anish ‘keeper Jose Reina was sent off.
Togo frontman Emmanuel Adebayor, a -7.5 million signing from Monaco, scored on his Arsenal debut and French ace Thierry Henry followed up with his 200th goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Birmingham who picked up their seventh red card of the season when Emile Heskey was dismissed late on.
The result ended a miserable spell for Arsenal, capped by Sol Campbell’s bizarre walk-out three days earlier after being substituted at half-time in a 3-2 home defeat by West Ham. The England defender, out of form and suffering from alleged personal problems, left Highbury immediately and was not seen for four days.
Alan Shearer became Newcastle’s all-time record goalscorer when he notched his 201st in a crucial 2-0 win against visitors Portsmouth. The scoreline, straight after Newcastle sacked manager Graeme Souness, eased their relegation worries and plunged Portsmouth deeper into trouble.
Steve McClaren is another manager under pressure after Middlesbrough were humiliated 4-0 at home by Aston Villa whose teenage reserve striker Luke Moore bagged a hat-trick. “You can’t win football matches if you can’t defend,” said a disconsolate McClaren.
Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice on the eve of his 21st birthday to help Manchester United strengthen their grip on second place with a 4-2 home win over Fulham whose manager Chris Coleman was banished to the stand after angrily complaining that Louis Saha’s goal, which put United 3-1 up, was offside. Coleman studied a television monitor beforehand and it confirmed that the goal should have been disallowed. “You need officials to be strong at a place like Old Trafford,” he said, “and on this occasion the linesman wasn’t.”
Two-goal Jermain Defoe inspired Tottenham to a 3-1 home win over Charlton and Dean Ashton, bought from Norwich for -7.25 million before the transfer window closed recently, scored on his home debut in West Ham’s 2-0 success against a Sunderland side with just nine points from 24 matches.
* In the Championship, Reading march on at the top after a 4-3 win at Crewe that stretches their unbeaten League run to an astonishing 31 matches. Preston, lying sixth, are now unbeaten in 22 League and Cup outings, despite missing a last-minute penalty in a goalless draw at Stoke. And Dennis Wise, 39-year-old former England midfielder, poached both goals in Coventry’s 2-0 home win against Brighton.
* The “Old Firm” of Celtic and Rangers will miss the Scottish Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 19 years. With Celtic already knocked out, Rangers followed after crashing 3-0 at home to Hibernian.
* Rangers host the biggest match in Britain this weekend when they meet fierce rivals Celtic in an all-Glasgow clash. Celtic are clear leaders in the Scottish Premier, with Rangers way back in third place.Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News