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Page last updated at 18:50 GMT, Saturday, 14 August 2010 19:50 UK

Saturday football as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

1945: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the Premier League back with a bang. A cracking opening day for the new season - and plenty more to come with Liverpool-Arsenal and Manchester United-Newcastle coming up in the next couple of days. I'll be back tomorrow for the clash at Anfield if you'd all be so kind as to join me again, and in the meantime make sure you look out for Match of the Day tonight from 2230 BST on BBC One and the website, followed by The Football League Show at 2350 on BBC One, the website and iPlayer. You know it makes sense. See ya.

xuvious on 606: "After the friendly results I was a bit worried about our start. But a performance like this will certainly boost morale of the team."

wonderboi711 on Twitter: "Sam, my man, you've set the bar high averaging three goals a game! Long live your presence!"

Paul Fletcher reports:
"Wow - take that Premier League, as Chelsea show they mean business. The bizarre thing is that it looked as though Chelsea didn't really hit top gear at any point in the match. Also, West Brom enjoyed some spells of decent play. The scoreline would suggest that the Baggies received a lesson in the sort of finishing required in the top flight."

1931: Hat-trick hero Didier Drogba: "I don't know if I can do better than last season (37 goals) but I do know that I feel a lot better after my operation and this is a good start. Now all that is important is that we keep on winning. Everything is good at this club and we are all together."

Sinbad The Saviour on 606: "Fair play to darkandom for predicting that (below)! I bet he wishes he'd put some money on it now!"

1925: Well that was pretty darn emphatic wasn't it? That is the biggest opening-day victory ever seen in the Premier League, and as I said before it was achieved with Chelsea barely getting out of second gear. Blimey.

Full time

Inter_MyNan on 606: "Why do teams fold like a piece of paper whenever they concede a few goals against Chelsea?"

Chelsea goal: It's six of the best for Chelsea, Nicolas Anelka finding Florent Malouda in the box and the winger rounding keeper Scott Carson before slipping into an empty net off the near post. Game. Set. Match.

1920: GOALFLASH Chelsea 6-0 West Brom (Malouda)

LondonsFinestClub on 606: "Blackpool are so five o'clock."

1918: And now Simon Cox has a go from range, only for his shot to slip wide of Petr Cech's near post.

1916: They're 5-0 down - but fair play to West Brom for battling on, and they've just forged their best opening of the match, Chris Brunt's fierce drive from 20 yards forcing Alex to head bravely over for a corner.

1915: Our friends at Infostrada Sports inform us that Didier Drogba's is the first hat trick on the opening Saturday of the Premier League season for 13 years, since Dion Dublin for Coventry against Chelsea in 1997. The last hat trick scorer on the opening weekend of the season was Gabriel Agbonlahor for Aston Villa against Manchester City in 2008.

1912: Chelsea quite happy to play a spot of keep-ball with the minutes ticking down at Stamford Bridge, the sting long since drawn out of West Brom.

Neil, Leamington Spa via text: "I'm going to go and find someone two hours younger than me - 'When I was your age, Blackpool were top of the league!'."

1908: This has become so comfortable for Chelsea, John Terry has just earned them a free-kick - on the edge of the Baggies box. Florent Malouda has a go but he can't get it back down again having beaten the wall and it flies over.

1906: It's almost six as Nicolas Anelka gets a toe-poke on Florent Malouda's cross, but Scott Carson just does enough to keep the ball slipping through his legs.

Farslayer on 606: "Does anyone remember all those minutes ago when Blackpool were top of the Premier League?"

1900: A rest, too, for Didier Drogba then - Salomon Kalou on to replace him.

Chelsea goal: He finished last season with a hat-trick and he's picked up exactly where he left off, Didier Drogba bringing up his third of the day with the aid of a big deflection off Baggies defender Gabriel Tamas. This is in danger of getting embarrassing for West Brom now.

1857: GOALFLASH Chelsea 5-0 West Brom (Drogba, hat-trick)

1857: West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo rolls the dice - he has little choice - and Roman Bednar and Graham Dorrans are replaced by Ishmael Miller and Simon Cox.

1854: Frank Lampard's reward is the rest of the day off - he comes off for Yossi Benayoun.

Chelsea goal: A goal of real quality. Nicolas Anelka dallies on the edge of the box and feeds Ashley Cole just inside the area, who in turn finds Frank Lampard, who fires into the corner. Incisive and effective. Blackpool fans the world over, meanwhile, roll their eyes.

1852: GOALFLASH Chelsea 4-0 West Brom (Lampard)

RedLegBill on 606: "Drogba recently said that "the best is yet to come" after having his operation. I believe him. Not great goals today - yes, but I can see him even reaching the 40 goal mark this season."

1850: Chelsea substitute Branislav Ivanovic comes on for Paulo Ferreira, while Yossi Benayoun is told he'll be on in five minutes.

Chelsea goal: They're 3-0 up, but for my money Chelsea have barely even got into gear today. Which I guess is quite ominous for their rivals. John Terry's header from a corner is kept out on the line by Youssouf Mulumbu, but West Brom can't clear their lines and Didier Drogba slams home the bobbling ball.

1845: GOALFLASH Chelsea 3-0 West Brom (Drogba)

1844: I tell you what, that's a decent effort from Graham Dorrans - he's impressed me today. The Scot whips a dipping free-kick over the wall from 25 yards but it drifts over the bar. To be fair, Petr Cech was always comfortable it was missing the target.

1842: A bit sloppy from Chelsea and Graham Dorrans finds himself free 25 yards out - he tries his luck but it deflects wide off his own player Roman Bednar.

1838: A passage of play that displays all that is good - and all that is not so good - about West Brom as they build nicely with the ball, switching play and whipping it around nicely, until they get to the edge of the Chelsea box and it breaks down. For an away side they are enjoying plenty of possession, but Chelsea remain more than comfortable.

1835: West Brom, with plenty of work to do, get us back up and running at Stamford Bridge.

BBC Sport's Simon Austin on Twitter: "Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has had a pop at Liverpool in today's programme, stating: 'Joe Cole has gone to a small club somewhere north of the M25'."

Kevin Blackwell has left Sheffield United by mutual consent after his side's 3-0 defeat to QPR at Bramall Lane

ReeskiMU10 on 606: "My half time one-word report would be 'predictable'."

manjit84 on 606: "Chelsea looking much better today, but there is still room for improvement. Malouda is looking very lively!"

buymespresso on 606: "It's so cool to be able to watch football again AND hear the crowd."

1821: RE: Below - It is of course 2-0. And it's not 1548 either. Obviously. Refresh please. Thanks.

Paul Fletcher's one-word HT report:

Chelsea goal: Scott Carson has just had a go at his wall for not staying strong enough - but the message clearly did not get through. Didier Drogba whips a fine free-kick at goal from 25 yards, it goes through the wall and nestles into Carson's left-hand corner. Another gift.

