14 January 2007

EVERTON 1 (Johnson 81)
READING 1 (Lescott 28 og)

Honours even at Goodison as Everton came from behind to earn a point against Reading. The visitors had a huge stroke of luck to take the lead as Steven Hunt's header was blocked by keeper Tim Howard but rebounded against the leg of team mate Joleon Lescott and dribbled over the line. Everton levelled late on when Andy Johnson just reached the ball before keeper Marcus Hahnemann to nod in after Victor Anichebe had headed a cross on.

Attendance : 34,722
Assists : n/a, Anichebe

TOTTENHAM 2 (Defoe 14, Berbatov 54)
NEWCASTLE 3 (Huntington 16, Martins 72, Butt 73)

Injury hit Newcastle twice came from behind at White Hart Lane to record a superb victory at Spurs. The hosts dominated the early stages and took a deserved lead when Steed Malbranque crossed for Jermaine Defoe to sweep the ball in however the lead lasted less than two minutes as James Milner's free kick was hammered in from a tight angle by Paul Huntingdon after his original effort was blocked. The lead was regained early in the second half by Dimitar Berbatov with a bouncing volley after Teemu Tainio's shot was blocked and this time they held on for longer until Newcastle turned the game on it's head in a remarkable 90 second spell. Obafemi Martins was the man behind the reversal as firstly he exchanged passes with Kieron Dyer before smashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 25 yards when there looked to be no room to get a shot in. He then found a superb reverse ball to find Nicky Butt bursting into the area and his low shot found the net via the far post. Spurs pushed on for an equaliser and almost found it when Defoe nearly snapped the post with a bullet of a shot.

Attendance : 35,942
Assists : Malbranque, Sibierski, n/a, Dyer, Martins

13 January 2007

LIVERPOOL 3 (Bellamy 34, Crouch 40, 48)

Liverpool ended a nightmare week on a high with a comfortable win at bottom club Watford. They effectively had the game sewn up by half time with two quick fire goals. The first was a tap in for Craig Bellamy when Steve Finnan's cross set him up after Peter Crouch's effort was smothered by keeper Ben Foster. Watford had a great chance to level matters when Tommy Smith dragged a shot well wide from a superb position and within a minute, the lead was doubled. Dirk Kuyt sent Bellamy clear and although Foster parried his shot, Crouch was on hand to nod the rebound into an empty net. The second half began as thefirst ended, with a Crouch goal as he ghosted into the far post to side-foot home Bellamy's cross. Steven Gerrard should have added a fourth but blazed wide from a good position and at the other end, Jordan Stewart was desperatly unlucky to see his long range shot cannon against the woodwork.

Attendance : 19,746
Assists : Finnan, n/a, Bellamy


No goals and little excitement at the Reebok as Bolton and Man City failed to find a goal between them. City created arguably the best chance when Darius Vassell crossed and Joey Barton found the side netting from a good position.

Attendance : 22,334
Assist : n/a

CHARLTON 1 (Hasselbaink 28)
MIDDLESBROUGH 3 (Cattermole 45, Arca 63, Yakubu 68)

The battle of the relegation probables against the relegation possibles saw Middlesbrough come from behind to win at Charlton who are now six points from safety. It began well for them as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink found the net with a bouncing effort after a long ball had struck Boro's Emmanuel Pogatetz on the back. The visitors equalised on half time when Mark Viduka set up Lee Cattermole to slot inside the far post and in the second half, Stuart Downing's cross wasn't cleared by Hermann Hreidarsson, allowing Julio Arca to side foot home. The coup de grace came shortly afterwards as Yakubu cut in from the left and hammered a stinging shot which swerved viciously and tore into the roof of the net. Superb goal - memories of Tony Yeboah!

Attendance : 26,384
Assists : n/a, Viduka, n/a, Pogatetz

CHELSEA 4 (Lampard 13 fk, Robben 63, Kirkland 70 og, Drogba 90)

Chelsea kept on the heels of Man United with a comfortable win over Wigan who are now just one place above the drop zone. The champions needed a stroke of luck to get started when Frank Lampard's free kick was crossed into the area yet went through everyone and settled inside the far post. Arjen Robben then took over as he latched onto an attempted back pass from the half way line by Kristofer Haestad to round the keeper and tap into an empty net. Seven minutes later, he broke down the left and although Chris Kirkland got a hand to his low cross, the keeper only diverted it into his own goal. Didier Drogba completed the rout late on when he sent a superb header past the keeper from John Obi Mikel's cross.

