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Page last updated at 19:42 GMT, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Saturday football as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1939: Is it me or does Paul Scholes make it sound like they meant to win 1-0 all along? Anyway, it's time for me to go. MOTD tonight on BBC One and online at 2230 GMT and repeated on BBC One and online at 0755 GMT tomorrow. I'll see ya tomorrow for the remaining FA Cup quarter-finals and a little bit of Everton-Hull.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes: "Scoring goals is what you need to do to win games, and thankfully today it fell to me. It's a good time to go top of the league, a 1-0 win is exactly what we need at this stage of the season."

1935: Speaking of Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson reckons the striker is a doubt for the Champions League second leg against AC Milan on Wednesday with his knee injury.

From JackFromMacc on Twitter: "What a dire game, missed Darren Fletcher as much as Wayne Rooney. Also, kudos to Macclesfield, 2-0 at Hereford. Big Keith would be proud."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson on the FA Cup draw with Spurs: "I thought it was the correct result. It was an exciting, fierce Cup tie played in the right spirit but I don't think Harry (Redknapp) or myself could complain about the result."

From Tim, Cardiff, via text: "No disrespect to Doyle, he's done great, but if Wolves had a real finisher they wouldn't even be in a relegation battle."

1925: Vokes' rush of blood to the head means Manchester United sit two points clear at the top of the Premier League, having played a game more than second-placed Chelsea, who are in FA Cup action against Stoke tomorrow. Arsenal are third on goal difference. Tottenham are a distant fourth, 12 points further back.

1924: Sam Vokes pulls his shirt over his head as the final whistle goes at Molineux. I don't blame him. From the look on Mick McCarthy's face, I'm not sure the Wolves manager has got many words of comfort for him at the moment.

1923: FULL-TIME Wolves 0-1 Man Utd

1920: I can't believe what I've just seen. Sam Vokes has a GLORIOUS chance to make himself a Wolves hero - but blazes over. Ronald Zubar's shot bobbles through for Vokes, who is unmarked right in front of goal and being played onside by Paul Scholes, but his shot flies over the bar and his look of absolute astonishment says it all.

1919: Encouragement for the Wolves fans as the fourth official holds up a board indicating there will be four minutes of added time at Molineux. United still leading 1-0.

Spurs striker Peter Crouch: "We go back to White Hart Lane full of confidence and this is probably a good result for us. Fulham are tough to break down and in the second half they came at us a bit, so we are pleased to still be in the hat and take them back home. I was very pleased with the England goals, but I am back at Spurs now and trying to get results for us."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Craven Cottage: "So stalemate at Craven Cottage. Fulham created the better chances but Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes was a reassuring presence. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will be the happier manager, but do not under-estimate his Fulham counterpart Roy Hodgson. He has done a superb job with this team and will still feel they can reach Wembley."

1915: Eric the Seagull informs me that Mame Diouf's only goal for United so far was a header. Looking at that earlier chance (see 1906), it was like he had never headed a ball before in his life.

1913: Fulham and Tottenham will go again on Wednesday 24 March. I imagine neither team wanted another game to clutter up their fixture list, but Spurs might be a tad happier to be going back to White Hart Lane.

1912: Antonio Valencia squares for Mame Diouf, but the ball just bounces off the substitute's foot. To be fair to him, I think he thought the defender in front would clear the ball.

1911: FULL-TIME Fulham 0-0 Tottenham

1910: We're about halfway through the three minutes of added time at Craven Cottage.

1908: Long free-kick pumped into the box by Fulham and Bobby Zamora flicks on a header. Vedran Corluka slices his clearance horribly but breathes a sigh of relief when the ball flies wide.

1906: Three minutes remaining at Craven Cottage. Defeat for either side would be a heartbreaker now. At Wolves, an unmarked Mame Diouf flings himself at a header and the ball flies miles over. From seeing that, I'm guessing heading is not his strong point.

Man Utd goal: Resistance is broken. Nani's ball in from the right comes off Christophe Berra and Paul Scholes is there to score his 100th Premier League goal, only the 19th player to reach that landmark. Victory would put United two points clear at the top.

1901: GOALFLASH Wolves 0-1 Man Utd (Scholes)

1900: Jermain Defoe, who Harry Redknapp said had tight hamstrings after playing 45 minutes for England on Wednesday, replaces Roman Pavlyuchenko for the last 10 minutes.

1857: As Jermain Defoe continues his shift on the Spurs bench, and Wayne Rooney relaxes at home, both of whom may not have been helped by playing on the Wembley stodge in midweek, I thought you might be interested to know that the pitch is going to be re-laid for the 10th time since the building of the new Wembley. The new pitch will be down by 28 March.

1854: The latest banner from the visiting fans at Molineux reads: "Debts The Road To Ruin". A fluorescent-jacketed steward is scurrying down the steps as I type so I don't expect it will be there for long.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Craven Cottage: "The performances of Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes are tributes to the skills and man management of Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp. They have reconstructed the confidence and game of both individuals, who have had their struggles, and it has showed here at Craven Cottage. Both sets of supporters really getting behind their teams in a much livelier second half. Redknapp must surely be tempted to introduce Jermain Defoe soon."

1851: Mame Diouf replaces Darron Gibson so Dimitar Berbatov will have some company up front. For Fulham, David Elm is on for Simon Davies and will support Bobby Zamora, with Zoltan Gera dropping back into midfield.

1850: Gareth Bale hurdles a challenge on the left and crosses into the box for Spurs. Luka Modric is on the end of it though, and that's not ideal if you're a Spurs fan. The little Croat is crowded out.

1847: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic hacks down Adlene Guedioura just outside the box. Free-kick for Wolves, but David Jones smacks his effort straight into the wall.

