Portuguese midfielder Pedro Mendes scored dramatic and spectacular stoppage-time winners on a weekend of breathtaking goals in the English Premiership.
Chelsea lead the way by 15 points after squeezing to a 2-1 home win in the London derby against high-riding Tottenham, left-back Gallas smashing in an unstoppable 25-yard shot to settle the issue and ease the pain for Chelsea after their Champions League exit in Barcelona.
At the other end of the table Mendes’ explosive double strike, two right-foot volleys that left ex-England goalkeeper David James motionless, earned Portsmouth their first Premiership win of the year, 2-1 at home to Manchester City. Mendes’ second strike came 20 seconds from time. Birmingham and West Bromwich, who are just above Portsmouth in the scrap to avoid relegation, both dropped points after cancelling each other out in a tense 1-1 draw at St. Andrew’s.
Wayne Rooney’s two goals in the first 12 minutes–he later hit a post–gave second-placed Manchester United a 2-0 home win over Newcastle, while Arsenal ace Thierry Henry was also on target twice as the Gunners climbed into fifth spot by winning 2-1 against Liverpool in London. Charlton’s Darren Bent was another two-goal man in the capital as visitors Middlesbrough lost 2-1.
James Beattie followed up his penalty with an exquisite chip as Everton won 3-1 at home against Fulham, while 36-year-old Wales midfielder Gary Speed was on target with an acrobatic scissor-kick as Bolton, boosted by two goals from Greek star Stelios, routed visitors West Ham 4-1.
Senegal‘s Henri Camara condemned rock-bottom and managerless Sunderland to yet another defeat, 1-0 at home to Wigan just days after sacking Mick McCarthy, with a marvellous 25-yard volley on the turn. Brad Friedel, Blackburn‘s American goalkeeper, was the hero, despite his team winning 2-0 at home to wasteful Aston Villa.
Celtic top the Scottish Premier by 15 points after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Hibernian through a Steven McManus decider, while second-placed Hearts were held 0-0 at Inverness. Third-placed Rangers, who romped to a 4-0 home scoreline against Kilmarnock, have appointed Frenchman Paul le Guen as manager from next season on a three-year contract. Le Guen led Lyon to three successive League titles in France.
* Two internationals have quit British football to join Moscow clubs. Midfielder Alexei Smertin, a former Russia captain, has returned to his homeland to play for Dinamo Moscow and 22-year-old Scotland striker Garry O’Connor cost Lokomotiv Moscow £1.6 million from Hibernian.
Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News