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Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 19:39 UK

Premier League as it happened

Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal Match report
Fulham 2-1 Bolton Match report
Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd Match report
Man City 1-3 Chelsea Match report
Newcastle 1-2 Hull Match report
Portsmouth 2-1 Middlesbrough Match report
West Brom 3-2 West Ham Match report
Wigan 1-1 Sunderland Match report


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

1939: What a day. An absolute belter from start to finish, which means it would be absolutely criminal to miss Match of the Day at 2250 BST tonight on BBC1 or tomorrow at 0735 BST (and simulcast for UK users on the BBC website). I can't think of a better man than Alan Green to field the calls from angry Newcastle fans on BBC 5 Live's 606 right now. You come back tomorrow won't you? It's only Stoke v Everton! Massive!

1933: I do apologise. Big Phil I meant. Big Phil. I've had a shocker there.

1928: Arsenal's hat-trick hero Emmanuel Adebayor misses out on Player of the Day to Marlon King, whose double against sorry Newcastle ensures Hull stay in the Champions League places. Football eh? Today's dunce, according to users of Player Rater, comes from the same game: Magpies striker Shola Ameobi on a frankly pitiful 3.35.
Pick a match, rate the players

1924: A very good day at the office for Big Phil's side, for whom Deco was outstanding again. Back down to earth for Manchester City, who were on cloud nine after big-money buy Robinho put them ahead.

1923: FULL-TIME Man City 1-3 Chelsea

1921: Deco's beautifully-timed pass plays in Didier Drogba but Pablo Zabaleta times his challenge to perfection in the penalty box. Moments later Daniel Sturridge sees hit shot deflected wide at the other end. Into three minutes' added time.

1918: Two minutes remaining at Eastlands and 10-man Chelsea are now happy to run down the clock.

1916: Daniel Sturridge replaces Michael Ball as Mark Hughes peps up his attack. Robinho looks like he'll play the full 90 on his debut.

1915: "It shouldn't have been a red. But what was Terry doing? Diving at Jo, wrapping his arms around him and then rugby tackling him."
ManUnited2008 on 606
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1912: As Michael Ball wastes a good chance for City by shooting straight at Petr Cech, Derby's dismal winless league run ends after 362 days as they beat Sheffield United 2-1. Relief for manager Paul Jewell.

1909: Terry and his team-mates protested long and hard about that decision by Halsey. It was a blatant foul by Terry - but not sure it was worthy of a red. He will now miss next week's big game against Manchester United. Alex comes on to fill the hole in defence, with Nicolas Anelka making way. The Brazilian is likely to partner Ricardo Carvalho against United.

1906: RED CARD Chelsea
Well, that's livened it up. Jo is cynically brought down by Chelsea skipper John Terry as he looks to break and even though there are other defenders around, Mark Halsey gives Terry a straight red.

1904: It's all gone a bit quiet at Eastlands. The euphoria of Robinho's opening goal seems a long time ago now. Reality is now sinking in.

1902: In the aftermath of his side's third goal, Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari makes a double change: Juliano Belletti and Didier Drogba on, Joe Cole and Florent Malouda off.

1859: GOAL Man City 1-3 Chelsea
Deco again starts the move, finding Florent Malouda, who passes to Joe Cole, who slides the ball through for Nicolas Anelka to finish another stunning move from Chelsea.

1856: Another fabulous move from Chelsea, orchestrated by the brilliant Deco. Nicolas Anelka tees up Frank Lampard, whose shot is well-struck but too close to keeper Joe Hart.

1854: Shaun Wright-Phillips goes on another slaloming run. The ex-Chelsea winger has been City's best performer by a mile. He lays the ball off to Stephen Ireland but the midfielder delays too long and his shot is blocked by Ricardo Carvalho.

1851: Mark Hughes makes his first change as Gelson Fernandes replaces Didi Hamman, who has looked all of his 35 years in City's midfield today.

1850: Nicolas Anelka falls under the challenge from Micah Richards but the ref reckons it was 50-50. Looked more like 40-60 if you ask me. Meanwhile, interesting news from the Champ as win-starved Derby take the lead against Sheffield United.

1846: "City need two midfielders and two full-backs if they want to give teams like Chelsea a close game. The visitors have had so much time on the ball to do whatever they want."
BBC 5 Live analyst Chris Waddle

1842: GOAL Man City 1-2 Chelsea
Jose Bosingwa cuts out Shaun Wright-Phillips's cross and Chelsea break in dazzling style. The ball moves quickly to Joe Cole and on to Frank Lampard, who collects Florent Malouda's return pass, beats Richard Dunne and applies the finish into the corner. A lovely, lovely goal.

1840: Joe Cole's shot takes a massive deflection and ends up being a lovely pass for Frank Lampard, who turns and shoots narrowly over the bar.

1837: Robinho performs about 50 stepovers in the centre circle and gives the ball straight to a Chelsea player. Think he made himself dizzy - or maybe he forgot who he signed for again.

1836: Shaun Wright-Phillips gallops down the right wing and slips the ball inside for Robinho but the Brazilian's control lets him down and Chelsea win the ball back again.

