Liverpool chew up & spit out Championship Newcastle; Poor Sunderland look set to join to Toon after falling to Everton

Liverpool 3 – Newcastle 0 (Premier League, May 3, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) With Alan Shearer taking the decision to bench Michael Owen, Liverpool controlled the opening stages at Anfield as Gerrard forced Harper into a finger-tip save early on. It was no surprise when the Reds finally scored, Yossi Benayoun (offside) converting a Kuyt cross. Poor Newcastle quickly conceded a second, Bassong lost Dirk Kuyt from a corner and the flying Dutchman threw himself into a crashing header. Xabi Alonso was unfortunate to see his shot rebound off the woodwork as Liverpool ran riot in the first half. (First half highlights here.) Joey Barton received a straight red for a nasty foul on Alonso late on, before Fabio Aurelio’s free-kick was headed home by Lucas Leiva with the Toon defence all at sea.

Sunderland 0 – Everton 2 (Premier League, May 3, 2009) After a drab goalless first half at the Stadium of Light, Everton took the lead minutes after the restart as Jo played the ball into Steven Pienaar who scored an ugly goal to further puncture the Black Cats’ hopes of survival. Soon it was 2-nil, Pienaar was given the freedom of the right-hand side and his cross was converted by Marouane Fellaini in the centre of the box.

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Sheffield Wednesday 1 – Cardiff 0 (Championship, May 3, 2009) Cardiff suffered the torment of dropping out of the play-off places on the final day of the season needing only a point to be safe, a stunning strike from Jermaine Johnson ended the season on a high note for the Owls.

Carlisle 2 – Millwall 0 (League One, May 2, 2009) Graham Kavanagh blasted a 25-yard rocket on seven minutes that set Carlisle on their way to safety, with Paul Thirwell volleying United into a two-goal lead just after the break.

Crewe 0 – Leicester 3 (League One, May 2, 2009) Bruno Berner put Leicester ahead from 30-yards, Lloyd Dyer’s prodded strike made it 2-nil and Matty Fryatt’s cool finish, his 32nd goal of the season, sealed the match for the Foxes.

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Rangers 2 – Hearts 0 (SPL, May 3, 2009) Andrius Velicka found himself at the right place at the right time to sweep Rangers into the lead on the stroke of halftime with Hearts. Kris Boyd made certain of the victory with a second in the 89th minute.

St. Johnstone 3 – Greenock Morton 1 (Scottish League One, May 2, 2009) The Perth outfit went behind through a Ryan McGuffie penalty, but a goal from Martin Hardie and a Steven Milne double sealed the win and St. Johnstone’s return to the SPL.

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Real Betis 0 – Atletico Madrid 2 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Diego Forlan opened the scoring following a fine passing move after 14 minutes and although Betis had their chances to equalise it was the Uruguayan who had the final say two minutes from the end.

Espanyol 3 – Valencia 0 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) After a goalless first half (highlights here) between Espanyol and Valencia, Roman Martinez fired the hosts ahead with a brilliant left-footed drive that crashed in off the post. Espanyol secured a much needed three points with a second from Nicolas Pareja eight minutes from time with Nene adding a last minute penalty.

Racing Santander 0 – Almeria 2 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Almeria broke the deadlock at Santander inside 2 minutes with Juan Manuel Ortiz crashing home a volley in the box. And after 13 minutes it was two as Oritz fired home his second of the game.

Deportivo La Coruna 1 – Valladolid 0 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Young Tunisian forward Lassad Nouioui grabbed his chance of receiving some playing time for Depor by putting the hosts ahead with a clinical strike in the box after 7 minutes.

Mallorca 2 – Getafe 1 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Getafe’s defence were torn wide open by a quick Mallorca free-kick with Jurado have the simple jop of slotting the ball home. David Navarro equalised for Getafe at the start of the second half but Aritz Aduriz restored Mallorca’s lead 20 minutes out.

Osasuna 1 – Recreativo Huelva 2 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Walter Pandiani scored a trademark header to put Osasuna ahead over Recre. Fighting for their top-flight lives, Recre won the match in a dramatic final ten minutes. Ersen Martin levelled after Recre put together a series of backheels in the build-up, with South African Nasief Morris proving the match-winner in the 90th minute with a back post volley.

