Chelsea 2 – Portsmouth 1 (Premier League, December 16, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Chelsea centre-half Alex found himself in the inside right channel against Pompey, and after forcing his way along the touchline his pull-back was converted by Nicolas Anelka after 23 minutes. Ashley Cole whistled a shot past the right hand post just before the break as the Blues looked for a second. Against the odds Pompey levelled five minutes after the break when an O’Hara free-kick deflected into Frederic Piquionne’s path and the striker whacked the ball past Petr Cech. Chelsea retook the lead ten minutes from time when Frank Lampard slotted home a penalty after Ivanovic was tripped by Marc Wilson.
Liverpool 2 – Wigan 1 (Premier League, December 16, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) David Ngog jumped high to glance home an Aurelio cross from the right as Liverpool took an 8th minute lead over Wigan. Dirk Kuyt was denied handing Liverpool a second when Kirkland pulled off a point-blank save. (First half highlights here.) Fernando Torres made sure of the points for Liverpool with a second 11 minutes from time as El Nino ran onto a ball over the top and beat Kirkland after seeing his initial shot blocked by Bramble. A late goal from Charles N’Zogbia proved mere consolation for the Latics. (Second half highlights here.)
Tottenham 3 – Manchester City 0 (Premier League, December 16, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) In the battle of the hopeful Top Four gatecrashers, Spurs moved ahead of City when a Lennon cross from the right was met by Crouch and Nico Kranjcar was on hand to smash home the rebound. Jermain Defoe’s 14th goal of the season gave Spurs a crucial 2-goal lead, the serial-goalscorer crashed home a Crouch knock-down as the big man/little man combo worked a treat. Woeful City defending allowing Lennon to take out three defenders with a pass to Nico Kranjcar from a short corner that the Croatian put between Given’s leg for Tottenham’s third.
Burnley 1 – Arsenal 1 (Premier League, December 16, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Tenacity from Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas put the Gunners in front at Burnley as the skipper harasses Carlisle out of possession on the edge of the Clarets box and the Spaniard side-footed his effort past Jensen. The Clarets equalised just before the half hour when Vermaelen fouled Bikey in the Arsenal and Graham Alexander converted from 12 yards.
Inter Milan 1 – Livorno 0 (Coppa Italia, December 16, 2009) A picture-perfect Wesley Sneijder free-kick that arched into the top corner from 20-yards was enough for Mourinho’s team to progress in the Italian cup.
Lyon 2 – Boulogne 0 (Ligue 1, December 16, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A superbly controlled half-volley from the edge of the box from Miralem Pranjic and Cesar Delgado’s last minute second claimed the points for Lyon.
Lorient 1 – Marseille 2 (Ligue 1, December 16, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Lorient went in front seven minutes after the break when Marama Vahirua converted from the penalty spot. Marseille drew level on 67 minutes through Jordan Ayew, and Souleymane Diawara grabbed the winner in the final minute to keep them in the hunt for the title.
PSG 1 – Lens 1 (Ligue 1, December 16, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Claude Makelele played a one-two with Turkey forward Mevlut Erding to open the scoring for the hosts in the 70th. But Toifilou Maoulida chested down a cross from Sebastien Roudet to equalise from close range for Lens in the 74th.
Nancy 2 – Nice 0 (Ligue 1, December 16, 2009) Nice, who dropped to 16th as a result of the defeat, failed to create a single clear-cut chance, with Julien Feret and Chris Malonga netting for Nancy shortly after halftime.
Le Mans 1 – Grenoble 0 (Ligue 1, December 16, 2009) Le Mans jumped out of the bottom three in Ligue 1 as Thorstein Helstad’s early strike dealt another blow to Grenoble’s hopes of survival.
Sparta Prague 0 – Copenhagen 3 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Copenhagen produced a manful display to bustle their way by Sparta Prague and into the last 32 of the Europa League. Dame N’Doye was to be the visiting sideâ€™s hero, striking a brace of first half goals to turn the screw on the Czech outfit. When Jesper Gronkjaer converted a penalty just nine minutes into the second half, it was lights out for Sparta, whose frustration was summed up by the red card awarded to Manuel Pamic on the hour mark.
Club Brugge 1 – Toulouse 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Ivan Perisic’s added-time winner took Brugge into the last 32 at the expense of Toulouse.
