31 January 2007

BOLTON 1 (Pedersen 6)
CHARLTON 1 (El Karkouri 12)

Struggling Bolton came from behind to earn a creditable draw at the Reebok. Bolton took an early lead when Henrik Pedersen headed in Gary Speed's cross at the near post, however Charlton grabbed a point when Talal El Kharkouri's 30-yard free kick fizzed through the wall and through keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Attendance : 22,357
Assists : Speed, Holland (fk)

MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Ronaldo 20 Pen, Doyley 61 og, Larsson 70, Rooney 71)

Top v bottom at Old Trafford as Man United swept Watford aside. They needed a penalty to get started when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pulled back in the area by Jay DeMerit, Cristiano Ronaldo stylishly converted the spot kick and on the hour, a further stroke of luck put them two up when Lloyd Doyley sent a superb header past his own keeper from Kieron Richardson's cross. However, love them or hate them you can't deny they play quality football up front, proved by two stunning goals in as many minutes. The first saw Wayne Rooney and Henrik Larsson exchange passes for the Swede to pass the ball into the net and United's fourth was another beauty as Ronaldo's lob set up Rooney to send an equally outrageous lob high over the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Attendance : 76,032
Assists : Solskjaer, n/a, Rooney, Ronaldo

NEWCASTLE 3 (Milner 5, Dyer 7, Sibierski 93)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Young 25)

Newcastle's up and down season continued with a decent home win against Aston Villa whose early season promise now seems a distant memory. Newcastle had the game wrapped up within seven minutes by which time they were two goals up. James Milner scored a trademark opener as he latched onto a pass from Nicky Butt, beat two men and hammered a shot into the top corner although keeper Thomas Sorensen did get hands to the ball. Milner was also involved in the second as his cross was headed in at the near post by Kieron Dyer. Villa pulled one back when debutant Ashley Young volleyed in after a corner was half scrambled clear but with time almost up, Newcastle broke and Damien Duff set up Antoine Sibierski to smash home the third.

Attendance : 49,201
Assists : n/a, Milner, n/a, Duff

CHELSEA 3 (Drogba 6, Lampard 67, Kalou 91)

Chelsea stay six points behind Man United with a comfortable home win against Blackburn. The scene was set early when Frank Lampard sent Didier Drogba clear to score with a shot across the keeper, however it took over an hour to increase the lead when John Obi Mikel set up Frank Lampard to score with a stinging 25 yard effort. In stoppage time, Michael Ballack's header sent Salomon Kalou through to find the bottom corner with a cool finish.

Attendance : 38,000
Assists : Lampard, Mikel, Ballack

30 January 2007

READING 3 (Ingimarsson 31, Long 51, Lita 88)
WIGAN 2 (Heskey 3, Landzaat 95)

Wigan slumped to a club record eighth league defeat in a row as Reading came from behind to beat them at the Madejski. Wigan took an early lead when Lee McCulloch's long ball sent Emile Heskey clear to score with a near post effort, however by half time the hosts were level when Leroy Lita's cross was tipped by keeper Chris Kirkland and Ivar Ingimarrsson nodded in from close range. Just after the restart, Reading went ahead with another close range header, this time from Shane Long after Stephen Hunt's lob set him up. Lita added a third late on, again from close range although from a tricky angle after Dave Kitson headed over the keeper and although Denny Landzaat pulled one back in stoppage time with a near post shot from Antonio Valencia's cross, it was too little, too late.

Attendance : 21,954
Assists : McCulloch, n/a, Hunt, Kitson, Valencia


No goals and little excitement as Portsnouth and Middlesbrough failed to find the net. Pompey came close late on when Lomana Lua-Lua was just off target with a curling effort however Boro will ultimately be happier with the point.

Attendance : 19,820
Assist : n/a

SHEFFIELD UNITED 2 (Stead 23, Tonge 28)

Sheffield United pulled away from the drop zone with a comfortable win over Fulham. The visitors were rarely in the game and were beaten by two goals in six first half minutes. John Stead grabbed the first with a crisp near post finish after collecting a cross from Nick Montgomery and wriggling into a shooting space. The second came when Stephen Quinn crossed for Michael Tonge to scramble the ball in.

Attendance : 27,540
Assists : n/a, n/a

WEST HAM 1 (Kepa 77)
LIVERPOOL 2 (Kuyt 46, Crouch 53)

Liverpool move to within two points of Chelsea after a hard fought 2-1 win at West Ham who remain in trouble in the bottom three. Liverpool had the better of the first half although the best two chances fell to the hosts with both Yossi Beanyoun and Marlon Harewood denied by keeper Jose Reina, the latter a fingertip save around the post from a drilled long range effort which the officials missed and awarded a goal kick instead of a corner. Liverpool's first half finishing was poor however they made amends within eleven seconds of the restart when Peter Crouch set up Dirk Kuyt to hammering a beauty in off the bar from 25 yards. If that stunned the struggling Hammers, worse followed minutes later when a sweeping Liverpool move culiminated in John Arne Riise's square ball setting up Crouch to smash home from the edge of the area. With fifteen minutes left, West Ham made a double change and it paid off almost instantly when Bobby Zamora found space to cross for debutant Kepa Blanco to slot in at the near post. It set up a grandstand finale but despite late pressure, Reina was rarely tested in the latter stages.

Attendance : 34,966
Assists : Crouch, Riise, Zamora

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