11 September 2006

Reading (1) 1 (Ingimarsson 23)
Manchester City (0) 0

SENT OFF : Dabo (Man City) 80

Reading move into the top half of the table with a narrow win over ten man Man City who are still yet to score from open play this season. City had the better of the opening stages with a Paul Dickov shot well saved by Marcus Hahnemann as close as they came, however it was Reading who went ahead when a Bobby Convey free kick was headed in at the far post by Ivar Ingimarsson who was laid out by a clash of heads just after he made contact with the ball. City battled back though and after Bernardo Corradi had a header easily saved, Trevor Sinclair blazed wide from a good position. Reading ended the half strongly though as Ingimarsson was denied his second by a fine save by Nicky Weaver and Seol Ki-Hyeon headed over from a corner when he really should have scored. City failed to make an impact early in the second half, however after an hour they made a double change and within seconds, one of the subs, Georgios Samaras, had a stinging shot saved and then another slide inches wide minutes later. Claudio Reyna then fizzed a free shot well over the bar as City continued to dominated yet fail to find the net. Reading were playing largely on the break but did get chances as Convey miskicked wide and Kevin Doyle fired over after a scramble in the area. City were reduced to ten men with ten minutes left when Ousmane Dabo was shown a straight red card for leading with the elbow when jumping with Steve Sidwell, although it looked more of a forearm than elbow. Late on, Doyle almost capitalised on hesitation in the City defence but was denied by Weaver whilst Ingimarsson's drilled long range effort was tipped wide. Doyle should have added a second in the last minute but having rounded the keeper, his shot was blocked on the line by Sylvain Distin.

Attendance : 24,092
Assist : Convey (fk)

10 September 2006 West Ham (0) 1 (Zamora 52)
Aston Villa (1) 1 (Ridgewell 4)

West Ham and Aston Villa shared the spoils after a pulsating game at Upton Park. Pre-match, the hype was all about West Ham's Argentinian arrivals, however both Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano started on the bench and could only watch as Villa shocked their hosts when they took an early lead as a corner from the right was headed goalwards by Luke Moore and although keeper Roy Carroll somehow kept it out, Liam Ridgewell was on hand to bundle the loose ball home from close range. The Hammers shoudld have levelled minutes later after an astonishing incident that saw Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen miskick a clearance that fell to Marlon Harewood twelve yards out, however the striker somehow slotted his effort wide with only the red faced stopper to beat! Juan Pablo Angel then smashed a free header against the bar and later grazed the bar with a similar effort as play swung from end to end and the Hammers in particular looked all at sea at the back. It took seven minutes of the second half for West Ham to equalise as Lee Bowyer's corner was headed goalwards from the edge of the area by Paul Konchesky and deflected in off the thigh of Bobby Zamora. Villa were inches away from regaining the lead a minute later when Stilian Petrov found space and lobbed Carroll only for Tyrone Mears to save a goal with a spectacular goal-line clearance and with the hosts just about recovering, it happened again as Carroll saved brilliantly from Gareth Barry and Anton Ferdinand clearing from the line after Gabriel Agbonlahor slid the rebound goalwards! On the hour, Tevez came on to replace Harewood to the delight of the home fans as the game then went through a rare scrappy spell, although he did show some neat touches.

Attendance : 34,576
Assists : n/a, Koncheskey

9 September 2006 Everton (2) 3 (Cahill 24, Johnson 36, 90)
Liverpool (0) 0

Everton go top for a few hours at least after thumping local rivals Liverpool 3-0 at Goodison. Liverpool began well, however it was Everton who showed the killer instincy in front of goal as Mikael Arteta's cross was nodded on by Lee Carsley and after Leon Osman showed strength to hold off his man, Tim Cahill swept the ball in from ten yards. The lead was doubled before half time as Liverpool then became the makers of their own downfall. Carsley's clipped pass was chased by Andy Johnson who took full advantage of indecision from both Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia to slot the ball inside the near post. The visitors almost pulled one back in the second half when Steven Gerrard's shot hit the inside of the post and after Dirk Kuyt hit the rebound across goal, Tony Hibbert was lucky to get away with a handball as he blocked the effort. The win was secured in stoppage time as Carsley's long range shot was pushed into the air by keeper Jose Reina and as it looked it drop in, he caught it only to throw it back into the air to avoid carrying it over the line. However Johnson was following up and nodded the ball over the line to leave Reina and Liverpool red faced.

