Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all chalk up important wins

Liverpool 2 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, March 3, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Liverpool took the lead at home to Sunderland five minutes into the second half, Gerrard headed back Riera’s cross and David Ngog was on hand to stab home his first Premier League goal. Yossi Benayoun doubled the lead after Fulop has spilled an Ngog effort.

West Brom 1 – Arsenal 3 (Premier League, March 3, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) After failing to score in four successive Premier League games, Arsenal got back to goal scoring ways at the Hawthorns within four minutes as Nicklas Bendtner scuffed a left foot shot past Carson. Almost immediately the Baggies were level, Chris Brunt squeezing a free-kick through the wall and inside Almunia’s post. Seven minutes before the break Arsenal regained the lead, Kolo Toure given the freedom to head home an Arshavin free-kick. Just before the half-time whistle, Nicklas Bendtner rifled home the third after he was put through by Toure. (First half highlights here.)

Portsmouth 0 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, March 3, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Blustery conditions at Fratton Park hampered both sides who played out a goalless first half (highlights here). With ten minutes left on the clock, Didier Drogba broke the deadlock with a powerful finish after a Bosingwa cross had reached him.

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Falkirk 0 – Dundee United 1 (SPL, March 3, 2009) Craig Conway converted a penalty on 27 minutes after Tam Scobbie had foolishly handled a Paul Dixon cross.

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Lazio 2 – Juventus 1 (Coppa Italia, March 3, 2009) Things were looking rosy for Juve at the break after Marchionni’s deflected shot, after some neat control, have given them the lead. But Lazio turned the match around after the break, Pandev equalised with a shot on the turn before Rocchi claimed the winner after collecting a beautiful through-ball.

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Mainz 1 – Schalke 0 (DFB Pokal, March 3, 2009) Mainz caused a surprise upset beating the Bundesliga opponents with an 88th minute goal by Bance, who was left horribly unmarked from a late free-kick.

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Guingamp 1 – Le Mans 0 (Coupe De France, March 3, 2009) Bakary Kone (the 20-year-old defender from Burkino Faso, not the Marseille striker with the same name) scored the only goal, heading in a free-kick late on.

Boulogne 0 – Toulouse 2 (Coupe De France, March 3, 2009) High-flying Toulouse translated their league form into the cup, Xavier Pentecote scoring a goal (first and second) in each half for the Ligue 1 side.

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Genk 2 – Lierse 2 (Beker van Belgie, March 3, 2009) Genk took a 13th-minute lead through Elianiv Barda’s penalty but needed an equaliser from Tom De Mul (74) to salvage a draw after Seth De Witte (23) and Julien Tshiala (61) had struck for Lierse.

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Pacos Ferreira 2 – Nacional 2 (Taca de Portugal, March 3, 2009) Pacos Ferreira took the lead with a finish from Leandro Tatu, but Nacional turned the game on its head before the break with a near post finish from Mateus and a fine free-kick from the revelation of the season in Portugal, Brazilian striker Nene. Dede equalised for the home side midway through the second half.

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Ankaraspor 1 – Besiktas 3 (Turkish Cup, March 3, 2009) The Black Eagles had to come from behind in the capital after Bilal Kisa put the hosts ahead from the spot in the 25th minute, but recovered to record a comfortable victory thanks to goals from Matias Delgado (41), Filip Holosko (77) and Hakan Simsek (89).

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Sturm Graz 1 – Austria Wien 1* (Pens. 3-5) (OFB Cup, March 3, 2009)

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Palmeiras 1 – Colo Colo 3 (Copa Libertadores, March 3, 2009) Colo Colo took a surprise lead in the 43rd minute after a fine solo effort from Lucas Barrios. Four minutes into the second half, fiery midfielder Rodrigo Melendez reduced Colo Colo to ten men but the Santiago side continued to look threatening, and Macnelly Torres doubled their advantage in the 53rd minute with a powerful finish. Keirrison pulled a goal back for Palmeiras, before Sebastian Gonzalez added a late third.

Caracas 2 – Guadalajara 0 (Copa Libertadores, March 3, 2009) Jaime Bustamente scored the opening goal in first-half stoppage time after a right wing corner caused chaos in the Chivas box. Dario Figueroa sealed the win in the 51st minute when he evaded the Chivas defense in the box and fired the ball into the net.

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Atlante 3 – Houston Dynamo 0 (Agg. 4-1) (CONCACAF Champions League, March 3, 2009) First half goals by Fernando Navarro and Rafael Marquez Lugo and a 90th minute strike by Giancarlo Maldonado saw Atlante progress to the next round.