Fulham blow open the title race beating 9-man Manchester United; Chelsea can’t take advantage falling at Spurs; Crouch uses his head as Pompey beat Everton

Newcastle 1 – Arsenal 3 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) An entertaining first-half between Newcastle and Arsenal saw no goals but midway through Manuel Almunia turned from villain to hero, giving away a penalty for a foul on Taylor and then saving from Martins. (First-half highlights here.) Ten minutes into the second-half, Nicklas Bendtner rose highest to give Arsenal the lead but seconds later Obafemi Martins made up for his penalty miss with the equaliser after Gallas had failed to clear. Just after the hour mark Arsenal re-took the lead through Abou Diaby and then sealed the win two minutes later through Samir Nasri.

Fulham 2 – Manchester United 0 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Dimitar Berbatov headed over the Fulham bar after five minutes. Fifteen minutes in and United’s recent wobble was made to look even worse, Paul Scholes saw a straight red for (instinctively) saving a Zamora header with his hands and Danny Murphy made no mistake from the spot with a great penalty into the top right corner. While Park flashed a shot high, wide and handsome at the start of the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo forced Schwarzer into a save with a header on the hour mark. Mark Schwarzer was then the hero with a tremendous double save that kept United at bay. Having soaked up an incredible amount of United pressure Fulham blew the league title wide open as Andy Johnson teed up Zoltan Gera for a potentially season-defining second. Wayne Rooney reacted badly after the goal appearing to throw the ball away to earn his second yellow card as United were reduced to nine players.

Tottenham 1 – Chelsea 0 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) Robbie Keane forced a point blank save from Petr Cech after going one-on-one with the Chelsea keeper after 18 minutes. At the other end Nicolas Anelka produced a good stop from Gomes with a shot towards the keeper’s near post. Spurs took the lead immediately after the break, Luka Modric swivelling on a sixpence to drive home Lennon’s cross. Gomes made a superb one-handed save to deny John Terry in the 77th minute.

Portsmouth 2 – Everton 1 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Everton needed just four minutes to move ahead at Fratton Park, Leighton Baines scoring a terrific left-footed free-kick that went in off James’ far post. Pompey earned a controversial equaliser in the 22nd minute after a Johnson shot appeared to cross the dead-ball line only for play to continue with Peter Crouch eventually benefitting nodding in a header from close range. (First half highlights here.) Midway through the second half Portsmouth netted their second as sloppy Toffee defending on a corner allowed Peter Crouch to steer home his second header of the game.

Blackburn 1 – West Ham 1 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) West Ham moved ahead at Blackburn when Mark Noble fired a low shot past Robinson on the angle. Keith Andrews equalised to grab a crucial point for Sam Allardyce’s side.

Stoke 1 – Middlesbrough 0 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) A massive goal from Ryan Shawcross with six minutes remaining from a Rory Delap long throw left Boro deep in the mire and lifted Stoke out of the relegation zone.

West Brom 1 – Bolton 1 (Premier League, March 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Baggies battle against the drop took a turn for the worst against Bolton, Matty Taylor giving the visitors the lead with a right-footed volley in the 67th minute. But the hosts rallied to earn a point late on when Robert Koren cut in from the right and saw his shot deflect off of Danny Shittu to beat Jaaskelainen between the sticks.


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