13 December 2009
LIVERPOOL 1 (Kuyt 41)
ARSENAL 2 (Johnson 50 og, Arshavin 58)
Liverpool slumped to another defeat as Arsenal came from behind at Anfield to move to within six points of the leaders. Liverpool actually had by far the better of things throughout the first half and were rewarded when Steven Gerrard's free kick into the area gave keeper Manuel Almunia a dilemma as to whether catch or punch. He did neither and instead patted the ball into the path of Dirk Kuyt who slid it into the net through a forest of legs. The Gunners levelled with a freak of a goal as Samir Nasri's cross took a slight deflection and found Glen Johnson who couldn't get his feet organised and could only bobble the ball past his own keeper and into the net. The winner was a total contrast though as Cesc Fabregas found Andrey Arshavin on the left edge of the area and after taking two quick touches, he hammered the ball into the net via the inside of the near post. A brilliant strike from the man who hit four at Anfield last season. What odds on Benitez out by Christmas?
Attendance : 52,000
Assists : n/a, n/a, n/a
12 December 2009
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Bowyer 52)
WEST HAM 0
Birmingham go eighth after a narrow win against struggling West Ham. Christian Benitez set up former Hammer Lee Bowyer to slot in the only goal early in the second half. Liam Ridgewell missed a sitter for the hosts before West Ham ended with ten men when Mark Noble was shown a second yellow for a foul on Benitez although he appeared to have played the ball.
Attendance : 28,203
Red Card : Noble 78 (West Ham)
Assist : Benitez
BOLTON 3 (Klasnic 11, Cahill 43, Klasnic 53)
MANCHESTER CITY 3 (Tevez 28, Richards 47, Tevez 77)
Man City came from behind on three occasions to grab a point in a six goal thriller at Bolton. A thrill-ride of a game began with Lee-Chung Yong's shot across goal converted by a clearly offside Ivan Klasnic to put Bolton ahead but City levelled when Craig Bellamy's cross was only partially cleared and Carlos Tevez took a touch before scoring from the edge of the area aided by a deflection. The hosts regained the lead when a throw by Gretar Steinsson was miss controlled by Gary Cahill however it only wrong-footed his marker and he then curled in a beauty from the edge of the area. City levelled again within two minutes as Bellamy sent Micah Richards through and he walloped a shot inside the near post. Bolton went ahead again early in the second half as Paul Robinson's cross was nodded on by Matt Taylor and volleyed in by Klasnic. City were then reduced to ten men as Bellamy went over a challenge by Robinson but the ref felt he'd dived and showed him a second yellow having already booked the striker for protesting over Bolton's third goal. City equalised for a third time when Stephen Ireland set up Tevez to arrow a cracking shot inside the far post.
Attendance : 22,735
Red Card : Bellamy 65 (Manchester City)
Assists : Lee, n/a, Steinsson (throw in), Bellamy, Taylor, n/a
BURNLEY 1 (Elliott 60)
FULHAM 1 (Zamora 50)
Burnley came from behind to earn a point at home to Fulham. The visitors went ahead just after half time when a quickly taken free kick from Chris Baird sent Bobby Zamora clear and he held off his marker to fire across goal and in. The hosts earned a point when a cross from Tyrone Mears was partially headed clear and Wade Elliott walloped a volley inside the far post.
Attendance : 18,397
Assists : Baird (fk), n/a
CHELSEA 3 (Drogba 18, Anelka 23, Drogba 59)
EVERTON 3 (Cech 12 og, Yakubu 50, Saha 63)
Everton took full advantage of a poor defensive display from league leaders Everton to earn a point in a six goal thriller at Stamford Bridge. The visitors led when a header from Louis Saha took a slight deflection, bobbled against the post and then in off of the back of keeper Petr Cech. It sparked Chelsea into life and they turned it around with two quick fire goals as Frank Lampard set up Didier Drogba to arrow a beauty into the top corner and then as Everton failed to clear their area, Branislav Ivanovic found Nik Anelka to prod powerfully in. On half time, Chelsea again made a pigs ear of getting the ball clear and as it bobbled around the area, Yakubu found the net from close range. Back came Chelsea as Drogba volleyed in a cross from Ivanovic but within four minutes, Drogba was back defending and his header hit Saha on the back of the head and looped over Cech and in.
