Manchester United ease past West Brom; Arsenal come back against Everton; Liverpool win a thriller against Wigan; Boro are taken to the cleaners by five-star Blues

Manchester United 4 – West Brom 0 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) The Baggies were the beneficiaries of a lenient decision chalking off a Wayne Rooney goal for a nudge on Olsson. (First half highlights here.) Early in the second half Wayne Rooney gave United the lead, racing down the inside left channel, cutting inside past Donk, and wrongfooting Carson with a hard, low effort into the bottom-left corner. The floodgates were then opened, Rooney slid a ball to Ronaldo, who shot past Carson for the second. And it was soon third, Nani’s cross evaded everyone and Dimitar Berbatov had the simple job of prodding home his first league goal for his new employers. And as the clock ticked down United found a fourth on the counter-attack, Rooney squared for Nani to tuck home at the back post.

Arsenal 3 – Everton 1 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Everton took a shock lead at the Emirates on nine minutes, when Leon Osman finished from a Pienaar cross. On the 15 minute mark, van Persie saw a good chance saved by Howard. Five minutes before the break, Fabregas went close with a long-range effort. Early in the second half, Samir Nasri levelled matters with a shot from just outside the area. With 20 minutes to go, Robin van Persie headed Arsenal into the lead, after good work from Adebayor and Fabregas. Theo Walcott wrapped up the win in the 90th minute.

Liverpool 3 – Wigan 2 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Wigan were the better team early doors at Anfield, Kapo saw a good effort saved by Pepe Reina. And the Latics got their reward when Amr Zaki robbed Agger to place the ball past Reina and put Wigan ahead. Agger made up for his error by setting up Dirk Kuyt for the equaliser. Kuyt then went close to a second, but his long-range shot hit the crossbar – a great save by Kirkland. In injury-time of the first-half, Amr Zaki scored a terrific volley to put Wigan in front again. (Is Zaki the new Alan Shearer?) (First half highlights here.) In the 71st minute, Gerrard stroked a free-kick just past the Wigan post. After Wigan went down to ten men, when Valencia was sent off for two bookable offences, Liverpool did equalise through Albert Riera who capitalised on a dummy by Gerrard. And Dirk Kuyt sent Anfield into delirium when he completed the comeback with minutes remaining, the Dutchman produced a terrific acrobatic volley from a Pennant cross. (Second half highlights here.)

Middlesbrough 0 – Chelsea 5 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Injury-ravaged Chelsea moved ahead at the Riverside when Belletti’s shot was blocked straight into the path of Salomon Kalou, who placed the ball past Turnbull for an easy opener. The Blues then began to control the game, and Frank Lampard fluffed bagging a second after great work from Malouda. (First half highlights here.) At the start of the second half Malouda should have scored after he exploited a horrible mistake by Grounds. But the second goal was soon in coming, the ball came to Belletti 30-yards from goal and the makeshift midfielder hit a rocket that swerved into the top corner. Poor Boro were then put to the sword conceding a third, Malouda’s knock-back hit Wheater and Kalou stabbed home his second of the game. Boro’s embarrassment grew by the minute, the fourth coming after Kalou (with all the time in the world) stood a cross up for Lampard to freely head home. The fifth was the result of a howler from Turnbull, as the keeper failed to handle Anelka’s tame shot and, after the ball hit the post, Malouda tapped in number five. The final stages were painful for Boro as they were reduced to seeing out time while trying to not concede any more goals. (Second half highlights here.)

Bolton 0 – Blackburn 0 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) Carlos Villanueva came close for Rovers in the first half with a rising drive.

Aston Villa 0 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) Ten-man Portsmouth held out for a point at Villa, but the home side could scarcely claim to have deserved any more from the match having relied on Brad Friedel to keep them on level terms before Sean Davis was sent off with nine minutes left.

Fulham 0 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, October 18, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Roy Keane was left fuming after Kieran Richardson found the net with a free-kick only to see his effort chalked off for an infringement in the wall.

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York 2 – Rushden & Diamonds 0 (Conference, October 16, 2008) Goals from Mark Robinson and Craig Farrell secured a second straight win for York as they saw off Rushden.

Forest Green 2 – Cambridge 2 (Conference, October 16, 2008)


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