VIDEO: Chelsea blow it at Blackburn; Rooney & Park on target as Man United beat Liverpool to go top; Man City close in on Spurs after Fulham win; 9-man Rangers win Scottish Cup; Milan miss top spot chance in Napoli draw

Blackburn 1 – Chelsea 1 (Premier League, March 21, 2010) (MOTD highlights here.) Chelsea took less than six minutes to score at Ewood Park, Anelka danced in from the right-hand touch-line and played a simple of square pass to Didier Drogba, who dispatched it directly into the bottom right corner of the net for his 22nd league goal of the season. (First half highlights here.) Chelsea failed to find a second goal in a tepid performance, and 20 minutes from time they were punished as Salgado found space to cross from the right and El Hadji Diouf was able to head home at the back post.

Carlo Ancelotti’s post match interview can be seen here, Sam Allardyce here.

Manchester United 2 – Liverpool 1 (Premier League, March 21, 2010) (Longer highlights here and MOTD highlights here.) Liverpool’s recent hoodoo over Manchester United struck inside five minutes at Old Trafford when Gerrard drove towards the edge of the box and freed Duyt down the right, the Dutchman whipped in his cross and Fernando Torres steered his header in the far post. The Scousers then shot themselves in the foot when Mascherano foolishly allowed Valencia to fall in the box when he grabbed his arm, and Wayne Rooney equalised after Reina had saved his initial spot-kick. (Should the Argentine have seen red?) (First half highlights here.) United controlled the match after the break, and their pressure told just before the hour when Darren Fletcher’s right wing cross was header home by Park Ji-Sung from close range. Liverpool rarely looked like finding an equaliser, with United returning to the top while Liverpool’s top four hopes were left in tatters.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s post match comments can be seen here, Darren Fletcher’s here, Rio Ferdinand’s here & Park Ji-Sung’s here. Rafa Bentiez’s interview can be seen here.

Fulham 1 – Manchester City 2 (Premier League, March 21, 2010) After their Europa League heroics Fulham were taken apart in the first half (highlights here) at home to Man City, Roque Santa Cruz opened early on after Craig Bellamy hit the post with a powerful low drive. Bellamy was the creator of City’s second too as the Welshman played in Carlos Tevez, the Argentine left Manchester United-bound Chris Smalling on his backside before drilling the ball home from eight yards. The Cottagers grabbed a lifeline 15 minutes from time when Barry was adjudged to have handled in the box and Danny Murphy made no mistake with his spot-kick.

Roberto Mancini’s post match interview can be seen here, Roy Hodgson’s here.

***

Leicester 2 – Coventry 2 (Championship, March 21, 2010) The Foxes dominated the first half and Andy King’s clinical finish put them ahead after James McPake’s error. King then grabbed a disputed second when his header was adjudged to have bounced fractionally over the line off the underside of the crossbar. (First half goals here.) But McPake lashed home a volley to reduce the deficit and Gary Deegan levelled from close range late on.

***

St. Mirren 0 – Rangers 1 (Co-op Cup Final, March 21, 2010) Early in the second half Rangers found themselves down to 10-men against St. Mirren in the Co-op cup final as Kevin Thomson was given his marching orders for a poor scything challenge on Steven Thomson. The Gers were reduced to 9-men in the 71st minute when defender Danny Wilson was red carded for a jersey tug on St. Mirren substitute Craig Dargo. Incredibly the Ibrox giants still managed to break the deadlocked in the 84th minute, Kenny Miller the hero as he rose unchallenged in the penalty area to bullet home a header past Paul Gallacher from Naismith’s cross.

Footage of Walter Smith lifting the trophy can be seen here, while Walter Smith interview can be seen here, Kenny Miller here and David Weir & Nacho Novo here.

