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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Saturday, 5 April 2008 17:20 UK

FA Cup & Premier League as it happened

FA CUP SEMI-FINAL RESULT
West Brom 0-1 Portsmouth Match report

PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool Match report
Aston Villa 4-0 Bolton Match report
Blackburn 1-1 Tottenham Match report
Fulham 1-3 Sunderland Match report
Man City 0-2 Chelsea Match report
Newcastle 3-0 Reading Match report
Wigan 2-0 Birmingham Match report

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

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

By Sam Lyon

1725: Legendary chat from all you peeps today, thanks for keeping me company. Catch all the action on Match of the Day at 2210 BST on BBC1 - plenty of goals and incident to keep you amused.

Big day again tomorrow - Paul Fletcher will talk you through Everton-Derby and Middlesbrough-Man Utd league matches as well as the Barnsley-Cardiff FA Cup semi-final. Happy days.

"To have Chelsea competing till the end with their circumstances is amazing....Mourinho leaving, injuries, Africa Cup of Nations and so on..."
Kzrcfc26 on 606

"Dream on Chelsea fans. Whatever your team can do, Man United can do better. Why? Because we are the Champions!!!"
RooneyCMTan on 606

"So tomorrow I am a 'Boro supporter..."
Charlie Cooke to Bobby Tambling on 606

1705: PLAYER RATER
Gareth Barry tops the charts with a stonking 9.29 on your ratings, but Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Collins, Obafemi Martins and Ryan Taylor also fare pretty well. Damien Johnson - on 3.56 - brings up the rear - the tackle wasn't great, I have to say. Plenty of time for you to have your say, though...

FULL-TIME: MAN CITY 0-2 CHELSEA
An own goal from Richard Dunne and Salomon Kalou's striker keep Chelsea well and truly in the title hunt.

FULL-TIME: NEWCASTLE 3-0 READING
The Keegan revolution gathers pace with a comprehensive win and the St James' Park cheers tell their own story.

FULL-TIME: WIGAN 2-0 BIRMINGHAM
Steve Bruce comes back to haunt his former club and it could've been more. Birmingham are left looking over their shoulder at the drop zone.

FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 4-0 BOLTON
Even more one-sided than the scoreline suggests and, like Fulham, Bolton have it all to do to stay in the Premier League.

FULL-TIME: BLACKBURN 1-1 TOTTENHAM
Rovers' push for an Intertoto Cup spot suffers a blip at the hands of a hard-working Spurs display.

FULL-TIME: FULHAM 1-3 SUNDERLAND
A third win on the spin for Sunderland, who look safe now, but Fulham are surely doomed.

1649: Joey (not Warren *cough*) Barton goes close to a fourth with a dipping first-time volley at St James', but it flies inches past the post. Seconds later Damien Duff stings Marcus Hahnemann's palms at the near post. Four-nil would certainly have been harsh on Reading.

1646: A raking ball from Alan Hutton almost reaps a winner for Spurs, but Darren Bent just can't get enough on his finish. Blackburn fly up the other end but Jason Roberts can't get onto Bentley's pass and the chance goes.

1644: GOAL - ASTON VILLA 4-0 BOLTON
Marlon Harewood makes an immediate impact minutes after coming on as substitute, the striker rising unmarked to head home Gareth Barry's free-kick and that's curtains for Bolton in more ways than one.

1642: There's no throwing the towel in from Fulham, but the ball just won't fall their way. Brian McBride this time going close with a header from David Healy's cross, but you have to wonder if it's too little, too late.

1640: Josip Skoko lashes over the bar at the JJB to waste a chance to give Wigan a three-nil lead.

1638: Massive penalty shout for Blackburn at Ewood Park, David Bentley going down under Gilberto's challenge, but the appeals are waved away. It looked like Bentley ran into the Brazilian but I've seen 'em given for less.

1635: GOAL - FULHAM 1-3 SUNDERLAND
Unbelievable. A week after conceding a goal within seconds of scoring themselves against Derby, Fulham do it again. Kenwyne Jones is the man to restore Sunderland's cushion, controlling Daryl Murphy's pass and lashing into a practically unguarded net. Terrible defending from the hosts and once again the Londoners are staring into the abyss.

1633: GOAL - FULHAM 1-2 SUNDERLAND
A lifeline for Fulham! David Healy climbs off the bench to give the Cottagers hope with a stunning 30-yard curler than dips just under the bar and in. Brilliant goal.

"Yes! Finally a Match of the Day where every game is guaranteed a goal!"
moneymayweather on 606

1628: Grant Leadbitter brings a fabulous save from Kasey Keller, the Fulham keeper palming over at full stretch from the Sunderland substitute's dipping 30-yarder.

1625: Spurs go close again at Ewood Park, Berbatov breaking down the left and trying to feed Robbie Keane in the box, only for Christopher Samba to clear from under the Irishman's nose five yards from goal.

1624: I didn't win the Grand National. Comply or Die did.

1623: Ok, deep breaths everyone, deep breaths...

1620: GOAL - ASTON VILLA 3-0 BOLTON
Gareth Barry caps a disastrous few minutes for Bolton with a fine left-footed shot that flies into the net via a fortunate deflection. The Trotters have got to be thinking about Championship football now, surely?

1619: City defender Nedum Onuoha has just been stretchered off at Eastlands and he looks in real pain. He was the victim of nothing more than a shove from Michael Essien but fell awkwardly and it is unclear what his injury is.

