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From Sakaria2 on 606:
"I guess a victory on Wednesday night would raise the spirits of the players and the fans of Spurs. I think if we lose that game (which seems probable), 4th place is Man City's."
1858: Portsmouth will receive £900,000 for winning this semi-final, excluding broadcast fees. The winners of the FA Cup will get another £1.8m and the runners-up £900,000. A rare profitable day for the south coast club - now will the heroes of today be able to play on 15 May?
From Mike, London, via text to 81111: "Dodgy pitch, dodgy ref, but at the end of the day same old Spurs, capitulating at the slightest hint of expectation. Well done to Pompey."
From bujubanter on 606:
"Maybe Disney should buy the rights to the Pompey story? Getting relegated and being runners-up in the FA Cup final. A truly magical script." Runners-up? Hold those horses, sunshine. This story ain't over yet.
1848: Let's be clear about this once more: Portsmouth cannot play in the Europa League next season. They have not applied for a Uefa club licence because administration meant they were not in a position to file their accounts.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Avram Grant is buried among almost disbelieving Portsmouth players and staff. A surreal Wembley scene as the Pompey end is packed with joyous dancing supporters and the Spurs section is, quite literally, deserted. Spurs were the better side in the first 90 minutes, but Grant has injected an incredible spirit into this side and it saw them through. Relegated one day, FA Cup final the next. Incredible."
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "Winning the Cup? Against Chelsea? I can't get dragged into that. Football is a crazy, crazy game but it's just wonderful to be here when these moments that amaze you arrive."
Portsmouth midfielder Hayden Mullins: "You can see how much it means to everyone at Portsmouth. It was a blow being relegated on Saturday, but every single player in that changing-room deserves to have won today. We've been written off all season and to give the fans something like this is magic."
Portsmouth goalkeeper David James: "The gaffer has drummed it into us how great an occasion this is for the players. This season encapsulates just about every emotion you can have as a footballer and today has been absolutely superb."
1836: On the final whistle, Frederic Piquionne jumped on Avram Grant's back and hitched a little lift from his gaffer. Next month, on Saturday 15 May, Grant will face his old club Chelsea in the Cup final.
1835: Full-time in extra-time Spurs 0-2 Portsmouth That is one of the biggest shocks in the FA Cup's recent history, I don't care whether they are in the same league or not. Nobody gave Pompey a prayer before today, but they are in the FA Cup final.
1833: John Utaka's shot is tipped away by Heurelho Gomes. Seconds left.
1832: We're into injury time and these extra seconds are like a dagger through the heart of every Tottenham fan inside Wembley stadium.
1832: Not such a hopeless day of football now, is it?
1830: Harry Redknapp looks like he's just found out someone has played the biggest practical joke of all time on him and he is about to knock the perpetrator out.
Pompey goal: This is truly one of the stories of the season. Aruna Dindane races with pace against a weary Spurs backline and as he gets into the area he falls under a challenge from Wilson Palacios, who is promptly booked. Kevin-Prince Boateng steps up and slots coolly into the corner, taking his shirt off and going mental in front of the disbelieving Portsmouth fans.
1829: GOAL Tottenham 0-2 Portsmouth
1828: PENALTY TO PORTSMOUTH
1827: What a chance for Vedran Corluka, but the Croatian takes too long to sort his feet out and David James makes the save.
1827: Gareth Bale's cross from the left hits Steve Finnan on the back and half the Spurs fans appeal for a penalty. You can't blame them for being desperate.
1825: Portsmouth bring the enormous Papa Bouba Diop on for goalscoring hero Frederic Piquionne.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Sudden desperation in the air for Spurs but this could still be a long last 10 minutes for Pompey. They have given so much to this in the face of Spurs' superiority - but maybe they just feel the fates are with them after all their troubles. So tough on Michael Dawson to slip at the vital moment for Frederic Piquionne's goal. Sorry to go on - but this Wembley pitch is simply not fit for games of this magnitude."
1823: More brave defending from Pompey and then they hit Spurs on the counter-attack - but two against one, John Utaka completely fluffs his pass and Tottenham escape.
1821: If Portsmouth win the FA Cup, should Avram Grant be the manager of the year?
1819: Spurs' best hope is Gareth Bale, arguably. He gets round one defender down the Tottenham left and crosses into the box, where Eidur Gudjohnsen diverts the ball goalwards and into the arms of David James.
1817: Spurs have 15 minutes to score a goal and stay in this season's FA Cup. If they don't, it will be a Chelsea v Portsmouth final.
From Simon, Manchester, via text to 81111: "Another shocking refereeing decision in these semi-finals. Goalkeepers are way too over-protected in football these days."
1815: Half-time in extra-time Spurs 0-1 Portsmouth
1814: Yep, I meant Pompey goal. Sorry about that. Not long left in the first period of extra-time at Wembley and the Spurs fans look sick.
1811: Spurs bring Eidur Gudjohnsen on for Tom Huddlestone.
1810: Should be 1-1. Gareth Bale does really well down the left and David James fumbles the ball in a challenge with Niko Kranjcar - as it drops, Peter Crouch smacks into the empty net, but Alan Wiley has already blown for a foul on James. No way - should have stood.
1808: Almost a leveller for Spurs as Peter Crouch manages to get one of his long legs to the ball at an angle inside the Pompey box and his shot cannons against the post.
