The voice of the fans...
Manchester United 2-1 ArsenalIve Beeckmans: Out-played in the first-half it was grit and determination that eventually got the result for United in this match, as once again Arsenal proved they still lack that missing ingredient. One nil up again, as against Liverppol and Chelsea, the Gunners capitulated once United drew level and there was only going to be one winner from then on. Victories in the next two games, including away at Stamford Bridge, will keep the title at Old Trafford due to our goal difference. But first, bring on Barca...
David Young: Arsenal's challenge for the title came to a disappointing end at Old Trafford on Sunday. Offensively, they actually played very well. But, in common with too many games recently, having made the vital breakthrough, they were unable to hold the lead and couldn't find a reply once the scoreline was cancelled out and then reversed. There can be no complaints about their approach to the game or the effort put in by the whole team. For long periods of the game United looked second best to Arsenal's fluent passing game. In the end though, they were unable to apply the killer blow and were beaten by a penalty and a freekick. It was sad to see their last opportunity of winning this season's Premier League go, but too many draws in their last half dozen matches against teams that ought to have been beaten has cost them their chance.
Liverpool 3-1 Blackburn RoversKevin Brodie: Well Liverpool had a good weekend as Everton dropped two points and we won, pretty easily in the end, against an usually tough to beat Blackburn side. Gerrard was involved in the all the major talking points of the game as his movement was just fantastic. At half-time this looked like it might be a frustrating day for Liverpool but another good substitution by Rafa changed the game. Yossi came on for the disapointing Babel and once Gerrard scored Liverpool were in control. The gap over Everton for fourth place is now five points.
Alan Griffiths: After a goalless first half, Gerrard banged in Liverpool's first goal of the afternoon, after Santa Cruz gave the ball away. With Rovers playing well below par, Liverpool increased their lead within 15 minutes when Torres headed home Gerrard's cross to make it 2-0 and on 90 minutes substitute Voronin made it 3-0 when he converted Riise's cross from close range. If there was any consolation, Santa Cruz pulled one back for Rovers before the final whistle. With no one prepared to take leadership in midfield, the strikes on goal and the fighting spirit soon disappeared along with the slim dream of European football at Ewood next season. In my opinion the players appear to be have already packed up in preparation for their summer holidays.
Reading 0-2 FulhamPaula Marcus: As has been the story for most of the season, we fail yet again to really hit form. Just as we seem to win a few matches, like at Christmas, we go on to loose a few more. A loss to a Fulham side who looked better than us in every area has seen us inch closer to the drop zone, and put pressure on all those teams near the bottom of the table. This probably replaces the Bolton game almost two months ago as our worst performance of the season with no one really performing and us not managing even a worthy shot on target. The one plus was the long awaited return of Little, who reminded us all what we have been missing. I just hope a few more players can do that next week against Arsenal.
Tom Wille: The long, painful and dubious 33-match winless streak away from home finally came to an end on Saturday at the Madejski Stadium as Fulham scored a goal in each half in a 2-0 win that keeps Fulham's Premier League dreams alive for at least one more week. Brian McBride opened the scoring and Erik Nevland added another late in the second half much to the enjoyment of the raucous Fulham supporters who made the trip. The win still leaves Fulham four points adrift of Birmingham City who sits in 17th position. With four matches remaining, one of which is against Birmingham City, anything is possible. Now that the monkey of winning on the road is off our back, perhaps this team can perform a great escape. Fulham's next match will be at home to Liverpool. It will not be easy, but in a similar situation last season they beat the Reds. Perhaps another win will be on the cards next Saturday. As always with Fulham, expect the unexpected.
Bolton Wanderers 1-0 West Ham UnitedMatthew Kilsby: Although it's probably too late to stage our charge into the European places, at least we've given ourselves a chance of staving off relegation. I still think that we need seven points, however, which means that we will need to win at Boro, draw at Spurs and beat Sunderland at home. Hopefully Boro's propensity to lose to woeful teams such as the Wanderers will see us through at the weekend.
Billy Blagg: If you're a Hammers fan this game can be lumped under 'end of season' malaise. To that end, the Hammers lost by one goal, created little and got what they deserved. Nothing. West Ham offered little but the odd flash from Ashton, more injuries and a disappointing result. Puerto Banus can't come quick enough either for the players?
