9 December 2007

WEST HAM 1 (Ashton 52)

Sub Dean Ashton netted the only goal as West Ham collected a fine win at Blackburn. After an awful first half, Ashton came on and within seven minutes had turned in George McCartney's cross from close range. Rovers should have levelled when Roque Santa Cruz blazed over after showing excellent control whilst Ashton also missed a sitter late on which would have doubled the lead.

Attendance : 20,870
Assist : McCartney

BOLTON 4 (Scharner 3 og, Nolan 37, Davies 70, Anelka 89)
WIGAN 1 (Landzaat 14)

Bolton eased out of the relegation zone with a thumping win over Lancastrian rivals Wigan. They had a helping hand - or head - to start with when Paul Scharner sent a stunning header past his own keeper from El Hadji Diouf's cross. Wigan levelled shortly afterwards when a cross from Emerson Boyce was cleared to the edge of the area and Denny Landzaat slotted in. Bolton had the chance to restore their lead when Andreas Granqvist handled in the area however Nik Anelka - who missed a sitter at Liverpool last week - fired the spot kick over. He made amends before the break when his cross was cheekily back heeled in by Kevin Nolan and in the second half, Diouf's free kick was slid home at the far post by Kevin Davies. Anelka finally got on the scoresheet late on with a far post finish from a cross by Davies.

Attendance : 20,309
Assist : n/a, n/a, Anelka, Diouf (fk), Davies

TOTTENHAM 2 (Chimbonda 45, Defoe 83)
MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Bianchi 61)

Spurs move into mid table with a tight win against ten man Man City. They took a controversial lead on half time when Pascal Chimbonda netted after Dimitar Berbatov helped on Jermaine Jenas's cross although he looked to be offside and got the final touch with his arm. City equalised when a corner from Martin Petrov was headed in powerfully by Rolando Bianchi but they self destructed in a vital minute late on. Firstly they were reduced in numbers when Stephen Ireland was shown a straight red card for a shin high tackle on Young-Pyo Lee and then after Steed Malbranque's low cross hit the far post, Jermaine Defoe was on hand to drill in the rebound.

Attendance : 35,646
Assists : n/a, Petrov, n/a

MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Downing 4 Pen, Tuncay 74)
ARSENAL 1 (Rosicky 93)

Middlesbrough ended Arsenal's unbeaten record this season with a superb display at the Riverside. Boro were off to a dream start when Jeremie Aliadiere was tripped in the area by Kolo Toure allowing Stuart Downing to convert from the spot although his weak effort was almost stopped by keeper Manuel Almunia. The Gunners barely threatened and it was no real surprise when the lead was doubled as a corner was cleared to the edge of the area and after Gary O'Neil's blistering shot was saved, Tuncay was on hand to smash the loose ball into the roof of the net via a deflection. Arsenal scored a consolation with the last kick of the game when Tomas Rosicky slotted in Gael Clichy's cross but it mattered little to the outcome and it's a result which lifts Boro out of the bottom three and deservedly so.

Attendance : 26,428
Assist : Aliadiere (won pen), n/a, Clichy

8 December 2007

READING 3 (Hunt 17 Pen, Doyle 60, Harper 67)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Gerrard 28)

Liverpool slumped to their first league defeat of the season after lady luck deserted them at Reading. The hosts went ahead thanks to a calmly converted penalty from Stephen Hunt although the award was controversial as the foul by Jamie Carragher on Brynjar Gunnarson was a yard or so outside the area and given by the linesman after a long pause. Liverpool levelled after Fernando Torres found Steven Gerrard to slot in the equaliser. After the break, a floated free kick into the area by Nicky Shorey seemed to sail straight into the net although Kevin Doyle claimed that he'd got the slightest of touches. Gerrard then hit the bar before Reading added a third as James Harper was sent clear by Bobby Convey and rounded the keeper before rolling the ball in. Gerrard was surprisingly substituted with twenty minutes left as Reading held on although Peter Crouch did hit the post late on.

