. Norwich battled
throughout and pulled one back when Darren Huckerby's corner was
returned to him and he found the top corner superbly from a tricky
angle. Early in the second half, the two goal cushion was restored when
Freddie Ljungberg headed in Lauren's far post cross and all that was
left was for Henry to complete his hat trick with a poked effort after
good work from Jose Reyes and Pires.

Attendance : 30,066
Assists : Pires, n/a, Stuart, n/a, Reyes 

Birmingham 1 (Carter 66)
Tottenham 1 (Kelly 59)

Honours even at St Andrews as Birmingham came from behind to earn a
point against European hopefuls Spurs. The visitors went ahead through
the unlikely source of Stephen Kelly who came steaming up on the right
to collect a pass from Michael Carrick before shooting across goal and
inside the far post, however within seven minutes, Birmingham were level
when Darren Carter burst through the defence to prod the ball home after
a fine run.

Attendance : 29,034
Assists : Carrick, n/a

Crystal Palace 0
Middlesbrough 1 (Queudrue 35)

Middlesbrough kept their European hopes alive whilst keeping Crystal
Palace in the drop zone after a narrow win at Selhurst Park. The only
goal came from a Stuart Downing corner which was headed powerfully home
by Franck Queudrue.

Attendance : 24,274
Assist : Downing (ck)

Liverpool 1 (Biscan 86)
Bolton 0

Liverpool move to within a point of Everton in fourth place, although
they left it very late to see off sixth placed Bolton. The winner came
with four minutes to go as Igor Biscan was on hand to head in Djimi
Traore's cross.

Attendance : 43,755
Assist : Traore

Manchester United 0
Blackburn 0

Man United old boy Mark Hughes brought his Blackburn side to Old
Trafford and went home with a creditable point after United again failed
to break down a resolute defence. They could have had the points sewn up
by half time as keeper Brad Friedel saved superbly from both Mikael
Silvestre and Wayne Rooney from close range, however both Rooney and Roy
Keane also smashed long range efforts against the post as Rovers rode
their luck.

Attendance : 67,939
Assists : n/a

Newcastle 0
Aston Villa 3 (Angel 5, Barry 73 pen, 80 pen)
Red Cards : Taylor 73 (Newcastle), Bowyer 82 (Newcastle), Dyer (Newcastle)

Fun, games and controversy at St James as the back page headlines were
written by Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer, both sent off for fighting each
other as Aston Villa recorded a terrific 3-0 win at Newcastle. It began
well for the visitors when Juan Pablo Angel blasted in the opener after
a cross from Stephen Davis was only half cleared, however it was only in
the final twenty minutes when things got out of hand. Newcastle had
already had a couple of good penalty appeals rejected, notably when
J.Lloyd Samuel seemed to handle in the area, so when Nicky Butt was
robbed by Darius Vassell who then rounded the keeper only to have his
goalbound effort handled on the line by Stephen Taylor, then the home
fans and players were naturally angered. The ref had no option but to
send Taylor off and Gareth Barry dispatched the penalty with power.
Seven minutes later, Vassell was bodychecked just outside the area by
Stephen Carr, however the ref again pointed to the spot and again Barry
finished it off with ease. The game had barely kicked off again when
words were exchanged in midfield between Dyer and Bowyer with the latter
seemingly furious that he'd not been given a pass, however as Dyer
wheeled away, Bowyer followed him and caught him with a couple of
punched, sparking a brief, yet unsavoury incident between the pair. Both
were sent off, leaving the home side with eight men and a few
reputations in tatters.

As an aside, since the Prem began in 1992, this is the third time that a
club have been reduced to eight men and on each occasion, the HOME side
have been the guilty party! First to do it were Barnsley against
Liverpool in 1997-98 and then West Ham did it at home to Leeds a year
later. Newcastle have now joined the illustrious club although the fact
that two of the reds were for fighting each other, then it's all the
more newsworthy.

Attendance : 52,306
Assists : n/a, n/a, Vassell (won pen)

Chalrton 2 (Bartlett 10, Perry 90)
Manchester City 2 (Hreidarsson 4 og, Fowler 38)

A late strike by Chris Perry gave Charlton a point after they twice came
from behind to deny Man City what would have been a deserved victory at
the Valley. City had by far the better of the first half and were ahead
within four minutes when Robbie Fowler's corner was nodded in at the far post
by Richard Dunne, although the ball went in via the head of Hermann
Hreidarsson and the leg of Danny Murphy on the line. The hosts were level
when Paul Konchesky sent Jerome Thomas clear on the left and his cross was
missed by keeper David James and then bundled back toward his own goal by
Sylvain Distin, allowing Shaun Bartlett a simple tap in from cloe range.
Defensively though, Charlton were poor as Jon Macken was denied twice by
keeper Dean Kiely whilst Claudio Reyna shot just wide and it was no surprise
when City went back ahead when Fowler found space at the far post to half
volley in a corner from Joey Barton. Charlton id improve in the second half as
Matt Holland hit the bar with a header and Thomas missed a great chance when
he shot over, however with a minute of stoppage time left, a cross from
Luke Young was nodded on by Francis Jeffers and forced home at the far post
by Perry.

Attendance : 26,436
Assists : n/a, n/a, Barton (ck), Jeffers

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