1817: GOALFLASH Chelsea 2-0 West Brom (Drogba)

1815: Good block from John Terry, the Chelsea skipper getting his matter in the way of Chris Brunt's goalbound shot.

1812: It should really be 2-0 to Chelsea. Frank Lampard drills a free-kick goalwards from 25 yards out and again Scott Carson can't collect it, but Florent Malouda heads over on the follow-up. That's a let-off.

1811: Oh lovely move from Chelsea, Michael Essien feeding Frank Lampard, who flicks it behind his legs and into the box, and only a good spot of defending prevents Florent Malouda getting a shot off 16 yards out.

1809: Offside again - Florent Malouda, this time, crashing into the net from Frank Lampard's pass, but it won't count.

bullk2 on 606: "Is it me or does this feel like another pre-season game?"

1805: Is that a hang over from the World Cup? Ashley Cole gets a bit of a barracking from the West Brom fans as he goes to collect a throw-in - Chelsea fans respond with a chorus of cheers. Since the goal, this match has got all rather cagey.

1801: With both sides keen to get the ball down and play, we're seeing some nice football and movement here. Still, not a great deal of action in either goalmouth - West Brom more than holding their own in the last few minutes, though.

4-5-none on 606: "West Brom knocking it about quite nicely at the mo...

1001 via text: "Aren't you guys missing the vuvuzuelas?"
Erm... no.

1753: New West Ham manager Avram Grant, meanwhile, has not been pulling any punches in his media conference following his side's 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa: "Most things went wrong. We passed the ball to them more than they passed it to themselves."

1751: The offside flag has long since been raised - correctly - but Roman Bednar curls a lovely finish into Petr Cech's top corner from Graham Dorrans's through-ball nonetheless. It doesn't count, of course, but maybe this match isn't going to be as one-sided as you lot think?

1749: I tell you what - if nothing else West Brom are going to stick to their footballing principles this season. Comfortably the best side on the ball in the Championship last year, the Baggies are moving it about lovely here. Not a huge amount in the final third so far, but nice enough from Di Matteo's boys.

JackHughesByZola on 606: "This new signing Essien looks pretty useful already..."

1744: Meanwhile, Wolves midfielder David Jones has been talking about his wonder free-kick: "We've been practising that one quite a few times and it was nice for it to come off." When asked about comparisons with Willie Carr's flick-up for Ernie Hunt to volley in a free-kick in 1970 for Coventry against Everton, Jones, 25, adds: "It rings a bell but I can't really remember it. I'll have to ask my dad about that one." I bet.

1743: Encouragement for West Brom as Graham Dorrans has a pot shot from range and, via a deflection, Petr Cech is forced to scramble it behind for a corner. It is absolutely tipping it down in west London, by the way.

1741: Ashley Cole, who has started this game well, rips a nice ball across the West Brom box but no Chelsea player is in sight to tap it in. Considering this start, if I were a Chelsea player I'd be camped in the Baggies box. Even if I were the keeper.

darkanddom on 606: "Like I said... it will be 6-0 to Chelsea today, no doubt. In fact probably 8-0."

Chelsea goal: Oh dear, they didn't need that. West Brom keeper Scott Carson spills a relatively tame Didier Drogba free-kick and after Jon Mikel Obi's follow-up is blocked, Florent Malouda taps in. Ominous.

1737: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-0 West Brom (Malouda)

1735: We're four minutes into proceedings at Stamford Bridge and West Brom, 10 men behind the ball, have barely touched it. Nicolas Anelka has just had the first meaningful shot on goal - from range - Baggies keeper Scott Carson well behind it to save easily.

TorreSamK9 on Twitter: "The 'World Cup' formation for West Brom. I could see them sneaking this..."

1732: We're under way in the last match of the day, Chelsea v West Brom.

1731: A predictably warm reception from the Stamford Bridge faithful for West Brom manager Robert di Matteo, who enjoyed many a distinguished day out on this ground. How warm might his reception be come full-time I wonder? We're moments away from kick-off...

1729: BOLTON 0-0 FULHAM:
Les Roopanarine reports:
"It was by no means a classic, but Fulham manager Mark Hughes will no doubt be satisfied to take a useful away point from an evenly-contested game."

1728: The players are in the tunnel at Stamford Bridge and we're moments away from seeing if defending champions Chelsea are deserving of their billing as title favourites - of indeed if West Brom can prove it is not just Blackpool who are capable of stonking opening-day results. Ready?

Chris Whyatt reports:
""After snatching a mere point from the jaws of a juicy three, Sunderland might not sleep easy tonight. Still, Fraizer Campbell and Darren Bent showed flickers of Morecambe and Wise-like telepathy. Birmingham, gutsy at best, got out of jail."

1720: WOLVES 2-1 STOKE:
Mark Ashenden reports:
"Thrills, spills and substitutes being substituted. A Molineux cracker as David Jones scores a wondergoal with Wolves holding on against Stoke. I'll give it 8/10 for entertainment."

JohnHarvey10 on Twitter: "Cracking start to the league! Worth staying up for in Malaysia."

Anon via text: "Re 1707: Considering that Infostrada stat - does this mean Wolves will win the title?"

jonnysteamboat on 606: "So Benayoun has found a different bench to warm..."

Paul Fletcher reports:
"Frank Lampard took a knock on his ankle playing for England on Wednesday but is fit to play and so takes his place in the Chelsea side. Petr Cech returns in goal after injury, while Didier Drogba plays in attack, with Salomon Kalou making way. Alex slots in to the centre of defence, with Branislav Ivanovic dropping out. The big news for West Brom is that the influential Graham Dorrens has recovered from a groin injury and takes his place in the side, while Roman Bedner plays up front and Pablo Ibanez takes his place in the team's defence."

notscientific on Twitter: "Well West Ham, you DO NOT kick Gianfranco Zola out and replace him with Avram Grant. I mean, who are you kidding?"

Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Terry, Alex, Cole, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Kalou, Sturridge, Van Aanholt.
West Brom: Carson, Jara, Pablo, Tamas, Cech, Thomas, Mulumbu, Brunt, Morrison, Dorrans, Bednar. Subs: Myhill, Olsson, Barnes, Miller, Steven Reid, Shorey, Cox.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1707: Here's what Blackpool boss Ian Holloway had to say after his side's emphatic win - a win, by the way, that Infostrada Sports tells us sees Blackpool top of the top flight for the first time since first day of the 1957/1958 season. Unbelievable. "We showed plenty of spirit and we are going to need that this season. Things went our way today. It's terrific and I'm very proud of the lads. We have to get our feet back on the ground as we have got Arsenal next week."

