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Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Saturday, 20 February 2010

Saturday football as it happened



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

By Jonathan Stevenson

From JamieCutteridge on Twitter: "Will the last person out of Fratton Park tonight please turn the lights out?"

1935: I'm going to leave the last comment to someone else today, but before I go don't forget to watch Match of the Day at 2230 GMT on BBC One and online, with The Football League Show straight after at 2345 GMT. See you tomorrow, bright and early, for another festival of football. Have a good night - and sorry for our earlier problems once again.

From redboychris on 606: "I am so sorry. Play up Pompey, Pompey play up. If the worst does happen then hopefully you can reform, but you will never be forgotten."

Keith, Leeds, waiting for my Chinese, via text to 81111: "I can't believe you made me scroll all the way down the page just so you could be smug."

1928: I hope that doesn't turn out to be Portsmouth's last game at Fratton Park. Their fans deserve so much better than what they just witnessed.

Full time
1926: Full-time Portsmouth 1-2 Stoke City
A sickener. Pompey were the better team for long periods, but when you're bottom of the league you rarely get what you deserve. Has Salif Diao just relegated Portsmouth?

1923: Poor Avram Grant. Dejection does not even begin to describe the Pompey gaffer as that Stoke goal went in. You've got to feel sorry for him.

Stoke goal: Goals just do not get much more crushing than that - there will be some tears on the south coast tonight. Stoke break and Ricardo Fuller hares away down the right, cutting into the box and pulling it back for Salif Diao to slot into the roof of the net from four yards. Hammer blow.

1921: GOAL Portsmouth 1-2 Stoke City

1921: We're into four minutes of stoppage time. Now or never for Portsmouth - they need to find a hero from somewhere.

1920: Approaching injury time. Pompey just cannot find a way through.

1917: The tireless Jamie O'Hara swings in a left-foot shot from 25 yards that bounces one and flies into the arms of Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

1916: Portsmouth send on striker Danny Webber for right-back Steve Finnan. Here comes the urgency.

1914: Ricardo Fuller goes solo and hammers a right-foot shot just over the Pompey crossbar from 20 yards. I'd expect a bit more urgency from the home team if I were Avram Grant right now.

From RossMooring on Twitter: "Could it have been a second yellow for multiple offences? Everyone seems to forget that one."
Good point well made. Nothing more to add.

1912: Great atmosphere at Fratton Park, we've got about eight minutes left of normal time and it's still Portsmouth 1-1 Stoke City. The visitors, remember, are down to 10 men.

1911: See 1215 and 1252: Andres Iniesta has just put Barcelona 1-0 up at home against Racing Santander. Just reporting the facts, that's all...

1908: Steve Finnan's goalbound right-foot drive from 25 yards hits a Stoke defender and cannons away to safety. Have Portsmouth got enough belief to go on and win this game?

1906: Stoke take Tuncay off and send on Salif Diao. Protect what we've got, that's the message there.

1905: Tony Pulis took his gum out of his mouth, threw it away and waved his arms around in absolute fury when Andy Wilkinson was sent off. Looking at the replay, it's a shocking decision. As if Pulis wasn't furious enough about referees already, eh?

Red card
1903: SENDING OFF (Andy Wilkinson, Stoke)
Wilkinson tangles with Aruna Dindane and Portsmouth win another free-kick down their left. To the Stoke man's surprise, referee Mike Dean shows him a second yellow and he's off for an early bath. Tony Pulis is apoplectic, and probably justifiably so.

From Jim, London, via text to 81111: "Re Perry Groves: He also keeps talking about Papa Douba Biop. Have we signed a new player I don't know about?"
He's still a legend. Number one... is Perry Groves...

1859: Stoke are having more of it right now and Rory Delap's shot from the edge of the box is deflected wide by one of his team-mates. David James, grounded, didn't know where it was going.

Yellow card
1857: Andy Wilkinson has decided his only hope of staying with Pompey flier Quincy Owusu-Abeyie is to grab a load of his shirt. The Stoke full-back is booked, but Jamie O'Hara promptly wastes the resulting free-kick.

1856: Ricardo Fuller turns and slams a shot well over for Stoke, while Portsmouth send on John Utaka for Hassan Yebda.

1854: We've had 64 minutes at Fratton Park and it's still Portsmouth 1-1 Stoke. The hosts must, must get a winner if they are to have any hope of surviving. On the pitch, that is.

From Neveronfrontpage on 606: "I thought Portsmouth were certs to go down at the start of the year (along with Hull and Wigan) but darn it if I wouldn't mind seeing them sneak this. C'mon Pompey."

1849: Perry Groves is brilliant. On BBC Radio 5 live, he says a source close to the England camp has told him that if David James plays more of Pompey's games from now until the end of the season, he's got an "80% chance" of being Fabio Capello's number one at the World Cup. Great chat.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Perry Groves: "You can tell that Tony Pulis would have gone mad at the interval. They look a yard sharper, quicker since the restart - and Glenn Whelan and Dean Whitehead are doing a lot more closing down."

1845: A Pompey attack breaks down and Tuncay races through - when the Turk's run is halted, it breaks 20 yards out for Rory Delap to hammer in a right-foot shot that David James gets down well to his right to save.

1843: Jamie O'Hara's curling left-foot shot smacks into the enormous figure of Mamady Sidibe in the Stoke wall.

1842: Pompey have a free-kick 25 yards out - can they hit back immediately?

Stoke goal: Is that the sound of a bubble being burst? Horror goal to concede for the basement boys as Glenn Whelan knocks over a Stoke corner and Robert Huth rises unchallenged to head past David James. Horribly simple.

1840: GOAL Portsmouth 1-1 Stoke City

1840: Mark Wilson scuffs a clearance to Ricardo Fuller 10 yards out inside the Pompey box, but Hermann Hreidarsson is alert and gets in a timely block.

