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Page last updated at 22:07 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Wednesday football as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2200: Well, I said it would be massive tonight - but I don't think Chelsea or Tottenham fans could have predicted it'd be quite so massive. The west Londoners move to within a point of league leaders Manchester United and, potentially crucially, match their rivals' goal difference at the same time, while Tottenham reach the FA Cup semi-finals and leave the field to find top-four rivals Manchester City lost to Everton and Aston Villa drew with Sunderland. Blackburn, meanwhile, continue to prove near unbeatable at home. A monster set of results matched only by your chat, folks. Legends. That's me done, guess who's back on Saturday? It's only the hero that is Jonathan Stevenson isn't it... do not miss it.

Sinbad The Saviour on 606: "Serious question for City fans: Is Mancini an improvement on Hughes? Really?"

Football League
Football League Danny: "So, here's your full-time rundown. West Brom 1-0 Coventry - the Baggies move two points behind Newcastle and eight points clear of Nottingham Forest in third. Leicester 1-2 Reading - the play-off chasing Foxes become the latest victims of unstoppable football machine Reading (play-off hopefuls...?). Cardiff 1-1 Sheffield United - Blades hit back to deny Bluebirds. And Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Watford - late goal gives Owls vital relegation points. Nervy times for the Hornets."

Full time
2152: FULL-TIME Blackburn 2-1 Birmingham

2151: So Tottenham reach the last four of the FA Cup and, in doing so, set up a Portsmouth reunion for their manager Harry Redknapp. Here's what the impressive Eidur Gudjohnsen had to say on matters: "We set out to pressure them in the second half and we did that. We've got a good squad and it's showing in the league and in the cup. We've got a difficult run-in but we've got lots of quality. I'm happy to be here."

2148: We'll have four minutes of stoppage time at Ewood Park as Blackburn look to extend their run of home league form to five wins and a draw in their last six.

2145: David Dunn limps from the Ewood Park field after taking a kick to the calf from Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson. The Blackburn midfielder has been instrumental tonight.

Football League
Football League Danny: "Injury-time at the Walkers Stadium and Gylfi Sigurdsson scores a penalty for Reading. Leicester 1-2 Reading. Drama. "

Full time
2142: FULL-TIME Manchester City 0-2 Everton

2141: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 0-5 Chelsea

Chelsea goal: That puts a rather unpleasant complexion on matters at Fratton Park for Portsmouth, Didier Drogba's knock-back falling to the unmarked Frank Lampard who nods in from a yard.

2140: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-5 Chelsea (Lampard)

2139: FULL-TIME Tottenham 3-1 Fulham

Red card
2138: Bit of a farcical end at Eastlands, where Roberto Mancini - clearly unhappy at what looks like his side's first league home defeat this season - attempts to wrestle the ball from Everton counterpart David Moyes on the touchline and the pair get involved in a bit of a ruck. Referee Peter Walton sends them both to the stands. Needless.

2137: RED CARDS (Mancini and Moyes)

Full time
2137: FULL-TIME Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland

90thminute on 606: "What price Everton to finish above Liverpool now?"

Football League
Football League Danny: "Luke Varney for the home side on 89 minutes - it's Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Watford. Massive goal for the Owls."

2134: What a night this is turning out to be for Tottenham - it looks like they are heading for the FA Cup semi-finals, and now it would appear their top four rivals Manchester City and Aston Villa are dropping crucial points in the league. That Mikel Arteta goal almost got the biggest cheer of the night at White Hart Lane.

Everton goal: That's a cracking goal, and one that provides a real punch in the guts to Manchester City's push for a top-four finish. Jack Rodwell bursts down the right and lays it into the box where Tim Cahill dummies to allow Mikel Arteta to slide into the corner.

2131: GOALFLASH Manchester City 0-2 Everton (Arteta)

2129: Treatment for Tim Howard at Eastlands, the Everton keeper going down awkwardly attempting to punch away a cross and he looks in real pain. The cure of all evils, the magic spray, is out, though, and he will continue. Good lad.

Blackburn goal: Birmingham have struggled all game to deal with Blackburn's set-pieces, and the hosts make it count as David Dunn muscles his way through the Birmingham defence to head in at the near post from an El-Hadji Diouf corner.

