United put in a historic second half display to destroy Spurs; Liverpool return to winning ways at Hull; West Ham pay the penalty against Chelsea; Robinho inspires City at Everton; Sunderland are battered by the Baggies

Manchester United 5 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Poor Manchester United defending was exploited by Spurs with two goal in three minutes around the half hour mark at Old Trafford, Darren Bent crashed in the first when Ferdinand and Vidic failed to deal with a Corluka cross from the right. And then it was two, Lennon’s cross was controlled expertly by Luka Modric who drilled a shot past Edwin van der Sar. Gomes tipped over a Ronaldo shot to maintain the lead at the break. (First half goals here.) Howard Webb controversially awarded United a penalty after Gomes appeared to cleanly win the ball of Carrick in the box, and Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score his 16th goal of the season. With over 20 minutes left on the clock United chalked up their second, Berbatov and Tevez combined before Wayne Rooney took over to beat Gomes (too easily) at the near post. Sixty seconds later the turnaround was complete, Rooney slung in a cross from the left and Cristiano Ronaldo produced a diving header to give the Red Devils the lead. Amazingly there was more three minutes later, Ronaldo dinked a ball to an unmarked Wayne Rooney who had no problems grabbing the fourth. With Spurs beaten and battered United hit a fifth as Dimitar Berbatov bundled the ball over the line after his initial header was saved.

After the match Sky Sports caught up with Rooney and Ronaldo, with the Portuguese number 7 making a point to praise second half substitute Carlos Tevez for turning the game. The interview can be seen here.

Hull 1 – Liverpool 3 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Fernando Torres was denied by a point-blank save from Boaz Myhill after six minutes. Hull slowly began to take control of the match and Geovanni came within a whisker with a sweet strike from distance. Liverpool broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime as Xabi Alonso crashed home a brilliant strike after the Spaniard’s initial free-kick rebounded off the wall. Hull were served a crippling blow when Caleb Folan lost his head, assaulted Martin Skrtel, and found himself duly sent off. And the Tigers were soon made to pay as Dirk Kuyt added a scrappy second for the Reds. That sparked Hull back into, and they pulled a goal back after Geovanni scored from Daniel Cousin’s perfect cut-back in the box. But there was no fairytale comeback, Dirk Kuyt sealed the victory with a rebound from 10 yards to put the game to bed.

West Ham 0 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) West Ham came close to breaking the deadlock minutes before interval but John Obi Mikel cleared Matthew Upson’s header off the line. (First half highlights here.) The Blues moved ahead after 54 minutes, Salomon Kalou converting a Lampard cross against their fierce local rivals. The Hammers had the chance to draw level from the spot, but Petr Cech did terrifically well to turn Mark Noble’s effort round the post. (Second half highlights here.)

Everton 1 – Manchester City 2 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) After publicly committing himself to City’s long-term future, Robinho put Sparky’s boys into the lead at Goodison when the Brazilian was released in the inside left channel and he coolly carried the ball into the box and beat Howard through his legs. City doubled their lead after the break when slack Everton defending allowed Robinho to pick out Stephen Ireland charging into the box, and the slaphead midfielder stuck away the second. Dan Gosling grabbed a well-taken 90th minute consolation for the Toffees.

West Brom 3 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) The bottom-placed Baggies won for the first time in three months to keep their slim hopes of a great escape alive. The hosts went ahead against the run of play five minutes before the break courtesy of a swinging left-foot volley from Jonas Olsson. Chris Brunt scored his fourth goal in the last three games to double the Baggies lead after a low cross from Marc-Antoine Fortune. Juan Carlos Menseguez then grabbed the third to plunge poor Sunderland further in the relegation mire.

Bolton 1 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Ashley Young, from out on the left, curled in a cross which evaded everyone and eventually found its way into the back of the net to hand the visitors the lead at the break. The Trotters levelled in the second half as Israeli international Tamir Cohen marked his first start of the season with a goal.

Fulham 1 – Stoke 0 (Premier League, April 25, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Erik Nevland, on for the injured Bobby Zamora, scored the decisive goal in the 29th minute when he collected a return pass from Andrew Johnson to fire home from eight yards to keep the Cottagers’ Euro dreams alive.

