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By Sam Lyon
1815: Right, that's me done folks. Cracking day of intrigue, tension and passion all round really, and I for one am delighted it will still all be to play for come next Sunday at the top of the table. If we've said it once, we've said it a million times, but anything can happen. Tune into Match of the Day 2 tonight at 2225 for a round-up of today's action, while
is back in the commentary chair tomorrow for Wigan v Hull and Blackburn v Arsenal. Jubbly.
boringoldblue on 606:
"Got to be honest, I worry about the Wigan game. But that said, I half fancy Stoke to get a point out of Man Utd as well. Close isn't the word for this season..."
1810: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "We got the win today, that's the important thing, and all we can do now is win our game next week. You never know - Wigan are a quality side and I wouldn't write them off against Chelsea - you really never know in football. Look, maybe we're clutching at straws, but we've stretched it out and made sure the nerves continue. We must just make sure we win against Stoke, in front of our fans, and do our job."
Stroke of Luka on 606:
"Don't Wigan seem to play a part in deciding the Premier League at the end of every season?"
Liam, Bradford, via text: "Re: scobiedog - Stoke will have a bigger fanbase."
1758: And so the race for the Premier League title goes to the final day of the season. Chelsea, who top the table by a point, know a win over Wigan and they regain the trophy for the first time since 2006. Anything less and Man Utd can steal in for a record fourth successive title with victory over Stoke. It looks simple enough for Chelsea, but Wigan might just fancy themselves as party poopers... mightn't they?
1754: FULL-TIME Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United
1753: Well well, after a 113-match and 20-month absence, Owen Hargreaves makes his return to the United side after a series of knee problems as a time-wasting substitute.
1753: A minute left, and Sunderland are pressing...
1751: Sunderland have a corner... Kieran Richardson takes it... but Michael Turner can only direct his header wide. Bit nervy for Man Utd now.
1750: Into injury time at the Stadium of Light and we will have three minutes of it.
1747: Good news for England as Rio Ferdinand prepares to come on as substitute for Manchester United. It's in place of Darren Fletcher, and it looks like the England captain is going to sit in midfield. Testimony to Sunderland's increasing pressure.
1745: Six minutes plus stoppage time left in this one, and Sunderland are sniffing around for an equaliser...
darkanddom on 606:
"That should be a red on Malbranque. Could have broken the young defender Evans' leg. Awful challenge!"
1741: Ooh, that's not nice. Steed Malbranque flies into a challenge - studs up - on Jonny Evans, but gets away with just a booking.
1738: Both teams looking for the game's second goal as far as I can tell, and Manchester United substitute Michael Carrick almost provides it - the midfielder firing at goal with keeper Craig Gordon beaten, only for Michael Turner to clear off the line.
Cechs Left Foot on 606:
"Sunderland having a good spell and might be able to do something with it as it appears that Fergie is happy with defending on a 1-0 lead rather than build on it."
1735: Kenwyne Jones immediately causes a headache or two in the Man Utd ranks but Lee Cattermole fires Fraizer Campbell's cross wide at the end of a good spell of pressure.
1734: Sunderland fancy nicking a point here I'd wager as big striker Kenwyne Jones comes on for Jordan Henderson.
1732: Bosh. Wayne Rooney connects sensationally with a half-volley on the edge of the Sunderland area but it flies inches past the post. I tell you, there was not a moment when that ball stopped being hit.
1731: Michael Carrick is coming on for Manchester United and it is Dimitar Berbatov coming off. Cheers emerge from the terraces as the Bulgarian trudges off, but I'm not sure if it's coming from the home or away fans.
1728: Sunderland are not giving this match up without a fight here and Fraizer Campbell epitomises their guts and work ethic with a dash across the defence to force an error from Nemanja Vidic and earn the hosts a throw-in. While there's only a goal in it...
Batesie17 on 606:
"Manchester United should just sign up 'O.G.' to a long-term deal & send Berbatov to the reserves... "
1723: Nani looks in a tremendous amount of pain as he goes down after a hefty - but fair, according to the referee - challenge from Lee Cattermole. He can't carry on, surely, we think. But then he's up and running freely again within a couple of minutes and we all marvel at the power of the magic sponge.
1720: Bit better in the last couple of minutes from Sunderland, but Lorik Cana is never going to trouble Edwin van der Sar from there, the Albanian's 30-yarder drifting harmlessly wide.
1717: Dimitar Berbatov, bless 'im, misses another good chance as he heads Ryan Giggs's cross over from six yards.
1715: Deary me. Phil Bardsley pulls out a dive in the Man Utd box that would have embarrassed the Barca-Inter game last week, and the Sunderland defender is deservedly booked.
