Fulham 0 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Fulham started brightly against Liverpool, Clint Dempsey looking dangerous down the Cottagers left. But the Reds soon had chances of their own as Andrea Dossena first fired over the bar after being set up by Torres, and then he saw his shot deflect out off of Schwarzer’s crossbar a minute later. Fernando Torres then threatened, the Spaniard forcing a smart save from Schwarzer before Torres managed to beat the Aussie keeper only to be denied by the post. And it started to look like the gods were conspiring against Liverpool when Xabi Alonso’s superb volley again crashed against the woodwork. (First half highlights here.) Ryan Babel looked dangerous after the interval, although Mark Schwarzer was still looking comfortable in the Fulham goal as Liverpool continued without a breakthrough. But just as it looked like Liverpool would drop two crucial point, Israeli Yossi Benayoun once again became the hero for Benitez, arrowing a drive into the top corner with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Arsenal 2 – Manchester City 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Emmanuel Adebayor marked his Arsenal return with an 8th minute goal against Man City, the Togolese forward left totally free at the back post to head home Cesc Fabregas’s free-kick from the right hand side. (First half highlights here.) Arsenal fans were gleefully celebrating again early in the second half, Cesc and Adebayor again combining for the strike to claim his second of the match. Theo Walcott flashed a shot narrowly wide in the 54th minute.
Newcastle 0 – Chelsea 2 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Expect to hear a lot about false messiahs in the coming days. After keeping Chelsea at bay for almost an hour at St. James’ Park (first half highlights here), Alan Shearer could do nothing as the Magpies displayed their famous defending prowess, Fabricio Coloccini had a brain-freeze losing possession and then putting in a weak tackle with Frank Lampard profitting from the comedy of errors. The Blues then doubled their lead, a Cech punt was flicked on by Anelka, Lampard played in Florent Malouda and the Frenchan steered the ball past Harper.
Blackburn 2 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â El Hadji-Diouf headed just wide after 10 minutes at Ewood Park. In-form Spurs took the lead on the half-hour, Givet was harshly judged to have handled a Lennon cross and Robbie Keane slotted home the penalty, despite the fact the ball was not on the penalty spot. Spurs looked comfortable in the second half, but the sending off of Wilson Palacios for two bookable offences turned the game. Benni McCarthy equalised from a Samba cross and then with the 90 minutes approaching Andre Ooijer tapped home from close range as Spurs failed to defend a corner.
Bolton 4 – Middlesbrough 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Bolton moved ahead of Boro thanks to Kevin Davies opener after 8 minutes, but a slick move by Gareth Southgate’s men seeing excellent link-up play between Tuncay and Gary O’Neil saw the midfielder deftly lift the ball over Jaaskelainen for the equaliser. Just as the got back in the game Boro blew it, a bread and butter free-kick was poorly dealt with and Gary Cahill was on hand to restore the Trotters’ lead. (First half highlights here.) Matt Taylor netted a fortuitous third when his free-kick sailed over the defence and in at the far post with Jones motionless. And there was more misery for the visitors as Riccardo Gardner controlled Matt Taylor’s left-wing cross to add a fourth five minutes from time. (Second half highlights here.)
West Brom 0 – Stoke 2 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Baggies were trailing in the massive six-pointer after just two minutes, indecision from Shelton Martis allowed Ricardo Fuller to bear down on the West Brom goal before drilling a low shot past Carson. More poor defending handed Stoke a second minutes after the restart, James Beattie latching onto a loose ball to crack a beauty into the top corner.
West Ham 2 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Hammers youth development must be credited for an excellent result over the Black Cats, 19-year-old Junior Stanislas scoring on his first start for West Ham with a close-range tap-in just before the break. More stars of tomorrow combined for the Hammers’ second, Mark Noble’s set-piece was headed home by James Tomkins for his first senior goal early in the second half.
Hull 0 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Pompey held on for a draw despite having Glen Johnson sent off with 10 minutes to play. The point gives Hull a five point lead over third-bottom Newcastle.