Football League Danny: "Plenty of resounding wins knocking around in the Football League. Millwall battered ex-Premier Leaguers Hull 4-0 and are joint top of the Championship with QPR who walloped Sheffield United 3-0 away. Neil Warnock may have enjoyed that. Swansea piled misery on to Preston with a 4-0 win. Bristol City began life after Coppell with a 1-1 draw at Doncaster. In League One, Bournemouth romped to a 5-1 win over Peterborough. And in League Two, Cheltenham beat Crewe with a it's-never-a-bad-game-with-this-score 3-2 win."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"An inspired performance from Blackpool to leave Wigan fans booing their side and leaving the DW Stadium early."

Chris Charles reports:
"Never a dull moment at Ewood Park this afternoon, but you have to say that Everton were quite literally dropped in it by Tim Howard."

Kevin Darling reports:
"Martin O'Who? Villa prove there is life after their ex-boss with a superb performance - but as for the Hammers, on this evidence it could be another relegation fight this season for Avram Grant."

Former Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel on Twitter: "Outstanding performance by Aston Villa! Delighted for Kevin McDonald he has done an incredible job for the Villa youngsters over the years!"

1659: Folks - your Premier League leaders are Blackpool. I repeat, your Premier League leaders are Blackpool. Unbelievable.

Full time


1652: Almost a dramatic winner for Birmingham at the Stadium of Light, but Nikola Zigic screws his shot wide unmarked from 16 yards.

Full time


Full time


Birmingham goal: I won't lie, I've seen three replays and can't tell who scored - but if you're a Birmingham fan do you care? It's been coming too. Sebastian Larsson's cross causes havoc in the box and it either goes in off Liam Ridgwell's leg or a Sunderland defender's leg. Whichever, it's level.

1647: GOALFLASH Sunderland 2-2 Birmingham

Justin via text: "What a season this is shaping up to be already! The so-called 'Big Four' have already been catapulted out of the top ten!"

BBC Sport's Garth Crooks on Final Score: "Blackpool could have scored three goals in the first 15 minutes - they scored one. Wigan's performance got worse and worse and worse and Blackpool have taken full advantage of their opponent's abject display."

Football League Danny: "Kudos to Bournemouth, who are 5-1 up on Peterborough. Posh began with a 3-0 win last week against Bristol Rovers, who lost 6-1 in midweek to Oxford. But today, the Pirates are 1-0 up against Yeovil, while Oxford trail 2-1 to Bury in League Two. Football = Unpredictable."

BBC Sport's Steve Claridge on Final Score: "Villa look like they have played with a bit more freedom that at some points in the past. They have thrown the shackles off and it has been a splendid performance. Kevin MacDonald can be very proud of his team."

1642: Over at Villa Park, James Milner is substituted to a rapturous round of applause. The midfielder applauds them back... and was that a little wave goodbye? Not sure.

1642: Let-off for Sunderland as Scott Dann, completely unmarked eight yards out, directs a free header wide of the post.

1641: Everton use the last of their substitutes as Teenager Jack Rodwell, who captained the England under-21 team in midweek, replaces Marouane Fellaini. But it is Rovers looking more likely to score - Steven Nzonzi heading over from El-Hadji Diouf's pinpoint cross when he perhaps should have done better. A minute later, a cheeky chip from Mikel Arteta causes mayhem in the Blackburn defence. Three times substitute Dinyar Bilyaletdinov looks as if he's going to score but Rovers somehow scramble it clear.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1640: Agony for Bolton as US international Stuart Holden threatens to break the deadlock only for his low shot, unleashed from just outside the area, to hit the post and roll behind to safety.

John via text: "Who would have picked Blackpool to be top of the league after day one?"

1638: Mame Biram Diouf uses his electrifying pace to good effect for Blackburn but is denied a debut goal by a combination of Tim Howard and the offside flag. Meanwhile, Tim Cahill is booked for handling and Blackburn's Michel Salgado receives a yellow for a clumsy challenge on Steven Pienaar. David Moyes sends on Dinyar Bilyaletdinov to replace Louis Saha, without a goal in 13 games, as Everton press for an equaliser.

Birmingham goal: Is this the start of a late comeback? Scott Dann gets above Nedum Onuoha at the far post to head through the keeper's legs for his first Premier League goal - and Sunderland, suddenly, are wobbling.

1636: GOALFLASH Sunderland 2-1 Birmingham (Dann)

1636: Comical miss from John Carew who gets a header all wrong when unmarked in the box and sends the ball out towards the corner flag. And then moments later his turn-and-shot comes off the post, hits Rob Green, and comes off the other post. Good thing they're 3-0 up.

1635: Despite a marked second-half improvement at the Reebok, there's still nothing doing for Bolton in the face of a resolute Fulham performance. Johan Elmander forced an excellent save from Fulham keeper David Stockdale early in the second half, but otherwise chances have been few and far between since the break.

Blackpool goal: Would you Adam and Eve it? Everything Blackpool touch is turning to gold - and when Alex Baptiste's attempted cross drifts in at Chris Kirkland's near post, no-one is even that surprised. What a Premier League debut for Ian Holloway's boys. The stuff of dreams.

1633: GOALFLASH Wigan 0-4 Blackpool (Baptiste)

Paul Fletcher reports:
"Chelsea begin the defence of their title hoping to win their opening game for the ninth successive season. However, Carlo Ancelotti's team have been far from convincing during pre-season, losing three friendlies prior to the defeat at the hands of rivals Manchester United in the Community Shield. Standing in Chelsea's way are newly promoted West Brom, who are, of course, managed by former Stamford Bridge favourite Roberto Di Matteo."

BBC Sport's Steve Claridge on Final Score: "Wolves have looked good going forward and Steve Fletcher was excellent before he was taken off. I am now taking Wolves out of my bottom three for the season."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1630: Villa are rampant… Stewart Downing almost gets a second of the game but his effort bounces back of the crossbar - that's the second time he's hit the woodwork. Olés can be heard all around Villa Park.

Super_Frank on 606: "Did Milner celebrate at all?"
Yep, full celebration complete with rigorous air-punch. Nice.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1626: Another chance for Wigan, Ronnie Stam's cross finding Mauro Boselli who heads on to the top of the crossbar. Close.

1625: It's officially the end of summer, folks. The floodlights are on at the Molineux. At 1625 BST. Hurrumph.

Aston Villa goal: Is that a goodbye goal from James Milner? The lively Marc Albrighton is the architect, working space well down the left and cutting it back for Milner to slam home left-footed from the edge of the area. Are you watching Roberto Mancini?

1623: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham (Milner)

Football League Danny: "Fans of the scoreline "4-0" are having a field day. It's now Swansea 4-0 Preston thanks to David Cotterill's penalty. And it's Millwall 4-0 Hull courtesy of Liam Trotter. (Of course, it's bittersweet for those fans of 4-0 who are also Preston or Hull supporters)."

1621: Birmingham so close to getting themselves back in the game at Sunderland, home keeper Simon Mignolet tipping over a fierce long-range effort from Nikola Zigic.

