VIDEO: United hang on to beat Bolton; Liverpool deflated by “balloon goal” at Sunderland; Arsenal sink Birmingham; Villa exploit Chelsea’s dodgy defending; Spurs win at Pompey; Hammers lose at Stoke

Manchester United 2 – Bolton 1 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) It took United just two minutes to break the Bolton backline as Michael Owen had  more than his fair share of luck to see his misguided header ricochet off Zat Knight and into the net. Just after the half hour United doubled their lead, Gary Neville played in Antonio Valencia to slash home into the near post for his first goal since his joining from Wigan. With 15 minutes remaining Bolton hit back as Matty Taylor headed home a Davis cross past the returning Van der Sar between the posts.

Sunderland 1 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Black Cats raced into an early lead past a depleted Liverpool side without Torres and Gerrard, but Darren Bent’s opener was hugely controversial after the ball struck a big red balloon (the balloon was thrown by the Reds’ away fans) on its way into the net to take the ball past Riena. Bent had two opportunities to kill the match early in the second half but the striker miscued after rounding Reina and minutes later he hit the post after intercepting a poor back pass.

Arsenal 3 – Birmingham 1 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Two quick-fire goals on the quarter hour from Arsenal, first a tidy left-footed strike from Robin van Persie and then a confident back-post finish from Abou Diaby from Rosicky’s low cross, put the Wenger Boys in control. But in the 37th minute Birmingham hit back as fingers will be pointed at Vito Mannone for failing to deal with an up-and-under which Lee Bowyer was able to capitalise on. (First half highlights here.) A late third from Andrei Arshavin wrapped up the points for Arsenal.

Aston Villa 2 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Villa were denied a penalty when Bosingwa had a coming together with Agbonlahor in the 11th minute, and just three minutes later Chelsea stole the lead as a speculative 30-yarder from Didier Drogba beat Brad Friedel when the keeper should have done better. Soon after their was a comedy moment to savour as Nicolas Anelka unintentionally took out Villa boss Martin O’Neill on the sidelines. The smiles were wiped off the Blues faces though just after the half hour as Richard Dunne headed in the equaliser from a corner after Carvalho went walkabout. (First half highlights here.) Six minutes into the second half and Villa Park erupted as Chelsea failed to deal with another corner and James Collins was left all alone to nod in number two.

Portsmouth 1 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Rock-bottom Portsmouth conceded twice in the first half (highlights here) to Spurs, Ledley King brilliantly out-jumping two defenders to head in the first before Jermain Defoe slid in number two from a quick free-kick. Former Lilywhite Kevin Prince Boatang brought Pompey back into the game, and Spurs then had Defoe sent off for a stamp, but the Londoners held on to move into third place in the league.

Stoke 2 – West Ham 1 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) James Beattie put Stoke in front with an 11th minute penalty before Matthew Upson headed the Hammers level just after the half hour. (First half highlights here.) Stoke retook the lead as Ricardo Fuller beat Upson down the right and, after his shot was saved by Rob Green, James Beattie slid in to bundle home the rebound.

Everton 1 – Wolves 1 (Premier League, October 17, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Wolves threatened to take all three points back to the Molineux after Kevin Doyle’s second half strike had put the visitors ahead against the run of play. But an eighty-ninth minute strike from Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov rescued a deserved point for the Toffees.

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Nottingham Forest 1 – Newcastle 0 (Championship, October 17, 2009) After a patient build-up, Dexter Blackstock netted Forest’s winner to shoot down the Magpies.

Blackpool 2 – Plymouth 0 (Championship, October 17, 2009) Marcel Seip marked his debut with the opening goal for the Seasiders, powering home a header in the 31st minute before David Vaughan added a second in the 64th minute as the hosts rose to fifth in the Championship.

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St. Johnstone 1 – Rangers 2 (SPL, October 17, 2009) St. Johnstone broke the deadlock with Rangers when striker Collin Samuel broke the visitors offside trap to streak through on goal and coolly slot home. The Gers levelled before the break through Kris Boyd’s neat finish from 5-yards after Thomson’s shot had initially been stopped en route to goal. Sevn minutes from time Rangers snatched victory as left-back Sasa Papac found himself in space and arrowed a shot past Alan Main from the edge of the area.

