Hammers grind out a point at Chelsea; Newcastle win comfortably at Portsmouth

Chelsea 1 – West Ham 1 (Premier League, December 14, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Chelsea never got out of first gear in the opening 45 against West Ham at the Bridge, and the Hammers made them pay just after the half hour when Mark Noble’s hunger won him a 50-50 with Boswinga, he picked out Craig Bellamy, and the Welshman beat Cech at his near post. Scolari brought on Drogba at the break, and he linked up with Lampard to release Nicolas Anelka for the equaliser in the 51st minute. Carlton Cole flashed a shot wide a minute later for the Hammers, while Drogba’s volley forced a smart save from Green ten minutes later. Chelsea pushed for a winner, forcing saves out of Green and hitting the bar, but Gianfranco Zola saw his team hold out for an excellent point. (Second half highlights here.)

Portsmouth 0 – Newcastle 3 (Premier League, December 14, 2008) (MOTD highlights here.) Despite a battering on both goals during the first half, Portsmouth and Newcastle headed into the break deadlocked (first half highlights here). But in the 51st minute Michael Owen scored a wonderful opener for the Toon, Jonas Gutierrez picked up a loose ball in midfield and released Owen who scooped the ball over David James. Obafemi Martins bagged the second 15 minutes from time, Danny Guthrie plays in the Nigerian through on goal, James commitment himself and fell over leaves Martins with the simple task of sidestepping the keeper’s lunge and slotting home. Danny Guthrie wrapped up the points late on converting a Shola Ameobi cross.

Stoke 0 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, December 13, 2008) The Cottagers are still waiting for their first away win this season but they claimed a respectable point at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke have already won five times this season.

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Leeds 1 – Colchester 2 (League One, December 13, 2008) Gary McAlliser’s men looked set for their seventh home win of the season when they went ahead through Robert Snodgrass, but Dean Hammond’s equaliser and a stunning Mark Yeates free-kick gave Paul Lambert’s men a valuable win. Leeds slip down to 8th.

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Sevilla 1 – Villarreal 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Renato gave Sevilla the lead over Villarreal on the stroke of halftime. The visitors’ job got that much harder when Joseba Llorente was sent off for a high kick on Julien Escude in the second half.

Valladolid 3 – Deportivo La Coruna 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Valladolid moved ahead of Depor when Pedro Leon broke free down the right and crossed for Jonathan Sesma to score. And the lead was soon doubled when Pedro Lopez scored an incredible 45-yard lob the sailed over keeper Arnazubia. Pedro Leon completed the win with a special third goal, the winger skipped down the right hand channel before looking up, spotting the keeper barely out of position, and lofting an angled lob into the far corner.

Getafe 4 – Mallorca 1 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Aritz Aduriz found the target for Mallorca on 32 minutes but Getafe were far too strong with Cosmin Contra, Ikechukwu Uche (brilliant chip), Manu del Mora and Jaime Gavilan all getting on the scoresheet.

Athletic Bilbao 3 – Sporting Gijon 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) The damage was done in the first half with Fernando Llorente netting from the penalty spot after six minutes and Andoni Iraola and David Lopez also scored.

Atletico Madrid 2 – Real Betis 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Maxi Rodriguez and Sergio Aguero netted the goals in either half as Atletico climbed a point above stuttering champions Real Madrid.

Almeria 1 – Racing Santander 1 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Ezequiel Garay opened his goalscoring account for the season to put the visitors ahead in the first half, but Almeria levelled after the hour mark through Santiago Acasiete. Mehdi Lacen’s dismissal 18 minutes from time gave Almeria the upper hand, but they could not find a winner.

Recreativo Huelva 1 – Osasuna 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Basement boys Osasuna remain four points from safety after going down at relegation rivals Recre, Adrian Colunga fired home six minutes from full time to see the hosts take all three points at the Nuevo Colombino for the first time since April.

Malaga 2 – Numancia 0 (La Liga, December 14, 2008) Apono put the visitors in front from the penalty spot late on and Nabil Baha sealed the points when he added a second a minute from time as the home side moved up to 10th.

Celta Vigo 2 – Real Zaragoza 0 (Segunda Division, December 14, 2008)

Castellon 2 – Xerez 2 (Segunda Division, December 14, 2008)

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Juventus 4 – AC Milan 2 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) After Juve’s talisman Alessandro Del Piero had a header ruled out after 15 minutes, the home captain converted a penalty a minute later after he had been tripped in the box by Kaladze. Pirlo’s swerving free-kick forced a saved from Manninger, and Milan equalised when Ronaldinho teed up Pato to score in the six yard box. But the Old Lady were back in front inside 60 seconds when Giorgio Chiellini crashed home a header, and just before halftime Amuari added a third for Bianconeri with another fine header. Massimo Ambrosini pulled a goal back for Milan, but soon after Zambrotta collected his second yellow Juve regain their two goal buffer with Amauri’s second of the game.

All the goals from Sunday afternoon’s action in Serie A can be seen here.