1619: GOAL - NEWCASTLE 3-0 READING
Habib Beye is the provider again for Newcastle, Mark Viduka the beneficiary this time as the Australian lashes into the bottom corner. Game, set, match for the Magpies.

1617: Chelsea are running riot at Eastlands as Joe Hart tips Nicolas Anelka's header on to the bar and recovers to paw away the rebound with the Frenchman lurking.

1616: GOAL - ASTON VILLA 2-0 BOLTON
It's all gone a bit goal crazy people! A swift passing move sees John Carew link with Ashley Young and Gareth Barry, the latter crossing intelligently for Gabriel Agbonlahor to prod in from close range.

1615: GOAL - WIGAN 2-0 BIRMINGHAM
Ryan Taylor bundles home from two yards out after Emile Heskey's shot is parried by Maik Taylor. Nothing the Birmingham keeper could've done and is that the goal that seals Wigan's Premier League status?

1614: GOAL - MAN CITY 0-2 CHELSEA
Michael Essien's pass deflects off Richard Dunne and into the path of Salomon Kalou, who rounds Joe Hart and slots home. Seconds later and only a superb one-on-one save by Joe Hart stops Nicolas Anelka from making it 3-0.

1613: GOAL - FULHAM 0-2 SUNDERLAND
Roy Keane's decision to bring Michael Chopra on at half time pays instant dividends as his looped volley from Kenwyne Jones's flick-on loops over Kasey Keller and in.

1612: Brad Friedel keeps Blackburn level with an excellent stop from Steed Malbranque's 12-yard drive.

1610: Bolton have fired out of the blocks at Villa Park and the Trotters have a decent call for a penalty when the ball strikes Bouma's arm. Would've been harsh.

1607: Neat drive from Dimitar Berbatov at Ewood Park, Brad Friedel getting down low to keep out the Bulgarian's 25-yard shot.

1606: Emile Heskey runs on to Josip Skoko's through-pass, holds off Ryan Taylor, but blazes wide of the Birmingham goal. Let off for City, that.

1605: We're back under way at most places now. Those that aren't will be soon. It's the ol' 15-minute-break-and-then-the-second-half-starts kind of thing. It's traditional.

"Goodness, do Fulham need Jimmy Bullard today? 45 minutes from him could give Fulham a lifeline."
Garth Crooks, Score on BBCi

"Sam, Mauro Zarate will score a second half hat trick i assure you."
NemanjaMike on 606

"With Newcastle, you knew once they had the first win, others would follow."
Gavin Peacock, Score on BBCi

"Habib Beye - man of the match, man of the season."
Hot_Sauce on 606

1558: For those of you interested in things other than the beautiful game, you can keep up with Mr Oliver Brett's Grand National (that's horses) commentary and Mr Mark Orlovac's Heineken Cup (that's rugby) chat.

But come back, now, won't you.

1555: PLAYER RATER
The likes of Obafemi Martins, Danny Collins, Dimitar Berbatov and Nicholas Anelka are topping your votes on the player raters - all posting over eight. Juliano Belletti is faring less well on 4.90, while there are precious few votes in the Wigan-Birmingham game. Get involved people.

HALF-TIME: NEWCASTLE 2-0 READING
The heady days are back under King Kev, Newcastle looking good for a two-goal lead and more.

HALF-TIME: FULHAM 0-1 SUNDERLAND
Fulham booed off after a Sunderland-dominated half.

HALF-TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-0 BOLTON
Narrow lead and Bolton looking at a potentially devastating loss.

HALF-TIME: MAN CITY 0-1 CHELSEA
One goal in it, end to end stuff at times, Chelsea will be happy to still be leading.

HALF-TIME: WIGAN 1-0 BIRMINGHAM
Wigan well on top, could've been more, and with 10 men Birmingham face a tall order to get back into this one.

HALF-TIME: BLACKBURN 1-1 TOTTENHAM
All Tottenham until the Rovers equaliser, all to play for.

1547: Mauro Zarate almost gets an unlikely leveller for Birmingham at Wigan, the striker's brilliant effort palmed away at full stretch by Chris Kirkland.

1546: GOAL - FULHAM 0-1 SUNDERLAND
Crucial, crucial goal for Roy Keane's men at Craven Cottage. Daryl Murphy drops his shoulder on the right side of the penalty area box to whip in an accurate cross for Danny Collins to nod past Kasey Keller from six yards.

1546: GOAL - NEWCASTLE 2-0 READING
Michael Owen makes it two at St James' Park - and deservedly so - the England man finishing well from Habib Beye's cross.

1545: The Berbatov-Keane love-in may be over at Tottenham as the pair get into a lover's tiff over a missed pass. Handbags.

1544: Simon Davies goes close for Fulham against Sunderland, the Welshman firing over from 20 yards with a snap-shot volley. Tough old game at the moment, but a cracking atmosphere.

1542: Martin Laursen hits the post for Villa from an acute angle after Bolton fail to deal with Ashley Young's cross. One shot on target at Villa Park so far and it brought the hosts' goal.

1541: Kevin Kilbane smashes a drive against the post for Wigan and Birmingham are desperately trying to hang on in there at the JJB Stadium.

