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Page last updated at 22:11 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Wednesday football as it happened



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

By Sam Lyon

2210: A superb Cup tie again tonight, then, from Leeds and Tottenham, and it's the Londoners who march on in a competition that really looks to be opening up. Spurs travel to Bolton in the next round. Portsmouth, meanwhile, look certs for the drop despite a taking some honour in their defeat against Fulham, while West Brom leave it late to grab all three points against Blackpool and storm into the automatic promotion spots in the Championship. Three matches of high drama and three matches which go some way to explaining our love affair with this beautiful game. Jonathan Stevenson is back on Saturday, you're all legends. Adios amigos.

2205: Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: "I'm very relieved. In the first half we couldn't get our game together and to come in 0-0 at half-time was fortunate. Luckily we did a bit better in the second half and it's a precious win for us." Portsmouth manager Avram Grant, meanwhile, bemoans what he describes as "an offside winner", before adding: "We dominated the game and from one mistake we lost. It is very frustrating. We are playing the type of football that deserves to take us much higher but we need to learn to take our chances."

ajhalls1 on Twitter: "Games like the Leeds-Spurs one really epitomise the FA Cup. The magic has definitely returned this year."

Anon via text: "Was sat behind the Pompey dugout tonight and Avram Grant had his usual look of bewilderment. You have to feel for him, from one kick away from a champions league title, to not knowing where the next kick in his teeth is coming from."

2159: Tottenham midfielder David Bentley: "It has been a difficult time since I came here. I just look to every game I play, look to take advantage and enjoy myself. I take it game by game, you never know in football. My time at Tottenham has been a hard one but hopefully I can start enjoying it now."

2157: Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe: "That was a difficult game. A cup tie is always difficult. Away from home it was a great performance from the lads, I am pleased with the win."

2155: Leeds manager Simon Grayson: "We can be proud of the fact that we've given two top sides in Tottenham and Manchester United three great games and that should provide us with a nice boost as we enter the business end of the league season. Our aim now is promotion and if we can play anything like that we will give ourselves a chance."

2152: Fulham, by the way, move up a place to 10th and that is a welcome win after a poor recent run.

2151: Portsmouth's ills show no sign of letting up at all as they go down to yet another narrow defeat as a result of their inability to put the ball in the onion bag. They stay bottom of the league and apparently going down faster than a vol-au-vent at a wedding.

2149: FULL-TIME Fulham 1-0 Portsmouth

Ryan via text: "Re: 2137 Nice finish, but he's no Danny Butterfield!"

2147: Back at Craven Cottage and there, on the face of it, looks to be zero chance of a Pompey leveller, according to our reporter. Which should poke fate nicely in the eye for Fulham fans. (Disclaimer - I have no impact whatsoever on what happens in west London. Honest.)

LUFCOllieMOT on 606: "Proud to be Leeds tonight, a great adventure, now lets go win the league!!"

stripamnesty on Twitter: "That third goal seems a bit harsh on Leeds, but fair play to Spurs - the class showed through in the end."

2142: FULL TIME Blackpool 2-3 West Brom

2140: So Tottenham win through to set up a fifth-round away match against Bolton, and few could argue they did not deserve to over the two matches. No shortage of pride among the Leeds players, though, who have shown just what they are capable of - they will now focus on promotion and the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

2139: FULL-TIME Leeds 1-3 Tottenham

Tottenham goal: That, as they say, is that. Leeds, piling forward in search of an equaliser, are caught on the counter and Jermaine Jenas's ball over the top finds Jermain Defoe, running from his own half, striding clear, the striker coolly rounding the keeper to finish things off with an emphatic hat-trick goal.

2137: GOALFLASH Leeds 1-3 Tottenham (Defoe)

2135: Four minutes of injury time for Leeds to find a leveller at Elland Road.

2134: Jonathan Howson has a chance to make things very interesting at Elland Road but his header flies over the bar. Decent chance.

2132: Its topsy-turvy o'clock at Bloomfield Road as Graham Dorrans fires in what could be a crucial goal from the penalty spot to make it Blackpool 2-3 West Brom.

Fulham goal: Damien Duff gets to the right-hand byline and his cross evades Bobby Zamora - who might have been offside - but eventually finds Jonathan Greening via a deflection and the midfielder fires in for what we think is his first Fulham goal.

