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Page last updated at 20:16 GMT, Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sunday football as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE

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

By Chris Bevan

2012: And that's me done and dusted for the day. Thanks for keeping me company for the last eight-and-a-half hours... you've been tremendous. Join Caroline Cheese on Tuesday for the first of the Carling Cup quarter-finals... adios.

2009: Barca's win puts them top of La Liga by the way - with 30 points from 12 games, two points ahead of Real. I hope you enjoyed our coverage of that game tonight, as well as Stevo's updates from Spain. We might not have had a goal-fest at Camp Nou but it was certainly compelling.

2007: We've had plenty of goals today, including a couple of strikes of real quality by Didier Drogba (x2) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but for the best you cannot look any further than the first - that peach of a curler into the top corner by Lee Bowyer for Birmingham.

2005: If you want to catch any of today's Premier League derby goals, can I suggest watching MOTD2 at 2230 GMT on BBC2 and this website (if you're in the UK).

From Anthony (sick and tired Arsenal fan), via text on 81111: "When will a proper analysis of Arsenal's last five years happen - the manager has failed to win anything and the mistakes he has consistently made are clear... too many goals conceded, no leaders, lack of strength. Bring in a winner as a manager."

2002: It's been an El Derby Day to remember... especially for Birmingham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona. Any final thoughts?

From Jenni, currently in Derry, but actually from Glasgow, via text on 81111: "Re 1948. Tomorrow? I'd take Alonso back yesterday."

1957: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "So, is he a big-game player? One thing is for sure - Zlatan has repaid a sizeable chunk of his transfer fee with that goal. The celebrations are joyous."

1955: So, an absorbing El Clasico clash is settled by a wonderful Zlatan Ibrahimovic volley, just minutes after he came off the bench for Barcelona. Both teams finished the game with 10 men, but Real will feel they deserved something from their trip to Camp Nou - the reason they didn't? Carles Puyol... Barca's captain fantastic.

Full time
1955: FULL-TIME Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid

1955: The Barca fans are already celebrating - the final whistle is just seconds away.

1953: We're into added time at Camp Nou. There is about a minute left of the three that were added on.

Red card
Real red card: It is 10 v 10, after another second yellow - this time shown to Lassana Diarra for a foul on Xavi.

1951: RED CARD Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra

1949: Barca seem to just be looking to run down the clock... until Dani Alves slips Lionel Messi in with a gem of a pass. A second goal would seal it, but Iker Casillas sticks out a leg to divert the ball over.

1948: A corner for Real Madrid. A chance then... or maybe not. Xabi Alonso whips the ball straight out of play. Not his finest moment but I bet Liverpool fans would still take him back tomorrow.

1945: We're in the 84th minute at Camp Nou. Real are running out of time to find an equaliser. Ten-man Barca lead 1-0 and are about six minutes away from topping La Liga.

1943: At least nobody noticed my mention of 'Xavi Iniesta' just now. I'm glad I got away with that one.

1942: Real should be level. Xabi Alonso sends in a corner that falls for Karim Benzema after Gerard Pique fails to clear... Sadly for the £30m Frenchman, he fires wildly over the bar. Chance gone.

1940: Oooh. I thought we were about to go 10 v 10 then - Marcelo caught Carles Puyol with an absolutely terrible tackle. The Real left-back is lucky to escape with a yellow card. Very lucky.

From Allain from Brighton, via text on 81111: "Does anyone else think that all El Classico matches should be played with a 10 man Barca vs Real? It's made things a lot more even and exciting!"

1938: It's Barca who are next to threaten, however, as Eric Abidal finds space on the left-hand side of the box. He has a pop at goal too... and it fizzes about two inches wide of Iker Casillas's far post.

1936: Another change by Real boss Manuel Pellegrini - here comes Raul, on for Alvaro Arbeloa. On paper, Raul's the man to find Real a goal - he's managed 11 against Barcelona in the past.

1935: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "If Barca do hold on, they will owe an enormous debt of gratitude to their captain. Puyol must have made three or four goal-saving blocks. Brilliant defending."

1934: A first sight of goal for Real substitute Karim Benzema, who does very well to work space for a shot on the edge of the area but rather less well when he swings at the ball and fires high and wide.

1932: From the resulting free-kick, Barca should really go 2-0 up. Andres Iniesta curls the ball to the far post where an unmarked Gerard Pique heads wastefully wide.

1930: Lionel Messi beats one, two, three... make it four men before being unceremoniously dumped onto his backside by Pepe. With Messi on your side, do you really need 11 men?

1929: Cristiano Ronaldo heads over from a Marcelo cross - and that's his last contribution of the night. Karim Benzema is on instead. Barca have made a substitution too - Yaya Toure is on for Seydou Keita.

1927: Real have about 25 minutes to find an equaliser against Barca's 10 men. Both teams are about to make some changes.

Red card
Barca red card: Silly, silly, silly by Sergio Busquets, who handles the ball and is shown his second yellow of the night. That equals one red, obviously. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola's face is a picture. Of anger.

1925: RED CARD Barcelona's Sergio Busquets

1924: Never mind Cristiano Ronaldo, any of the Real players would be grateful for a touch right now. Barca playing the best keep-ball you've ever seen.

1922: How will Real respond to going behind? They could start by getting Cristiano Ronaldo on the ball... the £80m man has barely had a kick this half.

1920: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "The arrival of Zlatan was greeted with approval. The second Swede to play in El Clasico cost the same as the Barca starting side. He's often accused of going missing in big games. Think that's still the case? Answers on a postcard..."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Barca goal: He's only been on the pitch for five minutes but Zlatan Ibrahimovic has just broken the deadlock with a strike of real quality. Dani Alves hoists a cross over to the far post, which the Swede meets with the sweetest of sweet volleys to crash the ball into the net. Unstoppable.

1917: GOALFLASH Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid (Ibrahimovic)

1915: Superb stuff by Carles Puyol, who saves Barcelona with a tremendous last-ditch tackle (his second of the game). Gonzalo Higuain turns inside Eric Abidal and shapes to shoot... before the big-haired Barca captain slides in to boot the ball away.

1914: A change of approach by Barca? Off comes Thierry Henry, on comes Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

1912: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Andrei Arshavin's disallowed goal in his side's 3-0 defeat by Chelsea: "The referee cancelled a goal and nobody understands why. What is he doing? I watched it five times and nobody touches Cech - he lets the ball down, we score and he (Marriner) cancels the goal. If you watch it, it's a Chelsea player who does it - Eduardo is behind the ball. I think that was a very big turning point in the game today."

1911: Barca are still playing the kind of neat one or two touch passing game you'd expect. But Pep Guardiola's side are being forced backwards by Real, who are defending well so far in this second half.

1908: Andres Iniesta swings in a decent cross from the left for Barca but Raul Albiol rises highest to head the ball clear.

1906: The second half is under way at Camp Nou... we've had one 0-0 in this fixture in the past 20 years? Surely we won't see another one tonight?

From Samir, a glum Arsenal fan, via text on 81111: "After watching Chelsea earlier and watching Real now, I've come to the conclusion that for a team to win anything, it needs to spend a substantial amount of money. That's the ugly truth. Swallow that Wenger."

1901: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "It's not often you see Andres Iniesta angry, but Barca don't often face opposition this good. Money fans may like to know that this Barca XI cost £61m, Real's £256m."

Nothing compares to Barca v Real - Lineker

1857: Twiddling your thumbs during half-time at Camp Nou? If you haven't already, why not have a look at this marvellous interview by Stevo with Michael Laudrup (one of my all-time heroes ever since I saw him playing for Denmark at Mexico '86 when I was a kid) or, why not listen to Gary Lineker talking about his experiences of playing in El Clasico.

mildale07 on Twitter: "did Jo catch a flight to Barcelona? Offside flags keep going up."


