23 December 2006

WIGAN 2 (Heskey 45, 75)
CHELSEA 3 (Lampard 13, Kalou 31, Robben 93)

Emile Heskey scored twice as Wigan came from two down against Chelsea at the JJB only to concede a last minute goal to give the visitors all three points. Chelsea dominated the first half and were ahead early when Arjen Robben set up Frank Lampard with a fine reverse pass to slot in from just outside the six yard box. Lampard was involved in the second as well as his outswinging free kick was headed powerfully in by Salomon Kalou who had earlier missed two decent chances. Wigan finished the half well and pulled one back in stoppage time when a superb free kick from Josip Skoko was curled into the six yard box for Heskey to head home. Wigan had by far the better of the second half and grabbed a deserved equaliser when sub Dave Cotterill's cross caused confusion and as Denny Landzaat shot across goal, Heskey side-footed in although replays suggested that he was offside. Thereafter it was backs to the wall for Wigan as Chelsea pressed for a winner with Chris Kirkland saving well from a Ricardo Carvalho header. With a draw looking likely, Robben cut in from the right and drilled a low shot inside the near post which seemed to deceive Kirkland.

Attendance : 22,077
Assists : Robben, Robben (ck), Skoko (fk), Landzaat, Essien

EVERTON 2 (Johnson 14, McFadden 47)

Everton collected a good win at Reading with a goal in each half. Andy Johnson was at the heart of everything for the visitors and gave his side the lead with a good turn and deflected shot after being found by Mikael Arteta and Johnson made the second himself with a cross for James McFadden to control and fire in.

Attendance : 24,053
Assists : n/a, Johnson

NEWCASTLE 3 (Dyer 3, Martins 7, Parker 34)
TOTTENHAM 1 (Taylor 15 og)

Spurs away day woes are back after they were well beaten at Newcastle. The hosts blitzed their opponents early on and were two ahead inside seven minutes. Obafemi Martins sent Kieron Dyer away for the first, his finish was a well placed shot from all of 20 yards and Martins grabbed the second himself when he headed in Scott Parker's cross. Danny Murphy pulled one back with a heavily deflected shot from Pascal Chimbonda's cross, however Parker added a third before half time to clinch the win with a close range header following a scramble after Paul Robinson had spilled a shot from James Milner.

Attendance : 52,079
Assists : Martins, Parker, n/a, n/a

MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Yakubu 29, Arca 59)

Middlesbrough eased their relegation fears whilst pushing Charlton deeper into the mire after a goal in each half won the game at the Riverside. James Morrison made the first as he found Yakubu who skipped past the keeper and prodded in the opener and the win was clinched thanks to a firmly hit shot by Julio Arca from Mark Viduka's header.

Attendance : 32,013
Assists : Morrison, Viduka

BOLTON 2 (Anelka 8, 25)

Former Man City striker Nik Anelka returned to haunt his former club as his two goals gave Bolton a fine away win. His first came early as Nicky Hunt sent him clear to drill a low shot inside the near post and he doubled the tally when Henrik Pedersen crossed to give him a far post tap in. City were reduced to ten men late on when Joey Barton launched into a two fotted tackle on Abdoulaye Faye and although no contact was made, the ref felt that the intent was enough to warrant a straight red card.

Attendance : 40,157
Red Card : Barton 87 (Manchester City)
Assists : Hunt, Pedersen

LIVERPOOL 2 (Bellamy 47, Xabi Alonso 88)

Liverpool made heavy weather of seeing off bottom club Watford but eventually continued their recent good run with two second half goals. They finally broke the away resistance when Steven Gerrard played in Craig Bellamy who turned and slotted in the opener. Two minutes from time, Xavi Alonso curled in a cracker from 25 yards after being set up by Dirk Kuyt, leaving Watford still looking for their first away win of the season.

Attendance : 42,807
Assists : Gerrard, Kuyt

PORTSMOUTH 3 (Kozluk 48 og, Campbell 54, Pamarot 68)

Portsmouth came from behind to see off Sheffield United and keep pace with the Champions League hopefuls. United took an early lead when Ron Hulse headed in Derek Geary's cross, however although they held on until half time, Portsmouth then took control. They did need a freakish own goal to get level as Banjani's drilled cross hit the heel of Phil Jagielka and then in an attempt to avoid an own goal, Rob Kozluk could only find his own net himself from almost on the line. Sol Campbell put the hosts ahead with a firm header from Matty Taylor's corner and from the other side, Pedro Mendes swung in a corner for Noe Pamarot to head the third.

Attendance : 20,164
Assists : Geary, n/a, Taylor (ck), Mendes (ck)

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Ronaldo 58, Scholes 64, Ronaldo 85)

Man Unietd secured top spot for Christmas with a convincing win at Aston Villa. All the goals came in the sceond half, starting with Cristiano Ronaldo who collected a pass from Ryan Giggs before running at the home defence and although his initial efort was blocked, he hammered the rebound into the top corner. Giggs had a hand in the second as his corner was cleared to Paul Scholes who unleashed a sensational first time volley that ripped in via the underside of the bar from 25 yards. In a season of brilliant goals, this was up there with the best. Ronaldo added a late third when United broke and Gary Neville set him up with a tap in.

Attendance : 42,551
Assists : n/a, n/a, Neville

ARSENAL 6 (Gilberto Silva 10, Hleb 23, Adebayor 27 Pen, Ven Persie 85, 88, Flamini 92)
BLACKBURN 2 (Nonda 3 Pen, 69)

Arsenal came from behind to demolish Blackburn, although it was tight until the last five minutes. Rovers took an early lead when Kolo Toure tangled with David Bentley in the area, allowing Shabani Nonda to slot his penlty into the bottom corner. Arsenal then went into their irrestible overdrive mode with three goals in seventeen minutes, starting with Gilberto Silva's header from Robin Van Persie's corner. Emmanuel Adebayor's flick then set up Alexander Hleb to skip through the defence and slot in. Van Persie was then tripped by Lucas Neill in the area and Adebayor found the net with his spot kick. Rovers pulled a goal back with twenty minutes to go when Brett Emeryon's cross was haeded onto the bar by Matt Derbyshire and hooked in with an overhead kick by Nonda. Three goals in the last five minutes gave the scoreline a flattering look as Arsenal bombarded Blackburn late on. Van Persie got the fourth with a solo run into the area and a low shot across goal inside the far post having been found by Gilberto and then he added another with a tap in after being set up by Cesc Fabregas. The sixth in stoppage time was also made by Fabregas with a lovely run and shot which was save, giving Mathieu Flamini a tap in.

Attendance : 59,913
Assists : Bentley (won pen), Van Persie (ck), Adebayor, Van Persie (won pen), n/a, Gilberto Silva, Fabregas, n/a


Attendance : 22,452
Red Card : Konchesky 85 (West Ham)
Assist : n/a

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