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 Saturday, 21 December, 2002, 17:01 GMT
Premiership clockwatch
All the action from the Premiership

Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough

Birmingham 1-1 Charlton
Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa
Leeds 1-1 Southampton
Newcastle 2-0 Fulham
West Brom 2-2 Sunderland
West Ham 1-1 Bolton

Goalflashes and major incidents:

Full-time: Arsenal beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at Highbury to stay on top of the table.

But West Ham are still searching for their first win at Upton Park this season after being held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton. And that means the Hammers will be bottom of the table at Christmas.

Southampton and Sunderland fight back to earn draws at Leeds and West Brom, while Newcastle and Chelsea complete 2-0 victories over Fulham and Aston Villa respectively.

And ten-man Birmingham fight back for a 1-1 draw at home to Charlton.

1653: Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough
Thierry Henry releases Robert Pires to score a second for Arsenal.

1648: Leeds 1-1 Southampton
Saints are level thanks to something of a fluke strike from Fabrice Fernandes.

1647: Thierry Henry is denied by the post as Arsenal pile on the pressure on Highbury.

1635: Boro are down to ten men at Highbury, as Luke Wilkshire gets a second yellow card for a foul on Robert Pires.

1632: Leeds 1-0 Southampton
Jonathon Woodgate's header comes back off the post but Harry Kewell thunders home the rebound.

1628: Newcastle 2-0 Fulham
Craig Bellamy finds the net for Newcastle to surely secure all three points for the home side.

1627: Birmingham win a slightly fortunate penalty as Aliou Cisse goes down in the area... which Paul Devlin duly converts.

1625: Fulham are struggling at St James' Park, and they are now down to ten men after Pierre Wome sees red for a high tackle on Andy Griffin.

1624: West Brom 2-2 Sunderland
Amazingly, Sunderland are level at The Hawthorns, and it's Kevin Phillips on target again, this time with a fine solo effort.

1622: West Ham 1-1 Bolton
Second-half substitute Michael Ricketts brings Bolton level with his first goal from open play since January.

1618: Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa
A cross from Frank Lampard eludes everyone, including its intended target Eidur Gudjohnsen, but still ends up in the corner of the net.

1617: West Brom 2-1 Sunderland
Kevin Phillips pulls one back for Sunderland.

1616: Birmingham were a goal down, and now they are a man down too, as Geoff Horsfield is sent off - the fourth red card they have suffered this season.

1606: Fulham's Sean Davis is penalised for pulling back Kieron Dyer... but Alan Shearer blazes a truly awful spot-kick well over the bar.

1548: Arsenal 1-0 Middlesbrough
Arsenal go in front on the stroke of half-time, thanks to Sol Campbell who heads home Giovanni van Bronckhorst's free-kick.

1543: Chelsea 1-0 Aston Villa
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink plays in Eidur Gudjohnsen who drives the ball in off the post.

1540: Birmingham 0-1 Charlton
Claus Jensen plays a neat one-two with Scott Parker and runs through to put the visitors ahead.

1535: Brett Ormerod hits the crossbar as Southampton dominate at Elland Road.

1534: West Brom 2-0 Sunderland
A second goal for the Baggies, and Jason Koumas is involved again, this time curling home a free-kick from the edge of the box.

1528: West Brom 1-0 Sunderland
West Brom go ahead thanks to Daniele Dichio, who heads home a Jason Koumas corner against his former club.

1525: Boro bring on Joseph-Desire Job for the injured George Boateng at Highbury.

1518: West Ham 1-0 Bolton
Stand-in striker Ian Pearce rifles home a low shot to put West Ham ahead.

1508: Newcastle 1-0 Fulham
Fulham keeper Edwin van der Sar makes a complete mess of an early clearance, and Nolberto Solano capitalises from 20 yards out.

1500 GMT: Saturday's matches kick off.

Team news:

Ray Parlour injures his calf in the warm-up so Giovanni van Bronckhorst comes in for Arsenal, as does Sylvain Wiltord because Dennis Bergkamp has a jarred knee. Ugo Ehiogu, Gareth Southgate and George Boateng pass fitness tests for Boro, but Massimo Maccarone is dropped.

Birmingham bring in Steve Vickers for Darren Purse, while Claus Jensen and Paul Konchesky start for Charlton.

Eidur Gudjohnsen and Boudewijn Zenden start in place of Gianfranco Zola and Enrique de Lucas for Chelsea, while Aston Villa bring in Steve Staunton for Ulises de la Cruz.

Alan Smith returns from suspension for Leeds to replace Eirik Bakke - Mark Viduka is on the bench. Southampton recall Antti Niemi in goal for Paul Jones.

Kanoute still out

Newcastle make just one change, with Nolberto Solano in for Jermaine Jenas at home to Fulham, who welcome back striker Steve Marlet.

Fit-again Jody Craddock is back in the Sunderland defence at West Brom, who have former Black Cats striker Daniele Dichio up front alongside Jason Roberts.

Frederic Kanoute is still absent for West Ham, so Jermain Defoe and Ian Pearce continue up front - Don Hutchison does make it back to the bench. Michael Ricketts meanwhile is only a substitute for Bolton, but Kevin Nolan is back from suspension.



Who will win Sunday's Merseyside derby?




23983 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Our alternative look at the sporting year
A funny old year...

See also:

Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

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