1837: Great start to the half as Hermann Hreidarsson bundles his way past about four challenges for Pompey and then Kanu tricks his way past a couple more as the hosts win a corner, which eventually comes to nothing.

1835: Back under way at Fratton Park as Portsmouth seek to move to within four points of Bolton and Burnley by beating Stoke. The hosts have sent on the unpredictable Kanu for goalscorer Ferderic Piquionne.

From give_utaka_90_mins on 606: "Owusu-Abeyie is going to guide us to Premier League survival and another FA Cup! Then go to Tottenham..."

1829: They might well be 2-0 up after the disallowed goal that should have stood early on, but it's a miracle Pompey are even ahead. They have the worst home record in the Premier League and have only bagged 11 points from 12 games at Fratton Park so far.

From tomwfootball on Twitter: "Owusu-Abeyie was a cunning signing by Avram Grant. Nothing like a courageous dribbler to get the fans on their feet."

From Sean, Australian in Cyprus, via text to +44 7786200666: "As a Liverpool fan I wish the Reds played with the same effort and tempo as Pompey."

Half time
1819: Half-time Portsmouth 1-0 Stoke City
You can't argue with that scoreline, unless you're just one of those people that likes arguing about everything. Pompey on top and deserve to be ahead. All hail the new king of the south coast (well, this part of it, anyway), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

1818: A cross comes in from the Stoke left and Tuncay gets his header from the penalty spot all wrong, nodding hopelessly off target from the penalty spot.

1816: About to enter a minute of injury time at the end of the first half at Fratton Park.

1813: Lovely stuff from the hosts. Jamie O'Hara is running the game from the middle of the park and after he switches it to the right, Steve Finnan plays a delightful one-two with Frederic Piquionne before the former Liverpool defender wins a corner. It comes to nothing, but it's a pleasure to watch at times.

1811: Stoke break and the ball ends up with Tuncay in the Pompey area on the left by the byeline. The Turk tricks his way past a defender and fires in a right-foot shot that David James parries and when Tuncay heads it back into the mixer, James catches confidently.

From rworsl on 606: "Quincy is a massive breath of fresh air in this squad. He has a nice mix of pace, vision and skill."

1808: The crowd are up for this and the Pompey players are massively up for this. They deserve immense credit for this performance so far, they are easily the better team.

Pompey goal: Have some of that, merchants of doom. Quincy Owusu-Abeyie helps turns promise into a cold, hard goal as he plays a one-two with Jamie O'Hara and slaps in a right-foot shot from 22 yards that Thomas Sorensen manages to parry away, but only out as far as Frederic Piquionne, who has reacted quickly and tucks past the diving keeper.

1806: GOAL Portsmouth 1-0 Stoke City

1803: Hey, here's some good news for Pompey fans - Quincy Owusu-Abeyie is pretty good. He is seeing off all the Stoke players for pace, turning on the turbo time and again to get Portsmouth breaking forward, but on this last occasion his pass to Aruna Dindane is cut out at the decisive moment.

1800: Hero. Here's Blackpool boss Ian Holloway after their 2-0 win over Reading: "I wrote the word ugly on the board at half-time and I wasn't talking about myself, although I could have been."

From manfrombelmonty on 606: "First game at Fratton Park this season that I haven't been able to hear that bell-ringing fella. I'm kinda worried about him, hope he hasn't gone into liquidation."

1756: Good build up of pressure from Portsmouth ends with Nadir Belhadj cutting in from the left and firing a right-foot shot a yard or two over the crossbar from the edge of the Stoke box.

1754: Here's how you can up the tempo: with texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (the world); on 606; and by sending me a tweet @Stevo_football.

1752: Heartbreaker for the hosts - the last thing you need when you're cast adrift at the bottom is a bad decision. But as Quincy Owusu-Abeyie superbly slotted a pass through to Frederic Piquionne, the flag - wrongly - went up. He finished it brilliantly, clipping over Thomas Sorensen and into the Stoke net, but it's disallowed. Pity.

1749: A ball into the Pompey box causes problems again and Mamady Sidibe hits a left-foot volley wide from 12 yards.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Perry Groves: "This is the way Stoke play - they impose themselves on you, make the game bitty and try and hit the boys at the front, Portsmouth have to try and get it down and play around them, but it's not easy to do, especially when you're lacking in confidence."

1745: It's not pretty, I'm afraid. There seems to be a willingness from both teams to get the ball down and play, but it's not quite happening for either of them yet. If it stays scrappy, you'd have to fancy Stoke. Not many teams out-scrap these boys.

1742: The ball is half-cleared by Portsmouth again after a ball comes in from the Stoke left but Glenn Whelan's right-foot volley flies miles over David James' bar.

Hull manager Phil Brown on the injury suffered by defender Anthony Gardner: "It's not the best - possibly a problem to his tibia and fibula. We'll assess in the next 24 hours."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "I've just had a right chew at the lads in the dressing-room because we've lost a game that we shouldn't have. We've let Chelsea off the hook today and that's what has annoyed me. We had them in that second half, we had them. We created chances, didn't take them, and then conceded a sloppy second goal that has killed us. Chelsea are the champions-elect and we've matched them in all departments today except putting the ball in the back of the net."

1736: Glenn Whelan curls over a free-kick from the Stoke left and Ryan Shawcross gets up in the box to power a header over the Pompey crossbar.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: "We've had a few great chances but we needed to take one. We rode our luck in the first 20 minutes but we just needed a goal which might have kick-started our season. We're on an awful run but we've got a few players coming back and if we keep playing like we did here, we will be fine."

1731: We're under way at Fratton Park as Portsmouth, eight points adrift of safety in the Premier League, take on Stoke, who sit pretty in the mid-table comfort zone of 11th.

From Ernigga on Twitter: "See 1710 - maybe you can donate that to Portsmouth?"

From SportsDeskLive on Twitter: "Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 55 PL matches against promoted clubs, since losing 2-1 at home against Charlton on April 21, 2001."

