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By Jonathan Stevenson
1934: That's that then. Thanks for your company, guess I'll see you at 1045 GMT on Sunday for the
draw for Euro 2012 qualifying,
Birmingham v Wolves
Chelsea v Arsenal.
There were some cracking goals today, which you can see on Match of the Day at 2230 GMT on BBC One and online. After that, there's The Football League Show as well. Demain matin, mes amis.
From adz365 on Twitter:
"Boring, boring Villa, at no point did they try and win the game today, shocking for a side going for the top four."
1927: After that goalless draw Spurs stay fifth, a point behind Liverpool, while Aston Villa remain in seventh, now three points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
1924: Full-time Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa Could have been a cracker that, but we were subjected to a defensive masterclass instead. Jackallen is right - what a day that turned out to be for Rafa Benitez and Liverpool.
1920: Unbelievable. A David Bentley corner from the right causes mayhem in the Villa box and Peter Crouch's cheeky backheel dribbles inches wide of the far post. We're into three minutes of stoppage time.
1920: Jermain Defoe's snap-shot from 16 yards is bundled away low down by Brad Friedel. Only one team trying to win this now.
1918: With two minutes left, Villa bring Steve Sidwell on for Stewart Downing. Sidwell promptly spanks a volley into the Spurs fans behind the goal from 25 yards.
1917: Talking point: Jermain Defoe goes down in the Villa box and the Spurs fans want a penalty for Stiliyan Petrov's tackle, but looking at a replay it's not a foul, good decision from referee Chris Foy.
1916: Super cross from David Bentley down the Spurs right, launching it in and asking Peter Crouch to attack it - he does, but the giant striker's header floats a few yards wide of the far post.
1914: Peter Crouch sizes up an overhead kick on the edge of the Villa box, but once again James Collins puts his head where it might hurt to clear the ball upfield. Brave stuff.
1914: Over and out, Football League Danny: "Crucial 2-1 win that for Reading at Doncaster, vital points at the home of one of their relegation rivals. Donny in real danger of being dragged into the mix at the bottom."
1911: Fabulous defending from Villa, first as Richard Dunne blocks Jermain Defoe's shot and then as James Collins deflects Peter Crouch's follow-up behind for a corner. They've been monumental, the Villa central defenders.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini on Wayne Bridge, who returned to action after two months out with a knee injury in City's 2-1 defeat at the KC Stadium but was taunted by Hull fans about his involvement in the John Terry scandal: "I think sometimes we have to have respect for people. It was not good, in the first half, the people did not respect him. It was important he played and I hope in the next week he can improve. Wayne is an important player for us."
1908: David Bentley shapes to cross from the Spurs right but feigns, cuts inside and hammers a left-foot shot to the near post that James Collins deflects behind for a corner. That corner comes to nothing.
1906: I'd have put good money on this being a thriller. No wonder I'm so poor... About 15 minutes left, it's still Spurs 0-0 Villa. Anyone on the benches you fancy for a late cameo?
1903: Vedran Corluka swings over a cross from the Spurs right and Peter Crouch nods it on to the roof of Villa's net.
From Gary, Villa fan, Lichfield, via text to 81111: "If someone doesn't break the top four up this season we might as well all give up, as these last two seasons it has been there for the taking."
1900: He's never quiet for long, our Football League Danny: "Looks like the points are going to Reading. Brian Howard puts them 2-0 up at Doncas- wait up. What? Oh my, Reading's Matthew Mills is sent off for deliberate handball, Billy Sharp scores the penalty and it's massively game on for the final 10 minutes..."
1858: Disappointingly, this game has got worse as it has gone on. It's very fractured now, with stoppages and injuries all over the place. The crowd are quiet, too. We need a moment of inspiration.
From Gallacticos87 on Twitter:
"(See 1312) Disaster. I never wanted to be a lawyer anyway Stevo. What do you need to study at Uni to do the BBC live text??" As little as possible, fella
1851: We've had an hour, it's Spurs 0-0 Aston Villa.
1850: Tom Huddlestone hits another fine drive from outside the Villa area and Brad Friedel gets down well to push it behind for a corner.
1850: ... So disappointing. Ashley Young curls his right-foot shot comfortably over the bar too.
1849: Ledley King is adjudged to have brought down John Carew 25 yards from the Tottenham goal. Ashley Young places this one down and it's another decent position for the visitors...
1847: Tom Huddlestone tries to fasten on to a ball down the Spurs left into the Villa penalty area, but James Collins gets to it first and the defender gets an accidental Huddlestone boot into his ankle for his trouble.
Alistair, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, via text to +44 7786200666: "Stevo, in Ligue 1 PSG are losing 3-0 to Lorient before half-time in front of the French president Sarkozy; the PSG fans have turned on their own team, cheering on Lorient's every touch and booing every touch from their own players. Never seen that in England before!"
1842: Not been a great second half so far, but Vedran Corluka plays a neat one-two with Jermain Defoe inside the Villa box, but the Croatian just cannot quite hook his foot around the ball to get a cross into the danger area.
1840: Villa have a free-kick in a really good position 25 yards out, centrally-placed, but Stewart Downing curls tamely over the crossbar. Poor.
1840: Haha. Uefa president Michel Platini reckons Swedish referee Martin Hansson deserves to be on the list for the World Cup in South Africa, despite missing Thierry Henry's double handball against Ireland in November. "He is not the person responsible for what happened," said Platini. He kills me, he really does.
From optajoe on Twitter:
"Man Utd have benefited from nine own goals this season. The previous most for a team in a single PL campaign was six (Utd in 96/97). Devils."
1836: Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe get us under way in the second half at White Hart Lane, as England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce watches on from the stand, all on his lonesome.
Phil from Santo Domingo, DR, via text to +44 7786200666: "Hesitant defensive stuff from Villa who seem to be playing for a point. Maybe why Liverpool are fourth despite their 'form'. Obviously crumble is on the New Year menu like last year. I'm off outside to the pool!"