Attendance : 24,022
Assists : Gunnarson (won pen), Torres, Shorey (fk), Convey

CHELSEA 2 (Shevchenko 23, Lampard 75)

Chelsea kept up the pressure on the top two with an unconvincing win against Sunderland. With Didier Drogba having surgery, Andriy Shevchenko started up front and netted the first with a diving header from Salomon Kalou's cross. The lead was doubled when Danny Higginbotham pulled the shirt of Alex in the area and Frank Lampard made no mistake from the spot. Late on, Liam Miller clashed with John Terry and as the Sunderland man walked away, he pushed Claudio Pizarro in the face as the Chelsea man came across and was shown a red card.

Attendance : 41,707
Red Card : Miller 88 (Sunderland)
Assist : Kalou, Alex (won pen)

EVERTON 3 (Yakubu 51, 61, 79)

Yakubu scored a second half hat trick as Everton cruised past Fulham. The first was prodded over the line after Tim Cahill's shot was saved whilst the second was straight from the training ground as a near post corner was flicked on by Phil Jagielka and nodded in by the striker at the far post. Steven Pienaar set up the third as his pass was collected by Yakubu who beat his man and slotted in his hat trick goal.

Attendance : 32,743
Assists : n/a, Jagielka, Pienaar

MANCHESTER 4 (Giggs 40, Tevez 45, Tevez 60, Ronaldo 92 Pen)
DERBY 1 (Howard 76)

Ryan Giggs's 100th league goal for Man United and Derby's first away goal in the league this season were two milestones set as Man United crushed the bottom club. Giggs opened the scoring with a tap in after Cristiano Ronaldo's shot was saved and after Wayne Rooney hit the post whilst clean through, United doubled the lead on half time. Ronaldo's chipped free kick wasn't cleared and after an air shot from Carlos Tevez wrong footed his marker, he was on hand to make no mistake second time around. Wes Brown's pass set up Tevez for a crisply hit shot to make it three and although Derby pulled one back when Steve Howard bundled a cross from Tyrone Mears over the line, United were not to be denied. Late on, Ronaldo dragged his leg over the outstretched leg of Mears to win a crafty penalty which he converted himself.

Attendance : 75,725
Assists : n/a, n/a, Brown, Mears, Ronaldo (won pen)

NEWCASTLE 2 (Martins 37 Pen, Beye 90)
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Jerome 9)

Newcastle eased their recent worries as they came from behind to beat Birmingham in stoppage time. The away side took the lead when a long ball from Matthew Sadler sent Cameron Jerome clear and he rounded the keeper and slotted in. A lucky penalty got Newcastle level as Sadler appeared to clear the ball before Obafemi Martins fell over his leg. Martins took the kick and again got lucky as keeper Maik Taylor pushed the effort against the post but it flew across goal and inside the opposite post. The hosts clinched victory late on as Emre's corner was headed in at the near post by Habib Beye.

Attendance : 49,948
Assists : Schmitz, Martins (won pen), Emre (ck)

ASTON VILLA 1 (Barry 72 Pen)
PORTSMOUTH 3 (Gardner 10 og, Muntari 40, Muntari 61)

Portsmouth won their sixth away league game in a row at Villa Park although the hosts will wonder how they ended up with nothing. Villa had the better of the chances in the first half yet found themselves two goals behind! Pompey took an early lead thanks to a horror show of defending as a shot from Noe Pamarot is sliced horribly by Wilfred Bouma into the path of Benjani and as Craig Gardner came across to try and clear, he only managed to prod the ball past the keeper and into his own net. Just before half time the lead was doubled as Glen Johnson found Sulley Muntari who made space and curled a beauty into the top corner from 25 yards. Among all this, Villa had some great opportunities as Martin Laursen had two free headers, one of which was easily saved and the other he nodded wide. Gabriel Agbonlahor also saw a bullet shot well saved by David James. After the break Villa again had the better of things only to find themselves conceding. A poor kick from keeper Scott Carson found Nigel Reo-Coker in midfield, however he lost possession to Muntari who beat one man and then swerved another long range effort goalwards and this time found the bottom corner with another cracker! Villa were handed a lifeline when Slyvain Distin bundled over Ashley Young in the area and Gareth Barry smashed in the penalty. Both clubs had chances late on however Papa Bouba Diop missed a sitter for the visitors whilst Agbonlahor hit the bar for Villa.

Attendance : 35,790
Assists : n/a, Johnson, n/a, Young (won pen)

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