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Apr 1, 2008

What the fans say...

Liverpool 1-0 Everton

Kevin Brodie: Liverpool were fantastic in the first half and just okay in the second half but overall we deserved the three points. Everton managed one shot on target that I can remember, in the first few minutes, but other then that they only looked dangerous from set pieces. Liverpool on the other hand looked dangerous at every turn. Our biggest weakness is that if the chances dont' fall to Torres or Gerrard we tend not to score. Babel and Kuyt both had very good chances to put the game out of reach and the post also prevented Gerrard from getting on the score sheet. Watching it live I was worred about Everton snatching a goal but the best chances of the match in the last five minutes fell to us. Liverpool had a lot of contenders for man of the match like Steven Gerrard, who was a different player then last week, but my vote goes to the old veteran Sami Hyypia who was just fantastic.

Tony Burns: Everton went down 1-0 at Anfield, turning in one of our poorest performances of the season when we needed one of our biggest. If only this game had come a month or so earlier I think things would have been different, but injuries have set-in now and our lack of options upfront is a real worry. On this occasion it was Phil Jagielka rather than Jolean Lescott who was tossed up front with Yakubu in a desperate late bid to salvage something. We never came close though and Liverpool eased to a win that gives them a five point cushion in the race for fourth spot.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-4 Newcastle United

Colin McCullough: Although this will be hailed as a great Newcastle performance, each one of their four goals resulted from a basic error by a Tottenham player: a scuffed clearance by Woodgate; a stupidly conceded free kick, courtesy of Dawson; a poor attempt at a tackle from O'Hara; and a careless loss of possession by Taarabt. Although Spurs played 4-3-3 and took the lead, they offered little up front, with Keane for once ineffective and Berbatov almost totally anonymous. If the rest of the season is allowed to peter out with performances like this, there will be a lot of disgruntled fans at the Lane.

Correspondent Wanted: Even as a Newcastle fan I didn't see this result coming. Given Tottenham's attacking talent at home I was optimistically hoping for a draw, but to win and score four goals, the most this season, is beyond our wildest dreams. When the team has gone one goal down in the past players' heads have dropped but at White Hart Lane the boys kept fighting and gabbed a momentous victory. Is it to early to claim Keegan has found his magic touch?

Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Arsenal

Matthew Kilsby: What a heartbreaking weekend down at the Reebok. To give away a two goal lead against ten men, whoever those ten men are, is unforgivable and, on Saturday's evidence, we deserve to go down. I am positive that if the board of directors had have sat tight and kept Anelka until the end of season, we would be safely ensconced in mid-table mediocrity by now. It is so galling to see eight years of hard graft and brilliant management go down the pan in less than twelve months. Ah well, at least I get to go the Ricoh Arena, next year, to see our brothers in horribly named stadia...

David Young: Two nil down and reduced to ten men by half-time. It looked like it was going to be another tale of woe up at the Reebok Stadium for Arsenal. Bolton could have made the game safe in the first period of the second half as they lay siege to the Gunners' goal but then William Gallas popped up from nowhere to get Wenger's men back in the match. A penalty from Robin Van Persie squared the score moments later. Then, in the final moments, all the luck that has deserted Arsenal over the past few weeks came back in spades as Cesc Fabregas's shot deflected off two Bolton players and into the net to seal a memorable victory. It was a titanic comeback and will go a long way to restoring some confidence. But how much will such a gargantuan effort - playing with ten men in driving rain for so much of the match - have taken out of the team as they face up to three critical games against Liverpool in the next eight days?

Manchester United 4-0 Aston Villa

Charlie Olsen: I know a bloke who actually put money on Aston Villa to win this match; despite history, statistics and form all pointing in the other direction. It's difficult not to sound arrogant but anything other than a win would have been a disaster, but the manner of this victory will have the team bouyed ahead of the trip to Roma. Can Ronaldo reproduce his magic in Europe? That is the question.

Jerrad Peters: It was a massacre – a comprehensive drubbing. And while the decisive loss to Manchester United came as a surprise to no one, it capped off an embarrassing month of March for Aston Villa. Zero wins and just two goals from five matches. Needless to say, Martin O'Neill's squad will be tinkered with, or at least expanded, over the course of the summer. Most disturbing, however, was the fact that many of the Villa players seemed resigned to their fate after Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after 17-minutes. In all honesty, it might well have been 6 or 7-0.

Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough

David Esposto Even though Middlesbrough hit the woodward three times, the Blues still managed to escape with a 1-0 victory. A goal from the most unlikely of sources in Ricardo Carvalho salvaged a precious victory as Chelsea were far from great at Stamford Bridge. A week after their inspirational come-from-behind victory against Arsenal. The crowd of 39,993 didn't have to wait long, six minutes to be exact to celebrate their team's early lead. But as the old saying goes; 'You have to be good to be lucky.' And on this day Chelsea were far from their best but still managed to leapfrog the Gunners to take second spot. Carvalho's goal will be remembered as a goal, which could have quite possibly saved their title hopes. Goals from unlikely sources will be a welcome site to Avram Grant's side as the title chase continues to heat up.

Daniel Gray: It was like a CDT teachers' convention afterwards with all the talk of woodwork. Once, twice, three times unlucky. Incredible and heartbreaking. At least Alves looked dangerous at last, and Downing was a class act again. Not too much to be down about, though we need to buy centre-midfielders that can actually pass the ball to something resembling their own team-mate.

