22 December 2008


Attendance : 35,655
Red Card : Terry 35 (Chelsea)
Assist : n/a

21 December 2008

ARSENAL 1 (Van Persie 24)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Keane 42)

Liverpool go two points clear of Chelsea at the top after coming from behind to draw at Arsenal. The first half was lit up by two superb goals, ironically both from long balls. The Gunners went ahead when a long pass from Samir Nasri found Robin Van Persie on the edge of the area and he took a touch to control, another to beat his man and a third to smash the ball in from 15 yards. Liverpool levelled just before the break when another long ball forward from Daniel Agger sent Robbie Keane through and he walloped the ball in first time from just inside the area. Things took a turn for the worst for Arsenal after the hour when Emmanuel Adebayor went in studs first on Alvaro Arbeloa and caught the Liverpool man with an arm in the face at the same time and although he made a meal of it, Adebayor was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red. Arsenal held their own for the remainder of the game and ultimately deserved their point.

Attendance : 60,094
Red Card : Adebayor 62 (Arsenal)
Assists : Nasri, Agger

NEWCASTLE 2 (N'Zogbia 12, Duff 90)
TOTTENHAM 1 (Modric 29)

Newcastle left it late to see off Spurs and move up to mid table. The hosts took an early lead when a Charles N'Zogbia chased a long ball from Shay Given and despite losing his balance under pressure from a defender, found his feet again to find the net. Spurs levelled when a tackle in midfield by Michael Dawson turned into a fine through ball for Luka Modric to beat the offside trap and drill in from the edge of the area. With the game heading for a draw, Damien Duff collected the ball outside the area, played a neat one-two with Mark Viduka and just managed to slide the ball past the keeper and into the net.

Attendance : 47,982
Assists : n/a, Dawson, Viduka

WEST BROM 2 (Moore 69, Bednar 93)
MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Carson 86 og)

West Brom netted a stoppage time winner to see off fellow strugglers Man City at the Hawthorns. City had the better of possession in the first half but it was the bottom club who came closest with a bullet shot from Roman Bednar which cracked against the post, hit keeper Joe Hart on the head and bounced across goal to safety. West Brom eventually took the lead midway through the second half when they broke clear with James Morrison who played Luke Moore in on goal and he calmly slotted the ball part Hart and into the net. City's equaliser was a combination of opportunism and blind luck as a cross from the left found sub Felipe Caicedo with his back to goal 12 yards out. He back heeled the ball powerfully towards goal and it amazingly found the net via a deflection, the post and keeper Scott Carson! Both sides went for the win but the hosts found it late on as a cross from Gianni Zuiverloon found Bednar unmarked and he looped a header over the keeper and in.

Attendance : 25,010
Assists : Morrison, n/a, Zuiverloon

20 December 2008

BLACKBURN 3 (McCarthy 9 Pen, Roberts 18, McCarthy 27)

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce got off to a dream start as his team blitzed Stoke at Ewood Park. Ironically Stoke looked the better side for long spells but were destroyed by a period of three goals in eighteen first half minutes. One of the clearest penalties of the season got Rovers started as Ibrahim Sonko hacked down Morten Gamst Pedersen in the area and Benni McCarthy drilled in the opener. The lead was doubled when Brett Emerton's cross was not dealt with by the defender and fell nicely for Jason Roberts to tap in. McCarthy added a third with a simple effort after Roberts had his effort well saved to wrap it up.

Attendance : 23,004
Assists : Pedersen (won pen), n/a, n/a

BOLTON 2 (Taylor 49 seconds, Gardner 3)
PORTSMOUTH 1 (Crouch 20)

Bolton totally dominated against Portsmouth but were left hanging onto a win after a sensational start. Former Pompey man Matt Taylor opened the scoring inside a minute as he latched onto Andy O'Brien's long ball, looped the ball over his marker and smashed a low shot under the keeper. Within two minutes, it was 2-0 as Taylor's header across goal was acrobatically volleyed in by Ricardo Gardner. Portsmouth pulled one back thanks to Peter Crouch's far post header from Niko Krancjar's cross but Bolton created enough chances to make the game safe well before the final whistle.

Attendance : 19,884
Assists : Davies, Taylor, Kranjcar

FULHAM 3 (Bullard 41, Murphy 54 Pen, Dempsey 59)

Fulham are unbeaten in seven games after a comfortable win against Middlesbrough. The first half was marred slightly by a leg breaker of a tackle by Julio Arca on Andy Johnson which was only worthy of a yellow card according to the ref but Fulham led at the interval when Bobby Zamora's shot was saved and Jimmy Bullard knocked in the rebound. A lucky penalty doubled the lead as Tony McMahon handled the ball as his clearance hit Zamora and rebounded back against him. Despite hot protests, the award stood and Danny Murphy slotted the ball in. The game was wrapped up when Murphy found Clint Dempsey in miles of space to slot in the third.

Attendance : 23,722
Assists : n/a, n/a, Murphy

HULL 1 (Barmby 19)
SUNDERLAND 4 (Malbranque 10, Zayatte 78 og, Jones 84, Cisse 91)

Sunderland hit four for the second game in a row as Hull capitulated late on at the KC Stadium. The visitors took the lead when Danny Collins set up Steed Malbranque to find the top corner brilliantly from the edge of the box but Hull level when Nick Barmby netted his first top flight goal in five and a half years after from close range after an almighty scramble in the area. It was still level into the final twelve minutes when the game turned significantly as Kieran Richardson's effort took a massive deflection off of Kamil Zayatte to totally wrong foot the keeper and within three minutes Hull were down to ten men for a second booking in a matter of minutes for Sam Ricketts for a late challenge on Phil Bardsley. Sunderland then turned the screw as Malbranque's cross was headed in at the near post by Kenwyne Jones and in stoppage time, Malbranque's through ball sent Djibril Cisse clear to fire in the fourth.

Attendance : 24,917
Red Card : Ricketts 81 (Hull)
Assists : Collins, n/a, n/a, Malbranque, Malbranque

ASTON VILLA 1 (Neill 78 og)

Aston Villa move into third with a narrow win at West Ham. Both clubs had decent chances but it needed a freak goal to win the points for Villa. A Hammers move broke down and Villa burst forward resulting in Ashley Young finding James Milner on the left edge of the area. His cross clipped off of Lucas Neill and span and looped into the net at the far post.

Attendance : 31,353
Assist : n/a

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