Poor old Jo didn't exactly prove me wrong earlier (1339) did he?

notscientific on Twitter: "Offsides, offsides, offsides. Is that all El Clasico is about? The Merseyside derby is so much more interesting."

1850: The last time these two sides met, on 2 May, Barca spanked Real 6-2 in Madrid. Not quite so many goals so far this evening... well, none at all actually.

Half time
1848: HALF-TIME Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

1847: Marcelo has a crack for Real, from the left-hand corner of the box. You won't beat Victor Valdes from there mate, especially if you shoot straight at him...

It's raining
1845: Good to see it's not only in the UK where the weather is awful. The rain is coming down at Camp Nou too.

1843: Real's Raul Albiol is the latest player to be booked, for a deliberate handball to cut-out a Barca attack. Cynical - I'm glad the referee spotted it. We've got five minutes left until the break, and it's still 0-0.

huzi_pandor on Twitter: "i agree with rjginblueoz... if Tottenham or Villa go to the La Liga I reckon they'll be placed as favourites for the title."

1842: I've heard an awful lot about Xavi and Andres Iniesta and they are living up to their billing so far tonight. Barca are on top at the minute and Iker Casillas is busy again, diving low to cut out a dangerous cross from the left.

1840: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "Easy to see why Real Madrid are top of the league and they have surprised Barca so far. Not many teams have come to the Camp Nou in recent times and had the better of it. Barca as usual enjoying more possession, but Real are so much more dangerous. And Kaka and Ronaldo have linked beautifully so far."

1839: Thierry Henry does well to reach a ball on the bye-line and hook it back across goal... it causes Iker Casillas a spot of bother too and might just have crept in if the Real goalkeeper hadn't tipped it over.

From Elliot in Northampton via text on 81111: "(Re 1825) I believe rjginblueoz may be mistaking the two Spanish giants for Rangers and Celtic. Easily confused I must say - passionate fans, heated rivalry and, um, that's about it."

1838: How do you stop the best player in the world when he's running at you with the ball at his feet? Simple. You rugby tackle him. That's how Alvaro Arbeloa dealt with Lionel Messi just now... and yes, he was booked.

1835: Half-an-hour (or so) in and this is where we stand at Camp Nou: Some silky skills from Barca's Lionel Messi, a great chance for Real's Cristiano Ronaldo and an even better save by Victor Valdes (Barca again). No goals yet.

From Muhammad (devastated Gooner) via text on 81111: "I think Arsenal played well today but Chelsea look absolutely unstoppable. As for Arsenal - in the long term I really worry for them without Van Persie. Two consecutive league games and no goals. I wonder if El Clasico can soothe my pain."

1834: Real threaten again, this time through a searching Sergio Ramos ball that is only just too long for Gonzalo Higuain. You sense the visitors are probing for weaknesses in the Barca defence - but the game remains goalless.

From LiverBirdMate on 606: "Can't believe this is the Nou Camp - feels like Barca's the away side! Diarra and Kaka using strength to get through tackles and disposess, Barca looking to hold onto possession and build up gradually. I still say 2-1 home win.'

1830: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "What a chance that was for Ronaldo. The Barca fans held their collective breath and only that fine save denied the £80m man a hugely unpopular goal."

1828: Plenty of openings at both ends so far - but it's Real who have had the best of them. Marcelo is the latest to have a sight of goal, but his shot is blocked by a perfect Carles Puyol tackle.

1825: Just a reminder of how things stand at the top of La Liga. Real Madrid are top with 28 points from 11 games. Defending champions Barca are second with 27 points from 11 games. Yes, it's very close.

From rjginblueoz on 606: "If Barca and Real played a season in the Premier League they would be lucky to finish in the top half."


I'm speechless.

1824: Victor Valdes to the rescue for Barca again, rushing out to hack the ball clear as Kaka chased a ball over the top.

1823: A great chance for Real's Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring but he is denied by Victor Valdes. Kaka was behind the chance, playing in his team-mate on the right-hand side of the area, but Valdes did brilliantly to save with his leg.

1822: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on his comedy woolly hat (think Benny from Crossroads): "Yes - I also I like the rain - but I was a little cold."

1820: Just the 98,000 fans at Camp Nou for this one, then. Barca definitely on top so far but no goals for either team yet.

1819: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on two-goal hero Didier Drogba after his side's win at Arsenal: "He scored a fantastic goal and he worked for the team. He has a good spirit - goals are good but the most important thing is working for the team."

1816: Barca come forward again, with Xavi sprinting clear. Great play by Iker Casillas, though, who is off his line like a bullet to clear the danger.

1815: Here's something we've seen a few times before... Cristiano Ronaldo stepping up to fire in a free-kick goalwards... or to be more accurate, straight into the Barcelona wall. He was about 35 yards out to be fair, so we shouldn't be too harsh.

1813: Xavi is the next Barca player to try his luck, with a cheeky effort from distance. It sails a mile over the bar.

1812: Brilliant play by Lionel Messi, who plays in Thierry Henry on the left-hand side of the area... the Frenchman has time to make for goal or pick his spot but can only fire a low ball straight at Iker Casillas.

1811: Real Madrid come forward through Sergio Ramos down the right but the move breaks down on the edge of the Barca area. It's still goalless by the way, and you haven't missed much.

1809: We have pictures from Camp Nou! Normal service will now resume...

1808: Sorry folks but Stevo's marathon missive is all we've got in terms of Camp Nou updates at the moment. Still no pictures but I've got Spanish commentary... which would be handy if I spoke Spanish.

1807: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson at Camp Nou: "Nearly 100,000 people - about 2.5% of the population of the urban area of Barcelona - smash out the club's anthem. Wanna know the words? Roughly this:


'The whole stadium loudly cheers, We're the blue and claret supporters, It matters not where we hail from, Whether it's the south or the north, Now we all agree, we all agree, One flag unites us in brotherhood. Blue and claret blowing in the wind, One valiant cry, We've got a name that everyone knows: Barca, Barca, Baaarca! Players, Supporters, United we are strong. We've achieved much over the years, We've shouted many goals And we have shown, we have shown, That no one can ever break us. Blue and claret blowing in the wind, One valiant cry, We've got a name that everyone knows: Barca, Barca, Baaarca!' We're about to get under way."

1805: Real Madrid have kicked off in El Clasico... I would tell you more but I haven't got any pictures at the moment. *Curses*

1804: A few teething technical problems here at BBC Towers... I'm hoping they will wait for us before kicking off at Camp Nou, but I somehow doubt it.

dazza_lp on Twitter: "If it finishes 4-0 to Real, it will be 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4. Unlikely, but still possible."

1758: TEAMS Barcelona v Real Madrid
Barcelona: Valdes; Dani Alves, Abidal, Puyol, Pique; Keita, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Henry.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Arbeloa, Pepe, Albiol; Diarra, Alonso, Marcelo, Kaka; Ronaldo, Higuain.

1757: Well, Arsenal had their chances but Chelsea ran away with it in the end - helped by two superb goals by Didier Drogba. The Blues go five points clear at the top of the table. Arsenal are fourth, 11 points behind Carlo Ancelotti's side, albeit with a game in hand.

Full time
1755: FULL-TIME Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea

1754: Deco and Nicolas Anelka combine and the Frenchman plays a low ball across goal for Florent Malouda, who slips. Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has taken his funny hat off now... but hopefully he will see it as something of a lucky charm and wear it for us again.

BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson, Tweeting from Barcelona: "Robbie Carlos - footballing good guy. Here's his exclusive El Clasico preview pay-off: 'I wish good luck and fair play to all players.' Ahh."

1749: We're almost done in north London, where there will be four minutes of added time. Then we're off to Spain for Barcelona v Real Madrid... El Clasico starts at 1800 GMT.

From BulletMonkey on 606: "(Re 1743) Bevan - please tell Jonathan Stevenson that songs are not always named after their choruses. Anyone who's anyone knows the song is called Viva La Vida. I can imagine he calls Against All Odds 'Take a Look At Me Now'."

1749: Chelsea's two-goal hero Didier Drogba has done his job... he's off, replaced by Florent Malouda. Quite a few Arsenal fans have already made for the exits...

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Chelsea goal: What a way to crown victory at the Emirates... Didier Drogba smashes in a 25-yard free-kick that flies past Manuel Almunia and into the top corner of the net. Pick that one out.

1745: GOALFLASH Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea (Drogba)

1744: Theo Walcott makes headway down the right and swings over a high cross. It's intended for Carlos Vela but it sails straight out for a goal-kick.

1743: Chelsea continue to soak up the Arsenal pressure - this has been a tremendous defensive display from the visitors. Arsene Wenger is looking pretty fed up, probably because his side seem to have run out of ideas.

From Badmus (happy Chelsea fan) via text on 81111: "El Derby day belongs to the visiting teams. We can guess the result at Camp Nou as well with Cristiano Ronaldo back for the Galacticos."

BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson, Tweeting from Barcelona: "Barca's players come out to Coldplay's 'When I ruled the world'. The announcer then leads the fans in a rendition of the club's anthem."

1738: Frank Lampard battles his way past two defenders in the Arsenal area but cannot get his shot in because Manuel Almunia dives at his feet to push the ball away. The Gunners goalkeeper has had a very good game indeed.

1735: It's all got a bit scrappy at the Emirates - Didier Drogba and Denilson are both down on the floor after a collision and Tomas Rosicky and John Mikel Obi have just been kicking lumps out of each other (sort of). Just 15 minutes left now.

1735: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Barcelona: "You think you've heard whistling? Not on your life. You wanna be in the Camp Nou when Real Madrid's Galacticos II come out to warm up. I thought the world was coming to an end. There's surely a little extra for the super easy-to-hate Cristiano Ronaldo, too? Ronaldo starts - as does Barca's Lionel Messi. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is only on the bench, but we have our all-star cast."

1733: Ah, I was clearly just getting ahead of myself at 1728... Ashley Cole is injured and is definitely coming off, to be replaced by Paulo Ferreira. Do I need to mention that Cole left the pitch to a chorus of boos?

1731: Carlos Vela sends Cesc Fabregas free down the left-hand side of the area but Petr Cech clears the danger with his feet. No way through for Arsenal at the moment.

1730: Carlos Vela goes down on the edge of the Chelsea box under challenge from Branislav Ivanovic but he seemed to be looking for that to be honest. Referee Andre Marriner is having none of it. By the way, that change by Chelsea was JOE Cole, not Ashley...

1728: Chelsea's turn to make a substitution... Deco is on for Joe Cole.

From anon via text on 81111: "Nick from Oxfordshire (see 1722) should understand that not being happy is what drives people to success. This is the difference between top spot and Europa league football."

1726: Another change by Arsenal. Samir Nasri is off and Tomas Rosicky is on. We've got about 25 minutes left at the Emirates.

1723: Chelsea haven't threatened for oooh... ages but they would have just gone 3-0 up if it wasn't for Manuel Almunia. Didier Drogba's shot cannons off William Gallas and then Frank Lampard but the Spanish goalkeeper springs to his right to turn the ball around the post.

Craigy_Anderson on Twitter: "Arsenal could end up the same way Everton did earlier. Plenty of possession but nothing to show for it."

1722: Arsenal have a free-kick on the left after Branislav Ivanovic clips Andrei Arshavin. When it's eventually swung in, Petr Cech punches the ball clear, only for Chelsea to immediately concede another free-kick. This time, Cesc Fabregas wins the header but it bounces straight at Petr Cech.

From Nick, Oxfordshire - Everton fan via text on 81111: "I'm getting so fed up every year with Arsenal fans, the same old whinge - we can't do it against the big boys and it's ruining our season. I accept how it is at Everton and we love everything about our club."

1715: The home side are pressing again but a superb challenge by John Terry denies Eduardo, just as he shapes to shoot. That's the Croatian done for the day too - he's off and on comes Carlos Vela.

Nickk3 on Twitter: "If Arsenal come back from this I swear I'll eat my hat."


So will Carlo Ancelotti.

1712: Arsenal are still enjoying all the possession and Chelsea are defending fairly desperately - a goal from the home side now would make this one interesting (for neutrals and Gunners fans only, obviously).

1710: Absolute chaos in the Chelsea penalty area, stemming from a woeful Didier Drogba back-pass... Eduardo's shot was saved by Petr Cech, Andrei Arshavin could have put the rebound into an empty net but was denied by a last-ditch challenge - and when he does manage it seconds later, the goal is ruled out because Eduardo kicked the ball out of Cech's hands. End result? Chelsea still lead 2-0.


1707: Arsenal go on the attack straight from the off but Eduardo just doesn't seem his usual self tonight. Andrei Arshavin plays him in on the edge of the box but he dithers on the ball and is crowded out of it.

1706: The introduction of Theo Walcott indicates Arsenal are going to have a real go at this. The bad news for the Gunners? Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in seven of their last eight games.

1705: Arsenal get us back under way.

1704: The players are back on the pitch at the Emirates... Arsenal are going to bring on Theo Walcott for the second half, replacing Alex Song.

From Ben (Arsenal fan) in Warwick, via text on 81111: "This is all too familiar for Arsenal, I don't remember the last time they came back from two down to gain anything against a top-four side, and I can't see it happening today."

1702: It's all over in Cardiff. Ipswich have indeed beaten the Bluebirds 2-1.

1701: So how is El D-Day treating you so far? No need to answer that if you support Wolves or Everton... and I think I can guess how Birmingham and Liverpool fans are feeling right now - er, happy? Arsenal have got 45 minutes left to turn the final Premier League derby of the day around, otherwise Chelsea will restore their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

1656: More drama, courtesy of Championship Danny: "Hey - the FA Cup is over for the day and this is not a Cupset - but it feels a bit like one. Jonathan Stead has scored and it's high-flying Cardiff 1-2 Ipswich with five minutes to go."

renny49 on Twitter: "Arsenal again crumbling against the big boys. Surely now their title challenge (if there ever was one) is over."

1651: Ignore that third 'goal' graphic below - it should say half-time. An easy mistake to make, I'm sure you agree, given Chelsea had just scored twice in the space of three minutes and 33 seconds. Until then, Arsenal had probably been on top. As it is, they have got a mountain to climb in the second half.

Half time
1648: HALF-TIME Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Chelsea goal: Disaster for Arsenal. Another Ashley Cole cross evades William Gallas at the near post, zips up off the wet turf and deflects into the net off Thomas Vermaelen. It actually flies in off the same part of the far post that Didier Drogba's shot did a couple of minutes before.

1645: GOALFLASH Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea (Vermaelen own goal)

1645: As a few of you have pointed out, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is sporting a woolly hat that makes him look a little bit like Benny out of defunct soap Crossroads. I'll bring you a picture (of Carlo, not Benny) when I get one.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Chelsea goal: What a finish by Didier Drogba, who meets Ashley Cole's cross at the near post and flicks the ball into the net, via the back post. That's his ninth goal in his last nine games, and his ninth goal in 11 games against Arsenal.

