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Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Saturday, 31 January 2009

Premier League as it happened

Arsenal 0-0 West Ham
Aston Villa 0-0 Wigan
Bolton 3-2 Tottenham
Fulham 3-1 Portsmouth
Hull 2-2 West Brom
Man Utd 1-0 Everton
Middlesbrough 0-0 Blackburn
Stoke 1-0 Man City


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

By Caroline Cheese

1940: Don't forget Match of the Day at 2220 GMT on BBC1. Alan Green is braving the cold at Old Trafford as he takes your calls on 5 Live's 606. Return to this website tomorrow at 0830 GMT for what I very much hope will be a classic between Nadal and Federer before a north-east derby and the small matter of Liverpool-Chelsea. Lovely.

1935: Manchester United go five points clear at the top with that victory and a draw between Chelsea and Liverpool tomorrow will mean they have a tidy lead by the end of the weekend. Everton stay sixth, six points behind adrift of Arsenal.

1932: I feel a Danny the Stat rage coming on. Michael Carrick does not deserve more than eight for that performance? Strange. In his absence, today's Player Rater honours go to Middlesbrough keeper Brad Jones (8.21) for keeping out Blackburn with a string of miracle saves. The only other "eight-breaker" is Bolton's two-goal striker Kevin Davies (8.18).
Pick a game, rate the players

1931: "Solid rather than spectacular from the champions, but they will be delighted to succeed against opponents who have taken points off Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks. Sir Alex Ferguson can now sit back and relax on Sunday, hoping fervently that Liverpool and Chelsea damage their own hopes by drawing at Anfield. United look ominously efficient, even when they do not fire on all cylinders."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1927: "Manchester United deserved it: they were the better side. Carrick was outstanding. They haven't won the title yet, there's still a few hurdles to clear, but they look very good."
Jimmy Armfield on BBC 5 Live

1926: FULL-TIME Man Utd 1-0 Everton

1923: Two minutes of added time remaining.

1920: Steven Pienaar goes on a marauding run through midfield and just as he is looking for the pass, he is stopped in his tracks by Michael Carrick, who has had an excellent game.

1918: That comment at 1913 appears to have sparked Everton into life. Victor Anichebe is unmarked in the box to flick on a throw-in and Mikel Arteta's ferocious shot is blocked by Michael Carrick.

1918: "United have hardly broken sweat defensively - even after Anichebe's introduction - and the Old Trafford gallery is already celebrating the victory. Everton have confounded a few pundits with their ability to grind out results in recent weeks, but it does not look they will do it here.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1915: Having said that, Nemanja Vidic gives away a free-kick and the ball is floated into the box. Tim Cahill attempts an overhead kick and as Joleon Lescott waits for the ball to come down, he is manhandled by Rio Ferdinand. Reasonable shout, but no penalty.

1913: 10 minutes remaining, and there is no sign of an Everton recovery.

1911: "Re 1900: I remember the same scenario with Andrei Kanchelskis years ago and the United fans all chanting 'Andrei must stay' after a sublime goal in an FA Cup semi-final replay versus Oldham... next season he was playing for Everton. Only one man can decide."
Anon via text on 81111

1907: Time for an experienced head. Darren Fletcher trots off the pitch to be replaced by Ryan Giggs.

1905: It's official. The 72 minutes are up and Edwin van der Sar has beaten Death. The United keeper reaches 1,104 minutes without conceding a league goal, beating the previous mark set by Reading's Steve Death in 1979.

1904: Michael Carrick exchanges passes with Carlos Tevez and is brought down by Steven Pienaar. About 22 yards out, and it's Tevez who takes it, his effort ballooning off the wall and almost deceiving Tim Howard - who does well to tip over.

1901: Striker Victor Anichebe comes on to replace midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

1900: "The Old Trafford crowd are attempting to make Sir Alex Ferguson's mind up over Carlos Tevez's future by urging him to sign the Argentine permanently. He has been excellent today, but can anyone - even United's own supporters - tell the great man what to do? I don't think so. Everton are trying to make more of a go of it, but you get the feeling their best bet still lies with a set-piece and Tim Cahill's head."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1857: Victor Anichebe is warming up for Everton which may mean they abandon their 4-6-0 formation for the last 20 minutes or so.

1854: "We had Charles N'Zogbia here last night and agreed the fee with Newcastle and it's up to us now to convince him that Wigan is the place for him. We hope we can tie it up in the next couple of days. I can't see Antonio Valencia going anywhere now and that's good for us. The Real Madrid thing didn't materialise and the boy is happy to stay until the end of the season."
Wigan boss Steve Bruce
Wigan agree N'Zogbia transfer fee

1852: Wes Brown is penalised for a foul on Steven Pienaar. Mikel Arteta will take it. It's well-struck but Edwin van der Sar gets down low to collect.

1849: Gary Neville is replaced by Wes Brown. He heads straight off down the tunnel which suggests he needs treatment for an injury, but he's running OK.

1847: "General amazement around Old Trafford at Mark Halsey's failure to award United a second penalty there - even one or two Everton fans around the press box raised an eyebrow after leaning over to study replays. United will feel comfortable at present. David Moyes' side has many great qualities, but there is a glaring lack of real pace in attacking areas to trouble a defence heading towards the history books."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1845: Another move started by Michael Carrick. From Ji-Sung Park's cross, Carlos Tevez quickly makes space for the shot but then blasts it high and wide.

