United run riot at West Brom; Stoke fall deep in the mire after losing at Spurs; Heskey scores on debut as Villa go third; Sunderland beat the Cottagers

West Brom 0 – Manchester United 5 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) At the Hawthorns, Dimitar Berbatov had the first shot on target, drilling a shot straight at Carson. And it was Berbatov who broke the deadlock, combining beautifully with Michael Carrick to slot in the opener for United. West Brom were fortunate not to fall further behind when Carlos Tevez steered a shot just wide from a Ronaldo cross. The Baggies were then served a crippling blow when captain Paul Robinson picked up a straight red for a challenge on Park Ji-Sung. And the Baggies were put  to the sword when a horrendous fumble from butterfingers Carson allowed Tevez the simple job for scoring the second. (First half highlights here.) West Brom came within inches of pulling a goal back when Ryan Donk pierced a hole through the United defence only to see his effort crash against the post. And the miss proved costly, Nemanja Vidic met Giggs’ corner in full force to head in the third before Giggs (who had another great game) teed up Cristiano Ronaldo for the fourth. Ronaldo, back in the goals, chalked up the fifth from Berbatov’s lay-off.

Tottenham 3 – Stoke 1 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) In a massive six-pointer at White Hart Lane, Spurs took the lead against Stoke with a lovely goal from Aaron Lennon who broke down the left, raced into the box and saw his shot deflect through Sorenson’s legs. Tottenham quickly chalked up the second, slick passing from Modric to Pavlyuchenko freed Jermain Defoe in the box and the striker gobbled up his second league goal since rejoining the club from Pompey. And the Lane was rocking minutes later, Modric’s left wing cross was powered home by Michael Dawson for the third. Stoke pulled a goal back after the break, Etherington’s chipped pass found James Beattie who controlled a fired past debutant Carlo Cudicini.

Portsmouth 0 – Aston Villa 1 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) Emile Heskey made a perfect start to his Villa career, smashing home a first time right-foot strike from Gabriel Agbonlahor’s flick-on. Another disappointing result for Pompey was compounded by Nadir Belhadj’s controversial dismissal in the second half.

Sunderland 1 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, January 27, 2009) Kenwyne Jones finished from close range on 56 minutes after Mark Schwarzer could only parry Djibril Cisse’s rasping drive.

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Sassuolo 0 – Brescia 0 (Serie B, January 27, 2009)

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Stuttgart 1 – Bayern Munich 5 (DFB Pokal, January 27, 2009) Bayern quickly raced to a two goal lead, Bastian Schweinsteiger crashing a well struck drive across Lehmann into the far corner before Franck Ribery added a second two minutes later finishing off a fine Bayern attack. Two minutes later Ribery was given the opportunity to score a third from the spot, but the Frenchman’s cheeky chipped penalty failed to fool Lehmann who stood up and caught the ball. Luca Toni completed a dominate opening 45 for the visitors with the third after being released with a perfect through-ball from Ribery. Bayern continue to run riot after the break, Schweinsteiger netted his second from the spot and Ze Roberto slotted in the fifth before the hour mark. Mario Gomez’s late tap-in did little to raise the Stuttgart spirits.

Hamburg 3 – Munich 1860 1 (DFB Pokal, January 27, 2009) Hamburg moved ahead on the stroke of halftime as Ivica Olic rounded the keeper and beat a defender on the line. Olic doubled the lead 12 minutes from time with a weak shot theat the keeper should have done better with. Olic completed his hat-trick reacting first to a rebound before 1860 netted a consolation through Bierofka.

Carl Zeiss Jena 1 – Schalke 4 (DFB Pokal, January 27, 2009) Schalke needed just 19 minutes to break the deadlock through Jefferson Farfan’s cute finish from Rakitic’s cross. The match came to life just after the hour mark, Farfan added a second scoring at the back post before Jena pulled a goal back within 60 seconds through Andre Schembri’s half-volley. (Farfan & Schembri goals here.) Schalke quickly restored their two goal advantage with a fine free-kick from Ivan Rakitic.

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Galatasaray 1 – Sivasspor 1 (Turkish Cup, January 27, 2009) Israeli international Pini Balili put the visitors ahead, converting a cross at the back post. But Gala refused to be beaten, Ayhan Akman scoring a last minute equaliser.

Denizlispor 1 – Ankaraspor 1 (Turkish Cup, January 27, 2009) Batak’s headed own-goal gave Ankaraspor the lead, Hurmaci equalising with a low shot into the near post.

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CFR Cluj 1 – Partizan Belgrade 0 (Friendly, January 27, 2009) Traore Lacina netted the winner with a bicycle kick 13 minutes from time.

Levante 0 – Brasov 1 (Friendly, January 27, 2009)

Legia Warsaw 4 – Dynamo Kiev 0 (Friendly, January 26, 2009)

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El Nacional 0 – Nacional Asuncion 5 (Copa Libertadores, January 27, 2009) Raul Roman set the unfashionable Paraguayan visitors on their way when he fired the opener from long-range in the 50th minute of the preliminary round, first leg tie. El Nacional quickly fell to pieces, Jorge Nunez helped himself to two goals (the first, a stunner) while Ramon Caceres and Marcos Melgarejo added the others.

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Boca Juniors 2 – Racing Club 0 (Torneos De Verano, January 27, 2009)

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Argentina 2 – Ecuador 2 (South American Under-20 Championships, January 28, 2009) Cristian Gaitan put Argentina ahead but Jefferson Pinto levelled. In the 77th minute Juan Anangono headed Ecuador into the lead from a corner but a fine goal from Ivan Bella levelled the match.

Venezuela 1 – Colombia 1 (South American Under-20 Championships, January 28, 2009) Venezuela led through Salomon Rondon but a penalty midway through the second half from Cristian Nazarith evened things up. In injury-time Nazarith missed a penalty to secure the win for Colombia. A coin toss following the game decided that Colombia qualified for the next round and that Ecuador were eliminated.

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Panama 1 – Guatemala 0 (UNCAF Nations Cup, January 27, 2009)