1722: If you're worried about Portsmouth, I suggest you don't read the piece in today's Guardian on the seemingly doomed south coast club. Then again, if you're jubilant that a financially mismanaged football club is finally going to get its comeuppance, you should fill your boots. I'm not here to judge, I leave that to far more respectable people than myself.

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti: "That is a big victory for us after the Manchester United result earlier in the day. It was a difficult game but we stayed focused, were ready to fight, and we got the three points we wanted. We now have 11 games to play and four points is a nice gap to have. But we must pay attention every game because nothing has been decided yet.

From west-ham4europe on 606: "Bimbi would have collected about 5 quid."
I rest my case.

From Bimbi, London town, via text to 81111: "Just won 50p from my grandpa... I said Everton, West Ham and Arsenal to win. He said they wouldn't. Get in there!"
Anyone know how much 50p would have won Bimbi on an accumulator?

1709: Football League Macca is so busy he's having to actually dictate to me. Oh, the shame of it: "Leeds grabbed a last-minute equaliser at home against Brighton to cut Norwich's lead at the top to three points. Burton won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 at Hereford with a 96th-minute winner, and Scunthorpe bagged a 95th-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 at home against Watford. In League One, Gillingham beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 thanks to a 92nd-minute Simeon Jackson strike." What drama!

1706: Portsmouth make three changes from the side that beat Southampton in the FA Cup last time out, bringing in Steve Finnan, Frederic Piquionne and Quincy Owusu-Abeyie for Hayden Mullins, John Utaka and Angelos Basinas. Stoke City also make three changes from their side that drew with Manchester City as Andy Wilkinson, Danny Collins and Tuncay replace Danny Higginbotham, Abdoulaye Faye and Liam Lawrence.

1703: Portsmouth v Stoke City line-ups:
James, Finnan, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Belhadj, Yebda, Diop, O'Hara, Dindane, Piquionne, Owusu-Abeyie.
Subs: Ashdown, Rocha, Mullins, Utaka, Webber, Kanu, Basinas.
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Sanli, Fuller, Sidibe.
Subs: Begovic, Lawrence, Beattie, Kitson, Pugh, Diao, Amdy Faye.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1700: Portsmouth v Stoke starts at 1730 GMT, remember, and we'll have line-ups and team news from Fratton Park very shortly.

From nadir94 on Twitter: "Southampton, we're going up, watch out for Rickie Lambert as the fifth striker on the plane to SA, been brilliant this season."

1656: Here's Football League Macca, with some home truths: "What a cruel, cruel sport this can be. L2 basement side Darlington had led 2-0 at home to Chesterfield but an own goal looks to have given the visitors a 3-2 win. Coventry have struck late to lead at Palace, Walsall edge Brentford 2-1 now and Bournemouth have grabbed a late leveller. Great late news for Watford fans as their 10-men have come from behind to lead Scunny 2-1. Rochdale and Newcastle have both added third goals to seal their wins."

1654: Full-time Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland

1653: Full-time West Ham 3-0 Hull City

Arsenal goal: Sunderland were putting some late pressure on the Gunners, but the home team break quickly and when Cesc Fabregas gets into the box on the right he is brought down in a tangle of legs with Fraizer Campbell. The Spaniard picks himself up, dusts himself down and coolly slots past Craig Gordon into the corner to wrap it up.

West Ham goal: That adds some gloss to the scoreline - Julien Faubert collects the ball outside the Hull box down the right, surges into the area and fires a right-foot shot towards the top corner past Boaz Myhill.

1651: GOAL Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland

1651: GOAL West Ham 3-0 Hull City


1650: Full-time Wolves 0-2 Chelsea

1649: Into stoppage time in the three Premier League games going on. Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland, Wolves 0-2 Chelsea and West Ham 2-0 Hull City.

1646: Chelsea captain John Terry clears off the line at Wolves after Jody Craddock challenged for a long throw into the Blues box with Petr Cech.

1645: Correction: Hull are down to nine, as they have indeed had Craig Fagan sent off already at West Ham. Thanks for the reminder.

1644: Bit scrappy at the Emirates, with Arsenal only leading Sunderland 1-0 going into the final stages. Can the Black Cats stage a late revival?

1643: Nervous, lower league fans? Here's Football League Macca: "What a minute for the League One title race. Brighton are in front at fortress Elland Road through Glenn Murray's penalty, while Norwich's 11-match winning run looks set to be ended as Southampton have gone 2-0 up through Lee Barnard's goal. QPR lead at home to Donmcaster again through Jay Simpson and MK Dons are running riot at home to Southend. That's if you can class 3-0 as running riot. Probably not."

1641: Hull's Anthony Gardner is in big trouble at West Ham after a challenge with Matthew Upson - he was having treatment for a long time and has now been stretchered off. Phil Brown had already made his three subs, so the Tigers are down to nine.

1638: Scores on the doors with about 10 minutes left: Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland; Wolves 0-2 Chelsea; West Ham 2-0 Hull City.

1637: Magical outside-of-the-right-foot pass from Joe Cole through to Nicolas Anelka, but he dallies and Ronald Zubar gets in decisively to boot the ball away.

1636: Is it wrong for me to want to hug Football League Macca? Here the great man is: "It's 10 men each between Derby and Swansea after Gorka Pintado joins Jay McEveley in the early bath (not literally). Cheer up Stevo, Forest have broken the deadlock through a Chris Cohen strike. They will go second with a victory as WBA play tomorrow. Blackpool extend their lead against Reading to 2-0 through Charlie Adam."

Chris, Milton Keynes, via text to 81111: "Lampard ill. Carva and Alex rested. Cole, Essien and Bosingwa injured. Wonder if we'll get fined for fielding a weakened team!"

