TEAM                                                                 P     W    D  L  GF   GA    GD      Pts
01 Chelsea 14 10 3 1 32 4 28 33
02 Liverpool 14 10 3 1 21 8 13 33
03 Manchester United 13 7 4 2 25 10 15 25
04 Aston Villa 14 7 3 4 22 16 6 24
05 Arsenal 14 7 2 5 25 18 7 23
06 Hull 14 6 4 4 21 23 -2 22
07 Everton 14 5 4 5 19 22 -3 19
08 Portsmouth 14 5 4 5 15 20 -5 19
09 Fulham 13 5 3 5 12 11 1 18
10 Middlesbrough 14 5 3 6 15 21 -6 18
11 Manchester City 14 5 2 7 29 22 7 17
12 Bolton Wanderers 14 5 2 7 14 16 -2 17
13 West Ham United 14 5 2 7 17 22 -5 17
14 Stoke 14 5 2 7 14 24 -10 17
15 Wigan Athletic 14 4 4 6 16 18 -2 16
16 Tottenham Hotspur 14 4 3 7 17 20 -3 15
17 Sunderland 14 4 3 7 12 20 -8 15
18 Newcastle United 14 3 5 6 17 22 -5 14
19 Blackburn Rovers 14 3 4 7 14 25 -11 13
20 West Brom 14 3 2 9 10 25 -15 11

 Wigan sink poor Everton.

By Bernie Adam. 25/11/2008

It seemed that the 6 hours of drought would last an eternity, and to many a Wigan fan, it was. That was until Senegalese striker Henri Camara popped up early in the second half to put the Lactics ahead in the 51st minute. Everton were left ruing their missed opportunities as Cahill and Saha both missed good chances to equalise and win the match. Whilst Wigan walk away with all three points, one can't help but feel bad for Everton who at times seemed the more deserving team.

Like the old saying goes folks, Football is a funny old game and at times it is a cruel one too. Steve Bruce was happy enough to take the win, but he was far from satisfied with the quality shown by his men. "We have played better and lost"  Bruce had told the media at the post match conference.

David Moyes was far from jubilant too. " We had a couple of decent chances but we didn't take them, I expected more from us but it was a poor performance."

The post match comments can be heard below by clicking the media player.

Audio Source:



Scolari backs Drogba in coin row

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has defended Didier Drogba after he threw a coin into the crowd against Burnley.

The striker has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association but Scolari was keen to stress that he was not the instigator.

"Didier went on the pitch to play football," said Scolari. "He didn't go out there with coins in his pockets. It wasn't Didier who started it.

"He hadn't gone out there to fight. The police and FA must think about this."

Drogba was clearly shown on television throwing an object at Burnley fans after scoring in Wednesday night's Carling Cup defeat and was charged by the FA on Friday.

If found guilty, he could be given a three-match ban.

Drogba has until Monday evening to give his version of events, with a hearing planned for the following day.

Police, meanwhile, are still investigating the incident.

Scolari put the actions of his striker into context by pinning responsibility on those fans who first threw objects on to the pitch.

Drogba faces police and FA probes

Didier Drogba throws a coin back into the away fans' end at Stamford Bridge
Didier Drogba throws a coin back into the away fans' end at Stamford Bridge

Didier Drogba is facing police and FA investigations after throwing a coin into the crowd during Chelsea's Carling Cup fourth round defeat to Burnley.

The Chelsea striker apologised for his actions which followed his 27th-minute goal but could still be in trouble.

In a statement on Chelsea's website, Drogba said: "I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.

"The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt I just want to apologise for it."

There were no reports of any spectators being injured. However, the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday that it is looking into the incident.

The incident happened after the Ivory Coast forward put the Blues ahead in his first match since returning from injury.

Drogba, 30, made a single-finger gesture before throwing a coin back into the Burnley section of the crowd.

He said: "This is not something I should show in a football match.

"It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We will deal with this in the usual way. We are aware there is an incident. But we will not discuss it further until we have seen the referee's report."

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said: "I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened."

Burnley manager Owen Coyle said he did not see the incident but the club have said they will investigate the matter.

"Burnley Football Club is proud of the 6,100 supporters who made the trip to Stamford Bridge and offered magnificent vocal backing," the club said in a statement.


Liverpool overwhelmed by debts, Gerrard and Torres for sale?

According to the Daily Mail Liverpool would be at risk of collapse, the club, owned by Americans George Gillet and Tom Hicks, would have accumulated debts of over 425 million pound sterling.
Also the banks are not willing to grant more time to the club to sort out their debts, as they are also in difficulties due to the financial crisis.

