Arsenal 2 – West Ham 0 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) Arsenal needed just five minutes before scoring against West Ham, Denilson exchanged passes with Bendtner on the edge of the box before the Brazilian hit a sweet shot into the bottom right-hand corner, past Green’s despairing dive. The crucial moment of the match arrived on the stroke of halftime when Thomas Vermaelen was dismissed for pulling back Franco as the striker burst into the Arsenal area but Almunia saved Diamanti’s spot kick. (First half highlights here.) Seven minutes from time Arsenal wrapped up the win and continued the Premier League title charge when Upson was penalised for a handball in the box and Cesc Fabregas converted from the spot. (Second half highlights here.)
Portsmouth 3 – Hull 2 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) Iain Dowie’s life at Hull started on the front-foot at Championship bound Pompey as the host only partially cleared a corner, Craig Fagan tried his luck from long range and his shot deflected off Caleb Folan for the striker’s first Premier League goal since August 2008. The Tigers lead lasted just 10 minutes when an O’Hara corner caused havoc in the visitor’s defence and Tommy Smith was able to bundle in a scrappy equaliser. In the 72nd minute Hull took a crucial lead in their bid for Premier League survival when ref Dowd managed to get tangled up in the build up to allow Bullard an extra second before threading a pass through to Caleb Folan and the striker bagged his second goal as Hull crept close to their first away win the season. But Hull couldn’t hang on, Jamie O’Hara bent an 87th minute free-kick into the top right-hand corner to level proceedings, and Belhadj then raced down the left and crossed to Kanu who grabbed a dramatic 89th minute winner. (O’Hara & Kanu goals here.)
Stoke 1 – Tottenham 2 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Neither Stoke nor Spurs were able to break the deadlock in a goalless first half (highlights here) at the Britannia. All that changed after the break, with Eidur Gudjohnsen slotting away the opener seconds after the restart after Crouch had played him through with a delightful chip. Dean Whitehead then picked up his second booking, but the 10-men rallied with a 64th minute equaliser from Matthew Etherington’s penalty. Spurs would not be denied a valuable win in their top four quest as a 77th minute Assou-Ekotto cross was dummied by Gudjohnsen, allowing Nico Kranjcar to race into the box and fire Spurs’ second past Sorensen.
Aston Villa 2 – Wolves 2 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) A fast tempo Midlands derby went they way of Villa early doors, Ashley Young raced down the left hand side after 16 minutes and his low cross was turned home by John Carew. Wolves pulled themselves level in the 23rd minute, Villa fell asleep from a Jones free-kick and, after Zubar tried his best too fluff the chance, Jody Craddock was on hand to slam home his fifth of the season. Villa, who disappeared after conceding, fell behind in the 38th minute when David Jones carried the ball towards the edge of the box, fed Jarvis on the left who drove his cross across the box and James Milner turned the ball into his own net. (First half highlights here.) Villa laboured throughout the second half without looking much like scoring, but nine minutes from time they drew level with a route one goal that saw Heskey and Sidwell combined before John Carew got the final touch to equalise for the Villains.
Sunderland 3 – Birmingham 1 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) Darren Bent took his tally to 21 league goals with a first half double against Birmingham, the striker taking advantage of Benjani’s miss-kick to put Sunderland in the lead and Bent scored a brilliant second beating two Brum defenders to claim his second. (First half highlights here.) Birmingham reduced the deficit through Cameron Jerome’s strike on the hour they threatened to leave with a point, but Fraizer Campbell’s 88th minute strike ended the hopes of Alex McLeish’s men.
Everton 2 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) A horrible match at Goodison Park was finally brought into life by Mikel Arteta brilliant 71st minute free-kick into the top corner. The Toffees wrapped up the points when Leon Osman caused havoc with a neat run into the box and his cut-back was converted by Steven Pienaar.
Wigan 1 – Burnley 0 (Premier League, March 20, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) Hugo Rodallega broke Burnley’s hearts with a last-gasp winner to add to the Clarets’ deepening relegation woes and keep Wigan on course for Premier League survival.
West Brom 3 – Preston 2 (Championship, March 20, 2010) The Baggies looked set to enjoy a comfortable afternoon after Ben Watson and Chris Brunt scored inside the opening 10 minutes, but Preston hit back quickly through Sean St Ledger. Graham Dorrans restored West Brom’s two-goal cushion on 33 minutes before Neil Mellor responded for Preston ten minutes later.
Stevenage 0 – Kidderminster 0 (Agg. 5-1) (FA Trophy, March 20, 2010) Stevenage reached the final of the FA Trophy for the third time in four years after a comfortable aggregate victory over Conference rivals Kidderminster.