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Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 19:46 UK

Saturday football as it happened


To get involved, please use 606, Twitter or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Jonathan Stevenson

1945: I think that'll do for today, don't you? Don't forget to watch Match of the Day at 2230 BST on BBC One and online, sure it'll be a jolly good show, with The Football League Show following on after at about 2350 BST. See you on Sunday MORNING for the second city derby. Enjoy your evening.

1943: If Aston Villa beat Birmingham in their high noon showdown on Sunday, they will move on to the same points as Tottenham in fourth. What an added incentive that is for a local derby.

Man City manager Roberto Mancini: "Shay Given is at hospital so I don't know the situation. Today we deserved to get this point. We tried to win in the second half, but at the end a draw is about right. When Emmanuel Adebayor came on we played more offensively and he played well."

From a satisfied Spurs fan, via text to 81111: "I think if that game had gone on for another year it would have remained goalless. At least I wasn't forced to cheer an Arsenal goal."

1934: Have you got a photo with one of the elite playing today? Are they going to the World Cup? Yeah?! Then send it to us and it could appear in our BBC Sport's World Cup Photo Album. If you haven't pinged us a pretty pic yet and you're at one of the matches today, now's your chance to get your mug shot taken with a player heading to South Africa. Email them to, or send them to us via Flickr (where there are some examples of what we mean) but check the BBC terms and conditions first. Cheers!

Emmanuel Adebayor's hair
1931: What a thoroughly disappointing end to a cracking day in the Premier League. Emmanuel Adebayor is one of the last to leave the pitch at the Emirates - he looked like he enjoyed every second of his return to Arsenal today. Wonder what you make of his hair.

1928: Full-time Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City

1926: I don't think I mentioned this, but you knew Gunnar Nielsen has become the first Faroe Islander to play in the Premier League, didn't you?

1925: The locals are leaving in their droves.

1923: We've still got five minutes left, but you wouldn't think so looking at the players. Just doesn't look like anyone can be bothered to try and score. Bit like the final 80 minutes of Austria-West Germany in 1982. Ish.

1922: Robin van Persie fashions half a yard of space on the edge of the Man City box, but his left-foot shot is hurried and ends up miles away from the target. A draw mathematically ends Arsenal's title challenge, incidentally.

1920: We're into EIGHT minutes of added time, largely because of the injury to Shay Given earlier.

1919: Nicklas Bendtner hammers in a shot to the near post that Gunnar Nielsen gathers comfortably.

From Pixie Red Star and OM legend on 606: "Stevo, did you edit Gunnar Nielsen's page on Wiki? (part about his debut)"
Nah mate, bit busy at the minute

1916: Man City break and Carlos Tevez feeds Craig Bellamy in a central position 25 yards out, but his low shot takes a deflection and Lukasz Fabianski saves low down to his right.

1914: ... Van Persie cleverly clips it over the wall instead of smashing it and it's only just past the angle of post and crossbar. Old Gunnar Nielsen wasn't even close to getting there.

1913: Emmanuel Eboue piles forward and is fouled by Pablo Zabaleta on the edge of the Man City area, just right of centre. Step forward Mr Robin van Persie...

Yellow card
1911: Craig Bellamy is booked for a late challenge on Nicklas Bendtner and the Arsenal fans cheer for the loudest time today. Robin van Persie is then booked for a foul on you-know-who. Just under 10 minutes left plus stoppages, still Arsenal 0-0 Man City.

From Duncan, backtracking in Portsmouth, via text to 81111: "Re: 17:45. Oh sod it. Come on Sol, I've changed my mind."

1909: On BBC Radio 5 live, they are talking about Sol Campbell and Ledley King both going to the World Cup with England. That would be brilliant, wouldn't it?

From optajoe on Twitter: "Only three Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium have ended 0-0, all of them coming in Jan-Feb 2009."

1905: Shay Given is stretchered off, receiving oxygen as he goes. Sad scenes at the Emirates. Could be a dislocation and he looks absolutely devastated. Best wishes to Shay, needless to say, and a good round of applause from the Arsenal fans.

1902: Man City keeper Shay Given is in all sorts of trouble. On the bench, City have Faroe Islands goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen, who has never played for the club.

1900: Cracking save from Shay Given to tip round his left-hand post a fiercely-struck right-foot effort from 25 yards from Abou Diaby. The Irishman might need a bit of treatment for a shoulder injury after that.

1858: Emmanuel Adebayor floats over a cross from out on the Man City right, but Lukasz Fabianski does well to claim the catch at the back post. Arsenal send on Nicklas Bendtner for Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Eboue for Tomas Rosicky.

From Captain Fabtastic on 606: "It's a nice day, so both teams have opted for a stroll in the park it would seem."

1853: So, we've had about 18 minutes of the second half and it remains Arsenal 0-0 Man City. Something's bound to happen though, isn't it?

1851: Kolo Toure gets into the Arsenal area down the Man City left and his cross is deflected behind off Sol Campbell. Could have hit Campbell's arm, but would have been a horribly harsh penalty. The corner is headed wide by Micah Richards.

1850: Tomas Rosicky plays a one-two with Sami Nasri and the Czech fires in a low right-foot shot that Shay Given comfortably collects.

1849: Nicklas Bendtner goes through some warm-up exercises on the touchline. No boos for him from anyone.

From danielleeson on Twitter: "Arsenal fans boo, they notice Vieira comes off, they clap, Adebayor comes on the pitch, the booing starts again..."

1844: The atmosphere inside the Emirates has lifted several notches since the introduction of a 6ft 3in Togolese-born striker with shiny red boots and effeminate hair called Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor. Craig Bellamy gets involved in some handbags - can you believe this?!

1842: Patrick Vieira is taken off and Emmanuel Adebayor, still sporting those astonishing pigtails, comes skipping on to the pitch to a crescendo of boos. It's about to get tasty, as Ricky Hatton watches on from a box at the Emirates.

1841: Abou Diaby is booked for a foul as boos echo round the Emirates, with Emmanuel Adebayor stripping off.

1840: An effort, I kid you not. Samir Nasri's cross from the left is headed over by Robin van Persie on the penalty spot. Jeez.

From Rich H, Cornwall, via text to 81111: "Here's a question for you. If we get a hung parliament and tax on high earners goes up even more, will we be able to tempt high profile players to England?"
No, Rich. No we won't.

1835: Emmanuel Adebayor, sporting pretty pigtails (?!), warms up immediately at the beginning of the second half, which is now under way. He gets booed.

Rob, from Skipton, via text to 81111: "Please can we stop all of this talk of Sol Campbell making it into the England squad now! I'd be worried if it was Sven buy with Capello I'm confident he'll see through it. I mean seriously - Dawson, Jagielka, Johnson, Dann, Cahill or even Phil Jones! Stop this madness now!"
Stop this madness, and you say Phil Jones? Aw, come on!

1829: Manchester City have not won away at Arsenal since beating them 3-2 at Highbury on 4 October 1975. Of the players on the pitch, only Sol Campbell was even alive then. Little Sulzeer had celebrated his first birthday 17 days previously.

From Gordon Ramsay on 606: "The match needs Adebayor ;)"

1824: That was seriously disappointing. I just wonder whether the magnificent form of Sol Campbell is giving Fabio Capello anything to think about. I mean in the last few weeks, he's looked like the Campbell of five, six years ago.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Lee Dixon: "I might not come back for the second half, I might go for a cup of tea and not come back! Seriously though, we need an injection of pace in the game, open it up a bit. Or Arsenal could just give it to Theo Walcott."

