Manchester United 2 – Blackburn Rovers 1 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Wayne Rooney put United in front, finishing off a fine Nani cross that Nelsen could not cut out. Just under ten minutes later United finally conceded a goal (1,337 minutes since letting in their last Premier League goal), Roque Santa Cruz rounding Kuszczak and sliding the ball home. With Blackburn looking dangerous early in the second half, it was left to Cristiano Ronaldo to produce a stunning trademark free-kick to put United ahead again just before the hour mark.
Arsenal 0 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Andrei Arshavin forced a good saved from Fulop after 14 minutes with a rasping left-footed drive. (First half highlights here.)
Aston Villa 0 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â The Guus Hiddink era at Chelsea started according to the fairytale script, 19 minutes in Frank Lampard rode two tackles to break into the final third where he played in Nicolas Anelka who produced the expert finish. Ashley Young, who was proving to be Villa’s main threat, struck the crossbar with a free-kick just after the half hour. Villa continued to press after the break, Gabi Agbonlahor beat Alex to get a sight of goal but his shot was turned aside by Cech.
Bolton 2 – West Ham 1 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) For the second time this season Matty Taylor scored a quality free-kick against West Ham, this time curling his effort high past Rob Green’s outstretched hand. The Trotters doubled their lead sixty seconds later when Elmander’s low cross was converted on the run by Kevin Davies. In the 66th minute the Hammers deservedly pulled a goal back, a Spector cross found Scott Parker who scored from eight yards out.
Stoke 2 – Portsmouth 2 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â A dull game came to life in the final quarter of an hour. Niko Kranjcar put Pompey ahead, only for Stoke to hit back through a debatable penalty converted by James Beattie and then Beattie scored again looking way offside. Late on Ryan Shawcross put a Hreidarsson cross into his own net to leave both teams firmly in the relegation mix.
Middlesbrough 0 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â The goalless draw leaves Boro second bottom after a dismal run of 14 games without a win. Wigan’s Lee Cattermole was lucky not to be sent off after a poorÂ tackle on Didier Digard that held up the match for six minutes.
QPR 1 – Ipswich 3 (Championship, February 21, 2009) QPR took the lead inside two minutes when Routledge crossed for Sam Di Carmine to fire home. Ipswich levelled on 14 minutes when Counago slipped the ball into the path of Jon Stead who scored. Pablo Counago put Ipswich ahead with a fine curling shot after the break, and Walters met Quinn’s long pass to kill the match.
Rangers 3 – Kilmarnock 1 (SPL, February 21, 2009) Killie took the lead after 17 minutes when Jamie Hamill drilled his shot past McGregor. Kris Boyd got Rangers back on level terms as a corner from Mendes was knocked down by Bougherra, and Rangers took the lead on the 33 minute mark through Kenny Miller. Miller then made the points safe for Rangers as he grabbed his second goal two minutes later.
Real Madrid 6 – Real Betis 1 (La Liga, February 21, 2009) Real Madrid were incredibly 6-1 up at home to Betis at halftime after an incredible opening 45 minutes. Higuain opened the scoring on seven minutes and eight minutes later Klaas Jan Huntelaar bagged his second Madrid goal. Nine minutes later the Dutchman made it 3-0 and on the half-hour Ricardo Oliveira gave Betis some hope. But a flurry of goals at the end of the half killed the game, Raul scored a brace (first and second) and Sergio Ramos claimed the sixth on the stroke of half-time.
Barcelona 1 – Espanyol 2 (La Liga, February 21, 2009) Barcelona and Espanyol played out a goalless first half which saw the home side down to ten men after Keita had been sent off for a reckless challenge. (First-half highlights here.) Relegation threatened Espanyol took advantage in the second half and Ivan de la Pena headed home the opener and five minutes later the former Barca midfielder doubled the lead with an exquisite chip following a poor kick from Valdes. Yaya Toure gave Barcelona some hope with a fine left-footed volley finish.
Villarreal 2 – Sporting Gijon 1 (La Liga, February 21, 2009) (Alternative highlights here.) An amazing start at El Madrigal saw Mate Bilic give Gijon the lead after a minute but less than 60 seconds later Giuseppe Rossi equalised for Villarreal and they made sure of a three-point haul following Joan Capdevilaâ€™s 36th minute header.
