21 September 2008

CHELSEA 1 (Kalou 80)

Chelsea came from behind to earn a point at home to Man United.

United began strongly and after Darren Fletcher sent a tricky chance wide and Wayne Rooney hooked just wide with keeper Petr Cech off of his line, they almost went behind when Joe Cole shot wide with only the keeper to beat. The chances were falling to United though as Cech saved well from Rio Ferdinand before the pressure finally paid off. Patrice Evra did well on the left and found Dimitar Berbatov whose shot was well saved by Cech but Ji-Sung Park was first to the rebound and fired in. Chelsea had lost Deco in the warm up and Ricardo Carvalho inside thirteen minutes, both through injury and after half an hour United lost keeper Edwin Van Der Sar with a knock and was replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak who saved well from both Alex and Michael Ballack prior to half time.

Chelsea sent on Didier Drogba at the start of the second half to replace Florent Malouda although he took so long to get himself sorted that the ref started the half whilst he farted around with (apparently) his friendship bracelet on his wrist on the touchline! Ten minutes later, enter Cristiano Ronaldo for Paul Scholes and within a matter of minutes he dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area as the pace of the game got significantly faster. Joe Cole then blew a golden chance for the second time in the game as he shot straight at the keeper whilst clean through and Nik Anelka misskicked an effort wide before failing to connect from three yards out with Joe Cole's cross with the goal gaping. The chances were coming thick and fast as Ballack drilled a shot just wide before he was replaced by Salomon Kalou with 15 minutes to go and at the other end, Wayne Rooney shot into the side netting from a tricky angle. The equaliser finally arrived out of nothing when John Obi Mikel's long free kick was headed in by an unmarked Kalou on the edge of the six yard box. The sub almost netted again two minutes later but his shot saw blocked by a last ditched tackle by Gary Neville. Chelsea were well on top but United almost scored on the break only for Alex to block Fletcher's stinging drive and in stoppage time, Ronaldo sent an ambitious overhead kick at the keeper from the edge of the box.

Remarkably, United ended with seven players booked in a game that never even threatened to boil over and barely saw a poor tackle and the referee's display was summed up in the final seconds when no-one seemed to know if a free kick had been awarded against Ferdinand or indeed if the United man had been sent off. Ultimately, it was the final whistle!

Attendance : 41,760
Assists : n/a, Mikel (fk)

HULL 2 (Turner 18, Neville 50 og)
EVERTON 2 (Cahill 73, Osman 78)

Hull lost a two goal lead at home to Everton who netted twice in six minutes to earn a draw. Hull took the lead through Michael Turner's far post header from Dean Marney's corner and they doubled it early in the second half from the same source with Phil Neville nodding into his own net at the near post. Controversy surrounded Everton's opener as Tim Cahill smashed a shot against the underside of the bar as Hull keeper Boaz Myhill failed to deal with a cross. Replays seemed to prove the officials correct in awarding the goal. No doubt about the equaliser though as Yakubu's cross was turned in by Leon Osman.

Attendance : 24,845
Assists : Marney, n/a, n/a, Yakubu

MANCHESTER CITY 6 (Jo 13, Dunne 20, Robinho 57, Wright-Philips 68, Evans 78, Fernandes 83)

Man City recorded the biggest win of the Prem season so far as they walloped Portsmouth for six. They scored twice early on to get things started as Robinho set up Jo to round the keeper and fire in before Richard Dunne scrambled in the second as David James fumbled an Elano corner. Jermain Defoe missed a great chance to pull one back early in the second half before Jo set up Robinho to curl in the third. Stephen Ireland then sent Shaun Wright-Phillips clear and he smashed in a shot at the near post from a tricky angle and ten minutes later it was five as Ched Evans fired in after Wright=Phillips's superb back heel wrong footed the defence. The icing on the cake came from Gelsen Fernandes who bundled the ball in after James failed to deal with Javier Garrido's cross.

Attendance : 40,238
Assists : Robinho, n/a, Jo, Ireland, Wright-Philips, n/a


Spurs were jeered off after a goalless draw against Wigan confirmed their worst ever Prem start. In a game of few chances, Aaron Lennon came close for Spurs with a volley wide although the hosts also had a good shout for a penalty when Lennon was tripped by Maynor Figueroa. Wigan did create opportunities as well with Paul Scharner and Oliver Kapo both kept out by decent saves from Heurelho Gomes.