1642: GOALFLASH Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea (Drogba)

1641: Arsenal get behind the Chelsea defence for the first time when Cesc Fabregas slips the ball through to Eduardo, only for Petr Cech to rush from his line and beat the Croatian to the ball.

1640: Another headed chance for Didier Drogba, who meets Joe Cole's cross. He can't keep the ball down, however, and it sails over the bar.

1639: Championship Danny's weekend is almost over. Not yet though: "Jonathan Walters has levelled for Ipswich at Cardiff and it's 1-1. Just over 15 minutes to go, and if that score stays the same it will be the Tractor Boys' 11th draw in 18 matches this season. A point will still be enough to move Cardiff up to fifth."

Yellow card
1638: Didier Drogba goes into Andre Marriner's book, after a body-check on Thomas Vermaelen. More clumsy than malicious, I think.

1637: Hmmm. Chelsea are yet to really find their feet going forward, with Didier Drogba's poor pass - which was intended for Nicolas Anelka but found Bacary Sagna instead - an example of their lack of fluency in the final third, so far anyway.

langersbcn on Twitter: "Re 1616. No. We are not enjoying the weather here in Barcelona. It's absolutely THROWING it down. The pitch will be soaked."

1632: Arsenal continue to have the better possession but Chelsea are proving difficult to break down. When Eduardo does run clear for the home team, he is flagged offside as he shapes to shoot.

1630: It wasn't a phone that was thrown on to the pitch (see 1622)... it was a camera - and a fake camera at that. Not sure what the point of a fake camera is but maybe I'm missing a trick?

Sp33df0rc3 on Twitter: "Arsenal have plenty of players who can score...Arshavin? Fabregas? Diaby? Arsenal have the potential to win the title."

Yellow card
1627: The first yellow card of the game is shown to Armand Traore after he tangles with Branislav Ivanovic. Chelsea waste the resulting free-kick.

1625: A first save for Petr Cech too. Samir Nasri lets fly from 30 yards... it's got power and skids off the wet turf to give it added venom but it's straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.

1623: When we resume, Didier Drogba has a free header inside the Arsenal box but can only direct it straight at Manuel Almunia. Not much power there, either.

1622: Play is stopped because somebody has thrown a phone on to the Emirates pitch.

1621: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Barcelona: "So much of the pre-match focus has been on the fitness of Barca's Lionel Messi and Real's Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo seems certain to start, but Messi's place is much more of a doubt. Pep Guardiola will be desperate for him not to do any long-term damage to that thigh, but will he be more desperate for the world's best player to start the game? My money's on a cameo from the bench - if they need him."

1619: The first opportunity goes Chelsea's way. Frank Lampard plays in Nicolas Anelka but he appears to be hauled back by Bacary Sagna and his shot is saved... before Lampard fires the follow-up wide. No shouts for a penalty from the visitors either.

It's raining
1616: It's tipping down in north London - I bet Stevo's enjoying better weather in Barcelona for El Clasico (which starts at 1800 GMT). Chelsea haven't exactly been lively so far but were almost in when Joe Cole released Didier Drogba... only for the striker to be flagged offside. That was close though.

1614: Arsenal are still marginally on top but it's very tight indeed and we are still waiting for our first chance of any kind. The Gunners' most promising moment was wasted when Eduardo's control lets him down at the vital moment when he was in space on the edge of the area.

1611: FULL FA CUP THIRD-ROUND DRAW (Ties to be played weekend of 2&3 January)

Tottenham v Peterborough United

Brentford v Doncaster Rovers

Middlesbrough v Manchester City

Stoke City v York City

Notts County v Forest Green Rovers

Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion

Sheffield United v QPR

MK Dons v Burnley

Chelsea v Watford

Nottingham Forest v Birmingham City

Preston North End v Colchester United

West Ham United v Arsenal

Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers

Portsmouth v Coventry City

Sunderland v Oxford United or Barrow

Wigan Athletic v Hull City

Everton v Carlisle United

Sheffield Wednesday v Crystal Palace

Tranmere Rovers or Aldershot Town v Wolves

Blackpool v Ipswich Town

Fulham v Swindon Town

Stockport County or Torquay v Brighton

Scunthorpe United v Barnsley

Southampton v Rotherham United or Luton Town

Bristol City v Cardiff City

Reading v Liverpool

Staines Town or Millwall v Derby County

Plymouth Argyle v Newcastle United

Leicester City v Swansea City

Bolton Wanderers v Lincoln City

Accrington Stanley or Barnet v Gillingham

Manchester United v Kettering Town or Leeds United

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty, Tweeting from Goodison Park: "Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez describes keeper Pepe Reina as 'amazing' after display at Everton. The best keeper in the Premier League."

1608: Arsenal have started the brightest but no real chances yet. We've just had a short break while Eduardo received some treatment after he was hurt in a tangle with Michael Essien.

1606: The final two balls out of the hat have produced quite a tie, whichever way you look at it. Manchester United v Kettering/Leeds. Those were the highlights - the full draw will follow very shortly...

1604: FA Cup third round update: Premier League strugglers Wolves face a trip to Tranmere or Aldershot. Reading will host Liverpool and Fulham are at home to Swindon.

1603: Not a lot happening in Arsenal v Chelsea at the moment, which is handy. Ashley Cole is getting booed by the home fans but you had probably guessed that already.

1602: More all-Premier League ties in the third round of the FA Cup: Wigan v Hull and Aston Villa v Blackburn. And Everton have got Carlisle at home.

1601: We are underway at the Emirates in the final Premier League derby of the day. They could have waited for the draw to finish, couldn't they? Bah.

1601: Yet more FA Cup third round news: The tie of the round so far? West Ham v Arsenal.

1600: More FA Cup third round news: Holders Chelsea have got a home tie against Watford, moneybags Notts County will host Forest Green Rovers and MK Dons are at home to Burnley.

1559: FA Cup third round news: Tottenham will play Peterborough at White Hart Lane. Middlesbrough are at home to Manchester City.

1557: The players are in the tunnel at the Emirates... and the balls are in the hat for the FA Cup third round draw. Good job it's not the other way round.

1556: Everton boss David Moyes after his side's narrow defeat by Liverpool: "You have to earn your luck. We worked really hard and I was hoping we'd earn that luck but we didn't. It was disappointing. But we also missed some chances. The game was tight and I thought we were in the ascendancy in general. But after the game in the week, the players were asked to show great attitude and endeavour and it was there in abundance."

oswindiniz on Twitter: "Arsenal for the title? Who's going to score their goals with Van Persie out, Gunnersaurus?"

1550: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his side's clash with top-of-the table Chelsea: "There is a period for any team to come out and show its strength. For my team, this moment has come. We have the strength and we want to show we're strong enough to beat them."

From Darrell Allen, via text on 81111: "Arsenal and Chelsea are the two form teams of the Premier League. They both play really attractive football, today's game should be a cracker."

1547: There's a Championship game going on too you know... FA Cup and Championship Danny has the details: "Peter Whittingham has put Cardiff 1-0 up at home to beleagured Ipswich. Both those teams are in the FA Cup third round draw, stay tuned..."

From Mark (a Gooner) in Aberdeen, via text on 81111: "I think whoever wins the Arsenal-Chelsea game will win the title. If Arsenal win with all these injuries it's a great sign, if Chelsea win the gap may be too big."

BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson, Tweeting from Barcelona: "1st exclusive Roberto Carlos interview on Twitter? "El Clasico in Barca is hard for Real. The Barca fans will be working the players over."

1543: Kettering's shot-stopping player-manager Lee Harper after the 1-1 draw with Leeds that ensures the Poppies are in the hat with the big boys: "That's absolutely fantastic after a very difficult week for the football club. The lads gave everything it was a magnificent performance."