1819: Half-time Arsenal 0-0 Manchester City

1817: Into injury time at the end of the first half and we'll have two extra minutes.

From Tom in Geneva, via text to +44 7786200666: "Are Sol Campbell and Ledley King the best second-choice centre-back pair in the World Cup? If the World Cup was one game a week, I would have them both in my team."

1812: Magnificent. After Samir Nasri's shot from an angle is punched away by Shay Given, City plough forward and Patrick Vieira goes on one of his old marauding runs from midfield to collect a Carlos Tevez pass - but just as Vieira is about to pull the trigger inside the Arsenal box, Sol Campbell gets in a phenomenal interception.

1811: Brilliant pass from Carlos Tevez to Craig Bellamy down the Man City left but he's flagged offside after putting in a cross that no City player was anywhere near.

1809: Carlos Tevez gifts possession back to Arsenal inside the Gunners' half - he's been starved of the ball so far, the Argentine. At the other end, Theo Walcott's snap-volley from 25 yards flies miles wide.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Lee Dixon: "It's an important day for Theo Walcott with Fabio Capello watching. For me he's got everything he needs to be a top footballer, but he needs to learn how to play as a winger before maybe ending up up front. He needs to learn how to shift a full-back and not just rely on his pace all the time."

1806: A corner from the Arsenal right is headed away from inside his own six-yard box by Patrick Vieira for another corner, which hits Mikael Silvestre on the shoulder and bounces behind for a goalkick.

1804: In his programme notes, Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas said this: "I am back in Spain at the moment, but will return to London for a specialist appointment and routine scan in the next few days. I will be at the last Arsenal game of the season, of course, because all the players will go on a lap of the pitch to thank the fans for their support again this season. After that, I will return to Spain for the rest of my rehabilitation, then get ready for the World Cup. In my mind, it is 100% that I will be over my injury in time for the World Cup."

1802: Gael Clichy catches Micah Richards on his shin and he hobbles around for a couple of moments, but the sub will be able to run it off. It's a bit desperate, this.

1801: Robin van Persie plays a lovely pass in for Samir Nasri, but the flag - perhaps wrongly - goes up against the Frenchman, who would have been through on goal. Something almost, almost just happened.

1759: Wayne Bridge cannot recover from his dead leg so his evening is over, the left-back replaced by Micah Richards. Pablo Zabaleta will move across to left-back and Richards will fill in at right-back.

From SFurnivall on Twitter: "Re: sewey89 - Put it this way, I wouldn't cry if we lost to Chelsea and that denied Man Utd the title."

1754: Abou Diaby dallies in possession and Craig Bellamy, having stolen the ball, is unlucky not to find Carlos Tevez with his searching low pass forward. It's nothing more than a training game at the moment, devoid of everything that makes the Premier League special.

1751: Samir Nasri loops a free-kick straight into the arms of Shay Given, who then kicks the ball out of play. Not a great moment for this game of football. Still Arsenal 0-0 Man City.

1749: Wayne Bridge is OK for now and he tries to latch on to a pass down the Man City left, but Theo Walcott is tracking back and makes a timely interception in front of the watching Fabio Capello.

1748: Carlos Tevez has hardly touched the ball so far and when he does there, Mikael Silvestre gets in a terrific challenge. City have offered very little thus far.

From Duncan, Spurs fan in Portsmouth, via text to 81111: "My mates just asked me if Sol scores will I forgive him? In a word, no."

1744: Arsenal are bossing possession, but then you probably knew that anyway. City doing a decent job of getting tackles in and harrying the Gunners' players. Wayne Bridge is struggling with an injury, however.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Lee Dixon: "Is he going to wear that scarf for the entire season? What would happen if they got to the FA Cup final on a glorious day in the middle of May? Far be it from me to criticise Roberto Mancini's dress sense, but he looks a bit silly today."

Football League Danny: "I'm off to a darkened Football League-free room for a bit. But here's a final bit of chat - Sheffield Wednesday are down if Palace beat West Brom on Monday. If Palace don't win, then the final game of the season is a winner-takes-all match at Hillsborough between the sides on 2 May. In League One, Leeds and Millwall are now favourites to claim the second automatic promotion spot. And in League Two, the race for the play-offs is frankly ridiculous. Pick four from Rotherham, Aldershot, Bury, Port Vale, Morecambe, Chesterfield, Northampton, Dagenham & Redbridge and even Shrewsbury."

1739: Man City knock it around nicely down their left but good Arsenal pressure forces them to go back to Kolo Toure. He plays a long ball over the top and Adam Johnson just cannot quite keep up as it bounces through to Lukasz Fabianski.

From sewey89 LUHG on 606: "This is a serious question to Arsenal and Liverpool fans... is there a certain part of you that doesn't care if you lose today and next week respectively due to the damage it would do to your rivals?"

1735: After Robin van Persie's run into the City box is curtailed by Kolo Toure, Bacary Sagna heads the resulting corner wide.

1732: Adam Johnson and Carlos Tevez get us under way at the Emirates.

More Hull chairman Adam Pearson: "Administration is not on the immediate agenda. The owner has a lot invested in the club. We have to make some cost-cutting decisions immediately. I'm sure there have been worse problems in football and and there will be again."

1728: The teams emerge from the tunnel at the Emirates, with the returning Robin van Persie and ex-Arsenal star Kolo Toure leading the sides out. Up in the stand, Stuart Pearce and Fabio Capello share a joke and a touching moment as they prepare to watch City's Adam Johnson. And Theo Walcott and Gareth Barry, clearly. And Sol Campbell, anyone?

1725: Everyone ready for Arsenal v Man City then? Don't forget who you're supporting will you, Spurs fans?

Hull City chairman Adam Pearson: "We've been in the bottom three all season. At the end of the day we need to hold our hands up and say we weren't good enough. We need to take it the chin, sort things out internally and hopefully come back bigger and stronger."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce: "We are all very disappointed not to have clinched a big three points to finish as high as we can up the table and I think our finishing is to blame for that again. It has been a frailty of ours away from home all season and we haven't got the second goal to kill them off today."

From Steve, Swindon, via text to 81111: "Hi Stevo, Spurs fan here. Getting ready for the City game. So - "Come on you G..." Nope, try again - "Come on you Goo...". No, still can't do it. Could you cheer on Arsenal for me, please?"

From barbour99 on Twitter: "You've cleverly avoided using the word "guarantee" with all these predo's. Something that Rafa probably should have done too."

1713: Arsenal recall Alex Song to their midfield, while Robin van Persie starts up front for the first time since his injury lay-off in place of Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner. Man City are captained by ex-Gunners defender Kolo Toure and Patrick Vieira also starts, but Emmanuel Adebayor is left on the bench.

1709: Arsenal v Manchester City line-ups:
Fabianski, Sagna, Campbell, Silvestre, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky, van Persie.
Subs: Mannone, Eduardo, Vela, Eboue, Traore, Eastmond, Bendtner.
Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Bridge, De Jong, Vieira, Barry, Adam Johnson, Bellamy, Tevez.
Subs: Nielsen, Richards, Onuoha, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Santa Cruz, Adebayor.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1706: Wow, a lot of you think Burnley can still catch West Ham, don't you? Well their goal difference is rubbish too, so they'd effectively need to beat Liverpool at home, Birmingham away and Tottenham at home and hope West Ham lose both their remaining matches. No chance.

