15 September 2008

TOTTENHAM 1 (Bent 87)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Reo-Coker 5, Young 54)

Spurs remain bottom and winless after a 2-1 home defeat against Aston Villa

Villa began well and were ahead inside five minutes as a low cross from the left by Gabriel Agbonlahor found it's way to the far post where an unmarked Nigel Reo-Coker had a fairly simple finish into the net. Home keeper Heurelho Gomes stood little chance with the goal but did keep his team in it with fine saves from Gareth Barry and Agbonlahor. Spurs only attempt from Tom Huddlestone whose long range shot was easily saved.

Half time sub David Bentley seemed to spark Spurs into life at the start of the second half and they almost grabbed an equaliser when Aaron Lennon's shot was tipped over. Villa didn't falter though and doubled their lead when Barry found Ashley Young in midfield and having ran almost half the length of the pitch, his firm shot sailed under the diving body of Gomes and found the bottom corner. Spurs grabbed a late consolation when Jermain Jenas saw his volley about to sail wide before hitting Darren Bent on the legs and finding the net.

Attendance : 36,075
Assists : Carew, Barry, Jenas

14 September 2008

STOKE 2 (Olofinjana 55, Jagielka 63 og)
EVERTON 3 (Yakubu 41, Anichebe 51, Cahill 77)

Remarkable game at the Britannia Stadium as Stoke came from two down against Everton only to lose late on in a game that was very much the cliched 'game of two halves.'

The first half was almost devoid of chances although Everton did break through four minutes before the break. Stoke failed to clear on the edge of their own area and as Tim Cahill found Yakubu, he showed quick feet to make a yard of space and pass the pass into the bottom corner. Early in the second half, the visitors netted again as Mikel Arteta's free kick was chipped into the area and Victor Anichebe got the slightest touch with his head and the ball drifted inside the far post. Stoke pulled one back inside three minutes as Rory Delap's huge long throw was palmed clear by keeper Tim Howard and fell nicely for Seyi Olofinjana to send a stinging volley into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. Ricardo Fuller felt that he'd equalised minutes later only for the ref to blow for a foul on Joseph Yobo in the build up, a decision which left scorer and team mates furious. Astonishingly, Stoke did level within two minutes as another Delap throw, this time hurled in at pace, was glanced on at the near post by Phil Jagielka and it flew over his own keeper and into his own net. Everton then felt that they should have had a penalty when Leon Cort handled in the area, however even though the ref awarded it, he then gave a free kick on the edge of the box after a chat with his assistant. Replays proved that he was right in the first place! Boss David Moyes was so angered, he was sent to the stands presumably for arguing with the fourth official. As before, justice was done almost straight away as a corner from Arteta was brilliantly headed in at the near post by Cahill. Stoke created some late half chances but couldn't find another equaliser.

Attendance : 27,415
Assists : Cahill, Arteta (fk), n/a, n/a, Arteta (ck)

13 September 2008

ARSENAL 4 (Van Persie 8, Adebayor 46, Adebayor 81 Pen, Adebayor 92)

Emmanuel Adebayor hit a hat trick as Arsenal blitzed Blackburn at Ewood Park. England's midweek hero Theo Walcott set up the opening for Robin Van Persie who finished with a neat flick past the keeper and inside the post. Adebayor doubled the lead on the stroke of half time as he headed home a cross from Denilson to finish a move consisting of 20 passes! Two more followed late on as Emmanuel Eboue was fouled by Stephen Warnock and Adebayor slotted in the penalty and then in the final minute he completed his trio by collecting a through ball from Aaron Ramsey, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball in.

Attendance : 23,041
Assists : Walcott, Denilson, Eboue (won pen), Ramsey

FULHAM 2 (Gera 15, Zamora 41)
BOLTON 1 (Davies 82)

Fulham saw off Bolton thanks to two well taken first half goals. Zoltan Gera opened the scoring with a first time volley from 20 yards after Bolton only half cleared a cross. The second was all down to Bobby Zamora who collected a pass out wide from Brede Hangeland, turned two defenders brilliantly and found the far corner from the edge of the area. Bolton pulled one back late on when a long kick forward by Jussi Jaaskelainen found Kevin Davies who nodded the ball across goal and found the net through a crowd of players, however Fulham held on for a deserved win.

Attendance : 23,656
Assists : n/a, Konchesky, Jaaskelainen

LIVERPOOL 2 (Brown 27 og, Babel 77)

Liverpool came from behind to record a league win against Man United for the first time in over four years as they took full advantage of United's indecision at the back.

United could hardly have asked for a better start as they went ahead inside three minutes. Anderson's pass was controlled by debutant Dimitar Berbatov and his cut back from the goal line found an unmarked Carlos Tevez who made no mistake from the edge of the area. The visitors then pressed the self destruct button and conceded the sort of goal that shouldn't be seen at this level. A shot from Xabi Alonso thudded against Patrice Evra and sailed apparently harmlessly across the area, however keeper Edwin Van Der Sar came out to punch to safety and only succeeded in fisting it against the legs of team mate Wes Brown and both could only watch in horror as the ball bobbled into the net.

