30 December 2009

MANCHESTER UNITED 5 (Rooney 28, Carrick 32, Rafael 45, Berbatov 50, Valencia 75)

Man United move to within two points of leaders Chelsea with a crushing win against Wigan. United dominated from the start but took almost half an hour to breakthrough when Rafael crossed for Wayne Rooney to touch in at the near post. Four minutes later, Antonio Valencia's ball was drilled in by Michael Carrick from the edge of the area and on half time, Rafael added a third after making space and finding the bottom corner from 20 yards. Valencia set up Dimitar Berbatov at the far post to take a touch and prod the ball in before Rooney's through ball found Valencia to clip the ball over the keeper and complete the rout against his former club.

Attendance : 74,560
Assists : Rafael, Valencia, n/a, n/a, Rooney

PORTSMOUTH 1 (Belhadj 74)
ARSENAL 4 (Eduardo 28 fk, Nasri 42, Ramsey 69, Song 81)

Arsenal are creeping up in the title race and after a comfortable win at bottom club Portsmouth, are now just two points behind Man United with a game in hand. For the first time ever in a Premier League game (and probably the first time ever in any English league game) there were no English players from the 22 starters and only four on the bench. That failed to concern the Gunners who were in charge by half time. Eduardo needed a huge slice of luck to open the scoring as his free kick took a massive deflection off of Younes Kaboul to totally wrong foot the keeper. Welshman Aaron Ramsey set up Samir Nasri who had time to control the ball before drilling into the bottom corner to double the lead. Ramsey added a third with a powerful drive after a god run and although a neat Nadir Belhadj volley from Anthony Borre's cross pulled one back, Alex Song's neat far post header from Samir Nasri's cross wrapped it up.

Attendance : 20,404
Assists : Ramsey (won fk), Ramsey, n/a, Vanden Borre, Nasri

29 December 2009

LIVERPOOL 1 (Torres 93)

The mini Liverpool revival continues as a stoppage time winner saw off Aston Villa. The hosts had the better chances with visiting keeper Jose Reina saving well from both Stuart Downing and James Milner, however with time almost up, a tackle between Yossi Benayoun and Gabriel Agbonlahor saw the ball spin into the path of Fernando Torres to fire across the keeper and inside the far post.

Attendance : 42,788
Assist : n/a

BOLTON 2 (Klasnic 20, Davies 61)
HULL 2 (Hunt 71, Hunt 78)

Hull came from two goals down to earn a point at Hull, a result which cost Bolton boss Gary Megson his job within 24 hours. It looked good for the hosts when Lee Chung-Yong's cross was only cleared to Ivan Klasnic who fired in from the edge of the box. On the hour, a free kick from Paul Robinson tempted keeper Boaz Myhill off of his line only for Kevin Davies to loop his header over the keeper and in. Hull are made of stern stuff though and pulled one back as Craig Fagan's cross was headed in by Stephen Hunt and seven minutes later, Bernard Mendy found Hunt again and although his shot was partially saved, it still crossed the line before Robinson hooked it away.

Attendance : 20,696
Assists : n/a, Robinson (fk), Fagan, Vennegoor

28 December 2009

BLACKBURN 2 (Pedersen 53, Diouf 77)
SUNDERLAND 2 (Bent 52, Bent 65)

Blackburn came from behind twice at home to Sunderland to earn a useful point. After a dire first half, the game burst into life with two goals in two minutes as Darren Bent walloped in from close range after a scramble but Blackburn levelled almost straight away when Benni McCarthy's touch was finished via the post by Mortem Gamst Pedersen. Bent regained Sunderland's lead with a clinical finish after being sent clear by Jordan Henderson but former Black Cat El Hadji Diouf earned a point as he came off the bench to head in Pascal Chimbonda's cross.

Attendance : 25,656
Assists : n/a, McCarthy, Henderson, Chimbonda

CHELSEA 2 (Drogba 73, Smalling 75 og)
FULHAM 1 (Gera 4)

Chelsea go five points clear at the top after coming from behind to see off West London rivals Fulham. The visitors went ahead early on when Zoltan Gera had time to get Paul Konchesky's cross under control before slotting in, however as time ebbed away, Didier Drogba headed in at the far post from Branislav Ivanovic's cross. Chelsea won it two minutes later when Daniel Sturridge's shot was saved only for Chris Smalling to see the ball unluckily bounce off of his leg and bobble over the line.

Attendance : 41,805
Assists : Zamora, Ivanovic, n/a

EVERTON 2 (Vaughan 83, Pienaar 92)

Everton left it late with two goals to see off ten man Burnley. The visitors lost Stephen Jordan just after the hour for a second booking as he pulled back Stephen Pienaar but held on for a further twenty minutes before the introduction of sub James Vaughan changed the game as he fired in at the far post after Marouane Fellaini's cross caused chaos including Burnley claiming for an offside against Yakubu. The win was secured late on as Yakubu sent Pienaar through to thump in the second.

Attendance : 39,419
Assists : n/a, Yakubu

BIRMINGHAM 1 (Jerome 50)

Eleven games unbeaten for Birmingham as they recorded a narrow win at Stoke. The only goal came early in the second half as Cameron Jerome turned to scramble the ball over the line after Scott Dann's deflected header wasn't cleared.

Attendance : 27,211
Assists : n/a

TOTTENHAM 2 (Modric 11, Defoe 81)

Spurs kept their Champions League dreams up and running with a goal in each half to see off West Ham. Aaron Lennon's excellent run and cut back found Luka Modric who miss-hit the ball but still saw it loop in and then late on, Jermain Defoe netted against his old club after keeper Rob Green had saved his initial effort.