Sevilla 1 – Atletico Madrid 0 (La Liga, February 21, 2009) For the second week running Sevilla sowed up victory in the final minutes of the match, Jesus Navas slotting home the winner with 3 minutes remaining.
Bologna 1 – Inter Milan 2 (Serie A, February 21, 2009) The Inter Scudetto procession remained on course. Esteban Cambiasso put them in front from an Adriano knock down before Bologna equalised late on through Miguel Britos but a Mario Balotelli free-kick evaded everyone a minute later to give Mourinho’s side another crucial win.
Palermo 0 – Juventus 2 (Serie A, February 21, 2009) Momo Sissoko broke the deadlock with a tremendous solo goal after 24 minutes, the midfielder danced passed his covering defender and rifled a shot on the slide into the top corner. David Trezeguet wrapped up the win slotting home after fine work by Amauri on the left hand side.
Sassuolo 1 – Rimini 0 (Serie B, February 21, 2009) A poorly cleared corner allowed Zampagna to pounce from six yards for the only goal of the game.
Mantova 0 – Triestina 1 (Serie B, February 21, 2009) Princivalli’s free-kick proved decisive with the aid of a deflection off Gorgone in the wall.
Grossetto 2 – Livorno 3 (Serie B, February 21, 2009) Perticone accidentally turned Gessa’s cross into his own net with a diving header and five minutes later Abruzzese’s tap-in made it 2-nil. Diamanti hit a 40-yard screamer into the top corner and after the restart Tavano swept in the equaliser. Bergvold completed an inspirational comeback with a left-foot cracker into the top corner.
Bari 2 – Ascoli 2 (Serie B, February 21, 2009) Pesce’s free-kick and a Giorgi counter-attack put Ascoli in a commanding position. Guberti’s volley against his former club got them back in the game and deep into stoppages Nastos was harshly judged to have brought down Kamata for Parisi’s last-gasp penalty.
Avellino 1 – Vicenza 0 (Serie B, February 21, 2009) Pepe scored the only goal of the game with a right-footed volley to bring down a Vicenza side in crisis.
All the goals scored in Saturday’s action in Serie B can be seen here.
Bayern Munich 1 – FC Cologne 2 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) Bayern’s troubled start to 2009 persisted early on against Cologne, Klinsmann had to watch on as a Miroslav Klose diving header was wrongly chalked off and then at the other end a slick attack including Novakovic and Vucicevic ended with a clinical finish from Fabrice Ehret. And it got worse for Bayern, Vucicevic teased Lahm in the left back position, passed into Brosinski who side-footed in the second. Daniel van Buyten’s late header proved nothing more than a consolation.
Stuttgart 3 – Hoffenheim 3 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) Demba Ba fired Hoffenheim into the lead away at Stuttgart with a shot across Lehmann that the keeper couldn’t keep out. But the lead only last two minutes, Jeronimo Cacau was freed in the inside left channel and he drove into the box and poked a shot into the far corner. The turnaround was completed on the half hour mark, a loose Stuttgart corner was picked up at the back post by Tasci who swung in a pacey cross to the near post where lethal Mario Gomez headed home. On the stroke of halftime Demba Ba struck low for his second of the match. On the hour mark serial goalscorer Mario Gomez hit again, the striker finding himself in acres of space in the box before perfectly lobbing the keeper in an over-the-top manner. But again the lead was short-lived, Demba Ba netting his hat-trick goal after outsprinting the home defence. Hoffenheim missed the chance to win a 7-goal thriller when Sejad Salihovic blasted high a 92nd minute penalty.
Wolfsburg 2 – Hertha Berlin 1 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) Hertha moved ahead at Wolfsburg when Cicero headed in a cross at the back post on the hour mark. But the league leaders were pegged back when Edin Dzeko continued his goalscoring exploits. Hertha hearts were then broken seven minutes from time as Edin Dzeko bundled in his second of the game to earn Wolsburg the win.
Arminia Bielefeld 1 – Bochum 1 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) An acrobatic overhead-kick from Diego Klimowicz gave Bochum the lead at Arminia. Eight minutes from time Mijatovic’s flick on from a free-kick brought the hosts level.