Pompey goal: Whatever you do, don't show Spurs captain Michael Dawson a replay of that. A hopeful free-kick is punted into the Tottenham box and flicked on and Dawson slips on the rubbish surface to allow Frederic Piquionne to shoot under Heurelho Gomes from eight yards. It's incredible, the FA Cup.
1807: GOAL Tottenham 0-1 Portsmouth
1806: Roman Pavlyuchenko latches on to a mistake from Ricardo Rocha and hammers in a right-foot shot with the ball sitting up nicely 20 yards out, but it's a little high and a little wide and David James watches it sail by.
1804: Wilson Palacios has all the time in the world to take a touch, pick his spot and fire goalwards from 20 yards, but his right-foot effort flies hopelessly over David James' crossbar.
Liverpool's Jamie Carragher: "It will be a blow if we don't qualify for the CL, but we haven't always been there, we will come back again. The name of Liverpool attracts players. We have a great history. The pressure is off us now and the pressure is on the other clubs like Spurs and Man City."
1801: Pompey slip the ball into the box down the right and Frederic Piquionne slams a low shot into the side-netting.
1758: Here we go again. The first period of extra-time starts in the second FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham and Portsmouth at Wembley.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Peter Crouch may not have been sure whether to laugh or cry as he diverts the latest of his many chances against David James' legs deep into injury time - in the end he decides to laugh. Not many Spurs fans smiling though because they should have settled this FA Cup semi-final without the need for extra-time. Pompey's defending has been the real last-ditch variety, but they are still in there fighting."
1754: Full-time Manchester City 5-1 Birmingham Quite a message to send to the other teams chasing fourth place, I'm sure you'd agree. City looked irresistible at times and the Blues simply had no answer to their attacking prowess.
1752: Full-time Tottenham 0-0 Portsmouth Don't think that's that - oh no, we're about to start a 30-minute period of extra-time and then there are possibly penalties to come too.
1751: How have Spurs not scored? Gareth Bale fires over another cross from the left that Peter Crouch diverts goalwards and David James gets enough on it to divert it away.
1750: Into injury time at Wembley and we have only two minutes to get a goal before extra-time and possibly penalties.
Man City goal: Too easy. A long ball from Shay Given sees Emmanuel Adebayor get the wrong side of Scott Dann and once he's through, there's only ever going to be one result. Adebayor opens up his body and slips effortlessly past Maik Taylor.
1748: GOAL Manchester City 5-1 Birmingham
From Luke from London, via text to 81111: "This is one of the worst FA Cup games I've ever seen, way too much long ball and very few ideas."
1747: Portsmouth bring John Utaka on for Hassan Yebda.
1745: Vedran Corluka fires goalwards from a Spurs corner, but it's hacked away from near the line by a Pompey defender, couldn't see who. John Utaka is preparing to come on, not much more than five minutes left.
1744: Man City are cruising at Eastlands, they are just seeing it out. They lead Birmingham 4-1 and and in pole position for fourth place in the Premier League as it stands.
1743: Spurs are dominating possession, but Pompey's defending is still of the highest order. I think it'd be a bit churlish to be disappointed with Tottenham today - better to focus on what Portsmouth have done well instead.
1738: Spurs send Niko Kranjcar on for David Bentley as he's booed by some of the Pompey fans, perhaps a touch unfairly.
1736: Spurs go close again as Gareth Bale floats over a deep cross from the left and at an almost impossible angle, Peter Crouch heads against the post.
Man City goal: Strangest goal of the weekend, I reckon. Nedum Onuoha picks up the ball 40 yards out, plays a one-two with a Birmingham defender, kicks it 10 yards ahead of him and as no-one runs after it, he does, reaching it on the edge of the box and firing in left-footed from 18 yards. Bizarre.
1734: GOAL Manchester City 4-1 Birmingham
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "We've really seen some end-to-end action, the game has definitely lifted in the last few moments. The players are starting to get a bit tired and there's a lot more space now."
1732: Carlos Tevez bursts into the Birmingham box and his low shot is parried away by Maik Taylor into the path of Craig Bellamy, who lashes wildly off target from an angle on the left.
1730: Tottenham are starting to batter away at Pompey and Peter Crouch is denied again by some more good defending from Aaron Mokoena.
1729: Some of Portsmouth's last-ditch defending has been magnificent today. Gareth Bale crosses from the left and Peter Crouch fires it goalwards, only for Aaron Mokoena to get in another terrific block.
From ElSquirrel on 606:
"It's like England was struck by some sort of Goal-on particle storm for a moment, but the moment has passed."
1725: David James comes out for a Tottenham corner from the left and totally misses it, but Peter Crouch heads wide. Should have scored.
1724: Carlos Tevez curls in a free-kick from 25 yards for Manchester City that a diving Maik Taylor does well to palm around the post.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Pompey's fans are revelling in the replacement of Jermain Defoe by Roman Pavlyuchenko after giving their former - albeit for a very brief period - striker a rough ride. They may be celebrating too soon, however, because Pavlyuchenko has been on a hot streak after resurrecting his Spurs career in recent months."
1721: Keith Fahey gets inside the area on the Birmingham left and fires in a low shot that is well saved by the legs of Shay Given.
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez: "I'm a little bit disappointed. The fourth position is a little bit far away. It depends on other teams, two or three teams. The difference is maybe too much now. Fernando Torres has gone to see a specialist and we are waiting to see what the results are."
1718: Spurs send on Roman Pavlyuchenko for Jermain Defoe. The Tottenham fans are absolutely delighted at Pavlyuchenko's introduction just before the hour mark, but they boo Defoe being taken off.
