Chelsea 4 – Liverpool 4 (Agg. 7-5) (Champions League, April 14, 2009) (Extended ITV highlights here.) After Frank Lampard came close from a free-kick, it was Liverpool that scored a crucial away goal after 19 minutes but Petr Cech will be handed the assist. The Reds won a free-kick 30-yards out and a quick-thinking Fabio Aurelio exploited a gaping hole in the Blues’ defence to fire a cheeky set play into the Czech keeper’s near post. Referee Luis Medina Cantalejo then took centre stage awarding a controversial penalty to the Reds for a foul against Ivanovic on Xabi Alonso, and with Steven Gerrard out injured the Spaniard stepped up to score an incredible second inside the opening half hour. At the start of the second half Reina proceeded to undo all the good work, Anelka whipped in a cross from the right, Drogba got the faintest of touches but Pepe Reina, out of position, palmed the ball over the line. With Liverpool’s hopes shot, Alex walloped a brilliant swerving free-kick from way out to draw the Blues level six minutes later. Fifteen minutes from time Chelsea struck a third, Drogba broke into the box, slide a ball across the box and Frank Lampard was on hand to score. Then the insanity began, Lucas Leiva saw his shot deflect off Essien for 3-3 in the 80th minute and 120 seconds later Riera produced a top draw cross which Dirk Kuyt powered into the net to give the Reds the unlikeliest of leads once more. But there was still more as Chelsea equalised with a fourth, Anelka fed Frank Lampard just inside the box and the number eight cracked in a beauty to cap a wonderful, unforgettable match.
Bayern Munich 1 – Barcelona 1 (Agg. 1-5) (Champions League, April 14, 2009) (Extended highlights here.) Bayern look lively early doors against Barca and Luca Toni was guilty of missing a point blank header that would have given the Germans a sliver of hope. Goalless at the break, Bayern scored quickly after the restart when Ze Roberto played in Franck Ribery who faked out Victor Valdes before side-footing the ball in the net. Barca drew level in the 75th minute after a brilliant move involving Eto’o, Iniesta and Xavi was finished off by Seydou Keita’s cracking strike from the edge of the box.
Cardiff 3 – Burnley 1 (Championship, April 13, 2009) Jay Bothroyd opened the scoring for the Bluebirds before Robbie Blake’s late leveller looked to have earned the Clarets a point. Ross McCormack proved Cardiff’s hero as he netted two goals in the final five minutes (first and second) to secure the valuable three points for his automatic promotion-chasing side.
Cheltenham 1 – Yeovil 0 (League One, April 13, 2009) Frankie Artus’s 51st minute winner lifted Cheltenham off the bottom of the League One table for the first time in two-and-a-half months.
Sassuolo 1 – Avellino 1 (Serie B, April 14, 2009) Sassuolo took the lead through a Alessandro Noselli rocket from almost 30-yards. Nicola Ciotola equalised for Avellino by beating two defenders and firing home in the 37th minute.
Deportivo Quito 3 – Universitario 1 (Copa Libertadores, April 14, 2009) Deportivo’s Luis Saritama latched on to a through ball from Donoso to open the scoring after 11 minutes. Universitario equalised 15 minutes later, Nicolas Raimondi heading home a corner. The hosts were back in front just before halftime when Isaac Mina burst into the box to win a penalty which Leider Preciado dispatched with ease. Quito’s thrd again came from the spot, Saritama was challenged clumsily by Decarlos Dos Santos on the hour and the Quito captain stepped up to dispatch the penalty himself.
Caracas 1 – Everton 0 (Copa Libertadores, April 14, 2009) Caracas maintained their 100% home record thanks to a 63rd minute penalty converted by Dario Figueroa.
Guadalajara (Chivas) 0 – Lanus 0 (Copa Libertadores, April 14, 2009) Guadalajara went close to snatching a last-minute winner against 10-man Lanus when Hector Reynoso bundled home a corner at the second attempt, but the goal was disallowed for offside.