Stunning Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick inspires Manchester United to win over Blackburn; Hiddink starts his Chelsea career with a win at Villa; Arsenal draw a blank at home to Sunderland

Arsenal 0 – Sunderland 0 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Andrei Arshavin forced a good saved from Fulop after 14 minutes with a rasping left-footed drive. (First half highlights here.)

Aston Villa 0 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The Guus Hiddink era at Chelsea started according to the fairytale script, 19 minutes in Frank Lampard rode two tackles to break into the final third where he played in Nicolas Anelka who produced the expert finish. Ashley Young, who was proving to be Villa’s main threat, struck the crossbar with a free-kick just after the half hour. Villa continued to press after the break, Gabi Agbonlahor beat Alex to get a sight of goal but his shot was turned aside by Cech.

Bolton 2 – West Ham 1 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) For the second time this season Matty Taylor scored a quality free-kick against West Ham, this time curling his effort high past Rob Green’s outstretched hand. The Trotters doubled their lead sixty seconds later when Elmander’s low cross was converted on the run by Kevin Davies. In the 66th minute the Hammers deservedly pulled a goal back, a Spector cross found Scott Parker who scored from eight yards out.

Stoke 2 – Portsmouth 2 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) A dull game came to life in the final quarter of an hour. Niko Kranjcar put Pompey ahead, only for Stoke to hit back through a debatable penalty converted by James Beattie and then Beattie scored again looking way offside. Late on Ryan Shawcross put a Hreidarsson cross into his own net to leave both teams firmly in the relegation mix.

Middlesbrough 0 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, February 21, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) The goalless draw leaves Boro second bottom after a dismal run of 14 games without a win. Wigan’s Lee Cattermole was lucky not to be sent off after a poor tackle on Didier Digard that held up the match for six minutes.

***

QPR 1 – Ipswich 3 (Championship, February 21, 2009) QPR took the lead inside two minutes when Routledge crossed for Sam Di Carmine to fire home. Ipswich levelled on 14 minutes when Counago slipped the ball into the path of Jon Stead who scored. Pablo Counago put Ipswich ahead with a fine curling shot after the break, and Walters met Quinn’s long pass to kill the match.


GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE, PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY