Manchester City 3 – Arsenal 0 (Carling Cup quarter-final, December 2, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Five minutes into the second half at Eastlands City struck, Carlos Tevez pestering Rosicky in losing possession, and then after exchanging passes with Bellamy, Tevez dashed into the box and crashed the ball into the top corner from 14 yards. 20 minutes from time Shaun Wright-Phillips scored a fabulous second, the impish winger picked the ball up wide on the left, whizzed forward and then smashed the beauty into the top corner from 23 yards. A glorious night for City, breaking their cursed drawing sequence, was completed by the hugely promising Vladimir Weiss after Craig Bellamy had done all the hard work in the build up.
Blackburn 3* – Chelsea 3 (Pens. 4-3) (Carling Cup quarter-final, December 2, 2009) Nikola Kalinic put Rovers in front against the Blues after nine minutes, the striker profitting from a well-worked moved down the left involving Roberts, Pedersen and Pascal Chimbonda. Minutes after the break Chelsea drew level as Florent Malouda crossed from the left and Didier Drogba headed in his 15th goal of the season. The Pensioners then turned the match on its head, Yuri Zhirkov freed Salomon Kalou and the Ivorian slotted a calm finish past keeper Paul Robinson. Too their credit Rovers hit back in the 63th minute when Brett Emerton saw his cross take a deflection and sail all the way into the net past Hilario. (All goals in the opening 90 minutes.) With the match moving into extra time it was Blackburn who scored first, Zhirkov tripped David Hoilett in the box and Benni McCarthy buried the penalty in the bottom corner to send the home fans wild. But in the 120th minute Chelsea levelled again, Malouda hurled a free-kick into the box which Robinson missed, leaving Paulo Ferreira to sweep home from a tight angle to take the match to spot kicks.
Portsmouth 2 – Aston Villa 4 (Carling Cup quarter-final, December 1, 2009) Stiliyan Petrov’s early own goal was cancelled out by Emile Heskey’s equaliser, with James Milner establishing a lead for the visitors before England winger Downing struck late on. Kanu pulled one back to set up an exciting finale but Ashley Young made sure of Villa’s victory.
Millwall 3 – MK Dons 2 (League One, December 1, 2009) Andy Frampton and Chris Hackett had put the Lions in control at half-time but Jermaine Easter netted twice to level for the Dons, his second a 79th minute 25-yard stunner. But Steve Morison was to have the last word for Millwall, shrugging off the attentions of defender David McCracken and firing underneath Gueret.
Xerez 0 – Barcelona 2 (La Liga, December 1, 2009) After a goalless first half at Xerez, Thierry Henry broke the deadlock for Barcelona with a 46th minute header. Zlatan entertained the crowd with a show of juggling and close control, before Ibrahimovic sealed the Catalans’ triumph with an exquisite lift over the Xerez keeper in the final minute of the match.
Boulogne 2 – PSG 5 (Ligue 1, December 2, 2009) Guillaume Ducatel opened the scoring for second-bottom Boulogne as the hosts went in with a half-time lead, but Clement Chantome’s leveller sparked a nine minute four-goal salvo from PSG which ended the game as a contest. Peguy Luyindula’s 63rd minute penalty put PSG into the lead while a quickfire Mevlut Erdinc brace (first & second) made it 4-1 by the 70th minute. Johan Ramare pulled one back for the hosts but Jean-Eudes Maurice wrapped up the win for PSG four minutes from time as Antoine Kombouare’s troops jumped up to seventh in the Ligue 1 standings.
AEK Athens 0 – Everton 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Everton got off to the perfect start in Athens when a long put upfield was carried further with a flick on to Jo, before the striker played in Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who fired the ball high into the near post.
Celtic 2 – Hapoel Tel Aviv 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) A close-range header from Georgios Samaras from Aiden McGeady’s cross gave Celtic the lead against Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Barry Robson’s second half free-kick sealed the win for the Bhoys.
