20 September 2009

MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Rooney 2, Fletcher 49, Fletcher 80, Owen 96)
MANCHESTER CITY 3 (Barry 16, Bellamy 52, Bellamy 90)

Man United and local rivals Man City fought out a seven goal thriller in an emotion charged and hugely enjoyable encounter at Old Trafford which saw City come from behind on three occasions only to lose in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The game could hardly have began more dramatically as United took the lead inside two minutes. City fell asleep at a throw and allowed Patrice Evra to receive the ball inside the area. He poked it to Wayne Rooney who nipped between two defenders and slotted in from six yards out. City levelled with more defensive uncertainties playing a part as home keeper Ben Foster was tempted out of his area to gather a ball down the left flank and having been robbed by former United striker Carlos Tevez, Foster tried to dive on the ball as it bobbled into the area only for Tevez to again nick it away and this time set up Gareth Barry on the edge of the area to roll the ball past Nemanja Vidic and into the empty net. Tevez missed a glorious chance on half time when he hit the post from close range and after the interval, United struck early again when a deep cross from Ryan Giggs was headed in at the far post by Darren Fletcher.

Once again City bounced back as Tevez played the ball wide to Craig Bellamy and the Welshman cut inside and unleashed a beauty from 20 yards which arrowed into the top corner of the net. It sparked a long spell of United possession and pressure which almost culminated in a goal for Dimitar Berbatov but his header was straight at Shay Given who produced a superb reaction save. Two minutes later, the duel was repeated with the header and save arguably even better second time around and from the next attack, Giggs forced another save from Given with a blistering volley as United dominated. Enter sub Michael Owen to replace Berbatov and within three minutes United were ahead again as a free kick from Giggs was headed in at the far post by Fletcher to record his second of the game. Now it was City's turn to go forward but this time rarely with the threat shown by their hosts although Shaun Wright-Phillips forced a near post save from Foster and a drilled effort from sub Martin Petrov fizzed across a crowded area. With stoppage time approaching, Rio Ferdinand's scooped pass in midfield fell to Petrov who found Bellamy who ran half the length of the pitch, holding off Ferdinand and just as it looked that the angle was too tight, he somehow threaded the ball under Foster and inside the far post for an astonishing third equaliser! Remarkably with a substitution in stoppage time, four extra minutes soon became five and a half as United snatched it when Giggs found Owen in the area to prod past Given and just inside the post to the annoyance of City boss Mark Hughes who felt that the final whistle should have been blown well before the ball hit the net. Amazing, amazing game!!

Attendance : 75,066
Assists : Evra, Tevez, Giggs, Tevez, Giggs (fk), Petrov, Giggs

WOLVES 2 (Doyle 18, Edwards 50)
FULHAM 1 (Murphy 66 Pen)

Wolves won at home for the first time this season as Fulham's indifferent start continues. The hosts went ahead when Christophe Berra flicked the ball on for Kevin Doyle to head home and the win was clinched when Andy Keogh set up David Edwards to wallop in the second. Fulham won a lifeline when the ref felt that Bobby Zamora was hauled back by Michael Mancienne and Danny Murphy converted the penalty but Wolves held on for the win.

Attendance : 27,760
Assists : Berra, Keogh, Zamora (won pen)

EVERTON 3 (Saha 22, Saha 54, Yobo 58)

Louis Saha netted twice as Everton saw off Blackburn to leave Rovers in the drop zone. Saha's first was a clinical near post side footed finish from a free kick by Leighton Baines and he doubled his tally with a near post header from Marouane Fellaini's cross. Four minutes later, Joseph Yobo volleyed in a third as Blackburn failed to clear a corner from Baines which Saha had helped on.

Attendance : 35,546
Assists : Baines (fk), Fellaini, n/a

CHELSEA 3 (A Cole 32, Ballack 58, Drogba 63)

Chelsea's 100% record remains intact after a comfortable win in the London derby against Spurs. Both clubs began well as Jose Bosingwa smashed an effort against the post for the hosts whilst Spurs had chances for Jermaine Defoe and Tom Huddlestone, both of whom were denied by keeper Petr Cech and Jermaine Jenas who arrowed a shot inches wide of the post. After a quiet spell when the pace settled, Chelsea got the breakthrough as Didier Drogba found space on the right and his excellent cross was headed in powerfully at the far post by a diving Ashley Cole. After the break Chelsea used their `Get out of jail free` card as Ricardo Carvalho tripped Robbie Keane but no penalty was given dispute replays showing that it should have been. It proved vital as the hosts then blitzed Spurs with two quick fire goals as Drogba's shot was saved and after Frank Lampard sent the loose ball back across the six yard box, Michael Ballack bundled in from close range. Five minutes later, a long ball from Cole allowed Drogba to use his pace to get clear of Vedran Corluka and although the defender eventually got back, his tackle saw the ball bobble off the Chelsea man, dribble past the keeper and gift Drogba a tap in from two yards. John Obi Mikel almost added a fourth with a stinging volley which crept under Carlo Cudicini but the keeper just clawed the ball away before it crossed the line. Significant delays for injuries to Sebastien Bassong and Drogba gave us eight minutes of stoppage time during which Chelsea tried to play keep ball in the style of Leeds 1972 but when they lost possession, Spurs broke and Peter Crouch had a goal, rightly, disallowed for offside.

