score football magazine


February 2008

Day 25
Premier League

Manchester slip
Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice in the early kick-off as Arsenal ended Man City's unbeaten home record under Sven Göran Eriksson. Bacary Sagna muscled his way to the byline and pulled the ball back for Adebayor to force in after only 9 minutes. Arsenal went further ahead in the 26th minute when Eduardo with his back to gaol chested, turned and acrobatically volleyed into the City net. Two minutes later Corluka robbed Clichy and found Fernandes in the box, who picked the corner of the net to give City some hope, but with only 2 minutes left Adebayor found himself in a similar position with the same outcome to seal a 3-1 win for Arsenal. Manchester United were seconds away from losing at White Hart Lane. When Aaron Lennon pulled the ball back into the six-yard area, van der Sar could only push it out as far as Berbatov who gave Tottenham a 21st minute lead which lasted until the last kick of the match when Carlos Tevez got on the end of a corner kick to force the ball in for a 1-1 draw. Jermain Defoe scored on his debut to earn Portsmouth a 1-1 home draw against Chelsea. The visitors scored in the 55th minute through Anelka after a swift and skilful counter attack, but 9 minutes later Defoe found himself clear on goal and put the ball past Petr Cech. Derby salvaged a point at Birmingham with an 89th minute header from Emanuel Villa after Sebastian Larsson had given Birmingham a 68th minute lead from just outside the six-yard box. Wigan's Antonio Valencia saw his second-half shot come off both posts, but Kevin Kilbane's looping header just before the break was enough to give Wigan all 3 points at home to West Ham. Bolton had a 23rd minute Matt Taylor penalty saved by Marcus Hahnemann, but went on to win 2-0 at Reading with goals from Kevin Nolan in the 33rd minute and Heidar Helguson just before the hour mark. Everton had Andrew Johnson's late goal disallowed in an eventful 0-0 draw at Blackburn. In the late kick-off Liverpool overcame Sunderland at Anfield with 3 goals in the 2nd half. Peter Crouch used his hight advantage to head home a Carragher cross in the 57th minute and headed the ball on for Torres to register the second. Steven Gerrard's 89th minute penalty was too powerful for Craig Gordon to keep out and Liverpool enjoyed a 3-0 home win. On Sunday Kevin Keegan's men finally scored when Michael Owen rose high to head in for Newcastle at St James' Park after 59 minutes, but Robert Huth equalised for Middlesbrough with a header 3 minutes from time. Newcastle had a goal disallowed in the first minute as did Middlesbrough in the last moments of the match. Jimmy Bullard's return from injury inspired Fulham to a 2-1 home win against Aston Villa. The visitors took the lead when Aaron Hughes turned a corner kick into his own net in the 69th minute, but 4 minutes later Simon Davies got on the end of a low delivery from Bullard to volley past Carson, and with 4 minutes remaining Bullard curled the ball over the wall from a free-kick to give Roy Hodgson his first win as Fulham manager.

Day 26
Premier League

A day to remember for City
In the early kick-off at Villa Park, Michael Owen got his head to a cross in the 4 minute to give Newcastle the lead, but a deflected shot from Bouma wrong-footed Given for the equaliser 3 minutes into the 2nd half. Two minutes later Villa were ahead when John Carew flicked the ball in with the back of his head. An attempted Newcastle clearance in the 73rd minute was headed in by Carew who thumped in a last minute penalty to completed his hat-trick and make it 4-1 to Aston Villa. James McFadden's accurate 16th minute penalty strike earned Birmingham a point at West Ham after Freddie Ljungberg had turned in Carlton Cole's header at the far post on the 7th minute for the Hammers who had Lee Bowyer sent off with 2 minutes remaining. A goal in each half gave Sunderland a 2-0 home win against Wigan. Dean Whitehead's free-kick in the 42nd minute found Dickson Etuhu who picked his spot with a header and with 15 minutes to go Daryl Murphy smashed the ball in off the bar with a sizzling shot from outside the box to secure the win for Sunderland. Phil Jagielka scored for Everton with a looping header in the 62nd minute to send Reading home empty-handed, while Lassana Diarra's 81st minute goal was enough to give Portsmouth all 3 points at Bolton. Jeremie Aliadiere broke through and slotted the ball in between the legs of Fulham keeper Antti Niemi in the 10th minute for the only goal of the match at Middlesbrough. Derby suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham with all 3 goals coming in the 2nd half. Roy Carroll kept out Steed Malbranque's shot in the 68th minute but Robbie Keane was on hand to knock the ball over the line. Younes Kaboul drove the ball home in the 81st minute and Dimitar Berbatov wrapped things up coolly sending the Derby keeper the wrong way with a last minute penalty. On Sunday as Old Trafford remembered the victims of the Munich air disaster, Manchester City stunned their hosts with 2 goals in the first half. Stephen Ireland's shot in the 24th minute was blocked by van der Sar, but Darius Vassell netted the follow up. Martin Petrov's delivery found the head of debutant Benjani who flicked the ball past van der Sar to extend City's lead and United's silence just before the break. Carrick's clinical shot into the bottom corner of the net just before the final whistle was not enough to rescue United. The 2-1 win for City marked their first double over their arch-rivals since the 1969/70 season. In the other match on Sunday Chelsea and Liverpool drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge. On Monday Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers. Philippe Senderos took advantage of some poor marking to head in from a corner in the 4th minute and in stoppage time Hleb picked out Adebayor who controlled the ball and fired it past Friedel to secure the win for the Gunners.

