Arsenal 0 – Manchester City 0 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Arsenal and Manchester City cancelled each other out in a cagey first half at the Emirates. City brought on Emmanuel Adebayor in the second half and the visitors upped their game without ever really looking like scoring, while at the other end Shay Given was forced off with an apparent dislocated shoulder after making a save in one Arsenal’s few actual attempts on target.
Manchester United 3 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) (Longer highlights here, MOTD highlights here.) Spurs more than held their own in the first half at Manchester United, Luka Modric had the best chance for the Lilywhites with a neat turn but poor finish that dragged wide while Dimitar Berbatov fired over the Tottenham bar for the Red Devils. (First half highlights here.) The second half opened in bizarre circumstances as Patrice Evra puked on the pitch, but all that was forgotten in the 57th minute as Ryan Giggs stroked home a penalty after Assou-Ekotto took out Evra in the box for a cast-iron spot-kick. In-form Spurs refused to let their heads drop though, and the north Londoners pulled level midway through the half when a Bale corner was powered home by header from Ledley King. Ten minutes from time United retook the lead, sub Macheda freed Luis Nani in the inside channel in the box and the forward produced a cheeky chipped finish to beat Gomes and send Old Trafford wild. With a spring in his step Nani forced a rash challenge from Palacios in the box in the 84th minute and Ryan Giggs made no mistake in claiming his second penalty of the day.
West Ham 3 – Wigan 2 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) Simply not good enough, West Ham suffered the worst possible start in their relegation 6-pointer with Wigan as calamitous defender Jonathan Spector headed a Watson corner into his own net. Just after the half hour mark the Irons equalised as strikers Carlton Cole and Ilan Araujo combined for the Brazilian to slide home yet another crucial goal in the Hammer’s survival bid. The Hammers then took the lead of the stroke of halftime when a Noble free-kick was clawed from under the crossbar by Kirkland only for Radoslav Kovac to be in the right place at the right time to nod home number two. The Hammers was wiped out six minutes after the interval when another Watson corner was turn home by Hugo Rodallega. 13 minutes from time the Hammers retook the lead through their star of the season Scotty Parker, the midfielder smacking a 25-yard beauty past Kirkland to send Upton Park bananas as their fears of the drop began to recede.
Bolton 2 – Portsmouth 2 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) FA Cup finalists Portsmouth held out for 25 minutes at Bolton before conceding, but when the Trotters had a set-play the south coasters failed to clear their lines and Wilshere whipped in a cross that Ivan Klasnic headed into the far post. Once ahead Bolton quickly chalked up a second, hugely-promising right-winger Vladimir Weiss tricked his way down the wing before seeing Kevin Davies convert his cross. Pompey grabbed a lifeline 10 minutes into the second half when Aruna Dindane scuffed a shot past Jaaskelainen to reduce the deficit by half. And in the 67th minute Pompey’s comeback continued as a determined run from Utaka down the left resulted in Aruna Dindane bagging his second with a close range finish.
Hull 0 – Sunderland 1 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) Hull’s survival hopes took an early knock at home to Sunderland as the Black Cats scored after six minutes, a Hutton cross into the mixer was headed to the back post by Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent was on hand to squeeze the ball in the post from a tight angle. The first half ended on a sour note after Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton both saw red after clashing for a high ball with the America forward headbutting the Scot in the aftermath of a coming-together.
Wolves 1 – Blackburn 1 (Premier League, April 24, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) Wolves fell behind at home to Blackburn midway through the first half when a Pedersen corner from the right travelled all the way to the back stick when Ryan Nelson bundled in to score with a crude knee. Wolves equalised nine minutes from time when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake met Stephen Ward’s cross to head home only his second goal of the season.
Peterborough 0 – Blackpool 1 (Championship, April 24, 2010) DJ Campbell saw an overhead-kick well-saved by James McKeown, but was on hand to nod in the rebound for his 11th goal of the campaign.
Leeds 4 – MK Dons 1 (League One, April 24, 2010) Luciano Becchio put the home side ahead in the 12th minute but Dean Lewington scored a shock equaliser six minutes later. Max Gradel put Leeds back in front in the 32nd minute and they never looked back once Doumbe was sent off three minutes before the break. Two second half goals from Jermaine Beckford sealed a much-needed victory as the Dons lost McCracken and Leven late on.