Attendance : 40,004
Assists : Carsley, n/a, n/a

Arsenal (0) 1 (Henry (pen) 67)
Middlesbrough (1) 1 (Morrison 22)

SENT OFF : Boateng (Middlesbrough) 64

Arsenal still continue to stutter at their brand spanking new stadium as they came from behind to draw with Middlesbrough. The visitots had Jonathon Woodgate making his debut and he helped solidify a defence slaughtered by Portsmouth two weeks ago whilst up front, a superb one-two between Jaosn Euell and James Morrison resulted in the latter stabbing in the opener. Arsenal battled back, aided by the sending off of George Boateng for a trip on Freddie Ljungberg, his second bookable offence. Within minutes, the Gunners were level when Stuart Downing tripped Emmanuel Eboue in the area, leaving Thierry Henry to drill in the spot kick.

Attendance : 60,007
Assists : Euell, Eboue (won pen)

Bolton (0) 1 (Speed (pen) 90)
Watford (0) 0

Watford had the better of things at the Reebok but were beaten by a penalty in the final seconds of stoppage time. The Prem newcomers hit the woodwork three times, however they lost when Idan Tal was fouled by Danny Shittu and Gary Speed walloped the penalty into the roof of the net.

Attendance : 21,140
Assist : Tal (won pen)

Chelsea (1) 2 (Drogba 6, Carvalho 63)
Charlton (0) 1 (Hasselbaink 54)

MISSED PEN : Lampard (Chelsea) 83 - saved

Chelsea keep te pressure on the leaders after an unconvincing win over Charlton. They went ahead early on when Frank Lampard's corner was headed goalwards by Michael Ballack and although the effort was blocked, Didier Drogba's quickfire return shot found the net. Early in the second half, Charlton shocked their hosts when Dennis Rommedalh found Chelsea old boy Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who made space and curled in a beauty from the edge of the area. Parity lasted just ten minutes before another Lampard corner found the head of Ricardo Carvalho who nodded in at the far post. They should have increased the lead further when Talal El Kharkouri was judged to have pushed Salomon Kalou in the area, however justice was done when Scott Carson parried Lampard's penalty.

Attendance : 41,194
Assists : n/a, Rommedahl, Lampard (ck)

Newcastle (0) 1 (Parker 54)
Fulham (0) 2 (McBride 82, Bonenegra 89)

Fulham came from behind to earn a rare away win at Newcastle, howevr the game was overshadowed by an hoorific injury to Fulham's Jimmy Bullard whose knee cap appeared to pop from it's socket after his leg twisted when he challenged for the ball with Scott Parker. There was no fualt on the part of Parker who was more shocked than most, however the latest news looks better for Bullard who may only be out for two months. Having seen the injury, it could have been far worse. Early in the second half, Parker put the hosts ahead with a glancing header from Emre's cross, however it only sparked off a late Fulham revival in the last ten minutes. Firstly Wayne Routledge crossed for Brian McBride to slot in at the far post and McBride was also involved in the winner when his header hit the bar and bounced in via the legs of team mate Carlos Bocanegra.

Attendance : 50,365
Assists : Emre, Routledge, n/a

Portsmouth (0) 1 (Benjani 49)
Wigan (0) 0

Portsmouth went temporarily top ahead of the evening game with a narrow win against Wigan who felt they were unlucky not to get something from the game. The only goal came when Sol Campbell's powerful header sent Benjani clear and his finish - a flicked effort off the far post - was superb.

Attendance : 19,508
Assist : Campbell

Sheffield United (0) 0
Blackburn (0) 0

MISSED PENS : Neill (Blackburn) 69, Unsworth (Sheff Utd) 77, Hulse (Sheff Utd) 85

Fun and games as the bottom two met at Bramall Lane where three penalties were saved in the last twenty minutes! It began wehn Benni McCarthy was shoved down in the area by David Unsworth only for Pady Kenny to dive to his l;eft and push Lucas Neil's effort to safety. Eight minutes later and, despite having been warned previously, Zurab Khizanishvilli continued to grapple with Rob Hulse as they prepared for a corner and another penalty was awarded, however in a carbon copy of what happened at the other end, Brad Friedel saved Unsworth's kick. Remarkably, to prove that lightening can strike three times, Neill was judged to have handled a long ball back to his keeper, however from the replays it looked like his chest made contact, but once again, justice was done as Hulse took command only for Friedel to save again and then smother the rebound for good measure.

Attendance : 29,876
Assists : n/a

Manchester United (1) 1 (Giggs 9)
Tottenham (0) 0

Man United regain top spot and continue their 100% start to the season with a hard fought win over Spurs whose own start to the campaign is not quite as good as they'd hoped. The only goal came early when Ryan Giggs headed in off the bar after Paul Robinson failed to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo's free kick. Spurs could have levelled twice in the second half, however both Michael Dawson and Ahmed Mido missed good headed chances and late on, Louis Saha blew two glorious chances whilst clean through to clinch it for United, although they held on to complete their best ever start to a Premiership season whilst Spurs are off to their worst!

Attendance : 75,453
Assist : n/a

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