Premiere League: Boxing Day

A Robbie Keane double helped Liverpool regain the lead at the top of the Premier League after a 3-0 win over Bolton at Anfield. Rafael Benitez's men had dropped to second after Chelsea's win over West Brom earlier, but Keane's brace and a first-half strike from Albert Riera was enough to see off Gary Megson's side. Liverpool put the opposition under intense pressure from the kick off and took the lead after 25 minutes when Riera tapped home a Steven Gerrard corner. Keane scored his second goal in two games when he coolly slotted past Jussi Jaaskelainen after being played through by Gerrard. It took Keane only five minutes to get himself on the scoresheet again as he latched onto a Yossi Benayoun through ball and drove past Jaaskelainen to put the game beyond doubt.

Didier Drogba's first league goal of the season helped Chelsea to a 2-0 win over West Brom at Stamford Bridge. Luiz Felipe Scolari started with both Nicolas Anelka and Drogba for the first time this season and the Ivory Coast striker took only three minutes to break the deadlock when he headed Joe Cole's cross past Scott Carson to give Chelsea the lead. Frank Lampard then picked up on Ashley Cole's deflected cross to chip over Carson for the winner on the stroke of half time.

Manchester City dragged themselves out of the relegation zone in emphatic fashion with a 5-1 thrashing of Hull at Eastlands. Robinho cut inside and chipped over to Stephen Ireland who squared his cross to Felipe Caicedo. He hit the ball into the roof of the net from close range to open the scoring. Caicedo scored his second after 26 minutes before Ireland sent Robinho through on the half hour and the Brazilian slid the ball past Boaz Myhill for City's third. Robinho's second came 10 minutes before the break when he tapped home a low Shaun Wright-Phillips cross. Craig Fagan pulled one back for Hull in the second half but Ireland scored City's fifth to complete the rout.

Manchester United had to wait until seven minutes from the end to hit the winner at Stoke. Tony Pulis' side, who had Andy Wilkinson sent off, held United until Carlos Tevez turned home a Dimitar Berbatov cross to send the Potters back into the relegation zone.

Craig Bellamy underlined his importance to West Ham by scoring twice in the Hammers' 4-1 win over Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Nadir Belhadj gave Portsmouth an early lead but the Hammers levelled soon after through Jack Collison. Carlton Cole turned home a Valon Behrami cross to put West Ham ahead before Spurs transfer target Bellamy raced through the Pompey defence and beat David James with 20 minutes left. Bellamy picked up a return pass from Luis Boa Morte to seal the Hammers' fourth with seven minutes left.

Everton clocked up their seventh away win of the season at the Riverside Stadium thanks to a Tim Cahill goal. An injury crisis at Goodison Park meant that midfielder Cahill had to be employed as a lone striker and the Australian showed a true goalscorer's instinct to tap home from close range after a goal-mouth scramble just after the break.

Ryan Taylor and Amr Zaki were on target for Wigan in their 2-0 win over Newcastle at the JJB Stadium. Taylor's 22-yard free kick put the Latics ahead before Zaki scored from the penalty spot after Sebastien Bassong was sent off for a foul on Emile Heskey. Newcastle pulled one back late on with a Danny Guthrie penalty, but Wigan held on to complete the win.

Despite their best efforts, Tottenham could not find a way past Fulham in their drab 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane. And Jason Roberts missed an open goal in stoppage time as Blackburn had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Aston Villa reclaimed third place after Zat Knight struck late on to give the Villans a 2-2 draw with Arsenal at Villa Park. Denilson and Abou Diaby had given the Gunners a commanding lead and they looked in control until the 65th minute when William Gallas hauled down Gabriel Agbonlahor just inside the box. Referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot and Gareth Barry powered his spot kick past Manuel Almunia. Arsenal looked set for victory until Knight picked up a deflected Barry cross inside the box and fired past Almunia to rescue a point for Villa and keep them level on points with Manchester United.


0 Responses to Premiere League: Boxing Day