From an_d_c on 606:
"The chances are that even if one of these sides breaks the big four monopoly they will be drawn against a good European side in the qualifiers due to last year's changes to the rules. Getting fourth is just the first of the hurdles!"
1819: Half-time Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa Both managers will probably be fairly pleased at the break - Spurs have bossed it and should be in front, but the visitors will be delighted to still be very much in the game.
1818: Into one added minute at the end of the first half.
1817: It's gone a bit scrappy again. Tom Huddlestone plays a ball over the top for Jermain Defoe, but it's too far ahead for the striker to catch up with. Heading to half-time.
1814: How did that not go in? Peter Crouch heads a free-kick back across the six-yard box and after Ledley King flicks it goalwards Brad Friedel pulls off a super flying save, with the stretching Jermain Defoe sliding the rebound inches over the bar.
1813: Five minutes to go until half-time and it's Tottenham 0-0 Aston Villa. The hosts probably should be in front by now.
From Andy from Keele, Staffs, via text to 81111: "Looks like a classic Spurs home performance - chance after chance and no goals. I'm expecting the worst."
1809: Not hugely popular in north London are they, Villa? A couple of weeks after Arsene Wenger's "long-ball team" assertion, the Spurs fans chant "Boring, boring Villa" at the away supporters.
1807: Spurs play a corner to the edge of the Villa box and Gareth Bale hits a left-foot volley goalwards. Peter Crouch dummies it, but a Villa defender hammers it away from danger about two yards from his own goal.
1806: He's not done yet. Oh God no. Football League Danny: "Doncaster v Reading is the evening Championship kick-off - and it's first blood to the Royals. Shane Long gives them the lead on 39 minutes."
1803: A fizzing David Bentley cross from the left into the six-yard box is diverted over his own crossbar by a Villa defender - hard to say who it was as there were about 12 players inside the crowded area.
1800: Super double save from Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes, first to block James Milner's 22-yard piledriver and then to parry Gabby Agbonlahor's rebound effort.
1758: It's potentially a cracking game, this. Just needs one moment to really spark it into life. Nevertheless, it's thoroughly enjoyable fayre.
1757: When Tom Huddlestone hits a football, my word does it stay hit. He lashes in a screamer from 30 yards that radars in on the corner of Brad Friedel's net - the American pushes it out and Luka Modric's follow-up shot is blocked by Carlos Cuellar.
From Ronaldo's Ball-Swerving Sixth Toe 606:
"Villa will never make the top four with the way they are playing. Sitting back and defending isn't the stuff top four clubs are made off. Credit to Tottenham for always going at it and attacking."
1754: Is England's World Cup dream over? Or is that the most astonishing exaggeration of all time? Emile Heskey limps off injured for Villa and is replaced by the giant Norwegian John Carew.
1753: Gabby Agbonlahor turns brilliantly inside the Spurs box and his shot seems to hit the arm of Michael Dawson as the defender threw himself to the floor. It wasn't intentional, but we've all seen them given.
1750: Brilliant football. Gareth Bale's ball into the box is knocked down by Peter Crouch for Luka Modric and then Modric plays a gorgeous pass into the box for Crouch, but the big striker is denied a goal by a combination of a fine Richard Dunne block and super reflex save from Brad Friedel. Top drawer.
Patrick Vieira, who came on for his Manchester City debut during their 2-1 defeat by Hull to make his first Premier League appearance since May 2005: "I would prefer to start with a win of course. I am disappointed with the result but I am glad to be back - it wasn't easy to wait for this game after being injured when I signed for City. I think I can contribute to the success of this club - the top four is the target and I think I can help us achieve that."
1747: A David Bentley corner from the right finds Ledley King unmarked, eight yards out, but the Spurs skipper heads straight at Brad Friedel.
1746: Peter Crouch heads a David Bentley cross into the box for Luka Modric and he tries to chest it into space to have a shot, but he takes it too wide and can only win a corner.
1742: David Bentley shows quick feet to jink inside James Collins and hammer a low right-foot shot wide from 20 yards, towards the right of the Villa penalty area. Probably should've teed up a team-mate, but good to see Bentley playing with confidence again.
1741: Luka Modric has started really well and he plays a cute one-two with Tom Huddlestone before driving a right-foot shot over the crossbar from about 22 yards.
From Rod, Cardiff, via text to 81111: "At 1640 I put a tenner on Bolton winning. 'Clattenberg you pesky buffoon' is an approximation of my current thoughts."
1737: Michael Dawson pings a 70-yard pass on to the head of Peter Crouch and his knock-down is volleyed goalwards by Luka Modric, but the Croatian doesn't catch it properly and Brad Friedel gathers comfortably.
1737: Scrappy opening at the Lane, with tackles flying in in the midfield area and a few passes going astray. Big evening, credential-wise.
Hull's United States striker Jozy Altidore, who has Haitian roots, on ending his Premier League duck at the 18th attempt: "It feels good but I wasn't really worried about not scoring, I am just worried about keeping Hull up and the important thing is we got the three points today - I think it was well deserved. I'd like to dedicate my goal to Haiti and I hope there are better things ahead over there and that they can smile to see one of their own doing well."
1733: Under way in north London as Tottenham and Aston Villa go head-to-head.
Uefa president Michel Platini after being asked for a third time about Fabio Capello's decision to sack John Terry as captain: "I'm not bothered. What would you like me to say?"
1727: The teams are out at Tottenham, we're just moments away from kick-off in the wannabe fourth place clash.
From Dan, via text to 81111: "Mark Clattenburg strikes again. I'd love an explanation about the disallowed Kevin Davies goal."
