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Page last updated at 19:49 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

Saturday football as it happened



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

By Chris Bevan

1948: And that brings us nicely to a close at the end of another exciting day of Premier League action. Let's hope for more thrills and spills tomorrow from Birmingham v Man City in the top flight and Cardiff v Nottingham Forest in the Championship. Enjoy the rest of your Halloween and I'll see you then.

1942: Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce after his side's defeat by Manchester United: "It was a fair result. We defended very well indeed and limited them to not many clear-cut chances but the two goals they scored were class finishes. My only disappointment is that we didn't challenge United in their own area enough when they have been a bit shaky recently. With our late goal that was disallowed, it was so far onside that I don't know how that wasn't given - and that might have changed things."

1940: I don't blame any Hull, Tottenham, Bolton, Wigan and Liverpool fans who won't be tuning in but, should you want to, you can catch all of today's Premier League action on Match of the Day at 2230 BST on BBC1 and then watch every goal from the Championship, League One and League Two in the Football League Show which is on straight afterwards at 2355 BST.

From chizzleface on Twitter: "People called Cristiano Ronaldo a flat-track bully but boy do United need someone like that this season!"

1935: Dimitar Berbatov, who scored one of Manchester United's goals in their 2-0 win over Blackburn: "We had to be patient when we missed our early chances. We were a bit relieved to score our first goal because it is always difficult to play a team like Blackburn."

1933: Lots to discuss tonight, especially if you're a Liverpool fan I suppose. You can do just that with Alan Green on BBC Radio 5 live's 606 right now.

1929: So, Manchester United move back into second place in the Premier League and close the gap on leaders Chelsea to two points. United were not at their best, but were still far too good for Blackburn and, once they got their first goal through Dimitar Berbatov, never looked like slipping up. Wayne Rooney's strike made sure of that - they were both neat finishes too.

1926: FULL-TIME Manchester United 2-0 Blackburn

1925: Michael Owen should really make it 3-0 when Antonio Valencia tees him up at the far post. He doesn't, firing his shot back towards the opposite corner of the goal, but wide. Still, it won't make any difference to the end result.

1924: Four minutes of added time at Old Trafford - but less than 60 seconds of that left now though. It turned into a bit of a stroll of United once Dimitar Berbatov broke the deadlock.

1922: It's Blackburn who find the net though - and they are unlucky to see it ruled out. Benni McCarthy's fierce shot is pushed away by Edwin van der Sar and Nikola Kalinic turns home the rebound. That would be his first Premier League goal but he is adjudged to be offside, wrongly according to the replays. A shame for him, not that Rovers have really deserved anything from this game.

1919: United are still hungry for more goals and Gabriel Overtan gets forward well down the left before sending over a cross that is hacked clear.

Man Utd goal: Anderson has time to bend in an inviting cross from the left and the late-arriving Wayne Rooney expertly steers the ball into the net with a finish of real quality. Game over folks.

1917: GOALFLASH Manchester United 2-0 Blackburn (Rooney)

From Richard in Kendal, via text on 81111: "With Ronaldo, in these situations the game would be over, such was his ability in finishing the opposition. United are clearly missing him."

1915: Blackburn's set pieces have been largely rubbish today - Big Sam will not be happy. Rovers' latest wasted opportunity to put United under pressure sees Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick fail to clear the first man. We're into the last five minutes of normal time.

1913: Gabriel Obertan's big moment, as the ball breaks to him at the far post, turns into something of a damp squib. He is completely unmarked with only Paul Robinson to beat... but sends his low shot wide. Doesn't look as if it is his day in front of goal today but, let's be fair, it is his Premier League debut.

1911: Blackburn have conceded 16 goals in their previous four league games on the road, so I suppose it is something of an improvement even if they do end up losing this game rather limply, but only by one goal.

1909: Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses from the right but it is easy for Edwin van der Sar to collect. Blackburn are not exactly turning the screw here. Anyway, on comes Michael Owen for United - their goalscorer Dimitar Berbatov is off.

1906: On comes Nikola Kalinic for Blackburn. He's got 15 minutes to find an equaliser.

1905: Wayne Rooney fires in a corner for United, which John O'Shea flicks on at the near post. The ball only needs a touch to put it in the net but Dimitar Berbatov and Jonny Evans both hesitate and the ball bounces off a Blackburn defender and out for another corner.

1903: Nikola Kalinic is about to come on for Blackburn, to replace Franco Di Santo. Rovers are only one goal down but look desperately short of ideas going forwards.

From Justin in Swindon, via text on 81111: "I think Nani buckles under the self-imposed pressure of trying to be Cristiano Ronaldo's replacement."

1859: Blackburn are still having to do all the defending and United are spreading the ball well and making the visitors work. Wayne Rooney has one shot blocked before firing another effort wide, but the home side know another goal by them would finish this as a contest.

1857: Here comes Gabriel Obertan now, haring down the left flank and heading for goal. A first Premier League goal? No. He turns inside Ryan Nelsen before slicing a mis-hit shot and seeing the ball spin harmlessly towards Paul Robinson.

1854: Ignore our automatic Bolton-Chelsea score by the way - it seems to have a life of it's own right now - the Blues actually won 4-0, about two hours ago. Back to Old Trafford, where Obertan does indeed come on for Nani. The 20-year-old Frenchman was impressive against Barnsley in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, let's see how he gets on here.

1851: Looks like United are about to bring on Gabriel Obertan for his Premier League debut. Nani will be coming off.

1848: How will Blackburn react to going behind after defending in depth for almost an hour? Big Sam brings on Morten Gamst Pedersen for Keith Andrews. Not sure if that means Rovers are going for it now... but we will soon find out.

Man Utd goal: A touch of class by Dimitar Berbatov, who does brilliantly to control Patrice Evra's low shot as it fizzes towards him in the box. The Bulgarian takes one touch, swivels, and buries his shot into the bottom corner.

1846: GOALFLASH Manchester United 1-0 Blackburn (Berbatov)

1845: Better from United. Anderson's clever angled ball finds Patrice Evra running into the box. Evra's first touch, with his head, isn't bad - especially under pressure - but he gets slightly too much on it, and Paul Robinson collects.

1843: Antonio Valencia wins the ball from David Dunn and drives for the Rovers box. He has Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov as support but ends up playing a loose pass to nobody in particular, and the ball runs through to Paul Robinson.

1840: In case you were wondering, Nani's crossing has not improved since the restart. John O'Shea is doing a bit better from the opposite flank but Blackburn are quite happy dealing with that sort of thing.

1839: Wayne Rooney lets fly from the edge of the box but his shot is blocked by David Dunn. The ball breaks to Dimitar Berbatov, who turns into trouble. Blackburn clear their lines, for now.

1837: Franco Di Santo is still ploughing a lone furrow up front for Blackburn, who are on the back foot already.

1834: Big Sam is having a few words with Phil Dowd as he walks out for the second half. Actually, he's shouting at pretty much anyone within earshot. Expect more of the same in the next 45 minutes - United have just got us under way.

From anon, via text on 81111: "Why isn't Gabriel Obertan playing? He showed more potential in his performance against Barnsley in midweek than Nani has in three years."

1830: Ready for the second half of Man Utd v Blackburn? It's coming right up...

From Riquelminho™ on 606: "This is very frustrating to watch. Blackburn haven't had a sight of goal yet, and are scrapping for their lives at the other end with some last ditch defending. After a slow start we came into the game towards the final 15-20 mins. I hope we score soon otherwise I fear it'll just be 'one of those days'. We're comprehensively on top and just need to convert soon, and it should all open up."

1826: After pledging more goals and red cards, I can only apologise for the relative lack of action at Old Trafford so far. Mind you, last time I bemoaned the lack of events (at 1513), look what happened...

From Dean_Machine89 on 606: "Once again, Nani is showing how indecisive a player he is. He should have released the ball to Wayne Rooney earlier - if he had, we'd be 1-0 up. His crossing has been awful, he is trying silly skills which are not paying off. He is truly having a poor game and not for the first time."