1717: Poor keeping from Shay Given at Man City - the Irish number one comes out to claim a fine Craig Gardner cross from the Birmingham right and doesn't get near it, but he's lucky as Keith Fahey heads wide at the far post. Let off.
1716: Pompey: chance. Aruna Dindane shows great pace and power down the right and he cleverly clips a cross in on to the head of Frederic Piquionne, who heads tamely at Heurelho Gomes from eight yards. Should've done better.
From Lee, Essex, via text to 81111: "I am absolutely infuriated once again with Rafael Benitez. How can he pick Ngog upfront over Kuyt and leave Benayoun out? Man City will walk fourth place."
1712: Kevin-Prince Boateng whips a free-kick in from the Pompey right and it's a horrible ball to defend as Heurelho Gomes flicks it out for a corner, which Gareth Bale heads clear.
1710: Should have been a penalty to Man City there, I think. Adam Johnson's ball into the area sees Nigel de Jong and Nedum Onuoha being manhandled in the Birmingham box and Onuoha does well to head over in the end.
1708: Half-chance for Man City to extend their lead, Emmanuel Adebayor holding off Liam Ridgewell and volleying wide from Adam Johnson's right-wing free-kick.
1707: Jermain Defoe latches on to a ball inside the Pompey area and fires it goalwards, only for his shot to be superbly blocked by a diving Ricardo Rocha, the former Spurs centre-back playing for Portsmouth.
1706: Remember: if we don't get a goal at Wembley, we will be going to extra-time and penalties.
1705: Back under way at Eastlands in the Premier League as Manchester City lead Birmingham 3-1 after that astonishing flurry of goals late on in the first half and at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final, where it remains Spurs 0-0 Portsmouth.
From WhatAHit on 606:
"People who are saying we can't blame Rafa for resting Torres: So it's okay for you that our replacement is N'Gog, and as a last, desperate attempt we bring on Pacheco? Not good enough."
From Darren, Norfolk, via text to 81111: "Stevo, what just happened? I only left my screen for five mins and missed all the fun!"
1652: Full-time Liverpool 0-0 Fulham They couldn't have put much more pressure on the Cottagers, but Liverpool's fruitless afternoon could be crucial in their fight to finish fourth, a fight that they appear to be losing. Four games left for Rafa and his boys, and even four wins might not be enough now.
1650: Half-time Manchester City 3-1 Birmingham Astonishing end to the half - four goals in the last eight minutes and City have laid down a real marker in their bid to claim that fourth spot and get into the Champions League next season.
1649: Half-time Tottenham 0-0 Portsmouth Not quite what was expected during the first 45 minutes at Wembley as Pompey went toe-to-toe with Spurs. Harry Redknapp's current team look the most likely to score, but his old boys are dangerous on the counter.
1649: Into three minutes of injury time at Anfield, where it remains Liverpool 0-0 Fulham.
1648: More action at Wembley - Peter Crouch's shot is blocked and there's pinball in the Pompey box before they manage to hack clear.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Tough going this and I'm not going to lay all the blame at the door of the players. Heurelho Gomes did well to stretch out his left leg to save from Frederic Piquionne and that was an outstanding stop from David James from Tom Huddlestone. No real rhythm to the game yet - although Pompey fans seem pretty happy with how things are progressing."
1646: What happened at Wembley while those goals were going in: With the game becoming increasingly end to end, both sides have been rescued by their keepers. Heurelho Gomes is equal to the task as Frederic Piquionne races clear, but he shoots too close to the Spurs custodian, before David James leaps like a salmon to claw Tom Huddlestone's looping volley out of the air as it zooms in on the top right-hand corner.
Man City goal: I'm not making this up, either. City immediately reassert their two-goal lead after playing a long ball down their left, which Craig Bellamy gets to before Maik Taylor and slips across the six-yard box for Emmanuel Adebayor to tap in from close-range. They are still playing elsewhere, not incidentally.
1644: GOAL Manchester City 3-1 Birmingham
Birmingham goal: I asked for this, didn't I? It's turned into a little cracker at Eastlands as James McFadden creates some space down the Birmingham left to get a cross in and float it to the back post, where Cameron Jerome heads in.
1642: GOAL Manchester City 2-1 Birmingham
Man City goal: Like London buses... Adam Johnson loops in a corner from the City left and at the back post, Nedum Onuoha holds off Lee Bowyer to head home and double the hosts' advantage.
1640: GOAL Manchester City 2-0 Birmingham
Man City goal: Haha. Isn't life predictable? Emmanuel Adebayor forces his way into the Birmingham area and collapses under a challenge from Scott Dann. Referee Phil Dowd gives a penalty and Carlos Tevez steps up to slot past Maik Taylor and give us our first goal of the day. It's his 19th in his last 18 league games.
1638: GOAL Manchester City 1-0 Birmingham
1637: PENALTY TO MANCHESTER CITY
1637: Fine. I don't want any goals. I can easily live without them, if you guys can.
1635: Just not gonna happen, is it? Dirk Kuyt sends over a lovely, inviting cross from the Liverpool left and what does Sotiris Kyrgiakos do? He heads over from five yards, of course.
1634: Manchester City are on top at Eastlands and Liverpool at Anfield, but they are both unable to break down dogged Birmingham and Fulham defences respectively. I hope Alan Hansen's on MotD2 tonight - he'll be loving this action.
