Arsenal 1 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, December 21, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.)Â In a high-tempo match, Arsenal struck first against Liverpool with a stunning goal, Nasri’s raking pass was collected by Robin van Persie who shifted the ball away from Carragher before lashing in a right-footed drive. ButÂ in the 41st minute Liverpool equalised, Arbeloa pumped a ball forward which Robbie Keane was onto in a flash and the Irishman smashed a first time shot past Almunia. (First half highlights here.) The Gunners lost Cesc Fabregas at the break amid rumours the captain suffered a knee injury, and on the hour mark Arsenal had Emmanuel Adebayor sent off for a second yellow (first yellow here) for a flailing arm that struck Arbeloa.
Newcastle 2 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, December 21, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Charles N’Zogbia opened the scoring at St. James’ Park, but Spurs went into the break level as Luka Modric collected a long punt forward and beat Shay Given with ease. But just when the Londoners thought they had secured a point Damien Duff rolled back the years to net a last-gasp winner for the Magpies.
West Brom 2 – Manchester City 1 (Premier League, December 21, 2008) In the basement battle between the Baggies and City, it took 70 minutes for the deadlocked to be broken, the hosts taking the lead when Luke Moore broke clear and finished under the body of Joe Hart. Back came City as Felipe Caicedo scored a brilliant backheel under the noses of two covering defenders that squeezed into Carson’s net. But in the dying seconds the Baggies stole the points, Roman Bednar heading home the winner to send The Hawthorns wild.
Southampton 0 – Nottingham Forest 2 (Championship, December 20, 2008) Forest took the lead through a Wes Morgan header before Joe Garner capped the fine away win with a stunning lob from 30-yards.
Sheffield United 2 – Crystal Palace 2 (Championship, December 20, 2008) Nathan Dyer’s opener was cancelled out by Patrick McCarthy, but the Blades looked to have the points in the bag when Jamie Beattie scored two minutes from time. But a last-gasp volley from Nick Carle gave the Eagles a point.
Barnsley 2 – Plymouth 0 (Championship, December 20, 2008)
MK Dons 3 – Leeds 1 (League One, December 20, 2008) Defeat at the MK Dons, Leeds’ fifth loss in a row, brought an end to Gary McAllister’s Ellland Road reign. Sean O’Hanlon and Aaron Wilbraham converted corners in the first half before Robert Snodgrass reduced the deficit after the break the a stunning strike from 25-yards. But Wilbraham headed the Dons’ third goal six minutes later as they made it seven wins from their last eight games.
Everton reserves 1 – Manchester United reserves 1 (Barclays Premier Reserve League, December 19, 2008) The Blues took the lead early on through Lukas Jutkiewicz, his flick-on ricocheting back into his path to fire home after three minutes. For United Manucho was proving a real threat upfront, and the Angolan eventually found the equaliser with a header from Magnus Eikrem’s cross in the 55th minute.