1619: Couple of changes in the Blackburn-Everton game, with debutant Jermaine Beckford on for Leon Osman for the Toffees and Mame Biram Diouf, on loan from Manchester United, on forBlackburn goalscorer Nikola Kalinic.

BBC Sport's Steve Claridge on Final Score: "Sunderland are down to 10 men but have now gone two goals up - that is a tremendous performance so well done to Steve Bruce's team."

Sunderland goal: Sunderland two-up as Birmingham's former Newcastle full-back Stephen Carr loops a long-range header into his own net at the Stadium of Light, trying to clear a deep cross under pressure from Fraizer Campbell.

Stoke goal: Game on at the Molineux as Abdoulaye Faye powers through the Wolves defence to head home a pin-point cross.

1614: GOALFLASH Sunderland 2-0 Birmingham (Carr og)

1614: GOALFLASH Wolves 2-1 Stoke (Faye)

Football League Danny: "Bristol City seem all the better for their parting of the ways with Steve Coppell. Damion Stewart has put them 1-0 up at Doncaster. Meanwhile Bournemouth are doing well - Brett Pitman's put them 3-0 up on Peterborough in League One."

1611: West Ham looking better this half - though it might have been hard to look worse than their opening 45 minutes - and Julien Faubert should have got them back in it as he slides wide from 16 yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Football League Danny: "Swansea 3-0 Preston in the Championship. Awful first half for Preston, probably not boosted by the brilliant opening their rivals Blackpool have made to their Premier League campaign."

chrsdvn on Twitter: "RE: 1559 - More of the same? My team (Stoke) are 2-0 down and our record signing is crocked. I vote for change!"

Someone has struck the woodwork
1606: Over at Villa Park, Stewart Downing grazes the bar with a 20-yard free-kick, while at the other end West Ham defender James Tomkins goes close with a header from a corner.

1605: Steve Gohouri thinks he has got one back for Wigan with a header from Ben Watson's free-kick - but it is ruled out by linesman Paul Thompson for offside. Replays suggest that was not the greatest of decisions as it happens.

1604: And now at Bolton and Wigan as well.

1603: The games at Aston Villa, Blackburn, Wolves and Sunderland get back under way.

1602: Couple of half-time changes for West Ham, with Frederic Piquionne and Pablo Barrera coming on. Something had to change, the Londoners were awaful in that first half.

1559: I tell you what, if this season carries on as it's started, we really are in for a right royal ripper aren't we? I may have typed my fingers bloody already, but my word I am loving this. Dear Premier League football - more of the same from here on in, please.

olliescrim on Twitter: "We won't forget O'Neill because he built this team back up - but a brilliant start to life without him."

big diao on 606: "Blackpool for the title... anyone?"

1552: BOLTON 0-0 FULHAM:
Les Roopanarine's one-word HT report:

Mandeep Sanghera's one-word HT report:

Chris Whyatt's one-word HT report:

Chris Charles's one-word HT report:

Mark Ashenden's one-word HT report:

Kevin Darling's one-word HT report:

Red card
Lee Cattermole red card: Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole is sent off for two yellow card offences after just 43 minutes of the new season. The first for unsporting behaviour. The second for going straight through Lee Bowyer, without ceremony, from behind. Not pretty. He's also left Gary O'Conner with a nasty cut above his eye after an elbowy aerial challenge earlier on. This from a team who racked up nine red cards last season.

BBC Sport's Garth Crooks on Final Score: "I am disgusted. This is a disgraceful performance from Wigan. These are Premier League players we are talking about."

Blackpool goal: Ian Holloway's boys are in dreamland as Elliot Grandin's shot is parried, providing Marlon Harewood with the simplest tap-in into an empty net.

1543: SENDING-OFF Lee Cattermole (Sunderland)

1542: GOALFLASH Wigan 0-3 Blackpool (Harewood)

Wolves goal: Christophe Berra, Matt Jarvis and Jelle Van Damme combine well and the ball loops in for Steven Fletcher to head in at the back post. Advantage Mick McCarthy's boys in a big way.

Aston Villa goal: It's been coming… Villa get a deserved second as Ashley Young dinks in a cross and Stiliyan Petrov powers a header past the helpless Green from 8 yards out. Villa fans now chanting "There's only one Randy Lerner". Martin O'Neill, it appears, has quickly been forgotten.

Blackpool goal: It's gets even better for Blackpool - and they are top of the league. Briefly. Tangerines debutant Marlon Harewood holds of Antolin Alcaraz before unleashing a 22-yard shot, which keeper Chris Kirkland gets his fingertips to but cannot prevent from going in.

1540: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 2-0 West Ham (Petrov)

1539: GOALFLASH Wolves 2-0 Stoke (Fletcher)

Wolves goal: Check this one out on Match of the Day tonight. Wolves get a free-kick 20 yards out and Karl Henry taps it to David Jones, who flicks it up and volleys a looping shot into the corner. Bosh.

1537: GOALFLASH Wigan 0-2 Blackpool (Harewood)

1537: GOALFLASH Wolves 1-0 Stoke (Jones)

i_bets on Twitter: "Love the way BBC Premier League table updates after every goal."

1534: Aston Villa continue to impress at Villa Park and John Carew glances a decent half-chance wide. The boss for Manchester City-target James Milner appear to have been silenced for the time being. Which I guess tends to happen when your team are winning 1-0.

Football League Danny: "Only one score in town in the Championship. Well, 11 scores to be fair, but one really, really eye-catching one. Sheffield United 0-3 QPR - the early leaders have stormed ahead in that one, no doubt to the delight of Neil Warnock, visiting his former club, and to the utter chagrin of the Blades' faithful."

1531: Tim Cahill has Everton's first shot on target, but Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson is down quickly to smother.

1529: It should be 2-0 at Sunderland. Darren Bent and Fraizer Campbell link up well on the edge of the area, but the former screws his shot wide from the edge of the area with Steed Malbranque well placed to his left.

1526: West Ham finally muster an attack as Carlton Cole bursts into the area but his low cross into the box evades everyone.

1525: A lovely Blackpool move ends in Gary Taylor-Fletcher again putting the ball in the back of the net before his effort is disallowed by the linesman. Taylor-Fletcher is furious as, although team-mate Brett Ormerod was stood in an offisde position, he was not.

Sunderland goal: Darren Bent is off and running again. Fraizer Campbell bears down on goal and just gets ahead of Steve Carr, who brings him down. It looks like it's outside the area but the penalty is given, and a yellow card is Carr's punishment. Bent slots in the spot-kick with aplomb.

1524: GOALFLASH Sunderland 1-0 Birmingham (Bent pen)


1521: In terms of chances at Bolton, it's one apiece so far. Johan Elmander screwed narrowly wide for Bolton after some good build-up play involving Stuart Holden, while Danny Murphy returned the compliment at the other end for Fulham, although Jussi Jaaskelainen probably had it covered.