1714: Wayne Rooney has been absolutely terrorising the Sunderland defence this half - this time, though, he terrorises Lorik Cana's leg with a petulant swipe and he goes straight into the referee's book.
1712: Actually, I take that back about Dimitar Berbatov. Wayne Rooney works some room well on the left and he crosses towards the Bulgarian at the far post, but Berbatov contrives to steer the ball over from all of a yard out with the goal gaping. Whoops.
1711: Dimitar Berbatov looks to be bundled over by the Sunderland byeline, but only a goal-kick is given. Not the Bulgarian's finest game today - but which supporter wouldn't want him in their side?
1708: Two minutes into the second half and Nani has a great chance to make it two, but the Portuguese winger, having latched onto Darren Fletcher's back-heel, sees his attempted clipped finish saved well by Craig Gordon in the Sunderland goal.
ameypv on Twitter:
"A professional performance by Utd so far. As a Utd fan, I still believe the title race is not over."
1705: Back under way between Sunderland and Manchester United.
1703: Players back out at Stadium of Light - can Man Utd hold on to this win and take the title race into the last weekend of the season? As has been pointed out, stranger things have happened than a last-day turnaround and that's for sure.
1657: Good win for Fulham, that, especially considering they were
working their way into the Europa League final
just three days ago. If Roy Hodgson does not win
the Manager of the Year award
this season I'll wear my jeans inside-out for a week. To be honest, I'm going to be disappointed if I don't stumble across his name on the ballot sheet in my local community centre on Thursday...
Dan - AVFC - England2010 on 606:
"After West Ham's loss, is it perfectly set up for Hull to win 22-0 away at Wigan tomorrow, meaning they can still stay up? Maybe not..."
HonestFrank on Twitter:
"'Only one team in Europe' sing Fulham fans. Technically untrue but still their first league defeat of the Hammers at Craven Cottage since 1966."
1651: HALF-TIME Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd
1650: A Steed Malbranque corner causes a headache or two in the Man Utd box, but Patrice Evra is on hand to head clear with the ball bobbling around the six-yard area.
1649: FULL-TIME Fulham 3-2 West Ham
West Ham goal: Admirable resolve from West Ham, here, despite their terrible season - Guillermo Franco makes things interesting with a minute to go, clipping home from eight yards out from Scott Parker's lay-off.
1648: GOALFLASH Fulham 3-2 West Ham (Franco)
1646: With half-time moments away, Sunderland continue to look to the aerial approach in an attempt to get back into this match... but it is not really troubling Manchester United defensive pair Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans and the visitors look comfortable.
1642: Nemanja Vidic is the first player into the book - for the rather silly offering of a hand clap to referee Steve Bennett after he is penalised for a foul. As Chris Waddle points out on 5 Live, this is getting rather spicy.
1640: There can be no accusations that Steve Bruce's Sunderland are out to do Man Utd a favour here - in fact, the only accusation can be that their efforts to get back in the match are a little agricultural to say the least. Wayne Rooney rides a couple of hefty challenges before laying it to Patrice Evra, who is not so deft of foot as he is dumped on his backside by Phil Bardsley. Uncompromising.
1638: This doesn't look good for David Meyler at the Stadium of Light - the Sunderland defender is having a brace put on his leg and is receiving oxygen as he is stretchered from the field after a tackle on Patrice Evra. Lee Cattermole is immediately deployed to replace him.
Fulham goal: Fulham back firmly on course for their first league win over West Ham since 1966... Erik Nevland robs Jonathan Spector on the right and crosses for Stefano Okaka to roll in a simple third.
1635: GOALFLASH Fulham 3-1 West Ham (Okaka)
1634: Minutes after Black Cats defender Michael Turner turns the ball inches past his own post, Sunderland cause a flurry of Man Utd hearts with a whipped Steed Malbranque free-kick that Edwin van der Sar does well to punch clear.
Man Utd goal: Lovely move, lovely finish. Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher all play their part before Nani runs in and drills the ball into the corner with the outside of his boot from 16 yards out. Title race over? Not just yet...
1629: GOALFLASH Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd (Nani)
1625: Close again! This time it's up the other end, Steed Malbranque lashing goalwards from 25 yards and United keeper Edwin van der Sar has to stretch to tip it over the bar. Sunderland, who started 4-5-1 but have now switched to 4-4-2, are putting a right ol' shift in, and Man Utd are not having things all their own way by any stretch.
1623: Close! Man Utd burst up the pitch with Patrice Evra, the Frenchman feeds Ryan Giggs, and the Welshman cracks a shot off the angle of post and bar from 20 yards. Fine effort.
afootballreport on Twitter:
"Can you tell me when Simon Davies & Clint Dempsey transformed into Lionel Messi & David Villa? Must be some European magic..."
