Fulham 0 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Fulham started brightly against Liverpool, Clint Dempsey looking dangerous down the Cottagers left. But the Reds soon had chances of their own as Andrea Dossena first fired over the bar after being set up by Torres, and then he saw his shot deflect out off of Schwarzer’s crossbar a minute later. Fernando Torres then threatened, the Spaniard forcing a smart save from Schwarzer before Torres managed to beat the Aussie keeper only to be denied by the post. And it started to look like the gods were conspiring against Liverpool when Xabi Alonso’s superb volley again crashed against the woodwork. (First half highlights here.) Ryan Babel looked dangerous after the interval, although Mark Schwarzer was still looking comfortable in the Fulham goal as Liverpool continued without a breakthrough. But just as it looked like Liverpool would drop two crucial points, Israeli Yossi Benayoun once again became the hero for Benitez, arrowing a drive into the top corner with just seconds remaining on the clock.
Arsenal 2 – Manchester City 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Emmanuel Adebayor marked his Arsenal return with an 8th minute goal against Man City, the Togolese forward left totally free at the back post to head home Cesc Fabregas’s free-kick from the right hand side. (First half highlights here.) Arsenal fans were gleefully celebrating again early in the second half, Cesc and Adebayor again combining for the strike to claim his second of the match. Theo Walcott flashed a shot narrowly wide in the 54th minute.
Newcastle 0 – Chelsea 2 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Expect to hear a lot about false messiahs in the coming days. After keeping Chelsea at bay for almost an hour at St. James’ Park (first half highlights here), Alan Shearer could do nothing as the Magpies displayed their famous defending prowess, Fabricio Coloccini had a brain-freeze losing possession and then putting in a weak tackle with Frank Lampard profitting from the comedy of errors. The Blues then doubled their lead, a Cech punt was flicked on by Anelka, Lampard played in Florent Malouda and the Frenchan steered the ball past Harper.
Blackburn 2 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â El Hadji-Diouf headed just wide after 10 minutes at Ewood Park. In-form Spurs took the lead on the half-hour, Givet was harshly judged to have handled a Lennon cross and Robbie Keane slotted home the penalty, despite the fact the ball was not on the penalty spot. Spurs looked comfortable in the second half, but the sending off of Wilson Palacios for two bookable offences turned the game. Benni McCarthy equalised from a Samba cross and then with the 90 minutes approaching Andre Ooijer tapped home from close range as Spurs failed to defend a corner.
Bolton 4 – Middlesbrough 1 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Bolton moved ahead of Boro thanks to Kevin Davies opener after 8 minutes, but a slick move by Gareth Southgate’s men seeing excellent link-up play between Tuncay and Gary O’Neil saw the midfielder deftly lift the ball over Jaaskelainen for the equaliser. Just as the got back in the game Boro blew it, a bread and butter free-kick was poorly dealt with and Gary Cahill was on hand to restore the Trotters’ lead. (First half highlights here.) Matt Taylor netted a fortuitous third when his free-kick sailed over the defence and in at the far post with Jones motionless. And there was more misery for the visitors as Riccardo Gardner controlled Matt Taylor’s left-wing cross to add a fourth five minutes from time. (Second half highlights here.)
West Brom 0 – Stoke 2 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Baggies were trailing in the massive six-pointer after just two minutes, indecision from Shelton Martis allowed Ricardo Fuller to bear down on the West Brom goal before drilling a low shot past Carson. More poor defending handed Stoke a second minutes after the restart, James Beattie latching onto a loose ball to crack a beauty into the top corner.
West Ham 2 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Hammers youth development must be credited for an excellent result over the Black Cats, 19-year-old Junior Stanislas scoring on his first start for West Ham with a close-range tap-in just before the break. More stars of tomorrow combined for the Hammers’ second, Mark Noble’s set-piece was headed home by James Tomkins for his first senior goal early in the second half.
Hull 0 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, April 4, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Pompey held on for a draw despite having Glen Johnson sent off with 10 minutes to play. The point gives Hull a five point lead over third-bottom Newcastle.
Celtic 4 – Hamilton 0 (SPL, April 4, 2009) Georgios Samaras ended his Celtic goal-scoring drought after 6 minutes before Aiden McGeady added a second with 22 minutes on the clock. Samaras added a third in the 66th minute before Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink got a goal with seven minutes left.
