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Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wednesday football as it happened



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

2215: That, my friends is a wrap. Thanks ever so much for your company, and I'm genuinely sorry if I offended your sensibilities at any stage. Please come back tomorrow for the Europa League - come February, they'll all be talking about it. Match of the Day's on BBC One and online at 2245 GMT, with the best of the midweek action. After that, sleep well.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp: "Tonight we were the better side, there's no disputing that. It was very important to win. We had a blip against Wolves on Saturday. It goes to show you there are no easy games. You've got to keep picking up points and they are not easy to come by."

From elldorado89 on Twitter: "Great performance by the Reds tonight, shame about the Wigan goal as other than that it was one of our best this season!"

2208: If there's one thing Numbers Ian loves more than numbers, it's late, late drama: "Late drama [told you] in the Europa League as Club Bruges confirm their place in the knockout stages, with Ivan Perisic scoring in the third minute of injury-time to seal a 1-0 win over Toulouse. FC Copenhagen also go through with a 3-0 win away to Sparta Prague. The draw for the knockout stages featuring Fulham, Everton and Liverpool takes place at 1200 GMT on Friday. You can follow it live on the BBC Sport website with Caroline Cheese, preceded by the Champions League draw." Good plug, too.

2206: So, good night for Chelsea, who go three points clear of Man United again at the top, Tottenham, who easily beat potential top four rivals Man City, and Liverpool, who moved up to sixth by beating Wigan. Oh, and Burnley, with a fabulous point at home against Arsenal.

From Mike, Chigwell, via text on 81111: "Why oh why did Man City sell Richard Dunne. How many clean sheets have Aston Villa had recently?!"

From Ireland is Superman on 606: "Sorry Hughes, time to go. You've been on borrowed time from the Chelsea win. Inept tactically, too stubborn in using his signings even when wrong, terrible substitutions. Although I'm sure the borrowed time from the Chelsea result will last a bit longer."

2158: Full-time Liverpool 2-1 Wigan

2158: Still playing at Anfield, deep, deep into injury time...

Wigan goal: Not quite over yet, maybe, as Charles N'Zogbia is somehow allowed to cut inside the Liverpool box from the right and once it's on his trusty left boot, he slams it into the bottom corner past Pepe Reina.

2155: GOAL Liverpool 2-1 Wigan

2155: Full-time Tottenham 3-0 Man City

2153: The Spurs fans are singing 'You're getting sacked in the morning' to Mark Hughes and 'Adebayor, what's the score?' at a presumably bouncing White Hart Lane.

Spurs goal: Brilliant goal for Niko Kranjkar, but that is among the worst defending of the season so far. Three City players go over to deal with a short Spurs corner, and Aaron Lennon does all of them by slipping it through to Kranjkar. He then waltzes past a static Emmanuel Adebayor like he wasn't there (he might as well not have been) and then flicks his shot through the legs of Shay Given.

2151: GOAL Tottenham 3-0 Man City

2150: Alberto Aquilani tries an ambitious overhead kick, but Chris Kirkland, who has had a busy evening, is equal to it.

2149: See 2143: I meant 'Liverpool will now get the three points they deserve'. If you find what I said that offensive, I can only humbly apologise and suggest you try not to in future.

2147: Am I alone in wondering why Martin Petrov doesn't start more often when everyone's fit at Man City?

2146: Martin Petrov plays a glorious 40-yard pass into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who, six yards out, can only blaze way, way over on the half volley. Mark Hughes can barely believe his eyes, but that sums up City's display.

2145: Alberto Aquilani comes on for Liverpool. At Spurs, Martin Petrov's free-kick is parried away by Heurelho Gomes - Tottenham still lead Man City 2-0.

Liverpool goal: A long punt forward is inadvertently headed on by Emmerson Boyce into the path of Fernando Torres, who races through, sees one shot hit Titus Bramble and then makes no mistake with the rebound. Liverpool will now get the three points they deserve.

2143: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Wigan

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Turf Moor shakes to the sound of appreciation from Burnley fans as their side earn a richly-deserved point. They looked as likely as Arsenal to find a winner, if not more so. Owen Coyle milks the applause while Arsene Wenger marches briskly away. He will be anxiously awaiting news of Cesc Fabregas' injury."

2141: Wigan have had chances to equalise, there's no doubt about that. Moments after hitting the bar, a cross from the right falls presentably for Hugo Rodallega, but he can only head at a Liverpool defender.

2139: Full-time Burnley 1-1 Arsenal

2138: Full-time Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth

2137: Arsenal's William Gallas has so much more time than he thinks but heads at Brian Jensen instead of controlling and shooting. At Anfield, Jason Scotland's left-foot volley slaps against the Liverpool crossbar.

From chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter: "Apart from Lennon (who has been quiet since the break), Dawson the best player on the park. A rock at the back for Spurs."

2134: Eduardo curls a 25-yard free-kick towards the top corner, but Brian Jensen plucks it casually out of the air. At Chelsea, Fabio Borini takes advantage of some defensive hesitancy, but having rounded Asmir Begovic he shoots wide from a narrow angle.

2133: Breaking news from the Press Association: "Everton tonight confirmed they have "agreed a deal in principle" with the Los Angeles Galaxy for forward Landon Donovan to join the Merseyside club on a two-and-a-half-month loan in January."

2132: Andrey Arshavin's brilliant cushioned pass almost gets Thomas Vermaelen through at Turf Moor, but the Belgian's touch is a bit too strong and the chance goes begging.

From Niceguy, via text on 81111: "At Spurs and haven't felt the cold. We have been simply sizzling this second half."

2129: A Steven Gerrard corner takes a slight deflection and Daniel Agger cannot quite head it in. Wigan are still alive at Anfield.

2128: Man City have offered very little since going 2-0 down. Emmanuel Adebayor collects a Stephen Ireland pass just inside the Spurs box, but lashes wildly over. Liverpool goalscorer David Ngog is replaced by Fernando Torres.

2126: Cheeky update from Numbers Ian: "FC Copenhagen have surely booked their place in Friday's Europa League draw after going 3-0 up away to Sparta Prague while in the other winner-takes-all meeting, Club Bruges are currently set to earn the point they need as they are still holding Toulouse to a goalless draw."

2125: Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth and Burnley 1-1 Arsenal are heading into the last 10 minutes.

From PanasonicVieira on 606: "Eduardo has really lost his touch and confidence at the moment."

Chelsea goal: You won't find anyone complaining about that one. Branislav Ivanovic surges into the Pompey box and Marc Wilson upends him - stonewall, and Frank Lampard steps up to slash it past Asmir Begovic.

2122: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth


From aliwiseman on Twitter: "I would love to know Walcott's stats for completed passes. I bet it's 85% uncompleted. He truly was awful."

2118: Robinho is hauled off by Mark Hughes at Tottenham and Roque Santa Cruz comes on. The Brazilian trudges off down the tunnel, sulking (possibly).

2117: More Numbers Ian: "If the scores stay the same in tonight's four Premier League games then Liverpool will climb above both Manchester City and Birmingham into sixth and Arsenal will replace Aston Villa in third."

2117: Frederic Piquionne, who has been excellent for Portsmouth in this second half, hobbles off to be replaced by Aruna Dindane. Chelsea, meanwhile, put their faith in 18-year-old Fabio Borini, who comes on for Salomon Kalou.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Still all to play for at Turf Moor. No surprise that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hauled off Theo Walcott in favour of Eduardo. Walcott was very disappointing and the final straw for Wenger was a cross delivered unerringly into the Arsenal fans behind the goal from a very presentable position."

2115: At Liverpool, David Ngog crosses for Dirk Kuyt and his first-time shot is tipped over brilliantly by Chris Kirkland. At Turf Moor, Steven Fletcher has the ball in the net but it's ruled out for offside.

Spurs goal: Massive goal for the hosts. Peter Crouch climbs high to beat Nedum Onuoha in the air and flicks it on over Kolo Toure, where Jermain Defoe is lurking to clinically dispatch into the top corner from eight yards. Quality finish - Defoe's 14th goal of the season for Spurs.

2113: GOAL Tottenham 2-0 Man City

From Alan, Ballymena, via text on 81111: "Deco poor, Kalou poor, Ballack poor - investment required in Jan, Mr Abramovich."

2111: Steven Fletcher collects an Andre Bikey cross in to Arsenal penalty area, turns and slams a left-foot shot over from 12 yards. They play some nice stuff, Owen Coyle's boys.

2109: Up and running in Liverpool 1-0 Wigan. The disappointing Theo Walcott is hauled off at Burnley, with Eduardo on in his place.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2108: Chris Eagles cuts in from the right at Burnley and slams a sizzling right-foot shot against Manuel Almunia's left-hand upright. Arsenal are under the cosh.

2105: Theo Walcott wastes a golden opportunity to create something for Arsenal having been played into acres of space on the right-hand side of the Burnley box. At Chelsea, only a brilliant challenge from Ashley Cole prevents a goal from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

2104: Niko Kranjkar slices a shot horribly wide from 25 yards after some neat set up play from Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.