From Paul in Lytham St Annes, via text on 81111: "I think Big Sam's away tactics against the big four are all wrong. We must attack them, not just sit back waiting for the inevitable."

1819: It's hardly been vintage stuff from Manchester United but they are definitely on top, if unable to break down Blackburn's resolute defending. Dimitar Berbatov has had the home side's best chances but for long spells they seemed short of ideas on how to open up the visitors - will Sir Alex have any ideas at half-time? As far as Rovers go, Big Sam will be happy so far - and just another 45 minutes to hold out.

Half time
1818: HALF-TIME Manchester United 0-0 Blackburn

1817: We will have two minutes of added time at the end of the first half at Old Trafford. Plenty of time for a goal, that - Arsenal only needed 11 seconds to score twice, remember...?

1815: United have woken up in the last few moments but Blackburn are defending in determined fashion to try to go in level at the break. Wayne Rooney battles into the box but is denied by sheer weight of numbers - it takes about three tackles to stop him but he eventually has a shot blocked.

From bernardpollacco on Twitter: "Blackburn are just parking the bus! I still bet that they'll score soon though - from a very anxious Man Utd fan."

1812: Old Trafford rises (almost) as one after Dimitar Berbatov turns Wayne Rooney's cross into the net. The goal is disallowed for offside, however, because Nani did not release the ball to Rooney quickly enough when he burst into the box. United are still waiting for the breakthrough.

1810: Wayne Rooney steps up to take the resulting free-kick from around 25 yards out. He lifts it over the Blackburn wall... but it keeps on rising and does not trouble Paul Robinson in the slightest.

1809: Blackburn defender Pascal Chimbonda joins Emerton in Dowd's book - a bit harsh that, just looked like a collision with Nani.

Yellow card
1808: Brett Emerton lifts the ball over Edwin van der Sar from fully 40 yards out and finds the back of the net. A shame for Blackburn that referee Phil Dowd has already stopped play for a foul. The Australian winger is booked for his troubles.

From simonsc on Twitter: "Just heard Big Sam screaming: "don't sit too deep!" - don't think Blackburn have much choice at the moment..."

1805: A decent strike by Dimitar Berbatov at the end of a neat United move. Paul Robinson dives to his left to push the ball around his post. Good stop.

1802: Two chances for Dimitar Berbatov in under a minute as United step things up, at last. Firstly, he is only denied by a last-ditch tackle by Gael Givet as he shapes to shoot in front of goal then, seconds later, he is unmarked as he meets Antonio Valencia's cross but heads down into the ground and Paul Robinson tips the bouncing ball over the bar.

From George in London, via text on 81111: "I do think Rafael Benitez is the wrong man to win Liverpool the Premier League but the fans make me laugh calling for his head. If they beat Lyon midweek, they'll call him a genius, just like they were last week after the Man Utd game."

1757: United still coming forward but they haven't found any sort of spark in the final third of the pitch as of yet. Old Trafford seems a little bit flat if I'm honest... the crowd are like us I suppose - waiting for something to happen.

1753: Not sure what has gone wrong with our automated scores today, but they are having a nightmare - and deserve a red card if I'm honest. Branislav Ivanovic's goal for Chelsea has now been credited as an own goal by Bolton defender Zat Knight, and has seemingly been wiped from the records by our system. The final score was Bolton 0-4 Chelsea.

1748: Blackburn may be defending well but they are not creating any sort of threat at the other end, save for those long balls into the box. Lone striker Franco Di Santo is coming far too deep and Rovers' five-man midfield are not able to support him. Sitting back is working for now... not sure it will do so for 90 minutes mind.

1747: Portsmouth boss Paul Hart on his side's impressive display against Wigan: "Overall we got a result for our efforts which has been lacking in recent weeks. We've been working hard for the past few months without having a lot to show for it. We set off like trains and we kept that up for 90 minutes. Some of the stuff we played out there was fantastic."

1746: Also worthy of a mention today are rock-bottom Portsmouth who put their off-field problems behind them as they posted their first home league win of the season - a thumping 4-0 victory over Wigan.

1745: As soon as I finish writing that sentence, along comes a chance. Dimitar Berbatov's flicked cross from the right somehow comes through to Antonio Valencia in front of goal on the edge of the area... but the £16m man rushes his shot and bundles the ball wide.

1743: Twelve minutes gone at Old Trafford and Manchester United are yet to carve out a meaningful chance. Blackburn are defending deep and in numbers.

1742: Here's Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher on his red card against Fulham and his side's run of six defeats in seven games in all competitions. The Reds have also lost five Premier League games this season. Carragher on his sending off for a professional foul on Bobby Zamora: "It's a tough decision to take when the player you are tackling says that you won the ball." And on Liverpool's current form: "It's hurting, it's hurting a lot. We have to turn it around."

1739: Manchester United's makeshift defence hasn't had an awful lot to do yet but they are hardly bombarding Paul Robinson's goal either. Nani curls in a free-kick from the left but it flies straight to the Blackburn goalkeeper.

1736: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on his side's hot streak of goalscoring form, that has seen them score 17 goals in their last four games: "We know very well it's difficult to win every game 4-0. It's dangerous, because people cannot think that this is always going to happen. But at this moment in time, we're doing very well."

1735: I meant to mention earlier that Chelsea's thumping 4-0 win over Bolton takes them five points clear at the top of the Premier League. If United win this one, they will close the gap back to two points.

1733: Blackburn start by pumping a couple of balls in to the area but United clear their lines. With his defensive problems, the last thing Sir Alex Ferguson needs is another injury at the back - Jonny Evans goes down after a collision but is quickly back on his feet. Sir Alex breathes again.

1731: Blackburn get the final Premier League game of the day under way. If it's anything like the previous eight then we can expect goals and red cards aplenty.

1729: Got your breath back yet? Good. We are about to get started at Old Trafford.

1727: Hull City boss Phil Brown, who was reportedly facing the sack if his side failed to beat Burnley today. They lost 2-0: "I expect to be manager of this football club in the Premier League next year. There's been a resignation of a chairman about which I have spoken at length. I spoke to the owner at length on Thursday and Friday and will speak to him at length today and tomorrow and we will find out more on Monday. The announcement will be forthwith and hopefully I'll be standing alongside [new chairman] Adam Pearson on Monday."

From fettmaster on Twitter: "Are you a red card magnet today?"

It appears so, yes.

1722: Just the eight Premier League red cards so far today folks, with two of them being shown to Liverpool players of course. By the way, Mr Benitez did not agree with either of them.

From elldorado89 on Twitter: "Has anybody ever seen such ridiculous tactics than those deployed by Rafa Benitez? Honestly wouldn't care if the guy went tomorrow."

1718: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on his side's defeat by Fulham: "It is really disappointing. The game was really one-sided until we conceded the first goal and the same happened in the second-half when we had dominated. We had to take Fernando Torres off, he has been injured and he had been training in pain - we knew it would have to happen but it was just a question of when."

1717: Fulham boss Roy Hodgson after his side's 3-1 win over nine-man Liverpool: "If it had been 11 v 11 when we were 2-1 up I think we had been defending well enough to hold out but anything could have happened in the closing minutes.. With the sendings off we were able to see the game out in very comfortable fashion and add to the scoreline."

From Matthew, an ashamed Liverpool fan, via text on 81111: "When Bobby Zamora scores against you in a 3-1 defeat, you know you're in trouble."

1712: And you have to feel sorry for Hull boss Phil Brown after Geovanni's disallowed goal and subsequent red card in their defeat by Burnley. Will new Tigers chairman Adam Pearson show him any sympathy though?

1710: Where do you start after that little lot? Liverpool I suppose - and their season lurches back into crisis mode - what do you think about Rafael Benitez taking off Fernando Torres when the score was 1-1, let alone the two late red cards.

1708: TEAM NEWS Manchester United v Blackburn
Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are out as Wes Brown and Jonathan Evans come in at the heart of the defence. Nani is in the midfield with Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney up front. Having struggled with swine flu all week, Jason Roberts is out for Blackburn but defender Chris Samba is in and Pascal Chimbonda has recovered from a calf strain. On loan striker Franco Di Santo returns to the starting XI.