2125: GOALFLASH Blackburn 2-1 Birmingham (Dunn)

Chelsea goal: It's officially a rout at Fratton Park, Didier Drogba running on to Jon Mikel Obi's pass, shrugging off Steve Finnan, and then drilling in at the near post.

2123: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-4 Chelsea (Drogba)

2122: Hhmm... not quite the desired effect of that earlier substitution with Everton under increasing pressure from the home side, who bring on Patrick Vieira for Micah Richards in an attempt to break the visitors' stubborn resistance.

Football League
Football League Danny: "Big goals. Sheffield Wednesday took the lead against Watford, but Tom Cleverley has levelled for the Hornets - the relegation battle is 1-1. And Sheffield United have levelled at Cardiff, Stephen Quinn makes it 1-1."

2119: It remains keenly-contested at Villa Park, where both sides have forged chances since the break only to fall flat on the finishing front. The pick of the crop fell to John Mensah, who spurned the chance to head Sunderland back in front with the goal at his mercy, while, for Villa, John Carew has just flicked a header narrowly wide from a corner. And barely had I finished writing that sentence before Darren Bent narrowly failed to capitalise on a defensive mistake at the other end, shooting weakly and allowing Brad Friedel to claw behind.

2118: Substitution for Everton at Eastlands - and it looks like David Moyes is keen for the Toffees to shut up shop with Jack Rodwell on for striker Louis Saha.

2115: It's been all Spurs at White Hart Lane this half - but they are grateful to a fine save by Heurelho Gomes for the fact they still lead 3-1, the Brazilian getting down well to save from Damien Duff's smart left-foot half volley.

Birmingham goal: Free-kick, 20 yards out, up steps James McFadden to curl around the wall and into the corner. The visitors draw level and that's just about deserved.

2112: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-1 Birmingham (McFadden)

Tottenham goal: I want some of what Tottenham had at half-time. A breathless Tottenham move ends with Luka Modric laying in Eidur Gudjohnsen inside the box and the Icelander rounds Mark Schwarzer before steering home. Wembley beckons for Spurs.

2109: GOALFLASH Tottenham 3-1 Fulham (Gudjohnsen)

2108: Danger signs for Portsmouth at Fratton Park, now, with the south-coasters in danger of falling apart completely. Frank Lampard is the latest to try his luck but his curled shot is palmed away by David James.

Chelsea goal: The Londoners are heading back into second spot. Frank Lampard's shot is parried by David James, and Florent Malouda is on hand to slam the rebound into the roof of the net.

2106: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-3 Chelsea (Malouda)

2105: David James is doing all he can to make amends for his earlier error - Lampard's cross-field pass releases substitute Joe Cole clear on goal down the right but his near-post effort is palmed away brilliantly by the England keeper.

Tottenham goal: The boy is on absolute fire at the moment. Roman Pavlyuchenko's eyes light up as a brilliant David Bentley cross falls to him at the far post, and the Russian smashes a doozy of a left-foot volley into the corner. Mark Scwarzer barely moved in the Fulham goal and that's Pavlyuchenko's ninth in his last eight games.

2103: GOALFLASH Tottenham 2-1 Fulham (Pavlyuchenko)

2102: Foul by Bobby Zamora on Sebastien Bassong and the Frenchman reacts. It's a little like a Strictly Come Dancing audition more than fisticuffs. Lovely.

2100: Tim Cahill only scores with his head... oh hold on, he's just directed a glorious chipped effort millimetres past Shay Given's post at Eastlands. All right, it didn't go in, but lovely effort.

2059: Spurs have been forced into another change as Vedran Corluka limps off with a twisted ankle to be replaced by Roman Pavlyuchenko. Wilson Palacios goes to right-back and Gudjohnsen drops into midfield. So Redknapp has used all three of substitutes before the hour mark and we could still be in for extra-time. Interesting.

2058: Craig Gordan is having another absolute stormer - this time he gets a crucial fingertip on John Carew's curled effort to direct it inches past the post.

