Arsenal 3 – Hull 0 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â In the last minute of the first half a brilliant Denilson free-kick from 25-yards, over the wall and dipping perfectly into the bottom corner, put Arsenal in front against the Tigers. (First half highlights here.) The Wenger Boys doubled there lead just before the hour, and after Almunia had saved Geovanni’s penalty, as an incisive Gunners attack lead by Diaby was finished by Eduardo da Silva. Ten minutes from time Arsenal netted their third as Abou Diaby cut in from the right, played a one-two with Arshavin, and crashed home a shot from 10 yards. Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side move back up to third with the win.
Fulham 3 – Manchester United 0 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Manchester United nemesis Danny Murphy hit a sweet 20-yarder with the sidestep of his right boot, the ball bouncing of a diving Kuszczak, to fire Fulham ahead. (First half highlights here.) The Cottagers needed 20 seconds after the break to double their advantage, Dempsey rising high to head the ball down to in-form Bobby Zamora who cracked in his fourth goal in three games. A terrible United performance was compounded with the goal of the game 15 minutes from time, Zamora did fanatically to control a high ball on his chest and play on Damien Duff who cracked in a third on the volley.
Manchester City 4 – Sunderland 3 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Mark Hughes, facing the chop according to the Saturdays, saw his City side race into a 2-nil lead over Sunderland through Roque Santa Cruz and a Carlos Tevez penalty. Then the blacks Cats rallied, Reid swung over a fabulous cross that John Mensah planted home before a terrible mistake from Kolo Toure trying to defender a corner saw the ball fall to Jordan Henderson to rip in an equaliser from 14 yards. A thrilling first half ended with City regaining control as a move involving Zabaleta and Wright-Phillips was finished by Craig Bellamy into the far corner. (First half highlights here.) Sunderland levelled after the break for a third time as Kenwyne Jones got ahead of Vincent Kompany at the near post to head home. But Manchester City wrapped up a cray match with a fourth, Roque Santa Cruz knocking home the winner after Barry had sent Zabaleta’s angled cross bouncing into the six-yard area. (Second half highlights here.)
Portsmouth 2 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Eyebrows were raised when Benitez picked Dossena ahead of Benayoun and Babel of Liverpool’s left, and after thirty scrappy minutes where the Reds failed to control the game Nadir Belhadj thrashed home a stunning volley into Reina’s near post as Pompey moved ahead. Then came the big talking point as Javier Mascherano clattered into Ben Haim under the nose of ref Mason who whipped out a controversial red card to give the Argentine Christmas off. Liverpool threatened to fall apart after the break, Fernando Torres lucky to escape an early bath after elbowing Ben Haim in a challenge, and ten minutes from time Pompey wrapped up the points when Yebda was allowed to whip in a cross from the right and Frederic Piquionne beat Carragher to the ball before firing a volley across Riena in the far post.
Blackburn 0 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) In the second minute of first half stoppage time Spurs struck, all starting with Huddlestone’s shocking miscued shot that also ran out by the corner flag only for Kranjcar to salvage the situation and cross for Peter Crouch to head home. A sweeping Spurs attack killed the match seven minutes from time as Lennon and Jenas combined for Peter Crouch to slip in his second.
Aston Villa 1 – Stoke 0 (Premier League, December 19, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â John Carew came on as a substitute and settled the match just after the hour mark when he headed in Ashley Young’s cross.
Leeds 1 – Southampton 0 (League One, December 19, 2009) Leeds left it late against in-form Southampton at Elland Road with Robert Snodgrass’ 77th minute ensuring the Whites extended their lead to four points with a game in hand.
Rangers 6 – Motherwell 1 (SPL, December 19, 2009) Kenny Miller added to his strikes at Dundee United in midweek with a brilliant early opener and second-half goals from Kris Boyd, substitute Kyle Lafferty, who hit two, and DaMarcus Beasley consolidated Rangers’ position at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Real Madrid 6 – Real Zaragoza 0 (La Liga, December 19, 2009) Los Blancos responded to Barcelona becoming world club champions by destroying Zaragoza at the Bernabeu. Gonzalo Higuain got the opener on three minutes and from the same position in the area Rafael van der Vaart doubled the lead on 26. Two minutes later the Dutchman headed in the third before Higuain scored the goal of the game before the break. Cristiano Ronaldo got on the scoresheet early in the second half and Karim Benzema completed the rout.
Sevilla 1 – Getafe 2 (La Liga, December 19, 2009) A first half double from Roberto Soldado, the second a well-taken goal after the striker capitalised on a defensive error, was enough to give Getafe the three points in Sevilla. Alvaro Negredo pulled a goal back for Sevilla after the break, while the match closed out with a nasty head collision between Kanoute and Mario.
