Manchester United 5 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Poor Manchester United defending was exploited by Spurs with two goal in three minutes around the half hour mark at Old Trafford, Darren Bent crashed in the first when Ferdinand and Vidic failed to deal with a Corluka cross from the right. And then it was two, Lennon’s cross was controlled expertly by Luka Modric who drilled a shot past Edwin van der Sar. Gomes tipped over a Ronaldo shot to maintain the lead at the break. (First half goals here.) Howard Webb controversially awarded United a penalty after Gomes appeared to cleanly win the ball of Carrick in the box, and Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score his 16th goal of the season. With over 20 minutes left on the clock United chalked up their second, Berbatov and Tevez combined before Wayne Rooney took over to beat Gomes (too easily) at the near post. Sixty seconds later the turnaround was complete, Rooney slung in a cross from the left and Cristiano Ronaldo produced a diving header to give the Red Devils the lead. Amazingly there was more three minutes later, Ronaldo dinked a ball to an unmarked Wayne Rooney who had no problems grabbing the fourth. With Spurs beaten and battered United hit a fifth as Dimitar Berbatov bundled the ball over the line after his initial header was saved.
After the match Sky Sports caught up with Rooney and Ronaldo, with the Portuguese number 7 making a point to praise second half substitute Carlos Tevez for turning the game. The interview can be seen here.
Hull 1 – Liverpool 3 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Fernando Torres was denied by a point-blank save from Boaz Myhill after six minutes. Hull slowly began to take control of the match and Geovanni came within a whisker with a sweet strike from distance. Liverpool broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime as Xabi Alonso crashed home a brilliant strike after the Spaniard’s initial free-kick rebounded off the wall. Hull were served a crippling blow when Caleb Folan lost his head, assaulted Martin Skrtel, and found himself duly sent off. And the Tigers were soon made to pay as Dirk Kuyt added a scrappy second for the Reds. That sparked Hull back into, and they pulled a goal back after Geovanni scored from Daniel Cousin’s perfect cut-back in the box. But there was no fairytale comeback, Dirk Kuyt sealed the victory with a rebound from 10 yards to put the game to bed.
West Ham 0 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) West Ham came close to breaking the deadlock minutes before interval but John Obi Mikel cleared Matthew Upson’s header off the line. (First half highlights here.) The Blues moved ahead after 54 minutes, Salomon Kalou converting a Lampard cross against their fierce local rivals. The Hammers had the chance to draw level from the spot, but Petr Cech did terrifically well to turn Mark Noble’s effort round the post. (Second half highlights here.)
Everton 1 – Manchester City 2 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) After publicly committing himself to City’s long-term future, Robinho put Sparky’s boys into the lead at Goodison when the Brazilian was released in the inside left channel and he coolly carried the ball into the box and beat Howard through his legs. City doubled their lead after the break when slack Everton defending allowed Robinho to pick out Stephen Ireland charging into the box, and the slaphead midfielder stuck away the second. Dan Gosling grabbed a well-taken 90th minute consolation for the Toffees.
West Brom 3 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) The bottom-placed Baggies won for the first time in three months to keep their slim hopes of a great escape alive. The hosts went ahead against the run of play five minutes before the break courtesy of a swinging left-foot volley from Jonas Olsson. Chris Brunt scored his fourth goal in the last three games to double the Baggies lead after a low cross from Marc-Antoine Fortune. Juan Carlos Menseguez then grabbed the third to plunge poor Sunderland further in the relegation mire.
Bolton 1 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Ashley Young, from out on the left, curled in a cross which evaded everyone and eventually found its way into the back of the net to hand the visitors the lead at the break. The Trotters levelled in the second half as Israeli international Tamir Cohen marked his first start of the season with a goal.
Fulham 1 – Stoke 0 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Erik Nevland, on for the injured Bobby Zamora, scored the decisive goal in the 29th minute when he collected a return pass from Andrew Johnson to fire home from eight yards to keep the Cottagers’ Euro dreams alive.