1844: Peter Crouch flicks a header on for Roman Pavlyuchenko, but the Russian's overhead kick flies harmlessly over.

1842: Darron Gibson finds Patrice Evra bursting into the box. The left-back's shot comes off Jody Craddock so it's a fine save from Marcus Hahnemann, with Kevin Foley completing the clearance.

1839: Referee Mark Clattenburg runs straight into Niko Kranjcar, both of them ending up on the turf. "Wahay," comes the predictable cry from the crowd.

1838: Benoit Assou-Ekotto tries a trick in his own box and almost pays the price. Zoltan Gera wins the ball back and sets up Damien Duff, who shoots wide. The Fulham fans have responded at Craven Cottage and the atmosphere is now sizzling.

1837: Dimitar Berbatov's shot is blocked by Christophe Berra, while at Fulham, Michael Dawson volleys wide with his left foot from a corner. Decent little spell of pressure from Tottenham, and their fans are making all the noise.

1834: And they're back up and running at Molineux where Wolves are holding Manchester United.

1831: Peter Crouch is screaming for handball against Brede Hangeland after the pair go up for an aerial challenge. Nothing given - but it definitely appeared to hit his arm. Replays show it was actually Dickson Etuhu who won that header a few moments ago. Sorry everyone.

1830: Gary Neville on for Wes Brown for Manchester United. Does that count as the cavalry?

1829: Brede Hangeland wanders into the box as if he's hoping no-one will notice. It's Dickson Etuhu who wins the header from the corner but again it's easy for Heurelho Gomes.

1824: And a chance straight away for Roy Hodgson's side. Simon Davies escapes down the left and crosses to the far post where Bobby Zamora heads back for Zoltan Gera, who gets enough power on his header but sees Heurelho Gomes make an excellent reaction save.

1824: Roy Hodgson does his now traditional jog across the pitch at Craven Cottage just before the second half kicks off.

1823: For the neutrals, this would be an excellent result at Molineux. It would leave Manchester United top on 61 points, Chelsea second on 61 points and Arsenal third on 61 points.

From 20ledge-kb on 606: "Hairdryer... I think Fergie needs a leaf blower to sort out this match."

1819: Story of Wolves' season in many ways. Plenty of chances, the best of the play, but nothing to show for it. Will United be able to punish them as Chelsea did a few weeks back?

1818: HALF-TIME Wolves 0-0 Man Utd

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Craven Cottage: "Unspectacular first 45 minutes. Niko Kranjcar has provided a couple of touches of class for Spurs and both sides will need to produce more if either of these defences are going to be pierced. Got the feel of a game that will be settled by a single goal - which will probably be the cue for a second half goalfest. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has to be thinking of introducing Jermain Defoe at the earlier opportunity after the break if this stalemate continues."

From United fan in Oz, via text: "Easily the worst half United's played this season. We don't even look like wanting to get behind Wolves back four."

Football League Macca: "Our resident Swindon (as well as Liverpool, it has to be said) fan has just pointed out that his side have lost five times this season. That's not very interesting, I hear you say. However, the results have been 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 (today) and 5-0. Interesting, very interesting (if true)."

1807: Free header for Wolves and they should be ahead. Matt Jarvis crosses but Stephen Ward heads straight at Edwin van der Sar.

1807: HALF-TIME Fulham 0-0 Tottenham

1804: Kevin Doyle runs at the Manchester United defence before laying the ball off to Matt Jarvis, who cuts it back for David Jones, but his shot is smothered by Michael Carrick.

1801: Tame effort by Michael Carrick for Manchester United. Luka Modric passes the ball straight of play for Spurs in quite disastrous fashion. Hmmm.

1758: There have been several banners held up by the visiting fans at Molineux today, none of them complimentary about the current owners. The latest says "David Gill, protecting his salary, not MUFC".

1755: Peter Crouch at the far post for a Van Basten volley... into the crowd. Not quite a Van Basten volley then.

1751: Mark Schwarzer appears to be wrong-footed by Peter Crouch's header and has to scramble across the goal and palm it behind for a corner. Spurs can't take advantage though.

1748: Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer beats away a vicious shot by Niko Kranjcar. A goal now would be nice, thank you.

1746: Nani's free-kick comes off the wall and Darron Gibson prods a shot wide. He looked like he might have been held back by Karl Henry but there was no appeal.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Craven Cottage: "Bobby Zamora is central to everything Fulham do - and how the crowd inside Craven Cottage love him these days. He looks strong, confident, holding the ball up well and is in the form of his life. Both sides trying to knock it about, but Heurelho Gomes' low save from Zamora has provided the only serious work for either keeper."

1743: Nani, playing on the left wing on his return from suspension, fires well over from the edge of the box. I need a goal.

1740: Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia wellies a shot just past the post with the outside of his right boot. Close.

1738: Wolves on the counter and they fashion the first good chance of the game, Matt Jarvis on the left finding the run of Kevin Doyle, who fires wide.

1736: Bobby Zamora flicks a header on for Zoltan Gera, but the ball just won't come down for him and Spurs tidy up.

1732: They're under way at Molineux where Manchester United are hoping to win away at a promoted side for the first time this season following a defeat at Burnley and a draw at Birmingham.

1731: Fulham's fans are making a TERRIFIC din. Great stuff. Spurs, though, beginning to pass the ball around with their customary zip.

From SportsDeskLive on Twitter: "Manchester United have won the last seven Premier League matches that Wayne Rooney has missed."

1727: Uh-oh. Russian goal machine Roman Pavlyuchenko is hobbling after making a desperate run to keep the ball in play. Spurs could do without another injury, I suspect. Think Pav's ok though.

