Fabregas double downs sorry Boro; Blackburn pick up a vital home win over Wigan

Arsenal 2 – Middlesbrough 0 (Premier League, April 26, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) After a tight opening 20 minutes at the Emirates, Andrei Arshavin found himself at the centre of the action for Arsenal as the Russian broke down the left before picking out Cesc Fabregas who slid in and scored the opener. (First half highlights here.) After Arshavin had entertained the crowd with fancy footwork, all too easily Arsenal doubled their lead in the 66th minute. Eboue played a defence splitting ball through to Cesc Fabregas who, after beat the keeper, rolled home number two. (Second half highlights here.)

Blackburn 2 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, April 26, 2009) Benni McCarthy broke the deadlock in injury time at the end of the first half heading home a Pederson corner after Chris Kirkland missed his punch completely. On the hour mark it was two, McCarthy swung in a fine free-kick from the left and Ryan Nelsen, the Blackburn captain, glanced a header past Kirkland to claim his first ever goals for Rovers.

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Hartlepool 0 – Leeds 1 (League One, April 25, 2009) Jermaine Beckford was the deciding factor yet again as his 33rd goal of the season gave Leeds over struggling Hartlepool.

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Atletico Madrid 3 – Sporting Gijon 1 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) Diego Forlan smashed home a tremendous 30-yard lob (deflected) to give Atletico the lead over Sporting Gijon. Forlan then linked up with Simao down the left hand side on the Portuguese midfielder slotted in the second.

Sevilla 2 – Real Madrid 4 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) After Gonzalo Higuain had a goal chalked off early doors it was Sevilla who struck first, Perotti’s brilliant cross with the outside of the boot was headed in by Renato. Los Blancos levelled just before the interval, Raul scoring with a header from Sergio Ramos’ cross. Raul put Real in front when he slid home the visitors’ second on 63 minutes, and three minutes later Raul completed his hat-trick as Real looked in total control of the match. But Sevilla replied, Diego Capel pulling a goal back 10 minutes from time, only for Marcelo to wrap up the win with Real’s fourth at the death.

Getafe 1 – Villarreal 2 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) Villarreal took the lead at Getafe when home keeper Stojkovic spilled a free-kick and Joan Capdevila was on hand to bundle the ball over the line. Joseba Llorente netted the Yellow Submarine’s second minutes before the break. Moral netted for relegation-threatened Getafe in the second half.

Espanyol 2 – Real Betis 0 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) Espanyol scored after just four minutes against Betis, Ivan de la Pena played a perfect ball through to Luis Garcia who made no mistake in front of goal.

Recreativo Huelva 2 – Mallorca 4 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) Mallorca stormed to a two goal lead inside 15 short minutes at Recre, Jose Marin broke free the slot home the first with Juan Arango heading in the second minutes later. (First half goals here.) Sisi pulled a goal back at the start of the second half for the hosts before Gonzalo Castro restored Mallorca’s two goal cushion. Javier Camunas netted a second for Recre but they could not find the equaliser in their increasingly desperate bid to beat the drop. Kieta slipped in a fourth to wrap up the away win.

Athletic Bilbao 2 – Racing Santander 1 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) Bilbao beat Racing in a stormy affair that featured five dismissals and 17 cards. Fernando Llorente opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the season before David Lopez doubled Athletic’s lead with a 42nd minute penalty. Pablo Pinillos pulled Santander to within one with a penalty in the 57th after Fran Yeste was sent off for barging into Jonathan Pereira.

Valladolid 0 – Osasuna 0 (La Liga, April 26, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Osasuna are far from safe from the drop, lying just three points above the bottom three, but their need for points looked anything but urgent in a match desperately lacking in inspiration and invention.

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Napoli 1 – Inter Milan 0 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Marcelo Zalayeta ended a sequence of 500 goalless minutes for Napoli by drilling home the opener in the 73rd minute.