1622: Sunderland have certainly settled down at the Stadium of Light and, if anything, they are edging things against Man Utd. That despite the loss of John Mensah through injury, Matt Kilgallon his replacement.
West Ham goal: Immediate redemption for Carlton Cole, who gets his side back into the game with a firm header from a Mark Noble free-kick.
1617: GOALFLASH Fulham 2-1 West Ham (Cole)
1616: Chance for Sunderland as Lorik Cana gets on the end of Steed Malbranque's header, but the Albanian's header flies just over.
Fulham goal: Chris Baird would love to be able to claim his first goal since early 2007, but the Northern Irishman will need the dubious goals panel to have gone for a cuppa when they review this one. The defender's shot is flying away for a throw-in at best until it hits Carlton Cole and ricochets high into West Ham goal.
1614: GOALFLASH Fulham 2-0 West Ham (Cole o.g)
1611: Sunderland only getting the briefest of looks of the football at the Stadium of Light as Man Utd knock the ball about with purpose and precision. Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov already looking very dangerous and the hosts are sitting deeper and deeper.
1608: Plenty of speculation about Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez's future, of course, but will the fact that Juventus will not feature in next season's Champions League make a difference? They drew 1-1 at Catania to ensure the seventh-placed side cannot finish fourth. Sampdoria can now only be caught by fifth-placed Palermo.
KezK2010 on Twitter:
"In case everybody all forgot, Wigan beat Chelsea 3-1 last time they met in the Premier League."
1605: Bright start from Man Utd - and Wayne Rooney almost breaks the deadlock inside five minutes, collecting Dimitar Berbatov's pass, turning, and shooting on goal, Craig Gordon parrying the ball away. Ryan Giggs fires the rebound goalwards, but Phil Bardsley deflects the effort away from goal. Encouraging from the visitors.
1601: Sunderland-Man Utd gets under way, as does the second half of Fulham-West Ham.
1600: The players are out, Man Utd in their black kits against Sunderland's red and white stripes, and the Stadium of Light is roaring. Try telling either of these sides this is now a 'dead rubber'.
fossumsthedog on Twitter:
"Goal difference is irrelevant now. If Wigan hold Chelsea by some miracle, United 'only' need two wins." That's right. So... even doable-er?!
optajoe on Twitter:
"West Ham have not conceded a goal away from home and won the match since December 2008."
1553: By the way, during the Fulham-West Ham half-time break and before Manchester United's match at Sunderland gets under way, why not cast a glance at
the man behind the Hammers' £80m production line.
Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, John Terry... yep, all nurtured under Tony Carr. Blimey.
1549: Brave face alert from Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "It's not what we wanted - that's for sure. I thought Liverpool could do something. It's hard to expect them to win against Chelsea. The first goal? It can happen and I'm sure Gerrard will regret it, but it's happened. We've got to do our job - that's the pride and history of the club. We can't win everything. If we win today we can take it to the last day. It's that simple."
1547: HALF-TIME: Fulham 1-0 West Ham
Fulham goal: And, of course, right on the stroke of half time, Fulham go and score a lovely goal to make a mockery of my 1543 update. Clint Dempsey receives a fine ball from Simon Davies on the back of a fine team move and slots in at the near post to give the Europa League finalists a deserved lead at Craven Cottage.
1545: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-0 West Ham (Dempsey)
1543: West Ham full-back Manuel da Costa tries his luck from range, but Mark Schwarzer deals with it comfortably in the Fulham goal. With the Cottagers' season all about the Europa League and West Ham safe and sound from relegation, maybe we shouldn't be surprised that game is not tearing up trees in the excitement stakes.
1542: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti - he aint counting his chickens, I tell you: "It was a very important step in the fight for the title. We played very well and deserved to win, but we have to wait for the last game, we have to stay focused. We always said that this Premier League title will be decided in the last game and I think that will be so."
reubenl on Twitter:
"I'm a United fan in Philadelphia - we need to beat Sunderland by 10 goals and Wigan to hold Chelsea at the Bridge. Doable!"
1537: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Man Utd Wayne Rooney returns from a groin injury to replace Antonio Valencia for Manchester United, who also bring in John O'Shea for Rafael da Silva. Sunderland make three changes as former United defender Phil Bardsley deputises for the suspended Alan Hutton at right-back, John Mensah replaces Matt Kilgallon and Lorik Cana comes in for Kenwyne Jones.
j0hnb1972 on 606:
"Well done to Chelsea, you will beat Wigan and deservedly win the league. As for United, we have fallen just that little bit short this year, but I don't think major surgery is required to compete again next year."
