30 October 2006
Manchester City (1) 1 (Dunne 23)
Middlesbrough (0) 0
Man City gave under pressure boss Stuart Pearce some breathing space with a narrow in at home to Middlesbrough. City went ahead midway through the first half when Richard Dunne rose at the far post to head powerfully in from Joey Barton's corner. Boro enjoyed their fair share of possession but created little and when Robert Huth headed over with five minutes to go, it was only their third goal attempt of the match, none of which had been on target. Ironically, they almost snatched an equaliser two minutes later when sub Massaimo Maccarone smacked a shot against the post and almost straight away, City broke and Darius Vassell was clear on goal only to prod his shot wide of the near post with only the keeper to beat, a feat which he repeated shortly afterwards only this time shooting over. The final few minutes were the best of the game as tension generated excitement with the home nerves becoming more frayed by the second, especially when Maccarone hit the post again with a looping effort which had keeper Nicky Weaver well beaten.
Attendance : 36,720
Assist : Barton (ck)
29 October 2006
WEST HAM (1) 2 (Sheringham 21, Mullins 79)
BLACKBURN (0) 1 (Bentley 92)
West Ham are out of the bottom three after their first league win since the opening day of the season as Blackburn fell to a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park. After a fast paced, yet uneventful, opening twenty minutes, West Ham took the lead as Hayden Mullins chipped the ball into the area from the right and Teddy Sheringham sent a superb header past Brad Freidel from 12 yards. Blackburn were largely ineffective before the break with their rare chances coming from long range set pieces. Rovers began the second half well although it remained scrappy as Benni McCarthy struck one shot straight at keeper Robert Green before finally finding the net only to be denied by an offside flag. Both clubs then had a golden chance within 20 seconds as Green produced a superb reaction save from Lucas Neill at the far post and as West Ham broke clear, Bobby Zamora was sent clear only for Freidel to smother his effort. Zamora then won a corner despite the ball coming off of him last and it proved crucial as Matty Etherington's kick was glanced on at the near post by a Rovers head and powered into the net by Mullins for his first ever Prem goal. In stoppage time, Rovers pulled one back when McCarthy's stinging shot was saved by Green only for David Bentley to follow up and fire in, giving the hosts a nervy final couple of minutes especially when Francis Jeffers drifted a header inches over in the final seconds.
Attendance : 33,833
Assists : Mullins, n/a, n/a
28 October 2006
Two of the season's strugglers met at St James Park and it showed as Newcastle and Charlton failed to find the net. Newcastle had the better of the first half and came close when Guiseppe Rossi helped Damien Duff's shot against the bar, however as the game wore on into the second half, the home team and fans became more anxious and they almost gifted Charlton the opening goal when an error from Titus Bramble gave Darren Bent a clear run on goal but he shot early and it sailed high and wide. Brian Hughes also went close for the visitors when he shot just wide with ten minutes left and with stoppage time approaching, the hosts almost won it when Charles N'Zogbia's drilled effort was tipped wide by Scott Carson.
Attendance : 48,642
Assists : n/a
SHEFFIELD UNITED 0
CHELSEA 2 (Lampard 43, Ballack 49)
Goals either side of half time gave Chelsea a comfortable win at Sheffield United to regain top spot for at least a couple of hours. Although Chelsea had the better of the opening ten minutes, United looked the more dangerous afterwards, culminating in two penalty appeals. The first, as Ricardo Carvalho held off Rob Hulse, looked the most likely but wasn't given, however the second as Didier Drogba battled with Claude Davis was awarded only for Danny Webber's weak effort to be easily saved by Henrique Hiralio. Chelsea took advantage and went ahead just before half time as Frank Lampard's 25 yard free kick fizzed through the wall and seemed to swerve and take a freakishy high bounce to find the net over the diving Paddy Kenny. Early in ths second half, a sweeping move saw Lampard cross from the left and Michael Ballack nod home his second goal in successive league games to clinch the win.
