31 October 2005

Man City (2) 3 (Vassell 4, 26, Delaney 83 og)
Aston Villa (0) 1 (Ridgewell 65)

Man City moved into fourth place with a 3-1 home win against Aston
Villa, helped largely from two goals by Darius Vassell against his
former club. City were ahead inside four minutes after an almighty mix-
up at the back from Villa gifted the hosts the lead. A long ball forward
was headed on by Vassell, however J.Lloyd Samuel seemed to have matters
under control until he failed to spot keeper Stuart Taylor who had come
out of his area to collect the ball, only for the defender to nod it
over him, allowing Vassell to nip in and slot the ball into an empty
net. He added his second later in the half after he was set up by Andy
Cole. This time the finish was a superb first time volley across goal
and inside the far post. Villa pulled one back midway through the second
half when Liam Ridgewell bundled the ball in at the far post from Patrik
Berger's cross, however City regained their two goal lead when Vassell's
header found Cole and his shot from the edge of the area took a wicked
deflection off of Mark Delaney and looped over Taylor and into the net.

Attendance : 42,069
Assists : n/a, Cole, Berger, n/a  

30 October 2005

West Brom (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 3 (Owen 46, 78, Shearer 80)

Newcastle move into the top half of the table after a second half goal
blitz was more than enough to see off West Brom at The Hawthorns. The
visitors had the better of a goalless first half and then took the lead
inside 30 seconds of the second when Michael Owen's near post volley
tore into the net after an excellent cross from Charles N'Zogbia. Owen
added his second with twelve minutes remaining when sub Kieron Dyer
crossed from the right for him to finish with another near post effort
and two minutes later, Alan Shearer, also on as a sub, finished a fine
passing move with a prodded effort from Peter Ramage's cross.

Attendance : 26,216
Assists : N'Zogbia, Dyer, Ramage

29 October 2005

Middlesbrough 4 (Mendieta 2, Hasselbaink 25, Yakubu 45 pen, Mendieta 78)
Manchester United 1 (Ronaldo 

The Manchester United bubble hasn't so much burst, but more exploded
after they crashed to their heaviest league defeat in 18 months at
Middlesbrough. Boro dominated the game throughout and were three goals
up at half time, beginning early when Gaizka Mendieta collected a pass
from Emanuel Pogatetz and fired home from 30 yards, although keeper
Edwin Van Der Sar should have done better after getting his hands to the
ball. The lead was doubled when Mendieta's pinpoint pass was collected
by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and after holding off Rio Ferdinand, he
turned and drilled home from a tight angle. Inside the third minute of
stoppage time, Kieron Richardson held back Stuart Parnaby in the area
and Yakubu calmly slotted home the penalty that gave Boro an emphatic
half time lead. Mendieta added a fourth when he was left with a simple
finish after Yakubu did well to get to the goal-line and cut the ball
back and although Cristiano Ronaldo headed home a Paul Scholes corner in
stoppage time to register United's 1,000th Premiership goal, it couldn't
dampen a superb Middlesbrough performance.

Attendance : 30,579
Assists : Pogatetz, Mendieta, Parnaby (won pen), Yakubu, Scholes (ck)

Birmingham 0
Everton 1 (Davies 43)

Everton are off the bottom as they recorded a narrow win against fellow
relegation strugglers Birmingham. The only goal came just before half
time as Andy Van Der Meyde found Simon Davies in midfield and his long
range effort seemed to bounce in front of the diving Maik Taylor who
allowed it to sail through his hands. Both clubs remain in the bottom
three though.

Attendance : 26,554
Assist : van der Meyde

Charlton 0
Bolton 1 (Nolan 72)

Has the Charlton bubble burst? After a midweek shoot out win at Chelsea,
they slumped to defeat at home to Bolton, who move up to fourth, one
point and place above their opponents. The only goal came from Kevin
Nolan, however it was largely due to
Abdoulaye Faye whose deflected shot was well saved by keeper Stephan
Andersen, however the rebound was played back across goal by Hidetoshi
Nakata for Nolan to tap in.

