Sunday, 28th December
The game of the day saw an increasingly convincing Liverpool storm to a 5-1 win at troubled Newcastle United. Captain Stephen Gerrard scored twice as the reds destroyed the home side. The only surprise is how Liverpool only scored five, such was the gulf between the two sides.
West Bromwich Albion earned a welcome 2-0 home win over Spurs with two very late goals. Everton ensured that new Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia is under no illusions of what needs doing at the club by winning easily 3-0. The win was secured with two early strikes from the ever impressive Arteta.
Bolton lost at home 0-1 to Wigan thanks to a 44th minute penalty converted by Zaki. Meanwhile Mark Hughes took his Manchester City side to his old club Blackburn Rovers to fight out a 2-2 draw. City’s equaliser came deep into injury time from Brazilian star Robinho.
In the west London derby it was resurgent Fulham who took the lead in the 10th minute at home to rivals Chelsea. American Clint Dempsey making the most of Chelsea’s failure to clear a free kick, before hooking in the shot from a matter of inches.
Chelsea kept up almost constant pressure and after the break Fulham finally caved in when free scoring Frank Lampard capitalised on a misunderstanding between Fulham’s keeper Mark Schwarzer and defender Aaron Hughes to drive in the equaliser. The England star made it 2-1 to the visitors in the 72nd minute with a low free kick.
However there was a twist in the tail and just as Chelsea were beginning to celebrate an important three points Dempsey rose to head high into the net for an 89th minute equaliser sending the home crowd into raptures. Believe me, anything gained by Fulham against Chelsea is the stuff of wild celebration down at Craven Cottage.
Arsenal made amends for that last minute slip up at Villa by beating Portsmouth, managed by returning Arsenal hero Tony Adams, 1-0 with a goal from William Gallas ten minutes from time. West Ham added another three points beating Stoke City 2-1.
So after all this frantic activity Liverpool stay top on 45 points, three points ahead of Chelsea, who must be regretting that last minute Fulham equaliser. Manchester United are 3rd ten points behind the leaders but with three games in hand.