***

Valencia 2 – Barcelona 2 (La Liga, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here, extended highlights here.) Barca scored yet another brilliant goal to stick into the catalogue to move ahead in Valencia, Iniesta and Leo Messi involved in a series of one-two that tore through the home defence. But Valencia rallied in the final minutes of the half, Hedwiges Maduro headed home a 43rd minute corner before Pablo Hernandez breached through the heart of the Barca backline to coolly slot in the second. Thierry Henry was brought off the bench with half an hour to play and the Frenchman popped up with an 86th minute equaliser to keep the Catalan bandwagon ticking over to the title.

Malaga 1 – Deportivo La Coruna 1 (La Liga, April 25, 2009) Malaga were awarded an indirect free-kick against Depor just after the half hour mark and Albert Luque crashed home the opener through a crowded penalty box. Fernando drew Malaga level with a header after starting and finishing a move in the 50th minute.

Almeria 2 – Numancia 1 (La Liga, April 25, 2009) Almeria headed into the break 2-up over Numancia after scoring at the start and the end of the first half. Kalu Uche fired in the first after six minutes while poor defending allowing Negrado to nip in a steal possession just before the break, with the number 9 laying the ball on Fernando Soriano’s plate to grab the second. Asier Goiria netted a late header for Numancia.

***

Fiorentina 4 – Roma 1 (Serie A, April 25, 2009) Fiorentina took the lead over Roma with a wonderful strike from Juan Manuel Vargas, who rifled home a beauty from 25-yards. The Viola took a two goal lead seconds into the second half through an Alberto Gilardino header. Roma then had Pizarro sent off for his second booking, before Gilardino added a third in the 67th minute and Massimo Gobbi grabbed a fourth minutes later. Julio Baptista netted a late consolation for Roma.

Chievo 1 – Udinese 2 (Serie A, April 25, 2009) The Flying Donkey fell behind at home to the Zebrette after Gaetano D’Agostino dispatched a 35th minute penalty. Chievo drew level midway through the second half when Sergio Pellissier (who else!) rose purposefully to head home a right-wing cross. The match was settled in injury time, Chievo had Langella sent off before Gaetano D’Agostino stole in to claim a last-gasp victory.

Rimini 2 – Avellino 3 (Serie B, April 25, 2009) Rimini were stunned by an Avellino fightback, as the visitors try to stay in Serie B. Visconti put the visitors in front, but by halftime they were 2-1 down thanks to Frara and Ricchiuti taking advantage of defensive errors. Pecorari nodded in a corner to restore parity, and in the final minutes Venitucci revived Avellino’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

Piacenza 1 – Empoli 1 (Serie B, April 25, 2009) Moscardelli had put the home side in front with a spectacular right-foot volley at the back post, but soon after Pozzi dived on to a Lodi cross.

Albinoleffe 1 – Bari 4 (Serie B, April 25, 2009) Having secured promotion, Bari are on course to win the league as Barreto bagged a brace against Leffe.

Grosseto 2 – Vicenza 1 (Serie B, April 25, 2009) Bonanni broke the deadlock for Grosseto and Sansovini added a second with an angled drive. Raimondi saw red for a late tackle on Garofalo, but Vicenza still set up a tense finale thanks to Forestieri pouncing on a Stendardo howler.

Sassuolo 1 – Ascoli 0 (Serie B, April 25, 2009) Noselli grabbed the winner 13 minutes from time.

Frosinone 1 – Pisa 1 (Serie B, April 25, 2009)

***

Bayer Leverkusen 0 – Karlsruhe 1 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) Rock-bottom Karlsruhe received the huge slice of luck which they craved to take the lead at Bayer, defender Sebastian Langkamp launched into a tackle just inside the Levekusen half and the result saw the ball travel all the way goalwards for a superbly bizarre opener.

Bayern Munich 0 – Schalke 1 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Bayern fell behind at home to Schalke when Halil Altintop was not picked up in the home box, heading home a Pander corner after 20 minutes. Both sides finished the match with 10-men as Jones and Robery bothed picked up early dismissals.

Hannover 2 – Cologne 1 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) In the six-pointer between Hannover and Cologne, the hosts struck first when Leon Andreasen side-footed home a long pass forward from Schultz on the volley. Hannover’s Danish striker doubled his tally just after the half hour, Andreasen was freed down the centre and, after steadying himself, he planted the ball in the near post. Cologne rallied seconds into the second half, Milivoje Novakovic heading home a cross the cut the deficit in half.

