12 April 2006

Portsmouth (0) 1 (Lua-Lua 66)
Arsenal (1) 1 (Henry 36)

Portsmouth collected a vital point in thir battle to escape the drop 
after coming from behind to hold Arsenal and dent their hops of grabbing 
fourth place in the process. Arsenal went ahead in a tight first half 
when Thierry Henry won the ball from Sean Davis and having played a neat 
one-two with Emanuel Adebayor, side-footed in off the post from the edge 
of the area. Adebayor then blew two glorious chances either side of half 
time, firstly when he miskicked in front of goal with the goal gaping 
and then he sent a fee header wide form four yards. They were made to 
pay when the hosts equalised when Andreas D'Allesandro's free kick was 
nodded in by Lomana Lua-Lua, however whilst doing his trademark 
somersailt celebration, he seemed to land heavily on on leg and was 
substituted injured within three minutes. Late on, Freddie Ljungberg had 
a shot saved and Johan Djourou missed another sitter as he headed wide 
as Arsenal looked to snatch a winner, however it didn't arrive, leaving 
them four points behind fourth placed Spurs.

Attendance : 20,230
Assists : Adebayor, D'Allesandro (fk)

9 April 2006

Aston Villa (0) 0
West Brom (0) 0

The second city derby ended goalless as West Brom remain in trouble at 
the bottom, although equally Villa will be glad that the season is 
almost over as their poor recent run continues. Despite the lack of 
goals, it wasn't a bad game with Albion having the better of things and 
almost scoring when keeper Thomas Sorensen saved well from Diomansy 
Kamara's header. Villa's best chance fell to Kevin Phillips whose header 
was tipped against the bar by Tomasz Kuszczak who then reacted quickly 
to deny the Villa striker with his follow-up.

Attendance : 33,303
Assists : n/a

Chelsea (2) 4 (Drogba 28, Crespo 31, Terry 54, Gallas 69)
West Ham (1) 1 (Collins 10)
SENT OFF : Maniche (Chelsea) 16

Chelsea took another step towards retaining their title as they bounced
back from a poor result last week to wallop West Ham, despite going a
goal down and a man down in the early stages. West Ham took a shock lead
early on when Yossi Beanyoun's corner was met by the head of James
Collins at the near post and his effort flew past Petr Cech. Chelsea
were stung and battled back as Michael Essien headed over and Maniche
cracked a shot against the bar, however the latter, in his first league
start, didn't last much longer as he caught Lionel Scaloni on the knee
with a tackle over the top of the ball and was promptly shown a straight
red card to stun the home crowd again. The ten men levelled matters when
Frank Lampard's through ball sent Didier Drogba through and although
Collins blocked his first shot, he found the net with the rebound
despite a defender on the line. Three minutes later, they were ahead as
Drogba's cross-shot was deflected to Hernan Crespo who had a simple tap
in at the far post. The second half was more of the same from Chelsea as
a third followed early in the second half as William Gallas struck a
shot against the bar and John Terry's volleyed bounced across goal and
inside the far post and Gallas then prodded in the fourth himself after
Drogba's goalward header gave him the chance.

Attendance : 41,919
Assists : Benayoun (ck), n/a, n/a, n/a, Drogba

Liverpool (1) 1 (Fowler 45)
Bolton (0) 0

Bolton's European hopes took another dent as they slumped to their
fourth defeat in a row as Liverpool collected a narrow victory at
Anfield. Liverpool went ahead with the last kick of the first half when
Peter Crouch laid the ball back to Robbie Fowler whose drive found the
bottom corner of the net from the edge of the area to cap his birthday
in style.

Attendance : 44,194
Assist :  Crouch

Middlesbrough (0) 1 (Boateng 79)
Newcastle (2) 2 (Boateng (og) 29, Ameobi 44)

George Boateng scored at both ends as his Middlesbrough side suffered a 
post UEFA Cup hangover as they lost at home to North-East rivals 
Newcastle. The visitors had the better of the first half and took the 
lead when Nol Solano's corner was nodded back across goal by Shola 
Ameobi only for Boateng to nod into his own net at the far post whilst 
under pressure. The lead was doubled before half time when Ameobi 
bobbled a shot inside the far post after Stephen Carr's set him up in 
the area. Boro pulled one back late on after Boeteng's fierce shot 
deflected in off Titus Bramble after Mark Viduka's chest pass gave him 
the chance but they couldn't find another dramatic late show this time.

