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.


Rangers 2 – Hearts 2 (SPL, March 21, 2009) First half goals from Kyle Lafferty and Barry Ferguson seemed to have Rangers cruising to victory only for Hearts to stun the Ibrox crowd with two quick-fire goals after the break. The Jambos pulled one back through Christos Karipidis before Ruben Palazuelos equalised to complete a remarkable turnaround that leaves Rangers two points behind Celtic having played a game more.


Sevilla 4 – Valladolid 1 (La Liga, March 21, 2009) Freddie Kanoute opened with a brilliant first touch that  gave him space to finish low into the far corner. Henok Goitom headed the visitors level from a free-kick, but Kanoute put the home side back in front when he caught Jesus Navas’s low cross with a perfectly-timed volley that flew inside the far post just before halftime. Luis Fabiano broke the offside trap to round the keeper after the re-start and Kanoute sealed his hat-trick with an unstoppable header from Fernando Navarro’s cross

Villarreal 2 – Athletic Bilbao 0 (La Liga, March 21, 2009) Giuseppe Rossi found Santi Cazorla unmarked on the edge of the area in the 69th minute, and the Spain winger drove a powerful shot wide of Gorka Iraizoz. Athletic then had Markel Susaeta was sent off before Matias Fernandez skipped round his marker to score at the end.


AS Roma 1 – Juventus 4 (Serie A, March 21, 2009) Vicenzo Iaquinta fired Juve into the lead. Loria equalised after the break but further goals from Iaquinta again, Olof Mellberg and a cracking volley from Pavel Nedved secured an impressive win that keeps up the pressure on leaders Inter.

Catania 1 – Lazio 0 (Serie A, March 21, 2009) Michele Paolucci scored the only goal on 24 minutes to condemn Lazio to another defeat. Goran Pandev later missed a penalty for the visitors.

Modena 3 – Vicenza 1 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Piacenza 3 – Frosinone 0 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Livorno 2 – Ancona 3 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Ascoli 2 – Albinoleffe 2 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Avellino 2 – Pisa 0 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Empoli 3 – Sassuolo 2 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Mantova 1 – Rimini 0 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)

Triestina 0 – Parma 3 (Serie B, March 21, 2009)


Stuttgart 2 – Hertha Berlin 0 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) After a goalless first half, league leaders Hertha fell behind at Stuttgart when the conceded a goal to Jeronimo Cacau and the hosts quickly doubled their advantage when Sami Khedira headed home a Hitzlsperger free-kick.

Bayern Munich 1 – Karlsruhe 0 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) Franck Ribery was the architect for Bayern’s opener against Karlsruhe, slipping a cute pass through to Jose Ernesto Sosa to slide in the opener.

Hoffenheim 2 – Hannover 2 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) Things began well for Hoffenheim when Selim Teber scored from the penalty spot but Hannover drew level inside two minutes after Hanno Balitsch was gifted too much space in the box and allowed to swing a leg at a free-kick. Mario Eggimann then turned the match i the visitors favour with a header 15 minutes from time but the Village Team threw on Wellington late on and the forward levelled with a clinical finish in the box.

Bayer Leverkusen 1 – Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) Frankfurt took a surprise lead at Leverkusen when Alexander Meier converted a cross after good work down the left-hand side. Michel Kadlec levelled in the 40th minute with a scrappy goal from a corner.

Arminia Bielefeld 0 – Wolfsburg 3 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) High-flying Wolfsburg broke the deadlock at Arminia with a lightening fast counter-attack that was eventually finished off by Christian Gentner’s well-placed shot. Grafite doubled the lead just before the hour mark.

Energie Cottbus 0 – Cologne 2 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) With neither side able to score before the break, Cologne were handed an opener on a plate when Cottbus keeper Tremmel dropped a clanger when trying to scoop up a shot and Cologne’s goal-scoring machine Milivoje Novakovic was on hand to capitalise. The second was quick in coming, Novakovic grabbing his brace from the spot.

Borussia Dortmund 1 – Werder Bremen 0 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2009) Alexander Frei’s hot-streak continued with a 64th minute penalty.


Marseille 2 – Nantes 0 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2009) After a goalless first half, Renato Civelli fired the hosts into the lead in the 55th minute and Brandao made the points safe four minutes later to sent OM top of the table in France.

Le Havre 0 – Bordeaux 3 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Yoann Gourcuff opened the scoring after 12 minutes and Souleymane Diawara added a second 13 minutes into the second half before Wendel made the result absolutely safe two minutes from time. The result leaves Bordeaux in second.

Auxerre 2 – Le Mans 0 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2009) Ireneusz Jelen gave Auxerre an early lead after beating a defender en route to goal before lobbing the ball over goalkeeper Yohan Pel. Dariusz Dudka doubled the advantage, becoming the second Pole on target for the home side.

Nancy 0 – Monaco 1 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2009) Park Chu Young scored the only goal of the game as Monaco eased their relegation worries with victory at the Stade Marcel Picot against Nancy.

Rennes 0 – Valenciennes 0 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2009) Rennes and Valenciennes battled out a goalless draw tonight in an ill-tempered encounter that saw both teams reduced to 10 men. Rennes midfielder Kader Mangane saw red after 25 minutes and the visitors surrendered their man advantage just before the hour mark when Carlos Sanchez was also dismissed.