Celtic 0 – Motherwell 0 (SPL, October 17, 2009) Celtic were knocked off top spot as they failed to bounce back from their Old Firm defeat against Motherwell. The Hoops had an off day in front of goal with Niall McGinn missing a sitter two minutes before the break, heading Georgios Samaras’ cross wide of goal. McGinn then drew a fine save from John Ruddy and Scott McDonald fluffed a late chance, while Artur Boruc produced a fine stop from Lukas Jutkiewicz.

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Valencia 0 – Barcelona 0 (La Liga, October 17, 2009) Valencia secured a goalless draw with Barcelona to deny the Catalans a record breaking seventh consecutive victory at the start of the season.

Real Madrid 4 – Valladolid 2 (La Liga, October 17, 2009) Raul blitzed through Valladolid early doors with a brace, the first was a terrific back heel from a Granero cross and the second a sharp finish from the left, set up by Marcelo. Valladolid came back into the game thanks to a terrific free-kick from Aleman but before the break the home side took back their two-goal lead with a fine solo effort from Marcelo. Yet again Costa brought Valladolid back into the equation eight minutes from time, but with 11 minutes to Gonzalo Higuain put the game to bed with a wonderful lob after a great ball from Alonso.

Deportivo La Coruna 1 – Sevilla 0 (La Liga, October 17, 2009) A cracking left-footed drive from Juan Rodriguez blasted Depor into the lead against high-flying Sevilla.

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Genoa 0 – Inter Milan 5 (Serie A, October 17, 2009) Inter took a three-goal lead into the break at Genoa. A Modesto og set them on their way, Mario Balotelli claimed the second and Dejan Stankovic scored a brilliant third, straight from Amelia’s poor kick, just before the break. Jose Mourinho’s side added to the scoreline in the second period through Patrick Vieira and Maicon.

Juventus 1 – Fiorentina 1 (Serie A, October 17, 2009) Fiorentina struck early doors at their bitter rivals Juve as Juan Vargas swept a left-footed shot into Buffon’s near post. The lead didn’t last long as Amauri pulled the Old Lady level in the 19th minute.

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Freiburg 1 – Bayern Munich 2 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Thomas Muller and a Cha Du-Ri own goal gave Louis van Gaal’s side all three points after they had lost one and drawn one of their last two games. Stefan Reisinger scored a consolation with the last kick of the game for Freiburg.

Stuttgart 1 – Schalke 2 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Schalke struck first thanks to Ivan Rakitic’s effort in the 24th minute. Cacau levelled for Stuttgart in the 73rd minute and the turnaround was completed three minutes later as Kevin Kuranyi popped up with the winner in the 76th minute with some ice-cold finishing to claim Schalke’s third straight league win.

FC Cologne 1 – Mainz 0 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) Milivoje Novakovic scored the only goal of the game as Cologne eased their relegation worries with a 1-0 win against high-flying Mainz.

Nurnberg 3 – Hertha Berlin 0 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) An early goal from Daniel Gygax and a double from Albert Bunjaku condemned Hertha to an eighth straight loss and catapulted Nurnberg out of the bottom three.

Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – Hannover 1 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) Jiri Stajner levelled for Hannover on 68 minutes after Nikos Liberopoulos had broken the deadlock in the first half, but Frankfurt were not to be denied and triumphed thanks to Alexander Meier’s late strike.

Werder Bremen 2 – Hoffenheim 0 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009) After Hoffenheim missed an early penalty, Claudio Pizarro and Per Mertesacker scored to give Werder the lead after just 22 minutes and that was all the hosts would need.

Hamburg 0 – Bayer Leverkusen 0 (Bundesliga, October 17, 2009)

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Nancy 0 – Marseille 3 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) Mathieu Valbuena gave Marseille the dream start with the opener after just five minutes before late strikes from Brandao (78) and Fabrice Abriel (81) made the game safe for Didier Deschamps’ men.

Lyon 0 – Sochaux 2 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) A goal in each half from Jacques Faty (17) and Sloan Privat (89) gave Sochaux a famous win and left Lyon with much to think about ahead of their Champions League trip to Liverpool next week.

