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01-13-2013, 12:10 AM #1
[Football] Premier League Report for all games - Game week 22QPR v.Tottenham [0-0]
Harry Redknapp's dogged QPR held his former club Tottenham to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.
The stalemate frustrated Andre Villas-Boas' high-flying side and earned QPR a vital point to boost their hopes of Premier League survival.
The derby started quietly but sprang into life after five minutes as Julio Cesar made a world-class double stop to deny both Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor in quick succession.
Defoe was allowed to find time and space to hit a vicious effort from 20 yards which the Brazilian brilliantly tipped onto the post, and Adebayor's follow-up was expertly stopped by the 33-year-old when the striker should have scored.
Not to be outdone in the early stages, Shaun Wright-Phillips also had an excellent chance to put the hosts ahead after 11 minutes after a delightful through ball from Adel Taarabt.
The Moroccan found the winger's clever run in behind the Spurs back line, and as Wright-Phillips set to finish, only a crucial deflection from Michael Dawson prevented the former Chelsea winger finding the near corner of Hugo Lloris' net.
Villas-Boas was forced into an early substitution with Sandro being replaced by Scott Parker after appearing to damage his knee hooking a half-volley.
Wright-Phillips fashioned a chance on 45 minutes after great work from the left wing but fired wastefully wide with Taarabt a better option in the middle.
Spurs flew out of the blocks from the restart - Defoe earned a free kick a minute in after a clumsy foul from Nelsen, and Bale tested Cesar with a dipping effort to signal Spurs' intentions.
Lennon won a contentious free kick on the left-hand side of the area moments afterwards, which Kyle Walker put inches over the bar with Cesar motionless.
A minute later Defoe again worked space and was denied an opener by the legs of Cesar.
Defoe's clever flick on 67 minutes released Adebayor but although the tall forward found himself in space, he delayed his effort and the chance was wasted, with Villas-Boas reacting by substituting him a minute later.
Taarabt unleashed Wright-Phillips in a rare break for the hosts with 13 minutes remaining, but Lloris was alert to the danger and rushed out to clear the ball.
The diminutive QPR winger should have perhaps won the game with six minutes remaining but scuffed the turf instead of shooting, but Redknapp's side will welcome a much-needed point.
01-13-2013, 12:12 AM #2
Reading v. West BromReading v. West Brom [3-2]
Reading staged a remarkable comeback to secure a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League on Saturday.
The hosts fell behind just before 20 minutes had elapsed, Romelu Lukaku finishing off a decent move for West Brom at the Madejski Stadium.
The second half saw the Belgian hit the woodwork twice before eventually netting the second to put the visitors in control.
But there was an unexpected and extraordinary turn to come, with Reading netting three times in the final 10 minutes to stun the visitors.
Jimmy Kebe, Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak were all on the scoresheet as Reading ensured they stayed off the bottom of the table.
Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici was powerless to deny Lukaku opening the scoring in the 19th minute.
The Chelsea loanee started the move by bringing down a long ball in the middle before passing to James Morrison, whose cross left Lukaku with a simple finish.
Lukaku had an effort just after half-time correctly ruled out for offside, while Reading midfielder Garath McCleary had a strike blocked on the line by Billy Jones.
The visitors responded well when Chris Brunt crossed for Lukaku, who saw his effort come back off the frame of the goal.
Lukaku finally completed his brace and got West Brom's second with just over 20 minute remaining.
After receiving a pass from Morrison, Lukaku ran at the Reading defence and they backed off, allowing him to finish past Federici at the Australian's near post.
The hosts launched a late surge when Kebe popped up at the back post to head McCleary's cross into the back of the net in the 82nd minute.
And the unlikely comeback was on when Le Fondre slotted home a penalty with just three minutes left after Jonas Olsson brought down Kebe.
The Madejski then erupted when, miraculously, Pogrebnyak beat two West Brom defenders to a goal-mouth scramble to put the hosts 3-2 up and secure all three points in extraordinary fashion.
01-13-2013, 12:13 AM #3
Norwich v. NewcastleNorwich v. Newcastle [0-0]
Norwich City and Newcastle United ended their Premier League losing streaks after playing out a 0-0 draw at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The hosts began slowly, but they soon had control of the match and should have taken the lead through Wes Hoolahan, while Gabriel Obertan forced Mark Bunn into a good save.