1535: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard says: "You have to give every credit to Liverpool for their professionalism. They gave everything they could. It'd be nice to win next week in front of our fans. We have pushed on to be on the brink of doing the Double," while striker Didier Drogba adds: "Gerrard made a big mistake but he didn't do it on purpose. The goal gave us lots of confidence to play and this is a very good result. We have waited for this moment for such a long time - but it's not done yet."
1532: The first real chance at Craven Cottage fell to West Ham earlier, Mark Noble turning sharply and then unleashing a curling shot from the edge of the area that Mark Schwarzer palmed it behind. Fulham hit back with their own best effort, though, Clint Dempsey picking up the ball 20 yards out and producing a superb dipping shot that clips the top of the bar and goes over.
1530: Now then, that
win at Anfield
takes Chelsea four points clear of Manchester United, meaning Sir Alex Ferguson's side must beat Sunderland to have any chance of denying Carlo Ancelotti's men the title on the last day of the season - and even then, it might not be enough. Can Fergie rally his troops for the match at Sunderland?
Anon via text: "I'm in a bar in Dubai and the Chelsea fans are celebrating like they have won the league... Stranger things have happened on last day of season !!!"
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Chelsea take the acclaim in front of their fans at Anfield - and to a smattering applause from Liverpool's fans. This is surely the afternoon when Carlo Ancelotti brought the Premier League back to Stamford Bridge. Comfortable for Chelsea in the end. It was not a lack of effort that did for Liverpool today - it was a lack of energy, and more importantly, a lack of quality."
jasto11 on Twitter:
"I am shocked at how far Liverpool have fallen. Gerard and Torres must be considering their future."
1524: Steve McClaren leads FC Twente to the first Eredivisie title in their history. On-loan Chelsea forward Miroslav Stoch wrapped up a 2-0 win for the Tukkers to deny Martin Jol's Ajax - who finish second despite a frankly ridiculous +86 goal difference.
1523: FULL-TIME Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
1522: TEAMS Sunderland v Man Utd Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Turner, Mensah, Richardson, Henderson, Meyler, Cana, Malbranque, Campbell, Bent. Subs: Carson, Ferdinand, Zenden, Jones, Da Silva, Kilgallon, Cattermole. Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Jonathan Evans, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Foster, Hargreaves, Ferdinand, Brown, Park, Carrick, Macheda. Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)
1521: Over in Italy, Juventus have equalised - 1-1 at Catania - but both Sampdoria and Palermo are winning. If the results stay the same that puts Samp on 63, with Juventus on 55, with just two games to play. The Old Lady could well be strutting her stuff in the Europa League next season methinks.
1520: We're into stoppage time and Liverpool finally manage a shot on target in front of the Kop - Dirk Kuyt's curling effort well held by the diving Petr Cech.
1519: One minute of normal time left at Anfield and both teams going through the motions now. This is looking a right royal hammer blow to Manchester United's title ambitions.
1518: A relatively drab start to the game at Craven Cottage. Fulham have had the larger share of possession but have yet to fashion anything of meaning. West Ham looking to hit the home side on the break whenever possible.
1516: Steve McClaren might be breathing a little easier. His Twente side are now 2-0 up at NAC Breda and within sight of their first Eredivisie title. Ajax lead NEC 4-0 but it will all be in vain if Twente also win.
1514: According to our man
it's all getting rather ugly at Hillsborough as some Wednesday fans storm the pitch and try to get into the tunnel, while one supporter aims a punch at Johannes Ertl. Not good.
1512: MAN UTD TEAM NEWS: Wayne Rooney starts, Rio Ferdinand is on the bench.
1510: Liverpool have clicked down a few gears to walking pace by the look of things, but Pepe Reina hasn't given up hope, that's for sure. Chelsea break forward four on three, and Nicolas Anelka's deflected shot looks goalbound until the Spanish keeper gets behind it. Salomon Kalou attempts to slide in the rebound but Reina save.
1507: Kaboom! Frank Lampard lashes a free-kick attempt at goal, but Pepe Reina barely has to move to punch it away.
1505: Not a huge amount happening at Anfield, with Chelsea apparently comfortable to hold on to their two-goal advantage. Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez gives David Ngog a chance to mix things up at the expense of Alberto Aquilani, but the home fans do not sound very optimistic. This is going to take a remarkable turn of events for this match not to go Chelsea's way now.
1503: Football League Macca: "Palace striker Stern John hit the post in the dying stages, Sheff Wed threw their keeper up front at every opportunity, but it's all over. Palace have held on in the most dramatic seven minutes of football this season (probably) and Sheff Wed are relegated to League One as a result. Heartbreak on Hillsborough."