1541: That FA Cup third round draw is only about 10 minutes away... and you don't have to go anywhere to follow it. I'll stick up some of the stand-out ties straightaway, with the full draw to follow, courtesy of my glamorous assistant Sam Lyon.

1539: It's all over at Rockingham Road and here's FA Cup and Championship Danny to tell us more: "A super FA Cup tie at Rockingham Road is over and it's finished Kettering 1-1 Leeds. Great effort from both teams in terrible weather. Leeds had most of the play and didn't deserve to lose - but Kettering defended like heroes and fully merit a money-spinning replay at Elland Road. Both teams go into the hat for the third round draw - coming up very soon...."

1538: Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez on his side's hard-fought win over neighbours Everton: "It was very difficult. They were desperate to win but at least we were working very hard. We were lucky with the deflection. They had a few chances and we were playing counter-attack because we were under pressure a lot."

1536: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v Chelsea
Arsenal centre-back William Gallas was forced off early with a swollen eye in the Champions League win over Standard Liege in midweek but he has recovered to face his former club. Eduardo gets the nod in attack ahead of Carlos Vela with Robin van Persie injured, while left-back Armand Traore and right-back Bacary Sagna also come into the side for Kieran Gibbs, who is injured, and Emmanuel Eboue. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard returns after a thigh injury. He starts along with Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and Michael Essien as manager Carlo Ancelotti drops Yuri Zhirkov, Florent Malouda, Deco and Michael Ballack to the bench after the midweek Champions League win over Porto.

1535: TEAMS Arsenal v Chelsea
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Traore, Fabregas, Song Billong, Denilson, Nasri, Eduardo, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Silvestre, Eboue.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Joe Cole, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Ballack, Malouda, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Deco, Kalou.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1533: Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt after his side's derby win over Everton: "We were under pressure but the main thing is we showed character. I'm really happy."

1531: Defeat was harsh on Everton but they couldn't turn their possession into goals and remain just four points above the relegation zone after just one win in their last eight league games. Liverpool's recent run is not much better, but victory today means they are up to fifth in the table - two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

1525: Right then. Liverpool join Birmingham as derby winners. Arsenal v Chelsea is next up at 1600 GMT - after the FA Cup draw of course.

mjmaguiretweets on Twitter: "Re 1520. It's not cruel mate, it's incorrect. If we go down I'll eat my own hand."

Full time
1523: FULL-TIME Everton 0-2 Liverpool

1522: More news from FA Cup and Championship Danny, and it's not good if you like Cupsets: "Drama. And an equaliser. Leeds are throwing everything at Kettering. The non-league side are holding firm and survive another mad mud-bath goalmouth scramble - before, with 13 minutes to go, goal machine Jermaine Beckford nets his 14th of the season. It's Kettering 1-1 Leeds."

From anon, via text on 81111: "How have Everton not even come away with a draw in this game? They have been by far the better side. If they play like this for the rest of the season I think they'll stay up. Liverpool on the other hand, if they play like this they'll struggle to finish 4th. Extremely fortunate to get a victory."

1520: We'll have three minutes of added time at Goodison Park. The Liverpool fans are chanting 'Going down' at their Blue counterparts. Cruel.

1519: It sounds like a thriller at Rockingham Road - here's FA Cup and Championship Danny to tell us more: "The rain is lashing down at Kettering - classic FA Cup fayre, this. Kettering keeper - and manager - Lee Harper has just produced a brilliant save from a header by Leeds' Jason Crowe to keep his side in front."

1517: A third goal for Liverpool would be especially harsh on Everton but it takes a smart save with his feet by Tim Howard to keep out a low shot by Albert Riera. The Reds have got an awful lot of space going forward now... Everton are taking risks - they have to.

1516: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Game over now as Everton fans start to drift away. Real defiance from their team but they could not turn all the dominance they enjoyed in the first half and at the start of the second into goals. Liverpool not impressive but they have claimed the points - and that was the only item on Rafael Benitez's agenda today."

1516: Joseph Yobo's miserable afternoon is over. He comes off - Lucas Neill is on. Everton have around five minutes left to salvage something here and get some reward for dominating long periods of this match.

From WiseMrBadger on 606: "Re: Leeds going 1-0 behind at Kettering - we're resting players as promotion is the big priority for a club of our size. The FA Cup will just be a bad distraction. I would rather go out now than later down the line, which let's face it is inevitable."

1512: If the scoreline stays the same, Liverpool will climb to fifth with what will be their first league win since they beat Manchester United on 25 October.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Liverpool goal: Joseph Yobo's not had the best day has he? The Everton defender slices wildly at a clearance and Steven Gerrard reaches the loose ball first to tee up Albert Riera. His angled shot is pushed away by Tim Howard but the rebound is tucked away by Dirk Kuyt. Game over?

1509: GOALFLASH Everton 0-2 Liverpool (Kuyt)

1508: MASSIVE news from FA Cup and Championship Danny: "Oh my stars. Rockingham Road is rocking. Ian Roper has headed Richie Partridge's free-kick off the underside of the bar and Blue Square Premier Kettering lead League One leaders Leeds 1-0. Just under 30 minutes to go. Leeds infamously lost to Histon last season - is it to be an FA Cup nightmare double?"

1507: Another substitution by Rafa Benitez. Albert Riera replaces Fabiano Aurelio.

1506: Yossi Benayoun makes an instant impact too, running at the Everton defence before sending over a dangerous low cross. The ball had already gone out of play but it was still a decent run.

1505: Liverpool make their first change of the afternoon, with Yossi Benayoun on for David Ngog. We've got 15 minutes left at Goodison Park for Everton to find an equaliser.

1503: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton need the extra touch of class Louis Saha offers to unlock Liverpool's defence. Everton have not enjoyed any fortune though and Liverpool were thankful for those two saves from Pepe Reina to deny Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini."

1501: Everton's best moment of the match - and they would be level if not for Pepe Reina, who comes to Liverpool's rescue with a tremendous double-stop. He plunges to his left to keep out Tim Cahill's header and is back on his feet quickly to keep out Marouane Fellaini's follow-up.

1458: A first strike on goal by Louis Saha - who smashes in a shot from a ridiculous angle out on the left. He really should have crossed, and I think Tim Cahill has just told him exactly that.

1457: Great work by Dirk Kuyt, who dispossesses Leighton Baines on the right before crossing for David Ngog to fire in a shot. It took a decent block by Joseph Yobo to deflect that one out for a corner.

1455: Yep, here comes the Frenchman now, replacing Jo - who was flagged offside as he ran to the dug-out. Not really.

1453: Time for an Everton change. Louis Saha is about to come on.

1452: Birmingham boss Alex McLeish after his side's 1-0 derby victory over Wolves: "That is a massive win for us. These are the games that will decide our season and to get a fantastic win, and in the manner that we did it, was brilliant. From the keeper right through the team, it was a magnificent performance and our only disappointment was that we didn't take the chances to put it beyond them."

From anon, via text on 81111: "Has Rafa learnt nothing from the Man City game? 1-0 up and sitting on a slender lead is too dangerous. Bring on Aquilani and go for it Rafa... PLEASE "

1450: Yet more chat from FA Cup and Championship Danny: "It would be wrong of FA Cup and Championship Danny not to acknowledge a tasty-looking encounter in the Welsh capital today. At 1500 GMT, Cardiff host Ipswich - a win for the home side puts them fourth, defeat would leave 23rd-placed Ipswich starting to look adrift near the bottom."