2130: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-0 Portsmouth (Greening)

Someone has struck the woodwork
2129: That is an exquisite cross from Gareth Bale and Peter Crouch rises and gets his noggin on it, only to see his header crash off the bar. Spurs continue to dominate, and it's their fans making all the noise, but is there time for a late Leeds leveller?

gaz2612blue on 606: "I think that if the season started tomorrow, Portsmouth would finish mid table. They have a very good manager and have a reasonably good squad which is massively under-achieving at the moment."

2125: Leeds take note? Stephen Dobbie has only gone and levelled things up at Bloomfield Road and it's Blackpool 2-2 West Brom. A draw would only be good enough to keep the Baggies third in the Championship, by the way.

2122: First clear chance for ages after a quiet and messy last 10 minutes and it goes to Fulham. Bobby Zamora leaps up and heads straight into the hands of David James. This has got 0-0 written all over it. I'm only saying that because I want goals.

2120: He's not everyone's cup of tea off the pitch, but David Bentley is starting to turn it on in Aaron Lennon's absence for Spurs and that really was a special ball to cap what has been a fine performance. Leeds responded before, though, can they do it again?

Tottenham goal: Finally a second-half breakthrough and it couldn't have been anyone else other than Defoe could it? David Bentley is the creator, his sensational cross just begging to be finished and Jermain Defoe steals in to clip home. Advantage Spurs.

2117: GOALFLASH Leeds 1-2 Tottenham (Defoe)

2116: Damien Duff curls one goalwards at Craven Cottage but it is deflected behind by a smart block from a Portsmouth defender. Still goalless and it would appear the Leeds-Spurs game is swallowing all this evening's action. And a few more evenings beside.

2112: Classic counter-attack from Spurs and Jermain Defoe looks to have put the visitors back in front from Gareth Bale's pin-point cross - but it is rightly ruled out for offside.

howsilverstone on Twitter: "The FA Cup will always be relevant when good old-fashioned games like this pairing take place!"

2110: David Bentley - who has looked a footballer reborn at times this evening - is the latest to be denied by Leeds keeper Casper Ankegren, the home favourite tipping the midfielder's left-footed drive over the bar.

2108: Free header for Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane from a corner, but Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer easily saves.

2107: It's as you were in the match between Fulham and Portsmouth, which - the final 15 minutes of the first half aside - has been a keenly-fought match short on chances. Very even.

2105: Jermain Defoe looks to latch on to David Bentley's through-ball and he is clear on goal - except he is flagged offside. Replays suggest that was a generous decision to say the least.

2104: Another minute at Elland Road, another chance. This time Michael Dawson rises and brilliantly meets David Bentley's corner, but Casper Ankegren makes a superb stop, tipping it over.

2103: Over in Glasgow, by the way, Rangers have just missed a penalty. Check out our live coverage UK users.

2102: Fulham-Portsmouth is back under way.

2100: Big chance. Robert Snodgrass's corner looks like landing invitingly on Lubomir Michalik's head, but the defender can't get enough purchase on it and keeper Heurelho Gomes collects easily.

2059: Now Jermaine Beckford lets fly and it is deflected behind. Spurs clear from the resultant corner.

2056: All the Spurs players can do is laugh. Jermain Defoe fails to make contact with David Bentley's cut-back, it falls to Niko Kranjcar who fires at goal, and Peter Crouch is inches away from tapping it in at the far post. It is fair to say this match is frantic. FRANTIC.

2053: Jermain Defoe is livelier than an eight year old after too much fizzy pop out there and he gets in the first pot-shot of the second half, firing narrowly over after working space on the edge of the box.

Peabutler on Twitter: "How Leeds draw teams into a battle is amazing, it easy to forget they are in League 1."

2049: Leeds get the second half started and, if it stays like this, lest we forget, we will have extra time and penalties.

2048: Replays of that Leeds goal - Luciano Becchio looks a touch offside when the ball to Jermaine Beckford, who is definitely onside, goes through, but then it's all about phases these days isn't it? Is it another phase if he's latching onto the rebound? Do even the referees really know? Either way it's 1-1 at half-time again and if the second half is anything like the first we're in for a mouth-dribbler. Jubbly.

2046: HALF-TIME Fulham 0-0 Portsmouth

PopeandSwift on Twitter: "Nice to see Luciano stepping out of Beckford's shadow. Doesn't get enough praise for hard work and assists he contributes."