1841: Another big shout for a penalty as Michael Carrick again darts into the box and this time is brought down by Joleon Lescott. Mark Halsey immediately waves away the claim - but that looked a lot clearer than the first one. Maybe Carrick made too much of it?

1839: Free-kick for Everton about 35 yards out. Mikel Arteta blasts it about 20 yards wide.

1838: No changes at half-time. We're off again.

1834: "Edwin van der Sar might be fighting Death (see numerous other first-half puns), but he cannot beat 10 of the Everton players who have higher marks than him on the Player Rater. Indeed, the Toffees have life-affirming sixes and sevens all round, but top of the tree is Carlos Tevez with a seven-breaking 7.27. He good. You like? You get involved..."
Man Utd v Everton Player Rater

1832: "Re 1734: Van der Sar is so close to the record now. He's knocking on Death's door."
Anon via text on 81111
Sorry. That's the last one now.

1831: Still not sure if Mikel Arteta's foul on Michael Carrick was in the box. I wish I could rewind time.

1829: "Carrick has been majestic, can't think of a better English passer. Should be an England regular."
Will, from Newquay, via text on 81111

1825: Portsmouth boss Tony Adams reveals some harsh words were said in the dressing-room after the 3-1 defeat by Fulham. He says "the goalkeeper" (David James) was particularly vocal.

1821: "Everton can complain but David Moyes will be mortified by that. Arteta's needless flick at Carrick was reminiscent of Steven Pienaar's similar error to give Ronaldo a penalty in this fixture last season. All the good work of Howard, Lescott and Jagielka undone, but United deserve the lead. Moyes would have been satisfied to reach the interval goalless - now his side have to come out and take the game to United, something they have not done with too much conviction so far."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1820: HALF-TIME Man Utd 1-0 Everton

1816: GOAL Man Utd 1-0 Everton
What happened there? Some neat trickery from Michael Carrick on the edge of the box and he is tripped by Mikel Arteta. As he is stumbling, Tony Hibbert slides in with a challenge. Mark Halsey points to the spot and Cristiano Ronaldo slots in the penalty. Not sure which challenge the penalty was for or whether Arteta's was in the box...


1814: Ji-Sung Park is flattened by a tackle from Leighton Baines. Cristiano Ronaldo takes the free-kick on the right but Phil Neville clears.

1813: Phil's not wrong (see below), everything is coming down the left for Everton, taking advantage of some questionable positioning by United skipper Gary Neville.

1810: "Everton's best hope has been the left-wing link of Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines - they are getting some joy there. United, in contrast, are working all their attacking options. Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez are all prominent. Hard to see Everton surviving 90 minutes with the game taking its current shape."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1807: Leon Osman plays a clever ball through for Leighton Baines, who gets in round the back of Gary Neville, but his cross is collected by the Death-defying Edwin van der Sar.

1805: "Fabio Capello names his England squad next weekend and surely Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott have to be in it?"
BBC 5 Live commentator Mike Ingham

1803: Rare attack from Everton. Left-back Leighton Baines is onto Steven Pienaar's flick-on but his cut-back is easily cleared.

1758: That was like slow-motion. Cristiano Ronaldo toe-pokes a cunning, low shot towards the corner. It beats Tim Howard, comes back off the inside of the post and rolls across goal before Everton scramble clear.

1756: Great work from Carlos Tevez, latching onto Ji-Sung Park 's pass and driving into the box before clipping in a decent-looking cross but Everton clear.

1754: "Re 1734: Isn't Death also known as the Grim Keeper?"
Anon via text on 81111

1753: Great shot of Sir Alex Ferguson, jumping up and shouting his disgust at an offside decision against Cristiano Ronaldo. "Rubbish" was one of the words. I can't say the others. Ronaldo didn't look offside, but replays show he might have been just.

1750: "Everton just cannot get hold of the ball for any length of time. They have won a reputation for hard-as-nails defence, but it will be a long night for them unless they start getting possession and keeping it. United look ominous going forward and Tim Howard is already excelling on his return to Old Trafford."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1747: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is clutching his face after an aerial challenge with Marouane Fellaini. He'll be OK though.

1747: "Re 1734: You have probably given Van der Sar the kiss of death."
Anon via text on 81111
I can't imagine why no-one's putting their names on these puns...

1746: Michael Carrick finds Cristiano Ronaldo with a wonderful pass and the winger delivers a decent cross from the left. Joleon Lescott's header clear goes to Ji-Sung Park and his effort is deflected into Carlos Tevez's pass but Tim Howard somehow keeps out the shot from close range.

1744: "Re 1734: Before starting the match, would he be Death warmed up?"
duffdaddy via text on 81111

1740: "Everton boss David Moyes almost jumped in fury when Marouane Fellaini clumsily conceded a free-kick 30 yards out to give Cristiano Ronaldo a shooting opportunity - presumably on the basis that was exactly what he had told him not to do. Big flaw in the Belgian's game that. Some unity to report from inside Old Trafford. Both sets of fans having some light-hearted (!) fun at the expense of Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1738: Marouane Fellaini's hair never fails to make me smile. It's brilliant. Anyway, Tim Cahill spins a shot just past Edwin van der Sar's right-hand post. That is the right place to shoot though. If you were with us earlier, you'll know all nine league goals he has conceded have gone past his right hand.

1736: Cristiano Ronaldo has a free-kick dead central but smacks it into the wall.

1735: Gary Neville captains United, baby brother Phil skippers Everton. Aaah. Neville Neville must be so proud. And Tracy the netball player.