Valencia 3 – Lille 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Valencia breached the Lille backline after three minutes with Joaquin tapping the ball over the line after Los Che had broken down the left hand side. Joaquin bagged his second just after the half hour, collecting a long ball through the middle and rifling off a low left-footed strike. A fine solo goal fro Juan Mata in the 52nd minute, the forward taking on two defenders and then beating the keeper, wrapped up the points for Valencia against their Ligue 1 opponents. Aurelien Chedjou netted a late consolation for Lille.
FC Timisoara 1 – Ajax 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Timisoara moved in front of Ajax inside 120 seconds when Dorin Goga slotted home after 12-yards but the Amsterdammers soon levelled through serial-goalscorer Luis Suarez. Marco Pantelic continued his fine goalscoring form netting Ajax’s second a minute into the second half before the hosts had both Bonfim and Pantilimon sent off in two separate offences leading to penalties, which Luis Suarez amazingly twice missed.
Hamburg 2 – Rapid Vienna 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Second half goals from Hamburg’s Marcell Jansen and Marcus Berg put the Bundesliga outfit 2-up against their Austrian neighbours, Rapid Vienna.
Anderlecht 0 – Dinamo Zagreb 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Miroslav Slepicka’s header from a brilliant outside-of-the-boot cross from the Zagreb right wing put the Croatians in a 57th minute lead at Anderlecht.
Levski Sofia 0 – Villarreal 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Villarreal broke the deadlock at Levski Sofia with a training ground routine from a set play on the edge of the box, the ball finding Giuseppe Rossi pealed off down the line with the striker controlling and firing into the far post. The Spaniards wrapped up the victory seven minutes from time when Marcos Senna sidefooted in the second from 15-yards.
BATE Borisov 1 – Benfica 2 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) Benfica’s Javier Saviola fired the Portuguese ahead at BATE Borisov minutes into the second half after connecting with Angel di Maria’s cutback. A wonderful left-footed strike from Fabio Coentrao doubled Benfica’s lead just after the hour, while David Luiz brought the hosts back into the game heading a corner into his own net in comical fashion.
RB Salzburg 2 – Lazio 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Salzburg’s Rabiu Afolabi met a left-sided free-kick to head the Austrians into the lead against Lazio. The lead didn’t last long as Mauro Zarate picked up the ball for the Romans, drove into the box before seeing his parried shot turned over the line by Pasquale Foggia. But Salzburg retook the lead for a second and decisive time 12 minutes from time as Somen Tchoyi scored a fine solo goal to claim the points.
FC Sheriff 1 – Steaua Bucharest 1 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) All the action arrived in the final ten minutes. A howler from the Steaua keeper allowed Amath Diedhiou’s tame shot to trickle under his body, but the Romanians soon equalised as an equally poor come-and-miss effort from the home goalie allowed Juan Toja to tuck in the leveller.
Slavia Prague 0 – Genoa 0 (Europa League, December 2, 2009) The Czechs appeared to be hard-done-by midway through the first half when Stanislav Vlcek was flagged offside as he slotted the ball into the net.
Catania 2 – Empoli 0 (Coppa Italia, December 2, 2009) Federico Moretti set the Sicilian club on their way with the opening goal in the seventh minute and Takayuki Morimoto sealed their progress by notching the second from the penalty spot 17 minutes from time.
Ergotelis 0 – Larissa 0 (Greek Super League, December 2, 2009) Ergotelis moved up to fourth after the goalless draw while Larissa moved into 11th.
Fluminense 3 – LDU de Quito 0 (Agg. 4-5) (Copa Sudamericana final second-leg, December 2, 2009) Diguinho, Fred and Gum scored for Fluminense at a packed Maracana stadium, but it wasn’t enough to erase the Brazilian club’s 5-1 first-leg loss last week in Ecuador. Liga de Quito played a man down from the 18th minute after Ulises De la Cruz was shown a red card for a hard foul, and both teams had a player sent off (Fred for Flu, Jairo Campos for LDU) in the second half. The result meant that Ecuadorian giants Liga Deportiva Universitaria were crowned the Copa Sudamericana champions (post-match celebrations here).