Attendance : 32,321
Assists : Lampard (won fk), Lampard
Watford and Spurs somehow ended with no goals between then despite chances going begging at either end. Watford had the better of the first half with the best chance falling to Tommy Smith who blazed over a gaping goal from four yards. They also had what looked a good goal disallowed when Ashley Young found the net, the offside flag denying him when replays looked to prove him onside. Aaron Lennon was the main threat for Spurs and forced keeper Ben Foster to make three decent saves during the game, although Robbie Keane also came close with his effort was back heeled off the line by Jay Demerit.
Attendance : 19,660
Assist : n/a
LIVERPOOL 3 (Kuyt 31, Crouch 38, Luis Garcia 44)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Agbonlahor 56)
Liverpool's excellent home form continued as they ended the only unbeaten record left in the Premiership as Aston Villa were well beaten at Anfield. A goal blitz at the end of the first half effectively ended the game as a contest. Firstly Dirt Kuyt controlled well and volleyed in after Jamie Carragher's cross was nodded down by Sami Hyypia and then Peter Crouch sent a bouncing volley into the corner from Steve Finnan's cross. Crouch also set up the third, finding Luis Garcia on the left who slotted home. Villa rallied after the break and pulled a goal back when Chris Sutton found Gabriel Agbonlahor to fire in. Liverpool need to transmit their home form into away games or run the risk of losing sight of Chelsea and Man United as they disappear over the horizon.
Attendance : 44,117
Assists : Hyypia, Finnan, Crouch, Sutton
WIGAN 1 (Camara 83)
Wigan dominated matters against Fulham but only late on did they secure a vital win. Henri Camara was the star of the show for the visitors as he had a header clawed away by Antti Niemi although it did look as though it had crossed the line. He then forced a hand ball - albeit off the elbow - from Zak Knight as his bobbled effort looked goalbound, however the penalty was wasted when Denny Landzaat blasted it over via the top of the bar. Camara eventually got what he deserved as he latched onto an error in the Fulham defence to burst clear and finish well.
Attendance : 22,882
Assist : Kilbane
MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Rooney 10, Rooney 16, Ronaldo 82, Rooney 89)
Wayne Rooney ended his goal drought in style with a hat trick as Man United regained top spot with a crushing win at Bolton. Two Rooney goals in six minutes early on set the tone for the game, firstly with a near post shot after Michael Carrick long pass found him in the space and then from the edge of the area with a curling effort after Gary Neville had been tackled. Two late goals wrapped the game up as Louis Saha burst clear to unselfishly set up Cristiano Ronaldo with a tap in and then Rooney's third from Darren Fletcher's through ball, clinically finished as the keeper came out.
Attendance : 27,229
Assists : Carrick, n/a, Saha, Fletcher
PORTSMOUTH 3 (Gunnarsson 10 og, Kanu 52, Mendes 66)
READING 1 (Doyle 84)
Portsmouth move into fourth as Reading end a week to forget having conceded 11 goals in the last eight days. Pompey began well although needed a touch of luck to go ahead as Brynjar Gunnarsson, under pressure from Nwankwo Kanu, handled a Pedro Mendes corner into his own net. Kanu added the second himself as he glanced in a side-footed volleyed cross from Sol Campbell and Campbell was also involved in the third as his header was only cleared to the edge of the area when Mendes sent a well controlled shot into the bottom corner. Reading pulled a goal back late on after Mendes handled on the line and somehow got away with it as the referee awarded a corner. This sparked an almighty scramble, resulting in Kevin Doyle bundling the ball in from close range.
Attendance : 20,146
Assists : n/a, Campbell, n/a, n/a
ARSENAL 1 (Van Persie 71 fk)
EVERTON 1 (Cahill 11)
Arsenal lost ground on Chelsea and Man United as they were held to a draw at home to an impressive Everton side. The visitors took an early lead when Mikael Arteta's corner hit Tim Cahill in the stomach, however the Australian reacted quickly to thump it into the roof of the net from close range. Arsenal battered their opponents in the second half and eventually got an equaliser thanks to Robin Van Persie's 25 yard free kick, although even then keeper Tim Howard got his hand to it as it found the top corner.
Attendance : 60,047
Assists : Arteta (ck), Rosicky (won fk)
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