Benitez blows it as Wigan hold Liverpool; Van Persie steals a point at Everton; Kalou at the double for Chelsea; Toon lose more than points at Eastlands

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.


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.)