18 December 2006

Fulham 2 (Helguson Pen 12, McBride 35)
Middlesbrough 1 (Viduka 74)

Fulham move into mid table after a narrow win over Middlesbrougyh who remain in trouble just above the drop zone.

Boro began by far the better only to get caught by a classic sucker punch as Moritz Volz ran at the away defence and had his heels clipped in the area by George Boateng resulting in a penalty. Heidar Helguson stepped up and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way. The goal increased Fulham's confidence and although the visitors still saw plenty of the ball and created chances, it was the hosts who scored again when Tomasz Radzinski found Brian McBride on the edge of the area in miles of space and his curling shot took a slight deflection off of Chris Riggott and found the bottom corner.

The second half struggled to get started until the latter stages, sparked by a Boro goal as a weak goal kick from Antti Niemi was nodded into the path of Mark Viduka by Yakubu and the Australian clipped the ball past the keeper as he bore down on goal and it had just enough pace to find the net. Ultimately it was as close at they would come to getting anything from the game.

Attendance : 16,891
Assists : Volz (won pen), n/a, Yakubu

17 December 2006

WEST HAM 1 (Reo-Coker 75)

Man United flop to their first away defeat of the season as Alan Curbishley's reign as West Ham boss got off to a winning start. Despite a goalless first half there were chances with Louis Saha testing home keeper Robert Green on three seperate occasions whilst at the other end, Bobby Zamora showed sheer strength to hold off Rio Ferdinand and with only Edwin Van Der Sar to beat, his shot was parried by the keeper. United began the second half well and Green was again called into action to make a brilliant save from a Cristiano Ronaldo curler which was heading for the far corner and Ryan Giggs blazed over from close range after good work from Ronaldo. United were beginning to stutter up front and the Hammers then took advantage at the other end as sub Teddy Sheringham played in Marlon Harewood at the near post and having made an inch of space, he fired the ball across for Nigel Reo-Coker to score. United piled everything forward late on with Van Der Sar making an appearance in his opponents area but West Ham remained solid. Unied stay top but their lead is down to just two points.

Attendance : 34,966
Assist : Harewood

TOTTENHAM 2 (Davenport 16, Huddlestone 24)

Spurs won their first away game of the season after a narrow win at Man City. Spurs were two up by half time thanks to two unlikely scorers. Calum Davenport opened the scoring with a superb glancing header from Tom Huddlestone's chipped free kick and it was Huddlestone who scored a sensational second as he ran onto a square pass from Hossam Ghaly to send a first time half volley arrowing into the bottom corner. Joey Barton pulled a goal back with a far post volley from Paul Dickov's cross but Spurs held on for the win.

Attendance : 39,825
Assists : Huddlestone, Ghaly, Dickov

EVERTON 2 (Arteta 38 Pen, Yobo 64)
CHELSEA 3 (Howard 39 og, Lampard 81, Drogba 87)

Chelsea scored three stunning second half goals as they came from behind to beat Everton at Goodison Park. Everton more than held their own in a tight first half and were ahead at half time thanks to an awful piece of defending. Khalid Boulahrouz thought it legal to haul back Victor Anichebe in the area and looked stunned to see a penalty awarded by the linesman. Mikel Arteta stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way. The Champions came out with all guns blazing after the break and were level within four minutes as Michael Ballack's 25 yard free kick curled around the wall and found the net via the post and hand of Tim Howard. Everton regained the lead when Joseph Yobo's header tore into the net from Arteta's corner and it looked as though they might hold out for a dramatic win, however in the final ten minutes Chelsea stepped up a gear and equalised when Salomon Kalou, who had earlier hit the post, found Frank Lampard in space and he hammered a beauty from the left edge of the area into the opposite top corner. Didier Drogba then turned well and hit the post before the coup de grace as he chested down a header from Andrei Shevchenko, turned and sent a volley sailing past Howard and into the roof of the net from fully 30 yards. It was a goal from the Graeme Sharp book of winners on Merseyside.