Attendance : 41,579
Assists : n/a, Lampard, Ivanovic, n/a, Ivanovic, n/a
No goals at Hull as both they and Blackburn remain in a block of clubs at the bottom separated by eight points.
Attendance : 24,124
Assists : n/a
MANCHESTER UNITED 0
ASTON VILLA 1 (Agbonlahor 21)
Aston Villa beat Man United for the first time in 14 years and the first time at Old Trafford since 1983 and denied their hosts the chance to go level on points with Chelsea. United began well but were caught by a good break from Villa culminating in Ashley Young making space on the left to cross for Gabriel Agbonlahor to head in at the near post. Wayne Rooney was booked for diving for United but showed his better side with a lovely touch to control a cross at the near post before almost breaking the crossbar with his close range shot. United battled back in the second half but rarely built up a head of steam and the closest they came was when Nemanja Vidic had a header cleared off the line by Stuart Downing. Villa's last win against United was the infamous "You'll win nothing with kids" game on the opening day of the 95-96 season. United's "Kids" went on to win the double!
Attendance : 75,130
Assist : Young
STOKE 2 (Tuncay 37, Shawcross 74)
WIGAN 2 (Boyce 15, Figueroa 72 fk)
Honours even in an entertaining game as the Britannia as Wigan led twice at Stoke and then missed a last minute penalty to win the match. Wigan took an early lead when a free kick from the right was met by the unmarked Hugo Rodallega and although his header was superbly saved by Thomas Sorensen only for Emerson Boyce to dive in and nod in the rebound and get a boot in the face for his trouble, leaving him and the keeper injured in the net. The hosts levelled when Ryan Shawcross nodded on a long ball for Tuncay to chase on the left and having cut inside, drilled a low shot inside the near post. Wigan regained the lead against the run of play with one of the most astonishing goals of this or any season. Stoke conceded a free kick in midfield and from just inside his own half, Maynor Figueroa spotted Sorensen off of his line and drilled a fantastic shot from fully 50 yards which arrowed over the keeper and into the net. Make no mistake, this was no fluke lob! This was hit with power and unerring accuracy. The lead lasted less than two minutes as Matt Etherington's corner tempted keeper Chris Kirkland off his line and ultimately into a crowd of players, leaving Shawcross to nod into an unguarded net. Wigan were then handed a controversial penalty as Jordi Gomez was fouled in the area by Robert Huth and whilst there was no doubt about the penalty, the Wigan man was yards offside when the ball was played. Justice was done when Rodallega's stuttering run up resulted in his kick being saved, despite Sorensen being yards off of his line when the ball was struck!
Attendance : 26.728
Assists : n/a, Shawcross, Sinclair (won fk), Etherington
SUNDERLAND 1 (Bent 23)
PORTSMOUTH 1 (Kaboul 93)
Sunderland missed a chance to record another home win as they conceded a last gasp equaliser to bottom club Portsmouth. The home side looked to be strolling when Darren Bent turned well to convert Andy Reid's cross but a late corner wasn't cleared and after Frederic Piquionne had a close range shot blocked, Younes Kaboul prodded in the rebound. His unrestrained joy saw him remove his shirt and celebrate with his fans, resulting in a second yellow card and a red as he trudged back to the centre circle.
Attendance : 37,578
Red Card : Kaboul 94 (Portsmouth)
Assists : Reid, n/a
WOLVES 1 (Doyle 3)
Spurs slumped to a surprise home defeat against Wolves who move out of the drop zone. The only goal came early as a Milijas free kick got a slight touch by Kevin Doyle and drifted inside the far post.
Attendance : 36,012
Assist : Henry (Milijas fk)
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