***

Zaragoza 2 – Barcelona 4 (La Liga, March 21, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) The incredible Leo Messi needed just four minutes to get on the scoresheet at Zaragoza, the pocket-sized Argentine got on the end of Pedro’s left wing cross to score with a header. In the 65th minute Leo Messi scored yet another dream goal to add to the collection as he picked up possession just inside the Zaragoza half, teased his way past several defenders before coolly firing his shot into the far post. Messi capped a fantastic performance curling home a hat-trick goal (his 8th in four games). The match had a crazy late twist as Adrian Colunga netted in the 87th minute, and Colunga then bagged a second in he 89th. But Barca had their nerves settled in the 91st minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his recent goal drought with the Catalans fourth from the penalty spot after Messi had been hacked down in the box.

Valencia 2 – Almeria 0 (La Liga, March 21, 2010) Juan Mata opened the scoring on 63 from an awesome through ball by Silva. Seven minutes later David Silva completed the win, scoring from a prone position on the ground.

Mallorca 4 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga, March 21, 2010) Victor Casadesus took advantage of hesitant defending from the visitors to fire the ball into the bottom corner after just ten minutes. Atletico levelled on 26 minutes through Diego Forlan, but Mallorca almost immediately regained their lead as Aritz Aduriz nodded the ball into the top corner. Five minutes later, Atletico’s hopes of fighting back were dealt a blow when Raul Garcia picked up his second booking in the space of seven minutes to take an early bath. Luis Perea’s late own goal merely rubber-stamped the win for the Islanders, and full-back Felipe unleashed a fourth into the top corner to cap another home win for Mallorca.

Osasuna 1 – Racing Santander 3 (La Liga, March 21, 2010) Miguel stooped low in the area to nod home a Juanfran cross, but Osasuna’s lead didn’t last long as Gonzalo Colsa pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the area to unleash a stunning left foot shot into the top corner. Racing took the lead at the beginning of the second half when Christian Fernandez got on the end of a Sergio Canales free-kick. Papa Diop tapped home number three from close range.

Malaga 2 – Villarreal 0 (La Liga, March 21, 2010) Nabil Baha headed home Duda’s corner from close range to give the Andalucians the advantage, and Baha made it two slamming home a Valdo cross to send Villarreal home empty handed.

***

Sampdoria 1 – Juventus 0 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) Antonio Cassano stole the headlines with a 30-yard lob that dipped under the bar 13 minutes from time.

AC Milan 1 – Napoli 1 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) AC Milan conceded after 13 minutes at home to Napoli when Hugo Campagnaro had the simple job of rolling the ball into the net after the Rossoneri backline had been caught cold. Milan hit back in the 26th minute when a cross from birthday boy Ronaldinho was headed home by Super Pippo Inzaghi.

Cagliari 0 – Lazio 2 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) Crisis-club Lazio got off to the perfect start at Cagliari when Stefano Mauri played in striker Tommaso Rocchi who neatly controlled and slotted home the opener. Lazio netted a crucial second ten minutes before the interval when Sergio Floccari picked up possession on the left hand side of the box, weaved in between two defenders and toe-poked a calm finish into the far post.

Siena 1 – Bologna 0 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) A 10th minute Marcelo Larrondo header gave Siena the lead over Bologna.

Atalanta 3 – Livorno 0 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) Simone Padoin rifled a rebound home by the penalty spot as Atalanta took a 12th minute lead against Livorno. Striker Ernesto Chevanton doubled the hosts lead four minutes after the restart, and two quickly became three when Adriano Ferreria slid home a free-kick at the back stick in the 54th.

Bari 1 – Parma 1 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) Parma, wearing one of the ugliest shirts in world football, moved in front at Bari in the 36th minute when Damiano Zenoni’s low cross-cum-shot took a deflection on its way into the far post. Bari upheld their formidable home record when centre-half Andrea Masiello played a one-two into the box and claimed a rare goal with a tidy finish.

Chievo 1 – Catania 1 (Serie A, March 21, 2010) Chievo’s serial goalscorer Sergio Pellissier put the Flying Donkeys ahead against Catania in the 64th minute when the forward broke the offside trap and coolly slipped his shot inside the near post. The lead was short-lived as 10 minutes later Maxi Lopez pulled the Sicilians level from the penalty spot.

