Manchester City 2 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Chelsea threatened the City goal early doors, Shay Given forced to deny Didier Drogba when the Blues’ striker was played clean through. From the resulting corner Chelsea scored, Given pulling off two saves to stop Lampard and Anelka before the ball ricocheted off Emmanuel Adebayor’s back and into the net. The Togolese striker had an opportunity to draw City level soon after but Adebayor could only drag his shot wide of Cech’s upright. In the 37th minute City levelled, from a corner Wright-Phillips fizzed in a shot which Micah Richards deflected (arms?) into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor who needed two attempts to steer the ball over the line. (First half highlights here.) After Adebayor saw shot cleared off the line in the 53rd minute, Eastlands erupted ten minutes after the break when Carlos Tevez curled a low free-kick past a wrong-footed Cech. Shay Given saved a penalty from Frank Lampard with ten minutes remaining to secure the win for City.
West Ham 0 – Manchester United 4 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) After Ryan Giggs lifted a header over the West Ham bar five minutes before the break, it was left to Paul Scholes to break the deadlock in injury time at the end of the first half with a thunderbolt that whizzed past Rob Green into the top corner. On the hour Manchester United burst forward with Ryan Giggs leading the attack, the Welsh wizard passed the ball across to Darron Gibson and the Irishman cracked home his third goal of the week with a strike from the edge of the box. United then went into overdrive, Rooney linked up with Anderson on the left and Antonio Valencia slide in the third, before Valencia turns provider and crossed in from the right for Wayne Rooney to crash home number four.
Arsenal 2 – Stoke 0 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Arsenal had the chance to take a second minute lead over Stoke but Andrei Arshavin saw his shot smothered by Sorensen. Arshavin continued his menace up front for the Gunners winning a penaltyÂ after 20 minutes but Cesc Fabregas fluffed his chance as Sorensen again cam to Stoke’s rescue. Arsenal eventually scored after 26 minutes as Cesc and Andrei Ashavin combined with the Russian finding the net. Sorensen continued to be Stoke’s saviour after the break denying Arshavin with a smart save down low, and the Russian was then denied by the woodwork after his shot took a deflection onto the bar. Substitute Aaron Ramsey wrapped up the victory with the outside of his right boot to make the points safe for Arsenal.
Blackburn 0 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Missing Fernando Torres, Liverpool struggled to create much in the opening 45 at Blackburn, Steven Gerrard having one of the few half-chances with a shot that deflected behind for a corner. Gerrard warmed Robinson’s hands with a low shot 10 minutes into the second half. David Ngog missed the chance of the match when the Frenchman managed to hit the bar from two yards out from Glen Johnson had superbly teed up the striker.
Aston Villa 3 – Hull 0 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Richard Dunne put Villa in front, James Milner lobbed in the second (thanks to a brilliant quick throw) and John Carew completed the victory from the penalty spot.
Portsmouth 2 – Burnley 0 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Fratton Park witnessed controversy on the half hour as Hreidarsson took a blatant dive in the Burnley box, Phil Dowd was conned into awarding Pompey the penalty but justice was served as Aruna Dindane fluffed the spot-kick and the the rebound. Burnley proceeded to create the better chances in the match, but in the 64th minute Dindane played in Hermann Hreidarsson in the inside left channel and the left-back thumped a low shot into the far post. In the final ten minutes Aruna Dindane headed in the South Coasters second to earn Avram Grant his first victory in his new job.
Wigan 2 – Birmingham 3 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Charles N’Zogbia curled in a brilliant goal to put the Latics into the lead. Birmingham gained the win in the second half thanks to a Sebastian Larsson free kick that evaded everyone, a goal from livewire striker Christian Benitez and another impressive Larsson dead ball. Jordi Gomez pulled one back for the home side.
Wolves 2 – Bolton 1 (Premier League, December 5, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Jody Craddock scored yet again in the third minute and Nenad Milijas doubled the lead with a cracking left-footed drive. Johan Elmander grabbed a consolation for struggling Bolton.
