Liverpool re-open the title race with a massive win at United; Arshavin stars as Arsenal batter Rovers; Vital away wins for Wigan & Fulham

Manchester United 1 – Liverpool 4 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) After 20 minutes United took the lead over Liverpool, Pepe Riena took out Park in the box and Cristiano Ronaldo expertly converted from the spot. But the Reds drew level from a rare mistake by Nemanja Vidic, the Serb failing to cut out a long put forward that allowed Fernando Torres to nip and make no mistake sticking the ball past Van der Sar. The turnaround was completed two minutes before the break after Torres slipped a ball inside Evra for Steven Gerrard, the Frenchman fouled the Liverpool captain in the box and Gerrard stepped up and placed his penalty in the corner. (First half highlights here.) United pressed for an equaliser after the break but 15 minutes from time all their efforts went to waste. Vidic was dismissed for hauling down Steven Gerrard when clean through, and from the resulting free-kick Fabio Aurelio silenced the home crowd with a stunning left-footed curler into the top corner. And Liverpool ended the match in style, a long punt from Riena flew the length on the pitch and Andrea Dossena latched onto the ball to majestically lob Van der Sar and empty out Old Trafford early. United’s lead is now down to four points over Liverpool.

Arsenal 4 – Blackburn 0 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Arsenal needed just 70 seconds to breach the Rovers defence, Bendtner played Theo Walcott through in the inside right channel and the youngster crossed to Andrei Arshavin at the near post who was heavily involved as the ball crossed the line. Morten Gamst Pedersen had Blackburn’s first chance but his looping header was tipped to safety by Manuel Almunia. At the other end Samir Nasri was unlucky not to score after seeing a free-kick strike the bar and then Robinson pulled out a point blank save in a second effort. Walcott and Bendtner both came close after the break, and then Arsenal fans finally saw Andrei Arshavin strut his stuff to perfection, the Russian magician weaved his way in from the left hand side along the dead-ball line before firing high into Robbo’s net from an acute angle. And Arshavin, who was fantastic in the second half, set up a late third for Emmanuel Eboue, and Eboue bagged claimed a late brace with an injury time penalty. (Second half highlights here.)

Middlesbrough 1 – Portsmouth 1 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Peter Crouch salvaged a botched corner routine with a superb volley from the edge of the box to give Pompey a halftime lead. But Boro, down to 10-men after Matthew Bates’ dismissal, denied the visitors a huge three points as Marlon King stole a last minute equaliser.

Hull 1 – Newcastle 1 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Hull took the lead on nine minutes after Geovanni’s thumping header, but a great volley from Steven Taylor earned the Magpies a point.

Sunderland 1 – Wigan 2 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Latics took the lead in the 12th minute, as a long ball down field from keeper Chris Kirkland was latched onto by Ben Watson, who fired into the bottom corner for his first goal for the club. Sunderland got back on level terms four minutes before the break, as Grant Leadbitter latched onto a Kenwyne Jones flick-on before poking the ball into the back of the net. Wigan though got back in front as Charles N’Zogbia scored in first half injury time.

Bolton 1 – Fulham 3 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Fulham won their first away game of the season. Andy Johnson set them on their way on 41 minutes, although his goal was quickly equalised by Kevin Davies on the stroke of halftime. (First half highlights here.) But goals from Simon Davies and substitute Diomansy Kamara saw Fulham run out comfortable winners in the second half (highlights here).

Everton 3 – Stoke 1 (Premier League, March 14, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Jo stuck the Toffees ahead in the 18th minute when, after a quick one-two with Fellaini. Just six minutes later, Joleon Lescott doubled the lead following Sorensen’s failure to keep hold of Tim Cahill’s headed effort (First half highlights here.) Ryan Shawcross got his head on the end of Liam Lawrence’s corner to pull a goal back for Stoke but Marouane Fellaini got Everton’s third in the 90th minute, finding the ball inside the area before turning his marker and hitting a deflected shot into the back of the net. (Second half highlights here.)


Doncaster 0 – Birmingham 2 (Championship, March 14, 2009) Cameron Jerome fired the Blues into the lead with precise header after 19 minutes. Hameur Bouazza chalked up the Blues second just before the break after a poor mistake in the Donny defence.