Sporting Gijon 1 – Athletic Bilbao 1 (La Liga, May 3, 2009) Mate Bilic ghosted in between Bilbao’s centre-halves to head Sporting into the lead. But Athletic grabbed a last-gasp equaliser through Andoni Iraola to earn a share of the spoils.

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Genoa 3 – Sampdoria 1 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Diego Milito tapped home at the far post to put Genoa ahead on the half hour, but Hugo Campagnaro levelled with a cool finish in first half injury time. Milito produced another composed finish to re-establish Genoa’s lead on 73 minutes, before a wild two minutes saw three players – Matteo Ferrari and Thiago Motta (Genoa), and Campagnaro for Sampdoria – sent off. Milito wrapped up the victory in stoppage time, side-footing into an empty net after a breakaway from Palladino.

Juventus 2 – Lecce 2 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) Juve fell behind at home to Lecce after Axel Cedric Konan broke the offside trap before slipping the ball past Buffon. Alex Del Piero came close to equalising with a free-kick. After the break Juve drew level as Pavel Nedved equalised for the Old Lady, and the legendary Czech midfielder doubled his tally with a second in the 67th minute. But Lecce dug deep to find a 93rd minute leveller through Jose Ignacio Castillo’s diving header. Gigi Buffon’s face at full time told the story of the match.

Catania 0 – AC Milan 2 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) AC Milan took the lead at Catania with Kaka feeding the ball into Super Pippo who spun and found the back of the net. Kaka doubled the Rossoneri’s lead poking the ball over the line early in the second half.

Udinese 3 – Atalanta 0 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) Fabio Quagliarella put Udinese ahead against Atalanta. Fabio Quagliarella helped himself to a second 15 minutes from time with the visitors’ defence caught napping before Giovanni Pasquale slotted home the third at the death.

Siena 2 – Napoli 1 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) Houssine Kharja scored a fantastic solo effort to fire Siena ahead against Napoli, Massimo Maccarone slamming home the second after the visitors fell asleep from a throw-in.

Palermo 5 – Cagliari 1 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) Palermo took a two goal lead through Giulio Migliaccio and Fabrizio Miccoli (stunning free-kick) before Jeda pulled a goal back for Cagliari. Hopes of a comeback were snuffed out by further strikes from Giovanni Tedesco and Edinson Cavani at the start of the second half.

Fiorentina 1 – Torino 0 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) Fiorentina moved ahead against Torino with a lovely goal from Juan Manuel Vargas who controlled a through ball on his chest, beat the keeper through his legs before rolling the ball into the unguarded net.

Roma 0 – Chievo 0 (Serie A, May 3, 2009) A lively game in Rome ended goalless as Chievo’s defence was able to hold out for ninety minutes.

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Hamburg 1 – Hertha Berlin 1 (Bundesliga, May 3, 2009) Hamburg struck first in the massive top of the table clash with Hertha, Marcell Jansen connecting with a cute volley at the near post after brilliant work by Olic down the left-hand side. (First half highlights here.) Hertha drew level with a bolt out of the blue from Gojko Kacar who thrashed home a half-volley from 25-yards out. (Second half highlights here.)

Cologne 1 – Werder Bremen 0 (Bundesliga, May 3, 2009)  Cologne’s serial-goalscorer Milivoje Novakovic proved the difference between the sides sliding home the winner in the 61st minute.

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Bordeaux 3 – Sochaux 0 (Ligue 1, May 3, 2009) Bordeaux pulled level on points with league leaders Marseille, Gregory Sertic and Yoann Gourcuff fired the hosts 2-up inside 14 minutes while Marouane Chamakh added a third at the death.

Nantes 1 – Le Harve 2 (Ligue 1, May 3, 2009) Christian Bekamenga powered a shot inside the near post to hand Nantes the lead over Le Harve. Mamadou Diallo equalised with a header after the home defence had their offside trap breached. Florian Marange won the match for the visitors with a goal on the hour mark.