Attendance : 41,623
Assists : Drogba, Lampard, n/a

19 September 2009

BURNLEY 3 (Alexander 13 Pen, Nugent 67, Nugent 86)
SUNDERLAND 1 (Bent 39)

David Nugent came off the subs bench to score twice as Burnley saw off the challenge of Sunderland at Turf Moor. Burnley took an early lead when Wade Elliott chased a through ball and was clattered over by Anton Ferdinand for one of the clearest penalties of the season. The execution was unusual though as Graham Alexander stepped up with a perfectly straight run up and a toe-poked shot which went straight down the middle although keeper Craig Gordon did get a hand to it. Had he remained still, it would have hit him in the chest. The visitors grabbed a deserved equaliser as Andy Reid's through ball found Darren Bent in space in the area and he found the net with a calm finish past the keeper. After the break, Nugent came on for Nigel Paterson just before the hour and within ten minutes he found the net with a stinging header from Elliott's cross. With time ebbing away, Tyrone Mears crossed low for Nugent to turn on the edge of the area and fire a beauty into the top corner.

Attendance : 20,196
Assists : Elliott (won pen), Reid, Elliott, Mears

ARSENAL 4 (Vermaelen 25, Vermaelen 49, Eboue 59, Fabregas 90)

Arsenal regained their league form with a crushing win against Wigan. They led at half time thanks to a bullet header from Thomas Vermaelen to nod home Robin Van Persie's corner and the centre-back with an eye for goal doubled the lead after the interval with a superb first time shot from the edge of the area having been found by Emmanuel Eboue. The third was a mess compared to the opening brace as Eduardo's effort hit the post and in the scramble that followed, his shot clipped off of Eboue to wrong-foot the keeper. Some gave it to Eduardo, some to Eboue. No doubt about the fourth as Nicklas Bendtner crossed for Cesc Fabregas flick in from close range.

Attendance : 59,103
Assists : RVP (ck), Eboue, Eduardo, Bendtner

BOLTON 1 (Taylor 89 Pen)
STOKE 1 (Kitson 53)

Stoke were denied a rare away win thanks to a late penalty at Bolton. The visitors were ahead thanks to a clinical finish from Dave Kitson after he latched onto Ricardo Fuller's header. With time ebbing away, Danny Collins clattered into Sam Ricketts and Matt Taylor netted his second penalty in a week.

Attendance : 20,265
Assists : Fuller, Ricketts (won pen)

BIRMINGHAM 1 (O'Connor 75)

Hull remain in trouble at the bottom after losing at home to Birmingham. The only goal came late as Keith Fahey's corner was headed in by sub Gary O'Connor. Birmingham move into mid table whilst Hull are two places off the bottom.

Attendance : 23,759
Assist : Fahey (ck)

ASTON VILLA 2 (Milner 34 Pen, Agbonlahor 43)

Portsmouth become the first club in the Premier League era (since 1992) to lose all of their opening six league games after slumping to defeat at Villa Park. The game was on by half time as James Milner walloped home a penalty after Nadir Belhadj tripped Stilian Petrov in the area and then Milner helped on a long ball for Gabriel Agbonlahor to collect and fire a superb shot into the net from the edge of the box.

Attendance : 35,979
Assists : Petrov (won pen), Milner

WEST HAM 2 (Diamanti 29 Pen, Cole 45)
LIVERPOOL 3 (Torres 20, Kuyt 41, Torres 75)

Liverpool move into third after twice surviving a West Ham comeback at Upton Park. The hosts should have gone ahead inside two minutes when Jamie Carragher lost possession on the edge of his own area and youngster Zavon Hines, making only his second league start, thudded his effort against the post with only the keeper to beat. Liverpool then missed a similar decent chance minutes later when Steven Gerrard set up Yossi Benayoun but his poor effort was straight at keeper Robert Green. Liverpool took the lead when Emiliano Insua found Fernando Torres on the left edge of the area and having beaten his marker with ease, he prodded the ball between Green and the near post and into the net. West Ham were then forced into two changes with both Matthew Upson and Valon Behrami going off injured yet they managed to equalise, albeit amid controversy as Carragher pushed Hines in the area to concede a spot kick and if the award angered the visitors, the actual kick doubled the fury as Alessandro Diamanti slipped as he took the penalty and seemed to kick the ball against his standing/slipping foot, thereby making an illegal double contact and it spun into the roof of the net. The goal was given and replays weren't clear either way. The visitors regained their lead when Benayoun's corner was headed goalwards by Gerrard and although it may have crept inside the post anyway, Dirt Kuyt got a slight touch to help it in. As the game approached three minutes of stoppage time, the Hammers levelled again when Carlton Cole sent a superb near post header in from Mark Noble's corner. The second half didn't have the goal action enjoyed before the break but Liverpool did grab a winner late on when Ryan Babel crossed for Torres to head his second.

Attendance : 34,658
Assists : Benayoun, Hines (won pen), Gerrard, Noble (ck), Babel

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Yahoo Groups Premier-L list
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