From STENDEC on 606: "Re Phil McNulty's last comment: While Phil is right to praise Hangeland, huge credit must go to Aaron Hughes. He looked totally lost in the Newcastle defence, five or six years back. He looks a different player now, very composed and solid."

From Farrell via text: "I'm a mess of emotions, a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Come on Fulham."

1721: Fulham kick off the second FA Cup quarter-final at Craven Cottage.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Craven Cottage: "Two of the Premier League's elder statesmen of management, Roy Hodgson and Harry Redknapp, are in opposition as Fulham and Spurs meet in the FA Cup - and a real sense of anticipation inside sell-out Craven Cottage. Redknapp has gone with height up front with Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko, so a big job ahead for Fulham's outstanding defender Brede Hangeland."

1716: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Tottenham:
Peter Crouch's reward for his two-goal England heroics is a return to the Tottenham starting line-up at the expense of the man he replaced at Wembley, Jermain Defoe, who is on the bench after complaining of a tight hamstring. Injured Tom Huddlestone is replaced by Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Fulham make one change to the side that drew at Sunderland, Jonathan Greening replacing Danny Murphy after the former Liverpool midfielder failed a fitness test following a groin injury.

1712: Roy Hodgson and Mark Schwarzer pick up their respective Premier League awards after Fulham's unbeaten February. What a wonderful time to be a Fulham fan. After today's FA Cup quarter-final, they've got Juventus away, Manchester United away, Juventus at home, Man City at home.

Football League Macca: "Dramatic in the Championship as Luke Chambers' 90th-minute winner against Swansea puts Nottingham Forest second after West Brom's 3-1 defeat at Neil Warnock's QPR. Newcastle's 6-1 thumping of Barnsley gives them an eight-point lead at the top. At the other end, Crystal Palace win in Paul Hart's first game in charge, while Sheffield Wednesday are also triumphant. Result of the day in the Football League though: Hereford 0 Macclesfield 2. A fitting tribute to Keith Alexander."

1704: TEAM NEWS Wolves v Man Utd
Wolves are unchanged for the fourth straight game for the visit of Sir Alex Ferguson's side to the Molineux, but the Premier League's form player Wayne Rooney does not even make the Manchester United bench after aggravating a knee injury during England's friendly win over Egypt in midweek. With Michael Owen out for the season, Dimitar Berbatov leads the United forward line, with Rio Ferdinand returning from a back injury.

1701: TEAMS Wolves v Man Utd
Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Ward, Henry, Foley, Guedioura, David Jones, Jarvis, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Vokes, Milijas, Mancienne.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Gibson, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Berbatov. Subs: Foster, Neville, Park, Rafael Da Silva, Fletcher, Obertan, Diouf.

1700: TEAMS Fulham v Tottenham
Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Greening, Etuhu, Davies, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Konchesky, Okaka, Riise, Smalling, Elm.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar, Bale, Crouch, Pavlyuchenko. Subs: Alnwick, Gudjohnsen, Defoe, Rose, Livermore, Dervite, Townsend.

1657: Arsenal's win isn't enough to put them top, but they do leapfrog Manchester United into second ahead of United's game against Wolves shortly. Bolton's win at West Ham - Owen Coyle's first away victory in the Prem at the 16th attempt - puts Wanderers above the Hammers in 13th. Gianfranco Zola's side - who were booed off - are three points off the drop zone, with trips to Chelsea and Arsenal up next.

1656: FULL-TIME Arsenal 3-1 Burnley

Arsenal goal: From a short corner, Eduardo plays it to Andrey Arshavin, who smashes a left-foot shot into the bottom corner.

1655: GOALFLASH Arsenal 3-1 Burnley (Arshavin)

Football League Macca: "Barnsley launch a late fightback at Newcastle. It's 6-1 now as Daniel Bogdanovic scores for the visitors. Torquay are 3-1 ahead at the Football League's basement side Darlo and Tranmere have gone 2-1 in front against Southampton. Sunderland loanee Roy O'Donovan has a debut hat-trick for Hartlepool as they lead 3-0 against Southend."

1652: Theo Walcott takes a corner for Arsenal and then tries to play keep-ball by the flag, succeeding only in putting the ball out of play for a goal-kick. He looks a little embarrassed as he jogs back to the halfway line.

1651: FULL-TIME West Ham 1-2 Bolton

Someone has struck the woodwork
1650: More woodwork shaking at West Ham, this time Junior Stanislas's thumping volley clattering the crossbar.

1649: Burnley keeper Brian Jensen appears to go down in slow motion - like a giant oak tree falling - but he does enough to push Theo Walcott's shot around the post.

Football League Macca: "It's been an interesting day for Bradley Orr so far. He's grabbed two of the goals for Doncaster, who lead Bristol City 5-2, and added another in the wrong end. Not sure whether he gets to keep the match ball. Another goal at St James' Park, this time it's Oldham getting an equaliser at Exeter. It's Crewe 2-2 Barnet and Derby are 2-0 up against Watford."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1646: Chance for Burnley to steal a point but substitute Steven Thompson blasts over after Manuel Almunia flaps at a corner under pressure from Andre Bikey. Five minutes of added time at West Ham where Kevin Davies has just hit the bar for Bolton.

West Ham goal: That should make it a tasty finish. With two minutes of the 90 remaining, Alessandro Diamanti - that's Diamanti - curls a lovely left-foot effort past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

1643: GOALFLASH West Ham 1-2 Bolton (Diamanti)

1640: Eduardo does a Bendtner as he stretches and misses for Arsenal. The Gunners could have got to double figures today - let alone the four-goal margin they needed to go top of the league.

1639: Some news you may be interested in from Molineux: Wayne Rooney is not in the squad for Manchester United. Some news you may be interested in from Craven Cottage: Jermain Defoe is on the bench for Spurs, Pav and Crouch lead the line.

