22 April 2007


Goalless at Villa Park with the only real notable mention going to Pompey keeper David James who made a couple of decent saves from Craig Gardner and by keeping a clean sheet, broke David Seaman's record of Premiership shut-outs.

Attendance : 31,745
Assist : n/a


Chelsea wasted a chance to gain ground on Man United after the Reds slipped up yesterday following a remarkably lacklustre display by the Champions in a goalless draw at Newcastle.

The first half was just about devoid of any chances at either end as both defences were fully on top. Newcastle did most of what attacking there was as they enjoyed the majority of possession and came as close as anyone when Obafemi Martins had a weak shot on the turn deflected wide.

The second half had to improve for Chelsea and almost did within two minutes when Frank Lampard blazed over after good work from Salomon Kalou and shortly afterwards Didier Drogba did similar from the edge of the area. Newcastle struggled to get a foothold after the break until Kieron Dyer was sent clear and was denied by Petr Cech from a tight angle and from the resulting corner, Martins headed over. Suddenly it was end to end as sub Joe Cole crossed for Kalou whose prodded effort rolled past the keeper but was easily cleared by Nicky Butt before it had the chance to roll over the line. Into the last ten minutes and Chelsea were still failing to exert the sort of pressure you'd expect of a club chasing the title with Newcastle looking most likely with Martins and sub Andy Carroll coming close. In the third minute of stoppage time, Cole slid a shot inches wide but it was far too little too late and if Chelsea do miss out on the title, they'll look back on today as a golden opportunity wasted.

Attendance : 52,056
Assist : n/a

21 April 2007

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Richardson 3)

Man United edged four points clear at the top again ahead of Chelsea's trip to Newcastle tomorrow after a 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough but it will be seen as points lost as their lead could be down to just one point on Sunday.

United were ahead inside three minutes when a long ball from Paul Scholes sent Wayne Rooney clear and as he dragged the ball past the keeper, it fell into the path of Kieron Richardson alongside him to tap in probably the easiest goal he'll ever score. United looked comfortable prior to the latter stages of the half when Rio Ferdinand picked up an injury and Boro levelled on half time. Stuart Downing was the provider with a decent cross from the left superbly dispatched at the near post by the head of Mark Viduka.

Ferdinand was replaced at half time and he was missed straight away when Viduka out-skilled and out-muscled Wes Brown to get through on goal only to be denied by Edwin Van Der Sar who was quickly off his line and there was a repeat shortly afterwards when Yakubu found space in the area and again the Dutchman was sharply out. United were looking nervy and created little for the opening twenty minutes of the second half apart from a wayward Cristiano Ronaldo shot. Enter sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Alan Smith although within seconds at the other end Lee Cattermole shaved the bar with a scorching long range effort. Solskjaer did get the ball into the net as he nicked it from keeper Mark Schwarzer as he went to drop kick clear however it was disallowed and the United played booked as so often happens in such occurances. Rooney had three efforts off target but was closest with the first, a stabbed shot which looped over the keeper and sailed just wide.

Attendance : 75,967
Assists : Rooney, Downing

BOTLON 1 (Shorey 64 og)
READING 3 (Doyle 84 Pen, Doyle 89, Hunt 92)

Three late goals saw Reading move into a European place after an excellent win at Bolton. The hosts went ahead when Nik Anelka's shot looked to be drifting wide before Nicky Shorey diverted it into his own net, however Kevin Doyle levelled matters from the penalty spot having been brought down by Abdoulaye Meite. A draw looked likely until a late goal burst saw Reading clear, firstly when Doyle scored again after collecting a cross from Ulises De la Cruz before turning and bobbling it over the line and then Shorey made up for his own goal with a cross that Nicky Hunt headed in.

Attendance : 23,533
Assists : n/a, Doyle (won pen), Sidwell, Shorey

CHARLTON 1 (Kilgannon 59 og)

Third bottom met fourth bottom in a relegation crunch battle with ultimately resolved little as Charlton and Sheffield United shared two goals. Charlton went ahead with an odd sort of goal as Talal El Kharouri brought the ball out of defence and decided on a speculative shot from fully 30 yards which took enough of a deflection to wrong foot keeper Paddy Kenny and fly in. United stopped the clubs from changing places in the table with a superb equaliser as Nick Montgomery set up Jon Stead to drill a shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner.

Attendance : 27,111
Assists : n/a, Montgomery

FULHAM 1 (Montella 10)
BLACKBURN 1 (McCarthy 61)

Fulham remain in the relegation dog fight despite taking an early lead against Blackburn. The scorer was on-loan striker Vincenzo Montella who headed in from close range after Papa Bouba Diop had nodded on a corner from Sean Davis. Rovers earned a point when Stephen Warnock did well on the left and crossed for Beni McCarthy to sweep home. This game made history for BBC's Match of the Day as it was the first time in the programme's 43 year history that a female commentator had covered the game. 32-year old Jacqui Oatley strikes a blow for equality everywhere and I actually thought she did well enough.

Attendance : 23,652
Assist : Diop, Warnock

LIVERPOOL 2 (Kuyt 30, Kuyt 68)

Liverpool consolidated third place with a win over Wigan who are still deep in the battle to avoid the drop. Dirk Kuyt scored in each half for the reds to secure the win, firstly when he headed in Jermaine Pennant's cross as the keeper ventured off his line and after the break he latched onto the ball after Craig Bellamy had been tackled and found the bottom corner.

Attendance : 44,003
Assists : Pennant, n/a

WATFORD 1 (Priskin 75)
MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Vassell 53)

The inevitable happened as Watford were relegated after only drawing against Man City. A howler from keeper Ben Foster gifted City the lead as he went to clear a back pass yet only presented the ball to Darius Vassell who rolled the ball in from outside the area. Watford did equalise when Douglas Rinaldi set up Tamas Priskin to fire home but it wasn't enough to keep them up.

Attendance : 18,357
Assists : n/a, Rinaldi

WEST HAM 1 (Zamora 13)

West Ham's Great Escape remains on track after a narrow home win against European hopefuls Everton. The only goal came early when Yossi Benayoun's back heel was fired into the top corner by Bobby Zamora.

Attendance : 34,945
Assist : Benayoun

TOTTENHAM 2 (Keane 30, Jenas 95)
ARSENAL 2 (Toure 64, Adebayor 78)

A sensational 95th minute strike from Jermaine Jenas earned Spurs a point as they shared four goals with North London rivals Arsenal.

Spurs took the lead when a corner from Jenas was nodded on by Michael Dawson and headed in from close range by Robbie Keane, however the arrival of sub Cesc Fabregas seemed to galvanise the Gunners and after half time he set up both goals. Arsenal had hit the woodwork on three occasions before a free kick on the left by Fabregas was floated to the far post where an unmarked Kolo Toure fired in off the keeper. Fourteen minutes later, a repeat performance as a free kick from the other side was again sent to the far post by Fabregas and headed in by Emmanuel Adebayor. The four minutes of stoppage time suggested was a few seconds over when Jenas played a one-two with Steed Malbranque and drilled a beauty low into the bottom corner from 25 yards to lift Spurs just into the European spots ahead of the rest of the weekend games.

Attendance : 36,050
Assists : Dawson, Fabregas (fk), Fabregas (fk), Malbranque

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