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Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Tuesday football as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE

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

By Jonathan Stevenson

2210: On those wise words from rockreddevilsforlife, here endeth the lesson. Tomorrow, for the last live text of the decade, Cheesy will be back to guide you through Man Utd v Wigan and Portsmouth v Arsenal. See you on the other side.

From rockreddevilsforlife on 606: "I'm not a Liverpool fan, but come on, give them some credit. You don't expect a club that is struggling to go to a place like Villa and outplay them do you? They've got the much-needed win and that's what is important for now. The performances can follow later."

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill: "We didn't deserve that. We should have had the game out of sight - Pepe Reina has pulled off some unbelievable saves tonight. We didn't deserve to lose the match, absolutely not, it's a cruel blow. But we'll fight back."

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "The manager has to have confidence in his team. I'm really surprised by the comments about me saying we will finish in the top four. I have to believe in the players. Listen, you have to do it like this, because I am the manager. You keep asking me, and I will keep answering in the same way."

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "The pitch was not the best, it was a very difficult evening. We just had to keep the belief at the end. It's very important, but we need to keep winning games to get more confidence. Fernando is a very, very good player, a key player for us and his record is amazing."

From wonderboi711 on Twitter: "Wow! I was getting ready to criticize every aspect of our performance tonight, but now, I don't care! Three points!!!"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Kevin Gallagher: "The first half wasn't the best, but the second half lit up, it was fantastic. You couldn't see where Hull were going to get a goal from, but Stephen Hunt heads them back into it, Gary Megson goes defensive to 4-5-1 and Hull get the equaliser."

2155: The Bolton fans are absolutely furious. A massive 'MEGSON OUT' banner is raised in one of the stands and a crescendo of boos greeted the final whistle at the Reebok. Both teams stay in the bottom three, and one wonders how long Megson can carry on with such a lack of love from the supporters.

2153: Full-time Bolton 2-2 Hull City

From Vera, via text on 81111: "As a Bolton fan, I'm almost hoping Hull grab the winner, Megson gets the boot and we're all put out of our misery."

2151: Fernando Torres tonight became the fourth quickest player to reach 50 Premier League goals, in his 72nd game. Andy Cole has the record with 65 and Alan Shearer and Ruud van Nistelrooy were also faster than the Spaniard.

2149: So close for Bolton as Gretar Steinsson's drive from 20 yards is deflected fractionally wide. At the other end, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink volleys over from eight yards for Hull. Into three minutes of stoppage time there.

From lenny66goteam on 606: "Probably one of the worst games of football that I've ever seen. Liverpool's passing was, at times, dreadful. Villa were slightly better and deserved a point. However, Liverpool proved to everybody that, when not playing well, they're able to win matches. Villa can't."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard: "That's what football's about, you've got to keep going until the end and I thought we played quite well tonight. Everyone knows that when Fernando's on form he's the best in the world and we want him to carry on like that and get us into the top four."

2145: Is there a winner still to come at Bolton? It's 2-2, and we're into the closing stages.

2144: Liverpool might not have played that well tonight, but I can't help but feel Villa were less deserving of something from that game. Despite being the home team, they never really gave it a proper go - and when you play for a 0-0 on your own patch, you're always risking getting done.

From Jon, at the Reebok, watching yet another two-goal lead evaporate before my eyes, via text on 81111: "This is why we want Megson out."

2141: About 10 minutes left at Bolton, where it's 2-2. That win for Liverpool sends them up to seventh, only four points behind Tottenham in fourth. It's hard to put the enormity of that victory into context for Rafa Benitez and his men.

2139: Full-time Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Hull goal: With 12 minutes remaining, Hull make it all square. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink flicks on the header for Stephen Hunt, whose angled shot takes a deflection. Jussi Jaaskelainen gets a hand to it, and Paul Robinson makes a desperate attempt to clear on the line - but too late. The linesman correctly indicates that the ball is over the line.

2137: GOAL Bolton 2-2 Hull City

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Liverpool goal: Horror show for Villa, but that's why he's one of the world's deadliest strikers. Stephen Warnock gifts possession away and from a 50-50 the ball breaks to Fernando Torres, who keeps his cool to slot into the corner. He's the fastest Liverpool player ever to 50 league goals - in his 72nd game.

