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Page last updated at 22:05 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Monday 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

2202: That's your 10 hours, then. Many thanks to Sammy for kicking us off so expertly all those hours ago, and to your guys for getting stuck in. Don't forget MOTD at 2250 GMT, and I'll see you tomorrow for Aston Villa v Liverpool and Bolton v Hull. Take it easy.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: "I thought the players were fantastic. We recovered after Saturday's match and I'm very, very happy for them. We suffered during the game at times, but after we played very well. They all impressed me. It's important that they concentrate for 95 minutes on the game and they did that. In Italy it's impossible to play two games in three days, but England is different."

From kinglandSC on Twitter: "I'm not going to say Mancini will be City's solution. Not yet. Let's wait and see what they can do against more serious opponents."

Man City's Craig Bellamy: "Wolves started off very well, but we gradually got into it and on the break we were very dangerous. We worked very hard, but 3-0 maybe flatters us a little bit. Under the previous manager, we had looked at the Christmas schedule and targeted nine points and we've got that. On a personal level I've got a great affection for Mark Hughes, but that's football and you have to get on with it."

2150: In exactly an hour, Match of the Day will be on BBC One and online with highlights of all of today's games. If you don't want to stay up, it is repeated at 0740 GMT on Tuesday.

From Luke, a Citeh fan from Poland, via text on +44 7786200666: "Can see now why Sir Alex was so furious at Mark Hughes' sacking."

2143: That was Manchester City's first away win in the Premier League since the end of August, when Emmanuel Adebayor scored in a 1-0 triumph at Portsmouth. A fact Mark Hughes probably won't want reminding about, if you bump into him anytime soon.

Full time
2141: Full-time Wolves 0-3 Man City
In the end a comprehensive win for Roberto Mancini in his first away game as City boss, but Wolves more than played their part and can count themselves a little unlucky to have lost by such a scoreline.

2139: Craig Bellamy steals the ball from Karl Henry and tees up Robinho, who cuts in from the left and curls a right-footer just past the far post.

2137: Manchester City take goal hero Carlos Tevez off and send Sylvinho on for the last few seconds. BBC Radio 5 live pundit Chris Waddle, who had called five out of six subs correctly, thought it would be Craig Bellamy taken off, and it's cost him a bar of chocolate. Heartbreak.

2136: We're into injury time, and there will be four minutes of it.

From Amir Mir on 606: "Manchester City have been really impressive today. They may be playing against a promoted side but Wolves did come at them hard and they fought back. Both in defence and attack, they have looked superb. If they carry on like this, they may just destroy teams."

City goal: That rubs salt into the wound. Robinho fires a pass over from the right to the edge of the area, where Carlos Tevez is waiting. He slips the ball on to his left foot and slams a lot shot into the far corner past Marcus Hahnemann. Top class.

2132: GOAL Wolves 0-3 Manchester City

2131: City are knocking it around with consummate ease right now, killing time and killing the game. Roberto Mancini brings Robinho on for Martin Petrov for the last five minutes.

2128: Wolves pump the ball into the City box, but the visitors break with devastating speed. Craig Bellamy plays Carlos Tevez in one-on-one with Marcus Hahnemann, but the Argentine's cute clip over the keeper ends up a foot or two wide.

From Mike Bell, Ashford, Kent, via text on 81111: "Would be good if City's new manager changed his name to Roberto Manciti, and then in a show of Italian solidarity, their speedy Welsh forward became Craig Bellami, then the same for Gareth Bari, and so on. Sorry, it's a cold and wet December night."

2123: Craig Bellamy collects a pass from Martin Petrov down the left and fizzes a cross into the Wolves area that Gareth Barry cannot divert goalwards, and then Carlos Tevez cannot sort his feet out and his weak shot is cleared.

2122: Less than 15 minutes of normal time left, and Wolves will have to conjure up a miracle to get anything out of this.

2119: Wolves bring Sylvan Ebanks-Blake on for Kevin Doyle.

From gilbertadam on Twitter: "What a great free-kick, anyone else would have put that over the other side of the wall."

City goal: It shouldn't have been a free-kick to City, and Mick McCarthy is doing his nut on the touchline - but that's points in the bag for Man City. Javier Garrido steps up and curls the free-kick around the wall and into the corner - with Marcus Hahnemann standing like a statue, watching the ball fly into his net.

2115: GOAL Wolves 0-2 Man City

2114: Michael Mancienne is booked for a foul on Gareth Barry, but Mick McCarthy is furious because Wolves should have had a free-kick for an offside against Craig Bellamy previously.

From BullOnParade on 606: "Kolo Toure's legs have truly gone. Doyle wouldn't have out-run him a few years back. £16m looks like an absolute genius sale from Wenger."

2111: We've got 25 minutes plus stoppages left in the Midlands, where it's Wolves 0-1 Manchester City.

2108: Chance for Wolves as Kevin Doyle gets goal side of Kolo Toure, but having surged into the City box, the striker's shot is comfortably saved via the legs of Shay Given.

From Rob, Newbury, via text on 81111: "Miss Tevez more than Ronaldo? Tevez better than Berbatov? Perhaps you should check out the stats for last year!"

2105: Roberto Mancini, still with that light blue-and-white scarf tightly tied around his neck, wanders to the edge of his technical area. He knows that this is too slender a lead - City need another.

2101: Vincent Kompany's headed clearance falls to Michael Mancienne, but the dreadlocked midfielder (he's playing in midfield, fair enough?) balloons a shot way, way over Shay Given's bar. City bring Javier Garrido on for the injured Stephen Ireland.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle: "They just haven't got an end product, have they, Wolves? The approach play is great, but they get it wide and they haven't got the delivery to really test a team."

2057: It's a good game, this one. Wolves are giving it a real go as Chris Iwelumo gets in Kevin Foley's way and he mis-kicks from a cross from the left. They're putting some pressure on, but Craig Bellamy remains a massive threat on the break for City.

2055: Cracking move from Wolves ends with Andrew Surman's pass finding Chris Iwelumo and the striker's shot is deflected over from 18 yards. Referee Mike Jones bizarrely gives a goalkick.

2054: Craig Bellamy is sent through by Martin Petrov but he slots wide of the far post. The assistant referee flags him offside anyway - but he was miles on.

2053: The fog has stepped it up a notch at the start of the second half - but can Wolves? Not captain Karl Henry, who creams a shot horribly off target from 25 yards.

2051: Back under way at Molineux after an 18-minute interval for the last 45 minutes of the day, with Wolves bringing Richard Stearman on for Christophe Berra. Let's hope the defender is OK. Don't forget to watch Match of the Day at 2250 GMT on BBC One and online, will you?

From D'Manc on 606: "I see Tevez has scored yet again. I wish we could have sold Berbaflop and kept Tevez. We miss Tevez more than Ronaldo."

Jay, sat in the North Bank, via text on 81111: "Who the hell is playing in orange Stevo? We play in old gold!"

From optajoe on Twitter: "Ten of Man City's last 11 away goals in the PL have either been scored or assisted by Carlos Tevez or Craig Bellamy. Fulcrums."

BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle: "What Roberto Mancini did by putting Craig Bellamy up front with Carlos Tevez has changed the game. He couldn't do anything else, though, because until then they weren't causing any threat at all."

Half time
2033: Half-time Wolves 0-1 Man City Christophe Berra walked down the tunnel before the other players, heaven knows whether he'll be able to continue - he looked very groggy. City lead at the break, which is possibly a bit harsh on Wolves.

2033: Christophe Berra tries to win a header over Craig Bellamy and he falls to the floor in an awkward fashion. He doesn't move for a minute, before gingerly getting on to his knees. That was a nasty one.

2031: Mick McCarthy looks freezing on the touchline. Two minutes of first-half injury time to go, and then he can get stuck into his players.