1734: If Edwin van der Sar gets to 72 minutes without conceding, he will set a new Football League record - beating that of Reading's Steve Death. Jokes via text on 81111.

1732: Sitting comfortably? We shall begin...

1729: The players crept out while I was trying (and failing) to persuade someone to make the tea. Old Trafford does look very impressive under the lights.

1728: "Caroline, the space shuttle couldn't go to the moon even if it wanted to."
Tom (pointless stat debunker) Leeds, via text on 81111
Well I did say it was a pointless stat. How rubbish is the space shuttle though?

1725: "The Miguel Veloso deal is not going to happen - we don't want to run a fool's errand, and that looks a bridge too far. But we've got two bids in at the moment - one for a Premier League player and one Championship player - and I would expect some business to happen over the next couple of days."
Bolton boss Gary Megson

1725: Q: What is the latest on Arshavin? Arsene Wenger: "There is no latest - if there is anything coming that's new we'll inform you, don't worry."

1724: "To answer Fed-up Spurs fan (see 1711). No. Billy McNeill did it with Villa and Man City in 1986/7."
Goonerak via text on 81111

1718: TEAM NEWS Man Utd v Everton
Midfielders Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini have both been passed fit as Everton boss David Moyes keeps faith with the team which drew 1-1 against Arsenal in midweek. Manchester United make just one change to the team which beat West Brom 5-0 on Tuesday with Darren Fletcher replacing Ryan Giggs, who starts on the bench.

1717: "No-one will be leaving this club in the next few days, I'll tell you that, because we can't afford anybody to leave. But I definitely think we need one or two more players - strong players - to come in, so if something can be done, we'll do it."
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp

1716: Pointless stat of the day coming up: United keeper Edwin van der Sar set a new record of 1,032 minutes without conceding a league goal during United's win over West Brom. In that time you can go halfway to the moon in a space shuttle. Sorry.

1711: "Will Harry be the first manager to manage two sides in the same season that go down?"
Fed-up Spurs fan via text on 81111

1710: That draw between Blackburn and Middlesbrough means Stoke stay out of the relegation zone after their earlier win over Manchester City. Bolton up to 12th thanks to victory over Spurs. Fulham up to ninth.

1706: TEAMS Man Utd v Everton
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Park, Berbatov, Tevez. Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Giggs, Welbeck, Fabio Da Silva, Gibson, Eckersley.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Arteta, Neville, Pienaar, Fellaini, Cahill. Subs: Nash, Yobo, Castillo, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Anichebe, Gosling.

1705: Manchester United up next against Everton. Victory will give United a five-point lead over fourth-placed Villa and if they do win, Sir Alex Ferguson will just want a draw between Chelsea and Liverpool tomorrow to make it the perfect weekend.

1703: Draws for both Aston Villa and Arsenal mean the gap between them remains five points. Emmanuel Adebayor missed the Gunners' clearest chance against West Ham, while Wigan had Paul Scharner to thank for two goal-line clearances against Villa.

1659: That's Bolton's first league win since 20 December and eases the pressure on Gary Megson. Spurs hauled themselves back into the game with a Darren Bent double but Kevin Davies' second condemned Harry Redknapp's side to defeat.

1658: Brad Jones - replacing Ross Turnbull today - is the man of the match for Boro as they sneak a point against Sam Allardyce's Blackburn. That last save was a stunner.

1657: FULL-TIME Middlesbrough 0-0 Blackburn

1656: Jason Roberts is denied again as his header is palmed away by Boro keeper Brad Jones.

1655: FULL-TIME Hull 2-2 West Brom

1655: FULL-TIME Bolton 3-2 Tottenham

1654: FULL-TIME Aston Villa 0-0 Wigan

1653: FULL-TIME Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

1652: FULL-TIME Fulham 3-1 Portsmouth

1651: Boro still hanging on at the Riverside. Brad Jones makes a sharp save from Rovers striker Jason Roberts.

1650: "Everton manager David Moyes has resisted the temptation to keep Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini in cotton wool - which would have been some task with the bushy-haired Belgian. Both have shrugged off injuries sustained in the midweek draw against Arsenal and play at Old Trafford. Good news for Everton - and for Manchester United's title rivals."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1648: Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby looks in all sorts of trouble as he is stretchered off after a challenge with West Ham sub Nsereko Savio.

1647: GOAL Bolton 3-2 Tottenham
Would you believe it? Matt Taylor swings over the corner for Kevin Davies to get ahead of the defender and head in past David Bentley on the line.

1643: Blackburn midfielder David Dunn beats three defenders before forcing Boro keeper Brad Jones into a good save.

1642: GOAL Fulham 3-1 Portsmouth
Too little too late surely, David Nugent heads in Jermaine Pennant's free-kick from the left.

1641: "Re 1633/1635: Could your Missus have scored those two then, Harry?"
ArsenalIsReligion on 606
Join the debate on 606

1640: Playground-style goalmouth scramble at the Riverside with Boro defenders flinging themselves in front of the ball as first Benni McCarthy, then Roque Santa Cruz try their luck. Boro just about survive, but they are hanging on at the moment.

1639: GOAL Fulham 3-0 Portsmouth
Super-sub Eric Nevland takes a touch from Simon Davies' cross and rifles past Fulham's third past David James.

1638: Aston Villa have an indirect free-kick in the box and from it, John Carew has his ferocious shot cleared off the line by Paul Scharner and the Wigan man is there again to clear Luke Young's follow-up. Incredible.

