12 August 2007


Champions Man United began with a disappointing point at home to Reading who frustrated their opponents at Old Trafford. United's best chance fell to Ryan Giggs who hit the post from a tight angle in the first half, however their cause wasn't helped when Wayne Rooney was subbed at half time with a hairline fracture of his foot. Reading were reduced to ten men with seventeen minutes left when Dave Kitson was red carded after a dangerous challenge on Patrice Evra just a minute after coming on as a sub.

Attendance : 75,655
Red Card : Kitson 73 (Reading)

CHELSEA 3 (Pizarro 18, Malouda 31, Essien 50)
BIRMINGHAM 2 (Forssell 15, Kapo 36)

Chelsea stuttered and struggled to see off newly promoted Birmingham in a cracking game at Stamford Bridge. Birmingham had the audacity to take the lead when ex-Chelsea striker Mikel Forssell glanced in a header after Liam Ridgewell flicked on a free kick. Chelsea levelled within two minutes when Florent Malouda cut the ball back for Claudio Pizarro to drill in although keeper Colin Doyle should have done better as he got  hands to the ball. They then went ahead when a sweeping move ended with Salomon Kalou looping the ball forward for Malouda to clip the ball past the keeper but a stunning strike from Olivier Kapo put Birmingham level again as he beat Glen Johnson easily on the edge of the area and crashed a shot across goal and inside the far post. An equally stunning goal won the game for Chelsea as Shaun Wright-Phillips played the ball back to
Michael Essien on the edge of the area and his effort found the opposite top corner although Doyle again got a hand to the ball. The result meant that Chelsea have now gone 64 home league games unbeaten, a new English  record.

Attendance : 41,590
Assists : Ridgewell (fk), SWP, Kalou, Quedrue, SWP

ARSENAL 2 (van Persie 84 Pen, Hleb 90)
FULHAM 1 (Healy 1)

Arsenal came from behind to see off Fulham with two late goals at the Emirates. The visitors were gifted a lead after just 50 seconds when Gael Clichy's back pass saw keeper Jens Lehmann scuff his clearance horribly and David Healy was on hand to bundle the ball in at close range. With six minutes to go, Kolo Toure was body checked in the area by Carlos Bocanegra and Robin Van Persie walloped the penalty into the roof of the net, sparking a mini brawl afterwards as Arsenal looked to
retrieve the ball from the Fulham players. With normal time almost up, Cesc Fabregas found Alexander Hleb in the area and although he struggled to get the ball under control, he managed to turn and final the bottom corner for a dramatic winner.

Attendance : 60,093
Assists : n/a, Toure (won pen), Fabregas

11 August 2007

ASTON VILLA 1 (Barry 85 Pen)
LIVERPOOL 2 (Laursen 31 og, Gerrard 87 fk)

Steven Gerrard scored a superb late free kick as Liverpool left it late to finally see off Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Liverpool dominated the first half and went ahead just after the half hour. Fernando Torres, who had twice been off target previously, forced keeper Stuart Taylor into a save with a low shot, however the loose ball was cut back from the line by Dirk Kuyt and thumped into the roof of his own net by the unlucky Martin Laursen as he ran back towards his goal. Gerrard earlier forced a save out of Taylor and later shot over the ball as Villa struggled to contain their opponents.

The second half saw Ashley Young initially cause the visitors some problems although Liverpool always looked more likely especially Gerrard who had a shot blocked when he looked certain to score and then had a muddled effort which was heading for the top corner before Taylor pawed it to safety. Sub Ryan Babel combined with Kuyt to wallop a shot just wide within a minute after coming on and then thudded an effort which the keeper did well to parry. On a rare Villa attack, John Carew headed wide and a minute later they were handed, literally, a chance as Jamie Carragher failed to read a flick from Carew in the area and the ball bobbled against his hand and from the penalty spot, Gareth Barry sent the keeper the wrong way to equalise. Parity lasted just two minutes as Gerrard lined up a free kick from 25 yards and sent a beauty sailing into the top corner. In stoppage time, Carew saw a header easily tipped over as Liverpool held out for an opening day win.

