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By Jonathan Stevenson
2220: (See 1845 GMT) And with that, the doom and gloom was banished. Thanks for hanging around, hope you enjoyed the evening as much as I did. Check out the midweek goals on Match of the Day on BBC One and online at 2245 GMT, and join Cheesy as the FA Cup returns on Saturday. I'll see you on Tuesday, for David Beckham Day. Bye.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill: "I thought we could maybe take advantage but we were a bit tired in the second half and we didn't create enough to cause them undue worry. But they haven't been gallivanting around Europe winning Champions Leagues and titles without being a top side. But I thought it was a red card, when you go in two-footed nowadays there is a decent chance the referee will show a red card."
From iGooner on 606:
"Stevo, can you ask optajoe to do a stat check and find out where United would be in the table without all the own goals that have gone in their favour this season?" Optajoe - if you're reading, do the business
2212: No-one says it, Mick - but you might want to pick your first XI to have a better chance every time, that's all. Two of Wolves' next three games are against Chelsea and Man United, so that is a critical three points for them tonight.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "Teamwork was the key, the lads worked hard and deserved that victory. David Jones is a Premier League player and he proved that tonight. It's been proved throughout the season you can get points off the big boys. Who's to say we can't get points off Chelsea and Man Utd."
From Marco, via text to 81111: "You beauty!! Arsenal back in the race. That's one for all the Wenger doubters. Maybe they can start getting behind their team now. Come on you Gunners."
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp: "It's our worst performance of the season. We had loads of the ball but never threatened enough to score. We've had a lot of games and I decided to change one or two around tonight. They worked hard and got after us and we never got to grips with that tonight so fair play to them."
West Ham goalscorer Carlton Cole: "We're so pleased to get the result for the fans, chairman, manager and players. We really battled out there. I've got a good record at home so I'm very pleased to get on the score sheet and still be the top goalscorer at the club!"
2203: Great nights too for West Ham, who move up to 14th courtesy of their win over Birmingham, Blackburn, who go 11th after edging past Hull and Wolves, who climb out of the drop zone to 15th thanks to a 1-0 win over Spurs.
From optajoe on Twitter:
"Louis Saha has now scored seven goals vs Chelsea in the PL, more than against any other club. Hotshot."
2158: What a thrilling night of football and it ends with a triumphant David Moyes marching on to the pitch at Everton and pumping his arms in jubilation, before applauding all four corners of the ground. Chelsea still lead in the Premier League, but it's a good night for Arsenal - are they back in the race?
2156: Full-time Everton 2-1 Chelsea
2154: Didier Drogba volleys into the crowd and that's the biggest cheer of the night at Goodison Park. David Moyes brings Philippe Senderos on for Louis Saha, who gets a deserved standing ovation.
2154: Seconds left at Goodison. Everton 2-1 Chelsea.
2153: Full-time Blackburn 1-0 Hull City
2152: Everton have won a corner and they try to keep it out of harms way.
From Pickles91 on 606:
"Arsenal have had an unbelievable night if Everton hang on. Not much else they can do."
2150: We are into stoppage time at Everton now and we're due to have about five minutes of it. Cue boos around Goodison Park.
2148: All Chelsea, still. A Branislav Ivanovic cross is deflected behind, but Everton, who are defending so deeply, get it clear. By the way, apologies for 2138 if you were offended - if you refresh, it's gone.
From Sam, Telford, via text to 81111: "This week was make or break for Liverpool's pathetic season... Bad start. Lacking up front without Fernando. City game twice as important now."
2144: Salomon Kalou's shot is deflected behind for a Chelsea corner. The visitors are throwing everything at Everton.
2142: It's all kicking off at Arsenal, where Liverpool think they should have had another free-kick or a penalty as Steven Gerrard's last-gasp free-kick appeared to strike the arm of Cesc Fabregas. It was outside the box, but did hit the Spaniard's arm. At Everton, Frank Lampard's low shot is pushed away by Tim Howard.