1635: GOAL Bolton 2-2 Tottenham
Jussi Jaaskelainen parries Wilson Palacios' shot straight into the path of Darren Bent, who slams in the equaliser. I told you didn't I (see 1601)?

1633: GOAL Hull 2-2 West Brom
Kamil Zayatte is penalised for bringing down Rob Koren and Chris Brunt steps up to convert the penalty low into the corner.


1633: GOAL Bolton 2-1 Tottenham
Bolton threw away a two-goal lead in midweek against Blackburn - they're not going to do it again are they? Pascal Chimbonda, on his second debut for Spurs, is the creator, cutting the ball back to Darren Bent to sweep in from close range.

1629: GOAL Hull 2-1 West Brom
Bernard Mendy turns from scorer to provider, crossing in for Craig Fagan to head past the diving Scott Carson. Pretty much deserved.

1629: GOAL Fulham 2-0 Portsmouth
Substitute Erik Nevland runs onto Simon Davies' long ball and coolly slots past David James.

1628: West Ham's club record signing Savio Nsereko comes on to replace Mark Noble.

1626: Huge cheer at the Emirates as Robin van Persie readies himself to come on. He replaces Nicklas Bendtner.

1624: GOAL Bolton 2-0 Tottenham
Gary Cahill flicks on a long ball and Kevin Davies takes a touch before firing a fierce shot into the far corner. Two goals in two games for Davies.

1623: John Carew is coming on for Aston Villa for the first time since November, replacing Craig Gardner.

1620: Surely Arsenal will score... but no. Bacary Sagna skips down the right and sets up Emmanuel Adebayor who prods his shot wide with the goal gaping. Terrible miss.

1616: Tuncay is back on. Meanwhile, goalmouth scramble at Villa Park. Zat Knight's header comes off the post but no one can tap in the rebound.

1614: Claret all over the place at the Riverside as Tuncay clashes heads with Christopher Samba. The Boro sub goes off for more treatment.

1613:GOAL Hull 1-1 West Brom
Hull have had three decent chances to double their lead, but they're all square. James Morrison jinks past two in the box and Jay Simpson lashes in the loose ball.

1611: At the Reebok Stadium, a couple of glum-looking young fellas idly tap their great big drums. They're not exactly whipping up an atmosphere. They're probably hoping it's another Second-Half Saturday too.

1608: The most exciting moment of the day so far at Arsenal. A poor punch clear by West Ham keeper Robert Green only goes as far as the edge of the box, where Kolo Toure hooks the ball over his shoulder and only the timely intervention of James Collins's head prevents Arsenal taking the lead in impressive fashion.

1607: We're off and running again around the grounds.

1605: Substitutions everywhere. David Nugent on for Kanu for Portsmouth. Bent and Jermaine Jenas on for Didier Zokora and Luka Modric for Tottenham. Hugo Rodallega replaces Danny de Ridder for Wigan.

1601: Don't worry goal fans, Darren Bent is coming on at the Reebok.

1601: "Re 1556: Disagree. Your biggest problem stands on the touchline."
Thanks A lot BBC7 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1556: "That shows Pompey's biggest problem, six shots no goals. Fulham two shots one goal. We desperately need a proven goalscorer."
Rich, Stourbridge, via text on 81111

1553: "Will we have a repeat of "Second-half Saturday" Cheesy?"
britishcj on 606
Got my fingers crossed... That probably explains the typos

1550: Half-time everywhere, and only three goals. Two weeks ago, I moaned about the lack of first-half goals and there was a deluge in the second 45, so chins up everyone.
Premier League as it happened - 17 Jan

1548: In injury time at the Emirates, Gael Clichy heads James Collins's header clear - it was probably going just wide of the goal but it's taken this long for West Ham to have a chance worthy of note. For the record, despite dominating possession, Arsenal have posed very little threat. 45 very forgettable minutes at the Emirates.

1548: Maynor Figueroa's header is brilliantly tipped over by Villa keeper Brad Friedel on the stroke of half-time.

1545: GOAL Hull 1-0 West Brom
Bernard Mendy is sent through but there's still an awful lot of work to do, the midfielder sprinting into the box before ghosting past Scott Carson and slotting into the empty net.

1545: Blackburn midfielder Keith Andrews has picked up an injury and is replaced by fans' favourite Tugay.

1542: "I feel sorry for Eboue because the lad gives 100% every match, he just gets played out of his favoured position. It's a shame he can't shoot because he'd chip in with quite a few goals. Still, good to see Vela coming on, we all know he's quality."
GoonerAK on 606
Join the debate on 606

1540: Younes Kaboul powers a header onto the bar as Portsmouth look for an equaliser against Fulham. Unlucky.

1537: Emmanuel Eboue - who I'm told has been one of Arsenal's better players despite what Anon says (see 1535)- hobbles off after coming off worse in a challenge with Scott Parker. Carlos Vela on.

1536: Lovely crossfield ball from Stewart Downing to Boro team-mate Adam Johnson, who tries his luck from 25 yards but sees the ball skim narrowly wide of the right-hand post.

1535: "75% possession, hit the bar, West Ham have had the ball in our half about twice and Eboue having a shocker. Normal day at the Emirates then."
Anon via text on 81111

1533: Half an hour gone at the Emirates and for all Arsenal's territorial domination, they've actually done very little to threaten the West Ham goal. If they are going to do anything with the possession, it could be well be through Samir Nasri, who is tying Lucas Neill in knots on the left wing.

