Wayne Rooney completed an awesome week with a goal for Everton - and there were
Wayne Rooney completed an awesome week with a goal for Everton - and there were also scoring celebrations for Carlton Cole, Jermaine Defoe and Michael Chopra, who hope to join Rooney and be part of England's striking future.
Wayne Rooney ensured another huge slice of headlines by ending a remarkable week with a goal for Everton in Sunday's 2-1 victory against Newcastle. But he wasn't the only young English striker to shine, with Michael Chopra, Alan Smith and Carlton Cole all producing the Wow factor.
Rooney first however. Following the attention of his first England start against Turkey, he ensured it wasn't an anti-climax at Goodison Park on Sunday, scoring the opening goal against Newcastle with his first headed goal in the Premiership.
Central defender Jonathan Woodgate showed there is more to his game than stopping strikers by setting up Laurent Robert's equaliser with a sweeping pass to the left angle of the penalty area before a David Unsworth penalty settled the match.
Not that David Moyes is letting Rooney think he is the finished article. "He still comes into training in the afternoons like all the young lads at Everton to help them develop," he said.
At 19, Chelsea's Cole showed a touch of genuine class by swivelling 180 degrees before firing a spectacular winning goal at Sunderland on Saturday.
Cole was part of David Platt's last England Under-21 squad and Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri predicts a bright future for the teenager, saying playing alongside superstars like Zola and Hasselbaink will help him develop.
"He needs to smell champions around him," said Ranieri. "He is a young player with a big future. He is a boy with wonderful skill and it is important he is allowed to grow up slowly."
If Cole's appearances have been fleeting for Chelsea, England Under-20 forward Michael Chopra has found it impossible at Newcastle with Shearer, Bellamy, Ameobi, Cort and Lua Lua for competition.
However, he showed what he is capable of by scoring four times for Watford, where he is on loan. Chopra's goals helped The Hornets win 7-4 and he looks certain to play in next Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Tyneside manager Sir Bobby Robson believes Chopra could be the new Alan Shearer and Sky pundit Chris Kamara had a chuckle when he saw the youngster's match-winning display.
"I've been on the phone telling managers they should take him on loan. I bet they wish they had listened to me!"
Leeds United's Alan Smith didn't score on Saturday but he was at his very best as a second striker, creating five of his side's six goals at Charlton.
New boss Peter Reid was generous in praise for Smith who was suspended for England's last Euro 2004 qualifiers but who was watched by Sven at The Valley.
"Alan likes to play up there. It is difficult for a defender to face him when he is in that position."
It didn't go well for all England strikers however. Michael Owen missed Liverpool's 4-0 defeat at Manchester United with injury - David Beckham created United's third for Ryan Giggs - while Robbie Fowler was hauled off 20 minutes from the end of Manchester City's disappointing 2-0 loss at Bolton.
Manager Kevin Keegan said about Fowler: "It didn't happen for Robbie but he has had a shoulder injury that has restricted his training. As a former striker, I also know you need help from other players in that position and our service towards Robbie and Nicolas Anelka was putrid. I think they could develop into a really good partnership though."
Andy Cole, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Dion Dublin are the only Englishmen who have won the Premiership's Golden Boot but a fifth member is poised to join the exclusive club.
James Beattie netted his 21st of the season with a sizzling shot for Southampton at St Mary's against West Ham. It looked likely to give Saints all three points until England Under-21 striker Defoe provided a poacher's finish to equalise.
A good draw still leaves The Hammers four points from safety with a crucial home game with Aston Villa next. "We can't worry about what our rivals do," he said.
"We have to concentrate on our own results and hope it's good enough."
At the top of the table, Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa and only lead the Premiership on goal difference. But one piece of good news for The Gunners was the reappearance of Ashley Cole as substitute after injury.
Compiled by Joe Bernstein
Premiership results April 5/6
Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 1
Bolton 2 Manchester City 0
Charlton 1 Leeds United 6
Everton 2 Newcastle 1
Manchester United 4 Liverpool 0
Middlesbrough 3 West Brom 0
Southampton 1 West Ham 1
Sunderland 1 Chelsea 2
Tottenham 2 Birmingham 1
Playing Monday: Fulham v Blackburn