Moenchengladbach 3 – Hannover 2 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) Alexander Baumjohann broke the deadlock for Gladbach with a bullet into the top corner from outside the box. (How is it that Baumjohann only ever scores amazing goals?) Hannover then found themselves two behind when Marin scored minutes before the break. The visitors pulled a goal back through Sergio Pinto early in the second half. The comeback was completed when Schulz headed home a corner to bring Hannover level. Oliver Neuville’s late volley gave the hosts the win.
Energie Cottbus 2 – Werder Bremen 1 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) Werder raced out the blocks after the break at Cottbus as Hugo Almeida powered home a header. The lead lasted five minutes until Ivica Iliev scored the equaliser at the near post, and Dimitar Rangelov’s 90th minute winner sent Bremen home empty handed.
Karlsruhe 0 – Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Bundesliga, February 21, 2009) The wonderfully named Caio came off the bench at Karlsruhe to give Frankfurt the lead with an unconventional shot from the edge of the box.
Le Havre 1 – Auxerre 2 (Ligue 1, February 21, 2009) Thomas Kahlenberg opened for Auxerre in the first minute from a cross from Oliech after Sambou missed his clearance. Jean-Michel Lesage converted a rebound in the 37th to level for last-placed Le Havre. Valter Birsa came off the bench to give Auxerre victory in the 78th minute.
Nancy 0 – Lyon 2 (Ligue 1, February 21, 2009) Cris headed in a Delgado corner to give Lyon a 18th minute lead. Hugo Lloris stopped a Youssouf Hadji’s spot-kick in the 51st minute to hold onto the lead. And in injury time Jean Makoun set up Karim Benzema who claimed his 12th goal of the season.
Nice 0 – Rennes 1 (Ligue 1, February 21, 2009) Olivier Thomert’s winner midway through the second half for Rennes settled the match.
Heracles 0 – AZ Alkmaar 2 (Eredivisie, February 21, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Mounir El Hamdaoui was the hero for runaway leaders AZ as his brace in the 52nd and final minute gave the champions-elect a comfortable win at strugglers Heracles.
Den Haag 1 – NAC Breda 1 (Eredivisie, February 21, 2009) Rick Hoogendorp stepped from the substitutes’ bench to rescue his side at home to NAC Breda, after Nourdin Boukhari had opened the scoring.
Heerenveen 3 – Willem II 1 (Eredivisie, February 21, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Heerenveen strolled into a three-goal lead through efforts from Paulo Henrique, Kristian Bak Nielsen and Roy Beerens. Mohamed Messoudi’s goal in the 83rd minute offered Willem only scant consolation.
Sporting Lisbon 3 – Benfica 2 (Superliga, February 21, 2009) Sporting took the lead after 10 minutes, Liedson thrashing a shot into the far top corner from an acute angle. Antonio Reyes brought Benfica level from the spot, but Derlei restored the hosts lead pulling down a long ball through the middle, taking a brilliant second touch to beta his covering defender and firing home. Liedson sealed the win with a perfect header nine minutes from time, although Oscar Cardozo’s 89 minute goal set up a nervous last few minutes.
Genclerbirgli 1 – Fenerbahce 0 (Super Lig, February 21, 2009) Australian Mile Jedinak scored the only goal of the game with a deflected free-kick.
Panathinaikos 2 – Panionios 1 (Greek Super League, February 21, 2009) Dimitrios Salpingidis headed Pana into the lead and Antonis Petropoulos powered home a second header minutes later. Fabian Estoyanoff’s injury time goal was no more than a consolation.
PAOK 1 – Iraklis 0 (Greek Super League, February 21, 2009) Pablo Fica Contreras’s near post volley won the match with 12 minutes to go.
Xanthi Skoda 0 – OFI Crete 0 (Greek Super League, February 21, 2009)
Anorthosis 2 – Apollon 1 (Cypriot First Division, February 21, 2009)
Adelaide United 1 – Queensland Roar 0 (A-League playoff, February 21, 2009) A stunning Fabien Barbiero strike in the 25th minute that arrowed into the top corner set up a Grand Final meeting between Adelaide and the Melbourne Victory next weekend.
Colon 2 – Rosario Central 0 (Clausura, February 21, 2009)
Tigre 1 – Velez Sarsfield 2 (Clausura, February 21, 2009)