Aston Villa 1 – Newcastle 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) The Toon’s relegation fate seemed etched in stone after Damien Duff was hugely unlucky to divert a wayward Gareth Barry shot past a helpless Steve Harper. Newcastle never looked like scoring throughout the contest and their failure to find and equaliser meant that the Magpies were relegated to the Championship. The final minutes of the season, as reported by Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and the crew, can be seen here.
Hull 0 – Manchester United 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Sir Alex’s kids had too much firepower for desperate Hull, Darron Gibson cracking home a stunning 35-yarder on the angle that gave Myhill no chance in goal.
MOTD combined the highlights of Aston Villa-Newcastle & Hull-Manchester United, which can be seen on this video.
Liverpool 3 – Tottenham 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Europa League chasing Spurs fell behind at Anfield when Fernando Torres headed home a Kuyt cross at the back post. The match and Tottenham’s dreams of European football were seemingly put to bed in the 64th minute when Kuyt’s loose shot deflected off Alan Hutton and over the hapless Gomes. In a moment that all romantics could enjoy, Robbie Keane raced behind the Reds’ backline in the 77th minute to bring Spurs back into the game. The Reds closed out the season with a third from their unsung hero of the season, Yossi Benayoun slipping a shot past Gomes in front of the Kop.
Sunderland 2 – Chelsea 3 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â After a goalless first half at the Stadium of Light Nicolas Anelka broke the deadlock to ensure that he wins the race for the Golden Boot, the Chelsea striker breaking from inside his own half and lashing a wonderful 25-yarder into the top corner. The Black cats drew level thanks to a flap from Petr Cech, the keeper failing to catch Leadbitter’s cross and Kieran Richardson took advantage to drill in the leveller. Chelsea retook the lead 15 minutes from time after Salomon Kalou blasted a shot into Fulop’s near post after Sunderland failed to clear a corner. Chelsea opened up a 2-goal lead when Ashley Cole fired home a right-foot volley on the rebound after Malouda’s shot was saved. Kenwyne Jones met an Andy Reid cross to cut the deficit to one.
Arsenal 4 – Stoke 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.)Â Arsenal treated the Emirates to some sublime football to destroy Stoke inside 18 minutes beginning with James Beattie’s own goal from a Cesc cross into the mixer. Robin van Persie netted the second from the spot five minutes later, with Abou Diaby heading in the third (where was the marking) from a RVP dead-ball. Ricardo Fuller pulled the visitors back into the game with a penalty before Van Persie claimed his second of the half after a woeful header from Rory Delap, to complete a brilliant 45 for the Gunners.
Fulham 0 – Everton 2 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Leon Osman put the Toffees ahead on the stroke of halftime, beating the offside trap to slot home Steven Pienaar’s pass. Osman struck again, late in the second half, the midfielder dancing past two Fulham defenders and smashing a long-range stunner into the top corner. The result was immaterial however as both sides qualified for the Europa League.
Wigan 1 – Portsmouth 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Hugo Rodellega scored the decisive goal after 26 minutes, Charles N’Zogbia surged down the left and put in a tricky cross which Sol Campbell missed, allowing Rodallega to tap home in.
West Ham 2 – Middlesbrough 1 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.)Â Boro needed a miracle to avoid the drop, and things started badly when Carlton Cole slotted home Luis Boa Morte’s cross on 33 minutes. Boro were given hope early in the second half with Gary O’Neil’s strike, but the Hammers soon regained control, Junior Stanislas’s 20-yard slipped under Brad Jones is desperate fashion. Boro finished the season level with bottom club West Brom on 32 points.
Manchester City 1 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, May 24, 2009) Micah Richard clipped Robinho’s free-kick into Felipe Ciacedo’s path and all the striker had to do was slot home after eight minutes.
Millwall 2 – Scunthorpe 3 (League One playoff final, May 24, 2009) Scunthorpe, relegated a year ago, took the lead through Matt Sparrow scored before two goals in two minutes from Millwall’s Gary Alexander – the first was arguably the greatest goal so far scored at the new Wembley stadium – put the Lions ahead at halftime. Scunny winger Martyn Woolford created a second for Sparrow to make it 2-2 with 20 minutes to go before Woolford became the hero scoring the winner himself five minutes from time.
Dundee United 0 – Rangers 3 (SPL, May 24, 2009) Kyle Lafferty bundled in a Kris Boyd shot after six minutes to settle early nerves and Pedro Mendes grabbed the vital second with a powerful left-foot volley on the stroke of halftime. Kris Boyd, who earlier had a shot cleared off the line, converted a cross by Steven Whittaker after the break to kill off a United side who offered little threat and secure that SPL crown for Rangers.
Celtic 0 – Hearts 0 (SPL, May 24, 2009) Scott McDonald was guilty of lashing a shot over the Hearts bar midway through the first half. Minutes later McDonald forced a smart save from keeper Marian Kello, while Paul Hartley tried his luck from distance without success. Celtic were distraught at the final whistle as the title went to Ibrox.
Aberdeen 2 – Hibernian 1 (SPL, May 23, 2009) An outrageously bad error from Hibs keeper Yves Makalambay handed the hosts the lead, the goalie smacking a kick straight into the back of Lee Miller, with the ball rebounding into the empty net. Charlie Mulgrew put Aberdeen two ahead just before half-time with a sumptuous free-kick, before Derek Riordan rifled in a low shot to pull one back.
Motherwell 1 – Kilmarnock 2 (SPL, May 23, 2009) Brian McLean looked to have earned Well a point with a cool finish with 10 minutes left to cancel out Danny Invincibile’s opener. Mehdi Taouil scored a superb last-minute for Kille, showing off an array of skills and showboats on the way to claimed a last-gasp winner.
Real Madrid 1 – Mallorca 3 (La Liga, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) From a Van der Vaart free-kick, Gonzalo Higuain planted a header inside the Mallorca near post to put Real ahead after 20 minutes. The islanders replied inside six minutes, the Madrid defence fell to pieces and Juan Arango ran through to score. Madrid fell to an embarrassing defeat in the second half, Cleber Santana scored a pearler beating three Real defenders before rifled a bullet into the top corner. Alhassane Keita cracked in the killer third 20 minutes from time.
Cagliari 2 – Inter Milan 1 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) Champions Inter moved ahead early doors at Cagliari thanks to a fine solo goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cagilari drew level before the break when Andrea Cossu coolly tucked home the equaliser with the Inter defence all at sea. In the 71st minute Cagliari won all three points courtesy of a Robert Acquafresca header.
Siena 0 – Juventus 3 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) A picture-perfect free-kick from Alessandro Del Piero put Juve in the lead at Siena, and the Old Lady doubled their lead at the break after Claudio Marchisio toe-poked home the second. Alex Del Piero sealed the win with a super solo goal aftyer the break, the evergreen striker taking a ball over the top before rounding the keeper for number three.
AC Milan 2 – Roma 3 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) John-Arne Riise rolled back the years to score a thunderous left-footed free-kick into roof of the AC Milan net as Roma took a 36th minute lead at the San Siro. The match came alive in the final 15 minutes, Massimo Ambrosini drew Milan level only for Pirlo to lose possession in the centre of the park and Jeremy Menez put Roma back into the lead. The Rossoneri were behind for just 60 seconds before Kaka’s inviting cross was met by Massimo Ambrosini for the midfielder’s second of the match. Back came Roma, Francesco Totti cracked home a beautiful free-kick five minutes from time. Ambrosini’s day ended on a sour note as the goalscorer picked up a second booking.
Torino 2 – Genoa 3 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) Want-away striker Diego Milito fired Genoa into the lead at Torino with a penalty just after the half hour. Ivan Franceschini brought the Bulls level with a close-range volley five minutes before the break. Genoa retook the lead through a sublime Ruben Olivera free-kick in the 48th minute, only for Torino to equalised inside 60 seconds as Rolando Bianchi expertly lobbed the keeper to level. Diego Milito’s late diving header sealed the victory for the visitors.