Football League Danny: "Quick wrap-up. Definite news - Bournemouth are promoted to League One. Southend are relegated to League Two. Norwich are League One champions. Leicester are in the Championship play-offs. Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday are on the brink of relegation to League One. Leeds are favourites to join Norwich in going up from League One. More to follow..."

1701: If you manually refresh, that might clear up the full-time confusion. Just got Arsenal v Man City to look forward to now then.

1700: Hull City need four results (at least) to go for them and a 23-goal swing for them to stay in the Premier League. They haven't got an 'R' by their name just yet, but they've effectively just been relegated to the Championship. With a bit of a whimper today, if they're honest.

1659: Full-time Hull City 0-1 Sunderland

1658: Think I went a bit early on that full-time from Upton Park, but thankfully it was 3-2 to the Hammers and they are going to be playing in the Premier League next season.

1658: Full-time West Ham 3-2 Wigan

1657: Full-time Bolton 2-2 Portsmouth

1655: Bolton targetman Kevin Davies meets a cross from their left and heads towards the far post, but unluckily for him the ball hits the woodwork and bounces away to safety.

1653: Just entered five minutes of stoppage time at the KC Stadium. Hull City, unless they score, are 99.99999999999% relegated.

1652: Emmanuel Adebayor is on the bench for Manchester City against his old club Arsenal at the Emirates today. More team news in due course.

1651: Maynor Figueroa fires in a shot for Wigan at West Ham, but that man Scott Parker throws himself in front of the ball and makes sure Rob Green isn't tested again. Moments later, and Titus Bramble shoots FROM FIVE YARDS INSIDE HIS OWN HALF and it only clears the crossbar by a couple of yards. I can't cope with things like that.

Football League Danny: "Burton 0-2 Bournemouth. Cherries going up..."

1649: Full-time Wolves 1-1 Blackburn

1648: Hang on, maybe this text should be 'By Football League Danny', with updates from Premier League Stevo? Into the very final stages in this afternoon's kick-offs now.

Football League Danny: "Leeds 4-1 MK Dons. Beckford means promotion beckons? MK Dons down to nine men."

Football League Danny: "Newcastle 2-1 Ipswich. Hello 100 points, Magpies."

1646: Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has not stopped chirping away at the officials since Alan Hutton was sent off and he's been sent to the stands in the closing stages.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1645: Blackburn's Keith Andrews plays a lovely one-two with a colleague and gets into the Wolves area, hitting a first-time right-foot shot against the bottom of Marcus Hahnemann's right-hand post.

Football League Danny: "Cardiff 3-2 Sheff Weds. Bluebirds pile misery on Owls. Norwich 2-0 Gillingham. Canaries title. Wycombe 2-2 Swindon. Robins comeback."

1643: As it stands, Hull City are all-but relegated from the Premier League. Actually, you know what - they are relegated from the Premier League. It just won't be officially confirmed today, because of maths. They don't look anything like getting a leveller at home to Sunderland, which frankly sums up their recent form. Hopeless.

Football League Danny: "Norwich 1-0 Gillingham - Canaries clinching a well-deserved title today as it stands. Elsewhere, 10-man Southend equalise at Oldham. It's 2-2, it's battling, but it's not saving them, it would seem."

Football League Danny: "Wycombe 2-1 Swindon - strugglers lifeline, promotion hopefuls blow. Exeter 1-1 Charlton - strugglers blow, promotion hopefuls boost."

Football League Danny: "Cardiff 2-2 Sheff Weds. Marcus Tudgay - Owls still fighting."

West Ham goal: If there's one man who has kept the Hammers in the Premier League this season, it is Scott Parker. The man who has not been talked about re: a World Cup squad place nearly enough latches on to a knock-down from Guillermo Franco 40 yards out, takes it forward and unleashes a searing, swerving 25-yard drive that screams into the corner and sends the Boleyn Ground crazy.

1639: GOAL West Ham 3-2 Wigan

Wolves goal: I mean it's not like I plan these things... Anyway, David Jones lays the ball off down the left to Stephen Ward, he sends over a cross and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake rises high to head in-off the post for only his second goal of the season.

1636: GOAL Wolves 1-1 Blackburn

1636: Morten Gamst Pedersen smashes a shot at Marcus Hahnemann as Blackburn stay in control of their match at Wolves, who have offered surprisingly little today.

Football League Danny: "Millwall lead Leyton Orient 1-0. Another big goal (lots of those today) keeps the Lions' automatic League One promotion hope alive."

From JacobR77 on Twitter: "This Football League Danny has a great grasp of vocabulary, get him on Countdown!"

1631: Pretty even at Hull in the second half after though disappointing shenanigans prior to half-time. Lorik Cana fires in a shot from 30 yards that a full stretch Matt Duke tips around the post.

Football League Danny: "More big news. This time it's Championship play-off places themed. Preston 0-1 Leicester and Sheffield United 1-0 Swansea. As it stands, Leicester are clinching a play-off berth today and Blackpool are now favourites ahead of Swansea for sixth spot. And, Watford fans, as it stands, you're securing Championship survival today. Drama o'clock."

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Burton v Bournemouth via Twitter: "Brett Pitman cracking finish. Grown men running on the pitch. Fans chanting "the Reds are going up." Top atmos."

Football League Danny: "Burton 0-1 Bournemouth - Brett Pitman sends 1,600 Cherries fans crazy. As it stands, they're getting promoted to League One today in one of the less likely Football League stories. Remember, the transfer-embargoed visitors nearly lost their Football League status last year."

Pompey goal: They don't give up easily do they, these south coast boys? John Utaka gets into the Bolton box and does really well to get to the byeline and hook his left foot around the ball to pull it back to where Aruna Dindane can hammer in his second of the afternoon.

1628: GOAL Bolton 2-2 Portsmouth

Someone has struck the woodwork
1627: West Ham go perilously close to a third goal. A corner from their right is headed into the air and down on to the top of the crossbar by Radoslav Kovac, with Ben Watson clearing Wigan's lines.

Football League Danny: "League One news. Exeter go 1-0 up on Charlton. Massive blow for the Addicks promotion hopes, huge boost for Exeter's survival bid and also a big downer for Wycombe's survival hopes. A multi-faceted goal indeed."

Yellow card
1623: Sunderland make their final change of the afternoon, with Lorik Cana coming on for Kenwyne Jones. Referee Lee Probert then books Geovanni for diving - a popular decision with the visiting players.

1623: Bolton striker Kevin Davies has a header cleared off the line by Tommy Smith after some lovely approach play from Jack Wilshere.

From Rob, Cheam, via text to 81111: "Stevo, any chance of congratulating the Little League team I manage with a friend, the Falcons, on winning their cup final this morning 1-0, against all odds!"

1620: Decent save from Rob Green at West Ham to keep out Charles N'Zogbia's free-kick, the keeper punching the ball away to safety.

Football League Danny: "Desperate news for Sheffield Wednesday fans. Cardiff now lead them 2-1 after Jay Bothroyd's goal. Defeat today leaves the Owls' fate well out of their hands. But a great day for Watford and a great day for my fellow Danny, Graham (ie Danny Graham). He scores for the Hornets who lead formerly resurgent Reading 3-0. Massive win."

1617: I should explain that West Ham were furious about Wigan's second goal because they felt the ball struck Hugo Rodallega on the hand before going in.