1704: TEAMS Manchester United v Blackburn
Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Brown, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Scholes, Fabio Da Silva, Fletcher, Obertan, De Laet.
Blackburn: Robinson, Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Nzonzi, Emerton, Dunn, Andrews, Diouf, Di Santo. Subs: Brown, McCarthy, Grella, Pedersen, Kalinic, Hoilett, Salgado.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

1702: Phew. What a day - and it's not over yet, we've got Manchester United v Blackburn coming up at 1730 GMT. Incidentally, our latest scores at the top right-hand corner of the page have got the Burnley v Hull scoreline wrong. They're automated and they appear to think Geovanni's goal stood. Now, it seemed a harsh decision to disallow it but it didn't actually count. Burnley won 2-0.

1658: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 4-0 Wigan

1658: FULL-TIME Sunderland 2-2 West Ham

1657: FULL-TIME Stoke 2-2 Wolverhampton

1657: FULL-TIME Everton 1-1 Aston Villa

1656: FULL-TIME Burnley 2-0 Hull

1656: FULL-TIME Bolton 0-4 Chelsea

Portsmouth goal: Pompey's first home league win of the season was already in the bag before Kanu was fouled in the box and Aruna Dindane stepped up to complete his hat-trick from the spot.

1654: Ipswich have just won their first game of the season in the Championship, with Roy Keane's side beating Derby 1-0 for their first win in 15 games.

Chelsea goal: Great stuff by Chelsea, who net after Nicolas Anelka's cross is flicked delightfully into the path of Didier Drogba, to supply the finish from the edge of the six-yard box.

1652: FULL-TIME Fulham 3-1 Liverpool

1651: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 4-0 Wigan (Dindane pen)

1651: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-4 Chelsea (Drogba)

1650: PENALTY to Portsmouth

Red card
Lots of red cards to tell you about: Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is shown a red card for a wild tackle on Stiliyan Petrov before Aston Villa's Carlos Cuellar makes it 10-men apiece after being shown his second yellow for upending Yakubu. West Ham's Vladislav Kovac is also heading for an early bath after his second booking, which came for a late tackle on Sunderland's Darren Bent.

1648: RED CARD Vladislav Kovac (West Ham)

1647: RED CARD Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa)

1646: RED CARD Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Everton)

Fulham goal: No way back for nine-man Liverpool now. Erik Nevland slips the ball clear to Clint Dempsey, who is in miles of space and has time to pick his spot to extend Fulham's lead.

1644: GOALFLASH Fulham 3-1 Liverpool (Dempsey)

Chelsea goal: Chelsea were already home and dry but the Blues have added a third goal for good measure. Ricardo Carvalho's cross is expertly turned in by Branislav Ivanovic.

1642: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-3 Chelsea (Ivanovic)

Red card
Liverpool red card: Mission impossible? Liverpool are down to nine men after their skipper Jamie Carragher is shown red for a professional foul on Bobby Zamora. He's not happy, and takes an age to leave the pitch.

Sunderland goal: Ten-man Sunderland had been pushing and they grab an equaliser with top scorer Darren Bent getting away down the right and turning provider by sending in a cross to the back post that Kieran Richardson sidefoots home.

Burnley goal: The Clarets extend their lead against 10-man Hull thanks to a thunderous long-range strike by Graham Alexander. Game over for Hull, and Phil Brown?

1638: RED CARD Jamie Carragher (Liverpool)

Red card
Liverpool red card: A difficult job for Liverpool just got harder. Liverpool right-back Philipp Degen is harshly given a straight red for a late challenge on Clint Dempsey.

1637: GOALFLASH Sunderland 2-2 West Ham (Richardson)

1636: GOALFLASH Burnley 2-0 Hull (Alexander)

1636: RED CARD Philipp Degen (Liverpool)

1635: How will Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez try to save this game? Here's how. He takes off Yossi Benayoun and replaces him with teenage striker Nathan Eccleston, who makes his Premier League debut.

1635: More news from Football League Macca: "Guess what? Goals, that's what. And crucial ones as well. Ipswich are in front through David Wright. Can Keano end that long, long, long wait for a first win? Middlesbrough, under new boss Gordon Strachan, trail at home to Plymouth. Blimey, they're going in everywhere. Gianni Zuiverloon has a fourth for the Baggies, Graham Kavanagh has put Carlisle back in front against Charlton, Simon Whaley has put Rochdale 3-0 up against Bournemouth and Leeds are 2-0 up against Yeovil. That's just a taster."

Fulham goal: Two of the Cottagers' subs combine to put them back in front as Zoltan Gera turns Paul Konchesky's cross into the path of Erik Nevland who finds the net from close range despite the best efforts of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Are the Reds heading for their sixth defeat in seven games?

Portsmouth goal: Aruna Dindane makes it 3-0 with his second of the game. Jamie O'Hara pulls the ball back to substitute Kanu inside the box and, from his teasing cross, Dindane get in front of the Wigan defence to stab home. Dreadful defending but another thoroughly deserved goal.

1629: GOALFLASH Fulham 2-1 Liverpool (Nevland)

Red card
1626: Incredible scenes at Turf Moor where, minutes after seeming to equalise for Hull with a superb free-kick Geovanni is sent off for two bookings. Referee Mike 'beach ball' Jones disallows the Brazilian's strike for pushing in the wall although the ball sails straight over it and in. Geovanni is booked for complaining and sees red soon after for a late lunge. Phil Brown's luck really is out, isn't it?

Wolves goal: Jody Craddock scores his second for Wolves, glancing a header home from a Nenad Milijas corner to draw the visitors level.

1626: RED CARD Geovanni (Hull)

1626: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 3-0 Wigan (Dindane)

1625: GOALFLASH Stoke 2-2 Wolves (Craddock)

Chelsea goal: Bolton have a corner - and, 10 seconds later, Chelsea double their lead. A super quick counter-attack starts with Ricardo Carvalho, the Portuguese tees up Nicolas Anelka and he slips in Deco, who turns inside one challenge before curling past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 10 yards. The Blues could have had five in the second half already.

1622: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez takes off goalscorer Fernando Torres, who is replaced by Ryan Babel. Maybe he has got Wednesday's Champions League clash with Lyon in mind, but surely his side need to secure victory today first?

1621: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-2 Chelsea (Deco)

1620: Cause for concern at Portsmouth, as Frederic Piquionne has been stretchered off minutes after sustaining a head injury. Kanu is on instead.

Someone has struck the woodwork
Blimey, Frank Lampard has just gone close to smashing the crossbar at the Reebok Stadium, such was the venom on his shot from the edge of the area. The ball bounces down and away from goal and Bolton are still just one goal down, although Chelsea have completely dominated since the restart.

1617: No time for my fingers to rest today, not with Football League Macca around anyhow: "More, more, more. A good day for goals and Luke Moore has grabbed another one for West Brom as they lead 3-0 against Watford. Brighton and Hartlepool can't get enough of it and it's 3-3 there now, while Billy Sharp took just 19 seconds of the second half to put Doncaster 2-1 in front against Barnsley. Reading, who had only 11 goals before today, have their second of the day and lead Coventry 2-0."

1616: Another great chance for Sunderland to level. Darren Bent runs at goal, turns inside James Tomkins and with the goal at his mercy fires over the bar.

1615: Replays have shown that Jody Craddock was offside when he scored for Wolves just now. In the meantime, Nenad Milijas has just brought a fine save from Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen with another free-kick from a similar position. Wolves are pressing hard for an equaliser.

1613: The last thing under-pressure Hull boss Phil Brown needs in must-win game is to see his side spurn a glorious chance to level. A lovely pass from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink to Seyi Olofinjana ends up giving Kamel Ghilas a clear opening in front of goal but the Algerian's weak shot is easily saved by Brian Jensen.