1723: Tottenham recall Ledley King after missing the midweek FA Cup win over Leeds, while new signings Eidur Gudjohnsen and Younes Kaboul are on the bench. Aston Villa's fit-again striker John Carew is a sub, but Stiliyan Petrov is back in the starting XI.
1720: Spurs have kept four clean sheets in a row at White Hart Lane, only the second time they have achieved that feat in the Premier League. Villa have won only five of their last 17 away league games, but three of those have come in their last four trips. Where's ya money?
From KevBaz on Twitter:
"This is where we shall see if Bentley's form is on the up. Played well against Leeds but Villa is a different prospect."
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: "In the first half we didn't play very well. Hull were more aggressive and put us under pressure. In the second half we played very well, for me. When we brought on Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson, the game changed. If we play like we did in the second half, we can arrive in the top four - but not if we play like we did in the first."
1712: Big game at White Hart Lane this evening as Tottenham, now fifth, take on Aston Villa in seventh. Spurs can go back up to fourth with a victory, while three points would take Villa above their hosts. Both have very clear designs on a Champions League place next season.
1709: Tottenham v Aston Villa line-ups: Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric, Defoe, Crouch. Subs: Alnwick, Kaboul, Jenas, Gudjohnsen, Bassong, Kranjcar, Kyle Walker. Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Luke Young, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Carew, Delfouneso, Davies, Delph, Beye. Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
From Desolation_row 606:
"Man Utd have now scored 18 more goals this season then at the same stage last season. Not bad for a team that is supposedly missing Ronaldo."
From Mark in Manchester, via text to 81111: "Mancini to get the sack? That's one more loss than Hughes had & in a lot fewer games."
1659: What a great afternoon. Brian Laws gets his first win as Burnley boss, Hull grab a first victory since 25 November and Manchester United go back to the top of the Premier League, among other things. More to follow, I'm sure.
1656: Full-time Sunderland 1-1 Wigan
1656: Full-time Burnley 2-1 West Ham
1655: Full-time Stoke 3-0 Blackburn
1654: Full-time Hull City 2-1 Man City
1653: Full-time Bolton 0-0 Fulham
1653: Jonathan Spector slices a shot wide for West Ham at Burnley.
1653: Shay Given goes up for a corner for a desperate Man City at Hull, but it comes to nothing. Time running out.
1652: Full-time Manchester United 5-0 Portsmouth
1652: Football League Danny: "Hartlepool 2-2 Leeds. Thwarted o'clock for the League One promotion hopefuls."
1650: Mido hits the woodwork as West Ham go perilously close to an equaliser at Burnley, the Egyptian striker volleying against the post with Brian Jensen nowhere near it.
1649: Man City's Gareth Barry crosses for Carlos Tevez but the Argentine's shot is straight at Boaz Myhill. City haven't done enough to warrant an equaliser.
From optajoe on Twitter:
"'Own goals' is now Man Utd's second-highest scorer in the PL this season, with one more than Berbatov (8). Mishaps."
1648: Bolton's Kevin Davies gets the ball in the Fulham net, but it's ruled out for a push on Brede Hangeland. Touch harsh, that.
1646: Bolton have had the better of it at home against Fulham and they had a golden chance to win it there, Kevin Davies playing it through to Johan Elmander and the Swede somehow slotting wide from 10 yards.
1645: Martin Petrov comes on for Wayne Bridge as Man City try to find an equaliser at Hull.
1643: Have some of that, football. Football League Danny: "Late-ish drama at the City Ground. In front of 28,000+ fans, Dexter Blackstock with his second of the game makes it Nottingham Forest 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday."
Hammers goal: All about the debutants, apart from Carlton Cole that is - the England striker lifts the ball into the mixer, it breaks free after Mido goes in with Brian Jensen and Brazilian hitman Ilan is on hand to slide the bal into the roof of the net. Good finish and the visitors back in it.
1641: GOAL Burnley 2-1 West Ham
1640: What a miss from Mame Diouf. Michael Owen plays him through, he gets the better of Tal Ben Haim but then skies his shot over from 12 yards.
1639: Football League Danny: "Leeds 2-1 up at Hartlepool now after Luciano Becchio's second of the day."
1637: Patrick Vieira is booked on his return to English football for a foul on Tom Cairney. Man City still trail 2-1 at Hull City.
1636: Football League Danny: "Luke Varney has levelled for Sheffield Wednesday at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest. It's 1-1 and turning into a pretty good day for West Brom in the Championship."
1635: Don't, Danny. Please don't...
From Matt, via text on 81111: "I'm a United fan but I can't help but feel sorry for the Pompey fans. This must be painful."
1632: West Ham just cannot get back into it at Burnley - this time Junior Stanislas' curling free-kick from the left slaps against the crossbar and flies away from danger.
1631: It's furious action. Here's Football League Danny: "What's happened to Charlton? They're now 1-0 down against Swindon, thanks to Kevin Amankwaah's goal. The Robins closing in fast on the Addicks. Elsewhere, Hartlepool are now level with Leeds. Does no-one want to get promoted from League One? Up in the Championship, West Brom are 1-0 up at Plymouth, both the Baggies and Forest are 1-0 up."
Man Utd goal: It's not easy to watch, this. You cannot help but feel sorry for Pompey and there's yet more misery for them as Marc Wilson meets Patrice Evra's cross with a rasping volley that arrows into the top corner of his own goal. You couldn't make it up. We're not.
1629: GOAL Manchester United 5-0 Portsmouth
Stoke goal: Lovely goal from Matthew Etherington and that wraps the points up at the Britannia. He plays a one-two with Liam Lawrence and cuts inside in the Rovers box and curls a low shot past Paul Robinson.
1628: GOAL Stoke 3-0 Blackburn
1627: Ball in the Burnley net but it's disallowed for offside against either Scott Parker or Carlton Cole.
1625: Manchester United take Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov off and send on Michael Owen and Mame Diouf.
