United & Rooney sparkle at Blackburn; Late Fabregas leveller rescues Arsenal at Sunderland; Bednar bags the points for the Baggies; Boro steal the win at Wigan; Barca destroy Atletico in an explosive 1st half

Blackburn 0 – Manchester United 2 (Premier League, October 4, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) United started brightly, Fletcher dragging a shot wide after 20 minutes. Jason Brown (who is a dead-ringer for a young John Barnes) made a fantastic save to tip over Giggs’ shot, but from the immediate corner Brown looked like he was impeded by Vidic and Wes Brown turned home a back post header to give United the lead. (First half highlights here.) After the break United scored a goal straight out of the top draw, Brown fed Ronaldo down the right, the Portuguese skinned Olsson, and his cutback was perfectly slotted home by Wayne Rooney (who had checked his run). United then chased a third playing Rovers off the park, but a combination of good goalkeeping from Brown and bad luck (Tevez hit the post late on) kept the score at just 2-0.

Sunderland 1 – Arsenal 1 (Premier League, October 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) The first real chance of the game at the Stadium of Light fell to Djibril Cisse following a poor back pass from Walcott, but Almunia saved well. Before the break, Theo Walcott saw a fine effort saved by Gordon. Arsenal started the second half brightly, ten minutes after the break, van Persie thought he had scored, but the linesman ruled that the ball had crossed the line before Walcott crossed the ball – a decision likely to increase calls for video evidence. Late on, moments after coming on as a sub, Grant Leadbitter put Sunderland ahead with a cracking 25-yard effort which crashed in off the bar and looked to have given Sunderland the win. But, deep into injury-time Cesc Fabregas popped up with an equaliser from a van Persie corner.

West Brom 1 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, October 4, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) After a goalless first half (highlights here) Roman Bednar prodded home his third goal of the campaign on the hour-mark to condemn Fulham to their third successive away defeat in the league.

Wigan 0 – Middlesbrough 1 (Premier League, October 4, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Jeremie Aliadiere pounced in the 89th minute to steal the points for Boro after Wigan had largely dominated with Amr Zaki seeing a powerful effort tipped around the post by Ross Turnbull, who also saved well from Wilson Palacios, Jason Koumas and Emile Heskey.

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Celtic 4 – Hamilton 0 (SPL, October 4, 2008) Celtic replaced Rangers at the top of the SPL, thrashing newly-promoted Hamilton. Shunsuke Nakamura put the Hoops ahead before substitute Georgios Samaras doubled their lead. Scott McDonald made it 3-0 in the second-half before Aiden McGeady sealed the emphatic win with Artur Boruc saving a penalty in between.

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Inter Milan 2 – Bologna 1 (Serie A, October 4, 2008) Inter Milan took the lead thanks to a wonder strike from Zlatan, Adriano broke down the left hand side, crossed into Ibrahimovic at the near post and the Swede acrobatically squeezed the ball into the near post. Inter appeared to put the game to bed early in the second half when Adriano swept home a penalty to double the lead, but a shocking defensive error from veteran Zanetti gifted Moras with the opportunity to pull a goal back, which he gladly accepted.

Lazio 1 – Lecce 1 (Serie A, October 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Pace-setters Lazio fell behind to lowly Lecce when Tiribocchi got between two defenders to head home for the visitors after 26 minutes. But Lazio salvaged a point thanks to an 89th minute goal from Simone Inzaghi.

Cittadella 0 – Vicenza 1 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Ancona 5 – Rimini 0 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Sassuolo 2 – Treviso 0 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Pisa 3 – Triestina 1 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Avellino  0 – Ascoli 2 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Grosseto 2 – Albinoleffe 2 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Parma 0 – Modena 0 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Brescia 2 – Frosinone 1 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

Piacenza 0 – Salernitana 1 (Serie B, October 4, 2008)

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Barcelona 6 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, October 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Barca came flying out the traps against Atletico, scoring an incredible three goals in the first eight minutes. Marquez headed home Xavi’s corner after four minutes, Eto’o added a second from the spot after Messi was fouled in the box, and Messi took a brilliant quick free-kick to complete the astonishing opening with the third. But Atletico hit back immediately, Maxi Rodriguez flashed a stunning 20 yard shot past Valdes to make it 3-1 after just 13 minutes. And it didn’t stop there, Eto’o ran clean through after 17 minutes and slotted home the fourth for Barca. And the madness continued, Iniesta’s shot hit the post and Gudjohnsen was on hand to register the fifth. The second half was a far tighter affair, but Henry came off the bench to fire home a beautiful sixth after slick build-up play.