1611: It takes a fantastic stop by Rob Green to keep West Ham ahead, saving Michael Turner's powerful header from a corner one-handed, moments after he had palmed behind a Darren Bent shot.

Wolves goal: Mick McCarthy's side are back in it, thanks to another inspired half-time substitution. Nenad Milijas bends in a free-kick with his first touch of the ball and Jody Craddock turns the ball in at the far post.

1608: GOALFLASH Stoke 2-1 Wolves (Craddock)

From TheShockOfTheTorres on 606: "Torres is without a doubt the worlds best striker. What's this about Liverpool having no depth? We played well and should have won with our reserves against Arsenal, Our reserves beat Man Utd reserves and now we are playing a weakened team and outplaying Fulham. Liverpool having no depth is a myth."

1607: And, before the goals start flying in again, here's a final half-time missive from Football League Macca: "It's first v third in League Two with Rochdale going ahead against leaders Bournemouth thanks to Chris Dagnall's goal in the last minute of the first half. Second place Dagenham are also losing - at home to Port Vale - while Notts County's new boss Hans Backe sees his side trail at home to Shrewsbury. Hereford are beating basement club Darlington and Crewe, Mansfield and Morecambe are all in front at the interval."

1606: While Carew was bagging for Villa, play started at all the other Premier League grounds, apart from at Fratton Park.

Aston Villa goal: Ha, I was just about to tell you that John Carew was on as a half-time substitute for Villa, when he scores with his first touch. Stephen Warnock crosses for Gabby Agbonlahor to bring a fine save from Tim Howard but the rebound falls for the big Norwegian to smash home from close range.

1604: GOALFLASH Everton 1-1 Aston Villa (Carew)

1602: It's not just me who didn't stop writing at half-time... here's Football League Macca with more chat, this time from League One: "Leaders Leeds are 1-0 up through top scorer Bradley Johnson and they could be extending that advantage as their former defender Ian Harte scored for Carlisle against second placed Charlton, who equalised on the stroke of half-time. Third-place Colchester are winning at Millwall, while Norwich are beating Stockport. At the other end Wycombe, unbeaten under new manager Gary Waddock, are off the foot of the as it stands table as they lead Walsall 2-0. Tranmere have slipped to the bottom as they trail 2-0 at home to Swindon, while Hartlepool lead Brighton 3-2 at half-time."

1601: He's run out of stats, so let's call him Football League Macca from now on: "With the top three in the Championship all having the day off, West Brom are taking full advantage and they lead 2-0 against Watford thanks to a Graham Dorrans penalty. There's been a couple of goals at Peterborough, with the home side taking the lead through a George Boyd penalty but Daniel Bogdanovic equalising almost immediately. Craig Beattie has put Swansea ahead at Scunthorpe, while Blackpool's Ian Evatt has cancelled out Doncaster's early opener and Ross Wallace has put Preston in front against Palace."

1600: That's a first - the action didn't stop, even at half-time. Here's to a more even spread of goals in the second half, please.

Hull City owner Russell Bartlett has confirmed to BBC Radio Humberside that former chairman Adam Pearson will be unveiled as the replacement for Paul Duffen on Monday.

1557: And to think I was complaining about the lack of action earlier...

Portsmouth goal: Aruna Dindane turns provider three minutes into first-half injury time, slipping the ball into the path of Frederic Piquionne who manages to stay onside before running into the box and smashing the ball under Chris Kirkland and into the net.

Red card
Bolton red card/Chelsea goal: JLloyd Samuel sees red after hauling down Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard calmly slots home the resulting penalty. That's the eighth goal he has scored against Bolton, and all of them have gone past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Red card
Sunderland red card: Sunderland's hopes of a comeback take a blow as Kenwyne Jones is shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner for pushing over Herita Ilunga following a challenge between the two. Bizarrely, the West Ham defender also picks up a booking for the incident

Everton goal: Tim Cahill's cross bounces away from Yakubu but only into the path of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who can scarcely believe his luck as he slots past Brad Friedel from about 10 yards out. Not sure where the Villa defence were.

Half time
1551: It's half-time everywhere in the top flight so I'm going to try to catch up with that flurry of goals and red cards that just happened before the break. All the details will follow, promise.

1550: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 2-0 Wigan (Piquionne)

Stoke goal: A bit special this one, as Rory Delap's long throw is headed clear by Christophe Berra but only as far as Matthew Etherington, who smashes an unstoppable volley into the net from the edge of the area.

1548: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-1 Chelsea (Lampard penalty)

1547: RED CARD JLloyd Samuel (Bolton)

1547: PENALTY to Chelsea

1546: RED CARD Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland)

1545: GOALFLASH Everton 1-0 Aston Villa (Bilyaletdinov)

1545: GOALFLASH Stoke 2-0 Wolverhampton (Etherington)

Liverpool goal: No stopping Fernando Torres when he's in form, which he is at the moment. Andriy Voronin's header comes back off Aaron Hughes and lands at the feet of the Spaniard, who sweeps an unstoppable low first-time shot into the bottom corner.

1543: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-1 Liverpool (Torres)

1541: Liverpool are still enjoying all the possession at Craven Cottage but they are yet to give Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer much to do - which is probably why they are still behind.

Sunderland goal: The Black Cats take only a couple of minutes to reduce the deficit, thanks to a fantastic free-kick by Andy Reid which curls into the top corner past Robert Green. Super stufff and Sunderland are back in this one.

West Ham goal: It gets worse for Sunderland. Carlton Cole makes it 2-0 to West Ham. Jack Collison is again the provider, driving forward through the Sunderland defence before feeding Cole to slot past Craig Gordon for his sixth goal of the season.

1538: GOALFLASH Sunderland 1-2 West Ham (Reid)

Portsmouth goal: The home side finally make their pressure pay, with Aruna Dindane running on to Michael Brown's through ball and cleverly dinking his shot over Chris Kirkland.

1536: GOALFLASH Sunderland 0-2 West Ham (Cole)

1536: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 1-0 Wigan

1535: Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey pulls off a tremendous save to stop James Beattie putting Stoke 2-0 up against Wolves. Ryan Shawcross swung over a cross from the Stoke left and Beattie rose highest at the back post, but Hennessey palmed the goalbound header away to safety.

From Richard, Liverpool fan in York, via text on 81111: "Great, even Bobby Zamora scores past us. Why is Andriy Voronin partnering Fernando Torres? It's like having a Ford Escort parked next to a Ferrari."

1533: Chelsea's players aren't best pleased as they get the ball in the net at Bolton, only for the flag to go up. Gary Cahill's woeful clearance is pumped back into the Bolton box and at the second attempt Branislav Ivanovic rifles a left-foot volley into the roof of the net - but's it doesn't count as Michael Ballack was standing offside.

West Ham goal: Simple as you like, really. Jack Collison times his run to perfection to beat the Sunderland offside trap and he crosses for Guillermo Franco to turn the ball home at the near post for his first goal for the struggling Hammers.

1530: GOALFLASH Sunderland 0-1 West Ham (Franco)

1528: Portsmouth are all over Wigan at Fratton Park in terms of possession at the moment - they just cannot find the final ball.

1527: Everton have made a spirited start against Aston Villa with Yakubu and the returning Diniyar Bilyaletdinov both causing problems for the visiting defence. In response, Ashley Young has provided the chief source of threat for Martin O'Neill's side - most notably when his free-kick narrowly failed to reach Richard Dunne at the far post.

Fulham goal: Completely against the run of play and seconds after Yossi Benayoun had fired against the bar, Fulham take the lead. Damien Duff crosses from the left and Bobby Zamora is in the right place to turn the ball home.

1524: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-0 Liverpool (Zamora)

1523: Hull (and Liverpool) fans might be interested to know that Mike Jones was the referee who awarded Sunderland their 'beach-ball' goal earlier this month.

Stoke goal: Thomas Sorensen throws the ball out to Matthew Etherington down the Stoke left and the winger shows a clean pair of heals to Wolves defender Ronald Zubar and delivers a low ball to the back post which visiting left-back George Elokobi side-foots into his own net under pressure from James Beattie. Own goal.