Werder Bremen 3 – Bochum 2 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) Stanislav Sestak fired relegation-threatened Bochum into the lead at Bremen after 16 minutes. Bochum scored a brilliant second just before the break as they sprung defence into attack straight from a Werder corner, Stanislav Sestak picked up the ball on the halfway-line and ran  all the way into Werder box before producing the cool finish. The hosts pulled a goal back in the 54th minute when Hugo Almeida turned home a Rosenborg cross. And Bremen soon drew level after Naldo strode out of defence, played a one-two through the midfield and curled home a beauty to equalise. Diego complete the comeback 12 minutes from time after Bochum failed to clear their lines.

Stuttgart 2 – Eintracht Frankfurt 0 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) Stuttgart moved ahead against Frankfurt when Cacau sent a header into the near post. Mario Gomez continued his rich form in front of goal adding a second in the 47th minute.

Borussia Dortmund 2 – Hamburg 0 (Bundesliga, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Martin Jol’s Hamburg once again found themselves playing catch-up at Dortmund after Sebastian Kehl profitted from an intelligent run to the back-post to convert a deep cross. Alexander Frei wrapped up the points with a last-gasp penalty after Kevin Prince Boatang was fouled in the box.

***

Bordeaux 4 – Vannes 0 (Coupe De La Ligue final, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Bordeaux took no prisoners in the Coupe De La Ligue final against Ligue 2 side Vannes, as Wendel, Planus and Gouffran rattled in three goals inside the fist 12 minutes while Gourcuff added a fourth before the break.

***

Heerenveen 1 – FC Twente 1 (Eredivisie, April 25, 2009) Steve McClaren’s side levelled in the 90th minute through Theo Janssen after substitute Paulo Henrique had given fifth-place Heerenveen the advantage.

Heracles 0 – PSV 2 (Eredivisie, April 25, 2009) PSV took the advantage Heracles midway through the first half, with the home defence nowhere to be found Balazs Dzsudzsak eventually put the visitors ahead from a counter-attack. Danny Koevermans sealed the win the a 75th minute tap-in after following up on a save from the keeper.

Roda 1 – Volendam 1 (Eredivisie, April 25, 2009) In the relegation six-pointer at the foot of the Dutch league, fourth-bottom Roda struck first against second-bottom Volendam as Boldizsar Bodor claimed a fine volley midway through the first half. Bodor’s joy was short-lived as the striker saw red five minutes before the break. Numbers were evened up two minutes after the restart when Yannick de Wit was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but the visitors nevertheless went away with a point thanks to substitute Melvin Platje’s 83rd minute equaliser.

NEC Nijmegen 2 – NAC Breda 3 (Eredivisie, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) NAC had lost their last four league games without scoring a goal but they bagged three through Kees Kwakman, Nourdin Boukhari and Anthony Lurling, the last coming deep into injury time after Lasse Schone’s double had brought NEC level.

***

Sporting Lisbon 2 – Amadora 1 (Superliga, April 25, 2009) Helder Postiga headed Sporting into the lead, but they were pegged back by one of the goals of the day as Marcelo Goianira crashed home a 30-yard stunner to bring Amadora level. Sporting ran out winners after Liedson grabbed a winner in the 55th minute.

***

Standard Liege 4 – KV Mechelen 1 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Standard kept up the pressure at the top of the table with a convincing home win, Steven Defour (a well placed arrowed drive) opened before Milan Jovanovic netted a brace and Christian Benteke hit a fourth in a rampant first half. Mununga netted a consolation for Mechelen in the second half.

Anderlecht 4 – Dender 0 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009) Anderlecht scored three goals in the last six minutes of the first half. Tom de Sutter (2) and Marcin Wasilewski left the away side stunned. A fourth and final goal was added by Thomas Chatelle in the 75th minute.

Lokeren 3 – Mouscron 0 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009) Carevic hit a brace for the hosts.

Kortrijk 2 – Tubize 2 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009)

Mons-Bergen 0 – Westerlo 2 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009)

Charleroi 1 – Zulte-Waregem 0 (Jupiler League, April 25, 2009)

Germinal Beerschot 2 – Club Brugge 0 (Jupiler League, April 24, 2009) Ivan Leko was the hero for the hosts grabbing the opener after just five minutes, and sowing up the victory with an 88th minute penalty against third-placed Brugge.