1540: Michael Owen goes agonisingly close to a second for Newcastle, the diminutive striker side-footing wide from six yards after a lovely dummy by Mark Viduka. The Toon well on top.

1538: RED CARD - DAMIEN JOHNSON, BIRMINGHAM
From bad to worse for Birmingham at Wigan, Damien Johnson seeing red for a lunge at Kevin Kilbane. Replays suggest it wasn't as bad as it first looked, and Kilbane protests Johnson's innocence on his opponent's behalf, but Johnson has to go.

1535: Three City chances in quick succession against Chelsea as Stephen Ireland's close-range shot is blocked by Juliano Belletti's outstretched leg, before Carlo Cudicini tips over Martin Petrov's effort at full-stretch. Seconds later Michael Johnson's deflected shot is cleared off the line by Ashley Cole. Manic.

1533: Gary McSheffrey fires Birmingham's first chance over the bar, his free-kick failing to trouble Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland.

1531: GOAL - BLACKBURN 1-1 TOTTENHAM
Brilliant from David Bentley and completely against the run of play. The 'new Beckham' as I think, erm, he refers to himself, controls superbly on the right to get past Chimbonda and cuts back for Morten Gamst Pedersen to simply tap home.

1529: West Brom striker Kevin Phillips cuts a disappointed figure back at Wembley, berating the officials for missing Milan Baros's handball in the lead up to Portsmouth's FA Cup semi-final winner and adding: "I'm gutted, I don't think we deserved to lose. We can hold our heads up high, Portsmouth have been very lucky."

1526: Decent effort by Daryl Murphy at Craven Cottage, the Sunderland midfielder's drive deflected narrowly wide by Aaron Hughes's desperate dive.

1524: City, on the back of a fine 10-minute spell against Chelsea, are thankful for another brilliant Onuoha tackle on Nicholas Anelka, the Frenchman striding through on goal but unable to double the visitors' lead.

1522: Valencia drives at goal twice in a minute at the JJB, both cleared desperately by the Birmingham defence, before Emile Heskey brings a smart save from Maik Taylor. Wigan are well on top.

1521: GOAL - NEWCASTLE 1-0 READING
Obafemi Martins rolls into the Reading net with a super finish after a flowing Magpies move and it's happy days again at St James's.

1520: Benjani wastes a decent chance to bring City level against Chelsea, the striker heading over when free in the box from Martin Petrov's cross.

1520: Spurs are threatening to run riot at Ewood Park, Dimitar Berbatov wasting a glorious one-on-one chance from Jenas's through-ball. It's the Bulgarian's third clear chance of the afternoon and the Londoners are carving Blackburn open at will at the moment.

1519: Good effort by Martin Petrov at Eastlands, the Bulgarian having a go from 30 yards but his strike flies narrowly wide of Carlo Cudicini's goal.

1518: For those of you expecting a goal-fest at Newcastle... well, it aint even close so far. Pretty open, as you'd expect, but a distinct lack of quality in the forward areas so far.

1517: GOAL - WIGAN 1-0 BIRMINGHAM
Antonio Valencia races clear on the right and crosses through the Birmingham defence for Ryan Taylor to fire first-time into the bottom corner. Fine strike and a crucial goal in the battle to beat the drop.

1516: Brian McBride wastes a decent chance to give Fulham a precious, precious lead against Sunderland, heading straight down the mouth of Craig Gordon from 12 yards. Could've done better but a decent start from the Cottagers.

1514: Nedum Onuha saves Man City from going 2-0 down with a brilliant sprawling tackle on Nicholas Anelka. Early signs are that Chelsea are bang up for this one, it could be a long afternoon for Mr Eriksson.

1513: Marcus Bent fires wildly over the bar from Mario Melchiot's cut-back as Wigan threaten against their relegation rivals Birmingham.

1511: GOAL - ASTON VILLA 1-0 BOLTON
Gareth Barry heads home to bang another nail into Bolton's relegation coffin, you fear, the midfielder rising unmarked to touch in Ashley Young's cross from the left wing.

1508: GOAL - BLACKBURN 0-1 TOTTENHAM
Spurs take the lead at Ewood Park, Dimitar Berbatov tapping in after a neat passing move and a killer ball from Jermaine Jenas.

1508: GOAL - MAN CITY 0-1 CHELSEA
Nicholas Anelka is fed by Michael Essien in the box and the striker's cross is turned into his own net by Richard Dunne. Great start for the title chasers.

1504: Early effort on goal at Ewood Park as Michael Dawson flicks on Jermaine Jenas's free-kick, but Brad Friedel saves comfortably. Up the other end Radek Cerny gets in all sorts of bother in and out of his area, David Bentley trying his luck from 50 yards in response, but Spurs clear. Bizarre start there.

"They know what they've got to do this season, Chelsea, win every game"
Gavin Peacock, Score on BBCi

1503: ...and at Villa Park and St James'.

1502: Under way at Ewood, Eastlands, Craven Cottage and the JJB Stadium...

"Shorts odds on Newcastle defender Edgar David scoring an OG - you read it here before the game."
Thanks A lot BBC7 on 606

"I'm not really looking forward to our game against Sunderland. Fulham's performances lately haven't been great and, as much as it pains me to say it, we do deserve to go down."
ffc2004 on 606

"Why on earth does Grant continue to select Kalou. He's useless."
Zola Come Back on 606

"Cerny back in the Tottenham team - thank God."
AreaClouded on 606

1445: That's the team news bonanza out of the way. What do we think of all that then?

