Benitez blows it as Wigan hold Liverpool; Van Persie steals a point at Everton; Beckham hits the target again for AC Milan

Wigan 1 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) Liverpool came within a whisker of taking the lead at the JJB stadium when Fernando Torres headed Gerrard’s cross against the inside of the post. Wigan’s defence was breached in the 40th minute, Mascherano slid a pass through to Yossi Benayoun, and the Israeli skipped by Mike Pollitt and scored from an acute angle. Steven Gerrard came close with a free-kick on the stroke of halftime. In the second half Benitez replaced Torres and Benayoun for Riera and Kuyt, and with the Reds looking like they were looking to close up shop Wigan struck. Koumas went down in the box from Lucas’ foul and Mido, on his debut, scored from the spot. Hugo Rodallega almost made himself a hero when he sent a free-kick onto the bar.

Everton 1 – Arsenal 1 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) Everton and Arsenal played out a cagey and goalless first half (highlights here) at Goodison Park. The Toffees broke the deadlock by way of their tried and trusted method of attacking, Leighton Baines swung in a quality cross from the left and Tim Cahill (player of the season?) rose above Clichy to head home. With the match moving into stoppage time Robin van Persie continued his outstanding recent form hammering a shot past Howard from Diaby’s brilliant pass.

Chelsea 2 – Middlesbrough 0 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) After 55 minutes without a breakthrough, Stamford Bridge erupted when Solomon Kalou was in the right place to slam home the opener from a Lampard corner. And the Lampard-Kalou combination came up trumps ten minutes from time, this time Turnbull flapped at the corner and Kalou easily nodded home.

Manchester City 2 – Newcastle 1 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) Robinho set up Shaun Wright-Phillips for City’s opener. Craig Bellamy then repaid part of his large transfer fee with a neat turn and finish on his debut. Andy Carroll netted a consolation for the Toon.

West Ham 2 – Hull 0 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) After Mark Noble’s penalty was saved by Hull keeper Matt Duke, the Hammers took the lead through David Di Michele in the first half before in-form striker Carlton Cole sealed the win for the Zola’s boys.

Blackburn 2 – Bolton 2 (Premier League, January 28, 2009) Bolton looked to have the game sown up at the break, 2-up thanks to goals from Matt Taylor and Kevin Davies. But after Stephen Warnock gave Blackburn a lifeline, Benni McCarthy made amends for missing an earlier penalty by poaching an 87th-minute equaliser. Big Sam remains unbeaten after seven matches in charge at Rovers.

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Leeds 2 – Southend 0 (League One, January 27, 2009) Rui Marques and Richard Naylor headed Leeds to victory as Southend’s winless streak stretched to seven matches. (First half highlights here.)

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Celtic 0* – Dundee United 0 (Pens. 11-10) (Co-operative Insurance Cup, January 28, 2009) After 120 minutes without a goal, there was an amazing finale which saw every player taking a penalty in the shoot-out, including both goalkeepers. Willo Flood missing his second spot-kick to allow Scott McDonald the chance to become the hero with the winner and set up an Old Firm final on March 15.

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Sporting Gijon 1 – Athletic Bilbao 2 (Agg. 1-2) (Copa del Rey, January 28, 2009) Carmelo Gonzalez beat Athletic’s Gorka Iraizoz at El Molinon Stadium with a low shot from the edge of the area after just 30 seconds. Igor Gabilondo volleyed Llorente’s flick-on in the 42nd to put Athletic through thanks to the away-goal rule, and David Lopez scored the winner with an easy header.

Betis 0 – Mallorca 0 (Agg. 0-1) (Copa del Rey, January 28, 2009)

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AC Milan 1 – Genoa 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) With Fabio Capello sitting in the stands, David Beckham lit up the San Siro with his second goal in as many games with a cheeky free-kick from tight on the left hand side which he curled beautifully in the Genoa near post. But the Rossoneri couldn’t hold on, and Diego Milito struck at the death to earn a share of the spoils.