AC Milan 3 – Palermo 0 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) After Massimo Ambrosini was fouled in the box, Kaka converted from the spot to put Milan ahead against Palermo. The Rossoneri quickly chalked up a second, Ambrosini crossing for Super Pippo to head home number two. Palermo’s task became that much more difficult after Bovo picked up a second yellow seconds into the second half. And after an intense period of pressure Kaka was pushed over to win a second penalty which the Brazilian duly converted.

Reggina 2 – Juventus 2 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Juve fell behind to an Antonino Barilla header at rock-bottom side Reggina. The Old Lady levelled at the start of the second half, Iaquinta was tripped in the box and Alex Del Piero scored from the spot. Back came Reggina with an incredible goal from Emil Hallfredsson, the Icelandic international whacking a 30-yard left-footed ripper into the top corner. But Juve would not be shaken off and three minutes later Cristiano Zanetti met a Zlatan header in the box the level the game once more. (Both Juventus goals can be seen in high quality here.)

Bologna 2 – Genoa 0 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Bologna, coming into their match with Genoa off a run of five defeats, took a 13th minute lead thanks to a Marco Di Vaio penalty. Ten minutes later it was two as Claudio Terzi turned home a free-kick after arriving unmarked at the back post.

Sampdoria 3 – Cagliari 3 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Samp took the lead against Cagliari midway through the first half when Cassano worked the space on the right-hand side, swung over a cross to the back post and Guido Marilungo climbed high to head home. Guido Marilungo grabbed a second header before the break, but the visitors rallied after the break as Alessandro Matri instantly cut the deficit in half. It got better for Cagliari, Robert Acquafresca drew the match all-square from the spot and ten minutes from time Daniele Conti headed the visitors in front for the first time. But the fairytale comeback was dashed by Antonio Cassano’s 86th minute volley.

Lazio 0 – Atalanta 1 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Lazio slipped behind at home to Atalanta after Leonardo Talamonti headed home a cross in the 24th minute.

Torino 1 – Siena 0 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Torino are precariously perched just one point above the drop zone, but will take heart from a win over Siena secured by Rolando Bianchi’s solitary strike after 10 minutes.

Lecce  2 – Catania 1 (Serie A, April 26, 2009) Gianni Munari (10) and Simone Tiribocchi (25) saw the hosts make a flying start in their pursuit of priceless points against relegation. Lecce did allow Fabio Sciacca to pull one back seconds after the restart, but Catania were unable to find an equaliser and saw their goalscorer dismissed in stoppage time after collecting a second yellow card.

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Energie Cottbus 2 – Wolfsburg 0 (Bundesliga, April 26, 2009) Wolfsburg had the better of the chances in the first half (highlights here) in Cottbus but both Grafite and Dzeko were denied in a goalless opening 45. Felix Magath’s side were stunned in the 72nd minute when Ilica Iliev played a one-two with Skela and crossed for Dimitar Rangelov to head in at the far post. The home side put the game beyond reach when Ervin Skela made it two with four minutes remaining as Wolfsburg were caught on the break.

Monchengladbach 1 – Arminia Bielefeld 1 (Bundesliga, April 26, 2009) Karim Matmour had Borussia ahead after just 14 minutes, but Robert Tesche levelled on the half hour mark to earn Arminia a share of the spoils. The draw does little for either side, leaving them 17th and 16th respectively.

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Lille 1 – Marseille 2 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Marseille went behind to a goal from Eden Hazard. But Benoit Cheyrou (54) and Mamadou Niang (57) turned the game on its head as OM opened a five-point lead on Bordeaux.

Auxerre 2 – Caen 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A stunning shot from Gregory Proment put Caen into the lead, fizzing a 25-yard drive in the top corner. A suicidal error from Gomis presented Ireneusz Jelen with a simple chance to equalise five minutes from time amd just three minutes later Jelen struck again with a super lob to steal the points.