A similar pattern emerged after the break, but this time Newcastle created even less in attack and needed Tim Krul and the post to prevent goals from Antony Pilkington and Russell Martin, respectively.
The visitors almost created the match’s first chance in the opening 10 seconds as Vurnon Anita smashed the ball into the Norwich area from his own half and Bassong made the bizarre decision to leave it, allowing Obertan the chance to cross but his effort was poor and Mark Bunn collected.
After that slow start, Norwich began to take control in midfield, stringing together some lovely moves, while Pilkington and Hoolahan were terrorising new signing Mathieu Debuchy, but it was Newcastle who went close next as Obertan spun and shot on the edge of the area, only for Bunn to palm it away.
A counterattack gave Norwich their best opportunity as Hoolahan surged forward before playing in Jackson to his right, receiving it back and shaping to shoot, but back came James Perch to poke the ball behind.
There was still time for Norwich to get an effort on target before half-time as a Pilkington cross was met by the head of Snodgrass, but Jackson failed to get a touch on it and Krul collected with ease.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Norwich looking much more dangerous in attack.
Soon, however, Snodgrass gambled on a long ball from Russell Martin and tried to spin around Fabricio Coloccini, but the Argentine got a toe in, poking the ball back to Pilkington who fired his shot over.
Martin then brought the ball under control about 30 yards out after a bizarre period of play that resembled head tennis before lashing a half-volley against Krul's post.
It was not long before Krul was forced into further action. Snodgrass cut in from the right and picked out Pilkington on the left, who in turn beat Debuchy with an excellent turn before shooting, but there was Krul to make the save.
01-13-2013, 12:15 AM #4
Aston Villa v. SouthamptonAston Villa v. Southampton [0-1]
Southampton earned a vital three points as they overcame fellow English Premier League strugglers Aston Villa 1-0 on Saturday.
Defeat sees Villa plunge further into trouble following a disappointing display, but Southampton were deserving of their victory after producing a fine away performance.
Rickie Lambert netted the only goal of the encounter, striking from the spot in the 34th minute after the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty.
Aston Villa controlled most of the first half, with star striker Christian Benteke and Charles N'Zogbia looking lively in the early stages.
It was Benteke who created the game's first chance six minutes in, when he curled an effort just over from the edge of the area.
That proved to be the only real opportunity the home side enjoyed, and it was the visitors – who were always a danger on the counter-attack – that made the better opportunities, Jay Rodriguez, Lambert and Luke Shaw all going close for Nigel Adkins' side.
Southampton were promptly rewarded for their dominance just over 10 minutes before the interval as Lambert stepped up to convert from the penalty spot after Enda Stevens was ruled to have fouled Rodriguez.
Replays suggested Stevens made no contact with Rodriguez.
Villa offered little response and Southampton went close to doubling their lead minutes later when Shaw strode past Matthew Lowton before seeing his powerful effort saved by Brad Guzan.
The hosts approached the second half with renewed energy and vigour, Lowton, Andreas Weimann and Benteke all having chances as Paul Lambert's men desperately searched for an equaliser.
It was Southampton who always looked the more likely to score and they again went close to adding a second when Jason Puncheon crashed an effort against the post.
The visitors did suffer a blow when Shaw was stretchered off following a collision with Lowton, and that seemed to weaken Southampton defensively as Villa piled on the pressure in the closing stages.
Benteke headed over from point-blank range, before Nathan Baker headed against the bar from a corner.
Despite all of their possession and territory, Villa were unable to find a leveller as Southampton held on to earn a much-needed triumph.
01-13-2013, 12:16 AM #5
Fulham v. WiganFulham v. Wigan [1-1]
Fulham and Wigan shared the spoils in a tense Premier League affair that ended 1-1 at Craven Cottage.
In an afternoon that showed a lack of confidence for both sides, Fulham opened the scoring through Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis' emphatic strike off the post, before Franco Di Santo levelled with a similarly clinical drive after the break.
Genuine quality throughout was few and far between and though the result lifted Wigan out of the bottom three and left Fulham in relative mid-table comfort, both sides urgently need to address the form which may threaten their Premier League survival.
The opening 20 minutes were tense and uneventful, with Petric and James McArthur both blazing over the bar from the edge of the area and Berbatov miscontrolling a Bryan Ruiz pass when through on goal.
It took a moment of class from Karagounis to break the deadlock, as the Greek midfielder picked the ball up centrally before driving to the edge of the box and sending an unstoppable drive in off the far post.