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY ARE RELEGATED
1500: As my esteemed colleague has just pointed out - few outside of Craven Cottage will really be interested at the moment, but it has kicked off between Fulham and West Ham.
1457: Football League Macca: "Five minutes of injury time at Hillsborough. Sheff Wed just had a great chance. I've no idea what happened. This is just ridiculous."
1456: A cracking save from Pepe Reina keeps Liverpool just about in it, Florent Malouda's fabulous left-foot volley from 20 yards tipped round the post by the Spanish keeper.
1455: Football League Macca: "Oh my lord. Swansea have a goal disallowed in the final stages and the full-time whistle means Blackpool are in the play-offs. We have three minutes at Hillsborough and WHAT A THREE MINUTES. Sheff Wed equalise through Darren Purse. It's 2-2. One more and they will complete a remarkable escape."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Great moment as Chelsea fans chant "Carlo, Carlo Give Us A Wave" - a demand studiously ignored by Ancelotti until Ray Wilkins had a word in his ear. Cue three waves from Carlo. Concentrating on the game obviously."
1453: Liverpool gamely forraging forward on occasion, and there is the odd chorus in support of Rafael Benitez in the crowd, but the hosts don't look like getting back into this match and, as Lawro points out, Chelsea look like they fancy more goals in this.
DarkMachine2501 on Twitter:
"Sums up our season, this. Gerrard poor, Torres injured, more people going off injured, LFCatastrophe this year..."
1450: Football League Macca: "Agonising for Owls fans as substitute Francis Jeffers should have scored but he doesn't get enough on his header. It's Sheff Wed 1-2 Palace. Sheff Wed going down unless they can pull two rabbits out the hat in the last 10 mins. Blackpool are clinging on to that last play-off spot, but a goal for Swansea will change all that. Also, Scunny 2-2 Forest, Leicester 2-0 Boro and Cov 0-4 Watford."
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson on Five Live: "They've got to be careful here Liverpool, this could be a rout. Chelsea look like they smell blood."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Chelsea started the second half with the tempo that should have been in evidence at the beginning of the first period. Frank Lampard's goal had been coming and Chelsea's fans believe it is the goal that has won the title as a succession of taunts are aimed in Manchester United's direction. Liverpool's supporters remain mainly silent."
1448: Elsewhere in Europe, in the Eredivisie, Steve McClaren's Twente side are on track to win the title - but they only have a slender lead 1-0 against 10-man NAC Breda. Ajax, who are one point behind, look home and dry with a 3-0 lead at NEC, but Martin Jol's men need Twente to slip up. Those games kicked off at the same time as Liverpool-Chelsea, so more than half an hour to go in those matches.
1446: It's starting to look even more comfortable for Chelsea, with Liverpool's Jamie Carragher limping from the field after a collision to be replaced by young Spanish defender Daniel Ayala.
HH on 606:
"Game over, although I'm sure it really ever began. Liverpool have been poor, we knew they would be, they have all season. Gerrard's last game at Anfield?"
Chelsea goal: Is that, ladies and gentlemen, the title race done and dusted? If so, it's sealed by Chelsea with a lovely move that ends with Nicolas Anelka - onside - crossing for Frank Lampard to slide home from close range. That's the midfielder's 21st league goal this season, but few will be as crucial as that I tell you.
1443: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea (Lampard)
1442: The day looks like getting worse for Rafa potentially, by the way. Lots of rumours that he is Juventus-bound, but the Italians are losing 1-0 at Catania and therefore out of the Champions League. Stick Europa League, Twist Europa League.
1440: ...but Didier Drogba fires it into the wall. Moments later, though, Salomon Kalou gets to the byline and sends a ball across goal that is just begging to be tapped it - only for it to elude everyone, including Nicolas Anelka two yards out somehow, and the chance is gone.
DeadRevel on 606:
"Benayoun and Aquilani and others playing well, clearly want to win.... but Gerrard is playing poorly. He's not throwing the game as such, he just has absolutely no motivation. Surely he's moving this summer..."
1435: Football League Macca: "Tom Soares, formerly of Crystal Palace, has a chance to give Sheff Wed a lifeline but Patrick McCarthy is there to pinch the ball off him as he is about to pull the trigger. Tense times. Champions Newcastle lead at QPR, it's Reading 3-1 Preston and Plymouth 1-2 Peterborough elsewhere."
1434: Back under way at Anfield. Massive 45 minutes or so to come here in terms of the title race. Where's ya money?