From mattyjwwfc on 606: "I wonder if all the Pompey changes will have the same effect on the sports headlines as Mick McCarthy's team selection from last night..."

2102: Joe Cole comes on for the injured Deco at Stamford Bridge.

Fulham boss (and former Inter Milan manager) Roy Hodgson on their potential next opponents in the Europa League: "I wouldn't mind playing Juventus."

2100: BBC Sport's Mandeep Sanghera with the latest news from Anfield: "The likes of Ian St. John, Tommy Smith, Kevin Keegan, Ron Yeats, Phil Thompson, Chris Lawler, Roger Hunt and Ian Callaghan are applauded on to the pitch at Anfield during half-time to continue the celebrations marking 50 years since Bill Shankly took over as Liverpool manager. Members of his family are also warmly applauded on to the pitch before Shankly's favourite tune of Amazing Grace is played by two men on bagpipes."

From PierreyHenry, via text: "Ngog is massively under rated. Scores great goals with either foot. The only more complete striker fit at the moment is Zamora! Zammo for England."

Pompey goal: Well that wasn't in the script. Seven changes from the weekend, but Pompey are level at the Bridge. Jamie O'Hara's 30-yard free-kick (shot) takes a deflection off the wall and clatters into the face of Ashley Cole before bouncing into the path of Frederic Piquionne, who absolutely leathers it past Petr Cech.

2054: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Portsmouth

2053: Numbers Ian has branched out from the Europa League: "Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is expected to miss the next four or five weeks after he had a knee operation. It means he is likely to miss at least the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United on 6 January."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Arsenal are out very early for the second half at Turf Moor. Don't tell me Arsene Wenger has been dishing out another half-time rollocking. Maybe he has got the taste for it after the success of his interval blast at Liverpool."

2051: Kicked off in the second half at Turf Moor, where it's Burnley 1-1 Arsenal.

2051: Half-time Liverpool 1-0 Wigan

2049: Back under way at Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth.

2048: Half-time Tottenham 1-0 Man City

2047: Get the Numbers in, Ian: "In the remaining two winner-takes-all Europa League games, FC Copenhagen have taken a 2-0 lead away to Sparta Prague in Group K while Club Bruges and Toulouse are locked 0-0. Bruges hold a one-point advantage over their French visitors in second place in Group J."

2045: David Ngog does well to get in behind his defender after a pass is deflected into his path and his well-struck left-foot shot whizzes a few inches past Chris Kirkland's far post. You know, this kid ain't half bad...

From chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter: "The Spurs bench yell for the ball to be fed to Lennon every time the home side attack. He has given Sylvinho a bit of a chasing so far."

2042: Incidentally, the bet on David Ngog was lost to a colleague - none other than Mandeep Sanghera. He will be your match report writer from Liverpool v Wigan, too - what a beautiful piece of irony that is.

2040: Almost 2-0 for Spurs as Jermain Defoe plays in Peter Crouch and on the slide his shot is saved by Shay Given.

Spurs goal: All that feeding of Aaron Lennon has finally paid off. Niko Kranjcar finds him down the right and Lennon skins Sylvinho and crosses for Peter Crouch - his header hits Stephen Ireland and from the rebound, Kranjcar smashes home.

2038: GOAL Tottenham 1-0 Man City

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Half-time at Turf Moor and that 45 minutes has flown by. Arsenal threatening to move out of sight in the opening exchanges, but great spirit and plenty of composed passing from Burnley has put them right back in contention. Top game this. Burnley's star performer has been Kevin McDonald - excellent."

From Scubar2k8 on 606: "Time for Ramsey to step up and prove just how good he is. He was fantastic the other day and we know he has the potential to be truly great."

2034: Half-time Burnley 1-1 Arsenal

2033: Half-time Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth

2031: Top-class save from Brian Jensen at Burnley after Thomas Vermaelen's header from an Aaron Ramsey cross looked like it was heading in.

2030: Aaron Ramsey comes on for Cesc Fabregas at Burnley, that's a massive blow for the Gunners. The Spaniard walks off injured, and Arsene Wenger will be praying it's nothing serious.

2029: Jordi Gomez has a 22-yarder saved by Pepe Reina at Anfield, while at Chelsea Frank Lampard's back-heel sets up Ashley Cole to drill a shot wide from just inside the Pompey area.

2026: Man City are enjoying more of the possession, but aren't really creating any chances. Spurs are more direct and are trying to hit Aaron Lennon all the time, but he's not turned on the style quite yet.

2025: Tal Ben Haim heads a Jamie O'Hara free-kick over at Chelsea, while at Anfield a Steven Gerrard cross causes a moment's panic before Hendry Thomas clears the Latics' lines.