Chelsea goal: Well, speak of the devil... Florent Malouda is set through on the left by Frank Lampard and he lashes home an unstoppable effort into the roof of the net left-footed. Some of you will argue he shouldn't have been on the pitch, but that's a cracking finish.

2055: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-2 Chelsea (Malouda)

2054: Apparently, Ricardo Rocha and Tommy Smith have suffered a suspected broken cheekbone and broken nose. Ouch. I've since had a look at the Florent Malouda 'elbow' and, again, it certainly looks worse than Daniel Sturridge on Tommy Smith? A red card? Maybe...

2053: Another word on Blackburn-Birmingham, by the way, where David Dunn left the pitch exchanging rather, erm, colourful words with team-mate Michel Salgado. The mediator? El-Hadji Diouf. Who else?

2052: And we're back started at Fratton Park and Eastlands.

Tottenham goal: What. An. Introduction. David Bentley, with his very first touch, swings a brilliant free-kick in from the left, it avoids everyone, including the diving Vedran Corluka, and creeps into the far corner.

2051: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-1 Fulham (Bentley)

2050: So, Blackburn one up at the break, with Birmingham old-boy David Dunn the star of the show. Dunn almost set up a second at the end of the half with a cute pass to release El-Hadji Diouf whose cross created problems for Joe Hart - it was cleared.

2049: Back under way at Villa Park, and now at White Hart Lane too - where David Bentley and Tom Huddlestone have been brought on for Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Niko Kranjcar. Gareth Bale will revert to left-back, Luka Modric left midfield and David Bentley right midfield.

Half time
2046: HALF-TIME Blackburn 1-0 Birmingham

SauberRG on Twitter: "Re - 2020: Why does no one remember Spurs are quite secure in 4th? Is it not obvious we want it?"

2041: And our friends at Infostrada Sports have some pretty disappointing numbers for Portsmouth fans hoping for a second-half comeback against Chelsea. The last time the Blues lost an away match after leading at half-time was a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough on 23 August 2006. That is 1,309 days ago. Anyone believe in commentator's curse?

2039: I should mention Florent Malouda's booking for causing the injury that led to Ricardo Rocha leaving the field, too - but I haven't seen it yet. The Pompey fans were not happy, though, that's for sure.

2037: Injury o'clock at Fratton Park, by the way, where Portsmouth striker Tommy Smith was the latest to receive treatment for a face injury after being caught by a flailing Daniel Sturridge arm. Some peeps over on 606 think the Chelsea man was lucky to escape punishment, but I can't say I saw any malice in that. My ruling? Accidental.

Football League
Football League Danny: "Not exactly a goalfest in the Championship, but some intriguing scorelines nonetheless. Here's yer half-time run-down. It's Cardiff 1-0 Sheff Utd, Leicester 1-1 Reading, Sheff Wed 0-0 Watford and West Brom 1-0 Coventry."

Half time
2036: HALF-TIME Manchester City 0-1 Everton

2035: HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea

Half time
2033: HALF-TIME Tottenham 0-1 Fulham

2033: HALF-TIME Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland

2032: Tottenham have responded pretty well since going a goal down - but they could be entering the break 2-0 down, Zoltan Gera making the most of Benoit Assou-Ekotto's lack of positioning to dink a cross to the back post when Bobby Zamora fails to get his header on target. Should have done better the Fulham goalscorer.

Football League
Football League Danny: "All square at the Walkers. Martyn Waghorn's ninth of the season puts Leicester level at 1-1 with Reading. Meanwhile, Cardiff are 1-0 up at home against Sheffield United that's to Jay Bothroyd's 11th of the season. Potentially good week for Bluebirds fans with fellow play-off hopefuls and local rivals Swansea suffering a 5-1 reverse last night."

2030: A slight break in play at Fratton Park as Ricardo Rocha receives treatment for a head injury - he can't continue - which might allow Portsmouth to regroup a touch. Chelsea ever so dominant, with the home faithful yet to be greeted by a chance of note from their side.

2027: He finally gets a start... and he gets injured. Stephen Ireland has sustained a leg injury and can't continue, Shaun Wright-Phillips comes on. He goes to the right, Adam Johnson to the left, with Craig Bellamy joining Carlos Tevez up front.