1448: Blimey, that was a lucky escape for Pepe Reina. He gets both hands behind a fizzing strike by Steven Pienaar but drops the ball and it bounces down behind his legs. Will it creep over the line? No. The Liverpool keeper turns to pick it up, quite calmly considering.

1447: Wolves boss Mick McCarthy after his side's 1-0 defeat by Birmingham: "I picked a team I thought would go out there and compete, but it didn't happen. From the first whistle we haven't made a tackle or laid a finger on anyone and, as a result, Birmingham were a good street better than us. We improved late in the game, yes, but we didn't deserve anything from it. The supporters deserve a lot better than what we dished up for them today, that's for sure."

1446: Everton are still piling on the pressure. Pepe Reina comes out again to collect a long Sylvain Distin throw, but misses. The ball is hacked out... for another Distin throw... this time Glen Johnson heads away.

1443: Pepe Reina gets good distance with his punch from Tony Hibbert's deep cross but Liverpool cannot clear their lines. More of that to come, I reckon. Everton are launching a lot of balls into the danger zone now.

BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson, Tweeting from Barcelona: "It's dark and moody in Barcelona, the clouds are gathering above the Camp Nou. Nerves abound - there's no doubting this one's importance."

1440: Liverpool's David Ngog gives away possession cheaply and Steven Pienaar surges forward. The ball is played through to Jo but Pepe Reina is quickly off his line to get there first - and, yes you guessed it, the Brazilian was offside anyway.

1438: Liverpool playing keep-ball in their own half at the start of the second period. You get the feeling it's going to be Everton doing most of the attacking in the next 45 minutes or so.

From Abzy in Gloucester, via text on 81111: "Re 1339. I'll put my money on the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor is offside more often. Ask the stats man if you don't believe me! Hmff!"


A lot of chat from you lot about this one - Jermain Defoe is also getting a lot of mentions - but one thing is for sure, Jo has scored the most goals ruled out for offside today. There could be more to come, too...

1434: Liverpool get the second half started at Goodison Park.

From anon, via text on 81111: "Liverpool haven't got Alonso to pull the strings. But Everton's problems lie with the missing Arteta. Without his magical midfield performances its a relegation battle for the Blues."

1431: While you lot wait for the second half of Everton v Liverpool, I'm waiting for Wolves boss Mick McCarthy to emerge from the home dressing room at Molineux to give his response to his side's latest defeat. No sign of him yet.

1429: If you're wondering why there have been no goal updates from the FA Cup tie between Kettering and Leeds, that's because it's still goalless at Rockingham Road as they approach half-time. Leeds are on top but the Blue Square Premier side are holding their own.

From Chris the Red, via text on 81111: "Jo to get a hat trick. All offside. All disallowed."

1422: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton fans give their side a rousing reception as Alan Wiley sounds the whistle for half-time - and despite the scoreline, it is understandable. David Moyes' men dominated possession and territory, but the worry is they failed to turn that superiority into goals. Liverpool almost made them pay with Emiliano Insua's header just before half-time, but work for Rafael Benitez to do because his side have actually been disappointing."

From redboychris on 606: "Why do Liverpool always have to defend when they go in front? Towards the end of last year they did well because they attacked and pressed throughout most of the match."

Half time
1419: HALF-TIME Everton 0-1 Liverpool

1418: Leighton Baines does enough to distract Dirk Kuyt as he attempts to meet Fabiano Aurelio's cross.

1417: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Barcelona: "It won't surprise anyone that the build-up to El Clasico is well under way on Spanish television, with less than four hours to go until kick-off. They just did a lovely piece asking fans who their most hated rival player of all time is. Considering he's never played against Barca for Real, Cristiano Ronaldo got an awful lot of mentions from the Catalans."

1415: Oh dear. Jo swivels to turn in Joseph Yobo's header from a corner but the Everton striker is about a mile offside. That's the second time he's found the net - both rightly ruled out.

1414: After I just talked about Liverpool's lack of creativity, they respond by almost extending their lead. Glen Johnson crosses from the right and Emiliano Insua rises to power in a header... it takes a fantastic reflex save by Tim Howard to deny him.

1412: About five minutes left until half-time and Everton will probably feel they have done enough to be level. Liverpool have not created much at all, but that deflected Javier Mascherano goal means they are ahead.

It's raining
1410: It's raining on Merseyside and the turf is very wet already. Great for slick passing but even better for sliding tackles. Steven Gerrard earns the wrath of the home fans for one such challenge on Leighton Baines but it was perfectly fair. Referee Alan Wiley is definitely in for a busy afternoon but has not had to get his cards out yet.

1406: What was I saying about Jo (1339)? After latching on to a clever pass by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, the Brazilian prods a shot past Pepe Reina and wheels away to celebrate after seeing the ball nestle in the corner of the net. He's not celebrating for long though - the linesman has his flag up for offside.

1405: It's all Everton at the moment but Liverpool are defending in numbers - and effectively.

1403: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton have responded with real spirit to going behind and it already looks like the class and creativity of Steven Pienaar will provide their best hope of getting back into this game. Liverpool need to settle it down and get more possession, but Everton are making life difficult for them. Just wonder whether Everton have the goals in them to turn it around."

1401: More pressure by Everton. A Leighton Baines corner is only cleared as far as Steven Pienaar but his lofted shot does not have enough power to trouble Pepe Reina.

1357: Troubled times for Mick McCarthy. Wolves' 1-0 defeat means it's now eight games without a win for his side and they were booed off at the final whistle. Birmingham are the first derby winners of the day - and they go 11th in the table.

1355: Pepe Reina makes his first save of the day, after a bit of a scramble in the Liverpool box. Jo tried his luck - Glen Johnson was on hand to tidy up and clear.

Full time
1354: FULL-TIME Wolves 0-1 Birmingham

1352: Wolves are still trying to conjure up an equaliser but the magic is missing - and chances are at a premium. We're into injury time at Molineux - and only a couple of minutes of that to go.

ni911 on Twitter: "Masch meant that obviously, was well placed onto Yobos foot!"

1350: A great chance for Everton to equalise. A throw-in is flicked on, twice, and it falls for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov - who is completely unmarked - at the back post. He's got time to take a touch but instead rushes his shot and drags it horribly wide. That was a sitter. Do I need to tell you he responded by burying his head in his hands?

1347: As it happens, Kettering against Leeds has just kicked off. I'll keep you updated on how that one pans out.

1346: Guess who's back? Love him or hate him, here's FA Cup Danny: "Just a couple of hours until the all-important FA Cup third round draw. There's a classic-looking FA Cup tie ahead of that - Kettering host rampant League One leaders Leeds at Rockingham Road. Did anyone just say Cupset?"

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Liverpool goal: Luck is definitely on Liverpool's side here - Javier Mascherano has a speculative shot from about 30 yards out... Joseph Yobo sticks out a leg to try to block it but instead sends the ball spinning past Tim Howard and into the corner of the net.

1343: GOALFLASH Everton 0-1 Liverpool (Mascherano)

1343: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Rafael Benitez is urging calm from Liverpool alongside David Moyes in the technical area - easier said than done in the midst of a predictably frenetic atmosphere. And Jamie Carragher already furious with his colleagues further forward for conceding possession too easily."

1342: Wolves are running out of time to find an equaliser against Birmingham - they still trail 1-0 with less than 10 minutes left. Just a thought - as Jo is a man clearly in need of a surname... how about Jo Offside?

1340: Clever stuff by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who almost plays in Steven Pienaar with a slide-rule pass. Everton retain possession, however, and the ball eventually comes back to the Russian inside the box. He can't control it, however, and it skids out for a goal-kick.

1339: We're still bogged down in midfield at Goodison Park - the crowd are still excited though. A quick question for you: Does any striker get caught offside as often as Jo?

