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Andy Johnson was absent for this one again, fuelling even more speculation that a move to Fulham was even more imminent. It was a match which came "too soon for Steven Pienaar", who returned late from his Hols after playing for South Africa back in June.
Van der Meyde went off after just 13 mins, injured. Mikel Arteta suffered a pretty heavy tackle and he did not recover, leaving the filed after 25 mins with a sore lower leg.
Some goalmouth excitement followed when Kieran Agard hit the post and Baxter followed up but his shot was blocked.
In the second half, Nuno Valente managed to score an own-goal but the real highlight of the game was Jose Baxter's run in on goal, followed by a beautifully flighted left-foot shot into the top corner. A peach!
Not much happened after that but we did finally see two of the African contingent hen Pienaar and Yakubu came on for the last 10 minutes.
More good stuff from the youngsters in this game, with a better display from Dan Gosling and Kieran Agard showing some good touches, Jack Rodwell as composed and commanding as we have quickly come to expect.
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|Breckin (65' Chambers)|
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