19 November 2006

BLACKBURN 1 (Tugay 23)
TOTTENHAM 1 (Defoe 62 Pen)

Blackburn midfielder Tugay had a mixed day as he conceded a penalty and was sent off against Spurs, all after scoring a stunning first half strike as his Rovers team drew 1-1 in an eventful encounter.

Blackburn took the lead midway through the first half with a goal suitable to win any game. Whilst Spurs managed to clear a Michael Gray cross, it fell to Tugay 25 yards from goal who took aim and struck a stunning first time volley that arrowed past Paul Robinson and ripped into the net. Spurs had chances with Jermaine Defoe sending a stinging volley just over and Ahmed Mido blazing miles over whilst clean through in stoppage time.

Spurs began the second half well and after Mido fired wide, he was a little unlucky to have a header disallowed, albeit correctly, for offside. On the hour, their luck changed as Tugay's trailing leg caught Hossam Ghaly in the area and after consultation with the linesman, the Turk was very harshly shown a straight red card despite other defenders being close at hand! Defoe stepped up and drilled the penalty into the bottom corner to put Spurs level. Rovers were rightly angered by the sending off and this was intensified minutes later when Mido appeared to handle in the area at the other end. Oddly the game went through a stale stage although Benni MacCarthy almost scored a remarkable effort with a midair back heel which Robinson kept out. It all kicked off again in stoppage time as Ghaly was shown a straight red card after he led with his elbow as he jumped with Gray, sparking the traditional free for all among the players. Spurs boss Martin Jol confronted the ref on the touchline and was also sent packing.

Spurs are still without an away win this season and their only goals on the road have been own goals and penalties. Remarkable really for a club with four great strikers.

Attendance : 18,083
Red Card : Tugay 23 (Blackburn), Ghaly 90 (Tottenham)
Assists : Pedersen, Ghaly (won pen)


No goals at the JJB as Wigan and Aston Villa shared the spoils in a match that never got out of first gear. Wigan began like the proverbial house on fire and could have scored in the opening minute as Lee McCulloch's header was pushed away at point blank range by keeper Thomas Sorensen. Ironically it was the only effort on target in a first half which fizzled out. Paul Scharner was off target a couple of times for the hosts whilst for Villa, Peter Whittingham hit the outside of the post and Chris Sutton shot well over. The second followed much the same vein with Iasiah Osbourne heading a cross against his own post and Scharner denied at close range by Sorensen as Wigan again began well. Villa's Gareth Barry had arguably the best chance but blazed over whilst clean through before both clubs again cancelled each other out.

Attendance : 18,455
Assist : n/a

18 November 2006

MANCHESTER CITY 3 (Corradi 12, 32, Barton 45)
FULHAM 1 (John 62)

Manchester City ease away from the relegation zone with a comfortable win over Fulham in a game that was won by half time.

City went ahead early when a flick on the edge of the area by Georgios Samaras set up Bernardo Corradi who volleyed past the keeper inside the near post. The second came from the same player, this time side-footed into the roof of the net after Joey Barton slid the ball into his path, however Fulham felt that Carlos Bocanegra had been fouled in the build up to the goal. At two-nil, Fulham would have still had a chance after the break but two minutes into stoppage time, a third effectively killed the match as a contest. The goal came from a Fulham free kick punched clear by City keeper Nicky Weaver. The ball was hammered away and actually sent Hatem Trabelsi away with only his marker for company. His instant reverse pass gave Barton a clear run on goal and he finished with ease.

Fulham began the second half well and had a goal disallowed when Collins John was ruled offside, a decision that replays proved to be right - just! City wasted a glorious chance to make it four on the hour when Samaras blazed over from ten yards and a minute later, Fulham pulled a goal back. John this time got the benefit of a marginal offside decision and having latched onto Heidar Helguson's header, he finished well with a neat lob. Ultimately it proved to be a false dawn for Fulham as they failed to make any further dent into City's lead.

Attendance : 35,776
Assists : Samaras, Barton, Trabelsi, Helgusson

SHEFFIELD UNITED 1 (Gillespie 13)
MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Rooney 30, 75)

Man United came from behind to beat their Sheffield namesakes and remain clear of Chelsea at the top. Former Red Devil Keith Gillespie put the home side ahead when he sent a header across goal and inside the far post from Derek Geary's cross, however United were dominant for long periods and levelled matters when Gary Neville's cross was well controlled and finished by Wayne Rooney. He also grabbed the winner with a far post volley from Patrice Evra's cross however even after that United looked for more as Cristiano Ronaldo shinned an effort wide, then hit the bar before missing an absolute sitter from Ryan Giggs's cross as he put the ball over an open goal from five yards. United host Chelsea next weekend! Should be a belter.

Attendance : 32,584
Assists : Geary, Neville, Evra

PORTSMOUTH 2 (Kanu 44, Lua Lua 89 Penalty)
WATFORD 1 (Demerit 32)

A late disputed penalty gave Portsmouth all three points as they came from behind to beat Watford. The visitors went ahead thanks to a fine header by Jay DeMerit as a corner from Ashley Young tempted David James off of his line. Pompey levelled before half time when Nwankwo Kanu's shot was saved by Ben Foster only for the loose ball to fall to him and he bundled it into the roof of the net. With just a minute remaining, DeMerit was adjudged to have Kanu in the area although contact looked to be minimal - maybe he grabbed his shoulder but in truth, Kanu went down easily. Lomana Lua-Lua side-footed the penalty down the middle to wrap up a controversial win.

Attendance : 19,738
Assists : Young ck, Taylor, Kanu (won pen)

CHELSEA 1 (Geremi 22 fk)

Chelsea remain three points adrift of Man United after a narrow win against West Ham. The only goal of a good game came from Geremi who curled a beauty of a free kick into the top corner.

Attendance : 41,916
Assist : Drogba (won fk)

EVERTON 1 (Arteta 60)

Everton's search for a European place remains on target although they were largely outplayed at home to Bolton. The winner came on the hour as Lee Carsley found Mikael Arteta in midfield and after a fine solo run, his shot sailed inside the far post. Bolton had enough chances to earn a draw, however Ivan Campo hit the bar and Idan Tal hammered an effort against the post.

Attendance : 34,417
Assist : Carsley

READING 2 (Seoul 18, Doyle 72)

New Charlton boss Les Reed began with a defeat as the bottom club became Reading's latest victims this season. Seol Ki-Hyeon opened the scoring with a powerful header from Nicky Shorey's cross and the win was confirmed in the second half when Steven Sidwell's mis-hit shot fell into the path of Kevin Doyle and he just reached the ball ahead of keeper Scott Carson to clip it in.

Attendance : 24,093
Assists : Shorey, Sidwell

ARSENAL 1 (Henry 70 fk)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Dyer 30)

Arsenal indifferent home form continues although they did come from behind to earn a draw against stuttering Newcastle. The visitors went ahead on the half hour when Obefemi Martins flicked a long ball on for Kieron Dyer to collect and drive a low effort into the bottom corner on what was his first start for seven months! Thierry Henry started on the bench but came on at half time and ultimately got the Gunners back into it with a lovely curling free kick which thudded in off the underside of the bar. Remarkably, every Arsenal home game in the league in their new stadium has either finished as a 1-1 draw or a 3-0 win for Arsenal.

Attendance : 60,058
Assists : Martins, Henry (won fk)


No goals at the Riverside as Middlesbrough and Liverpool battled out one of the most one-sided goalless games you'll see. Boro failed to have a single shot on goal in a first half dominated by Liverpool in every way but goals. Their best chance fell to Dirk Kuyt who volleyed wide having been set up by Craig Bellamy. It looked to be more of the same after the break, however Boro suddenly clicked into life and after Jason Euell's header was well saved by Jose Reina, Yakubu only managed an air shot with the goal gaping from inside the six yard box. Ultimately it was their only effort on goal in the entire game. Normal service was resumed shortly afterwards as Mark Schwarzer saved a long range effort from Daniel Agger and from closer in from a volley by Mark Gonzalez. With the last ten minutes approaching, enter Massimo Maccarone and Peter Crouch from the bench for hosts and visitors respectively and the latter almost netted with three minutes when his looping header beat the keeper only for Jonathon Woodgate to head off the line. They were to come no closer as they remain without an away league goal since the opening day of the season.

Attendance : 31,424
Assist : n/a

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