Leeds 2 – Huddersfield 2 (League One, December 5, 2009) Leeds led twice thanks to an early goal from Robert Snodgrass followed by a second-half strike by substitute Max Gradel which put Leeds back in front after Lee Novak’s equaliser. But more than 36,000 fans saw Jordan Rhodes’ header 12 minutes from time earn a point for the Terriers.
Falkirk 1 – Rangers 3 (SPL, December 5, 2009) Looking to bounce back from a poor run of form, Rangers took a 19th minute lead at Falkirk when Kris Boyd swept home a right-wing cross from four yards. Ten minutes from the break Kris Boyd struck again from also an identical position, this time converted Miller’s cross, but the hosts were soon back in the game when Pedro Moutinho exploited slack Rangers marking from a corner to score for the hosts. Kenny Miller’s 75th minute penalty wrapped up the points for the Gers.
Celtic 3 – Aberdeen 0 (SPL, December 5, 2009) Scott McDonald gave the home side a first-half lead and after Georgios Samaras scored six minutes after the break, Dons defender Jerel Ifil was sent off by referee Mike Tumilty after appearing to kick out at the Greece international as they clashed on the touchline. In a second-half siege, Samaras bundled in his second to take the Hoops two points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers.
Deportivo La Coruna 1 – Barcelona 3 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Barca went into the break at Depor all-square, Lionel Messi’s low drive had put the Catalans ahead but Adrian’s headed equaliser aided by a Valdes’ inability to keep the ball out the net, brought the hosts back level. With 11 minutes remaining Leo Messi struck again, this time the pocket-dynamo scored with a rare header in the box, and Barca wrapped up the points two minutes from time as Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed the visitors’ third.
Real Madrid 4 – Almeria 2 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Just after the half hour, Sergio Ramos rose highest to head Real Madrid into the lead from a Ronaldo cross. Two goals in four minutes around the hour mark from Fernando Soriano and Uche Kalu turned the game on its head and gave Almeria an unlikely lead. Gonzalo Higuain brought Los Blancos level with 18 minutes to go. The comeback was complete when Karim Benzema hit the third after Ronaldo had seen a penalty saved. Cristiano Ronaldo made up for the miss seconds later with the fourth only to get sent off to spoil a fine comeback win for the Galacticos.
Sevilla 1 – Valladolid 1 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) Manolo Jimenez’s side went behind after 33 minutes when Angola striker Manucho gave the visitors a surprise lead, but Valladolid found themselves a man down five minutes later after Borja Fernandez was sent off for a cynical lunge on Diego Perotti. Things then went from bad to worse for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side as they conceded a penalty on the stroke of half-time, and Luis Fabiano converted but Sevilla failed to find a winner.
Xerez 0 – Atletico Madrid 2 (La Liga, December 5, 2009) Diego Forlan put Atletico ahead in the 29th minute from Jose Antonio Reyes’ assist and Sergio Aguero made sure of victory by scoring in the 65th.
Juventus 2 – Inter Milan 1 (Serie A, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Unbeaten in their previous eight league games, Jose Mourinho’s side finally buckled in Turin going behind after Diego’s 20th minute deflected free-kick beat Julio Cesar. Samuel Eto’o restored parity six minutes later heading home from Dejan StankoviÄ‡’s cross, but the game was won in the 58th minute with Julio Cesar’s parry from a Sissoko strike teeing up Claudio Marchisio to lift the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net.
AC Milan 3 – Sampdoria 0 (Serie A, December 5, 2009) Milan needed just sixty seconds to score against Samp, Marco Borriello heading home Ronaldinho’s left wing cross. Clarence Seedorf made it 2-nil to the Rossoneri after 21 minutes, again from a Ronaldinho assist, and three minutes later Alexandre Pato sunk Samp’s chances of getting back in the game by netting the third. (First half goals here.)
Wolfsburg 2 – Freiburg 2 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Wolfsburg fell behind at home to Freiberg when Mohamadou Idrissou powered his way through the home defence to score after 19 minutes, The lead didn’t last long as Felix Bastians headed a cross into his own net to equalise for the Wolves. Freiberg restored their lead early in the second half when Ivica Banovic scored from the spot, but nine minutes from time Fabian Johnson scored for the hosts as they came back for the second time in the match.