Football League Macca: "Not sure where to start. How about at the top? Newcastle lead Barnsley 6-0. Three quick goals there. Nearest rivals WBA are losing 3-1 to rejuvenated QPR. L1 leaders Norwich are 2-0 and then 3-0 up against Yeovil. Leeds have levelled at home to Beckford through Jermaine Brentford's goal - or something like that. L2 leaders Rochdale are back on level terms against Lincoln. As are Plymouth against Preston. Sheff Wed have a second against Leicester and Grimsby a third against the Shrews."

From anon via text: "When did Burnley sign that big Danish defender?"

1635: Huge credit to the Arsenal fans, who give Nicklas Bendtner a warm round of applause as he comes off. Or maybe they're just relieved he can't miss any more sitters? As Bendtner sits down, he smiles broadly and shrugs his shoulders. Eduardo is on.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish on the goal that wasn't: "We should have had a lifeline with a perfectly legitimate goal but unfortunately it wasn't to be. It would have given us a lifeline and I wouldn't bet against my team coming back if we got that goal. You would expect an official at this level to see that. They do the fitness tests and part of that is the vision side of things. It's a shame the guy missed that, I'm sure he will be hurting about it."

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant after the FA Cup win over Birmingham: "Football is more than football. All these people are so happy. You can break many things but you cannot break our spirit. The spirit of the players and fans was high. Other people maybe thought we would break but nobody can break our spirit."

Red card
Bolton red card: Wanderers will have to play out the final 20 minutes or so with 10 men after Tamir Cohen gets his second yellow for a trip on Scott Parker. Nervous times now for Owen Coyle, looking for his first ever away win in the Prem.

1629: RED CARD Bolton (Cohen)

1626: AND SURELY HE MUST SCORE NOW! Oh no, my mistake. Nicklas Bendtner's horror afternoon gets worse - or better, depending how you look at it. This is the best of the lot. Theo Walcott puts it on a plate for the hapless striker, who manages to slot the ball beyond the post from seven yards out. Arsenal fans are laughing - it's all they can do.

1625: Mido is on for West Ham, who are throwing everything at it as they attempt to overturn the 2-0 deficit against Bolton. They are very vulnerable to the counter though.

1623: Andrey Arshavin, on for Tomas Rosicky, shows a touch of the Nicklas Bendtners as he sidefoots miles after being set up by Theo Walcott. The England forward is having a decent game after a disappointing effort for England in midweek.

Arsenal goal: Lovely finish. Nicklas Bendtner turns provider - good move - and he plays in Theo Walcott, who takes a couple of touches to his left and curls a delicious left-foot effort inside the far post. He celebrates by running to the bench and pointing to an imaginary watch on his wrist. It's 1621 GMT, Theo. Goal o'clock.

1621: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-1 Burnley (Walcott)

1618: Denilson plays in Theo Walcott, but Brian Jensen gets a strong hand to the shot - and predictably, Nicklas Bendtner is at the far post but not close enough to tap in.

Football League Macca: "Notts County have doubled their lead at Accrington and Newcastle have made it a Magpie double as Peter Lovenkrands has grabbed a second at home to Barnsley. And it's quickly 3-0 to Newcastle through Danny Guthrie as 10-man Barnsley begin to struggle. Also in the Championship, Blackpool are now 1-0 up on Ipswich. Jason Euell the scorer."

1613: From the kick-off, another chance for Nicklas Bendtner but this time Leon Cort clears off the line. Burnley, remember, have earned one point from their 14 previous away games in the Premier League this season.

Burnley goal: Arsenal have had so many chances to have this game won three times over - and wouldn't you know it? Emmanuel Eboue's hoofed clearance is headed back into the danger area by Leon Cort and David Nugent runs in between two defenders and lifts the ball over Manuel Almunia.

1611: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-1 Burnley (Nugent)

1610: Ground, swallow him up now. Save him from himself. Theo Walcott hooks Gael Clichy's left-wing cross back for Nicklas Bendnter, who this time blazes over from six yards out.

1607: Theo Walcott delivers a delicious right-wing cross right on to Nicklas Bendnter's head - but the striker still can't score, the ball flashing wide. He looks like he wants the ground to swallow him up. Think the Arsenal fans wish it would.

1606: BBC 5 live reveal that Cesc Fabregas has tweaked a hamstring and his substitution was precautionary. The second half at Arsenal is under way.

1604: Chance for Kieron Dyer immediately, running onto Carlton Cole's flick-on but volleying over.

1603: Kieron Dyer runs on for West Ham, replacing Julien Faubert. The bid for the World Cup squad starts here.

1601: The Hammerettes are properly milking the applause at Upton Park, leaving the players waiting to kick off the second half... which is now under way.

From lostlibertine on Twitter: "West Ham United must turn it around. 40 points seems a long way away with games at Arsenal & Chelsea on the horizon."

Football League Macca: "Double blow for Barnsley as they trail 1-0 at Champo leaders Newcastle through a Peter Lovenkrands penalty and keeper Luke Steele was sent-off for giving away the spot-kick. Doncaster lead Bristol C 4-2 at half-time, Northampton have re-taken the lead at P Vale and Grimsby have gone 1-0 at home to Shrewsbury. Chesterfield are in front at Cheltenham in the Che derby. Half-time whistles are peeping as we speak."

1550: Burnley pair Brian Jensen and Graham Alexander are exchanging some heated words as they leave the pitch at the Emirates. I'm pleased I can't lipread. In other news, I've just been told I've been spelling Alessandro Diamanti's name wrong. I have been doing this for weeks. Sorry. Must've been annoying.

