12 April 2009

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Ireland 28)
FULHAM 3 (Dempsey 50, Etuhu 59, Dempsey 83)

Fulham moved into eighth after coming behind to win at Man City and record back to back away wins. City were ahead after a drab first half when Valeri Bojinov found Stephen Ireland who ran unchallenged for half the length of the pitch before his deflected effort looped over the keeper and in. Fulham stormed back after the break and levelled when Bobby Zamora was tackled on the edge of the area and the ball fell nicely for Clint Dempsey to slot in. Worse followed for City as they only cleared a cross to the edge of the penalty area where Dickson Etuhu fired in his first goal for Fulham. They guaranteed the points late on when Zamora broke and set up Dempsey to slot in his second and Fulham's third.

Attendance : 39,841
Assists : Bojinov, n/a, n/a, Zamora

ASTON VILLA 3 (Carew 33, Milner 55 fk, Barry 66 Pen)
EVERTON 3 (Fellaini 19, Cahill 23, Pienaar 53)

The two main challengers to the 'big four' shared six goals as Aston Villa twice came from two down to hold Everton. The visitors went into a quick fire two goal lead midway through the first half as Marouane Fellaini tapped in a cross from Leighton Baines and then Tim Cahill headed Steven Pienaar's corner against the underside of the bar and was quickest to nod the rebound in. Villa pulled one back before the break with a mini game of pinball as Everton failed to deal with James Milner's cross and Gareth Barry prodded the ball forward for John Carew to sweep in. Everton restored their two goal lead early in the second half when Phil Neville found Pienaar who turned and curled in a beauty from the edge of the box however almost straight from the kick off, Villa won a free kick which was brilliantly converted by Milner from 25 yards. Villa earned a point when Stilian Petrov nodded the ball away from Joleon Lescott in the area and was caught by the Everton man's boot at he tried to clear a high ball. The ref awarded a penalty, smashed in by Barry.

Attendance : 40,188
Assists : Baines, n/a, Agbonlahor, Neville, Barry (won fk), Petrov (won pen)

11 April 2009

STOKE 1 (Faye 33)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Carroll 81)

Newcastle are two points from safety at the bottom after coming from behind to draw against Stoke. The home side took the lead under protests from their opponents who conceded a corner despite the ball bouncing off of Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller. From the resulting corner, the visitors gave Abdoulaye Faye acres of space to head home Liam Lawrence's kick to net against his former club. Within four minutes of the second half, Stoke had two efforts blocked on the line as Newcastle struggled to deal with crosses and set pieces however they stayed within touching distance and equalised with nine minutes left when Stoke failed to clear a corner and after Damien Duff crossed the ball, sub Andy Carroll looped a header over the keeper and in.

Attendance : 24,862
Assists : Lawrence (ck), n/a

CHELSEA 4 (Ballack 40, Drogba 48, Lampard 60 Pen, Drogba 63)
BOLTON 3 (O'Brien 70, Basham 74, Taylor 78)

Chelsea keep the pressure on the top two but only after surviving a Lazarus style comeback from Bolton. The hosts led at half time when Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou exchanged passes for the German to find the roof of the net. Chelsea went into overdrive after the break as Frank Lampard's free kick was crashed high into the net by Didier Drogba before Gretar Steinsson handled in the area for Lampard to easily convert the penalty. Drogba then added a fourth after Bolton failed to clear Florent Malouda's corner and it should have been all over. Bolton are made of stern stuff though and three goals in eight minutes brought them right back into in. Andy O'Brien grabbed the first after being found by Ricardo Gardner and then Chris Basham netted from close although Kevin Davies's header may well have gone in anyway. The deficit was reduced to one goal when Davies helped the ball on for Matt Taylor to head and they almost levelled in stoppage time but Gary Cahill's effort was blocked and flew across goal for a corner!

Attendance : 41,096
Assists : Kalou, Lampard (fk), n/a, n/a, n/a, Davis, Davis

MIDDLESBROUGH 3 (Tuncay 3, Bates 29, King 90)
HULL 1 (Manucho 9)

Middlesbrough moved to within two points of safety with a crucial win against fellow strugglers Hull. They led early when visiting keeper Matt Duke saved from Afonso Alves however Tuncay was quickest to the loose ball and netted from a tight angle. Hull levelled when Nick Barmby crossed for Manucho to head in but Boro's lead was restored when Matthew Bates scored at the near post from Tony McMahon's corner. The hosts lived on their nerves after the break but clinched the win in stoppage time when former Hull man Marlon King slotted in after George Boateng lost the ball on the edge of the area.