Piggin_Tea_Break on 606: "Re: Leeds-Spurs - Two lucky goals at the end of the day, the general play isn't incredible but its a damn good cup tie nonetheless."

2040: And then Portsmouth, who have shown oodles of ambition this evening, go up the other end and first Frederic Piquionne's header is deflected over and then his fierce right-footer is desperately cleared by a wash of Fulham defenders. Still goalless.

2039: Fulham have rallied a touch with the first half drawing to a close and Bobby Zamora wriggles past two defenders in the box before forcing a smart block with a shot and it goes away for a corner.

Gooner_Gibo09 on 606: "YES LEEDS!!!!!! Should be a great second half after that."

SauberRG on Twitter: "Leeds are the luckiest team on the planet. Never a corner, and miles offside. Lucky, lucky, lucky."

2035: Over at Craven Cottage, and it's one of the misses of the season. Danny Murphy swings the ball in from the right and after Jonathan Greening heads the ball down, Stefano Okaka, who only days ago scored a wonder-goal for Roma, heads five-foot wide when standing one foot from goal. It's a shocker. Head in hands.

2034: HALF-TIME Leeds 1-1 Tottenham

Leeds goal: Would you Adam and Eve it? Terrific response from Leeds and they are level. Jermaine Beckford, who looks just onside, forces a fingertip stop from Heurelho Gomes with a volley, but Luciano Becchio is on hand to tap in the rebound in first-half injury time. Whether Becchio was onside is another matter but Spurs, despite totally dominating, are pegged back nonetheless.

2032: GOALFLASH Leeds 1-1 Tottenham (Becchio)

2030: Kevin Prince Boateng - the star turn so far at Craven Cottage - dances his way into the Fulham box, but sees his deflected shot kept out by Mark Schwarzer. Still Fulham 0-0 Portsmouth.

2029: Classic turnaround from the Baggies, Roman Bednar turning the match on its head with his second and it's now Blackpool 1-2 West Brom.

2028: Great response by Leeds, Lubomir Michalak glancing a header from a whipped in free-kick at goal, forcing Heurelho Gomes into a brilliant one-handed sprawling stop. Moments later and Michael Dawson has to produce a desperate block in the area as Spurs suddenly find themselves clinging on.

2025: Fulham finally wake up as Aaron Hughes gets up brilliantly 10 yards out only to head a corner straight at keeper David James. Best chance of the game so far for the Londoners.

Tottenham goal: Well you can't say it hasn't been coming, though when it does there's no small fortune about it. Jermain Defoe collects the ball in the area, it spoons up, and he somehow shins it left-'footed' over the keeper and the backtracking defenders and into the top corner.

2024: GOALFLASH Leeds 0-1 Tottenham (Defoe)

2023: Talking of sides on top - Portsmouth are certainly on top against Fulham right now, and they are making a mockery of their lowly position it has to be said. The Cottagers camped in their half.

2022: Jermain Defoe with another brutal shot - right-footed from 18 yards - Casper Ankegren with another flying save. How Spurs aren't ahead in this match, I don't know. Well, it's probably down to them not having scored, but you know what I mean...

returnof50phead on 606: "Another huge stroke of luck for Leeds. I haven't seen this much luck for one team on a cup run since Liverpool's champions league run in 2005!"

2018: Andre Marriner is the centre of attention at Elland Road - and it's Leeds defender Lubomir Michalik who is breathing a sigh of relief as Jermain Defoe, who otherwise would have been clear on goal, goes down under his challenge - no foul, and therefore no card.

2016: Well that didn't last long, Roman Bednar levels things up in the Championship match at Bloomfield Road, making it Blackpool 1-1 West Brom.

cjb_ on Twitter: "At work, a mile down the road from Craven Cottage, and all I can hear is the Pompey! Amazing effort!"

2013: He was awesome in the first match and it looks like Casper Ankegren is on his mettle again. First he denies Jermain Defoe one-on-one and then he pulls an even better stop out of the bag to somehow keep Gareth Bale's deflected cross out on the stretch. Leeds just about hanging on... but then it was like this in the first match wasn't it?

2012: In the Championship, it's first blood to the hosts as Keith Southern gets the opener to make it Blackpool 1-0 West Brom.