Pompey goal: The visitors are back in it in the north-west. Aruna Dindane gives Portsmouth hope, mis-hitting substitute Frederic Piquionne's pull-back into the back of the net after a sweeping counter-attack leaves Bolton woefully short of numbers at the back.

1616: GOAL Bolton 2-1 Portsmouth

Wigan goal: West Ham are furious, but the goal stands. Another Ben Watson corner from the Latics left is flicked on and seems to hit the midriff area of Hugo Rodallega from close-range before going into the Hammers net.

1614: GOAL West Ham 2-2 Wigan

1613: Sunderland brought on Anton Ferdinand and Phil Bardsley for Steed Malbranque and Michael Turner, while Hull sent on Tom Cairney for Jimmy Bullard - all at the interval.

Football League Danny: "Wycombe 1-1 Swindon. Prolific goal machine Billy Paynter equalises for the Robins - implications at both ends of the table in that game, and a draw doesn't do either side many favours. Both need to win."

1611: Stephen Ward's shot is cleared off the line by Phil Jones at Wolves, while at Bolton a nice move from the hosts sees Matty Taylor skip inside a challenge and Aaron Mokoena just nick the ball off him as he was about to shoot and send the ball narrowly wide of his own goal.

Football League Danny: "Heidar Helguson scores for Watford. They're 2-0 up on Reading. A truly whoppingly big goal - if Watford win they could be four points clear of the drop zone with just two games to go..."

1609: George Elokobi sends in a long throw, Chris Iwelumo flicks it on and Jody Craddock volleys over from 10 yards. I bet Wolves fans wish their chances would stop falling to the veteran centre-back.

1608: In the game of fury at the KC Stadium, it's under way in Hull 0-1 Sunderland.

1607: And they're playing again at West Ham 2-1 Wigan.

1606: Back under way at Bolton 2-0 Portsmouth.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Burton v Bournemouth via Twitter: "'Bournemouth's Brett Pitman and Burton's Gary Rowett - the two leading contenders for toys out of the pram. Even(ish) contest so far." (Football League Danny adds: "0-0 at half-time, Bournemouth not quite sealing promotion today as it stands.")

From 1stThings2nd on Twitter: "Not looking good for Burnley now, we might have had a chance if West Ham were losing, but now.... Aahh well... :("

1601: Back under way at Wolves 0-1 Blackburn. The others might be a little while.

From PGBaddick on 606: "If anybody is watching Hull-Sunderland, Hutton has been sent off for bouncing the ball on Altidore's back. Ridiculous, the referee has got carried away with the incident."

1557: Football is officially mental.

Football League Danny: "Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro puts Grimsby 2-0 up at Darlington on the stroke of half-time. Grimsby will not go down today as it stands, although they're still in massive League Two relegation-themed trouble."

1553: Half-time Hull City 0-1 Sunderland

1552: Half-time West Ham 2-1 Wigan

1552: Half-time Bolton 2-0 Portsmouth

West Ham goal: What a turnaround at Upton Park. Mark Noble's curling 25-yard free-kick is clawed from under the crossbar by Chris Kirkland but the ball drops into the path of the onrushing Radoslav Kovac, who nods home into the empty net from two yards out with Kirkland grounded.

Red card
Red card
RED CARDS: Steve Bruce is fuming, and well he might be. It's unseemly at Hull. Jozy Altidore and Alan Hutton go for a high ball together and Altidore goes in strongly on the Sunderland defender, who reacts poorly by getting up and throwing the ball at the US striker. Altidore loses it completely, headbutting Hutton. Altidore is sent off rightly, and after treatment, so is Hutton. Not sure Hutton should have got more than a yellow, however pathetic his reaction was.

1549: SENDING OFF (Alan Hutton, Sunderland)

1550: GOAL West Ham 2-1 Wigan

1549: SENDING OFF (Jozy Altidore, Hull)

Football League Danny: "Quick first-half footnote - Connor Wickham levelled just before half-time to make it Newcastle 1-1 Ipswich. A draw today leaves the Magpies tantalisingly poised on 99 points with one game to go..."

Football League Danny: "Oldham 2-1 Southend - Paul Black puts the home side back in front. Looks like today's the day the visitors are relegated..."

BBC Sport's David Garrido at Bolton: "So Pompey lose two goals in quick succession, and yet the 200 or so fans who've made the trip from the South Coast just get louder, fuelled by four men with big drums and another who looks like he hasn't had a wash for a while. You've gotta love 'em."

1546: Half-time Wolves 0-1 Blackburn

1545: Chance for Wolves to level, but Jody Craddock - from an almost impossible angle - blazes wide after a cross is flicked on in the Blackburn box.

1544: West Ham's Carlton Cole tries to meet a cross and he thinks he is being impeded by Gary Caldwell. At Hull, Geovanni curls a 20-yard free-kick over the Sunderland crossbar.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Burton v Bournemouth via Twitter: "'Off, off, off, off, off, off,' chant the Bournemouth fans - at the steward popping all their black and red balloons."

Someone has won a penalty
1541: Poor Hull. Just when it seems like it can't get any worse... Caleb Folan does well to battle with Alan Hutton just inside the Sunderland box and the ball breaks for Geovanni, who looks like running into space to shoot until Michael Turner's outstretched right leg brings his former colleague down. Jimmy Bullard steps up and slams a right-foot spot-kick against the base of Craig Gordon's right-hand post.

1540: MISSED PENALTY (Bullard, Hull)


Football League Danny: "Max Gradel finishes well to put Leeds 2-1 up against MK Dons. Great news for them, bad news for League One promotion rivals Millwall, Swindon and Charlton."

1537: Caleb Folan limps off at Hull as Iain Dowie goes through some hugely complicated-looking tactics chat with Nicky Barmby. Shouldn't he have done all that before?

1536: Wolves are forced into an early change with Chris Iwelumo on for the injured David Edwards. They trail Blackburn 1-0.

1535: Tell you what, there's enough happening, eh? Goal Repeller what?

Someone has struck the woodwork
1533: Portsmouth show signs of an immediate recovery at Bolton, with Tommy Smith crashing a 20-yard shot against the post after a fine run.

Football League Danny: "Andy Carroll puts Newcastle 1-0 up against Ipswich. The Magpies are long-since promoted and the Tractor Boys are long-since safe - but a win at St James' Park today sends them through the 100-point mark. Impressive stuff. Also, Danny fans may enjoy the fact that I'm telling you that Danny Graham has put struggling Watford 1-0 up against Reading. Watford fans will enjoy it too, to be fair."

Someone has struck the woodwork
West Ham goal: Moments earlier, James McCarthy slammed in a crashing right-foot shot for Wigan that was brilliantly tipped on to the post by a flying Rob Green. Up the other end and West Ham are level - Carlton Cole powers his way into the box and crosses from the left for Brazilian striker Ilan to slide in a leveller.

1531: GOAL West Ham 1-1 Wigan

Bolton goal: Great work from young Vladimir Weiss - he runs about 50 yards down the right wing, skips past a couple of tackles and crosses for Kevin Davies to slide past David James.

1530: GOAL Bolton 2-0 Portsmouth

Bolton goal: The Trotters take the lead against already-relegated Portsmouth courtesy of a fine Ivan Klasnic near-post header from Jack Wilshere's inviting left-wing cross.

Blackburn goal: Morten Gamst Pedersen swings over a deep corner for the visitors and Marcus Hahnemann flaps at it in the sun - as he can't get there, Ryan Nelsen knees it in at the far post.