2026: At Ewood Park, we've seen a spirited response from Birmingham after going behind, with Jason Brown flinging himself to his right to turn away James McFadden's shot. More worryingly for the visitors they look uncomfortable in dealing with the ball as it comes into the box - be that Morten Gamst Pedersen's Rory Delap-style long throws or his set-pieces. Plenty to play for in that one, for sure.

2023: An excellent little free-kick that one from Everton, by the way, leading to Tim Cahill grabbing his ninth straight goal from a header. A touch against the run of play, but work for Manchester City to do now.

Everton goal: Mikel Arteta's quick free-kick finds Leighton Baines and he whips it in for Tim Cahill to guide his header through a crowd of players and home. Does no-one want this fourth spot??

2020: GOALFLASH Manchester City 0-1 Everton (Cahill)

Chelsea goal: Oh deary deary me, that is an absolute horror show from Pompey keeper David James. Deco's header forwards is tame and should be easily cleared by the veteran, but he swings and misses allowing Didier Drogba to stroll through and prod into an empty net.

2018: GOALFLASH Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea (Drogba)

2017: Spurs are raising their game - Gareth Bale's cross from the left is chested back by Eidur Gudjohnsen into the path of Luka Modric, who flashes a half-volley a couple of feet wide.

2016: Chelsea looking the more dangerous side at Fratton Park. The visitors have had plenty of possession without creating too much in terms of clear-cut chances, forcing Portsmouth to battle hard to hold the title-chasing Londoners at bay.

Aston Villa goal: England hopefuls James Milner and Ashley Young combine and the latter steers a superb cross across goal that is just begging to be tapped in - John Carew obliges at the far post and we're back level at Villa Park.

2015: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 1-1 Sunderland (Carew)

2013: Spurs starting to respond at White Hart Lane, Eidur Gudjohnsen forcing a good low stop from Mark Schwarzer with an innovative back-flick from Peter Crouch's lay-off.

Football League
Football League Danny: "West Brom are keen to keep on Newcastle's coat-tails at the top of the Championship and they're going about it the right way. Steven Reid's put them 1-0 up at home against Coventry."

2010: Carlos Tevez is put through on goal at Eastlands by the returning Stephen Ireland, but Tim Howard gets out quickly to close the Argentine down and the chance is cleared.

Sunderland goal: That's thrown the cat among the top-four-contenders pigeons - Fraizer Campbell puts Sunderland a goal to the good, dashing on to Kieran Richardson's defence-splitting through-ball to clip home smartly.

2007: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland (Campbell)

2006: Having already been denied by Craig Gordon earlier, James Collins misses a golden opportunity to put Villa ahead, glancing a header wide at the far post from a fiercely-struck Ashley Young free-kick.

Blackburn goal: What did I tell you - goal time at Ewood Park. By way of construction it could hardly be described as a thing of beauty as Birmingham struggle to deal with Christopher Samba's hoof up the park, but David Dunn's finish is much easier on the eye. The former Birmingham midfielder reacts quickly and lashed the ball into the corner…..

Football League
Football League Danny: "Reading are something of an unstoppable football machine right now. They're 1-0 up at fourth-placed Leicester, thanks to Jimmy Kebe's 16th-minute goal."

Fulham goal: He's been in the form of his life this season and he's returned to haunt his former club - Bobby Zamora, onside, dashes on to Damien Duff's pass and slides beautifully past Heurelho Gomes left-footed.

2004: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-0 Birmingham (Dunn)

2003: GOALFLASH Tottenham 0-1 Fulham (Zamora)

2001: There has not been a single goal in England tonight yet - but fear not, Blackburn-Birmingham is now under way. Phew.

1959: A few were calling for Nathan Delfouneso to start for Aston Villa earlier - and you belatedly have your wish as the youngster comes on at the expense of Emile Heskey, who has a knock.

1958: Back at White Hart Lane and Fulham midfielder and former Spur Simon Davies finds himself in acres of space, launching a fierce effort goalwards that Heurelho Gomes does well to sprawl to his left and beat round the post. Good effort, good save.

1957: By the way, Sunderland have already had the ball in the net - Darren Bent capping a rapid counter-attack by lashing the ball beyond Brad Friedel - only for the in-form frontman be flagged offside.