1631: More Football League Macca: "Twenty five minutes to go and Swansea's Shefki Kuqi has broken the deadlock at Derby. It's 2-2 between Grimsby-Lincoln and Crewe-Northampton and 3-3 between Hereford-Burton - it was 3-1. Macclesfield lead at Bournemouth and Crewe have gone 3-1 up at home to Northampton. Colchester and Cheltenham also lead at Oldham and Morecambe respectively. Huddersfield have a second at Hartlepool. More to follow."

1629: West Ham have gone all showboat at Upton Park, with Alessandro Diamanti's outrageous shot FROM INSIDE HIS OWN HALF flicked behind by Hull keeper Boaz Myhill.

From The Kid from Fuenlabrada on 606: "Wow, Drogba. Man among boys, totally resurrected under Ancelotti. That goal wasn't even route 1, it was route 0.5."

1626: Emmanuel Eboue pulls the ball from the right at Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey's shot is deflected behind by a Sunderland defender, before Samir Nasri's shot is saved by Craig Gordon. I'm still reeling from being compared to Tiger Woods.

From BeatnikSteve on Twitter: "Stop apologising. Who are you? Tiger Woods?"

Chelsea goal: Here come the long ball accusations... Chelsea go route one and it's too good for Wolves. Petr Cech's monster punt forward catches Christophe Berra out and Didier Drogba takes a touch to go around Marcus Hahnemann before slotting into the empty net.

1624: GOAL Wolves 0-2 Chelsea

1622: Thomas Vermaelen's free-kick is punched away by Craig Gordon at Arsenal. At Wolves, Nicolas Anelka drags a shot off target from 20 yards. If the Frenchman nets, he will have scored at each of the current 20 Premier League grounds during his career.

1620: John Terry scuffs a clearance at Wolves and it falls for Kevin Foley, who sees his shot saved by Petr Cech before a follow-up shot is easily cleared away from danger by the Blues.

1619: Football League Macca: "Some mixed news for followers of struggling outfits out there. Darlo have a second at home to Chesterfield, while Grimsby lead Lincoln, but QPR have lost their lead as James Hayter has levelled for Doncaster. Swindon have extended their advantage over Carlisle, as have Hereford at home to Burton. Potentially massive result for Tranmere, by the way. They lead Leyton Orient and could be hauling themselves out of the drop zone. A potentially big goal in the Championship, where leaders Newcastle extend their lead through Kevin Nolan. That boy knows the way to goal."

Hammers goal: Yep, that should make the points safe for West Ham against the 10 men of Hull. Julien Faubert plays a wonderful curling pass from inside his own half in the right-back position, beautifully directed into the path of Carlton Cole, who times his run brilliantly and keeps his cool to clip a shot past Boaz Myhill. No more than they deserve.

1617: GOAL West Ham 2-0 Hull City

1616: As you were at the Emirates, with Arsenal coming forward in waves and Sunderland doing their best to keep them at bay. They don't look like getting a leveller any time soon, the visitors.

1615: I want to apologise from the bottom of my heart for our absence over the last 50 minutes or so. I'm every bit as frustrated as you are. Thanks for sticking with us, we don't deserve you.

1613: Chance for Wolves. Adlene Guedioura's volley at the back post from Matt Jarvis's left-wing cross is heading goalwards until Petr Cech pulls off a fine reflex save to keep Chelsea ahead.

Red card
1611: SENDING OFF (Craig Fagan, Hull)
Unbelievably harsh. The Hull striker is dismissed for a second bookable offence, time one for an alleged tug back on Alessandro Diamanti. There was hardly any contact, but the Italian made the most of any there was.

1610: Football League Macca: "Shock o'clock could be on the cards at Carrow Road. Norwich, who have won 12 out of 15 at home this season, trail 1-0 to Southampton. Leeds are being held at home by lowly Brighton but Charlton are doing their automatic promo hopes a real boost by leading Yeovil 1-0. Promotion hopefuls Swindon, Huddersfield and MK Dons all lead but Millwall trail at Wycombe."

From Cheladian on 606: "It was Stevo who killed Archie and he is doing a runner."

1604: And back under way at Arsenal too.

1603: Back under way at Wolves and West Ham.

1600: Football League Macca: "It's looking like a potentially very good day for Newcastle, who are the only side in the Championship top six to be ahead. Blackpool could strengthen their play-off hopes as they lead Reading through DJ Campbell's goal. Leicester led through a Plymouth own goal but Craig Noone cancelled that out. Scunthorpe lead Watford at half-time courtesy of a goal three minutes before the break."

From TheBoyNash, via text to 81111: "Quality goal - brilliant one two from Zhirkov & Ballack to set up Drogba. C'mon Chelsea."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "We were well beaten, simple as that. I'm disappointed and the players are disappointed. They're human beings, they play for Manchester United and they don't like losing, but they've lost here."

From philmcnulty on Twitter: "Moyes says Donovan thought he had flu: 'I told him most players in England play with flu. They probably don't know what flu is in LA.'"

1548: Half-time Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland

1548: Half-time West Ham 1-0 Hull City

1547: Half-time Wolves 0-1 Chelsea

1546: On the stroke of half-time, West Ham keeper Rob Green pulls off a brilliant save, tipping the ball away from his top left-hand corner from George Boateng's sizzling 20-yard left-foot drive. Still Hammers 1-0 Hull.

1542: Unconvincing from Arsenal at the back again as a long ball from Lorik Cana is booted into Mikael Silvestre by Manuel Almunia. Nothing comes of the resulting corner, but they aren't learning.

Chelsea goal: Brilliant, brilliant goal. Yuri Zhirkov plays an audacious one-two with Michael Ballack, lifting the ball over to the German, collecting the rebound and slotting the ball along the six-yard box from the left for Didier Drogba to tap in from close range.

1540: GOAL Wolves 0-1 Chelsea

1539: Kieran Richardson slots a wonderful pass in between Thomas Vermaelen and Mikael Silvestre and as the French defender steps up, Kenwyne Jones is onside and clean through. But the striker misses badly, dragging his shot from the edge of the box badly wide. Golden chance.

