4 October 2004

Crystal Palace (0) 2 (Johnson 53, Riihilahti 69)
Fulham (0) 0
RED CARD: Pearce (Fulham) 6

Crystal Palace won for the first time in the league this season against
a Fulham side playing with only ten men for the majority of the game.
Palace began well and could have scored inside two minutes when Andy
Johnson's shot was blocked by the legs of keeper Edwin van der Sar,
however the striker was involved in the incident which led to the
sending off of Ian Pearce just four minutes later when he latched onto
an underhit backpass from the Fulham defender, only to be hauled back as
he bore down on the penalty area. Johnson was then shown a yellow card
on the half hour as he launched into a two-footed tackle on Moritz Volz,
the fact that he failed to make contact with his opponent was the sole
reason that he wasn't shown red as well. The striker was involved in
everything and shortly afterwards missed a sitter as he sent an unmarked
header wide from six yards out. He made amends early in the second half
when he finally broke the deadlock as he latched onto a clipped pass
from Aki Riihilahti to slot the ball past Van Der Sar from close range.
The lead was doubled when Riihilahti went from provider to scorer as he
thumped home a header from a Wayne Routledge corner, the pace beating
both keeper and defender on the line. More should have followed as
Johnson missed another sitter, shooting wide from 12 yards whilst
through, and sub Ivan Kaviedes hammered a shot against the post.

3 October 2004

Birmingham (1) 2 (Yorke 23, Upson 57)
Newcastle (1) 2 (Jenas 3, Butt 67)

Honours even at St Andrews as both Birmingham and Newcastle saw a
promising lead disappear in an entertaining match. Newcastle took an
early lead when Jermaine Jenas slotted calmly into the net after Patrick
Kluivert saw his shot blocked, however the home side levelled matters
when David Dunn sent Dwight Yorke through and his shot beat the keeper
via a slight deflection. Birmingham went ahead in the second half when
Robbie Savage swung a free kick toward the far post and Matthew Upson
rose to head the ball in, however just ten minutes later, a cross from
Andy O'Brien was only half cleared to the edge of the area when Nicky
Butt smashed in a superb acrobatic volley to equalise.

Man United (0) 1 (Smith 81)
Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Downing 33)

After the Lord Mayors Show for Man United and Wayne Rooney as they were
tamed by Middlesbrough following their midweek demolition of Fenerbache
in Europe. Boro, who've won twice in the last three seasons at Old
Trafford, took a first half lead when James Morrison's far post cross
was thumped in by Stuart Downing. For United, Rooney was largely
ineffective thanks to the close marking of George Boateng and it was
left to sub Alan Smith to grab his third late equaliser of the season as
he headed home a cross from Cristiano Ronaldo to earn the hosts a point.

Chelsea (0) 1 (Cole 64)
Liverpool (0) 0

Sub Joe Cole scored a neat winner as Chelsea beat Liverpool to move to
within two points of Arsenal at the top. Cole, on for the injured Didier
Drogba, found the net when he helped on a low free kick from Frank
Lampard to guide the ball inside the near post. Liverpool were, at best,
ineffective and rarely looked like scoring and only a stoppage time shot
from Steve Finnan gave Petr Cech in the home goal anything to do.

2 October 2004

Southampton (0) 0
Man City (0) 0

No goals at St Marys as Southampton and Man City showed why goals have
been at a premium for them this season, having in excess of thirty attempts
on goal between them without finding the net. City had by far the better of
the first half as Richard Dunne had two efforts cleared off the line and
Sylvain Distin had a header blocked by David Prutton. Sun Jihai shot wide whilst
clean through when he should have done better, whilst at the other end, only
a header from Kevin Phillips caused any concerns for keeper David James
who saved well. More of the same followed after half time as Sun Jihai and
John Macken forced saves from Antti Niemi, whilst at the other end, Phillips
shot just wide and James saved well from Peter Crouch and from close range by
his own defender, Distin.

Arsenal (1) 4 (Ljungerg 33, Henry 48, 69, Reyes 70)
Charlton (0) 0

Arsenal consolidated top spot with a thumping win against Charlton,
their 48th successive league game without defeat. The Gunners never quite hit
top gear in the first half but took the lead when Dennis Bergkamp was sent
clear and after keeper Dean Kiely came off his line and was forced wide,
Bergkamp cut the ball back for Freddie Ljungberg to tap into the empty net. Early
in the second half came a moment of total cheek from Thierry Henry who
collected a cross from Jose Reyes, shielded the ball from Jonathon Fortune
and with his back to goal, backheeled powerfully into the bottom corner
of the net. Twenty minutes later, the same pair combined with a combination
of passes around the edge of the area, Henry eventually cracking the ball
home off the bar. The victory was completed a minute later when Bergkamp set
up Reyes to smash into the far corner with a crisp first time effort.

Blackburn (1) 2 (Ferguson 30, Emerton 63)
Aston Villa (1) 2 (Angel 25, Mellberg 80)

Both Blackburn and Aston Villa took, and then lost, the lead at Ewood
Park before settling for a share of the points. The visitors took the lead
when Ulises De La Cruz sent Juan Pablo Angel clear to shoot into the bottom
corner, however within five minutes Blackburn were level when Barry
Ferguson tapped in at the near post from Paul Dickov's cross. The home side then
went ahead when debutant Youri Djorkaeff's pass set up Brett Emerton who
netted inside the near post with a fine shot with the outside of his right
foot, however with ten minutes remaining, a deep corner from Gavin McCann was
nodded back across goal by Mark Delaney and fired home by Olof Mellberg.

Everton (0) 0
Spurs (0) 1 (Pamarot 53)

Everton lost for the first time since the opening weekend thanks to a
goal from new Spurs signing Noe Pamarot, lifting the London side to the dizzy
heights of fourth. Having dominated the first half, the home side went
behind early in the second when Pamarot rose high to nod home a cross
from Robbie Keane.

Norwich (0) 2 (Huckerby 63*, Charlton 67)
Portsmouth (1) 2 (Yakubu 37, Berger 65)

* - scored from the rebound after his penalty was saved.

Norwich are still seeking their first win of the season, however they
did claw back twice against Portsmouth to earn a valuable point. The
visitors went ahead after Robert Green could only parry a long range effort from
Nigel Quashie, allowing Yakubu to control the loose ball and fire home.
Norwich were then awarded a penalty after Darren Huckerby was bundled
over by Matt Taylor, however his poor spot kick was saved by Shaka Hislop
only for Huckerby to score from the rebound. It sparked a mad spell of three
goals in five minutes as Portsmouth regained the lead almost immediately
as David Unsworth tapped a free kick to Patrick Berger who found the top
corner with a brilliant 25 yard shot. Norwich refused to lie down though and
levelled matters again when Adam Drury crossed for Simon Charlton to
glance in his first goal in NINE YEARS! The home side almost won it late on
when Gary Holt almost broke the crossbar with a stinging effort from the edge
of the area.

West Brom (0) 2 (Kanu 56, Gera 64)
Bolton (0) 1 (Giannakopolous 73)

West Brom recorded their first win of the season, although they were made to sweat
late on after Bolton threatened to come back from two goals down. After a goalless
first half, the Baggies took the lead when Zoltan Gera cut inside to cross for Nwankwo
Kanu to bundle the ball in at the far post. Eight minutes later, Gera turned scorer as
he nodded in a near post corner from Jonathon Greening. Bolton battled back and
pulled a goal back when Stelios Giannakopolous sent in a free kick from 25 yards which
deceived everyone in the area, including keeper Russell Hoult, and nestled inside
the far post, however an equaliser wouldn't come for the visitors.

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