Arsenal 5 – Porto 0 (Agg. 6-2) (Champions League, March 9, 2010) (Extended highlights here and analysis here.) Arsenal, without captain Fabregas, bagged the crucial goal to bring the aggregate score to 2-all against Porto after just 10 minutes. Nasri playing a dangerous ball into Arshavin in the box, the Russian was closed down by Helton and Coelho, and Nicklas Bendtner was on hand to slide in the rebound. Porto shot themselves in the foot 15 minutes later when they handed Arshavin possession outside the box, the Russian brilliantly weaved his way into the danger area where he crossed for Bendtner who bagged his second of the game. Andrei Arshavin should have put the tie to bed when Nasri picked the Russian out, unmarked, at the back post but he missed the open net and sent his shot over the bar. (First half highlights here.) After the break Samir Nasri scored one of the goals of the season to put Arsenal 3-up as the Frenchman when on a mazy run past three Porto defence before darting into the box and flashing a bullet into the far corner. The Gunners killed the match with a pacey fourth minutes later, Arshavin lead a counter-attack, carried the ball upfield with Emmanuel Eboue eventually rounding the keeper and coolly finishing. A late Nicklas Bendtner penalty gave the Dane his hattrick goal on a wonderful night for the Gunners.
Fiorentina 3 – Bayern Munich 2* (Agg. 4-4) (Champions League, March 9, 2010) (Extended first half here, second half here.) Fiorentina went 1-up on the night, 2-all on aggregate, after 28 minutes with Bayern as Butt could only palm a shot out to the left of his goal and Juan Manuel Vargas was racing in to crash a brilliant effort into high into the net. In the 54th minute Fiorentina bagged their second of the game as a diagonal cross from the right came fizzed into the penalty area, Gilardino (offside?) stopped the ball dead with a marvellous touch, and Stevan Jovetic arrived on the scene to smash the ball home from about 10 yards. Six minutes later Bayern clawed themselves back in the tie when Franck Ribery crossed a lovely ball in from the left to Mark van Bommel, who passed his shot Frey’s outstretched arm from 20 yards out. In a breathtaking second half Fiorentina retook the lead as Stefan Jovetic brushes Van Buyten to one side to get on the end of a Gilardino nod-down and poke the ball past Butt. But then Arjen Robben took over with a stunning strike to put Bayern back in the the driving seat as the Dutchman cut in front the right and unleashed a 25-yard tomahawk into top corner.
Sunderland 4 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, March 9, 2010) Despite coming into the match without a win in 14 matches, Sunderland needed just 41 seconds to move ahead of Bolton in a massive 6-pointer when Cana looped a high cross to Frazier Campbell at the back post and the striker converted on the volley. Bolton fell further behind early in the second half when Darren Bent ran through to finish well. Bolton’s Sam Ricketts was dismissed for the foul that led to Bent’s second from the penalty spot before the Bent slotted a fourth late on to claim a second half hattrick. (Bent’s hattrick can be seen here.)
Portsmouth 1 – Birmingham 2 (Premier League, March 9, 2010) After Cameron Jerome fired Birmingham into a 16th minute lead at Pompey, Birmingham bagged a second just before the interval when Benitez played a beautiful backheel through to Jerome in the box and the forward grabbed his brace. (First half highlights here.) Substitute Kanu headed home Jamie O’Hara’s cross to ensure a tight finish but Pompey could not grab an equaliser.
West Brom 1 – Sheffield Wednesday 0 (Championship, March 9, 2010) Roberto Di Matteo’s side secured maximum points with Robert Koren firing home a beauty with just 11 minutes remaining.
Tranmere 1 – Leeds 4 (League One, March 9, 2010) Robert Snodgrass’ opener was added to by Jermaine Beckford’s penalty before John Welsh pulled a goal back for Rovers, but Luciano Becchio made it 3-1 by the break and Beckford rounded off the win.
