Middlesbrough 2 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, February 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) On a rare first team start for Liverpool, Nabil El Zhar should arguably have scored when put through by Dirk Kuyt but the youngsters shot was too close to Boro keeper Brad Jones. Boro took the lead more by luck than judgment as Xabi Alonso inadvertently turned a Downing corner into his own net. Without a hosts of attacking players including Torres, Benayoun and Riera, the Reds’ rarely looked like scoring and Boro punished Liverpool’s lack of a goal threat when Tuncay Sanli bagged the second on the hour mark.
Chelsea 2 – Wigan 1 (Premier League, February 28, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) After Paul Scharner forced Petr Cech to make a smart save in the 20th minute, the Hiddink revolution continued for Chelsea against Wigan as captain John Terry brilliantly volleyed home a 25th minute opener after the Latics only partially cleared their lines. The Blues could and should have doubled their lead at the break but Frank Lampard never got a shot away when he had a clean sight on goal. Wigan looked to have forced a draw when Figueroa’s 82nd minute cross was turned home by Olivier Kapo at Cech’s near post. But in the dying seconds Chelsea found a winner as Frank Lampard blasted the Blues to victory. (Kapo & Lampard’s goals can be seen here.)
Arsenal 0 – Fulham 0 (Premier League, February 28, 2009)Â Samir Nasri had Arsenal’s first chance dragging a shot wide after two minutes, while at the other end Andy Johsnon saw his shot drift inches wide of Almunia’s post after turning Toure with ease. Ashavin sent a delicious cross over to Van Persie but Mark Schwarzer made the point-blank save. Arshavin continued to be the provider sending Van Persie clean through once more, but again Schwarzer made the smothering save. After the break RVP sent a free header over the bar in another missed opportunity, before the Dutchman saw his header shave the foot of the post after Sagna’s cross from the right.
Everton 2 – West Brom 0 (Premier League, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Everton broke the deadlock in the 35th minute by taking advantage of their tried and trusted goalscoring style, Baines whipped a free-kick into the box and an unmarked Tim Cahill rose to plant home a header to leave Tony Mowbray spewing fire. (First half highlights here.) The Baggies look capable of pulling themselves back into the match but with 20 minutes remaining injury-prone Luis Saha marked his return to the first team with a fabulous turn and shot into the bottom corner. West Brom continued to plug away without success, and things are beginning to look daunting in the Black Country with Arsenal up next.
Hamilton 0 – Rangers 1 (SPL, February 28, 2009) Captain Barry Ferguson steered Rangers into a halftime lead at Hamilton with a shot from the edge of the box which found the bottom corner.
Celtic 7 – St. Mirren 0 (SPL, February 28, 2009) After Nakamura had put Celtic ahead after 16 minutes, St. Mirren had Ross sent off for a professional foul were then put to the sword. Nakamura added a second before Crosas marked a rare appearance for the first team with a stunning third from distance. Brown claimed the fourth before Nakamura rounded off his hat-trick, with late goals from Brown and a Potter og completed the massacre. (Nakamura’s hat-trick can be seen here.)
Espanyol 0 – Real Madrid 2 (La Liga, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Real won the match with two goals in five second half minutes. Guti crashed home a stunning free-kick in the 67th minute and Raul continued his amazing goalscoring run in the league with a coolly hit second.
Athletic Bilbao 1 – Sevilla 2 (La Liga, February 28, 2009) Gabilondo’s scrappy first half opener put Bilbao ahead against Sevilla. Freddy Kanoute brought the visitors level just before the break before Kanoute turned the game on its head netting his second just before the hour mark.
Lazio 2 – Bologna 0 (Serie A, February 28, 2009) Mauro Zarate gave Lazio the lead with a stunning free-kick from 20-yards. The young Argentine netted his brace inside the last 10 minutes after playing a neat one-two with Rocchi.
Rimini 2 – Ancona 1 (Serie B, February 28, 2009) Rimini fought back for the three points after Soddimo had scored early on. Cipriani’s angled drive drew the hosts level and Basha turned it all around after the restart when Da Costa only parried the ball into his path.
Livorno 0 – Empoli 0 (Serie B, February 27, 2009)
Hertha Berlin 2 – Moenchengladbach 1 (Bundesliga, February 28, 2009) Looking to propel themselves back to the top of the league, Hertha’s Liverpool loanee Andriy Voronin was once again on the scoresheet against Glabach after 28 minutes. Pal Dardai added the second on the stroke of halftime. American Michael Bradley got the visitors back in the game with a penalty midway through the second half.
Borussia Dortmund 0 – Hoffenheim 0 (Bundesliga, February 28, 2009) Both Dortmund and Hoffenheim had chances to score in the first half (highlights here) but neither side were able to take advantage of their opportunities. Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second half when Hoffenheim’s Tobias Weis retaliated after being brought down by Sebastian Kehl.
Bochum 3 – Energie Cottbus 2 (Bundesliga, February 28, 2009) Cottbus raced out the traps at Bochum with Ivica Iliev crashing home a well-struck left-footed shot across the keeper into the far corner. But the lead was short lived as Joel Epalle drew the hosts level after 11 minutes. The second half followed the same pattern as the first, Emil Jula restored the visitors’ lead with a header only for Bochum to equalise through Christian Fuchs’ cracking free-kick. And the hosts had the final laugh as Marc Pfertzel slotted home a penalty 10 minutes from time. (First half highlights here, second half highlights here.)
Eintracht Frankfurt 1 – Schalke 2 (Bundesliga, February 28, 2009) Jefferson Farfan teed up Rafinha to give Schlake the lead in Frankfurt. The match then ended on a frantic note as Fink drew the hosts level in the 81st minute only for Heiko Westermann to snatch a winner three minutes later. (First half highlights here, second half highlights here.)
