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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Barclays Premiership results 07/05/05

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posted on May, 8 2005 @ 09:44 AM
A last-gasp goal by Danny Higginbotham gave Southampton a precious point in their relegation nail-biter against Crystal Palace as Norwich moved out of the bottom three for the first time since January.

The former Manchester United defender arrived at the far post to turn in Kevin Phillips' cross to secure a 2-2 draw which broke the Eagles' hearts. Nicola Ventola's first goal for the club after a season wrecked by injury had looked like being the winner, the Italian beating the offside trap before steering a volley past Antti Niemi with 18 minutes to go to send Palace fans into raptures. Palace forged ahead when Fitz Hall turned and drilled in a shot from the edge of the area in the 34th minute but straight from the kick-off Saints drew level. Tony Popovic was judged to have handled in the box and Peter Crouch held his nerve to put away a delayed penalty. Both sides were reduced to 10 men when Crouch and Eagles defender Gonzalo Sorondo were dismissed for violent conduct early in the second half.

Norwich moved into 17th with a 1-0 win over Birmingham, which came courtesy of Dean Ashton's penalty in first-half stoppage time at Carrow Road. The kick was dubiously awarded for a foul by Kenny Cunningham on Darren Huckerby and the Blues had earlier been reduced to 10 men, Damien Johnson given his marching orders for lashing out at Thomas Helveg.

And West Brom stay bottom despite a hugely creditable 1-1 draw at third-placed Manchester United. The Baggies looked relegation fodder midway through the first half when Ryan Giggs put the Red Devils courtesy of a quickly-taken free kick. Keeper Russell Hoult then limped off after injuring his groin trying to keep Giggs' effort out. But the visitors were a much livelier prospect after the break and Robert Earnshaw levelled from the penalty spot after Geoff Horsfield was shoved over. Substitute keeper Tomasz Kuczszak produced a string of fine saves and Paul Scholes hit the post late on as the Baggies held out.

Closer to the top, Everton took another giant step towards the Champions League preliminary round by seeing off Newcastle 2-0 at Goodison Park. Centre-back David Weir netted the first two minutes before the break with a powerful header. Shola Ameobi's second-half dismissal made it an uphill task for the Magpies and so it proved as seconds later Tim Cahill doubled the Toffees' lead in the 59th minute to strengthen their grip on fourth place.

Middlesbrough held pole position in the race for the guaranteed UEFA Cup spot seventh place brings after beating fellow challengers Tottenham 1-0. A George Boateng shot was deflected beyond Spurs goalkeeper Radek Cerny by centre-back Ledley King after 10 minutes at the Riverside Stadium.

Manchester City's outside chances of taking seventh stayed alive as they claimed a 2-1 win away to Aston Villa. Shaun Wright-Phillips scored a tremendous individual goal after bursting forward from the halfway line after five minutes and Kiki Musampa added a second in the 12th minute. Juan Pablo Angel pulled one back for David O'Leary's side but City held on for a win to set up a decisive match against Boro at Eastlands next Sunday.

Bolton assured themselves of a UEFA Cup place in a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth. El-Hadji Diouf - who spat in the face of Pompey captain Arjan de Zeeuw when the sides met at the Reebok Stadium - got Wanderers' goal, racing through in the 11th minute and beating Jamie Ashdown in a one-on-one. However, Pompey hit back as Aiyegbeni Yakubu bundled in an equaliser with 18 minutes left.

Fulham moved level on points with Blackburn after coming from behind to beat them 3-1 at Ewood Park. Lucas Neill's sixth-minute strike gave Rovers the early advantage but Steed Malbranque, back in the side after patching up his differences with manager Chris Coleman, levelled things up for the Cottagers. The winner came when Mark Pembridge's corner was flicked on and found Brian McBride unmarked at the far post and the American striker made no mistake from close range. Robbie Savage had a chance to equalise from the penalty spot after Luis Boa Morte wrestled Morten Gamst Pedersen to the ground, but Edwin van der Sar saved the Welshman's kick. Craig Short and Liam Rosenior were sent off in quick succession as both teams played the last 20 minutes with 10 men and Malbranque made the points safe for Fulham.

Chelsea beat Charlton 1-0 in their final home game of the season. Claude Makelele's last-minute penalty was saved by Addicks goalkeeper Stephan Andersen but the Frenchman followed up to score his first goal for the new champions in his 94th appearance.


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