***

Wolfsburg 1 – Hertha Berlin 5 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2010) Theofanis Gekas and Adrain Ramos put Hertha two goals ahead within ten minutes, and the visitors never looked back. Gekas added another on 26 minutes before Grafite pulled one back for Wolfsburg a minute after his introduction from the bench. Hertha powered forward in the second half as Gekas completed his hat-trick to ensure three points for Hertha. Ramos completed his brace on 84 minutes, capping an emphatic win for the relegation battlers.

Hamburg 2 – Schalke 2 (Bundesliga, March 21, 2010) Hamburg struck in the 40th minute at home to Schalke courtesy of another Ruud van Nistelrooy goal the Dutch striker sweetly converting a thigh-high volleyed rebound after Piotr Trochowski thunderous free-kick had only been parried by keeper Neuer. Schalke equalised early in the second half when Kevin Kuranyi slipped his marker at the back post and stooped to head in the leveller. Having pulled themselves level it only took Schalke six minutes to move in front when Ivan Rakitic converted from the penalty spot. Back came Hamburg as German number one Neuer was again less than decisive as the keeper failed to cut out a left wing cross that was turned home by lanky midfielder Jonathan Pitroipa.

***

Marseille 2 – Lyon 1 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2010) Charles Kabore put OM into the lead with a looping  shot from distance only for Bafetimbi Gomis to head home the equaliser. The winner was a cracker – Nigerian left back Taye Taiwo using his hammer of a left foot to batter the ball past Lloris and into the corner.

Bordeaux 3 – Lille 1 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2010) Belgian winger Eden Hazard had sprinted through the Bordeaux defence to put Lille ahead on 24 minutes. Defender Michael Ciani volleyed home to put Bordeaux level 15 minutes later. Brazilian Jussie then scored from the penalty sport after Ricardo Costa had been shown a second yellow card for a foul on Marouane Chamakh, with Yoann Gourcuff completing the victory 14 minutes from time.

Montpellier 2 – Valenciennes 1 (Ligue 1, March 21, 2010) Victor Montano put Montpellier ahead after five minutes and Joris Marveaux doubling the advantage close to the hour mark, before Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s consolation for the visitors.

***

Benfica 3 – Porto 0 (League Cup Final, March 21, 2010) Porto had a nightmare after six minutes of the cup final with Benfica when keeper Nuno fumbled a simple collection from Ruben Amorim’s 25-yard daisy-cutter and the ball squirmed into the net. Benfica doubled the lead with a screamer on the stroke of halftime, Carlos Martins ripping a 30-yard free-kick into the far top corner. A injury time third from Oscar Cardozo sealed the cup for Benfica.

***

RKC 1 – Ajax 5 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2010) For the second week running Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong got himself on the scoresheet as the Amsterdammers took a 9th minute lead at lowly RKC. Ajax then gave away a horrible goal to allow the hosts back into the game as striker Marko Pantelic ducked when defending a free-kick and Ruud Berger was on hand to gobble up the scrapes to level. Ajax retook the lead at the start of the second half when leading goalscorer Luis Suarez grabbed his 28th league goal of the season controlling in the box and firing into the far corner. Ajax opened up a 2-goal lead in the 65th minute when RKC’s Hans Mulder turned a left-wing cross into his own net. RKC then had Berger sent off for a second booking 20 minutes from time, and Ajax punished the ten men in the final few minutes when Luis Suarez notched his brace and Dennis Rommedahl hit a fifth as Ajax’s title challenge maintained momentum with their 8th straight league win.

Sparta Rotterdam 0 – AZ Alkmaar 1 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2010) David Mendes da Silva slid home the only goal of the game in the fourth minute.

FC Groningen 1 – Roda 0 (Eredivisie, March 21, 2010) A header from Olufawemi Ajilore in the second minute sealed the victory.