The British tabloid then goes on to hypothesis on the possible selling of its major stars, from Steven Gerrard to Fernando Torres, to give the club’s coffers the air they need.
But for the moment it is not like this and Fernando Torres swears loyalty to the Reds. He told the Daily Star "I will not go away, not to another English club, not to Italy nor return to Spain. I do not know anything about the alleged interest of Chelsea, but I do not care. Here in Liverpool I have everything that I need to continue to grow, I could not ask for more. Rafa Benitez is the best coach I have ever had, this is a good year to win the Premier League".


Wenger proud of Arsenal rookies

Arsenal celebrate Simpson's first goal against Wigan
Jay Simpson (far left) was making his first start for Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lavished praise on his gifted youngsters after they turned on the style to beat Wigan 3-0 in the Carling Cup.

Jay Simpson scored twice and Carlos Vela added a third at the Emirates.

He said: "We stood up to the test and got a remarkable combination of desire, energy and quality.

"From the first to the last minute we looked really up for it. We had a relentless go. In the end it was a fantastic win."

The margin of victory would have been greater but for an outstanding display by Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland.

Arsenal's young second string thrashed Sheffield United 6-0 in the previous round and Wenger insists he will stick to his policy of blooding emerging talent in the quarter-final.

Wenger added: "It was a big test for such a young team. I will keep them together to see how far they can go. First we had Sheffield United and then Wigan.

"They were different challenges but now you know they can turn up and produce. It will be interesting to go into the quarter-final and to see who we get.

"These boys, they surprise everybody because there is a mixture of character, commitment and calm as well.

"Under pressure they remain extremely calm and play always very good football. What they do on the pitch is not a coincidence, it is quality.

"We are proud, not only because we have won, but because we have won in a convincing style with a lot of quality, energy and team spirit. With such a young team, it is fantastic to see.

"They love it. When you are 17 and 18 and playing in front of 60,000 people, are you inhibited or do you play better? They have chosen the second solution because they have character."

Wigan boss Steve Bruce was also glowing in his praise of Arsenal's youngsters.

He said: "They were frightening on the night. The age of them. Arsene says it is the best crop of youngsters he's had and when you think of the young players they have had in the past, that is some compliment.

"They gave us a torrid evening. We've gone out of the cup with a whimper really. They created more chances against us than any other team this season. "We've had our backsides kicked by a very good, young Arsenal team."

Wenger also believes 16-year-old Jack Wilshere can form a formidable midfield partnership with Cesc Fabregas.

He said: "Cesc and Jack could play well together. They have the same good potential. They are both players of character and they are not frightened of going into the challenge.

"Jack takes the ball no matter where, it's all natural to him.

"He's a different type of player - more of a dribbler, whereas Cesc is more of a passer."


Hughes safe in job, say Man City. 11/11/2008

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has labelled reports claiming Manchester City are set to replace manager Mark Hughes as "rubbish".

"We on the board have the highest regard for Mark," Al Mubarak told the club's official website. "I am personally committed to him."

The 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham on Sunday means Hughes' team have now lost their last three top-flight matches.

But Al Mubarak has said money will be made available for players in January.
Hughes and Al Mubarak held talks before Sunday's game to discuss the long-term plans for the club, with the manager expected to fly out to Abu Dhabi to discuss his list of targets at least once ahead of the January transfer window.

Al Mubarak added: "Thankfully I do not read the newspapers that are saying Mark is under pressure but I find it incredible.

"I am told that there are reports that we are associated with two different coaches and that we are about to sign them. It is rubbish.

"This is a winning team that is going through a learning curve right now.

"While January is going to be an interesting opportunity for Mark to improve the team, this is an exciting dynasty we are building and we are only in the first two months.

"I think people will see then that we have good foundations in place in the team, we have a good coach and that we will be upgrading in terms of players. Hopefully the results will come."

Hughes, who took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson at Eastlands in the summer, has seen his team register four wins and seven defeats in the Premier League this season, despite the signing of £32.5m Brazilian superstar Robinho.

The club's poor form has generated speculation that new owners the Abu Dhabi United Group, who are backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and bring unrivalled spending power to the top flight, may lose patience with the team's inability to find consistency on the pitch.

The group bought City from UK Sports Investments Ltd, which was led by former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.


Tottenham's Giovani faces surgery 11/11/2008

Tottenham's Mexico international striker Giovani dos Santos is to undergo an exploratory operation after injuring his right ankle in training.

The 19-year-old, who joined Spurs from Barcelona in the summer on a five-year deal, will have surgery on Tuesday.

"Hopefully the outcome will be positive so he can return sooner rather than later," said manager Harry Redknapp.

"I've not had a chance to work with him yet. Everyone says he's a real talent and his record suggests that's so."

Giovani, who has four caps for Mexico, made 28 appearances for Barcelona last season before his move to Tottenham. So far he has played nine times for Spurs, but has yet to score.
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