1520: Part redemption for Robert Green, the West Ham keeper doing well to tip Ashley Young's lob over on the stretch. Much still to do for the Hammers, though, who are struggling.

1520: Stoke's new signing Kenwyn Jones walks off in tears as his debut lasts just 10 minutes to be replaced by striker Mamady Sidibe. I'm sensing Jody Craddock may now not be on Jones' Christmas card list.

BBC Sport's Steve Claridge on Final Score: "Wigan are all over the shop. They are being slaughtered by Blackpool, who could be three goals up already."

Blackpool goal: Charlie Adam plays in Marlon Harewood, whose cross to the far post is tapped in by Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Simple. Blackpool's first goal in the Premier League - and it's well deserved.

Blackburn goal: We're 15 minutes in and it's a horrible mistake by Everton keeper Tim Howard, who comes to collect a cross, inexplicably drops the ball into the path of Nikola Kalinic, and the striker gratefully tucks it into the empty net.

1516: GOALFLASH Wigan 0-1 Blackpool (Taylor-Fletcher)

Aston Villa goal: Rob Green's not covered himself in glory so far today and he has take some of the blame here too. His poor punch leads to a shot for Marc Albrighton, and though Green palms it away, Stewart Downing is there to tap in the rebound.

1514: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-0 Everton (Kalinic)

1513: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham (Downing)

1511: That's a worrying sight for Stoke fans - Kenwyne Jones going down heavily under a challenge from Jody Craddock, and the big striker, who was not 100% ahead of this match apparently, has to receive plenty of treatment. He's limping badly...

Someone has struck the woodwork
1510: Comedy of errors at Villa Park and James Tomkins twice gets lucky - firstly when John Carew latches on to his backpass and then when the ball ricochets off his shin and back off the post. Close.

1507: It's a lively ol' start at the DW Stadium as Blackpool keeper Matthew Gilks has to get down well to keep out Wigan striker Victor Moses's low volley from a corner. Lest we forget, referee Mark Halsey is taking charge of this match in his first game back officiating in the Premier League after overcoming throat cancer.

1505: Early chance too for Blackburn, Morten Gamst Pedersen putting Martin Olsson clean through on goal, the Swede lofting the ball over the on-rushing Tim Howard but comfortably clearing the bar.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1503: Almost a dream start to his Stoke debut for Kenwyne Jones, the £8m new signing from Sunderland bustling through and smashing a shot against Marcus Hahnemann's bar.

1503: A couple of chances for Premier League new-boys Blackpool at Wigan, Brett Ormerod failing to get on the end of a low cross and then Marlon Harewood heads over from six yards out.

1502: Couple of nervy moments for England's "clanger" keeper Rob Green in the Villa-West Ham game - twice coming for a cross and missing it. Oops.

1501: And we're up and running everywhere else as well. Love it.

1459: Aston Villa up and running nice and early against West Ham - and there are boos for James Milner already...

Ian Hughes reports:
"So Joe Hart saves City from a first-half drubbing and his side come away from White Hart Lane with a point, stopping a run of six straight league defeats at Spurs - the hosts will be left to rue what should have been."

1455: Yes, yes - the keen eyes among you will spot Wolves aren't actually at Wigan, Blackpool are. You have all passed the test of spotting my - ahem - deliberate error, well done. No give this page a refresh and hide my shame? Thanks.

Mark Ashenden reports:
"A few new faces for Wolves as Belgian defender Jelle van Damme and record-signing striker Steven Fletcher both start. Boss Mick McCarthy shores up his central midfield with Karl Henry and David Jones and will also look to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake for goals. Stoke's new £8m signing Kenwyn Jones is chucked straight into the first XI and will partner Ricardo Fuller, while goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen keeps Asmir Begovic out from between the sticks."

Les Roopanarine reports:
"Martin Petrov makes his Premier League debut for Bolton in midfield, behind a forward line of Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies. The Bulgarian's fellow new signings, Ivan Klasnic and Robbie Blake, are on the bench. The big news, however, concerns Fulham's want-way goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who fails to make the squad after handing in a transfer request this week. The official line is that he is injured. In the big Australian's absence, David Stockdale gets the nod between the sticks for what will be only the second Premier League appearance of his career. Damien Duff has recovered from a knee injury and starts, while new signing Jonathan Greening is on the bench."

Kevin Darling reports:
Aston Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald picks Manchester City's supposed next signing James Milner in what could be a farewell appearance at Villa Park for the England midfielder. Highly-rated winger Marc Albrighton also gets his first Premier League start, while Luke Young and youngster Claran Clark are drafted in to the defence in the absence of Carlos Cuellar and James Collins. In his first game in charge of West Ham, Avram Grant hands a debut to just one of his five summer signings - New Zealand World Cup defender Winston Reid. Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne are on the bench but Thomas Hitzlsperger is injured. Julien Faubert and Luis Boa Morte are the wide men in a 4-5-1 formation.

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Wigan boss Roberto Martinez gives two of his new signings in striker Mauro Boselli and defender Antolin Alcaraz their debuts. Ronnie Stam, James McArthur and Ali Al Habsi also arrived at the DW Stadium this summer and are on the bench but midfielder Charles N'Zogbia is out. Blackpool boss Ian Holloway signed six players this week after a summer spent being frustrated in the transfer market. Three of the new arrivals start, with striker Marlon Harewood, midfielder Elliot Grandin and defender Craig Cathcart making their Tangerine debuts. Fellow signings Chris Basham and Ludovic Sylvestre are on the bench, while Malaury Martin is not in the squad. Brett Ormerod partners Harewood in attack."

Chris Whyatt reports:
"Sunderland welcome new defensive faces Nedum Onuoha and Titus Bramble into their starting line-up. With Kenwyne Jones now gone, Frazier Campbell starts alongside Darren Bent up front. Manchester United's on-loan striker Danny Welbeck starts on the bench. Another former Manchester United player - Ben Foster - starts in goal for Birmingham, no doubt hoping to carry on the superb work done by Manchester City's former loan star Joe Hart at St Andrews last season. Very familiar look about the rest of the Blues XI. New giant striker Zigic starts… on the bench. No room for James McFadden either."

Chris Charles reports:
"Sam Allardyce includes Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic and big defender Christopher Samba in his Blackburn line-up, despite both struggling with injuries in pre-season, while Manchester United loanee Mame Biram Diouf has to make do with a place on the bench. Everton boss David Moyes had the rare luxury of almost a fully-fit squad to choose from and starts with Phil Neville, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jagielka, while teenager Jack Rodwell and summer signing Jermaine Beckford are among the substitutes."