Birmingham City v EvertonDan Hobbs: Comment to follow...
Tony Burns: Everton's threadbare squad again looked jaded and lacklustre as they drew 1-1 with Birmingham City and were completely out of sorts in the race for fourth, or more realistically fifth spot in the table. The limp towards the finish line continues...
Sunderland 1-2 Manchester CityPeter Osborne: Well, normal service resumes in the 'luck' department. An awful refereeing decision and a Vassell total misskick and we still need one more win. What better place to do it than away at Newcastle. I would be happy with a point as I cannot see two of the bottom three (excluding Derby who look like claiming our most unwanted record) winning three of their last four games.
Wallace Poulter: Marvelous weekend for City. Vassell doesn't start, City win - funny how those two go together - and then word on Sunday that the chairman is unhappy with Ethelred and considering a change at the end of the season. On the field, Daniel Sturridge is now the lead contender for the softest penalty award of the season. Sunderland can feel suitably aggrieved that they didn't get something out of the game but the three points do keep City in within a shout of seventh.
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 MiddlesbroughColin McCullough: Spurs remain stuck where they have been for most of 2008, half way down the table. Apparently the league position is having a psychological effect on the players, since it seems that they can now perform for only half of the game. For the third week in a row, the team could not build on a promising start and threw a lead away. Spurs were lucky to hold on for a point at the Lane, as Middlesbrough dominated the closing stages.
Daniel Gray: Like a 19 year-old man with a voice that hasn't broken, Boro have been late developers this season. Yet again we should have won against a team above us. Things are coming together nicely, and it's really clear that Gareth Southgate's patient building work is now having a positive impact. To convert McClaren's Boro into an attractive side is a bit like trying to turn a supertanker containing Lisa Riley and family, so Southgate is doing a quite brilliant job. One more win and I'll dare to dream of a top-eight finish next year.
Portsmouth 0-0 Newcastle UnitedScott McLachlan: Comment to follow...
John Crichton: Well, four straight wins was indeed to much to dream of. Most neutrals will see this as a good result. Travelling many miles to visit a strong Pompy side with a good record at home against the top four, a sturdy defence and an in form striker. But after the optimism of the pre-game build up, the three results and performances previous and the post game analysis, most Geordies will be forgiven for seeing this as two points lost, including the manager. Keegan went with the same starting line up, keeping faith with his thre pronged attack. Martins and Owen put in a good stint, Martins full of energy and Owen having a good amount of the ball in decent areas, but Martins couldn't work his magic and Owen was unlucky. The defence and midfield did well to keep Portsmouth down to two shots on target. All in all, nothing to complain about, but I myself can't help being a little critical of the only substitute to be brought on being Alan Smith late on, especially when we looked the only side likely to score. I would have liked to see a bigger effort in the last 10-15 minutes to grab a cheeky winner... or am I getting ahead of myself?
Derby County 0-6 Aston VillaRoderick Coustan: No doubt careless Carroll was at fault for the first, and now it's Carroll's calamitous clearance that is pounced on by Stiliyan Alyoshev Petrov-Stenly 35-yards out and returned with interest over rueful Roy's head and into the net for 0-3. The crowd continues to cheer, as Villa don't just beat us, since that first goal, they've been 'dissing' us, arrogant in possession, even in body-language without the ball, as we whipping-boys turn up in record numbers to watch the record-breaking Rams - least points, most goals against, longest losing/drawing/unwinning streak, craziest happiest-clappiest crowd to ever get religion and relegation. Marlon Harewood gets number six with marvellous movement, while the rutted Rams look on.
Jerrad Peters: Aston Villa's destruction of Derby was as comprehensive as it was expected. The visitors dragged the misery of their goal barrage over a full hour - Ashley Young's opener in the 25th-minute bookended by Marlon Harewood's sixth goal of the season in the 85th. In between, each of John Carew, Stiliyan Petrov, Gareth Barry, and Gabriel Agbonlahor found a way past the very shaky Roy Carroll. Petrov's 3-0 goal just after the half-hour was one of the strikes of the season. The Bulgarian chested the ball at 50-yards out before unleashing a cannon to which Carroll had no reply. It may have only been Derby, but confidence has returned to the Villa; and European football is a very real possibility once again.
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