2136: GOAL Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool

2134: The Bolton fans are booing Gary Megson because he takes Ivan Klasnic off and sends on Gavin McCann. At Villa Park, we're into four minutes of stoppage time. Should've been more.

From kDamo on Twitter: "Milner to score the winner in the seventh min of stoppage time. Thanks for changing your boots, Reina."

2132: Glen Johnson limps off and Liverpool send on Martin Skrtel.

2131: Gabby Agbonlahor squeezes in a shot from a narrow angle on the Villa left, but it's another easy collect for Pepe Reina.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Hull goal: Game on at the Reebok. Craig Fagan has come to life and he whips over a fabulous cross from the right that is begging to be headed in, and Stephen Hunt does just that from six yards out.

2129: GOAL Bolton 2-1 Hull City

2127: Liverpool look the likeliest team to go and win this, they are doing to bulk of the pressing right now. Still Villa 0-0 Reds.

From Prem League 2 Shrew on 606: "Kuyt to score the winner in the third minute of injury time."

2124: Ryan Babel gets a header wrong from six yards from Yossi Benayoun's centre. Poor attempt.

2123: Villa change: Stewart Downing off, Steve Sidwell on. Downing doesn't look best pleased.

2122: Craig Fagan tries to get Hull back into it, jinking past a couple of challenges and firing in a shot that takes a deflection and flies over. Jan Venegoor of Hesselink comes on for the visitors.

2121: Alberto Aquilani is hauled off, replaced by Ryan Babel at Villa Park. Just over 10 minutes left of normal time.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Bolton goal: Goalkeeping howler. A long ball is pumped into the Hull box and Boaz Myhill comes to get it, gets nowhere near as Kevin Davies heads it backwards into the Tigers' net.

2119: GOAL Bolton 2-0 Hull

2119: Jack, below, it's a bit too soon for that, surely? Anyway, at Bolton there's another great chance, but Hull's Kamil Zayatte heads a Stephen Hunt corner wide. Presentable opportunity.

From Jack in Billericay, via text on 81111: "Surely £20m-plus for Aquilani is rapidly turning into one of the worst deals in Premier League history?"

2116: A cross into the Liverpool box hits the arm of Emiliano Insua and all the Villa players go up asking for the penalty. He actually mis-times his header on to his arm. Seen them given.

2115: First change at Villa now, as Marc Albrighton comes on for Nigel Reo-Coker, who has played pretty well this evening.

2114: Hull are threatening to become the first team since Sunderland in May to fail to score against Bolton in the Premier League. In a bid to avoid that, they send Nicky Barmby on for Jozy Altidore.

2113: Jamie Carragher's slip lets in Gabby Agbonlahor, but his shot from an angle on the left is saved by Pepe Reina. From the corner, John Carew glances inches wide of the far post.

2111: Halfway through the second half at Villa Park, where it remains Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool in a hugely disappointing contest thus far.

2110: Matty Taylor spanks a free-kick from 30 yards way past the angle of post and crossbar at Bolton. He's usually better than that.

From MPH1982 on Twitter: "Torres must be so frustrated - the final ball has been so poor. Kuyt and Gerrard are having shockers."

2106: Alberto Aquilani curls the set-piece up and over the crossbar. And Bolton's clearly in the north-west, not north-east. You're lovely you lot, aren't you?

2105: Carlos Cuellar concedes a free-kick 25 yards out for a reckless lunge on Steven Gerrard. How is that not a booking if Lucas' one was in the first half?

2104: Back under way in the north-west, where it's Bolton 1-0 Hull.

2102: This game has rapidly shifted from frustrating to rubbish. Both teams keep giving the ball away and moves are breaking down with alarming regularity. The players are back out at Bolton.

2100: Steven Gerrard's woeful evening continues as he hits a corner over everyone and out for a throw-in.

2059: Nigel Reo-Coker goes on a lung-bursting run to the edge of the Liverpool penalty area, but he's outnumbered and loses possession. These two essentially counter-attacking teams are just cancelling each other out.