Inter Milan 4 – Chievo 2 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) In a rare appearance for Inter, Maxwell put down an early marker for a recall by jinking his way in the box and scoring after 3 minutes. Inter then kicked off the second half with a second goal, Maicon fed a ball into Zlatan in the box, the Swede’s flick ran into the path of Stankovic and the number 8 struck a first-time shot into the corner. But Chievo hit back almost immediately with a fine 25-yard daisycutter from Pellissier that raced into the net and the Donkeys then stunned the San Siro as Simone Bentivoglio turned in an ugly equaliser. But in the final stage Inter regained control, firstly after Zlatan headed home Maicon’s back-post cross and Ibrahimovic added a stunning fourth, rocketing a first-time shot high into the top corner.

Roma 3 – Cagliari 2 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) Francesco Totti continued his renaissance as one the top midfielders in world football by scoring yet again against Cagliari, slamming a left foot shot low into the near post. Just before the hour mark Daniele Conti walloped a 30-yard free-kick into the past Moraes, and the Roma keeper was then made to look stupid when Jeda side-footed the visitors into a surprise lead. The Romans equalised through Perrotta’s overhead volley before dramatically winning the game at the death as Mirko Vucinic hit the winner, stripping off his shirt (he was wearing two) and shorts in wild celebration.

Fiorentina 2 – Catania 0 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) After a goalless first half, Adrian Mutu fired Fiorentina into the lead with a fine strike into the roof of the net. With ten minutes remaining Alberto Gilardino sowed up the win with a solo second, the lone striker seized possession from slack defending before lifting the ball over the keeper, collecting it on the other side and slotting home.

Udinese 3 – Lazio 3 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) Udinese’s slump continued as they blew a 3-nil lead, given to them by a goal from Quagliarella sandwiched between a Di Natale brace (first goal here), to extend their winless streak to seven games. Lazio goals came from Zarate, Diakite and Ledesma.

Genoa 1 – Atalanta 1 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) Gianpaolo Bellini and Claudio Rivalta both saw red for Atalanta while the home side lost Omar Milanetto before Genoa’s Giuseppe Sculli cancelled out Sergio Floccari’s 17th-minute opener three minutes from the end.

Palermo 2 – Siena 0 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) Palermo eased past Siena as goals from Mattia Cassani and Henrique Fabio Simplicio handed them victory.

Reggina 0 – Sampdoria 2 (Serie A, December 14, 2008) Claudio Bellucci opened the scoring with a 75th minute penalty before Marco Padalino added a second five minutes later.

Avellino 1 – Salernitana 1 (Serie B, December 13, 2008)

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Hoffenheim 1 – Schalke 1 (Bundesliga, December 14, 2008) (Longer half highlights here, extended highlights here.) In the last match before the German winter break, Schalke took the lead at Hoffenheim when Gerald Asamoah scored from Altintop’s through-ball five minutes before the break. Schalke lost Jones for a second bookable offence midway through the second half, and they were punished as Salim Teber’s curling free-kick beat Neuer at the keeper’s near post. Schalke then lost Orlando Engelaar to be reduced to 9-men, but they held on for a point.

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Le Havre 1 – Lorient 3 (Ligue 1, December 14, 2008) Goals from Mansouri and Gameiro gave Lorient a 2-nil halftime lead at Le Harve.

Sochaux 2 – Caen 2 (Ligue 1, December 13, 2008) Remi Gomis opened the scoring for Caen in the 21 minute after the keeper fumbled a corner, and when he bagged a second midway through the second period the game looked to be over. But Privat, a 73rd minute sub, pulled a goal back four minutes after his introduction and then grabbed a second with an incredible overhead volley 11 minutes later.

Nancy 2 – Grenoble 0 (Ligue 1, December 13, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) A goal in each half from Julien Feret and Issiar Dia saw Nancy beat Grenoble.

Rennes 0 – Nantes 0 (Ligue 1, December 13, 2008)

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Groningen 1 – FC Twente 4 (Eredivisie, December 14, 2008) Steve McClaren’s men went ahead through goals from Marko Arnautovic and Eljero Elia before Goran Lovre reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time. But further goals from Ronnie Stam after 68 minutes and Blaise Nkufo in the dying seconds ensured a fourth consecutive win for the visitors who are closing in on the top two in Holland.

Heerenveen 2 – De Graafschap 0 (Eredivisie, December 13, 2008) Roy Beerens raced clear after 13 minutes to give the hosts the lead and Beerens netted a second with a fine shot into the far corner ten minutes later.

Feyenoord 0 – AZ Alkmaar 1 (Eredivisie, December 13, 2008) After a goalless 45 (first half highlights here), Dutch leaders AZ Alkmaar opened up a 3-point lead on Ajax thanks to Ari’s second half strike. (Second half highlights here.)

Den Haag 1 – Roda 1 (Eredivisie, December 13, 2008) Karim Soltani put the hosts ahead after 35 minutes but they were pegged back before the break by Marcel Meeuwis.