Sunderland goal: Kenwyne Jones rises majestically to meet a Jordan Henderson cross from the right flank and heads into the bottom corner of Chris Kirkland's goal for a much-needed equaliser.
1624: GOAL Sunderland 1-1 Wigan
Man Utd goal: Dimitar Berbatov shows that patience is the greatest virtue as he tries for about 30 seconds to create an opening in the Pompey box - no sooner does he drift back outside the area than he spanks a shot into the bottom corner.
Blackburn red card: Fantastic save from Paul Robinson at the Britannia. Ryan Shawcross gets a free header from six yards but the former England goalie keeps it out with an out-stretched left hand. Moments later, it's a red card as Chris Samba gets a second yellow for a blatant tug on Ricardo Fuller. Stoke are bossing this game and look set to maintain their unbeaten start to 2010.
Man City goal: City are back in it. Adam Johnson's corner is not cleared and after an enormous goalmouth scramble, Kolo Toure's backheel is deflected into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who buries his shot into the roof of the net. If that's not enough excitement for you, Patrick Vieira has just come on for his City debut, replacing Craig Bellamy.
1620: GOAL Manchester United 4-0 Portsmouth
1620: SENDING OFF (Chris Samba, Blackburn)
Man Utd goal: That's what happens when you're at the bottom (again). Michael Carrick fires in a left-foot shot from 25 yards that takes a horrible deflection off Hayden Mullins and creeps in off the underside of the bar.
1618: GOAL Hull City 2-1 Man City
1618: GOAL Manchester United 3-0 Portsmouth
1617: Darren Bent has the ball in the back of the net for Sunderland, but it's no equaliser because to the dismay of the home fans at the Stadium of Light, the referee's assistant has flagged for off-side. Wrongly, as replays indicate.
1616: Pompey keeper David James makes an excellent stop to keep out a close-range drive from Antonio Valencia, who was put in by a delightful scooped pass by Dimitar Berbatov.
Burnley goal: Think a Stuart Pearce special and you're on the right lines. From the right-hand side of the Wets Ham box, debutant Danny Fox curls an absolute screamer into the top corner of Rob Green's net. It's unstoppable in every single possible way.
1615: GOAL Burnley 2-0 West Ham
Hull goal: That's a screamer in anyone's language. A Stephen Hunt corner is headed to the edge of the box by Kolo Toure and George Boateng connects with a left-foot strike of pure goal, rocketing it into the corner of Shay Given's net. City respond by bringing on Adam Johnson.
1614: GOAL Hull City 2-0 Man City
1613: Football League Danny hasn't gone quiet: "Is the balance of power about to shift in League One? Millwall are now 2-1 up on Norwich thanks to Neil Harris's goal. Leeds, who are winning, go level with the Canaries as it stands. Meanwhile, Rochdale are 2-0 up on Crewe and looking set fair to extend their lead at the top of League Two."
1611: It's all gone a bit quiet. Remember, Tottenham and Aston Villa meet at White Hart Lane at 1730 GMT.
1608: Dimitar Berbatov does well to get to the byeline down the Man Utd left but when he pulls the ball back, Nani fires his shot miles over from 14 yards.
1606: Under way at Burnley 1-0 West Ham, Stoke 2-0 Blackburn and Sunderland 0-1 Wigan too.
1605: And under way at Hull City 1-0 Man City. Mido has come on for West Ham at half-time.
1604: They've kicked off at Manchester United 2-0 Portsmouth, too.
1604: Back under way in Bolton 0-0 Fulham.
1603: Last weekend I could barely watch Gael Clichy's backing off as he allowed Man United to score their third at Arsenal and this week I just know I'm going to have nightmares about David James falling over for Man Utd's second goal today. Surely he had time to change direction? Surely? Watch MOTD at 2230 GMT on BBC One and online and let me know on Sunday.
From thecat 606:
"Portsmouth only have themselves to blame. They need three points but set out right from the off to defend. What did they expect?"
1550: We are at half-time in all six of this afternoon's Premier League matches.
1549: Better from Manchester City, much better. A lovely link-up between Wayne Bridge and Stephen Ireland down the left frees the overlapping Bridge inside the area to smash a fierce shot down the throat of Boaz Myhill, who saves instinctively at his near post but would not have known much about it. A belated response from the visitors who were very poor for most of the first half.
Stoke goal: Blackburn half clear a Rory Delap long throw and from the left, Matthew Etherington swings in a cross that Mamady Sidibe converts after stealing in at the far post. Good way to celebrate being given a new contract this week from the giant Mali striker.
1548: GOAL Stoke 2-0 Blackburn
Man Utd goal: Fabio Capello, you might want to look away now. Nani cuts in from the left and after 27 lollipops he fires it across the six-yard box, it deflects off Anthony vanden Borre and David James falls over in instalments, the wrong way, and can only watch aghast as the ball rolls slowly into the net. It's a horrible goal to watch and can only happen when you're bottom of the league.
1546: GOAL Manchester United 2-0 Portsmouth
1545: A first chance for Manchester City, and it has taken them 42 minutes to create it. Pablo Zabaleta's cross is flicked on by Gareth Barry but Carlos Tevez has his shot blocked at the far post.
1543: So close again for Bolton but Mark Davies' well-struck shot from 12 yards after Fulham fail to clear is deflected on to the crossbar by Mark Schwarzer.
Man Utd goal: They deserve it, you can't really argue with that. United play a corner short and Darren Fletcher curls over a cross from the right, man of the moment Wayne Rooney getting in there to head home from three yards. David James probably should have come for that, in fairness.
1541: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Portsmouth
1540: Lee Cattermole hits a missile from 30 yards for Sunderland against his old club, but Chris Kirkland sticks out a hand and tips it over the bar.
From Paul__Fletcher on Twitter:
"The fourth official at Forest is female - and she is not standing for any messing from either Billy Davies or Alan Irvine. Nice work."
