4 December 2005

Charlton (1) 2 (Bent 36, Bothroyd 72)
Man City (2) 5 (Cole 25, 84, Sinclair 37, Barton 69*, Vassell 79)
* - rebound after his penalty was saved

Christmas came early for Man City and their fans as they destroyed out
of form Charlton 5-2 at The Valley. City began well and took a deserved
lead when Darius Vassell beat a defender on the edge of the area, played
in Andy Cole who shot low into the bottom corner. Charlton battled back
and should have equalised when Darren Ambrose blasted over from ten
yards whilst clean through, however that was soon forgotten as Herman
Hreidarsson lofted the ball forward for Darren Bent to hold off Richard
Dunne and drill home. Within a minute, City regained the lead as Cole
set up Trevor Sinclair on the right and his low shot was too fierce for
keeper Dean Kiely as it fizzed under him and inside the far post. City
continued to dominate in the second half and increased their lead when
Hreidarsson hauled back Vassell in the area during a scramble and
although Joey Barton's penalty was saved, he was quickly to the rebound
to fire in. Within three minutes, Charlton had brief hope when Danny
Murphy tapped a free kick to sub Jay Bothroyd and his near post shot
from the right corner of the area tore into the roof of the net via the
hands of keeper David James, however with eleven minutes to go, the
hosts finally caved in as Cole sent Vassell clear to slot in the fourth.
Worse followed as Chris Perry's weak back header was latched onto by
Cole who rounded Kiely to tap in the fifth goal and wrap up the highest
scoring Premiership game this season.

Attendance : 25,289
Assists : Cole, Hreidarsson, Cole, n/a, Murphy (fk), Cole, n/a

3 December 2005

Manchester United 3 (Scholes 20, Rooney 79, van Nistelrooy 84)
Portsmouth 0

Man United regain second place after a comfortable win at home to
managerless Portsmouth. They were ahead inside twenty minutes when Paul
Scholes was left unmarked to head home Wayne Rooney's corner, however
only in the final ten minutes did they finally kill the visitors off.
Sub Louis Saha made the second with an attempted through ball which was
intercepted by Andy Griffin, however it ran free for Rooney to drive a
first time effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Four
minutes later, the victory was confirmed when Cristiano Ronaldo crossed
for Ruud Van Nistelrooy to send a cheeky chip over the keeper and in.

Attendance :
Assists : Rooney (ck), n/a, Ronaldo

Blackburn 0
Everton 2 (McFadden 28, Arteta 45)

Everton eased their relegation fears with a fine win at Blackburn who
played for an hour with ten men after the dismissal of Andy Todd. Prior
to that, Everton went ahead when Phil Neville's long ball was nodded on
Andy Van Der Meyde by for James McFadden to send a header bobbling past
the keeper. Todd then went off for a deliberate handball as he halted
the progress of James Beattie as he bore down on goal and the points
were secured for the visitors on half time as Leon Osman held play up
well for Mikael Arteta to fire into the top corner from the edge of the

Attendance : 22,064
Red Card : Todd 31 (Blackburn)
Assists : n/a, Osman

Bolton 2 (Faye 20, Giannakopouls 32)
Arsenal 0

Arsenal's title hopes took a battering at fortress Reebok as European
chasing Bolton won for the eight time in a row at home. They went ahead
when Stelios Giannakopolous looped a cross to the far post for Abdoulaye
Faye to head home and the lead was doubled by Giannakopolous himself
with a tap in, albeit under pressure after Kevin Davies had dispossessed
Gilberto by the corner flag.

Attendance : 26,792
Assists : Giannakopouls, Davis

Chelsea 1 (Terry 62)
Middlesbrough 0

Chelsea's relentless surge towards retaining their title continued,
although they made hard work of seeing off Middlesbrough. The only goal
came just after the hour as John Terry headed in Eidur Gudjohnsen's
corner, however even then, Fabio Rochemback almost managed to clear the
effort off the line.

Attendance : 41,666
Assists : Duff (ck)

Newcastle 1 (Shearer 32 pen)
Aston Villa 1 (McCann 75)

Aston Villa missed a late penalty which would have given them victory at
Newcastle in a game billed as the battle of the under pressure managers.
The hosts went ahead when Alan Shearer scored from the penalty spot
after Liam Ridgewell had handled Scott Parker's shot, however with a
quarter of an hour left, Villa pulled a superb equaliser out of the hat
when Lee Hendrie set up Gavin McCann to drive home from 20 yards. With
time running out, Titus Bramble had a familiar rush of blood to the head
and clattered into Milan Baros in the area, however Gareth Barry - who
netted twice from the spot in the same game last season - placed his
kick high over the bar.

Attendance : 52,267
Assists : n/a, Hendrie 

Tottenham 3 (Mido 37, Keane 51, Carrick 77)
Sunderland 2 (Whitehead 16 fk, Le Tallec 60)

European probables Spurs made hard work of beating bottom club
Sunderland at White Hart Lane as they came from behind to win late on.
With just one win this season, few expected Sunderland to take an early
lead, however they did just that courtesy of a 25 yard free kick from
Dean Whitehead which found the top corner. Spurs were level by half time
as Ahmed Mido slid in at the far post to convert Robbie Keane's low
cross and it looked to be over when Keane scored early in the second
half, capitalising after keeper Ben Alnwick and defender Danny Collins
got in each others way when trying to defend Mido's header. Replays
suggested that Keane may have handled the ball into the net as he fell,
however the goal stood. Sunderland battled back and were level again on
the hour when Stephen Caldwell's header was miscontrolled by team mate
Michael Gray but fell perfectly for Anthony Le Tallec to slot an inch
perfect shot inside the far post. Spurs should have regained the lead
when they were awarded a penalty, supposed against Gary Breen for
handball, although it seemed to hit him in the stomach as his hands
remained by his sides, however justice was done when Alnwick brilliantly
tipped away Keane's kick. A rare point for Sunderland was denied late on
though as Spurs clinched the win thanks to Michael Carrick who collected
a long cross-field pass from Teemo Tainio, cut in from the right and
slotted in his first goal for Spurs.

Attendance : 36,244
Assists : Stead (won fk), Keane, n/a, Gray, Tainio

West Brom 0
Fulham 0

Honours even at the Hawthorns between two of the relegation possibles.
The primary talking point came on half time when Luis Boa Morte, having
previously been booked, caught Steve Watson late and was shown a second
yellow, and subsequent red, card.

Attendance : 23,144
Red Card : Boa Morte 45 (Fulham)
Assist : n/a

Liverpool 3 (Pollitt 19 og, Crouch 42, Luis Garcia 70)
Wigan 0

Liverpool's recent excellent run continued with a 3-0 win over Wigan
with the help of a first Liverpool goal from Peter Crouch who finally
opened his account for his new club. Crouch had a considerable hand in
the first goal as he dribbled from the halfway line and shot from the
edge of the area, however his effort took a wicked deflection off of
Arjan De Zeeuw and looped goalwards and as keeper Mike Pollitt went to
palm the ball over, he made a hash of it and only gloved it into the
net. The second goal left nothing to doubt as the lanky striker ran onto
a long ball from Steve Finnan and lobbed the ball perfectly over the
keeper and into the far corner. Liverpool added a third with twenty
minutes to go when Steven Gerrard's corner was headed goalwards by
Fernando Morientes and chested into the net by Luis Garcia.

Attendance : 44,098
Assists : n.a, Finnan, Morientes

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
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