Attendance : 31,202
Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a 

Manchester United (0) 2 (Rooney 54, Park 78)
Arsenal (0) 0

Man United's ninth win in a row keeps the pressure on Chelsea at the top
after Arsenal were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford. Both clubs had decent
spells in the first half, however the best chance fell late on to United
as Wayne Rooney skipped clear and after rounding keeper Jens Jehmann,
took his time and hammered a shot against the post. He wanted a handball
and only after a couple of replays was it apparent that Kolo Toure,
despite being on the ground, had handled the ball against the post.
Rooney got the opener early in the second half as he collected a superb
cross from Mikael Silvestre and after getting the ball under control,
walloped it past the keeper. He was also involved in the second as he
escaped the challenge of Phillipe Senderos to cross low for Ji-Sung Park
to smash in at the far post.

Attendance : 70,908
Assists : Silvestre, Rooney

8 April 2006

Tottenham (1) 2 (Stalteiri 44, Carrick 49)
Manchester City (0) 1 (Samaras 52)

Spurs consolidate fourth place with a narrow win against Man City. Spurs 
had the better of the first half and went ahead just before the break. 
Robie Keane should have scored after making space for himself on the 
edge of the area, however his shot was parried by David James only for 
POual Stalteiri, following up, to fire in the loose ball. Keane was 
equally unlucky earlier when his fierce shot was brilliantly tipped 
against the bar by James. The laed was doubled early in the second half 
when City failed to clear a corner and after Teemu Taino played the ball 
back into the area, Michael Carrick controlled the ball well on his 
chest and blasted in at the near post. Within three minutes, City were 
back in it as Spurs fell asleep at the back and failed to deal with a 
long throw by Sylvain Distin, allowing Georgios Samaras to bobble an 
effort inside the post. Keane then had a goal disallowed for offside 
although replays suggested that he was level when the ball was played, 
however City wee now having the better of things as Micah Richards had a 
shot blocked on the line whilst Albert Reira had a shot well saved by 
Paul Robinson. Spurs were still creating chances though and James made 
two brilliant saves from an Anthony Gardner shot and then he tipped a 
cross against the post after it took a wicked deflection off of Ben 

Attendance : 36,167
Assists : n/a, Taino, Distin (throw in)

Charlton (0) 0
Everton (0) 0

Oh dear, this was poor from two clubs with little to play for as the 
season fades out for them both. James Beattie came as close as anyone 
when the Everton striker forced a fine save from keeper Thomas Myhre 
with a long range volley but overall this was instantly forgetable. 

Attendance : 26,954
Assists : n/a

Portsmouth (1) 2 (Lua-Lua 41, Todorov 78)
Blackburn (1) 2 (Bellamy 32, 62)

Two brilliant strikes from Craig Bellamy weren't enough for Blackburn as 
they were held away at Portsmouth who remain in the bottom three. The 
Welshman's first came after a tackle in midfield by Robbie Savage on 
Dejan Stefanovic. Bellamy then ran half the length of the pitch before 
firing a sensational angled shot from the left edge of the area that 
tore into the opposite top corner. The hosts equalised with another fine 
strike as a corner was cleared to Lomama Lua-Lua who ran across the edge 
of the area to make space for a drilled shot into the bottom corner. 
Bellamy then struck again when he controlled David Bentley's cross 
before turning and volleying into the net, however Pompey earned a 
deserved point when Sveloslav Todorov thundered in a header from Matt 
Taylor's cross.

Attendance : 20,048
Assists : n/a, n/a, Bentley, Taylor

Sunderland (0) 0
Fulham (1) 1 (McBride 9)
Match Abandoned after 22 minutes.

Fulham took an early lead against bottom club Sunderland in a game that 
began in a snowstorm and ended with a waterlogged pitch halfway through 
the first half. The goal was a side-footed effort by Brian McBride after 
Steed Malbranque's cross found him, however the game soon degenerated 
into an impromptu water-polo encounter and with the ball failing to roll 
more than a few yards, ref Mike Riley had little choice but to call it 
off. It will now be replayed at a later date.

Attendance : -
Assists : n/a

Wigan (0) 1 (Johansson 49)
Birmingham (0) 1 (Dunn 77)

Honours even at the JJB as Birmingham came from behind to earn a vital 
point that keeps them out of the drop zone. After a goalless first half, 
Wigan went ahead when Jimmy Bullard's free kick was partially cleared to 
Paul Scharner whose header across goal was nodded in by Andreas 
Johansson. Birmingham battled back and grabbed an equaliser when sub 
David Dunn slotted in Emile Heskey's cross. The result effectively 
relegates Sunderland who now need to win all six of their remaining 
games to have any chance of staying up. Their next match is at Old 

Attendance : 18,669
Assists : Scharner, Heskey

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