19 September 2010

CHELSEA 4 (Kalou 3, Malouda 12, Drogba 30, Malouda 41)

Chelsea swept Blackpool aside with a first half goal blitz to remain four points clear at the top. It took Chelsea a full 73 seconds to take the lead as Didier Drogba's corner got the slightest touch at the near post Branislav Ivanovic and Salomon Kalou was left with a simple chance to sweep in at the far post. Blackpool held on for a further ten minutes before being split apart as Drogba broke clear on the right and his low cross was a gift for Florent Malouda to tap in from six yards. Suddenly the pundits were collectively reaching for their abacuses (abaci?) and they almost needed them for a Blackpool goal as a stinging shot from Alex Baptiste was finger-tipped wide by Petr Cech. A third followed for Chelsea when Ashley Cole went tearing away down the left, cut inside and set up Drogba who turned and shot and found the net via a big deflection off of Ian Evatt. Chelsea were rampant and should have added to their tally before Kalou found space on the right and having waited for his team mates to catch up, crossed low for Malouda to drill in the fourth. Drogba and Michael Essien both missed great chances before Chelsea declared at four at half time. After the break Blackpool actually began well with DJ Campbell's shot beating Cech but was cleared off the line by Ivanovic whilst Luke Varney had a far post volley sail over when he could have taken more time. Gary Taylor-Fletcher then had a curling effort tipped over by Cech and Marlon Harewood shot just wide. Chelsea did create decent chances with all three first half scorers coming close to adding to their tallies.

Attendance : 41,761
Assists : Ivanovic, Drogba, n/a, Kalou

MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Berbatov 42, Berbatov 59, Berbatov 84)
LIVERPOOL 2 (Gerrard 64 Pen, Gerrard 70 fk)

Dimitar Berbatov hit a superb hat trick as Man United let a two goal lead slip against Liverpool only to finally clinch a dramatic win late on. United dominated the first half and took a deserved lead just before half time as Ryan Giggs swung in a corner and Berbatov took full advantage of some dire Liverpool defending to stoop and nod the ball in. More of the same after the break as Nani clattered a shot against the angle of post and bar before Berbatov doubled the lead. He controlled a cross from Nani on his knee and although Wayne Rooney almost got in his way, he looped a superb overhead kick past the keeper and in off the bar. Liverpool were barely in the game but were handed a lifeline when Fernando Torres dragged the ball inside Johnny Evans only to have his legs swept aside and Steven Gerrard sent Edwin Van Der Sar the wrong way from the penalty spot. The tempo suddenly increased ten-fold and John O'Shea was lucky to escape with a booking as he pulled back Torres as he looked to latch onto a through ball on the edge of the area, especially as the United defender was last man. Amazingly from the resulting free kick, Gerrard's shot went through the wall as Darren Fletcher moved away and the ball nestled into the net with Van Der Sar flat-footed. United pushed forward to recover the situation and Berbatov completed the first United hat trick in this fixture for 64 years when he got onto the end of O'Shea's deep cross to nod into the corner, giving the keeper no chance.

Attendance : 75,213
Assists : Giggs (ck), Nani, Torres (won pen), Torres (won fk), O'Shea

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Tevez 41, Yaya Toure 70)

Man City move into fourth as a goal in each half saw off Wigan. Both clubs struggled to cope with heavy rain throughout and City went Route One with their opener and keeper Joe Hart's long kick was collected by Carlos Tevez who then did well to clip it over the Wigan keeper from the edge of the area and in. The lead was secured when Tevez crossed and Yaya Toure took full advantage of Wigan's failure to clear the ball to fire in the second.

Attendance : 15,525
Assists : n/a, Tevez

18 September 2010

ASTON VILLA 1 (Young 13 fk)
BOLTON 1 (Davies 35)

New Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier saw his team draw at home to Bolton but will expect improvement after losing a lead. Ashley Young gave Villa the lead with a superb 25 yard curling free kick but Bolton levelled through Kevin Davies who collected a cross from Martin Petrov and turned to shoot into the roof of the net.