PSG 0 – Rennes 1 (Ligue 1, May 3, 2009) An unlucky Mamadou Sakho own goal, a wayward strike deflecting off the defender, handed Rennes the three points.

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Twente 3 – AZ Alkmaar 0 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Steve McClaren is finishing the season in style with Twente as they battered the champions to end the year in second place. Kenneth Perez (a perfect free-kick), Peter Wisgerhof and Eljero Elia netted the goals in the second half.

Sparta 4 – Ajax 0 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Third-place Ajax were taken apart by Sparta with Edouard Duplan and Yuri Rose giving them a 2-nil advantage at the interval. Joshua John netted midway through the second half and Dele Adeleye added a fourth.

Utrecht 2 – Feyenoord 2 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Tom Caluwe gave Utrecht the lead on the final day of the Dutch season, Feyenoord soon levelling the match through Jon Dahl Tomasson. Sander Keller restored Utrecht’s lead just after the hour, but again it did not last as Feyenoord youngster Georginio Wijnaldum fired home.

PSV 1 – NEC 1 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Danko Lazovic slotted home from the penalty spot just after halftime for PSV, but he was then sent-off just minutes later. Edison Mendez joined him in the dressing room as he saw red eight minutes from time and PSV just could not hang on as Tim Janssen pounced in injury time.

NAC Breda 0 – De Graafschap 1 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Graafschap remain in the bottom three despite a 90th minute winner from Oussama Assaidi proving enough to beat NAC.

Vitesse 1 – Heracles 0 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Lasse Nilsson handed a late victory to Vitesse.

Heerenveen 2 – ADO Den Haag 2 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Two goals in as many minutes from Csaba Horvath and Lex Immers gave Den Haag a 2-goal lead at the interval. Heerenveen then missed a penalty through Danijel Pranic just after the break. But the fifth-placed Frisians were not to be denied as Paulo Henrique (79) and Kristian Bak Nielsen (87) scored.

Volendam 0 – FC Groningen 1 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) Volendam sunk to second from bottom as they were also undone by a last-gasp goal against Groningen, Tim Matavz scoring four minutes into injury time.

Roda 0 – Willem II 1 (Eredivisie, May 3, 2009) The match in Kerkrade ended in heartbreak for Roda as they looked set to claim a goalless draw until two minutes into added time when Niels Vorthoren pounced to confirm Roda’ relegation.

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Besiktas 1 – Fenerbahce 2 (Super Lig, May 3, 2009) Dani Guiza opened the scoring with a sublime goal, starting and finishing the move that ended with a beautiful chip over the keeper. Semih Senturk doubled Fener’s lead after the break with a thundering strike that went in off the underside of the bar, with Filip Holosko scoring the goal of the game – a wonderful solo effort with a top draw finish to boot – for second-placed Besiktas but it proved too little, too late.

Gaziantepspor 2 – Sivasspor 1 (Super Lig, May 3, 2009) Mehmet Yildiz handed Sivas the lead, but the Turkish league leaders that suffered a terrible collapse Ibrahim Ferdi Coskun and Beto turned the match in Gaziantepspor’s favour. (Beto was sent off for ripping his short off during his celebration.)

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Maritimo 0 – Porto 3 (Superliga, May 3, 2009) Raul Meireles opened the scoring after just two minutes and Jorge Rolando (64) and Tomas Costa (83) sealed the win in the second half. The win sent Porto six points clear.

Vitoria Guimaraes 1 – Associacao Naval 0 (Superliga, May 3, 2009) Nuno Assis’ 50th minute back post header earned Vitoria the points.

Vitoria Setubal 2 – Pacos Ferreira 1 (Superliga, May 3, 2009)

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Tubize 1 – Anderlecht 1 (Jupiler League, May 3, 2009) Tubize were seconds away from a famous three points after Gregory Dufer put the hosts ahead on 83 minutes. But Marcin Wasilewski equalised in the last minute to at least earn league leaders Anderlecht a point.

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Krylya Sovietov Samara 1 – CSKA Moscow 3 (Russian Premier League, May 3, 2009) Samara’s backline failed to deal with a long straight punt and Evgeniy Savin benefitted by stabbing home a 36th minute opener. Vasili Berezutski headed the hosts level just after the hour mark, but Vagner Love restored CSKA’s advantage four minutes later with Ouwo Moussa Maazou tapping in a third at full-time.

