30 December 2007


Goalless at Eastlands as Liverpool dominated but were unable to break down a resolute Man City defence. In a game of few chances, the best opportunity came late on when Dirk Kuyt's header was saved by keeper Joe Hart and hacked to safety by Richard Dunne as it bobbled towards goal.

Attendance : 47,321
Assist : n/a

DERBY 1 (Oakley 27)
BLACKBURN 2 (Santa Cruz 39, Bentley 42)

Blackburn came from behind to beat Derby and increase the troubles of the bottom club. Blackburn had the better of the opening stages only to go behind to Derby's first effort at goal. A ball into the area by Tyrone Mears was laid off to Matt Oakley by Giles Barnes and Oakley's low drilled shot found the roof of the net via the keepers legs. The game then turned upside down in a five minute spell before half time, beginning when Derby were awarded a penalty when Kenny Miller was tripped by Ryan Nelsen, however although Steve Howard's kick was well struck, Brad Friedel got his body behind it and kept it out. Just over a minute later, Benni McCarthy controlled the ball well and although his turn and shot was kept out, Roque Santa Cruz was left with a tap in and made no mistake. Rovers then took the lead as Aaron Mokoena's pass found David Bentley and his 25 yard shot fizzed inside the near post. The second half saw no more goals although Bentley did hit the foot of the post with a decent effort.

Attendance : 30,048
Assist : Barnes, n/a, Mokoena

29 December 2007

EVERTON 1 (Cahill 19)
ARSENAL 4 (Eduardo 47, Eduardo 58, Adebayor 78, Rosicky 93)

Arsenal regain top spot after coming from behind at Everton to win a fiery encounter. Everton had by far the better of the first half, denying the Gunners time and space and taking the lead themselves from a set piece. A corner from Phil Jagielka was helped on at the near post by a defender and then struck Niklas Bendtner at the far before being bundled in by either the head of Yakubu or the foot of Tim Cahill with the latter seemingly getting the final credit. It took Arsenal thirteen minutes of the second half to turn the game on its head as Eduardo took centre stage. Within 90 seconds of the restart, he took advantage of slack defending to collect a long ball from Gael Clichy, turned and clipped the ball in. More followed as Clichy found him on the edge of the area via a flicked header by Bendtner and he showed excellent skill to control the ball, clip it past Jagielka and then slot calmly past the keeper. An eventful day for Bendtner came to an abrupt end when he was shown a second yellow card for a studs first challenge into the shin of Andy Johnson and whilst it should have handed the initiative to the hosts, instead they handed it to Arsenal. A long punt forward by keeper Manuel Almunia saw both Joseph Yobo and home keeper Tim Howard leave the ball to each other on the edge of the area and sub Emmanuel Adebayor nipped in to give himself a tap in. Everton were then reduced to ten men when Mikael Arteta swung an arm into the face of his apparent close friend Cesc Fabregas and whilst the Gunners man may have made a meal of it, his opponent was shown a straight red which sparked a mass brawl as tempers flared throughout the closing stages. Arsenal wrapped it up in stoppage time when Vassiriki Diaby set up Tomas Rosicky to drill in a low shot inside the near post.

Attendance : 39,443
Red Card : Bendtner 74 (Arsenal), Arteta 84 (Everton)
Assists : n/a, Clichy, Bendtner, Almunia (gk), Diaby

BIRMINGHAM 1 (Larsson 55)
FULHAM 1 (Bocanegra 8)

Fulham's new manager Roy Hodgson saw his side in familiar mode as they lost the lead at Birmingham. They went ahead when Carlos Bocanegra headed in a corner from Simon Davies, however as it traditional, they let it slip in the second half when Fabrice Muamba set up Sebastien Larsson to fire a deflected shot in. Fulham ended with ten men when Hamuer Bouazza was shown a second yellow for a late lunge on Franck Queudrue.

Attendance : 28,923
Red Card : Bouazza 79 (Fulham)
Assists : Davis (ck), n/a

CHELSEA 2 (Essien 29, Kalou 87)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Bridge 56 og)

Chelsea beat Newcastle courtesy of an awful mistake from the linesman late on. The home side went ahead in the first half when a shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips hit team mate Salomon Kalou and fell nicely for Michael Essien to sweep in. Newcastle looked to have earned a point when Nicky Butt bundled in a cross from Charles N'Zogbia, however with three minutes to go, a long range effort from John Obi Mikel struck Claudio Pizarro and landed for Kalou to clip in, however replays showed the goalscorer to be well offside from Pizarro's inadvertent touch yet the flag remained down.