Burnley goal: Hull boss Phil Brown needs a win to keep his job, apparently. He doesn't need luck like that. Burnley full-back Tyrone Mears takes an air-shot at the ball in the Tigers area under challenge from Stephen Hunt but referee Mike Jones inexplicably points to the spot. Graham Alexander despatches the penalty confidently into the top corner.

1521: GOALFLASH Burnley 1-0 Hull (Alexander)

1520: PENALTY to Burnley

1519: GOALFLASH Stoke 1-0 Wolverhampton (Beattie)

1518: Chelsea have upped the tempo big time at Bolton with Didier Drogba heading off target, Nicolas Anelka forcing a save from Jussi Jaaskelainen at his near post and then the Trotters keeping pushing away another attempt from a corner, before Michael Essien drills a left-foot shot just over from 16 yards.

1517: Ooh, a bit of controversy at the Britannia as James Beattie's free-kick from 30 yards out is clearly blocked by Wolves midfielder David Edwards' arm on the edge of his own box, but referee Chris Foy waves play-on - Stoke boss Tony Pulis is not a happy man. A minute later Christophe Berra is inches away from heading Wolves into the lead from Segundo Castillo's pass.

1516: Yossi Benayoun bends in a free-kick for Liverpool, who are trying to take the game to Fulham without much success. It hits the wall and rebounds to safety.

1515: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after his side beat Tottenham to move second in the Premier League: "It was the kind of game where both teams lacked fluidity in the first 25 minutes. We took advantage of two opportunities and that changed the game completely - it could have been four or five. We should have scored more."

1513: No goals from our 1500 GMT Premier League kick-offs yet. Frankly, I'm disappointed. We can't have the busiest top-flight Saturday for ages and have a collection of bore-draws, can we? I hope not.

1512: It's not just about the top flight today you know. Oh no. Here's Macca the Stat with more details: "It might be a big day for the Premier League, but Saturdays are always (well, nearly always) massive for the Football League. Thirty games today and we already have our first goals. In the Championship, Grzegorz Rasiak has put struggling Reading up away to Coventry while West Brom are off to a flyer at home to Watford through Jonas Olsson."

1510: Stoke are pressing for an opener and almost get one when Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey fails to hold a header from Stoke defender Danny Collins and there is a bit of a scramble in the six-yard box before the visitors hack the ball clear.

1509: Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp after his side's derby defeat by Arsenal: "We've not hit a blip - we got beaten by Arsenal today but we've got 19 points and we'll still be right up there at the end of the season."

1507: A chance for Sunderland against West Ham too - Darren Bent is full of goals at the moment but he heads wide at the far post when he should really have done a lot better.

1506: BBC Sport's Andy May at Fratton Park: "Portsmouth's new owner Ali Al Faraj is definitely not here this afternoon and still hasn't seen a Pompey game since taking over. Fans on the south coast have started calling him Ali Al Mirage!'"

1505: An open start to the game at Craven Cottage. The ball just eluded Andriy Voronin in the Fulham area as Liverpool attack, while Clint Dempsey failed to make the most of a promising break at the other end.

1504: First chance goes to Bolton against Chelsea as Johan Elmander heads over.

1502: Better late than never. We've started at The Reebok, Britannia Stadium and Fratton Park as well. That's all your 1500 GMT games up and running.

1501: And at the Stadium of Light and Turf Moor too.

1500: We're under way at Goodison Park and at Craven Cottage.

From Mike, Liverpool fan , via text on 81111: "That really is a worryingly weak Liverpool line up. But most worrying of all how on earth has Andriy Voronin got a start after that shocking performance on Wednesday! I despair."

1454: TEAM NEWS Stoke v Wolverhampton
Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen returns in place of Steve Simonsen after missing last weekend's 1-0 win at Tottenham with flu. Glenn Whelan, who scored the late winner at White Hart Lane, is rewarded with a starting spot in midfield in place of Salif Diao. Wolves make just one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Aston Villa last Saturday. Chris Iwelumo will face his old club after being preferred up front to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who scored Wolves' equaliser against Villa. Fellow striker Stefan Maierhofer returns to the bench after serving a suspension.

1453: TEAM NEWS Everton v Aston Villa
Leighton Baines, Joseph Yobo and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov return from Everton's overcrowded treatment room as the club's injury crisis finally shows signs of easing. Dan Gosling and Louis Saha, who is struggling with a calf problem, drop to the bench following the midweek defeat at Tottenham, while Tony Hibbert does not feature. Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill makes just one change to the team that drew with Wolves last weekend, Emile Heskey coming in for John Carew, who drops to the bench.

1452: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "The empty spaces in the Spurs section of The Emirates before the final whistle tell the story of a miserable afternoon for the visitors. Harry Redknapp's team were never in contention after that implosion just before half-time and Arsenal have delivered an emphatic message to their rivals that they are in no mood to let them challenge their supremacy. Arsenal the winners - and deservedly so."

1451: TEAM NEWS Fulham v LiverpoolFulham make one change from the side which drew with Manchester City last time out as left-back Paul Konchesky comes in for Stephen Kelly. Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy is still out injured. Liverpool striker Fernando Torres was rested for the midweek Carling Cup defeat by Arsenal but he is back in the Reds starting line-up and is partnered in attack by Andriy Voronin, while right-back Philipp Degen replaces the injured Glen Johnson and centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos starts with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel missing from the squad. Steven Gerrard is again out injured.

1450: Doesn't it seem a long, long time ago that Hull came within a minute or two of snatching a point at Chelsea on the opening day of the season? No other team has scored at Stamford Bridge since and the top-of-the-table Blues don't seem to be able to stop scoring goals either... hitting 13 in their last three games, including four in midweek in the Carling Cup against Bolton, who they also face today - this time at the Reebok. Wanderers will hope that Chelsea's poor away league form - they've lost their last two on their travels - continues.

1448: TEAM NEWS Burnley v Hull
Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen has shrugged off an ankle problem to take his place in goal. Visiting manager Phil Brown, who reportedly needs a victory to keep his job, brings in Kamel Ghilas for Bernard Mendy, with the Algerian playing wide on the right. With Boaz Myhill injured, there's also a goalkeeping change for Hull, with Matt Duke starting.

From rsherr on 606: "Well done Arsenal, Spurs were shocking and there were some names on this teamsheet that will not be here in January. should have taken Stoke as a reality check but Redknapp and co have still been living off the hype."

1444: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v West Ham
After resting a number of key players for their Carling Cup defeat to Aston Villa midweek, Sunderland revert back to their first-choice side. However, Nyron Nosworthy is selected ahead of Anton Ferdinand, with the latter starting on the bench against his old side. Darren Bent was doubtful with a knee injury but starts. The only change for West Ham from the side who salvaged a draw at home against Arsenal last week is the inclusion in midfield of Radoslav Kovac in place of Scott Parker, who is suspended following his sending off against the Gunners.

1443: So, Arsenal's win moves them second in the table, although the teams around them are all still to play this weekend. It was comfortable in the end for the Gunners but the game would have been very different had Tottenham not switched off and conceded two goals in 11 seconds just before half-time.

1442: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Wigan
As expected Paul Hart fields a much-changed Portsmouth side from the team that beat Stoke in the Carling Cup in midweek. Frederic Piquionne retains his place after impressing with two goals against the Potters, but John Utaka is still out with a hamstring injury. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jamie O'Hara were cup-tied against Stoke but return to the starting line-up.Wigan boss Roberto Martinez makes one enforced change to the side that beat Burnley 3-1 last weekend with Scott Sinclair coming in to replace Maynor Figueroa, who has a knee injury. Chris Kirkland (dislocated finger) and Paul Scharner (hamstring) were both expected to miss the game but have both recovered to take their place in the side.

Full time
1440: FULL-TIME Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham

1438: More bad news for Tottenham. Sebastien Bassong pulls up in agony as he chases a long ball with Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey wastes the chance, but Bassong is limping off and Tottenham, having used all their subs, are down to 10 men.