2141: Full-time Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool
2141: Steven Gerrard's shot hits the Arsenal wall, who probably weren't 10 yards away.
2140: Liverpool have a free-kick, 25 yards out...
2139: Full-time Wolves 1-0 Tottenham
2139: Full-time Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United
2138: Ready for some serious Chelsea pressure? Everton are as Didier Drogba fairly leathers a headers against the Toffees' crossbar from fully 14 yards. Jeez, that was harder than most people can kick it.
2137: Full-time West Ham 2-0 Birmingham
Everton goal: Title race: wide open. A long, long, long ball is misjudged by John Terry and Louis Saha is brutal in taking advantage. He controls it perfectly and lashes a left-foot shot goalwards that seems to go through Petr Cech's hands and into the far corner.
2135: GOAL Everton 2-1 Chelsea
2134: Just into four minutes of added time in Villa 1-1 Man Utd.
From JamesLeach on Twitter:
"Is it a coincidence that Everton's resurgence has coincided with Landon Donovan's arrival?" No, no it isn't. He's very good, isn't he?
2132: Ryan Babel unleashes a right-foot piledriver from 25 yards for Liverpool, but Arsenal's under-fire keeper Manuel Almunia pulls off a top-drawer save, tipping on to his crossbar and behind for a corner.
2131: West Ham are looking comfortable as they lead Birmingham 2-0, while at Villa, Gabby Agbonlahor heads over.
2129: Hull keeper Boaz Myhill makes a fine reflex save to keep out Gael Givet's close-range header at Blackburn, deflecting the ball on to the crossbar.
2126: Spurs have not had a single shot on target in the second half. They are still 1-0 down at Wolves and that's a fairly damning indictment of their top four hopes.
From Graham, Devon, via text to 81111: "How good is it to have Carlton back! He gives us so much more threat all round."
2123: Liverpool bring Ryan Babel on for Lucas.
2122: Everton are on top against Chelsea, who are looking uncharacteristically shaky at the back. None more so than John Terry.
2119: Brilliant effort from the wonderful Wayne Rooney, but his dipping 25-yard right-foot shot is tipped over by an alert Brad Friedel. It's all Man United - don't forget they are playing with 10 men, too.
2119: Ryan Giggs is off and Dimitar Berbatov on for Man United. Spurs have made their third change, with Luka Modric on for Niko Kranjcar.
Arsenal goal: Arsene Wenger's off the bench - what a massive goal that is for the Gunners. It's fairly simple, too, as Tomas Rosicky swings over a cross from the right and Abou Diaby rises high to crash a header into the Liverpool net.
2117: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool
2117: Ashley Cole's evening is over as he limps down the tunnel at Goodison after a challenge with US forward Landon Donovan.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Villa Park: "Stalemate here and a shortage of clear openings, but just one or two signs that Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is starting to exert his quality. Aston Villa are not putting United under enough pressure - and presumably the introduction of the giant figure of John Carew is designed to remedy that."
From prthecrazyone on Twitter:
"Players diving gives the entire club a bad name. Why does Bendtner do this to himself? Play like a Gunner, not like a fool."
2113: Andrey Arshavin has picked up a knock and he comes off, with Theo Walcott on for Arsenal. Still 0-0 between them and Liverpool.
West Ham goal: Massive, massive, massive. Julien Faubert goes on the overlap down the Hammers right and his cross into the six-yard box is bravely headed home by a diving Carlton Cole. Good cross, good finish.
2111: GOAL West Ham 2-0 Birmingham
2110: West Ham's Mido finds himself in plenty of space 25 yards out but hits a limp shot straight at Joe Hart. The Egyptian is promptly replaced by Ilan. At Everton, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov's mis-hit cross forces Petr Cech to tip over.
2109: Stiliyan Petrov limps off for Villa, with Steve Sidwell coming on, while Spurs send Peter Crouch on for Eidur Gudjohnsen. At Arsenal, Nicklas Bendtner is booked for diving in the Liverpool penalty area.
