1 February 2006

Arsenal (1) 2 (Henry 45, Pires 89)
West Ham (2) 3 (Reo-Coker 25, Zamora 32, Flamini 79 og)

Arsenal blew the chance to gain ground on fourth placed local rivals 
Spurs as they slumped to a shock home defeat against West Ham. Having 
dominated the early stages, Arsenal were stunned to concede two goals, 
both courtesy of awkward defending by Sol Campbell. Firstly, he sliced 
horribly at the ball as Hayden Mullins sent Nigel Reo-Coker clear to run 
through and score and then he was outmuscled by Bobby Zamora who latched 
onto a long ball from Paul Konchesky to curl the second into the far 
corner. Konchesky's poor control when allowed Arsenal to attack on half 
time and after Robin Van Persie's shot was cleared off the line, Robert 
Pires shot goalwards for Thierry Henry to divert the ball in. The 
Hammers regained their two goal cushion when Reo-Coker set to Matthew 
Etherington to drive home via a deflection and Pires on the line and 
although Pires himself pulled a late goal back with a volley after 
Dennis Bergkamp's shot was blocked, West Ham held on for a famous 

Attendance : 38,216
Assists : n/a, n/a, Pires, n/a, n/a

Aston Villa (0) 1 (Moore 77)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Robben 14)

Chelsea failed to win for only the fourth time in the league this season 
after Aston Villa came from behind to earn a well deserved draw. The 
Champions went ahead when a cross from William Gallas was controlled by 
Joe Cole and although he and Arjen Robben seemed to get in each other's 
way, the Dutchman fired the ball into the net. The equaliser came after 
a great run down the right from Mark Delaney and his cross was bundled 
in at the near post by Luke Moore.

Attendance :
Assists : Cole, Delaney

Blackburn (3) 4 (Bentley 35, 41, 56, Neill (pen) 45)
Manchester United (1) 3 (Saha 37, Van Nistelrooy 63, 68)
SENT OFF: Ferdinand (Man United) 88

New Blackburn signing David Bentley scored a hat trick as Rovers beat 
Man United in a remarkable seven goal thriller at Ewood Park. It took 
over half an hour for the first goal to arrive as Bentley volleyed in 
after Morten Gamst Pedersen's free kick was pushed onto the post, 
however like London cabs, we then had three more in ten minutes. Firstly 
United equalised when Wayne Rooney's shot was saved and Louis Saha 
dispatched the ball back across goal and into the net, however Rovers 
went back ahead thanks to comical defending from United. Defender turned 
midfielder Rio Ferdinand, looped a back header toward his own goal, 
unaware that keeper Edwin Van Der Sar was coming off his line to collect 
the ball! It fell neatly into the path of Bentley who tapped into the 
empty net. On half time, Wes Brown handled a cross in the area, allowing 
Lucas Neill to slot home the resulting penalty. Bentley completed his 
treble when he collected a pass from Robbie Savage to fire in off the 
far post, however United fought back with two goals in six minutes. 
Firstly, Cristiano Ronaldo crossed for Ruud Van Nistelrooy to tap in and 
the Dutchman did it again when he slotted in after Brown had flicked the 
ball on. United finished with ten men as Rio Ferdinand was sent off for 
a high tackle on Savage that saw the Welshman stretchered off.

Attendance : 25,484
Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a, n/a, Savage, Ronaldo, Brown

Liverpool (0) 1 (Gerrard 62)
Birmingham (0) 1 (Alonso (og) 88)
SENT OFF: Johnson (Birmingham) 28

Liverpool slipped up against ten man Birmingham in a game notable for 
the return of prodigal son Robbie Fowler. Birmingham were reduced in 
numbers when Damien Johnson caught debutant Daniel Agger with a studs 
first tackle and was shown a straight red, however Liverpool didn't take 
full advantage until the second half when Fernando Morientes crossed for 
Steven Gerrard to find the net via a deflection. More comedy defending 
gifted Birmingham a point with two minutes to go as Emile Heskey's 
header fell to Xabi Alonso six yards out, however his intention to chest 
the ball back to his keeper backfired horribly when he only diverted it 
into his own net! Fowler almost completed a dream second debut only to 
have a late overhead kick disallowed for offside.