Villarreal 2 – Real Betis 1 (La Liga, October 4, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Villarreal fell behind at home to Real Betis when Damia connected with a left wing cross to steer the ball past Diego Lopez. Villarreal equalised just before in the 69th minute, Gonzalo looped a header into the far post from a free-kick. And just 60 seconds later Llorente turned the game on it’s head, sweeping home the second after Betis failed to clear a series of crosses.

Eibar 1 – Albacete 1 (Segunda Division, October 4, 2008)

Tenerife 3 – Alicante 1 (Segunda Division, October 4, 2008)

Sevilla Atletico 1 – Real Sociedad 0 (Segunda Division, October 4, 2008) Teemu Pukki scored a superb individual goal, finishing with a cracking 25-yarder into the top corner, to down Sociedad.

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Stuttgart 4 – Werder Bremen 1 (Bundesliga, October 4, 2008) Werder Bremen’s excellent recent form counted for nothing in the first-half at Stuttgart as goals from Sami Khedira and Christian Trasch (stunning long-range volley) put the home side two-up at the break. Roberto Hilbert grabbed the third midway through the second-half after a fine throw from Lehmann had started the move. Minutes later Ribas da Cunha pulled one back from a sweetly stuck free-kick. Lanig added the fourth late on.

Hoffenheim 2 – Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Bundesliga, October 4, 2008) Hoffenheim dream start to the Bundesliga continues with Ralf Rangnick’s side now sitting on top of the league after seven games. Demba Ba fired home the opener from close range, Frankfurt levelled when Spycher crossed and an unmarked Steinhofer headed in from inside the box, and five minutes Ba grabbed his second and the winner.

Bayern Munich 3 – Bochum 3 (Bundesliga, October 4, 2008) Bayern took the lead through Van Buyten after 15 minutes before Sinan Kaloglu equalised at the near post after a swift break down the left. Ze Roberto restored Bayern’s lead when he took a loose ball on his chest before shooting across goal and into the net just before halftime. The Brazilian got his second with another calm finish midway through the second half but Bayern then conspired to throw the game away. Bochum pulled a goal back when Christoph Dabrowski strolled through the middle to tap in a cross from the right and repeated the mistake when Dennis Grote was left alone to head in the equaliser at the far post.

Moenchengladbach 1 – Cologne 2 (Bundesliga, October 4, 2008) Cologne won the Rhein Derby, Ehret and Novakovic scored for the visitors after Daems had equalised for the hosts.

Bayer Leverkusen 0 – Hertha Berlin 1 (Bundesliga, October 4, 2008) Andriy Voronin struck in the 89th minute to hand Hertha a last-gasp victory and deny Bayer top spot in the Bundesliga.

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Toulouse 1 – Auxerre 0 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Andre-Pierre Gignac maintained second-placed Toulouse’s superb start to the season scoring a solo goal in the 55th minute to recorded their fourth straight win.

Marseille 2 – Caen 1 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Hatem Ben Arfa opened the scoring for the home side, but Caen pulled level via Steve Savidan’s effort. Mamadou Niang was, however, on hand to restore Marseille’s advantage before they had to see out the final 20 minutes of the match with 10 men after Zarim Ziani was dismissed.

Lorient 1 – Bordeaux 2 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Bordeaux came from behind to win as Menegazzo struck a quick-fire brace after Michael Ciani had given the home side the lead.

Grenoble 0 – Nantes 1 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Grenoble slumped to a disappointing home defeat when Bekamenga collected a cross at the back post and fired low and hard into the far corner.

Nice 1 – Sochaux 1 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Olivier Echouafni opened the scoring for the home side before sub-Birsa struck to ensure a share of the spoils.

Le Havre 1 – Le Mans 2 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008)

Lille 1 – Valenciennes 0 (Ligue 1, October 4, 2008) Abardonado unfortunately looped a header over his own goalkeeper to wrap up the points for Lille.

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PSV 3 – De Graafschap 0 (Eredivisie, October 4, 2008) Danko Lazovic scored with a diving header in the 15th minute and then added another just after halftime. Ibrahim Afellay scored PSV’s third goal with a powerful shot in the 79th after a through ball from Danny Koevermans. PSV are top in Holland.

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Associacao Naval 1 – Belenenses 1 (Superliga, October 4, 2008) Baradji gave Naval the lead in the 72nd minute, but Porta found a 90th minute equaliser, firing home after the keeper had made a fine save.

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Aris 1 – Iraklis 0 (Greek Super League, October 4, 2008) Aris won the game in the 94th minute as Lebo stabbed home the winner after the keeper spilled a cross.