1835: Away we go then.

1834: Robinho is out for the second half, so that shirt-swapping wasn't an indication he was about to be subbed.

1831: "My future is here at Blackburn - I've only been here five minutes. All I'm focusing on Blackburn, we've got a lot of work to do here and it's a long-term project. That's what I'm looking at, and only that."
Blackburn boss Paul Ince on rumours linking him to Newcastle

1828: Here's the provisional running order for Match of the Day coming up at 2250 BST on BBC1: Liverpool v Man Utd, Newcastle v Hull, Man City v Chelsea, West Brom v West Ham, Blackburn v Arsenal, Portsmouth v Middlesbrough, Fulham v Bolton, Wigan v Sunderland. Subject to change.

1827: "Mark Halsey isn't the best ref I have seen. We look good and think we can win this!"
Si, a City fan queuing up for a drink, via text on 81111

1825: "I didn't know what was going to come out of their changing room but I was pleased with what I saw."
Hull boss Phil Brown after the 2-1 win over Newcastle

1823: "The City midfield and defence are sitting too far back when Chelsea attack and giving them easy passes... they are slicing through this defence far too easily... Malouda should have scored two and Anelka as well."
BrainlessPathan on 606
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1819: HALF-TIME Man City 1-1 Chelsea
As the players come off, Robinho swaps shirts with Deco. Strange scenes. Have they decided not to bother with the second-half?

1818: Oh my word. Ashley Cole picks up the ball on the left, about 30 yards out. The full-back looks for options, and decides on an absolute screamer - just over the bar.

1817: Shaun Wright-Phillips takes on his former Chelsea team-mates on the right wing. Three tackles come in before he eventually wins the free-kick - and Jon Obi Mikel is booked. Chelsea survive the set-piece.

1814: Chelsea might be wondering how they're not ahead. Pablo Zabaleta clears straight to Nicolas Anelka in the box but the Frenchman's shot is collected at the second attempt by City keeper Joe Hart. Three minutes of the first half remaining.

1813: City fail to clear the ball very far from the corner and Nicolas Anelka fires in a dangerous cross from the right - headed wide by Florent Malouda. A more difficult chance that the previous one - but should have got it on target.

1811: "City's back four have been very lackadaisical. The whole team seems to lack work-rate. It's very easy for Chelsea to keep possession."
BBC 5 Live analyst Chris Waddle

1809: Chelsea's harrying in midfield forces City to pass the ball about in defence - which is not in the spirit of the Premier League is it?!

1805: Nice move from City. Jo is released into the box and he tries to cleverly side-foot in but the shot is deflected over. Unlucky.

1804: City boss Mark Hughes doesn't look all that pleased with the way this is going. His side look promising going forward, but shambolic at the back.

1802: "Hint to Man City owners and management, you need to buy a defence now."
memnoch666 on 606
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1759: Joe Cole has hours to weigh up his cross from the right and Florent Malouda easily beats the offside trap - but puts his header onto the bar. Terrible defending, terrible miss.

1755: Jo flicks the ball on for City team-mate Stephen Ireland but the midfielder blasts over the bar.

1751: Frank Lampard escapes down the left-hand channel but keeper Joe Hart is out to smother the cross. Moments later, Robinho's delightful flick at the other end appears to hit John Terry's hand. Big shout for a free-kick from the home fans, but referee Mark Halsey is unmoved.

1748: GOAL Man City 1-1 Chelsea
Poor defending from City. Richard Dunne's last-ditch clearance gives Chelsea a corner and from it, John Terry's header comes off Joe Cole, allowing Ricardo Carvalho to lash home. As you were.

1744: GOAL Man City 1-0 Chelsea
Ricardo Carvalho is penalised for a tackle on Jo 22 yards out. Up steps who else but Robinho, taking advantage of a shambolic Chelsea wall to stroke the free-kick into the right-hand corner. The ecstatic Brazilian celebrates by sucking his thumb. Meanwhile, Blues skipper John Terry and keeper Petr Cech argue about who was to blame. Bit late now fellas.

1740: City full-back Pablo Zabaleta is released in space on the right and his cross seems to come off Ashley Cole's arm but it's only a corner - cleared.

1737: Robinho wins the ball in midfield and darts towards the penalty area. A couple of stepovers later, he lays the ball off to Shaun Wright-Phillips, whose shot is weak.

1735: "Robinho in a Man City shirt is weird!!!!!!!"
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1734: A BBC colleague - and several texters - point out that Portugal v Brazil along with any number of Portuguese league games would probably have more Portuguese-speakers than this game (see 1726). Not for the first time, I feel like an idiot.

1731: Robinho gets his first touch as City get the game under way. Oooh, look there's ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant sitting behind City's soon-to-be honorary chairman Thaksin Shinawatra in the stands. What's that about?

1729: "Hoping City get the win, but I'm not sure they're quite there yet. I'll be interested to see how SWP and Robinho fare against their old/intended club."
Gunner-Daniel on 606
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1728: Here comes the teams at Middle Eastlands, Robinho showing his sense of drama by delaying his entrance and jogging out last. Joe Cole is wearing a large white bandage on that head wound he picked up while playing for England.