TEAM NEWS - BLACKBURN v TOTTENHAM
Defender Christopher Samba starts for Blackburn after completing a one-match ban while Brett Emerton is on the bench after recovering from a groin strain. David Dunn is out with a calf strain while Zurab Khizanishvili drops out of the squad. Paul Robinson is not even on the Tottenham bench for the trip to Blackburn, meaning Radek Cerny starts in goal. Midfielder Jermaine Jenas is back from illness and will start in midfield, while Aaron Lennon and Pascal Chimbonda also return. Darren Bent drops to the bench.

TEAM NEWS - MAN CITY v CHELSEA
In a bid to end of a run of only one win in six games, Man City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson recalls Vedran Corluka, Michael Ball, Michael Johnson and Martin Petrov. Chelsea boss Avram Grant makes six changes to the side which lost 2-1 at Fenerbahce, with ex-City players Nicolas Anelka and Shaun-Wright Phillips, as well as Jon Mikel Obi, Alex, Solomon Kalou and Juliano Belletti all starting.

TEAM NEWS - FULHAM v SUNDERLAND
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson makes just one change from the team that drew at Derby, bringing Danny Murphy back into midfield in place of Hameur Bouazza, who drops to the bench. Sunderland boss Roy Keane also makes one change, bringing in Carlos Edwards for Michael Chopra.

TEAM NEWS - WIGAN v BIRMINGHAM
Martin Taylor returns to the Birmingham line-up for the first time since his being sent off against Arsenal in March, the suspended Franck Queudrue missing out as the only change to the side which beat Manchester City last time out. Wigan manager Steve Bruce, facing his former club for the first time, brings Wilson Palacios into the team in place of Erik Hagen.

TEAM NEWS - ASTON VILLA v BOLTON
Aston Villa defender Zat Knight is restored to the starting line-up, allowing Olof Mellberg to revert to right-back, with striker Marlon Harewood left out. Bolton make two changes with Joey O'Brien and Heidar Helguson replacing Jlloyd Samuel and Ivan Campo who were both relegated to the substitutes' bench.

TEAM NEWS - NEWCASTLE v READING
Newcastle defender David Edgar is drafted in as a late replacement for Steven Taylor, who was sent home with a stomach bug after a late fitness test. Reading manager Steve Coppell also made one change, with Kalifa Cisse taking over from the suspended Marek Matejovsky.

1439: FULL-TIME - ARSENAL 1-1 LIVERPOOL
And so, just like in midweek, nothing can separate the sides. Arsenal's title challenge looks over now, I reckon, while Liverpool can only hope the dropped two points don't come back to haunt them in their race for fourth spot with Everton.

1438: Terrible touch from Hleb! The Belarussian, completely free in the Liverpool box, is found by Adebayor, but he can't control it and the chance is lost.

1434: Both sides are pushing and probing, but Arsenal are looking the more vulnerable when Liverpool break. A win is a must for the Gunners, surely?

1430: Crackerjack match at the moment at Arsenal - Torres breaking free down the right, with Gerrard screaming for the ball in the middle, but the Spaniard's cross is cut out.

"Honestly, why is Voronin anywhere near the Liverpool side? I know that was a tight angle but I could have put the ball back across goal with my left peg, eyes shut. He's on 40k a week!!"
ScarboroughSumps on 606

1428: Torres almost makes an immediate impact, slipping a terrific ball through the Arsenal defence for Voronin to run on to, but once again the Ukrainian sub makes a laughing stock of himself after rounding the keeper, falling over the ball and allowing the home defence to clear.

1426: Ouch. Voronin won't want to watch that on replay - Gerrard feeds the Ukrainian 12 yards out without a defender near him, but Voronin fires miles over. Benitez responds by bringing on Fernando Torres, Wenger by replacing Flamini with Hleb.

1425: Saving tackle from Arbeloa. Fabregas gets the ball in front of goal 20 yards out, but his countryman prevents him getting a shot away in the nick of time.

1421: Liverpool bring Voronin on for Benayoun.

1418: Moments after Gael Clichy comes on to replace Traore, Liverpool almost snatch the lead again, Almunia clawing the ball away from under his own bar from John Arne Riise's wayward left-wing cross.

1416: Decent effort from Mathieu Flamini, the Frenchman striking it first-time from 20 yards but Pepe Reina saves well and holds on to the ball with Theo Walcott looming large. Well not large, the boy's about three foot tall, but you know what I mean.

1411: Back at the Emirates and Stevie Gerrard climbs off the Liverpool bench to replace Jermaine Pennant.

"I think most neutrals will be happy for Harry, well done!"
Seb {GoDJ} on 606

"Portsmouth have not played well in the FA Cup once this season and yet they are in the final!"
Mustardo on 606

"Full credit to West Brom - they outplayed us at times and we struggled to pass it like we can. But this is a dream for me, my family, the club and our fans. It's a special achievement."
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp on Match of the Day

1408 - FULL TIME: WEST BROM 0-1 PORTSMOUTH
Portsmouth are into the FA Cup final. Dean Kiely came up for a late Baggies corner but it came to nothing and the south-coast side are through. They did not play well on the day but Harry Redknapp does not care a jot - and who can blame him. Harsh on West Brom, but they at least can concentrate on their promotion push.

