8 February 2006

Charlton (2) 2 (Bent (D) 42, Young 45)
Liverpool (0) 0

Liverpool wasted one of their games in hand on the rest of the top four
after losing at Charlton, who themselves move up to 11th. The visitors
dominated the open fourty minutes only to concede twice in a three
minute spell before half time. The first came from the penalty spot
after Jerzy Duduk was adjudged to have fouled Darren Bent. Contact was
minimal, however a spot kick was awarded and Bent converted it himself.
He was also involved in the second as he failed to control a cross from
Alexei Smertin, however the ball fell nicely for Luke Young who drilled
in a low angled drive. Charlton had the better chances of a more even
second half as Bent and namesake Marcus both hit the woodwork.

Attendance : 27,111
Assists : D Bent (won pen), Smertin

5 February 2006

Tottenham (2) 3 (Defoe 14, 46, Jenas 41)
Charlton (0) 1 (Thomas 70)

Two goals from Jermain Defoe helped Spurs to a 3-1 win against London 
rivals Charlton as they continued their quest for a Champions League 
place. All three Spurs goals relied on the pace of the scorer, firstly 
when Defoe was sent clear by Jermaine Jenas and his shot found the net 
via a deflection off of Luke Young, the fingertips of the keeper and the 
underside of the bar. Jenas doubled the lead when Robbie Keane's chip 
sent him away and he drilled a shot in from the edge of the area and 
within a minute of the second half, Tom Huddlestone pass sent Defoe away 
again and his clipped finish just had enough pace to dribble into the 
corner. Charlton pulled one back when Jerome Thomas cut in from the left 
to shoot inside the near post but Spurs rarely looked like surrendering 
their lead.

Attendance : 36,034
Assists : Jenas, Keane, Huddlestone, ?

Chelsea (1) 2 (Gallas 35, Crespo 68)
Liverpool (0) 0
SENT OFF: Reina (Liverpool) 82

Chelsea regain their fifteen point lead at the top of the Premiership 
after beating Liverpool 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in a game that saw 
visiting keeper Jose Reina sent off in the latter stages. Liverpool had 
the better of the opening half an hour, however they fell behind thanks 
to the failings of their zomal marking system at corners. Frank 
Lampard's outswinger was nodded goalwards by Ricardo Carvalho and swept 
into the net from two yards by Wiliam Gallas. Chelsea thought that 
they'd doubled the lead on half time as Hernan Crespo bundled the ball 
in after Jose Reina had spilled a John Terry header, however the South 
American had strayed offside and the goal was correctly ruled out. The 
second half began at a higher pace as Steven Gerrard had a volley 
blocked by Petr Cech whilst at the other end, Arjen Robben drilled an 
effort across the face of the Liverpool goal. The lead was doubled when 
Joe Cole's clipped ball sent Crespo through to break the offside trap 
and fire in from a tricky angle. He had the ball in the net again a 
minute later with a deft lob and although the flag ruled it out this 
time, replays showed that he was actually onside. Tempers flared in the 
final ten minutes as Reina came tearing off his line to challenge Eidur 
Gudjohnsen near the touchline and although his tackle was hard, he 
seemed to get the ball, however as players squared up to each other, 
Robben had words with Reina who pushed him in the throat and was red 
carded, although Robben's over-reaction to the push was uncalled for.

Attendance : 42,316
Assists : Carvalho, n/a

4 February 2006

Manchester United 4 (Bocanegra 6 og, Ronaldo 14, Saha 23, Ronaldo 86)
Fulham 2 (McBride 22, Helguson 37)

Man United consolidated second place after a narrow 4-2 win against 
Fulham. United went ahead when Ji-Sung Park's shot was deflected in 
after Gary Neville had crossed and the lead was doubled thanks to a 
stunning 30 yard free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo that was struck with 
pace, yet still swerved viciously in the air. Fulham pulled one back 
when Liam Rosenior's cross was headed in at the near post by Brian 
McBride, however straight from the kick off, United went two ahead again 
when Louis Saha played a ball into Ruud Van Nistelrooy and was on hand 
to tap in after the Dutchman's shot was saved, however Fulham boss Chris 
Coleman was left fuming after replays showed Van Nistelrooy at least a 
yard offside when the ball was played to him. Fulham did pull another 
back before half time when Heidar Helguson headed in at the far post 
after a fine run and cross by Wayne Bridge, however the offside decision 
earlier still wrangled. Fulham more than held their own in the second 
half, however as they pushed forward late on, United added a fourth as 
Van Nistelroy's shot was saved and Ronaldo drilled in the rebound off 
the far post from a tricky angle.

