West Ham 1 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, December 20, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Knowing that defeat against league leaders Chelsea would leave West Ham bottom at Christmas, the Hammers received some early holiday joy when Ashley Cole fouled Jack Collison in the Blues’ box and Alessandro Diamanti converted from the spot. It was the case of two penalties in the 58th minute as Upson appeared to execute a perfectly timed tackle on Sturridge only for ref Dean to once again point to the spot and Frank Lampard (from an incredible three-times retaken penalty) scored against his former employers.
Wolves 2 – Burnley 0 (Premier League, December 20, 2009) Fully refreshed, Mick McCarthy’s Wolves side took a 15th minute lead against Burnley thanks to great work from Kevin Doyle, the striker chasing down a lost cause to nip the ball off Carlisle to play in Jarvis who saw his shot converted on the rebound by Nenad Milijas. Six minutes after the restart Wolves went 2-up, Kevin Doyle scoring a superb solo goal where he controlled the ball with his first touch, beat the defender with his second and scoring past Jensen with his third. The result was Wolves’ third win in four matches.
Everton 1 – Birmingham 1 (Premier League, December 20, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Diniyar Bilyaletdinov’s sixth minute goal was all the hosts had to show for their dominance and were caught cold when Sebastian Larsson equalised with Birmingham’s first shot of the match midway through the half.
Newcastle 2 – Middlesbrough 0 (Championship, December 20, 2009) The Magpies broke the deadlock in the North-East derby on the quarter hour mark when Guthrie floated free-kick over to the back stick where Ameobi blatantly shoved Pogatetz out of the way to head the ball onto Marlon Harewood, the striker making no mistake from close-range. Poor defending from Boro gifted the Toon a second on the hour, Guthrie was able to swing in a cross from the right and Shola Ameobi was left free to double Newcastle’s lead with a header.
Crystal Palace 1 – Barnsley 1 (Championship, December 19, 2009) Victor Moses was the star of the show for the Eagles, putting in a performance to show why Liverpool and Barcelona have been reported as snooping around the young forward. Moses won Palace a third minute penalty that top scorer Darren Ambrose blazed over the bar, which later allowed the Tykes to take the lead when Daniel Bogdanovic curled 20-yard shot past Speroni. Moses proved Palace’s saviour after the break scoring a terrific overhead kick from the edge of the penalty area that flew into the top corner.
Hearts 2 – Celtic 1 (SPL, December 20, 2009) Georgios Samaras gave Celtic the lead at Tynecastle in the first half but they were in front for just ten minutes. Bhoys captain Gary Caldwell was sent off for fouling Jamie Mole in the box as the last man, and Hearts skipper Michael Stewart scored the subsequent penalty. The visitors dominated after the break despite being a man down, but it was Hearts that made the breakthrough when Ismael Bouzid headed in David Templeton’s cross with 14 minutes left to play.
Deportivo La Coruna 0 – Valencia 0 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Valencia missed out on the chance of spending the mid-winter break in third place when they were held to a draw at Depor. Juan Carlos Valeron came closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts when he headed against the crossbar just before halftime.
Tenerife 1 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Nino put the hosts ahead after just two minutes, taking advantage of non-existent marking in the Atletico penalty area to stab home from 5 yards after Alfaro had volleyed a free-kick across the face of goal. Jose Manuel Jurado equalised midway through the first half, slamming the ball into the roof of the net after a perfectly-timed run took him in behind the Tenerife defence.
Villarreal 2 – Racing Santander 0 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Villarreal took the points from their meeting with struggling Racing Santander as Giuseppe Rossi (51) and Joseba Llorente (72) found the net.
Valladolid 2 – Sporting Gijon 1 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Valladolid were also indebted to one of their replacements with Haris Medunjanin emerging from the bench to hit a last-gasp winner against Sporting Gijon. Luis Moran had put visitors Gijon ahead in the 13th minute before Nivaldo levelled for the hosts just before the half-hour mark.
Malaga 2 – Mallorca 1 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Malaga claimed only their second victory of the season as UEFA Champions League hopefuls Real Mallorca were undone at La Rosaleda. Fernando Miguel fired the home side in front in the 24th minute only for Julio Alvarez to level for the visitors 11 minutes into the second period. But substitute Fernando Forestieri stepped off to fire home the winning goal 13 minutes from time to claim three crucial points.
Espanyol 2 – Almeria 0 (La Liga, December 20, 2009) Espanyol halted a run of five successive defeats with a 2-0 home victory over Almeria to move four points clear of the relegation places. Javi Marquez made the vital breakthrough for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, with their success sealed by substitute Ferran Corominas’ 82nd minute effort.
Juventus 1 – Catania 2 (Serie A, December 20, 2009) A retaken spot-kick from Catania’s Jorge Martinez fired the visitors into the lead away at Juventus. The Old Lady pulled level midway through the second half when Diego floated a ball over the top to Hassan Salihamidzic who slipped in the equaliser. With Juve throwing everything at trying to net a winner they were undone by a sucker-punch as Mariano Izco broke the hosts offside trap to grab a shock late winner for the Sicilians.
Roma 2 – Parma 0 (Serie A, December 20, 2009) From a short Roma corner earlier in the second half, the ball pinballed inside the Parma box before Nicolas Burdisso swept in the opener. Parma had Paci send off minutes before the final whistle, and Roma had time to hammer home their extra numbers as Massimo Brighi scored in injury time.
