19 March 2006

Newcastle (1) 1 (Ameobi 41)
Liverpool (2) 3 (Crouch 10, Gerrard 34, Cisse (pen) 52)
SENT OFF : Boumsong (Newcastle) 51

Newcastle had Jean-Alain Boumsong sent off as they crashed 3-1 at home 
to Liverpool who move to within two points of second placed Man United. 
They went ahead early on when Jan Kromkamp's deep cross was nodded 
across goal and in by Peter Crouch and the lanky striker was also 
involved in the second as he laid Steven Gerrard's cushioned header back 
into the path of the captain who drilled the ball home from 15 yards. 
Newcastle pulled one back before half time when Scott Parker's cross was 
met by Shola Ameobi's looping header that wrong-footed the keeper, 
however any hopes of a comeback were shattered by Boumsong who snapped 
another string on his already weak bow as he firstly mis-controlled the 
ball on the edge of his own area and lost possession to Crouch and then 
proceeded to haul the Liverpool man down in the area to concede a 
penalty and earn a red card as he was the last man. Djibril Cisse 
converted the penalty easily but was booked for lifting his shirt to 
reveal a message that angered the home fans. Not content with that, the 
Frenchman then continued to gesture at them two minutes later to earn a 
rebuke from the referee and team mate Jamie Carragher. Considering what 
happened to Gary Neville after the Man United-Liverpool game, you wonder 
if we've heard the last of Cisse's antics.

Attendance : 52,302
Assists : Kromkamp, Crouch, Parker, Crouch (won pen)

Fulham (1) 1 (Boa Morte 16)
Chelsea (0) 0
SENT OFF : Gallas (Chelsea) 90

Fulham eased their relegation concerns with a superb victory against 
Champions Chelsea in the West London derby in a game with enough talking 
points to keep experts happy for days! Fulham began by far the better 
and should have had an early penalty when Brian McBride seemed to be 
caught in the area by John Terry. It wasn't given though but Fulham 
still took an early lead when Steed Malbranque's shot was blocked and as 
it ran towards Luis Boa Morte, Chelsea defender Paulo Ferriera tried to 
clear only to hit the ball against Boa Morte's leg and it rebounded into 
the net. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho didn't like was he was seeing and 
made the remarkable decision to make two tactical changes after just 26 
minutes as Joe Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were replaced by Didier 
Drogba and Damien Duff and it was the latter who almost equalised as he 
forced a fine save out of Mark Crossley. Fulham almost doubled their 
lead before half time when Collins John broke through only for Petr Cech 
to save well. After the break, Chelsea stepped up a gear and thought 
they'd equalised when Drogba ran onto a long ball, rounded the keeper 
and slotted in, however Fulham were adamant that he'd used a hand in 
controlling the ball and after a long discussion, referee and assistant 
agreed and disallowed the goal. Replays proved them totally correct. 
Drogba then had a header tipped onto the bar and Crossley saved well 
from a John Terry header before Chelsea frustrations boiled over in 
stoppage time. Duff had the ball trapped beneath him whilst grounded and 
as two Fulham players hacked away to free it, William Gallas ploughed in 
with a tackle than can best be described as over the top and at worst, a 
leg breaker. Pushing, shoving and flayling arms ensured and when all was 
calm(ish), Gallas was rightly shown a straight red card, sparking the 
traditional Chelsea scrum around referee and linesman. 

Attendance : 22,486
Assists : n/a

18 March 2006

Everton (3) 4 (McFadden 15, Cahill 22, 90, Osman 45)
Aston Villa (0) 1 (Agbonlahor 64)

Tim Cahill scored twice as Everton's recent good form continued as they 
eased past Aston Villa at Goodison to move into the top half of the 
table. Everton effectively had the game sewn up by half time as they 
tore into a three goal lead. Villa had begun well, however they went 
behind when a long ball forward was nodded down by James Beattie for 
James McFadden to send a well controlled volley into the bottom corner 
from the edge of the area. Villa then had three efforts cleared off the 
line in a remarkable sixty second spell before they went two behind 
after capitulating at the back. They failed to deal with a long throw 
that was nodded on by Beattie and after McFadden somehow bobbled a shot 
across the line from an impossible angle, the ball hit the far post and 
was netted from close range by Cahill. A third followed just before half 
time as Mikael Arteta found space on the left and his cross was easily 
finished at the far post by Leon Osman. Villa pulled a goal back in the 
second half when Lee Hendrie set up Gabriel Agbonlahor to shot into the 
net from a tricky angle to register a goal on his first team debut, 
however Everton had the final say late on when McFadden's back heel set 
up Cahill to drill in his second and Everton's fourth from eight yards.

Attendance : 36,507
Assists : Beattie, n/a, Arteta, Hendrie, McFadden

Arsenal (2) 3 (Pires 13, Adebayor 32, Hleb 49)
Charlton (0) 0

Arsenal moved into fourth place ahead of the evening match after a 
comprehensive victory over London rivals Charlton. The result was rarely 
in doubt after they took an early lead through Robert Pires who tapped 
in from close range after Thierry Henry cut the ball back. Henry was 
also involved in the second as his pass was poorly controlled by Hermann 
Hreidarsson which allowed Emanuel Adebayor in to stab the ball into the 
net. The third and final goal came just after half time as Adebayor had 
two shots blocked and the ball fell to Alexander Hleb who blasted it in.

