Manchester United 3 – Aston Villa 2 (Premier League, April 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â After a shaky start, Manchester United were gifted an opener after 14 minutes as James Milner’s foolish back-pass was handled by Friedel, and from the indirect free-kick Cristiano Ronaldo found the far corner. United however continued to look below par and Villa found a leveller 15 minutes later when John Carew expertly headed home a Barry cross from the right. The second half started muck like the first with United stuttering and, after Ronaldo lost the ball to Petrov, Carew “burst” down the left with Gary Neville alongside the forward but refusing to tackle, with the giant striker’s crossÂ picking out Gabi Agbonlahor who headed in the second. The tension was nerve-jangling at Old Trafford until 10 minutes from time when a slick move on the edge of the Villa box ended with Cristiano Ronaldo driving a low left-footer past Friedel’s outstretched hand for 2-2. Just as it looked like United would drop two points, 17-year-old Federico Macheda made himself the toast of Manchester with a superb turn and curler to claim a dramatic injury time winner to send Old Trafford bonkers.
Everton 4 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, April 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Marouane Fellaini was the star of the show for the Toffees. The Belgian’s determined run set up Jo for the first, Fellaini scored the second himself and then saw two further shots palmed out by a shaky Chris Kirkland for Jo and Leon Osman to score from rebounds.
Cardiff 2 – Swansea 2 (Championship, April 5, 2009) Roberto Martinez’s side took the lead through Nathan Dyer in the 11th minute after the winger played a slick one-two with Jason Scotland. Cardiff hit back after half-time, with neat teamwork involvingÂ McNaughton, Parry and Bothroyd, ended with a precise finish from Michael Chopra. Joe Allen thought he had won the match for the visitors with a low drive which beat Cardiff keeper Stuart Taylor only for Ross McCormack to earn a last minute penalty which he duly converted.
Norwich 0 – Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Championship, April 4, 2009)
Colchester 0 – Leeds 1 (League One, April 4, 2009) A belter from Luciano Becchio proved enough for Leeds.
Bournemouth 4 – Rochdale 0 (League Two, April 4, 2009) Brett Pitman scored a hat-trick as Bournemouth eased their relegation fears and dented Rochdale’s promotion bid. Liam Feeney bagged the Cherries second of the game midway through the first half.
Exeter 2 – Dagenham & Redbridge 1 (League Two, April 4, 2009) The Grecians moved to second place in the table as Stuart Fleetwood was the hero with a beautiful curler after 16 minutes and then a second after the break, Ben Strevens scoring in between for the Dags.