1549: HALF-TIME Arsenal 1-0 Burnley

1547: HALF-TIME West Ham 0-2 Bolton

1545: After conceding two early goals, West Ham have put together a decent spell of pressure. Alessandro Diamanti's shot is pushed away by Jussi Jaaskelainen, and after a scramble, Zat Knight hooks the ball off the line... But I tell you what, if it wasn't for Johan Elmander's woeful finishing, Bolton might be out of sight. Kevin Davies squares for the Swedish international, who somehow scoops the ball over the bar from the penalty spot.

Football League Macca: "The Baggies have pulled one back at QPR through Chris Brunt. Game on. In L1, Charlton are 2-0 ahead against bottom side Stockport and MK Dons are in front against L Orient, Walsall are 2-1 against in-form Millwall, play-off chasing Huddersfield are 1-0 down at Gills and it's 1-1 at Tranmere's game with Southampton."

1540: Theo Walcott is FURIOUS. Danny Fox perhaps leaps in a little wildly to win the ball, Walcott hurdling out of the way. Never seen Walcott look so angry. But worrying news for Arsenal fans now: Cesc Fabregas appears to have tweaked a hamstring and is replaced Abou Diaby.

1539: Chance for West Ham as Scott Parker sends Carlton Cole through but Sam Ricketts sticks a leg out to make the challenge, and Jussi Jaaskelainen does the rest.

1536: And it should be 2-0 to Arsenal as Emmanuel Eboue squares for Nicklas Bendtner only for the Danish striker to put a glancing shot beyond the far post.

Arsenal goal: Stunning. Typically neat build-up play from Arsenal ends with Cesc Fabregas playing the ball to Samir Nasri and making a run into the box, which no-one tracks. Nasri sticks his foot under the ball and plays the most glorious pass over the top for Fabregas to finish with one touch.

1535: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Burnley (Fabregas)

Football League Macca: "QPR have a second against West Brom. It's the Warnock effect, says a colleague. It's the Championship table turned upside down, say the voices in my head. Talking of good starts, Paul Hart's Crystal Palace are ahead against Sheff Utd through Alan Lee. Preston lead Plymouth courtesy of Sean St Ledger and Jon Stead has put Cov ahead at Peterboro. Reneil Sappleton has scored probably the most emotional goal of the day to give Macclesfield the lead at Hereford. If you haven't read BBC Lincolnshire's Michael Hortin's tribute to Keith Alexander I'd recommend you do at some stage. Very nice."

1531: Physio time at the Emirates as Samir Nasri plays the ball to Cesc Fabregas and darts into the box for the return, chased by Tyrone Mears. Nasri collides with Brian Jensen as both stretch for the ball, leaving both calling for attention.

Yellow card
1529: Burnley midfielder Kevin McDonald sees yellow for preventing Tomas Rosicky setting up an Arsenal breakaway.

From SportsDeskLive on Twitter: "Jack Wilshere is youngest goalscorer in this season's Premier League, breaking Aaron Ramsey's record by 175 days."

1524: West Ham's Alessandro Diamanti has another free-kick... this time beaten away by Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.

1523: Still Arsenal in control against Burnley. They just haven't walked the ball in yet.

1522: West Ham fail to clear a Jack Wilshere corner properly and Johan Elmander hits the side netting. Looks like Elmander might be back to his Bolton goalscoring form after scoring a stunning goal for Sweden against Wales in midweek.

Football League Macca: "Cardiff lead Middlesbrough through Jay Bothroyd in a heavyweight battle in the Championship. Sheff Wed, who took a pasting at Reading, are ahead at home to Leicester. And a flying start to life at QPR for this week's manager Neil Warnock as Jay Simpson has put them ahead against second-placed West Brom. Derby now lead Watford and it's Bristol City 2-2 Doncaster already. Calm down goals please."

1518: West Ham hadn't conceded a goal in four home league games before today - but it's been a nightmare start against Bolton. The Hammers fans look on in horror as hesitation in the defence allows Johan Elmander a shot, Rob Green making the save.

Bolton goal: Moments after Alessandro Diamanti puts a free-kick onto the roof of the net for West Ham, Bolton double their lead - thanks to some woeful defending by the hosts. James Tomkins tries to shepherd the ball out of play, but Kevin Davies hooks his leg round the defender and crosses for Tamir Cohen to head back for on-loan Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere to volley in his first goal for Bolton.

1515: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-2 Bolton (Wilshere)

From optajoe on Twitter: "Kevin Davies has now scored eight goals in his last 10 appearances against West Ham United in all competitions. Hammered."

Football League Macca: "It's not taken long for the goals to begin flowing in the Fleague. It's at these moments that I thank the man (or woman) who invented copy and paste. Adebayo Akinfenwa puts Northampton ahead at Port Vale, on-loan man Jay Emmanuel-Thomas gives Doncaster the lead at Bristol C and Wesley Hoolahan puts L1 leaders Norwich up against Yeovil. A few mouthfuls there."

Bolton goal: Chung-Yong Lee - fast becoming one of my favourite Prem players - crosses from the right and Kevin Davies rises above the Hammers defence to power in the header - Bolton's first away goal in five league games.

1509: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-1 Bolton (Davies)

1508: Some neat passing from both teams at Upton Park but no clearcut chances so far - unlike at Arsenal, where Clarke Carlisle has a free header, but Manuel Almunia collects.

1506: Arsenal could have scored three goals already. Cesc Fabregas's pass sets up Nicklas Bendtner, but Tyrone Mears - again - gets a toe in to prevent the Dane finishing. From the corner, Tomas Rosicky's effort is only inches wide. Burnley hanging on already.

1504: Burnley defender Tyrone Mears makes a vital challenge on the edge of the area as Cesc Fabregas threatens for Arsenal.