1633: Portsmouth are bidding to become the sixth club to be relegated and reach the FA Cup final in the same season and the first since Middlesbrough in 1997. They've come into it a bit more in recent minutes, but Spurs still on top.
1629: Someone in the office is doing an impression of Roland Rat to try and liven up proceedings. At Wembley, Peter Crouch's header is well saved by David James.
1628: Pompey have a free-kick 25 yards out and Kevin-Prince Boateng curls it wide of Heurelho Gomes' right-hand upright.
1626: No chance of a goal today now - Bobby Zamora has gone off for Fulham at Liverpool replaced by Stefano Okaka, who misses golden opportunities for fun. Luka Modric fires just over for Spurs at Wembley.
1625: Pompey have a corner from their right and the ball is half-cleared and then lofted back into the Spurs box, where it falls kindly for Frederic Piquionne - but the striker's volley is miscued and Heurelho Gomes makes the save.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Sadly Wembley's much-criticised - make that correctly criticised - pitch is already making its impact. Players slipping and Aruna Dindane a little unfortunate to be booked for a foul on Wilson Palacios as his legs went from under him as he went to make a tackle. This superb stadium is being undermined time and again by its playing surface."
1623: Alberto Aquilani comes off, replaced by Dirk Kuyt for Liverpool. They are locked in a stalemate with Fulham.
1621: Ryan Babel cuts in from the Liverpool left and lashes a right-foot shot towards the near post, where Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer makes a decent low save.
1618: Just to clarify, there are no technical problems and I'm not playing a late April Fools on you. Every single game we are covering today has either finished 0-0, or is currently 0-0. Do not adjust your screens.
1617: Today is remarkable. A Man City cross from the right is not cleared by Birmingham and Gareth Barry heads through to Emmanuel Adebayor, who nicks the ball past Maik Taylor and past the far post.
1615: Luka Modric skips past a couple of Pompey players only to balloon his right-foot shot miles over from the edge of the area. Portsmouth are playing on the break.
1612: Bit of calamity at Wembley, involving David James. A header goalwards from another Spurs corner is punched away by James but it hits Aaron Mokoena and rolls just wide of James' right-hand post.
1610: Man City's Craig Bellamy cuts in from the left and shoots plenty wider with his right foot. Still. No. Goals.
1609: Chances. At Anfield, Alberto Aquilani's right-foot shot from 18 yards is tipped over by Mark Schwarzer and then the Italian slams inches wide left-footed from a bit further out, while at Man City Carlos Tevez plays in Emmanuel Adebayor and the Togo striker selfishly shoots into the side-netting instead of passing back to his strike partner.
1608: Remember - Pompey will be not be allowed to enter the Europa League even if they win the FA Cup. They have not applied for a Uefa club licence because administration meant they were not in a position to file their accounts.
1607: A Spurs corner is flicked on and Jermain Defoe's attempted shot is deflected over by Aaron Mokoena - good defending from the Pompey man.
From Charlie in Dorset, via text to 81111: "If Portsmouth win today, does that mean they qualify for the Europa Cup next season?!"
1603: Back under way at Anfield, where it's Liv- oh forget it, you know what the score is.
Man United assistant Mike Phelan: "You start looking now for other results to go for you. We didn't get the rub of the green in the final third and our selection wasn't good. We cannot rely on Wayne, he is having an exceptional season, but this is Manchester United and other players have to show why we bought them to this club in the first place."
1602: Under way at the City of Manchester Stadium and, a few moments later, at Wembley too. Have Portsmouth got a prayer?
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Lots of debate about the Wembley surface, which was awful during yesterday's semi-final between Aston Villa and Chelsea. And we already have plenty of groundstaff working away furiously in the areas where the Spurs players went through their warm-up. Does not bode well."
1558: The teams are out at Wembley, led by Michael Dawson and David James, the latter wearing his bright pink goalkeeping jersey. The pitch looks rubbish already, but let's hope we've got some goals to take our minds off it.
1557: Patrick Vieira went down with an injury in the warm-up at Manchester City and he has been replaced in the starting XI by Nigel de Jong.
From manfrombelmonty on 606:
"Aquilani has looked our brightest player alongside Johnson today. I'm still not ready to herald him as a potential saviour, but in his starts I've seen enough to retain a hopeful attitude."
1553: Tottenham welcome back Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka and Tom Huddlestone from injury for their FA Cup semi-final against Portsmouth. Former Pompey striker Jermain Defoe also returns to the starting line-up after being on the bench last weekend. England keeper David James is back for Portsmouth after recovering from a calf problem while Kevin-Prince Boateng enjoys his first outing since February after recovering from an ankle injury. Aruna Dindane makes his last appearance before triggering an appearance clause in his loan agreement from Lens.
1550: My colleague Danny the Stat just sent me this missive: "You have now commentated on 270 minutes and 48 seconds worth of goalless football." If I didn't know him better, I'd think he was enjoying it.
1548: Half-time Liverpool 0-0 Fulham Didn't really need to put the scoreline in, did I? Liverpool have dominated for long periods, but those Fulham boys can't half defend you know.
1546: Daniel Agger slaps a left-foot shot over the Fulham bar from 30 yards.
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce: "It was a great resilient performance and to get a point is always beneficial for our team. I know we have been lacking in front of goal for much of this season but we have been very good defensively and it was a another good performance defensively today."
1542: Bobby Zamora does nothing much and the Fulham fans sing "Are you watching Fabio?" He's won a lot of headers, but they haven't had much of the ball so far, the Cottagers. They've never won at Anfield in 28 attempts, remember.