Athletic Bilbao 2 – Osasuna 0 (La Liga, December 19, 2009) In the first minute Francisco Yeste swept the ball in from a yard out at the far post after Llorente had dribbled into the area and crossed. In the 12th Fernando Llorente underlined Bilbao’s superiority, receiving the ball with his back to goal and dribbling away from his marker before shooting low into the bottom left corner.
Stuttgart 3 – Hoffenheim 1 (Bundesliga, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Stuttgart took the lead when Ciprian Marica netted a 32nd minute penalty after defender Andreas Ibertsberger handled the ball in the area. But Hoffenheim equalised on 44 minutes when Maicosuel drilled home his free-kick from 24-yards. Hoffenheim’s Luiz Gustavo then earned himself a second yellow card, and his dismissal turned the game. Cacau gave his side the lead on 68 minutes before Sami Khedira made sure of the win with a fine individual goal on 82 minutes to leave Stuttgart 14th.
Bayern Munich 5 – Hertha Berlin 2 (Bundesliga, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Daniel van Buyten continued his excellent goalscoring form this season by putting Bayern ahead against Hertha in the 15th minute. Mario Gomez put Bayern 2-up, before Arjen Robben tucked in Munich’s third in the 33rd minute. Mario Gomez should have made it four after the break but the striker fluffed another howler to add to his collection of horror misses, but it wasn’t long until Thomas Muller did score for Bayern again. On the ice-rink of a pitch a couple of errors from the Bayern defence allowed Adrian Ramos to net a consolation. Ivica Olic completed the rout with Bayern’s fifth, Raffael netted a second consolation in injury time.
Bayer Leverkusen 3 – Monchengladbach 2 (Bundesliga, December 19, 2009) A low drive from Toni Kroos against Gladbach fired Bayer Leverkusen in the 18th minute, but serial goalscorer, defender Roel Brouwers, headed the visitors level on the half hour. Glabdach took the lead after the break through Dante, but Eren Derdiyok levelled for the hosts in a ding-dong battle on the hour. Levenkusen retook the lead through their original goalscorer, as Toni Kroos hit another low strike the put the hosts 3-2 up.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – Wolfsburg 2 (Bundesliga, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A near-post header from Frankfurt’s Maik Franz, glancing a free-kick into the far stick, put Wolfsburg playing catch-up after 26 minutes. Bosnian superstar Edin Dzeko pulled the visitors level when the forward broke the offside trap and coolly slotted home the equaliser. Wolfsburg completed the turnaround 20 minutes from time when defensive midfielder Josue scored only his second goal since 2007. But the hosts weren’t to be denied a point as striker Alexander Meier curled in an equaliser from the edge of the box.
Hannover 2 – Bochum 3 (Bundesliga, December 19, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Hannover’s Jan Schlaudraff netted after six minutes against Bochum, and then the midfielder bagged his second on a white, snowy pitch. Bochum hit back after the break in style as Paul Freier and Joel Epalle scored two quick-fire goals to drew the visitors level. Bochum forward Christian Fuchs claimed a valuable three points with a sparkling left-footed free-kick four minutes from time.
St. Etienne 0 – Marseille 0 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009)
Bordeaux 4 – Lorient 1 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009) David Bellion opened the scoring against the run of play on 11 minutes. He raced into the box to strike with a low angled shot and doubled the advantage with a similar goal before halftime. Lorient had just missed a penalty when Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi made it 3-0 from a counter-attack on 52 minutes. Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff added a stylish fourth before Kevin Gameiro struck for Lorient.
Montpellier 0 – Nancy 2 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009) The newly promoted side had not been beaten at the Stade de la Mosson prior to their defeat by Bordeaux but goals from Djamel Bakar and Pascal Berenguer consigned Rene Girard’s charges to their second home loss in three days.
Rennes 1 – PSG 0 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009) Paris Saint-Germain’s indifferent form continued with a 1-0 defeat at Rennes, who prevailed via a goal by Guinean forward Ismael Bangoura five minutes before the interval that sent his side fourth.
Grenoble 1 – Nice 1 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009) Luckless bottom side Grenoble were denied only their second win of the season by an 84th minute goal from Nice’s Chaouki Ben Saada, which cancelled out Nicolas Dieuze’s 75th minute opener for the hosts.
Valenciennes 0 – Lens 0 (Ligue 1, December 19, 2009)
AZ Alkmaar 3 – ADO Den Haag 0 (Eredivisie, December 19, 2009) Dick Advocaat, who is also coach of Belgium, succeeded Ronald Koeman earlier this month and began his reign with a 1-0 defeat by PSV Eindhoven. But first-half strikes from Rasmus Elm and Sebastien Pocognoli, followed by a third from substitute Maarten Martens two minutes from time, gave AZ a comfortable win today.