***

Sivasspor 3 – Trabzonspor 0 (Super Lig, April 25, 2009) Sivasspor struck after just seven minutes of their top of the table clash with Trabzonspor, patient build-up eventually saw a left wing cross converted by Musa Aydin from close-range. After 20 minutes it was two, another Sivas attack tore through the visitors defence and Abdurrahman Dereli fire the ball over the line. The match was put to bed two minutes after the break, Hayrettin Yerlikaya joined the play of the left-hand side of the D before firing a low shot into the far corner.

Fenerbahce 1 – Ankaragucu 2 (Super Lig, April 25, 2009) Fener slumped to a shock home defeat that may have ended their title hopes, Leonardo Iglesias and Jaba (penalty) scoring for Ankaragucu before Deivid da Souza netted a consolation for the hosts.

***

Rubin Kazan 0 – Spartak Moscow 2 (Russian Premier League, April 25, 2009) Spartak turned around their recent poor form with a fine win at the reigning champions, Martin Stranzl headed in the opener early in the second half before Welliton chalked up another goal taking a ball over the top and lifting his shot over the onrushing keeper.

Dynamo Moscow 0 – Krylya Sovietov Samara 1 (Russian Premier League, April 25, 2009) The only goal of the match was scored by veteran Czech striker Jan Koller after 29 minutes as Samara stormed back to the top of the table.

Zenit St. Petersburg 4 – Khimki 2 (Russian Premier League, April 25, 2009) Fatih Tekke (2), Igor Semshov and Pavel Pogrebnyak scored the the 2008 UEFA Cup winners, while Ilia Maksimov and Alexander Antipenko did so for the guests.

***

Maccabi Haifa 2 – Hapoel Kiryat Shmona 1 (Ligat ha’Al, April 25, 2009) South African striker Thembinkosi Fanteni scored two goals for Haifa to send them back to the top of the table.

Beitar Jerusalem 2 – Ashdod SC 1 (Ligat ha’Al, April 25, 2009) Beitar fell behind on eleven minutes when Bulgarian Dimitar Makriev finished coolly after being played in by David Revivo. But the hosts turned the match at the start of the second half, Barak Itzhaki headed in a cross by David Amsalem, before Idan Tal took advantage of some indecision in the Ashdod defense and cracked a shot past keeper Dragan Stojkic.

***

Horsens 0 – FC Copenhagen 2 (SAS Ligaen, April 25, 2009) Englishman Adam Eckersley handed Copenhagen a fifth minute lead sticking the ball in his own net, Ailton Almeida (one of the goals of the weekend) adding a stunning solo second just before the break.

***

JEF United Chiba 0 – Urawa Red Diamonds 1 (J-League, April 25, 2009) A second-half strike from Brazilian forward Edmilson secured a win for Urawa Reds that sent them top of the J-League.

Montedio Yamagata 1 – Kashima Antlers 1 (J-League, April 25, 2009) The match betwee third and fourth ended in deadlock as Marquinhos’ first half goal for Kashima was cancelled out by Yu Hasegawa’s 52nd minute equaliser.

Kyoto Sanga FC 2 – Jubilo Iwata 3 (J-League, April 25, 2009) Jubilo Iwata’s season picked up some pace with a fine away win at Kyoto. Ryoichi Maeda’s 17th minute opener  gave the visitors the lead at the break, but early goals in the second half from Hiroki Mizumoto and Yohei Toyoda turned the match in the hosts’ favour. Jubilo rallied, new signing Lee Keun-ho headed hmoe his first goal since his transfer to equalise and Gilsinho completed the win the the winner.

***

Chivas USA 2 – FC Dallas 0 (MLS, April 25, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) FC Dallas had goalkeeper Dario Sala sent off midway through the first half for a handball outside the box. The hosts capitilised after the break, Atiba Harris scored in the 68th minute while Alecko Eskandarian scored in stoppage time to seal the win.

***

Tigre 0 – Huracan 1 (Clausura, April 25, 2009) Huracan revived their campaign by winning 1-0 at Tigre with a goal from Venezuelan international Cesar Gonzalez.

San Lorenzo 1 – Racing Club 1 (Clausura, April 25, 2009) Santiago Solari gave troubled San Lorenzo the lead in the 81st minute of Saturday’s game, rifling his shot into the top corner after a one-two with Alejandro Gomez. But Racing Club eased their relegation worries when Matias Martinez headed the equaliser in the 95th minute to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Estudiantes 1 – Newells Old Boys 0 (Clausura, April 25, 2009)