Day 27
Premier League

Tottenham win at Wembley
The weekend started badly when after only 2 minutes of the early kick-off at Birmingham, Arsenal's Eduardo suffered a horrific injury which saw Martin Taylor receive a straight red for the tackle. James McFadden lifted a free-kick past Almunia in the 20th minutes to give the Blues the lead, but Arsenal came out in the 2nd half with more determination and within 5 minutes Theo Walcott hooked Adebayor's header in, and struck another past Maik Taylor 5 minutes later. Arsenal failed to wrap the match up and paid the penalty when James McFadden converted a spot kick with almost the last kick of the match. Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick in Liverpool's 3-2 home win against Middlesbrough who had taken a 9th minute lead through a Tuncay header. Torres made the most of a defensive back-pass and rounded the keeper to open his account for the day in the 28th minute, and struck the ball past Schwarzer for his 2nd a minute later. The Spaniard completed his hat-trick in the 61st minute when he got to a long ball before the indecisive Schwarzer and Wheater and breeched the unguarded net. Downing forced the ball past Pepe Reina in the 83rd minute, but Middlesbrough were reduced to 10 men 2 minutes later when Jeremie Aliadiere was dismissed for an off the ball incident. Jermain Defoe sent Craig Gordon the wrong way with an emphatically taken penalty kick in the 69th minute to give Portsmouth a 1-0 home win over Sunderland. Derby returned home from Wigan with a 2-0 defeat after Roy Carroll's double-save fell to Paul Scharner for a tap-in on the hour-mark, and Valencia struck the ball past the keeper with 6 minutes remaining. Nolberto Solano controversially bundled the ball over the line for the only goal of the match in the 86th minute for West Ham at Fulham enraging Leon Andreasen who saw red for his protestations. Ronaldo and Rooney did the damage at Newcastle as Manchester United ran out 5-1 winners. Ronaldo's 25th minute cross found Rooney in a position from which he could not miss, and it was Ronaldo himself who slotted in the 2nd just before the interval and rounded the keeper the extend the lead in the 56th minute. Newcastle had a moment of joy in the 79th minute when a corner-kick fell to Faye who smashed the ball in, but a minutes later Wayne Rooney splendidly bent the ball past second-half keeper Steve Harper and Louis Saha rounded off a convincing victory for the visitor with a strike in stoppage time. On Sunday despite Gareth Barry missing a penalty, Aston Villa picked up a 2-1 win at Reading. Moments before the break, Ashley Young who was given space and time in the box picked out the roof of the net, and with only 7 minutes of the match left Marlon Harewood curled the ball beautifully past Hahnemann into the top corner to secure victory for the visitors. Nicky Shorey scored a consolation goal for Reading when he beat Carson at the base of the upright from a 90th minute free kick. Two Penalties from Benni McCarthy helped Blackburn to a 4-1 home win against Bolton. McCarthy converted his first in the 25th minute, and after Kevin Davies had turned in a cross from Ivan Campo in the 50th minute, McCarthy dispatched his 2nd into the roof of the net in the 67th minute. David Bentley beat Jaaskelainen with a header at the near post 4 minutes later, and Morten Gamst Pedersen added the 4th right at the end. In the Carling Cup final at Wembley, Tottenham came from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 in extra time. Didier Drogba's 20-yard free-kick had given Chelsea the lead in the 39th minute, but in the 70th minute Dimitar Berbatov kept his composure from the penalty spot to beat Petr Cech and force extra time. With only 4 minutes of extra-time gone, Jermaine Jenas swung in a free-kick which Jonathan Woodgate reached before Cech to head in what proved the be the winner for Spurs. On Monday evening in the Premier League, 2 first-half goals gave Everton a 2-0 win at Manchester City. Yakubu tapped in the first after half an hour, and Joleon Lescott scored with a looping header 8 minutes later. Manchester City had Martin Petrov sent off at the end of the game for kicking out at an opponent.
February ends with Arsenal on top, followed by Man Utd, Chelsea and Everton.

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