20 September 2006

Liverpool (1) 2 (Kuyt 29, Alonso 79)
Newcastle (0) 0

Liverpool moved into the top half of the table after a goal in each half saw off Newcastle. Both goals were memorable for differing reasons as firstly new signing Dirk Kuyt netted his first for the half, tapping in from close range after Steve Finnan had crossed and then with eleven minutes to go, Xabi Alonso unleashed another of his specials. He tackled Charles N'Zogbia to win the ball and then, having looked up, spotted keeper Steve Harper on the edge of his area and hammered a shot from the centre circle of his own half that dipped and sailed in. It was a goal worthy of the stage, although Harper would almost certainly had reached it had he not stumbled over as he back peddled to get back into his goal. Alonso's effort was more powerful than his cup goal at Luton in January and further out than Beckham's against Wimbledon at the start of the 1996-97 season. Wonderful stuff!

Attendance : 43,754
Assists : Finnan, n/a

17 September 2006

Chelsea (1) 1 (Drogba 42)
Liverpool (0) 0

SENT OFF : Ballack (Chelsea) 51

Didier Drogba scored one of the goals of the season as ten-man Chelsea narrowly beat Liverpool in the first battle of the heavyweights of the afternoon. The strike came three minutes before half time as Frank Lampard floated a cross towards the edge of the area and after controlling the ball on his chest with his back to goal, Drogba swivelled and walloped a superb first time volley into the back of the net from twenty yards, leaving keeper Jose Reina to stand and admire. Liverpool were given numerical hope early in the second half when Michael Ballack clashed with Mohamed Sissoko and seemed to stamp on his thigh to earn a straight red card, however Chelsea held on to the lead despite Peter Crouch missing a great chance in stoppage time when his free header was straight at Petr Cech.

Attendance : 41,882
Assist : Lampard

Blackburn (2) 4 (Sinclair og 18, Pedersen 44 fk, McCarthy 66, Gallagher 89)
Manchester City (2) 2 (Barton 38, Ooijer og 45)

Blackburn moved up almost half of the table from bottom to 12th after beating Man City in a thriller at Ewood. City dominated the opening stages but went behind when Trevor Sinclair's header deflected a Morten Gamst Pedersen free kick past his own keeper. City levelled when Paul Dickov sent Joey Barton clear and he slotted calmly home to spark a late first half goal blitz as firstly Rovers regained the lead when Pedersen's free kick on the right drifted past everyone and nestled inside the far post, however straight from the kick off, Bernardo Corradi crossed and as Andre Ooijer appealed for offside, he managed to prod the ball into his own net to level things up again. Pedersen was the provider for the third as a quick throw sent him away down the left and his cross gave Benni McCarthy a tap in and late on, Brett Emerton's cross was side-footed into the roof of the net by Paul Gallagher to clinch the win.

Attendance : 18,403
Assists : n/a, Dickov, Bentley (won fk), n/a, Pedersen, Emerton

Tottenham (0) 0
Fulham (0) 0

Spurs dominated against Fulham but their rocky start to the season continued as they failed to break through. They had the better chances in the second half as Ahmed Mido hit the post from a tight angle, Pascal Chimbonda had a looping header cleared off the line and new arrival Benoit Assou-Ekotto arrowed a free kick just over.

Attendance : 36,131
Assist : n/a

West Ham (0) 0
Newcastle (0) 2 (Duff 50, Martins 75)

Glenn Roeder returned to West Ham and his Newcastle side came away with a rare win from the capital. Both goals came in the second half as Obfemi Martins sent Damien Duff through to finish with a crisp shot from the left and then Martins capitalised on indecision between Lee Bowyer and Danny Gabbidon to burst through and slot in the second.

Attendance : 34,938
Assists : Martins, n/a

Manchester United (0) 0
Arsenal (0) 1 (Adebayor 85)

MISSED PEN : Gilberto (Arsenal) 12 - Saved

Arsenal stunned Man United at Old Trafford with a late winner to send United spiralling to their first defeat of the season whilst recording their own first victory. Arsenal began very well and should have taken an early lead from the penalty spot after Emmanuel Adebayor was clipped by keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, however he made amends by turning away Gilberto's kick although the Brazilian seemed to slip as he connected. Minutes later, Tomas Rosicky was denied from long range by the keeper as Arsenal looked for the breakthrough. United's best chances of a goalless first half fell to Cristiano Ronaldo, however Lens Lehmann was equal to both efforts, although the second walloped him straight in the face from close range. Neither club looked like settling for a draw after the break and whilst you could have forgiven Arsenal for doing so, they were the ones who ultimately got the break through. Cesc Fabregas caught Ronaldo in possession in midfield and after carrying the ball forward, played in Adebayor who just reached the ball before Kuszczak to prod in. United almost levelled straight away when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's drive was brilliantly finger tipped away by Lehmann.

Attendance : 75,595
Assist : Fabregas

16 September 2006
Charlton (0) 0
Portsmouth (0) 1 (Lua-Lua 74)

Portsmouth go top for 24 hours at least with a narrow win at Charlton who continue to struggle under new boss Iain Dowie. The only game came late on when Lomana Lua-Lua collected the ball on the edge of the area, made space and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner which keeper Scott Carson got hands to but couldnt keep out. Pompey are still yet to concede a goal this season.

Attendance : 26,130
Assist : O'Neill

Bolton (0) 0
Middlesbrough (0) 0

Goalless at the Reebok in a game of few chances. Bolton came close twice in the first half when Gary Speed and Nik Anelka had efforts just off target.

Attendance : 21,164
Assist : n/a

Everton (0) 2 (Johnson 49, Beattie (pen) 66)
Wigan (0) 2 (Scharner 62, 68)

Wigan twice came from behind to grab a point away to high flying Everton. After a goalless first half, Everton went ahead when Wigan failed to deal with Mikael Arteta's cross and Andy Johnson fired in from close range. Kevin Kilbane then crossed for Paul Scharner to send a superb header into the net but within minutes, Leon Osman was clattered in the area by Gary Teale and James Beattie battered home the penalty. The lead lasted two minutes as Wigan levelled again, also through Scharner who swept in a cross from Andreas Johanssen.

Attendance : 37,117
Assists : n/a, Kilbane, Osman (won pen), Johanssen

Sheffield United (0) 1 (Hulse 61)
Reading (2) 2 (Doyle 18 secs, Seol 25)

Reading recorded their first ever top flight win as their excellent start continued against Sheffield United. They were off to a dream start when Bobby Convey sent Kevin Doyle clear to finish convincingly after just 18 seconds and the lead was doubled when Leroy Lita set up Seol Ki-Hyeon to find the bottom corner from 20 yards. Rob Hulse pulled one back from a very tight angle after collecting Ade Akinbiyi's header however Reading held on for a superb win.

Attendance : 25,011
Assists : Convey, Lita, Akinbiyi

Watford (0) 0
Aston Villa (0) 0

Entertaining stuff at Vicarage Road but no goals as Watford and Aston Villa fired blanks. Villa had the better of the first half with Stilian Petrov having the best chance only to be denied by keeper Ben Foster. Watford improved after the break but couldn't break through, largely thanks to the goalkeeping of Thomas Sorensen that kept them at bay.

Attendance : 18,620
Assist : n/a

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