1528: GOAL Bolton 1-0 Portsmouth

1527: GOAL Wolves 0-1 Blackburn

Football League Danny: "Grimsby are 1-0 up at Darlington. Battle of the bottom two in League Two, that - Darlo are already down and the Mariners are likely to join them. But they're battling hard. In League One, MK Dons peg back Leeds - it's 1-1 thanks to Dean Lewington's goal."

1526: There's a chance for Hull. Jimmy Bullard swings in a corner from the left and Anthony Gardner gets up to head goalwards, the defender's effort hitting the chest of keeper Craig Gordon and flying away to safety.

1525: West Ham's Valon Behrami tumbles in the Wigan box under a challenge from Maynor Figueroa, but there's nothing in that whatsoever. Never a penalty.

1524: Hull have improved since their abysmal start, but they still trail Sunderland 1-0 at the KC Stadium. No clear-cut chances for the Tigers as yet.

1522: It's very scrappy at West Ham and Wigan look dangerous when they go forward. The crowd could be quite important in hauling the Hammers back into it. Still, at least Hull aren't winning.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp: "I was disappointed with the penalties, both were down to sloppy defending. I told the players to stay on their feet and not to dive in before the game."

Football League Danny: "Jermaine Johnson puts Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 up at Cardiff. A win today is vital for the survival-seeking Owls - DRAMA. Even as I type, Peter Whittingham levels for the play-off bound Bluebirds. 1-1, game on, unspeakable tension."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1518: So close for Blackburn at Wolves as Yildiray Basturk fires over a cross from the left and Nikola Kalinic climbs high to power a header against the post with Marcus Hahnemann beaten.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Burton v Bournemouth via Twitter: "Announcer on tannoy at Burton: "We've had a wallet handed in." Now that is what I call honesty."

Football League Danny: "Championship Blackpool take the lead 1-0 at relegated Peterborough thanks to DJ Campbell - a potentially huge boost for the play-off hunting Tangerines. In League One, Luciano Becchio puts Leeds 1-0 ahead against MK Dons."

1515: John Utaka has Pompey's first shot of the afternoon from 18 yards, but his low effort is well saved by a strong right hand from Jussi Jaaskelainen.

From Anon, via text to 81111: "Re: David Garrido (1459) - maybe there is a party, but they've all come dressed as seats?"

1512: Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland took a whack from Carlton Cole as he tried to stop the striker rounding him at Upton Park - he was bleeding from a wound on his head, but he's good to continue.

1510: Pompey's David James has made good saves from a Matty Taylor header and a shot from Ivan Klasnic as Bolton dominate early on at the Reebok Stadium.

Football League Danny: "Great comeback from the Shrimpers - Oldham 1-1 Southend. Francis Laurent equalises for the visitors. Southend still going down as it stands, but they're fighting."

1508: Carlton Cole has to score - he shimmies past a Wigan defender and is clean through, but after going round Chris Kirkland he doesn't look up and Gary Caldwell gets into a fine position to whack his goalbound shot off the line. Fabulous defending, but the home fans cannot believe it.

1506: Bolton almost take the lead against Portsmouth but David James recovers to tip Gary Cahill's close-range effort onto the post after the England keeper fumbled Matthew Taylor's initial swerving free-kick.

Sunderland goal: Hopeless. I mean Hull just look woeful. Sunderland could be 2-0 up by the time they get this goal - Alan Hutton crosses from the right, Kenwyne Jones heads back across goal and Darren Bent taps in at the far post. Horror start for the hosts.

1506: GOAL Hull City 0-1 Sunderland

Football League Danny: "Horrible, horrible start for Southend, who are 1-0 down at Oldham as Danny Whitaker scores after just 71 seconds. Southend are down to League Two if they lose."

Wigan goal: Not what the home fans wanted to start with. Wigan win a corner and the Hammers fans are angry because Ben Watson appears to place the ball outside the quadrant. Watson curls over the set-piece anyway and it appears to hit a bemused Jonathan Spector inside the six-yard box and fly past Rob Green.

1503: GOAL West Ham 0-1 Wigan

1503: Chance for Sunderland and Hull - Jordan Henderson (who looked offside when he received the ball) pulls the ball back from the right and Steed Malbranque fires over from seven yards.

1502: A little late, but we can forgive them. Howard Webb blows the whistle and Bolton v Portsmouth starts in the north-west.

1500: The six-pointer between West Ham and Wigan gets under way.

1500: And Hull v Sunderland kicks off too.

1459: They're early, but under way at Wolves v Blackburn.

BBC Sport's David Garrido at Bolton: "There is a very sparse crowd here - the stand away to my right is almost COMPLETELY empty. Is there some party somewhere else in Bolton that none of us have been invited to? How very dare they."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "I think Wayne Rooney will be out for 2-3 weeks."

1458: West Ham might already be safe, but another win should definitely do it. With Hull surviving on 35 points last season, these boys are making a mockery of the "40-point target" managers speak of reverentially pre-season. Having not really turned up at Anfield on Monday, the Hammers could put a seasonus horribilis to bed by seeing off unbearably inconsistent Wigan and securing their top-flight status for another year. Though don't expect Gianfranco Zola to still be there come August, OK?

1456: It could well be D-Day at the bottom of the Premier League. Pompey of course are already gone and it's hard to see Burnley surviving, especially the way they're playing. If West Ham beat Wigan today and Hull - in dire form themselves - lose at home to Sunderland, the Tigers' fate could be sealed. And as chairman Adam Pearson suggested this week, that would bring about a doomsday scenario at the KC Stadium.

From optajoe on Twitter: "The last time Ryan Giggs scored more than once in a Premier League game was March 2006 v Birmingham City."

Football League Danny: "Bournemouth could seal a remarkable promotion to League One today. Our man Paul Fletcher will be watching them in action at Burton. Not such happy times for Grimsby, who could lose their Football League status today, even if they win. Elsewhere, I make it about nine teams who retain realistic aspirations of making the play-offs. Bundle."

Football League Danny: "The battle for League One's second promotion place remains finely balanced. Leeds (2nd), Millwall (3rd), Swindon (4th) and Charlton (5th) are separated by just three points and are all in action tpday. Pivotal. At the bottom, desperate times for Southend and Wycombe, who could go down if results aren't in their favour."

Football League Danny: "The Championship promotion places may be decided, but there's still lots to play for. Leicester and Swansea could seal play-off berths today, while at the bottom, Sheffield Wednesday visit Cardiff and Watford host Reading. Defeat for the Owls leaves them in a thundering great load of trouble..."

1450: Phew. Anyone ready for Mr Football League Danny?

1450: Bolton, chasing the win that will ensure their Premier League status, make two changes from the side that beat Stoke. On-loan Man City youngster Vladimir Weiss and Ivan Klasnic are named in a more attack-minded line-up with Sam Ricketts and Chung-Yong Lee dropping to the bench. Doomed Portsmouth make four changes from the side beaten by Aston Villa, with boss Avram Grant recalling Ricardo Rocha and Richard Hughes, as well as forwards Aruna Dindane and Tommy Smith.

1449: Just one change to the Wolves starting XI as midfielder Stephen Ward comes in for Matt Jarvis, who is suffering from a thigh strain. Captain Karl Henry is sitting out the final match of a three-game ban. Sam Allardyce shuffles his Blackburn attack as Jason Roberts, who scored in Rovers' last match against Everton as a substitute, starts up front. Turkish playmaker Yildiray Basturk makes his first start since arriving on loan from Stuttgart in January, while David Dunn and Keith Andrews drop to the bench as 18-year-old Phil Jones continues in defence.