1532: GOAL Bolton 1-0 Tottenham
Mark Davies whips in the free-kick and Tottenham's defence allow Sebastien Puygrenier to rise and head in.

1530: Jason Koumas steps over Mario Melchiot's pass out of defence and Daniel De Ridder is through for Wigan - but Brad Friedel saves with his legs.

1530: Ah right. Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz will probably be watching Bolton striker Ariza Makukula. That clears that up.

1527: Gabby Agbonlahor has his header cleared off the line at Villa Park but the ref spotted a bit of pushing anyway.

1524: Abou Diaby chops Valon Behrami's legs from under him and the Arsenal player picks up his fifth booking of the season. That suspension could rule him out of the Tottenham game.

1524: Mark Davies - on his full debut - has a free header for Bolton from Gretar Steinsson's cross but directs it disastrously wide.

1523: Ex-Manchester United assistant and current Portugal boss Carlos Queiroz is watching the game at the Reebok Stadium. Why? I don't know.

1520: One half-chance at the Riverside so far. Roque Santa Cruz - looking lively for Blackburn - sets up Brett Emerton but he miscontrols the ball and Boro survive.

1519: Luka Modric looks like he has actual tears in his eyes after Roman Pavlyuchenko accidentally treads on his, er, groin area. Apparently, that's very painful.

1518: Arsenal's groundsman has joined Real Madrid, apparently. That's the biggest incident of the day so far at the Emirates. Arsenal are comfortably on top but without doing too much to scare Robert Green in the West Ham goal.

1517: Highlights of the opening dozen minutes of Hull v West Brom. Two shots. First by Hull's Craig Fagan - 28 yards out and 20 yards wide. Second by West Brom's James Morrison - 30 yards out, 25 yards wide.

1515: GOAL Fulham 1-0 Portsmouth
Portsmouth's defence is at sixes and sevens as Andrew Johnson sprints onto Clint Dempsey's pass and slots past David James.

1514: "West Ham are defending very well as a unit. Arsenal have had lots of possession but not many chances."
Ray Parlour on BBC 5 Live

1511: Ex-Wigan striker Emile Heskey nearly gets on the end of a Gareth Barry inswinging free-kick at Villa Park.

1509: Kevin Davies heads over for Bolton from Matt Taylor's free-kick. Apparently, the teams at Craven Cottage ran out to the Faithless track Insomnia. No sign of the Zog though.

1508: Quiet start. Very quiet. Villa doing all the attacking against Wigan.

1504: Abou Diaby's header is deflected onto the bar by James Collins from Samir Nasri's inswinging corner.

1503: David Bentley shoots low from 25 yards but the bounce is awkward, and Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen fumbles it round the post.

1502: We're under way, the game at Villa Park bringing up the rear.

1453: New loan signing Giles Barnes is introduced to the Fulham fans at Craven Cottage. He's chosen a pink V-neck jumper for the occasion. Daring. Barnes and Tottenham's Gareth Bale famously share the record for the longest run without experiencing a Premier League win.

1451: Fabio Capello is at Villa Park, where a queue is forming for the England boss's autograph.

1448: Stoke, who played the majority of the game with 10 men, climb out of the bottom three - for now - and are now just four points behind ninth-placed City.

1446: Speaking on BBC 5 Live, Graham Taylor states: "That is one of the worst performances I've ever seen by a Premier League side in terms of organisation and commitment."He's not talking about Stoke you know.

1445: TEAM NEWS Bolton v Tottenham
Bolton boss Gary Megson makes two changes as his side go in search of a first win in six, Mark Davies and Ricardo Gardner coming in to replace new Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan and Chris Basham. Wilson Palacios comes in to the Tottenham side for his debut, replacing the injured Jermain Defoe as Harry Redknapp opts for a 4-5-1 formation with Luka Modric supporting lone striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1444: FULL-TIME Stoke 1-0 Man City

1441:"Sheer disbelief at RVP's omission. Wenger must have a deal with Martin O'Neill where we get Laursen and Young in exchange for fourth place."
InvinciMule on 606
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1441: Two minutes of injury time remaining.

1438: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal make three changes to the team who drew with Everton the other night. Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner all start, with Alexandre Song, Johan Djourou and, shock of shocks, Robin van Persie all dropping to the bench. West Ham stick with the same starting XI who beat Hull 2-0 midweek, with David di Michele and Carlton Cole starting up front. The only changes to the bench see Walter Lopez and Jonathan Spector in place of James Tomkins and the departed Julien Faubert.

1436: Manchester City want a penalty as Andy Griffin and Micah Richards collide in the box, but it's shoulder to shoulder and Martin Atkinson is right to wave away the appeals. That doesn't stop Elano and Vincent Kompany chasing the ref back to the halfway line to make their feelings known. Elano, already on a yellow card, is continuing to bend Atkinson's ear...

1434: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Portsmouth
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson keeps faith with the team which lost to Sunderland in midweek. Portsmouth's Sol Campbell has failed to recover from the hip injury he sustained during the defeat to Aston Villa so Younes Kaboul deputises. Armand Traore comes in for Nadir Belhadj, while Hermann Hreidarsson makes his 300th Premier League appearance.

