28 April 2008
DERBY 2 (McEveley 31, Earnshaw 77)
ARSENAL 6 (Bendtner 25, Van Persie 39, Adebayor 59, Walcott 78, Adebayor 81, Adebayor 91)
Arsenal kept their faint title hopes alive with a crushing win at bottom club Derby, helped hugely by a second half hat trick from sub Emmanuel Adebayor. The Gunners went ahead after a poor pass from Darren Moore let in Robin Van Persie who found Niklas Bendtner to drill low past the keeper. Derby levelled six minutes later when a Robbie Savage free kick was converted at the second attempt by James McEvley after his first header was blocked but by half time Arsenal were back ahead as Van Persie blasted into the roof of the net from a Kolo Toure cross. After the interval, Theo Walcott's cross was helped on by Emmanuel Eboue and tapped in by Adebayor. Derby gave themselves brief hope with a clinical finish by Rob Earnshaw having seen put through by Andy Todd, however within a minute Walcott restored the two goal buffer with a superb curling shot after a solo run on the left. Adebayor then added his second and the Gunners fifth from Gael Clichy's cross and completed his hat trick in the final minute as he rounded the keeper and slotted in from a tricky angle after collecting a pass from Cesc Fabregas.
Attendance : 33,003
Assists : RVP, n/a, Toure, Eboue, Todd, Gilberto Silva, Clichy, Fabregas
27 April 2008
EVERTON 2 (Neville 56, Yobo 84)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Agbonlahor, Carew)
Aston Villa twice came from behind at Everton to remain three points behind their opponents in the battle for a UEFA Cup spot. In a game played in continuous driving rain, Everton struck early in the second half when Yakubu's cross went behind everyone but fell for Phil Neville on the edge of the box and his drilled shot arrowed in aided by a slight deflection. Ville levelled with ten minutes to go when Gareth Barry's corner was thumped in at close range by Gabriel Agbonlahor however parity lasted four minutes as Lee Carsley's cross was volleyed in by Joseph Yobo. Ville battled back though and were level again within two minutes as Barry crossed for John Carew to head inside the post.
Attendance : 37,936
Assists : Yakubu, Barry (ck), Carsley, Barry
BLACKBURN 1 (Santa Cruz 74)
Blackburn move to within of Portsmouth after an uninspiring win at Fratton Park. The hosts are likely looking ahead to the cup final in three weeks and it showed as Rovers won it with a well worked goal late on. Roque Santa Cruz played a good one-two with Jason Roberts before firing low into the net.
Attendance : 18,722
Assist : Roberts
26 April 2008
BIRMINGHAM 2 (Forssell 34, Larsson 55 fk)
LIVERPOOL 2 (Crouch 63, Benayoun 76)
Birmingham blew a golden chance of moving out of the drop zone after losing a two goal lead at home to much changed Liverpool. They hosts were ahead when a cross from James McFadden was well controlled and thumped in at the far post by Mikael Forssell and the lead was doubled thanks to a superb curling free kick from Sebastien Larsson despite team mate Radhi Jaidi stood in an offside position ten yards in front of the keeper. Liverpool were back in it when a superb run from Jermaine Pennant saw Andriy Voronin help the ball on for Peter Crouch to drill home and the equaliser came from a cross from Leiva Lucas which was headed in by Yossi Benayoun although it did deflect heavily off of the back of Jaidi. Birmingham remain a point adrift of safety.
Attendance : 29,252
Assists : n/a, McFadden (won fk), Voronin, n/a
MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Ireland 10, Benjani 21)
FULHAM 3 (Kamara 70, Murphy 79, Kamara 92)
Fulham came back from the dead and are now three points from safety after coming from two goals down to win at Man City. The hosts were two up at the break after a neat back heel from Martin Petrov set up Stephen Ireland to curl in a beauty and then Elano's excellent pass found Darius Vassell whose cross was converted by Benjani. If results had remained the same early in the second half, Fulham would have been relegated however they battled back and netted three times in the last twenty minutes. Sub Diomansy Kamara gave them hope as he twisted to find space in the area before shooting through the keepers legs after collected a pass from Danny Murphy. The visitors were then gifted a penalty as Erik Nevland was hauled to the ground by Sun Jihai and although Murphy's kick was saved by Joe Hart, he made no mistake from the rebound. The crucial winner came in stoppage time as Murphy sent Kamara clear and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net at the near post. Fulham play host to Birmingham next week!