Athletic Bilbao 0 – Werder Bremen 3 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) A Claudio Pizarro header from Rosenberg’s left-sided cross and a Naldo header from a set-play handed Werder a 2-goal lead in Bilbao. Markus Rosenberg capped a dominate first half for the Germans with a third in the 35th minute.
Nacional 5 – Austria Vienna 1 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) In a ding-dong first half in Portugal, Austria Vienna took a 21st minute lead through Thiago Schumacher before Nacional hit back with strikes from Ruben Micael and Mateus. After the break Nacional tore into their Austrian visitors as Ruben Micael, Zarko Tomasevic and Felipe Lopes crashed home three goals in nine minutes.
Basel 2 – Fulham 3 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) A brilliant right wing cross from Bjorn Helge Riise on the Fulham flank picked out Bobby Zamora at the back post, and the striker continue his fine recent goalscoring form by sliding the Londoners ahead in Basel. Zamora closed out the half by claiming his fourth goal in three games by heading home another Riise cross at the back post. Basel clawed themselves back in the match just after the hour as the official, after initially signalling a corner when the ball hit Smalling on the arm, changed his mind to awarding a penalty that Alexander Frei swept home. But the Cottagers refused to have their qualification put in jeopardy, and 13 minutes from time an incisive move involving Dempsey and Kelly ended with Zoltan Gera bagging Fulham’s third. The was a sting in the tale as Marco Streller headed in a second for Basel three minutes from time, but Fulham held on to qualify.
CSKA Sofia 0 – Roma 3 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) A lovely forward pass from De Rossi was controlled by Alessio Cerci on the right hand side and, after cutting in on his left peg, the wing rifled home his first Roma goal to open in Sofia. An error in the Bulgarian defence early in the second half allowed Cerci to race through on goal and net his second of the night. A fine evening for the Romans was capped when 17-year-old debutant Filippo Scardina (previously linked to Manchester United) netted his first goal for his club after coming off the bench.
Sturm Graz 1 – Galatasaray 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Galatasaray fell behind in Graz when Daniel Beichler scored a scrappy rebound after the Turks fell asleep at the back.
Panathinaikos 3 – Dinamo Bucharest 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Pana’s Ante Rukavina fired the hosts into the lead ten minutes into the second half against Dinamo Bucharest when visiting keeper Dolha dropped a clanger trying to claim a catch. A late Djibril Cisse double (first and second) sealed the win for Pana.
Hertha Berlin 1 – Sporting Lisbon 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Defender Gojko Kacar came up from the back for a 70th minute corner and bundled home a right wing cross to put the Germans in front.
Heerenveen 5 – Ventspils 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) Second half goals from Mika Vayrynen, Viktor Elm, a brace from substitute Gerald Sibon, and Darryl Janmaat were not enough for Heerenveen to avoid elimination.
CFR Cluj 0 – PSV 2 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) A Danko Lazovic penalty and a second from substitute Nordin Amrabat was good enough to seal the three points for PSV, who were already assured of top spot in the group.
Partizan Belgrade 1 – Shakhtar Donetsk 0 (Europa League, December 16, 2009) An early strike from Lamine Diarra, capitalising on a slip from goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, proved sufficient for the hosts to register their first points of the section and halt a losing run of UEFA club competition group-stage games which stood at 12 matches.
Barcelona 3 – Atlante 1 (FIFA Club World Cup semi-final, December 16, 2009) The unfancied Mexicans stole into a fourth minute lead when Guillermo Rojas collected a long punt through the middle, lifted the ball over keeper Valdes and slid in the opener. The Catalans drew level ten minute before the break when Sergio Busquets found the net after Toure had flicked a corner on at the near post. The competition then got the shot in the arm it was begging for as, in the 54th minute, Zlatan played a neat through-ball to the advancing Leo Messi who rounded the keeper and coolly finished for Barca’s second. Barca confirmed their place in the final against Argentina’s Estudiantes when Pedro Rodriguez netted the third in the 67th minute.
TP Mazembe 2 – Auckland City 3 (FIFA Club World Cup fifth-place playoff, December 16, 2009) The match had appeared to be heading for extra time, with Jason Hayne’s two strikes for Auckland sandwiching Mazembe goals from Ngandu Kasongo and Kilitcho Kasusula, before Riki van Steeden settled matters in injury time.