VIDEO: Poor Pompey take a beating from Arsenal; Five-star Manchester United batter Wigan; Rangers hit seven; Al Ittihad draw 2-all with Juve

Portsmouth 1 – Arsenal 4 (Premier League, December 30, 2009) Portsmouth fell behind against a resurgent Arsenal side in the 26th minute when Eduardo da Silva saw his free-kick take a wicked deflection off Kaboul, although questions will be asked of Hreidarsson who did nothing to stop the ball pass him on the Pompey line. The Gunners doubled their lead in the 42nd minute when a typical Arsenal attack saw Eduardo fed Ramsey who in turn found Samir Nasri who scored. (First half highlights here.) Midway through the second half Aaron Ramsey stole all the headlines with a stunning solo goal, the young Welshman winning a tackle in the Portsmouth half, beating a defender with ease and smashing a left footed beauty past Begovic. Going 3-down sparked Pompey into life, and the hosts pulled a goal back through Nadir Belhadj. The fightback was soon tamed by a classic pass-pass-pass attack from Arsenal that wore down the home defence into allowing Nasri’s cross to be easily headed home by Alexandre Song.

Avram Grant and Arsene Wenger’s post match interviews can be seen here.

Manchester United 5 – Wigan 0 (Premier League, December 30, 2009) Having scored five in his last five matches against Wigan, Wayne Rooney continued his irresistible form at present applying a deft finish to Rafael’s right wing cross to put United ahead after 28 minutes. After breaking the deadlock United quickly doubled their advantage when a second attack down the hosts right, this time lead by Antonio Valencia, was comfortably tucked home on the cutback by Michael Carrick. Wigan were dead and buried at the break as young Brazilian fullback Rafael da Silva netted his first of the season spinning in the Latics boss and finding the bottom corner. (First half highlights here.) The match started to become a question of how many five minutes after the break as Valencia again broke down the right and his cross was nonchalantly stabbed home by Dimitar Berbatov. With fifteen minutes to go Antonio Valencia got his goal against his former employers, producing a delightful lifted finish from Rooney’s incisive through-ball. (Second half highlights here.)

Sir Alex Ferguson’s post match comments can be seen here.

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Rangers 7 – Dundee United 1 (SPL, December 30, 2009) Kris Boyd scored a nine minute hat-trick to give Rangers a halftime lead at the break. (First half highlights here.) Damian Casalinuovo pulled one back only for Steven Whittaker to finish well and Boyd add two more to take his tally for five in the match and surpass Henrik Larsson as the all time top goal scorer in the SPL. Madjid Bougherra put the icing on the cake with the seventh after a run from his own half. (Second half highlights here.) Rangers move seven points clear of Celtic.

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Anderlecht 2 – Zulte-Waregem 1 (Jupiler League, December 30, 2009) Belgian league leaders Anderlecht took a 32nd minute lead over Zulte-Waregem when Lukaku fed Tom de Sutter to score his second goal in as many games. Tom de Sutter put the hosts 2-up just before the break, but Waregem pulled themselves back in the match 10 minutes after the interval through Franck Berrier.

Kortrijk 1 – Club Brugge 4 (Jupiler League, December 30, 2009) Nabil Dirar and Ivan Perisic put the visitors in control and Rostand Kouemaha and Karel Geraerts polished off the victory in the second half.

Lokeren 2 – Germinal Beerschot 0 (Jupiler League, December 30, 2009)

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Al Ittihad 2 – Juventus 2 (Friendly, December 30, 2009) Saud Kariri gave Al Ittihad the perfect start in their exhibition match with Juventus as by beating Alex Manninger with a 25-yarder after controlled build-up play from the hosts. The lead was only temporary as the Atomic Ant, Sebastian Giovinco, saw a tame shot slipped through the home goalie’s grasp to level for the Bianconeri. The Old Lady the took the lead just after the half hour when Christian Poulsen hurled himself at a free-kick to head in the Italians’ second. An entertaining first half ended with the Saudi’s drawing level once again, Hadji Aissa, “Arabian Roberto Baggio,” tucking home a second in injury time after a backheel bamboozled the Juve defence.

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China 2 – Jordan 2 (International Friendly, December 30, 2009) After the hosts took a 2-goal lead at the start of the second half, Jordan fought back with an excellent double from centre-forward Mahmoud Shelbaieh with his first, a chip on the turn, the pick of his goals.

Iran 1 – Mali 2 (International Friendly, December 30, 2009) Karim Ansarifard fired Iran ahead with a tidy 11th minute lob, but goals from Tenema Ndiaye and Dramane Traore turned the match in Mali’s favour.

Qatar 0 – North Korea 1 (International Friendly, December 30, 2009)


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