23 February 2009

HULL 1 (Turner 27)
TOTTENHAM 2 (Lennon 17, Woodgate 85)

Spurs eased their relegation concerns with a late winner as they came from behind at Hull. The home side began well but went behind when a short corner was worked to Luka Modric who found Aaron Lennon on the edge of the box who had time to take a touch and fire into the corner. The hosts deservedly levelled when a corner from Andy Dawson was missed by keeper Carlo Cudicini and after the ball bounced off of Wilson Palacios and bobbled towards his own net, Michael Turner bundled it into the roof of the net from a matter of a yard out. The second half wasn't as open as the first but with four minutes left, a cross from Benoit Assou-Ekotto was nodded in at the far post by Jonathon Woodgate.

Attendance : 24,742
Assists : Modric, n/a, Assou-Ekotto

22 February 2009

FULHAM 2 (Zamora 61, Johnson 72)

West Brom remain bottom after slumping to defeat at Fulham in a game almost totally dominated by the hosts. Fulham hit the woodwork three times before the break, twice from Danny Murphy and once from a scorching drive from Clint Dempsey and it took over an hour to finally break through as John Paintsil's cross was helped on by Andy Johnson and tapped in at the far post by Bobby Zamora for his first goal in five months. Brede Hangeland then headed against the bar for Fulham before the lead was doubled as Zamora's shot smacked against the face of keeper Scott Carson and as Johnson collected the rebound, he remained calm to fire in the second. In stoppage time, Hangeland fouled sub Roman Bednar in the area however a miserable afternoon for the Baggies was completed when Bednar's spot kick was comfortably stopped by keeper Mark Schwarzer.

Attendance : 22,934
Assists : Johnson, n/a

LIVERPOOL 1 (Kuyt 78)
MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Arbeloa 49 og)

Liverpool are now seven points behind Man United after being held at home to Man City. They went behind when Craig Bellamy's shot from the edge of the area found the far corner courtesy of a massive deflection off of Alvaro Arbeloa. Liverpool rescued a point when Yossi Benayoun's cross was misskicked by Fernando Torres but finished by Dirk Kuyt from close range.

Man United champions again? I would think so. No-one else can match them for consistency at the moment and whilst the 12 point gap which United blew in 1998 has been mentioned in the media lately, it should be remembered that Arsenal had three games in hand at that point and then won at Old Trafford.

Attendance : 44,259
Assists : n/a, Torres


Goalless at St James as Everton failed to break down a ten man Newcastle side. Everton lost Mikel Arteta through a serious ligament injury within five minutes but still had the better of things early on with Joseph Yobo and Jack Rodwell denied by keeper Steve Harper from separate corners whilst Phil Jagielka volleyed wide from a good position. Ironically, Newcastle had the best chance of the opening half an hour when Peter Lovenkrands side footed wide with only the keeper to beat. The home side were reduced to ten men when Kevin Nolan launched into a two-footed tackle on Victor Anichebe which saw him rightly sent off for a leg breaker of a challenge. That tackle and the Arteta injury saw seven minutes of first half stoppage time during which Anichebe hobbled off, no surprise considering the shocker of a tackle on him. Apparently at the interval, Nolan apologised to the Everton man for the tackle. The second half saw chances few and far between compared to the opening half with Newcastle playing largely on the break and creating a decent effort with twenty minutes left when Jonas Gutierrez burst through but his chip was well over. Jo had a weak header at the keeper for Everton whilst sub Louis Saha blazed over from the edge of the box and in stoppage time, Rodwell shot just wide but a winner was not going to arrive.

Attendance : 47,683
Assists : n/a

21 February 2009


Arsenal gave a debut to Andrei Arshavin but dropped points for the fourth league game in a row and failed to score for the third game on the bounce after being held to a goalless draw by Sunderland. Arshavin came close twice with a shot just wide and another effort well saved whilst Robin Van Persie was inches away with a clipped effort as the keeper came out. Sunderland had chance themselves, notably for Dean Whitehead whose shot was saved by Manuel Almunia.

