Nicklas Bendtner struck a hat-trick as Arsenal outclassed Porto to overturn a first-leg deficit with ease and clinch a place in the last eight of the Champions League. Bendtner – heavily criticised after a succession of misses in Saturday’s win against Burnley – was a relieved man after a clinical display after Arsene Wenger decided to stick with the Dane for the crucial encounter.
Bayern Munich reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on away goals despite losing 3-2 at Fiorentina – their first defeat in 19 games.
Liverpool’s hopes of finishing 4th, and an automatic entry into next year’s Champions League, suffered a major blow after a disastrous display which lead to a 0-1 defeat at Wigan. Rafa Benitez claimed “It was a fair result”.
Everton thrashed Hull in the only Premier League game on Sunday. A brace from Arteta, a Garcia own goal and a couple of late strikes from Donovan and Rodwell did the trick for them.
Chelsea stormed into the Semis of the FA Cup with a comfortable win over Stoke. Terry first set up Lampard and then scored himself to give Chelsea the win and end a tough week on a high.
Aston Villa looked certain to be embarrased by Reading as the home side went 2-0 up at the break thanks to a brace from Shane Long. But a spirited second half performance, which saw them score 3 goals in 10 minutes from Ashley Young and Carew, ended up easily beating the hosts with Carew finishing with a hat-trick.
Paul Scholes was the Saviour for Manchester United as the Red Devils edged past a determined Wolves thanks to a 100th League goal for the veteran Englishman. Although United have moved to the top of the league temporarily, it was no where near a satisfying performance from the reigning champions.
Arsenal also kept pace with the leaders, winning 3-1 against 2nd from bottom Burnley, but made hard work of the win. And injury to influential captain Francesc Fabregas will not help their cause either.
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres scored as Liverpool won a bad-tempered contest against Blackburn to move to within one point of fourth spot. Gerrard gave the hosts the lead after 20mins only for Keith Andrews to equalize from the spot after further 20mins. Then 4mins later at the stroke of half-time, Torres marked his return to first team action with a fine winner.
Meanwhile in Scotland, Rangers moved a step closer to securing a second successive Scottish Premier League title with victory over 10-man Celtic in a pulsating Old Firm derby. Rangers, who now move 10 points ahead with a game in hand, will believe the victory all but secures their second successive title.
Arsenal came from behind to beat Stoke in a match marred by an horrific injury to Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey.
Arsenal left it really late to keep their title hopes alive but the talking point surely has to be the horrific injury to Aaron Ramsey inflicted by Ryan Shawcross, who hours later was selected by England Boss Fabio Capello for the side to face Egypt in a friendly on Wednesday
Pugh gave Stoke an early lead from a typical Delap throw-in but his effort was soon cancelled out by a brilliant header from Bendtner.
Fabregas then scored his 13th goal of the season from the spot in the 91st minute and then Vermaelen put the game to bed with an easy goal at 94 minutes.
Wayne Rooney scored another brace for Manchester United and both of them were headers – his latest style of scoring goals. For a man who had just 4 headed goals to his name has already scored around 7 this term. Another dimension to this remarkable footballer’s game.
Meanwhile in the Champions League, Barcelona earned a hard-fought draw against Stuttgart thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike from close range and Bordeaux got a crucial away win at Olympiacos.
In the early kick-off today, Manchester United traveled to Goodison Park aiming to get a win and put pressure on Chelsea but miserably failed to do so. After Berbatov opened the scoring for the visitors in the 16th minute, it was all Everton. After Bilyaletdinov’s equaliser 3 minutes later, 2 second half super subs (Gosling and Rodwell) did the trick for the home team.
Meanwhile in London, Bendtner’s early goal and a stoppage time penalty from skipper Fabregas was enough to give the gunners a 2-0 home win over Sunderland.
At Wolves, although the home team looked threatening to score first, it was Drogba who eventually scored in the 40th minute and then got his 2nd in the 67th minute to put the game to bed.
Strikes from Behrami, Cole and and injury-time penalty from Faubert ensured West Ham got a much needed win over Hull.
2 more pre-quarter fixtures were played in the Champions League last night which saw Porto being gifted a win by Arsenal while Klose grabbing a last grasp (and controversial) winner against Fiorentina for Bayern Munich.