27 December 2007

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Vassell 27, Nolan 30 og)
BLACKBURN 2 (Santa Cruz 28, Santa Cruz 84)

Man City's 100% home record ended as Blackburn twice came from behind at Eastlands. After a drab opening 25 minutes, notable only for a glaring miss from three yards by City's Rolando Bianchi, the game blasted into life with three goals in just over three minutes. City struck first as Martin Petrov sped away down the left and his chipped cross was nodded in at the far post by Darius Vassell. Rovers won a free kick straight from the restart and they were level as David Bentley's ball in was glanced in at the near post by Roque Santa Cruz. City regained the lead as Petrov again destroyed the visitors down the left and this time his cross was diverted into his own net by Ryan Nelsen with Bianchi lurking behind him. Rovers earned a point late on as Bentley again crossed for Santa Cruz to convert at the near post although initially the flag was up for offside against David Dunn before the goal was rightly awarded.

Attendance : 42,112
Assists : Petrov, Bentley (fk), n/a, Bentley

26 December 2007


Arsenal failed to score for the first time this season and surrendered top place after a goalless draw at Portsmouth. The Gunners had their best chances late on as William Gallas blazed over from close range whilst Thomas Rosicky dragged a shot wide in stoppage time.

Attendance : 20,556
Assist : n/a

BIRMINGHAM 3 (Downing 22 og, Forssell 45, McSheffrey 94)

Birmingham eased their relegation fears with a comfortable win over fellow strugglers Middlesbrough. The game was effectively over by half time after Stuart Downing had sliced a Gary McSheffrey free kick into his own net and then Mikael Forsell scored from close range from a Sebastien Larsson corner which Cameron Jerome had helped on. The win was cemented in stoppage time after McSheffrey's solo run came to a half when he was tripped by Robert Huth and he got up to convert the penalty himself.

Attendance : 24,094
Assists : n/a, Jerome, McSheffrey

DERBY 1 (McEveley 67)
LIVERPOOL 2 (Torres 12, Gerrard 90)

Liverpool left it late to beat bottom club Derby and keep up their dwindling title hopes. They went ahead thanks to a lovely piece of skill from Fernando Torres who was found by Ryan Babel then beat two men in the area before finding the corner. Derby were level when Jay McEveley converted a free kick from Eddie Lewis from close range, however with time running out, Steven Gerrard hit the underside of the bar before netting a last gasp winner. Torres was again involved as he effort was saved, however as a defender looked to clear, Gerrard was on hand to score from close range.

Attendance : 33,029
Assists : Torres, Howard, n/a

EVERTON 2 (Neville 51, Cahill 70)

Everton remain in touch with the European spots thanks to two second half goals against Bolton. The first was a bit freakish as Phil Neville's cross drifted in after keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen collided with Tim Cahill as he looked to collect the cross. Cahill didn't get a touch despite trying to claim it, however he made no mistake with the second as the away defence stopped as Thomas Gravesen was fouled on the edge of the box only for the ref to rightly play the advantage for Joleon Lescott to cross for Cahill to smash the ball home.

Attendance : 38,918
Assists : Carsley, Lescott

MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Rooney 20, Saha 30, Ronaldo 45 fk, Saha 86 Pen)

Man United go top after blitzing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Wayne Rooney got the show on the road with a calm finish after being sent clear by Wes Brown and Rooney then crossed for Louis Saha to volley in the second. A superb curling free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo made it three by half time and Saha completed the rout from the penalty spot after Nani was held back by Danny Collins although he did take his time before tumbling to the ground.

Attendance : 47,360
Assists : Brown, Rooney, Carrick (won fk), Nani (won pen)

WIGAN 1 (Taylor 65 fk)

Wigan did their relegation concerns some good with a narrow win against Newcastle who continue to blow more cold than hot. The only goal was a terrific free kick curled into the far corner by Ryan Taylor.

Attendance : 20,304
Assist : Brown (won fk)

CHELSEA 4 (Shevchenko 45 Pen, Shevchenko 50, Alex 66, Ballack 88 fk)
ASTON VILLA 4 (Maloney 14, Maloney 44, Laursen 72, Barry 92 Pen)

Amazing game at Stamford Bridge which saw three red cards, two penalties and eight goals shared between Chelsea and Aston Villa. The visitors raced into a two goal lead with a brace from Shaun Maloney, firstly as he netted from close range from John Carew's knock down and then thanks to a howler from keeper Petr Cech who allowed Maloney's low shot to bobble out of his hands and over the line. A minute later, sub Michael Ballack went down in the area under minimal contact from Zat Knight who was sent off for his challenge. Andriy Shevchenko converted from the penalty spot and then equalised early in the second half with a stinging shot from 20 yards after collecting a pass from Salomon Kalou. Chelsea then went ahead as Shevchenko found Alex and he surged through the middle of the defence before drilling home. The ten men battled back and levelled as Martin Laursen found himself unmarked to volley in Ashley Young's free kick and then Chelsea's numerical advantage disappeared as Ricardo Carvalho was sent off for a dangerous two-footed lunge on Gabriel Agbonlahor. With two minutes to go, Ballack's free kick beat the wall and found the bottom corner and Chelsea looked to have won the game, however Ashley Cole seemed to use his arm to keep Agbonlahor's header out of the net and although the home side claimed that he'd headed it clear, he was also sent off. Gareth Barry sent Cech to wrong way from the spot to end one of the best Prem games ever.

Attendance : 41,686
Red Cards : Knight 45 (Aston Villa), Carvalho 80 (Chelsea), Ashley Cole 92 (Chelsea)
Assists : Carew, Laursen, Ballack (won pen), Kalou, Shevchenko, Young (fk), Cole (won fk)

TOTTENHAM 5 (Keane 27, Huddlestone 45, Keane 62, Huddlestone 71, Defoe 90)
FULHAM 1 (Dempsey 61)

Spurs collected their biggest win of the season as they walloped London rivals Fulham. Robbie Keane opened the scoring with a tap in after Steed Malbranque almost broke the post with a piledriver and Tom Huddlestone doubled the lead with a crisply struck second from 25 yards after being set up by Dimitar Berbatov. Fulham pulled one back when Diomansy Camara's cross was fired goalwards by Clint Dempsey and although keeper Paul Robinson kept it out, the ball rebounded back into the net off of the Fulham man. Within a minute, Keane restored the two goal lead with a close range effort as he diverted an effort from Berbatov into the net. Huddlestone then matched his team mate with his second, a shot from the edge of the area which found the bottom corner after Aaron Lennon had found him and it got even worse for Fulham as Moritz Volz caught Malbranque late and was shown his second yellow of the game. The coup de grace came in the final minute when Huddlestone played in Jermaine Defoe who showed quick feet to finish well.

Attendance : 36,077
Red Card : Volz 87 (Fulham)
Assists : n/a, Berbatov, n/a, Berbatov, Lennon, Huddlestone

WEST HAM 1 (Solano 42)
READING 1 (Kitson 60)

West Ham's home form continues to mystify considering their superb away form after they lost a lead at home to ten man Reading. The visitors played over an hour with a man down after Brynjar Gunnarson was sent off for a two footed tackle on Hayden Mullins and just before half time they were a goal down as Carlton Cole played Nol Solano in and his clipped finish found the net as the keeper came out. Reading earned a deserved point thanks to a superb finish by Dave Kitson when a cleared corner was played back into the area by Nicky Shorey.

Attendance : 34,277
Red Card : Gunnarson 29 (Reading)
Assists : n/a, Shorey

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