1533: Javier Mascherano goes close for Liverpool, his 25-yard shot being palmed away by Mark Schwarzer.
1533: Manchester City make one change from the side that thumped Burnley 6-1 last week, with Javier Garrido replacing Sylvinho - who sustained a calf injury against the Clarets - at left-back. Birmingham are unable to use goalkeeper Joe Hart under the terms of his loan deal from City, so veteran Maik Taylor comes in for his first Premier League game since keeping a clean sheet in the first meeting between the two sides this season, a 0-0 draw at St Andrews on 1 November. Otherwise, Alex McLeish fields the same side that drew 1-1 with Liverpool last weekend.
1532: Goals galore... in Holland, anyway. Ajax have just spanked VVV-Venlo 7-0, with hat-tricks from Luis Suarez and Marko Pantelic. Whoever my Dutch equivalent is, you are one lucky boy(/girl - in case Cheesy's looking in).
1530: OK, Simon, here goes: GOALS, COME BACK - I LOVE YOU.
From Simon, via text to 81111: "I am starting to think you may be sending out negative "goalless" vibes. Start believing and it will happen. So there. I have spoken."
1525: Glen Johnson's cross is headed back across goal by Steven Gerrard and Alberto Aquilani cushions the ball before trying an ambitious overhead kick that Mark Schwarzer comfortably saves. Moments later, Maxi Rodriguez fires against the legs of the Australian keeper. It's all Liverpool.
1524: Full-time Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Manchester United Massive result - for Chelsea. United have played a game more in the Premier League now and they have a point less than the Blues. It's the Stamford Bridge club's title to lose.
1523: United are putting pressure on, but Gary Neville's left-foot swinger from 15 yards dribbles wide. Of course it did. I mean, it is Goalless Sunday 11th April after all.
1522: Manchester City v Birmingham line-ups: Man City: Given, Onuoha, Kompany, Toure, Garrido, Adam Johnson, Vieira, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor. Subs: Nielsen, Wright-Phillips, Santa Cruz, De Jong, Boyata, Cunningham, Ibrahim. Birmingham: Taylor, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, Jerome, McFadden. Subs: Doyle, Larsson, Phillips, Benitez, Michel, Parnaby, Vignal. Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
1520: Injury time starts at Ewood Park and there will be about four minutes of it.
1518: What a block from Gary Neville. Steven Nzoni collects a pass from El Hadji Diouf inside the Man United area and the midfielder's shot is brilliantly obstructed by the United captain. Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, is struggling a bit with injury.
From Super_Frank on 606:
"Let's be fair to him, Berbatov looks distraught - he definitely cares. It's just that the way Man Utd play doesn't work for him."
1513: Javier Mascherano steals the ball off Danny Murphy at Anfield and tees up David Ngog, but the young Frenchman's shot from 20 yards is high, wide and wild. He seems to have picked up the thread of the day quite early, Ngog.
1512: The ball falls for Dimitar Berbatov on the edge of the Blackburn box, but the striker takes his volleyed shot very early and can only send it right-footed past the far post. He looks how I feel.
1510: Chance. Gary Neville heads a long pass into the Blackburn box to the place where Dimitar Berbatov is standing 15 yards out, but the Bulgarian's shot is straight at Paul Robinson. Less than 10 minutes of normal time left.
1507: Manchester United just don't look the same today. A long punt forward into their box sees a breakdown in communication between Edwin van der Sar and Rio Ferdinand as the defender whacks the ball out for a corner, which comes to nothing. United send Patrice Evra on for John O'Shea.
1505: Closest we've come today - just three minutes in to the game at Anfield. Daniel Agger heads a cross at the back post back across goal and Bobby Zamora and Aaron Hughes combine to clear Fulham's lines.
From optajoe on Twitter:
"Rory Delap took 27 throws vs Wolves, but attempted just 26 passes in open play." That's just not right, is it?
1502: In the third (goalless) game of the day, we're under way between potential Europa League finalists Liverpool and Fulham.
1500: The Liverpool and Fulham teams are out at Anfield, while Blackburn bring on El Hadji Diouf for Martin Olsson.
From Ian, Winchester, via text to 81111: "When I was a kid I always dreamed of playing on Wembley's 'hallowed turf'. Do kids nowadays dream of playing on Wembley's 'fallowed turf'?"
1457: Great defending from Blackburn. A Nani free-kick from the right is half-cleared and Dimitar Berbatov's shot is brilliantly blocked by young Phil Jones before Darron Gibson lashes the rebound over from just outside the area.
1455: "When the ball hits the goal it's not Shearer or Cole it's Zamora..." Five minutes left until Bobby Z time at Anfield - if he can't get us a goal, I give up today. Man United haul off Federico Macheda and send on Ji-Sung Park.
1453: I've watched nearly two entire games of football since Pedro slotted past Iker Casillas to wrap up the Clasico for Barcelona. It feels like about a month ago. Sighs.
From Reach_Yeah on 606:
"Our season will be over if we don't win this. The Utd players need to throw everything at it for the last 30 mins."
1450: ... Nani curls it two yards over Paul Robinson's crossbar. Might have to get the designers to whack over a yawn graphic if this continues.
1449: Free-kick to Manchester United 25 yards out for an alleged foul on Darron Gibson by Steven Nzonzi. Oh something exciting happen, come on...
1447: Manchester United bring on shoot-on-sight midfielder Darron Gibson for Ryan Giggs.