1338: They have hardly deserved it, but Wolves are almost level. Matt Jarvis latches on to Joe Hart's poor punch from a corner and slams a shot goalwards, but the keeper recovers well with a strong left hand to push it wide.

1336: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "For Rafael Benitez, this is the first opportunity to deliver proof that he is right to make the bold claim that he is "100% confident" Liverpool will finish in the top four this season."

1335: A frenetic start on Merseyside. Referee Alan Wiley has been busy but neither goal has been remotely threatened yet.

1334: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "The announcement of Jo's name in the Everton team (especially when it was not followed by either Yakubu or Louis Saha) was greeted with audible bemusement at Goodison Park. David Moyes has has problems in attack, however, with Saha struggling with injury and the manager admitting Yakubu is on a long road back to full fitness after a serious Achilles tendon injury. Turning logic on its head, what a chance for Jo to make a name for himself among sceptical Everton fans."

1333: Oooh. That was close. Birmingham mount a counter-attack - and come within inches of making it 2-0. Cameron Jerome bursts forward and plays in James McFadden, the forward taking a touch and then firing across goal only for Stephen Ward to get a vital touch on the ball to deflect it wide.

1332: With stadium plans falling through (Blue), defeats to Hull (Blue) and Champions League exits (Red), it's not been a good week for either Merseyside team but it could get a little bit better for one of them in the next couple of hours. Everton have just got us started, too.

1329: Good news folks. El D-Day part deux, Everton v Liverpool, is just a couple of minutes away.

From anon via text on 81111: "(See 1319) The team selection is not mad. Neither Riera nor Benayoun are fully match fit. Looking forward to seeing Ngog, the lad has shown glimpses of quality."

1326: More huff and puff from Wolves but still not much quality I'm afraid. And if they're going to find an equaliser they will have to do so without Michael Kightly. The substitute has a foot injury and is being substituted. On comes Nenad Milijas.

1324: Sebastian Larsson drills a bouncing ball goalwards from about 30 yards out but his effort is well wide of Marcus Hahnemann's goal. Birmingham have not done much attacking so far this half but then they don't need to, do they?

1322: Not a good sight for Wolves fans - Michael Kightly is down and receiving treatment on the touchline. Not another injury, surely?

1320: Ah, that was Roger Johnson at 1311, not Damien. None of you noticed though, luckily. Is David James playing? (see yesterday)

Yellow card
1319: Wolves need to be patient here - they're well on top in terms of possession but if they throw too many players forward, they're going to be vulnerable on the break. As if to prove my point, Christophe Berra is booked after being caught in possession by Cameron Jerome - he pulled him back.

From anon via text on 81111: "I don't know what is wrong with Benitez, his team selection is mad. Leaving Benayoun and Riera on the bench is crazy and we have two left backs on the field - and we have a striker/winger that can't cross or score."

1313: Henry 'The Fonz' Winkler at Goodison Park - a guest of Everton chairman Bill Kenwright - gives his thoughts on 'soccer': "I usually watch the World Cup. But here I am, in the midst of this great rivalry, I'm very excited. But I'm smart enough not to give you a prediction."

1311: Michael Kightly puts over a decent cross from the right but Roger Johnson leaps highest to clear at the back post. This is much better from Wolves, but Birmingham are still comfortable enough as it stands.

1306: The second half is only, um, seconds old and Wolves have just had their best effort of the match - Kevin Doyle lets fly from 25 yards and sees the ball drift inches wide of Joe Hart's post. Mick McCarthy's half-time team-talk taking effect?

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Invincible 49ers on 606: "What is Moyes playing at in the Scally Derby? Saha and Neil on bench with Hibbert and Jo playing. I thought Everton wanted to win this game? With Hibbert at rightback that's a guaranteed penalty/free-kick/goal/sending off all in one."

GordonBaisley on Twitter: "What's stopping Benitez starting Aquilani? it seems like an over cautious re-introduction unless there's something not right."

1305: Wolves get the second half under way at Molineux. Mick McCarthy has made another change - bringing on Stephen Ward for Michael Mancienne.

1303: A bit of commentary chat for you now folks - which only applies if you're reading this in the UK. BBC Radio 5 live will be concentrating on Everton v Liverpool... and the second-half of Wolves v Birmingham will only be available on this website. If you're interested in either, click on the icons you can see on the top right of the page.

1301: If nothing else, we can expect red cards at Goodison Park (kick-off is at 1330 GMT). There have been 17 sending offs in this fixture - more than any other in the Premier League - including eight in the last eight meetings in Toffees territory. The 'Friendly Derby'? Not on the pitch, that's for sure.

1256: TEAM NEWS Everton v Liverpool (from Phil McNulty at Goodison Park)
Louis Saha is on the bench for Everton but still struggling with a calf injury. Jack Rodwell is ruled out by injury but Marouane Fellaini and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov return after suspension. Jo will play on his own up front - the Brazilian will need to show something he has kept very well concealed since his arrival at Goodison Park to trouble Liverpool's defence, even in their current state - it's a surprise that he starts ahead of Yakubu. Fernando Torres is still out for Liverpool, while Rafael Benitez has Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun on the bench.

1254: TEAMS Everton v Liverpool
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Heitinga, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Jo. Subs: Nash, Saha, Gosling, Yakubu, Neill, Coleman, Baxter.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Aurelio, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Riera, Benayoun, Kyrgiakos, El Zhar, Skrtel.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

dazjulemattwill on Twitter: "I THINK ITS TIME FOR MCCARTHY TO GO BEFORE HE DOES ANOTHER SUNDERLAND ON US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Sound enough sentiments Darren but can you use lower case next time please - and less exclamation marks too.

1250: Not a happy half for Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, and it ends with Karl Henry walloping a woeful shot about a mile over the bar - greeted by ironic cheers from the home fans... who have not exactly had a lot to smile about. All good for Birmingham so far, though, and they will climb to 11th in the table if this scoreline stays the same.

1248: HALF-TIME Wolves 0-1 Birmingham

1246: Birmingham are ending the half as they began it - on top. Christian Benitez - a busy striker if ever I saw one - has a pop from 25 yards out but he was off-balance and cannot keep the ball down.

1245: I know I promised you great things with the introduction of Michael Kightly by Wolves but, since he came on, Birmingham seem to have taken the sting out of this game. Not long to go until half-time - about two or three minutes.

1242: BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Henry Winkler - 'The Fonz' - is a guest of honour at Goodison Park today for the Merseyside derby. He is playing Captain Hook in panto in Liverpool this Christmas. Will it be 'Happy Days' for David Moyes or Rafael Benitez? I'll get my coat."

From Bryan Blundell, via text on 81111: "As a teacher from Liverpool I can assure rippletheonionbag that I'm not worried if homework isn't done. In fact if Lucas scores a hat trick for Liverpool today I'll never set another piece of homework in my life."

1239: Just before that Lee Bowyer shot, Birmingham had a decent shout for a penalty. Matt Jarvis miscontrolled in his own area (sorry cpray86) and, in trying to retrieve possession, seemed to catch Scott Dann. I've seen them given, but you can probably work out that referee Mark Clattenburg waved play on.

1235: Told you - and Birmingham almost extend their lead. A corner is cleared to Lee Bowyer on the edge of the Wolves box but his deflected shot is superbly tipped over by Marcus Hahnemann.

1234: Wolves are still playing 4-4-2 but with two out-and-out wingers now in Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly. That should open things up a bit, at both ends.

1232: Tactical change already for Wolves - Michael Kightly is on for Greg Halford - Halford's not happy as he takes his seat in the dug-out. Kightly's a great player but hasn't done much in the Premier League yet this season, mainly down to injury. Time to change that?