1437: We're going to have three minutes of added time at the Emirates, where it's all over bar the shouting. While we wait for the final whistle, here's Macca the Stat again: "It seems to be a tale of two Tottenhams so far this season. Against the big four they trail 10-3 on aggregate (as it stands) and have just three points from four games. Versus the rest of the division they are 18-7 and have a very decent 16 points from seven games."

1435: TEAMS Everton v Aston Villa
Everton: Howard, Neill, Yobo, Distin, Baines, Cahill, Rodwell, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Fellaini, Yakubu. Subs: Nash, Saha, Jo, Gosling, Coleman, Duffy, Agard.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Milner, Petrov, Sidwell, Ashley Young, Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Luke Young, Carew, Delph, Reo-Coker, Shorey, Beye.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1434: This win will bring up 1,000 Premier League points for Arsene Wenger, which isn't a bad total to have is it?

1432: On comes Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal, replacing Robin van Persie who won't get a hat-trick but gets a standing ovation for his impressive two-goal display today. Spurs make a change too - Alan Hutton is on for Vedran Corluka. We've got less than five minutes to go.

1431: TEAMS Sunderland v West Ham
Sunderland: Gordon, Da Silva, Nosworthy, Turner, Richardson, Malbranque, Henderson, Cana, Andy Reid, Jones, Bent. Subs: Fulop, Ferdinand, Bardsley, McCartney, Healy, Meyler, Murphy.
West Ham: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Noble, Kovac, Collison, Franco, Cole. Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Jimenez, Faubert, Diamanti, Hines, Stanislas.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1430: Another headed chance for Arsenal. Vassiriki Diaby is completely unmarked at the near post to meet a Cesc Fabregas corner, but nods wastefully wide.

1429: TEAMS Fulham v Liverpool
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Baird, Greening, Duff, Zamora, Kamara. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Nevland, Gera, Riise, Etuhu, Smalling.
Liverpool: Reina, Degen, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Kuyt, Mascherano, Lucas, Benayoun, Voronin, Torres. Subs: Gulacsi, Babel, Spearing, Plessis, Dossena, Eccleston, Ayala.
Referee: Lee Mason (England)

1428: TEAM NEWS Bolton v Chelsea
Bolton make two changes from their 3-2 Premier League win over Everton last weekend, with Chris Basham and Johan Elmander replacing Matty Taylor and Ricardo Gardner, who both drop to the bench. Chelsea also swap two players from their 5-0 demolition of Blackburn last Saturday, with Portuguese duo Paulo Ferreira and Deco back in the side at the expense of Juliano Belletti and Joe Cole. From the two sides' Carling Cup meeting in midweek, there are a total of 13 changes.

1427: Cesc Fabregas bends in a free-kick and Eduardo is first to the ball, heading the ball goalwards but without much power. It is straight at Heurelho Gomes too.

1425: TEAMS Burnley v Hull
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan, Eagles, Bikey, Alexander, Elliott, Blake, Rodriguez. Subs: Penny, Duff, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Nugent, Thompson, Guerrero.
Hull: Duke, McShane, Zayatte, Gardner, Dawson, Ghilas, Olofinjana, Marney, Hunt, Geovanni, Vennegoor of Hesselink. Subs: Warner, Barmby, Altidore, Garcia, Mendy, Kilbane, Mouyokolo.
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

1423: Roman Pavlyuchenko does well to work space for a shot but it is straight at Manuel Almunia. If you're in the UK, and you manually refresh this page, Final Score will appear at the top - as if by magic.

1422: TEAMS Bolton v Chelsea
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Samuel, Muamba, Basham, Cohen, Lee, Kevin Davies, Elmander. Subs: Al Habsi, Andrew O'Brien, Taylor, Gardner, Robinson, Steinsson, Mark Davies.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Paulo Ferreira, Essien, Ballack, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, Joe Cole, Malouda, Sturridge, Alex, Belletti, Borini.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

1421: Robin van Persie, who is chasing his hat-trick remember, lets fly from 30 yards. The ball flies a mile over.

1420: TEAMS Stoke v Wolverhampton
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Beattie, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Higginbotham, Cort, Lawrence, Sidibe, Pugh, Sanli.
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Craddock, Elokobi, Edwards, Castillo, Henry, Kightly, Iwelumo, Doyle. Subs: Hahnemann, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Halford, Jarvis, Milijas, Maierhofer.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1419: The Arsenal fans cheering their team's every touch now. With 20 minutes left, they have got this one all but wrapped up. Tottenham look demoralised.

1417: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "This could get messy for Spurs now. Superb advantage by referee Mark Clattenburg after Benoit Assou-Ekotto clattered Eduardo, but what were Spurs doing standing around as play was waved on? Arsenal's fans are on high now as they sense the possibility of handing out a real pasting to their arch-rivals who travelled here intent on showing they were serious contenders for their top four spot. Not on this evidence."

1416: TEAMS Portsmouth v Wigan
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Kaboul, Wilson, Ben-Haim, O'Hara, Yebda, Brown, Boateng, Piquionne, Dindane. Subs: Ashdown, Mokoena, Mullins, Webber, Smith, Kanu, Belhadj.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, N'Zogbia, Diame, Thomas, Sinclair, Rodallega, Scharner, Scotland. Subs: Pollitt, Amaya, Cho, Gomez, De Ridder, Kapo, McCarthy.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

From Nicklo2k the Gooner in Watford, via text on 81111: "Re 1406. Fantastic advantage from Mark Clattenburg, well taken advantage of by Arsenal."

1413: Blimey, Tottenham's defence is still completely at sea. Cesc Fabregas chips Eduardo clear and he has time to make a cup of tea before slotting home. Except he panics a bit and scuffs his shot wide. Arsene Wenger slams his jacket on to the ground in disgust - that would have sealed it for sure.

1411: David Bentley is in acres of space on the right as Robbie Keane advances towards the Arsenal area but the striker takes the wrong option and the chance is gone. That's Keane done for the day - Roman Pavlyuchenko is on instead.

1409: At 2-0 down, Spurs had hope. They need something special now.

More poor defending by Tottenham, who stop completely after Benoit Assou-Ekotto catches Eduardo. The linesman flags, but referee Mark Clattenburg plays the advantage and Bacary Sagna runs down the right before sending in a low cross that bobbles off Ledley King's shin and past Heurelho Gomes before being turned into an empty net by Robin van Persie.

1406: GOALFLASH Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham (Van Persie)

1405: It looks like a push by William Gallas on Peter Crouch in a similar position outside the box but referee Mark Clattenburg is having none of it. This is a decent spell of pressure by Tottenham but what they really need is a goal. They've got 30 minutes left to find at least two.

1404: David Bentley fires in the resulting free-kick, forcing a fine finger-tip save from Manuel Almunia.

1403: Arsenal still looking a bit edgy and William Gallas concedes a free-kick right on the edge of the area when he handles as he tries to beat Peter Crouch to a header.

From The Mighty White Leeds Leg-End on 606: "It'll be a terrific match the moment Tottenham get that goal. If Arsenal get the next goal I'm expecting an Arsenal thrashing."

1402: A first change for Tottenham. Gareth Bale is on for Tom Huddlestone. Expect Spurs to press forward down either flank and try to get crosses in for Peter Crouch.

1400: Spurs still alive and still sniffing for a reply. A Peter Crouch header just eludes Robbie Keane in the area and Bacary Sagna, while trying to clear, slams the ball against a team-mate. Luckily for him it bounces through to Manuel Almunia, not into Keane's path.

1359: Another chance for Arsenal. Vassiriki Diaby turns provider, slipping the ball through to Eduardo who runs clear only to see his shot saved by Heurelho Gomes. It was a decent stop too.

1357: Arsenal come close to adding a third goal. Robin van Persie fizzes the ball across the face of goal but it just eludes Andrey Arshavin and, at the far post, Vassiriki Diaby's shot is blocked by Sebastien Bassong. Spurs have got to be very careful here.