2029: George Elokobi powerfully heads a corner towards goal and though it wasn't going in, Carlos Tevez wasn't to know and he heads behind for another corner, which comes to nothing.

2028: Carlos Tevez chases the ball down into the Wolves left-back position and wins a corner. The Argentine and Craig Bellamy are terrorising the hosts at the moment.

2026: Andrew Surman tries to trick his way into the Man City area, but Kolo Toure - playing his last game before the African Cup of Nations - gets in a well-timed tackle to steal possession.

2023: Wolves need to recommence their aerial bombardment, it looked like a decent way of threatening. Ronald Zubar races down the right, but his cross cannot find a team-mate in orange.

2020: He might have missed a sitter, but Craig Bellamy is the game's outstanding player so far. He looks so menacing every time he picks the ball up.

City goal: Harsh, really harsh - but Roberto Mancini is pumping his fists and the visitors lead. Craig Bellamy turns brilliantly away from Jody Craddock down the City left, does the defender for pace and crosses for Carlos Tevez. The Argentine doesn't hit his shot that cleanly, but it takes a cruel deflection off Christophe Berra and wrong-foots Marcus Hahnemann.

2019: GOAL Wolves 0-1 Man City

From Steven, via text on +44 7786200666: "Watching and enjoying the great Premier League atmosphere live in Antwerp, Belgium. Hope you guys realize how lucky you are to be British."

2015: Miss of the day, and Craig Bellamy cannot believe it. Carlos Tevez wins the ball from George Elokobi and when his cross falls for Bellamy six yards out, he can only volley wide with the goal at his mercy. Amazing miss.

2013: Carlos Tevez gets himself up the pitch, but he drags a shot wide from 20 yards.

From Winnerpool on 606: "WHAT IS TEVEZ DOING? He's dropping way too deep. He's the reason City aren't getting the ball forward. There's no-one making runs."

2010: The tactical tinkering from Roberto Mancini is having the desired effect - City have improved in the last few moments.

2006: Man City swap Martin Petrov on to the left flank, put Stephen Ireland on the right and send Craig Bellamy up top with Carlos Tevez. At the other end, big Chris Iwelumo gets an overhead kick horribly wrong.

2005: Wolves captain Karl Henry fires in a daisycutter from 30 yards that Shay Given gets down well to clutch safely into his bosom.

2003: I'm going to upgrade that comment - Wolves are all over City. Apart from Craig Bellamy, who is doing more defending than attacking, the visitors are lackadaisical in the extreme.

2001: Wolves are on top right now, make no mistake. There's a bit of fog hanging around Molineux, though just high enough not to be having a major effect on proceedings. Let's hope it doesn't descend any further.

From Mike in Prague, via text on +44 7786200666: "Watching live in Praha, Czech Republic. TV discussion about this being a very old fixture. My dad told me that in the late 40's or early 50's, City lost this one, 8-0. The Manchester Evening News headline? 'Big bad Wolves 8 up City!!'"

1957: Great targetman play from Chris Iwelumo, who heads a long Michael Mancienne pass back to Andrew Surman, only for the former Saints star to volley over the bar.

1955: Martin Petrov sweeps a 50-yard pass across the pitch from right to left in a bid to get Craig Bellamy into some space, but the Bulgarian sends it out of play.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle: "I think City are playing far too slowly so far. They're just knocking it about to feet - you should be trying to stretch your opponents on a night like tonight. Especially as they've got Carlos Tevez, who runs and runs and runs."

From Robsoninho on 606: "Only chance Wolves have tonight is if they score the first goal. They've done well protecting a lead this season, but not so when falling behind."

1949: Andrew Surman floats over a cross from the Wolves left and Kevin Doyle is penalised for challenging Kolo Toure and Gareth Barry in the air. Silly refereeing.

From Madjid, Glasgow, via text on 81111: "I wear short sleeves and gloves playing football. I don't like long sleeves and cold hands are a distraction. So there you have it!"

1946: Wolves have a pre-match huddle, Roberto Mancini has a chat with someone on the City bench with a broad smile on his face and Robinho sits there looking like someone just stole all his Christmas presents. Under way at Molineux.

1942: Short sleeves and gloves: thoughts?

1941: The players are out at Molineux. It's a chilly night in the Midlands, so let's hope the action warms the cockles of the locals.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: "I know Wolves well. They are a good team, Mick McCarthy is a good manager and I think today will be a hard match."

From ajcairns on Twitter: "I fancy a draw in this game tonight. First game was too easy for Mancini - Man City to revert to type away from home."

1933: Man City are without a win away in the league since a 1-0 victory at Portsmouth in August. In fact, City's away form in recent times is woeful - they've only triumphed seven times in their last 46 trips in the Premier League.

1930: So, what have we here? Well, Wolves have won their last two games at Molineux, but they've never won three in a row at home in the Premier League. Can they break that particular duck tonight?

1927: Don't forget to get in touch via the usual methods. You can send texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), there's a debate up and running on 606 and also by and you can Tweet me up as well. Feel free to chat about whatever the hell you want.

1923: Getting asked a lot about Robinho, and why he comes in for so much criticism. I think partly it's because he asks for it. After all, he's the one who is constantly talking about becoming the best player in the world, isn't he? There's no doubting his natural talent, but he makes it hard for himself.

1920: Wolves defender George Elokobi comes in to the team because of the suspension to Stephen Ward and they make four other changes as Ronald Zubar, Andrew Surman, Michael Mancienne and Chris Iwelumo are recalled. Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini prepares for his second game in charge by recalling Craig Bellamy to the starting line-up in place of Robinho, while Micah Richards replaces Sylvinho. Bellamy lines up with Carlos Tevez up front.

1917: Wolves v Man City line-ups:
Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi, Foley, Henry, Mancienne, Surman, Iwelumo, Doyle.
Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Jarvis, Milijas, Maierhofer, Castillo.
Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Richards, Petrov, Ireland, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez.
Subs: Taylor, Robinho, Garrido, Sylvinho, Vidal, Boyata, Weiss.
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

1914: Newcastle are six points ahead of West Brom in second, and eight points clear of third-placed Forest. Derby, who deserved a point for endeavour alone, remain 18th in the Championship.

1912: Full-time Newcastle United 0-0 Derby County

Red card
1909: SENDING OFF (Jay McEveley, Derby)
The full-back scythes down Jonas Gutierrez as the Argentine tries to create space to cross down the Newcastle right. It's a booking and it's his second one - had to go.

1908: ... Robbie Savage curls it up over the wall and over the bar. It had to be Kris Commons from there, surely? Into injury time in the north-east.

1907: Derby have a free-kick, 25 yards out, almost dead centre...

1906: Drama: massive drama. Nile Ranger meets a glorious cross from the Newcastle left and it looks for all the world a goal - but somehow Stephen Bywater sticks out a hand and diverts it on to the bar, on to the line and away. The Magpies think it's a goal, but it isn't - it's a sensational piece of goalkeeping.

From Tim, junction 13, M6, via text on 81111: "See 1859... Mancini is a football genius."

1901: Kris Commons has a little run at the heart of the Newcastle defence but drags his shot wide from about 30 yards.

1859: God only knows what the blazes Gordon Strachan's banging on about below. Early team news from Molineux suggests that Craig Bellamy is indeed in for the hugely disappointing Robinho.

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan, after seeing his side lose for a sixth time in 10 games since taking over, said: "We won the football match in the first half and they decided to turn it into a cup tie and then won it. We were disappointed to lose the game but we couldn't match them in a different game."

1856: On BBC Radio 5 live, they just revealed that Derby have only scored six goals in 11 away games so far in this Championship season. But they are about 15 minutes away from a brilliant result at Newcastle. The Magpies bring Nile Ranger on for Peter Lovenkrands.