1726: "Courtesy of Jack Pitt-Brooke, I think today's clash between Chelsea and Man City will have the most amount of players whose first language is Portuguese - three from each team. Could you find another match, in the absence of Danny the Stat, which had more?"
Vitaly in Winchester, via text on 81111
No. I couldn't.

1723: Plenty of Robinho shirts on display among the home fans at Eastlands, along with some lovely Arab outfits.

1721: "Terrible result for Newcastle. They are going to be in a relegation battle again unless they get it sorted. Ashley and Wise - what cowards! How can anyone defend them for not being there today? Danny Guthrie's actions at the end were disgraceful though. No excuse for that type of thing. The Geordie fans simply don't deserve this!"
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1714: There are rumours in Newcastle that Mike Ashley will again try to tempt Kevin Keegan to return - or that a big interview is planned for tomorrow, possibly with Paul Ince. There is no sign of any further protests outside the ground.

1712: "Newcastle defender Steven Taylor looked almost tearful as he left the St James' Park pitch. But neither he nor the caretaker manager Chris Hughton can have any complaints about the value of Hull's win. There were no angry scenes after the whistle - it was almost resignation."
BBC 5 Live football correspondent Jonathan Legard at St James' Park

1706: West Brom are off the mark in the Premier League with a first win of the season over West Ham and that takes them out of the bottom three. Tottenham are bottom, behind Stoke and Everton. Does that make tomorrow's encounter between the Potters and the Toffees a relegation six-pointer? As someone on 606 pointed out earlier, Newcastle fans can cheer themselves up with the thought that they are level on points with champions Manchester United. Liverpool are top, at least until the end of this late game.

1706: "Deserved win for the Baggies. Gianfranco Zola must hope Steve Clarke can sort out West Ham's creaky defence."
BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at the Hawthorns

1702: What a breathless day of Premier League football so far. I'm so pleased this late game is a fairly meaningless affair... oh, hang on... what is football trying to do to me?

1659: TEAM NEWS Man City v Chelsea
British record signing Robinho makes his Manchester City debut alongside Shaun Wright-Phillips - lining up against his former club. Joe Cole is fit to start for Chelsea despite the head injury he suffered while playing for England against Croatia.

1657: Boos all round at Newcastle (except from a delighted visiting support) but neither Mike Ashley nor Dennis Wise are there to hear them.

1655: FULL-TIME Newcastle 1-2 Hull

1655: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 2-1 Middlesbrough

1654: FULL-TIME Fulham 2-1 Bolton

1653: RED CARD Newcastle
Danny Guthrie gets a straight red for kicking out at Craig Fagan. Frustration talking there.

1653: FULL-TIME West Brom 3-2 West Ham

1652: FULL-TIME Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal

1651: FULL-TIME Wigan 1-1 Sunderland

1651: GOAL Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal
Aaron Ramsay provides the pass for Emmanuel Adebayor to make a mockery of the offside trap. Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson gets a hand to the ball but Adebayor is onto the rebound and slots home for his hat-trick.

1647: GOAL Portsmouth 2-1 Middlesbrough
Glen Johnson lifts the ball into the area and Jermain Defoe is quickest to react, stabbing home past Boro keeper Ross Turnbull. Gareth Southgate picked up the Manager of the Month award before this match... is the curse going to strike again?

1646: Perhaps I did Emmanuel Eboue a slight disservice. I'm convinced it was a dive for that penalty - but maybe the hobbling afterwards was genuine as he is stretchered off.

1643: RED CARD Wigan
Lee Cattermole gets his second yellow for a foul on Teemu Tainio as Wigan go down to 10 men.

1642: GOAL Fulham 2-1 Bolton
Kevin Davies heads down a long free-kick from Jussi Jaaskelainen and the ball beats Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer, as Heidar Helguson applies the pressure.

1641: GOAL West Brom 3-2 West Ham
West Brom break and the ball ends up with Chris Brunt, who turns in a flash and fires into the bottom corner. Cue delirium at the Hawthorns.

1640: GOAL Newcastle 1-2 Hull
Xisco scores a goal on his debut, the Spaniard netting the rebound after the shot comes back off the post.

1638: GOAL Blackburn 0-3 Arsenal
Emmanuel Eboue hurdles the challenge from Stephen Warnock - but goes down quicker than Amir Khan anyway. A dive. Eboue makes it worse by hobbling about dramatically after a spell of treatment. Emmanuel Adebayor tucks away the penalty.


1635: GOAL Wigan 1-1 Sunderland
Luis Valencia crosses from the left and it goes through a lot of players before Amr Zaki applies the finishing touch. Not sure Roy Keane will be too happy with that defending. Still, that's Zaki's fifth goal since arriving at the JJB - and to think we laughed when Steve Bruce said he was the best striker in the world.

1632: Fulham - who have been sizzling today - hit the bar through Zoltan Gera's header from a clever Simon Davies cross. Roy Hodgson's side are heading for the seventh win in eight meetings with Bolton.