1536: After a quiet opening spell, West Ham are finally exerting some pressure at Turf Moor, where Burnley still lead courtesy of David Nugent's opener. New signing Benni McCarthy has failed to distinguish himself so far, however, screwing a shot horribly wide and failing to make the most of a superb reverse pass from Mark Noble before having a shot cleared off the line by Leon Cort.
1536: Uh-oh. Gary Neville crosses from Dimitar Berbatov and the £30m striker, six yards out, fires wide of David James' left-hand post. You have got to score them, no matter how much you cost.
1534: Nadir Belhadj lashes in a shot from the left-hand side as Portsmouth attack and Jonny Evans has to be alert to kick the ball off the line. Suddenly Pompey have come to life at Old Trafford.
Hull goal: Man City cannot cope with Jan Venegoor of Hesselink - yeah, I know how they feel. He holds the ball up brilliantly on the edge of the visitors' box and tees up Jozy Altidore to beautifully slot home his first Premier League goal into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
1531: GOAL Hull City 1-0 Man City
1530: I cannot confirm or deny whether that's actually John O'Shea, but it seems doubtful. At Sunderland, striker Kenwyne Jones does well to skip past a couple of challenges before seeing his right-foot shot deflected against an upright.
From John O'Shea, via text on 81111: "Stevo I'll have you know Rio isn't texting, he's just reached level 58 on Tetris."
1528: Andy Reid claims a penalty at Sunderland, but there's nothing doing. Wigan have been the better team so far.
BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle: "I don't know how Portsmouth have got through the first quarter of the game. I know it's hard coming here, but they've put up no fight so far, they're just letting United play."
1526: Sam Ricketts has the first genuine attempt on target for Bolton, but his flick-on from a Matt Taylor free-kick flies straight at Mark Schwarzer.
1525: Oh baby. Football League Danny: "Looks like another good day for the League One top two. Leeds are 1-0 up at Hartlepool thanks to Luciano Becchio. Norwich are also winning, remember. In the Championship - Nottingham Forest are 1-0 up against Sheffield Wednesday. Dexter Blackstock from the spot."
1524: Chance for Hull. After Dedryck Boyata joins fellow centre-back Kolo Toure in Phil Dowd's book for fouling the lively Jozy Altidore, the resulting free-kick is hoisted into the Manchester City area and is knocked down for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who probably has more time than he realises and scuffs his shot wide.
From Logos 606:
"My real complaint about when Valencia plays is that we too often look to pass to him. Nani looks good today but has hardly been given the ball because Valencia is playing on the right. It's a bit predictable."
1522: Blackburn have just missed a golden chance to equalise at the Britannia. Morten Gamst Pedersen's chipped cross presented Franco Di Santo with a routine header, but the former Chelsea striker headed over the bar from just six yards.
1522: Football League Danny: "Re: 1505 - thanks to Ian on 606 for pointing out that Freddy Eastwood holds the record for the fastest debutant goal. He notched after seven seconds for Southend against Swansea in October 2004. In comparison, Daryl Murphy's 23 seconds is pretty slow. Pull your finger out, son."
Wigan goal: Hammer blow. Sunderland give the ball away and Mohamed Diame collects, surging into the area on the right and launching a rocket into the top corner via the palms of Craig Gordon. Magnificent strike.
1520: GOAL Sunderland 0-1 Wigan
1519: New England captain Rio Ferdinand sits in the stand at Old Trafford sat inbetween John O'Shea and Ryan Giggs, busily texting away. He's not even watching the game!
1517: Hull's high-tempo approach is still working well - they haven't managed to create any more openings but Manchester City are struggling to keep hold of the ball for any length of time, mainly because the home players are so quick to close them down.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "It's a massive result for us and an amazing performance from the team. The fans were behind us and the commitment of our players was fantastic, so everything was positive. Hopefully we'll have even more confidence for the next game against Arsenal."
Burnley goal: The hosts take the early lead in the claret-and-blue derby as Danny Fox launches a long ball over the top and Matty Upson lets David Nugent get goal side of him, the striker beautifully lofting it over the advancing Rob Green and into the net. Poor defending, cracking finish.
1514: GOAL Burnley 1-0 West Ham
1513: Wouldn't you know it? Pompey attack and Anthony vanden Borre hammers in a shot that Edwin van der Sar pushes away at the far post.
1512: Jonathan Greening's corner for Fulham causes confusion in the Bolton area, but David Elm - making his first start of the season - shins over at full stretch at the far post. At OT, Jonny Evans heads just wide for Manchester United, who could be 3-0 up already.
1511: Dimitar Berbatov fires wide for the hosts at Old Trafford. It has been all Manchester United pressure from the kick off, with Pompey chasing shadows.
Stoke goal: A corner from the Stoke left is not properly cleared by Rovers and it falls for Danny Higginbotham, the defender hitting a sweet left-foot volley from 15 yards low into the Blackburn net.
1509: GOAL Stoke 1-0 Blackburn
1509: Football League Danny: "That's what you call making a quick impact. Daryl Murphy - signed by Ipswich on deadline day - marks his first appearance against Middlesbrough with a goal on 23 seconds. Sure some kind of record? Elsewhere, Swansea have beaten Preston 2-0 and in League One, leaders Norwich are already 1-0 up at Millwall."
1508: Wayne Rooney goes down under a challenge from Frederic Piquionne at Old Trafford, but nothing given. Meanwhile at Sunderland, Darren Bent fires a presentable chance straight at Chris Kirkland.
1506: Hull have made a bright start at the KC Stadium and have just had the first opening. Stephen Hunt's cross evaded Wayne Bridge, who was under pressure from Jozy Altidore, and came through to Craig Fagan, who lashed over from a tight angle at the back post.
