23 August 2006

Aston Villa (1) 2 (Angel (pen) 34, Barry 61)
Reading (1) 1 (Doyle 4)

SENT OFF : Sonko (Reading) 33

Villa's decent start continued as they came from behind to beat ten man Reading at Villa Park. Reading, in their first ever top flight game on the road, started superbly and scored the quickest Prem goal so far this season when Seol Ki-Hyeon's cross was nodded in at the far post by Kevin Doyle. The game turned when Ibrahima Sonko was ruled to have brought down Luke Moore in the area and was promptly sent off. Juan Pablo Angel converted the spot kick and Villa never looked back. They won it just after the hour mark when Peter Whittingham's cross was glanced in at the near post by Gareth Barry.

Attendance : 37,329
Assists : K-Hyeon, Moore (won pen), Whittingham

Blackburn (0) 1 (McCarthy 50)
Everton (0) 1 (Cahill 84)

Honours even at Ewood Park as Blackburn won their first point of the season against Everton who remain unbeaten. Rovers went ahead thanks to a first goal for new signing Benni McCarthy who slotted into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after David Bentley was tackled in the area. They couldn't hold on though and Everton rescued a late point when James McFadden chased a long ball and having lobbed it over the keeper could only hit the post under pressure, however Tim Cahill was following up and smashed the loose ball home.

Attendance : 22,015
Assists : n/a, n/a

Charlton (0) 0
Manchester United (0) 3 (Fletcher 49, Saha 80, Solskjaer 90)

Man United recorded their annual Premiership win at The Valley as Charlton were beaten 1-0. Both clubs had good spells in the first half, however United came closest to scoring when Ryan Giggs hit the post and Cristiano Ronaldo rattled the bar with a sensational first time effort from the edge of the area. Within 14 seconds of the restart, Charlton's Darren Ambrose hit the outside of the post with a looping shot but it only spurred United on to break the deadlock shortly afterwards. A routine cross was fluffed horribly by Jonathon Fortune, allowing Darren Fletcher to jink past him, make room and drill the ball in from close range. United were totally dominant and almost doubled the lead when Ronaldo crossed for Ji-Sung Park to hit the woodwork for the third time for United as he volley hammered against the post. Charlton felt that they should have had a penalty when Wes Brown handled a free kick in the area, however the officials saw nothing and play continued as within a minute, Louis Saha had a header cleared off the line at the other end. United's latest big money signing, Michael Carrick, came on for the last 14 minutes and it took just four of those for the lead to be doubled as Brown's cross was chested down by Saha, however his control took him away from goal only to be allowed to turn and drive a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Carrick then set up fellow sub Ole Gunnar Solksjaer on a breakaway only to be denied by a superb save by Scott Carson, however he didn't have to wait long for his first goal in three injury ravaged years as he was gifted a tap in from Saha's drilled cross to kill the game off.

Attendance : 25,422
Assists : n/a, Brown, Saha

Fulham (0) 1 (Bullard (pen) 90)
Bolton (0) 1 (Diouf (pen) 72)

A tale of two penalties at Craven Cottage as Fulham left it late to earn a point against Bolton. The visitors took the lead through El Hadji Diouf's spot kick was dispatched into the top corner after Luis Boa Morte tangled with Gary Speed, however in stoppage time, Abdoulaye Faye handled in the area and new arrival Jimmy Bullard just fired his penalty past keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Attendance : 18,559
Assists : Speed (won pen), n/a

Manchester City (0) 0
Portsmouth (0) 0

No goals at The City of Manchester Stadium, however Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp was left fuming after Man City defender Ben Thatcher left Pedro Mendes hospitalised after they clashed early in the secon half. The incident happened near the touchline as Thatcher caughter Mendes with a forearm as he slid in for a tackle, leaving Mendes to slide into the hoardings around the pitch resulting in him needing oxygen and staying overnight in hospital. Matt Taylor, one of Mendes' team-mates, summed it up after the game when he said, "How can that not be a sending-off? What do you have to do, kill someone?"

Attendance : 37,214
Assists : n/a

Middlesbrough (0) 2 (Pogatetz 80, Viduka 90)
Chelsea (1) 1 (Shevchenko 16)

Middlesbrough stunned Champions Chelsea with two goals in the final ten minutes as they came from behind to send Jose Mourinho's side to their first defeat of the season. All was going to plan for the visitors after megabucks signing Andrei Shevchenko netted his first league goal for his new club, scuffing the ball in after Wayne Bridge had crossed, however with ten minutes to go, Emanuel Pogatetz headed in a superb cross from Fabio Rochemback and with time almost up, Chelsea failed to clear a Stuart Dowing cross and Yakubu found Mark Viduka who fired in the winner from the edge of the six yard box. Mourinho slated his players after the game, questioning their attitude to the match.

Attendance : 29,198
Assists : Bridge, Rochemback (fk), n/a

22 August 2006 Tottenham (2) 2 (Berbatov 7, Jenas 17)
Sheffield United (0) 0

Spurs won their first points of the season and balanced out their goal difference after a comfortable win against Sheffield United at White Hart Lane. Both goals came in the opening seventeen minutes, starting with Aaron Lennon - my tip for best young player this season - twisting and turning down the right and crossing low for Dimitar Berbatov to tap in one of the easiest goals of his career and easing any fears that he could be another expensive Rebrov-style flop. He set up the second as well as he nodded on Robbie Keane's high ball for Jermaine Jenas to clip the ball over the keeper and then tap into the empty net. Spurs could have added more but ultimately had to settle for those two early efforts.

Attendance : 35,287
Assists : Lennon, Berbatov

Watford (0) 1 (King 63)
West Ham (0) 1 (Zamora 65)

Honours even at Vicarage Road as West Ham go top for 24 hours at least. New boys Watford went ahead just after the hour thanks to a stunning strike from Marlon King. He received the ball from Ashley Young 25 yards from goal and unleashed a beauty that tore into the top corner. Whether they were still recovering from the quality of the strike remains to be seen, however Watford's lead lasted under two minutes as Paul Konchesky crossed for Bobby Zamora to find the net via his knee and the underside of the bar.

Attendance : 18,344
Assists : Young, Konchesky

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