1628: Michael Turner thinks he's scored Hull's third against Newcastle after heading in a corner - but the ref reckons keeper Shay Given was obstructed.

1626: Sebastien Bassong gets some final instructions from stand-in Newcastle boss Chris Hughton before replacing a hobbling David Edgar.

1623: England wonder boy Theo Walcott comes off for Arsenal - and gets a nice round of applause from the Blackburn fans for his midweek heroics. Alex Song is on.

1622: "Speechless... lose to Hull and there are only two ways out for Ashley... sell up or reinstate Keegan."
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1619: GOAL Portsmouth 1-1 Middlesbrough
Peter Crouch slips the ball through for strike partner Jermain Defoe to beat keeper Ross Turnbull at his near post. Turnbull might have done better.

1618: The Hull fans are rubbing it in now with a chant of "Are you Grimsby in disguise?" at the Newcastle support.

1617: Newcastle go close. Danny Guthrie's cross-shot has Hull keeper Boaz Myhill scrambling but he does well in the end to tip it onto the woodwork.

1615: Arsenal pressing for a third at Ewood Park. Kolo Toure shoots straight at Paul Robinson from a corner before the Blackburn keeper does well to tip over Emmanuel Eboue's shot.

1612: GOAL Newcastle 0-2 Hull
Just as well most of the Newcastle fans are more focused on their protests than the game itself. Hull clear a Newcastle corner and the ball eventually comes to Marlon King, who checks inside Charles N'Zogbia and arrows a shot into the far corner.

1610: "Burgled by the Boro. It's all one way traffic at Fratton Park, but someone forgot to give Southgate the script. Maybe Harry's 3-5-2 isn't such a smart idea? Play up Pompey."
Andy at Fratton Park, via text on 81111

1608: As the second half gets under way at St James', a group of four Newcastle fans carry a large banner around the ground reading: 'Cockney Mafia Out'. They are applauded all the way by both sets of fans, before a steward stops them by the directors' box - where only managing director Derek Llambias is sitting. He looks bemused.

1606: Portsmouth bring on Nadir Belhadj for his debut along with John Utaka, Papa Bouba Diop and Younes Kaboul make way. We're back and running around the grounds.

1603: "2-0 up and cruising, United lose, good beer and it's absolutely roasting in Blackburn... how can this day get any better?... hopefully I'll meet the girl of my dreams tonight!"
Jordan, a Gunner, at Blackburn v Arsenal, via text on 81111

1601: "Re 1548: Arsenal's second goal was made to look simple, but I'm sure it was tricky to keep possession for the 50 odd passes before the goal was scored."
Alan, south London, via text on 81111

1558: "When we have a bad day we usually still get something from the game. Overall, they were the better team. Liverpool produced a performance of tackling, hassling and getting about us. The source of our defeat was not coping with the hassling and the tackling."
Sir Alex Ferguson on Man Utd's defeat by Liverpool

1556: "Apart from conceding twice and constantly giving the ball away, we're doing quite well!"
Jack at Craven Cottage, via text on 81111

1552: "It's carefree park football at the Hawthorns... scrappy goals, dodgy defending, flying tackles, iffy decisions. Destined for more drama."
BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at the Hawthorns

1549: Half-time everywhere and good to see every match joining the goal party.

1548: GOAL Blackburn 0-2 Arsenal
Denilson swings over the cross from the left for Emmanuel Adebayor to head in at the far post on the stroke of half-time. Simple really.

1541: GOAL Fulham 2-0 Bolton
Fulham have been "irresistible" according to my colleague watching this game. Lovely skill from Bobby Zamora, cutting in from the left and shooting low into the far corner for his first Fulham goal.

1541: Jason Roberts puts a dangerous ball across goal but Blackburn debutant Keith Andrews can't get the final touch.

1540: And breathe.

1536: GOAL West Brom 2-2 West Ham
Roman Bednar levels almost immediately for West Brom from the penalty spot after keeper Robert Green brought down Leon Barnett.


1534: GOAL Newcastle 0-1 Hull
Peter Halmosi is sent flying by Nicky Butt - unnecessarily wild challenge. Marlon King squeezes the spot-kick home, despite Shay Given's best effort.

1534: GOAL West Brom 1-2 West Ham
Lucas Neill puts West Ham ahead with a close-range volley after Matthew Upson heads back across goal from a corner.


1531: A familiar slick passing move ends with Denilson setting up Robin van Persie but the striker wastefully shoots wide. Hull keeper Boaz Myhill pulls off a great save to deny Michael Owen after Geremi's free-kick.

1527: GOAL West Brom 1-1 West Ham
Calum Davenport crosses from the left and though Scott Carson saves David di Michele's header - Mark Noble taps in the rebound.

1525: GOAL Portsmouth 0-1 Middlesbrough
Mido heads the ball on for Afonso Alves, who returns the ball for his Egyptian team-mate to hold off Younes Kaboul and stab home. Good celebration too. Mido runs over and heads the corner flag.

1524: West Ham striker Dean Ashton is forced off after a knock to the head and new signing David di Michele comes on. It is a blow for the Hammers, who are being outplayed by West Brom and lucky not to be more than a single goal behind.