1445: Every single player in the second half at Ewood Park has given the ball away at least once. It's a bit like watching
Wolves 0-0 Stoke
all over again.
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"PA announcer proudly describes Wembley turf as "a fine sight." It may well be but fat lot of good it is if footballers can't play on it."
1441: Gael Givet goes in very, very hard on Gary Neville by the touchline, but it's an entirely fair challenge and Neville gets straight up and on with taking the throw-in, which mercifully isn't a long one.
From Tommy, Belfast, via text to 81111: "I think Farslayer (see 1435) might need a brain surgeon."
1437: Rio Ferdinand has dislocated a finger and needs some treatment. The replay of the incident causes cries of disbelief in the office - it's gruesome. Ferdinand jogs back on seconds later.
1435: Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen cuts in from the left and hammers a right-foot shot goalwards, but the big frame of Nemanja Vidic is in the way.
1435: Back under way at Blackburn 0-0 Man United - David Dunn has come on for Brett Emerton for the hosts. Can anyone remember what the goal graphic looks like?
From Farslayer on 606:
"Fulham definitely have a stronger starting 11. It does not take a brain surgeon to work out that Rafa is gambling on getting goals when Fulham tire. What does he think Liverpool can do that Shaktar Donetsk, Wolfsburg and Juventus couldn't without even having Fernando Torres?"
1429: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez makes four changes from the side which beat Benfica 4-1 on Thursday. Fernando Torres is not in the squad so David Ngog comes in up front. Meanwhile Lucas, Dirk Kuyt, and Yossi Benayoun are on the bench, replaced by Alberto Aquilani, Ryan Babel and Maxi Rodriguez. Despite concerns over an Achilles injury Fulham's Bobby Zamora is fit and starts. Boss Roy Hodgson makes two enforced changes to the side which beat German champions Wolfsburg 1-0 on Thursday with Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera replaced by Erik Nevland and Jonathan Greening.
From mcrabb60 on Twitter:
"Two goalless draws? I expected more from a BBC funded site." Haha. I'd ask for your entire licence fee back if I were you.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Wembley: "Jamie O'Hara, a man with a foot in both camps, is currently sitting in Wembley's media area rather than preparing to play in the FA Cup semi-final. O'Hara is on loan at Portsmouth from Spurs so is reduced to the role of spectator against his parent club. Big miss for Pompey as he has been a shining light in this troubled season. Expect plenty of takers if Harry Redknapp decides he is surplus to requirements next season."
1420: Stoke boss Tony Pulis, below, was talking about Rory Delap's throw-ins, in case it wasn't clear.
1418: Half-time Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Manchester United Goal fans, you must be absolutely fuming with me, eh? Well I'm not particularly delirious about it either, but there are goals in this game for sure. United just edging it thus far.
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis: "It's a great weapon for us and we'll continue to use it, irrespective of whether people like it or not. We could have scored two or three goals from it today and the more other clubs moan and groan the more we'll use it."
1416: A United move breaks down on the edge of the Blackburn box and Dimitar Berbatov flaps his arms around in a fit of rage. Breaking news - Fernando Torres is not in the Liverpool squad for their game against Fulham.
1414: Glaring opportunity. Dimitar Berbatov flicks a beauty of a pass through to Luis Valencia and he is clean through, one-on-one with Paul Robinson, but his right-foot shot is brilliantly saved by the outstretched right leg of the Rovers goalkeeper.
From Tom, Anfield, via text to 81111: "Stevo, Torres nowhere to be seen at Anfield during the warm-ups!"
1409: Nani can do no more - he floats over a lovely cross from the United left to the edge of the six-yard box, the perfect position for strikers. But again, neither Dimitar Berbatov nor Federico Macheda are anywhere to be seen. What are they playing at?
1407: It's Morten Gamst Pedersen's turn to whack over a long throw!! Edwin van der Sar catches cleanly and it's still 0-0.
1405: So, over two hours of action without a goal now and counting. Ryan Nelsen forcefully challenges Dimitar Berbatov inside the Blackburn box but after the Bulgarian goes down, referee Peter Walton waves play on.
1404: Blackburn captain for the day Chris Samba trudges off early with an injury he has picked up in the early stages and club captain Ryan Nelsen comes on in his place. Nani curls wide from 20 yards.
From Adzer2 on 606:
"United are playing quite well here but Blackburn are defending even better - they seem to raise their game when we, Chelsea, Arsenal and Pool all visit."
1401: We've had half an hour's play at Ewood Park and it remains Blackburn 0-0 Man United.
1359: Lovely stuff from the visitors. Nani heads down the line to Ryan Giggs and his ball along the six-yard box is just begging to be slotted into the Blackburn net, but neither Dimitar Berbatov or Federico Macheda are in position to do the business.
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"Groups of Pompey fans arriving at Wembley in long white limousines. Obviously still some cash flying around at Fratton Park."
1355: Good build-up from Manchester United ends with Federico Macheda feeding Luis Valencia inside the box and the Ecuadorian's fierce right-foot shot from a tight angle is saved well low down by Paul Robinson.
1354: Halfway through the first half at Ewood Park and there's nothing much doing at the moment. Michel Salgado is cautioned for a lunging foul on the rampaging Nani.
1352: Full-time Wolves 0-0 Stoke Pretty much does what it says on the tin. Feel free to switch off and go to bed when they show some of the action on MotD2 tonight.
1351: Nenad Milijas curls it left-footed and goalwards, but it's in the middle of the goal and despite an awkward-looking fumble, Thomas Sorensen claims at the second attempt.