2107: Wayne Rooney speeds past James Collins on the left-hand side of the Villa box and slams a left-foot shot just over Brad Friedel's crossbar.
2105: Back under way at Everton 1-1 Chelsea.
2103: Under way at Blackburn 1-0 Hull City. Villa bring on John Carew for Fabian Delph.
From Jack, via text to 81111: "If Spurs lose this, it's six points dropped against Wolves. That's more or less the difference between us and Arsenal. Frustrating."
2102: Great feet from Villa's James Milner on the edge of the Man United area to create half a yard for a left-foot shot that Edwin van der Sar gets down well to save.
2101: Cracking start to the second half at Arsenal and this time Nicklas Bendtner's shot is half-saved by Pepe Reina, with the Reds defence mopping up to clear the danger. End-to-end.
2100: Jamie Carragher is taken off at Arsenal and walks straight down the tunnel. Must be injured. Philipp Degen comes on.
2058: Looks like Liverpool must take the lead as Steven Gerrard slides a beautiful pass in for David Ngog and he's through. Thomas Vermaelen decides against a tackle, thinking it too risky, but William Gallas gets in a magnificent block to avert the danger.
2057: Luis Valencia has a decent opening 12 yards out for Manchester United, but his right-foot shot flies over. Looks like it took a deflection, but goalkick given. United and their 10 men are on top.
2054: A poor mistake from Gael Clichy gifts possession to Liverpool and after Dirk Kuyt plays in Lucas, he drills a fierce right-foot shot just over the bar from 16 yards. Great hit, unlucky.
2051: Back under way at Arsenal-Liverpool as well.
2050: Back under way at Villa Park and Upton Park, as well as Molineux, where Spurs have brought on Wilson Palacios for Jermaine Jenas.
2049: Half-time Everton 1-1 Chelsea
2049: Half-time Blackburn 1-0 Hull City
2049: Manchester United bring Luis Valencia on for Paul Scholes.
2048: Well, well, well. Landon Donovan races into the Chelsea box again and he appears to be clipped in the area by Ricardo Carvalho. The Portuguese doesn't complain and Louis Saha steps up, slotting a penalty to Petr Cech's left - it's a great height for the Czech keeper and he pulls off a good save to keep Chelsea level.
2047: MISSED PENALTY (Louis Saha, Everton)
2047: PENALTY TO EVERTON
2046: Great chance for Everton as Landon Donovan superbly clips in Louis Saha, but his first touch is a bit heavy and Petr Cech saves his left-foot shot.
2045: Hull send on Seyi Olofinjana for Jan Venegoor of Hesselink.
2044: How did Blackburn not just score? El-Hadji Diouf's corner from the left flashes across the face of goal with two Rovers players failing to get the final touch. Uphill battle for Hull now.
2042: Hmm. It's a bit more controversial than Nani's anyway. George Boateng goes up for an aerial challenge with Morten Gamst Pedersen and comes off worse, needing some treatment. When he groggily gets up, he's shown a straight red card. I mean there was elbow involved, but if every one of them was a red, we'd end up with no players. Disappointing refereeing.
2041: SENDING OFF (George Boateng, Hull City)
2039: He said. Chelsea should be 2-1 up as Didier Drogba breaches the Everton offside trap and does really well to cut it back to Nicolas Anelka eight yards out, but the Frenchman could not adjust his feet and shot wide.
2038: Leon Osman is teed up by Tim Cahill on the edge of the Chelsea box and the midfielder slaps his right-foot shot a couple of yards wide. Everton are right in this one, make no mistake.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Villa Park: "Manchester United have looked very controlled since going down to 10 men while some of the early zip has gone out of Aston Villa's play. United are keeping possession in trademark style and there are one or two signs of frustration around Villa Park. Unfortunate for Villa that all their early momentum was curtailed by that James Collins own goal."
