1 February 2009

NEWCASTLE 1 (Ameobi 69 Pen)
SUNDERLAND 1 (Cisse 32)

Honours even in the Tyne-Wear derby as Newcastle came from behind to draw with Sunderland. The visitors took the lead in a pulsating game when a lob forward from Dean Whitehead sent Djibril Cisse clear and although his first effort was saved by Steve Harper, the rebound fell nicely for the striker to roll into an empty net. Newcastle levelled when Steven Taylor went down under a challenge from Steed Malbranque and although there looked to be little in it, the ref gave a penalty, confidently thumped into the top corner by Shola Ameobi.

Attendance : 52,084
Assists : n/a, S Taylor (won pen)

LIVERPOOL 2 (Torres 89, Torres 94)

Two late Fernando Torres goals saw off ten man Chelsea and moved Liverpool to within two points of Man United at the top. The main talking point came on the hour when Frank Lampard and Xavi Alonso challenged for the ball in midfield and whilst Lampard seemed to win the ball, the Liverpool man injured himself as he kicked against Lampard's boot and went over in agony. The ref got the red card out instantly and sent Lampard off. Whilst Alonso most likely did not feign injury, a red card was a crazy decision and Chelsea will surely appeal. Liverpool took a deserved lead with two minutes to go when Fabio Aurelio crossed for Torres to send a brilliant near post header flying into the net. They clinched it with time almost up as Ashley Cole lost possession to Yossi Benayoun on the edge of his own box and although he got back to tackle the Liverpool man, it fell perfectly to Torres to slot in the second.

Attendance : 44,174
Red Card : Lampard 60 (Chelsea)
Assists : Aurelio, Benayoun

31 January 2009

STOKE 1 (Beattie 50)

Stoke move out of the bottom three after a narrow win against Man City despite being down to ten men for more than half of the game. A tepid opening spell finally burst into life after Shaun Wright-Phillips won the ball from Stoke's Matt Etherington with a lunging tackle and although play continued, Rory Delap took exception to the challenge and after hacking down Wright-Phillips from behind, he kicked the ball against him whilst he lay on the ground. It sparked a mass of players charging toward the pair resulting in Delap being red carded. Wright-Phillips was a little lucky to escape Scott Free, not so much for the initial challenge but for kicking out and contacting with Delap just as the mass charge reached them. Stoke clinched the win five minutes into first half stoppage time when Etherington crossed from the left and James Beattie sent a superb powerful header into the bottom corner. The second half was largely Stoke defending in numbers with Man City attacking but they only managed a shot on target in injury time and even then keeper Thomas Sorenson dealt with Wayne Bridge's shot with ease.

Attendance : 27,236
Red Card : Delap 37 (Stoke)
Assist : Etherington


Middlesbrough and Blackburn remain in the bottom three as they failed to find a goal between them. Rovers had the better of a poor game and almost won it late on only for home keeper Brad Jones to save twice from seperate efforts from Jason Roberts.

Attendance : 24,303
Assists : n/a


Arsenal's quest to regain a place in the top four continued to falter as they were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham. The Gunners dominated for long spells with Emmanuel Sdebayor almost finishing a sweeping move but shooting wide from close range and then later he sent a header straight at the keeper.

Attendance : 60,109
Assists : n/a


Aston Villa wasted the chance to go level on points with Man United ahead of the leader's evening game as they couldn't muster a goal at home to Wigan. The visitors were pushed back for the majority of the game but ironically had the best chance of the first half when Daniel De Ridder burst clear but couldn't beat keeper Bard Friedel. Villa dominated after the break but failed to break Wigan down although they were close in an almighty scramble which saw Gabriel Agbonlahor's effort blocked on the line and then hit the post.

Attendance : 41,766
Assists : n/a

BOLTON 3 (Puygrenier 31, Davies 64, Davies 87)
TOTTENHAM 2 (Bent 73, Bent 75)

Bolton blew a tow goal lead at home to Spurs only to grab a late winner to leave the visitors just a point ahead of the drop zone. Bolton were ahead at the break when Sebastien Puygrenier headed in a Mark Davies free kick and then the lead was doubled as Kevin Davies walloped in a touch from Gary Cahill after the break. Spurs battled back with two goals in a frantic three minute spell as Darren Bent turned in a cross from Pascal Chimbonda and then netted after keeper Jussi Jasskelainen couldn't hold a shot from Wilson Palacios. It looked to be enough to earn a point but late on, Matt Taylor's corner was headed in at the near post by Kevin Davies to grab a priceless win for Bolton who move up to 12th, two places above Spurs.

Attendance : 21,575
Assists : Mark Davies (fk), Cahill, Chimbonda, n/a, Taylor (ck)

FULHAM 3 (Johnson 14, Nevland 71, Nevland 80)
PORTSMOUTH 1 (Nugent 84)

Portsmouth's dismal form continues as they were well beaten at Fulham. The home side went ahead when a through ball from Clint Dempsey put Andy Johnson clear and he finished clinically from the edge of the area. Simon Davis then provided a long ball for Erik Nevland to control and fire in and nine minutes later, Nevland struck again with another crisp finish with Davies again the provider. David Nugent headed in Jermaine Pennant's free kick for a late consolation for Portsmouth but it was never going to be enough.

Attendance : 23,722
Assists : Dempsey, Davies, Davies, Pennant (fk)

HULL 2 (Mendy 44, Fagan 69)
WEST BROM 2 (Simpson 53, Brunt 73 Pen)

West Brom remain bottom despite twice coming from behind at Hull. The home side, themselves on a bad run, went ahead when Bernard Mendy was sent clear by Ian Ashbee before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball in. The Baggies levelled with a low drive from Jay Simpson having been sent up by James Morrison before Hull regained the lead when Craig Fagan brilliantly headed in Mendy's cross but West Brom salvaged a point when Kamil Zayette tripped Robert Koren in the area and Chris Brunt drilled in the penalty.

Attendance : 24,879
Assists : Ashby, n/a, Mendy, Koren (won pen)

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Ronaldo 44 Pen)

Another day, another game and another win and clean sheet for Man United who are in danger of turning one of the closest title races in years into a cakewalk. They took the lead against Everton just before half time when Michael Carrick was clipped just inside the area by Mikel Arteta leaving Cristiano Ronaldo, who earlier hit the inside of the post, to make no mistake from the penalty spot. Early in the second half, Carrick was felled again in the area, this time by Joleon Lescott but the appeals were waved away although it looked more of a penalty than the first one. United keeper Edwin Van Der Sar, having passed the 72nd minute, set a new English record for not conceding a goal which he'll extend into his next match as United saw the game out. They are now five points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool who play each other on Sunday.

Attendance : 75,399
Assist : Carrick (won pen)

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