Feyenoord 1 – Willem II 0 (Eredivisie, December 19, 2009) Feyenoord recorded their fourth straight Eredivisie win with a narrow success over struggling Willem II. Sekou Cisse scored the only goal after 12 minutes as the hosts won 1-0.
RKC 4 – Sparta 1 (Eredivisie, December 19, 2009) Bottom side RKC Waalwijk produced the performance of the day to stun Sparta Rotterdam 4-1. The hosts had managed 12 goals in 17 games before today but were 3-0 up by half-time thanks to a double from Derk Boerrigter and Kemy Agustien’s effort. Fred Benson made it four three minutes into the second period, before half-time substitute Darko Bodul pulled one back for Sparta.
Associacao Naval 0 – Sporting Lisbon 1 (Superliga, December 19, 2009) Sporting continued its climb up the Portuguese league table by beating Naval 1-0 with a first-half goal from Carlos Saleiro.
Racing Genk 2 – Zulte-Waregem 2 (Jupiler League, December 19, 2009)
Kayserispor 1 – Antalyaspor 2 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009) High-flying Kayserispor suffered a surprise home defeat brought on by Korhan Ozturk’s 5th minute opener and an unfortunate own goal from top scorer Ariza Makukula.
Ankaragucu 2 – Sivasspor 3 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009) Third bottom Ankaragucu lost 3-2 at home to Sivasspor in cruel fashion as Baki Mercimek’s injury-time own goal proved decisive after Metin Akan’s brace looked to have salvaged a point.
Kasimpasa 3 – Manisaspor 1 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009)
Eskisehirspor 0 – Diyarbakirspor 0 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009)
Gaziantepspor 2 – Denizlispor 1 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009) Lowly Denizlispor lost 2-1 at Gaziantepspor, Beto and Julio Cesar netting for the hosts.
Panathinaikos 4 – Pas Giannina 0 (Greek Super League, December 19, 2009) Djibril Cisse converted a penalty and added another goal Saturday to lead Panathinaikos Athens to a 4-0 win over visiting Giannena. Loukas Vyntra and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos also scored.
Ergotelis 0 – PAOK 2 (Greek Super League, December 19, 2009) PAOK Salonika strengthened their grip on third with a 2-0 win at Ergotelis thanks to second-half goals from Nikos Arabatzis and Vieirinha.
Levadiakos 3 – Larissa 0 (Super Lig, December 19, 2009) Second-bottom Levadiakos boosted their survival hopes with a 3-0 win over Larissa, Giannis Taralidis, Giorgos Barkoglou and Stefano Napoleoni were on target in the opening 25 minutes.
Central Coast Mariners 2 – Brisbane Roar 3 (A-League, December 18. 2009) Two superb strikes from Tommy Oar and Sergio Van Dijk gave the Roar an early two goal lead. But an error from skipper Craig Moore handed Nicky Travis an easy goal to give the home side a lifeline just before halftime. Gold Coast substitute Dylan Macallister headed home with 15 minutes left to tie the game at two apiece before Matt McKay’s winner in time added on.
Melbourne Victory 0 – Sydney FC 0 (A-League, December 19, 2009) The defending champions dominated the contest but a combination of wasteful shooting and a tight rearguard action from the Sky Blues denied Melbourne captain Kevin Muscat marking his 500th game with a win.
Adelaide United 1 – Wellington Phoenix 1 (A-League, December 18. 2009) Adelaide’s Brazilian fullback Alemao ignited the game with a stunning 30-yard strike in the 57th minute, but despite a host of chances to put the game out of Wellingtonâ€™s reach, Unitedâ€™s lead was cancelled out in the 77th minute after Adrian Caceres created panic in the Redsâ€™ six yard box.
Estudiantes 1 – Barcelona 2 (AET) (FIFA Club World Cup final, December 18. 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A superb diving header from Mauro Boselli in between two Barca defender put Estudiantes in the leadÂ in the final of the Club World Cup. With just a minute to go before Barca’s dream of winning six trophies in 2009 expired, wunderkid Pedro Rodriguez netted an equaliser to keep the Catalan hopes alive and push the match into extra time. Having hardly featured, Leo Messi found himself grabbing centre-stage when he hurled himself into a flying-chest in the 110th minute.
Pohang Steelers 1* – Atlante 1 (Pens. 4-3) (FIFA Club World Cup third-place playoff, December 18. 2009) Denilson was once again on target at the Club World Cup as Pohang took a halftime lead against Atlante in the third place playoff. The Mexicans levelled a minute into the second half through Rafael Marquez.