1535: Sunderland's Lorik Cana goes in hard on Emmanuel Eboue and picks up a booking for his troubles. Eboue needs a bit of treatment and he hasn't yet come back on at the Emirates.

1532: Here's Football League Macca again: "Some welcome good news for QPR fans as they lead Doncaster through Antonio German. Darlo fans could do with a pick-up as well. Here goes: they lead Chesterfield through Tadgh Purcell. Elsewhere in League Two, Rochdale had got off to a flying start at home to Dag & Red, but their early goal was cancelled out by Josh Scott a minute later. Crewe lead Northampton and Hereford have just equalised against Burton, while Port Vale trail at home to Barnet."

1529: Hull are getting overrun at Upton Park, and they don't like it one bit. A few minutes after a brief outbreak of handbags between Guillermo Franco and Paul McShane, Craig Fagan has just been booked for a challenge on Scott Parker. Boaz Myhill is then called into action again, making another save to deny Valon Behrami. What a duel that is.

1528: Wolves half-clear a corner to the edge of their box, where Michael Ballack slams a volley a few yards over. It's mostly Wolves, though at Molineux.

Arsenal goal: It had been coming. Emmanuel Eboue collects the ball outside the Sunderland box, drives in and scuffs a shot towards the back post that evades Craig Gordon and falls perfectly for Nicklas Bendtner to tap in from two yards.

1526: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland

1525: Thomas Vermaelen heads a Cesc Fabregas free-kick wide as Arsenal continue to chase an opener. At West Ham, Boaz Myhill makes a decent save from Valon Behrami - the Hammers are still dominating there.

From I Saw Pingu Fly Last Tuesday on 606: "Come on, Wolves! They're destroying Chelsea at the moment. Brilliant stuff."

1522: Football League Macca, with a twist: "Surprise news coming your way from the Championship. First, at Hillsborough, where Roy Keane's Ipswich side have gone in front through Carlos Edwards. Even more surprisingly, at Cardiff, Barnsley lead the high-flying Bluebirds 2-0 through a Daniel Bogdanovic double."

1520: Half-chance for Fraizer Campbell at Arsenal, but he is crowded out and his effort is blocked before it gets to Manuel Almunia. At Wolves, Kevin Doyle's near-post snap-shot forces Petr Cech to parry behind.

1519: Emmanuel Eboue tries an ambitious volley at Arsenal with the ball dropping out of the sky, but he can only kick fresh air.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1518: Fabulous move from Arsenal, with Aaron Ramsey, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas all involved and the ball finds its way to Nicklas Bendtner 10 yards out, the Danish striker's shot deflected on to the top of the Sunderland crossbar by a sliding George McCartney, who is certainly having an interesting afternoon.

1516: A rare foray forward in these early exchanges for Wolves as Kevin Doyle tries to go it alone across the Chelsea box, his low shot easily held by Petr Cech. The visitors go straight up the other end, though, and only Joey Craddock's block denies Didier Drogba a goal-scoring chance.

1515: If Theo Walcott beats George McCartney again he gets to keep him. The flying winger chases on to a long ball, giving the defender a five-yard head start and racing past him, but from a narrow angle his shot is blocked by Craig Gordon.

1513: Arsenal nearly break the deadlock at the Emirates. They take a short corner down the right and Samir Nasri cuts into the area, the Frenchman's left-foot shot taking a wicked deflection off a Sunderland defender and flying inches over Craig Gordon's crossbar.

From Kopstar, via text to 81111: "I really hope West Ham stay up because Zola is a top guy. He never ever complains. True gent."

1510: Opening gambit from Football League Macca: "The goals are flowing in the Footy League as well. The first one has gone to the Championship's top dogs Newcastle and hot-shot Peter Lovenkrands was the scorer, putting them in front at home to Preston after 135 seconds. The Magpies can go six points clear today. In League Two, Lincoln lead fellow strugglers Grimsby through Chris Herd's fourth-minute goal."

1509: Chelsea are dominating possession at Wolves right now, but there hasn't been a goal threat as of yet at Molineux.

1506: A first half-chance for Arsenal - Aaron Ramsey knocks the ball long and Theo Walcott outpaces George McCartney before firing his shot across the face of goal from a difficult angle.

1505: It took the Hammers only 130 seconds to nudge ahead at Upton Park. It's that sort of weekend already, isn't it?

West Ham goal: What a start for the Hammers. Alessandro Diamanti had gone close early on with a free-kick, but they waste little time in taking the lead. Hull lose the ball inside their own half and Valon Behrami surges into the Hull box, playing an inadvertent one-two with Guillermo Franco before firing past Boaz Myhill.

1503: GOAL West Ham 1-0 Hull City

1501: And under way in the Wolves v Chelsea and West Ham v Hull City matches.

1500: We are under way at the Emirates as Arsenal take on Sunderland.

From alexeilh on Twitter: "Crazy. As long as they don't stumble like we all know they will, Arsenal could find themselves back in the title hunt. Mad!"

1455: Wolves v Chelsea: No brainer? On paper, perhaps, but then when was football ever played on paper? In their three Premier League match-ups to date, Chelsea have racked up 14 goals against Wolves, including a 4-0 stuffing at the Bridge in November. But Wolves won their last league game, while Chelsea lost theirs, so who knows?

1452: West Ham v Hull: The Tigers' only win in their last 11 visits to West Ham, stretching back 75 years, was a 2-1 triumph in the old Division Two in January 1990. Their recent away record is rubbish, too - no wins in the Prem since a 1-0 victory at Fulham last March. West Ham better hope they don't concede first - they've only rescued one point all season after going a goal behind.

From ghost_of_cygan on 606: "Imagine if Moyes had a transfer budget larger than just change he finds behind the sofa..."