Attendance : 42,640
Assists : n/a, n/a, Gerrard (won fk)

BOLTON 1 (Anelka 50)
NEWCASTLE 3 (N'Zogbia 11 fk, Martins 21, 27)

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce returned to former club Bolton and inflicted a crushing opening day defeat on the Reebok side. The visitors had the game won within the first half an hour as firstly Charles N'Zogbia's floated free kick from 356 yards drifted past everyone and found the net inside the far post. Obafemi Martins then took over with two in six minutes. The first came from a cross my James Milner which he chested into the ground and with his back to goal, dispatched a stunning overhead kick into the roof of the net. The second, and Newcastle's third, had an huge slice of luck attached as his 25 yard shot took a heavy deflection and wrong footed the keeper. Bolton pulled one back early in the second half when they broke from a Newcastle corner and Kevin Nolan sent Nik Anelka clear to finish clinically but Newcastle rarely looked like surrendering their lead.

Attendance : 25,414
Assists : Viduka (won fk), Milner, n/a, Nolan

DERBY 2 (Oakley 5, Todd 84)
PORTSMOUTH 2 (Benjani 27, Utaka 83)

Play off winners Derby began the season with a point in a topsy turvy clash with Portsmouth. They took an early lead when a long kick from the keeper was nodded on by Steven Howard and drilled in first time by Matt Oakley. Pompey levelled before half time when Kevin Nugent set up Benjani and after making space in the area, his low shot went under keeper Stephen Bywater. The visitors thought they'd won it late on after Hermann Hreidarsson's far post header was dispatched by John Utaka however two minutes later Derby earned a draw as Andy Todd's diving header ripped into the et from Gary Teale's cross.

Attendance : 32,716
Assists : Howard, Nugent, Hreidarsson, Teale

EVERTON 2 (Osman 26, Anichebe 75)
WIGAN 1 (Sibierski 80)

Everton started their campaign with a win against Wigan who look set for another long hard season. Leon Osman opened the scoring with a looping header from Tony Hibbert's cross and Victor Anichebe wrapped it up with a close range effort off the bar after good work from Andy Johnson. Paul Scharner set up Antoine Sibierski with a far post tap in but it was little more than a consolation for Wigan.

Attendance : 39,220
Assists : Hibbert, Johnson, Scharner

MIDDLESBROUGH 1 (Downing 31 fk)
BLACKBURN 2 (Santa Cruz 62, Derbyshire 79)

Blackburn came from behind to record an excellent win at Middlesbrough thanks to two second half subs. Boro were already ahead courtesy of Stuart Downing's low free kick which found the near post when Rovers striker Benni McCarthy was stretchered off after seeming to collapse after a heavy challenge. He was replaced by Roque Santa Cruz who took four minutes to head home David Bentley's cross to level matters up. Matt Derbyshire took even less time as he was on the pitch for around twenty seconds before curling a beauty home from the far edge of the penalty area.

Attendance : 25,058
Assists : Yakubu (won fk), Bentley, Pedersen

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Bianchi 19, Geovanni 87)

Big spending Sven Goran Eriksson saw his Man City team start with a win as two new arrivals netted at West Ham. Rolando Bianchi scored the first with a far post tap in after a fine run and shot across goal by Elano and late on, local lad Nedum Onuoha showed excellent pace and strength to set up Geovanni to drill in a low shot.

Attendance : 34,921
Assists : Elano, Onuoha

SUNDERLAND 1 (Chopra 93)

Sub Michael Chopra netted a stoppage time winner to give new boys Sunderland an opening day win against fancied Spurs. The game overall was, at best, average with chances at a premium. The pace was high but the end product from both clubs was missing. Chopra's arrival in the 72nd minute seemed to spark a late surge from the hosts and at the tail end of the three minutes of added on time, a cross from the right corner by Ross Wallace looped over the defender, allowing Chopra time to control and drill the ball low into the corner from 12 yards. Spurs have spent heavily in the summer and expectations are sky high, however if their away form lets them down as it did last season, they can forget a top four spot.

Attendance : 43,967
Assist : Wallace

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it
The Unofficial Premiership Site