1956: And at Eastlands, it appears Everton are giving the hosts a rather eloquent lesson in keep-ball. It's all about the visitors right now, Roberto Mancini's side have yet to settle.

1955: Couple of half chances for Didier Drogba in a matter of minutes, but his snap-shots slide wide of the Pompey upright.

1954: Tottenham and Fulham have now exchanged long range efforts - Danny Murphy's easily held by Spurs' Heurelho Gomes, while Wilson Palacios' drfits just wide.

1952: Another headed chance for Villa and another save from Craig Gordon - the Scot, who has had stormers against Manchester City and Birmingham in recent weeks, getting down to keep out James Collins' effort from a corner this time.

1951: First chance of the night at Villa Park and John Carew's snap-header from Ashley Young's cross is kept out smartly by Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon. Villa looking bright early doors.

1949: The fireworks of this evening have been lit... but have yet to ignite. Fairly quiet start everywhere so far. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves would you? Thanks.

Feldman61 on 606: "Avram Grant to come back and haunt Chelsea, after taking them to the Champions League final and being sacked."

1946: And now at Fratton Park, White Hart Lane and Eastlands. Happy days.

1945: We're under way at Villa Park.

1944: We're moments away across the country - aside from Blackburn v Birmingham, which of course is a 2000 kick-off. You knew that.

1943: Our friends at Infostrada Sports have unearthed this little nugget for us... Portsmouth are tonight fielding the oldest starting line-up of the 2009/2010 Premier League season. Theirs is, on average, 30 years and 300 days old, beating the whippersnappers of Fulham on 28 February, who were a mere 30 years and 180 days old on average.

20ledge-kb on 606: "Think Sunderland might upset villa tonight Darren Bent is back on goal scoring form.. And his record has been a lot better when Jones isn't playing."

1940: And what about Blackburn-Birmingham, I hear - erm - not very many of you cry? Well, we have teams whose leading goalscorers have yet to reach double figures, with Niko Kalinic on seven goals and Birmingham's Cameron Jerome on nine. It's a recipe for a veritable goalfest at Ewood Park, you mark my words.

1939: Martin O'Neill was unhappy that his Aston Villa side were on the receiving end of a few boos when they drew 2-2 with Wolves at the weekend, but there are two sides to that particular story. O'Neill will justifiably point to the fact that Villa are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2010, but fans desperate to see Champions League football at Villa Park will be concerned that six of their nine league games this year have been drawn. The Villa boss has made it clear that he sees victory against Sunderland tonight as essential in the race for fourth, but don't expect the Black Cats to roll over. Although Sunderland have not won away from home since the opening weekend of the season, they are unbeaten in four and in Darren Bent they have a man with 21 goals in all competitions this season, including five in his last three games.

1937: Both Manchester City and Everton are in pursuit of European football next season with City targeting the Champions League and the Toffees chasing a Europa League spot. A win for the home side would move them above Tottenham into the all-important fourth spot, while Everton will keep themselves firmly in the mix for a place in next season's Europa League with three points. City boast the only unbeaten home record in the league but today's visitors have won their last two trips to the City of Manchester Stadium without conceding a goal.

MCFCWoodlouse on 606: "And big Stevie Ireland is playing... finally, he could just be the difference between the two."

himalayan_bloke on Twitter: "Looking at Chelsea's body language at Bolton, I have a strange feeling they will draw and make it easier for United."

1934: Portsmouth may have been given special dispensation by the Premier League to sell players outside of the transfer window but their visitors tonight are traditionally far less generous towards the south coasters. Chelsea, who will go second with a win, have won 12 of 13 Premier League ties between the two and are unbeaten at Fratton Park since 1957. Watch out for Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka if he is given his chance off the substitute's bench too - he's netted in his last five league games against Portsmouth.

1933: Ignoring the possibility of a commentator's curse, let me tell you that Spurs are unbeaten in seven games as they look to secure a semi-final date with manager Harry Redknapp's former club Portmouth. Fulham are out to secure their first Wembley appearance since they lost to West Ham United in the 1975 FA Cup final - but have they taken their eye off the prize after their stunning Europa League success over Juventus?

