Chelsea edge City in the clash of the cash; Spurs dent Villa’s top four charge with a useful away win

Aston Villa 1 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, March 15, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Jermaine Jenas headed Spurs into the lead at Villa Park after only five minutes, after Brad Friedel had pushed a Lennon cross into his path. Five minutes into the second half another run by Lennon led to Keane’s shot being stabbed home by Darren Bent. John Carew gave Villa hope with a strong header with five minutes remaining.

Chelsea 1 – Manchester City 0 (Premier League, March 15, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Frank Lampard had the ball in the City net inside two minutes but the linesman ruled the effort out for offside. Chelsea moved ahead from a brilliant free-kick that exploited City’s non-existent marking, Lampard spotted Michael Essien totally unmarked on the edge of the box and, fizzing a pass into his feet, the Ghanaian hooked a first-time shot past Given. Chelsea were in total control but without the cushion of a second, Didier Drogba was squeezed out of a one-on-one chance at the start of the second half. And Julio Belletti came even closer as his daisycutter bounced out off the inside of the post.

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Leeds 1 – Swindon 0 (League One, March 14, 2009) Jermaine Beckford had a day of mixed fortune for Leeds, grabbing the decisive winner with a late header before receiving his marching orders for a petulant outburst against an offside decision.

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Celtic 2 – Rangers 0 (Co-operative Insurance Cup final, March 15, 2009) After 90 minutes of stalemate, Darren O’Dea popped up with an unlikely opener in the first few seconds of extra time. Gordon Strachan’s side confirmed the win in the dying seconds of the match, Aiden McGeady scored from the spot after he had been fouled for the penalty.

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Almeria 0 – Barcelona 2 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Barca had to wait until the second half to score against Almeria, Iniesta and Messi played a glorious one-two into the box, Messi’s shot cannoned off the post and Bojan Krkic coverted the rebound. Bojan then claimed a quick second after more sublime football involving Dani Alves and Messi.

Atletico Madrid 3 – Villarreal 2 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Diego Forlan missed a third minute penalty for Atletico, and they were made to pay when Matias Fernandez swept home the opener for Villarreal. A quickly taken free-kick at the start of the second half allowed Cani to add the visitors’ second, while Kun Aguero managed to pull a goal back for the hosts to set up tense finish. Things then turned in Atletico’s favour when Javi Venta got his marching orders, and with an extra man a stunning comeback materialised with Diego Forlan and Antonio Lopez ending a thrilling match.

Espanyol 3 – Mallorca 3 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Juan Arango broke the deadlock from a direct free-kick to give Mallorca the lead heading into the second half. Jose Callejon equalised after the break after a one-two with Raul Tamudo, only for Cleber Santana to restore Mallorca’s lead minutes later. Espanyol were in trouble as Moises Hurtado was sent off for a second bookable offensive, and Jose Manuel Jurado then made it 1-3 with a lovely swooping finish after a solo run into the box. But Espanyol rallied, Ivan de la Pena scored a great individual effort straight from the restart, and then Nene popped up ten minutes from time to claim a dramatic equaliser.

Malaga 2 – Sevilla 2 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Malaga looked to be heading for three points after a brace from Ballesta Salva handed them a 2-goal lead at the break. Freddy Kanoute pulled one back for the visitors before Javier Calleja’s dismissal proved costly as Luis Fabiano netted an 84th minute equaliser.

Valladolid 1 – Getafe 0 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) A late strike from Fabian Canobbio condemned Getafe to their third consecutive defeat and seventh game without a win.

Sporting Gijon 3 – Deportivo La Coruna 2 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Sanchez Luis Moran broke the deadlock on 50 minutes before a penalty from David Barral Torres made it 2-nil. Depor were then awarded a spot-kick which Sergio Gonzales duly converted but Ferrera Jose Angel’s effort restored Gijon’s two-goal lead, as a Rikki penalty was too little, too late for the away side.

Real Betis 0 – Osasuna 0 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) Real Betis and Osasuna remain in trouble at the wrong end of the table after a dull goaless draw at the Ruiz de Lopera.

Racing Satander 5 – Numancia 0 (La Liga, March 15, 2009) All five goals came in a thrilling first 45 minutes, with Oscar Serrano and Nikola Zigic grabbing two apiece and Peter Luccin netting the other. Numancia have now lost 13 of their 14 away games and remain five points off safety.

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Inter Milan 2 – Fiorentina 0 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired Inter ahead with a fortuitous header from a free-kick. Zlatan sowed up the points with an wonderful 95th minute free-kick that rocketed into the net off the underside of the bar from 32-yards. Why is it that the Swede just can’t pull it off in a big game?