From Luke, Exeter, via text on 81111: "Re David Ngog: six goals in eight starts, not bad for a 20-year-old deployed as a lone striker most of the time?"

2023: Just to be clear (see 2017), I don't really bet on individual players very often - it was really a toss up between Ngog and Pierre van Hooijdonk.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "One of the unique pleasures - if it can be called a pleasure - of Turf Moor is that that James Hargreaves Stand literally shakes when Burnley score. And it had a right old rattle on when Graham Alexander lashed home that spot-kick to draw them level against Arsenal. Got to admire Burnley. Risky at the back but they will not stop passing and they have worked their way back into this game."

2019: Pompey's Frederic Piquionne drills a shot goalwards and Petr Cech makes the save. From the corner, the Czech keeper comes and punches it clear.

2018: Chris Kirkland has some redeeming to do and he pulls off a fine reflex save to deny Dirk Kuyt a goal after David Ngog's pull-back.

2017: I just lost £20 in a bet about David Ngog not scoring more than five goals this season. I think he's the worst player I've ever lost a bet on.

2016: Bit more Numbers Ian: "Heerenveen bowed out of the Europa League despite a 5-0 thrashing of FK Ventspils as Hertha Berlin pipped them to second place in Group D courtesy of a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon."

Burnley goal: Not much doubt about that one - Andrey Bikey is fouled in the Arsenal box by Thomas Vermaelen and Graham Alexander - he who never misses - steps up to smash it past Manuel Almunia. That's his 100th league goal.

2014: GOAL Burnley 1-1 Arsenal

2013: Liverpool survive a Wigan chance immediately after taking the lead. Charles N'Zogbia crosses for the unmarked Paul Scharner, who can only steer his header straight at keeper Pepe Reina.


From chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter: "It's snowing at WH Lane + I'm feeling the cold in the pressbox. No Man City players wearing gloves - Bassong, Palacios, Defoe + Lennon are."

Liverpool goal: Sorry, but that's useless goalkeeping. Fabio Aurelio lifts the ball into the Wigan box and David Ngog gets there before a flailing Chris Kirkland to glance into the net. If you're not gonna get there, don't bother coming.

2011: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Wigan

2010: First chance for Spurs at the Lane, as Peter Crouch sends Aaron Lennon away down the right and his cross is fired wide by Niko Kranjcar.

Chelsea goal: I'm left wondering why Alex is in the right-wing position, but he conjures up the Blues' opening goal of the night. The Brazilian gets to the byeline and pulls it back for Nicolas Anelka to slot past Asmir Begovic from eight yards.

2007: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth

2006: Fairly tame start at White Hart Lane, neither side has fashioned a clear-cut chance so far. At Anfield, Daniel Agger's long-range shot drifts wide.

2004: I was just wondering what Numbers Ian was up to: "Former Liverpool and Sunderland striker Djibril Cisse hit two late goals to take Panathinaikos safely through to the knockout stages with a 3-0 win over Dinamo Bucharest. The Greek side only needed a draw to go through."

2003: Under-fire Chelsea keeper Petr Cech has his first set-piece to deal with. It's easy. Jamie O'Hara over-hits his effort from the right and the keeper is under no pressure as he collects. Chelsea still on top.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2002: Matches under way at White Hart Lane and Anfield, on another emotional night for the Reds fans as they honour the legendary Bill Shankly. At Burnley, Andrey Arshavin slaps a left-foot shot against the post.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Burnley can start as well as they like but it will get them nowhere if they defend as badly as they have just done for Cesc Fabregas' goal for Arsenal. He was simply allowed to walk through and score. And there could have been a couple more since - a fact reflected by the agitated demeanour of Burnley manager Owen Coyle on the touchline."

2000: Liverpool are commemorating 50 years this week since their legendary manager Bill Shankly took charge of the team and some of the club's past players who served under him during the 1960s and 1970s form two lines and applaud the two teams on to the pitch. There will be more to hounour Shankly at half-time.

1957: Congratulations to Fulham, then, for booking their place in the last 32 of the Europa League with a 3-2 win at Basle. They join Roma in the hat - the draw takes place at about 1200 GMT on Friday.

1955: Cesc Fabregas is played through by Alex Song, but he fails to keep his composure and slices a left-foot volley wide.

Arsenal goal: Sheer persistence from Cesc Fabregas and the Gunners are ahead against the run of play as the Spaniard refuses to give up on the ball on the edge of the Burnley box and wins the ball from Clarke Carlisle before rolling into the net from 12 yards.