1930: Now that optajoe, below, has pretty much guaranteed a Fulham win at White Hart Lane, why not lend an ear to our 5 Live coverage using the link on the right-hand side (visible with a cheeky manual refresh) where you will also find a link to our 5 Live sports extra coverage of Portsmouth v Chelsea. Enjoy.

optajoe on Twitter: "Fulham have failed to score in their last four games against Spurs and have not won at White Hart Lane since 2003."

Anon via text: "I'm sorry but Carew and Heskey up front together for Villa just does not work."

1929: TEAM NEWS Blackburn v Birmingham
18-year-old defender Phil Jones, who performed sensationally in his debut against Chelsea on Sunday, keeps his place in an unchanged team for Rovers. Two changes for the visitors Birmingham with Lee Bowyer and James McFadden coming in for Michel and Christian Benitez.

1927: TEAM NEWS Aston Villa v Sunderland
Aston Villa
manager Martin O'Neill names the same side that was booed by some among the home support during the weekend draw with Wolves. Steve Bruce makes two changes to the Sunderland team that chalked up a 3-1 win against Birmingham on Saturday, with Lee Cattermole and Jordan Henderson both making the starting line-up. Club captain Lorik Cana is named on the bench on his return from suspension.

MrHenderson89 on Twitter: "City's chances tonight depend on how well De Jong can keep Arteta and Cahill quiet!"

1924: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v Chelsea
Richard Hughes returns for Portsmouth as Avram Grant makes two changes for Chelsea's visit to Fratton Park. The midfielder replaces Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, who drops to the bench, whilst the other change from the side which beat Hull 3-2 at the weekend sees Steve Finnan start at right back in place of Nadir Belhadj. Chelsea make five changes. Petr Cech is back in goal after missing the last month with a calf injury suffered in the Champions League first leg at Inter Milan - he replaces Ross Turnbull - while Nicolas Anelka is dropped to the bench with Daniel Sturridge starting up front. Ricardo Carvalho starts in place of Alex at centre-back, Deco is recalled in place of Salomon Kalou, and Yuri Zhirkov takes the right-back spot of Branislav Ivanovic, who has a knee injury.

1923: TEAM NEWS Manchester City v Everton
Manchester City
opt for Pablo Zabaleta at left-back in the absence of Wayne Bridge, while Nigel de Jong comes in for Patrick Vieira and Stephen Ireland starts as Roque Santa Cruz drops to the bench. Everton make two changes to their starting line-up with Louis Saha and Leon Osman - who were both on the bench for the weekend victory over Bolton - returning to the side at the expense of the Nigerian pairing of Victor Anichebe and Yakubu. Anichebe misses out with a hip injury but Yakubu is on the bench.

1921: TEAM NEWS Tottenham v Fulham
make two changes to the team that pulled off a 2-1 win at Stoke, with Wilson Palacios coming in for the cup-tied Younes Kaboul and Eidur Gudjohnsen rewarded for his goal at the Britannia Stadium with a starting place at the expense of Roman Pavlyuchenko, who starts on the bench despite a hamstring problem. Fulham boss Roy Hodgson welcomes back Brede Hangeland, who missed the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City with a chest injury. His only other change sees Stephen Kelly replacing Chris Baird.

1920: TEAMS Blackburn v Birmingham
Brown, Salgado, Samba, Jones, Olsson, Nzonzi, Andrews, Pedersen, Dunn, Diouf, Kalinic. Subs: Bunn, Nelsen, Emerton, Roberts, Hoilett, Di Santo, Chimbonda.
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, McFadden, Jerome. Subs: Taylor, Larsson, Phillips, Benitez, Michel, Parnaby, Vignal.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

ColonelFierce on Twitter: "Why do I really want Pompey and Fulham to win tonight? Oh wait, I know... it's because I'm an Arsenal supporter."

Football League
Football League Danny: "In the Championship, West Brom host Coventry, with a win putting eight points between themselves and third-placed Forest - and harming the Sky Blues' outside hopes of a play-off place in the process. Speaking of play-offs, Leicester (fourth) host in-form Reading, while Cardiff (sixth) take on Sheffield United (ninth). At the bottom, it's a huge match as Sheffield Wednesday (21st) host Watford (20th). Tense."

