16 October 2006

Fulham (0) 2 (McBride 65, Jensen 67)
Charlton (0) 1 (Bent (D) 78)

Fulham move into the top half of the table at the expence of Charlton who remain rooted at the bottom of the table. Charlton had the better of a drab first half as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had a shot saved and both Dennis Rommedalh and Andy Reid were marginally off target. The second half began in much the same vein with Reid again coming close although Brian McBride had a volley well saved and a header wide shortly afterwards at the other end. It sparked a good spell for Fulham which resulted in them taking the lead as Franck Queudrue leapt on the edge of the area to glance on Claus Jensen's free kick for McBride who volleyed in from the edge of the area. Charlton protested that the American used his hand to control the ball, however the goal stood. It was all Fulham now and after Thomasz Radzinski shaved the bar with a scorching effort, the lead was doubled as ex-Charlton man Claus Jensen, in his first game for a year after injury, ran onto a through ball from Liam Rosenior to blast the ball into the roof of the net. Charlton recovered and pulled one back as Jerome Thomas was tackled in the area, however it fell to Darren Bent who prodded the ball into the bottom corner. It set up a grandstand finale and Hermann Hreidarsson almost snatched an equaliser with a header which drifted wide.

Attendance : 19,179
Assists : Jensen (fk), Rosenior, Thomas

15 October 2006

Newcastle 1 (Ameobi 19 Pen)
Bolton 2 (Diouf 55, 57)

Bolton move into third after coming from behind to win at Newcastle whose own season remains in the 'could do better' file. After an uneventful start, Newcastle went ahead thanks to a hotly disputed penalty as Obafemi Martin's cross was handled by Abdoulaye Faye, although Bolton felt that he was trying to get his arm out of the way. It mattered little to Shola Ameobi who calmly slotted the spot kick in as Jussi Jaaskelainen was sent the wrong way. The lead should have been doubled when Ameobi nodded the ball across goal only for Peter Ramage to blaze the ball miles off target from close range with the goal gaping. It came just after a decent spell for Bolton when home keeper Steve Harper saved three times in quick succession as the visitors pressed for an equaliser. Bolton began the second half well and stunned their hosts with two quick fire goals to turn the game around. Firstly a long pass from Abdoulaye Meite was misjudged by Stephen Carr and found Nik Anelka on the left. His low cross was tapped in by El Hadji Diouf from close range. Within two minutes, Bolton were ahead as a long ball into the area was nodded on by Kevin Davies and headed in by Diouf again from a similar range to his first. Newcastle looked shell-shocked and failed to make any impact on the Bolton goal until the latter stages by which time Anelka had fizzed a ball across goal and inches wide as Bolton looked to kill the game off. In the final ten minutes, Newcastle finally decided that attacking would be a decent idea and Emre was unlucky to see his long range effort sail just wide with the keeper well beaten.

Attendance : 48,145
Assists : n/a, Anelka, Davies

14 October 2006

Wigan (1) 1 (Baines 4)
Manchester United (0) 3 (Vidic 62, Saha 66, Solskjaer 90)

Man United consolidated top spot after three second half goals saw them come from behind to beat Wigan at the JJB. Wigan took an early lead with a scorching shot from Leighton Baines from 30 yards after Paul Scharner and Kevin Kilbane set him up from a free kick. United came close to equalising when Wayne Rooney did brilliantly to find space in the area only to crack his shot against the crossbar. United began the second half strongly but again missed a great chance when Louis Saha found a shooting chance only to his effort just wide as keeper Chris Kirkland came off his line. The inevitable equaliser arrived just after the hour when a corner from Ryan Giggs was thumped in by the head of Nemanja Vidic from six yards. Four minutes later, United were ahead as Rooney's chipped cross was controlled at the far post by Saha and then drilled in off the post from close range. The win was clinched deep into stoppage time when Rooney found Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who wriggled past two defenders to fire a deflected effort low into the net.

Attendance : 20,631
Assists : Kilbane (fk), Giggs (ck), Rooney, Rooney

Arsenal (2) 3 (Stewart (og) 33, Henry 43, Adebayor 67)
Watford (0) 0

Arsenal's resurgence continued with a win over winless Watford in a game that marked a decade in charge for Arsene Wenger. They needed a stroke of luck to start proceedings off though as Cesc Fabregas floated in a free kick that Emmanuel Adebayor glanced on only for Jordan Stewart to chest the ball into his own net. Ten minutes later, Adebayor was again the provider as his header sent Thierry Henry clear to slot in at the near post. The compliment was returned in the second half as Henry again burst clear from a pass from Fabregas but despite only having the keeper to beat, set up Adebayor for a tap in. Watford remain the only Prem club without a win.