Everton hero Dan Gosling: "It was a great team performance. We've been on a good run, and it's nice to get the three points. We're missing a couple of big players, but we've all come together this week, we had a good week training - and it showed today. The key to it was hard work, run more than them and go at them, because we're a good team at home and away."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Goodison is rocking again as Manchester United go the same way as Chelsea, Everton coming from behind once again to get a standing ovation. David Moyes' side have had a real impact on the title race and no-one can deny Everton deserved it as two youngsters Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell put the champions to the sword. Big blow for Sir Alex Ferguson but there can be no complaints today."

1442: Arsenal make six changes from the team that lost to Porto, with keeper Manuel Almunia returning after a finger injury to replace Lukasz Fabianski, who was so unconvincing in Portugal. The Gunners also revamp their defence, with Emmanuel Eboue and Mikael Silvestre in for Bacary Sagna and Sol Campbell, while Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Song all start. Sunderland are without key midfield trio Andy Reid, Steed Malbranque and Lee Cattermole through injury and suspension and are forced to play the fit-again Anton Ferdinand in an unfamiliar role in the middle of the park. John Mensah comes in for Matt Kilgallon in defence and the other players coming in are Fraizer Campbell and Kieran Richardson.

From Tarun, via text to 81111: "All that's left now is for Didier 'Prince of Darkness' Drogba to put this title battle to bed at Molineux."

Full time
1438: Full-time Everton 3-1 Manchester United
What a cracking start to the weekend's football, from an entertainment point of view at least. Everton thoroughly deserve their win - over to you, Chelsea.

1436: Darren Fletcher's cross from the right is into the arms of Tim Howard. Sir Alex Ferguson sits on the United bench with arms folded, looking like a man who is about to tear his players limb from beaten limb.

1435: We're into injury time, but no amount of it can save Manchester United today. Everton have simply been too strong for them.

Everton goal: Game over. Mikel Arteta finds Jack Rodwell just inside the United half and he powers forward, going past Jonny Evans, who has been poor today, and driving an excellent low shot from 15 yards into the far corner past a diving Edwin van der Sar. Magnificent stuff from Everton.

1433: GOAL Everton 3-1 Manchester United

1433: Arsenal v Sunderland line-ups:
Almunia, Eboue, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Walcott, Fabregas, Ramsey, Nasri, Bendtner.
Subs: Fabianski, Sagna, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Traore, Campbell.
Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Mensah, Turner, McCartney, Campbell, Cana, Ferdinand, Richardson, Bent, Jones.
Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Malbranque, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1431: Oooh. Wayne Rooney's 25-yard free-kick clips off the top of the Everton wall and whistles a fraction wide of Tim Howard's left-hand post. Everton send Jack Rodwell on for Steven Pienaar.

1430: Wolves are unchanged from the side that beat Tottenham in the last round of Premier League fixtures for the visit of title hopefuls Chelsea, who bring Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Paulo Ferreira into their side. John Terry will be partnered by Branislav Ivanovic in the centre of the visiting defence, with Ricardo Carvalho not risked because of injury. Frank Lampard is ill.

1429: Man United are putting some pressure on, but it's not the Alamo you might expect with less than five minutes of normal time left. They still trail Everton 2-1.

1428: West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola makes two changes to the side that claimed an encouraging win against Birmingham last time out. Jonathan Spector replaces injured left-back Herita Ilunga, while Guillermo Franco is included up front at the expense of Mido, who drops to the bench. Fellow strugglers Hull City make just the one change, with manager Phil Brown preferring Amr Zaki to Jozy Altidore in attack.

1426: Wolves v Chelsea line-ups:
Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Foley, Guedioura, Henry, David Jones, Jarvis, Doyle.
Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Halford, Vokes, Milijas, Mujangi Bia.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Zhirkov, Joe Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Hilario, Kalou, Sturridge, Matic, Bruma, Kakuta, Borini.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

From redforever on 606: "I prefer it when teams go 2-1 up against United in the 95th minute. They can win three games in the next 15 minutes."

1423: The boos reverberate around Goodison Park as Michael Owen comes on for Luis Valencia for Manchester United.

1422: Lovely stuff from Everton once more as Landon Donovan plays another super pass down the left to Steven Pienaar and he picks out Mikel Arteta 16 yards out, only for the Spaniard to totally mis-kick.

1421: We have 12 minutes left at Goodison Park. Can the champions get themselves back into this one?

Everton goal: What a time to score your second league goal of the season. Landon Donovan sends Steven Pienaar into space down the Everton left and his drag-back from the byeline evades a couple of United defenders for Dan Gosling to hold off the challenge of Patrice Evra and steer the ball past Edwin van der Sar from eight yards.

1419: GOAL Everton 2-1 Manchester United

1417: West Ham v Hull City line-ups:
West Ham:
Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac, Diamanti, Franco, Cole.
Subs: Stech, Ilan, Mido, Noble, Da Costa, Collison, Stanislas.
Hull: Myhill, McShane, Mouyokolo, Gardner, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng, Cairney, Hunt, Zaki, Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Subs: Duke, Barmby, Altidore, Garcia, Kilbane, Zayatte, Olofinjana.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1416: Half a chance for Everton there, but Dan Gosling cannot get enough on his header from Landon Donovan's clipped cross from the right and it drifts behind.

From Spenny, via text to 81111: "Standing outside Arsenal station wondering what has happened to London's weather today... there's a risk of this Aussie getting sunburnt!"

1413: Everton goalscorer Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is taken off by David Moyes, with Dan Gosling coming on in his place.

1411: He might not be able to defend any more, but my word Gary Neville can still fizz over a fabulous cross on a regular occasion. This one is a fraction away from being headed home by Darren Fletcher. Like the Euro 96 vintage Neville, that.

1409: Mikel Arteta is booked for a foul on Park. Manchester United make a double substitution, with Gabriel Obertan and Paul Scholes coming on for Dimitar Berbatov and Park.