1433: TEAM NEWS Fulham v West Ham Only four players that started Fulham'sEuropa League semi-final second leg win over Hamburg
on Thursday start today. They are goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, full-backs Paul Konchesky and John Pantsil and midfielder Simon Davies. There is no place in the squad for Bobby Zamora, who required a pain-killing injection on an Achilles injury to play midweek. Erik Nevland starts in his place with Clint Dempsey providing support. West Ham name the same side that essentially secured their Premier League survival via
a 3-2 win over Wigan last Saturday.
Former Fulham midfielder Luis Boa Morte is on the bench after eight months out with a knee injury.
1431: Football League Macca: "That could be it for Sheff Wed. Palace's Darren Ambrose gets his 20th goal of the season and I'd wager the most important. He keeps his head down to slot home from inside the box, against the run of play. Sheff Wed have less than half an hour to get two goals or they're slipping through the Champo trapdoor. In slightly-less-crucial news, it is Plymouth 1-1 Peterborough."
1429: I've just had another look at that Lucas-Salomon Kalou collision, and I reckon my first instincts were in fact right - should've been a penalty. It wasn't given, though, and Liverpool still very much in this if they can come out with fire in their bellies after the break.
1427: Football League Macca: "Sheff Utd are enjoying their final day as they lead Ipswich 3-0 now. Barnsley are threatening to spoil the promotion party at the Hawthorns as Hugo Colace puts them ahead against West Brom. Derby are 2-0 against Cardiff through Dave Martin and Ross Wallace has pulled one back for Preston at Reading. It's 2-1. Oh Sheff Wed could have taken the lead as Luke Varney races clear but Julian Speroni gets back to produce a goal-saving - potentially relegation-saving - tackle."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Chelsea elated to be ahead - but furious that referee Alan Wiley did not award a penalty when Salomon Kalou went down under Lucas' challenge. Momentum with Chelsea now though after Didier Drogba's goal. They will be hoping Liverpool's exertions when they went
out of the Europa League against Atletico Madrid
after extra-time will start to take their toll."
1425: TEAMS Fulham v West Ham Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Baird, Smalling, Konchesky, Riise, Greening, Dikgacoi, Davies, Dempsey, Nevland. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Shorey, Okaka, Gera, Etuhu, Elm. West Ham: Green, Faubert, da Costa, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Kovac, Parker, Noble, Cole, Ilan. Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Franco, Boa Morte, Diamanti, Daprela, Stanislas. Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)
Andrey on 606:
"To be fair Kalou didn't exactly appeal too much himself so I don't think he was looking for a pen."
Pickles91 on 606:
"Wiley put the whistle to his mouth before saying no penalty. He bottled it. Shocking really, what other reason could he have for putting a whistle to his mouth? Poor refereeing there."
Anon via text: "Lampard or Gerrard, Mr Capello? For England's sake there is only one answer."
1418: Football League Macca: "Seven minutes into the second half and they're all square at Blackpool as a Charlie Adam free-kick is put home by the diving head of Brett Ormerod. Blackpool 1-1 Bristol City. The Seasiders are well and truly in the play-off boxseat. Elsewhere it is Scunny 1-2 Forest and Derby 1-0 Cardiff."
1418: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea
1416: Referee Alan Wiley is the centre of attention again - Salomon Kalou is clear in on goal until he goes down in a tangle of legs with Lucas... but no penalty is the decision. TV replays suggest that might just have been a brilliant call, but at first, I must say, I thought that was a stick-on spot-kick.
1413: Liverpool winger Maxi Rodriguez is forced off the field because of injury, Ryan Babel is his replacement.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "A horror moment for Steven Gerrard - and indeed Manchester United - as he presents Chelsea's Didier Drogba with the easiest of chances. Liverpool had been the better team in a dismal contest up to that point, and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that undeserved goal will inject some much-needed urgency into his team."
1410: Michael Ballack is the next man to be booked, this time for a rather clumsy arm across Steven Gerrard.
1409: Liverpool are all over the place at the moment, and Frank Lampard is inches from setting up Nicolas Anelka in the box, only for Soto Kyrgiakos to get a vital toe on the ball to deny the Frenchman. The Reds break on the counter moments later, but Yossi Benayoun's cross is wayward and the chance is gone.
cfhussain on 606:
"I can't believe that might be the goal that seals the title for Chelsea... No conspiracy theories from me, I just think Gerrard could've chosen a better moment to concede a goal like that."
1407: Chelsea's tails are up, now, and Frank Lampard is well placed outside the area before sending a curler narrowly wide.
Chelsea goal: Unbelievable. Steven Gerrard, under no pressure whatsoever, attempts a ridiculous back pass and Didier Drogba steals in, rounds Pepe Reina and slots home. It's a gift... and the conspiracy theorists' brains go into overload.
