28 December 2010

BIRMINGHAM 1 (Bowyer 89)

Man United remain top but only on goal difference after letting in a late, controversial equaliser at Birmingham. United came closest in a goalless first half when a miss hit Ryan Giggs crossed was looping in before keeper Ben Foster got fingertips to it and managed to divert it against the inside of the post before being cleared to safety. After a tight opening hour or so, United finally broke through as Darron Gibson found space and set up Dimitar Berbatov to fire a shot inside the near post. He almost doubled matters within two minutes with a low shot which hit the outside of the post as United threatened to take control of a tight match. United looked comfortable but conceded with a minute of normal time remaining as a cross was bundled on by the arm of Nikola Zigic and volleyed in by Lee Bowyer who looked just about level. United were livid but the goal stood.

Attendance : 28,242
Assists : Gibson, Zigic

MANCHESTER CITY 4 (Balotelli 8 Pen, Lescott 13, Balotelli 27, Balotelli 55 Pen)

Mario Balotelli netted a hat trick as Man City walloped Aston Villa to go level on points with Man United at the end of 2010. His first came from the penalty spot as he was bundled over by Eric Lichaj and he calmly slotted in the spot kick. The lead was doubled when Joleon Lescott headed an Adam Johnson corner goalwards and although it was cleared by Barry Bannan, the officials ruled that it had crossed the line, although replays proved nothing either way. Balotelli's added his second, and City's third, when he was presented with a tap in after David Silva's shot was saved and he completed his hat trick as it had begun with a confident penalty after Johnson was tripped by Marc Albrighton.

Attendance : 46,716
Assists : Balotelli (won pen), Johnson (ck), n/a, Johnson (won pen)

FULHAM 2 (Baird 4, Baird 10)

Two early goals by Chris Baird eased Fulham's relegation fears with a fine win at Stoke. His first was a fantastic first time shot from 25 yards which flew in off the post after a cross had been cleared. It was his first goal in almost four years and his second followed within six minutes as he found the bottom corner from a similar range from a free kick. The game was marred at the end when home boss Tony Pulis refused to shake the hand of counterpart Mark Hughes.

Attendance : 26,954
Assists : n/a, Johnson

BLACKPOOL 2 (Campbell 50, Campbell 90)

Blackpool won on the road again despite a second half onslaught by Sunderland. DJ Campbell put the visitors ahead after half time with a neat finish from Neal Yardley's cross. Sunderland wasted a number of great chances to level, notably Darren Bent who crashed a free kick against the underside of the bar. Blackpool provided the late sucker punch when Campbell netted again in stoppage time with a close range finish off the bar from a cross by Matt Phillips.

Attendance : 42,892
Assists : Evatt, Phillips

TOTTENHAM 2 (Lennon 57, Bale 81)

Spurs kept a clean sheet for the first time since the opening day of the season and continue their assault on the top four with a home victory against Newcastle. They led just before the hour as Younes Kaboul found Aaron Lennon wide and his powerful shot fizzed inside the far post. Kaboul then blotted his copybook when he was sent off for leaning his head into the head of Cheik Tiote after the Newcastle man won the ball fairly. It mattered little in the end as Luka Modric found Gareth Bale to cut inside and fire in from a tricky angle.

Attendance : 35,927
Red Card : Kaboul 65 (Tottenham)
Assists : Kaboul, Modric

WEST BROM 1 (Thomas 17)
BLACKBURN 3 (Kalinic 3, Kalinic 53, Diouf 62)

Blackburn collected a fine win at West Brom in a game that saw both clubs reduced to ten men. An eventful day for Nikola Kalinic began with him opening the scoring with a low drive having been sent clear by Morten Gamst Pedersen. The hosts levelled shortly afterwards when Somen Tchoyi crossed low for Jerome Thomas to score at the far post. Kalinic doubled his tally after the break with a header after Ryan Nelsen nodded a corner across goal and then Mame Diouf headed a brave third from El Hadji Diouf's cross. Any hope of a hat trick for Kalinic ended when he sent off for a potential leg breaker of a tackle on Paul Scharner. The numbers were levelled up late on as Gabriel Tamas hacked down Mame Diouf as he looked to break clear.

Attendance : 24,440
Red Cards : Kalinic 64 (Blackburn), Tamas 87 (West Brom)
Assists : Pedersen, Tchoyi, Nelsen, Hadj Diouf (ck)

WEST HAM 1 (Hibbert 16 og)
EVERTON 1 (Coleman 42)

Honours even between West Ham and Everton, leaving the hosts still in the bottom three. The Hammers led when a corner wasn't properly cleared and after Radoslav Kovac kept the ball in the danger zone with an overhead kick, Tony Hibbert deflected the ball past his own keeper and into his own net. It looked to be enough to give them the half time lead but they lost concentration three minutes before the break as Tim Cahill's cross was slotted in at the far post by a totally unmarked Seamus Coleman.

Attendance : 33,422
Assists : n/a, Cahill

27 December 2010

ARSENAL 3 (Song 44, Fabregas 51, Walcott 53)
CHELSEA 1 (Ivanovic 57)

Arsenal move to within two points of league leaders Man United after blitzing current champions Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal shaded a tight first half and went ahead just before the break when a series of intricate passing moves in and around the area saw Cesc Fabregas tripped in the box however before a penalty could be awarded, Alex Song collected the loose ball and drilled a low shot inside the far post. The lead was doubled early in the second half as a tackle from Michael Essien resulted in the ball rebounding well for Theo Walcott to burst through and as keeper Petr Cech came out, he squared the ball for Fabregas to tap into an empty net. Chelsea were well and truly rattled and within two minutes the same pair combined again as Fabregas set up Walcott to arrow a low shot into the bottom corner. Remarkably the visitors rallied as Didier Drogba's curling free kick was headed into the net by Branislav Ivanovic to give Chelsea some hope but despite the onslaught, the hosts held on for a vital win.

Attendance : 60,112
Assists : Wilshire, Walcott, Fabregas, Drogba (fk)

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Yahoo Groups Premier-L list
Leeds United and Scotland and proud of it