1407: It should be 2-0 Pompey - Lassana Diarra breaks well with the Baggies up the field but Nico Kranjcar's shot flies well over. Time for one last West Brom attack?

1405: Pompey killing time in the FA Cup semi-final and West Brom are staring down the barrell...

1403: Emmanuel Adebayor is coming on for Arsenal - that should please you lot on 606 - Justin Hoyte the man coming off.

1401: Time running out for West Brom at Wembley but it looks like they are going to force a late rally... can they do it?

"Is that Bendtner making up for his goalline clearance in the week?? Good Boy!!"
club_foot on 606

1359: GOAL - ARSENAL 1-1 LIVERPOOL
Simple as for Arsenal, Fabregas floating a free-kick into the danger area and Niklas Bendtner out-jumps Peter Crouch to head home firmly. Pepe Reina might have wished he'd come for that, but maybe Arsenal's title push is not quite over yet. That's also the Gunners' 100th goal in all competitions this season.

1358: Chances at both ends at Wembley - first David Nugent bringing a smart save from Dean Kiely with a 16-yard drive with the Baggies defence floundering, and then Ishmael Miller side-footing a firm cross just wide of the post from six.

1357: It should be 1-1 at Arsenal - Kolo Toure heading wide from Fabregas's corner unmarked 12 yards out.

1356: Decent Liverpool break at the Emirates, Steve Finnan picking out Peter Crouch at the far post but the big man's header is lame and it's easily cleared.

1354: Kanu's not a terribly happy bunny as his number is called from the sidelines - not the most attacking move from ol' Harry R, Sean Davis coming on and Pompey look set to go 4-5-1 to protect their lead.

1351: Back under way at the Emirates - no changes.

1350: It really is opening up at Wembley. First Sulley Muntari drills an effort narrowly wide of the Baggies goal after breaking into the box, and Ishmael Miller then shrugs off Sol Campbell at the other end, only for David James to pluck his cross out of the air with Kevin Phillips lurking.

1348: CLOSE!! Hoefkens drives down the right, the ball looking suspiciously as if it has gone out of play at one point, and feeds Robert Koren, whose fabulous 20-yard drive crashes off the bar and over. Maybe Pompey's name really is written on the trophy?

1345: Milan Baros will be replaced by David Nugent - and not before time from Pompey's point of view, I'd say.

1343: Zolton Gera does well, somehow holding on to the ball in the face of three players, before firing a drive well over. Has some making up to do, though, does the Hungarian.

1339: What a miss! Nico Kranjcar scares the life out of the Baggies defence with a driving run and slips Milan Baros through with just Dean Kiely to beat 12 yards out. The Czech inexplicably takes an extra touch, though, and Kiely palms the ball behind for a corner. I'll, say it again - waste.

1338: Glen Johnson ghosts past Robinson on the Pompey right and slips a delightful ball across the Baggies goal - but no Portsmouth player is anywhere near it. Waste.

"Arsene Wenger has to go. I've had enough of awful players like Hoyte, Traore and, the worst EVER, Eboue playing. He never spends any money on anyone half decent."
thierrywasbetter on 606

This is a joke post, right thierrywasbetter?

1336: PLAYER RATER
Liverpool goalscorer Peter Crouch leads the way at the Emirates Stadium with 7.73 so far. Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue is not having such a good day with just 5.05.

1335: HALF-TIME - ARSENAL 0-1 LIVERPOOL
Deserved lead for Liverpool and Arsenal's title push is well and truly on the rocks as it stands.

1334: Immediate response to the goal from Tony Mowbray, Ishmael Miller and Chris Brunt coming on for the Baggies in place of James Morrison and Roman Bednar.

"This semi-final is typical of the quarter-final with United for Pompey. They play poorly and still win it. You're a whole 17 places above them Pompey, at least play like you want to win."
Man Utd - Jambo on 606

1331: West Brom are rocking a bit now and Muntari breaks down the left, only for his cut-back to be sliced by Kranjcar harmlessly away for a throw-in.

1329: GOAL - ARSENAL 0-1 LIVERPOOL
Great finish at the Emirates, and a little more justice than at Wembley. Benayoun flicks a Pepe Reina long ball to Peter Crouch, who turns Williams Gallas inside out before lashing an excellent drive into the bottom corner.

1327: GOAL - WEST BROM 0-1 PORTSMOUTH
Heartbreak for the Baggies. Milan Baros brings Glen Johnson's ball down on the chest and brings a brilliant save from Dean Kiely on the turn - however Zoltan Gera makes a hash of the clearance and it falls to Kanu for the simplest of tap-ins.

1325: Emmanuel Eboue breaks free on the right, all manner of options ahead of him, but again it's a waste as his cross on the run is cleared by Martin Skrtel. More encouraging for the hosts, though, let's hope that sparks the game a bit.

"Portsmouth lacked urgency in the first half and they are lacking urgency again in this half. I don't understand it."
Mark Lawrenson on Match of the Day

1322: Arsenal finally show some life at the Emirates, Carragher's tackle on Walcott spilling the ball to Bendtner 16 yards out, but the Dane's tame finish is easily saved by Pepe Reina. Should've done better there.

1319: Arsenal are wobbling again - Yossi Benayoun this time striding through an absent defence, but the Israeli's touch pushes him too far wide and his slide-shot zips off the turf and wide.