1407: Can confirm that Manuel Almunia returns in goal for Arsenal this afternoon. Full line-ups and team news from the 1500 GMT kick-offs on the way.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "This is a game Manchester United will feel they have to win, so it might not be too much longer before they think about making a change. They might want to get Paul Scholes on."

1404: Had just over an hour at Goodison Park and it's still Everton 1-1 Man United.

From philmcnulty on Twitter: "Wayne Rooney is furious with his Man Utd colleagues for some carelessness. A bad sign for Everton if the San Siro is anything to go by."

1400: It's a bit more fractured this half. They are both giving it a good go still, but attacks are breaking down a little more easily than they did in the first half.

1358: United attack with gusto as Slyvain Distin fails to adequately clear and the move ends with Dimitar Berbatov glancing a header wide from Wayne Rooney's left-wing cross.

From Adzer2 on 606: "Osman has bossed the midfield for the majority of this game - from a United fan."

1354: Everton have started the second half the better of the two teams, but they nearly found themselves behind there as Wayne Rooney teed up Darren Fletcher to lash a yard wide from just outside the box.

1351: Just as well, because Leighton Baines curls it miles over and into the crowd.

1350: Darren Fletcher is booked for a foul on Leon Osman and Everton have a free-kick 25 yards out. I won't give it the big build-up, though.

Joe Devereux, via text to 81111: "Sat in the main stand with the chaplain of the club! Must be some Devine Inspiration as I'm still flabbergasted that Billy for once did something good! Great goal, good times!"

1348: Back under way at Goodison Park, as the camera pans round to Howard Kendall in the stand. Everton 1-1 Manchester United.

1345: I have a text from the mate who teed me up with Polly's Predos (see 1228 and 1230): "It was clearly beginners luck." Well, she lasted 19 minutes, which is longer than my predos usually do.

1343: A very, very warm welcome to today's proceedings to the one and only Football League Macca: "Alongside the top-flight action and reaction we'll be bringing you irregular updates from the Football League. Peterborough-Sheff Utd has been hit by the latest cold snap freezing the nation, but there are 32 other games to keep us busy. All of them kick off at 3pm, to the delight of us traditionalists." Amen to that.

From mrtim111 on Twitter: "Re 1240 - by looking at the live text, this will be their first points lost from a winning position."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton will end that 45 minutes very satisfied. As against Chelsea, they responded well to going behind and carved out a couple of real openings as the half progressed. They may lack physical stature in midfield, but if they can deny United possession and get their own gifted players on the ball they will approach the second half with real optimism."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "Good fightback from Everton and they will be the more comfortable team at the break, they've no reason to change anything at half-time. United can expect a bit of an ear-bashing, I reckon."

Half time
1332: Half-time Everton 1-1 Manchester United
Cracking half of football - I consider myself thoroughly entertained by those 45 minutes. It's anyone's, this, but you feel the next goal will be crucial.

1329: Man United are struggling a little here, with their defence vulnerable and the attack lacking the cohesion they were showing when they went into the lead. It's not exactly hairdryer territory, but Fergie will want to have a pretty strong word or two at the break. Still Everton 1-1 Man Utd.

From skillachi on 606: "Rooney has been awful."

It's sunny
1325: I neglected to mention that Goodison Park is currently bathed in glorious north-west sunshine. The summer starts here, folks, oh yes.

1323: What a chance for Landon Donovan. Leighton Baines whips over another fine cross from the left and it hits Wes Brown and bounces back into Donovan's path, but the American cannot sort his feet out and Edwin van der Sar gathers.

From Phil, on train to Wilmslow, via text to 81111: "Wes Brown, seriously out of his depth. Please get Vidic on quickly! 50p head Brown has to be moved on!"

1319: Wayne Rooney tries to break down United's left, but his touch lets him down once again. The booing home fans delight in his mis-control.

1318: It's still fast and furious at Goodison Park, but no clear-cut chances in the last couple of minutes. It's pretty even-steven at the moment.

From SportsDeskLive on Twitter: "Berbatov scored in his 18th different PL match for Man United. They are unbeaten in all previous 17 PL matches (16 wins, 1 draw)."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton desperately needed that swift response to Dimitar Berbatov's goal and what a strike by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. Everton's midfield contains plenty of nice footballers in the shape of Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar, but no ball-winner or physical presence. It means they had been making life too easy for United in possession, until that stunning equaliser."

1311: It's a stunning game of football. Dimitar Berbatov flicks a magical pass into the path of Wayne Rooney and when he rounds Tim Howard, it must be 2-1 United. But the striker's second touch is a fraction heavy and Phil Neville gets in superbly to shepherd the ball out of play.

1310: Brilliant stuff from Everton as Leighton Baines gets into a great position to hammer over a cross from the left and it falls for that man Diniyar Bilyaletdinov 10 yards out, this time the Russian spanking a volley over.

1309: Steven Pienaar's shot flies into the United wall. It's breathless at the moment.

1308: Free-kick to Everton, 25 yards out, for Luis Valencia's foul on Steven Pienaar. This is a chance, no doubt about it...

1307: That is a seriously good goal, and what a start to the weekend. Remember Roberto Carlos at Le Tournoi? Well it wasn't quite that good, but the swerve he got on it was sublime.

Everton goal: An absolute screamer. You seriously won't get a better goal all weekend. A long punt from the back is half-headed away by Jonny Evans and it falls to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, who takes a touch before rifling in a vicious, swerving left-foot shot that curls into the left-hand corner of Edwin van dar Sar's net with the Dutchman reduced to a mere spectator. Magnificent.

1304: GOAL Everton 1-1 Manchester United

United goal: He's closing in on own goals now, as United go in front in typically clinical fashion. Wayne Rooney sends a ball over to the right to Luis Valencia and his drilled cross into the box is expertly controlled and rifled in off the bar by Dimitar Berbatov. Fabulous finish from Bulgaria's record goalscorer.