1403: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea (Drogba)
1359: Oh dear Alberto Aquilani, you should have done so much better. The Italian is sent dashing clear into the box by Maxi Rodriguez's clever pass, but he dallies far too long and Branislav Ivanovic is able to get back and clear. Best chance of the match by far.
1357: Hhhm. Bit harsh on Florent Malouda, that, I'd say, the Frenchman going into the book for a high boot on Javier Mascherano.
1355: Free-kick to Chelsea on the left-hand side - great opportunity to swing the ball into the box... straight into Pepe Reina's hands. Moments later and Yossi Benayoun swings at a shot and sends the ball cruising into the stands. It would appear someone has popped the balloon of this match's early vigour.
Jonathan via text: "Am I the only Liverpool fan supporting Liverpool today?"
1350: Starting to settle down a bit at Anfield, now, but still plenty of ambition being shown by both sides, even if Chelsea's nerves are occasionally betraying them a touch. Who can blame them, though, with so much at stake?
1347: Football League Macca: "Controversy at Hillsborough but the home fans won't care. Leon Clarke scores for Sheff Wed two minutes before half-time with a very tidy finish, but he looked like he might have fouled Palace defender Danny Butterfield in the build-up. Either way it was bad defending, either way it is game on. Clarke is down injured and unlikely to play on. The Owls need another. What a second half we have in store. Leicester are beating Middlesbrough. Forest have a second at Scunny."
yorker_129-7 on 606:
"Today really is strange. The United fans are supporting Liverpool, but the Liverpool fans are supporting Chelski."
1343: Football League Macca: "A goal for Sheffield, but it's United not Wednesday I'm afraid Owls fans. Mark Yeates has put the Blades ahead at Ipswich. Meanwhile, Bradley Wright-Phillips has given Plymouth the lead against Peterborough. As it stands: Sheff Wed are going down, Blackpool are in the play-offs."
1341: Oooh that's close! Alberto Aquilani lines one up from all of 25 yards and pings a fierce effort goalwards, his shot clipping the top of the bar and behind. A few centimetres lower and you might have heard the cheer from Manchester, then.
A few of you asking about the "squiggle" on Liverpool's shirts, by the way - apparently the sponsor's name is in Chinese today as a 'tribute' to the club's Far East market. Which is nice.
1337: A tame slap at goal from Florent Malouda drifts wide. If the early exchanges are anything to go by, though, this is going to be an all-guns-blazing face-off with both teams bent on victory. Love it.
1335: Saloman Kalou throws himself over Javier Mascherano's challenge inches inside the box, but referee Alan Wiley is having none of it and waves away the penalty appeals. I give the Chelsea forward a mark of 5.7 for the dive and consider him lucky not to be booked.
1334: And Liverpool are showing no sign of an easy day out, either, winning a couple of corners in succession and pushing plenty of bodies into the Chelsea box.
1331: Immediate sign of intent from Chelsea? Nicolas Anelka feeds Frank Lampard 25 yards out and the midfielder skews a long-ranger wide of Pepe Reina's goal. This could be lively.
1330: We're bang on time at Anfield and under way.
HibaMS on Twitter:
"I'm so nervous!! I don't like how everyone's writing off Liverpool... anything can happen. C'mon Chelsea!!"
1329: Football League Macca: "Big, big, big goal at Hillsborough. Sorry, it's much bigger than that. Palace lead as Alan Lee rises unmarked to thump in a powerful header from a Darren Ambrose corner. Wednesday need two goals or they're going down. It's lively."
United6060 on 606:
"Surely the ideal situation for a Liverpool fan is Liverpool winning and United slipping up not wanting their own side to lose. Anyway, come on Liverpool! ( I feel dirty)."
1327: At Anfield, the players are in the tunnel and few men look cooler than Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti. In short, it comes down to this Blues fans. Win and you have one hand (and a few fingers) on the Premier League trophy. Anything else and you're relying on Steve Bruce to put one over on
his former mentor and boss
at the Stadium of Light and lead Sunderland to a first win over Man Utd since 1997. It's in your hands. Well, the players' hands, not yours, but you know what I mean. Just minutes until kick-off to go. Nervous?
1325: By the by, summer was nice while it lasted huh? Where's the blooming sun gone? Pah.
1323: Football League Macca: "Bang. Here come the goals. Nicky Maynard smashes in a dipping right-foot volley for Bristol City at Blackpool. It's an absolute cracker but at the moment it changes nothing, unless Swansea were to go ahead against Doncaster. Blackpool boss Ian Holloway is out of his dugout to try to fire up his side though. In other games, Forest are leading at Scunny, Reading are 2-0 up at home to Preston and Watford are 2-0 up at Coventry."