1318: We're back under way at Wembley...

"We are being outmuscled, and Crouch is winning everything in the air, does Wenger even want to win this match??"
GodsSquad on 606

"I have to admit Crouchy is a lot better than his gangly frame would suggest. Cristiano he aint... but he is deceptively deft."
K-Keyz via text

1313: Jermaine Pennant stings one in at goal, but it flies wide. Arsenal need to wake up.

1311: Crouchy's having a bit of a game, you know. He holds the ball up well and lays it off to Lucas, who in turn feeds Plessis 35 yards out. The Frenchman's drive is more likely to trouble row z than the back of the net, though, and a neat move comes to nothing.

1307: Niklas Bendtner makes a rare foray forward for Arsenal, but the young Dane is muscled behind the goal-line by Jamie Carragher. Subdued atmosphere at the Emirates, it has to be said. Have the Gunners given up on their title chase?

1304: Great chance for Liverpool - Crouch slips a delightful ball to Riise, the Norwegian breaking in from the left, but he blazes over with just Almunia to beat from 16 yards. In other news, Dezza here has just volunteered to do a chippy run for lunch - what a legend.

"After that first half I have had to break out the scotch to settle my nerves."
pompeyboyinleeds on 606

"West Brom are a team, Portsmouth are a team of strangers. The only consolation for Pompey is that it's still 0-0 - they can only improve you'd think."
Alan Hansen on Match of the Day

1302: HALF-TIME - WEST BROM 0-0 PORTSMOUTH
That's the end of the first half at Wembley. West Brom will certainly be the happier side, with Kevin Phillips proving influential, but you'd hope much more is to come from both sides in the second half.

1300: Back at Wembley, with the game failing to spark into life to be honest, Muntari tries his luck left-footed from 20 yards but it flies harmlessly wide of the West Brom goal.

1258: ...it comes to little as Emmanuel Eboue's effort from 25 yards comes off his own shin and wide.

1257: Liverpool are certainly enjoying the better of it against Arsenal in London, their much-changed side doing pretty much all the huffing and puffing early doors. Still, Theo Walcott breaks down the left and that will be a home corner...

"(re:12.44) Shouldn't that be Arsenal v Liverpool II, This Time It's Half-hearted?"
Chris, Essex via text

1252: David James - you've gotta love him. Under no pressure whatsoever, he almost spills Glen Johnson's tame backpass into Kevin Phillips's path 10 yards away. He collects desperately at the second attempt.

1251: PLAYER RATER
After half an hour at Wembley Niko Kranjcar is leading they way with 7.20. Kevin Phillips is West Brom's best on 6.14, with no-one else on either side registering over 6.

1250: Just two minutes in at the Emirates and Liverpool come close to an opener... the oft-maligned Peter Crouch collects, turns and drills one at goal from 30 yards, Manuel Almunia palming it over the Arsenal goal one-handed. Fine effort, fine save.

1248: Liverpool kick things off at the Emirates...

1246: Sulley Muntari lines up a free-kick from fully 35 yards - he toe-pokes it Cristiano Ronaldo-style, but Dean Kiely saves so easily it's all a bit of a wasted effort, you feel. Half an hour in at Wembley and not a great deal to choose between the sides as yet.

"I'm pretty excited by Liverpool's line up. Giving a debut to a youngster is always an encouraging thing to see but now we might see Lucas play his natural game as a more attack-minded midfielder."
Kebabarinhoo on 606

1244: The teams are readying themselves in the tunnel at the Emirates. Jermaine Pennant appears to be flavour of the month with the Arsenal players - I'd almost forgotton he used to play for them I must be honest. A few minutes and Arsenal-Liverpool II, This Time It's Personal, will be under way.

1241: A driving run from Milan Baros into the Baggies box but the ball gets away from him and the Championship side are able to clear. Bit more even-Steven now at Wembley.

1240: Five minutes until kick-off at the Emirates and the stands appear to be filling nicely. Wonder how the folks there feel about the 'resting' of the big names. A shot of one young lad in the Arsenal end shows him eating, I'm not kidding, a prawn sandwich. This country...

1234: Kranjcar thinks he's slipped Milan Baros through on goal, but the Czech striker is flagged offside just 10 yards inside the Baggies half... close.

1231: Kranjcar swings in a free-kick from deep but Robinson clears the Baggies line under pressure, with Sol Campbell offside anyway.

"Portsmouth just aren't watching any West Brom runs. If it carries on like this WBA could score inside 20 minutes."
mattzaliar on 606

"Baggies to win 3-2 with a late goal to break Pompey's heart. Fact."
Anon via text

"Kevin Phillips, operating 'in the hole' behind Roman Bednar, is running the show for West Brom."
John Motson on Match of the Day

"Just seen the team news for the Arsenal-Liverpool match, clearly Mr Wenger is thinking more about the Champions League as well now."
VA, Essex via text

1226: This really is a bright start from the Championship side, and Hoefkens - who has been overlapping well down the right-hand side, dinks a lovely ball to the far post with Pompey's defence stretched, but it is just too high for Kevin Phillips.

"Portsmouth just can't get hold of the ball at the moment, not in any area. Great start from West Brom."
Mark Lawrenson on Match of the Day

"Pompey to win 3-2 with a late goal to break the Baggies' hearts. Fact."
Anon via text

1222: Zolton Gera is the next to try his luck from outside the box, and his dipping effort has David James sprawling uncomfortably. The Pompey keeper deals with it, though.