Siena 1 – AC Milan 5 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) After just three minutes at Siena, AC Milan were ahead thanks to Andrea Pirlo’s penalty. In injury time at the end of the half the Rossoneri bagged a killer second, Super Pippo once again getting amongst the goals for Milan. After the break Alexandre Pato claimed the third with an incredible strike from 25-yards out, Massimo Maccarone pulled a goal back for Siena, before Pippo Inzaghi claimed his 300th goal in Serie A to send Milan 4-1 up. A fabulous result for Milan was sealed through Pato’s second.

Lazio 0 – Chievo 3 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Relegation threatened Chievo belied their lowly position with a superb first half at Lazio, Erjon Bogdani’s well directed header gave the Flying Donkeys the lead which they increased thanks to Sergio Pellisier excellent solo second. Sergio Pellisier added a third for Chievo after the break as the side from Verona recorded their result of the season.

Palermo 5 – Lecce 2 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Edison Cavani’s penalty gave Palermo an 11th minute lead but a Simone Tiribocchi brace either side of Fabio Simplicio’s strike saw the Serie A strugglers hold their own. Fabrizio Miccoli put the hosts in front for the third time four minutes from half-time before Simon Kjaer and Cavani clinched the result after the break.

Sampdoria 2 – Roma 2 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Julio Baptista put Roma in front in the seventh minute, but Giampaolo Pazzini continued his excellent recent form to turn the game around with goals in the 25th and 43rd minutes. Roma lost Marco Motta to a second yellow card after 62 minutes, but levelled with a penalty from Baptista in the 70th minute to take a point back to the capital with them.

Reggina 1 – Napoli 1 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Bernardo Corradi opened the scoring in the 26th minute but Reggina were denied the three points when Ezequiel Lavezzi found a leveller in the second half.

Atalanta 2 – Torino 0 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Sergio Floccari was Atalanta’s hero with a second half brace.

Udinese 1 – Catania 1 (Serie A, March 15, 2009) Fabio Quagliarella scored just four minutes after coming off the bench midway through the second half to cancel out Giuseppe Mascara’s long-range stunner which opened the scoring.

All the goals from the first halves in Serie A can be seen here.

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Werder Bremen 4 – Stuttgart 0 (Bundesliga, March 15, 2009) Werder Bremen crushed Stuttgart, Diego (brilliant free-kick) and Claudio Pizarro putting the hosts’ 2-up before Markus Rosenberg grabbed a brace (first and second) to end Stuttgart’s nine match unbeaten league run since coach Markus Babbel took over.

Hamburg 2 – Energie Cottbus 0 (Bundesliga, March 15, 2009) Ivica Olic headed Hamburg into a 32nd minute lead while a free-kick from Piotr Trochowski seven minutes later secured the points for the home side.

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Lyon 0 – Auxerre 2 (Ligue 1, March 15, 2009) Ireneusz Jelen gave Auxerre the lead from close range in the first half after collecting a defence-splitting pass from Thomas Kahlenberg. The Dane then sealed the game when he lobbed over Hugo Lloris in stoppage time as the wheels have officially fallen off Lyon’s title procession.

PSG 1 – Marseille 3 (Ligue 1, March 15, 2009) Boudewijn Zenden fired Marseille in front at PSG with a neat left-footed drive into the corner after collected Brandao’s backheel. The Parisians hit back just before the interval when Ludovic Giuly was sent clear through the middle and coolly beat the keeper. The turning point arrived in the 53rd minute, PSG had Camara sent off and from the following free-kick Bakari Kone was on hand to score from Zenden’s bullet. Cana’s third on the hour mark put the game to bed.

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Utrecht 0 – AZ Alkmaar 1 (Eredivisie, March 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Maarten Martens made the breakthrough in the 12th minute with a goal that was either brilliant or lucky as his cross-shot from the left channel sailed into the net as Louis van Gaal’s men made it 25 games without defeat.

Feyenoord 1 – PSV 0 (Eredivisie, March 15, 2009) A second half header from Leroy Fer gave Feyenoord the victory over PSV.

Ajax 3 – De Graafschap 0 (Eredivisie, March 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) De Graafschap held out for 23 minutes at Ajax until Luis Suarez crashed home a superb free-kick. Ajax doubled their lead before the break, Dario Cvitanich collected the ball at the near post, skipped round the keeper and fired high into the net. Rumoured Barcelona target Luis Suarez wrapped up the match with a third from the spot.

ADO Den Haag 3 – NEC 0 (Eredivisie, March 15, 2009) Timothy Derijck scored in a first half which the home side dominated but it was not until an hour had gone that a second goal came from Richard Knopper. Christian Kum then made the game safe with a late third, easing Den Haag’s relegation fears.

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Spartak Moscow 1 – Zenit St. Petersburg 1 (Russian Premier League, March 15, 2009) In the first major clash of the Russian season, Spartak moved ahead of Zenit inside sixty seconds when Ivan Saenko was on hand to sweep home a rebound. The setback was only temporary for Zenit who soon levelled through Pavel Pogrebnyak’s thunderous free-kick.