Dundee United 2 – Hibernian 2 (SPL, April 4, 2009) Colin Nish scored two early goals at Dundee United, the first on six minutes was a great hit and the second came four minutes later following some poor defending from the home side. The home side had a great chance to pull themselves back into the game on the half hour but Craig Conway saw his penalty saved by Grzegorz Szamotulski. Midway through the second half Gary Kenneth scored his first goal of the season to give the home side hope. Two minutes into injury time David Goodwillie found the equaliser after an almighty scramble.
ValladolidÂ 0 – Barcelona 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) (Longer highlights here.)Â Away at Valladolid, it took Barca until the 40th minute to break the deadlock when Samuel Eto’o played a one-two before firing in the opener. (First half highlights here.)
Almeria 3 – Villarreal 0 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Alvaro Negredo inspired Almeria to victory, Negredo netted his 17th of the campaign after seven minutes and set up Pablo Piatti and Jose Mane for two more before halftime. He hit the post after the restart just before Villarreal were reduced to 10-men when Robert Pires collected his second yellow card.
Athletic Bilbao 2 – Mallorca 1 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Bilbao took the lead in the fifth minute as Francisco Yeste scored from the penalty spot. Mallorca hit back on 72 minutes through Jose Jurado, but Bilbao pinched the points as Javi Martinez scored with six minutes left to play.
Betis 3 – Numancia 3 (La Liga, April 4, 2009) Betis took the lead after 10 minutes courtesy of Sergio Garcia, but Numancia were back on level terms five minutes before halftime thanks to Carlos Aranda. Jose Barkero put the visitors the lead with a 77th minute penalty after Marcos Nelson was red carded for a deliberate handball, but Betis levelled in the 85th minute as Jesus Capi scored. Numancia had Manuel Castro sent off for a second booking with two minutes remaining, and Beits capitalised as Ricardo Oliveira struck from the spot in the 90th minute. Numancia though hit back, as Betis keeper Alexandre Ricardo was dismissed late on and Aransa converted from the spot in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Ascoli 1 – Pisa 0 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Ascoli’s Sommese broke the offside trap to lob the keeper after 19 minutes, and a miserable day for the visitors saw Gasparetto (elbow) and Viviani (professional foul) both sent off in the second half.
Avellino 3 – Ancona 0 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) De Zerbi’s first half double lead Avellino to three points.
Cittadella 1 – Sassuolo 1 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Zampagna broke the deadlock with a right-foot strike from the edge of the box. Five minutes later Pesoli was allowed a free header from a corner to earn Cittadella a point.
Triestina 4 – Rimini 0 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Rimini were humiliated after being reduced to nine men in the first half.
Modena 1 – Grosseto 1 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Federici rose to nod in a free-kick for a first half lead, but when Fantini set up Troianoâ€™s header and Consonni received a second booking soon after, Modena looked the liklier to win.
Livorno 1 – Vicenza 1 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Diamanti eventually broke through with a trademark left-footed free kick into the top corner, but in the final moments Rosi brought down Bjelanovic and Margiotta kept his cool to convert the penalty.
Piacenza 2 – Brescia 2 (Serie B, April 4, 2009)
Bari 0 – Parma 2 (Serie B, April 4, 2009) Parma beat the league leaders to move within one point of the summit. ormer Bari star Vantaggiato who opened the scoring after 15 minutes beforeÂ Paloschi rose to nod in Zenoniâ€™s cross from the right and double Parmaâ€™s advantage.
Salernitana 2 – Treviso 2 (Serie B, April 4, 2009)
Hertha Berlin 1 – Borussia Dortmund 3 (Bundesliga, April 4, 2009) Is this the week that the wheels fall off of Hertha’s unlikely title challenge? The league leaders were 1-down after 25 minutes to Dortmund when Alexander Frei, who has been unstoppable of late, collected a ball over the top and fired in the far corner. But something magical is happening at Hertha, and they equalised with an amazing solo goal from Raffael who cut in from the left, weaved past several defenders before coolly slotting home to send the crowd wild. Back came Borussia, Sebastian Kehl leaping high in the Berlin box to score with a header. A fortunate Nelson Valdez strike that went through a defender’s legs found the bottom corner for the visitors’ killer third.
Wolfsburg 5 – Bayern Munich 1 (Bundesliga, April 4, 2009) High-flying Wolfsburg took a 44th minute lead over Bayern Munich when Christian Gentner headed home at the near post from a corner. With the home crowd still celebrating Bayern hit back, the linesman adjudging Luca Toni’s debatable effort to have wholly crossed the line, ensuring that Klinsmann’s team went into the break level. After the break the amazing Edin Dzeko show got back into full swing, the Bosnian prodding the hosts in front in the 63rd minute before Dzeko grabbed his second beginning and ending a counter-attack (5th goal in 3 games) to open up a 2-goal cushion for Wolfsburg. Bayern were then put to the sword, Grafite making a chump of Breno to sink the fourth before Grafite danced around 3 Bayern defenders and cheekily scoring with his heel to grab a humiliating fifth.