Attendance : 32,255
Assists : n/a, Barmby, McMahon (ck), n/a

PORTSMOUTH 2 (Kaboul 33, Kranjcar 65 fk)
WEST BROM 2 (Greening 48, Brunt 62 fk)

Portsmouth and West Brom shared four goals at Fratton Park leaving the hosts two points above the drop zone and the Baggies seven points from safety. Portsmouth went ahead when Jermaine Pennant found Younes Kaboul who cut inside and walloped a beauty into the net. West Brom battled back after the break and actually went ahead with two quick goals. The equaliser came from an awful clearance by David James who then kept out an effort from James Morrison but could do nothing to stop Jonathon Greening from scoring. They then went ahead with a stunning low free kick from Chris Brunt only for Niko Kranjcar to equalise, also with a free kick, sent high into the top corner.

Attendance : 20,376
Assists : Pennant, n/a, Greening (won fk), Mullins (won fk)

SUNDERLAND 1 (Jones 55)
MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Scholes 19, Macheda 76)

Man United's new wonder kick scored a late winner for the second league game in a row to keep them a point clear at the top with victory at Sunderland. United took an early lead when Wayne Rooney crossed for Paul Scholes to glance in a header. Early in the second half, Sunderland grabbed a deserved leveller when United keeper Ben Foster struggled to reach a cross from Teemu Tainio and Kenwyne Jones was on hand to bundle it in. United won it when Federico Macheda - on for just 46 seconds - diverted a loose shot from Michael Carrick into the net.

Attendance : 45,408
Assists : Scholes, n/a, Carrick

TOTTENHAM 1 (Pavlyuchenko 65)

Spurs are in contention for an unlikely European place after a narrow win against West Ham. The only goal came midway through the second half as Luka Modric found Roman Pavlyuchenko in the area and he turned his man before firing a low shot across goal and inside the far post.

Attendance : 35,969
Assists : Modric

WIGAN 1 (Mido 18)
ARSENAL 4 (Walcott 62, Silvestre 71, Arshavin 90, Song 92)

Arsenal came from behind to blitz Wigan at the JJB. The home side went ahead when Mido headed in Ben Watson's corner and were then left fuming when Gunners defender Kieran Gibbs was only booked for hauling down Antonio Valencia as he burst clear. Gibbs later cleared a Mido header off the line and it sparked the comeback as Andrei Arshavin set up Theo Walcott to fire home. They took the lead as Cesc Fabregas did well on the left to cross for the unlikely figure of Mikael Silvestre to tap in. With time ebbing away Arsenal added a third when James Koumas played a weak pass straight to Arshavin who made no mistake and in stoppage time, Alex Song waltzed through a static home defence to wrap the win up.

Attendance : 22,954
Assists : n/a, Arshavin, Fabregas, n/a, Fabregas

LIVERPOOL 4 (Torres 5, Torres 33, Agger 83, N'Gog 90)

Liverpool bounced back from their Champions League nightmare with a comfortable win over Blackburn to regain top spot for at least a couple of hours.

Liverpool dominated the first half and should have had a larger lead than their two goal advantage at the break. They began sharply and led early when Jamie Carragher's long ball was chest controlled by Fernando Torres who then unleashed a superb dipping volley across goal and inside the far post. He doubled the lead after the half hour when he powered in a header from Xabi Alonso's free kick. Between the goals, Torres blazed a sitter over the bar after Javier Mascherano's effort was saved and Dirk Kuyt somehow headed at the keeper from four yards with almost the entire goal to aim at.

The second half was much the same apart from a reduction in the pace of the game and a reduction in chances as Liverpool barely needed to break a sweat. Albert Reira shot wide after a decent run on the left and both Nabil El Zhar and Mascherano were off target before the hosts netted twice late on. Daniel Agger grabbed the third as he collected a loose ball in the centre circle and ran unchallenged before smashing in a shot from 25 yards and the win was wrapped up when Carragher's deep cross was headed goalwards by Lucas and may have gone in before David N'Gog nodded in from almost on the line.

Attendance : 43,466
Assists : Carragher, Xabi Alonso (fk), n/a, Carragher

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