1954: GOAL Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

1953: Chelsea should be ahead. Michael Ballack flicks on a corner and Salomon Kalou is about two yards out but heads over. Perhaps the ball was a touch behind him, but still a bad miss. Chelsea completely dominant in the opening minutes.

1952: Full-time Basle 2-3 Fulham

BBC Sport's Frank Keogh: "You could understand me for sounding a little horse - as John Terry leads his Chelsea side against Pompey, his wife is a few miles away making her dressage debut in the London International Horse Show at Olympia. Terry's all gold?

1950: We're deep into three minutes of stoppage time in Switzerland. Basle keeper Massimo Colomba is up for a free-kick, but Mark Schwarzer collects.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1949: Woodwork hit at Burnley already - it was an Arsenal player too, against his own crossbar, as Thomas Vermaelen headed a Chris Eagles bal backwards and Manuel Almunia did well to tip it on to the bar and over.

1947: They're under way at Turf Moor, too, as Burnley take on Arsenal.

1946: Avram Grant is given a warm reception by the home fans on his return to Stamford Bridge. The Israeli responds by applauding the Chelsea support and mouthing 'thank you'. He was all hugs and handshakes with his former colleagues as he made his way down the tunnel. They're under way in west London.

Basle goal: Poor goal for Fulham to concede with three minutes of normal time left, as Marco Streller heads in from a corner from the right. Squeaky bum time now.

1945: GOAL Basle 2-3 Fulham

From Pete, SE London, via text on 81111: "Think about the reception this team will get if we win this and against United on Saturday at the Cottage... bring them on. Roy Hodgson is a legend."

1942: Correction to our Spurs-Man City team news - it's Peter Crouch who starts tonight, not Robbie Keane.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1940: Basle could have set up a frantic finale there, but Alex Frei's fierce right-foot shot crashes against the crossbar with Mark Schwarzer well beaten.

1938: Bobby Zamora doesn't want to come off, but he gets a standing ovation from the travelling Fulham fans and a pat on the back from Roy Hodgson as he is replaced by Damien Duff.

1937: Basle have to get men forward and Fulham catch them cold, but Clint Dempsey's left-foot shot flies wide.

Fulham goal: Lovely goal - and that's that. Clint Dempsey, who has just come on for Jonathan Greening, sends Stephen Kelly away down the left and his pull back is side-footed into the corner by Zoltan Gera. Beautiful goal.

1935: GOAL Basle 1-3 Fulham

1934: Numbers Ian has finally got some goals to get stuck into: "The goals are flying in now around the Europa League grounds with at least one in each of the six games going on at the moment. Roma are now 2-0 up in Sofia in the other match in Fulham's group while Dutch side Heerenveen are 3-0 up on FK Ventspils - but it may not be enough to take them into Friday's draw as group rivals Hertha Berlin, two points ahead of them in second place, are beating Sporting Lisbon 2-0."

From Kev3112 on Twitter: "Are Liverpool going to be asked by the FA to explain leaving Torres and Aquilani on the bench?"

1930: Fulham will do well to survive this. Another cross from the right is met by the head of Federico Almerares, but he can only divert it wide from seven yards. Still 20-odd minutes left in Switzerland.

1929: Liverpool striker Fernando Torres started in the defeat by Arsenal but is only fit enough for the bench against Wigan as he is replaced by David Ngog up front. That is one of three Reds changes as centre-back Martin Skrtel and left-back Emiliano Insua come in for right-back Glen Johnson and midfielder Lucas Leiva. Jamie Carragher is set to move over to cover for Johnson with Skrtel taking his place at the heart of the defence. Fabio Aurelio could move into midfield with Insua slotting in at left-back. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez brings midfielder Hendry Thomas back into the side after suspension and Jason Koumas is the player to make way in the only change from the 2-2 draw against Stoke.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Turf Moor: "Burnley boss Owen Coyle, unlike Wolves manager Mick McCarthy, does not do weakened teams - especially when the Clarets have a habit of troubling top teams at Turf Moor - and his only change is Kevin McDonald coming in for Robbie Blake. Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger brings in Mikael Silvestre for Armand Traore and Abu Diaby for Denilson from the side that won at Liverpool."

1927: Tottenham make just one change from the side which lost 1-0 at home to Wolves. Peter Crouch starts up front in place of Robbie Keane, who drops to the bench. Luka Modric is again amongst the subs as he continues his comeback from a fractured leg. For Manchester City, Robinho steps up from the bench to take the place of the suspended Craig Bellamy, who was sent off at Bolton at the weekend. Centre-back Joleon Lescott is missing after having a piece of floating bone removed, so Nedum Onuoha starts in his place. Nigel De Jong has overcome a virus and returns, taking the place of Vincent Kompany in midfield. Shaun Wright-Phillips has an ankle injury, so Steven Ireland plays.

