4 February 2007

MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Ronaldo 45 Pen, Vidic 48, Scholes 54, Giggs 77)

Man United regain their six point lead at the top after blitzing Spurs at White Hart Lane. The first half was a tale of three penalties. Two which were not given and should have been, notably when Henrik Larsson was tripped by Antony Gardner and at the other end when Gary Neville hauled down Pascal Chimbonda, and one which was and perhaps shouldn't have been as Cristiano Ronaldo nipped between two players and seemed to go back to his old tricks and dive when Steed Malbranque appeared to make no contact. Regardless, a spot kick was awarded and Ronaldo drilled it into the bottom corner. Earlier he'd been guilty of an incredible miss from six yards when he blazed miles over with the goal gaping. United began the second half on a mission to put the game out of sight as quickly as possible and it took them under nine minutes to score two more and do just that. Home keeper Paul Robinson had already saved two efforts before Nemanja Vidic thumped home a header from a Michael Carrick corner and five minutes later, Robinson could only deflected a Ronaldo cross to Paul Scholes who scrambled the ball over the line from a matter of inches. Sub Louis Saha sent Ryan Giggs clear to smash in the fourth and United even played the last ten minutes with ten men when keeper Edwin Van Sar was caught accidentally by the knee of Robbie Keane and was forced off. Having used all their subs, defender John O'Shea went between the sticks.

Attendance : 36,146
Assists : Ronaldo (won pen), Carrick (ck), n/a, Saha

3 February 2007

MIDDLESBROUGH 1 (Yakubu 63 Pen)
ARSENAL 1 (Henry 77)

Arsenal came from a goal and a man down to earn a point at Middlesbrough. The first half was only for the pureists and insomniacs only with defences on top and chances few and far between. Tomas Rosicky did come close for the Gunners with a shot that fizzed wide but little else to write home about. The second half began more promising as Mark Viduka shot wide for Boro and then on the hour the game had the spark that it needed. Yakubu chased a flick on by Viduka and got ahead of Phillipe Senderos whose attempts to unsettle the striker by grabbing his shoulder saw Yakubu go down in the area and earn a penalty. Senderos was rewarded with a red card and Yakubu calmly sent the spot kick into the bottom corner with Jens Lehmann diving the wrong way. Arsenal equalised amid high controversy as they broke from defending a Boro corner for Emmanuel Adebayor to set up Thierry Henry to slot in, however when Lehmann originally caught the corner, he then travelled outside the area before releasing the ball, although replays seemed to suggest that the ball remained in the area even if his leading foot didnt. It came just seconds after he's saved well from a superb turn and shot from Viduka.

Attendance : 31,122
Red Card : Senderos 62 (Arsenal)
Assists : Yakubu (won pen), Adebayor

ASTON VILLA 1 (Carew 36)

Villa halted their slide down the table with a narrow win over West Ham who remain in trouble in the bottom three. The only goal came from home debutant John Carew who was set up by fellow new arrival Ashley Young and then found the net from the edge of the area, although the keeper did get hands to it.

Attendance : 41,202
Assist : Young

BLACKBURN 2 (Pedersen 22, 92)

Blackburn edged past Sheffield United thanks to a stoppage time winner just minutes after they'd been reduced to ten men. Rovers took the lead when Morten Gamst Pedersen headed in Brett Emerton's deep cross, however United battled straight back and were level when a long ball was helped on by Rob Hulse and finished at close range by John Stead. With time running out, the hosts had Steven Warnock sent off for a second bookable offence, a clattering tackle on Derek Geary, however it made little difference as Pedersen notched his second late on with a superb 25-yard free kick.

Attendance : 20,917
Red Card : Warnock 88 (Blackburn)
Assists : Emerton, n/a, Dunn (won fk)

CHELSEA 1 (Lampard 18)

Chelsea keep the pressure on Man United at the top with a narrow win at lowly Charlton. The only goal came from Frank Lampard with a long range effort after Andriy Shevchenko hassled Amady Faye into losing the ball.

Attendance : 27,111
Assist : Shevchenko

FULHAM 2 (Helguson 49, McBride 73)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Martins 93)

Fulham bounced back from their midweek defeat with a comfortable win against Newcastle. After a goalless first half, Fulham took the lead just after the break when an awful back pass by Nicky Butt gifted the ball to Heidar Helguson whose dipping shot from the right edge of the area found the net. Papa Bouba Diop set up the second with a fine run and cross for Brian McBride to convert at the near post and although Obafemi Martins pulled a goal back in stoppage time with a neat volley from Nol Solano's long ball, it was never going to threaten the hosts.

Attendance : 24,340
Assists : n/a, Bouba Diop, Solano

READING 2 (Lita 79, 89)

Man City's indifferent run continued as two late Leroy Lita goals gave Reading a fine away win. His first was a first time shot inside the far post from Steve Sidwell's through ball and he doubled it with a minute left with a good finish from the edge of the area after Sidwell again provided the pass.

Attendance : 38,676
Assists : Sidwell, Sidwell

BOLTON 1 (Anelka 63)

Watford took another step towards the Championship with another defeat this time against Bolton. Nik Anelka scored the only goal, converting from six yards after keeper Ben Foster only half punched away Gary Speed's corner.

Attendance : 18,722
Assist : n/a

WIGAN 1 (McCulloch 68)

Wigan ended the worst losing streak in their history with a narrow win against European possibles Portsmouth. The only goal came from Lee McCulloch with a drilled finish after Sol Campbell and Noe Pamarot failed to clear.

Attendance : 15,093
Assist : n/a


No goals in the 176th Merseyside derby as Everton produced a fine defence display to restrict Liverpool to half chances. The first half saw a lack of clear cut opportunities with Peter Crouch coming as close as anyone with an acrobatic effort which Everton keeper Tim Howard did well to block at close range. The hosts began the second half well with Jamie Carragher's stinging shot blocked although it was quickly followed by two golden chances for Everton as Andy Johnson found space and was denied by the leg of Jose Reina and a minute later Leon Osman was just off target with a header. Liverpool bounced back and both Crouch and Steven Gerrard had efforts just wide from long range however ultimately the breakthrough wouldn't come.

Attendance : 44,234
Assist : n/a

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