5 October 2009

ASTON VILLA 1 (Dunne 15)
MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Bellamy 67)

Honours even at Villa Park as two of the Big Four Wannabees went head to head. All the pre-match hype was off Man City's Gareth Barry returning to his former club so it was somewhat ironic that the scoring was opened by a player who went the other way as Richard Dunne out jumped Barry to powerfully head home a corner from James Milner and then decided on a decidedly low key celebration. City levelled after the break when Emmanuel Adebayor squared the ball for Craig Bellamy to sweep in.

Attendance : 37,924
Assists : Warnock (ck), Adebayor

4 October 2009

CHELSEA 2 (Anelka 60, Malouda 91)

Chelsea return to top spot after seeing off fellow Big Four contenders Liverpool. The game took a good half an hour to really get started and both clubs could have netted before the break as Nik Anelka. Michael Ballack and Fernando Torres should have done better with headers whilst Albert Reira almost found the net with a 40 yard free kick which Henrique Hilario just tipped away before it crept inside the post. The breakthrough came on the hour as Javier Mascherano lost possession and Chelsea broke as Didier Drogba found space on the left and his excellent cross was finished at the far post by Anelka. Torres could have levelled but bobbled an effort wide before Chelsea wrapped it up in stoppage time as Drogba cut in from the right and crossed for Florent Malouda to bundle in at the near post. Even after that, Liverpool had a chance as Yossi Benayoun showed good control and then dummied to send the keeper down but with the goal gaping, he rolled the ball wide. It summed up Liverpool's day.

Attendance : 41,732
Assists : Drogba, Drogba

ARSENAL 6 (Vermaelen 17, Van Persie 33, Arshavin 37, Fabregas 57, Walcott 75, Bendtner 89)
BLACKBURN 2 (Nzonzi 4, Dunn 30)

Arsenal handed out a statement of intent as they twice came from behind to blitz Blackburn at the Emirates.

Rovers took a surprise lead with a classic route one goal as a long kick forward by keeper Paul Robinson was nodded on by Steven Nzonzi whose looping header caught Vito Mannone slightly off his line and the ball looped over him and in. Arsenal levelled with a beauty as Cesc Fabregas set up Thomas Vermaelen to drill in a superb low drive from 25 yards into the bottom corner, however Rovers regained the lead on the break as Brett Emerton fed the ball wide to David Dunn who cut into the area and as he looked to curl one inside the far post, his effort was deflected past the keeper at the near. The hosts equalised again as Fabregas played Robin Van Persie through in the area and he drilled a shot past Robinson and inside the far post and it was Groundhog Day four minutes later with an almost carbon copy goal as Fabregas found Andrei Arshavin to fire Arsenal ahead at the interval.

After the break, the Fabregas show continued as he finally got onto the scoresheet when he collected an overhead pass from Tomas Rosicky to send a sliced volley into the top corner from the edge of the area, leaving Robinson rooted to the spot. Rovers weren't giving up though as young sub David Hoilett bobbled a shot against the post although a minute later they could have been further behind when Abou Diaby arrowed a shot inches wide. It proved to be a warning as a Rovers attack broke down resulting in Arshavin running from area to area before finding Fabregas whose touch fell nicely into the path of sub Theo Walcott who walloped in the fifth. Nicklas Bendtner and Walcott both came very close to adding a sixth before Bendtner collected a long crossfield pass from Bacary Sagna, cut inside and unleashed a brilliant strike from 25 yards which flew in via the inside of the post.

Attendance : 59,431
Assists : Robinson (fk), Fabregas, n/a, Fabregas, Fabregas, Rosicky, Fabregas, Ramsey

EVERTON 1 (Osman 55)
STOKE 1 (Huth 50)

Everton came from behind to earn a point at home to Stoke. The visitors went ahead with a towering header by Robert Huth from Matt Etherington's corner however the home side levelled within five minutes after a good interchange of passes saw Johnny Heitinga find Leon Osman who curled in a beauty off the bar.

Attendance : 36,753
Assists : Etherington (ck), Heitinga

WEST HAM 2 (Cole 16, Hughes 92 og)
FULHAM 2 (Murphy 47 Pen, Gera 57)

West Ham and Fulham continue to struggle this season after an entertaining draw at Upton Park. The Hammers opened the scoring with a near post header from Carlton Cole after Alessandro Diamanti had swung a free kick in and it looked to be going totally in their favour when debutant Kagisho Dikgacoi was sent off for pushing Scott Parker in the face after the pair squared up. Fulham battled back after the break and after Matthew Upson hauled down Diomansy Kamara, Danny Murphy levelled from the penalty spot. Ten minutes later, they took the lead as Zoltan Gera volleyed in Paul Konchesky's corner. West Ham grabbed a point in stoppage time when Junior Stanislas's shot deflected in off of Aaron Hughes but the Hammers were still jeered off by their fans.