Attendance : 43,851
Assists : Morientes, n/a

Manchester City (2) 3 (Riera 14, Cole 38, Vassell 62)
Newcastle (0) 0

Man City increased the pressure on Newcastle boss Graeme Souness with a 
comfortable win at the City of Manchester stadium. Wantaway star Joey 
Barton was jeered by his own fans initially, however his cross helped 
set up the first goal, as did Andy Cole's miskick which fell nicely for 
Albert Riera who found the net from the edge of the area. No such 
problems later for Cole who headed the second after Darius Vassell had 
crossed and in the second half, Cole's through ball sent Vassell clear 
to finish neatly past keeper Shay Given.

Attendance :  42,413
Assists : n/a, Vassell, Cole

Portsmouth (0) 1 (Karadas 85)
Bolton (0) 1 (Fadiga 69 fk)
MISSED PEN: Fadiga (Bolton) 45 - Over

A late goal gave Portsmouth a useful point in their battle to avoid the 
drop as they came from behind against Bolton. The visitors wasted a 
great chance to go ahead on half time after keeper Dean Kiely had fouled 
Stelios Giannakopolous in the area, however Khalilou Fadiga blazed the 
penalty high, wide and not very handsome. He made amends though with a 
freakish opening goal as his free kick from near the right corner flag 
deceived everyone in the area and bounced across goal to nestle inside 
the far post. Portsmouth levelled late on when Wayne Routledge crossed 
for Azar Karadas to send a volley in via keeper and crossbar.

Attendance : 19,128
Assists : Giannakopolous (won fk), n/a

31 January 2006

Charlton (0) 0
West Brom (0) 0

No goals at the Valley as West Brom earned a vital point in their quest 
to stay in the Prem. The visitors came as close as anyone to breaking 
the deadlock late on when Geoff Horsfield's far post header was pushed 
onto the woodwork by keeper Thomas Myhre. 

Attendance : 25,921
Assists : n/a

Fulham (0) 1 (Bocanegra 90)
Tottenham (0) 0
SENT OFF: Dawson (Tottenham) 72

Fourth placed Spurs lost the chance to go level with Liverpool after 
losing to a late goal at Fulham. Their cause wasn't helped when they 
were reduced to ten men inside the last twenty minutes when Michael 
Dawson hauled back Heidar Helguson to collect his second yellow card of 
the match. It looked to be heading for a goalless draw until stoppage 
time when Carlos Bocanegra rose to head home Simon Elliott's free kick.

Attendance : 21,081
Assists : Elliott (fk)

Sunderland (0) 0
Middlesbrough (2) 3 (Pogatetz 19, Parnaby 31, Hasselbaink 71)

Middlesbrough ended their recent awful run with a comfortable win - 
their first in two months - at bottom club Sunderland who took another 
massive step towards the Championship. The game was effectively over by 
half time as Emanuel Pogatetz headed a Stuart Downing free kick in off 
the bar and then Stuart Parnaby combined with Mark Viduka to drill in 
the second. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink completed the scoring after the 
break when he was found by Gaizka Mendieta and fizzed a shot home from 
the edge of the area. 

Attendance : 31,675
Assists : Downing (fk), Viduka, Mendieta

Wigan (1) 1 (Scharner 45)
Everton (1) 1 (Thompson (og) 9)
SENT OFF: Ferguson (Everton) 80, Roberts (Wigan) 83

Wigan and Everton shared the points at the JJB in a game that ended with 
two red cards. The visitors went ahead early when Tim Cahill's shot was 
blocked and as David Thompson tried to clear, he only bobbled the ball 
into his own net under pressure from Leon Osman. Wigan levelled matters 
on half time when Paul Scharner volleyed in at the near post after 
Pascal Chimbonda had headed on a free kick. With ten minutes to go, 
Scharner and sub Duncan Ferguson exchanged words in the penalty area, 
resulting in the fiery Scot punching the Wigan man in the stomach and 
earning a deserved red card. He'd hardly got down the tunnel when he was 
followed by Jason Roberts who also saw a straight red for an elbow on 
David Weir, although unlike Ferguson it was more clumsy than malicious.

Attendance : 21,731
Assists : n/a, Chimbonda

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