1925: Burnley v Arsenal line-ups:
Jensen, Mears, Caldwell, Carlisle, Jordan, Eagles, Elliott, Alexander, Bikey, McDonald, Steven Fletcher.
Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson, Blake, Nugent, Thompson, Guerrero.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Silvestre, Walcott, Fabregas, Song Billong, Diaby, Nasri, Arshavin.
Subs: Fabianski, Eduardo, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Eboue, Thomas.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1924: Valentin Stocker meets a Federico Almerares cross from the right at the back post, but he can only nod over. Fulham are suddenly up against it - one more goal for Basle and they qualify at the Cottagers' expense.

Basle goal: Roy Hodgson laughs on the touchline, but he will be absolutely fuming about that. A cross from the right-hand side for Basle hits Chris Smalling on the arm and referee Stefan Johannesson initially points for a corner. But after seeing the furious reaction of the Basle players, he seems to change his mind and award the spot-kick. Alexander Frei fires it into the roof of the net and we have a game here.

1922: GOAL Basle 1-2 Fulham


1921: Cagdas lets fly from 20 yards for Basle and it take a slight deflection before Mark Schwarzer saves it.

1920: Valentin Stocker clips over a cross from the left and Federico Almerares heads over at the back stick. Fulham are just letting them have the ball. Slightly more than an hour gone, still Basle 0-2 Fulham.

From littlejklc on 606: "No Drogba, no win for Chelsea. I predict Portsmouth to get a draw."

1917: Liverpool v Wigan line-ups:
Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Benayoun, Mascherano, Gerrard, Aurelio, Kuyt, Ngog.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Torres, Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Darby, Dossena.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Scharner, Gomez, Diame, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Rodallega.
Subs: Kingson, Amaya, Cho, Scotland, Koumas, Sinclair, De Ridder.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

1916: Tottenham v Man City line-ups:
Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar, Defoe, Crouch.
Subs: Alnwick, Hutton, Bale, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Modric.
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Toure, Sylvinho, Ireland, De Jong, Barry, Tevez, Adebayor, Robinho.
Subs: Taylor, Zabaleta, Santa Cruz, Petrov, Mwaruwari, Kompany, Weiss.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

1914: Chelsea are without Didier Drogba, who has failed a late fitness test on the back injury he suffered in training, so Salomon Kalou comes in. After conceding three goals against Everton, there are changes at the back as Alex replaces Ricardo Carvalho, while in midfield, Deco steps in for Joe Cole. Portsmouth boss Avram Grant makes seven changes to his team on his return to his former club. David James is ill, so Asmir Begovic plays in goal, while defender Younes Kaboul is suspended. Steve Finnan, Aaron Mokoena, Hayden Mullins, Papa Bouba Diop, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Frederic Piquionne come into the line-up.

1912: Fulham are letting Basle have the ball, but as soon as they get in a semi-dangerous area the door is slammed shut in their face. Very, very clever performance this from the English side.

1910: Portsmouth have made quite a few changes for the trip to Chelsea. Seven, we reckon. More of that on the way shortly.

1909: Fulham's Jonathan Greening is booked for an ugly hoik back of sub Federico Almerares, who had got away from the midfielder.

1906: Chelsea v Portsmouth line-ups:
Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Lampard, Deco, Anelka, Kalou.
Subs: Hilario, Carvalho, Joe Cole, Malouda, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Borini.
Portsmouth: Begovic, Finnan, Ben-Haim, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Mokoena, Mullins, O'Hara, Diop, Boateng, Piquionne.
Subs: Ashdown, Utaka, Vanden Borre, Hughes, Dindane, Yebda, Belhadj.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1905: Bobby Zamora's 22-yard left-foot free-kick is deflected and saved by Massimo Colombo.

1904: Fulham are 45 minutes away from the last 32 of the Europa League as we get under way again in Basle. The Swiss make two changes, with Federico Almerares and Xherdan Shaqiri on.

From Rachel Tyrrell, Lincoln, via text on 81111: "A World Cup-winning England side has always had a Bobby in it."

1859: Hang on, Ash (below). Eating pizza, watching Barca and it's 20 degrees outside? Enjoy my perfect day, won't you?

From Ash, via text on +44 7786200666: "I'm in Abu Dhabi on business and tried to get to the Barca game, unfortunately it was a sell out so rather sadly I watched on TV in my hotel room eating a pizza. A decent Barca performance and a reasonable pizza. At least it's a very pleasant +20 degrees here."