1502: And they're off at the Emirates.

Football League Macca: "It's all Rover at the County Ground and Swindon have taken a bit of a tonking at the hands of Bristol Rovers. It's finished 4-0 and has taken the visitors up to 8th in the League One table. We're reading for the big kick-off elsewhere."

1459: The Arsenal squad are wearing their 'Get Well Soon Aaron' t-shirts as they line up ahead of their game against Burnley. Sentiments we all share I think. Meanwhile, West Ham have kicked off against Bolton - A MINUTE EARLY!

BBC Sport's Simon Austin on Twitter: "Birmingham made pre tax losses of £20.5m for year to 31 Aug 2009... under Gold and Sullivan. People in glass houses..."

1453: West Ham posted losses of £16.2m before tax in their latest accounts which were published this week but the new regime that took over at Upton Park earlier this year still has big plans for the London club. Writing in the match programme before today's game with Bolton, Hammers' co-owner David Sullivan said: "As our accounts have shown, the club is in an absolute mess. But, with the help of our supporters, within five to seven years we can be a power in English football." By the by, I've got a tweet from my colleague Simon Austin which I will share with you now...

Pompey keeper David James on whether Birmingham 'scored': "Not as far as I am aware. Maybe we can debate that on the way home but we won 2-0 as far as the score goes and I think we deserved it. Happy days."

1449: In its statement, the International Football Association Board does not explain why it has decided to abandon goal-line technology. In the incident today at Fratton Park, quite apart from the fact that pretty much everyone could see with their eyes that the ball had crossed the line, we had seen the replay to prove it within about 30 seconds. Where is the problem?

1444: 'Do it for Aaron' reads an enormous banner at the Emirates Stadium. A reminder: Arsenal need to beat Burnley by four goals to go top of the Premier League. Burnley have earned one point from their 14 away games this season, conceding two goals or more in all but one of those games.

1440: BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce reports that Aaron Ramsey has received more than 50,000 messages of support. Ramsey's team-mates are reported to be planning to wear T-shirts with Rambo's name on today.

1437: TEAM NEWS West Ham v Bolton
West Ham make one change from the side that lost at Manchester United in their last outing on 23 February, with captain Scott Parker returning to replace the injured Mark Noble in midfield. Bolton are without midfielder Stuart Holden, who broke his leg playing for the United States in midweek, and his place goes to Tamir Cohen.

1437: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal make four changes from the side that beat Stoke, with Mikael Silvestre, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Denilson coming in for Bacary Sagna, Sol Campbell, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Song. Burnley also make four changes from their losing line-up at Portsmouth as Graham Alexander, Jack Cork, Chris Eagles and David Nugent replace Andre Bikey, Wade Elliott, Steven Fletcher and Robbie Blake.

1435: TEAMS West Ham v Bolton
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac, Diamanti, Cole, Franco. Subs: Stech, Dyer, Ilan, Mido, Da Costa, Daprela, Stanislas.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Ricketts, Robinson, Lee, Cohen, Muamba, Wilshere, Elmander, Kevin Davies. Subs: Al Habsi, Taylor, Riga, Gardner, Klasnic, Andrew O'Brien, Weiss.

1434: TEAMS Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy, Walcott, Rosicky, Denilson, Fabregas, Nasri, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Sagna, Eduardo, Arshavin, Traore, Eastmond.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Cort, Fox, Paterson, Alexander, McDonald, Cork, Eagles, Nugent. Subs: Weaver, Duff, Elliott, Blake, Bikey, Jordan, Thompson.

Portsmouth's on-loan Spurs midfielder Jamie O'Hara: "The fans are fantastic. They've got a bit of magic about them - and today was about giving something back to them. Obviously I hope we don't get Tottenham in the semis because I won't be able to play. I'll be watching the draw very closely. I want Spurs to do well - but I want two games at Wembley now."

Football League Macca: "The Pirates are running riot. Literally. Sort of. It's Swindon 0 Bristol Rovers 4 (FOUR). Jeff Hughes gets the latest goal just after the hour mark. Not a great day to be a fan of promotion-chasing Swindon."

From jonnyb89 on 606: "Great spirit and all smiles from Pompey fans, players and staff - as a neutral that is great to see. They deserve their trip to Wembley."

1428: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 2-0 Birmingham

1427: The Pompey fans have started up a deafening and endless chant of "Wemberlee, Wemberlee..." Their team are probably worthy winners too - but Birmingham will surely have something to say about the goal that should have been.

1424: Into added time and Pompey break, Papa Bouba Diop squares for Jamie O'Hara, but the on-loan Spurs midfielder can't get the final touch to finish it off.

From SportsDeskLive on Twitter: "Portsmouth will be second PL bottom club in four seasons to reach FA Cup semis. Watford (2007) also played semis while bottom."

1418: Six minutes remaining, and Papa Bouba Diop replaces Danny Webber.

1416: The official statement from the International Football Association Board about abandoning goal-line technology has just this minute landed in my inbox. Alanis Morrisette would have a field day with all this.

1413: UNBELIEVABLE. From a corner, David James brilliantly paws away a header, but Liam Ridgwell is there to nod in the rebound, the ball clearly crossing the line before James claws it out. But the goal isn't given. ARE YOU WATCHING INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION BOARD? (see 1341)

From AdZY16 on Twitter: "Portsmouth deserve this and it's O'Hara who has made the difference."

1408: With 15 minutes remaining and his side 2-0 down, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish sends Chucho Benitez on for James McFadden.

1407: Portsmouth threatening a third now. Michael Brown's long-range effort takes a wicked deflection and zips only just over Joe Hart's crossbar.