Attendance : 32,612
Red Card : Dikgacoi 42)
Assists : Diamanti (fk), Kamara (won pen), Konchesky (ck), n/a

3 October 2009

BOLTON 2 (Gardner 4, Davies 69)
TOTTENHAM 2 (Kranjcar 34, Corluka 73)

Spurs twice came from behind to earn a draw at Bolton but are still without a win at the Reebok since Bolton's move their 12 years ago. The hosts were ahead early when Chung-Young Lee's shot was saved but Ricardo Gardner netted the rebound. Spurs levelled with a superb low drive from Niko Kranjcar after Peter Crouch had nodded the ball down but Bolton regained the lead after the break when Kevin Davies bravely avoided a defender and a collision with the goalpost to head in Tamir Cohen's cross. Spurs battled back again with Crouch missing a sitter by blasting the ball at the keeper with the goal gaping and it then looped up onto the bar, however minutes later. Krancjar's corner was met by Vedran Corluka to head a rare goal.

Attendance : 21,305
Assists : n/a, Crouch, Cohen, Kranjcar (ck)

BURNLEY 2 (Fletcher 53, Bikey 62)
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Larsson 95 fk)

Burnley remain 100% at home after a comfortable win against Birmingham. The visitors should have gone ahead through Lee Bowyer but, with the goal empty, he managed to play the ball back across goal when it seemed easier to score. Burnley went ahead when Tyrone Mears set up Steven Fletcher to drive into the net although keeper Joe Hart could have done better. They doubled it when Andre Bikey played a neat one-two with David Nugent before walloping in the second. A stoppage time free kick from Sebastien Larsson did little apart from deny the hosts a clean sheet.

Attendance : 20,102
Assists : Mears, Nugent, McFadden (won fk)

HULL 2 (Vennegoor of Hesselink 60, Geovanni 68)
WIGAN 1 (Sinclair 87)

Hull recorded a much needed win against Wigan who continue to blow hot and cold. It took the home side an hour to break through when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed in Dean Marney's cross and then Geovanni found the net after a fine run and cross by Kamil Zayatte. Wigan grabbed a late consolation when Scott Sinclair headed in from close range after Jordi Gomez saw hit effort saved.

Attendance : 22,822
Assists : Marney (ck), Zayatte, n/a

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Berbatov 51, Ferdinand 94 og)
SUNDERLAND 2 (Bent 7, Jones 58)

Man United needed a stoppage time own goal to deny Sunderland their first win at Old Trafford since 1968 in a game which saw the visitors take the lead twice.

The visitors began very well and confidently and were ahead early when Darren Bent collected a pass from Lee Cattermole on the edge of the area, took a touch to turn and then drilled an instant low drive into the bottom corner of the net. Indeed during the entire first half, United were poor and were jeered off at the interval as misplaced passes and lack of attempts were notably with Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon only needing to deal with a cross from Nemanja Vidic throughout the half.

United brought on Andersen for Paul Scholes at the break and they began the half much better and were level within six minutes when Dimitar Berbatov sent a superb acrobatic volley into the corner from John O'Shea's cross. It came seconds after Wayne Rooney had been denied by Gordon. Remarkably, Sunderland rode the United storm and regained the lead as Andy Reid crossed for Kenwyne Jones to leap and reach the ball ahead of keeper Ben Foster with enough power for it to bobble over the line. Rooney and Danny Wellbeck both came close to levelling it again for United whilst Jones miss-kick in front of goal to blow a glorious chance to make it safe for the visitors. Their cause wasn't helped when Kieran Richardson conceded a free kick for obstruction and then stupidly kicked the ball away to collect a second yellow card and subsequent red. Four minutes of stoppage time started with sub Michael Carrick firing wide and as the pressure increased, the breakthrough arrive as Patrice Evra's shot was heading wide before Anton Ferdinand sliced it into his own net.

Attendance : 75,114
Assists : Cattermole, O'Shea, Reid, n/a

PORTSMOUTH 1 (Yebda 19)

Portsmouth collected their first points of the season after a narrow win at Wolves. The only goal came in the first half when Hassan Yebda sent a cracking header into the net from Kevin Prince Boateng's cross. Pompey remain bottom but maybe have some light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Attendance : 29,023
Assist : Boateng

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Yahoo Groups Premier-L list
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