Napoli 2 – Chievo 0 (Serie A, December 20, 2009) Marek Hamsik bagged a seventh minute penalty as Napoli moved in front against Chievo. Fabio Quagliarella made sure of the points three minutes from time to extend Napoli’s unbeaten run to 11 games.
Livorno 3 – Sampdoria 1 (Serie A, December 20, 2009) Sampdoria appeared to have put their season back on track when key playmaker Antonio Cassano scored just 15 minutes into the game. Livorno, though, equalised in the 39th minute when Nelson Rivas scored. Two minutes into the second half it became 2-1 to the hosts as Tomas Danilevicius scored. It became 3-1 in the last few seconds of the game when Danilevicius netted the ball for the second time in the game.
Cologne 3 – Nurnberg 0 (Bundesliga, December 20, 2009) Cologne came into the game having scored just twice in their last 10 league games, but goals from Pedro Geromel (34) and Milivoje Novakovic (70,77) sunk the visitors, who had Juri Judt sent off six minutes from time.
Hamburg 2 – Werder Bremen 1 (Bundesliga, December 20, 2009) Hamburg’s Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen headed home a corner against Werder to give the hosts a 9th minute lead. Hamburg were reduced to 10 men when Boateng received a straight red, but the hosts still went on to claim a second before the break as Elia freed Marcel Jansen who placed the ball into the net with the keeper stranded. Naldo’s late header proved mere consolation for Werder.
Auxerre 1 – Toulouse 1 (Ligue 1, December 20, 2009) Toulouse went ahead in the 21st minute when Brazilian midfielder Michel Luan scored on his first top-flight start, but away skipper Etienne Didot was sent off in the 87th minute for accumulating two yellow cards before Roy Contout converted Daniel Niculae’s flick-on with a right-footed finish.
Lille 3 – Le Mans 0 (Ligue 1, December 20, 2009) Three goals in the first half an hour against Le Mans gave Lille their fifth win a row and lifted them up to third. They might have had more had Florent Balmont not missed a 14th minute penalty, moments after Aurelien Chedjou had put them in front with a header. Gervinho added a second in the 27th minute before Eden Hazard completed the scoring with only 29 minutes gone.
Benfica 1 – Porto 0 (Superliga, December 20, 2009) With a Benfica player sitting in the centre of the Porto goalmouth injury, the hosts saw Javier Saviola score a controversial 21st minute goal to win the Clasico in Portugal.
Nacional 4 – Academica Coimbra 3 (Superliga, December 20, 2009) Mateus da Costa opened the scoring in the third minute for the hosts, but Academica hit back through William Tiero in the 10th minute. But Ruben Micael scored again for Nacional in the 34th minute and their lead was doubled five minutes after the break when Edgar da Silva found the net. Moudou Sougou pegged them back just before the hour mark, but substitute Kevin Amuneke soon restored the two-goal advantage, rendering Miguel Fidalgo’s 74th minute goal merely a consolation.
Vitoria Setubal 3 – Maritimo 2 (Superliga, December 20, 2009) Ladji Keita grabbed a 90th minute winner to lift Vitoria Setubal to a 3-2 win over Maritimo. Vitoria led through Andre Pinto after 14 minutes, but the visitors hit back immediately through Ferreira Alonso’s penalty. Keita put Vitoria ahead a minute before the break, but Guilherme again levelled matters just before the hour mark.
Uniao Leiria 1 – Belenenses 0 (Superliga, December 20, 2009) Cassio got the only goal in the 62nd minute as Uniao Leiria moved up to sixth place with a 1-0 win over Belenenses.
Trabzonspor 0 – Fenerbahce 1 (Super Lig, December 20, 2009) Dani Guiza netted the winner for Fener.
Aris 1 – Olympiakos 0 (Greek Super League, December 20, 2009) Javier Campora scored the only goal of the game as Aris handed defending champion Olympiakos their first loss of the season.
Panthrakikos 0 – Atromitos 3 (Greek Super League, December 20, 2009) Elias Anastasakos hattrick sealed the points for Atromitos.
Asteras Tripolis 2 – AEK Athens 0 (Greek Super League, December 20, 2009)
Panionios 1 – Kavala 2 (Greek Super League, December 20, 2009)
Xanthi 4 – Iraklis 3 (Greek Super League, December 20, 2009)
Maccabi Haifa 2 – Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv 0 (Ligat ha’Al, December 20, 2009) Goals from Shlomi Arbeitman and Eyal Golasa made it 13 wins from 14 games for top of the table Haifa.
Maccabi Ahi Nazrat 3 – Maccabi Tel Aviv 3 (Ligat ha’Al, December 19, 2009) After seven straight defeats, a spirited fight-back by Ahi Nazrat gave John Gregory’s men a valuable 3-3 draw against Maccabi Tel Aviv and left Avi Nimni ruing yet more dropped points in his quest for a European place. Nazrat’s 3-3 equaliser arrived seven minutes from time when the backpedaling Nisso Kapiloto, under no real pressure, headed the ball into his own net.
Hapoel Beer-Sheva 2 – Hapoel Haifa 3 (Ligat ha’Al, December 19, 2009)
Gold Coast United 2 – Perth Glory 0 (A-League, December 20, 2009) Shane Smeltz gave United the lead mid-way through the first half, scoring his 15th A-league goal of the season, Charlie Miller capping off the win in the 75th minute with his first goal in Gold Coast colours.