3 May 2009

LIVERPOOL 3 (Benayoun 22, Kuyt 28, Lucas 87)

Liverpool kept pressure on leaders Man United with an easy home win over Newcastle who took another step towards league games against Peterborough and Doncaster next season. Newcastle looked reasonably comfortable for the first fifteen minutes or so but gradually Liverpool found their feet and Newcastle forgot how to defend and normal service began. Midway through the half, the visitors struggled to clear the ball and after Dirk Kuyt robbed Mark Viduka, he walloped the ball across goal for Yossi Benayoun to bundle the ball in with his knee although he may have been slightly offside. The lead was doubled when a Steven Gerrard corner was dispatched into the net with an excellent diving header from Kuyt. Xabi Alonso almost made it three but his long range effort crashed against the bar. After the break Liverpool enjoyed plenty of possession yet never needed to go into a higher gear as Gerrard was off target a couple of times and Alonso hit the underside of the bar for the second time. Newcastle were reduced to ten men late on when Joey Barton was shown a straight red for a reckless lunge on Alonso by the corner flag which saw the Liverpool man stretchered off. More dreadful defending followed as Fabio Aurelio's curling free kick was easily headed in by sub Lucas Leiva.

Attendance : 44,121
Red Card : Barton 77 (Newcastle)
Assists : Kuyt, Gerrard (ck), Aurelio (fk)

EVERTON 2 (Pienaar 48, Fellaini 71)

Sunderland remain four points above the drop zone after losing at home to Everton. The first half was pretty poor stuff with injuries and fouls littering the game and delaying play constantly. Jo came as close as anyone with a shot across goal for the visitors which fizzed past the far post. Three minutes into the second half Everton took the lead as Steven Pienaar collected a short pass from Jo, wriggled into the area and prodded the ball through the keepers legs and over the line. The lead was doubled when Pienaar crossed for Marouane Fellaini to score with ease.

Attendance : 44,313
Assists : Jo, Pienaar

2 May 2009

CHELSEA 3 (Anelka 1, Malouda 10, Drogba 53)
FULHAM 1 (Nevland 4)

Chelsea kept their dwindling title hopes alive with a comfortable win against West London rivals Fulham. The match got off to an explosive start with three goals in the opening ten minutes, starting with Nik Anelka tapping in from close range after being put through by Didier Drogba, however Fulham were level shortly afterwards when a long ball by Danny Murphy sent Erik Nevland clear and he drilled a shot across goal and inside the far post. Chelsea quickly regained the lead when Florent Malouda swept in a cross from Drogba. They clinched the win after the break when Drogba clinically converted Anelka's pass.

Attendance : 41,801
Assists : Drogba, Murphy, n/a, Anelka

MANCHESTER CITY 3 (Caicedo 27, Robinho 34, Elano 47 Pen)
BLACKBURN 1 (Andrews 66)

Blackburn remain in the relegation dog fight after being well beaten at Man City. The hosts had the game wrapped up by half time as Rovers twice failed to clear corners, firstly resulting in Felipe Caicedo netting from a couple of yards after Nedum Onuoha's half hit shot was blocked and then Robinho found the net after Vincent Kompany kept Elano's corner alive. On the stroke of half time, Gael Givet handled Stephen Ireland's cross and Elano sent Paul Robinson the wrong way from the spot. Rovers did pull one back after the break when Onouha hacked down Morten Gamst Pedersen and although Shay Given saved El Hadji Diouf's penalty and the headed rebound, Keith Andrews bundled in the loose ball.

Attendance : 43,967
Assists : Onuoha, Kompany, n/a, n/a

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Giggs 25, Park 51)

Man United go six points clear at the top and pushed Middlesbrough nearer to relegation with a comfortable win at the Riverside. United went ahead midway through the first half after Boro failed to clear a corner. The ball found Nemanja Vidic on the edge of the area and his square ball was dummied by Dimitar Berbatov as he held off a challenge and fell to Ryan Giggs who took a touch and drilled a low shot into the corner with the keeper flat footed. The lead was doubled early in the second half as Wayne Rooney's lovely reverse pass split the home defence and Ji-Sung Park fired unerringly into the bottom corner with a first time shot.

Attendance : 33,767
Assists : n/a, Rooney

ARSENAL 3 (Bendtner 13, Bendtner 41, Vela 56)

Arsenal guaranteed themselves a Champions League place next season with an easy win at Portsmouth. Andrei Arshavin crossed for Nicklas Bendtner to head the opener although keeper David James somehow allowed the ball to squirm through his hands. The lead was doubled just before half time when Sean Davis fouled Arshavin in the area and Bendtner just beat James from the spot. Portsmouth were furious with the award, feeling that Davis got something on the ball in the tackle. Carlos Vela added a third with a crisp drive after being found by Arshavin and late on Noe Pamarot was sent off for bringing down Arshavin as he raced clear on goal.

Attendance : 20,418
Red Card : Pamarot 78 (Portsmouth)
Assists : Arshavin, Arshavin (won pen), n/a

WEST HAM 1 (Tristan 33 fk)

West Ham continue their quest for a Europa League place after a narrow win at Stoke. Diego Tristan's stunning free kick, curled over the wall and into the top corner, won the game for the Hammers.

Attendance : 27,500
Assist : Di Michele (won fk)

TOTTENHAM 1 (Jenas 43)

Spurs recorded a narrow win at home to bottom club, and almost condemned, West Brom. The only goal came just before half time as Vedran Corluka found Jermaine Jenas to slot in from the edge of the area.

Attendance : 35,836
Assist : Corluka


No goals at Wigan as they and Bolton battled out a draw. Bolton came closest when Gary Cahill's deflected effort clattered against the bar although visiting keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was the busier, making a number of decent saves, notably from Ahmed Mido.

Next weekend should see some things resolved at the bottom with eight of the bottom nine facing each other as Newcastle (18th) host Middlesbrough (19th), Blackburn (15th) are at home to Portsmouth (14th). Hull (17th) are hosting Stoke (13th) and Bolton (12th) are at home to Sunderland (16th). Just eight points separate 12th from 19th! For the record, bottom club West Brom face 11th placed Wigan.

Attendance : 18,655
Assists : n/a

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