1853: I've just looked at Sammy's Predys, at 1213. Not bad, you know - got Chelsea 100% bang on, and the Spurs and Everton results right too. I'm going to go 2-2 at Molineux - so we'll soon see who the King of the Predos is. Lawro, incidentally, has gone for a 1-1.

Ipswich boss Roy Keane after his side won 3-0 at home to QPR: "We scored three goals at home and on another day it could have been more. I'm really pleased with all the players. Any team can win a football match but the good teams keep winning. We've not won back-to-back games since last May, but we're getting there."

From Tim, via text on 81111: "Can the BBC please organise a delayed kick off at Molineux - the traffic is horrific on the M6 and Roberto Mancini needs to see we love him (please note that my feelings might not be so warm if I see Robinho in the starting line-up). Thanks in advance."

1846: Kris Commons comes on for Derby, about halfway through the second half. There's a left foot you could put your mortgage on.

1845: One hour to go until Wolves v Man City. Line-ups, team news and pre-match chat all on the way.

1842: Andy Carroll, who has had a relatively ineffective evening, is replaced by Shola Ameobi in the Newcastle side.

Peterborough manager Mark Cooper, after seeing his side come back from 4-0 down against Cardiff to draw 4-4, said: "Our first-half performance was completely unacceptable. We didn't get close to Cardiff, we didn't tackle, we didn't head and to be quite honest we didn't do anything. If you don't want to compete, you won't win a football match - whether it is in the local park or the Premier League."

1840: We've had more than an hour at Newcastle, and the Championship leaders are still being held 0-0 by Derby.

From RedBullArsenal on 606: "Do Birmingham City have these things called injuries? Eighth consecutive same starting XI? Lucky? That's more than lucky."

1835: What a chance for Newcastle's Steven Taylor. Andy Carroll clips a cross into the box and, seven yards out, the defender can only head straight at Stephen Bywater.

From DBTheTruth on Twitter: "First half was possibly the worst game in history. But second half we dug in - wow."

1832: The game at St James' Park may be live on television, but that has not stopped 47,505 from turning up to see Newcastle play Derby. It's easily the biggest attendance of the day in England.

West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo, whose side moved to within five points of Newcastle by beating Scunthorpe, said: "I thought we were in control for most of this game. That's six points out of six from the two Christmas games and just what we wanted to keep up the pressure at the top of the table."

1827: Derby have made a bright start to the second half, but Robbie Savage ruins one decent move by slashing a right-footer miles wide from 30 yards.

Birmingham goalkeeper Joe Hart: "All we look at is staying up. It's great for the fans to see where we are, but we just want to stay up. As for me - it's lovely for people to say positive things about you, but I know that one mistake next week and suddenly I become the young kid who needs to be replaced, so I take everything with a pinch of salt."

1823: Back under way at Newcastle.

1820: Birmingham equalled a Premier League record today, by the way, as they climbed to seventh with a 1-0 win at Stoke. Boss Alex McLeish picked an unchanged side for the eighth successive top flight game.

Everton manager David Moyes: "We played really well in the first half and didn't get the goal our play merited, but overall we deserved the victory. The introduction of James Vaughan gave us something different, and within a minute or two he got the goal."

From Drew in Nottingham, via text on 81111: "Kasper Schmeichel. Saved his fifth penalty of the season today for Notts. Get him to sort his dual nationality out. Job done."

1811: Not a bad game at St James' Park, could have had a couple of goals each. The next action in the Premier League kicks off at 1945 GMT when Wolves take on Roberto Mancini's Manchester City.

1808: Half-time Newcastle 0-0 Derby County

1806: Newcastle's Kevin Nolan beats the Derby offside trap, but he takes too long to get his shot away and it's blocked.

Burnley manager Owen Coyle: "It's a mixture of emotions, frustration and anger, because we had opportunities to score the first goal of the game. But if we continue playing and performing as well as that, we'll be fine. We had some good goalscoring chances and looked very comfortable prior to going down to 10 men."

1802: So Joe Hart and Steve Harper are two of England's three goalkeepers at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa - who should the third be?

From Deasy08 on 606: "Newcastle's Steve Harper for England? I'm deadly serious. People laugh when I say that to them, but he's been outstanding this season."

1756: About 10 minutes left in the first half at St James' Park in the Championship, where it's still Newcastle 0-0 Derby. I think the visitors would take that at full-time.

From huzi_pandor on Twitter: "Ancelotti's lucky he's not at Man City. Two wins in eight games, sound familiar?"

Stoke manager Tony Pulis: "We're disappointed. Birmingham defended very well and the keeper made some inspirational saves. The good thing is the players are still having a go. We're just having one of those runs at the moment. We could have had a real stone-banker penalty. It'd be interesting to hear what the referee has to say. We just ask for fair play and we haven't had it."

1748: DJ Campbell had a cracking chance for Derby at Newcastle a moment or two ago, but Steve Harper was equal to his left-foot shot from close-range.

1748: Smithers, below, raises an interesting point. In fact, this goes for fans of every Premier League club - who on earth do you want your club to sign when the window re-opens in four days? My colleague Nabil Hassan has started a thread on 606 in which you can have your say.

From Smithers, in Ilkley, via text on 81111: "What do you think City should do about Joe Hart?! Surely we can't sell him to Birmingham now they're becoming a real threat and he's playing out of his skin? But surely he can't replace Shay Given... A real issue for us to think about in January."

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "The first half was not good, the second half was better - we played with great determination. It was not easy to change the game, but we deserved the win."

1740: Derby's defence is all over the place as Jonas Gutierrez plays Ryan Taylor into acres of space and his low shot is saved by the left leg of Stephen Bywater.

1739: Derby have improved. Miles Addison's cross from the right is well dealt with by Steve Harper, but the Rams have stepped it up.

From Blue BA on 606: "In case you missed it, Cardiff blew a 4-0 half-time lead today. If they hadn't, I would currently be £2,000 richer."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce: "Sunderland have gone out and bought a man who scores goals. If we had a man who had scored 13 in the league like Darren Bent then we'd be in a different position. I don't think you can add the goals from our strikers and match what he's scored. We haven't got the clout to go out and buy a Bent or a Peter Crouch. I don't think there's anybody out there in the Europe or world markets that could change things."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1732: Ryan Taylor cuts a frustrated figure after his gorgeous 30-yard free-kick smacks against the Derby crossbar with Stephen Bywater barely even in the same postcode.

1730: Newcastle have started brightly at home against Derby - if the Magpies win today, they will once again go eight points clear of West Brom and 10 points ahead of third-placed Nottingham Forest.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: "It's very disappointing to put in such a great performance and have nothing to show for it. It would have been nice to have gone away with a least a point - we pushed Chelsea to the limit and we can consider ourselves very unlucky."

From Farrell, gutted Fulham fan, via text on 81111: "First half Drogba wasn't good at all and was doing his level best to win an Oscar... Showed what he can do in the second half when he cuts out the annoying theatrics. You have to feel bad for the young Smalling, though."

1721: Under way at St James' Park in the Championship as leaders Newcastle take on struggling Derby County.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce: "I've got to be happy with a point - I had nine players out and that's a lot to deal with. I'm a little bit disappointed because we went in front twice, but we'll keep plodding away. It was possibly the worst game of football I've ever seen in the first half."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish: "To go undefeated for all these games is a fantastic feat but it's a valuable three points towards Premier League security. We have to get security and everything else is a bonus. Today I could see the determination in their faces, there was no way they were going to roll over. I'm really proud of the players, they were fantastic."

1715: Newcastle v Derby line-ups:
Harper, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Nolan, Smith, Gutierrez, Lovenkrands, Carroll.
Subs: Krul, Guthrie, Pancrate, Butt, Ameobi, Kadar, Ranger.
Derby: Bywater, Connolly, Addison, Buxton, McEveley, Green, Savage, Hendrie, Pearson, Hulse, Campbell.
Subs: Deeney, Croft, Commons, Teale, Pringle, Livermore, Dickov.
Referee: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire)

1712: Quick as a FLAsh, here's the League Two chat to boot: "High-flying Rochdale are five points clear after a 4-1 thrashing of Morecambe, while second-placed Bournemouth leave it late to score twice in the last six minutes to beat Torquay 2-1. With Dagenham & Redbridge slipping up at home Cheltenham, Notts County smack four goals in at Burton to go fourth. With bottom-placed Darlington not playing, Grimsby's troubles continue with a 2-1 defeat at home to Port Vale. Bury and Macclesfield are two other teams to pick up three points by scoring four goals."

From optajoe on Twitter: "England strikers Darren Bent, Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe have scored 40 goals between them in the PL this season. Bounty."

1707: FL Ash (Flash?) wraps up the League One action: "After the earlier win by leaders Leeds, second-placed Norwich salvaged a 1-1 draw at Brentford thanks to a second-half penalty, while wins for Swindon, Colchester and Huddersfield keep them pushing for automatic promotion. At the bottom of the table, Tranmere drew with Carlisle, Orient lost to Southend but Wycombe won't be happy after a 5-2 thumping at home to fellow strugglers Brighton."

1705: Championship wrap, thanks to FL Sammy: "Comfortable wins for West Brom and Nottingham Forest might have kept the pressure on Newcastle at the top of the Championship, but the story of the day is undeniably Peterborough's fightback from four goals down to draw 4-4 with Cardiff and upset the Welsh side's own promotion push. It doesn't lift the Posh off the bottom of the table, though, thanks to Plymouth's 4-1 defeat of relegation rivals Reading, while Ipswich ease their fears of the drop somewhat with an easy win over QPR. Elsewhere, a last minute equaliser earns Watford a point at Bristol City, Barnsley keep the pressure on boss Gordon Strachan with a win over Middlesbrough, Sheffield United beat Preston and Swansea and Palace ends goalless."

1703: The next Premier League action comes from Molineux, but that's not until 1945 GMT as Wolves take on Man City. Don't worry - we're not going anywhere. A mix of Champo action and chat should see us through.

1659: A full wrap up of the Football League action from this afternoon on the way shortly. Championship leaders Newcastle are in action at home against Derby at 1720 GMT.

1656: Didier Drogba calls the Chelsea players into a huddle on the full-time whistle - that will be the Ivorian striker's last game before he leaves for the African Cup of Nations. He gives his shirt to a fan, to boot.

1655: Full-time Chelsea 2-1 Fulham

1654: Full-time Stoke 0-1 Birmingham

1654: Full-time Blackburn 2-2 Sunderland

1653: Un. Be. Lieve. A. Ble. Peterborough have pulled it back to 4-4 at home to Cardiff in the Championship. They were 4-0 down at half-time. I can't even be bothered to use the cliche - but what a game that must be.

1652: Full-time Everton 2-0 Burnley

1652: Salomon Kalou pulls the trigger from 25 yards and it smashes against Mark Schwarzer's crossbar.

Everton goal: Game, set, match. Yakubu surges forward and slips it through to Steven Pienaar, who lashes in first-time into the corner of the Burnley net.

1650: GOAL Everton 2-0 Burnley

1649: There's a minute left at Peterborough and they've just made it 3-4 at home to Cardiff. They were 0-4 down. Unbelievable. West Brom are now 3-1 up against Scunthorpe.

1647: What a save. Ryan Nelsen heads a free-kick goalwards at Blackburn and it looks for all the world like a winner, until Marton Fulop gets down brilliantly low to his right to claw the ball off the line and away.

1647: Into the dying stages now: Blackburn 2-2 Sunderland; Chelsea 2-1 Fulham; Everton 1-0 Burnley; Stoke 0-1 Birmingham.

From Straeh on 606: "See 1606: Yes."

1643: Is there any mistletoe? I could just about kiss Football League Macca: "It's all happening at Glanford Park where Graham Dorrans has blown a chance for a hat-trick by missing from the spot and Scunny have had Grant McCann sent off for foul and abusive language. They're down to nine men. Jon Stead has a second and Ipswich have a third against QPR. Forest have some breathing space with a second against Cov, Dexter Blackstock has been given the goal and put a smile on Stevo's little face the size of the Trent."

Everton goal: He's only been on the pitch for 40-odd seconds, but James Vaughan might have just bagged the winner. Marouane Fellaini's cross from the left is missed by Yakubu and a Burnley defender and Vaughan slots in at the near post.

1641: GOAL Everton 1-0 Burnley

1638: Having lost the lead they had for so long, Fulham are now trying to find a way back into the game at the Bridge. One cross sees Petr Cech punch Michael Ballack's face and the ball away from danger, before Dickson Etuhu heads over. It's not over yet.

Rovers goal: Give yourself a little pat on the back, Big Sam - what a triple change that proved to be. Pascal Chimbonda crosses from the right and El-Hadji Diouf heads into the net. Will there be a winner?

1637: GOAL Blackburn 2-2 Sunderland

Chelsea goal: Football, eh? Blimey. Salomon Kalou gets the better of Paul Konchesky down the Chelsea right and his cross is fired goalwards from an angle by Daniel Sturridge. Mark Schwarzer makes the save, but it hits Chris Smalling and he cannot get back in time to clear it away. On his full Premier League debut for Fulham, he puts Chelsea ahead.

1634: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Fulham

Chelsea goal: Fulham had to readjust after John Panstil went off, and Chris Baird went back to right-back. It's cost them dearly. A deep Branislav Ivanovic cross from the right drifts over Baird's head and there is Didier Drogba at the back stick to head back across Mark Schwarzer and into the far corner.

1632: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Fulham

1632: Blackburn boss Big Sam Allardyce makes a triple change, bringing Nicola Kalinic, Franco di Santo and El-Hadji Diouf on with Rovers losing 2-1 at home to Sunderland.

1631: Andrew Johnson returns to action after a knee injury, replacing Zoltan Gera for Fulham. Chelsea bring Daniel Sturridge on for Jon Mikel Obi.

1630: Football League Macca's currency is goals. Good exchange rate, too: "Middlesbrough had led Barnsley, but the Tykes have turned it around and Hugo Colace has made it 2-1. Plymouth now lead Reading 3-1 after three goals in four minutes. Jon Stead has doubled Ipswich's lead. West Brom are back in front through Graham Dorrans's second. Peterborough are back to 2-4 against Cardiff. In League One, Charlton have got back on level terms from the spot and, in League Two, Bournemouth trail 1-0 at home to Torquay."

1628: A pass into the Fulham box is just a bit too strong for Didier Drogba, and the Cottagers fans are absolutely loving it. Chelsea, remember, are unbeaten in 20 home league matches, winning 16 of them. They are still losing 1-0.

1626: At Chelsea, John Pantsil has picked up an injury and is replaced by Dickson Etuhu. It was Jordan Henderson who slipped in Darren Bent for Sunderland's second goal, by the way.

Sunderland goal: Jordan Henderson slips a fine pass through to Darren Bent, who has timed his run perfectly and keeps his cool to slot past Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal. Can they hang on to it this time?

1623: GOAL Blackburn 1-2 Sunderland

1622: Chelsea are moving through the gears now, as Frank Lampard's shot is deflected wide for a corner. From the corner, Jon Mikel Obi slices horribly wide, before being booed by some of his own supporters. That is ridiculous.

Red card
1620: SENDING OFF (Stephen Jordan, Burnley)
Problems for Owen Coyle's men now at Goodison as Jordan is shown a second yellow card for a silly shirt pull on Steven Pienaar.

1619: Didier Drogba's shot from the edge of the Fulham box is pushed away by Mark Schwarzer. At Everton, Phil Neville makes his first appearance since September, coming off the bench for the limping Tim Cahill. Good news/bad news.

1619: Football League Macca missives us thus: "Good news for all of you non-playing leaders of the Champo and L1. With Newcastle not playing Derby until later this evening, Scunthorpe have levelled against West Brom. In League One, Charlton's hope of keeping pace with Leeds has been dented by going behind at Brentford, Carl Cort on target. Lee Hughes has a hat-trick for Notts County, they lead Burton 4-1, while Leyton Orient are beating Southend and Swindon are 3-1 up against Yeovil."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1617: It's anyone's game at Goodison but the visitors go so close to taking the lead as David Nugent stays onside, collects a neat through ball and fires against Tim Howard's right-hand post from an angle.

1616: Fabulous chance for Blackburn as Morten Gamst Pedersen curls over a cross from the left, but somehow Keith Andrews volleys wide on the stretch at the back stick. Over at Stoke, Birmingham keeper Joe Hart pulls off a blinding one-handed save from Abdoulaye Faye's header. Stunning.

1614: Matty Etherington fires in a shot at Stoke but Joe Hart, who must be a very serious contender for the England World Cup goalkeeping spot right now, pulls off a brilliant one-handed save to keep the hosts out.

Rovers goal: Morten Gamst Pedersen latches onto a flick from Benni McCarthy and makes the most of slip from Phil Bardsley to run in at goal before rounding Nyron Nosworthy and drilling home off the post.

1612: GOAL Blackburn 1-1 Sunderland

Sunderland goal: Another ugly one, but at least we've got some goals. A cross from the left causes all sorts of problems for Blackburn and when it sits up for Darren Bent, he lashes into the net from eight yards.

1611: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Sunderland

Birmingham goal: Ugly goal, but who cares? The Blues don't - a corner from the right is glanced on by Scott Dann, hits Ryan Shawcross and falls into the path of Cameron Jerome two yards out - he swivels and fires home.

1609: GOAL Stoke 0-1 Birmingham

From cardboardmoon on Twitter: "89th minute at the Bridge, and Mourinho, the hero, will craftily throw an inflatable ball onto the pitch and save the day."

1606: Fulham's Bobby Zamora should have made it 2-0. He gambles on a poor back-pass from Ricardo Carvalho and the Portuguese leaves Petr Cech short - but the Czech keeper makes a top save having raced off his line to deal with the in-form hitman. Is that the game's pivotal moment?

1605: Chelsea's fans have a big part to play in the second half against Fulham, which has just got under way. The Cottagers lead 1-0, remember.

1604: And Stoke 0-0 Birmingham. And to think they call me the Goal Repeller...

1604: Back in the mix for Blackburn 0-0 Sunderland and Everton 0-0 Burnley.

From Sakaria2 on 606: "Chelsea will leave it late, just like the Stoke game last year. Surely Fulham can't hold out."

1600: Half-time wrap from Football League Macca: "You know that period just before half-time? It's a great time to score a goal. I'm sure Notts County (now beating Burton 2-1), Cheltenham (beating Daggers 1-0), Bristol's C team (now beating Watford 2-1) and Shrewsbury (now beating Bradford 2-1) would agree.

From Az, Solihull, via text on 81111: "Now that Pacqiao vs Mayweather looks to be off, can we replace it with a Drogba vs Pantsil bout?"

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp: "It was a game we dominated but when you're only 1-0 up you fear that sooner or later they will make a chance. We needed a second goal and eventually it came but overall we were stronger than them today, there's no doubt about that."

1552: Some boos rang out at the Bridge at half-time, which is a touch harsh. Chelsea have had so much possession and a fair few shots on goal too, but not for the first time, Fulham are defending like lions.

1550: Half-time Chelsea 0-1 Fulham

1549: Here comes Football League Macca, with some real Christmas cheer: "Cardiff have been going goal crazy at Peterborough - and who can blame them? Peter Whittingham makes it 4-0 to the Bluebirds after 38 minutes. Meanwhile, Danny Haynes makes it 1-0 to Bristol City at Watford. But before you know it Tom Cleverley has made me look stupid by levelling for the Hornets. Forest are ahead through a Robert Earnshaw goal at home to Coventry."

1548: Half-time Stoke 0-0 Birmingham

1548: Half-time Blackburn 0-0 Sunderland

1547: Birmingham's players appeal for a penalty at Stoke for a foul on Chucho Benitez by Abdoulaye Faye, but referee Martin Atkinson turns them down.

1547: Half-time Everton 0-0 Burnley

1544: More Football League Macca, in the goals: "Three goals in the opening half hour has put Macclesfield firmly in the driving seat against Crewe, while leaders Rochdale are 2-0 up at home to Morecambe. Rochdale have scored at least twice in every league game since 24 October and 17 this month alone. Port Vale and Accrington lead, while it's 1-1 at Bradford-Shrewsbury and Burton-Notts County."

1543: They should let someone else play. Didier Drogba tries to volley goalwards from a corner, but that man John Panstil is there in a brilliant position to block the shot, and Drogba goes down in a heap again.

1542: Didier Drogba and John Pantsil are involved in a running feud at the Bridge, and referee Andre Marriner has already had to speak to the captains to ask them to calm their players down. Pantsil tackles Drogba well in the Fulham area this time, and Chelsea's frustrating afternoon continues.

From redandblackT1899 on 606: "Chelsea will have to buy in January. Anyone ready to see Ancelotti in the buff?"

1539: Over at Goodison Park, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov draws a fine stretching save from Burnley keeper Brian Jensen after being fed by Steven Pienaar. Moments later, Leighton Baines is belatedly flagged offside with only Jensen to beat.

1538: Blackburn go so close to an opener at Ewood Park, but Keith Andrews' superb drive from the edge of the box takes a slight deflection off a team-mate and flies an inch past the angle of post and crossbar.

1536: Between them, Blackburn and Sunderland have gone 13 Premier League games without a win. It could be 15 by a quarter to four - it's not great.

1535: Fulham are playing their part at the Bridge again, and causing Chelsea some problems. John Terry is back on the pitch, but Clint Dempsey's shot is helped over by Petr Cech.

1534: First threat from Birmingham at Stoke, as a corner isn't cleared by the home side's defence and Liam Ridgewell's header at the back stick is saved by Thomas Sorensen.

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola: "I'm delighted with how the team played. In the second half we played really well against a very strong team. We were pushing them and they were struggling but when you have a team with the quality they have they can score at any moment. If we keep this spirit we can do important things."

1532: John Terry needs some serious treatment after being caught by a high boot from his own team-mate Yuri Zhirkov. Not having the best day so far, these two. Meanwhile, it's Football League Macca: "In League One it's all happening at Swindon, where it is 2-1 to the home side against Yeovil. Colchester lead Southampton 1-0 and Huddersfield have just gone in front at home to MK Dons too."

From NJ_7 on Twitter: "Biggest surprise this season? Everton. Really missing the Lescott-Jagielka partnership and their playmaker Arteta."

1529: Football League Macca in the mixer (but not with the right news just yet): "The top dogs in the Championship are doing the business so far, with West Brom just going ahead at Scunny through Graham Dorrans. Cardiff are already two up at Peterborough through a Joe Ledley double. Middlesbrough, Ipswich and Plymouth also lead, while in League One MK Dons have just missed a penalty at Huddersfield."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1527: It looks like a slow burner at Goodison Park, where Everton have put together some neat passing moves and moments ago Yakubu's cushioned effort from Leighton Baines' cross hits the Burnley post. At the other end, Steven Fletcher and Wade Elliott have both drawn decent saves from Tim Howard.

1525: Salomon Kalou has a presentable opening 20 yards out, but drags his shot hopelessly wide. Chelsea are still dominating possession, but Fulham - without Brede Hangeland, remember - are holding firm.

1523: Blackburn's Benni McCarthy loops a header onto the roof of the net and Keith Andrews flashes a shot wide but it's pretty turgid stuff at Ewood Park. No surprise given the poor form of each side.

1522: Stoke have a corner from the right and Matty Etherington swings it dangerously into the six-yard box where, remarkably, Ryan Shawcross misses his kick. He was two yards out, and it looked easier to score.

1520: No goals as yet at the Britannia, but Stoke edging it against Birmingham without creating any real openings. They've only scored 15 goals this season, Stoke - the lowest in the top flight.

1518: Football League Macca has just witnessed one of the most remarkable happenings: "Goals are popping in in the Football League, but for the moment can we all take our Santa hats off to Crawley's Charles Ademeno. After precisely five minutes and 47 seconds of their game at Grays he had bagged a hat-trick and the match ball. Not sure what they do for the rest of the game if he's got the ball mind, but fair play to the lad."

From buzzwald, via text on 81111: "Will Chelsea struggle to get out of first Gera today?"

1513: Didier Drogba is caught by a flailing John Pantsil arm, and goes down like he's been murdered. As well as being a magnificent footballer, he does do theatrics beautifully. He's OK.

1512: It's all about Chelsea-Fulham. In the other three games, absolutely nothing has happened. Back to the Bridge, and Didier Drogba collects a ball on the run and spanks in a left-footer that Mark Schwarzer gets down well again to save.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "Give Fulham credit for this - Chelsea have had all the possession, but they haven't been able to do anything with it."

1507: Didier Drogba lashes in a right-foot shot from the edge of the box and Mark Schwarzer does really well to hang on to it with two Chelsea players sniffing a rebound.

Fulham goal: If this season was a book, you would not be able to put it down. Lovely approach play from Fulham as Bobby Zamora sends Paul Konchesky away down the left, his cross is not cleared by John Terry and Yuri Zhirkov and when it falls to Zoltan Gera seven yards out, he chips the ball up and acrobatically hooks it past a sprawling Petr Cech.

1505: GOAL Chelsea 0-1 Fulham

1505: Keep getting in touch. Here's how: via text on 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), via the page of chat on 606 and also by getting stuck in on Twitter.

1503: And forget us not, that Football League Macca will be keeping us slap bang up to date with all the latest goings on from the divisions below the Premier League.

1501: Under way at Everton, under way at Blackburn, under way at Stoke and under way at Chelsea, where the Blues are being watched by their old gaffer, Jose Mourinho.

1458: Imagine, just for a second, how meaningless the festive season would be if we had a winter break. OK, so the brutal schedule might mean England won't win the World Cup next summer - but what fun times these are. One down, five to go in the Premier League today. Don't go anywhere (as if you could after all that excess).

1455: Sammy - you are Christmas. Guys and girls, give yourselves a little refresh, and let the mayhem continue.

By Sam Lyon

1450: Tom Huddlestone, on his 23rd birthday, is named man of the match and he certainly caused West Ham a headache or 10 today. However, all eyes turn now to the 1500 kick-offs - and for that I'll hand you over to Jonathan Stevenson. You've all been grand, nice one. Follow me on Twitter to hear what the specials in the BBC canteen are... (I know, the anticipation huh?) Until next time, folks.

ralph coates hairpiece on 606: "Good win for Spurs, but 4th spot wont be confirmed until April when Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd are played on the bounce..."

Chubbsthehammer via text: "That was fun, 4-5-1 failing yet again! Injuries aplenty. I love football. Not."

1443: That's that, then, at White Hart Lane and apart from a few nervous "what ifs" midway through the second half, it rarely gets much more comfortable than that for Tottenham. Harry Redknapp's side move up to fourth and that's a fourth straight clean sheet in the league for the first time since February 2001 for them. As for West Ham - well as good as they were against Portsmouth was as poor as they were today, though they were not helped by injuries. They stay 17th.

Full time
1440: FULL TIME Tottenham 2-0 West Ham

1438: TEAM NEWS Everton v Burnley
David Moyes makes just one change to the Everton side that drew at Sunderland on Boxing Day, with Yakubu replacing the injured Louis Saha. Toffees fan David Nugent keeps his place up front for Burnley, with Owen Coyle naming the same team that drew against Bolton at Turf Moor two days ago.

1437: Off come Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Aaron Lennon as Harry Redknapp gives the pair the last few minutes off after two excellent displays. Spurs firmly on course for fourth spot with minutes remaining.

Rafael & Fabio - Perfect Combination! on 606: "Defoe and Rooney should start up front for us at the World Cup."

1434: West Ham aren't quite done just yet, as Alessandro Diamanti fires a swerver in from range, but the in-form Heurelho Gomes does well to beat it away.

1433: TEAM NEWS Blackburn v Sunderland
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce hands Jason Roberts a starting spot at the expense of Franco Di Santo who drops to the bench. Benni McCarthy, linked with a move away from Ewood Park in January, keeps his place up front but Brett Emerton has failed to recover from a groin injury to make the squad. Nyron Nosorthy replaces the injured John Mensah in defence for Sunderland as Steve Bruce deals with something of an injury crisis. As expected Kenwyne Jones misses out with a calf injury so Fraizer Campbell comes in alongside Darren Bent. Daryl Murphy and David Meyler - both unused substitues against Everton on Boxing Day - start in midfield.

1432: TEAM NEWS Stoke v Birmingham
Stoke welcome back defender Ryan Shawcross, who partners Abdoulaye Faye in central defence in place of Danny Collins. Robert Huth passed a late fitness test and replaces Andy Wilkinson at right back. James Beattie starts up front, with Mamady Sidibe dropping to the bench. With Glenn Whelan and Salif Diao both suspended, Rory Delap and Liam Lawrence start in midfield. Birmingham name an unchanged side from the one that drew 0-0 with Chelsea on Boxing Day, as they look to extend their unbeaten league run to 11 matches.

1431: Harry Redknapp immediately brings off Luka Modric to give the little Croatian a rest and his replacement Niko Kranjcar almost makes an immediate impact when his shot is blocked. He could - and possibly should - have laid in Peter Crouch, there.

Tottenham goal: Just as West Ham look as if they sniff a smash-and-grab equaliser, Jermain Defoe puts the match to bed. The former Hammer collects the ball on the counter attack, drifts past a couple of defenders and when his initial crunching shot is only parried by Robert Green he drills the rebound into the roof of the net from 16 yards out.

1428: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-0 West Ham (Defoe)

1426: West Ham forge another half-opening down their right but Radoslav Kovac's cross into the box goes unrewarded with just one Hammers player in an attacking position - curious.

1425: TEAMS Blackburn v Sunderland
Blackburn: Robinson, Chimbonda, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Hoilett, Andrews, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy. Subs: Brown, Jacobsen, Diouf, Olsson, Kalinic, Di Santo, Salgado.
Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Nosworthy, Da Silva, McCartney, Henderson, Meyler, Cana, Murphy, Campbell, Bent. Subs: Carson, Zenden, Healy, Reed, Anderson, Noble, Liddle.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1424: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Fulham
Chelsea make six changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Birmingham, with Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Yuri Zhirkov, Michael Ballack, Joe Cole and Salomon Kalou all coming into the starting line-up. Fulham make only one change from the side that drew 0-0 with Tottenham as Chris Smalling replaces Brede Hangeland.

1422: A rare lull in what has been a full flowing tie at White Hart Lane is ended when Radoslav Kovac tries his luck from range but his shot flies harmlessly over the Tottenham bar.

1419: TEAMS Stoke v Birmingham
Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Lawrence, Delap, Whitehead, Etherington, Beattie, Sanli. Subs: Simonsen, Cort, Fuller, Sidibe, Pugh, Amdy Faye, Collins.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, McFadden, Jerome, Benitez. Subs: Maik Taylor, Phillips, Fahey, McSheffrey, Damien Johnson, Carsley, Vignal.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1418: First corner of the game for West Ham... and it's headed away comfortably by Peter Crouch.

1417: Football League Macca: "The weather has another victim in the Football League as Norwich v Walsall was called off because of a frozen pitch after a late pitch inspection. It's the seventh game to be postponed, following Blackpool-Sheff Wed, Doncaster-Leicester, Hartlepool-Oldham, Darlington-Lincoln, Chesterfield-Rotherham and Hereford-Aldershot. Three games in the Blue Square Prem as well."

1415: TEAMS Chelsea v Fulham
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Zhirkov, Mikel, Ballack, Lampard, Joe Cole, Drogba, Kalou. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Sturridge, Alex, Belletti, Kakuta.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Smalling, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Baird, Dempsey, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Andrew Johnson, Nevland, Riise, Etuhu, Greening, Kallio.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1414: TEAMS Everton v Burnley
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Neill, Baines, Bilyaletdinov, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu. Subs: Nash, Vaughan, Neville, Coleman, Duffy, Agard, Baxter.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Duff, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Eagles, Elliott, McDonald, Steven Fletcher, Nugent. Subs: Penny, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson, Edgar, Blake, Thompson, Guerrero.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1412: Aaron Lennon continues to torment West Ham and his cross is headed back across goal by Peter Crouch, with Matthew Upson having to mop up. Vedran Corluka's follow-up header flies over.

1409: Improvement from West Ham in the last five minutes and the first few signs of nerves from the home faithful as the Spurs fans suddenly burst back into song.

Tom Poynton, Bristol via text: "RE: 1400 - I think we all know that the term "impish" can only ever be used when referring to Paul Dickov."

1405: West Ham, having adapted to a more threatening 4-4-2 formation, press into the Tottenham box for the first time this half, but Heurelho Gomes collects when Guillermo Franco's touch goes astray. A dangerous lead is 1-0...

Someone has struck the woodwork
1403: Post! You don't get much closer than that as Tom Huddlestone drifts on to Vedran Corluka's slide-rule pass and pings a shot across goal and off the upright.

1400: West Ham continue to live dangerously and it takes a Matthew Upson block to stop Wilson Palacios's shot after more good work by the in-form Aaron Lennon. My colleague Ben Dirs wants me to use the word 'impish' when I refer to ickle Aaron Lennon. So there, done.

1358: It's raining goals down in League One, so it's back to Football League Macca: "Leeds are going nine points clear at the top of League One as they now lead 4-2 through that man Jermaine Beckford. Stockport are heading for a club record run of defeats. All 11 of them. At least nothing else can go wrong for them. Oh, David Poole has just been shown a second yellow. It's full-time. Merry Christmas anyway."

1355: It is as you were as Tottenham pick up where they left off before half time - in control. Tom Huddlestone, who is enjoying the freedom of White Hart Lane, has another long-ranger but it flies wide.

ratgarden on 606: "It's never comfortable when Spurs are 1-0 up. You'd always put a bet on us throwing it away! Come on Tottenham! Save my fingernails!"

1352: Tottenham-West Ham gets back under way.

1351: As the players emerge for the second half at White Hart Lane, I can't see many of you speaking up for the Hammers? There's only a goal in this match and the home fans will be all too familiar with what happens when teams fail to kill off teams when they have the chance. I say West Ham aren't out of this.

Swampy via text: "If there was ever a case for commentators curse then that'll be it!"

1349: Football League Macca - be heard (read), good sir: "News from our good friends Radio 5 live that Jim Gannon, who has just been shown the door by Motherwell, is at Stockport today watching his old side take on Leeds. Heartbreaking for Mr Gannon and Stockport fans as Leigh Bromby has just popped up and ended their resistance in the 87th minute. Leeds lead 3-2."

1347: By the way, Luka Modric is the 15th Tottenham player to score in the Premier League this season, the most different goalscorers from any Premier Leagu club. Every Spurs outfield player in today's starting line-up now has a goal this season as have four of the substitutes. Heurelho Gomes - hang your head in shame, sir.

Stroke of Luka on 606: "Lennon is going to run rings around Spector in the 2nd half, I'm going for 3-0 with two more Lennon-assists."

1341: Now then, just as Usain Bolt wishes me (and not all of his other followers at all, oh no) "Happy Holidays" on my all new Twitter page, let me poke fate in the eye for all you West Ham fans. A clean sheet here would not only guarantee Tottenham victory but also mark the first time Spurs have kept four straight clean sheets in the league for nine years. And, if that's not enough, Spurs have gone on to win every time they have led at half time this season. Any Tottenham fans who believe in the commentator's curse - sorry.

ABC = Anderson Basso Carrick IRUT on 606: "Should really be a walk over for Spurs this."

Half time
1336: HALF TIME Tottenham 1-0 West Ham

1335: Tom Huddlestone corner, headed over by returning Tottenham skipper Ledley King. Could have done better.

1333: I tell you what, that would've been a sensational goal had it gone in... only it didn't. Jermain Defoe tries his luck with a curling 30-yard free-kick but, with Robert Green beaten, it drifts inches past the angle of post and bar. Close.

1331: You can't keep him off the page ol' Football League Macca. "Stockport's joy lasts less than six minutes as Leeds hot-shot Jermaine Beckford finds himself unmarked to head in the leveller. It's the 15th league goal of the striker's season."

Chip it like Vela on 606: "The way Spurs have set up in midfield makes them very weak down the left's a pity West Ham have no attacking options down that side."

1327: Back at White Hart Lane and just like the line for the exit door at a One Bad Pig gig, it's one-way traffic with Tottenham continuing to knock on the door. Aaron Lennon feeds Jermain Defoe, but the striker's shot is too tame to really trouble Robert Green. West Ham clearly playing for half time.

1325: What's that Football League Macca? "Shock on the cards in League One. Stockport have taken the lead through defender Johnny Mullins, who nods in David Poole's cross. It's his first of the season and a potentially important one for County, who have only won once at home all season."

1322: It should be two - and West Ham have James Tomkins to thank for the fact they're still in it. Wilson Palacios finds space on the right and his cross is clipped goalwards by Peter Crouch, but Tomkins slides across to deflect it inches past the post. No corner given, but the defender clearly got the all-important touch.

1318: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, this time, has the Hammers backpedalling and his clever reverse pass finds Tom Huddlestone bursting into the box, only for the midfielder's left-footed effort to slide harmlessly past the far post.

1317: Time for a word with Football League Macca, then. "The second half is under way at Edgeley Park where, after a couple of early ones, it's all quiet on the goals front between high-flying Leeds and low-lying Stockport. Stockport have lost their last 10 league games but are holding the mighty Leeds at present, 1-1."

1315: A rare spell of possession in the Tottenham half for West Ham and Jack Collison brings home keeper Heurelho Gomes into action with a low shot from the edge of the area that the Brazilian holds relatively comfortably. The visitors' first shot on target, that.

dodger9 on 606: "We've had a continuous injury crisis at the club (West Ham) for the last three years. Someone sort it out for goodness sake."

1312: Tom Huddlestone pings a left-foot shot wide of the post after more good build-up play from Tottenham.

1308: Blimey, the Hammers players are dropping like flies. Herita Ilunga is now forced to come off, Jonathan Spector coming off the bench, and Radio 5 Live reports Jack Collison is limping as well.

1305: As West Ham reorganise following that loss of Parker - it looks like Jimenez will slot straight into the centre of midfield - Spurs are looking very decent on the ball. Modric looks like he's never been away and the Hammers have to ride this storm out now.