1433: TEAM NEWS Aston Villa v Wigan
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill names the same team that beat Portsmouth 1-0 in midweek, meaning Emile Heskey leads the line against the team he left eight days ago. John Carew returns to the bench having missed three months with back and hamstring trouble. Chris Kirkland returns for Wigan after missing the 1-1 draw with Liverpool because of a back injury and Titus Bramble is restored to the defence after a one-game ban. Jason Koumas also starts in midfield but Amir Zaki is out with a thigh injury.

1432: Robinho plays a clever ball to the far post where Micah Richards is coming in but the right-back can't quite get the vital touch.

1431: TEAM NEWS Middlesbrough v Blackburn
Blackburn make just one change from the 2-2 draw with Bolton, with striker Roque Santa Cruz coming in for Jason Roberts. Could this be a sign that he's staying at Ewood Park with the transfer window almost over? Boro, meanwhile, have called Australian Brad Jones in to replace Ross Turnbull in goal, and Gareth Southgate brings defender Robert Huth back into the side while Josh Walker also returns in midfield.

1430: There are some angry Arsenal fans texting in about Arsene Wenger's decision to put Robin van Persie on the bench against West Ham. No news on any injury. Very strange decision. Maybe he's focusing on the FA Cup?

1427: TEAM NEWS Hull v West Brom
Hull are looking to avoid a seventh successive league defeat but are without Daniel Cousin, who still lacks fitness after a knee problem. Matt Duke keeps his place in goal. Record signing Jimmy Bullard is still not fit enough for his debut. West Brom's Ryan Donk makes the XI despite a slight groin problem.

1425: TEAMS Fulham v Portsmouth
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Zamora, Johnson. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Teymourian, Nevland, Gera, Gray, Stoor, Kallio.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Kaboul, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Davis, Mullins, Armand Traore, Kanu, Crouch. Subs: Begovic, Lauren, Nugent, Pamarot, Utaka, Mvuemba, Little.

1424: TEAMS Aston Villa v Wigan
Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Knight, Davies, Luke Young, Gardner, Petrov, Barry, Milner, Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Carew, Delfouneso, Salifou, Shorey, Osbourne.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, De Ridder, Cattermole, Scharner, Brown, Koumas, Mido. Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Watson, Rodallega, Cywka, Kapo, Camara.

1423: City boss Mark Hughes makes his second change, as Felipe Caicedo replaces midfielder Nigel de Jong. Less than 20 minutes remaining.

1423: TEAMS Bolton v Tottenham
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Puygrenier, Samuel, Taylor, Mark Davies, Muamba, Gardner, Kevin Davies, Makukula. Subs: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Riga, Shittu, Basham, Andrew O'Brien, Obadeyi.
Tottenham: Cudicini, Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Zokora, Palacios, Lennon, Modric, Pavlyuchenko. Subs: Alnwick, Bale, Huddlestone, Jenas, Bent, Campbell, Chimbonda.

1422: TEAMS Hull v West Brom
Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Mendy, Garcia, Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane, Fagan. Subs: Myhill, Doyle, Geovanni, Hughes, France, Folan, Manucho.
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk, Meite, Robinson, Morrison, Koren, Borja Valero, Brunt, Fortune, Simpson. Subs: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Bednar, Kim, Pele, Filipe Teixeira.

1420: Robinho flicks the ball up on the edge of the box and goes for an outrageous volley... outrageously bad as it turns out. Probably cleared Row Z.

1419: Van Persie on the bench? Seriously?

1419: TEAMS Arsenal v West Ham
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Van Persie, Vela, Ramsey, Song Billong, Djourou, Gibbs.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Collison, Cole, Di Michele. Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Nsereko, Boa Morte, Spector, Tristan, Sears.

1417: Good spell of pressure from City. The ball comes in from the left and Thomas Sorensen's punch falls only to Craig Bellamy, who balloons a volley into the stands.

1415: Elano finds some space and hammers in a cross/shot and Stephen Ireland is inches away from connecting with a flying header.

1413: TEAMS Middlesbrough v Blackburn
Middlesbrough: Jones, Wheater, Riggott, Huth, Pogatetz, Adam Johnson, Bates, Walker, Downing, King, Sanli. Subs: Turnbull, Hoyte, Emnes, Alves, Shawky, Arca, McMahon.
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Nelsen, Samba, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Grella, Pedersen, McCarthy, Roque Santa Cruz. Subs: Bunn, Kerimoglu, Dunn, Villanueva, Givet, Simpson, Roberts.

1412: I'm only typing this to let you know I'm still awake. City look bereft of ideas and Stoke look more likely to score on the break.

1408: "Re 1402: Robinho taking throw-ins is like securing the services of Sir Alan Sugar for your company, and then getting him to make the tea."
kasia_smith on 606
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1405: Elano comes on for Pablo Zabaleta and 45 seconds later he gets a yellow card for sliding in on Matthew Etherington. Impressive stuff.

1402: "Why is Robinho taking throw-ins?" I ask myself - and just as I do, he is penalised for a foul one. Ridiculous.

1400: Robinho fizzes a right-foot shot narrowly past Thomas Sorensen's left-hand post. That's probably the closest City have come to a goal.

1358: "On today's performance I wouldn't pay 1.8m for De Jong let alone 18m. Worst bit of business since Akinbiyi to Leicester!!"
I'm not super genius...or are I? on 606
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1354: A half-time shuffle from Tony Pulis as Richard Cresswell replaces Ricardo Fuller, who had that arm injury in the first-half. And we're off.