Attendance : 60,018
Assists : n/a, Adebayor, Henry

Aston Villa (0) 1 (Barry 81)
Tottenham (0) 1 (Angel (og) 76)

SENT OFF : Davenport (Spurs) 73
MISSED PEN : Angel (Villa) 74 - Wide

Aston Villa remain the only unbeaten Prem club after their fifth draw in eight games in an eventful encounter against under-achieving Spurs. The main excitement came in the final twenty minutes, starting when Callum Davenport brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor in the area and was, harshly, sent off. Juan Pablo Angel's record taking penalties is not good however and his spot kick sailed wide of Paul Robinson's goal. Angel wasn't to be outdone though and within two minutes he had the ball in the net, although sadly for him it was at the wrong end as, under no pressure, he glanced a near post corner from Jermaine Jenas past his keeper. Villa earned a point when Gareth Barry cut in from the left and fired a cracking shot into the top corner with his right foot - a rarity in itself.

Attendance : 42,551
Assists : n/a, Petrov

Liverpool (0) 1 (Bellamy 64)
Blackburn (1) 1 (McCarthy 17)

Liverpool's season simply won't kick start as they had to come from behind to earn a draw against Blackburn. After defending for the best part of the opening stages, Rovers went ahead as David Bentley's cross was dispatched at the far post by Benni McCarthy with a well controlled volley. Liverpool deserved at least a draw and got it when ex-Rovers star Craig Bellamy netted his first league goal for Liverpool with a far post header from Fabio Aurelio's corner.

Attendance : 44,206
Assists : Nonda, Aurelio (ck)

Manchester City (0) 0
Sheffield United (0) 0

Not one for the DVD collection as Man City and Sheffield United failed to get the pulses racing at the City of Manchester Stadium. There were chances but nothing clear cut as Georgios Samaras wasted the best opportunity when his close range header was saved by Paddy Kenny.

Attendance : 42,192
Assists : n/a

Middlesbrough (1) 2 (Yakubu (pen) 27, Viduka 71)
Everton (0) 1 (Cahill 77)

MISSED PEN : Yakubu (Middlesbrough) 65 - saved

Everton's unbeaten record ended at Middlesbrough who will hope that their season is finally looking up. They took the lead when visiting keeper Tim Howard clattered into Yakubu in the area and the striker got to his feet and calmly dispatched the penalty. He should have doubled the lead after the break, however after Joleon Lescott handled in the area, his penalty was well saved this time by Howard. Jason Euell then set up Mark Viduka to slide in Boro's second from close range and although Tim Cahill pulled one back, latching onto a pass from Andy Johnson before beating two men and firing home, Everton slipped to defeat for the first time this season.

Attendance : 27,156
Assists : Yakubu (won pen), Euell, Johnson

Portsmouth (1) 2 (Kanu 24, Cole 82)
West Ham (0) 0

Portsmouth remain hot on the heels of the big two after seeing off West Ham whose own season has gone down the proverbial plughole since the opening day. A goal in each half did the damage as Glen Johnson crossed for Nwankwo Kanu to head in at the far post and then Andrew Cole showed that he still has what it takes as he played a one-two with Matty Taylor, kept his feet and turned to fire in.

Attendance : 20,142
Assists : Johnson, n/a

Reading (0) 0
Chelsea (1) 1 (Ingimarsson (og) 45)

SENT OFF : Mikel (Chelsea) 62, Bikey (Reading) 82

Chelsea go level on points with Man United at the top after a narrow win at Reading in a game that lasted until the 102nd minute as the visitors lost two goalkeepers due to injury. Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of half time as they won a dubious free kick on the edge of the area and Frank Lampard's low shot found the net via two deflections, the second of which came off of Ivar Ingimarsson who simply couldn't get his feet out of the way quickly enough. The Reading defender had earlier hit his own bar with a header so it wasn't really his day! The same could be said of Petr Cech as the Chelsea keeper was caught in the head by the knee of Stephen Hunt and after just five minutes was replaced by Carlo Cudicini due to concussion. Reading almost went ahead when Kevin Doyle made space to crack a shot against the post only to fall behind late on in the half. The second half was uneventful until the hour mark when John Obi Mikel showed his inexperience by hauling back Ibrahima Sonko to earn a second yellow and subsequent red card. It sparked a spell of play where tempers flared and tackles flew in although ironically this had subsided by the time that Reading were also reduced in numbers when Andre Bikey earned his second yellow for tripping Didier Drogba. The game ended as it began as Cudicini was clattered in midair by Sonko and was eventually stretchered off after being treated for almost ten minutes. John Terry ended the game in goal but wasn't threatened.

Attendance : 24,025
Assists : n/a, Anelka, Davies

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