Hamburg 1 – Hoffenhiem 0 (Bundesliga, April 4, 2009) In the top of the table clash between Hamburg (4th) and Hoffenhiem (5th) it was Martin Jol’s team who struck first when Jonathan Pitroipa was freed through the middle and, after riding a couple of challenges, slotting into the empty net.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2 – Energie Cottbus 1 (Bundesliga, April 4, 2009) Eintracht Frankfurt fell behind at home to Cottbus when Dimitar Rangelov scored from the spot. The lead did not last long, Nikos Liberopoulos drawing the hosts level with a spot-kick of their own. Daniel Ziebig, attempting to defend a free-kick, headed the ball into his own net to give the hosts the advantage.
Bochum 1 – Stuttgart 2 (Bundesliga, April 4, 2009) Jens Lehmann was left with a tub of egg on his face when the Stuttgart keeper misjudged a Joel Epalle cross, catching the ball over the line to give Bochum a 48th minute lead. With with the sands of time running out the visitors turned the match on its head, Jeronimo Cacau equalising with a header before Serdar Tasci bagged an 89th minute winner from a second set-piece.
Le Mans 1 – Lyon 3 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) Lyon scored from both of their first-half chances through defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and striker Benzema, who had not found the back of the net since February. Benzema made it 3-0 when he headed the ball into an empty net after the break before Anthony Le Tallec got a consolation goal for the home side.
Bordeaux 1 – Nancy 0 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) Second-placed Bordeaux were made to sweat to a last-gasp victory over Nancy, Marouane Chamakh grabbing an 89th minute winner (brilliant first touch) at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Grenoble 1 – Lorient 3 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) Les Merlus opened the scoring through Kevin Gameiro, who collected Jeremy Morelâ€™s set piece at the far post and fired in from close range and then Gabriel Obertan hit a superb volley into the top corner. Nassim Akrour put his side back on track in the 69th minute, but Morgan Amalfitano claimed one of the goals of the season, a missile from 45 yards, to kill the game off.
Monaco 0 – Le Havre 1 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) Bottom-club Le Harve produced a shock result winning at Monaco, Massamba Sambou found the net 15 minutes from time and Monaco were reduced to 10-men in the dying seconds as Dario Simic was dismissed.
Nantes 0 – Lille 2 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Lille remain in the hunt back in fourth place as they found the net either side of the break at Nantes. Michel Bastos fired home from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half before Robert Vittek doubled their advantage before the hour-mark.
Valenciennes 2 – Auxerre 0 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Jean Claude Darcheville grabbed the opener inside 60 seconds for Valenciennes against Auxerre before adding the second from the penalty spot 20 minutes from time.
Caen 0 – Toulouse 0 (Ligue 1, April 4, 2009) Caen dented Toulouse’s chances of playing in next season’s Champions League and picked up a valuable point in their battle to avoid relegation.
AZ Alkmaar 4 – Den Haag 1 (Eredivisie, April 4, 2009) After falling behind to a Kum goal for Den Haag just before the break, Moussa Dembele brought AZ level after the break with a fine solo goal cutting in from the right hand side. Martens put AZ ahead on the hour mark, with Mounir El Hamdaoui heading in a third 11 minutes from time. El Hamdaoui set up Nick van der Velden for a well taken fourth to cement the hosts position at the top in Holland.
Sparta Rotterdam 0 – PSV 2 (Eredivisie, April 4, 2009) Balazs Dzsudzsak fired a beauty into the top corner after PSV put together a string of passes to play their way through the Sparta defence. Ola Toivonen doubled the lead two minutes later bursting through the middle and finishing with aplomb.
Heracles 1 – Heerenveen 1 (Eredivisie, April 4, 2009) Fourth-placed Heerenveen took the lead after 16 minutes when Kristian Bak Nielsen netted, but Heracles ensured a share of the spoils thanks to Mark-Jan Fledderus’ 81st minute effort. Heracles ended the night with 10-men after Kwame Quansah was sent off in the last minute for punching Patrik Ingelsten.
Utrecht 0 – FC Groningen 1 (Eredivisie, April 4, 2009) A goal by Evgeniy Levchenko four minutes into injury time saw Groningen claim their fourth away win of the season, the Ukrainian hit a shot from 20 yards high into the right-hand corner of the net to give the visitors a victory they barely deserved after Utrecht had dominated for large spells.
