Wolves 0 – Manchester City 3 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Roberto Mancini continued to enjoy Christmas cheer in his second game in charge of Man City at Wolves, Carlos Tevez giving the visitors the lead on the half hour after Bellamy had created the opportunity after speeding down the left. (First half highlights here.) 20 minutes from time Javier Garrido stepped up and curled a free-kick around the wall and into the corner to double City’s advantage. City wrapped up the win with a fine third, Robinho fired a pass over from the right to the edge of the area, where Carlos Tevez controlled, shifted the ball on to his left foot and slammed a shot into the far corner past Hahnemann.
Chelsea 2 – Fulham 1 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here and extended highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Chelsea’s downturn continued four minutes into the west London derby, as Fulham left-back Konchesky advanced unchallenged down the Blues’ right hand side and his cross was eventually hooked into the net by Zoltan Gera with the home defence all over the place. 20 minutes from time Chelsea hit back, sub Ivanovic whipped over a right-sided cross that Didier Drogba powered back across Schwarzer into corner. Sadly for Fulham their game fell apart three minutes later, Kalou was allowed to advance down the right before flashing a ball across the six yard box, sub Sturridge picked up possession and saw his cross turned into his own net by the unlucky Chris Smalling.
Tottenham 2 – West Ham 0 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) A fantastic start from Spurs in the London derby with the Hammers saw returning star Luka Modric score after 10 minutes, the Croatian started and finished a move that was crowned by Aaron Lennon showing off his unplayable pace down the right-hand side. Spurs went on to control the match almost in its entirety, but it wasn’t until the final ten minutes that a counter-attack allowed Jermain Defoe his chance to wallop in the Lilywhites’ second.
Stoke 0 – Birmingham 1 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) In-form Birmingham extended their unbeaten run to 11 games equalling a club record which goes back to 1907. Cameron Jerome netted the crucial goal five minutes after the break as the striker swivelled in the box to fired home a loose corner.
Everton 2 – Burnley 0 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Toffees shaded a goalless first half (highlights here) in which Yakubu hit the post and Bilyaletdinov forced a fine save from Jenson. Everton won the match with two goals in the final seven minutes after Jordan had seen red midway through the second 45 for the Clarets. Sub James Vaughan was on the pitch for less than a minute before he converted a Felliani cross. Steven Pienaar wrapped up the points with a second in injury time after being set up by Yakubu.
Blackburn 2 – Sunderland 2 (Premier League, December 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Darren Bent’s second half double looked likely to earn Steve Bruce’s men a rare win but Rovers clawed back first through Morten Gamst Pedersen then El-Hadji Diouf.
Peterborough 4 – Cardiff 4 (Championship, December 28, 2009) Bottom Championship club Peterborough’s stunning fight-back denied Cardiff City, who led 4-nil at halftime. Joe Ledley scored twice, firing home from inside the penalty area, then heading in the second from close-range. Jay Bothroyd struck from the edge of the penalty area and Peter Whittingham curled in a long-range free kick. But substitute Josh Simpson’s strike, Charlie Lee’s header and George Boyd’s late goal were followed by Simpson’s 92nd minute leveller in one of the craziest matches of 2009.
Scunthorpe 1 – West Brom 3 (Championship, December 28, 2009) Graham Dorrans grabbed his first in the 20th minute but the hosts were level almost immediately after the restart when Rob Jones volleyed in from close range. Scunny’s Andrew Wright was dismissed for second bookable offence on the hour mark, and the visitors immediately made the extra man count as Dorrans fired them in front from the penalty spot. Grant McCann became the second Scunthorpe player to be sent off when he was shown a straight red for foul and abusive language and Gianni Zuiverloon added a third for West Brom late on.
Barnsley 2 – Middlesbrough 1 (Championship, December 28, 2009) The visitors took the lead when Justin Hoyte linked up well with Adam Johnson down the left before his attempted cross luckily flew in from 35 yards. Barnsley drew level after the break as Emil Hallfredsson’s corner fell to Daniel Bogdanovic who flicked the ball over for Stephen Foster to nod in. On the hour Bogdanovic crossed from the left for Hugo Colace to head in the winner.
Stockport 2 – Leeds 4 (League One, December 28, 2009) Leeds extended their lead at the top of League One to nine points by coming from behind to beat Stockport. Robert Snodgrass fired United into a second-minute lead but Carl Baker’s low free-kick levelled matters. Johnny Mullins headed County ahead on the hour but Jermaine Beckford equalised for Leeds six minutes later. With three minutes left, Leigh Bromby’s drive gave United the lead and Beckford’s second sealed the win before David Poole was sent off for County.
Hapoel Haifa 0 – Maccabi Haifa 1 (Ligat ha’Al, December 28, 2009) An Eyal Golasa moment of brilliance gave league leaders Maccabi Haifa a narrow victory over cross-town rival Hapoel in a tense encounter which featured more yellow cards than shots on goal.
Bnei Yehuda 2 – Maccabi Netanya 1 (Ligat ha’Al, December 27, 2009) Pedro Galvan’s brace put an end to Netanya’s four-game winning streak as host Bnei Yehuda moved level on points with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel’s top flight.
Hapoel Ramat Gan 0 – Hapoel Tel Aviv 3 (Ligat ha’Al, December 26, 2009) High-flying Hapoel continued to cut down Maccabi Haifa’s lead at the top of the league with their eighth straight league win, goalie Vincent Anyema getting on the scoresheet with a penalty.
Hapoel Acco 1 – Hapoel Beer-Sheva 3 (Ligat ha’Al, December 26, 2009) A hopeless defensive show from Hapoel Acco contributed to their own downfall, with the worst moment arriving when home striker Omri Elmakayes smacked a ball against his own bar to set up the visitors’ third.
Qatar 3 – Iran 2 (International Friendly, December 28, 2009) Iran made up a two goal deficit and created numerous chances to score a winner, but instead conceded a 94th minute goal after a terrible mistake by Hossein Kaebi in a 2-3 defeat to Qatar.
Mali 0 – North Korea 1 (International Friendly, December 27, 2009) Hong Yong-Jo, who plays in Russia for FC Rostov, scored the only goal of the game 10 minutes into the second half when he burst into the area from the left and fired past Soumbeyla Diakite.