3 October 2010

CHELSEA 2 (Drogba 39, Alex 85 fk)

Chelsea go four points clear at the top of the table after seeing off London rivals Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal began well and should have led inside a minute as they forced an early corner resulting in Laurent Koscielny somehow heading over from just two yards out. Samir Nasri also came close after waltzing through the defence only to shoot just wide. Chelsea led at the interval though when Ashley Cole found space on the left and his cross was flicked in by Didier Drogba with the help of the near post. In the second half Arsenal continued to look dangerous but it was Chelsea who missed an amazing chance as Nik Anelka dispossessed Sebastien Squillaci, rounded the keeper but didn't get enough angle on his effort and shot a foot or so wide of the gaping goal. The Gunners could have levelled when Marouane Chamakh headed wide prior to Chelsea doubling their lead with a free kick 25 yards from goal. Drogba was hovering with intent but it was Alex who stepped up to smash a viciously well hit effort screaming into the roof of the net. They could have added more as both Michael Essien and Ashley Cole had further efforts saved in the latter stages of the game.

Attendance : 41,828
Assists : Cole, Anelka (won fk)

LIVERPOOL 1 (Kyrgiakos 53)
BLACKPOOL 2 (Adam 29 Pen, Varney 46)

Liverpool slumped into the bottom three after crashing to a home defeat against Prem new boys Blackpool. In truth, the visitors deserved their win as they raced into a two goal half time lead. They created a number of chances before Luke Varney was clattered over by Glen Johnson in the area Charlie Adam drilled home the penalty with a low shot. Amazingly the lead was doubled in stoppage time when Gary Taylor-Fletcher threaded a eye of the needle pass for Varney to take a touch and wallop in the second. The hosts pulled one back early in the second half when Steven Gerrard's free kick was powerfully headed in by Sotirios Kyrgiakos and he almost salvaged a point late on but was denied by keeper Matt Gilks with a superb close range reaction save.

Attendance : 43,156
Assists : Varney (won pen), Taylor-Fletcher, Gerrard (fk)

MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Tevez 18 Pen, Johnson 75)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Gutierrez 24)

Man City recorded a narrow 2-1 win against Newcastle to move above local rivals United in the table. The early stages were marred by a serious injury - possibly a broken leg - to Hatem Ben Arfa after the Newcastle man was caught by a clattering challenge from Nigel De Jong who seemed to get the ball but his trailing leg thudded into his opponent. Further bad luck followed as City were awarded a spot kick despite Mike Williamson appearing the play the ball in a tackle with Carlos Tevez. The City striker blasted the penalty straight down the middle although keeper Tim Krul did get a leg on the ball. Newcastle came thundering back as Fabricio Coloccini forced a fine save from Joe Hart before the equaliser arrived as Jonas Gutierrez crossed from the left and after an awkward clearance from Vincent Kompany, he got the ball back, took a touch and smashed a superb volley past the home keeper. Gareth Barry then wasted a golden chance to put the hosts back in front but hit a weak shot at the keeper as he broke clear before Coloccini became the second away player to go off injured before the interval, although unlike the unlucky Ben Arfa, he managed to limp off to be replaced by Sol Campbell who became only the second player to play in every single Prem season - Ryan Giggs being the other. David James could match it but is at the bottom Championship at the moment!

After the interval Tevez had a shot well saved by Krul as the game struggled to spark back into life. City were seeing plenty of the ball but couldn't break their opponents down whilst Newcastle looked comfortable but rarely threatening although Gutierrez had a snapshot saved when Joey Barton's cross was cleared to the edge of the area. Enter City sub Adam Johnson for Barry and within three minutes, he blew the roof off with a superb goal as he collected a pass from James Milner, cut inside and turned two defenders inside out before arrowing a low drive inside the far post. Newcastle should have had a penalty of their own when Shola Ameobi was fouled by Joleon Lescott but the ref waved play on and Williamson almost levelled but sent a free header over from close range.

Two more useless pieces of trivia from the game: It's the first game in Prem history that two different Argentine internationals have scored and of the 22 players who started, the oldest was Gareth Barry at just 29.

Attendance : 46,067
Assists : Tevez (won pen), n/a, Milner

2 October 2010

EVERTON 2 (Johnson 54 og, Cahill 93)

Everton won for the first time this season with two second half goals at Birmingham. They needed a stroke of luck to take a deserved lead when Leon Osman's cross was diverted into his own net by Roger Johnson and with time almost up, Leighton Baines crossed for Tim Cahill to thump in a close range header to inflict Birmingham's first home defeat in over a year.

Attendance : 23,138
Assists : n/a, Baines

STOKE 1 (Walters 48)

Stoke move up to the dizzy heights of seventh with a narrow in at home to Blackburn. The only goal came early in the second half as Matt Etherington sent John Walters clear to clip the ball past the keeper and in.

Attendance : 25,515
Assist : Etherington


Man United continue their run of drawing every away league game this season with a goalless draw at Sunderland. Bolo Zenden was desperately unlucky for an impressive Sunderland side when his shot crashed against the post whilst United's best chance fell to Dimitar Berbatov who fizzed a low drive just wide.

Attendance : 41,709
Assists : n/a

TOTTENHAM 2 (der Vaart 47, der Vaart 75)
ASTON VILLA 1 (Albrighton 16)

Spurs came from behind to see off Aston Villa with Rafael Van Der Vaart continuing his excellent start in the Prem with both goals. Villa took the lead when Sebastien Bassong was robbed by Emile Heskey by the corner flag and after cutting inside his low cross was bundled in bravely by Marc Albrighton who collided with the post after netting. Spurs levelled in first half stoppage time when Peter Crouch's header from a deep cross was nodded in at close range by Van Der Vaart. The winner came when Crouch again nodded a cross down for Van Der Vaart to dummy his marker before blasting past the keeper.

Attendance : 35,871
Assists : Heskey, Crouch, Crouch

WEST BROM 1 (Morrison 78)
BOLTON 1 (Elmander 64)

Honours even at the Hawthorns as West Brom came from behind against Bolton. The visitors led when Kevin Davies played in Johan Elmander to thump in from 12 yards. The hosts earned a point with a fine header from Peter Odemwingie's perfect cross.

Attendance : 22,846
Assists : Davies, Odemwingie

WEST HAM 1 (Piquionne 51)
FULHAM 1 (Dempsey 33)

West Ham and Fulham shared the spoils in the London derby at Upton Park. Fulham took the lead when Clint Dempsey beat keeper Rob Green (memories of the World Cup!) with a looping effort after being found by Simon Davies. The Hammers levelled through Frederic Piquionne's excellent header from Victor Obinna's cross.

Attendance : 34,589
Assists : Davies, Obinna

WIGAN 2 (Gomez 65 fk, Rodallega 85)

Wigan saw off the challenge of ten man Wolves with two second half goals. Wolves were reduced in numbers early on when Karl Henry launched into a late, scything challenge on Jordi Gomez which saw a well justified straight red card. Gomez recovered and opened the scoring after the hour with a cracking free kick on the right edge of the area which flew into the top corner. They clinched victory late on as Hugo Rodallega slotted in a through ball from Charles N'Zogbia.

Attendance : 14,042
Red Card : Henry 11 (Wolves)
Assists : N'Zogbia (won fk), n/a

Gary Dowden - Joint Admin Yahoo Groups Premier-L list
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