Sampdoria 2 – Udinese 2 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) Gaetano D’Agostino continued his rich recent vein of goalscoring form for Udinese by slotting home a 13th minute penalty at Samp. A Mauricio Isla own goal (32) and a further spot kick from Antonio Cassano (44) turned the tie on its head. Felipe did snatch an equaliser on the hour-mark, but it mattered little to two teams destined to finish the season in the midst of midtable.
Lecce 1 – Fiorentina 1 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) Looking to beat the drop, Simone Tiribocchi’s tidy finish fired Lecce in a vital lead against Fiorentina after 50 minutes. The Viola piled on the pressure at the death and Lecce crumbled when Martin Jorgensen bundled the ball over the line in the 90th minute.
Catania 3- Napoli 1 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) A brilliant Mariano Bogliacino strike from 30-yards rifled into the top corner to hand Napoli the lead at Catania. Takayuki Morimoto levelled with a header minutes before the break, before the hosts won the match in the final minutes. Giuseppe Mascara scored from the spot in the 88th minute, Vito Falconieri wrapping up the points in injury time.
Atalanta 2 – Palermo 2 (Serie A, May 24, 2009) Palermo took the lead through Davide Succi, only to then fall behind to a brace from Gianvito Plasmati. Palermo rallied, and took a share of the spoils thanks to Fabrizio Miccoli.
Chievo 0 – Bologna 0 (Serie A, May 24, 2009)
Standard Liege 1 – Anderlecht 0 (Agg. 2-1) (Jupiler League playoff second-leg, May 24, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Liege’s Axel Witsel scored a decisive penalty five minutes before halftime after Anderlecht’s Victor Bernardez was adjudged to have brought down Dieumerci Mbokani. The result confirmed Liege as back-to-back Belgium winners. The scene at the final whistle can be seen here.
Sporting Lisbon 3 – Nacional 1 (Superliga, May 24, 2009) Sporting racing into an early 2-goal lead against Nacional, Derlei scoring a free header after three minutes before Derlei claimed his second from close range. The visitors were quick to rally, Nene smashing home an unbelievable free-kick from almost 40-yards to half the deficit. Leandro Romagnoli wrapped up the points with a 90th minute penalty.
Sivasspor 3 – Genclerbirligi 2 (Super Lig, May 24, 2009) Sivasspor went behind when James Troisi netted after 22 minutes and, while Genclerbirligi held that lead until the break, they would concede three times in 21 minutes after halftime. Yannick Kamanan got the ball rolling after 49 minutes before further goals from Herve Tum and Murat Erdogan swung the match in the hosts’ favour. Jacques Momha pulled a goal back but it was not enough.
Besiktas 2 – Galatasaray 1 (Super Lig, May 24, 2009) Mehmet Topal was unfortunate to deflect a free-kick into the Gala net at the end of the first half. Gala equalised with a quality goal, started a finished by Harry Kewell, minutes after the restart. But Besiktas ran out winners thanks to a super solo goal from Yusef Simsek, who robbed the last defender of possession before beating the keeper on the hour mark.
Fenerbahce 4 – Konyaspor 2 (Super Lig, May 24, 2009) Daniel Guiza (14, 17), Ugur Boral (38) and Roberto Carlos (40) had put Fener out of sight before consolation goals for Roman Kratochvil (75pen) and Branimir Poljac (90).
Eskisehirspor 2 – Trabzonspor 5 (Super Lig, May 24, 2009) Ceyhun Gulselam (18, 63) and Alanzinho (39, 89) both scored a brace to go with Umut Bulut’s (78) solitary effort to do the damage for Trabznonspor. Doga Kaya (66) and Souleymane Youla (74) scored for Eskisehirspor.
Kayserispor 1 – Hacettepe 0 (Super Lig, May 23, 2009) Julius Aghahowa grabbed the only goal five minutes in for Kayserispor after a shocking fumble by visiting keeper Ercument Kafkasyali.