1448: Hull City boss Iain Dowie makes six changes for their make-or-break meeting with Sunderland. Caleb Folan and Bernard Mendy return from injury, while Jozy Altidore, Geovanni, Nick Barmby and Anthony Gardner are all recalled. Jan Vennegoor of Heseleink misses out after suffering concussion in the midweek loss to Aston Villa. Sunderland, who have won their last five league games against the Tigers, bring in Matthew Kilgallon for John Mensah, who has a hamstring injury.

1447: West Ham make one change to the side that lost 3-0 at Liverpool on Monday, with captain Scott Parker returning after his two-game ban and replacing Junior Stanislas. Carlton Cole has recovered from the knee injury he suffered against the Reds and starts for the Hammers. Fellow strugglers Wigan also make one change from the team that shocked Arsenal 3-2, with Gary Caldwell coming in for Steve Gohouri at centre-back. Charles N'Zogbia starts for the Latics, three days after being arrested over allegations that someone else completed the written part of his driving test.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Over to you Chelsea. Manchester United have overcome the loss of Wayne Rooney to deservedly beat Spurs and in this season of unpredictability there is a sense around Old Trafford that the momentum is swinging back to Sir Alex Ferguson's team. That's now 67 games since Spurs have won away against any of the Premier League's so-called "Big Four" and they didn't much look like breaking that miserable sequence today. Last week it was Paul Scholes who did the trick against Manchester City - today it was that other veteran Ryan Giggs who coped with the pressure points from two penalty kicks, correctly awarded by Andre Marriner it should be said."

1444: Wolves v Blackburn line-ups:
Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi, Mancienne, Foley, Edwards, David Jones, Ward, Doyle.
Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Halford, Iwelumo, Milijas, Guedioura.
Blackburn: Robinson, Nelsen, Jones, Givet, Salgado, Basturk, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Olsson, Kalinic, Roberts.
Subs: Brown, Jacobsen, Dunn, Linganzi, Andrews, Hoilett, Di Santo.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1443: Bolton v Portsmouth line-ups:
Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Weiss, Muamba, Wilshere, Taylor, Klasnic, Kevin Davies.
Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, Elmander, Mark Davies, Ricketts, Cohen, Lee.
Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Rocha, Sowah, Yebda, Utaka, Brown, Hughes, Smith, Dindane.
Subs: Ashdown, Mullins, Diop, Piquionne, Wilson, Ward, Ritchie.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1442: West Ham v Wigan line-ups:
West Ham:
Green, Faubert, da Costa, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac, Noble, Ilan, Cole.
Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Franco, McCarthy, Diamanti, Daprela, Stanislas.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Caldwell, Bramble, Figueroa, Watson, Diame, McCarthy, N'Zogbia, Moreno, Rodallega.
Subs: Stojkovic, Gohouri, Scharner, Scotland, Moses, Sinclair, Boyce.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

1441: Hull City v Sunderland line-ups:
Duke, Mendy, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson, Barmby, Boateng, Bullard, Geovanni, Folan, Altidore.
Subs: Myhill, Fagan, Kilbane, Cairney, Olofinjana, Sonko, Cullen.
Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Kilgallon, Richardson, Campbell, Henderson, Meyler, Malbranque, Bent, Jones.
Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Da Silva, Zenden, Mwaruwari, Cana, Ferdinand.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1440: So, pressure on Chelsea with the Blues facing Stoke on Sunday. Now then, team news...

1439: Full-time Manchester United 3-1 Tottenham

1436: What on earth did they give the United players at half-time? Now it's Nani's turn to vomit his guts up on the pitch after Patrice Evra's illness earlier, and he rubs his stomach too. Spurs will wish he'd felt like that 10 minutes ago, probably.

1435: Into injury time at Old Trafford and we'll have four extra minutes at the end of Man Utd 3-1 Tottenham.

1432: The title race is going down to the wire. So is the race for fourth, by the looks of it. Team news ahead of the 1500 BST kick-offs shortly.

United goal: The only issue here is whether the crucial contact from Wilson Palacios on Nani as the Portuguese hares into the Spurs box is inside or outside the 18-yard box. But it's a careless challenge from Palacios and referee Andre Marriner points to the spot again. Ryan Giggs goes the other side this time, and it's right into the corner again. Great penalty.

1430: GOAL Manchester United 3-1 Tottenham


1428: Spurs pile forward in search of another equaliser and Gareth Bale lays it off to Peter Crouch, but the big man is on the slide and he can only fire wide.

United goal: And now United are top as Wayne Rooney goes mental in the stands. The hosts build down the right as Darren Fletcher finds Federico Macheda and the Italian sends it back on to Nani inside the area - the Portuguese is goal side of Ledley King at a slight angle and he chips it impudently, outrageously over the advancing Heurelho Gomes. Stunning finish.

1426: GOAL Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham

1425: There are 10 minutes left plus stoppages at Old Trafford - as it stands, Chelsea would stay top of the league on goal difference.

From BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Burton v Bournemouth via Twitter: "Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe casually reading a programme whiles his charges warm up. Looks more like a youth at the cinema that a manager close to promotion."

1424: United have come into it a little more in the last couple of minutes and Fergie makes his last change as full-back Rafael comes off and striker Federico Macheda hurries on.

From leegraham82 on Twitter: "Michael Carrick beaten by King for the goal, consistently at fault for conceded goals in last 3 games."

1422: That is how to defend. Luka Modric spins away from a couple of players and tees up Eidur Gudjohnsen on the edge of the box - but just as he is about to pull the trigger, Nemanja Vidic makes a superb intervention.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "The mood has switched suddenly and Spurs fans are in ecstasy after Ledley King heads home. Shocking defending of the corner by Manchester United. Michael Carrick's flimsy attempts cost United the pivotal goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League and that was no sort of attempt to keep King away from Gareth Bale's corner. All set for a trademark Old Trafford grandstand finish."

1420: Spurs have a corner and before they take it, they send on Peter Crouch for Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1419: Spurs take a quick free-kick and Aaron Lennon ghosts past John O'Shea before firing the ball across goal, with Edwin van der Sar saving low down.

1417: Wilson Palacios is playing right-back for Spurs, with Gareth Bale left-wing. Bale has immediately provided them with a much greater threat - brilliant switch from Harry Redknapp.

Spurs goal: Now we have a proper game on our hands. Gareth Bale swings over a corner from the Tottenham left and Ledley King climbs all over and above Michael Carrick to thump a header into the corner of the net from eight yards. Rafael on the line made a bit of a mess of it, but game on.

1415: GOAL Manchester United 1-1 Tottenham

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Spurs' fans have got what they wanted in the shape of Aaron Lennon's arrival. Big moment for him after such a long absence through injury. Big moment for Spurs too because they need to find a threat from somewhere. For a side that showed such verve in beating Arsenal and Chelsea, they have been disappointing so far today. Peter Crouch is surely another option being weighed up by Harry Redknapp as United take charge."

1413: Man United brought on John O'Shea for Patrice Evra a few moments ago. The Frenchman was unwell and United want to counter the threat of Aaron Lennon.

1412: Here's a cracking stat for you, courtesy of our friends at Infostrada Sports and Optajoe on Twitter: That goal is the first penalty Ryan Giggs has scored in Premier League football.