Everton goal: Back on level terms - and it won't surprise Chelsea fans to learn that goal came from a set-piece. Landon Donovan curls over an outswinging right-foot corner and Louis Saha nips across John Terry to flash a header into Petr Cech's net. Goodison erupts.
2035: GOAL Everton 1-1 Chelsea
2035: Half-time Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool
2033: Half-time Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United
2032: Half-time Wolves 1-0 Tottenham
2032: Half-time West Ham 1-0 Birmingham
West Ham goal: You won't find a more sweetly-taken free-kick anywhere this week, that's for sure. The Hammers cash in as Alessandro Diamanti swings his wand of a left foot at the ball and arcs it into the postage stamp top left-hand corner of Joe Hart's net. Gorgeous.
2031: GOAL West Ham 1-0 Birmingham
2031: Scott Parker is brought down by Scott Dann and this is a real chance for West Ham from 22 yards...
2029: Wayne Rooney chases on to a brilliant through ball from Ryan Giggs, but Villa keeper Brad Friedel races off his line to thwart the on-fire striker.
BBC Radio 5 live's Robbie Savage: "I think Manchester United are that good, they are that good in possession that you just would not know they had only 10 players on the pitch right now."
2025: Not the best game in the world at the Emirates, disappointingly. Liverpool look comfortable and they're enjoying a bit more of the ball at the moment. Arsenal's play in the final third has been poor once again.
Tim from Derby, via text to 81111: "Stevo, you failed to mention that Wolves goal breaks Motty's goal drought for his commentaries on Match of the Day!"
2022: They might only have 10 men, but Manchester United are still on the attack at Villa Park. First, Brad Friedel does well to tip over a rasping 20-yard drive from Michael Carrick and then Darren Fletcher's near-post flick goes narrowly over.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Villa Park: "Nani has shown signs of increasing maturity in recent weeks - but that was just like old times. It was a senseless two-footed lunge at Stilyan Petrov and an easy decision for referee Peter Walton. United assistant Mike Phelan was in animated dialogue with Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill in the technical area as Petrov lay injured. Let's hope he wasn't actually debating that one."
2020: Birmingham always seem a threat on the break at the other end and Cameron Jerome perhaps should do better with a shot dragged wide following a sweeping move.
Chelsea goal: Route one, pure and simple - but is anyone complaining? Petr Cech's goalkick is flicked on by Didier Drogba to Florent Malouda and the Frenchman lashes left-footed into the corner from 12 yards.
2019: GOAL Everton 0-1 Chelsea
Rovers goal: Blackburn's home record is top drawer and they lead once more. Martin Olsson marauds down the left-hand side and forges his way into the area, almost getting to the byeline - he slams it left-footed across the goalline and in trying to save it, Boaz Myhill diverts it into his own net.
2014: Arsenal have the best chance of the game so far as Andrey Arshavin works the ball through to Nicklas Bendtner and the Dane races into the box before slicing a shot over the bar.
2014: You wonder what goes through a footballer's mind sometimes. Nani goes in two footed, both feet off the floor, on Stiliyan Petrov. He wins the ball, but that's not really the issue - the Portuguese is shown a straight red card and his evening is over.
2014: SENDING OFF (Nani, Manchester United)
Wolves goal: What a boost that is for the hosts. David Jones plays the ball out to the Wolves left for Matt Jarvis, and his right-foot cross is met on the volley by Jones, slotting into the corner past Heurelho Gomes.
2012: GOAL Wolves 1-0 Tottenham
2010: Blackburn have started brightly against Hull and just provided Boaz Myhill with his first test of the night, Morten Gamst Pedersen clipping in a free-kick for Ryan Nelsen, whose firm header brought an athletic save from the Tigers keeper.
2009: Alessandro Diamanti fires in a left-foot shot at West Ham that Joe Hart has to be alert to parry over his crossbar.
2007: Spurs fashion the first real opening at Molineux, and central to it is Eidur Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic forward threads a fantastic pass to Jermain Defoe, whose flick finds Niko Krancjar through on goal but his shot from 12 yards is saved by Marcus Hahnemann.