Attendance : 40,846
Assists : Robben (won fk), n/a, n/a, Mikel

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Park 11, Carrick 13, Ronaldo 35)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Agbonlahor 52)

Man United remain six points clear of Chelsea after a first half goal blitz gave them their third win over Aston Villa in as many weeks. Ji-Sung Park grabbed his first of the season to get United started with a low shot into the corner after Ville made a hash of clearing Gary Neville's cross and within two minutes, Park found Michael Carrick who also scored his first of the campaign with a similar shot. Cristiano Ronaldo added his customary goal with a far post header from Carrick's cross and although Gabriel Agbonlahor pulled one back with a tap in from Milan Baros's run and cross, there was only one winner.

Attendance : 76,073
Assists : n/a, Park, Carrick, Baros

SHEFFIELD UNITED 1 (S Quinn 22 fk)
PORTSMOUTH 1 (O'Neil 81)

Sheffield United stay five points above the bottom three but it could have been so much better had they not gifted Portsmouth a late equalised. United went ahead with a well taken free kick from 20 yards by Stephen Quinn, however Portsmouth had the better of the second half and earned a point when Claude Davis and keeper Paul Gerrard both hesitated in the area and Gary O'Neil prodded the ball in.

Attendance : 30,269
Assists : Lucketti (won fk), n/a

WEST HAM 3 (Zamora 28, Benayoun 46, 64)
FULHAM 3 (Radzinski 16, McBride 59, Christanval 90)

Hugely enjoyable London derby at Upton Park as West Ham and Fulham shared six goals. Fulham started the fun off when Heidar Helguson's header was going wide before Thomasz Radzinski diverted it over the line, however the Hammers were level when Bobby Zamora latched onto Carlton Cole's header and slotted past the keeper. The second half was just twelve seconds old when West Ham went ahead as Yossi Benayoun scored with a brilliant chip from the edge of the area, however just before the hour Fulham were level as Brian McBride converted Moritz Volz's near post cross with a neat header. Benayoun then struck again as he latched onto Zamora's chest pass to round the keeper and slot home, helped hugely by defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Phillipe Christenval who left the ball to each other on the edge of the box. Zamora's day then turned sour as he was shown a second yellow card for lunging in on Bocanegra and just as it looked as though West Ham would hold on for the win, Fulham levelled in stoppage time when Christenval ended a game of head tennis with a firm volley into the net.

Attendance : 34,977
Red Card : Zamora 76 (West Ham)
Assists : Helguson, Cole, Zamora, Volz, n/a, n/a

ARSENAL 2 (Toure 37, Henry 71)

Arsenal wrapped up their third away win in eight days despite playing at Blackburn with a numerical disadvantage for the majority of the game. Things began badly for Arsenal when they were reduced to ten men inside a quarter of a hour. It went to Gilberto Silva who kicked out at Robbie Savage after the Welshman had fouled him although the Blackburn player was only shown a yellow. Ironically, Rovers could have been down to ten men themselves when Lucas Neill tripped Robin Van Persie as he looked to burst through, however the ref ruled that there were two other defenders that may have caught the Dutchman and Neill was shown a yellow instead. Justice was done from the free kick though as Thierry Henry's chip was headed powerfully past a standing Brad Friedel by Kolo Toure, aided by the inside of the post. In the second half, both Shabani Nonda and Matt Derbyshire missed good chances to equalise and they were made to pay as Arsenal clinched the points with a beauty. Defending a free kick, the Gunners broke with Henry carrying the ball deep into the Rovers half. He then exchanged passes with Cesc Fabregas before crashing a shot into the net via the hand of Friedal and the crossbar.

Attendance : 21,852
Red Card : Gilberto Silva 13 (Arsenal)
Assists : Henry (fk), Fabregas

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