Kilmarnock 0 – Rangers 2 (SPL, March 9, 2010) After a goalless first half, Steven Whittaker pounced on a loose ball in box on 55 minutes to fire his side ahead. Kenny Miller ended any thoughts of a Kilmarnock comeback with a neat finish on the hour.
Universidad Catolica 2 – Universidad de Chile 2 (Copa Libertadores, March 9, 2010) Juan Manuel Olivera put Universidad de Chile in front in the 19th minute, but goals by Matias Rubio in the 22nd and Francisco Silva in the 70th gave Catolica the lead until Edson Puch equalised again with a near post header from a corner.
Deportivo Cuenca 2 – Monarcas 0 (Copa Libertadores, March 9, 2010) A 30-yard screamer from Gabriel Mendez brushed the crossbar to open the scoring in the 59th minute, before Luis Escalada added a second with a low shot in the 83rd.
Racing 2 – Cerro Porteno 1 (Copa Libertadores, March 9, 2010) Matias Mirabaje turned in Jean-Pierre Barrientos’ free-kick to put Racing in front after 19 minutes, and Martin Cauteruccio doubled the lead in the 68th minute, pouncing on a mistake by goalkeeper Edgar Barreto. Luis Enrique Caceres got a goal back for the visitors seven minutes from time.
Chanchung Yatai 9 – Persipura Jayapura 0 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Gao Jian and Johnny Woodly Lambert both fired hat-tricks as Changchun followed up an opening Champions League defeat at Kashima Antlers in emphatic fashion as they thumped the hapless Indonesians.
Melbourne Victory 0 – Seongnam Ilhwa 2 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Sasa Ogenovski’s 40th minute goal and Yun Young-sun’s late effort sealed a second consecutive victory for Korean outfit Seongnam. Melbourne are yet to get off the mark in this season’s competition.
Kawasaki Frontale 1 – Beijing Guoan 3 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Joel Griffiths scored in the 36th minute to give Beijing a 1-0 lead but Kosuke Kikuchi leveled just four minutes later from a corner. With the snow coming down hard, Wang Changqing came off the bench the turn the match at the break as he gave Beijing the lead in the 65th minute with a tidy sidefooted effort fro 16-yards, and he put the game out of reach with lovely lob four minutes from time.
Jeonbuk 1 – Kashima Antlers 2 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Jeonbuk opened the scoring four minutes before half-time through their Brazilian star Eninho, who made the most of his chances after being put through by former Boro flop Lee Dong-Gook. Koji Nakata struck the equaliser in the 70th minute after latching on to a cross from Gabriel before Yasushi Endo prodded home a last-minute winner for Kashima.
Al-Gharafa 3 – Al Ahli 2 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Al Gharafa took the lead after just two minutes at Al Gharafa Stadium through Mohammed Al Zaini only for a deflected shot from Brazilian playmaker Marcinho to pull the visitors level on the stroke of halftime. Abdulrahim Mustafa handed Sergio Fariasâ€™s side the lead just after the hour mark, but after substitute Al Shammari equalised, Araujo struck with nine minutes remaining as Al Gharafa maintained their 100% record in the competition.
Al Wahda 1 – Bunyodkor 2 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010) Denilson struck in either half to seal the win as last yearâ€™s quarter-finalists built on their opening round victory over Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Al Ittihad. Saeed Al Kathiri pulled a goal back for Al Wahda with a minute remaining, but it was not enough as Josef Hickersbergerâ€™s side suffered a second consecutive defeat.
Al Ittihad 2 – Zob Ahan 2 (Asian Champions League, March 9, 2010)
Columbus Crew 2 – Toluca 2 (CONCACAF Champions League, March 9, 2010) Sinha put the Mexicans in front on 19 minutes, Antonio Rios doubled the lead with a cracking drive from the edge of the box that slammed into the top corner. Stephen Lenhart pulled one back with aÂ fine volley on 66 and Lenhart fired home the equaliser with six minutes to go.