ix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />LONDON – Arsenal, fresh from beating Real Madrid in Spain, came crashing down to earth with a 1-0 Premiership defeat away to Blackburn. Morten Gamst Pedersen, the Norwegian forward, scored the golden goal superbly created by Craig Bellamy that lifted Blackburn into fifth place above Arsenal in the push for a Champions League place. Midfielder Frank Lampard drove in his 17th goal of the season to set table-topping Chelsea on their way to a 2-0 win over struggling Portsmouth in London.
While second-placed Manchester United were picking up their only silverware of the campaign by blitzing Wigan 4-0 in the Carling Cup Final in Cardiff where Wayne Rooney scored twice, Liverpool moved level on points with United following a 1-0 home win against Manchester City. Harry Kewell scored on 40 minutes and City’s Joey Barton was red-carded 12 minutes later.
Peru winger Nolberto Solano’s two goals–the second a beauty curled in with the outside of his right foot–earned Newcastle a 2-0 home success over Everton and maintained their resurgence under caretaker managers Glenn Roeder and Alan Shearer. Newcastle are unbeaten with four wins and a draw since Graeme Souness was sacked.
At the foot of the table, Emile Heskey’s far-post header earned Birmingham a crucial 1-0 win against visitors Sunderland in a relegation six-pointer. And Middlesbrough pushed West Bromwich deeper into trouble with a 2-0 away win, Dutchman Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink’s double strike coming before West Brom had Nigel Quashie sent off.
In the Championship, substitute Leroy Lita sealed top-placed Reading‘s 2-1 home win against promotion-chasing Preston who suffered their first defeat in 23 League outings. Nottingham Forest, revitalised since manager Gary Megson quit recently, ran riot in League 1 against visitors Swindon, Nicky Southall hitting a hat-trick in a 7-1 scoreline. Carlisle stay top of Division 2 after coming from behind for a 2-1 win at Barnet, while Rushden climbed off the bottom by beating visitors Macclesfield
In the Scottish Cup, little Gretna, from Division 2, became the first club from Scotland‘s third level to reach the semi-finals in 24 years. Their 1-0 home win over St. Mirren drew an above-average crowd of 2,850. Hearts, now the Cup favourites, are through with Hibernian, while Division 1 pair Hamilton and Dundee will meet in a replay at Dundee.
Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News