1302: To add insult to injury, West Ham also lose Scott Parker - the key midfielder limping off with what looks a recurrence of his hamstring injury to be replaced by Luis Jimenez. Ouch.

Tottenham goal: He's looked by far the most threatening player on the pitch already this match and Aaron Lennon carves the opening goal, bursting down the right and cutting it back - via a deflection - for Luka Modric to bundle home on his first start since August.

1300: GOALFLASH Tottenam 1-0 West Ham (Modric)

Thanks A lot BBC7 on 606: "Form goes out of the window in a derby. West Ham to nick it 2-1."

1258: Good burst from Scott Parker, but the reported Tottenham target skews an effort well wide from the edge of the box.

1256: If this start is a sign of things to come, Aaron Lennon is going to get more attention today than a naked Royal on holiday. Alessandro Diamanti brings him to the ground this time and Spurs have just about settled the quicker.

1253: Early boos for Jermain Defoe from the away supporters but after a fitful start from both sides, it's Aaron Lennon who makes the first meaningful foray forward, beating Herita Ilunga on the right before his cross is blocked behind by Valon Behrami.

1249: Lazy start at White Hart Lane, but - a little later than expected -we're finally under way.

go_utd on 606: "Tottenham are by far the in form side, I think "Little and Large" will cause havoc today, I'm going for a 3-1 Spurs win."

1242: The players are in the tunnel at White Hart Lane, but if that doesn't rock your boat we have a good ol' debate going on 606 over which goals/players/teams deserve an 'of the decade' award. Get involved.

1239: Now, though, let's concentrate on Tottenham-West Ham, a match given extra spice with Harry Redknapp and Jermain Defoe lining up against their former clubs - what reaction will those two attract from the away faithful I wonder? Speculation, as well, that Spurs could be sniffing around Scott Parker and Matthew Upson of the Hammers in the January sales... financial problems v upsetting the West Ham supporters - what way will that battle fall?

strike of the cescy verminator on 606: "Welcome back Modric! They league has missed u (maybe not opponents). From an Arsenal fan."

1234: Before we tuck firmly into our brunch of Tottenham-West Ham, then, a few tasty morsels of things that could happen later today. Birmingham could achieve a club record 11th top-flight match unbeaten, Chelsea could extend their lead at the top of the table to five points, Manchester City could achieve a first away win in the league since August, Blackburn could take the time since their last home league goal to more than 350 minutes, and Burnley could enter the turn of the year with a win for the first time in five years. And, no, I have not taken a bet on how many times I can write the word 'could' in one update.

Piggin_Tea_Break on 606: "I still cant believe that Spurs got Niko Kranjcar so cheap, he's been a revelation so far this year! Finally showing some of his potential, future big four player me thinks..."

1228: So West Ham visit Tottenham looking for a first away Premier League win for nine matches and their first victory at White Hart Lane in a decade. If they manage it, Gianfranco Zola's boys will - temporarily at least - storm their way up to 11th place, easing any fears the east Londoners have of relegation for a bit, while all three points for Spurs will see them leapfrog Aston Villa and back into the top four. All to play for, then, and that's before you even get into the local pride of it all.

1225: There is another early kick-off today, of course, with League One getting an early start on things - so here's a shout from the nicest man in showbiz, Football League Macca: "A whopping 10 hours of almost non-stop football in store then. It's great to be alive, isn't it? And we've already got our first goals. In the top-versus-bottom clash in League One, Stockport's Carl Baker has just cancelled out Robert Snodgrass's early goal. Love it."

1221: TEAM NEWS Tottenham v West Ham
So, Luka Modric has fully recovered from a broken fibula and makes his first start since 29 August as one of four changes from the Tottenham side that started at Fulham on Boxing Day. The Croatian replaces compatriot Niko Kranjkar, while Ledley King, Tom Huddlestone and Jermain Defoe come in for Sebastien Bassong, Jermaine Jenas and Robbie Keane. There is only one alteration to the West Ham team that lined up against Portsmouth as Valon Behrami returns for the injured Mark Noble.

jojomarchliverpool on 606: "I hate to say it Sam, but all of your predos are completely wrong."

Ben in Hull via text: "Give us a shout Sam, I'm presently waiting in A&E with several cracked ribs hoping that Wolves, Burnley & West ham lose to help Hull City!"

1216: TEAMS Tottenham v West Ham
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric, Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Alnwick, Hutton, Bale, Jenas, Keane, Bassong, Kranjcar.
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Collison, Behrami, Kovac, Parker, Diamanti, Franco. Subs: Stech, Jimenez, Spector, Da Costa, Nouble, Payne, Stanislas.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

DNB Hammer on 606: "10 years since the Hammers got a win at the Lane! Hope we can sort that today."

1213: OK! You win. In place of Stevo's Predo's I shall offer you Sammy's, erm, Predy's.
Tottenham 3-1 West Ham
Blackburn 1-2 Sunderland
Chelsea 2-1 Fulham
Everton 1-0 Burnley
Stoke 1-1 Birmingham
Wolverhampton 1-2 Man City

alex_the_gooner on 606: "Fancy Fulham to get a point at the Bridge, got a tenner on Zamora to score and it finish 1-1. What do think?"

RKW - Heart and Pole™ on 606: "Could do with wins from Chelsea (for the title), Stoke, West Ham and Wolves wins today to help Liverpool!"

1208: TEAM NEWS FLASH: Luka Modric to make his first start for Tottenham since August following a fractured fibula.

1207: Oh - and just to warn/reassure you - Jonathan Stevenson will be in the commentary chair for the three o'clock kick-offs when, no doubt, he will provide you with his world/nationally/barely renowned Predos. Me? I do not make predictions and I never will.

1205: So why not get involved via text on 81111 (the UK) or +44 7786200666 (the world) or get on 606. I have even buckled to repeated calls from management and decided to get involved on one of those them there Twitter thingys. If you follow me - purely in a digital myfacespace way - expect regular sporting musings from me as well as updates on what I'm having for breakfast and what I think of the Gavin and Stacey New Year's Day special. Wowzers.

1203: So what have we got for you good people today? Well there's Tottenham-West Ham to get things started (more on that in a bit), Blackburn v Sunderland, Chelsea v Fulham, Everton v Burnley and Stoke v Birmingham from 1500 and Wolves-Man City to end matters in the evening kick-off at 1945. Something for everyone there, I'm sure. Unless your interest lies outside the Premier League - in which case we have a full programme from the lower leagues as well. And you thought Santa only came once a year didn't you?

1200: Christmas is done, Boxing Day has come and gone, and the new year is still a few days away. Welcome to the part of the festive period (un)officially known as "the inbetweeny bit". The time of year when you're reluctantly contemplating your return to work, while still reassuring yourself it's OK to have a beer at breakfast. You know what I diagnose for the day ahead as you all make the most of not having to pander to the needs of a relative you see but once a year for the first time in a week? A full Bank Holiday football programme that kicks off at 1245 and does not end until around 2145. Jubbly.

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Premier League table

Monday, 28 December 2009 21:45 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 20 29 45
2 Man Utd 19 22 40
3 Arsenal 18 27 38
4 Tottenham 20 20 37
5 Aston Villa 19 12 35
6 Man City 19 11 35
7 Birmingham 20 2 32
8 Liverpool 19 11 30
9 Fulham 19 5 27
10 Sunderland 20 -3 23
11 Everton 19 -6 22
12 Stoke 19 -8 21
13 Blackburn 20 -15 21
14 Burnley 20 -18 20
15 Wigan 18 -18 19
16 Wolves 20 -19 19
17 West Ham 20 -9 18
18 Bolton 17 -10 17
19 Hull 19 -22 17
20 Portsmouth 19 -11 14

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football
Monday's Premier League photos
28 Dec 09 |  Football

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related internet links:
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