Vitoria Guimaraes 1 – Porto 3 (Superliga, April 4, 2009) After taking a 19th minute lead through Roberto, Porto turned the match around after the break thanks to goals from Ernesto Farias andÂ Mariano Gonzalez. Rolando’s third at the death was the icing on the cake for Porto.
Club Brugge 2 – Charleroi 1 (Jupiler League, April 4, 2009) Charleroi keeper Bertrand Laquait was knocked out early on before Joseph Akpala gave Brugge the lead at the break (first half highlights here). Christophe Gregoire equalised for Charleroi after the break. Brugge ran out victors courtesy of Jeroen Simaeys’ 89th minute winner.
Odra Wodzislaw 1 – Lechia Gdansk 0 (Ekstraklasa, April 4, 2009) An 87th minute tap-in from Matulevicius earned Odra the victory.
Beitar Jerusalem 4 – Hakoach Amidar RG 0 (Ligat ha’Al, April 4, 2009) Barak Yitzhaki grabbed a brace for third-placed Beitar.
Maccabi Petah Tikva 1 – Hapoel Tel Aviv 2 Ligat ha’Al, April 4, 2009) Hapoel move top of the table, a point above Haifa having played a game more, after overcoming Petah Tikva thanks to goals from Walid Badir and Eran Zehavi.
Partizan Belgrade 1 – Banat 0 (Serbian Super Liga, April 4, 2009) A Ivan Tomic on the stroke of halftime left Partizan 11 points clear at the top of the table.
Elfsborg 1 – Hammarby 1 (Allsvenskan, April 4, 2009) Elfsborg slipped behind to Emil Johansson’s wonder-strike the pierce the top corner in the 14th minute. Stefan Ishizaki grabbed the equaliser slotting home a penalty three minutes into the second period.
All the goals from Saturday’s Cypriot First Division play-offs action can be seen here.
Unirea 1 – CS Otopeni 0 (Liga I, April 4, 2009) After playing much of the game against ten men, Ionut Balan headed home the winner with fifteen minutes remaining.
Gamba Osaka 2 – Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2 (J-League, April 4, 2009) Cho Jae-jin had put Gamba ahead midway through the first half, Issei Takayanagi equalised nine minutes before the break. Six minutes later Japan forward Hisato Sato handed Sanfrecce a 2-1 half-time lead. But shortly after the break, Gamba forward Lucas was brought down inside the area and Japan midfielder Yasuhito Endo converted the resulting penalty.
Urawa Red Diamonds 1 – Oita Trinita 0 (J-League, April 4, 2009) The win came courtesy of an own goal from Masato Morishige, who diverted an Alessandro Santos cross into his own net two minutes before the break.
Albirex Niigata 2 – Yokohama F. Marinos 1 (J-League, April 4, 2009) Unbeaten Albirex were ahead eight minutes before the break through Marcio Richardes before Yuzo Kurihara pulled the visitors level three minutes before the hour mark. But with time running out, Yano netted to send Albirex top.
Kashiwa Reysol 2 – Omiya Ardija 2 (J-League, April 4, 2009) Kashiwa snatched a draw thanks to a late goal from Masahiro Koga.
LA Galaxy 2 – Colorado Rapids 3 (MLS, April 4, 2009) Conor Casey was the man of the hour for the Rapids, scoring a hat-trick including a goal after an incredible 16 seconds of the match. Omar Gonzales and Alan Gordon had given the Galaxy a 2-1 lead before the high-profile club fell to yet another glorious home defeat.
New England Revolution 2 – FC Dallas 1 (MLS, April 4, 2009) Second half goals by Sainey Nyassi and Steve Ralston were enough for the Revs to overcome a first half deficit and notch their sixth straight victory over Dallas.
Toronto FC 0 – Seattle Sounders 2 (MLS, April 4, 2009) Seattle won the battle of the MLS newbees, with Freddy Ljungberg netting his first goal Stateside in the 15th minute with a clever give-and-go with Nate Jaqua, with the Swede racing into the box to finish past keeper Greg Sutton. Steve Zakuani ensure the visitors’ third straight win since joining the league in the second half.
Racing Club 1 – River Plate 0 (Clausura, April 4, 2009) Pablo Luguercio’s goal was the difference between the sides.
Newells Old Boys 1 – Argentinos Juniors 1 (Clausura, April 4, 2009)
Velez Sarsfield 2 – Banfield 1 (Clausura, April 4, 2009)