Attendance : 33,970
Assists : Anichebe (won pen), n/a, Arteta (ck), Kalou, Shevchenko

16 December 2006

BOLTON 1 (Speed Pen)

Bolton move into fifth despite being largely outplayed at Aston Villa. After a first half devoid of chances, Villa began to create after the break however away keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen saved brilliantly from Craig Gardner at close range and then from a Gary Cahill stinger from long range. Bolton snatched the win when Nik Anelka was bundled over in the area by Stilian Petrov, allowing Gary Speed to wallop home the penalty.

Attendance : 27,450
Assist : Anelka (won pen)


Sheffield United have now scored three away goals all have earned them 1-0 wins after a late first half goal saw off Wigan. It came from Rob Hulse who flicked in Steven Quinn's near post cross.

Attendance : 16,322
Assist : Quinn

NEWCASTLE 2 (Martins 49, 85)
WATFORD 1 (Bouazza 57)

Watford stay bottom although they came within five minutes of earning a vital point at Newcastle. Obafemi Martins was the Toon hero again with two goals, firstly early in the second half he headed in a James Milner cross and with five minutes remaining he clinched the points with a drilled effort after the Watford defence gave him time to control a Damien Duff cross. Watford did equaliser between the two goals when Hameur Bouazza netted from six inches after Ashley Young's corner was helped on at the near post.

Attendance : 49,231
Assists : Milner, Smith, n/a

ARSENAL 2 (Adebayor 58, Gilberto Silva 60)
PORTSMOUTH 2 (Pamarot 45, Taylor 47)

Arsenal came from two goals down to see off Portsmouth as their home league form continues to waver. Pompey keeper David James kept them in the game in the first half with a series of saves and on the stroke of half time, they went ahead. A Matt Taylor free kick was headed against the post by David Thompson only for Noe Pamarot to nod in the rebound. Early in the second half, Taylor doubled the lead with a trademark spectacular goal as he volleyed the ball first time into the top corner from the left edge of the area after Thompson's shot was blocked. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had gambled with the selection of Jeremie Aliadiere, however when he was subbed for Emmanuel Adebayor, the game changed. Firstly the new arrival slotted in a cross from Theo Walcott to reduce the deficit and then the scores were level two minutes later when he crossed for Walcott to set up Gilberto Silva to find the net.

Attendance : 60,037
Assists : Thompson, Kanu, Walcott, n/a

READING 1 (Harper 41)
BLACKBURN 2 (McCarthy 64, Bentley 84)

Blackburn came from behind at Reading to earn a much needed win at the bottom of the table. The hosts were ahead when Nicky Shorey's pass sent James Harper clear and his slotted home, however Rovers battled back after the break and after having FOUR efforts disallowed, they finally registered a goal on the scoresheet when Benni McCarthy stooped to nod in a cross from Lucas Neill. The winner was a beauty as David Bentley won the ball in his own half, ran to the right edge of the area and hammered an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

Attendance : 23,074
Assists : Hunt, Neill, n/a

LIVERPOOL 3 (Xabi Alonso Pen, Bellamy 82, Gerrard 88)

Liverpool are finding form at last as they won 3-0 at struggling Charlton to notch up 11 goals without reply in their last three league games. Liverpool dominated the first half and had a dream start when Jermaine Pennant was caught by the head-high boot of Djimi Traore to give the visitors a penalty, calmly stroked down the centre by Xavi Alonso. They had numerous chances to increase their lead, however it took Liverpool 79 minutes to double the lead as Steve Finnan crossed for Craig Bellamy to hook the ball in first time at the near post. It opened a mini floodgate as Peter Crouch nodded the ball down for Steven Gerrard to take his time and curl a beauty from 15 yards into the corner which left the keeper standing and gave the scoreline a look which reflected the game.

Attendance : 27,111
Assists : Pennant (won pen), Finnan, Crouch

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