1350: ... Wolves have got a free-kick, 28 yards out. Surely not...
1349: Manchester United are knocking it around quite nicely at Edwood Park, but they haven't put the hosts under any real pressure just yet, with nearly 20 minutes gone at Blackburn.
1347: Into injury time at Molineux and we're going to get four added minutes in the hope of trying to find a winner.
1345: Wolves turn to shoot as Kevin Foley chests a bouncing ball inside the Stoke box and volleys left-footed over Thomas Sorensen and just past the far post from 15 yards. Again, good try from the midfielder.
1344: A Stoke throw is half-cleared to the edge of the box, where Glenn Whelan fires narrowly past the post from about 22 yards. Decent hit, to be fair to the lad.
1344: John O'Shea brings down Michel Salgado 40 yards out, but Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick is easily dealt with by Man United. Wonder what Real Madrid legend Salgado made of events at the Bernabeu last night.
From Mike in Michigan, via text to +44 7786200666: "When you read reports of how bad Wolves-Stoke is, you start to wonder if the Premier needs to be reduced by a couple of teams, or 10..."
1339: First half-chance for Blackburn as Vince Grella shovels over a cross from their right and Chris Samba heads goalwards, Edwin van der Sar making the save.
1338: Wolves have sent Nenad Milijas on for David Jones, but there's still very little in the way of action. 28,455 have been unlucky enough to be present at Molineux this afternoon.
From Scalamunger on Twitter:
"Bit shocked that Fergie wouldn't put a striker on the bench - Joshua King, maybe. Could be difficult with no Plan B."
1334: Luis Valencia does his marker down the right but balloons his cross behind for a Blackburn goalkick. The sun's shining at Ewood Park too, where it's a livelyish start.
1332: Stoke's turn to mixer it and the ball bounces out to the edge of the Wolves box, where Glenn Whelan fires narrowly over.
1331: Under way at Ewood Park, as Sir Alex begins his 90 minutes of mastication. At Wolves, Jody Craddock sends the ball into the Stoke area and Ronald Zubar heads straight at Thomas Sorensen.
1329: Liam Lawrence comes on for Mamady Sidibe for Stoke. How can a player of Tuncay's quality not have been on from the start of this, I'm left wondering.
1328: The teams are out and warming up at Ewood Park and, mercifully, we're about the get under way in our second game of the day, between Blackburn and Man United.
1327: Stoke bring Tuncay on for Dave Kitson - forgot he was playing. George Elokobi and Rory Delap just exchanged long throws, in case you were after an *action* update. Crikey this is rubbish.
1322: A nice Wolves passing move, led by David Jones, come crashing to an abrupt halt when Chris Iwelumo passes straight to a Stoke player on the edge of the visitors' area.
From Robsoninho on 606:
"See 1316 - Then you look at Iwelumo's scoring record, and it's not quite so positive after all..."
BBC Radio 5 live's Michael Gray: "Good spell for Wolves now and they've got to make the most of this little period - get the ball in the box and see what Chris Iwelumo can come up with."
1317: Matt Jarvis goes down inside the Stoke box, but there's nothing doing there. Moments later, Kevin Foley's shot from the edge of the area is blocked by Rory Delap.
1316: Wolves take midfielder David Edwards off and send on striker Chris Iwelumo. That's a good, positive change.
From Andrew, London, via text to 81111: "So why are Blackburn resting Diouf, Dunn and Roberts?! Good old pals Allardyce and Ferguson. Bet they kick Arsenal up in the air when we go there."
1311: Better from Wolves as David Edwards controls a ball into the Stoke box and holds off his marker before sliding in a low shot that Thomas Sorensen saves. Dare I say it, it's got a little bit livelier in the last couple of minutes?
1310: Oh that's just utterly, utterly useless. Stoke get the ball into the Wolves box and it falls for Mamady Sidibe on the right-hand corner of the six-yard box, but the Mali striker balloons miles and miles over. He had time to take a touch and everything. Shambolic.
1308: Matt Jarvis cuts in from the Wolves left and hits a horrible right-foot shot a country mile over the Stoke crossbar. It hasn't improved - you do still want me to tell you this stuff, right?
1307: Rory Delap throws the ball into the Wolves box and Robert Huth glances a tame header into the arms of Marcus Hahnemann. Michael Mancienne, meanwhile, is struggling after picking up a knock. Delap's just had his 15th throw of the game. Really.
From ameypv on Twitter:
"A wounded tiger's the most dangerous. Expect a strong Utd backlash. A traditional 4-4-2 is what we wanted, is what we got."
1302: Back under way at Wolves 0-0 Stoke. By the way, dislikers of 1252 BST - I was only messing. Wayne Rooney was *supposed* to be injured on Wednesday but ended up starting against Bayern, didn't he? See?
1300: Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce makes three changes from the team that drew at Portsmouth, with Vince Grella, Brett Emerton and Nikola Kalinic replacing David Dunn, El-Hadji Diouf and Jason Roberts. Manchester United make six changes from the team that played Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with striker Federico Macheda making his first start of the Premier League season alongside Dimitar Berbatov. John O'Shea comes in for Patrice Evra, making his first start since November.
BBC Radio 5 live's Jimmy Armfield: "The thing is with Manchester United, they've been tripped up before and they always bounce back. They are the team in a title race that you just do not bet against."
From Logos on 606:
"Nice, Macheda is playing. I'm surprised Gibson isn't getting a game and I'm worried that our midfield is too old, though."
