5 November 2007

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Ireland 67)

Man City move back into third place after a narrow win against Sunderland to maintain their 100% home record. The first half was largely devoid of goalmouth action with the best chance falling to Sunderland's Anthony Stokes who headed wide from a decent position. After the break, it was little better until the midway point when the hosts went ahead. Sub Darius Vassell turned well on the left and crossed for Stephen Ireland to smash in a far post volley.

Attendance : 40,038
Assist : Vassell

4 November 2007

WEST HAM 1 (McCartney 20)
BOLTON 1 (Nolan 90)

Bolton netted a stoppage time equaliser to earn a vital point at West Ham. After an uneventful start, West Ham took the lead although Bolton had enough chances to clear before George McCartney netted a rare goal. The original corner was only cleared to the edge of the area and his chip in wasn't dealt with allowing Matthew Upson to nod the ball into the air for McCartney to score his first ever club goal with an acrobatic volley. Danny Guthrie almost equalised on the half hour but his stinging shot thudding against the foot of the post. The visitors had the better of the second half and grabbed a deserved equaliser deep in stoppage time when a cross from Ivan Campo was nodded on by Lubomir Michalik and prodded in by Kevin Nolan who had an effort cleared off the line just a minute before.

Attendance : 33,867
Assists : Upson, Michalik

3 November 2007


No goals at Ewood Park with little to write home about as Blackburn and Liverpool battled out a stalemate.
The kindest thing to say about the first half is that it was mundane, summed up perfectly by the shot of someone in the crowd trying to do a Rubiks Cube and they were making a pretty decent job of it as well! In fairness, things did getting a little better in the late stages as David Bentley scuffed a shot against the outside of the post whilst Rovers team mate David Dunn smashed s shot against the underside of the bar. Liverpool managed just one shot at goal in the entire half when Ryan Babel's 41st minute shot was parried away by Brad Friedel.

The second half was a bit better with Liverpool trying to win the game as well as their hosts. Rovers came close when Christopher Samba delayed his shot too long whilst Liverpool thought they'd netted when Peter Crouch's header was cleared off the line by Bentley. It was a game to forget for Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt who fluffed three good chances to set up a team mate and was horribly off target himself late on.

Attendance : 30,033
Assists : n/a

ASTON VILLA 2 (Laursen 57, Young 61)

Derby remain bottom and goalless away from home after another defeat, this time at Aston Villa. They held out for almost an hour before the hosts struck when Gareth Barry headed a free kick back across goal to leave Martin Laursen with a tap in. The second followed shortly afterwards as Gabriel Agbonlahor's shot was saved and after Nigel Reo-Coker lobbed the rebound over the keeper, Ashley Young volleyed in from close range at the far post.

Attendance : 40,938
Assists : Barry, Reo-Coker

EVERTON 3 (Yakubu 10, Carsley 93, Vaughan 94)
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Kapo 79)

Two stoppage time goals gave Everton all three points at home to who are just three points above the drop zone. Everton led for the majority of the game after Mikael Arteta and Steven Pienaar combined to leave Yakubu with a tap in, however with just ten minutes to go, Oliver Kapo headed in Gary McSheffrey's corner although it may have come off of Phil Neville last. With the game heading for a draw, Neville's long throw was cleared to the edge of the box where Lee Carsley took one touch to control and a second to hammer the ball into the top corner. A minute later, Carsley's firm header sent James Vaughan clear to add the third.

Attendance : 34,155
Assists : Pienaar, n/a, n/a, Carsley

FULHAM 3 (Davies 18, Dempsey 72, Healy 91)
READING 1 (Doyle 54)

Fulham collected a priceless win to hoist them up to mid table, a point behind opponents Reading. Simon Davies gave Fulham the lead with a first time volley after a cross was only cleared to the edge of the box, however early in the second half Reading levelled when Kevin Doyle headed in Nicky Shorey's corner at the far post. Fulham regained the lead thanks to David Healy's cross which was nodded across goal by Shefki Kuqi and prodded in by Clint Dempsey and the points were secured late on when Davies broke on the right and set up Healy to sweep in the third. The only down side for the home side was a late red card to youngster Elliott Omuzusi who caught James Harper late to collect a second yellow of the game.