Attendance : 34,655
Assists : Young (won fk), Petrov

BLACKBURN 1 (Samba 30)
FULHAM 1 (Dempsey 56)

Honours even at Ewood as Fulham grabbed a second half equaliser at Blackburn. Rovers led amid high controversy as Christopher Samba headed in Paul Robinson's long ball even though El Hadji Diouf clearly fouled keeper Mark Schwarzer as the ball was flighted in. Fulham grabbed a point when Clint Dempsey headed in a cross from Carlos Salcido.

Attendance : 23,759
Assists : Robinson (fk), Salcido

NEWCASTLE 1 (Ben Arfa 45)

Newcastle's impressive start continues as Everton failed to build on last week's confidence boost against Man United. The only goal came just before half time as Hatem Ben Arfa collected a pass from Wayne Routledge then made space before arrowing a beauty into the corner from all of 25 yards. Yakubu hit the post for Everton before Marouane Fellaini missed a glorious chance to level in the last seconds as the hosts were jeered off the pitch.

Attendance : 38,019
Assist : Routledge

STOKE 1 (Jones 48)
WEST HAM 1 (Parker 32)

West Ham earned their first point of the season as Stoke came from behind for the second game in a row. Scott Parker gave the Hammers a half time lead when he thumped in from close range after Rory Delap smacked a clearance into the face of team mate Ryan Shawcross. The home side levelled with a brave far post header from Jermaine Pennant's cross.

Attendance : 27,028
Assists : n/a, Pennant

SUNDERLAND 1 (Bent 95)
ARSENAL 1 (Fabregas 13)

Arsenal were denied top spot ahead of the Sunday games after Sunderland netted a 95th minute equaliser in a dramatic finale. The Gunners led at the break with one of the strangest goals of this, or indeed any, season. After an attack broke down, Sunderland played the ball back through midfield to last man Anton Ferdinand who looked to clear the ball only to hammer it against Cesc Fabregas and the ball hit his leg and flew over home keeper Simon Mignolet from all of 40 yards out! After the interval, Sunderland were handed a lifeline when Arsenal were reduced to ten men as Alex Song blocked Steed Malbranque with the ball past him and received a second yellow card of the game, much to the anger of boss Arsene Wenger. Ultimately it was the visitors who had the opportunity to add to the scoreline as Samir Nasri had his legs hooked away by Ahmed Elmohamady in the area, however Tomas Rosicky blazed the penalty over the bar and into Row Q. With time edging away, Arsenal failed to clear a Sunderland corner and after a header from Elmohamady into the area caused chaos, Gael Clichy's clearance hit team mate Laurent Koscielny and fell nicely for Darren Bent to smash the ball in from close range.

Attendance : 38,950
Red Card : Song 55 (Arsenal)
Assists : n/a, n/a

TOTTENHAM 3 (der Vaart 77 Pen, Pavlyuchenko 87, Hutton 91)
WOLVES 1 (Fletcher 45)

Spurs left it late to come from behind against Wolves and avoid another embarrassing home result. Wolves led at the break when Kevin Foley crossed for Steven Fletcher to bundle the ball in at the near post. With just thirteen minutes left, sub Alan Hutton was clattered in the area by Stephen Ward and Rafael Van Der Vaart sent the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot for his first goal in a Spurs shirt. They went ahead when Roman Pavlyuchenko slotted in after Tom Huddlestone's shot was blocked. Hutton then scored his first ever goal for Spurs although he knew little about it as a tackle from Richard Stearman hit his foot and looped in over the advancing keeper.

Attendance : 35,940
Assists : Foley, Hutton (won pen), n/a, n/a

WEST BROM 3 (Dann 51 og, Odemwingie 59, Olsson 69)
BIRMINGHAM 1 (Jerome 15)

West Brom came from behind to see off second-city rivals Birmingham at the Hawthorns. The visitors led as a well practised set piece paid dividends as Sebastien Larsson's chipped free kick was nodded across goal by Scott Dann and volleyed in at the far post by Cameron Jerome. Cue a second half recovery as a fine run and cross by Jerome Thomas was diverted past his own keeper by Dann before the hosts went ahead as Peter Odemwingie was found by a poor defensive touch by Lee Bowyer, rounded the keeper and fired in past Dann on the line. The win was wrapped up when Jonas Olsson headed in a corner by Chris Brunt.

Attendance : 23,062
Assists : Dann, n/a, n/a, Brunt (ck)

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