Attendance : 35,808
Assists : n/a

WEST BROM 1 (Morrison 34)
ASTON VILLA 2 (Carew 27, Agbonlahor 29)

Attendance : 26,011
Assists : Young, n/a, Koren

20 September 2008

BLACKBURN 1 (Derbyshire 84)

Blackburn left it late to see off Fulham in a drab encounter at Ewood Park. The only goal came from a chipped ball forward nodded down by Roque Santa Cruz and volleyed into the net by Matt Derbyshire.

Attendance : 19,398
Assist : Santa Cruz

BOLTON 1 (Davies 14)
ARSENAL 3 (Eboue 26, Bendtner 27, Denilson 87)

Arsenal go top after coming from behind at Bolton in an entertaining clash. Bolton began well and took the lead when Joey O'Brien's corner was headed in by Kevin Davies, although Gael Clichy should have done better on the post. Arsenal stormed back and hit the post twice in two minutes, firstly through Emmanuel Adebayor whilst clean through and then from Alex Song's header from a corner. An equaliser looked likely and it arrived when Nicklas Bendtner's through ball was meant for Adebayor, however Emmanuel Eboue nipped in from behind his team mate and slotted inside the near post. Replays proved that he was slightly offside when the ball was played. The Gunners was now at their irresistible best and after Adebayor played Denilson in down the left, his cross was turned in by Bendtner as they went from behind to ahead inside two minutes. To their credit, Bolton didn't lie down and roll over and Kevin Nolan almost equaliser twice as he was denied once by keeper Manuel Almunia and then volleyed wide from a decent position. There were still chances being created after the break, although not as frequent and clear cut although Bolton had a great chance to level late on when Almunia palmed a cross to the feet of sub Vaz Te but his weak shot was straight at the keeper who was still grounded. It proved vital as three minutes later a break from sub Theo Walcott saw him find Adebayor whose cross was easy for Denilson to convert at the far post.

Attendance : 22,694
Assists : O'Brien (ck), Bendtner, Denilson, Adebayor


Goalless at Anfield as Liverpool failed to break down a resolute Stoke defence. The main talking point came inside the first two minutes as Steven Gerrard's free kick from the left sailed past everyone and inside the far post, however the officials ruled that Dirk Kuyt was offside in the middle despite not making any contact with the ball. Stoke have been a one-trick-pony so far in the shape of Rory Delap's long throws but they proved that they can defend, albeit in depth and in numbers.

Attendance : 43,931
Assist : n/a

WEST HAM 3 (og 8, Di Michele 37, Etherington 53)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Owen 67)

Newcastle's decline continued as West Ham began the Zola era with a comfortable win. Fittingly it was an Italian who put the Hammers ahead as David Di Michele latched onto a pass from Carlton Cole and his effort from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection and looped over the keeper. He doubled the lead when he was put through by Mark Noble and although his initial effort was saved by the head of the keeper, he showed amazing composure to control the rebound, flick it over the head of a defender and volley into the net. He should have had a hat trick early in the second half but his miss-kick turned into an excellent pass for Matty Etherington to fire in. Claudio Cacapa set up Michael Owen to curl in a superb goal for the visitors but that was as good as it got for them.

Attendance : 34,743
Assists : n/a, n/a, Di Michele, Cacapa

SUNDERLAND 2 (Chopra 81, Chopra 92)

Sunderland boss Roy Keane admitted that his side rode their luck as two late goals decided the Wear-Tees derby. Boro dominated for long spells and should have gone ahead after Jeremie Aliadiere was tripped by Nyron Nosworthy in the area, however Stuart Downing missed from the spot for the second time this season as he blazed his effort over the bar. Sub Michael Chopra shook off his recent problems with a brace, firstly when he was set up by Kieran Richardson to slot the ball in and then Steed Malbranque unselfishly squared the ball to leave Chopra with a tap in to an empty net.

Attendance : 38,388
Assists : Richardson, Malbranque

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin YahooGroups Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it
The Unofficial Premiership Site