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13 September 2010

STOKE 2 (Jones 80, Huth 93)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Downing 35)

Stoke earned their first points of the season after coming from behind to grab a last second winner in a pulsating game at home to Aston Villa. After a promising opening to the game, Villa eventually made the breakthrough when Gabriel Agbonlahor crossed from the right and Stuart Downing sent an excellent diving header back across goal and inside the far post. It should have been two shortly afterwards but Ashley Young somehow sent a free header wide from close range. Stoke battled back after the break and grabbed a deserved equaliser after a spell of pressure when Matt Etherington's cross found Kenwyne Jones to nod in with a towering header. With stoppage time almost up, Villa failed to clear a free kick and as Etherington kept the ball alive, Robert Huth stayed forward to divert it into the top corner.

Attendance : 25,899
Assists : Agbonlahor, Etherington, Etherington


12 September 2010

BIRMINGHAM 0
LIVERPOOL 0

No goals at St Andrews as Liverpool continue to struggle to kick start their season although Birmingham remain unbeaten. Chances were few and far between in the opening stages although a Cameron Jerome header looked to be heading for the corner until visiting keeper Jose Reina dived to push the ball away for a corner and minutes later saw a repeat performance with Craig Gardner denied this time. As the half wore on, things picked up with Reina again keeping his side level as he kept out another header, this time from Gardner again. Liverpool improved a little after the break but the hosts continued to waste chances as Scott Dann sent a free header into the turf which bounced over the bar when he should have at least hit the target. The game began to open up after the hour mark as Fernando Torres forced a save from Ben Foster from a tight angle but defences largely remained dominant.

Attendance : 27,333
Assists : n/a


11 September 2010

ARSENAL 4 (Koscielny 24, Chamakh 58, Song 78, Vela 83)
BOLTON 1 (Elmander 44)

Arsenal move into second with a comfortable win against Bolton who slumped to their first defeat of the season. The Gunners led when Laurent Koscielny tapped in from close range after Marouane Chamakh had kept Jack Wilshire's cross in the area. It was a mistake from the goalscorer that allowed Bolton to level at half time as Koscielny's header fell nicely for Chung-Yong Lee who crossed deep for Johan Elmander to head in. The hosts regained their lead after the break as the impressive Chamakh headed in a cross from Cesc Fabregas. Bolton were reduced to ten men when Gary Cahill saw a straight red for a rash challenge on Chamakh and it effectively ended any hope for Bolton. Arsenal wrapped it up late on as Alex Song clipped in a lovely finish from a tight angle after being found by Andrey Arshavin and then Fabregas sent Carlos Vela cleared to slot in the fourth.

Attendance : 59,876
Red Card : Cahill 64 (Everton)
Assists : n/a, Lee, Fabregas, Arshavin, Fabregas


EVERTON 3 (Pienaar 39, Cahill 91, Arteta 92)
MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Fletcher 43, Vidic 47, Berbatov 66)

Everton scored two stoppage time goals to deny Man United top spot as they came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw in an astonishing finale at Goodison Park.

The big news pre-game was the absence of former Evertonian Wayne Rooney from the United squad as, according to Sir Alex, `always get terrible abuse` at Goodison. Coupled with the recent press stories about him would have made him perfect cannon fodder for the home fans. Everton actually began strongly and almost netted when Mikel Arteta clipped the bar with the curling free kick although as United came back into the game they also hit the woodwork as a scorching effort from John O'Shea shaved paint off the post. Unorthodox save of the season came later in the half as a bullet shot from Paul Scholes took a wicked deflection and with keeper Tim Howard diving the wrong way, he somehow got his trailing foot to the ball to send it spinning away to safety. Howard then made a superb one-handed save from Ryan Giggs after the Welshman made space for a shot and within 30 seconds, Everton did a United-type breakaway to take the lead. Patrice Evra made a hash of a long ball forward, Arteta broke clear only to be denied by keeper Edwin Van Der Sar. The loose ball fell to Leon Osman on the edge of the area who kept his head to find an unmarked Steven Pienaar to slot under the keeper from 12 yards. The lead lasted less than four minutes as Nani found space on the right and his perfect cross was ideal for Darren Fletcher to volley in from close range and in stoppage time, United almost went ahead as Dimitar Berbatov sent a volley inches wide with Howard well beaten.