Attendance : 26,175
Assist : Nakata

Chelsea 4 (Drogba 10, Lampard 14 pen, 62 fk, Khizanishvili 74 og)
Blackburn 2 (Bellamy 18 pen, 44)

After a draw and a penalty shoot out defeat this week, Chelsea returned
to familiar winning ways, although only after allowing a two goal lead
to slip at home to Blackburn. The league leaders tore into a two goal
lead, firstly when Didier Drogba rose to glance home Frank Lampard's
cross and then Lampard himself doubled the lead with a drilled penalty
after John Terry had been hauled down by Andy Todd. Rovers battled back
and were rewarded with a penalty of their own, dispatched by Craig
Bellamy, sending Petr Cech the wrong way after Ricardo Carvalho had
fouled Zurab Khizanishvili. Cech then blotted his impecable copybook
with a howler as he sliced a back pass straight into the air and after
Shefki Kuqi nodded the ball across goal, Bellamy sent a header into the
corner to equalise. Normal service was resumed just after the hour as
Lampard sent a free kick from the left edge of the area curling toward
the far post, however no-one got a touch and it sailed into the far
corner. Joe Cole wrapped up the points with a 25 yard deflected effort
after Claude Makelele had set him up.

Attendance : 41,553
Assists : Lampard, Terry (won pen), Khizanishvili (won pen), Emerton, Cole (won fk), n/a

Liverpool 2 (Repka 18 og, Zenden 82)
West Ham 0

Liverpool won in the league by two or more goals for the first time
since February after comfortably seeing off West Ham. The went ahead
early when Luis Garcia's corner was cleared to Xabi Alonso and he found
the net with a deflected effort from the edge of the area. Bolo Zenden
secured the points late on when he latched onto a long ball from Riise,
cut inside and drilled home off the far post.

Attendance : 44,537
Assists : n/a, Riise

Sunderland 1 (Whitehead 4 pen)
Portsmouth 4 (Vukic 48, Taylor 59, 67, Silva 74)

Sunderland go bottom after a second half horror show at home to
Portsmouth. The hosts went ahead with an early penalty, side-footed in
by Dean Whitehead after Brian Priske had handled, however it was after
the interval that it all went wrong. Portsmouth were level inside three
minutes of the second half as Gregory Vignal's cross was nodded on by
Matthew Taylor for Zvonimir Vukic to turn and fire in. Taylor then took
control himself as he put his side ahead with a tap in after Alan Stubbs
had only headed a clearance into the air and then chested the ball away
from his own keeper straight into the path of the Portsmouth star! Worse
was to come for the home side as Taylor spotted Kelvin Davis off of his
line and unleashed a superb shot from fully 45 yards which swerved
perfectly into the net. Dario Silva added the fourth with a far post
diving header from Taylor's cross which simply sealed Sunderland's fate.

Attendance : 34,926
Assists : n/a, Taylor, Silva, Vukic, Taylor

Tottenham 1 (King 17)
Arsenal 1 (Pires 77)

Honours even in the North London derby as Spurs once again failed to
beat their illustrious rivals. They dominated for long spells though and
went ahead in the first half when a free kick from Michael Carrick was
headed in powerfully by Ledley King. The Gunners earned a point late on
thanks to another error from usually reliable keeper Paul Robinson who
only pawed away a free kick from Dennis Bergkamp which allowed Robert
Pires to slot the ball into an empty net.

Attendance : 36,154
Assists : Carrick (fk), n/a

Wigan (0) 1 (Chimbonda 90)
Fulham (0) 0

Wigan moved into the dizzy heights of second after a late winner against
Fulham saw their excellent start to the season continue. Fulham had the
better of the early stages and came close through both Thomasz Radzinski
and Steed Malbranque who shot inches wide. They were also angered by a
couple of decisions that went against them as Moritz Volz was booked for
diving in the area when contact was definitely made and play on was
given when home keeper John Filan came belting from his area to deny
Collins John, however the ball did strike him on the hand and he did
appear to catch the striker as the ball bobbled away to safety. As the
game wore on, Wigan came more into it and should have scored when Henri
Camara burst clear, rounded the keeper, but could only shoot wide as
defenders came back to cover. The winner came two minutes into stoppage
time when Graham Kavanagh floated a free kick to the far post and Pascal
Chimbonda headed it back across goal and into the net, although keeper
Tony Warner did get a hand to it.

Attendance : 17,266
Assists : Kavanagh

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
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