16 April 2006

Blackburn 0
Liverpool 1 (Fowler 29)

Robbie Fowler's first half goal was enough to give Liverpool all three 
points at Blackburn, however the hosts felt that the strike should not 
have been allowed. It came from a long throw by John Arne Riise that was 
chested on by Fowler, however whilst Fernando Morientes collected the 
pass, Djibril Cisse was clearly offside, yet adjdged not to have been 
interfering with play. The visitors played on and Morientes crossed for 
Fowler to tap into the gaping net.

Attendance : 29,142
Assist : Morientes

Aston Villa 3 (Baros 10, Cahill 56, Baros 78)
Birimingham 1 (Sutton 25)

Gary Cahill, making only his third apearance for Aston Villa, scored a 
wonder goal as his side won the second city derby, leaving Birmingham 
three points adrift in the drop zone. Birmingham began well but went 
behind inside ten minutes. A cross from Aaron Hughes somehow evaded 
three defenders in the middle, allowing Milan Baros stacks of time to 
control the ball and blast into the roof of the net at the far post. 
Birmingham were almost level straight away, however Martin Taylor had a 
shot cleared off the line by James Milner after a scramble in the area. 
The equaliser did arrive when Villa failed to deal with a long free kick 
hoisted into the area and after Mikael Forsell failed to control Emile 
Heskey's header, Chris Sutton pounced to shoot home his first Birmingham 
goal from close range. In the second half, Cahill struck in sensational 
fashion as Liam Ridgewell's cross was poorly headed clear by Olivier 
Tebily and after Kevin Phillips had a couple of attempts, centre-half 
Cahill twisted in midair and connected perfectly with an airbone volley 
that flew in from close range. Birmingham battled back and Forssell had 
a stinging effort well saved by Thomas Sorensen, however Villa wrapped 
the game up when Juan Pablo Angel and Milner set up Baros to drill 
across goal and inside the far post. 

Attendance : 40,158
Assists : Hughes, n/a, Phillips, Milner

15 April 2006

Bolton (0) 0
Chelsea (1) 2 (Terry 44, Lampard 59)
SENT OFF : Ben Haim (Bolton) 90

Chelsea go nine points clear with four games to play after a scrappy 
victory at Bolton. The first half was dire with chances few and far 
between, although Bolton did come close midway through when Ricardo Vaz 
Te bobbled a shot against the post. Chelsea went ahead a minute before 
half time when Frank Lampard's inswinging free kick was met by Didier 
Drogba and John Terry at the far post with the latter appearing to get 
the final touch into the bottom corner. No doubts over the second goal 
after the break as Lampard found Hernan Crespo wide and he delayed a 
return pass until hia team mate was in the area and having received the 
ball back, Lampard walloped it into the roof of the net from six yards. 
They rarely looked in any danger thereafter as they saw out time 
comfortably to collect a vital win, aided during stoppage time when 
Bolton were reduced to ten men after Tal Ben Haim received a second 
yellow card for hacking down Michael Essien.

Attendance : 27,266
Assists : Lampard (fk), Crespo

Arsenal (1) 3 (Hleb 44, Pires 76, Bergkamp 89)
West Brom (0) 1 (Quashie 72)

Arsenal kept up the pressure on fourth placed Spurs, although they 
needed a couple of late goals to see off lowly West Brom. They went 
ahead just before half time when Alexander Hleb played a neat one-two 
with Thierry Henry before firing into the roof of the net from a tricky 
angle, however with 18 minutes left, the Baggies scored a surprise 
equaliser when Nigel Quashie drilled in from the edge of the area after 
Eboue missed his tackle. Within four minutes Arsenal regained the lead 
and on a day dedicated to Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp, it was no 
surprise to see the sub set up Robert Pires to loop a shot in, although 
only after his original effort had been saved. It was all set up for a 
Bergkamp special late on and it duly arrived in the final minute when 
the Dutchman collected a pass from Eboue and curled in a trademark shot 
from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 38,167
Assists : Hleb, Henry, n/a, Eboue

Everton (0) 0
Tottenham (1) 1 (Keane (pen) 33)

Spurs stay four points clear of their North London rivals after a 
penalty gave them all three points at Everton. Robbie Keane won the spot 
kick when he was held back by Alan Stubbs, although had the ref not been 
so whistle happy, a goal would have been awarded as Jermaine Jenas shot 
home as the official blew. Keane dispatched the penalty clinically into 
the bottom corner to ease any protests.