1252: What, no Wayne Rooney...?
1251: Blackburn v Manchester United line-ups: Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Jones, Givet, Nzonzi, Grella, Emerton, Pedersen, Olsson, Kalinic. Subs: Brown, Nelsen, Dunn, Roberts, Andrews, Diouf, Di Santo. Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Valencia, Scholes, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Macheda. Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Park, Jonathan Evans, Fletcher, Obertan, Gibson. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
1249: As the water sprinklers come on at the break at Molineux, there's a lovely rainbow by the touchline. It's brightened my day up no end, I can tell you. Line-ups on the way soon from Blackburn v Man United, hopefully.
1246: Half-time Wolves 0-0 Stoke City Nothing further to add, your honour
1244: Matt Jarvis boots a cross from the left out of play and behind for a goalkick. We're nearly at half-time at Molineux.
1241: David Jones wins the ball and feeds Matt Jarvis into some space down the Wolves left but as he gets into the air he tucks back on to his right foot and the shot is blocked.
1240: Five minutes to go until half-time and I'm being criticised for pointing out that this isn't a very good game. I mean, I can lie to you and tell you it's a cracker, if you'd prefer...
From Tony in Sheffield, via text to 81111: "Interesting Wolves tactic of wearing Delap out by giving him five throws per minute. Will it pay off?"
1236: Rory Delap throw... this time Marcus Hahnemann catches. Can't remember the last time it touched someone's foot.
1234: It's the reaction that's better than the action - Rory Delap launches yet another long throw (yawn), Abdoulaye Faye gets there first and heads it wide, before throwing himself down to his knee and beating the ground in angst.
1232: Fans of goal action might not like this bit of news from Infostrada Sports. Thirty minutes into today's match, David Jones' goal in Wolves' 1-0 victory against Tottenham is their only in the last 700 minutes (11 hours and 40 minutes) of Premier League home football.
1230: Half an hour gone at Molineux and it remains Wolves 0-0 Stoke. Dave Kitson fouls George Elokobi and the Wolves man's exaggerated fall wouldn't have looked out of place in last night's Clasico.
1227: Oooh. David Jones whips in a free-kick from the Wolves right and David Edwards gets just in front of his marker and glances a header goalwards that forces Thomas Sorensen to save.
1225: What a chance for Stoke yet again. Two crosses into the Wolves box are half-cleared but Glenn Whelan hooks it back into the mixer and from six yards out Potters skipper Abdoulaye Faye can only head over. He thumps the turf in frustration.
1221: Nearly, nearly. A much better move from the hosts ends with a Kevin Foley cross from the right and David Jones totally misses his kick from about 14 yards. The crowd have woken up too, thankfully.
1220: Wolves have been awful so far. Launching it long, giving it away cheaply - they've had a miserably ineffective 20 minutes in front of their own fans.
1217: Half-chance for Stoke again. Decent build-up down their left ends with a Matthew Etherington cross floated in and Dean Whitehead nods his header wide from 12 yards.
From lorus59 on Twitter:
"Stoke vs Wolves has to be 0-0 as Wolves have the least home goals and Stoke the least away ones." I wish you hadn't told me that.
1212: It's all Stoke - Wolves have offered nothing so far. Another ball in from the left is headed goalwards by Robert Huth, but it's a comfortable save for Marcus Hahnemann.
1210: Chance. Rory Delap throws his third exocet into the Wolves box and Mamady Sidibe can only head wide from eight yards. Should have done better, the big hitman.
From Antony, London, via text to 81111: "If you go to Spanish sports paper Marca and translate an article there, you get: 'When the final whistle blew, the players of Barca made a pineapple in the center of the field and threw the Santiago Bernabeu feeling champions.'"
1206: Some concerted pressure from Stoke as Rory Delap launches his first couple of missiles into the Wolves box and as the hosts can only half-clear, Delap fires well over from the edge of their penalty area.
1204: I'd like to see these teams get the ball down and play a bit - they've both got enough decent players out there. At the risk of making on obvious observation, it's in the air a bit too much at the minute.
1201: Dean Whitehead and David Jones tussle inside the Wolves box and there's a very half-hearted shout for a Stoke penalty as their midfielder goes down, but there's absolutely nothing doing there.
1200: As the clock strikes afternoon, we're under way between Wolves and Stoke City.
From haznick on 606:
"Oh dear. We haven't played well when Edwards is in central midfield this season. We lost at home to Blues and Pompey this season with him there."
1156: The teams are on their way out into the Midlands sunshine at Molineux. The captains are Jody Craddock, about to play his 500th league game, and Abdoulaye Faye.
From DannyB87 on Twitter:
"Can see Big Sam doing his best mate Fergie a favour today. United to win comfortably against a lacklustre Blackburn."
From Adam, via text to 81111: "Going to the semi today and will be in the corporate seats - I'll do my best to get people to finish their prawn sarnies and get back for the second half!"
1147: Wolves make just one change with captain Karl Henry suspended, so manager Mick McCarthy gives Dave Edwards his first start since injuring an ankle against Tottenham in December. Stoke are without striker Ricardo Fuller after he failed a fitness test on his ankle, so Mamady Sidibe starts, while Liam Lawrence makes way for Dean Whitehead in midfield.
1145: Stevo's Predos: Wolves 1-1 Stoke Blackburn 1-2 Man Utd Liverpool 3-1 Fulham Man City 3-0 Birmingham Tottenham 2-0 Portsmouth Lawro's predictions
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