1220: First real effort of the match and it falls to Kevin Phillips, who turns in space on the edge of the box only to fire a half-decent effort over the bar from 20 yards.

1218: It's a bright enough start for West Brom, with Bednar slipping over at the crucial moment in the box to end a zippy counter from Tony Mowbray's men. Soak up the pressure and then attack appears to be the Baggies' early gameplan.

1216: And we're off in the FA Cup semi-final...

1214: A brief huddle for the Baggies players, no such nonsense for the Pompey boys - they must have cuddled each other in the dressing room - and we're seconds away now.

1210: The teams are streaming out under bright sunshine at Wembley. As expected the stands are full to the rafters - a dashing mix of bright blue and the white and navy stripes of the Baggies. Both sets of supporters were handed 34,000 tickets apparently and BBC Sport's own expert Mark Lawrenson describes the atmosphere as "rather special".

A reminder of the team news for you, then. West Brom recall Kevin Phillips and Roman Bednar to the starting line-up, with Pele and Ishmael Miller dropping to the bench. Portsmouth defender Hermann Hreidarsson, meanwhile, makes the game after an Achilles injury, but there is no place for John Utaka who misses out with a hamstring problem.

1205: TEAM NEWS - ARSENAL v LIVERPOOL
Arsenal recall Gilberto, Nicklas Bendtner, Armand Traore, Justin Hoyte and Theo Walcott, while Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored against Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, is on the bench. Liverpool make eight changes, handing French midfielder Damien Plessis his debut and starting with Peter Crouch up front. Steven Gerrard is among the substitutes as only goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel retain their places.

"Before looking at the Liverpool line-up, I thought they would lose, but looking at the confirmed team I think this could be a trashing."
XavEASPORTS on 606

1202: News filtering through of some big changes in the Arsenal and Liverpool sides - no Adebayor or Van Persie for Arsenal, no Torres or Gerrard for Liverpool, that's the rumour. As soon as I know, you'll know.

"Harry Redknapp has done a remarkable job at Portsmouth. Defensively they're sound, up front they have creativity and the team is full of strength throughout. They're big favourites, but given the way this competition has gone this season who knows?!"
BBC Sport's football expert Alan Hansen on Match of the Day

"I can't bear this - can we just get on with it?"
devonFRATTONiser on 606

1200: Ok, we're 15 minutes away from kick-off at Wembley people. It really is squeaky-bum time now, especially if you're one of the Pompey or West Brom fans who've been on the sauce since the early hours of this morning. The perfect time to sample one of Wembley's 2,618 toilets, I reckon.

"My missus gave birth to my son on Monday so I was never gonna be allowed to go to Wembley to cheer on Pompey. Instead, I have my boy Jack in my arms in Pompey gear to cheer 'em on from home. Be a perfect week if we win today."
pompeyboyinleeds via text

"Is it any coincidence that the year none of 'the big four' gets to semis in the FA cup, they all make it to the quarters of the champions league? Oh and might I add... doesn't everyone prefer it this way?!"
GlasgowJambo1987 on 606

1142: TEAM NEWS - WEST BROM v PORTSMOUTH
West Brom: Kiely, Hoefkens, Albrechtsen, Clement, Robinson, Morrison, Koren, Gera, Greening, Bednar, Phillips.
Subs: Danek, Kim, Miller, Pele, Brunt.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Diarra, Diop, Muntari, Kranjcar, Kanu, Baros.
Subs: Ashdown, Lauren, Nugent, Davis, Pedro Mendes.

Referee: Howard Webb (England)

1140: Talking of the Arsenal-Liverpool match, here's some more background for you... Arsenal are one of only two teams who have an unbeaten home record in the league this year and have not lost to Liverpool on their own turf since February 2000. However, the Reds have won seven of their last nine league games and, in Fernando Torres, have this season's biggest success story (alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, obviously). It's all to play for, team selection permitting...

"Is it just me or are all the Chelsea and Manchester United fans supporting Liverpool today?"
Load_Of_Ballacks on 606

1133: Pure pre-match cliche from both sides ahead of the FA Cup semi. Baggies boss Tony Mowbray has urged his players to "seize the moment", adding: "In any footballer's or coach's life this doesn't come along very often."

Sol Campbell, meanwhile, says Pompey "have to make sure we're really on the ball, and also respect who we are playing against". Yawn...

"Respect to the Pompey fans I saw on a very packed train at East Croydon station at 0730 this morning enjoying a 'drink or two'. The atmosphere was carnival-like!"
Simon via text

"Is it a replay or extra time if it's a draw in the FA Cup semi?"
Matt, a Pompey fan in Nottingham via text

1124: Good question that Matt. If it's a draw after 90 minutes, extra-time will be played. If it's a draw after extra-time, penalties will be taken. Bosh, done, jubbly, happy days.

"It's been amazing this year. And I fancy the Cup to demonstrate more of its magic this weekend. West Brom vs Barnsley in the final!"
Abroard_magpie on 606

"West Brom to win today! Barnsley tomorrow!! And to top it all off Liverpool to win today with a B team and on Tuesday!!! West Brom-Barnsley final Barnsley win!!! Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool!"
laurenisredfolyf on 606

Exclamation-mark-tastic, laurenisredfolyf!!!!

