United make a point at Villa Park; Manchester City heap further woe on troubled Arsenal; Chelsea and Liverpool held at home

Aston Villa 0 – Manchester United 0 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up Brad Friedel’s hands with an earlier shot after 13 minutes, while at the other end Nigel Reo-Coker found some space and fired a off a shot which Van der Sar had to get down to save. Ronaldo dragged a free-kick wide of the post as the first-half ended in stalemate. (First-half highlights here.) Ashley Young floated a terrific right wing shot which Van der Sar finger-tipped over the bar straight after the break. For United, Rooney was struggling to make an impact as he smashed a half-volley wide, wide and handsome at the back post.

Manchester City 3 – Arsenal 0 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Benjani couldn’t quite connect with a cross midway through the half at Eastlands. The best chance of the half for Arsenal came to Song after Hart had parried Nasri’s free-kick and Bendtner had back-heeled to the Cameroonian. In injury-time of the first-half, Stephen Ireland profited from an awful mix-up between Clichy and Silvestre and fired City ahead. Ten minutes into the second period, Robinho lifted the ball over Almunia for City’s second after great work by SWP. Robinho could have scored a third when he rounded Almunia but Djorou blocked on the line. Robin van Persie had a goal disallowed for kicking the ball out of Hart’s hands and Daniel Sturridge did get the third from the penalty spot late on.

Chelsea 0 – Newcastle 0 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Shay Given saved from a Lampard header with the first action of note at Stamford Bridge. Ashley Cole also went close in the first-half. (First-half highlights here.) Early in the second half Joe Cole thought he had got the opener, but it was ruled out (wrongly) by the linesman. (Second-half highlights here.)

Liverpool 0 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Just before the half-hour mark Robbie Keane had a great chance to put Liverpool one-up but Schwarzer did well. (First-half highlights here.) The Fulham custodian also tipped over a good effort from Dirk Kuyt in the second half. (Second-half highlights here.)

Portsmouth 2 – Hull 2 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) A depleted Pompey side twice led through a Peter Crouch header in 21 minutes (first-half highlights here) and Glen Johnson’s ferocious 25-yard shot either side of Michael Turner’s third goal of the season from a corner. But the Tigers got a late leveller through Noe Pamarot’s own goal in the 86th minute. (Second-half highlights here.)

Middlesbrough 1 – Bolton 3 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) Matty Taylor’s free-kick found the head of Gretar Steinsson in the 8th minute, to net the opener. Steinsson returned the favour two minutes later as Taylor made it 2-nil. (First-half highlights here.) Emmanuel Pogatetz struck a half-volley past Jaaskelainen in the 77th minute from Downing’s corner, but only a minute later Bolton’s two-goal lead was restored, when Johan Elmander received the ball in the Boro box and fired past Turnbull. (Second-half highlights here.)

Stoke 1 – West Brom 0 (Premier League, November 22, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Danny Higginbotham’s 84th minute cross was nodded past Scott Carson by Mamady Sidibe to send the Baggies back home without a win since the start of October.

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Plymouth 2 – Cardiff 1 (Championship, November 22, 2008) Plymouth striker Emile Mpenza gave his side the lead in the 39th minute when his outstretched leg turned the ball in the net. And the Pilgrims had the benefit of a huge slice of fortune netting their second minutes later, Chris Clark’s cross was helped on the bar by the wind and Paul Gallagher fired home n the follow-up. Michael Chopra beat the offside trap at the start of the second half to give Cardiff a lifeline.


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