1505: Football League Danny branches out: "Get the birth certificates in - our good friends at Infostrada Sports have. And they tell us that Fulham's starting line-up at Bolton today is the second oldest in the Premier League this season. Their average age is 30 years and 85 days old - but they're still spring chickens compared to the Chelsea line-up v Liverpool in on 4 October 2009, which was 30 years and 131 days old. The Blues' veterans won 2-0, incidentally."
1504: Ever played those attack v defence training games? It's like that at Old Trafford. Can you guess which team is which? Long afternoon in store for Pompey.
From chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter:
"Looks a bit cold for 'Team Bridge' T-shirts at the KC, but Wayne got an extra-loud cheer from the Man City fans when his name was read out."
1501: Under way: Bolton v Fulham, Burnley v West Ham, Hull v Man City, Man Utd v Portsmouth and Stoke v Blackburn.
1500: Under way in the Sunderland v Wigan game.
1459: There's a late change at the Reebok Stadium as Gretar Steinsson has been taken ill, so Paul Robinson comes in for Bolton.
1459: There's a minute's silence at Old Trafford on the 52nd anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard: "Derbies are all about passion, commitment and fight, and we've beaten a good Everton side here with 10 men, so we should be proud and enjoy this. Our attitude prevailed, we stuck together and then took our chance when it came. I don't think the challenges crossed the line - we're not complaining and I don't think Everton will either. Like I say, this is what derbies are about."
Syed from Sutton, via text on 81111: "Strange looking top four, isn't it?"
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the City Ground: "Nottingham Forest can move back into the top two today in the Championship if they defeat Sheffield Wednesday and West Brom fail to beat Plymouth. On a misty afternoon by the Trent, I'm sure Forest boss Billy Davies will be looking for a relatively incident-free afternoon after last week's events at Derby."
1451: Bolton bring in Andy O'Brien for Gary Cahill, with Kevin Davies making his 500th league appearance. Fulham make several changes with Bobby Zamora, Stephen Kelly and Stefano Okaka Chuka missing out and David Elm, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Erik Nevland coming in.
1449: Hull City start with the same team that drew with Chelsea in midweek. Wayne Bridge, caught up in the scandal surrounding John Terry, returns to action for Manchester City after two months out with a knee injury - replacing Javier Garrido at left-back. City make two other changes, with Dedryk Boyata replacing Vincent Kompany at centre-back and Craig Bellamy coming in for Martin Petrov, while new signings Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieira are on the bench.
1448: Brian Laws hands new signing Danny Fox his Burnley debut in defence, while David Nugent starts up front alongside Steven Fletcher. West Ham have a new-look attack on show, with recent signing Benni McCarthy partnering Carlton Cole, who starts for the first time since his return from injury, up front.
From Gerrardswhiskers 606:
"Bad refereeing in the first half, but even the most die hard Everton fans must realise that they were rubbish even against our 10 men. That was actually quite easy for us in the second half. Come on Hull you beauties please do us a favour against City now."
1444: Full-time Liverpool 1-0 Everton Can't really argue with that. As soon as Liverpool were reduced to 10 men, Everton subsided and the hosts fully deserve their three points. For now, at least, the Reds sit fourth in the Premier League.
1443: Steven Pienaar barges into Steven Gerrard and Martin Atkinson deems it worth of a second yellow card, so the midfielder is handed an early bath. There's no time left.
1442: SENDING OFF (Steven Pienaar, Everton)
1442: Seconds remaining and Steven Pienaar fouls Lucas on the edge of the Liverpool box. That might just be that. Hugely frustrating afternoon for the blue half of Merseyside.
1440: Victor Anichebe collects the ball inside the Liverpool box but the youngster takes too long to decide what to do and the block comes in. The hosts bring on Fabio Aurelio for Maxi Rodriguez. Tick, tock, tick, tock...
1438: We're into five minutes of stoppage time. Is there any late drama?
1437: Pepe Reina has gone down after trying to claim a ball into the Liverpool box. He lands awkwardly on his back, the Spaniard, but he should be OK.
1436: Great strength from Yakubu who holds off a challenge outside the Liverpool box and hammers in a left-foot shot that Pepe Reina tips over the crossbar.
1436: Two minutes left at Anfield. How much injury time, though? Still Liverpool 1-0 Everton.
1435: Stoke boss Tony Pulis makes four changes for his 300th match in charge, bringing in Andy Wilkinson, Liam Lawrence, Rory Delap and Ricardo Fuller. Thomas Sorensen retains his place in goal, with deadline day signing Asmir Begovic on the bench. There's only one switch from Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce with Franco Di Santo replacing El-Hadji Diouf.
1434: Manchester United make three changes as they aim for a win that will take them top of the table, bringing in Gary Neville, Antonio Valencia and Dimitar Berbatov for Rafael Da Silva, Ji-Sung Park and Paul Scholes. Bottom club Portsmouth make five changes, with Anthony Vanden Borre, Ricardo Rocha, Danny Webber, Richard Hughes and Hayden Mullins replacing Steve Finnan, Hassan Yebda, Angelos Basinas, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Aruna Dindane.
1433: Alan Hutton, on loan from Tottenham, makes his Sunderland debut, replacing the injured John Mensah at right-back, while young midfielder Jordan Henderson replaces Steed Malbranque and Benjani is on the bench. Wigan's subs include new boys Victor Moses and Marcelo Moreno.
1432: Can't believe it's taken so long to whack this graphic out (hopefully it's the handbags one, right?). Steven Gerrard goes in hard on Steven Pienaar and then they all get involved. Gerrard is booked, as is Victor Anichebe for his part in the ensuing melee.
1430: Liverpool clear an Everton corner thanks to a solid punch from Pepe Reina. Reds fans - dare you look at our 'as it stands' league table? Win and you go fourth. Crisis? What crisis?