Le Havre 0 – Grenoble 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) A goal from Pierre Boya gave Grenoble a hard-fought win against a game Le Havre side, whose relegation fate becomes ever more inevitable.

Nice 3 – St. Etienne 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Chaouki Ben Saada put Nice 1-up before a Sable free-kick was not dealt with the hapless Tavlaridis turning the ball into this own net. Eric Mouloungui’s daisy-cutter put the game to bed, Ilan heading a late late consolation St. Etienne.

Toulouse 1 – Lorient 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Defender Mauro Cetto levelled for the hosts with one minute remaining, cancelling out Andre Ayew’s opener for Lorient in the 85th minute to leave Toulouse fifth in the standings.

Le Mans 0 – Monaco 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Chu-Young Park’s 86th minute effort proved to be difference between the two sides in a keenly-fought contest.

Nancy 2 – Nantes 0 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Nancy claimed a third consecutive success as they proved too strong for lowly Nantes, Julien Feret (55) put Pablo Correa’s side in front, before Andre Luiz rounded things off from the penalty spot on 67 minutes.

Sochaux 1 – Valenciennes 1 (Ligue 1, April 26, 2009) Sochaux needed an injury-time equaliser from Vaclav Sverkos to salvage a 1-1 draw from a home contest with Valenciennes. The visitors had taken the lead on 62 minutes through Amara Bangoroa.

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Ajax 1 – AZ Alkmaar 1 (Eredivisie, April 26, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) With the title already secured, AZ boss Louis van Gaal was able to field some youngsters away at Ajax, and Jeremain Lens took his opportunity in the first team by scoring a fine solo goal after 23 minutes. AZ lost Schaars just before the hour mark, and minutes later Ajax blew the chance to level when Suarez missed a cheeky penalty as the managed to catch his dinked effort. Three minutes from time Luis Suarez had a second chance, this time converting inside the post.

ADO Den Haag 2 – Feyenoord 3 (Eredivisie, April 26, 2009) Den Haag took the lead midway through the second half when Timothy Derijck opened the scoring, but the visitors were level two minutes later when Jon Dahl Tomasson got on the scoresheet. Tomasson scored his second of the game on 76 minutes before Richard Knopper equalised for the home team in the 81st minute. But Leon Vlemmings’ side snatched a winner a minute later when Roy Makaay found the back of the net.

Vitesse Arnhem 6 – FC Utrecht 1 (Eredivisie, April 26, 2009) The hosts struck five times after the break, scoring three in the space of five minutes just after the hour mark, as Utrecht were blown away. Nicky Hofs put Vitesse ahead at the end of a first half which gave little indication of what was to follow. A Claudemir brace in two minutes was followed by a fourth from Paul Verhaegh three minutes later before Hans Somers registered for Utrecht. Alexander Buttner and Frank van der Struijk struck late on for Vitesse to complete the rout.

FC Groningen 0 – Willem II 0 (Eredivisie, April 26, 2009) FC Groningen and Willem II played out a dull goalless draw which leaves the visitors waiting until next week to mathematically ensure their Eredivisie safety. The main moment of excitement in Groningen came when Gibril Sankoh was sent off for a bad tackle right at the death.

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Porto 2 – Vitoria Setubal 0 (Superliga, April 26, 2009) Lisandro Lopez bagged a brace (first and second) as Porto kept up their charge at the top of the table.

Benfica 3 – Maritimo 2 (Superliga, April 26, 2009) David Luiz opened the scoring in the 28th before Oscar Cardozo scored twice (first and second) to take his season’s goal tally to 13 and the Eagles braved a Maritimo rally led by goals from Marcinho in the 43rd and Bruno’s penalty in the 60th to earn the win.

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Eskisehirspor 0 – Besiktas 2 (Super Lig, April 26, 2009) Besiktas kept their title dreams alive with two late goals, Bobo netted the first in the 67th minute before Filip Holosko wrapped up the points three minutes from time.