PSV 2 – Vitesse 0 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Ibrahim Afellay headed PSV in front in the 23rd minute and Ola Toivonen doubled their lead in the 70th minute.

Sparta 1 – Heracles 0 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2009) Sparta moved level on points with Heracles, who were reduced to nine men. Mark Looms was sent off for a second bookable offence for the visitors two minutes into the second half. Edouard Duplan then got the winner two minutes later before Birger Maerfens was sent off at the death for a second yellow card to compound a miserable night for Heracles.

NEC 0 – Willem II 0 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2009) NEC stayed in ninth after a goalless stalemate with Willem II, who remain in 12th.


Sporting Lisbon 1 – Benfica 1 (Pens. 2-3) (Carlsberg Cup Final, March 21, 2009) Bruno Pereirinha edged Sporting in front three minutes after the restart, with Antonio Reyes drawing Benfica level with a controversial penalty after Pedro Silva was penalised for handball. Silva was dismissed as a result, but Benfica could not make their numerical advantage count. The match went straight to a shoot-out where Benfica keeper Quim was the hero, making three saves before Carlos Martins struck the winning kick.


Sivasspor 1 – Besiktas 1 (Super Lig, March 21, 2009) Herve Tum to put the hosts in the lead with a header early in the second half but Rodrigo Tello levelled just seven minutes later with a fine volley from the edge of the box.

Gaziantepspor 3 – Trabzonspor 2 (Super Lig, March 21, 2009) Trabzonspor lost touch with the top two, losing at Gaziantepspor, Hakan Bayraktar (a brace) and Mehmet Yozgatli scored for the home side while Gustavo Colman (penalty) and Gokhan Unal replied for Trabzonspor.


Kortrijk 2 – Club Brugge 3 (Jupiler League, March 20, 2009) Goals from Koen Daerden and Joseph Akpala put Brugge in command before Jimmy Hempte pulled one back with a stunning left-foot volley smashed home from the edge of the box. Elimane Coulibaly squared things up just before the hour mark but Wesley Sonck pounced in the dying seconds to give third-placed Brugge the win.


Samara 1 – Amkar Perm 0 (Russian Premier League, March 21, 2009) Veteran Jan Koller swept home the winner for Samara on the hour mark.

Kuban 1 – Spartak Moscow 0 (Russian Premier League, March 21, 2009) Poor defending from Spartak gifted Traore the opener after thirty minutes.

Dynamo Moscow 3 – Khimki 2 (Russian Premier League, March 21, 2009) Dynamo Moscow and Khimki played out a thrilling first half. Kokorin handed the hosts the early advantage sliding in the opener from close range only for the visitors to level through Nizamutdinov who ran through on goal, beat a defender and expertly slotted home. Back came Dynamo, Kerzhakov restoring the lead from the spot, but it was 2-all at the break after Jovanovic slammed home a loose free-kick which the hosts failed to clear. After the break Dynamo took the lead for the third time when Dimidko scored a free header in the box.


Partizan Belgrade 3 – Hajduk Kula 0 (Serbian Super Liga, March 21, 2009) Partizan cruised to another three points, Moreira opening in the first half with Diarra claiming a second half brace.

OFK Beograd 2 – Cukaricki 0 (Serbian Super Liga, March 21, 2009)


Hapoel Tel Aviv 2 – Bnei Yehuda 1 (Ligat ha’Al, March 21, 2009) Ben Luz opened the scoring for Hapoel with a cracker, blasting a fierce shot high into near post. Assi Baldout pulled the visitors level from the spot but Hapoel goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was the match-winner striking home a penalty with 20 minutes remaining.

Bnei Sachnin 3 – Ashdod 2 (Ligat ha’Al, March 21, 2009)


Randers 0 – Brondby 2 (SAS Ligaen, March 21, 2009)


Bray 2 – Galway 2 (Eircom Premier League, March 20, 2009)


FC Dallas 1 – Chicago Fire 3 (MLS, March 21, 2009) After just nine minutes of the new season Dallas’ Kenny Cooper scored what may prove to be the goal of the season with a sublime strike that was launched from inside his own half. But despite the quality of the strike Dallas could not hold on, with justin Mapp, Brian McBride (penalty) and a sweet free-kick from Cuauhtemoc Blanco giving Chicago the opening day win.

Kansas City Wizards 2 – Toronto FC 3 (MLS, March 21, 2009) Captain Jim Brennan gave Toronto the lead at the break with striker Amado Guevara wrapping up the points with a second half brace for the Canadians.


Rosario Central 1 – Velez Sarsfield 1 (Clausura, March 21, 2009) Velez were leading until the 70th minute thanks to a first-half strike from Joaquin Larrivey. But 20 minutes from time forward Milton Caraglio equalised with his third goal in four games after some fine play from former Fiorentina playmaker Ezequiel Gonzalez.

Argentinos Juniors 0 – Gimnasia J 1 (Clausura, March 21, 2009) Gimnasia claimed their first away victory in 25 games, Juan Arraya got the only goal after 64 minutes.

Godoy Cruz 1 – Gimnasia La Plata 1 (Clausura, March 21, 2009) Victor Figueroa opened the scoring in the first half, but an own goal by defender Francisco Dutari earned Gimnasia a draw in the final moments of the game.