12 March 2006

Manchester United 2 (Rooney 8, 12)
Newcastle 0

Two early Wayne Rooney goals gave Man United a comfortable victory 
against Newcastle as they moved to within 15 points of Chelsea at the 
top. The opener was down to an awful back pass from Peter Ramage who 
attempted to find his keeper from just inside his own half but underhit 
the ball and having collected with time to space, Rooney chipped Shay 
Given from the left edge of the area to find the net. Four minutes 
later, John O'Shea found Rooney who held off a challenge and fired the 
ball into the roof of the net from 15 yards. He had the chance to 
complete his hat trick in the second half but hit the post having 
rounded the keeper.

Attendance : 67,858
Assists : n/a, O'Shea 

Charlton (0) 2 (Bent (D) 73, 86)
Middlesbrough (0) 1 (Viduka 81)

Two Darren Bent goals gave Charlton a valuable win against 
Middlesbrough, however it was the Boro goal from Mark Viduka that caught 
the eye in a remarkable weekend for excellent goals. Bent put Charlton 
ahead with seventeen minutes to go when he headed in Chris Powell's 
cross, however eight minutes later, Viduka struck. He controlled a long 
ball on his chest, flicked it over his own head and then walloped a 
superb shot home from well outside the penalty area that looped over the 
keeper and in. Despite the goal, Charlton clinched victory with four 
minutes left when Luke Young crossed for Bent to score at the far post. 

Attendance : 24,830
Assists : Powell, Quedrue, Young

Arsenal (1) 2 (Henry 21, 83)
Liverpool (0) 1 (Garcia 75)
SENT OFF: Xavi Alonso (Liverpool) 81

Two Thierry Henry goals moved Arsenal to within two points of fourth 
placed Spurs as they overcame ten man Liverpool at Highbury. Arsenal 
dominated the first half and were ahead thanks to a typically Henry 
strike as he collected a perfect through ball from Cesc Fabregas and 
then curled a shot inside the far post from the left side of the area. 
The Gunners wasted a number of chances to increase the lead and were 
pegged back when a thunderbolt of a long range effort from Steven 
Gerrard was only ballooned into the air by keeper Jens Lehmann and Luis 
Garcia was first to the rebound to nod in. Liverpool were then reduced 
to ten men when Xavi Alonso appeared to foul Phillipe Senderos late, 
however replays showed that he seemed to slip and catch the Arsenal 
defender and that the referee seemed to react to the reaction of the 
home players. Two minutes later, an awful back pass by Gerrard fell 
straight to Henry who rounded the keeper and slotted in a deserved 

Attendance : 38,221
Assists : Fabregas, n/a, n/a

11 March 2006

Birmingham (0) 1 (Forssell (pen) 49)
West Brom (0) 1 (Ellington 70)

The second city relegation battle ended all-square as Birmingham remain 
in the drop zone, three points adrift of rivals West Brom. Birmingham 
took the lead just after half time as Mikael Forssell was fouled in the 
area by Curtis Davies and then converted the spot kick cooly to send the 
keeper the wrong way. The Baggies earned a vital equaliser when Kanu 
laid the ball back to Nathan Ellington who shot crisply into the bottom 
corner from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 28,041
Assists : Forssell (won pen), Kanu

Chelsea (1) 2 (Essien 14, Gallas 90)
Tottenham (1) 1 (Jenas 45)

William Gallas scored a sensational stoppage time winner as Chelsea 
moved 18 points clear at the top with a victory over fourth placed 
Spurs. The visitors began well, however their confidence proved their 
undoing when a loose ball on the edge of his own area by Michael Carrick 
was intercepted by Shaun Wright-Phillips and as he ran into the box, his 
cut back was neatly side-footed into the corner by Michael Essien for 
his first Chelsea goal. The hosts then had the better of things only to 
concede just before half time as a free kick was hoisted toward Michael 
Dawson and his header into the area was well read by Jermaine Jenas who 
just clipped the ball past the advancing keeper and into the net. Both 
clubs have good chances to win it late on as Jenas broke clear only to 
hit a weak shot at keeper Petr Cech, whilst Didier Drogba found space in 
the area and walloped a shot against the post. However, a minute and a 
half into stoppage time, Damien Duff found Gallas wide on the left, he 
cut inside and smashed an unstoppable shot inside the far post from 25 
yards to clinch the win for the Champions elect.

Attendance : 42,243
Assists : Wright-Phillips, Dawson, Duff

Bolton (3) 4 (Giannakopolous 12, 30, Speed 45, Pedersen 83)
West Ham (0) 1 (Sheringham 79)

Bolton's European hopes are back on track after a thumping win against 
West Ham who they meet in the FA Cup in midweek. The game was over by 
half time as Bolton were rampant and could have scored more than the 
three that did hit the net, starting with Stelios Giannakopolous who was 
gifted a tap in after Ricardo Vaz Te's header hit the post. The Greek 
star also claimed the second after Kevin Nolan's long range effort 
deflected past the keeper off of his foot. No doubt about the third on 
the stroke of half time as a free kick was only partially cleared by 
David James and after Ricardo Gardner nodded the ball back into the 
area, Gary Speed sent an overhead kick into the net from close range. 
West Ham did pull one back with eleven minutes to go when veteran Teddy 
Sheringham had a simple task to score after Yossi Benayoun's shot was 
saved, however the final say went to Bolton as Henrik Pedersen's 20 yard 
shot arrowed into the top corner having been found by Vaz Te.

Attendance : 24,461
Assists : n/a, Nolan, Gardner, n/a, Vaz Te, John (won pen)

Everton (2) 3 (Beattie (pen) 14, 36, McFadden 55)
Fulham (0) 1 (John (pen) 86)

Everton keep up their unlikely surge for a European spot at the expence 
of Fulham whose awful away form shows no sign of improving. James 
Beattie did the main damage as he was fouled by Zak Knight and then 
easily scored from the penalty spot and then showed excellent touch 
having been set up by Tim Cahill to chip the ball in from the edge of 
the area. He was also involved in the third as his header found James 
McFadden and he unleashed a belter of a shot that tore into the net from 
25 yards. Fulham grabbed a late consolation when Collins John netted 
from the penalty spot after he'd been fouled by Tony Hibbert, however 
just three points from 15 away games does not make good reading for 
Fulham fans.

Attendance : 36,515
Assists : Beattie (won pen), Cahill, Beattie

Portsmouth (0) 2 (Mendes 60, 90)
Manchester City (0) 1 (Dunne 83)

Portsmouth moved to within six points of Premiership safety after two 
superb goals from Pedro Mendes gave them a victory over Man City. They 
opened the scoring on the hour when a corner from Andres D'Alessandro 
was easily cleared, however it fell to Mendes who controlled it and 
walloped a shot firmly into the bottom corner for his first goal for his 
new club. City levelled matters with seven minutes to go as a Joey 
Barton corner was nodded goalwards by Micah Ricards and Georgios Samaras 
before Richard Dunne got the final touch from close range. The game was 
in the final minute of stoppage time when D'Alessandro swung another 
corner in which again was clear to Mendes. This time he beat a defender 
and then crashed a stunning shot into the top corner.

Attendance : 19,556
Assists : n/a, Samaras, n/a

Sunderland (0) 0
Wigan (1) 1 (Camara 8)

The battle for European football is really hotting up as Wigan continued 
their push with a win at bottom club Sunderland. The only goal came 
early as Lee McCulloch headed on and after a defender mis-kicked, Henri 
Camara volleyed a fantastic shot into the far corner from the left edge 
of the penalty area. On a day of sensational goals, it was arguably the 
best of the lot. Ironically, Sunderland were the better team for the 
majority of the game but couldn't convert chances to goals as they edged 
closer to an early relegation.

Attendance : 31,194
Assist : n/a

Blackburn (0) 2 (Todd 48, Bellamy 71)
Aston Villa (0) 0

Blackburn move to within three points of fourth placed Spurs after a 2-0 
home win against Villa, however the visitors dominated for long spells, 
missing some great chances. The first half saw Milan Baros break clear, 
however his shot was weak and saved by Brad Friedel whilst Kevin 
Phillips was left with a gaping net only to be denied by a last ditch 
tackle by Ryan Nelson. Early in the second half, Rovers took the lead as 
a Morten Gamst Pedersen corner was helped goalwards by Steven Reid, 
possibly with his hand and after Craig Bellamy got his head to the ball, 
keeper Thomas Sorensen could only fumble it away and Andy Todd scrambled 
in a messy goal from close range. Chances fell to Villa again and 
especially Baros who again went through only to find the keeper in 
excellent form and then he sent an unmarked header over. Blackburn made 
them pay shortly afterwards as sub Aaron Mokoena found Pedersen in the 
area and although Sorensen saved at his feet, the ball bobbled clear for 
Bellamy to slot in from a tight angle.

Attendance : 21,932
Assists : n/a, n/a

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