***

Zenit St. Petersburg 1 – Spartak Moscow 1 (Russian Premier League, March 21, 2010) Spartak broke the deadlock at Zenit after 12 minutes, striker Weliton getting the final touch after a free-kick caused mayhem in the home defence. Zenit claimed an equaliser a minute from time when defender Nicolas Lombaerts powered home a header from a free-kick.

CSKA Moscow 0 – Dynamo Moscow 0 (Russian Premier League, March 21, 2010)

***

Panathinaikos 0 – Olympiakos 1 (Greek Super League, March 21, 2010) Pana last chance at salvaging their season went down the toilet when Englishman Matt Derbyshire scored the winner in the 67th minute.

PAOK 0 – AEK Athens 1 (Greek Super League, March 21, 2010) An awful mistake from the home keeper allowed Ismael Blanco to bag the winner after 16 minutes.

Levadiakos 2 – Panthrakikos 0 (Greek Super League, March 21, 2010)

Kavala 3 – Larissa 3 (Greek Super League, March 21, 2010)

***

Lokeren 0 – Anderlecht 4 (Jupiler League, March 21, 2010) Anderlecht took a thiurd minute lead through superstar Romelu Lukaku and RSCA doubled their lead when Kouyate’s effort went in in the top corner. Further goals from Juhasz and Marek Boussoufa in the second half wrapped up the points.

KV Mechelen 2 – Zulte-Waregem 1 (Jupiler League, March 21, 2010) An own goal from Steve Colpaert put the hosts ahead on 29 minutes and Maxime Biset doubled the advantage in the 72nd. Zulte’s Kevin Roelandts pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 80th minute but Mechelen held on to their lead for a 2-1 win.

***

Trabzonspor 1 – Galatasaray 0 (Super Lig, March 21, 2010) Gala’s title hopes suffered a blow after the Istanbul powerhouse failed to recover from Gustavo Colman’s early strike.

Ankaragucu 3 – Kayserispor 0 (Super Lig, March 21, 2010) After Geremi put the host in front, Robert Vittek bagged a brace to seal a comfortable home win.

Sivasspor 0 – Genclerbirligi 2 (Super Lig, March 21, 2010) Mustafa Pektemek and Kahe scored in each half as Sivas’s awful season continued.

***

Austria Vienna 1 – RB Salzburg 1 (T-Mobile Bundesliga, March 21, 2010) Austria lloked to recover from losing the Vienna derby last weekend in style when Roland Linz scored a fabulous scissors-kick to put the hosts in front. Linz went from hero to zero eight minutes later when he missed a penalty, and they were punished nine minutes from time when Alexander Zickler earned Salzburg a point.

***

Trelleborg 1 – Kalmar 1 (Allsvenkan, March 21, 2010) Ricardo Santos stabbed Kalmar into a first half lead, but Fredrik Jensen scored midway through the second half to give Trelleborg a point.

Mjallby 3 – GAIS 0 (Allsvenkan, March 21, 2010) Marcus Ekenberg’s hat-trick earned newbees Mjallby their first win of the season, after a fine draw with reigning champs AIK in round one.

***

Hapoel Haifa 1 – Hapoel Tel Aviv 2 (Ligat ha’Al, March 20, 2010) Hapoel Tel Aviv opened after Itai Shechter beat Lipenia on the left and touched the ball back to Gili Vermouth, whose shot deflected off American Bryan Gerzicich and looped into the corner. Eran Zahavi curled in a spectacular free-kick via the underside of the bar for his seventh goal of the season to double the visitors lead. Ben-Basat found the net in the last minute of stoppage time but it prove too little, too late for Haifa.

***

Yamagata 1 – Urawa Red Diamonds 1 (J-League, March 21, 2010) After Edmilson gave Urawa the lead on the half hour, Katsuyuki Miyazawa scored a second-half equaliser to earn Yamagata a point.