United goal: Well that didn't take too long. United move through the gears and Nani's cross from the right is volleyed back across goal by Ryan Giggs, hitting the right knee of James Collins and flying past Brad Friedel. That's Man United's 10th own goal of the season.
2007: GOAL Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United
Villa goal: There's your first of the night, then. Stewart Downing cuts back on to his left foot down the Villa right and swings over yet another dangerous cross. It bounces awkwardly and Rafael just gets there before Richard Dunne, but the ball loops into the air and Carlos Cuellar heads it beautifully into the top corner from 10 yards.
2003: GOAL Aston Villa 1-0 Manchester United
2002: Under way now as Everton take on Chelsea at Goodison Park and Blackburn meet Hull at Ewood Park.
1958: Stewart Downing curls over a free-kick from the Villa right and Carlos Cuellar flicks a header just over the Manchester United crossbar.
1957: West Ham have been on top in recent moments, but James Tomkins' drive is saved by Birmingham goalkeeper Joe Hart.
1956: Adlene Guedioura has made a good start to his full Wolves debut against Spurs, snapping into tackles and showing a few neat touches in midfield. No real chances to speak of yet at Molineux as both teams feel each other out in the early stages.
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"Man Utd fans waving green and gold scarves chanting "Love United Hate Glazer" at Villa Park. Not going away this one."
1954: Chance for Arsenal, but a leaping William Gallas can only head Cesc Fabregas's free-kick over the Liverpool crossbar.
1953: Mido heads a half-chance wide for West Ham. It's pretty even so far there. At Villa, Nani hits a 25-yard free-kick goalwards and Brad Friedel parries it to safety.
1952: Good approach play from Gabby Agbonlahor at Villa, showing great strength to hold of Jonny Evans and tee up Stewart Downing 18 yards out towards the left, but his first-time shot flies miles wide.
From Oli the Gunner, via text to 81111: "Gerrard has been quiet for a while now. How long can that last?"
1948: And under way as Arsenal take on Liverpool. Remember, Blackburn v Hull and Everton v Chelsea are 2000 GMT kick-offs.
1946: Aww, lovely little chat between Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger ends with both having massive grins on their faces. We've started at Molineux, by the way.
1945: Under way at Villa Park and Upton Park.
1944: Teams are out and shaking hands at four of our grounds tonight, preparing to get started. It's got that big night feel, hasn't it?
From I Saw Pingu Fly Last Tuesday on 606:
"You have to feel sorry for Valencia. Nani shows up for three games in his three seasons at United and now he has the right-wing spot. But Valencia has been brilliant all season."
1939: Liverpool's Alberto Aquilani is ill. Thanks for caring.
1938:Blackburn v Hull:
Home banker, surely? Rovers have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League home games, while Hull are without a win in 17 away matches in the top flight. Blackburn, by the way, have conceded more fouls (377) and been caught offside more times (82) than any other Prem team this term.
1935: Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce makes three changes to the side battered by Stoke at the weekend, with Michel Salgado, Keith Andrews and El Hadji Diouf all handed a starting place. Hull counterpart Phil Brown unsurprisingly keeps faith with the same side that beat Manchester City last time out.
1933: West Ham hand a start to recent signing Mido with Benni McCarthy ruled out by the knee injury he suffered at Burnley on Saturday. Birmingham make three changes as they pick a different starting line-up for the first time in 13 league games. Kevin Phillips is rewarded for his two goals against Wolves with a starting place and Keith Fahey and Craig Gardner are also in the team.
1931:Wolves v Tottenham:
Spurs miss Aaron Lennon, that much is certain. In the five league games since he got injured, they've bagged only one win and scored a paltry three goals. Talking of shot-shy, the league's joint-lowest scorers are Wolves and Mick McCarthy's men have hit the target with only 37% of their shots this term, another league low.
From JustinTalbot85 on Twitter:
"Tonight will reaffirm the PL is unpredictable this season. Prepare for a night of shocks... Especially at Goodison & Villa Park."
