2 March 2008

EVERTON 3 (Yakubu 1, Cahill 73, Yakubu 81)
PORTSMOUTH 1 (Defoe 38)

Everton are back into fourth after a well deserved win against Portsmouth at Goodison. The hosts were ahead inside a minute as a free kick from Stephen Pienaar was helped on by a combination of defender and attacker and nodded in from close range by Yakubu. Pompey were level by the break when Glen Johnson's cross was helped on by the smallest of touches from Jermaine Defoe and crept inside the far post. Everton regained the lead with a fine move with ended with a cross by Pienaar superbly headed home by Tim Cahill and as the visitors piled forward for an equaliser, Everton caught them on the break as a long ball from Andy Johnson found Yakubu who made space before smashing home a shot at the near post.

Attendance : 33,938
Assists : Yobo, G Johnson, Pienaar, A Johnson

BOLTON 1 (Cohen 79)
LIVERPOOL 3 (Jaaskelainen 12 og, Babel 60, Aurelio 75)

Liverpool regain fourth place ahead of Everton's game with a comfortable win at relegation threatened Bolton. The strugglers began well enough with El Hadji Diouf's swinging free kick drifting past everyone and hitting the bar, however a freak goal at the other end put Liverpool ahead. Steven Gerrard's speculative shot from the edge of the area was just going wide until keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen dived to make the save only for the ball to hit him in the face, bounce over his body and the spin on the ball took it into the net. Bolton almost levelled only for Jose Reina to save brilliantly from a Kevin Davies header. In the second half Liverpool increased their lead as Bolton failed to clear after Dirk Kuyt had hit the post and Ryan Babel drilled the ball inside the near post. Things got even better for the visitors when Gerrard's corner was cleared to the edge of the area where Fabio Aurelio took a touch to control it and then struck a superb shot low into the bottom corner. Bolton did pull one back as Tamir Cohen - son of former Liverpool player Avi - headed in at the near post from Matt Taylor's corner.

Attendance : 24,004
Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a, Taylor (ck)

1 March 2008


No goals at Eastlands as Wigan earned a vital point in their battle against relegation. In a game that rarely raised above average mode, the best chances came late on as Benjani volleyed a near post cross well wide for City whilst Wilson Palacios blazed over for the visitors after his original effort was saved.

Attendance : 38,261
Assists : n/a

ARSENAL 1 (Bendtner 94)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Senderos 27 og)

Arsenal stay top by the skin of their teeth after needing a late equaliser to deny Aston Villa a win. The visitors played well throughout and went ahead when Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross was turned into his own net by Philippe Senderos. The Gunners rarely showed the sort of free flowing football that we know they can provide but finally levelled matters four minutes into stoppage time when Gael Clichy's cross was nodded across goal by Emmanuel Adebayor and side-footed in by Nicklas Bendtner.

Attendance : 60,097
Assists : n/a, Adebayor

BIRMINGHAM 4 (Forssell 7, Larsson 55 fk, Forssell 59, Forssell 81)
TOTTENHAM 1 (Jenas 90)

Birmingham eased their relegation concerns after Mikael Forssell hit his first ever club hat trick to destroy last weekend's Carling Cup winners Spurs. They led early when James McFadden's volleyed cross was headed in by Forssell and the lead was doubled early in the second half when Sebastien Larsson took advantage of an almighty gap at the near post to curl in a free kick. Larsson's cross then set up the third as Pascal Chimbonda almost diverted it into his own net but after Paul Robinson kept it out, Forssell drilled in the loose ball. McFadden then sent the Finn racing clear to slot in his hat trick goal and although Jermaine Jenas fired in a late consolation after Darren Bent was denied, it didn't dent Birmingham's day.

Attendance : 26,055
Assists : McFadden, Murphy (won fk), n/a, McFadden, Bent


No goals in the battle at the bottom as basement side Derby finally hit double figures for the season as regards points. They were lucky though as Michael Chopra had a goal harshly ruled out for offside and Daryl Murphy smacked a shot against the post for Sunderland.

Attendance : 33,058
Assists : n/a

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Hargreaves 15 fk, Park 45, Davies 72 og)

Man United move to within a point of Arsenal as they swept struggling Fulham aside. Owen Hargreaves began matters with a clipped free kick from the edge of the area and just before half time, Paul Scholes crossed for Ji-Sung Park to head in off the bar. United never hit top gear but they didn't need to and added a third in the second half when John O'Shea's crossed was thumped into his own net by the tracking back Simon Davies.

Attendance : 25,314
Assists : Tevez (won fk), Scholes, n/a

READING 1 (Harper 91)

Reading ended their run of eight defeats with a last gasp win at Middlesbrough to leave the battle for 18th place very tight. Nicky Hunt was the provider for the goal as his cross was slotted calmly in by James Harper.

Attendance : 23,299
Assist : Hunt

BLACKBURN 1 (Derbyshire 90)

Smash and grab at St James Park as Newcastle dominated against Blackburn only to lose to a last minute strike. Michael Owen had the better of the chances for the hosts but dragged a shot wide after breaking clear and rounding the keeper and in the second half he was denied again by the boot of Brad Friedel. With time edging away, Rovers broke as David Bentley sent Matt Derbyshire clear and he finished clinically from the edge of the box as the keeper came out. During the second half, Habib Baye and Morten Gamst Pedersen clashed on the touchline as the former failed to let go of the ball for a Rovers throw. Both were at each others throats resulting in half the players and coaching staff becoming involved. Both players were lucky only to get booked.

Attendance : 50,796
Assist : Bentley

CHELSEA 4 (Lampard 17 pen, J Cole 20, Ballack 22, A Cole 64)

Chelsea shrugged off their Carling Cup disappointment as West Ham's old boys came back to haunt them at Upton Park. A three goal in five minute blitz effectively won the game as firstly Anton Ferdinand clattered into Salomon Kalou in the area and Frank Lampard sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot and then another ex-Hammer Joe Cole netted with a superb cross shot from the edge of the area having been teed up by Nik Anelka. Lampard then provided a lovely pass with the outside of his boot for Michael Ballack to wallop home a brilliant half volley as the hosts were swept aside. Luis Boa Morte and Lampard then clashed on the ground and although boots were flying, Lampard seemed to get into trouble for the smallest of shoves on the West Ham man and was sent off. Considered the incident at St James Park, consistency is still a long way away. It mattered little ultimately as Joe Cole had a shot saved midway through the second half and namesake Ashley - in the media for the wrong reasons of late - fired in his first Chelsea goal from a tight angle.

Attendance : 34,969
Assists : Kalou (won pen), Anelka, Lampard, n/a

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