The second half took a while to spark into life with only Ryan Giggs' dipping effort troubling either keeper as Jose Reina was forced to tip the ball over. It was Giggs though who had a hand in Liverpool's second goal as he tried to run the ball out of play only to be dispossessed by Javier Mascherano who found Dirk Kuyt whose ball across goal found Ryan Babel to fire into the net despite his shot thudding into the pitch first before bouncing in. Just before stoppage time, United were down to ten men as Nemanja Vidic was shown a second yellow card for a clattering mid air challenge on Alonso as the day went from bad to worse for the Champions. Kuyt missed a glorious chance to make it three as he was denied by Van Der Sar but it made little difference as Liverpool held on against some late United pressure.

Attendance : 44,192
Assists : Berbatov, n/a, Kuyt

MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Robinho 13 fk)
CHELSEA 3 (Carvalho 16, Lampard 53, Anelka 69)

The Clash of the Moneybags met at the City of Manchester Stadium with Chelsea coming from behind to beat Man City

City's big money deadline hour signing, Robinho, took less than 13 minutes to make his mark as he curled in a free kick from the edge of the area that found the corner past a Chelsea wall which was disorganised to say the least. The excitement lasted three minutes as Robinho's original choice of club levelled as Frank Lampard's corner was headed goalwards by John Terry, however it hit team mate Joe Cole and fell nicely for Ricardo Carvalho to smash into the roof of the net. Chances kept coming as Stephen Ireland blazed over for City and Florent Malouda headed against the bar for the visitors. Chelsea grew stronger as the half wore on as Nik Anelka was denied by Joe Hart and Ashley Cole grazed the bar with a long range effort.

The second half saw more Chelsea attacking and it paid dividends with a superb four man move, culminating with Malouda finding Lampard to break into the area, beat his man and drill a crisp shot low into the bottom corner. Chelsea were well on top now and added a third when Joe Cole's neat pass sent Anelka through and his low finish was clinical. City were given brief hope when John Terry hauled back Jo as he burst into the opposition half and was shown a straight red card when a yellow was surely the punishment especially as Carvalho was coming across to cover. It mattered little in the context of the game as Chelsea saw out time easily.

Attendance : 47,331
Red Cards : Terry 77 (Chelsea)
Assists : Jo (won fk), J Cole, Malouda, J Cole

NEWCASTLE 1 (Xisco 82)
HULL 2 (King 34 Pen, King 55)

Newcastle's season, on and off the field, goes from bad to worse as they travelled further up a famous creek with a paddle. Take nothing away from Hull though who took full advantage of the problems on the Tyne and came away with a fine win. They took the lead from the penalty spot after Nicky Butt slid in and brought down Peter Halmosi. Marlon King's spot kick was almost kept out by keeper Shay Given but just found the corner. The lead was doubled on the break as Dean Marney's clearance sent King away and although it looked as though a team mate was in a better position, he went alone and found the bottom corner. Newcastle had brief hope when Xisco tapped in after Charles N'Zogbia's shot had hit the post but their day was summed up six minutes into stoppage time when Danny Guthrie was rightly sent off for a wild hack on Craig Fagan, which almost sparked a mass brawl.

Attendance : 50,242
Red Cards : Guthrie 96 (Newcastle)
Assists : Halmosi (won pen), Marney, n/a

PORTSMOUTH 2 (Defoe 59, Defoe 86)

Two goals from Jermaine Defoe gave Portsmouth a good home win as they came from behind to see off Middlesbrough. The visitors went ahead through Ahmed Mido who exchanged passes with Afonso Alves before sliding the ball past David James. Into the second half and Defoe levelled with a crisp first time shot inside the near post from Peter Crouch's pass and the late on, he won all three points with another sharp finish, a first time volley as Boro failed to clear the ball.

Attendance : 19,425
Assists : Alves, Crouch, n/a

WEST BROM 3 (Morrison 3, Bednar 37 Pen, Brunt 83)
WEST HAM 2 (Noble 29, Neill 35)

West Brom won a topsy turvy clash against West Ham in a throwback to the 70s with neither club displaying a shirt sponsor for varying reasons. Albion took an early lead when James Morrison headed in a cross from Borja Valero, however the Hammers battled back and were level when Callum Davenport's cross was headed goalwards by David Di Michele and although Scott Carson kept it out, Mark Noble was on hand to tap in. A similar goal put the visitors ahead as a corner was nodded across goal by Matty Upson and smashed in by Lucas Neill via a man on the line. Within two minutes West Brom were level again thanks to a Roman Bednar penalty drilled in after keeper Rob Green spilled a cross and then tripped Leon Barnett. After half time, things settled down a bit and it was heading for a draw until Chris Brunt struck with a low shot on the turn inside the far post after being found by Paul Robinson. Gianfranco Zola officially takes over as Hammers boss on Monday.

Attendance : 26,213
Assists : Valero, n/a, Upson, Barnett (won pen), Robinson

WIGAN 1 (Zaki 78)
SUNDERLAND 1 (Bramble 15 og)

Honours even at the JJB as Wigan came from behind to earn a point against Sunderland. Much maligned Titus Bramble sent a near post header flying in from Steed Malbranque's cross to open the scoring. Sadly for Bramble it was past his own keeper and into his own net. Amr Zaki levelled late on for the hosts with a bobbled far post effort from Maynor Figueroa's cross. Wigan finished with ten men when Lee Cattermole caught Teemu Tainio to earn a second yellow card.

Attendance : 18,015
Red Card : Cattermole 86 (Wigan)
Assists : n/a, Valencia

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