Valenciennes 2 – Lille 0 (Ligue 1, February 28, 2009) First half goals from Gael Danic and Jean-Claude Darcheville lifted the strugglers out of the drop zone.
Sochaux 1 – Nice 0 (Ligue 1, February 28, 2009) Vaclav Sverkos’ goal on 67 minutes handed Sochaux a win over Nice but they remain in the bottom three.
Auxerre 1 – Toulouse 1 (Ligue 1, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Ireneusz Jelen put the home side in front in the 25th minute, before Bryan Bergougnoux came off the bench to equalise with nine minutes to go. The point sees Toulouse jump from fourth to second on goal difference, six points behind leaders Lyon, having played a game more.
AZ Alkmaar 3 – Groningen 0 (Eredivisie, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Graziano Pelle netted twice to set Louis van Gaal’s team on their way, Moussa Dembele sealing matters with the third six minutes from time to leave AZ Alkmaar 12 points clear.
NAC 3 – Sparta 1 (Eredivisie, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Nourdin Boukhari had put the home team ahead after 17 minutes only for Ruud Knol to restore parity four minutes later, but NAC took control after the interval with late goals from Rob Penders and Csaba Feher.
Willem II 0 – Heracles 3 (Eredivisie, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Brazilian striker Everton scored a quick-fire brace (50, 53) before Ricky van den Bergh made sure of the victory with a 90th minute penalty.
Roda 3 – De Graafschap 1 (Eredivisie, February 28, 2009) Roda moved four points clear of second-bottom De Graafschap. Kris de Wree’s early opener was cancelled out by Ben Sahar a minute after the interval. But Andres Oper and Marcel de Jong bagged further goals in the second half to claim the victory.
Porto 0 – Sporting Lisbon 0 (Superliga, February 28, 2009) Porto and Sporting held each other to a disappointing goalless draw in Saturday’s Portuguese top clash. Porto remain in first with a two point advantage over Benfica, and four points lead over Sporting.
Nacional 3 – Academica Coimbra 1 (Superliga, February 28, 2009) Nacional and Academica went into the break level-pegging after Lito’s well-struck 20th minute opener was cancelled out by Nene’s header. In the second half Mateus Galiano da Costa struck a beautiful second to give Nacional the lead. Mateus’ last minute second killed the match.
Fenerbahce 4 – Sivasspor 2 (Super Lig, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Five-goals hit the back of the net in the opening 45, Yildiz’s diving header after 3 minutes was cancelled out by Umit Boral a minute later. Sozgelmez restored the visitors lead before Fener levelled again through Senturk. Boral’s second of the match sent Fener into the break ahead and Lugano wrapped up the win 13 minutes from time.
Larissa 3 – Ergotelis 2 (Greek Super League, February 28, 2009) Maciej Zurawski slammed home a rebound to give Larisa the lead over Ergotelis, but the visitors were level at the break thanks to Mauricio’s free-kick. Immediately after the restart Giorgos Fotakis followed up his own shot after it hit the post to score a regain the hosts’ lead. Larissa’s third came after the visiting keeper scrambled back on his goalline to avoid being lobbed from the halfway line only for Frank Guela to score the rebound. Mario Budimir’s goal was too little too late.
AEK Athens 2 – Xanthi Skoda 1 (Greek Super League, February 28, 2009) Taking a quick free-kick, it took just a couple of passes for Edinho to race clear and give AEK the lead. Ismael Blanco collected a hoofed ball forward to slot in the second while Mauro Poy pulled a goal back for Xanthi.
Partizan Belgrade 1 – Red Star Belgrade 1 (Serbian Super Liga, February 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Belgrade derby ended in stalemate, Tutoric’s first half header for Red Star was cancelled out by Almami Moreira’s fabulous 90th minute curler into the top corner.
Hapoel Tel Aviv 1 – Bnei Sachnin 0 (Ligat ha’Al, February 28, 2009) Vincent Enyeama’s penalty was the difference between the sides. Hapoel Tel Aviv trail Maccabi Haifaby a point at the top of the table.
Cracovia Krakow 1 – Piast Gliwice 0 (Ekstraklasa, February 28, 2009)
Melbourne Victory 1 – Adelaide United 0 (A-League Grand Final, February 28, 2009) Melbourne Victory won a second A-League grand final in three years, Tom Pondeljak curled in a delightful winner on the hour mark against an Adelaide side who were down to 10-men for most of the game after Cristiano was sent off in the 10th minute.
Racing Club 1 – Argentinos Jrs 1 (Clausura, February 28, 2009) Adriano Lucero headed the Racing ahead early in the second half but Nicolas Pavlovich equalised in the second minute of injury time after a mistake by keeper Gustavo Campagnuolo.
Newells Old Boys 1 – Colon 1 (Clausura, February 28, 2009)
Velez Sarsfield 4 – Godoy Cruz 0 (Clausura, February 28, 2009)
San Martin 2 – Tigre 2 (Clausura, February 28, 2009)
Kashima Antlers 3 – Gamba Osaka 0 (Japanese Super Cup, February 28, 2009) Kashima struck early through Shinzo Koroki in the 6th minute and doubled their lead just eight minutes later when Marquinhos scored from close range. The J-League champions killed the contest in the 39th minute as Koroki crossed for Takuya Nozawa to bag the third.
Ghana 1 – Libya 1 (African Nations Championship, February 27, 2009) Libya took the lead on 26 minutes when a fabulously worked free-kick cleverly ended with Ahmed Osman slotting home. Edmund Owusu Ansah levelled 18 minutes from time with a header.