Attendance : 43,643
Assists : Petrov, Vassell, Murphy, n/a, Murphy
SUNDERLAND 3 (Higginbotham 6, Chopra 45, Pogatetz 92 og)
MIDDLESBROUGH 2 (Tuncay 4, Alves 74)
Sunderland guaranteed their Premiership status next season with a last winner minute against North-East rivals Middlesbrough who are still only four points clear themselves. It began in explosive fashion as Afonso Alves set up Tuncay to fire the opener into the bottom corner but within two minutes the home side levelled thanks to a cracking header from Danny Higginbotham after a cross from Danny Collins. Sunderland edged ahead on half time as Liam Miller sent Michael Chopra away down the right and after cutting inside, he found the net via the underside of the bar. Boro levelled in the second half as Julio Arca's miss-hit shot fell nicely for Alves whose effort just crossed the line. With time almost up, Sunderland won it thanks to a near post corner from Grant Leadbitter which bounced over the line via a combination of Daryl Murphy and Boro defender Emmanuel Pogatetz at the near post.
Attendance : 45,059
Assists : Alves, Collins, n/a, n/a, n/a
TOTTENHAM 1 (Malbranque 52)
BOLTON 1 (Giannakopoulos 46)
Bolton are just two places and one point above the relegation zone after a decent draw at Spurs. After a goalless first half, Bolton were ahead inside 20 seconds of the restart as a cross from Gretar Steinsson wasn't dealt with by the defender and was scrambled in by half time sub Stelios Giannakopoulos. Spurs levelled it up when Robbie Keane's shot was deflected into the path of Steed Malbranque to slot in at the near post.
Attendance : 36,176
Assists : n/a, n/a
WEST HAM 2 (Noble 10, Ashton 23)
NEWCASTLE 2 (Martins 43, Geremi 45)
West Ham and Newcastle are playing out time at the end of the season but produced a cracking 45 minutes of football. All four goals were scored by half time as the Hammers went ahead when George McCartney crossed for Mark Noble to volley in. Bobby Zamora's header set up Dean Ashton to turn and fire in the second but Newcastle fought back and pulled a goal back when Joey Barton's pass sent Obafemi Martins clear to prod the ball above the keeper. Martins had a hand in the equaliser as his crisp shot was headed in by Geremi.
Attendance : 34,980
Assists : McCartney, Zamora, Barton, n/a
Attendance : 19,043
Assists : n/a
CHELSEA 2 (Ballack 46 Ballack 86 Pen)
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Rooney 57)
The title race is alive and kicking as Chelsea beat Man United to go level on points at the top with just two games remaining. Chelsea dominated the first half and went ahead just before the break when Michael Ballack ghosted in unmarked to send a superb header into the corner from Didier Drogba's cross. An accidental boot in the face by Drogba on Nemanja Vidic ended the United's defender's day early as he was off injured with a tooth through his lip - ouch! Prior to the goal, the hosts were unlucky not to score when Joe Cole lost, then regained possession on the edge of the area before walloping a shot against the bar. In the second half Chelsea continued to look comfortable until an awful pass from Ricardo Carvalho sent Wayne Rooney clear on goal and he smacked in the equaliser off of the post. Rooney was subbed minutes later with a hip injury and replaced by Cristiano Ronaldo. Chelsea then piled forward and were rewarded when Michael Essien's cross was handled by Michael Carrick and after a significant delay, Ballack belted home the spot kick and unwisely celebrated with the home fans having been booked after netting his opening goal. It was now United's turn to press and Ronaldo almost levelled only for Ashley Cole to clear his shot off of the line. Five minutes of added on time began with Andriy Shevchenko emulating Cole by hoisting Darren Fletcher's header off of the line and a scuffle in the area that saw two United players booked. United's goal difference remains far better and two wins in their last two games will still guarantee them the title barring a mathematical miracle but it will go to the final day regardless.
Attendance : 41,828
Assists : Drogba, n/a, n/a
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