Rostov 2 – Zenit St. Petersburg 1 (Russian Premier League, May 3, 2009) Dmitri Akimov gave Rostov the lead, which was cancelled out by much-hyped Zenit striker Pavel Pogrebnyak’s 83rd minute penalty. But Zenit could not hold on for a point, Aleksandr Gatskan winning the match for Zenit who had Fatih Tekke sent off at the death.

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Lech Poznan 1 – Ruch Chorzow 1 (Ekstraklasa, May 3, 2009)

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FC Copenhagen 3 – Aalborg 0 (SAS Ligaen, May 3, 2009) It took Copenhagen 62 minutes to find an opener which eventually was scored by William Kvist, with Zdenek Pospech adding a second 10 minutes later. Substitute Morten Nordstrand netted his 12th goal of the season with three minutes to go.

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All the goals from the weekend’s action in Croatia 1. HNL can be seen here.

Dinamo Zagreb 4 – NK Rijeka 0 (1. HNL, May 3, 2009)

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Ujpest 2 – Diosgyor 2 (Borsodi Liga, May 3, 2009)

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Orlando Pirates 2 – Kaizer Chiefs 1 (South African Premier League, May 2, 2009) The Pirates completed the double over the Chiefs in the Soweto derby, Katlego Mashego becoming the hero with a brace for the Buccaneers.

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Al Ahly 2 – Kano Pillars 2* (Agg. 3-3) (African Champions League, May 2, 2009) The African champions were dumped out of this year’s competition in a shock result against Nigeria’s Pillars. Pillars took a two goal lead in a hectic second half through Victor Namo and Rabiu Mohamed, before Flavio Amado and Mohamed Barakat levelled the scores.

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New England Revolution 0 – Houston Dynamo 2 (MLS, May 3, 2009) Stuart Holden and Brian Ching were on target for Houston.

Chicago Fire 1 – Seattle Sounders 1 (MLS, May 2, 2009) Marco Pappa’s low blast gave the Fire a lead with 22 minutes left, but Tyrone Marshall grabbed the visitors’ share shortly thereafter.

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Corinthians 1 – Santos 1 (Agg. 4- 2) (Paulista A1 Play-Off, May 3, 2009) Striker Kleber Pereira put Santos ahead with a penalty, but defender Andre Santos equalised for Corinthians in the 33rd with first-time shot inside the area. Corinthians become the first unbeaten Sao Paulo state champion in 37 years.

Flamengo 2* – Botafogo 2 (Carioca Final, May 3, 2009) Kleberson put Flamengo ahead in front with a header in the 19th, and added to the lead with a booming free-kick in the 38th. Botafogo rallied with a well-struck free-kick by Juninho in the 61st, and two minutes later midfielder Tulio Souza equalised from close range to send the game to penalties. Goalkeeper Bruno was Flamengo’ hero, saving a penalty in regulation and two more in a shootout as Flamengo won their its third straight state title.

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Boca Juniors 2 – Banfield 3 (Clausura, May 3, 2009) Uruguayans Santiago Silva and Sebastian Fernandez scored for Banfield, while a goal from Facundo Roncaglia and an own goal from Jose Devaca seemed to give Boca a point. But Victor Lopez appeared in second half injury-time to snatch El Taladro the three points.

Newells Old Boys 1 – River Plate 0 (Clausura, May 3, 2009) The only goal arrived from Mauro Formica nine minutes from time.

Huracan 3 – Godoy Cruz 2 (Clausura, May 3, 2009) Huracan’s goals were scored by Paolo Goltz, Federico Nieto and Matias de Federico, while Ivan Borghello and Roberto Jimenez scored for the visitors.

Gimnasia de Jujuy 0 – Rosario Central 1 (Clausura, May 3, 2009) Rosario Central picked up a vital away win with a first half strike from Ezequiel Gonzalez, who was sent off later on in the game.

Racing Club 4 – Arsenal Sarandi 1 (Clausura, May 3, 2009)