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Tomsk 0 – Lokomotiv Moscow 1 (Russian Premier Liga, October 4, 2008) Sychev’s overhead volley was the difference between the two sides.

Dynamo Moscow 2 – Saturn 1 (Russian Premier Liga, October 4, 2008) Karyaka put Saturn ahead from the penalty spot, but a late second half rally for Dynamo reversed the score. Kokorin equalised before Kerzhakov’s wonderful, low arrowed shot completed the turnaround.

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Konyaspor 2 – Trabzonspor 3 (Super Lig, October 4, 2008)

Antalyaspor 1 – Gaziantepspor 4 (Super Lig, October 4, 2008)

Ankaraspor 2 – Sivasspor 0 (Super Lig, October 4, 2008)

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Maccabi Haifa 3 – Maccabi Petah Tikva 1 (Ligat ha’Al, October 4, 2008) Haifa took a deserved lead after 26 minutes when a Boccoli free-kick was headed into his own net by Ganon under pressure from Harazi.  Petah Tikva struck back four minutes into the second half, Lior Asulin latched onto sub-Stevanovic’s through-ball and finished with aplomb. But Haifa then killed the game with two second-half goals by Fanteni to go top of the table.

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Racing Genk 2 – KV Mechelen 1 (Jupiler League, October 4, 2008) Tozser scored a beauty for Genk to get them off to a flying start after two minutes. Caillet made it two after 12 minutes, and although Ivenspulled a goal back Mechelen failed to find an equaliser.

Anderlecht 2 – Mouscron 1 (Jupiler League, October 3, 2008) The Brussels outfit went ahead through Boussoufa after 29 minutes and Chatelle converted a penalty kick to make it 2-0 seven minutes after the break. Baseggio got one back for Excelsior in the 70th minute, but Anderlecht professionally held on to their narrow lead.

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Steaua Bucharest 1 – CS Otopeni 1 (Liga I, October 4, 2008) Otopeni looked to have stolen the points when Negru struck in the 87th minute after a fine one-two sent him clear, but Steaua got an injury time winner through Kapetanos.

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Arsenal reserves 1 – Aston Villa reserves 4 (Barclays Premier Reserve League, September 30, 2008) Marc Albrighton and Zoltan Stieber (the second was a beauty) got two goals apiece as Kevin MacDonald’s youthful side swept to a comprehensive victory against a side supposedly bristling with teenage talent. Randall’s 20-yard strike was only a consolation for the Gunners.

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Columbus Crew 1 – Los Angeles Galaxy 0 (MLS, October 4, 2008) Alejandro Moreno scored in the 43rd minute against his old club to hammer a nail into the Galaxy’s playoff hopes.

Colorado Rapids 1 – Houston Dynamo 3 (MLS, October 4, 2008) The Dynamo scored three goals in the first 19 minutes as Ching got them started netting a goal two minutes in. Conor Casey tied the game for Colorado, before Ching scored again in the 9th minute to make it 2-1. Ricardo Clark added a goal in the 19th minute to cap the scoring as the Dynamo clinched a playoff spot.

New England Revolution 2 – Real Salt Lake 2 (MLS, October 4, 2008)

New York Red Bulls 1 – Toronto FC 3 (MLS, October 4, 2008) Chad Barrett scored two goals to lift Toronto FC over the Red Bulls. Abdus Ibrahim also scored for Toronto , while Dane Richards had the lone goal for New York, who fell to their fourth loss in five matches.

DC United 0 – Chivas USA 3 (MLS, October 4, 2008)

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Melbourne Victory 4 – Perth Glory 0 (A-League, October 4, 2008) The Glory fell to yet another defeat, it’s now just one win in seven, as the Victory continued their charge for the title. Two goals to Danny Allsopp and one each to Grant Brebner and Rodrigo Vargas completed the rout for Melbourne against some appalling Perth defending.

Sydney FC 1 – Queensland Roar 1 (A-League, October 4, 2008)

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Lanus 4 – Argentinos Juniors 2 (Argentinean Apertura, October 4, 2008)

Newell’s Old Boys 2 – Tigre 0 (Argentinean Apertura, October 4, 2008)

Velez Sarsfield 0 – San Lorenzo 1 (Argentinean Apertura, October 4, 2008)

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Ipatinga FC 1 – Sao Paulo 3 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 4, 2008)

Gremio 2 – Botafogo 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 4, 2008)

Palmeiras 3 – Atletico Mineiro 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 4, 2008)

Nautico 0 – Flamengo 2 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 4, 2008)