1523: "Bramble, deary me!!! Has he eclipsed Frank Sinclair yet?"
quiteManners on 606
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1521: No wonder the ref took a dislike to Hull's kit. They were planning to wear an all-charcoal grey strip - but that would have clashed horribly with Newcastle's black shorts and striped shirts. As it is, Hull are wearing Newcastle's white shorts - and it's still tricky to tell them apart.

1518: "The only thing traditional about West Ham at the moment is their sponsor-less kit. Albion are pouncing on some shoddy defending. Keen out!"
BBC Sport's Frank Keogh at the Hawthorns

1515: GOAL Fulham 1-0 Bolton
Bolton only half clear a cross and Zoltan Gera is on hand to sweep the ball home on the half-volley from the edge of the area.

1515: GOAL Wigan 0-1 Sunderland
Steed Malbranque crosses from the left and Titus Bramble heads in magnificently at the near post for an own goal. Oh dear, Titus, oh dear.

1513: Bah, rubbish finishing Theo! Arsenal break quickly and are three against two but Walcott sidefoots his shot wide when he might have passed to Emmanuel Eboue.

1512: Gooa... No, disallowed. Bobby Zamora's effort for Fulham is chalked off for his foul on Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Roque Santa Cruz misses an easy chance for Blackburn against Arsenal.

1509: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Arsenal
Theo Walcott goes on a mazy dribble, cutting in from the left before sliding the ball to Robin van Persie who finishes coolly into the far corner. That's his eighth goal in seven games against Blackburn.

1506: The Newcastle fans, who were protesting outside Shearer's Bar, are now beginning to head into the ground.

1504: Up and running everywhere now. Still no sign of Mike Ashley at St James - or Dennis Wise for that matter. I'm sure I read that Wise was planning to watch Charlton v Wolves this afternoon though.

1501: GOAL West Brom 1-0 West Ham
That's what it was. They just wanted to start the scoring already. Borja Valero crosses from the right and James Morrison gets ahead of Matt Upson to head in at the near post.

1459: They must have something pressing on later at the Hawthorns because they're off already, before the clock even hits 3pm.

1458: All eyes on the directors' box at St James' - still no sign of the big man. Mike Ashley that is.

1457: "We showed character. The work-rate was good and little by little we played better. The team was better than them."
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez

1456: St James' Park is half-empty as kick-off time approaches. Newcastle's opponents Hull will apparently wear borrowed kit today because the ref didn't like the look of their all-grey away kit. I say again: strange times.

1455: TEAM NEWS West Brom v West Ham
West Brom give a debut to central defender Jonas Olsson, who replaces the injured Abdoulaye Meite, while Carl Hoefkens and Roman Bednar come in for full-back Gianni Zuiverloon and striker Ishmael Miller. West Ham hand a debut to on-loan defender Herita Illunga, with new manager Gianfranco Zola expected to take a watching brief from the stands.

1454: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Middlesbrough
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp sticks with the new 3-5-2 line-up that earned his side victory at Everton two weeks ago, but Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate rings the changes - injured duo Mohamed Shawky and Tuncay omitted and David Wheater left on the bench, with Didier Digard, Mido and Chris Riggott drafted into the starting XI.

1452: Ryan Babel's winning goal for Liverpool earns him your top marks in Player Rater. The Dutch winger is on 7.88, nudging ahead of inspirational midfielder Javier Mascherano.
Liverpool v Man Utd Player Rater

1451: "Who dares question Rafa the Gaffer? We controlled midfield and finally got a league victory against United under Benitez."
Simon P, Cardiff, via text on 81111

1449: "Man Utd without Ronaldo is like a car without wheels it just doesn't work."
Adam, Darlington, via text on 81111

1447: TEAM NEWS Newcastle v Hull
Troubled Newcastle are without injured trio Habib Beye, Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique but new signing Xisco makes his debut for the club. Hull, thrashed 5-0 by Wigan last time out, are again without the influential George Boateng but Anthony Gardner returns, while new signings Paul McShane and Marlon King start as part of five changes from the team defeated by the Latics.

1446: "I think Benitez won over Fergie today tactically. Usually I really hate watching Liverpool play but you have to say they did well this match."
michaeltherover on 606
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1445: TEAM NEWS Blackburn v Arsenal
Two changes to the Blackburn side that were mauled 4-1 by West Ham last time out, Danny Simpson and Keith Andrews replacing injured pair Andre Ooijer and Vince Grella. Arsene Wenger makes just the one change to the Arsenal team that beat Newcastle a fortnight ago, bringing in England hero Theo Walcott at the expense of Samir Nasri, who has a knee problem.

1442: Rafa Benitez celebrates his first league win over Manchester United since 2004 - and it was a deserved one too. The equaliser was more than fortunate but from then on, Liverpool took control. Dimitar Berbatov summed up United. Bright start, but faded dramatically.

1442: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Bolton
Andrew Johnson starts for Fulham for the first time since his summer switch from Everton and he partners Bobby Zamora up front in a new-look front line for the Cottagers. Bolton remain unchanged from the side that drew 0-0 with West Brom last time out.