Borussia Dortmund 4 – Nurnberg 0 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Borussia dominated their first half with Nurnberg with Kevin Grosskreutz scoring after eight minutes, Lucas Barrios doubled the lead after 13 minutes while Mohamed Zidan tapped home number third after Barrios had outpaced the visitors’ backline. Mats Hummels put the result beyond doubt with Dortmund’s fourth early in the second half.
Stuttgart 1 – Bochum 1 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Serdar Tasci’s header for Stuttgart put Bochum behind in the 63rd minute but Bochum snatched a point at the death through Christian Fuchs’ superb left-footed free-kick.
Hannover 0 – Bayer Leverkusen 0 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Leverkusen lacked their usual offensive spark against the hosts’ tight defence, missing their best chance midway through the second half when Stefan Kiessling’s header was cleared on the line by defender Konstantin Rausch.
Hamburg 0 – Hoffenheim 0 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Hamburg and Hoffenheim finished goalless, a result which helped neither side. It was a seventh league game without a win for Hamburg who are fourth, six points behind Leverkusen. Hoffenheim remain sixth, a further point behind.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – Mainz 0 (Bundesliga, December 5, 2009) Maik Franz put the hosts in front just before the half-hour mark and, after Mainz’s Chadlj Amri has been sent off midway through the second half, Alexander Meier sealed the points in the final minute.
Bordeaux 1 – PSG 0 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009) Czech midfielder Jaroslav Plasil headed home from a Benoit Tremoulinas cross in the 24th minute and Bordeaux then relied on their sturdy defence to keep the visitors at bay.
Nice 1 – Marseille 3 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Mamadou Niang put Marseille ahead by finishing a sweeping 18th-minute counter-attack involving Lucho and Fabrice Abriel, with Kafoumba Coulibaly restoring parity just after the half hour with his first Ligue 1 goal. Lucho Gonzalez, an 18 million-euro summer signing from FC Porto, volleyed home from Niang’s knockdown in the 76th minute before substitute Bakary Kone sealed victory with an adroit finish four minutes from time.
Valenciennes 3 – Monaco 1 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009) The home side left it late to secure the three points after Nene had cancelled out David Ducourtioux’s opener. Mamadou Samassa put the hosts back in front five minutes from time and Fahid Ben Khalfallah made sure in injury time.
Rennes 1 – Lorient 0 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009) Moussa Sow struck in the second minute as Rennes claimed victory against Lorient.
Montpellier 2 – Le Mans 1 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009) Montpellier had moved into second place with a 2-1 victory over 10-man Le Mans. Karim Ait-Fana opened the scoring for the hosts in the 12th minute but Anthony Le Tallec surprisingly levelled for Le Mans after Mathieu Dossevi had been sent off.
St. Etienne 0 – Sochaux 0 (Ligue 1, December 5, 2009)
Leixoes 1 – Braga 1 (Superliga, December 5, 2009) Leixoes had led from the 33rd minute when an own goal from Moises put them in front, however they were reduced to 10 men on the 50-minute mark when striker Braga was dismissed. Visitors Braga pushed for an equaliser and it arrived in the 88th minute when Alan netted.
Naval 1 – Pacos Ferreira 0 (Superliga, December 5, 2009) Naval won 1-0 at home against Pacos Ferreira with a goal from Diego Angelo.
Rio Ave 0 – Belenenses 0 (Superliga, December 5, 2009) The league’s two draw specialists Rio Ave and Belenenses not surprisingly played out a goalless stalemate. Both teams have drawn seven of their 12 league matches to date.
Standard Liege 2 – Germinal Beerschot 2 (Jupiler League, December 5, 2009) Germinal Beerschot missed the chance to close the gap on Anderlecht and Club Brugge as they were held 2-2 at Standard Liege.Â The visitors led twice through Bart Goor (39) and Tosin Dosunmu (62) but were pegged back by goals from Milan Jovanovic (57) and Igor De Camargo (82).
Kortrijk 1- Zulte-Waregem 0 (Jupiler League, December 5, 2009) Kortrijk beat Zulte-Waregem 1-0 thanks to a 75th-minute goal from Leon Benko.