Galatasaray 1 – Ankaraspor 1 (Super Lig, April 26, 2009) Baris Ozbek put the hosts ahead but Roguy Meye’s lasp-gasp equaliser effectively ended Gala’s title dreams.

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Thrasivoulos 0 – Olympiakos 2 (Greek Super League, April 26, 2009) Matt Derbyshire and a Luciano Galletti penalty settled the match in Olympiakos’ favour.

Levadiakos 0 – Larisa 1 (Greek Super League, April 26, 2009) Metin’s goal after 12 minutes was not the most exciting part of the match as Koltzos, Kiassos (both for Levadiakos) and Fotakis all saw red in the minutes minutes.

Aris Saloniki 3 – Panthrakikos 2 (Greek Super League, April 26, 2009)

Xanthi 4 – Iraklis 1 (Greek Super League, April 26, 2009)

Asteras Tripolis 3 – Panionios 4 (Greek Super League, April 26, 2009)

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Partizan Belgrade 4 – OFK Beograd 1 (Serbian Super League, April 26, 2009)

Red Star Belgrade 2 – Borac 0 (Serbian Super League, April 26, 2009)

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NK Zadar 0 – Hajduk Split 3 (1. HNL, April 26, 2009)

Croatia Sesvete 1 – NK Osijek 1 (1. HNL, April 26, 2009)

NK Rijeka 6 – Slaven Belupo 2 (1. HNL, April 26, 2009)

HNK Sibenik 0 – NK Rijeka 1 (1. HNL, April 26, 2009)

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Nagoya Grampus Eight  2 – Yokohama FM 1 (J-League, April 26, 2009) After falling behind to a goal from Sakata just before the break, Nagoya won the match in the final stages as Yoshida and Ogawa turned the game in the hosts’ favour.

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New York Red Bulls 2 – DC United 3 (MLS, April 26, 2009) Juan Pablo Angel and Dane Richards scored six minutes apart earlier in the half as New York erased a first-half goal by United’s Rodney Wallace. The match had an incredible finish as Luciano Emilio and Chris Pontius scored in a span of 36 seconds in the closing minute, giving the visitors a stunning late win.

Toronto FC 1 – KC Wizards 0 (MLS, April 26, 2009) Toronto FC withstood a late barrage of Kansas attacks to see Danny Dichio’s first goal of the season ended the Wizards’ unbeaten run at four games and allowed the hosts to move into first place in the Eastern Conference.

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River Plate 1 – Gimnasia J 0 (Clausura, April 26, 2009) River Plate remain in the title race thanks to  a second half strike from Colombian star Radamel Falcao Garcia.

Argentinos Juniors 1 – Independiente 1 (Clausura, April 26, 2009) The ten men of Independiente needed an injury-time goal from Daniel Montenegro to hold Argentinos Juniors to a draw. Argentinos, who are bottom of the table, had taken the lead through Nestor Ortigoza, who fired in a second half penalty kick.

Godoy Cruz 0 – Lanus 1 (Clausura, April 26, 2009) Lanus are keeping the pressure on league leaders Velez, after sneaking past Godoy Cruz 1-0 with a strike from Eduardo Salvio late in the first half.

Colon 2 – Velez Sarsfield 4 (Clausura, April 26, 2009) Sebastian Prediguer and Sebastian Sciorilli put Colon two goals to the good before the half-hour mark, but Velez responded with two goals from Uruguayan striker Hernan Lopez and others from Jonathan Cristaldo and Juan Manuel Martinez.

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Santos 1 – Corinthians 3 (Paulista A1 Play-Off, April 26, 2009) Chicao opened the scoring for Corinthians from a free kick on the edge of the area before Ronaldo opened his account scored in the 25th minute when he latched on to a long kick upfield to fire home from the edge of the Santos area. Santos pulled a goal back after Corinthians goalkeeper Felipe, turned Triguinho’s cross into his own net on the hour. Ronaldo added a second in the 76th minute when he brilliantly chipped Fabio Costa from 25-yards out.