1441: TEAM NEWS Wigan v Sunderland
Wigan are unchanged from the team which beat Hull 5-0 but Sunderland manager Roy Keane has made changes at the back where Anton Ferdinand comes in for his debut as Danny Collins is dropped to the bench.

1440: FULL-TIME Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd

1439: Desperate times for United as Edwin van der Sar comes up for a corner, before Wayne Rooney shoots narrowly wide.

1438: Ryan Babel causes havoc down the left and cuts the ball back for Dirk Kuyt - who shoots straight at Edwin van der Sar - before Robbie Keane trips over the ball in comedy fashion. Couple of minutes of injury time left.

1437: Robbie Keane sticks out a leg as the free-kick comes over but shoots wide.

1435: RED CARD Man Utd
That completes the misery for United as Nemanja Vidic takes out Xabi Alonso without even bothering to look at the ball. Howard Webb takes a while to realise that's his second yellow but eventually the defender sees red.

1433: Three minutes remaining at Anfield, plus injury time.

1432: Javier Mascherano - who has been outstanding for Liverpool - cannot continue and it's Sami Hyypia who comes on.

1430: Panic stations for Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez. He has David Ngog ready to come on for Robbie Keane - but just as the board goes up, he spots Javier Mascherano hobbling about. "No, no, no, no, no, no, no," says Rafa as he wags his finger at a bemused Keane.

1429: United win a free-kick out right but Ryan Giggs opts to pass instead of putting it into the box, allowing Liverpool to clear.

1424: Controversy as Nemanja Vidic brings down Robbie Keane just outside the box - but only gets a yellow. Liverpool can't take advantage of the free-kick. Nani is on for Anderson.

1422: GOAL Liverpool 2-1 Man Utd
Terrific, terrific work from Javier Mascherano, getting to the byeline and winning the ball despite the attention of two defenders. Dirk Kuyt picks it up and crosses for Ryan Babel to stroke it into the top of the net. Anfield goes crazy.

1420: News from Ewood Park that England hero Theo Walcott is in the Arsenal line-up to face Blackburn.

1419: Meanwhile, the protests are well under way at St James' Park where a sizeable crowd has gathered outside Shearer's Bar. "Wise up, Drink up, Sell up" says one banner. "The pantomime must stop now Ashley" says another. Someone throws a beach ball at a passing car. Now, now, violence never solved anything.

1417: Another substitution and Albert Riera's Liverpool debut comes to an early end. He gets a very warm reception from the home fans as he is replaced by Ryan Babel.

1415: Ryan Giggs looks up, spots Pepe Reina a touch out of position and unleashes a dipping volley - but the keeper scrambles back and tips over brilliantly.

1413: Gerrard comes on for Yossi Benayoun - and he will play just off Robbie Keane, with Dirk Kuyt heading out to the right wing.

1412: A huge roar from the home fans as Rafa Benitez tells Steven Gerrard to get ready to come on.

1411: Hargreaves is back - and he'll replace Paul Scholes, who hasn't been at his best today.

1409: Owen Hargreaves looks ready to come on for United... but he's just disappeared off down the tunnel. Forgotten something, Owen?

1407: Martin Skrtel has a shot for Liverpool from outside the area but it's too close to Edwin van der Sar. Momentum is all with the home side.

1407: More bad news for United: Michael Carrick, substituted at half-time, is on crutches. The midfielder has an ankle injury.

1405: Dimitar Berbatov is off the field, receiving treatment on a knee injury.

1402: Robbie Keane dinks a delightful pass over the top for Yossi Benayoun, but his control takes him too far wide and the keeper smothers the shot. Moments later, Javier Mascherano spins the ball across goal but Keane can't make contact.

1400: "Big mistake bringing Giggs on. I think Fletcher or Hargreaves would have given United a bit more steel in the middle."
GooGooGooJoob on 606
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1358: Paul Scholes fizzes a shot just over the bar, but that was a rare attack from United.

1357: Albert Riera looks a decent buy for Liverpool... and just as I say that, he blazes a cross straight into the Kop.

1355: "Liverpool finished the first half in charge and are dominating at the start of the second half. But they need to be careful: United have several players who can create something out of nothing."
BBC 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1353: Albert Riera's driven cross takes a slight deflection, but Patrice Evra is there to boot the ball behind for a corner. Nothing from it. Good, positive start from Liverpool.

1351: And we're off again.

1350: Ex Spurs team-mates Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov catch up as they wander out for the second half. Ryan Giggs gets the nod to replace the injured Michael Carrick.

1349: Back to events at Anfield... Dimitar Berbatov comes out top in Player Rater after that very entertaining first-half. The Bulgarian striker 7.99, just edging out Carlos Tevez on 7.97. Wes Brown isn't attracting too much love - which is harsh, given that his own goal was down to a moment of utter madness from Edwin van der Sar.
Liverpool v Man Utd Player Rater

1345: Three very exciting things to tell you: Thierry Henry has been dropped from Barcelona's squad this weekend, Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's Grand Prix at Monza 15th on the grid, yes 15th, and Motherwell have pulled two goals back against Celtic to make it 4-2.
Live text - Scottish Prem League

1343: "Very good game, I think for the first 20-25 mins it was all Man Utd. After that it's been nothing but Liverpool...its the truth...accept it."
redwarrior88 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1340: Ryan Giggs and Owen Hargreaves are out warming up during the half-time interval. One of them may be coming on for Michael Carrick.

