10 April 2011

ASTON VILLA 1 (Collins 24)

Aston Villa eased their relegation concern with a narrow win at home to Newcastle. After a slow opening where Newcastle had the better of things, Villa took the lead from a set piece as Ashley Young's free kick arrowed into the area and was glanced into the bottom corner by James Collins. They were unlucky not to double the lead on the stroke of half time when Darren Bent's low drive was ruled out for offside but replays showed him level.

Attendance : 37,090
Assists : Young

BLACKPOOL 1 (Taylor-Fletcher 52)
ARSENAL 3 (Diaby 18, Eboue 21, Van Persie 76)

Arsenal move to within seven points of leaders Man United after seeing off Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. Blackpool began well but the Gunners took command with two quick fire goals midway through the half. Blackpool lost possession in the Arsenal half and a quick breakaway ended with Robin Van Persie crossing for Abou Diaby to score with a simple tap in. Within three minutes the lead was doubled as Emmanuel Eboue played a neat one-two with Jack Wilshire, putting him in space in the area where he walloped in the second. Samir Nasri also hit the post as Arsenal wasted a number of other chances throughout the first half.

After the break Blackpool again began well and this time made it count as Jason Puncheon sent DJ Campbell through and although he was clattered down by keeper Jens Lehmann, the ref played an advantage, allowing Steven Taylor-Fletcher to collect the loose ball and tap it into the net as the defence converged on him. Full credit for the ref for allowing play to continue rather than blow for a penalty straight away and he did the same earlier in the move as well. Blackpool almost levelled shortly afterwards but Keith Southern didn't get enough on his header and it drifted across goal to safety. Arsenal weathered the storm and regained their two goal buffer when Theo Walcott was sent clear down the right and crossed for Van Persie to slot in a simple goal.

Attendance : 16,030
Assists : Van Persie, Wilshire, Campbell, Walcott

9 April 2011

BLACKBURN 1 (Hoilett 52)
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Bowyer 32)

Blackburn and Birmingham both remain in the dog fight at the bottom after a draw at Ewood Park. The visitors led when Cameron Jerome's cross was headed in from close range by an offside looking Lee Bowyer but Blackburn rescued a point deep into first half stoppage time as David Hoilett dispossessed Liam Ridgewell, rounded the keeper and slotted in from a tricky angle. Both clubs remain three points above the drop zone.

Attendance : 28,426
Assists : Jerome, n/a

BOLTON 3 (Sturridge 14, Lee 20, Sturridge 51)

West Ham remain in the bottom three after being swept aside by Bolton. The hosts burst into a two goal lead as Daniel Sturridge curled in a superb shot after latching on Johan Elmander's flick and then Chung-Yong Lee headed in Martin Petrov's cross. Sturridge wrapped in up after the interval with a low shot from the edge of the area as the Hammers defence allowed him time and space after collecting Petrov's pass on the left.

Attendance : 25,857
Assists : Elmander, Petrov, Petrov

CHELSEA 1 (Malouda 67)

Chelsea made hard work of seeing off Wigan who stay bottom of the table. The only goal was scrappy to say the least as a corner wasn't cleared and after a header from David Luiz was flapped at, Florent Malouda prodded in the loose ball.

Attendance : 40,734
Assist : n/a

MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Berbatov 12, Valencia 32)

Man United edged closer to a seemingly inevitable league title with a simple win over Fulham. The London side actually began well but went behind when Dimitar Berbatov fired in despite looking offside when collecting Nani's flick. The lead was clinched later in the first half as Antonio Valencia nodded in from close range after Nani's effort was blocked after he'd rounded the keeper.

Attendance : 75,339
Assists : Nani, Nani

SUNDERLAND 2 (Shorey 10 og, Bardsley 31)
WEST BROM 3 (Odemwingie 28, Mulumbu 54, Scharner 72)

No win in eleven games now for Sunderland who twice lost the lead to West Brom who move above them in the table. Things were looking good at half time for the hosts as Nicky Shorey headed a cross from Asamoah Gyan into his own net and although Peter Odemwingie levelled when he prodded home a header from Jonas Olsson, Sunderland regained the lead with a sensational Phil Bardsley free kick from 30 yards. The Baggies levelled again early in the second half as Youssuf Mulumbu played a one-two with Odemwingie before sliding the ball past the keeper and then won it with a superb team move, culminating in Odemwingie's cut back being converted by Paul Scharner at the near post.

Attendance : 41,586
Assists : n/a, Olsson, Richardson (fk), Odemwingie, Odemwingie

TOTTENHAM 3 (Crouch 11, Modric 18, Crouch 34)
STOKE 2 (Etherington 27, Jones 41)

Spurs keep their Champions League hopes alive as they put the Real Madrid debacle behind them to see off Stoke in a cracking game at White Hart Lane. It looked to be one way traffic as Spurs flew into an early two goal lead as Peter Crouch headed in Roman Pavlyuchenko's cross before Luka Modric collected a pass from Pavlyuchenko before beating Robert Huth and drilling in the second. Stoke pulled one back with a beauty from Matt Etherington who ran half the length of the pitch before firing home a low shot however Crouch added his second with another header from Tom Huddlestone's cross. Stoke netted again before half time as Kenwyne Jones robbed Gareth Bale before smashing in another excellent goal but they couldn't find a second half equaliser.

Attendance : 32,702
Assists : Pavlyuchenko (ck), Pavlyuchenko, Walters, Huddlestone, Wilkinson

EVERTON 3 (Beckford 21, Neville 39, Bilyaletdinov 45)

Everton's recent good form continues as the swept Wolves aside at Molineux. Wolves began superbly but couldn't convert half chances into goals and it was Everton who led with a rare attack as Leon Osman found space on the right and his excellent cross was well headed in at the near post by Jermaine Beckford. Home keeper Wayne Hennessey then saved well from another Beckford header and from a deflection off of his own defender, however just seconds after the second save, the ball fell to Phil Neville on the edge of the area and he arrowed a beauty across goal and into the top corner of the net. Straight from the kick off, Beckford broke clear again only to be denied by the keeper and Wolves, on top for the first twenty minutes, were in danger of falling apart. This was emphasised shortly before the break when a loose ball in midfield saw two home players leave the ball for each other, allowing Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to latch onto the ball, surge toward goal and unleash a scorching rising drive which flew past the keeper before he knew what had been thundered towards him. After the break Wolves took fifteen minutes to regain themselves when Everton keeper Tim Howard saved well from both Karl Henry and Adlene Guedioura and a third effort was deflected across goal and bobbled wide but ultimately this was Everton's day as Wolves remain in the bottom three.

Attendance : 28,352
Assists : Osman, Beckford (fk), Henry

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