Montpellier 2 – Saint-Etienne 1 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) Montepellier moved level on points with Lyon at the top of the table as St. Etienne were always facing an uphill battle from the moment Yohan Andreu was sent off on the stroke of half-time. Goals from Karim Ait Fana (54) and Souleymane Camara (60) were enough to give Montepellier all three points with Gonzalo Bergessio pulling a goal back from the penalty spot on 71 minutes.

Le Mans 1 – Boulogne 1 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) Le Mans looked to be heading for a vital home win when Roland Lamah fired them in front on 62 minutes only for Fabien Robert to grab an equaliser two minutes into injury-time.

Valenciennes 2 – Grenoble 0 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) Mahamadou Samassa fired the home side in front on 16 minutes and Fahid Ben Khalfallah doubled the lead five minutes later.

Auxerre 1 – Bordeaux 0 (Ligue 1, October 17, 2009) Fernando Cavenaghi was the guilty man for Bordeaux when he missed from the spot on 32 minutes and things got worse for Bordeaux when Valter Birsa netted the winner for Auxerre 17 minutes from time.

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FC Twente 3 – AZ Alkmaar 2 (Eredivisie, October 17, 2009) Kenneth Perez had given Twente a half-time advantage by scoring against his former club but two goals in four minutes through Mounir El Hamdaoui and a Peter Wisgerhof own goal put AZ in front on the hour mark. Bryan Ruiz soon restored parity with a 62nd-minute equaliser, though, and Blaise Nkufo grabbed a last-minute winner to take his tally to six and give Twente a fifth straight league win.

Ajax 4 – Willem II 0 (Eredivisie, October 17, 2009) Eyong Enoh broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time before Miralem Sulejmani doubled the home side’s lead in the 64th minute – just a minute after replacing Dennis Rommedahl. The visitors’ hopes of getting back into the game were dashed in the 80th minute when Leonardo Veloso was shown a second yellow card, and Ajax compounded their misery with Marko Pantelic and Luis Suarez scoring late on.

PSV 1 – Heerenveen 0 (Eredivisie, October 17, 2009) Danko Lazovic struck an 80th-minute winner to keep PSV two points behind Twente.

NAC 4 – Vitesse 0 (Eredivisie, October 17, 2009) The visitors were left facing an uphill battle when defender Frank van der Struijk was sent off for a professional foul in the 36th minute and Edwin de Graaf converted the penalty. Kees Kwakman added a second before the break before Anthony Lurling hit a second-half double to send NAC above Vitesse into seventh.

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Anderlecht 2 – Charleroi 0 (Jupiler League, October 17, 2009) Lucas Biglia and Romelu Lukaku scored the goals which took the hosts two points clear of Club Brugge, who can reclaim top spot with victory against Gent on Sunday.

Westerlo 2 – Standard Liege 0 (Jupiler League, October 17, 2009) Reigning champions Standard Liege missed the chance to go top as they went down to a 2-0 loss at Westerlo, Dieter Dekelver’s first-half brace doing the damage.

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Besiktas 2 – Kasimpasa 1 (Super Lig, October 17, 2009) Goals from Nihat (8) and Deivson Bobo (38) put the home side in command before a fiery closing spell saw Fabian Ernst and Matteo Ferrari sent off on 83 and 87 minutes respectively. Andre Moritz pulled a goal back from the penalty spot for Kasimpasa a minute from the end.

Denizlispor 2 – Bursaspor 3 (Super Lig, October 17, 2009)

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Rubin Kazan 2 – Khimki 1 (Russian Premier League, October 17, 2009) Goals either side of the interval from Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Alan Kasaev proved sufficient for Rubin to wrap up their 15th league win of the season. Substitute Aleksandr Antipenko’s strike two minutes from time was mere consolation for struggling Khimki.

Spartak Nalchik 1 – CSKA Moscow 1 (Russian Premier League, October 17, 2009) Serbian striker Milos Krasic needed just two minutes to finish off a precise attack from the visitors, Aleksandr Amisulashvili levelling the match for Spartak midway through the first half.

Saturn 2 – Amkar Perm 0 (Russian Premier League, October 17, 2009) Benoit Angbwa and Dmitri Loskov scored the second-half goals for coach Andrey Gordeev’s side.

Dynamo Moscow 0 – Tomsk 1 (Russian Premier League, October 17, 2009) Aleksandar Radosavljevic scored the only goal.