Dynamo Moscow 1 – Zenit St. Petersburg 0 (Russian Premier League, May 24, 2009) Dmitry Khokhlov managed to get in front of his marker at the back post, to convert an 86th minute cross and earn Dynamo the three points.
Panathinaikos 4 – PAOK 1 (Greek Super League Play-Offs, May 24, 2009) Giorgos Karagounis, Brazilian defender Gabriel, Dimitris Salpingidis and Antonis Petropoulos scored for Panathinaikos, while Ilias Anastasakos notched PAOK’s consolation goal.
Larissa 0 – AEK Athens 0 (Greek Super League Play-Offs, May 24, 2009) Larissa played the second half with only 10-men after Iglesias was sent off and also missed a penalty in the first half with Para.
Red Star Belgrade 3 – Rad Belgrade 2 (Serbian Super League, May 24, 2009)
Rosenborg 1 – Viking 0 (Tippeligaen, May 24, 2009) Mikael Lustig scored the only goal of the game 11 minutes from time to keep Rosenborg clear at the t op of the table.
Gamba Osaka 0 – Kashima Antlers 1 (J-League, May 24, 2009) Koji Nakata scored after 17 minutes to keep Kashima on top of the J-League.
Omiya Ardija 1 – Urawa Red Diamonds 1 (J-League, May 24, 2009)
River Plate 2 – Independiente 0 (Clausura, May 24, 2009) Diego Barrado put River ahead with a superb goal in the 29th minute, running from midfield before firing a 25-yard shot past Fabio Assman. Barrado also set up the second nine minutes later, providing the cross for Radamel Falcao Garcia to head the second. Garcia missed a penalty in the 59th minute, firing over the bar, and Independiente’s Daniel Montenegro had another penalty stopped by River goalkeeper Daniel Verga two minutes later.
Velez Sarsfield 2 – Boca Juniors 0 (Clausura, May 24, 2009) Hernan Lopez put Velez ahead in the 59th minute, pouncing for his ninth goal of the championship after Julio Cesar Caceres was slow to react to a ball headed into the Boca area. One minute later, Jonathan Cristaldo took advantage of more slack defending by Boca to sidefoot the second past Roberto Abbondanzieri. Boca had defender Juan Forlin sent off for a second bookable offence late in the game.
San Martin 0 – Gimnasia La Plata 1 (Clausura, May 24, 2009) Esteban Gonzalez netted the winner in the 37th minute.
Colon 0 – Racing Club 0 (Clausura, May 24, 2009)
Gremio 2 – Botafogo 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) Gremio gave former Sao Paulo and Peru coach Paulo Autuori a winning start thanks to second half goals from Jonas and Fabio Santos.
Palmeiras 0 – Sao Paulo 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) Palmeiras had Marcelo Ramos sent off for a second bookable offence in the 75th minute and Sao Paulo midfielder Richarlyson was dismissed in stoppage time.
Santo Andre 1 – Flamengo 2 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) A Josiel brace secured Flamengo’s first win of the season.
Sport Recife 2 – Atletico Mineiro 3 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) Atletico Mineiro’s Eder Luis scored a brilliant goal to set his team on their way to a 3-2 win at Sport Recife, picking up the ball in midfield and leaving four opponents in his wake before placing his shot past Magrao.
Avai 2 – Coritiba 2 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009)
Fluminense 1 – Santos 4 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) Mariano gave Flu a ninth-minute lead at the Maracana but they fell apart after Mauricio Molina levelled with a free kick shortly before the break. Madson put Santos ahead early in the second half, rounding Fernando Henrique to score, before Kleber Pereira added two more in the last 10 minutes.
Atletico Paranaense 2 – Nautico 3 (Campeonato Brasileiro, May 24, 2009) Wallyson scored twice to give the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead but Gladstone pulled one back at the start of the second half before Anderson Lessa scored twice to seal the points for Nautico.