Attendance : 39,856
Assist : Keane (won pen)

Fulham (2) 2 (Boa Morte 15 fk, 30)
Charlton (1) 1 (Euell 26)

Fulham all but confirmed their Premiership status for another season 
with a narrow win against faltering Charlton. All the goals came in the 
first half with Luis Boa Morte scoring two very different strikes. His 
first was from a free kick wide on the right that found the net directly 
inside the near post, totally deceiving the keeper. Jason Euell nodded a 
close range equaliser after Hermann Hreidarsson had prodded the ball 
forward, however four minutes later, Boa Morte set off on a solo run 
from the centre circle, culiminating in a decent finish inside the post.

Attendance : 19,146
Assists : Helguson (won fk), Hreidarsson, Helguson

Newcastle (2) 3 (Shearer (pen) 28, 66, Bramble 36)
Wigan (1) 1 (Bullard 5 fk)

Newcastle could yet snatch an unlikely UEFA Cup place after comfortably 
seeing off Wigan. The visitors took an early lead when Jimmy Bullard 
fired in a 25 yard free kick that left the keeper wrong footed, however 
Newcastle were level when Michael Chopra was bundled over by Reto 
Ziegler, leaving Alan Shearer to find the top corner from the penalty 
spot. Woeful marking then allowed Titus Bramble to head home Nol 
Solano's corner and in the second half, Solano was provider again with a 
through ball that sent Shearer in to round the keeper and slot in.

Attendance : 52,302
Assists : Thompson (won fk), Chopra (won pen), Solano, n/a

Portsmouth (0) 1 (O'Neil 54)
Middlesbrough (0) 0

Portsmouth moved out of the bottom three with a narrow win against cup 
team of the season, Middlesbrough. The only goal came early in the 
second half when Todorov found Gary O'Neil and his crisp shot found the 
net from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 20,204
Assist : Todorov

West Ham (1) 1 (Newton 15)
Manchester City (0) 0

West Ham are still on target for a European place after sending Man City 
spinning to their fifth defeat in a row. Shaun Newton scored the only 
goal as he latched onto a crossfield pass from Bobby Zamora before 
drilling clinically home.

Attendance : 34,305
Assist : Zamora

14 April 2006

Manchester United (0) 0
Sunderland (0) 0

Sunderland are relegated after sensationally holding Man United to a 
goalless draw at Old Trafford, leaving United six points behind Chelsea. 
However, the anticipated `Slaughter Of The Doomed` didn't materialise 
and although United dominated possession in the first half, chances were 
at a premium as Ji-Sung Park shot inches wide and on half time, Wayne 
Rooney's effort was pushed over by the keeper. Sunderland had a couple 
of chances themselves as Liam Lawrence had a shot saved and Jon Stead 
hit the side netting from a tight angle after a cross had beaten the 
keeper. United upped the pace at the start of the second half but 
continued to struggle to break down a stubborn Sunderland side. Ryan 
Giggs sent a free kick over and Cristiano Ronaldo had a shot saved, but 
the visitors also came close at the other end as a Chris Brown cross 
almost drifted inside the far post before being tipped away by Edwin Van 
Der Sar. On the hour, keeper Kelvin Davis saved well from Ruud Van 
Nistelrooy and Rooney inside a matter of seconds as the pressure 
increased and within a minute, Van Nistelrooy came so close to turning 
in Gary Neville's cross. Ronaldo then found space on the edge of the 
area only for Davis to save well again and at the other end, Justin 
Hoyte gave United a timely reminder that there were two teams on the 
pitch with a terrific long range shot that just sailed wide. Midway 
through the second half, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to make 
an appearance after awful luck with injuries over the last two seasons 
although it was Neville who had the next effort only for Davis to fumble 
his deflected effort to safety. The game was becoming an attack v 
defence training exercise as it entered the last twenty minutes as Van 
Nistelrooy's shot on the turned was brilliantly saved as frustrations 
began to creep in especially from Rooney who tried to push Grant 
Ledbetter off the pitch as he trudged away when being subbed! Ronaldo 
hammered a free kick over with four minutes to go although from the 
restart, Anthony Le Tallec had a shot saved on the break at the other 
end and in stoppage time, Brown shot over with United again caught 
upfield. Rooney blasted wide late on but surely this is a golden chance 
lost for them in the pursuit of Chelsea. Sunderland are officially down 
but will remember this result and display for a long time. 

Attendance : 72,519
Assist : n/a 

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