2011: ...until now, as Frederic Piquionne gets clear in the box, only to see his left-footed shot deflected behind brilliantly/fortunately by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer. Big chance.

2010: It's fair to say it's scrappier than Scooby Doo's nephew at Craven Cottage, with chances very much at a premium.

2006: Keepers - a protected species? Heurelho Gomes goes up for a high cross with Jermaine Beckford and it's the Leeds striker who gets it, heading on to the bar - only for the referee to give a foul against him. I have to say, that was probably just about a foul. Just.

2005: Just to keep you abreast of all things Championship, by the way, it's 20 minutes gone at Bloomfield Road and it's Blackpool 0-0 West Brom.

2003: The first shot in anger at Craven Cottage sees Kevin Prince Boateng's half-volley sting Mark Schwarzer's palms at the near post.

Anon via text: "Just like to mention that the referee at Craven Cottage this evening, Anthony Taylor, is taking charge of his first Premier League fixture - good luck to him!"

2000: Under way at Craven Cottage.

1959: Much like they did in the first match, Tottenham have started with a real fire in their bellies at Elland Road, Jermain Defoe the latest to go close with a flash across goal from Peter Crouch's knockdown that zips inches past the far post.

1958: Portsmouth might be in disarray off the pitch, but on it they huddle together pre-kick-off like a bunch of squirrels desperate for warmth. Moments away from the start at Craven Cottage.

1954: Deary me, the Leeds defence goes completely AWOL and David Bentley's corner finds Sebastien Bassong in acres of space in the box. Fortunately, Bassong is not renowned for his finishing and he blazes his volley well over. Another let-off.

1952: Nice response from Leeds, building nicely before Jonathan Howson curls high and wide from the edge of the box. Lively opening, this.

1950: By the way, folks, if your love is the Scottish game, we have live coverage of Rangers v St Johnstone (UK only). Get your tabs out on your internet explorer (other web browsers are available) and enjoy us both. Alt-Tab-tastic.

Phil H via text: "At the Fulham game and having watched the warmup, Okaka looks special! Mark my words, this boy will be big this season! There's a couple in it for him tonight...!"

1948: Jermain Defoe is almost gifted the opening goal inside a minute when Andrew Hughes's back-pass falls short, but the striker's scuffed shot beats the keeper but not the covering defender. Let-off.

1947: Under way at Elland Road, with the pitch boasting a light dusting of snow. I'll do a spot check for gloves...

TheNumberOneGunner on 606: "Tottenham will not win the FA Cup and will not get into champions league. :D"

1943: With the Fulham and Portsmouth players just finishing their warm-ups, the Leeds and Tottenham teams stride out into a cacophony of noise at Elland Road. If the home fans are half as good as they were at the Lane last time out, we are in for a treat.

Dan via text: "The omens are good after last night's FA Cup results. If Butterfield can score a hat-trick, then we can win. Come on Leeds!"

1937: Don't listen to 'em PaulSeaton - Pavlyuchenko's a magnificent vocalist. His tunes from the sidelines could be crucial. Erm, if he's there. Otherwise, it's all about the Russian's powers of mind control I'm afraid which, judging by his failure to impress Harry Redknapp this season, can't really be all that. Ahem.

JamieCutteridge on Twitter: "RE: Paulseaton - Looking at the Spurs team, that could be difficult for Pavlyuchenko...!"

1935: So, with 10 minutes until Leeds-Spurs get started, why don't you good people give your browsers a cheeky refresh. Before you can say 'what the blazes for Lyon?' the magic of "Midweek Score" will appear at the top of this page and a link to our 5 Live coverage for the FA Cup and Premier League matches will reveal themselves on the right hand side. You can't say fairer than that, can you?

Roy Hodgson's injury headache must be pounding with Zoltan Gera and Andrew Johnson now stuck on the sidelines, so he puts loan signings Nicky Shorey and Roma striker Stefano Okaka straight into the starting XI for their Fulham debuts against cash-strapped Pompey. Portsmouth welcome back African Cup of Nations trio Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda and Aruna Dindane. New striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie makes his debut, while new boy defender Ricardo Rocha is on the bench.