Nagoya Grampus Eight 2 – Jubilo Iwata 0 (J-League, March 21, 2010) Igor Burzanovic opened the scoring after just 20 seconds in stunning fashion as the former Red Star Belgrade midfielder lobbed Iwata goalkeeper Naoki Hatta from just inside his own half. Josh Kennedy sealed the win with two minutes remaining following Kanazaki’s fine cross.

***

Boca Juniors 0 – River Plate 0 SUSPENDED (Argentinean Clausura, March 21, 2010) The Superclassico lasted just 10 minutes as the game was washed out by torrential rain and called off by referee Hector Baldassi. Highlights of the few minutes on the pitch here and footage of when the game was called off here.

Godoy Cruz 2 – Banfield 0 (Argentinean Clausura, March 21, 2010) Godoy Cruz went ahead with a header by defender Leonardo Sigali from a corner after 18 minutes and they increased their lead when midfielder David Ramirez unleashed a shot from 35-yards that dipped under the bar in the 74th.

Gimnasia La Plata 0 – Arsenal 2 (Argentinean Clausura, March 21, 2010) Arsenal Sarandi were 2-0 winners over Gimnasia La Plata thanks to strikes in either half from Luciano Leguizamon and Mauro Obol. Gimnasia finished the game with 10 men after Sebastian Romero picked up a second yellow card after 58 minutes.

Independiente 2 – Rosario Central 0 (Argentinean Clausura, March 21, 2010) Left-back Lucas Mareque broke the deadlock when he attacked down the middle, side-stepped a defender and hit a left-foot shot from outside the box into Galindez’s top right corner. Striker Lionel Nunez made the points safe for coach Gallego’s side eight minutes later when he steered a shot under Galindez into the net.

***

Santos 9 – Ituano 1 (Campeonato Paulista, March 21, 2010) Ituano scored just a minute into the match, but then it was all Santos. Striker Andre scored three goals, midfielders Madson and Paulo Henrique Ganso scored two each, and midfielders Maikon Leite and Ze Eduardo added one each.

Sao Paulo 3 – Mogi Mirim 0 (Campeonato Paulista, March 21, 2010) Goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni scoring his 88th career goal with a first-half penalty.

Prudente 2 – Corinthians 0 (Campeonato Paulista, March 21, 2010)

Botafogo 2 – Flamengo 2 (Campeonato Carioca, March 21, 2010) Argentine striker German Herrera opened the scoring for Botafogo with a controversial penalty kick in the 16th minute. Adriano equalised four minutes later from inside the six-yard box after Jefferson deflected a cross in front of the goal and the striker just tapped the ball across the goal line. Herrera added his second goal with a close-range shot in the 55th. Adriano bagged a dramatic equaliser with a header at the far post three minutes into injury time.

Fluminense 2 – Resende 1 (Campeonato Carioca, March 21, 2010) Two first-half goals by striker Andre Lima lead Flu to victory.

***

Club America 2 – Pachuca 2 (Mexican Premiera Division, March 21, 2010) Angel Reyna gave the Eagles the lead in the 28th, but Dario Cvitanich equalised from a penalty kick in the 41st and Edgar Benitez gave Pachuca the lead in the 63rd before Antonio Lopez’ equaliser.

Indios 1 – Queretaro 0 (Mexican Premiera Division, March 21, 2010) The Indians won for the first time in their last 27 matches to retain a slim chance of staying in Mexico’s top flight. Julio Frias scored in the 38th for Ciudad Juarez, which needs to win all of its remaining seven matches to avoid relegation.

Santos 2 – Puebla 1 (Mexican Premiera Division, March 21, 2010) Colombian striker Darwin Quintero in the 38th and Argentine Daniel Luduena in the 44th scored for Santos, which has not lost a match since the third round.

Pumas 2 – Jaguares 0 (Mexican Premiera Division, March 21, 2010) Pumas moved into second place courtesy of goals from Ismael Iniguez and David Lopez in the 53rd and 55th minutes.


GAMBLING CAN BE ADDICTIVE, PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY