19 September 2005

Arsenal 2 (Campbell 11, 30)
Everton 0

Arsenal got back on track in the league with a comfortable 2-0 win
against Everton, who continue to struggle at the wrong end of the table.
Arsenal totally dominated the first half and their two goal lead was no
surprise, even if the scorer was! Sol Campbell, starting his first
league game of the season, was on hand on the six yard box to nod in a
free kick from taken from the right by Jose Reyes and, remarkably on the
half hour, it was like Groundhog Day as the same pairing combined again,
with the kick this time coming from the left flank and the finish
slightly further out. Between the goals, Robin Van Persie smashed a shot
against the post as Everton struggled to make any impact. It wasn't
quite as open in the second half, although Freddie Ljungberg did hit the

Attendance : 38,121
Assists : Reyes (fk), Reyes (fk)

18 September 2005

Manchester City 0
Bolton 1 (Speed 93 pen)

Man City lost for the first time this season, although they'll wonder
how as Bolton snatched victory with a late penalty. City had by far the
better of things and hit the woodwork on a number of occasions, however
it's goals that count and in stoppage time, Henrik Pedersen burst
forward for the visitors and as he looked to lob the ball over Richard
Dunne, the City defender blocked it with his hand. Veteran Gary Speed
kept his cool and smashed home the penalty to give his side an unlikely

Attendance : 43,137
Assist : n/a

Wigan 1 (Camara 68)
Middlesbrough 1 (Yakubu 14)

Wigan's respectable start continued as they came from behind to hold
Middlesbrough. The visitors took an early lead when Abel Xavier's long
ball was nodded on by Mark Viduka, straight into the path of Yakubu who
controlled it well and fired home. Wigan earned a point, also courtesy
of a long ball, this time from Leighton Baines and as Ugo Ehigou looked
to clear it, he only hooked the ball against Henri Camara who prodded
past the keeper and in.

Attendance : 16,641
Assists : Viduka, n/a

Blackburn 0
Newcastle 3 (Shearer 62, Owen 66, N'Zogbia 85)

Newcastle eased the pressure on boss Graeme Souness with a stunning 3-0
win at his former club Blackburn in a game that saw both Alan Shearer
and Michael Owen find the net for the first time this season. The first
half was, at best, scrappy as both clubs struggled to keep possession
and struggled more to create. Owen had an early chance for the visitors
but shot wide, whilst Blackburn's only effort came from a Robbie Savage
free kick that was clawed away by Shay Given. The second half began
better with Steven Reid close on two occasions for the home side as one
shot was deflected another and a second drifted wide. It was somewhat
ironic then that, just after the hour, Newcastle took the lead as
Shearer ended his 18 game goal drought. A foul on Owen gave the visitors
a free kick on the edge of the box and the captain found the bottom
corner with a drilled effort after Lee Clark had rolled the ball to him.
With Shearer off for the season, it took another four minutes for Owen
to get off the mark with a superb near post header from a cross by
Charles N'Zogbia. Blackburn were given hope when the visitors were
reduced to ten men when a foul by Steven Taylor on Craig Bellamy led to
a second yellow card, although the pull on the shirt was minimal. That
said, he did the same thing on the same player earlier in the half and
got away with it. This was the cue for Rovers to attack and with ten
minutes to go, Tugay almost pulled one back with a stunning volley that
flew just wide, however with them pushing forward, they were caught out
at the back when Celestine Babayaro sent N'Zogbia clear and with Brad
Friedel off his line, he dragged the ball beneath his boot to beat the
keeper and tapped into the empty net.

Attendance : 20,725
Red Card : Taylor 72 (Newcastle)
Assists : Clark, N'Zogbia, Babayaro

Liverpool 0
Manchester United 0

Man United were denied their annual win at Anfield after a goalless draw
against Liverpool which was tactical rather than exciting. The first
half was, as expected, fast and furious but lacking of an end product as
both defences were well on top. Chances were few and far between with
the best opportunity falling to Ruud Van Nistelrooy who chipped over the
keeper and just over the bar having been sent through by Rio Ferdinand.
That aside, the highlight was a slo-mo replay of Ferdinand confronting
Peter Crouch and calling him a 'flipping stick' - I think. Liverpool
began the second half well and after Crouch shot weakly at Edwin van der
Sar, Steven Gerrard thumped a header wide as the home side looked to
break through. Gerrard came close midway through the half when his long
range effort was batted away by the away keeper and then he set up Luis
Garcia who drilled an effort across the face of the goal. United showed
little in attack until late on when Paul Scholes belted a shot off
target whilst at the other end, Luis garcia nodded a cross just wide.
For what is surely the biggest 'grudge' game in the Premiership, aside
from local derbies, this was ultimately a little disappointing with too
many mistakes and not enough individual skill.

Attendance : 44,917
Assists : n/a

17 September 2005

Charlton (0) 0
Chelsea (0) 2 (Crespo 55, Robben 60)

The two clubs with a 100% record met at The Valley and Champions Chelsea
came out on top thanks to two goals in a six minute spell. Charlton held
their own before half time, however ten minutes after the break, the
visitors took the lead. Michael Essien was the provider with a pin point
cross, nodded in at the near post by Hernan Crespo. The win was secured
shortly afterwards when Damien Duff set up Arjen Robben and he curled in
a beauty from the right edge of the penalty area leaving Chelsea six
points ahead of their nearest rivals and still yet to concede a goal.

Attendance : 27,111
Assists : Essien, Duff

Fulham (0) 1 (Boa Morte 66)
West Ham (0) 2 (Harewood 47, Warner (og) 52)

The other London derby saw West Ham cap a fine week with an excellent
win at Fulham. After a goalless first half, Marlon Harewood grabbed his
fourth goal in five days as he latched onto a flick from Bobby Zamora,
lobbed the ball over a defender and neatly clipped past the outrushing
Tony Warner. Five minutes later, a rejuvenated Harewood turned on Paul
Konchesky's cross and although his shot struck the post, it bounced off
the back of Warner and bobbled back into the net. Fulham pulled one back
when Steed Malbranque set up Luis Boa Morte to cut in from the right and
shoot into the far corner, but the Hammers held on to sneak into fourth
place ahead of Sunday's games.

Attendance : 21,907
Assists : Zamora, n/a, Malbranque

Portsmouth (1) 1 (Lua-Lua 4)
Birmingham (1) 1 (Jarosik 6)
SENT OFF : Butt (Birmingham) 44

Portsmouth and Birmingham both scored early at Fratton Park, however
neither could convert a good start into a win, even though Birmingham
played with ten men for over half the game. The home side went ahead
when Laurent Robert's corner found Lomana Lua-Lua inside the six yard
box and he found the net, however more poor defending saw Birmingham
equalise as Jiri Jarosik was unmarked to nod in Jermaine Pennant's free
kick. Just before half time, Dario Silva seemed to obstruct Nicky Butt
as they waited for a free kick, however Butt took exception and kicked
the Portsmouth man from behind and after Silva was booked, Butt was sent
off on the advice of the linesman.

Attendance : 19,319
Assists : Robert (ck), Pennant (fk)

Sunderland (1) 1 (Breen 7)
West Brom (0) 1 (Gera 90)

Heartbreak for Sunderland who were seconds away from their first win of
the season only to concede a last minute equaliser. They began in
spectacular style when Gary Breen headed home a Dean Whitehouse corner,
however as the match wore on, they became more nervous and eventually
the Baggies snatched a point. It also came from a corner, sent in by
Diomansy Kamara and as West Brom keeper Chris Kirkland, up in attack for
the kick, took some attention on the edge of the area, Zoltan Gera crept
in to power home a late header. Sunderland do win their first point, but
they'll be feeling as though they've lost again.

Attendance : 31,657
Assists : Whitehead (ck), Kamara (ck)

Aston Villa (1) 1 (Milner 4)
Tottenham (0) 1 (Keane 78)
MISSED PEN: Defoe (Spurs) 27 - Saved

Honours even at Villa Park as two of the 'could do better' clubs of Prem
history shared the goals. Villa had the better of the first half and
would have been more than one goal up had it not been for four fine
saves from Paul Robinson. He was beaten once, early on as Spurs lost
possession in midfield and after Milan Baros set up James Milner, the
ex-Leeds man beat him former team mate with a fine shot from the edge of
the area. The visitors did have a great chance to equalise when Wilfred
Bouma handled in the area, however Jermaine Defoe's spot kick was well
saved by Thomas Sorensen. It was left to another former Leeds star to
grab a point for Spurs as Robbie Keane controlled a loose ball well
before firing home after Defoe lost possession in the area.

Attendance : 33,686
Assists : Baros, n/a

Gary Dowden
Chief Editor SoccerAge UK

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
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