|UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE|
Clinical finishes from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari gave AC Milan a two-goal lead overBarcelona, who for all their possession never really threatened Christian Abbiati thanks to a great defensive showing.
Glenn Murray scored his 28th of the season to keep Crystal Palace's promotion bid on track with a 2-1 win over Bristol City. Albert Adomah is yet to taste victory with his side since he came back fromAfrica.BristolCity also lost 2-1 atCardiffCity last week.
Patrick Agyemang’sPortsmouth drew 1-1 with Carlisle United as his goal drought continued.
Exeter City recorded a 2-0 victory over struggling Accrington Stanley on Friday night, with substitute Jimmy Keohane scoring both goals. Kevin Amankwaah played full 90 minutes in front of his home fans at the St James Park inExeter,Devon.
A 35th minute goal from Ryan Brunt continued Bristol Rovers' amazing revival under John Ward with a 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers at the Memorial Stadium. Former Rovers striker Jo Kuffour had two penalty appeals rejected.
Meanwhile, David Addy’s Vitoria Guimaraes beat bottom side Moreirense 1-0 in his 15thgame of the season.
Liga Sagres champions FC Porto recorded a 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened BeiraMar at Estadio Municipal de Aveiroas. A moment of individual brilliance from Christian Atsu broke the deadlock after 33 minutes as the Ghanaian’s long-range drive was too good for Beira Mar goalkeeper Rui Rego as Porto took a 1-0 lead into half-time. Jackson Martinez doubled the lead by scoring his 20th of the season.
Defender Jerry Akaminko’s return from Africa Cup of Nations duty was not a good one for his Turkish side Eskisehirspor. The Black Stars defender’s side lost 3-0 at the Eskişehir Atatürk Stadyumu to Kayserispor. The former Ashgold player replaced Çetin before half time.Emmanuel Osei Banahene continued his impressive goal scoring record in Turkey as he registered double figures. The 24-year-old scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season but those goals were not enough to earn Karşıyaka a win at Torric Jebrin’s 1461 Trabzon. Jebrin’s team-mate Erdogan scored a hat-trick for the home side.
Karimu Alhassan’sAdana Demirspor won 2-0 at Göztepe but the former Accra Hearts of Oak skipper was substituted before half time.
Mario Balotelli scored for the third game in a row since joining AC Milan to ensure the hosts took all the points against Parmaat the San Siro. Bojan replaced Kevin-Prince Boateng in the 65th minute but Sulley Muntari saw full action.
Francesco Totti struck the winner in the 58th minute as Roma edged up to within six points of the top five. Simone Padoin had replaced Kwadwo Asamoah two minutes earlier. The Ghanaian Midfielder was making his first appearance since December 21. Anelka was also sent on by Juve coach Antonio Conte but he could not alter the course of the game.Palermo moved off the foot of Serie A thanks to a 1-1 draw at Chievo. Isaac Cofie was in the Flying Donkeys’ starting eleven. Chievo were unable to find a winner despite creating the better chances.
Alfred Duncan’s Livorno were beaten 2-1 at home by Modena.
Real Madrid eased to a comfortable 2-0 derby victory over Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu in Jose Mourinho's 100th league game in charge.Madridplayed over 70 minutes with 10 men following Sergio Ramos' sending off.
Michael Essien, who lasted the entire duration of the game, almost scored with a dip curling effort from the edge of the box which Rayo goalkeeper Ruben Martinez did well to tip over. In Spain’s Segunda Division, goalkeeper Razak Brimah was sent off in Guadalajara’s 2-2 draw against UD Almería. Meanwhile, Thomas Teye Partey’s Atletico Madrid II won 2-1 at Real Avilés
Over in Ligue 1 this weekend, Samuel Inkoom was on the bench for his new French side SC Bastia which lost 1-0 at the Stade Armand Césari. The right-back whose side lost to Olympique Nice is on loan from Ukrainian side FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
Olympique Marseille kept their Ligue 1 title hopes alive with a last-gasp 1-0 win over Valenciennesat the Stade Velodrome on Saturday. Ande Ayew was in Marseille’s starting 11 as usual but his brother Jordan Ayew missed the game through suspension as he managed to pick up two yellow cards in the space of 111 seconds against Evian Thonon Gaillard after coming on as a second-half substitute a minute earlier.
Ishmael Yartey’s Sochaux stunned Paris Saint-Germain with an unlikely 3-2 home victory to throw open the Ligue 1 title race on Sunday.
A penalty from Jeremie Aliadiere and a Kevin Monnet-Paquet goal were enough to secure all three points for Mohammed Abu’sLorient against Evian. The victory keeps the hosts on the fringes of European qualification in Ligue 1.The Ghanaian came on in the second half of the match.
Martin Harnik earned Vfb Stuttgart their first points of 2013, their first win since December 8, as his goal was enough to end a five-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at Afriyie Acquah’s TSG Hoffenheim. Acquah did not even make the bench for his team.
Axel Bellinghausen's early goal was enough for Fortuna Dusseldorf 1895 to defeat 10-man SpVgg Greuther Fürth at home. Referee Tobias Welz sent off Furth midfielder Jozsef Varga following his second yellow card in the battle of promoted teams. Schalke 04 target Abdul Rahman lasted the entire duration for the Bundesliga’s bottom side.
Nigerian striker Imoh Ezekiel scored the only goal of the game as Standard Liege gave their Belgian Pro League play-off hopes a boost with a win at bottom side Cercle Brugge. Francis Dickoh partnered Mertens in defence but the pair could not prevent the Nigerian striker from netting his 13th of the season. Daniel Opare did not play for the Liege side.
Mechelen kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened SK Lierse. Abdul Yakinu-Iddi failed to find the back of the net and was thus substituted in the 58th minute of the game. An early Mads Junker goal was followed by a second half strike from Steven de Petter to seal the win. Richard Ofori saw full action for the league strugglers.
Lokeren and Club Brugge shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Victor Vazquez's eighth minute strike handed Brugge the lead before Milos Maric equalised for Lokeren after 19 minutes. Enoch Adu Kofi played the last two minutes of the game for Club Brugge.
Bernard Kumordzi’s RacingGenk continued their rise up the Belgian Pro League after a 2-0 win overKortrijk. Jeroen Simaeys and Dutch striker Glynor Plet scored the goals. However, the Ghanaian midfielder was an unused substitute. The win wasGenk's third successive win as they moved to third, still 14 points behind runaway leadersAnderlecht, who have played a game less.Abraham Kudemorplayed 66 minutes for Sporting Chaleroi who lost 2-0 to Anderlecht at the Stade Constant Vanden Stock. Dieumerci Mbokani gave the hosts the lead after 13 minutes after being set up by Dennis Praet, the Congolese striker netting his 17th goal of the campaign.
PSV consolidated their place on top of the Eredivisie table with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Nana Akwasi Asare’s FC Utrecht at Philips Stadion.
Elsewhere, Twente missed the chance to move to outright second after being held to a shock 1-1 draw by bottom club Willem II. Edwin Gyasi did not play for the side from Enschede.
In the other game, NAC Breda and Heracles also couldn’t be separated as they drew 1-1. Kwame Quansah’s lasted the entire duration of the game.
Fred Benson’s PEC Zwolle denied Feyenoord a draw as Denni Avdic scored a 75th-minute winner to help his side escape the drop zone.