From I tried to teach Bent the offside rule but he wouldnt listen on 606: "If Gerrard goes on performing like this for the rest of the season, does he still warrant a place on the plane to SA for the 2010 World Cup? Surely his reputation must not go before his form."

2055: Pepe Reina is changing his boots. It's just taken up two minutes of my life I'll never get back.

2054: I'm just really glad I didn't predict 3-3.

2053: No clear-cut chances for Fernando Torres yet this evening. If he scores, the Spaniard will become the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 league goals - this is his 72nd Premier League outing.

2050: Alberto Aquilani tries to cross from the Liverpool right but he falls over and it flies out for goalkick, much to the amusement of the home fans.

2048: Back under way at Villa Park. It's still snowing, incidentally.

From Nathan, in a food coma, Scarborough, via text on 81111: "The game at Villa sounds less appealing than the fifth consecutive cold meat buffet lunch at my house. The missus is starting to suspect that the dog isn't solely culpable for the sour atmosphere. She's right. I blame the referee. Like many things, sometimes you've just got to let it go for the greater good!"

2046: Half-time Bolton 1-0 Hull City

2044: It's not great fare at Bolton. Match reporter Caroline Cheese has probably seen better games today, in fairness to her. Fellow Twitterati Jozy Altidore lashes a free-kick way over and way wide.

2041: Apologies - I may have neglected to tell you about a potential Liverpool penalty as it was pretty much at the same time as Bolton's opening goal. Dirk Kuyt nicked the ball past Richard Dunne in the Villa box and the defender cleaned him out. Stonewall spot-kick.

From AnthonyBerry89 on Twitter: "Feel sorry for Torres. He hasn't had a sniff, no support up front - need to buy a new striker in January for him to play off."

2035: So nearly 1-1 at Bolton. Jussi Jaaskelainen comes for a cross, doesn't get it and it falls for Stephen Hunt six yards out, the Hull midfielder's diving header deflected behind for a corner.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "I think that's about right. Villa started off the better team and more positive, but Liverpool came into it a little bit more so they're right to be level. It also reflects how hard it is to play on that surface."

2031: Half-time Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool

From 20ledge-kb on 606: "Bolton haven't managed to keep a clean sheet this season... hope this will be their first."

2029: Lovely Liverpool passing move as Dirk Kuyt finds Alberto Aquilani and he finds Steven Gerrard, but the captain's pass to Fernando Torres is too strong and Brad Friedel gets there ahead of the Spaniard.

Yellow card
2027: Lucas is now booked for a foul on Gabby Agbonlahor. There's no way on earth it's worth anything more than a free-kick, disappointing refereeing again.

Yellow card
2026: Richard Dunne is booked for a sturdy challenge on Lucas. The Villa fans are furious and the players frustrated. It's far too fractured this one at the moment.

2024: ... Andy Dawson curls it over the wall and towards the net, but it's not quite near enough to the top corner and Jussi Jaaskelainen shovels it away.

2023: George Boateng is shoved to the ground at Bolton by Paul Robinson and the visitors have a free-kick very much in Andy Dawson territory...

2021: Boos reverberate around Villa Park after referee Lee Probert gives a couple of free-kicks to the visitors. Something needs to kickstart this game.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Bolton goal: Out of nothing. A ball to the edge of the Hull box is headed only a couple of yards away by Andy Dawson and it falls for Ivan Klasnic to smash into the bottom left-hand corner of Boaz Myhill's net from 20 yards.

2019: GOAL Bolton 1-0 Hull City

2018: Jamie Carragher's sliding clearance from the halfway line nearly embarrasses Brad Friedel, ending up on the roof of the Villa net with the American backpedalling furiously.

From JonesMike101 on Twitter: "That white shirt is really working well camouflaging Aquilani. I can't see him anywhere."

2015: What a moment. A corner from the Villa left falls to Stewart Downing inside the Liverpool six-yard box and with no defenders anywhere near him he volleys goalwards, only for Pepe Reina to stick out his right hand and pull off a magnificent reflex save.

From Adrian in North Carolina, via text on +44 7786200666: "Sat here drinking imported Boddingtons, watching Bolton on US cable tv and trying not to scratch the scabs off my hair transplant. These are the days."

2012: Nicely worked from Liverpool to Steven Gerrard, but his shot is deflected behind for corner. At Bolton, Fabrice Muamba continues the theme of the evening by ballooning miles over.

2011: Luke Young scythes Yossi Benayoun down about 25 yards from the Villa goal, left of centre from the takers point of view. Daniel Agger places the ball down...

2009: James Milner cuts in from the Villa right and hammers a left-foot shot goalwards from about 25 yards, but it's nothing more than a routine gather for Pepe Reina.

2008: Chung-Yong Lee fires over for Bolton. Fair to say the shooting has been pretty woeful at the Reebok so far.

2006: Liverpool are having the better of it, now. As for the robin, we believe it's fled Villa Park. It's for the best.

From Jinadine on 606: "Whatever happened to Ian Woan? Stevo, surely you must remember his wonder strike away against Newcastle in the FA Cup? I think it was in the mid-90's?"
Oh yes. Magical. He's a youth coach at Pompey, I believe.

2003: Bolton's Ivan Klasnic chests the ball down and volleys 30 yards over from 30 yards out.

2002: Fernando Torres tees up Steven Gerrard 20 yards out and the Liverpool captain's curling shot is tipped away from the top corner by Brad Friedel.

2000: Under way at Bolton, where there's a disappointing lack of snow.

1959: Stewart Downing's corner from the right causes a moment of panic in the Liverpool rearguard, but Pepe Reina pounces on Richard Dunne's header back into the six-yard box.

1958: John Carew wins a corner for Villa. The players are out at Bolton, by the way, in our second game of the evening.

1956: I went to a game abandoned because of the snow, once. It was a Forest-Spurs FA Cup tie in 1996 and it wasn't even snowing before kick-off, yet the game lasted about nine minutes. When they got round to playing a few days later, Ian Woan scored two stunning free-kicks in a blinding 2-2 draw. Just thought I'd share that with you.

1954: James Milner swings over a free-kick from the Villa right and it's over everyone's head. My colleague David Ornstein, covering this game tonight, reckons it'll be called off because of heavy snow. No way.

From HenryWhitfield on Twitter: "Rafa is up to his old tricks. Sends out his side in white to blend in with the snow. Anything for some points eh Rafa?"

1951: Liverpool's turn to attack, and twice Villa clear from dangerous Steven Gerrard crosses from the Reds' left. Fernando Torres misses an overhead kick. It's lively.

1949: There is a robin on the pitch at Villa Park. It's not moving. It's in serious danger of getting trampled on. That would ruin Christmas for everyone.

1948: Villa are all over Liverpool in the foetal stages of this game. Still the snow comes a-falling. Stewart Downing hits the yellow ball goalwards from 20 yards, but it's blocked. Surely orange balls are better?

From Paul from Bolton, via text on 81111: "Word on the street is Guti could be ready to swap the white of Real Madrid for the white of Bolton! Just what we need, someone to follow in the footsteps of Okocha & Djorkaeff. But matters in hand, a must-win game for the Whites tonight."

1945: Can I change my predo to an abandonment? Let's hope the undersoil heating's on at Villa Park - we're under way.

1942: As the snow begins to settle on the Villa Park surface, the players emerge from the tunnel in the Midlands. We are but moments away.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill: "We played very well at Anfield earlier on in the season and it gave us plenty of confidence and impetus. But these are different circumstances. This is a very big game for both teams - we had a setback at Arsenal and we want to put that right, Liverpool have had hiccups this season and they will want to put that right."

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "It's very, very important. There is still a long way but we have to look for three points. They are in a good position and are competing with them, Tottenham and Manchester City at the moment. We have to keep winning."

1937: It's a massive game at Villa Park. Liverpool have lost four out of their last six away games in the league, winning only once and scoring only twice in that time. Villa need a response too, after succumbing 3-0 at Arsenal a couple of days ago. But what a cameo that was, from the magnificent Cesc Fabregas.

From come again? on 606: "3-3 Stevo!? Been hitting the sauce have we?"

1933: Let's not forget the massive six-pointer at the Reebok tonight. Anyone know when Hull's last win at Bolton was? March 1935, that's when. In 21 trips to the Greater Manchester town since 1908, that remains the Tigers' sole victory.