"Hopefully the guy with the bell didn't get a ticket for the Pompey semi. What a racket!!"
tomdcfc87 via 606

I second that in a big way tomdcfc87 - I'm all for fun and games on a matchday but that geezer does my blooming head in. Do Pompey fans even like it? I wouldn't want to sit next to that week in, week out.

1111: Little background chat for the Baggies-Pompey semi-final for you now - and it may (or may not) surprise you to know that in 74 meetings between the sides, West Brom have won 43 times and Portsmouth just 19. Add to that the fact that West Brom have won the famous trophy five times compared to Pompey's one and things don't quite seem as one-sided as some might have suspected. Then again, we're talking about records that go back about 40 years so, frankly, they probably have as much relevance as Bonnie Langford at a Rock Metal festival.

"I fancy West Brom to take Pompey out today, and I don't mean no dinner date. Cardiff- West Brom final? Sounds like the FA Cup magic is back."
Ralshtovski on 606

"Just had a phonecall from my brother. He's with a couple of thousand Pompey fans who caught the train at 5.20am and are now in a nightclub at Wembley!!"
Kates28 via text

"Kranjcar to score the winner at Wembley for Pompey and Hedgehunter to win the National - nice double there!"
Paul, Belfast via text

"So Sam Lyon who do you think has there name on the cup this year????????????????????????????????????"
liverpool_606 on 606

1102: I wasn't going to get drawn into this liverpool_606, but that 36th question mark has won me over. I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with form and say Pompey look nailed on to me - and who could begrudge lovable ol' Harry Redknapp finally getting his hands on some silverware? That said, the Baggies are a decent side and if Kevin Phillips is firing they could be laughing... how's that for sitting on the fence?

"Well Sam, I dont think much of your chances of getting the fifty big un's... but at least there's some cracking footy ahead, especially that mouth-watering Newcastle-Reading game... at least six goals in it I'm betting."
I82People on 606

"Offer me a 1-0 Arsenal win and I'd bite your hand off."
Methinks_49 on 606

1059: As tempting an offer as that sounds Methinks - who needs TWO hands anyway? - no can do I'm afraid. Though if the chat on text and 606 is anything to go by, most of you are expecting a Liverpool 'B' side to be trounced by the Gunners... any more optimistic Reds out there?

"Is just me or West Ham have been 10th all season???"
juzoik on 606

"Missed out on a Wembley ticket but I'll be at the pub, singing at the TV for what should be a good game. Come on Pompey!"
Eothain on 606

"Dear BBC. Can you tell the Circle Line to get a move on."
Phil :) via text

"In what is usually a blockbluster clash, today's meeting between Arsenal and Liverpool will be a dire affair as only one team will care about the result."
rickyk10 on 606

"GO Blackburn for the Intertoto cup!! It's the new cup that every team wants to win!!!!"
BlackburnR_MGP on 606

1047: By the way, when I ask "Who needs the Grand National?", the answer to that is, of course, me. The office sweepstake has been drawn and I've landed Slim Pickings and Turko. I have absolutely no idea if this is good or bad news, but 50 big ones are heading my way if either win - happy days. If you fancy a Saturday sweep, check out our cut-out-and-keep thingymajig. Otherwise, stay here for footy chat, because that's your lot as far as the nags are concerned on this page (until nearer the start anyway...).

"If Spurs win today we will be just 2 points behind West Ham who don't play until tommorow. So have that for 'not meaning a great deal'."
Mark, Woburn Sands via text

Let's be honest, when your club is 'chasing' 10th spot with six games remaining, it's safe to say your season is petering out Mark...

"It's always football over horse racing!"
30 Seconds To Mars Rock on 606

1035: I have to tell you, on the way into her majesty's BBC TV towers this morning I did spot quite a few Pompey fans already Wembley-bound. I do love an early kick off - couple of alcoholic beverages first thing, journey down for what, for the Baggies and Pompey anyway I'd wager, is one of the biggest games in recent history - and then all the rest of the day and night to either celebrate, commiserate or go shopping with the missus (sometimes you've gotta win the brownie points haven't you...).

Anyway, any Baggies or Pompey fans out there, get in touch and let us know what you're up to. And the same goes for Arsenal and Liverpool fans too... don't be shy...

"Between mid March and mid April, there's everything a football fan could want..."
liverbird_42 on 606

1025: One word can describe today's footy action people - mega.

What's your fancy? Cup football at its finest? The West Brom-Pompey FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley kicks off at 1215 BST and that should keep you more than happy.

Or what about Premier League action at the top end of the table? Well part two of the Arsenal-Liverpool trilogy kicks off at 1245 BST and later fellow title hopefuls Chelsea travel to Man City.

Or are you more of a relegation dogfight kinda guy or gal? It doesn't get much more crucial than Fulham-Sunderland or Wigan-Birmingham, or even Bolton's trip to Aston Villa.

And even if that doesn't take your fancy, we have the mid-table don't-mean-a-great-deal-to-either-side clashes between Blackburn and Tottenham* and Newcastle and Reading. Bonanza.

Who needs the Grand National huh?

* For the purposes of this intro, I am discounting Blackburn's push for an Intertoto Cup spot, but feel free to pick me up on it on 606 or via text. In fact, get in touch about anything footy related and we can all have a nice ol' chat before the action gets started. How nice.




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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