Hahnemann, Foley, Berra, Craddock, Van Damme, Jarvis, Henry, David Jones, Ward, Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Stearman, Halford, Keogh, Milijas, Guedioura.
Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington, Jones, Fuller. Subs: Begovic, Collins, Sidibe, Pugh, Sanli, Tonge, Wilkinson.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Kirkland, Boyce, Alcaraz, Gohouri, Figueroa, McCarthy, Diame, Moses, Watson, Rodallega, Boselli. Subs: Al Habsi, Thomas, Gomez, McArthur, Scotland, Stam, Golobart.
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Taylor-Fletcher, Adam, Vaughan, Grandin, Ormerod, Harewood.
Subs: Rachubka, Eardley, Basham, Euell, Sylvestre, Edwards, Demontagnac.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Mignolet, Onuoha, Bramble, Mensah, Richardson, Al-Muhammadi, Cattermole, Henderson, Malbranque, Campbell, Bent. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Da Silva, Riveros, Welbeck, Waghorn.
Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Ridgewell, Johnson, Dann, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, Jerome, O'Connor. Subs: Taylor, Murphy, Gardner, McFadden, Michel, Zigic, Parnaby.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Aston Villa:
Friedel, Luke Young, Clark, Dunne, Warnock, Downing, Albrighton, Petrov, Milner, Ashley Young, Carew. Subs: Guzan, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Beye, Weimann, Lichaj, Bannan.
West Ham: Green, Reid, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Faubert, Parker, Kovac, Noble, Boa Morte, Cole. Subs: Stech, Gabbidon, Barrera, Spector, Sears, Piquionne, Diamanti.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Robinson, Samba, Salgado, Jones, Olsson, Givet, Nelsen, Dunn, Kalinic, El-Hadji Diouf, Pedersen. Subs: Bunn, Emerton, Nzonzi, Andrews, Hoilett, Chimbonda, Mame Diouf.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Distin, Neville, Jagielka, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Saha. Subs: Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Beckford, Gueye, Rodwell.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Muamba, Holden, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Elmander. Subs: Bogdan, Taylor, Mark Davies, Klasnic, Ricketts, Blake, Andrew O'Brien.
Fulham: Stockdale, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Kelly, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Riise, Stoor, Dempsey, Greening, Elm.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

oliverhj84 on Twitter: "Superb 1st half that deserved a goal. An acceptable 2nd that probably didn't. Summary? Seen worse, seen better. Bring on 1500!"

Full time

1438: Free-kick to City in the Spurs half - one last chance for the visitors to grab a winner?

1435: We're into stoppage time at White Hart Lane, still 0-0.

I am not the best Paul Scholes is on 606: "What a result 0-0 would be for City, they played so poorly this would feel like a win!"

1433: Final Score is back. Hoorah for footy fans, not so much for you synchro fans out there. Sorry.

Mark Ashenden reports:
"Wolves ended last season nine points behind Stoke and their boss Mick McCarthy will have been quietly delighted with 15th spot in their first year in the top-flight. But the straight-talking boss will be demanding even greater things this campaign having recruited Stephen Hunt, Belgium's Jelle van Damme and record-signing Steven Fletcher. Meanwhile, today's visitors will be looking to new striker Kenwyne Jones for a hatful of goals as they look to improve on the impressive 12th and 11th place finishes in the last two seasons. These sides may have had the fewest amount of shots on target in the Premier League last season, but don't expect a lacklustre 0-0 with these managers in charge."

1431: Spurs upping the tempo again here, and Vincent Kompany does excellently to clear from Roman Pavlyuchenko 18 yards out. By the way - apologies, apparently you might have been watching synchronised swimming instead of Final Score above which, while interesting, probably wasn't what you were after. We'll get on it...

1429: Soooo close for Tottenham - Nigel de Jong does brilliantly to clear Roman Pavlyuchenko's cross from under the nose of Robbie Keane, but Gareth Bale should slot in the rebound - but he slices it wide right-footed. Big chance, big miss.

1428: Emmanuel Adebayor comes on for Carlos Tevez for Manchester City.

1427: We're minutes away from the start of Final Score, by the way folks, so manually refresh this page if you're a UK user and it'll appear at the top. Which is nice.

1425: With just over 10 minutes to go, Infostrada Sports tell us that it's been three years since there was a 0-0 draw on the opening weekend of the PL season (Man Utd - Reading in 2007) and five years since there was one on the opening Saturday (three matches ended 0-0 on the opening Saturday of the 2005/2006 season). Can Spurs or Manchester City keep the run going? I actually suspect both sides would take a draw here...

1422: Last change for Tottenham, Mexico playmaker Giovani dos Santos replacing Aaron Lennon.

Chris Whyatt reports:
"Sunderland's season seriously nosedived last year following a strong start. From flirting with Europe to batting eyelashes at relegation. But, ultimately, they were always safe thanks to the prolific Darren Bent, upon whom their [mid-table?] hopes for this year will rest once again. A glut of goals were about all Birmingham didn't have last season, as they posted their highest-league finish for 51 years. With just 19 goals in 19 home games, an unlikely second helping of Premier League vertigo will likely rest upon new 6ft 8in striker Nikola Zigic."

1417: That could have gone anywhere. Carlos Tevez lines one up from the edge of the area and his drive spanks off a Tottenham defender, loops upwards and falls inches over the bar. Spurs break - and twice Roman Pavlyuchenko drives goalwards right-footed from the left, Joe Hart down low to save on both occasions.

Les Roopanarine reports:
"Having steered Bolton to safety last term, Owen Coyle is eager to draw a line under the club's reputation for direct football, a sentiment echoed by his chairman. In practical terms, Bolton's main problem last season was a lack of goals. Former Manchester City forward Martin Petrov has therefore been brought in along with Robbie Blake and, following his successful loan spell last season, Ivan Klasnic. But without the midfield scheming of Jack Wilshere, who has returned to Arsenal, who will provide the ammunition? Meanwhile, Mark Hughes has plenty to contend with on his competitive debut as Fulham manager. Mark Schwarzer, coveted by Arsenal, has apparently handed in a transfer request, while new signing Phillipe Senderos ruptured an achilles tendon in pre-season. With question marks at one end of the pitch, the onus will be on freshly-anointed England man Bobby Zamora to deliver at the other."

1413: Here we go - Adam Johnson enters the fray in place of Shaun Wright-Phillips for Manchester City, while Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp throws Robbie Keane AND Roman Pavlyuchenko on for Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch. Cracking reception for all three.

1411: Looks like both Spurs and Man City are preparing for a change or two - Robbie Keane and Adam Johnson looking the likely candidates.

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"Blackpool are back in the top-flight after a 39-year absence and go into their opener for the season at Wigan as the favourites for relegation. They should have played this game at home but had it switched because of on-going construction work at Bloomfield Road and charismatic manager Ian Holloway has questioned whether, like the club's stadium, his team are ready for the big kick-off. The Tangerines did beat Wigan 4-1 in the Carling Cup last season and face a side who had the worst defensive Premier League record in 2009/2010 when they conceded 79 goals in 38 league games."