1924: Everton make two changes from the team that lost against Liverpool, with Mikel Arteta making his first start of the season and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov also coming in, while the suspended Steven Pienaar and the injured Marouane Fellaini miss out. Chelsea make one change from the side that defeated Arsenal on Sunday, with Yuri Zhirkov in for Michael Ballack, who drops to the bench.
From paranoid Ed in Liverpool, via text to 81111: "Above all else, don't let Arshavin shoot."
From One Size Fitz Hall on 606:
"Massive game at Upton Park tonight, bookies have suspended betting on Zola to get the sack. I'm guessing a loss for West Ham and he is on his way out!"
1917: Wolves make one change, with midfielder Adlene Guedioura stepping up from the bench for his first start since joining the club, taking the place of Michael Mancienne. Tottenham give a first start to January signing Eidur Gudjohnsen, who comes in for Peter Crouch in attack. They also give a second debut to Younes Kaboul, who is likely to play at full-back in place of Vedran Corluka. Other changes from the 0-0 draw with Villa see Sebastien Bassong and Jermaine Jenas start in place of Ledley King and Wilson Palacios, while Niko Kranjcar comes in for fellow Croat Luka Modric in midfield.
1913: Arsenal make two changes to the team that started at Chelsea as Emmanuel Eboue comes for Bacary Sagna at right-back and Nicklas Bendtner - making his first start since October - replaces Theo Walcott to play alongside Andrey Arshavin in attack. There is one enforced change for Liverpool - Martin Skrtel deputising for the suspended Sotirios Krygiakos.
1911: Emile Heskey is ruled out for Aston Villa, meaning Gabby Agbonlahor is on his own up front, with Fabian Delph given a rare start in a five-man midfield. Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs return to the Manchester United starting line-up, with Dimitar Berbatov and Antonio Valencia dropping to the bench. Wes Brown and Jonny Evans are the Reds' centre-back pairing in the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
From MarcusTheo on Twitter:
"If Arsenal, Everton & Villa win, are the Gunners back in the title race?" That's a massive 'if'. But yeah, why not?
1908: West Ham v Birmingham line-ups: West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Diamanti, Parker, Kovac, Behrami, Mido, Cole. Subs: Stech, Ilan, Noble, Spector, Da Costa, Collison, Stanislas. Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Phillips, Jerome. Subs: Taylor, Larsson, McFadden, Michel, Parnaby, Vignal, Jervis. Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
1907: Arsenal v Liverpool line-ups: Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Rosicky, Walcott, Denilson, Traore, Campbell. Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Insua, Lucas, Mascherano, Kuyt, Gerrard, Maxi, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Riera, Aurelio, Babel, Spearing, Degen, Kelly. Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
Mo from the Emirates, via text to 81111: "Stevo, are you implying Motty is going to end his goal drought tonight?" I guess I am, yeah.
Is he the new Goal Repeller?
From mickybobmanutd on 606:
"Everton can win tonight - Chelsea struggle with well-directed crosses and set-pieces: all Everton do is cross and win set-pieces. Chelsea have a pretty slow midfield without Essien and Everton will surely be up for this one. Prediction - 2-0 Everton."
1902: Aston Villa v Manchester United line-ups: Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Luke Young, Petrov, Ashley Young, Milner, Delph, Downing, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Carew, Delfouneso, Davies, Salifou, Beye. Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Brown, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Rooney, Giggs. Subs: Foster, Neville, Owen, Berbatov, Park, Valencia, Gibson. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
1900: Stevo's Predos: Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool Aston Villa 0-1 Man United Blackburn 2-1 Hull Everton 1-2 Chelsea West Ham 1-1 Birmingham Wolves 1-2 Spurs Lawro's Premier League predictions
1852: You're damn right there is. It's not
All About The Benjamins,
and tonight will prove that fact. We've got six humdingers in the Premier League to look forward to, and look forward to them we will. On such nights are seasons made.
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