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Dynamo Kyiv 2 – Obolon Kyiv 1 (Ukrainian Super League, October 17, 2009) Despite trailing to Serhiy Yavorsky’s 73rd-minute strike, Artem Milevskiy levelled the scores two minutes later before Andriy Shevchenko hit what proved to be the winner ten minutes from time.

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Olympiakos 3 – Asteras Tripolis 0 (Greek Super League, October 17, 2009) Defender Olof Mellberg put Olympiakos on the path to victory in the 35th minute. Second-half goals from Kostas Mitroglou (53) and Jaouad Zairi (67) wrapped things up for Zico’s men.

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Varzim 1 – Nacional 2 (Taca de Portugal, October 17, 2009)

Monsanto 0 – Benfica 6 (Taca de Portugal, October 17, 2009)

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AIK Stockholm 1 – Gefle 0 (Allsvenskan, October 17, 2009) Gabriel Ozkan’s 70th minute goal was enough for AIK, who extended their lead at the top of the table to four points.

Kalmar 2 – GAIS 2 (Allsvenskan, October 17, 2009) Daniel Sobralense had opened the scoring for Kalmar after just a minute and Reinaldo restored the home side’s lead after Carneiro Wanderson had equalised. Substitute Mervan Celik snatching a point for the visitors eight minutes from time.

Trelleborgs 0 – Elfsborg 1 (Allsvenskan, October 17, 2009) Elfsborg remain third thanks to Martin Ericsson’s 74th-minute penalty securing all three points.

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Mladi Radnik 0 – Red Star Belgrade 1 (Serbian Super Liga, October 17, 2009)

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Albirex Niigata 0 – Urawa Red Diamonds 1 (J-League, October 17, 2009) Edmilson took advantage of a horrible mix-up in the Niigata defence in the opening minute to claim the only goal of the game.

Omiya Ardija 2 – Kawasaki Frontale 3 (J-League, October 17, 2009) An incredible match saw Kawasaki miss two first half penalties as well as score three times in the match, while Mato Neretljak scored a brace of spot-kicks during the match for Omiya as the hosts lost the 5-goal thriller.

Yokohama F. Marinos 2 – Nagoya Grampus Eight 1 (J-League, October 17, 2009) Kenta Kano struck with a minute remaining as Yokohama F.Marinos beat Asian Champions League semi-finalists Nagoya.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2 – Gamba Osaka 2 (J-League, October 17, 2009) A looping header from Toshihiro Aoyama and a fine strike by Tomoaki Makino late in the first half seemed to have put Sanfrecce in command against Gamba. But after Hideo Hashimoto pulled a goal back three minutes after the hour mark, Hayato Sasaki equalised with 20 minutes remaining following a fine ball from Yasuhito Endo.

Yamagata 1 – Vissel Kobe 0 (J-League, October 17, 2009) Yamagata boosted their survival hopes after recording a 1-0 win over Vissel Kobe to move seven points clear of the drop zone courtesy of Tatsuya Furuhashi’s 40th-minute header.

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North Queensland Fury 1 – Wellington Phoenix 1 (A-League, October 17, 2009) Phoenix’s Tim Brown scored in the 6th minute before Fury skipper Robbie Fowler headed home an 84th minute equaliser as both sides stayed rooted to the foot of the table.

Brisbane Roar 0 – Central Coast Mariners 3 (A-League, October 17, 2009) Early goals from Nicky Travis and John Hutchinson, and a fine second half goal from Pedj Bojic earned the Mariners a comfortable away win at crisis-club Brisbane.

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DC United 1 – Columbus Crew 0 (MLS, October 17, 2009)  Luciano Emilio scored the only goal of the match for playoff hopefuls DC United.

Chivas USA 2 – San Jose Earthquakes 2 (MLS, October 17, 2009) The Red-and-White got goals from Maykel Galindo and Justin Braun, but were unable to contain a potent Earthquakes attack.

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Argentinos Jrs 2 – Racing Club 0 (Apertura, October 17, 2009)

Atletico Tucuman 1 – Godoy Cruz 1 (Apertura, October 17, 2009)

Gimnasia La Plata 1 – Colon 2 (Apertura, October 17, 2009)

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Sao Paulo 0 – Atletico Mineiro 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 17, 2009)

Avai 2 – Goias 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 17, 2009)

Barueri 0 – Santos 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, October 17, 2009)