1855: Let's not forget that this is a massive day in the Premier League. Five of the top eight are involved, with Tottenham hosting Manchester City in the 'Desperate to finish in the top four derby'. Elsewhere, Burnley host Arsenal, Chelsea entertain Portsmouth in the Avram Grant derby and Liverpool meet Wigan. Quick message for Grant and Roberto Martinez: don't even think about 'doing a McCarthy'. Otherwise we might as well all go home.

From iwz678 on 606: "If England don't call Zamora up can't he marry Simon Davies and play for Wales?"

1850: Let's have a nice bit of half-time Numbers Ian chat: "In the group's other game, Alessio Cerci scores for Roma in the first minute of injury-time to give his side a 1-0 half-time lead away to CSKA Sofia. The game means little, however, with Roma already through and Sofia out."

1847: Half-time Basle 0-2 Fulham

Fulham goal: Magnificent centre-forward play. Bobby Zamora chests down a pass and sends Bjorn Helge Riise away down the right. His cross is ever so slightly deflected into the path of Zamora, who has made his way to the back post to nod into the net. Four goals in three games, and the bandwagon rolls on.

1846: GOAL Basle 0-2 Fulham (go on, guess again)

Fulham goal: You know it. Bjorn Helge Riise swings over a cross from the right that splits defence and goalkeeper and with Samuel Inkoom wandering off from right-back, that man Bobby Zamora capitalises to convert from six yards. As it stands, Fulham are through.

1842: GOAL Basle 0-1 Fulham (guess who?)

1841: Bobby Zamora is causing David Abraham problems aplenty and he is booked this time for holding the Fulham striker's shirt.

1838: Basle move the ball from left to right and it falls to Samuel Inkoom on the edge of the Fulham box, but he lashes wildly over instead of squaring.

1837: You could make a decent highlights package from this game - little bits of quality play, but it's a bit fractured. Roy Hodgson will be fairly content so far, I'd have thought. Oh, and it's still snowing.

From oaktowers on Twitter: "2-1 at Chelsea? As long as we win at set-pieces then we should beat them! Haha. Daydreaming again, must be the snow..."
Or you've been reading what the great Alan Hansen reckons

1833: Here's Numbers Ian, with some disappointing news for fans of numbers: "Not many numbers around so far - only one goal in the first half hour in the six matches currently under way, Daniel Beichler putting Sturm Graz 1-0 up over Galatasaray."

1831: Half an hour gone in snowy Switzerland, still Basle 0-0 Fulham. Bobby Zamora, not for the first time this season, is causing a defence all sorts of problems, but he is booked there for a silly foul on the still brilliantly-named Behrang Safari.

From Darren Polson, Portobello, via text on 81111: "Could be a tough night for Arsenal. The Liverpool result did not surprise me but as soon as they get themselves back into the title race they somehow conspire to fall back a bit again."

1825: Fulham have started well - they could win this one, make no mistake about that. The Cottagers need victory to get into the last 32, remember.

1823: Basle appeal for a handball against John Pantsil, but nothing doing there. The extra official waves the protests away - that's probably him done for the evening.

From Sir_Claret_of_Blue on 606: "Villa should buy Zamora, if Fulham would allow it. He's just the striker and finisher we need."

1820: Breaking news from the world of football: Reading are believed to have parted company with Reading manager Brendan Rodgers "by mutual consent". Hmm.

1818: That's why he should play for England. Bobby Zamora controls Bjorn Helge Riise's cross and slams a right-foot shot in-off the post. But when he turns around, the striker sees an assistant referee's raised flag.

1817: Stevo's Predos:
Basle 1-1 Fulham
Burnley 1-2 Arsenal
Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth
Liverpool 2-0 Wigan
Tottenham 3-3 Man City

1816: Uh-oh, I forgot the predos...

1814: Another opening for Alex Frei, but after twisting inside his defender his touch is, er, a touch too heavy and the ball runs through to Mark Schwarzer.

1813: To force home the point, the draw for the next round of the Champions League and Europa League takes place on Friday. Your friend and mine Caroline Cheese will be bringing it all to you live from about 1000 GMT. Get there.

1811: Numbers Ian is in charge tonight - he's like Danny the Stat, but wiser. Here's his opening gambit: "Nine places remain in Friday's Europa League draw with 15 clubs having already successfully qualified and eight more joining at the knockout stage from the Champions League. Basle v Fulham is not the only match where whoever wins it goes through. The others are Club Brugge v Toulouse and Sparta Prague v FC Copenhagen tonight and Genoa v Valencia on Thursday."

