Everton 0 – Liverpool 2 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) The Merseyside derby began full of the pace and passion expected from the fixture, and sadly also accompanied by some poor refereeing decisions from Mike Riley. Everton suffered from a “foul” called on Marouane Fellaini as he jumped with Reina for a ball which both players missed, but the Â£15m man wasted his shot anyhow. (First half highlights here.) Steven Gerrard was starring for Liverpool, and after the Reds began building up momentum early in the second half they scored, Alonso released Keane down the left and his cross was volleyed home by Fernando Torres. And one become two minutes later, Keane fed Kuyt in the box, his shot was saved with Torres firing home the rebound. David Moyes then had to see his side reduced to 10-men for Tim Cahill’s poor tackle on Xabi Alonso. (Second half highlights here.)
Stoke 0 – Chelsea 2 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) Michael Ballack tested Sorensen early on, forcing the keeper to tip over his rasping shot from distance. With the Stoke supporters finding any means by which to watch the game, they watched on as Chelsea made the breakthrough in the 36th minute, Lampard picked out Bosingwa’s run into the box down the right hand side, and the full back controlled a fired home expertly to net his first goal for the Blues. Immediately on the restart Malouda crashed a shot against the underside of the bar, but his effort failed to cross the line. The Blues eventually netted the killer second, Bosingwa’s cross was chested down by Faye into the path of Anelka who cashed in on the opportunity.
Manchester United 2 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) United dominated possession and the had the bulk of the chances against Bolton in the first half, Berbatov’s early header and a Ronaldo free-kick typical of the opportunities which fell to the hosts. But Bolton stayed resolute and should have gone ahead when Muamba fluffed a golden opportunity from Steinsson’s cross. (First half highlights here.) After the break it was more of the same, United pressing with Ronaldo hitting the post as they pushed for the opener. United eventually moved ahead but in completely undeserved circumstances, Rob Styles criminally penalised Samuel’s clean tackle on Ronaldo and awarded a penalty, which Ronaldo took and converted. United’s second however was a moment of pure class, sub-Rooney released Ronaldo who advanced into the box, backheeled to Rooney, and the number 10 curled a beauty in the far corner. In the final stages United were irresistible, and 2-0 flattered Bolton.
Arsenal 1 – Hull 2 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Cesc Fabregas dragged a shot wide against Hull after 14 minutes. Despite holding much of the ball Arsenal failed to score in the first half, Eboue pulled a shot wide late in the half after good skills prized open the opportunity. (First half highlights here.) Hull almost punished the Gunners early after the break but George Boateng’s shot was blocked by Cesc Fabregas. And as is so often the case, minutes later Walcott burst down the right, crossed into Adebayor, and Paul McShane turned the ball over his own line. The Tigers looked shell-shocked and Adebayor should have doubled the lead, but on the hour mark they equalised from nowhere, Geovanni hit a 25-yard screamer to stun the home crowd. Hull then stormed into the lead as Daniel Cousin headed home a corner. In the final stages Arsenal pressed hard for an equaliser, Gallas seeing his header rebound off the bar. Recording the result of the season, Hull move up to sixth, having as many points as Derby got all of last season.
Newcastle 1 – Blackburn 2 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) Goals from Christopher Samba (a flying header) and Roque Santa Cruz (another header) put Blackburn in control before half time, while Michael Owen’s penalty continued his trend of scoring goals which fail to impact on the results of games.
Aston Villa 2 – Sunderland 1 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) The Blacks Cats moved ahead with a fine goal created by Steed Malbranque, playing inÂ Cisse in between Laursen and Davies and the French striker produced a textbook low finish into the bottom corner to beat Friedel. Ashley Young’s 25-yard free-kick drew Villa level, and the hosts stole all three points when Young’s free-kick deflected to Petrov, whose cross was cutely back-heeled in by John Carew.
Middlesbrough 0 – West Brom 1 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) Jonas Olsson earned West Brom their first away win of the season by being in the right place at the right time to score following Greening’s left wing corner.
Fulham 1 – West Ham 2 (Premier League, September 27, 2008) West Ham struck twice in the last couple of minutes of the first half, first Carlton Cole tapped in from Matty Etherington’s pullback and then Cole returned the favour by laying the ball off to Mark Noble whose superb 30 yard ball was seized on by Etherington and he slotted it past Schwarzer. Fulham’s nightmare end to the half reached its nadir as England international striker Andy Johnson was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Lucas Neill. Danny Murphy converted a second half penalty, but the Cottagers could not find an equaliser.
Southport 3 – Vauxhall Motors 2 (FA Cup, September 27, 2008)