Wigan endeavoured to get themselves back into the game but got little joy against a home side who were more measured with their possession.
Alex Kacaniklic and Kieran Richardson both fired high and wide from promising positions for the home side, before Franco Di Santo spurned a decent opportunity to equalise by hammering over Emmerson Boyce's wicked delivery from six yards out.
The match continued in a similar fashion after the interval with neither side showing the craft needed to create clear-cut opportunities.
Shaun Maloney's drive caught Brede Hangeland on the shoulder and forced Mark Schwarzer to tip onto the bar before Di Santo improvised smartly to send a volley inches wide.
Wigan's pressure finally paid dividends when Di Santo equalised with a rasping right-footed drive after cutting in from the right.
Wigan ended the game on top though they had Emmerson Boyce to thank for a point, after the defender dramatically cleared Ruiz's effort off the line.
01-13-2013, 12:18 AM #6
Sunderland v. West HamSunderland v. West Ham [3-0]
Sunderland made an emphatic return to form with a 3-0 win over an out-of-sorts West Ham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Sebastian Larsson, Adam Johnson and James McClean were all on target in a display which would have pleased the home fans.
Neither Sunderland new boy Alfred N'Diaye or West Ham loan signing Marouane Chamakh were handed full debuts, with both among the substitutes.
The lively Stephane Sessegnon crafted the first opening of the game, turning James Collins inside out before picking out Johnson in the box.
The ex-Manchester City man's effort was blocked, but David Vaughan was on hand to pick up the rebound, his strike bouncing just wide of the post.
Sunderland's early pressure continued, with Winston Reid twice forced into crucial blocks from Steven Fletcher and then McClean.
But Sunderland would get their deserved opener in spectacular fashion on 12 minutes.
The ball bobbled loose on the edge of the West Ham area, and Larsson powered an effort into the top corner.
A West Ham resurgence was not forthcoming as the hosts continued to surge forward, led by the ever-impressive Sessegnon.
In midfield, West Ham offered little to no resistance as Vaughan and Larsson dominated, while it was only the rallying display of Reid which kept the visitors in the game.
If Sunderland felt aggrieved to only be a goal ahead at the break, they soon made amends.
The hosts broke through Sessegnon following a West Ham free-kick, and he quickly found McClean in acres of space on the opposite flank.
The young winger may not have been able to beat Jussi Jaaskelainen, but Johnson made no mistake, capitalising on some shambolic defending to tap home and double the lead in the 48th minute.
McClean's chance would come as Sessegnon broke through the West Ham defence, taking on Dan Potts and James Tomkins with a series of pull-backs.
But his final touch evaded him, allowing the Irishman to fire home from an acute angle to make it 3-0 in the 74th minute.
There was a debut for Chamakh, but he was unable to inspire West Ham with N'Diaye much more impressive after being introduced six minutes before full-time as Sunderland cruised to victory.
01-13-2013, 12:20 AM #7
Everton v. Swansea CityEverton v. Swansea City [0-0]
Everton retained fifth place in the English Premier League but were frustrated by Swansea as the sides drew 0-0 on Saturday.
Ashley Williams and Chico Flores produced a defensive master-class for Swansea, who tired toward the final moments of what was an entertaining encounter at Goodison Park.
Everton started brightly, with Marouane Fellaini stinging Michel Vorm's palms after some delightful link-up play with Steven Pienaar on the left-hand side.
But it did not take long for Swansea to threaten on the counter-attack, with their best chance coming moments after a dangerous Everton move broke down.
Dwight Tiendalli's clearance fell to Pablo Hernandez, who performed an impressive flick to escape the attentions of Phil Jagielka.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the Spaniard could not find Nathan Dyer's run up the right-hand side after cutting inside.
With 30 minutes gone, David Moyes' side went close to breaking the deadlock as Fellaini's knock down to Victor Anichebe was kept out by Vorm before being hacked away desperately by Williams.
But in keeping with the theme of the game, Swansea went close next as Michu's lofted effort was flicked onto the bar by Tim Howard.
There was time for one more chance in the half, as Seamus Coleman wriggled beyond two defenders before crossing for Fellaini, but the Belgian's shot was weak and easily held by Vorm.
The second half started in equally blistering fashion, as Phil Neville collected the ball from Coleman before forcing Vorm into a save from close-range.
And just moments later Sylvain Distin headed over from a corner as Everton continued to dominate.