West Ham midfielder Julien Faubert joins Real Madrid on loan until the end of the season.
Saturday's gossip column

1349: "City are shocking! They have no midfield maestro to pull the strings and make something happen. De Jong offers nothing going forward and Zabeleta isn't a central midfielder."
Anon via text on 81111

1346: "Stoke will now play a 9-0-0... it's time to park the bus!!!"
biglondon12 on 606
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1342: BBC 5 Live's Darren Fletcher tells us Spurs striker Jermain Defoe is undergoing a scan on the foot he injured in training yesterday. Apparently, it was an existing injury which took another knock, but despite the gloomy headlines this morning, Spurs are hopeful he'll play again this season.
Defoe set for spell on sidelines

1341: But what does Danny the Stat make of it all? Spose we better find out. "Now then. I'm going to put this down to the phenomenon known as "Rater Lag" (it'll catch on). Goal hero man James Beattie is currently languishing behind red card villain man Rory Delap on our Player Rater. And all of them are well behind the overall leader, Man City Brazil man Robinho, who has 6.86. Surely that'll change? It must, or my faith in stats will be forever shaken. Get involved..."
Stoke v Man City Player Rater

1339: That goal from 10-man Stoke was in the fifth minute of injury time and is Beattie's second goal in three games since his 3.5m move from Sheffield United.

1338: HALF-TIME Stoke 1-0 Man City

1337: GOAL Stoke 1-0 Man City
Without Rory Delap, Stoke are forced to take a short throw-in and it proves fairly effective I'd say. Matthew Etherington picks up the ball on the left and provides the perfect cross for fellow new-boy James Beattie to head in at the far post. Wayne Bridge was the man marking Beattie. Or not marking I should say.

1336: "How is SWP still on the pitch? Lucky lucky boy. Should be 10 v 10. It's probably ruined the spectacle of the game that only Delap was sent off. What was he thinking? Crazy!"
Jack via text on 81111

1334: Stoke fans still booing Shaun Wright-Phillips. The City winger kicked out at Rory Delap and is certainly fortunate to have avoided a yellow.

1333: "Complete stupidity from Delap, you simply can't do that! SWP and Zabaleta should have been booked though."
Clichysleftfoot on 606
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1330: "Stoke have gone to a 4-4-1 and put James Beattie on the right-hand side - and it's the first time in the game we've seen him. He's hardly a touch of the ball in this half."
Graham Taylor on BBC 5 Live

1327: Stoke down to 10 and without a valuable attacking threat. The crowd are furiously booing Martin Atkinson, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Craig Bellamy, anyone really.

1323: RED CARD Stoke
SillyRory Delap. He clatters Shaun Wright-Phillips from behind and then whacks the ball into the City winger for good measure. Handbags flying everywhere in the aftermath, and eventually Martin Atkinson brings out the dreaded red.

1320: Amdy Faye will soldier on, but Stoke are a man short because Ricardo Fuller has suffered an arm injury and is in the dressing room getting stitches.

1319: Amdy Faye is back on his feet but looks very, very groggy. He'll go for some more treatment on the touchline.

1317: There's a replay I didn't want to see. Nedum Onouha and Amdy Faye go for an aerial challenge and the Stoke man comes off worse, taking the full force of Onouha's forehead in his cheek. Worried looks all round.

1315: Here's Delap again. Ryan Shawcross flicks a foot out in an attempt to backheel it home - but Joe Hart catches. City apparently think Delap might be crossing the line before he releases the ball.

1313: Apparently Mark Hughes and his backroom staff have been having a word with the fourth official about something to do with Rory Delap's throws. Not sure what.

1311: Decent spell of pressure from Stoke and the noise levels rise. Ricardo Fuller has the ball in the box but he can't get his feet sorted out and City eventually scramble it away.

1309: Another Rory Delap throw and Ryan Shawcross is on the end of it but he flicks his header over the bar.

1306: That's better. Swift break-away from City, with Craig Bellamy trying to set up Robinho but the Brazilian scuffs his first-time shot from just outside the box when he probably could have had a touch.

1303: Here comes Rory Delap with one of those rocket-propelled throws, but the ref spots a bit of pushing and shoving in the box and blows his whistle. Quarter of an hour gone and the football is yet to begin.

1302: "It's a simple game to sum up at the moment: poor."
Graham Taylor on BBC 5 Live

1259: "Re 1245: Interesting predictions from las salchichas - I'm sitting in work and had time to check - a 1 accumulator on those results would net you 36578 - although that includes your bet as well! Go on Cheesy, give it a go."
Johnny from Belfast, via text on 81111

1255: Mistake from Stoke in defence and that allows Stephen Ireland to have a go on the volley, but it's a hopeless effort which even brings a laugh from the midfielder.

1254: Good build-up from Manchester City, stroking the ball about in midfield before releasing Micah Richards down the right, but as soon as the ball gets to the edge of the area, Stoke's defence intervenes.

1252: "It's a very, very scrappy opening, but I think the strong wind has had a part to play in that."
Graham Taylor on BBC 5 Live

1251: "It's boiling inside the Brit. A Stoke victory would be the perfect birthday present."
David via text on 81111

1248: Stoke on the attack straight from the off as Ricardo Fuller chases a long ball. The striker tumbles over in the box as Joe Hart collects but it's not a penalty. Not even half a penalty.

1247: Ding ding, round one, we're off.