Attendance : 41,751
Assists : Kalou, n/a, Pizarro


Middlesbrough collected a much needed win away at Portsmouth whose form has dried up in recent games. Sunli Tuncay tapped in the only goal from a yard out after Gary O'Neil's shot had been parried by David James.

Attendance : 20,089
Assist : n/a

SUNDERLAND 3 (Richardson 13, Jones 32, Murphy 91)
BOLTON 1 (Diouf 41 fk)

Another welcome win at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland saw off Bolton. Kenwyne Jones was the star of the show as he scored one and made the other two, beginning with a pass to Kieron Richardson whose drilled first time effort went in via the near post. Roles were then reversed as Richardson crossed for Jones to head in and although Bolton pulled one back when El Hadji Diouf's floated free kick drifted over everyone and into the net, Sunderland clinched the win late on when Jones found Daryl Murphy who thumped in a low from a tricky angle.

Attendance : 42,058
Assists : Jones, Richardson (ck), Gardner (won fk), Jones

TOTTENHAM 6 (Berbatov 7, 63, 73, Malbranque 76, Defoe 79, Berbatov 83)
READING 4 (Cisse 16, Ingimarsson 53, Kitson 69, Kitson 74)

Yet another astonishing Prem game this season as Spurs came from behind on three occasions to beat Reading in a ten goal thriller. Dimitar Berbatov was the headline grabber for Spurs with four goals, the first of which was a tap in from Robbie Keane's cross although Keane did seem to be offside in the build up. Reading levelled when Paul Robinson's weak punch from a Nicky Shorey fell nicely for Kalifa Cisse to drive a shot through a crowded penalty area and into the net. The fun and games really began in the second half as Ivar Ingimarsson headed in Shorey's corner to put Reading ahead only for Berbatov to blast in a close range equaliser ten minutes later following a poor clearance. It was the first of seven goals in a crazy 20 minute spell! Dave Kitson restored the Reading lead with a near post header from another Shorey corner only for Berbatov to complete his hat trick as he helped Pascal Chimbonda's header goalwards and actually found the bottom corner. Straight from the kick off, Kitson was sent clear by Stephen Hunt and finished with a cool chip and another two minutes on saw Tom Huddlestone find Steed Malbranque in the area and he curled a cracker inside the far post. That made it 4-4 before Keane was tripped in the area by Ibrahima Sonko and got up to take the penalty himself, however the keeper saved only for Jermaine Defoe to nod in the rebound despite being well into the area when the original kick was taken. A remarkable game was wrapped up as it began - by Berbatov as he raced onto Younes Kaboul's long ball and blasted in his fourth and the tenth of the game.

Attendance : 36,178
Assists : Keane, n/a, Shorey (ck), n/a, Shorey (ck), Chimbonda, Hunt, Huddlestone, n/a, Kaboul

WEST HAM 2 (Ferdinand 77, Upson 82)

Man United surrendered top spot as they lost the lead and missed a penalty at West Ham. Arguably the player of 2007, Cristiano Ronaldo, headed United into the lead from a cross by Ryan Giggs but then blew a chance to double the lead from the spot after Jonathan Spector had handled. Ronaldo stepped up by drilled his shot well wide. Two set pieces then won the game for West Ham as Mark Noble's corner was nodded in by Anton Ferdinand and within five minutes, Noble's free kick was headed powerfully into the far corner by Matthew Upson.

Attendance : 34,966
Assists : Giggs, Noble, Noble (fk)

WIGAN 1 (Bramble 28)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Davies 55, Agbonlahor 70)

Aston Villa came from behind to win at Wigan. Titus Bramble gave Wigan a half time lead with a thumping header from Ryan Taylor's cross however Villa levelled early in the second half through Curtis Davies from a Gareth Barry corner. Good work by Ashley Young set up the winner as he crossed for Gabriel Agbonlahor to glance a header in.

Attendance : 18,806
Assists : Taylor (ck), Barry (ck), Young

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