1408: If Spurs want to stop giving Manchester City half chances, they might want to think about getting a lead on Yaya Toure - countless times he has pinged a ball over the Spurs defence and he does so again, though Micah Richards's header on the stretch is a tame one and easily saved.

Yellow card
1406: Yellow card for Man City substitute Pablo Zabaleta - the full-back cynically taking out Aaron Lennon when the Spurs winger would've been clear on the right. A tactically astute booking, if you like.

Chris Charles reports:
"This one really is too close to call. Blackburn were only beaten three times at fortress Ewood Park last season, but Everton were one of the teams who left with three points. Although David Moyes has been quiet in the transfer market, a fully-fit Mikel Arteta is like the proverbial new signing, while the capture of Jermaine Beckford, who has been sharp in pre-season, could prove a shrewd bit of business. Rovers boss Sam Allardyce has not exactly been splashing the cash either, and while ambitious moves for Real Madrid legends Guti and Raul did not come off, Big Sam has high hopes for striker Mame Biram Diouf, on loan from Manchester United."

1402: Manchester City manage to scramble it away, however. This half yet to hit the heights of the first 45 - that chance for Shaun Wright-Phillips aside - and the visitors looking a lot more comfortable.

1401: Tottenham interrupt a decent spell of Man City possession with a break from Aaron Lennon, and the winger earns a corner...

Kevin Darling reports:
"Two new managers on show at Villa Park as the hosts start life without Martin O'Neill and West Ham enter the Avram Grant era. While the Israeli has spent a whole summer beefing up his squad, Villa's caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald got just six days to rally his troops following O'Neill's shock resignation. His first selection dilemma is whether to pick Man City-bound James Milner, while five new summer signings are jostling to make their West Ham debuts today. Villa haven't bought anyone since Richard Dunne and James Collins joined a year ago. On the plus side for MacDonald, the Hammers haven't won on the road since beating Wolves on the opening day of last season."

1357: Yaya Toure again scoops over the top of the Spurs defence and Ledley King does well to block David Silva's shot, Carlos Tevez wasting a half chance on the follow-up. Much better from City this half, so far.

1355: As Aleksandar Kolarov watches on from the bench with his ankle in a bucket of ice - he has a twisted ankle, apparently - let me just give you a heads up that over the course of this half we'll be bringing you news from around the grounds, so stay tuned if you're not overly interested in Spurs-Man City...

1351: Massive chance for Manchester City less than a minute into the half - Yaya Toure sends a ball over the top, Shaun Wright-Phillips breaks the Spurs offside trap, and the winger is through... only for Benoit Assou-Ekotto to get back brilliantly to tackle.

1350: Manchester City get the second half up and under way.

1348: Substitution for Man City as the players make their way back out at White Hart Lane - Pablo Zabaleta on for the rather disappointing full-back Aleksandar Kolarov.

bellmusic on Twitter: "Is that Chuck Norris in goal for Man City today."

j0hnb1972 on 606: "City have picked a strange side havent they? Three holding midfielders, Tevez more or less playing in midfield, no strikers?! You never know though, Spurs haven't capitalised on their dominance, maybe smash n grab job by City 2nd half."

1340: What can you say? Welcome back Premier League football. Stunning stuff from White Hart Lane - and two ways of looking at it. Either you'll think Tottenham are on top, or you'll wonder if they'll regret not taking one of their chances. Here's something from Infostrada Sports to consider, though: "Tottenham have failed to win their last three PL home matches that have been 0-0 at half time - failing to score in all three. Their last victory from this position was 2-1 against Birmingham City in August 2009... Joe Hart was in goal."

bellaale on Twitter: "How are they going to fit any other matches on Match Of The Day tonight?"

Half time
Ian Hughes's one-word HT report:

1332: Clever free-kick from Spurs sets Aaron Lennon down the right - but his low cross is scrambled clear with Ledley King lurking 12 yards out. City hanging out for half-time here...

1330: Manchester City finally get on the ball with some conviction, and Spurs are forced to defend their lines as the visitors try their luck. No clear chances but more encouraging for Robert Mancini.

Moon on 606: "Going to regret not scoring I feel..."

nofearslamdunk on Twitter: "The best 38 mins of goalless football I've ever seen!!!"

1326: City midfielder Yaya Toure lines one up from 20 yards and it's a decent effort, but Heurelho Gomes gets down low to save.

1325: He's picked up exactly how he left off last season here - and again Gareth Bale rips a glorious cross across the Man City area, but no Spurs player is on hand for what would've been a simple tap-in.

1324: Well well well - a couple of minutes to take stock as Spurs and City content themselves with moving the ball around. What an opening half so far hey?

1320: Tom Huddlestone sets Jermain Defoe through with a stunning ball over the top... he's clean through... but Joe Hart saves his initial effort and then a combination of the keeper, defender Aleksandar Kolarov and Defoe himself see the ball cleared from five yards out.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1318: Blimey. Cracking effort from Gareth Bale, the Welshman blasting across goal past Joe Hart - but it comes off the post - and Aaron Lennon sees his follow-up blocked on the line by Vincent Kompany. Will Spurs live to regret not taking one of these chances?

1316: Big penalty appeal from Tottenham as Gareth Bale goes over Micah Richards's challenge in the box - referee Andre Marriner is not convinced, though, and waves them away.

1315: Another save from Joe Hart - a touch simpler this one, though, the keeper getting a foot to Jermain Defoe's snap-shot from inside the area.

1314: Two pieces of good defending at both ends. First Kolo Toure does well to keep pace with Gareth Bale to stop the Welshman breaking clear and into the box - and then Ledley King recovers well inside his own area just as Carlos Tevez was looking to pull the trigger seven yards out. Still 0-0 here but I'm not really sure how.

Yellow card
1311: First booking of the new season - and it's Vincent Kompany for a challenge on Jermain Defoe.

1310: Welcome respite for the City defence as David Silva dances his way around the edge of the Spurs box - his left-foot shot is blocked, though, and the chance is gone. The game threatening to settle down.

samcandlin on Twitter: "18mins into the new season and Joe Hart makes us all wonder what could have been at the World Cup..."

1305: My word - welcome to the Joe Hart show. Benoit Assou-Ekotto drills at goal 25 yards out, it's deflected, but Hart gets across unbelievably well to palm it away from his top corner. City level purely because of their keeper here.

1304: We're 16 minutes in and I think it's safe to say Harry Redknapp will be very happy with how it's gone so far. Tom Huddlestone is the latest to bring a top save out of Joe Hart - the midfielder volleying instinctively from the edge of the area and Hart pushing the ball wide. City under pressure.

patacacia on Twitter: "Amazing save by a keeper who didn't play at the World Cup!"

1259: Stunning save. Joe Hart's selection justified in that one moment. Peter Crouch nods down Gareth Bale's cross and Jermain Defoe rips goalwards on the turn - only for Hart to turn it away on the stretch from point-blank range. Brilliant.