1405: Kevin Phillips is on for Birmingham, replacing Keith Fahey.

Portsmouth goal: Make that four goals in three games. Jamie O'Hara plays the ball through for Frederic Piquionne, who turns Roger Johnson inside out before slotting into the far corner. Clinical. Three minutes, nine seconds between the two goals.

1402: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 2-0 Birmingham (Piquionne)

Portsmouth goal: Nightmare for Joe Hart. The young Birmingham keeper is taken out by his own defender as he tries to deal with Frederic Piquionne's flicked shot. Danny Webber's air shot confuses matters, and as he lies on the floor, Hart can only juggle the ball into the path of Piquionne to smash in his third goal in three games.

1359: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 1-0 Birmingham (Piquionne)

Football League Macca: "As George from Bristol pointed out, Jo Kuffour's goal was Rovers' first away from home since November. But I tell you what, they've only gone and got another one. Maybe we need a London bus graphic. Paul Heffernan the scorer. Oh, hello. And another. Chris Lines on the stroke of half-time makes it Swindon 0-3 Bristol Rovers. A scoreline that will send shockwaves around the (west) country."

1354: Frederic Piquionne wins a header, cuts inside Barry Ferguson's sliding challenge, but sees his shot smack Roger Johnson. Definitely livening up a touch, this game.

1353: I can hardly keep up. Sebastian Larsson's shot drifts inches over the bar. Did David James get a slight touch on that? Looked like he might have done, but the ref didn't spot it.

1351: This is more like it. Birmingham on the counter, but can't quite make the final pass, or indeed shot. Portsmouth straight up the other end and Jamie O'Hara picks out Frederic Piquionne at the far post but John Utaka can't apply the final touch to the knockdown.

1349: Roger Johnson lifts his shirt and shows referee Steve Bennett a spot under his armpit after some handbags with Hermann Hreidarsson in the box. It's that kind of thing which passes as an incident in the match.

From anon via text: "Re 1341: WHY??????"
My thoughts exactly

1341: This quite baffling news just in: The International Football Association Board have announced that goal-line technology will not be pursued in the future.

1340: Liam Ridgewell heads a cross back across goal but Lee Bowyer slices his shot wide under pressure from a defender.

1339: And that must make it all square between David James and Joe Hart as the young Birmingham keeper is out very quickly to meet a ball over the top. He beats the pacy John Utaka to it, and then quickly recovers to collect the rebound.

1338: Birmingham get the second half under way at Fratton Park. The good thing is it can surely only get better.

Football League Macca: "As Cheesy might have slightly hinted at, a shockingly poor game at Fratton Park. But down in the Football League there is no such thing as a bad game. They even get goals. Take Jo Kuffour, for example. He's put Bristol Rovers ahead at Swindon."

From Paul via text: "Are Birmingham going for the draw because they think Portsmouth can't afford to travel to the replay?"

From thinder85 on Twitter: "I 'sold' my ticket to this game to my mate for two pints of beer last night - who got the best of that deal?"

From SimplyZola on 606: "Thank goodness I am going to miss the second half of this dreadful match, going to do some shopping."
Can I come?

From Lolsworth on Twitter: "Re 1319: Please don't make any more train metaphors."

1324: The good news is that these two teams meet again in the Premier League on Tuesday. Hurray!

1321: HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-0 Birmingham

1320: John Utaka blazes over. Ho hum.

1319: This game is on the slow train to Dullsville. Thankfully, it'll be making its first stop at Half Time in one minute.

Football League Macca: "As well as the Cup and Premier League action today, you won't be surprised to hear we have your regular full programme of Football League stuff. The first game has only gone and kicked off as well. It's a West Country affair between Swindon and Bristol Rovers. Likely to be a lively one, oye reckon."

1311: Roger Johnson must be one of the signings of the season. The £5m buy from Cardiff is briefly the wrong side of Frederic Piquionne, but recovers comfortably to rob the Pompey striker with the minimum of fuss.

From redandblackT on 606: "The only thing interesting so far is Bennett's hideous shirt. It's like a parakeet, after a night out, got sick on it!"

1308: I'm no good with numbers, but thankfully I know a Football League Macca who is. He tells me this: "With Pompey needing every penny they can get, a win today could prove very lucrative. The winners of FA Cup sixth round matches get £360,000, plus the guarantee of £450,000 even if they lose in the semis. However, the situation is lightly muddied by rules that say the FA can opt to pay the money directly to creditors if a club is in administration."

1306: Steve Finnan's wayward header leaves James McFadden with a shooting opportunity but the former Liverpool defender throws his body in the way in a bid to make up for his error. He's taken one for the team there, shall we say.

1302: Jamie O'Hara plays in Frederic Piquionne on the right and the Frenchman leathers a low ball in - but it twangs off a defender and away to safety. It's been that sort of... and you know where I'm going with that.

1301: Promising move by Birmingham - but Lee Bowyer's pass asks far too much of Barry Ferguson. Bowyer might have been better off having a shot himself. It's been that sort of game so far. Wait, have I said that already?

1258: John Utaka gets away from two in midfield and lays the ball off to Danny Webber, who promptly slips as he tries to jink past a defender. It's been that sort of game so far.

From anon via text: "On the way to the Emirates. Never seen so many Ramsey shirts, banners, hats in my life!! Could we really turn this into our season after last week?"

1255: Poor defending from Pompey as Keith Fahey breaks free down the left and plays a dangerous ball across the box - but there aren't enough Birmingham players in the box to take advantage.

Yellow card
1252: To absolutely no-one's surprise, Michael Brown is the first man to go into the referee's book for tangling with Lee Bowyer. That's his fifth booking of the season. He's also picked up a red as well. Good work.