Willem II 1 – NEC 2 (Eredivisie, December 13, 2008) Jhonny van Beukering had given the visitors the lead in the first half and Rachid Bouaouzan doubled the advantage after the break before Rens van Eijden pulled a goal back for the home side.

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Fenerbahce 2 – Antalyaspor 0 (Superlig, December 14, 2008) Daniel Guiza and Diego Lugano scored in each half for Fener.

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Sporting Lisbon 3 – Maritimo 0 (Portuguese League Cup, December 14, 2008) Sporting strolled to victory with goals from Yannick, Liedson and Romagnoli.

Vitoria Setubal 0 – Vitoria Guimaraes 1 (Taca de Portugal, December 14, 2008) Meireles’ header settled the tie.

Pacos Ferreira 4 – Vizela 1 (Taca de Portugal, December 14, 2008)

Trofense 2 – Nacional 4 (Taca de Portugal, December 14, 2008)

Valdevez 3 – Santa Clara 1 (Taca de Portugal, December 14, 2008)

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Young Boys 3 – Bellinzona 0 (Swiss Super League, December 14, 2008)

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Club Brugge 1 – Standard Liege 4 (Jupiler League, December 14, 2008) (Longer highlights here.) Steven Defour put Standard ahead and De Camargo doubled the advantage five minutes later. Jovanovic added a third just before the break, and things went from bad to worsew for Brugge when Stijnen received a red card in the 76th minute. Mbokani added the fourth minutes later, while Clement got an 83rd minute consolation.

Roeselare 0 – Anderlecht 3 (Jupiler League, December 14, 2008) Anderlecht’s second half show kept them top of the table, Legear opened just after the hour, Pokan made it two in the 81st, and the third came from Bart Goor a minute from time.

AA Gent 1 – Kortrijk 1 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008) Both goals arrived in the opening fifteen minutes, Kouyate’s opener was cancelled out by Gonzales.

Westerlo 1 – Cercle Bruges 2 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008)

Tubize 2 – Mons-Bergen 1 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008)

Dender 1 – Lokeren 1 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008)

Racing Genk 1 – Charleroi 0 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008)

Zulte-Waregem 2 – Mouscron 1 (Jupiler League, December 13, 2008)

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Panathinaikos 3 – Panserraikos 0 (Greek Super League, December 14, 2008) Dimitris Salpingidis, Cleyton and Ante Rukavina scored for Pana.

Aris 1 – AEK Athens 1 (Greek Super League, December 14, 2008) Calvo’s first half opener for Aris was cancelled out by Edinho’s brilliant header 20 minutes from time.

PAOK 1 – Xanthi 0 (Greek Super League, December 13, 2008) PAOK moved to within four points of leaders Olympiakos, the only goal of the match was scored by Bakayoko in the 62nd minute.

Asteras 1 – Iraklis 2 (Greek Super League, December 13, 2008)

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Queensland Roar 2 – Newcastle Jets 1 (A-League, December 14, 2008) Joel Griffiths’ subtle chip in the 26th minute gave the Jets the lead, but it was all-square at the interval as Mitch Nichols levelled for the Roar. Newcastle had Jobe Wheelhouse controversially sent off with 20 minutes on the clock, and the hosts may their added man count when Sergio van Dijk’s wonderful 90th minute volley claimed all three points for Queensland.

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Poland 1 – Serbia 0 (International friendly, December 14, 2008) After a goalless first half (highlights here), Rafal Boguski settled the match with a super lob with the outside of his boot in the 53rd minute.

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Adelaide United 0 – Gamba Osaka 1 (Club World Cup, December 14, 2008) Yasuhito Endo struck midway through the first half with a finely-crafted goal after good team build up play.

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The Argentine Apertura championship ended in a three-way tie between San Lorenzo, Boca Juniors and Tigre. Goal difference is not used to decide the title and a three-way playoff will be held, the first in the tournament’s history, with matches on Dec. 17, 20 and 23.

Boca Juniors 3 – Colon 2 (Apertura, December 14, 2008) Boca went ahead in the 9th minute when Luciano Figueroa scored with a first-time shot from Vargas’s cross and Juan Roman Riquelme added a second four minutes later. The game seemed over when Figueroa scored again in the 27th minute but Colon fought back when Nicolas Torres scored with a shot from the edge of the penalty area three minutes before halftime. Lucas Valdermarin side-footed another goal in the 52nd minute after Javier Garcia failed to hold a cross but Boca held on to win.

Argentinos Jrs 0 – San Lorenzo 1 (Apertura, December 14, 2008) Gonzalo Bergessio pounced on a loose clearance and smashed a shot past Sebastian Torrico in the eighth minute.

Tigre 1 – Banfield 0 (Apertura, December 14, 2008) Tigre stayed in contention when playmaker Martin Morel scored his 13th goal of the tournament six minutes before halftime.

Godoy Cruz 1 – Rosario Central 0 (Apertura, December 14, 2008)

Lanus 1 – San Martin 0 (Apertura, December 14, 2008)

Independiente 1 – Arsenal Sarandi 2 (Apertura, December 14, 2008)