Attendance : 60,104
Assists : n/a

CHELSEA 1 (Anelka 19)

Chelsea's tenuous title hopes remain just about alive after a narrow win at fellow hopefuls Aston Villa. The only goal came in the first half as Frank Lampard's run set up Nik Anelka who clipped the ball over the keeper as he came off of his line.

Attendance : 42,585
Assist : Lampard

BOLTON 2 (Taylor 10, Davies 11)
WEST HAM 1 (Parker 66)

Two early goals gave Bolton a useful win at home to West Ham. Matt Taylor opened the scoring with a fine 25 yard free kick and with the Hammers still recovering, Johan Elmander crossed for Kevin Davies to sweep in the second. The visitors stormed back after the break and pulled a goal back when Scott Parker netted a rare goal with a neat near post finish from Jonathan Spector's cross but they couldn't find a late equaliser.

Attendance : 21,245
Assists : M Davis (won fk), Elmander, Spector

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Rooney 23, Ronaldo 60 fk)
BLACKBURN 1 (Santa Cruz 32)

Man United go eight points clear at the top of the league with an entertaining win at home to Blackburn. United took the lead midway through the first half when Nani's low ball into the area was heading for Wayne Rooney only for a stretching Ryan Nelsen to get a touch which only set up Rooney to fire in from close range. We then saw the footballing equivalent of a sighting of Halley's Comet as United conceded a league goal for the first time since November 8th!! Midfield indecision saw Andre Ooijer surge forward and thread through Roque Santa Cruz who held off Rio Ferdinand, rounded Tomasz Kuszczak and slotted in from a tight angle. Johnny Evans had a goal disallowed on half time as Cristiano Ronaldo apparently pushed Nelsen as the Irishman headed home and after the break Rovers almost grabbed a shock lead when Nelsen smacked the post and El Hadji Diouf saw the rebound blocked. Enter Ronaldo, who was lucky not to be booked for kicking out at David Dunn and then was yellow carded for a dive on the edge of the box, to show his party piece as he blasted a superb free kick from the left edge of the area into the opposite top corner. Rovers felt they should have had a spot kick when Morton Gamst Pedersen was hauled back by Rafael however the ref waved play on. Dimitar Berbatov headed a sitter over the bar late on when he should have buried it and Rooney fizzed a stoppage time effort inches wide as United tried to wrap the points up.

Attendance : 75,000
Assists : n/a, Ooijer, Nani (won fk)


Middlesbrough and Wigan earned a point each in a poor goalless encounter at the Riverside. The main talking point seemed to be Boro old boy Lee Cattermole's tackle on Didier Digard which saw the Frenchman stretchered off. Replays showed that the tackle was strong but fair as the Wigan man won the ball. The best chance fell to Stuart Downing whose first half shot saw saved by visiting keeper Chris Kirkland.

Attendance : 24,020
Assists : n/a

STOKE 2 (Beattie 78 Pen, Beattie 80)
PORTSMOUTH 2 (Kranjcar 75, Shawcross 92 og)

Four goals in the final fifteen minutes saw Stoke and Portsmouth turn a drab game into a dramatic one. Portsmouth went ahead when David Nugent set up Niko Kranjcar to slot in however Stoke were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty for handball even though Glen Johnson controlled the ball with his chest. James Beattie found the top corner with the spot kick and within two minutes Stoke were ahead when Danny Pugh's far post volley was touched in at close range by the head of Beattie. Portsmouth battled back and in stoppage time they were level as Herman Hreidarsson's shot was sliced into his own net by Ryan Shawcross.

Attendance : 26,354
Assists : Nugent, n/a, Pugh, n/a

18 February 2009

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Scholes 12, Berbatov 30, Rooney 63)

Attendance : 75,000
Assists : Carrick, O'Shea, Park

14 February 2009

PORTSMOUTH 2 (Johnson 70, Hreidarsson 75)

Attendance : 20,018
Assists : n/a, Pennant (ck)

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