86 and out! Liverpool beat Chelsea to go three points clear at the top; Harry houdini leads Spurs to their first win of the season; A Robinho hat-trick downs Stoke

Chelsea 0 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) A bright opening on a gloomy day in London was capped with an early Liverpool goal after 10 minutes, a Terry clearance fell to Xabi Alonso on the edge of the box and the Spaniard’s shot deflected off Bosingwa into the centre of Cech’s goal. Gerrard let rip with a brilliant left-footed half-volley that forced a smart save from Cech. (First half highlights here.) In the second half Alonso was desperately unlucky not to score Liverpool’s second, but his free-kick struck the foot of the post to stay out. Liverpool repelled everything an under-strengthened Chelsea could muster but at the end Chelsea finally lost their unbeaten home record stretching back to February 2004.

Tottenham 2 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) After the regime change implemented at Tottenham overnight, the basement side reacted in the right manner by taking a 16th minute lead over Bolton, Roman Pavlyuchenko guided home a header from Bentley’s pinpoint cross to give Spurs their first Premier League lead of the season. After the break, Bolton lost Gavin McCann for two bookable offences, and Darren Bent wrapped up the victory from the penalty spot after he was fouled by keeper Jaaskelainen.

Manchester City 3 – Stoke 0 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) Robinho was the star of the show scoring a superb hat-trick to light up Eastlands. The Brazilian had his fair share of help, with Ched Evans and Daniel Sturridge setting up the number ten with clinical assists. (Robinho’s goals can be seen here, here and here.)

Wigan 0 – Aston Villa 4 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Agbonlahor’s pace was too much for Wigan as he won a controversial first half penalty which Gareth Barry converted. In the 57th minute, Agbonlahor bundled home a close-range shot and then went on a delightful run and inch-perfect cross for John Carew to head home five minutes later. Steve Sidwell curled home a superb fourth goal in the last minute.

West Ham 0 – Arsenal 2 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Robert Green made a host of fine saves to repel Walcott and Bendtner in the first half (highlights here) to keep West Ham in the game. Arsenal eventually got the breakthrough when Emmanuel Adebayor worked open some space in the box and his shot was diverted home by Julien Faubert. Emmanuel Adebayor wrapped up the points by latching on to a through ball to beat the onrushing Green and fire into the open net.

Portsmouth 1 – Fulham 1 (Premier League, October 26, 2008) Just after the hour, Defoe layed the ball off to Peter Crouch to his right, and the beanpole striker sidefooted into the corner to break the deadlock. Clint Dempsey got the leveller with three minutes remaining when he steered home Nevland’s cross after being picked out unmarked in the penalty box.

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Coventry 1 – Derby 1 (Championship, October 25, 2008) Derby led with a first half header from Rob Hulse, but the Rams were denied the three points as an injury-time Clinton Morrison goal gave Coventry a share of the spoils.

Plymouth 1 – Ipswich 3 (Championship, October 25, 2008) Owen Garvan scored with two right-foot efforts in the first half to give his side a healthy advantage. Kevin Lisbie then added the third just after the restart, before Craig Cathcart headed a late consolation for the Pilgrims.


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