Derby County 2-2 Fulham

Roderick Coustan: "That's why you're going down" sang most of the 33,034 after Villa scored his first. Robbie Savage lobbed one up, Leacock blasted it from 25 yards out, and it cannoned off Emanuel past Kasey Keller for 1-0. Poor old Fulham, facing the fall. David Jones followed up with a terrific curler which brought admirable acrobatics from the cellar-man - yes, and Fulham are in the basement. OK, there was then a little break where our defence stood around while Kamara rose unchallenged to head in the equaliser, but 1-1 half-time pleased the faithful fans. Kamara burst through after 77 minutes, Roy of the Rams' great save fell to Hameur Bouazza, and his shot deflected off Leacock, over Carroll and into goal, 1-2. Am I bovvered? Not even for two minutes. We wandered upfield, Mile Sterjovski crossed from the right, and Villa headed home. No worries, 2-2. See you later, Fulham.

Tom Wille: For a brief moment on Saturday at Pride Park it looked as though Fulham's Premier League record 32-match winless run on the road was going to come to an end. Hameur Bouazza's deflected goal in the 78th minute gave the Cottagers a 2-1 lead and things looked to be in order for the club to grab its first road win since September 10, 2006 but before the Fulham supporters could sit down, Derby County came right back and equalised as Emanuel Villa scored his second goal of the day to give the Derby fans something to cheer about on a day when the Rams were officially relegated to the Coca-Cola Championship. Saturday's draw coupled with wins by Birmingham City and Sunderland leaves Fulham six points in back of 17th place. The odds are stacked against Fulham to avoid relegation. With six matches remaining the lights are fading out on Roy Hodgson and his Cottagers. Anything short of a miracle will see Fulham relegated by season's end.

Sunderland 2-1 West Ham United

Peter Osborne: Andy Reid chose the perfect moment to open his Sunderland account with an injury-time winner against West Ham which fired Sunderland to within touching distance of Premier League safety. The Irishman struck in the sixth minute of injury time as the Black Cats finally made the pressure tell with the game seemingly heading for a 1-1 draw.

Billy Blagg: Ahhh - the curse of the football supporter. The winning goal deep into injury time, just seconds before the whistle blows and when your own watch shows that it should have been heard nearly a minute earlier. These are one (of the many) low points in a season. After match comments suggested that Sunderland had shaded the second half and probably just deserved the three points but I'd point to the first twenty minutes when the Hammers were entirely dominant, and suggest that more than the opening goal from Ljungberg may well have killed the Black Cats off as a force.

Portsmouth 2-0 Wigan Athletic

Scott McLachlan: A very subdued atmosphere at Fratton Park and a safety first performance from the team nearly jeopardised the result. Pompey had just enough, still, to beat Wigan athletic with Defoe setting a new record of scoring in consecutive matches since a debut. Next up Wembley. I can't wait.

Liam O'Connor Wigan came out of the blocks in front of what could surely be no more than 200 away fans, and started brightly, Valencia and Taylor both hit the woodwork before Jermain Defoe put the ball through the smallest of gaps to give Portsmouth the lead. In the second half Antonio Valencia went down in the box easily and Wiley pointed to the spot, and again Taylor failed to score, leading to 20,000 voices screaming "England's Number One", you could feel it wasn't going to be our day! Then as Bruce pushed Sibierski, Agahowa and King up front and Wigan finished the game with five strikers, although they still didn't take their chances, and Defoe gave them a lesson in finishing, racing through on goal and giving Portsmouth the 2-0 win.

Birmingham City 3-1 Manchester City

Dan Hobbs: It looks like safety is now within our grasp, thanks to an impressive performance against Man City, and Arsenal and Derby's efforts in keeping our main relegation rivals down. It was classic Blues fare on Saturday, as it took ten good chances to finally get ahead of the lacklustre visitors, and then when we got two ahead there was a gift of a goal to the opposition to make the game more 'interesting' (read: 'tense'). In the end it was a well-deserved victory, and with other results coming in we left the ground feeling much more confident that we'll stay up. Now if we can just cement our position in the league with victory in Aston on April 20th...

Wallace Poulter: Fairly obviously I'm not a Premier League manager nor will I ever be. Nor am I deluded enough to think that I could manage better than those at the highest level. But there are days when I know with utter certainty that I would be hard pressed to do worse. Today was such a day. Once again Darius Vassell was in the starting line up. Once again City didn't win. Birmingham had more pride, more passion and inferior players. They still won 3-1.

Reading 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

Paula Marcus: Another week and another point closer to safety, although for much of the game the result could have gone either way with Hahnemann in fine form and our shooting somewhat wayward. We started brightly and looked good going forwards but unfortunately, as with so many games in the past few weeks, the ref seemed to take centre stage. Anyone looking at the stats will simply see nine yellow cards, but that really isn't fair in a game that was played in the right manner by two clean teams. We had to play the final twenty minutes with only ten men after Matejovsky was sent off for his second yellow of the game, but those ten men did us proud and nearly collected all three points with Hunt failing to convert a fantastic pass by Long and Doyle having a shot cleared off the line in the final minutes.

Alan Griffiths: After a goal less first half, that saw both sides cancel each other out, the second half got no better. Despite the sending off of Reading's Marek Matejovsky, Rovers failed to make the man advantage count and Mark Hughes even tried bringing on both McCarthy and Derbyshire, for a four man attack, but to no avail. As so often this season, there did not seem to be any urgency in Rovers play, however if there are to be any plus points from this game, it was the return of Ryan Nelsen from injury, to marshal what has been of late a shaky defence.


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