1339: "Stuck in work and being a Liverpool fan this is hell. Keep getting cheeky texts from my Man U-supporting girlfriend. Little does she know that if Liverpool don't win then we don't go out tonight."
Matt, Manchester, via text on 81111

1335: HALF-TIME Liverpool 1-1 Man Utd

1331: Howard Webb is not having the best of halves, it must be said. Rio Ferdinand clatters into Dirk Kuyt in an aerial challenge just outside the area, but the ref didn't see anything in it.

1331: Dimitar Berbatov lifts a stunning pass into the box for Wayne Rooney, but the striker is hustled out of it. Carrick still hobbling.

1327: Michael Carrick appears to be struggling with an injury after a crunching 50-50 challenge a few minutes ago. "He just hasn't been in the game," says BBC 5 Live's Graham Taylor. Just over five minutes until half-time.

1324: Javier Mascherano fires in a beautiful low cross from the right - but no Liverpool striker takes a chance on it and the ball bobbles out at the far side.

1322: "We need to turn Ben Foster into the first team goalkeeper."
ManUnited2008 on 606
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1317: Carlos Tevez has a good chance to restore United's lead but blazes over. This game is a belter.

1313: GOAL Liverpool 1-1 Man Utd
What the...?!?!?! Xabi Alonso plays the ball in from the right, it takes a deflection off Patrice Evra but no problem, Edwin van der Sar comes to punch... right into Wes Brown's leg for an own goal. You've got to laugh. Really. Own goal is a potent attacking threat for Liverpool against United n'est-ce-pas?

1310: Wayne Rooney should probably be in the book too for pulling back Javier Mascherano but Howard Webb keeps his card in his pocket this time.

1308: Promising dribble down the left touchline from Liverpool new boy Albert Riera but his pass is just too far ahead of Robbie Keane. A horrible lunge from Carlos Tevez on Alvaro Arbeloa earns him the first yellow over the other side of the pitch.

1306: Mascherano looks dazed, but he will continue, as will Evra.

1305: A rare lull in the game after a clash of heads between Javier Mascherano and Patrice Evra. Looks like Mascherano came off worse.

1301: Loving this game so far. Liverpool win a corner they don't deserve when the ball comes off Alvaro Arbeloa in an aerial challenge with Patrice Evra. Edwin van der Sar flaps at it and Dirk Kuyt seems certain to score - but the keeper recovers to block the shot. Quick as a flash, Albert Riera is asking for a penalty but he went over very easily in the box.

1258: The Liverpool defence is all over the shop, completely unable to cope with the movement from United, and in particular, Berbatov.

1255: "United are playing 4-4-2, with Wayne Rooney out wide right, Anderson on the left, and Tevez and Berbatov up front."
BBC 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1253: Rio Ferdinand's defensive header doesn't go far enough and the ball is returned to Dirk Kuyt, who smashes a shot just wide. Frantic start this.

1250: GOAL Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd
Unbelievable. Dimitar Berbatov takes two defenders with him to the byeline on the right but still manages to pull the ball back for an unmarked Carlos Tevez to power it into the corner. That is a shocking start for Liverpool.

1249: Dimitar Berbatov has his first shot in a Manchester United shirt - and he could have had a penalty as it comes off defender Martin Skrtel's arm. Big shout from the United fans, ref Howard Webb unmoved.

1248: Away we go.

1246: Liverpool co-owner George Gillett - the subject of a fans' protest before this game - sings along rather nervously to a particularly rousing rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone.

1244: Here come the players, Dimitar Berbatov looking, well, nonchalant, as he appears in a Manchester United shirt for the first time. Meanwhile, the elusive Waseem (see 1230) is fast becoming a 606 celebrity. Strange times.

1242: "The atmosphere at Anfield is really worth looking forward to. Regardless of the situation, it's always amazing."
BBC 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1239: Goals, goals, goals in Scotland. Celtic are 2-0 up against Motherwell after nine minutes. Let's hope they've got their shooting boots on at Anfield too.
Live text - Scottish Premier League

1235: "I predict 2-1 win for the 'pool. Gerrard and Torres to score off the bench in the last quarter. Come on the Pool."
Ed, gfec, via text on 81111
I admire the optimism. But last quarter? Are we in America? Hmmm?

1232: "Rafa says we must concentrate on the league. So why in the biggest game of the season are we resting our two best players for a Champions League match?!"
Gavin, Harrow, via text on 81111
Or is he taking a risk by putting two half-fit players on the bench?

1230: Yeah, I just noticed that. Waseem got from London to Birmingham in four minutes (see 1216 and 1220). Clever.

1226: Optimism is in short supply from Liverpool fans from what I'm reading. Anyone want to predict a win for Rafa's men?