1318: Meanwhile, have you seen Schwarzer, Reina, Gerrard or Babel in our BBC Sport's World Cup Photo Album? We have some beauties of you with World Cup stars heading to South Africa this summer, but we still have more of your mug shots to collect! If you haven't pinged us a pic of yourself with a World Cup star of 2010 yet - send 'em in! Email us snaps of yourself with players and head coaches to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send them to us via Flickr, but check the
BBC terms and conditions
1315: Rest assured, people, that Football League Macca is primed for action and across all today's Championship matches - it would appear, though, that goals so far are harder to come across than a Man Utd fan at Anfield. Dum de dum...
JP_OAKLEY on Twitter:
"Did the BBC get a body language expert in today? I imagine a Benitez wave to the crowd could be a headline maker..."
Anon via text: "Liverpool will lose today. Not because they are unwilling to do United a favour, but because their squad is not strong enough to win against Chelsea."
Wazza v2 on 606:
"Listening to some Liverpool fans on 606 last night and was sickened to hear ALL of them say they hope Liverpool throw the game. Even some ex-Liverpool players aren't saying that Liverpool will try with any certainty."
1308: A quick reminder, by the way, that you can follow detailed commentary and stats on each of the Championship games today by clicking on the relevant match. For example,
Blackpool v Bristol City.
MCFC_TID on 606:
"Liverpool can't realistically get fourth, and after Everton's draw at Stoke can't be caught. It's all a matter of pride at Anfield today."
madeupstats on Twitter:
"Interesting. In clashes between the Reds and the Blues one week pre-election, there is a 54% chance of a Reds own goal."
1254: TEAM NEWS Liverpool v Chelsea Liverpool make two changes from the team that went out of the Europa League on Thursday. Maxi Rodriguez was ineligible for that game and returns in place of Ryan Babel. At the back, Javier Mascherano continues at right-back but Glen Johnson (calf) is missing, so Soto Kyriakos comes into the back four alongside Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher. Captain John Terry returns to the Chelsea starting XI after suspension in the only change to the team that thrashed Stoke 7-0. Paulo Ferreira drops to the bench.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield: "No question of Rafael Benitez resting the Liverpool players who went out of the Europa League after extra-time against Atletico Madrid on Thursday with a strong XI to face Chelsea. By the way, a banner outside The Kop read "Gary Neville Or Chelsea?" Tells the two sides to today's story - but not sure if it was a Chelsea or Liverpool supporter."
1250: With Chelsea and Man Utd at home on the final day of the season, to Wigan and Stoke respectively, you have to think the title, in all likelihood, will be decided today don't you? Trouble is, neither side face an easy game by any stretch. Chelsea face a Liverpool team that have won nine and drawn one of their last 10 home games, while Sunderland - who came within
a minute of winning at Old Trafford in October
- have lost just twice at home all season.
Craig via text: "As a Liverpool fan the best possible result today would be 1-0 to Chelsea."
1247: TEAMS Liverpool v Chelsea Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Agger, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Aquilani, Benayoun, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Babel, Ngog, Degen, El Zhar, Ayala, Pacheco. Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Ballack, Malouda, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka. Subs: Hilario, Joe Cole, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Deco, Sturridge, Belletti. Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)
1242: By the way, Championship fans, UK users might want to give this page a cheeky refresh - live pictures from Sheffield Wednesday-Crystal Palace sit atop this commentary. Happy days.
Football League Macca: "It probably doesn't need me to tell you what a monster of a day it is in the Championship, but that's my job. Sheffield Wednesday play Crystal Palace for the right to stay in the second flight. If Sheff Wed win they stay up at the expense of the Eagles, any other result and the Owls will drop to League One. Blackpool, who host Bristol City, will claim the last play-off spot unless they fail to win and Swansea beat Doncaster. Plenty of action to come elsewhere but we'll be concentrating our efforts on those three games."
pete_treeby on Twitter:
"Dunno what I'm more nervous about - losing heavily against Chelsea or Man Utd lifting the Prem! At least both won't happen... will they?"
redevilmatth on 606:
"I'm nervous ahead of today's games but I'm confident that Liverpool will beat Chelsea and United beat Sunderland."
BigEggo on 606:
"Liverpool played 120 minutes less than three days ago. Their best player is injured and his replacements aren't fully fit. How does anyone see them beating the best team in the league?"
1235: So, without further ado, let's get down to brass tacks - I want your best chat today. Be your passion Premier League, Championship, or just lounging about on Bank Holiday Sunday with your laptop at hand, I want to hear from you.
me, get on
or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). The floor is yours.
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