PaulSeaton on Twitter: "Last time out Beckford was the man of the moment, but tonight will belong to Pavlyuchenko & Dawson."

bring back Jermaine Jenas to partner Tom Huddlestone in central midfield, with Wilson Palacios dropping to the bench. Niko Kranjcar comes in for compatriot Luka Modric, who is also a substitute, while Sebastien Bassong replaces the rested Ledley King at the heart of defence. Leeds are without loan signings Gary McSheffrey and Shane Lowry, so Andrew Hughes, back from illness, and Bradley Johnson return to the side.

Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Murphy, Baird, Greening, Okaka Chuka, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Riise, Stoor, Smalling, Dikgacoi, Elm.
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Wilson, Ben-Haim, Belhadj, Yebda, Basinas, Boateng, O'Hara, Dindane, Piquionne. Subs: Ashdown, Rocha, Mullins, Owusu-Abeyie, Vanden Borre, Webber, Hughes.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Anon via text: "This is a must-win game for Pompey tonight. Next three matches are Man Utd, the High Court and Southampton... If they last that long!"

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson hands immediate debuts to deadline-day signings Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka.

Spurf on 606: "Leeds v Spurs - two teams with other things on their minds, but tonight the FA Cup is all that matters."

Ankergren, Bromby, Naylor, Michalik, Hughes, Howson, Doyle, Johnson, Snodgrass, Beckford, Becchio. Subs: Alan Martin, Crowe, Grella, Robinson, Somma, Hatfield, White.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Jenas, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Alnwick, Palacios, Modric, Rose, Dervite, Parrett, Fredericks.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1918: As for the Fulham-Portsmouth tie, it pits two of the league's worst teams of recent times together (though they will have to go some to beat Sunderland-Stoke for sheer stick-a-fork-in-my-eye-please dullness, for sure). The Cottagers, who lost at home on Saturday for the first time in 12 matches, are without a win in six league games, while Portsmouth have only gone one better - one win in seven. I predict either a coma-inducing stalemate or absolute goal-fest. No in between.

Anon via text: "Any expert score predicter should know to never count out Leeds at ER with a 39,000 backing! As a Leeds fan I hope you eat your words Steve (below), but we shall see..."

RetroGirl on Twitter: "Leeds need to lose this for the sake of their league position. Just preparing their excuses for them, ahead of a thumping!"

1911: Lest we forget, Leeds - courtesy of man-of-the-moment Jermaine Beckford - snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane in the original tie with Tottenham, and the omens are good for whichever team goes through this evening, even if penalties are needed. Leeds have only ever beaten Tottenham once in this competition - in 1972, the year they secured their one and only FA Cup triumph, while Spurs beat the Whites at this very stage on their way to glory in 1982. Who believes in magic?

Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch start up front in a strong Spurs XI.

Steve on 606: "Fulham should beat Pompey, Spurs will beat Leeds, and West Brom will win their game. Can't be bothered with scores though!"

1905: "Where do we fit into all this?", I hear you cry. Well, as well as gasping in wondrous amazement at the delights of football at its finest alongside my sensational chat on all the action as and when it happens, of course, why not give yourself the chance to be web famous for 15 minutes and text me your chat to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); get involved in the debate on 606; and/or hit sampatricklyon on Twitter. You know you want to...

1903: We've also got a couple of league matches to add to our smorgasbord of football entertainment, with Fulham playing host to the club that must wish it had bought shares in the term 'Premier League crisis club' Portsmouth, and Championship high-flyers West Brom travelling to Blackpool eyeing the three points that will lift them back into the automatic promotion spots. As a Pompey fan might say to a Pompey director... where's ya money?

1902: That's right, the exits of Wigan and Wolves on Tuesday mean there are a mere nine Premier League teams left in the FA Cup and we're not even through the fourth round yet. Tonight, Leeds will be looking to make that eight as they host a Tottenham side who traditionally love this competition like 'beardies' love Adrian Chiles. Forty two places separate the teams in the league, but what - or, more to the point, who - will separate them this evening?

1900: So - 11 down, nine to go. The FA Cup hasn't quite proved the smoothest of rides for Premier League teams this season has it?

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As it stands - Premier League table


Position Team P GD PTS
Full Premier League table
1 Chelsea 24 38 55
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42
5 Liverpool 24 16 41
6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Fulham 24 -2 28
11 Blackburn 24 -15 28
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolves 23 -21 21
18 Hull 24 -26 21
19 Burnley 23 -23 20
20 Portsmouth 23 -16 16

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
03 Feb 10 |  Football

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