Attendance : 22,086
Assists : n/a, Shorey (ck), Kuqi, Davis

TOTTENHAM 1 (Bent 35)

Middlesbrough and Spurs remain just above the bottom three after sharing the goals at the Riverside. In their first league game under new boss Juande Ramos, Spurs went ahead as Steed Malbranque found Darren Bent on the left and he cut inside before drilling a low shot past the keeper. Boro grabbed a point thanks to a fantastic strike by Luke Young - ironically a boyhood Spurs fan - who unleashed a sensational 30 yard first time shot that arrowed into the top corner after being set up by Gary O'Neil.

Attendance : 25,625
Assists : Malbranque, n/a

NEWCASTLE 1 (Campbell 16 og)
PORTSMOUTH 4 (Pamarot 8, Benjani 9, Utaka 11, Kranjcar 71 fk)

Portsmouth move into the top four after an early goal blitz which left Newcastle stunned at St James Park. There seemed little danger when a corner was cleared out of the area, however Noe Pamarot walloped a first time blockbuster which fizzed past the keeper and into the net. From the kick off, the lead was doubled as Papa Bouba Diop sent Benjani clear and after showing good strength, he curled a beauty into the far bottom corner. Newcastle had barely recovered when Pompey added a third in four minutes as a poor back header by Stephen Taylor was latched onto by John Utaka who rounded the keeper and rolled the ball in. Four minutes later came a glimmer of hope for the hosts when both Charles N'Zogbia and Michael Owen had efforts saved by David James, however the ball bounced against Sol Campbell and bobbled into his own net. Portsmouth clinched the points in the second half when Niko Krancjar's free kick from the left took a deflection off of a defender at the near post and went in.

Attendance : 51,490
Assists : n/a, n/a, Bouba Diop, n/a, n/a

CHELSEA 2 (Lampard 11, Belletti 18)

Chelsea moved to within three points of the leaders with a comfortable win at Wigan. Shaun Wright-Phillips set up both goals, firstly with a cross to give Frank Lampard a tap in and then as a middle-man for Juliano Belletti whose run from his own half was interrupted only by Wright-Phillips keeping a pass in play before scoring from the edge of the area, although replays suggested that the ball was just out of play before the England man played the pass.

Attendance : 19,011
Assists : Wright-Phillips, Wright-Phillips

ARSENAL 2 (Fabregas 48, Gallas 92)
MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Gallas 45 og, Ronaldo 82)

Arsenal remain top and unbeaten after twice coming from behind to grab a draw at home to second placed Man United.

Arsenal had the better of the early possession but United looked a threat going forward as Cristiano Ronaldo's header clipped the post. Arsenal's best chance of the half fell to William Gallas whose header was saved at close range by Edwin Van Der Sar. United midfielder Anderson did his best to be named public enemy number one at the Emirates with a classic Latino over-reaction after a minimal tackle by Cesc Fabregas which came literally minutes after he waved an imaginary card in the face of the ref as he tried to get an opponent booked. This in itself should be a bookable offence. United went ahead in first half stoppage time as Ronaldo crossed from the right and although Wayne Rooney's half hit shot would probably not have found the net, it struck the arm of Gallas and wrong footed the keeper to bobble in.

It took Arsenal less than three minutes to level after half time. Van Der Sar forced another save from Van Der Sar and as the ball looked to be rolling out for a corner, Bacary Sagna kept it alive and squared it back for Fabregas who took his time and found the bottom corner despite a defender on the line. Just after the hour, a lovely United move ended with Rooney heading wide from a decent position and within a minute Alexander Hleb blazed well over from the edge of the area. United then set up a dramatic finale by taking the lead with eight minutes to go as Patrice Evra found space on the left to cut the ball across for Ronaldo to tap into the gaping net. The hosts pressed for another equaliser and after sub Eduardo blazed wide, they finally drew level in stoppage time. Gael Clichy's cross was fired back across goal by Theo Walcott for Gallas to shoot goalwards from a tight angle, however the ball was clawed away by Van Der Sar who then blocked Walcott's follow up, however confusion reigned for a few seconds as the linesman flagged for a goal. Replays confirmed that the effort from Gallas clearly crossed the line.

Attendance : 60,161
Assists : n/a, Sagna, Evra, Walcott

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