1930: Stevo's Predos:
Aston Villa 3-3 Liverpool
Bolton 2-1 Hull City
Lawro's predictions

1927: Here's some good news for Liverpool fans: Your boys are unbeaten in your last 11 visits to Villa Park, since a 2-1 defeat in February 1998 when a certain Stanley Victor Collymore bagged a brace against his old employers. Today, Villa are attempting a league double over Liverpool for the first time since the inaugural Premier League season in 1992/93.

1923: I feel a bit sorry for Rafa. I mean, by "guaranteeing" that Liverpool will finish in the top four this season, he hasn't half made life hard for himself. Lose tonight, and the Reds will be eight points off a Champions League spot with more than half the season gone.

From mttyjrobinson on Twitter: "Must-win for Liverpool. Wanting to see Rafa take us into 2010, but if we lose today, I'm not sure he will."

1919: Bolton welcome back midfielder Fabrice Muamba after suspension, with Chris Basham the man to miss out in an otherwise unchanged side from the one that drew 1-1 at Burnley on Boxing Day. Hull City boss Phil Brown names the same XI that lost 3-1 to Manchester United on Sunday. That means Geovanni stays on the bench and American striker Jozy Altidore keeps his place up front.

1916: Bolton v Hull City line-ups:
Bolton:
Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Muamba, Cohen, Taylor, Kevin Davies, Klasnic.
Subs: Al Habsi, Elmander, Gardner, Mark Davies, Ricketts, McCann, Andrew O'Brien.
Hull: Myhill, Mendy, Zayatte, Gardner, Dawson, Garcia, Boateng, Olofinjana, Hunt, Fagan, Altidore.
Subs: Duke, Barmby, Geovanni, Kilbane, Mouyokolo, Ghilas, Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Referee: Phil Dowd (England)

From Duncan from Carlisle, via text on 81111: "With Liverpool having the majority of their 1st XI available, they might just teach the young pretenders to their top four crown a lesson. 3-1 to the Reds."

1912: Aston Villa make two changes to the side that started at Arsenal on Sunday as Nigel Reo-Coker deputises for the suspended Ashley Young and John Carew replaces the injured Emile Heskey. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez hands £20m summer signing Alberto Aquilani his second start in four days and opts for only one alteration to the team he sent out against Wolves, with Dirk Kuyt preferred to Fabio Aurelio.

1909: Aston Villa v Liverpool line-ups:
Aston Villa:
Friedel, Luke Young, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock, Reo-Coker, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Carew.
Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Delph, Beye, Collins.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Lucas, Aquilani, Benayoun, Gerrard, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Ngog, Spearing, Skrtel.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1908: Get in touch like this: Tweet me on, er, Twitter; fill up my inbox with glad tidings to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); and clown around with the great and the good of 606 where the discussion is already under way. Just remember to have fun, yeah?

1906: It's snowing in the Midlands, where Villa have made two changes, Liverpool one. More soon.

1905: Aston Villa v Liverpool kicks off at 1945 GMT and Bolton v Hull just 15 of your short Greenwich Mean Time minutes later. Line-ups and team news on the way in a matter of moments, fret ye not.

1903: Think I've unnecessarily hyperbolised once again? Check the table out, then. By my reckoning, six teams can still win the Premier League and anyone from Sunderland in 10th downwards will be worrying about the dreaded drop. Throw a couple of big hitters potentially missing out on the Champions League into the mixer, and we've got the season we've long been waiting for.

1900: When it doesn't rain, it pours. Helplessly languishing in the corridor of uncertainty between Christmas and New Year, it's been a thoroughly miserable day with little sign of any let-up. But enough about the South African cricket team for now, and back to the greatest Premier League season of them all.*

* Hopefully



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Premier League results

29 Dec 2009 23:59 UK


Premier League table

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 21:58 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 Man City 19 11 35
6 Aston Villa 20 11 35
7 Liverpool 20 12 33
8 Birmingham 20 2 32
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 18 -10 18
19 Hull 20 -22 18
20 Portsmouth 19 -11 14

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


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