Saturn 0 – CSKA Moscow 3 (Russian Premier League, March 15, 2009) A fine second half performance gave CSKA an opening day win, strikes from Dzagoev and an Ignashevich brace doing the damage.

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Trabzonspor 2 – Galatasaray 2 (Super Lig, March 15, 2009) Turkey’s top of the table clash all-square and a ding-dong battle. Alanzinho’s stunning opener for Trabzonspor was cancelled out by Milan Baros’ cool finish. Arda Turan then fired Gala in front after the break but the hosts claimed a point through a fine equaliser from Colman.

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Porto 2 – Naval 0 (Superliga, March 15, 2009) Porto restored their four point lead at the top, Mariano Gonzalez and Lucho Gonzalez were on target as Porto increased their cushion over second-placed Sporting Lisbon.

Braga 1 – Academica 1 (Superliga, March 15, 2009) Braga’s downturn continued against Academica as the hosts had to come back from Carlos Saleiro’s opener to draw through Paulo Cesar’s 64th minute leveller.

Trofense 0 – Vitoria Setubal 1 (Superliga, March 15, 2009) The only goal arrived when a Andre Marques corner evaded everyone as it went straight into the net.

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Olympiakos 5 – Iraklis 0 (Greek Super League, March 15, 2009) Matt Derbyshire came off the bench in the 81st minute and still had enough time to claim a late brace in the rout.

Thrasivoulos 0 – Panathinaikos 1 (Greek Super League, March 15, 2009) A Dimitrios Salpingidis penalty was the difference between the sides.

Levadiakos 1 – Panionios 1 (Greek Super League, March 15, 2009)

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Gornik Zabrze 1 – Lech Poznan 1 (Ekstraklasa, March 15, 2009) Adam Marciniak scored one of the goals of the weekend to give Gornik the lead, crashing home a stunning 35-yard drive on the angle. But it was not enough for the points which was denied by Strak’s last-gasp own goal.

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Altach 1 – Red Bull Salzburg 2 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 15, 2009) Nelisse’s doubled earned Salzburg the points.

Rapid Vienna 6 – Kapfenberg 0 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 14, 2009) Hoffer got a brace as Rapid shared around the goals.

Austria Karnten 1 – Austria Vienna 1 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 14, 2009)

Sturm Graz 1 – Ried 1 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 13, 2009)

LASK Linz 0 – Mattersburg 0 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 14, 2009)

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Metalist Kharkiv 0 – Shakhtar Donetsk 3 (Vyscha Liga, March 15, 2009) Fernandinho’s penalty and Adriano gave Shakhtar a 2-goal lead at the break, Chigrynskiy added a third at the death.

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Dinamo Zagreb 3 – Sibenik 0 (1. HNL, March 15, 2009)

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AEK Larnaca 1 – Anorthosis 3 (Cypriot First Division, March 14, 2009)

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Velez Sarsfield 1 – River Plate 1 (Clausura, March 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Velez took the lead six minutes after the hour mark through defender Cristian Villagra, but Uruguayan striker Hernan Rodrigo Lopez pulled River level just four minutes later. Jonathan Cristaldo was sent-off with 15 minutes remaining for Velez but they held on to move within three points of leaders Lanus.

Boca Juniors 3 – Argentinos Juniors 0 (Clausura, March 15, 2009) Juan Forlin opened the scoring for Boca before Luciano Figueroa also scored in the first half. Rodrigo Palacio sealed the win with 10 minutes remaining.

Racing Club 1 – Godoy Cruz 0 (Clausura, March 15, 2009) Pablo Caballero headed home with 15 minutes remaining as Racing Club beat fellow strugglers Godoy Cruz.

Newells Old Boys 2 – Huracan 2 (Clausura, March 15, 2009) Huracan took the lead after five minutes through Federico Nieto before Leonel Vangioni equalised for Newell’s 12 minutes before the break. Carlos Araujo regained Huracan’s lead 11 minutes after the break, but Newell’s again responded through Vangioni eight minutes later. Araujo was sent off a minute later but Newell’s were unable to capitalise.

Lanus 2 – Colon 1 (Clausura, March 14, 2009) Lanus went ahead in the 56th minute when Diego Valeri scored from close range after a neat combination with Diego Lagos. Two minutes later, Cristian Menendez rounded goalkeeper Diego Pozo to score the second. German Rivarola headed one back for Colon in the 73rd minute after a mistake by keeper Bossio but the visitors had Alejandro Capurro sent off nine minutes later as they lost for the first time in the championship.

Gimnasia La Plata 0 – Tigre 1 (Clausura, March 14, 2009) Morel’s last-gasp free-kick gave Tigre the points.

San Martin 1 – Estudiantes 0 (Clausura, March 14, 2009) Matias Villavicencio was the match-winner with a header from a corner at the start of the second half.

San Lorenzo 3 – Banfield 1 (Clausura, March 14, 2009)

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