1355: Tottenham have certainly come out with their tails up but Arsenal are just soaking up all their pressure at the moment, and remain dangerous on the break.

1353: Poor old Macca the Stat is hanging his head in shame for claiming Cesc Fabregas is French (Re 1344 but now changed if you refresh). I've given him a European Atlas to read up on during the second half. And don't worry if you're reading this in Madrid, Cesc hasn't switched nationalities on the quiet.

1351: Spurs get the second half under way. Work to do for Harry Redknapp's men - but they don't give the ball away from kick-off this time, which is a start.

From Pete in Kent, via text on 81111: "I love Spurs, but every time I take an interest in our matches, we lose. Feel sick already."

From delighted Gooner from north London, via text on 81111: "Chris, the best part of the Cesc Fabregas goal was not the amazing solo run but the fact that the reply of the first goal was still in progress when Cesctastic scored! Whoooo!!"

1344: I know what's missing from your life right now folks - stats. Luckily for you, Macca the Stat is here with some, erm, stats. Enjoy: Goals from two hot Gunners there. Van Persie grabbed his seventh goal in nine matches and it's the fifth consecutive Premier League game he has notched. As for Fabregas, that was the sixth goal of the season for the Spaniard, who is on course to beat his most productive season - the 13 goals he grabbed in the 2007-08 campaign.

1342: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "Harry Redknapp is wearing an expression that can only be described as bemused. Spurs in little or no trouble and then poor defending gifts Robin van Persie a goal. Then we have a moment plucked straight from amateur hour as Cesc Fabregas robs Spurs from the kick-off and wanders right through the defence to score. Arsenal's fans ecstatic and the whole Spurs contingent wondering what has hit them. Crazy."

1340: I'm just waiting to have another look at that Cesc Fabregas goal which, although was down to poor defending, was also a bit of a cracker in terms of the number of men he beat, not to mention the quality finish. I'm not sure Spurs fans will enjoy watching it quite as much.

1336: If Tottenham need hope, they can look at last week when Arsenal led West Ham 2-0 at half-time but ended up drawing 2-2. I'm sure Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will be saying a few other choice words to his players at half-time though...

Half time
1335: HALF-TIME Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham

1334: Blimey, who saw that coming? Not I, for one. So much for Tottenham holding out until the break then.

Fabregas goal: Absolute disaster for Tottenham, who concede a second goal 11 seconds after the restart. Wilson Palacios is caught in possession by Cesc Fabregas, who heads for goal, skipping past two challenges before firing low into the bottom corner of the net.

Van Persie goal: Bakari Sagna crosses from the right and, with the Spurs defence napping, Robin van Persie steals in ahead of Ledley King at the near post to steer the ball past Heurelho Gomes.

1330: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham (Fabregas)

1329: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham (Van Persie)

From gaz2612blue (dreaming) on 606: "It's the 90th minute, still 0-0, Aaron Ramsay will collect the ball from Manuel Almunia, he will make a brilliant run, skipping past the defence and then get fouled by David Bentley, Robin van Persie will step up to take the penalty, and they will do a re-run of the Henry-Pires penalty kick, but this time Fabregas will finish."

1328: Five minutes to go until half-time at the Emirates. No goals, but a few half-chances and one fantastic Heurelho Gomes save. This one is in the balance.

1326: Tottenham are still creating chances, however, and this time Robbie Keane springs the offside trap to latch on to a Jermaine Jenas slide-rule pass inside the area. Sadly for the Spurs striker, he cannot control it and the ball runs through to Manuel Almunia.

1325: Eduardo is on for Nicklas Bendtner. Just before that, it took a great saving challenge by Vedran Corluka to block Andrey Arshavin's shot from just inside the area. More neat build-up play by Arsenal, no end product at the moment.

1323: Vedran Corluka roars forwards down the right for Spurs, running into space created because Nicklas Bendtner cannot track back because of his injury. Corluka sends in a low cross towards the waiting Robbie Keane but Thomas Vermaelen gets back to intercept.

1322: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "Some frustration building inside the Emirates at the failure of Alex Song and Abou Diaby to get a grip on things in midfield. Too much possession conceded. Arsenal still look the more likely but Ledley King's positioning and commanding demeanour at the back shows why he is such a pivotal figure for Spurs."

1321: Nicklas Bendtner is injured and has just signalled to the Arsenal bench that he needs to come off.

1320: That mistake by Benoit Assou-Ekotto apart, Tottenham have defended well in this opening half-hour. Arsenal have played keep-ball at times but Spurs have kept them away from Heurelho Gomes' goal for the most part.

1318: Sloppy by Benoit Assou-Ekotto, whose clearance goes straight to Cesc Fabregas on the edge of the area. Assou-Ekotto also plays Robin van Persie onside but the Dutch striker gets his angles all mixed up and scuffs his shot wide from near the bye-line. He didn't have much of the goal to aim at but should have done better from there.

1315: Robbie Keane gets on the end of a Tom Huddlestone cross at the far post as Tottenham come forward again but, under challenge, cannot control his header, which flies harmlessly high and wide.

1313: Tottenham's turn to have a decent spell of possession, which ends with another high diagonal ball towards Peter Crouch. It worked last time but on this occasion Arsenal tidy up the loose ball from Crouch's header.

From blueboyrob on 606: "Clattenburg is letting the game flow. I agree there is a fine line between overenthusiastic and malicious challanges, and by now David Bentley should be in the book. But if he stopped every challenge, had a word or a booking, the game would have no flow or spirit."

1309: What a stop by Heurelho Gomes. Andrey Arshavin's shot deflects off Ledley King and into the path of Cesc Fabregas, who thinks he has tucked the loose ball home - as do the Gunners fans behind Gomes' goal. The Tottenham keeper thinks otherwise, diving low to his left to make a fantastic save. Spurs fans can breathe again.

1306: Robbie Keane runs on to a Peter Crouch knockdown and bursts into the box. He's not got the ball under complete control but is just shaping to shoot when Alexandre Song gets across to hustle him out of it. Tottenham's best moment so far, but good defending.

From cpfccpd on 606: "To say the referee is lenient is an understatement, another one gone unpunished."

1304: Hmmm, do you think referee Mark Clattenburg has left his yellow card at home today? He doesn't book Benoit Assou-Ekotto, even though the Spurs defender kicks the ball away after conceding a free-kick. Robin van Persie takes it, and William Gallas rises to head wide. Arsenal still pressing.

1302: Gael Clichy nips in to steal possession on the halfway line for Arsenal and surges into the Spurs area. His final ball is poor, but it still finds Andrey Arshavin - who shoots weakly at Heurelho Gomes from the edge of the area. Chance gone.

1301: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "David Bentley is incredibly fortunate to escape a yellow card for that wild lunge into Thomas Vermaelen - just as he was when he deliberately handled that clearance. This a rare chance for a player who has spent too long on the margins at Spurs. Just too pumped up at the moment - not helped by "Arsenal reject" jibes - and needs to cool down."

1259: Peter Crouch is looking a bit isolated up front for Tottenham - he is winning the ball when it is pumped up to him, but there is no-one near him to help Spurs keep it. Arsenal have got a bit more guile going forward at the moment.

1257: David Bentley is having an, erm, interesting afternoon so far - getting away with a deliberate handball without a booking and also escaping a yellow card from referee Mark Clattenburg after an extremely late tackle on Thomas Vermaelen, who is back on his feet after a bit of treatment.

1255: Arsenal are looking the most dangerous in the final third at the moment, however, especially when Andrey Arshavin is on the ball. Peter Crouch has to be very alert to stop him from capitalising on a clever corner routine from Cesc Fabregas, and Spurs clear their lines.

1253: Tottenham have settled down a bit now but neither side is really hanging on to the ball for too long. The midfield is a wee bit congested, to say the least.

1252: Alexandre Song gifts Tottenham a corner with one of the worst back-passes I've ever seen but David Bentley's delivery is easily cleared at the near post.