1245: Those of you waiting for "predos", I must remind you that I don't do predictions. That is young Jonathan Stevenson's specialist subject. Here's guest predictor Las Salchichas on 606 by way of compensation:
Stoke 2-1 Man City
Arsenal 2-3 West Ham
Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan
Bolton 3-1 Tottenham
Fulham 1-2 Portsmouth
Hull 3-1 West Brom
Middlesbrough 2-1 Blackburn
Man Utd 1-1 Everton

1242: Here come the players at a chilly but sunny Britannia Stadium.

1238: "Re 1234: Martin O'Neill got manager of last month. The curse has clearly been dispelled."
cheese666 on 606
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1235: "Re 1221: They are both overpriced!"
Gary the West Ham fan via text on 81111

1234: "Here's hoping Martin O'Neill wins manager of the month and gets struck by the curse that it comes with! Don't get me wrong, its great to see them there and break up the top 4 but I'm an Arsenal fan!"
DJL1984 on 606
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1228: "Re 1151: Carlton Cole, the most in form striker? Arsenal have scored eight goals this month. Van Persie has had a say in every single one of them, scoring three with five assists. You do the maths."
Jack, in bed, via text on 81111
Looks like you've done the maths already Jack. Cole has still scored more though.

1225: If you must leave the house today, and I'll warn you it's perishing cold out there, you can still follow this text commentary and get all the scores on your mobile. From a UK phone, just text FOOTBALL to 81010, it will cost you 10 to 15p and you will receive in return a link to our mobile site. Click on that, and you'll be straight through (then bookmark it so you never need to text that number again). The cost of being online on your phone will vary according to network and your own contract. That last bit is said very quickly in the style of an advert for a loan.

1221: Just watching Manchester City's players warm up at the Britannia Stadium. Not much I can tell you, except Robinho and Craig Bellamy appear to have the same boots. I wonder what else they have in common...

1218: Now then, if the Premier League isn't enough to satisfy your live text hunger. You could always pop in on the SPL, or even the 2009 World Economic Forum. No. I'm not joking.
Live text - Scottish Premier LeagueLive: World Economic Forum 2009

1210: TEAM NEWS Stoke v Man City
Stoke manager Tony Pulis makes two changes from the team that lost at Spurs in midweek. Danny Pugh steps in for the injured Danny Higginbottom in defence and Ricardo Fuller returns to the line-up after his suspension with Richard Cresswell dropping to the bench. Man City name an unchanged team from the one that beat Newcastle on Wednesday with new signing Craig Bellamy looking to continue where he left off after grabbing their second on his debut.

1203: Stoke boss Tony Pulis says he wouldn't swap his chairman Peter Coates "for the richest sheikh in the world". "It's like spending Monopoloy money on a board game to a lot of these foreigners," says Pulis. "It's a far cry from small boys in the park, jumpers for goalposts. Isn't it? Mmmmm. Marvellous," he very much did not go on to say.

1201: TEAMS Stoke v Man City
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Pugh, Delap, Whelan, Amdy Faye, Etherington, Beattie, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Cresswell, Lawrence, Griffin, Kitson, Sonko.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Onuoha, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Zabaleta, Ireland, Bellamy, Robinho. Subs: Schmeichel, Fernandes, Garrido, Elano, Caicedo, Jo, Vassell.

1158: "Re 1145: Ba-dam-bam lee-bom bee-lee-bom!"
Dave in Hitchin, via text on 81111
Bet that was a challenge on predictive text

1154:Danny the Stat has just been in touch with one of the worst emails he's ever sent. It can only get better. "Re 1147: Although you may be surprised that my fellow Dan has used his phone on the tube, it is worth noting that only 45% of the London Underground network is actually underground. So you can get a signal on the majority of the line."

1151: Arsenal v West Ham features the Premier League's most in-form striker, no not Robin van Persie, but Carlton Cole with five in five. If CC scores today, he'll break Tony Cottee's record for goals in consecutive top-flight games. England boss Fabio Capello names his squad for the friendly against Spain a week tomorrow. That's all I'm saying.

1147: "Huge game for the Gooners today! Zola's side have been in terrific form but he never beat us as a player and I can't see that happening as a manager today!"
Dan, on the tube, London, via text on 81111
Dan, where'd you get your magic phone that works on the tube?

1145: Just on the subject of Manchester United, I'd just like to take a moment to salute the Sun newspaper. This morning, they reveal the quite brilliant stat that all nine league goals Edwin van der Sar has conceded have all gone in the same side of the goal, prompting the magnificent headline: Pass The Dutchman On The Left Hand Side. Admittedly, it's only magnificent if you're of a certain age and remember Musical Youth, but still...

1141:smascherano (see below) look away now. Everton have not won a league match at Old Trafford since 1992. They have beaten Manchester United once in 28 league and cup meetings, losing 22 of those.

1137: "This is definitely the first time I've ever wanted Everton to win... from a Liverpool fan."
smascherano on 606
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1130: Premier League weekends get no more exciting than this. Eight crucial games today, two crackerjacks tomorrow and the potential for some blockbusting transfer deals, including Andrei Arshavin to Arsenal, David Beckham to Milan, Shay Given to Man City and Charles N'Zogbia to Wigan. See Joe? It's not that hard. Just say what you see...

Print Sponsor

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

see also
Arsenal 0-0 West Ham
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Aston Villa 0-0 Wigan
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Bolton 3-2 Tottenham
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Fulham 3-1 Portsmouth
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Hull 2-2 West Brom
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-0 Everton
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Middlesbrough 0-0 Blackburn
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Stoke 1-0 Man City
31 Jan 09 |  Premier League

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