1302: GOAL Everton 0-1 Manchester United

1259: Wayne Rooney appears to push John Heitinga in the Everton box as the Dutch defender tries to header a corner goalwards. Moments later, Louis Saha forces Edwin van der Sar to save low down to his left with a 20-yard shot. It's livening up.

1257: Chance. United carve Everton open down their right and Park picks out Dimitar Berbatov, whose ball into the box is slashed over left-footed by Darren Fletcher. Probably should have done better, the Scot.

1256: Wayne Rooney tumbles 25 yards out under a challenge from John Heitinga, but referee Howard Webb waves play on. United are upping the tempo after a slow start to the game.

From Ebrahim on 606: "Lovely touch in the tunnel before the game, the Neville brothers did not look at each other, let alone share a word."

1252: For those of you hammering me for including Andres Iniesta in my top five at 1215 GMT, don't forget what Wayne Rooney said at he sat in the United dressing room after the Champions League final in May: "We've just lost to a team run by the best player in the world." He was talking about Iniesta, who wasn't even near full fitness for the game.

1250: Nice. Leon Osman runs at the heart of the United defence, slaloming his way past a couple of challenges, but by the time he gets into the box he is off balance and drags a right-foot shot weakly wide.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton will provide a real test for Manchester United, having beaten leaders Chelsea in their last Premier League game. Sir Alex Ferguson always travels to Goodison Park with confidence, however, as history overwhelmingly favours the champions - although David Moyes' side can call on the memories of last season's FA Cup semi-final victory at Wembley."

1246: You won't believe this, but they've only gone and got under way at Goodison Park as Everton, led by Phil Neville, take on Manchester United, led by brother Gary.

Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "It's an old ground, a great atmosphere and Everton are a terrific team - we've got our work cut out. But we're here full of confidence, we couldn't come here at a better time really."

Everton boss David Moyes: "We don't want to whinge about the injuries, we want to get on with it and take our opportunity. Against Man United we've got to be aware of every player but Wayne Rooney is in really good form. The goals are changing how everyone's viewing him but he was a great player before that and it's difficult to do anything we haven't tried to do to stop him before."

1240: Everton v Man Utd: The odds, as usual, are firmly with United. Everton have won only one of their last 29 Premier League meetings with United, a 1-0 win thanks to a Duncan Ferguson winner in April 2005. Everton are unbeaten in their last six at home in the league, but be warned - United have not dropped a single point from a winning position this season. Fair to say the hosts need to score first, then.

1238: Everyone - but everyone - you speak to says the same thing. People nationwide are panicking every time he plays, every time he goes into a challenge. "If he gets injured before the World Cup..." they say, before breaking into a cold sweat and ordering another beer.

1236: Wayne Rooney, the English centre-forward feared by the world. It has got a nice ring to it, you must admit. Today, however, Rooney must forget about the praise he has been lavished with in recent times and prepare to enter the unforgiving bear pit of Goodison Park once more. Once a Blue, now forever a Red.

From Malchickles on Twitter: "My weekly 4-3 prediction goes to West Ham vs Hull this time, with West Ham emerging the victors. This has to work one day..."

From Chris, via text to 81111: "Just pulling out of Cardiff station. Let's have United top of the league by the time I get into Paddington, there's a good boy, Stevo."

1230: And so, for the first time ever anywhere in the world, I bring to you Polly Predos (though she is very selective, and two of the games are tomorrow, but let's run with it anyway):
Everton 0-2 Man United
Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland
Wolves 1-2 Chelsea
Man City 1-2 Liverpool
Blackburn 1-1 Bolton
Lawro's Premier League predictions

1228: Got a real treat for you today. Instead of Stevo's Predos, I'm donating the (usually wasted) space on this live text to someone who has a 100% record in the predictions department. A mate of mine was leaving work on Tuesday with a colleague, who claims to know absolutely nothing about football. Some of them were discussing what the score might be in the AC Milan-Man United game, and, out of nowhere, she piped up with 3-2 United. A legend was born...

From Matt_Utd_FC on 606: "Big statement of intent if Utd win this one, especially as Everton beat Chelsea last week. Utd a bit fortunate to be playing Everton without Fellaini and Cahill, but Utd's back four always give teams a chance! Should be a cracking game!"

1223: Hit me, and here's how: texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (the world); mix it up on 606; and whack us a tweet @Stevo_football. Aerospace engineering it ain't.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Goodison Park: "Everton have John Heitinga back after he was ineligible for the Europa League. He comes in for Joseph Yobo while Diniyar Bilyaletdinov replaces injured Tim Cahill. Gary Neville is back for Man Utd, who pair Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov up front. Nemanja Vidic also returns, but only on the bench despite Rio Ferdinand's suspension."

1218: Everton v Manchester United line-ups: Everton: Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Donovan, Osman, Arteta, Bilyaletdinov, Pienaar, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Yobo, Vaughan, Gosling, Yakubu, Rodwell, Coleman.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Brown, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Rooney, Berbatov.
Subs: Foster, Owen, Vidic, Scholes, Rafael Da Silva, Obertan, Gibson.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1215: There's no point beating around the bush - Wayne Rooney is currently one of the top five footballers on earth (in order: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Wayne Rooney). There, that should get them talking...

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 20 Feb 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 27 41 61
2 Man Utd 27 39 57
3 Arsenal 27 33 55
4 Man City 25 15 45
5 Liverpool 26 16 44
6 Tottenham 26 19 43
7 Aston Villa 25 13 42
8 Everton 26 1 38
9 Birmingham 25 -2 37
10 Fulham 26 2 34
11 Stoke 26 -3 34
12 Blackburn 26 -17 31
13 West Ham 26 -5 27
14 Sunderland 26 -12 26
15 Wigan 25 -23 25
16 Wolves 26 -23 24
17 Hull 27 -29 24
18 Bolton 25 -17 23
19 Burnley 25 -25 23
20 Portsmouth 26 -23 16

see also
Saturday's football photos
20 Feb 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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