1249: A scrappy old start, as you'd expect but it's Arsenal who have the first sight on goal. The ball runs into the path of Nicklas Bendtner on the edge of the area but he shoots over the bar, rather tentatively too.

From Nick, Spurs fan in London, via text on 81111: "Come on the Spurs! Going to be difficult without Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric."

1247: Here we go. Arsenal get the north London derby under way.

1243: The Arsenal and Tottenham players make their way out on to the Emirates pitch... to use my final Halloween pun, it's a bit of a cauldron out there today. Sorry.

1242: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "The Carling Cup draw was not greeted with huge rejoicing by either set of supporters here. Two tough trips to Manchester, United for Spurs and City for Arsenal - watch those goal celebrations Mr Adebayor. What will catch England coach Fabio Capello's eye today? Jermaine Jenas used the build-up to this north London derby to remind Capello of his existence and there is also the chance for Peter Crouch to shine in front of a man who still appears to harbour doubts about his class at elite level."

From Jay, Gunners fan in London, via text on 81111: "Could it be that Nicklas Bendtner is played down the middle for Arsenal for once? He usually scores when he's not on the wing."

1241: The Tottenham players are in the tunnel at the Emirates, just waiting for Arsenal now. Robbie Keane is doing an impressive 'jumping on the spot' warm-up.

From kDamo on Twitter: "The Carling Cup draw has been kind to us (Villa), but it just means the big teams will knock us out in the semis instead."

1237: As far as the Carling Cup goes then, for starters, I'm sure Manchester City's former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor will be looking forward to seeing his old friends again. He's probably planning his goal celebrations now... they won't be too lively, I'd wager.

1235: Ten minutes to go until kick-off at The Emirates. England coach Fabio Capello has just taken his seat.

1232: That little lot should be quite interesting, shouldn't it? Who do you see making it through to the semi-finals then?

Blackburn v Chelsea
Manchester United v Tottenham
Portsmouth v Aston Villa
Manchester City v Arsenal
Games to be played week commencing 30 November

From notscientific on Twitter: "Re 1221. Simple. Brown OUT."

From David, Spurs fan in Chippenham, via text on 81111: "Let's hope it's not a 'grave' day for Spurs, and we see a few 'ghouls' at The Emirates!"

1224: The Carling Cup quarter-final draw is just a few seconds away...

From TorreSamK9 on Twitter: "Liverpool have lost two of their last four against Fulham away. Let us hope that doesn't come back to 'haunt' them."

1221: You've probably already heard this week that under-fire Hull City boss Phil Brown is confident his players are a "million per cent behind him" today - 100 per cent just isn't enough these days is it? Sadly for Brown, he cannot be so sure of the support of his board, and incoming chairman - whoever that proves to be. A fair few rumours flying about that Brown will be sacked unless his side beat Burnley this afternoon at 'Fortress Turf Moor'... how do you see that one going, Tigers fans?

From sewey89 on 606: "Re 1207. There's more chance of the pumpkin rolling in the area than Zamora hitting it!"

1217: I'm told my Twitter link was wrong earlier but you can find the real me right here. Sorry about that.

1215: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Emirates: "Big and confident talk from Spurs before the game - and as expected David Bentley and Peter Crouch get the nod in Harry Redknapp's starting line. Jermain Defoe is serving the final game of a three-game ban and will be a serious miss. Jonathan Woodgate is fit enough to take his place on the bench after suffering a head injury against Stoke City last Saturday."

1213: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v Tottenham
Manuel Almunia is back between the posts for Arsenal for the first time in five games with Lukasz Fabianski suffering from a thigh injury. Arsene Wenger is also without Tomas Rosicky, Denilson and Theo Walcott in midfield, so lines up with Nicklas Bendtner, Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin up front. Tottenham's former Gunners midfielder David Bentley makes his first Premier League start since January, while Jermaine Jenas is back in the side and Peter Crouch is up front alongside Robbie Keane with Jermain Defoe suspended.

1211: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on today's clash with neighbours Spurs: "We want to win and the fact it is a derby gives us a little bit extra special motivation for everybody to win. But when the game starts it will be just down to the quality of the display no matter how much other psychological involvement there is in the game."

1209: TEAMS Arsenal v Tottenham
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song Billong, Diaby, Bendtner, van Persie, Arshavin. Subs: Mannone, Senderos, Nasri, Eduardo, Ramsey, Eboue, Gibbs.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, King, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Jenas, Keane, Crouch. Subs: Button, Hutton, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Dawson, Kranjcar, Woodgate.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1207: I'm trying to keep the Halloween puns to a minimum folks, but I'm sure you'll join me in hoping for a spook-tacular afternoon, with a few tricks and treats in store for us all. It would be nice if they were topical too... what do you think the odds are on a Bobby Zamora shot hitting a stray pumpkin that has rolled into the Liverpool penalty area at Craven Cottage, and ricocheting past Pepe Reina?

1204: Here are the teams, and their draw numbers, that are in the hat for the upcoming Carling Cup quarter-final draw: Arsenal (1), Aston Villa (2), Blackburn (3), Chelsea (4), Manchester City (5), Manchester United (6), Portsmouth (7) and Tottenham (8). The ties will be played in the week commencing 30 November.

From rudeluded909 on 606: "I wonder if we'll be treated to a goal fest or tricked into a dull day of goalless football. Let's hope it's the former!!"

1202: I need you lot to get involved in today's action too of course. Trick or Tweet me on Twitter, text me on 81111 or have your say on 606. To paraphrase Richard Marx, I am right here waiting for your chat.

League Cup in 90 seconds

League Cup in 90 seconds (UK users only)

1200: So, what else is going on today? Quite a lot, I can tell you. Firstly, at around 1225 GMT, we've got the draw for the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup - featuring six of the top eight PL sides, oh and Blackburn and Portsmouth. I'll give you more details on that in a short while but, for now, feast your eyes on a round-up of this week's fourth-round ties... go on, it will only take you 90 seconds.

1158: Er, is now a good time to mention Tottenham's dismal record on the road against the Big Four? Spurs haven't won in their last 64 Premier League visits to Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in a run that goes back to their 2-1 win at Anfield in August 1993. Shall I tell Harry, or do you want to?

1155: So, recent history is on Arsenal's side but the good news for Tottenham fans is that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp doesn't seem to care: "Arsenal play fantastic football but so do we. We have a squad here capable of matching anyone so we will be going there to win the game, absolutely. We always go for it and we only know one way to play. We'll be positive and take it to them. Certain parts of our game can cause them problems and we have to take it to them and give them something to think about."

1153: Yep, today sees the 162nd north London derby - which starts at 1245 GMT. It's the first of nine top flight games, which makes it the busiest Premier League Saturday for, ooh ages (definitely this season anyway).

1151 GMT: Hello. I hope you're having a happy Halloween. Here's something really scary (for Tottenham fans): Spurs haven't beaten local rivals Arsenal in the Premier League for 10 years and are without a win on Gunners' territory - whether it be Highbury or The Emirates - since 1993. The good news? They have a chance to put that right today.

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 31 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 11 20 27
2 Man Utd 11 12 25
3 Arsenal 10 19 22
4 Tottenham 11 4 19
5 Liverpool 11 9 18
6 Man City 9 7 18
7 Aston Villa 10 5 18
8 Sunderland 11 3 17
9 Stoke 11 -2 16
10 Burnley 11 -10 15
11 Fulham 10 0 14
12 Wigan 11 -9 13
13 Everton 10 -3 12
14 Bolton 10 -5 11
15 Birmingham 10 -4 10
16 Wolverhampton 11 -7 10
17 Blackburn 10 -13 10
18 Hull 11 -16 8
19 West Ham 10 -4 7
20 Portsmouth 11 -6 7

see also
Saturday's football photos
31 Oct 09 |  Football
Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Bolton 0-4 Chelsea
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Burnley 2-0 Hull
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Everton 1-1 Aston Villa
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Fulham 3-1 Liverpool
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 2-0 Blackburn
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Portsmouth 4-0 Wigan
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Stoke 2-2 Wolves
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Sunderland 2-2 West Ham
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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