1220: "Could the match start? I am DYING with anticipation."
Waseem, Birmingham, via text on 81111

1216: "Sometimes I am simply disappointed with Rafa's team selection. Not being pessimistic but Liverpool's chances are minimum today."
Waseem, London, via text on 81111

1213: News from BBC 5 Live football correspondentJonathan Legard at St James' Park: "It would be a massive loss of face for Mike Ashley to hand everything over to Kevin Keegan. You just can't imagine it happening - and that's the only way Keegan would come back. As I understand it, the Keegan chapter is closed - but obviously we've said that before."
Keegan & Ashley in surprise talks

1208: "Just made my 10 year old daughter type out: "I am a red and will always be a red", 10 times (cheeky blighter used copy+paste): she seems to think Villa is her team. It's nice when we bond like this."
Lordy5cups on 606
Join the debate on 606

1206: Fergie has gone for a very attacking line-up, with a three-pronged attack featuring Rooney, Tevez and new boy Berbatov. Full Manchester United team: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Rooney, Scholes, Carrick, Anderson, Tevez, Berbatov. Subs: Kuszczak, Nani, Evans, Hargreaves, O'Shea, Fletcher, Giggs.


1159: "I'm shocked that Benayoun is playing. I wanted Babel to play to match with Evra."
Atomic Flea on 606
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1157: Well, well. Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are only fit enough to sit on the Liverpool bench so Dirk Kuyt and Robbie Keane lead the attack. New signing Albert Riera lines up on the wing. Full team: Reina, Arbeloa, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Benayoun, Keane, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Ngog, Torres, Gerrard, Babel.


1152: Less than an hour until kick-off now. Goody. No Danny the Stat today, but I'll have a go: under Rafa Benitez, Liverpool have scored only one league goal (an own goal) against Manchester United and that was back in 2004, which was also the year of Liverpool's last league win over their fierce rivals.

1144: So I was just chuckling at a cheeky tinker on 606 talking about Cristiano Ronaldo returning today as if it were fact, then I notice someone has just texted suggesting Sir Alex might give the winger a run-out. It's a wind-up... right?

1139: At the Hawthorns today, it's the game they're calling the No Sponsor On Their Shirts derby, West Brom v West Ham. It will also see Kevin Keen make his bow as Hammers boss before ending his reign at approximately 1650 BST.

1133: "Re 1120: I am that member of staff and I've just finished an extremely enjoyable nine holes of golf and am making my way to the pub to watch Liverpool stuff United."
Anon via text on 81111

1132: "I just hope Berbatov can do as good a job as Heskey in bringing the best out of Wayne Rooney :D. I'm curious as to whether SAF will play Tevez and Rooney behind Berbs or (as I would do) play Tevez wide left...
shadowdan89 on 606
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1130: returnofthesweatban (see 1120), you have been trumped. An anonymous texter shares this sorry, sorry tale: "Stuck at work till 12. Booked a half day. Being an avid Liverpool fan I'd love to be going to the game. Instead, I'm going to meet my girlfriend's grandparents in Newmarket while the game is being played, I'll be stuck on a train for four hours. Any late excuses you can come up with Caroline? I need help. This is killing me! Oh and to top it off, when Match of the Day is on, I'll be having a meal with 16 of her family members. Deary me."

1127: "I won't be expecting fireworks at Anfield today, since the game is an early kick-off. I'm with Lawro on this and I think there is something about these early starts that affect the players' performances."
ninja11p on 606
Lawro's predictions

1123: Still waiting for team news from Anfield. Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have been passed fit - but will they start? And how will Dimitar Berbatov fit into Manchester United's line-up?

1120: "Am truly gutted this morning, have had my day ruined by being called into work as one of my staff phoned in sick. Was about to tee off for nine holes then into the pub to watch United hopefully stuff Liverpool... Now am sat in the office gutted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
returnofthesweatband on 606
I feel the pain in those exclamation marks.

1117: "Re 1100: You missed the best one: the 'oil firm derby!'"
Andrew B, London, via text on 81111

1116: "Re 1100: The Grapple of the Greed, the Duel of the Dosh..."
rkblogger on 606
Join the debate on 606

1113: Today, more than ever, I'm going to need your input - particularly in the next hour and a half. It feels like the night before Christmas, and an hour and a half is just far too long to wait. Let me hear you via text on 81111 or on good old 606.

1111: "Re 1100: The Grapple of the Gold, Cheesy?"
Alan, Glasgow, via text on 81111

1107: Around about now, the Spirit of Shankly group will be beginning their march from Lower Breck Road to Anfield in protest against American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Gillett plans to be in his executive box for the game today - he might not be sitting too comfortably.
Liverpool fans planning protest

1100: I've been excited about today since… well, since Theo Walcott banged in England's fourth goal against Croatia on Wonder Wednesday. Later on, it's the Clash of the Cash, the War of the Wedge, the Battle of the Buck… the Grapple of the, er, no, sorry, I've run out. Before that, Newcastle fans get their first public chance to vent their frustration at recent shenanigans in the home game against Hull. All of which leaves the small matter of the warm-up act: Liverpool v Manchester United. Oh how I love football.

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

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