Catania 0 – Inter Milan 2 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Inter needed just five minutes to push ahead at Catania, Cruz cut in from the right hand side and he picked out Dejan Stankovic’s perfect run to the near post for the Serb to head home. But Inter were by no means coasting, Catania had a goal ruled out before Mourinho saw Sulley Muntari sent off for a tackle from behind on Tedesco. Inter were holding on heading into the break as Cambiasso was forced to clear Morimoto’s shot off the line. And the same trend continued after the break, Mascara bitterly unlucky to see his deflected shot rebound off the post. Inter killed the game with a second, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was released with a ball over the top and the Swede beat the keeper to slot into the unguarded net.

Udinese 2 – Juventus 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Udinese took the game to Juventus straight from the get-go, Buffon was called upon after just a few minutes on his return to the first team, and he was forced to pick the ball out his net when Fabio Quagliarella converted Di Natale’s cross. In the second half Antonio di Natale scored a special second, driving in from the left hand side a curling a shot into the far top corner. Juve responded almost instantly through Iaquinta’s spot-kick.

Roma 2 – Palermo 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Francesco Totti’s deflected shot gave Roma a 24th minute lead, but Palermo levelled through Cavani on the half hour. But back came Roma, Totti crossed for Brighi to head home. (First half highlights here.)

Cagliari 1 – Siena 0 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Robert Acquafresca was in the right place to give Cagliari the lead over Siena.

Fiorentina 2 – Napoli 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) The Viola moved ahead of Napoli when Mario Santana scored from a free-kick. But Fiorentina then conspired to concede a horror goal as Frey allowed Luigi Vitale’s left wing cross sneak in at his near post. Riccardo Montolivo hit the winner 10 minutes from time firing through the keeper’s legs.

Atalanta 0 – Bologna 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Sergio Volpi netted the only goal of the game.

Chievo 1 – Lecce 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Giuseppe Vives gave Lecce the lead on 55 minutes, but Mantovani struck two minutes from time to earn Chievo a priceless point.

Sampdoria 3 – Lazio 1 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Gennaro Delvecchio gave Samp the lead on 14 minutes before Tommaso Rocchi levelled for Lazio on the half hour mark. Antonio Cassano restored the home side’s lead six minutes after the break and Marius Stankevicius made sure of the win with the third three minutes later.

Torino 0 – Reggina 0 (Serie A, January 28, 2009) Torino remain in the bottom three after being held to a goalless draw by basement boys Reggina.

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Borussia Dortmund 1 – Werder Bremen 2 (DFB Pokal, January 28, 2009) Alexander Frei broke the deadlock for Borussia against Bremen with a low shot that went under keeper Tim Wiese. Hugo Almeida equalised on the hour mark with a fine strike, collecting the ball on the edge of the box and sending a sweet half-volley into the corner. But Breman refused to be denied, a trademark Diego free-kick smacked against the post, Ozil collected and Claudio Pizarro was on hand to thrash in the second. The loss was Dortmund’s first at home this season.

Bayer Leverkusen 3 – Energie Cottbus 1 (DFB Pokal, January 28, 2009) Top-scorer Patrick Helmes struck after 12 minutes, before Michal Kadlec grabbed a second in the 29th with a powerful header. Renato Augusto added a third two minutes before the break with a brilliant solo run and an unstoppable shot from 25-yards into the right corner. Ervin Skela’s free-kick was little mor e than a consolation for Cottbus.

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Lyon 1 – Marseille 0 (Coupe De France, January 28, 2009) In the match of the titans in the French Cup, Lyon needed just 100 seconds to move ahead of Marseille as Karim Benzema turned home Ederson’s cross.

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Den Haag 1 – FC Twente 5 (KNVB Beker, January 28, 2009) Blaise Nkufo had the visitors two up after just 12 minutes, and Romano Denneboom made it 3-nil midway through the first half. Richard Knopper pulled one back for the shellshocked hosts a minute before the break, but Denneboom’s second restored Twente’s three-goal cushion before the interval. Youssouf Hersi put the icing on the cake for Twente with the fifth goal five minutes from time.

