28 December 2005

West Ham 0
Wigan 2 (Roberts 44, Camara 45)

Two goals in three minutes at the end of the first half gave Wigan all 
three points at West Ham. Jason Roberts got the first as he latched onto 
a flick from Henri Camara to finish well and the roles then were 
reversed as Roberts found Camara on the edge of the area and after 
beating his man with a fantastic piece of skill, backheeling it around 
him, he held off the challenge of Paul Konchesky to drill in.

Attendance : 34,131
Assists : Camara, Roberts

West Brom 2 (Kanu 23, 52)
Tottenham 0

Champions League hopefuls Spurs were shocked at the Hawthorns as 
struggling West Brom collected all three points. To run salt into the 
Londoners wounds, both goals were scored by former Arsenal star Nwankwo 
Kanu. His first came after Nathan Ellington's pass came off of Spurs 
midfielder Michael Carrick and fell perfectly for the Nigerian to round 
the keeper and score from a very tight angle. Early in the second half 
he scored again as he dispossed Anthony Gardner before surging into the 
area and blasting in.

Attendance : 27,510
Assists : n/a, n/a

Fulham 3 (McBride 13, Helguson 32 pen, McBride 61)
Aston Villa 3 (Moore 29, Ridglewell 60, 77)

Brian McBride and Liam Ridgewell both scored twice as Aston Villa came 
from behind on THREE occasions to earn a much deserved draw at Fulham. 
The fun began when McBride headed in Tomasz Radzinski's cross at the 
near post, however Luke Moore drove home an equaliser after latching 
onto a pass from Milan Baros. Radzinski then went down in the area under 
a challenge from Mark Delaney and to the anger of the visitors, the 
assistant ref indicated that a penalty should be given and it was cooly 
dipatched by Heidar Helguson in similar fashion to his effort at Chelsea 
two days ago. Villa were level on the hour after James Milner's cross 
was prodded in at the near post by Ridgewell with just enough power to 
go over the line, however straight from the kick off, Luis Boa Morte 
crossed for McBride to send a stunning header across goal and inside the 
far post. Villa battled back again and from a Milner corner, Ridgewell 
thumped a header against the underside of the bar and after Fulham 
failed to clear properly, the same pair combined for the latter to tap 
home Milner's drilled cross that three near post defenders somehow 

Attendance : 20,446
Assists : n/a, Baros, Radzinski (won pen), Milner, Boa Morte, Milner

Birmingham 2 (Clapham 19, Pandiani 78)
Manchester United 2 (van Nistelrooy 5, Rooney 54)

Birmingham twice came from behind to earn a highly creditable point 
against Man United at St Andrews. United scored early on when Kieron 
Richardson's cross was blasted against Ruud Van Nistelrooy as Matthew 
Upson went to clear the ball and bounced past the keeper and into the 
net. The equaliser left United furious after Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to 
be fouled by Nicky Butt, however play was waved on and Jiri Jarosik and 
Emile Heskey combined to set up Jamie Clapham to fire in through Edwin 
Van Der Sar at the near post. The lead was regained early in the second 
half when Alan Smith's pass was dummied by Van Nistelrooy, allowing 
Wayne Rooney to take a touch before passing the ball into the net, 
however an inspired substitution put the home side level again as Walter 
Pandiani took the field and within a minute, had equalised as United 
failed to clear a free kick and after Damien Johnson drilled the ball 
across goal, Pandiani was at the far post to tap in. 

Attendance : 28,459
Assists : n/a, Heskey, Smith, Johnson

Manchester City 0
Chelsea 1 (Cole 79)

Chelsea continue their surge towards retaining their title with a narrow 
win at Man City, the only team to beat AND keep two clean sheets against 
the Champions in the league last season. The only goal was scrappy, 
however it was eventually tapped in by Joe Cole after from Eidur 
Gudjohnson and Hernan Crespo had been denied by keeper David James.

Attendance : 46,587
Assists : n/a

Arsenal 4 (Bergkamp 7, Reyes 13, Henry 37, 43 pen)
Portsmouth 0

Arsenal walloped struggling Portsmouth thanks to a first half, four goal 
blitz. They were ahead early on when Jose Antonio Reyes set up Dennis 
Bergkamp to slot the ball home and six minutes later, Thierry Henry 
returned the compliment to Reyes who found the top corner. Mattieu 
Flamini then sent Henry clear and having rounded the keeper, he clipped 
in the third from a tight angle and the first half rout was completed 
when Reyes was pushed in the area by Brian Priske and Henry calmly 
chipped in the penalty.

Attendance : 38,223
Assists : Reyes, Henry, Flamini, Reyes (won pen)

Everton 1 (Beattie 42)
Liverpool 3 (Crouch 11, Yobo 18 og, Cisse 47)
Red Card : Neville 69 (Everton), Arteta 93 (Everton)

Merseyside pair Liverpool and Everton are going in opposite directions 
as Everton slumped to another defeat as their local rivals made it nine 
domestic wins on the bounce. The game looked all over by the eighteenth 
minute, by which time Stever Gerrard's header had sent Peter Crouch 
clear to round the keeper and score and then a poor clearance from Steve 
Finnan's cross fell to Gerrard whose deflected shot found the net from 
25 yards. Everton battled back and had a goal ruled out when James 
Beattie headed in Tim Cahill's cross, however it was ruled that the ball 
was out before Cahill dispatched it. Minutes later, they did pull one 
back as Mikel Arteta crossed, Kevin Kilbane headed it back across goal 
at the far post and after Simon Davies had hooked an overhead effort 
goalwards, Beattie was on hand to glance the ball in. What brief hope 
Everton had disappeared within 75 seconds of the second half as Harry 
Kewell sent Djibril Cisse away down the left and after cutting in and 
beating a challenge, he curled a superb shot inside the far post. It was 
rarely a violent encounter, yet Everton ended with nine men after ref 
Graham Poll stuck totally to the letter of the law. Firstly, Phil 
Neville clipped Mohamed Sissoko whose swallow dive was surely not needed 
as it emphasized the contact and ultimately gave the Everton man his 
second red card of the campaign. In stoppage time, Arteta followed him 
with another innocuous tackle, this time on Luis Garcia, however once 
again a second yellow was forthcoming.

Attendance : 40,158
Assists : Gerrard, n/a, Davies, Kewell

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