Swansea began to move deeper defensively as Everton dominated territorially, forcing Michael Laudrup to look to Wayne Routledge and Jonathan de Guzman off the bench.
But the hosts continued to threaten, with Jagielka somehow heading over from six yards after another brilliantly delivered Leighton Baines corner.
A raft of substitutions late on offered hope of a breakthrough, but none was forthcoming as the game lost its fluidity and the teams shared the spoils.
01-13-2013, 12:21 AM #8
Stoke City v. ChelseaStoke City v. Chelsea [0-4]
A superb second half display from Chelsea saw them run away 4-0 winners inflict on Stoke their first home defeat of the season.
The first half lacked quality but a Jon Walters own goal right before the break gave the visitors the lead, and in the second half the Blues ran riot.
Walters added a second own goal before a Frank Lampard penalty and a Eden Hazard rocket sealed the points.
Stoke had the first chance as Kenwyne Jones found himself with room inside the Chelsea penalty area but he dragged his shot wide of Petr Cech's goal.
And the visitors responded 10 minutes later with a nice passing move that led to Demba Ba finding Frank Lampard inside the penalty area but Asmir Begovic saved well with his feet from the midfielder's low shot.
Chelsea opened the scoring with what was the final attack of the first half.
Hazard released Cesar Azpilicueta on the right hand side, the Spaniard delivered a dangerous cross to the back post where Walters headed past his own goalkeeper in his attempt to clear before Juan Mata could pounce.
Stoke began the second half full of life and after a Steven N’Zonzi shot tested Cech they thought they had a penalty just before the hour.
Azpilicueta appeared to bring down Matthew Etherington inside the penalty area. Andre Marriner awarded the penalty only for assistant referee Sian Massey to overrule the decision as the winger was offside.
Four minutes later the Stoke players were cursing that decision as Walters again headed past Begovic.
Lampard challenged the winger from a corner and the ball hit the Stoke man before dropping into the net.
Stoke's misery was compounded two minutes later as Robert Huth was adjudged to have brought down Mata in the area. The decision looked harsh but that made no difference to Lampard who smashed the ball passed Begovic to become Chelsea's second highest goal scorer with 194 goals.
Chelsea hammered the final nail into the Stoke coffin in the 73rd minute as Hazard fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
The Belgian received the ball inside the Stoke half from Mata, he drifted away from Glenn Whelan and lashed an absolute rocket past Begovic.
Stoke were awarded a penalty in the closing seconds as substitute John Terry brought Walters, but the forward lashed his spot kick against the bar to complete a dreadful day for the Potters.
01-13-2013, 11:44 PM #9
Manchester United v. LiverpoolManchester United v. Liverpool [2-1]
Manchester United temporarily extended their English Premier League lead to 10 points after disposing of Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie's 19th-minute goal helped Sir Alex Ferguson's team take a stranglehold that they never looked like relinquishing.
Although Daniel Sturridge pulled one back after Nemanja Vidic had inadvertently doubled United's advantage, the hosts were resilient enough to cope with Liverpool's strong finish.
United moved 10 points clear of main title challengers Manchester City ahead of the champions' encounter at Arsenal later on Sunday.
The game began quietly as neither side could seize the initiative but the first chance of note was put away with lethal precision by van Persie.
Following a smooth passage of build-up play from the home side, the ball was shifted out to Patrice Evra on the left.
The Frenchman drilled a low cross into the area that was turned into the net first time by United's Dutch maestro for his 17th league goal of the season.
The impressive Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley came close to doubling United's advantage in the first half as the hosts threatened every time they poured forward.
It required a desperate clearance from Martin Skrtel to prevent van Persie scoring his second with a back-heel just before half-time.
Lucas Leiva was replaced by Sturridge at half-time, which brought greater vibrancy to the visitors' attack.
But United extended their advantage after 54 minutes with a free-kick following a poor challenge on Welbeck from Skrtel.
Evra was allowed to rise unchallenged to meet van Persie's whipped cross at the back post and his header deflected off Vidic and into the net.
David de Gea's technique against long-range shots will come under scrutiny again following Liverpool's reply three minutes later.
Steven Gerrard did well to create space on the outside of the box and his drilled shot was heading for the corner, but the Spaniard should have done better than paw it into the danger area, allowing Sturridge to put away the rebound.
Gerrard led Liverpool's late rally, in which the lively Sturridge came close to putting away several half-chances, but United held onto their lead to lay down another title marker.