1429: Everton have been so disappointing since the sending off. In the second half I'm not even sure they've had a shot on goal. UK users - refresh if you want to watch Final Score at the top of this page. Or if you just like refreshing. I'm not here to judge.
1415: Manchester United v Portsmouth line-ups: Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Brown, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Park, Fabio Da Silva, Gibson, De Laet, Diouf. Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Rocha, Wilson, Ben-Haim, Webber, Hughes, Mullins, O'Hara, Belhadj, Piquionne. Subs: Ashdown, Owusu-Abeyie, Finnan, Boateng, Dindane, Yebda, Basinas. Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)
1414: Halfway through the second half and it's Liverpool 1-0 Everton.
1413: I think the graphics are in order now, it only took me 10 minutes to figure it out. Refresh if you want to see how it should look. Good job there aren't six games kicking off at 1500 GMT...
1411: Liverpool send Ryan Babel on for David Ngog. Meanwhile, Wayne Bridge starts for Manchester City today, with Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieria on the bench.
1409: Everton haven't got their heads round this one-man advantage at all - they were playing far better when it was 11 v 11. Liverpool, on the other hand, have stepped it up a notch. They're the better team right now.
1407: OK everyone calm down. There hasn't been another red card, it was an accident. It was just a goal, that's all.
1403: Everton defender Johnny Heitinga is the next man into the notebook for a foul on Maxi Rodriguez. Steven Gerrard curls the resulting 30-yard set-piece into the arms of Tim Howard.
Liverpool goal: How often do we say this - the 10 men take the lead. Steven Gerrard whips in a devilish corner from the left and Dirk Kuyt does exceptionally well to hold off two defenders and Tim Howard and head in his 50th Reds goal from five yards. Howard should have done better, really, but what a response from the hosts.
1402: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Everton
1400: Good strength from David Ngog to beat Sylvain Distin to a long punt downfield and get a shot in, but the Everton defender stands his ground and gets in a decent block.
1357: Good news for Everton - Marouane Fellaini has not broken his leg.
1354: The ball bounces kindly for Tim Cahill but then won't settle for the Australian, who hits a right-foot shot at Pepe Reina from 14 yards.
1352: Only a top-class fool would predict what's going to happen in the next 45 minutes as we get back under way at Anfield. Er... 1-1 and two more red cards.
1350: Ah, the calm after the storm. It's Football League Danny: "After
last night's resounding win for Championship leaders Newcastle,
attention switches to West Brom and Nottingham Forest who are increasingly looking the best bets for runners-up. Forest host Sheffield Wednesday, while the Baggies are at Plymouth. In League One, leaders Norwich face a tantalising trip to play-off hopefuls Millwall, while Leeds are at Hartlepool. And in League Two, Crewe are the latest team to face unstoppable footballing machine Rochdale. Meanwhile, in today's early kick-off it's Swansea 1-0 Preston thanks to David Cotterill."
1346: Here's what I reckon, anyway (having had the benefit of 746 replays): Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Sotiros Kyrgiakos should all have been sent off in the first half. I'm not biased (perish the thought), I just think all three challenges were shockers.
From Adrian in Nairobi, Kenya, via text to +44 7786200666: "Can't believe Fellaini wasn't sent off for that poor challenge. I'm a neutral but surely that was a red card."
1340: Word from BBC Radio 5 live is that both Sotiros Kyrgiakos and Marouane Fellaini are still having treatment in their respective dressing-rooms. Let's hope neither of them is seriously hurt.
BBC Radio 5 live legend Jimmy Armfield: "Liverpool have had the two best chances of the half but the big talking point is the sending off and I don't think we've heard the last of that somehow."
1335: Half-time Liverpool 0-0 Everton There's plenty of juice left in this one, no danger about that. Martin Atkinson blows his whistle and there will be a fair bit of attention for the whistler's first-half display.
1334: Great chance for Tim Cahill - and with his head, too. Landon Donovan's cross is headed across the six-yard box by Javier Mascherano, trying to clear from Steven Pienaar, and it falls to Cahill six yards out, but he Keith Houchen's it just over.
1331: Brilliant from the Reds captain as Steven Gerrard curls a cracker up and over the wall only to see it clip the top of Tim Howard's crossbar. Into four minutes of added time.
1330: So Jamie Carragher is now playing at centre-back, Javier Mascherano right-back and Dirk Kuyt in midfield. Steven Gerrard wins a free-kick 25 yards out after tumbling under a challenge from Tim Cahill. Great chance this...
1329: Couple of minutes left until half-time and it's still Liverpool 0-0 Everton. It's not boring, though. Oh no.
From optajoe on Twitter:
"Martin Atkinson has shown his first red card of the season in the Premier League in his 20th game in charge. Lenient."
1326: Everton might be lucky to be able to bring someone on, but what a player they have just sent on for Marouane Fellaini, who has been stretchered down the tunnel - Mikel Arteta.
1325: To a chorus of cheers from the Anfield crowd, Marouane Fellaini tries to hobble back on but almost falls to the floor. He can barely walk and he'll be replaced soon, I'd wager.
1322: More sendings off than any other fixture in Premier League history, remember - now up to 18. Might be more by the end of the afternoon, too. Marouane Fellaini is being strapped up on the touchline.
1321: The Greek and Marouane Fellaini did go in hard on each other, there's no doubt about that. On first look it seems like Fellaini might stamp on Kyrgiakos, but the Greek did go in two-footed on Fellaini too. Fellaini is stretchered off, for the moment, without even a caution. Hmm.
1320: SENDING OFF (Sotiros Kyrgiakos, Liverpool)
1318: Leon Osman steals possession in the middle of the pitch and threads a ball through to Louis Saha, but Pepe Reina is alert and races off his line to clear the danger. Top drawer goalkeeping.
1317: Liverpool counter well and the ball breaks to David Ngog, but the Frenchman's first touch isn't great and he diverts it wide from 20 yards with his second.