United took two minutes of the second half to take the lead as Everton failed to clear a corner and Nani sent in another inviting cross for Nemanja Vidic to power in a header from close range. Chances continued to fall at both ends as Pienaar forced a good save from Van Der Sar and Nani did similar with Howard, however it was United who eventually added to their tally. A long ball forward from Scholes was brilliantly controlled by Berbatov whose first touch took him clear and his second touch was a superb finish with the outside of his foot. Everton did press for a goal to get them back into it with Leighton Baines curling a free kick just wide and Osman's weak effort almost found a way past Van Der Sar at full stretch. They got their reward in the first minute of added on time as Baines crossed for Tim Cahill to send a stinging header in and almost straight from the kick off, they levelled it up in dramatic fashion as Cahill again got his head to a deep cross from Baines and it fell nicely for Arteta whose thumping shot struck Scholes and flew past the keeper to send the home fans into raptures! The game could have ended in total controversy as half the players failed to hear the final whistle as Phil Jagielka burst clear only to be denied by Van Der Sar! Imagine if that had gone in!!

Attendance : 36,556
Assists : Osman, Nani, Nani, Scholes, Baines, n/a


FULHAM 2 (Dembele 49, Dembele 91 fk)
WOLVES 1 (Van Damme 10)

Fulham came from behind to see off Wolves in a game overshadowed by a broken leg sustained by Fulham striker Bobby Zamora. Wolves led through the wonderfully named Jelle Van Damme who dispatched Kevin Doyle's cross at the far post. Zamora's injury came in a tackle with Karl Henry which saw him needing oxygen and ultimately likely to be out until early 2011. Fulham battled back after the break and levelled when Moussa Dembele drilled in after a Simon Davies corner wasn't properly cleared, albeit helped by a deflection. With time edging away, Christophe Berra saw a second yellow card for hauling back Eddie Johnson and from the free kick, Dembele found the net courtesy of another deflection off of the wall.

Attendance : 25,280
Red Card : Berra 90 (Wolves)
Assists : Doyle, n/a, Davies (fk)


MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Vieira 55)
BLACKBURN 1 (Kalinic 25)

Man City came from behind to earn a point against Blackburn but will see it as an opportunity lost. An almighty lack of organisation gifted Rovers an opener as City keeper Joe Hart and team mate Kolo Toure both went for a long ball and then both left it for each other allowing Nikola Kalinic to nip in and roll the ball into the empty net. Enter veteran Patrick Vieira who found Carlos Tevez wide and his cross was dispatched from close range by Vieira.

Attendance : 44,246
Assists : Pedersen, Tevez


NEWCASTLE 0
BLACKPOOL 2 (Adam 45 Pen, Campbell 90)

Newcastle lost at home for the first time in 27 games as Blackpool continue to shock and surprise the top flight. This fixture last season ended 4-1 to Newcastle in the Championship but there was no sign of a repeat as Blackpool scored at the end of each half. A typically rash challenge by Alan Smith on Luke Varney gave Charlie Adam the opportunity to score from the penalty spot which he did with ease. With Newcastle searching for an equaliser, Blackpool broke clear and Adam set up DJ Campbell to find space and fire in from the edge of the box.

Attendance : 49,597
Assists : Varney (won pen), Adam


WEST BROM 1 (Brunt 41)
TOTTENHAM 1 (Modric 27)

Spurs are yet to kick into life this season and were lucky to escape with a point at West Brom. Spurs did take the lead when Luka Modric - who later collected a bad leg injury - fired in after good work from debutant Raphael Van Der Vaart. The home side levelled before the break with Chris Brunt heading in from almost on the line after a cross from Marc-Antoine Fortune looped into the air.

Attendance : 23,642
Assists : n/a, Odemwingie


WEST HAM 1 (Parker 85)
CHELSEA 3 (Essien 2, Kalou 18, Essien 83)

Chelsea remain top and 100% with a comfortable win at West Ham. They led early when Michael Essien headed in Didier Drogba's corner although Carlton Cole got the final touch as he attempted to clear with a header. The lead was doubled as Rob Green brought back uncomfortable World Cup memories as he spilled Drogba's 35 yard free kick however Matt Upson should have cleared the danger but only thumped the ball against Salomon Kalou's heel and it then looped back over the Hammers pair and into the net. They wrapped it up late on when Essien grabbed his second header of the game as he netted from Paulo Ferreira's cross. West Ham did get the distinction of being the first side to score a league goal against Chelsea this season - and a good one as well - as Scott Parker lobbed in from the edge of the area after a corner from Mark Noble was punched clear.

Attendance : 33,014
Assists : n/a, n/a, Ferreira, n/a


WIGAN 1 (Alcaraz 87)
SUNDERLAND 1 (Gyan 66)

Sunderland came with three minutes of a rare away win as Wigan scored late to earn a draw. The visitors were always up against it after Lee Cattermole was shown his second red card of the season (Yes, this season!) when he hacked down Hugo Rodallega to collect his second yellow card in six minutes. Sunderland went ahead midway through the second half when 13m signing Asamoah Gyan prodded in Jordan Henderson's cross. Wigan levelled when Tom Cheverly's firm shot was helped in by the head of Antolin Alcaraz.

Attendance : 15,844
Red Card : Cattermole 22 (Sunderland)
Assists : Henderson, Cleverly


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