Eskisehirspor 2 – Fenerbahce 1 (Super Lig, December 5, 2009) Fenerbahce had the chance to open up a three-point lead at the top of the standings but Adem Sari fired a double for Eskisehirspor and Fenerbahce’s only reply was a stoppage-time strike from Diego Lugano as they remained level with Besiktas.
Kasimpasa 2 – Sivasspor 2 (Super Lig, December 5, 2009) Erman Kilic’s first-half penalty cancelled out Cenk Isler’s opener before a Baris Basdas own goal levelled Gokhan Gulec’s strike. Both sides ended the contest with 10 men with Yekta Kurtulus dismissed for Kasimpasa and Ibrahim Dagasan seeing red for the visitors.
Xanthi 0 – Olympiakos 1 (Greek Super League, December 5, 2009) Leonardo scored the only goal of the game in the 31st minute as the visitors maintained their unbeaten record this season.
PAOK 1 – Larissa 0 (Greek Super League, December 5, 2009) PAOK were 1-0 winners against Larissa, Vladimir Ivic netting a penalty in the fourth minute, while both sides finished with 10 men.
Levadiakos 0 – Aris 2 (Greek Super League, December 5, 2009) Javier Campora and Mehdi Nafti scored as Aris beat Levadiakos 2-0.
Grasshoppers 1 – FC Zurich 0 (Swiss Super League, December 5, 2009)
Beitar Jerusalem 3 – Hapoel Raanana 1 (Ligat ha’Al, December 5, 2009)
Urawa Red Diamonds 0 – Kashima Antlers 1 (J-League, December 5, 2009) Kashima Antlers claimed a third consecutive J-League title after a 1-0 victory over rivals Urawa Red Diamonds on the final day of the season, Shinzoh Koroki scored his 12th of the season after 68 minutes at a rain-soaked Saitama Stadium to spark wild celebrations amongst the away fans.
Gamba Osaka 2 – JEF United Chiba 0 (J-League, December 5, 2009) Gamba Osaka finished third as they rounded off their season with a 2-0 win over relegated JEF United Chiba with AFC Player of the Year Yasuhito Endo grabbing both goals.
Kashiwa Reysol 2 – Kawasaki Frontale 3 (J-League, December 5, 2009)Â Frontale knew that nothing less than three points would do if they were to maintain their hope of winning a maiden J. League title. They had made the ideal start against Kashiwa as they raced into a dominant lead with three goals in 10 minutes. First, Juninho converted a penalty on the half hour mark before North Korean striker Jong Tae-se and Kengo Nakamura added further goals in the 38th and 40th minutes respectively. Franca reduced the deficit in the 70th minute before the Brazilian grabbed a second 10 minutes from time to ensure a nervy finish.
Shimizu S-Pulse 0 – Nagoya Grampus Eight 0 (J-League, December 5, 2009)
Oita Trinita 1 – Omiya Ardija 1 (J-League, December 5, 2009)
Yamagata 0 – Yokohama F.Marinos 0 (J-League, December 5, 2009)
Gold Coast United 2 – Central Coast Mariners 1 (A-League, December 5 2009) Matt Simon put the Mariners ahead in the 39th minute before New Zealand international Shane Smeltz levelled in the 68th minute. Andrew Barisic struck with 14 minutes remaining to ensure Gold Coast took the three vital points and move above the Mariners.
Sydney FC 4 – North Queensland Fury 1 (A-League, December 5 2009) John Aloisi put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute before Alex Brosque made it 2-0 five minutes later with a fine strike from the edge of the area. Brosque got his second and Sydney’s third two minutes before the hour mark when he was allowed to head home unmarked before Terry Cooke pulled one back for Fury in the 61st minute. But Sydney skipper Steve Corica rounded off the victory in the 64th minute when he headed home to restore the hosts three-goal cushion.
Boca Juniors 1 – Independiente 2 (Apertura, December 5, 2009)
Argentinos Juniors 2 – San Lorenzo 1 (Apertura, December 5, 2009)
Atletico Tucuman 2 – Colon 0 (Apertura, December 5, 2009)
Nautico 0 – Avai FC 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, December 5, 2009)
Atletico Mineiro 0 – Corinthians 3 (Campeonato Brasileiro, December 5, 2009)