1316: Now it's Jamie Carragher who goes into the book for a late challenge on Steven Pienaar. Touch of retribution? It's lively, make no mistake.
1315: Every challenge coming under the microscope now and Steven Pienaar is a bit naughty with his challenge on Javier Mascherano, the South African picking up a yellow card.
1313: Steven Gerrard tries to summon up his genius from derby days of yore with a 30-yard piledriver, but it takes a deflection and he has to settle for a corner, which comes to nothing.
1312: It's still Liverpool 0-0 Everton, by the way.
From Gallacticos87 on Twitter:
"Following the live text instead of studying for my ultra-important law exam in an hour! C'mon you Blues! Any advice Stevo???" Yep - enjoy the game, and pass your exam.
1309: Liverpool striker David Ngog looks like he is in trouble after a challenge with Leighton Baines by the touchline. The Frenchman has a bit of treatment but is fine to carry on.
1307: ... Leighton Baines curls it goalwards with that cultured left foot of his and Pepe Reina pushes it over his crossbar. Made goalkeeping look simple there.
1306: First booking of the afternoon and it's Dutchman Dirk Kuyt who is into the book for a cynical trip on Landon Donovan 25 yards from the Liverpool goal. Free-kick coming right up...
From SpUrS4EuRoPeJoL4EvA on 606:
"Mascherano reminds me a bit of Palacios, from time to time you see him going for a 'challenge' and you just know it's going to be a bad one even when he's 10 yards away from the player."
1259: Liverpool win a corner down their right and it's only half-cleared to Daniel Agger 14 yards out, the defender hammering a right-foot shot a few yards over. The sun's come out at Anfield.
1257: Javier Mascherano, a man who was born for these games, is late on Marouane Fellaini and ref Martin Atkinson has a little word with the Argentine. Another one and he'll be booked.
1255: The ball drops to Tim Cahill 25 yards from the Liverpool goal but he has to shoot in a hurry and his right-foot volley sails miles away from the target.
BBC Radio 5 live legend Jimmy Armfield: "Everton have looked better balanced in recent weeks since they put Marouane Fellaini in that midfield holding role and Landon Donovan came in - the American has fitted in ever so well so far."
From janniky on Twitter:
"Tim Cahill is one of the best players outside the top four in the Prem and I think he'd cut it in any squad."
1249: Leighton Baines swings a corner into the Liverpool six-yard box and after it is headed up into the air, Pepe Reina misses his punch - but referee Martin Atkinson gives the keeper a free-kick. Moments later, Phil Neville cynically brings down Steven Gerrard on the left-hand side of the box and the Reds captain hits a fizzing free-kick that is punched away by Tim Howard.
1247: An early doors derby day warning there from Jamie Carragher as he clatters into Steven Pienaar with only seconds on the clock. Bit surprised he didn't get booked for that.
1246: Under way in the 213th Merseyside derby.
Everton manager David Moyes: "It's difficult to enjoy the game, but afterwards you do appreciate what you've been through and having the chance to manage in a game of this magnitude."
1242: The teams emerge from the famous old tunnel at Anfield and we're a couple of minutes away from kick-off.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez: "We want to win, that's all. The atmosphere is amazing, it's a really good day for both teams. Form isn't the most important thing, it's about passion and keeping cool and trying to do the right things."
From Steve, Plaistow, via text on 81111: "Some interesting debuts in prospect today... Benjani, Gudjohnsen, McCarthy/Mido, Wilshere... Not to mention that young starlet Vieira. My pick for the biggest impact - Wigan's Victor Moses at the Stadium of Light!"
1238: Hmm, Samfiske, below. A word of warning to Everton fans - there were plenty of Forest supporters who had never been so confident of winning at Derby going into last weekend's match,
only for the Reds to get done 1-0.
These games; they are a law unto themselves.
From samfiske on 606:
"I'm a Man Utd fan living in Liverpool (don't ask) and I can tell you, I don't think Everton fans have ever been more confident of beating Liverpool at Anfield."
1230: Stevo's Predos: Liverpool 2-1 Everton Bolton 2-0 Fulham Burnley 1-1 West Ham Hull City 1-2 Man City Man Utd 4-0 Portsmouth Stoke 1-0 Blackburn Sunderland 1-1 Wigan Tottenham 3-2 Aston Villa Lawro's Premier League predictions
1228: Might be lively at Anfield this lunchtime for the 213th Merseyside derby. There have been 17 red cards in this fixture since the dawn of the Premier League, more than any other pairing - including eight in the last 10. I don't have a red mist graphic. Grr...
From Jackson, via text on 81111: "I'm sat in Manchester airport. My flight is due to leave at 1245 GMT to Cyprus, the same time the mighty Blues kick-off against the Reds! Good news though, flight is delayed so I can catch the first half! Come on you Blues - 2-1 to us!"
From Farslayer on 606:
"These are the toughest matches to predict for a long time. Manchester United will beat Portsmouth. The other matches will be close! This will be a great afternoon for the neutral."
1218: By the way, UK users - if you manually refresh this page you'll be able to watch Football Focus at the top. Wonder what they're talking about right now...
1213: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez makes three changes for the visit of Everton, with Daniel Agger, Lucas and Maxi Rodriguez restored to the starting line-up - but there is no place for Fabio Aurelio (calf). Just the one change for Everton counterpart David Moyes, with Sylvain Distin preferred to Philippe Senderos in the centre of defence, as the Toffees look to end a winless streak at Anfield stretching back to 1999.
1210: I know there's plenty going on in our sport off the pitch right now, but wouldn't it be great if the headlines this weekend were made by events on the football field? I might be living in a dream world, but let's try to make it happen. You, the people, can lead the revolution, and here's how: Text me up at 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide) Hit me Tweet-style @Stevo_football Pop into to 606 and banter yourselves right up
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