1410: Aaron Lennon comes on for his first taste of first-team football for four months, replacing David Bentley. Some good news for Fabio Capello.

1409: What have Spurs got? After their last two fantastic performances they've been so, so disappointing this afternoon. Aaron Lennon begins to warm-up on the touchline.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "I don't know whether Harry Redknapp is think about another change, but he should be. I'm not sure why Roman Pavlyuchenko is on the pitch. He's done absolutely nothing."

From yorker_129-7 on 606: "Ryan Giggs and Steve Davis? You don't win anything with kids..."

1404: Luis Valencia has picked up a knock and he is replaced by Michael Carrick.

United goal: No debate about that one (he says, optimistically) - it's a penalty all day long. Dimitar Berbatov races (not a typo) down the left and gets into the area. He backheels towards Patrice Evra and as he nicks the ball forward, Benoit Assou-Ekotto cleans him out. It's a spot-kick and Ryan Giggs keeps his cool to slot confidently into the corner past Heurelho Gomes.

1402: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham


1401: Nani cuts in from the Man United right and just inside the area he fizzes in a well-struck, low left-foot shot that hits the side-netting.

1359: Jermain Defoe, who has had a very quiet day, is taken off and replaced by Eidur Gudjohnsen.

1358: Agonising for the hosts. Patrice Evra whips over a cross from the United left, Dimitar Berbatov heads it back to the far post and Darren Fletcher just cannot get a touch to send it into the net. At the other end, Wilson Palacios's low shot from 16 yards is saved to his left by Edwin van der Sar.

1357: ... Nani's shot hits the edge of the wall. It was moving so slowly I doubt it'd have reached Heurelho Gomes anyway.

1356: Gareth Bale tries to win a header ahead of Ryan Giggs, but only ends up knocking his fellow Welshman to the floor. United free-kick, about 30 yards out. Looks like Nani fancies it...

1356: It occasionally comes to life, but generally this one's being played at a very slow pace. It's more like watching Serie A than the Premier League, I reckon.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "I wouldn't want to do a slide tackle where Patrice Evra was just kneeling! Anyway, the groundsmen were watering the pitch for the entire 15 minutes of half-time, even though they were all sliding around the the whole of the first half. Really."

1352: Patrice Evra is doubled over on the Old Trafford pitch, throwing his guts up. I'm not joking - that was projectile vomiting. He rubs his tummy, but he'll continue. I didn't want my lunch anyway, frankly.

1351: Chance. David Bentley hooks the ball into the area and after Jermain Defoe cannot control it, Roman Pavlyuchenko slices wide with his left foot. Might have come too soon in the half.

1350: Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs get us under way as Owen Hargreaves gently jogs to his place on the Man Utd bench.

1349: The players are back out at Old Trafford!

From Andy, Manchester, via text to 81111: "To Ryan (1328). Man up and get on the Chang Beer. After a couple of those beauties, the runs will be the least of your worries."

From bbcsport_mark on Twitter: "Steve Davis beats defending champ 13-11. Only so many times the battling can keep the wizards magic wand alive. St Georges day? Arise St Nugget."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Not much inspiration on show at Old Trafford. In fact it has been deadly dull apart from a two-minute spell of Manchester United pressure around the half-hour mark. Tottenham have failed to mount a single serious threat on Edwin van der's Sar goal while Ledley King is once again demonstrating what a massive influence he is when fit. Old Trafford will expect better when we resume."

From O.C. - Legendary Red Devils on 606: "Harry Redknapp will definitely be the happier manager at half-time, his team are yet to have a real crack at us."

1334: Half-time Manchester United 0-0 Tottenham

1332: At times, Ryan Giggs is playing like Man United's centre-forward. He races on to a long ball through the middle again, but Ledley King is in his way. We're due two minutes of added time.

1329: About three minutes left of the first half plus stoppages. Still Man Utd 0-0 Tottenham, but the hosts are bossing it right now.

1328: Dimitar Berbatov is furious, but he's unlucky there. Rafael comes inside Jermain Defoe down the right and curls over a cross to the far post that Berbatov brilliantly controls, but his snap-half-volley flies a couple of yards over.

From Ryan, via text to +44 7786200666: "Stuck in my hotel room in Chaing Mai, Thailand, with a slight dose of the runs and reception won't put the game on TV! Please keep firing on the updates!"

1325: Luka Modric expertly fashions a yard of space on the edge of the United box with a very smart turn, but the Croatian's shot is poor and past the far post.

1322: ... Gareth Bale balloons it a few yards over the crossbar. Go back to whatever you were doing (as long as it's reading this).

Yellow card
1322: David Bentley does his man on halfway and surges forward, the former Blackburn winger brought down by Nani on the edge of the United area. Nani is booked, the free-kick's to the right of the area, and up steps Gareth Bale...

1321: Nani cuts in from the United left and hits the tamest shot you could imagine. It dribbles a few yards wide. But Spurs aren't offering much of a threat anymore.

From optajoe on Twitter: "Owen Hargreaves' last appearance in a matchday squad in the Premier League was 580 days ago."

1318: What a pass from Nani - 40 yards down the left and splitting the Spurs defence to Patrice Evra who has bombed into the box, but the Frenchman gets excited and volleys ambitiously over.

1317: United are on top now and Luis Valencia piles forward, slamming in a low shot from the edge of the box that Heurelho Gomes does well to save low down to his right. Moments later, Dimitar Berbatov volleys wide from 25 yards. Better from the champions.

1316: How did Man Utd not take the lead? A cross from Nani is missed by Gareth Bale's attempted clearance and Dimitar Berbatov's goalbound eight-yard shot is superbly blocked by Ledley King.

1314: Lovely stuff from Spurs - two banks of four deep inside their own half and an out ball is brilliantly controlled by Roman Pavlyuchenko, before Gareth Bale sprints down the left only for Rafael to put it out for a corner. It comes to nothing, but Bale's pace is a warning for the hosts.

1312: United have raised their game in the last few minutes, but it's not a cracker this one, yet. Michael Dawson's backpass looks a touch short, but Dimitar Berbatov cannot get there before Heurelho Gomes.

1311: It's all injuries at OT - this time on-fire Spurs defender Gareth Bale has gone down after a collision with Luis Valencia. He needs a bit of treatment but he should be OK to continue.

From Sissoko_Gods_Gift on 606: "When Valencia comes up against a full-back with pace he looks confused and rubbish."

1307: Perhaps more worryingly, Tomasz Kuszczak is warming up for Manchester United too. Now Michael Dawson appears to be carrying an injury at the heart of the Spurs defence.

1305: Owen Hargreaves jogs down the touchline for the first time today and gets a cracking ovation from the Man United fans. Great to see the Canadian-born, partially German-raised midfielder with a Welsh mother and English father back in the mixer.

1303: ... Ryan Giggs curls it harmlessly into the Tottenham wall. For all the endeavour so far, it's awfully tight. So much at stake.

1302: Dimitar Berbatov hooks the ball into the box and after it's half-cleared, Paul Scholes is gently fouled on the edge of the penalty area. Free-kick to United, about 23 yards out. A few yards right of centre...

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Michael Dawson's outstanding recent form has led to calls for his inclusion in Fabio Capello's England World Cup squad - claims noisily supported by Tottenham's fans inside Old Trafford. He has started confidently with two emphatic interceptions, one when Dimitar Berbatov was bearing down dangerously on goal."

