19 August 2007

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Geovanni 31)

Man City remain 100% after three games following a derby day win over Man United who simply couldn't turn possession into goals.

United controlled the opening half and hour as they dominated possession and were the only side creating chances. Nani was twice denied by home keeper Kasper Schmeichel whilst Carlos Tevez was twice denied a shot at goal by the pace of the impressive Micah Richards. Patrice Evra came up from left back and blazed wide under pressure and it took City until the 30th minute to even have a shot on goal as Michael Johnson blasted high and wide. Such is the nature of football that within a minute, City took the lead. Elano found Geovanni square and his shot clipped off of Nemanja Vidic and spun around keeper Edwin Van Der Sar and into the net from 25 yards. City played keep ball for long spells without really threatening again whilst United, clearly stunned by the goal, came close just before the break when Nani fizzed a shot just wide.

The second half was largely the same as Vidic walloped a header against the bar early on and Paul Scholes sliced the loose ball wide. Tevez came close from a Ryan Giggs cross and then hammered a near post effort wide and in the final seconds of normal time, he headed into the side netting from a corner. Stoppage time saw Van Der Sar venture up front by City held on for a hard fought victory.

Attendance : 44,955
Assist : n/a

BLACKBURN 1 (Dunn 72)
ARSENAL 1 (Van Persie 18)

Honours even at Ewood Park as mistakes from either goalkeeper earned Blackburn and Arsenal a point. Home keeper Brad Friedel saw first to slip up as he failed to gather a loose ball in the area, sparking an almighty scramble resolved by Robin Van Persie who drilled in from close range. Worse followed in the second half though as Gunners keeper Jens Lehman seemed to have a shot from David Dunn easily covered, however instead of catching the ball, it bounced off of his hands and flew into the net. Rovers ended the game with ten men when Ryan Nelsen received his second yellow for a foul on Van Persie but the game will be remembered for the goalkeeping failures.

Attendance : 44,955
Red Card : Nelsen 84 (Blackburn)
Assists : n/a, Santa Cruz

LIVERPOOL 1 (Torres 16)
CHELSEA 1 (Lampard 62 Pen)

A disputed second half penalty gave Chelsea a draw at Liverpool as both clubs lost their 100% start to the season.

Liverpool began well and took the lead thanks to a superb finish by Fernando Torres who collected an equally fine pass from Steven Gerrard, dragged the ball past his marker and then slotted it into the net from a tricky angle off the far post. Chelsea's best opportunity fell to John Terry late in the half but he couldn't connect with a free kick swing across in front of goal. As the half wore on, tempers began to fray resulting in a number of bookings before the interval.

After the break both teams had chances as John Obi Mikel headed over and Claudio Pizarro headed wide for Chelsea whilst Dirk Kuyt and Xabi Alonso were just off target for the hosts. Then came the penalty as Florent Malouda went for a cross on the edge of the area only for it to go behind him. He ran into Daniel Agger resulting in a spot kick being awarded. Frank Lampard sent the keeper the wrong way to equalise. Liverpool looked the most likely late on as John Arne Riise sent a trademark volley wide and Kuyt saw a header tipped over. Sub Ryan Babel smashed an effort into the side netting but a draw was the result.

Attendance : 43,924
Assists : Gerrard, Malouda (won pen)

18 August 2007

WEST HAM 1 (Noble 70 Pen)

West Ham collected their first win of the season against a Birmingham side struggling with the top flight. The only goal was a late penalty as Craig Bellamy was clattered by keeper Colin Doyle despite going well away from goal. Mark Noble sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Attendance : 24,961
Assists : Bellamy (won pen)

FULHAM 1 (McBride 16)
MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Mido 55, Cattermole 89)

Controversy at Fulham who had all the bad luck possible against a Middlesbrough side who collected their first win of the campaign. Fulham took an early lead when Brian McBride fired in Alexei Smertin's cross however he dislocated his knee in doing so and was stretchered off. Before the break, Hameur Bouazza followed him off with a shoulder problem and early in the second half keeper Tony Warner seemed to have Ahmed Mido's shot well covered only for it to bounce off his hands and inside the near post. It was Warner's second howler in as many games following his Bolton gift. With two minutes to go, Jeremie Aliadiere crossed for Lee Cattermole to sweep in a near post effort, however it should have been 2-2 in stoppage time when the officials ruled that David Healy's bundled effort didn't cross the line when replays suggested otherwise.

Attendance : 20,948
Assists : Smertin, Arca, Aliadiere

READING 1 (Hunt 44)

A first win also for Reading against early season pace setters Everton. Just one goal decided matters when Nicky Hunt latched onto a long throw by Ulises De La Cruz, nipped past his marker and volleyed the ball past the keeper.

Attendance : 22,813
Assist : De La Cruz (throw in)

TOTTENHAM 4 (Malbranque 2, Malbranque 6, Jenas 14, Bent 80)

Spurs are back on track with their first win following two early season defeats as Derby were crushed at the Lane. The game was all over after 14 minutes by which time Spurs had netted three times. Steed Malbranque scored the first two, firstly with a low shot from the edge of the area having been found by a shot free kick from Jermaine Jenas and then with a curling effort from Darren Bent's cross. Jenas added the third with a solo effort having run from the halfway line and the fourth came for Bent late on from a matter of inches after the keeper had tipped Pascal Chimbonda's looping header onto the bar.

Attendance : 35,600
Assists : Jenas (fk), Bent, n/a, n/a

WIGAN 3 (Heskey 19, Landzaat 62 Pen, Sibierski 69 Pen)

Sunderland's decent start ended with a crash at Wigan who went top of the Prem after the Saturday fixtures. They needed a bit of luck to start them off though as Antonio Valencia's deflected cross was swept in by Emile Heskey who looked offside when the ball originally came in. Two second half penalties wrapped things up as Denny Landzaat sent the keeper the wrong way after Danny Collins hauled back Antoine Sibierski and the Sibierski himself blasted home from the spot after Heskey was tripped by Russell Anderson.

Attendance : 18,637
Assists : n/a, Sibierski (won pen), Heskey (won pen)

PORTSMOUTH 3 (Kanu 16, Utaka 30, Taylor 88 Pen)
BOLTON 1 (Anelka 13)

Bolton are still without a point after slumping to their third successive defeat of the season, this time at Portsmouth. Bolton took an early lead when El Hadji Diouf sent Nik Anelka away down the left and having held off his marker, he fired a low shot between the legs of keeper David James and into the net. However, as in midweek at Fulham this good start was their downfall as they were behind by half time. Nwankwo Kanu had a header harshly disallowed two minutes after Anelka's strike and as if spurred on by the injustice, he then levelled matters a further two minutes on when John Utaka cushioned down Gary O'Neil's cross for him to volley in, although Bolton boss Sammy Lee was furious over what seemed a foul on Anelka in the build up. Utaka's pace gave the hosts the lead as he latched onto Kanu's pass on the halfway line, outpaced two defenders, rounded the keeper and slotted in a superb individual goal. Portsmouth clinched victory at the end on an uneventful second half when Kanu was tripped in the area by Gerald Cid, although both man and ball seemed to be played, allowing Matt Taylor to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Attendance : 17,108
Assists : Diouf, Utaka, Kanu, Kanu (won pen)

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Topica Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it
The Unofficial Premiership Site