1250: David James 1-0 Joe Hart. The Portsmouth keeper dives low to his right to keep out Cameron Jerome's well-struck shot after he was set up by Lee Bowyer.

1247: Lovely work by Jamie O'Hara on the right, beating the defender with a stepover and crossing well - but Birmingham head clear.

BBC 5 live summariser Kit Symons: "It's been a bit scrappy so far. I'm just watching John Utaka, who is drifting across the pitch from left to right. The Portsmouth front four is quite fluid which will make it difficult for Birmingham to mark them."

1245: Birmingham striker James McFadden bursts into the box but his effort is blocked by Herman Hreidarsson. Half-chance, no more.

1238: The aforementioned Steve Bennett - wearing a lurid orangey-pink shirt - gives a free-kick but no card for Michael Brown's late challenge on Lee Bowyer, who has already been fouled by Jamie O'Hara. Poor mite. No-one anticipates Sebastian Larsson's free-kick though.

From VictorChatfield on Twitter: "Wow, Steve Bennett's top is a DISGUSTING colour!"

1236: Frederic Piquionne twists and turns on the left, eventually winning the corner off Roger Johnson. Birmingham clear though. Today sees England keepers Joe Hart and David James up against each other. Should be an interesting battle.

1234: Steve Bennett gets the first of the FA Cup quarter-finals under way. It's a predictably electric atmosphere at Fratton Park.

1232: At Fratton Park, a minute's applause for Keith Alexander.

1228: Birmingham owner Carson Yeung has taken his seat at Fratton Park, wearing some sensational aviator sunglasses. Remember his fur coat? That guy's got style - of some sort.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish: "We have had a good season in the league but when I look at the Portsmouth team, it's full of quality individuals, and Avram has got them playing well recently, with a bit of that siege mentality."

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant: "Now we are concentrating on the pitch, not off it. There is a lot of pressure because you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. We're playing against a very good team, but it's one game and we can get to Wembley."

1218: Football Focus is up and running by the way. If you're in the UK, you can watch on the website. The internet's good innit?

From Sean in Ireland, via text: "Re 1204: When was the last time three teams topped the table on the same day in March? I've jinxed it now anyway. I blame Kevin Doyle."

1207: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Birmingham
Portsmouth defender Ricardo Rocha begins a suspension after his dismissal against Burnley last week so Tal Ben Haim deputises after groin surgery. Kevin-Prince Boateng (ankle) and Aaron Mokoena (knee) are out but Jamie O'Hara does play despite back trouble. Birmingham boss Alex McLeish names the same side that beat Wigan last week. James McFadden starts for the Blues after passing a late test on a groin injury, meaning Kevin Phillips is again on the bench.

1204: Two FA Cup quarter-finals today: one early (Pompey-Birmingham at 1230 GMT), one late (Fulham-Spurs at 1720 GMT). In the Prem, Arsenal could go top of the shop if they wallop Burnley by four goals or more at the Emirates (1500 GMT). Manchester United could then topple them if they beat Wolves (1730 GMT), and West Ham meet Bolton (1500 GMT). What I'm trying to say is: today is potentially going to be fairly exciting.

1200: Hopefully that's enough newspaper reviewing to get me a slot on the Andrew Marr Show tomorrow. Let's get down to the real business. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (world), join the wonderful world of 606 or quite simply tweet me.

1155: The presence of crisis-club-Portsmouth (as they must now be known) in the FA Cup quarter-finals is surely the reason the Sun* have taken the theme of the 'magic of the Cup' and run with it… a very, very long way. They've mocked up seven managers of the FA Cup quarter-finalists as characters in Alice In Wonderland. Alex McLeish obviously takes the role of Alice, while Martin O'Neill makes an excellent Mad Hatter. Less successful is Roy Hodgson as the Cheshire Cat, and Carlo Ancelotti as Tweedledee. Unfortunately, the Sun's graphics people appear to have run out of time when it came to Avram Grant. They've just put a picture of the Blue Caterpillar in. Cruel.
* Well spotted everyone. In a break from tradition, I actually managed to look at more than one newspaper today before I got bored and started chatting about boys and stuff.

1153: TEAMS Portsmouth v Birmingham
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Ben-Haim, Hreidarsson, Belhadj, Brown, Wilson, O'Hara, Webber, Piquionne, Utaka. Subs: Ashdown, Mullins, Diop, Owusu-Abeyie, Dindane, Kanu, Basinas.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, McFadden, Jerome. Subs: Taylor, Murphy, Phillips, Benitez, Michel, Parnaby, Gardner.

1150: No, no, not my words, dear readers, those of Tzofit Grant, the wife of Portsmouth boss Avram Grant, in a quite remarkable interview in today's Telegraph. I can't possibly summarise it here. I can only advise that if you do one thing today, you read it. I'm hoping to get her to guest text-commentate soon.

1145: "The problem with footballers is that they don't have nice feet. They have so many blisters and a bad shape."

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The FA Cup results

6 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 6 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 29 43 63
2 Chelsea 28 39 61
3 Arsenal 29 37 61
4 Tottenham 28 23 49
5 Man City 27 17 49
6 Liverpool 28 17 48
7 Aston Villa 26 16 45
8 Birmingham 27 -2 40
9 Fulham 28 3 38
10 Everton 27 0 38
11 Stoke 27 -5 34
12 Blackburn 28 -15 34
13 Bolton 28 -18 29
14 West Ham 28 -9 27
15 Sunderland 27 -12 27
16 Wigan 27 -27 25
17 Wolves 28 -25 24
18 Hull 27 -29 24
19 Burnley 28 -31 23
20 Portsmouth 27 -22 19

see also
Saturday's football photos
06 Mar 10 |  Football
Lawro's predictions
08 Mar 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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