25 February 2008

EVERTON 2 (Yakubu 30, Lescott 38)

Everton move back above Liverpool and into fourth place with a win at fellow European hopefuls Man City. Everton blazed into a comfortable and winning half time lead as firstly Tim Cahill set up Yakubu to score and eight minutes later, a cross from Lee Carsley was nodded in by Joleon Lescott. City battled back in a fast paced second half but couldn't make any impact on the scoresheet and in the final minute Martin Petrov was sent off for kicking out at Leon Osman - a repeat of a similar incident minutes earlier on Yakubu which was missed by the ref.

Attendance : 41,728
Red Card : Petrov 90 (Manchester City)
Assists : Cahill, Carsley

24 February 2008

BLACKBURN 4 (McCarthy 25 Pen, McCarthy 67 Pen, Bentley 71, Pedersen 90)
BOLTON 1 (Davies 50)

Attendance : 23,995
Assists : Dunn (won pen), n/a, Dunn (won pen), Dunn, Roberts

READING 1 (Shorey 90 fk)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Young 45, Harewood 83)

Attendance : 23,889
Assists : Agbonlahor, Young, Kitson (won fk)

23 February 2008

NEWCASTLE 1 (Faye 79)
MANCHESTER UNITED 5 (Rooney 25, Ronaldo 45, Ronaldo 56, Rooney 80, Saha 90)

Man United moved to within three points of leaders Arsenal after thumping Newcastle for the second time in a month. Despite a decent start from the hosts, the current Champions took control and had the game effectively won by half time. The opening goal was simple enough as Cristiano Ronaldo's deep cross was volleyed in at the far post by an unmarked Wayne Rooney. Just before half time, Michael Carrick's inch perfect through ball sent Ronaldo clear and he slotted it past Shay Given and inside the post. Given was replaced at the break due to injury and on came Steve Harper and he was beaten within eleven minutes as lax defending saw Darren Fletcher send Ronaldo clear again and having rounded Harper, fired into the empty net. The hosts did get one back as a corner was nodded goalwards by sub Andy Carroll and blasted in by Abdoulaye Faye, however United were straight up the other end and after a Nani corner was cleared to the edge of the area, Rooney curled in a beauty which sailed inside the far post. In stoppage time, Rooney combined well with sub Louis Saha resulting in the former Toon striker to drill in the fifth.

Attendance : 52,291
Assists : Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Carroll, n/a, Rooney

WEST HAM 1 (Solano 87)

Fulham conceded a controversial late goal to lose the London derby against West Ham and edge closer to relegation. The goal came after a Lucas Neill cross was helped on by Luis Boa Morte and as keeper Antti Niemi came out to claim it, Nol Solano challenged him and the ball then bobbled over the line. Replays showed it going in off of Solano's elbow. Fulham were furious and Leon Andreasen was sent off for his protests.

Attendance : 25,280
Assists : n/a

LIVERPOOL 3 (Torres 28, Torres 29, Torres 61)
MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Tuncay 9, Downing 83)

Fernando Torres struck a hat trick as Liverpool beat Middlesbrough in a master class of how not to defend. Boro took the lead as Liverpool's offside trap failed miserably, leaving Tuncay as one of FOUR players unmarked to head home Stuart Downing's free kick. Julio Arca then joined in with a woefully underhit header back to his keeper, allowing Torres to nip in, round Mark Schwarzer and slot into the net. A minute later, a lovely Liverpool move ended with Fabio Aurelio finding Torres who drilled a beauty into the bottom corner from 25 yards. He completed his triple in the second half as a long ball from Dirk Kuyt tempted Schwarzer out of his area, however he and David Wheater left it for each other and Torres lobbed it into an empty net. Downing pulled one back as he collected a long crossfield pass from Arca before cutting inside and firing under the keeper, however Boro's hopes ended when Jeremie Aliadiere was sent off for a powder puff of a slap into the face of Javier Mascherano after a Liverpool man had raised his hands into the face of the Frenchman.

Attendance : 43,612
Red Card : Aliadiere 85 (Middlesbrough)
Assists : Downing (fk), n/a, Aurelio, Kuyt, Arca

PORTSMOUTH 1 (Defoe 69 Pen)

Portsmouth maintain their surge for a European spot after sending Sunderland spinning to a club record 10th away defeat in a row. The only goal came from the penalty spot after Niko Kranjcar bamboozled Phillip Bardsley into tripping him in the area. Jermaine Defoe converted the spot kick emphatically.

Attendance : 20,139
Assist : Kranjcar (won pen)

WIGAN 2 (Scharner 60, Valencia 84)

Wigan eased their relegation worries with a comfortable home win against whipping boys Derby who still haven't reached doubled figures for the season and are now 21 games without a win. The hosts should have gone ahead before half time when Mario Melchiot's cheeky back heel was cleared by Giles Barnes although replays showed that it had just about crossed the line. On the hour they did go ahead as Emile Heskey was twice denied by Roy Carroll only for Paul Scharner to smash the loose ball in from two yards. The win was secured after a long pass from Wilson Palacios was taken well by Antonio Valencia who took his time, cut inside and blasted in the second.

Attendance : 20,176
Assists : n/a, Palacios

BIRMINGHAM 2 (McFadden 28, McFadden 90 (Pen)
ARSENAL 2 (Walcott 50, Walcott 55)

Arsenal move six points clear ahead of Man United's evening game after coming from behind to lead at Birmingham only to concede a last minute penalty in a game overshadowed by an awful injury to Arsenal's Eduardo. The game began in horrific fashion when a poorly timed studs-raised challenge by Martin Taylor on Eduardo earned the Birmingham man a straight red card and the Arsenal striker a broken leg within three minutes. Many players reacted with shock as regards the severity of the injury and the only TV replay was from a long angle with didn't show the actual injury which speaks volumes. Down to ten men, the hosts then took a surprise lead when James McFadden floated a 20 yard free kick into the top corner. Arsenal blazed into action at the start of the second half and had already forced Maik Taylor into two fine saves before they equalised. A far post corner saw Emmanuel Adebayor beat Taylor to the ball and his header fell to Theo Walcott who netted his first ever league goal for the Gunners from close range. Cesc Fabregas then hit the post before Walcott latched onto a mistake from Liam Ridgewell and ran at the defence before firing in from the edge of the area. The visitors were cruising until the final minute of stoppage time when an astonishing loss on concentration from Gael Clichy cost them the win. In possession deep in his own area, Clichy was looking forward to hoof the ball clear and failed to spot Stuart Parnaby who nicked the ball from him and was then tripped by the red faced Clichy, allowing McFadden to smash home the spot kick.

Attendance : 27,195
Red Card : Taylor 3 (Birmingham)
Assists : McFadden (won fk), Adebayor, n/a, Parnaby (won pen)

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