Attendance : 67,844
Assists : n/a, Saha (won fk), Rosenior, n/a, Bridge, n/a

Newcastle 2 (N'Zogbia 41, Shearer 64)
Portsmouth 0

Alan Shearer finally broke the all time Newcastle goalscoring record as 
his managerless side swept Portsmouth aside at St James Park. After 
dominating the first half, they went ahead just before half time as 
Shearer's header was brilliantly saved by Dean Kiely only for Charles 
N'Zogbia to snap up the loose ball. Shearer's record breaking 201st goal 
for his club, beating the record held by Jackie Milburn, came when he 
was sent through on goal by Shola Ameobi and drilled the ball into the 
back of the net to raise the roof of the stadium. Graeme Souness must be 
wondering why they didn't play like that under his management.

Attendance : 51,627
Assists : n/a, Ameobi

Bolton 1 (Giannakopoulos 63)
Wigan 1 (Johansson 77)

Honours even in the North West derby as Wigan came from behind to earn a 
point at Bolton. The hosts went ahead just after the hour when Bruno 
N'Gotty's free kick flicked off the head of a defender and fell for 
Stelios Giannakopolous who turned and shot into the net. Wigan equalised 
when Reto Ziegler's excellent free kick was parried clear only for 
Andreas Johansson to fire in the rebound.

Attendance : 25,854
Assists : n/a, n/a

West Brom 2 (Campbell 6, Greening 32)
Blackburn 0

It was a case of After The Lords Mayor's Show for Blackburn who followed 
up their victory over Man United with defeat at West Brom. In truth, the 
hosts had the game sewn up by half time as they went ahead early on 
through veteran striker Kevin Campbell who latched onto a long ball from 
Junichi Inamoto, controlled it well and netted from close range. The win 
was secured when Rovers defender Michael Gray skied a clearance which 
was collected 30 yards from goal by Jonathon Greening. He got it under 
control and then cracked a superb volley into the corner from the edge 
of the area.

Attendance : 23,993
Assists : Inamoto, n/a

Everton 1 (Weir 8)
Manchester City 0

Man City continue to blow hot and cold as they followed up their midweek 
demolition of Newcastle by losing at Everton. The only goal came early 
on and was a freakish effort as Mikael Arteta's corner was headed 
goalwards by Tim Cahill and as Richard Dunne cleared off the line, the 
ball bounced against David Weir's knee and bobbled back over the line. 
City finished with ten men as Stephen Jordan was shown a red card as he 
launched into a studs first, high challenge on Tony Hibbert.

Attendance : 37,827
Red Card : Jordan 90 (Manchester City)
Assist : n/a

West Ham 2 (Ashton 81, Konchesky 87)
Sunderland 0

Sunderland continue to look forward to the Championship next season, 
although they did hang on for ten men at West Ham and only lost thanks 
to two late goals. Stephen Wright was the player red carded as he hauled 
back Matthew Etherington in full flow to earn his second yellow card in 
18 first half minutes. The Hammers finally broke through thanks to new 
record signing Dean Ashton who had a tap in after Marlon Harewood's shot 
was saved. Paul Konchesky then chipped in with a rare goal as he 
collected a pass from Nigel Reo-Coker and then fired a low drive in from 
25 yards, although keeper Kelvin Davis will feel that he should have 
done better as the ball seemed to go under his diving body.

Attendance : 34,745
Red Card : Wright 23 (Sunderland)
Assists : n/a, Reo Coker

Birmingham 0
Arsenal 2 (Adebayor 21, Henry 63)

Arsenal won an away game! Yes, you read that correctly after a makeshift 
Gunners side saw off struggling Birmingham at St Andrews. A goal in each 
half decided matters, starting with new signing Manuel Adebayor who was 
on hand to nod in after Abu Diaby's cross was almost put into his own 
net by Martin Latka whp forced a great save from his goalkeeper. Thierry 
Henry added the second as he chased a through ball from Cesc Fabregas to 
drill home his 200th Arsenal goal. A miserable afternoon for the hosts 
was complete when Emile Heskey was sent off for a second bookable 
offence as he jumped with a leading arm into the face of Mathieu 

Attendance : 27,075
Red Card : Heskey 83 (Birmingham)
Assists : n/a, Fabregas

Middlesbrough 0
Aston Villa 4 (Moore 18, Phillips 24, Moore 62, 64)

Aside from their midweek win at bottom club Sunderland, Middlesbrough 
are without a league win in almost two and a half months as they hit new 
depths at home to Aston Villa this weekend. Villa, themselves 
underachieving this season, destroyed their hosts, starting with a goal 
for Luke Moore who volleyed in after Kevin Phillips had touched on a 
cross from J.Lloyd Samuel. Phillips grabbed the second himself with a 
neat glancing header from James Milner's cross and a third followed 
after the break as Gareth Barry's cross found Moore at the near post and 
although his first effort was blocked, he made no mistake with the 
rebound. Moore completed his hat trick two minutes later thanks largely 
to Steven Davis who won the ball in midfield and set up the youngster to 
clip coolly home.

Attendance : 27,299
Assists : Phillips, Milner, n/a, Davis

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