12 March 2008

CHELSEA 6 (Lampard 28 Pen, Kalou 42, Lampard 57, J Cole 64, Lampard 66, Lampard 72)
DERBY 1 (Jones 73)

The title race now involves three clubs after Frank Lampard netted four times as Chelsea ripped bottom club Derby to pieces. They needed another contentious penalty decision to get started as Lampard collapsed like bambi on ice under no contact from Dean Leacock and then slotted the spot kick home with ease. After that it was one way traffic as Lampard's through ball tempted keeper Roy Carroll to the edge of his area, however he and a defender got in each others way and the clearance fell nicely to Salomon Kalou whose first time shot found the net from thirty yards. Lampard's second and Chelsea's third was a close range tap in after excellent work from Joe Cole and Cole added the fourth himself after Carroll had only parried Nik Anelka's effort. Lampard's hat trick came from the edge of the area after being found by Kalou and Cole then played in Lampard to hit his fourth and Chelsea's sixth after beating two men in the area. Straight from the kick off, Rob Earnshaw's pass was deflected perfectly for David Jones to slot in a consolation, however Chelsea are now just five points off the lead with a game in hand and they still have to play both Arsenal and Man United at home!

Attendance : 39,447
Assists : Lampard (won pen), n/a, Joe Cole, n/a, Kalou, Joe Cole, n/a

ASTON VILLA 1 (Barry 74 Pen)
MIDDLESBROUGH 1 (Downing 23)

Honours even at Villa Park thanks to a harsh penalty earning Aston Villa a draw against Middlesbrough. The visitors were ahead when a poor clearance from Zat Knight was collected by Stuart Downing who drilled home a near post shot after a solo run. Boro should have doubled their lead only for Ahmed Mido to blaze over with the goal gaping. The equaliser arrived when a shot from Ashley Young arrowed into the back of Luke Young who turned away from the ball in an attempt to block. It then bounced onto his arm although he knew little about it and the ref awarded a penalty which was comfortably converted by Gareth Barry.

Attendance : 39,874
Assists : n/a, n/a

PORTSMOUTH 4 (Defoe 6 Pen, Defoe 9, Hreidarsson 49, Kanu 90)
BIRMINGHAM 2 (Muamba 10, Larsson 40 fk)

Portsmouth showed no FA Cup hangover although the win over Birmingham wasn't as comprehensive at the scoreline suggests. Pompey roared into an early two goal lead as Jermain Defoe slotted in a penalty after David Murphy handled a cross from Milan Baros and then doubled his tally with a tap in after Maik Taylor had saved from both Sully Muntari and Baros. Birmingham got a goal back inside a minute when Sebastien Larsson's corner was flicked on by Liam Ridgewell and prodded in by Patrice Muamba and by half time they were level thanks to Larsson's superb free kick from 20 yards. Portsmouth regained their lead early in the second half when the defence failed to deal with a free kick from Muntari and Hermann Hreidarsson thumped in from close range. The visitors had chances to level again however Pompey wrapped it up in stoppage time when Pedro Mendes crossed for Nwankwo Kanu to thump in a header.

Attendance : 20,138
Assists : n/a, n/a, Ridgewell, Forrsell (won fk), n/a, Mendes

9 March 2008


Arsenal's quest to hand the title to Man United continued with their third league draw in a row. Wigan were only really troubled twice and at either end of the game, firstly as Emmanuel Adebayor burst clear only fro Chris Kirkland to save well and the keeper was on hand late on to deny Cesc Fabregas. Wigan's best chance fell to Antonio Valencia whose bullet shot was palmed to safety by Manuel Almunia. Arsenal are now two points clear of United but have played a game more.

Attendance : 19,676
Assist : n/a

EVERTON 1 (Johnson 55)

Everton move level with Liverpool as the battle for fourth place hots up after a controversial winner at Sunderland who remain in the relegation dogfight. The only goal came from a near post cross from Mikel Arteta which was helped in by Andy Johnson as both he and team mate Tim Cahill went for the ball. Replays showed the ball going in off of Johnson's elbow although in fairness no home player appealed at the time. The game was also witness to another potential leg break of a tackle as Phil Bardsley was lucky only to be booked for an awful challenge on Stephen Pienaar.

Attendance : 42,595
Assist : Arteta

TOTTENHAM 4 (Berbatov 8, Berbatov 11, Gilberto 85, Bent 93)

Spurs warmed up for PSV by inflicting West Ham's third 4-0 defeat in eight days. Twice in the opening 11 minutes, Dimitar Berbatov headed in a pinpoint free kick from Tom Huddlestone, the first from the right and then from the left. The Hammers weren't helped when Luis Boa Morte was shown a second yellow card for a clumsy tackle on Aaron Lennon although only late on did the hosts really turn the screw. Pascal Chimbonda's cross was dummied by Lennon for Gilberto to control and drill a low shot home and in stoppage time, Alan Hutton crossed for Darren Bent to head home.

Attendance : 36,062
Red Card : Boa Morte 44 (West Ham)
Assists : Huddlestone (fk), Huddlestone (fk), Chimbonda, Hutton

8 March 2008

BLACKBURN 1 (Pedersen 59)
FULHAM 1 (Bullard 89)

Fulham grabbed a late equaliser at Blackburn but remain deep in trouble in the relegation dog fight. Rovers took a controversial lead when Morton Gamst Pedersen headed in a cross from Jason Roberts although replays revealed the goalscorer throwing his marker, Paul Stalteri, to the ground just before the cross arrived. Jimmy Bullard rescued a point with a superb free kick into the top corner from 25 yards.

Attendance : 20,362
Assists : Roberts, Konchesky (fk)

LIVERPOOL 3 (Pennant 43, Torres 45, Gerrard 51)

Liverpool consolidate fourth place as three goals in eight minutes either side of half time saw of Newcastle. The opener was as lucky a goal as you'll see all season as a pass from Fernando Torres was chased by Jermaine Pennant however as defender Jose Enrique hacked the ball away, it hit Pennant, looped over the keeper from a tight angle and bounced in. If the first was freakish, the other two were excellent as Steven Gerrard sent Torres clear and after dummying the keeper to allow the ball to roll past him, he fired into the empty net. Torres then sent Gerrard free to clip the third over the advancing Steve Harper. Like it or not, Newcastle are now firmly in the group of clubs who could get relegated.

Attendance : 44,031
Assists : n/a, Gerrard, Torres

READING 2 (Long 62, Kitson 88)

Reading collect back-to-back wins and clean sheets after beating Man City and move up five places as the battle to avoid the drop heats up. They went ahead when Kevin Doyle crossed for Shane Long to side foot home at the near post and with time edging away, a quick free kick from Kalifa Cisse found Dave Kitson and he was allowed to run at the defence before finding the bottom corner.

Attendance : 24,062
Assists : Doyle, Cisse

5 March 2008

LIVERPOOL 4 (Torres 8, 61, 81, Gerrard 83)

Liverpool tore into fourth place after a hat trick from Fernando Torres condemned West Ham to the second 4-0 defeat in four days. The result was not really in doubt after an early Liverpool goal set the tone for the game as Torres sent a first time shot crashing into the net after a cross from Dirk Kuyt. Just after the hour, he doubled the lead with a near post header with Kuyt again the provider and the treble was completed as he latched onto a header from John Arne Riise, beat his man in the area and rolled the ball past the keeper. Gerrard added a fourth soon after with a trademark run and shot from the edge of the box.

Attendance : 42,954
Assists : n/a, Kuyt, Riise, Xabi Alonso

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