Attendance : 35,994
Assists : n/a, n/a

MANCHESTER CITY 3 (Tevez 33, Garrido 69, Tevez 86)

Two wins out of two for new Man City boss Roberto Mancini as his side showed no mercy at Wolves. Carlos Tevez netted in each half, firstly with a deflected effort from Craig Bellamy's cut back cross and then late on he was set up by Robinho to wrap up the victory with a low drive from the edge of the area. Between the goals, Javier Garrido scored with a superb free kick, illustrating the class between the clubs.

Attendance : 28,957
Assists : n/a, Barry (won fk), Robinho

27 December 2009

ARSENAL 3 (Fabregas 65, Fabregas 81, Diaby 91)

Cesc Fabregas came off the subs bench to score twice as Arsenal took their time to see off Aston Villa. His first came eight minutes after entering the fray and was a superb free kick from 25 yards. He then doubled his tally and the score as he just beat the keeper to the ball after being set up by Theo Walcott. Fabregas didn't finish the game after suffering more injury woe whilst scoring the second but late on Abou Diaby embarked on a solo run for half the length of the pitch to drill in the third.

Attendance : 60,056
Assists : Fabregas (won fk), Walcott, Arshavin

HULL 1 (Fagan 60 Pen)
MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Rooney 47, Dawson 73 og, Berbatov 82)

Man United gained ground on Chelsea with a comfortable win at Hull which saw Wayne Rooney have a hand in all four goals. He scored the first, right on half time, when he turned in Darren Fletcher's cross but on the hour, his poorly hit back pass was intercepted by Craig Fagan who rounded the keeper and clipped the ball across from a tight angle, forcing Rafael to barge Jozy Altidore in the back and concede a penalty, easily converted by Fagan. Rooney bounced back though when his cross was fired into his own net by Andy Dawson and then he set up Dimitar Berbatov to tap in the third with both goals coming via typical United counter-attacks.

Attendance : 24,627
Assists : Giggs, Altidore (won pen), n/a, Rooney

26 December 2009


League leaders Chelsea finished with ten men as they failed to see off in-form Birmingham. Home keeper Joe Hart was the man of the match as he kept Chelsea at bay with a series of saves and the table toppers ended with Florent Malouda red carded late on for a late challenge on Stephen Carr.

Attendance : 28,958
Assists : n/a

BURLNEY 1 (Nugent 56)
BOLTON 1 (Taylor 29)

Burnley came from behind to earn a point in the Lancashire derby against Bolton. The visitors were ahead at the break when Matt Taylor fired in a trademark free kick but Burnley maintained their decent home form with a second half equaliser as David Nugent headed in Wade Elliott's cross.

Attendance : 21,761
Assists : Bikey (won fk), Elliott


No goals in the London Derby as Fulham and Spurs failed to make any impact. Fulham had the better of things but Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes was in sparkling form throughout.

Attendance : 25,679
Assists : n/a

LIVERPOOL 2 (Gerrard 62, Benayoun 70)

Liverpool made hard work of seeing off Wolves as they continued their quest for a top four spot. The game turned early in the second half when Stephen Ward was eventually shown a second yellow card for hauling back Lucas but only after the referee booked Christophe Berra in a case of mistaken identity. The hosts then showed no mercy with their numerical advantage as Steven Gerrard headed in Emiliano Insua's cross and Yossi Benayoun doubled the lead eight minutes later as another cross from Insua caught the head of a defender, allowing Benayoun to cut inside and find the top corner aided by a deflection.

Attendance : 41,956
Red Card : Ward 53 (Wolves)
Assists : Insua, n/a

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Petrov 28, Tevez 48)

New Man City boss Roberto Mancini began his tenure with a comfortable win as Man City saw off Stoke with two first half goals. Carlos Tevez set up Martin Petrov to score at the far post and then on half time Tevez doubled the lead with an acrobatic prod after Gareth Barry had nodded the ball on.

Attendance : 47,325
Assists : Robinho, Barry

SUNDERLAND 1 (Bent 17)
EVERON 1 (Fellaini 85)

Sunderland led for the most of the game against Everton only to concede a late goal to be denied the win. The hosts went ahead when Darren Bent headed in superbly after good work and an excellent cross from Kenwyne Jones but Everton salvaged a late point when Marouane Fellaini smashed the ball in from 12 yards after Sunderland failed to clear a cross from Tony Hibbert.

Attendance : 46,990
Assists : Jones, n/a

WEST HAM 2 (Diamanti 23 Pen, Kovac 89)

Bottom club Portsmouth slumped to defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham who move up to 17th and out of the drop zone. They went ahead with an Alessandro Diamanti penalty after Luis Jimenez was fouled by Hayden Mullins and late on the win was clinched when Radoslav Kovac headed in a free kick from Jimenez.

Attendance : 33,686
Assists : Jimenez (won pen), Jimenez (ck)

WIGAN 1 (Rodallega 53)
BLACKBURN 1 (McCarthy 30)

Wigan came from behind to earn a point at home to Blackburn. The visitors led at the break when Benni McCarthy volleyed in after Ryan Nelsen's header but Wigan snatched a point when Hugo Rodallega headed in Charles N'Zogbia's cross.

Attendance : 20,243
Assists : Nelsen, N'Zogbia

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