From BBC Radio 1's Andy May at Fratton Park: "Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti didn't look too impressed when he came on to inspect the Fratton Park pitch, which isn't looking that great to be fair!"

1915: TEAMS Man City v Everton
Man City:
Given, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, Adam Johnson, Ireland, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez. Subs: Taylor, Onuoha, Wright-Phillips, Santa Cruz, Garrido, Sylvinho, Vieira.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Heitinga, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha. Subs: Nash, Hibbert, Yobo, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling, Yakubu, Rodwell.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

yeah1101 on 606: "With Spurs and Villa still being in the Cup, maybe they will tire and Man City will sneak into the Champions league?"

1913: TEAMS Portsmouth v Chelsea
James, Finnan, Rocha, Hreidarsson, Mullins, Smith, Wilson, Mokoena, Hughes, O'Hara, Piquionne. Subs: Ashdown, Brown, Owusu-Abeyie, Vanden Borre, Webber, Kanu, Basinas.
Chelsea: Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Carvalho, Terry, Zhirkov, Lampard, Mikel, Deco, Sturridge, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Joe Cole, Kalou, Alex, Anelka, Bruma, Van Aanholt.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1912: TEAMS Aston Villa v Sunderland
Aston Villa:
Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Luke Young, Sidwell, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Salifou, Beye.
Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Mensah, Ferdinand, Campbell, Henderson, Cattermole, Richardson, Malbranque, Bent. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Cana, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Mwaruwari.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1910: TEAMS Tottenham v Fulham
Gomes, Corluka, Bassong, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Palacios, Modric, Bale, Gudjohnsen, Crouch. Subs: Alnwick, Bentley, Huddlestone, Pavlyuchenko, Rose, Livermore, Townsend.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Okaka, Riise, Dempsey, Smalling, Greening.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Moon on 606: "Spurs should get a result tonight, Fulham must be getting exhausted after that stunning performance against Juve ... and they don't travel well."

matthew on 606: "If Chelsea lose tonight they can kiss the league title goodbye."

1908: So, in short, if you're not up for tonight, you're not human. And why not prove you're all flesh, blood, sweat and tears by dropping me a line? You can Tweet me, get on 606 or text in via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). Treat yourselves.

1906: And as if that wasn't enough, we also have four absolutely bumper ties in the Championship. I'll leave Football League Danny to fill you in on the details in a bit if you don't mind but, all in all, I could not be more excited about tonight if it was smothered in icing sugar, hundreds and thousands and wrapped in a fancy bow.

1905: Outside of Premier League action, we have an FA Cup quarter-final replay in the form of Tottenham v Fulham, which needs no other build-up than to say; London rivals; a semi-final place and trip to Wembley at stake; England's finest domestic Cup competition. All right, it needs a bit more than that, but you get the idea...

1902: How about with Portsmouth v Chelsea - a team striving to keep their interest in the Premier League title race against a team all but resigned to relegation to the Championship. Or we have two monster fixtures in the race for fourth spot, with Aston Villa v Sunderland and Manchester City v Everton the focus of attention for anyone wondering who will grab the final Champions League qualifying place. And while Blackburn v Birmingham may appear something of an uninspiring fixture on the face of it, it is a match that could certainly create waves at both ends of the table.

1900: Blimey, where do I start tonight then?

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Premier League results

24 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Mar 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 31 47 69
2 Chelsea 31 47 68
3 Arsenal 31 40 67
4 Tottenham 30 26 55
5 Man City 30 16 53
6 Liverpool 31 18 51
7 Aston Villa 30 17 51
8 Everton 31 8 48
9 Birmingham 31 -4 44
10 Fulham 30 -1 38
11 Blackburn 31 -16 38
12 Stoke 30 -6 36
13 Sunderland 31 -6 35
14 Bolton 31 -20 32
15 Wolves 31 -22 31
16 Wigan 31 -30 31
17 West Ham 31 -16 27
18 Burnley 31 -33 24
19 Hull 30 -35 24
20 Portsmouth 31 -30 13

see also
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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