1300: Pat Nevin on BBC Radio 5 live reckons a lot of players are slipping around early on at Old Trafford - possibly because they heavily water the pitch before most home games. If only Wembley could use that excuse.

1258: It'd be fair to suggest that Manchester United are probably quite pleased to see Tottenham rock up at Old Trafford. You might think that's a strange comment to make after Harry's boys saw off Arsenal and Chelsea in their last two outings. But check this out: Spurs are the only team who have been involved in every Premier League season that have never won at OT in that time (they last travelled home with three points in the bag on 16 December 1989, thanks to a Gary Lineker strike). Since 1992, it's 14 defeats and three draws. Three points out of 51. See where I'm coming from now?

From Steve, via text to 81111: "Re: amezzary, 1249 - Believe me, as a Spurs fan I'll be forced into saying the same about Arsenal this evening."

1253: Spurs are knocking the ball around gloriously but one spell of possession ends as United steal the ball and Dimitar Berbatov overruns the ball with Michael Dawson getting in the tackle. Berbatov slides to the ground, and Dawson motions for him to get up.

It's sunny
1251: Bright start from both sides in the glorious sunshine of Old Trafford. They're fizzing it around early doors and there's some room in the final thirds to operate too. Interesting.

1249: Almost an early chance for Dimitar Berbatov after Paul Scholes found the Bulgarian in the Spurs box, but the space is quickly closed down by Michael Dawson.

From Amezzeray on Twitter: "As a long-suffering City fan, I never thought I would ever say the words "come on United". But 4th place comes over pride."

1247: We're under way in the north-west, which means Man Utd goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has become the oldest foreigner to appear in the Premier League. He's overtaken another Red Devils' goalkeeping legend, the great Peter Schmeichel.

1242: Led by their captains Ryan Giggs and Ledley King, the teams emerge from the tunnel at Old Trafford. On BBC Radio 5 live, they're talking about the fact that Spurs haven't won away at any of the official 'Big Four' for an astonishing 66 games.

From dominic on 606: "Please tell me somebody is watching the SKY coverage and has seen that suit?!?!? Dwight Yorke what on earth?! Seriously, if you haven't seen it, look NOW!"
Ahem, and then come straight back here. Do look though. Wow.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp: "Seven wins out of eight is a great run and we have got to keep that going until the end of the season. We could have tried to keep it tight and not give anything away, but I've picked a positive team with two up front and we're going to give it a go. Younes Kaboul has done great for us, but he's not a right-back, he is a central defender and I felt with Nani out there it might be too much for him today."

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "This Tottenham team has got the most substance of any I faced during my time at Manchester United. They're in great form and they've got a lot to play for too, so I hope we can get the job done and win the game."

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson on Wayne Rooney's absence: "He got a groin injury on Thursday unfortunately. Groin injuries at this time of year with firm grounds are a problem. We have him all the time, but he's out."

1231: If you manually refresh your browser, you'll see Football Focus at the top of this template. You'll also wipe out my heinous coding error at 1227. What a clown.

1230: Stevo's Predos (bet on the opposite, pick up winnings, missive me your thanks. Really, it's no trouble):
Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham
Bolton 2-2 Portsmouth
Hull 1-1 Sunderland
West Ham 1-0 Wigan
Wolves 0-0 Blackburn
Arsenal 1-2 Man City
Lawro's predictions

1227: Imagine waking up one day and seeing Wayne Rooney's face staring at you from one of your own body parts? If you can't click on this link apologies, but next time you go to Google (or any search engine, in fact), plug in the words 'Take a look at Wayne Roo-knee' and prepare to be astonished.

From Mark C, Working in Manchester, via text to 81111: "I put a tenner on Utd to win a mere 30 seconds before Rooney's absence was announced! I could have enjoyed a meal for two with that money... Not just any meal..."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin: "That Tottenham bench is top quality. I cannot imagine a better bench in the Premier League this weekend than that one. For me they're favourite for fourth, but if Man City get their act together they've got a chance."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Wayne Rooney's absence is a massive blow for Manchester United. Groin problem sustained in training on Thursday is the word. Sir Alex Ferguson's team have hardly coped manfully without him recently, so quite a test coming up against this in-form and attractive Tottenham team. So yet another chance for Dimitar Berbatov to prove his doubters wrong. Again."

1217: So, no Wayne Rooney, England captain Rio Ferdinand still isn't fit and Gary Neville isn't in the Manchester United squad either today. But Owen Hargreaves is on the bench, ending an absence that stretches back to September 2008. Tottenham recall Wilson Palacios and Ledley King, while Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Jenas are fit enough for the bench.

1214: Hit me with your rhythm stick. Hit me! Hit me! Or just hit me to 81111 (UK), +44 7786200666 (worldwide); on my Twitter page; or on 606. Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!

1212: Wayne Rooney is sat in a box at Old Trafford with his feet up, reading United magazine. Rumour has it that he has a groin problem and might not play again for Man Utd this season - but at the moment, that is only a rumour.

1210: So, back to the Emirates later, with Arsenal v Manchester City not kicking off until 1730 BST. There's a fair bit going on before we get to it, clearly, with Manchester United and Tottenham getting today's proceedings under way. Here's the Prem fixture list:
1245 BST: Man Utd v Tottenham
1500 BST: Bolton v Portsmouth
1500 BST: Hull v Sunderland
1500 BST: West Ham v Wigan
1500 BST: Wolves v Blackburn
1730 BST: Arsenal v Manchester City

1207: Manchester United v Tottenham line-ups:
Man Utd:
Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Vidic, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Valencia, Berbatov, Nani.
Subs: Kuszczak, Hargreaves, Brown, Carrick, O'Shea, Macheda, Gibson.
Tottenham: Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, King, Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric, Defoe, Pavlyuchenko.
Subs: Alnwick, Kaboul, Lennon, Jenas, Crouch, Gudjohnsen, Bassong.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1205: Breaking news: Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand not involved for Manchester United against Tottenham.

1204: Yep, it's the return of the Togolese One to the Emirates Stadium, seven months after he sent Arsenal's travelling supporters into a state of apoplexy with a celebratory gaffe at his new gaff. If there was a lot to play for then, one look at the Premier League table and those dotted lines tells you the stakes are a lot higher now.

1200: Dear Footballing Gods,

Please could you ensure that, whatever happens today, we don't see a repeat of the ugly scenes from September when Manchester City's Mr Emmanuel Adebayor broke the world football pitch record to celebrate a goal in front of the Arsenal fans?

Thanks very much,
Love Stevo.

PS Also, could you ensure that the title race, race for fourth and relegation dogfight all go to the final day of the season? Bootiful.

Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of the Arsenal fans in September
Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of the Arsenal fans in September

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 24 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 36 53 79
2 Chelsea 35 54 77
3 Arsenal 36 39 72
4 Tottenham 35 26 64
5 Man City 35 27 63
6 Aston Villa 35 15 61
7 Liverpool 35 24 59
8 Everton 35 9 54
9 Birmingham 35 -8 47
10 Sunderland 36 -6 44
11 Blackburn 36 -16 44
12 Fulham 34 -2 43
13 Stoke 34 -4 43
14 Bolton 36 -25 36
15 Wolves 36 -23 35
16 Wigan 36 -34 35
17 West Ham 36 -18 34
18 Hull 36 -41 28
19 Burnley 35 -37 27
20 Portsmouth 36 -33 16

see also
Saturday's football photos
24 Apr 10 |  Premier League
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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