23rd-25th September 2006

Results: Liverpool FC 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal 3-0 Sheffield United, Aston Villa 2-0 Charlton Athletic, Fulham 0-2 Chelsea, Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United, Middlesbrough 0-1 Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic 1-1 Watford, Reading 1-1 Manchester United, Newcastle United 1-1 Everton, Portsmouth 0-1 Bolton Wanderers

The sixth round of fixtures in the 2006-2007 Premier League season were played on the weekend of 23rd-25th September and already, reigning champions Chelsea and Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United were handily placed in second and third positions in the table. However, the surprising early leaders were Portsmouth, who had won four and drawn one of their first five fixtures.

Pompey were in action on the Monday Night Football, so Chelsea had the opportunity to hit top spot on the Saturday, which they did with a 2-0 victory in the West London Derby at Craven Cottage against Fulham. Chelsea were missing Michael Ballack through suspension and injury had sidelined skipper John Terry. Frank Lampard took over captaincy duties and led by example. The midfielder broke the deadlock from the penalty spot after 73 minutes and his low shot from 18-yards out 10 minutes from full-time finally finished off the Cottagers’ plucky resistance.

Chelsea remained top after Manchester United were unable to claim all three points on a tricky trip to Berkshire to play newly-promoted Reading in the Saturday evening kick-off. Gary Neville’s handball early in the second half gave Kevin Doyle the opportunity to put the Royals infront which he duly obliged to doing. The Red Devils equaliser in the 1-1 draw came from Cristiano Ronaldo who was outstanding throughout the contest. Ferguson admitted afterwards Reading deserved a share of the spoils.

So it was now over to Portsmouth on what was an emotional night for Milan Mandaric. The Croatian had just sold the club after running the show at Fratton Park for seven years and he was hoping to bid farewell with victory. Kevin Nolan had other ideas. His first half volley gave a well-organised Bolton side a 1-0 success and their first away league victory in nine months, leaving Everton and Aston Villa as the only unbeaten sides left in the Premier League for the season.

Everton’s record was preserved thanks to a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United which saw the game dominated by the officials. Shola Ameobi opened the scoring for the home side after 14 minutes but replays later showed the forward was clearly offside. Tim Cahill got a deserved equaliser just before half-time and referee Steve Bennett seemed happy to flourish his cards throughout. There were eight bookings and two sending offs. Newcastle’s Titus Bramble and Tony Hibbert of Everton both saw red for two bookable offences.

Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool FC maintained their 100% home record with a second half blitz at home to Tottenham Hotspur. Both Jermaine Jenas and Craig Bellamy recorded contenders for miss of the season before Mark Gonzalez opened the scoring on 63 minutes. Dirk Kuyt and a John Arne Riise special completed the scoring and a 3-0 victory for the Reds to leave Tottenham languishing in 17th position with just four points from six games played.

Only two teams had yet to win and they were two of the three newly-promoted clubs. Watford did claim a point in a 1-1 draw away at Wigan Athletic whilst Neil Warnock had nothing to celebrate in the 1000th match of his managerial career. The Sheffield United boss saw his side slip to the bottom of the table after losing 3-0 to Arsenal at The Emirates. William Gallas scored his first goal for his new club since his recent arrival from Chelsea.

What else happened in September 2006?

  • Television personality and popular Australian environmentalist Steve Irwin dies after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb whilst in the midst of filming a television documentary.
  • 14 army personnel are killed in a Royal Air Force Nimrod crash in Afghanistan. It is the biggest loss of life in a single incident for the British military since the 1982 Falklands conflict.
  • Helen Mirren wins Best Actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen at the Venice Film Festival.
  • The government of Thailand’s Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra is overthrown in a military coup by the Thai Army.
  • TV presenter Richard Hammond crashes a jet-powered car at an estimated 280mph whilst filming for Top Gear. He suffers a brain injury but makes a full recovery.
  • A mid-air collision between two planes over the Amazon rainforest kills 154 people.
  • The world’s tallest tree at 115.61m is discovered in Redwood National Park in the United States. It is named “Hyperion.”

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