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Blackburn v Stoke: New Rovers boss Sam Allardyce enjoys a dream start to his first game in charge thanks to a penalty by Benni McCarthy

Blackburn 3-0 Stoke: New Rovers boss Sam Allardyce enjoys a dream start to his tenure thanks to a penalty by Benni McCarthy

Jason Roberts takes the plaudits for Blackburn's second goal

Jason Roberts takes the plaudits for Blackburn's second goal as the gloom lifts quickly at Ewood Park

McCarthy turns two-goal hero to put the game seemingly out of Stoke's reach

McCarthy turns two-goal hero to put the game out of reach and to welcome his new boss in style

Bolton v Portsmouth: Matt Taylor ensures a superb start for Allardyce's old club at the Reebok

Bolton 2-1 Portsmouth: Matt Taylor ensures a superb start for Allardyce's old club at the Reebok - after just 48 seconds

Incredibly, Ricardo Gardner is celebrating a second for the home team within a couple of minutes of the restart

Incredibly, Ricardo Gardner is celebrating a second for the home team within a couple of minutes of the restart

Peter Crouch's header gives Portsmouth a life-line before half-time

Peter Crouch's header gives Portsmouth a life-line before half-time but they are unable to claw back the deficit

Fulham v Middlesbrough: Doubt surrounds Jimmy Bullard's future at Fulham but there is no mistaking his quality as he fires his team ahead

Fulham 3-0 Middlesbrough: Doubt surrounds Jimmy Bullard's future at Fulham but there is no mistaking his quality as he fires them ahead

Danny Murphy wheels away leaving the ball in net after converting a controversial penalty

Danny Murphy wheels away leaving the ball nestled in the net from his controversial penalty, before Clint Dempsey seals the win

Hull v Sunderland: As the early goals rattle in, Sunderland are the next to benefit courtesy of Stead Malbranque's blockbuster

Hull 1-4 Sunderland: As the early goals rattle in, Sunderland are the next to benefit courtesy of Stead Malbranque's blockbuster

But Nick Barmby soon hits back for high-flying Hull, who seem never to know when they are beaten

But Nick Barmby soon hits back for high-flying Hull, who seem never to know when they are beaten

This time though, Hull are overcome thanks to goals by Kamil Zayatte and Kenwyne Jones

This time though, Hull are overcome thanks to goals by Kamil Zayatte and Kenwyne Jones

Meanwhile, Sunderland striker Djibril Cisse causes something of a stir with his alarming grass-coloured hair

And Sunderland striker Djibril Cisse chips in with a brilliant fourth, resplendent with his grass-coloured hair

West Ham v Aston Villa: In the late game, Hammers boss Gianfranco hopes his team can prevail in the battle of the Claret and Blues

West Ham 0-1 Aston Villa: In the late game, Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola hopes to prevail in the battle of the Claret and Blues

After the goal feasts of early on, this proves to be a more battling affair as West Ham's Craig Bellamy discovers

After the goal feasts of the early games, this proves to be a more battling affair as West Ham's Craig Bellamy discovers

But there is a decisive moment and it falls to James Milner when his deflected shot loops into the West Ham net

But there is a decisive moment and it falls to James Milner when his deflected shot loops into the West Ham net





see also
Allardyce named Blackburn manager
18 Dec 08 |  Blackburn


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