Attendance : 38,223
Assists : Henry, n/a, n/a

Blackburn (2) 3 (Bellamy 11, 68, Pedersen 29 fk)
Middlesbrough (1) 2 (Viduka 16, Rochemback 62)
SENT OFF : Savage (Blackburn) 54

Blackburn's European quest remains on course after a narrow win against 
Middlesbrough who twice came from behind at Ewood Park. Rovers went 
ahead when Brett Emerton found Craig Bellamy on the right. The Welshman 
then cut inside and curled a beauty into the far corner of the net. It 
took Boro just five minutes to equalise as James Morrison picked out 
Mark Viduka after Rovers lost possession cheaply and the striker struck 
a firm shot that beat the keeper at the near post. Just before the half 
hour, Morten Gamst Pedersen took a free kick from near the right corner 
flag and it deceived everyone before finding the net inside the far 
post. Early in the second half, Robbie Savage was booked for a foul and 
within a minute, booked again for deliberate handball. The red card was 
his first ever at club level which was somewhat surprising considering 
his reputation. Boro took full advantage of their numerical boost and 
equalised with a firm shot from Fabio Rochemback after Morrison had cut 
the ball back, however Rovers took a winning lead six minutes later as 
Pedersen found Bellamy on the right and he hit another superb shot that 
arrowed inside the far post.

Attendance : 18,681
Assists : Emerton, Morrison, Ballamy (won fk), Morrison, Pedersen

Bolton (0) 2 (Davies 47, Nolan 85)
Sunderland (0) 0

Bolton are also on course for Europe after two second half goals saw off 
bottom club Sunderland. Kevin Davies opened the scoring with a simple 
near post header from a Stelios Giannakpolous corner and with five 
minutes left, Gary Speed's header was saved and Kevin Nolan pounced to 
hook in the second.

Attendance : 23,568
Assists : Giannakpolous (ck), n/a

Manchester City (0) 0
Wigan (0) 1 (McCulloch 55)

Wigan's terrific season continued with a fine win at Eastlands as Man 
City had one eye on Monday's FA Cup clash with West Ham. The visitors 
deserved the win, clinched by Lee McCulloch who headed in a Jimmy 
Bullard corner. 

Attendance : 42,444
Assists : Bullard (ck)

West Brom (0) 1 Ellington 78)
Manchester United (1) 2 (Saha 16, 64)

Man United continued their forlorn chase of Chelsea with a win at West 
Brom who remain just three points above the drop zone. Louis Saha was 
the United hero with a goal in each first, starting with an unmarked 
header into the net from Ryan Giggs's corner and then completed with a 
low shot after Cristiano Ronaldo had sent him through. The Baggies 
pulled one back when Nathan Ellington headed in a corner from Jonathon 

Attendance : 27,623
Assists : Giggs (ck), Ronaldo, Greening (ck)

West Ham (0) 2 (Sheringham 69, Benayoun 90)
Portsmouth (3) 4 (Lua-Lua 19, Davis 25, Mendes 42, Todorov 77)

West Ham made six changes as they also prepared for Monday's Cup clash 
and were made to pay as struggling Portsmouth ripped them apart at Upton 
Park to give them a fighting chance of avoiding the drop. Harry Redknapp 
- returning to his former club - saw his current side go three up by 
half time, starting with a thumping far post finish by Lomana Lua-Lua 
after Matt Taylor had drilled the ball across goal. Six minutes later, 
Brian Priske crossed for Sean Davis to prod in after his orginal header 
was saved and on half time, Pedro Mendes did his party piece again with 
a long range effort after Andres D'Allesandro had found him. West Ham 
pulled one back when veteran Teddy Sheringham finished well after Paul 
Konchesky's shot had hit the post, however the three goal cushion was 
regained when Lua-Lua showed excellent skill to beat two men and cross 
for former Hammer Svetoslav Todorov to tap in. The Hammers grabbed 
another late consolation when Yossi Benayoun finished well after Bobby 
Zamora had put him through but it was largely a day to forget for the 

Attendance : 34,837
Assists : Taylor, Priske, D'Allesandro, n/a, Lua Lua, Zamora

Birmingham (0) 0
Tottenham (0) 2 (Lennon 65, Keane 77)

Spurs regained fourth place after two second half goals were enough to 
keep Birmingham in the bottom three. The first came as Mario Melchiot 
lost possession on the left and after an excellent run from Jermain 
Defoe, his cross found Aaron Lennon who cut back across the area and 
fired in a low shot for his first goal at first team level. The lead was 
doubled and points secured when Jermaine Jenas found space on the right 
and his low cross was perfect for Robbie Keane to tap in at the far 

Attendance : 26,398
Assists : Defoe, Jenas

15 March 2006

Liverpool (2) 5 (Fowler 16, Brown (og) 34, Morientes 71, Crouch 89, Warnock 90)
Fulham (1) 1 (John 25)

Liverpool's strikers finally found their scoring touch as three of the 
goal-starved players got on the mark as the Anfield side destroyed bad 
travellers Fulham. Returning hero Robbie Fowler got the first - and his 
first since re-signing - with a far post header after Luis Garcia had 
flicked on a Harry Kewell corner. Fulham equalised when Mark Pembridge 
sent Collins John clear and his shot went under the keeper and in, 
however that was as good as it would get for Fulham as, nine minutes 
later, they were behind again when Michael Brown turned a cross from 
Kewell into his own net. Liverpool went into overdrive in the last 
twenty minutes, firstly when Fernando Morientes fired in after an 
almighty scramble following a header from Djibril Cisse that the keeper 
blocked. Peter Crouch then added a fourth as he touched in Steven 
Gerrard's shot and in stoppage time, Srephen Warnock drilled a shot in 
after Steve Finnan saw his effort saved. 

Attendance : 42,293
Assists : Garcia, Pembridge, n/a, n/a, Gerrard, n/a

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