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Porto 1 – Leixoes 0 (Taca de Portugal, January 28, 2009) Porto needed only one goal to make a difference with Leixoes, with Mariano Gonzalez scoring the winner after only five minutes.

Pacos Ferreira 5 – Associacao Naval 3 (Taca de Portugal, January 28, 2009) The match exploded in the first half, with seven goals crashing into the net.

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Fenerbahce 1 – Bursaspor 0 (Turkish Cup, January 28, 2009) Deivid da Silva’s header was the difference between the sides.

Antalyaspor 0 – Besiktas 2 (Turkish Cup, January 28, 2009) Bobo’s brace, his first on the rebound and the second from the spot, gave Besiktas the win.

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Panionios 2 – Veria 0 (Greek Cup, January 28, 2009) Ghana midfielder Bennard Yao Kumordzi gave Panionios the lead on the stroke of halftime before forgotten man Alvaro Recoba stepped up to score a trademark left-footed free-kick to sealed the victory.

Aris Salonika 0 – PAOK Salonika 0* (Pens. 8-9) (Greek Cup, January 28, 2009)

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River Plate 2 – San Lorenzo 2 (Torneos De Verano, January 28, 2009)

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Universidad De Chile 1 – Pachuca 0 (Copa Libertadores, January 28, 2009) Marcelo Diaz netted the winner after only seven minutes of the contest.

Independiente Medellin 4 – Penarol 0 (Copa Libertadores, January 28, 2009) Man of the match was Jackson Martinez, who netted a hat-trick for the home side. The forward first netted on 16 minutes and added a second three minutes later. Ivan Corredor scored Medellin’s third in the 34th minute, and Martinez completed his hat-trick two minutes after the break.

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Mexico 0 – Sweden 1 (International friendly, January 28, 2009) Sven-Goran Eriksson’s terrible record against Sweden (5 games. 2 defeats, 3 draws) continued with Mexico, Alexander Farnerud’s 18th minute strike which cannoned in off the post settled the match.

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Brazil 2 – Uruguay 3 (South American Under-20 Championships, January 28, 2009) Uruguay maintained their 100% record in the competition, coming back from behind to beat Brazil. Maximiliano Cordoba opened for Uruguay after 22 minutes but Brazil turned things around through Douglas Costa and Alan Kardec. Abel Hernandez equalised four minutes after Brazil’s second goal and went on to net the winner with six minutes to play.

Paraguay 2 – Chile 1 (South American Under-20 Championships, January 28, 2009) Chile needed a win over Paraguay in order to advance, and gained confidence when Mauricio Gomez put them ahead after only five minutes. But Santander Ospina equalised in the 56th minute and added the winning goal just a minute later.

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Ghana 4 – South Africa 3 (African U20 Championships, January 28, 2009) Dominic Adiyiah and Ransford Osei put Ghana 2-up. Phumelele Bhengu got South Africa back into the game on 63 minutes, only for Ghana to restore their two-goal cushion when Dede Ayew netted a minute later. Osei’s second looked to have settled the tie, but Thulani Serero and Bhengu’s penalty made it a thrilling finish.

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Indonesia 0 – Australia 0 (Asian Cup 2011 Qualifying, January 28, 2009) Pim Verbeek’s rookie Australian side opened its qualifying campaign with a gritty draw against Indonesia.

Singapore 2 – Jordan 1 (Asian Cup 2011 Qualifying, January 28, 2009) Agu Casmir bagged the opener  for the hosts after 21 minutes but Jordan when Hatem Aqel made no mistakes from the penalty spot. Singapore earned the win thanks to Noh Alam Shah’s winner in the second half.

Bahrain 1 – Japan 0 (Asian Cup 2011 Qualifying, January 28, 2009) Issa’s first half header gave Bahrain victory.

Thailand 0 – Iran 0 (Asian Cup 2011 Qualifying, January 28, 2009) Peter Reid’s Thailand ground out a scoreless draw against Ali Daei’s Iran.

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Metz 3 – Ajaccio 2 (Ligue 2, January 27, 2009)


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