1230: More work for Marcus Hahnemann. Cameron Jerome tries his luck this time - but his drilled shot from the edge of the box does not trouble the Wolves keeper.

cpray86 on Twitter: "Nice to be reading good things about Matty Jarvis, he really was fantastic for Gillingham and a star in the making for sure."

1225: Another chance for Birmingham and near-disaster for Wolves midfielder Karl Henry. He rushes back to help his defence but almost diverts Cameron Jerome's cross-shot into his own net. Fortunately for Wolves, the ball goes straight at Marcus Hahnemann.

1223: Birmingham remain dangerous, however, and Marcus Hahnemann has just been forced into another save. Liam Ridgewell pings over a cross from the left and Sebastian Larsson takes a touch before firing in a low drive that the American does well to keep out.

From Chidi Uba in Bury St Edmunds, via text on 81111: "Oh Chris! I was only concentrating on the big games of the day at England and Spain. However, Birmingham is already on the lead and I predict they will win the game."


They're ALL big games today Chidi. What about Kettering v Leeds then? Cupset?

1219: Wolves are being urged forward by their fans. At the same time as being forced backwards by Birmingham. Still, all the possession is with the home side.

From Jai in Barcelona via text on 81111: "Just been offered €800 for my El Clasico ticket! Didn't even consider it! Bit cooler today in Catalonia with the locals slightly nervous about Ronaldo's return?"

1215: Another decent delivery by Matt Jarvis, and Greg Halford is lurking at the back post to meet it. He would have done too, had Liam Ridgewell not nipped in first to clear for Birmingham.

1213: Lee Bowyer has another pot-shot, this time from further out. Marcus Hahnemann, who is making his first league start NOT his debut (ahem), is equal to it - diving low to his right to save comfortably.

1211: Better from Wolves, who have just had their first spell of sustained pressure. They could easily be level too - David Edwards is unmarked as he meets a Matt Jarvis cross from the left, but his header flies well wide. He should have done much better with that.

1208: It's still Birmingham enjoying most of the possession but Wolves have just got into the visitors' area for the first time. Sadly for Kevin Doyle, he is crowded out by at least three Blues defender and the chance is gone.

1205: That was Lee Bowyer's fifth goal of the season and he is Birmingham's top scorer. Wolves keeper Marcus Hahnemann is making his first league start for the club by the way... it's not been a great day for him so far.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Birmingham goal: Erm, I did warn you didn't I? A stunning start sees the Blues take the lead at Molineux... Christian Benitez runs into a dead end in the Wolves area but the ball comes out to Lee Bowyer who curls an audacious shot into the top corner of the net. A magnificent strike.

1202: GOALFLASH Wolves 0-1 Birmingham (Bowyer)

1200: Birmingham have just kicked off. El D-Day is officially up and running.

From Chidi Uba in Bury St Edmunds, via text on 81111: "Today is really special with all the line-up of games we have here in England and Italy as well. We never have a Sunday like this. I predict consolidating Real Madrid win, Arsenal win as they slow down Chelsea and a consoling win for Liverpool as they seek to back Benitez's belief that fourth place is not beyond them this season."


But what's going to happen with Wolves-Birmingham, Chidi? We need to know...

1157: The players are just shaking hands at Molineux. We will be under way very shortly...

1155: Got any doubts that today's action is from the very top drawer? Here's a stat. Of the 10 players to make the final shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d'Or, eight are likely to feature in today's big matches.


Barcelona supply no less than four of 10 finalists, with favourite Lionel Messi joined by team-mates Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. El Clasico rivals Real Madrid have nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka


Three from the Premier League make the list - and two should be in action today with Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard and Chelsea frontman Didier Drogba joining Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

stringontweets on Twitter: "Can anyone explain why Wayne Hennessey has been dropped? I assumed he was ill but he's on the bench..."

1152: Erm, you might want to give your page a manual refresh. I think things might be a bit mixed up otherwise.... there you go - all better now.

1150: Stevo will be at Camp Nou tonight, the lucky thing. If you need to brush up on your El Clasico knowledge, then can I suggest you read his latest missive from Spain.

1147: BBC Sport's Jonathan Stevenson in Barcelona: "Might be of concern to Arsenal that the only poster of a non-Barca player in their club shop features a certain Cesc Fabregas. Coincidence?"

From RippleTheOnionBag on 606: "Hmmm. At least three hours of homework vs THIS lineup. Need I even think about it?"


Nope. Homework isn't important and can wait... your teachers won't disagree.*


*They might.

1143: TEAM NEWS Wolves v Birmingham
Wolves striker Kevin Doyle returns to the starting line-up after being rested for last week's 4-0 mauling at the hands of Chelsea as one of three changes from Mick McCarthy, Michael Mancienne and keeper Marcus Hahnemann also securing recalls. Wayne Hennessey, Andrew Surman and Segundo Castillo miss out. Birmingham are unchanged after extending their unbeaten run to four matches with last weekend's home triumph over Fulham.

1140: Right, not long to go until the action starts. We're in the midlands first - Molineux to be precise. Wolves have gone seven games without a win and have picked up just three points in that spell - the worst current run of form in the top flight. Birmingham will be doing their level best to extend that... they kick-off at 1200 GMT.

1137: It's going to be a long day, but a great day - and I want you with me every step of the way. You know the drill: Tweet me mean to keep me keen on Twitter, text me via 81111, or join the chat on 606. I know you won't let me down.

1134: And there's more too: An intriguing FA Cup second round tie, with Kettering hosting Leeds (My Cupset alert is going off right now) followed by the draw for the third round... (at around 1550 GMT) which is where the big boys come out to play. If that's not enough, Cardiff host Ipswich in the Championship... if you're not excited by that little lot, then you're beyond help.

1133: TEAMS Wolves v Birmingham
Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Mancienne, Craddock, Berra, Stearman, Halford, Henry, Edwards, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Kightly, Keogh, Ward, Milijas, Maierhofer, Castillo.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, McFadden, Jerome, Benitez. Subs: Maik Taylor, Fahey, McSheffrey, Queudrue, O'Shea, Carsley, Vignal.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1132: So, what's happening in the next few hours? Er, just the THREE Premier League derbies - Wolves v Birmingham, Everton v Liverpool and Arsenal v Chelsea... topped off by El Clasico: Barcelona v Real Madrid. I dare you to miss any of it.

1130 GMT: A word of warning folks. If you're after a nice quiet Sunday, I suggest you go elsewhere. This is going to be a bit special.




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Premier League results

29 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea R
Everton 0-2 Liverpool R
Wolverhampton 0-1 Birmingham R

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 29 Nov 2009 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 14 28 36
2 Man Utd 14 17 31
3 Tottenham 14 14 26
4 Arsenal 13 18 25
5 Liverpool 14 11 23
6 Aston Villa 14 8 23
7 Man City 13 7 22
8 Sunderland 14 1 20
9 Stoke 14 -2 20
10 Fulham 14 2 19
11 Birmingham 14 -2 18
12 Burnley 14 -12 17
13 Blackburn 14 -12 17
14 Wigan 14 -16 17
15 Hull 15 -14 16
16 Everton 14 -8 15
17 West Ham 14 -2 14
18 Bolton 13 -11 12
19 Wolverhampton 14 -15 10
20 Portsmouth 14 -12 7

see also
Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea
29 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Everton 0-2 Liverpool
29 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Wolves 0-1 Birmingham
29 Nov 09 |  Premier League
Chelsea to face Watford in FA Cup
08 Dec 09 |  FA Cup
The eve of El Derbi
28 Nov 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football


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