1808: First shot for Fulham brings a flamboyantly ridiculous save from Massimo Colomba in the Basle goal after Danny Murphy had fired goalwards from 20 yards. It was almost straight at him, but that one was for the cameras.

Alex, Southampton, via text on 81111: "I've just seen David James in West Quay in Southampton. Pompey are really going to struggle tonight."

1804: Basle goal-getter Alex Frei has a pop from 30 yards - maybe not a bad idea in difficult conditions for keepers, but he doesn't get hold of it and Mark Schwarzer catches comfortably.

From GhostWolf1978 on Twitter: "I don't know how cold you think it is in England but I am an Englishman living in Finland and it's -20 (yes that is minus!)."

1801: It's snowing in Basle, but somehow it looks prettier than the stuff I got bombarded with earlier. We're under way - don't forget, Fulham need to win.

1758: Let's keep the 'Bobby Zamora for England' bandwagon going for a while, shall we? There's always a leftfield choice, so why not? I mean, if Owen Hargreaves is still in Fabio Capello's thoughts after 15 months without a game, then surely everyone's got a chance?

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "It's important to keep giving players like Smalling and Riise the chance because they deserve it. We've chosen the strongest team we can select given injuries and suspension. They are good defensively and they score a lot of goals. We'll do well to be on our guard against that. I loved my time in Switzerland, it was a fantastic period. I love to come back."

1753: It's full-time in the Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi, by the way. As if you didn't know, that's where Mexican side Atlante were playing Barcelona for a place in the Club World Cup final against Argentines Estudiantes. Barca won 3-1 and the final is on Saturday at 1600 GMT. Pedro, by scoring, became the first player to notch in six competitions in one calendar year.

From jojomarchliverpool on 606: "I am not sure whether I want Fulham to go through - on one side they're English, but on the other hand they would be arquard to play in the Europa League."
I know there's a typo, but isn't it a brilliant one?

From Sam, Sheffield, via text on 81111: "I predict a drubbing for Portsmouth tonight. Chelsea badly need confidence to get back on track."

1745: There's just been a flat cap-off in the office. Remarkable times.

1744: Big day for Fulham, though boss Roy Hodgson has admitted he is more concerned about the Premier League visit of Manchester United on Saturday. Win, and they join the likes of Liverpool, Juventus, Marseille, Ajax, Roma and Benfica in the last 32. Basle, who only need a draw to progress, are playing their last game before a two-month winter break. Can you imagine?

1742: Don't even think about going outside (unless you're already outside, in which case what the hell are you thinking of?). Mull some wine, smash down some mince pies and while you sit snug as a bug in a rug by the log fire, whack us a missive. Tweet me til I want no more, get those texts in to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide) and join in the fun with our lovely regulars on 606.

1738: The Fulham team to play Basle features six changes to that which started at Burnley on Saturday as Christopher Smalling, Stephen Kelly, Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu, Bjorn Helge Riise and Zoltan Gera come in for Brede Hangeland, Paul Konchesky, Chris Baird, Clint Dempsey, Damien Duff and Erik Nevland.

1736: Basle v Fulham line-ups:
Basle: Colomba, Inkoom, Abraham, Atan, Safari, Carlitos, Cabral, Huggel, Stocker, Frei, Streller.
Subs: Wessels, Gelabert, Schurpf, Almerares, Shaqiri, Ferati, Sahin.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Smalling, Hughes, Kelly, Riise, Etuhu, Murphy, Greening, Gera, Zamora.
Subs: Stockdale, Hangeland, Duff, Dempsey, Saunders, Briggs, Uwezu.
Referee: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden)

1733: Lots more to keep us occupied on this laughably freezing evening. I swear on my way in this afternoon it was so cold my heart briefly stopped. At 1800 GMT, Fulham face Basle and only a win will take the Cottagers into the last 32 of the Europa League.

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Premier League results

16 Dec 2009 23:59 UK

Premier League table

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 23:12 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 17 28 40
2 Man Utd 17 23 37
3 Arsenal 16 21 32
4 Aston Villa 17 14 32
5 Tottenham 17 16 30
6 Liverpool 17 11 27
7 Birmingham 17 1 27
8 Man City 16 5 26
9 Fulham 16 3 23
10 Sunderland 17 -2 21
11 Stoke 16 -4 21
12 Blackburn 17 -13 19
13 Burnley 17 -14 19
14 Wigan 17 -18 18
15 Everton 16 -8 17
16 Hull 17 -17 17
17 Bolton 16 -10 16
18 Wolves 17 -16 16
19 West Ham 17 -9 14
20 Portsmouth 17 -11 11

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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