1258: Nothing comes from the Spurs corner, but moments later Peter Crouch gets on the end of a Gareth Bale cross and Joe Hart has to scramble behind - though a free-kick is given anyway. Our friends at Infostrada Sports , meanwhile, tell me City have not won any of their last nine Premier League away matches with Hart as goalkeeper. Interesting.

shaqz_inho on 606: "1000000 mph start blimey!"

1255: Yaya Toure gets on the ball and scoops a delightful ball over the Spurs defence, but Shaun Wright-Phillips blazes his attempted volley high, wide and not very handsome. Again Spurs break... and Aaron Lennon forces a corner.

1253: And that's the first touch for Joe Hart, coming out well to collect Gareth Bale's deep cross - no signs of nerves for the new Manchester City number one at all.

1252: First hint at some nice link-up play from Man City on the edge of the Tottenham box, Carlos Tevez playing a nice give-and-go only to see his cross blocked by Michael Dawson. Spurs break - but City get back in numbers to defend. Cracking start.

1249: Bright start from Tottenham, whipping the ball around with zip and intent... until Man City midfielder Nigel de Jong goes through the back of Gareth Bale - the classic reducer.

1247: We are under way at an absolutely rocking White Hart Lane. Boom.

1245: The players are out and about at White Hart Lane, Spurs in white with blue trim, Man City donned in all-navy. We are moments away from kick-off...

olliemicklem on Twitter: "Ah the days where we can bring out lucky items of football clothing from dust drawers are back again."
I quite literally daren't ask what your lucky clothing items are.

redandblackT on 606: "Tevez is the Man City captain? Really?"

Ian Hughes reports:
"After losing out to Tottenham in the battle for fourth place last season, Manchester City will be looking to send out a message that things will be different this term - and they have laid out £100m on their quest to do so. Three new signings make their debuts for City at White Hart Lane. Spurs, meanwhile, have virtually the same line-up as the one that beat City 1-0 in May to confirm the Londoners' Champions League spot. Spurs have beaten City in 11 out of their last 12 matches in the league - is that astonishing run set to continue? And what will we learn about each side's top-four chances? It's all set up for a classic."

Sidler28 on Twitter: "Why oh why must I be in work today? Thank goodness for mobile internet and live text!"

1235: Goodness me... we're 10 minutes away from the start of the Premier League season now. I might spontaneously combust. So, anyone wish they had a crystal ball to predict today's results and therefore get the nerves/devastation out of the way early? Well I can do better than that. I present to you, the predictions of the legend that is Mark Lawrenson. I think I'm safe in saying that man is never, ever wrong. Ahem, ish. If you don't fancy that, we've polled 35 experts for their top four this season, so check that out. Or, better still, have a go yourself on our Premier League predictor yeah?

BamBam, Bath via text: "I'm so excited I could pop! Been told twice by my boss twice to sit down and shut up - once more and he will send me home... I've already put my coat on."

Daily Telegraph's football writer Henry Winter on Twitter: "At White Hart Lane, Irishmen Shay Given and Robbie Keane are deep in conversation - discussing their respective futures?"

Ian Hughes reports:
"So, few surprises in the Tottenham side, with Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch paired together in attack, Tom Huddlestone preferred to Wilson Palacios in midfield, and Gareth Bale starting on the left of midfield. Far more intrigue about the Man City selection, with England keeper Joe Hart starting in goal ahead of last season's first-choice Shay Given, while there are also competitive debuts for Aleksandar Kolarov, Yaya Toure and David Silva. Mario Balotelli, who completed his move from Inter Milan on Friday, is not in the squad, so Carlos Tevez starts up front on his own."

cmcizzle on Twitter: "I'm at work and I'm sure the clock has just stopped!!! Come on 12:45pm hurry up!!"

Lins, hyperventilating in Brighton, via text: "So excited I am crying into my salad. Oh well, it needed some salt for flavour..."

1222: By the way, people, I should have mentioned a couple of minutes ago - but if you're in the UK give your browser a cheeky manual refresh and the delights of Football Focus will appear before your eyes at the top of this page. Happy days.

1220: Football League Danny: "In League Two, Torquay started in fine fashion with a 3-0 win over Northampton last weekend. They're at Lincoln hoping to build on that good start. And Bury might want to be wary on their trip to Oxford United today. The U's smashed League One Bristol Rovers 6-1 in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, and look to be on a roll on their return to the Football League."

sisu_oliver on Twitter: "Well isn't this a cosy Premier League love-in. I seem to remember a lot of enthusiasm before the World Cup started too..."

Stuart, Camberley via text: "To my wife. I hope you have enjoyed the last 10 weekends (other than the World Cup!) but now it's down to the serious business of the Premier League!"

1215: Football League Danny: "Charlton made it two League One wins out of two on Friday night and there are nine other clubs hoping to maintain their perfect start. But there was sad news this week in League One. Exeter striker Adam Stansfield died on Tuesday at the age of 31. And 62-year-old Southampton owner Markus Liebherr died on Wednesday. The two clubs' respective fixtures - Dagenham & Redbridge v Exeter and MK Dons v Southampton - have both been postponed as a result."

Alan G, Tamworth via text: "Don't forget that either Arsenal or Spurs have won the league or cup or both every 10 seasons since 1900/01."

GloucesterGas on 606: "Well, first team news of the new season and already my fantasy team is down the pan. No Lescott or Kranjcar? Sigh..."

1210: Football League Danny: "One game down in the Championship and already there are more unlikely stories than at a drunken fairytale convention. Top tall tale - the departure of Bristol City boss Steve Coppell after just two games. New boss Keith Millen takes the shell-shocked Robins to Doncaster. Middlesbrough are at Leicester, while Neil Warnock, boss of early leaders QPR can expect a warm reception at his former club Sheffield United."

1207: And, what about towards the bottom of the league? Blackpool - surely everbody's 'second' team this season at least? - are everyone's favourites to go down, but that was before they made five signings in a day. Wasn't it? You may well face a struggle if you're name begins with a 'W' this season, with many tipping Wigan, West Brom, West Ham and Wolves to battle relegation this campaign - while newly-promoted Newcastle would surely be happy purely with survival this season wouldn't they? Of course, any number of those could surprise and leap up the table - and any number of those not mentioned could get sucked into a battle against the drop. Sit-on-the-fence-tastic huh? Where's ya money?

lewisbroad on Twitter: "Genuinely cannot wait! I don't know if I've ever been so excited by a new football season than I am for this one!"

IrishBaggiesFan on 606: "Serving with the US Military in Afghanistan - glad the Prem is back as the withdrawal was getting bad. I'm hoping for a huge upset today - Come on West Brom, let's give Chelsea a bad start to their season."

Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Huddlestone, Bale, Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Kaboul, Pavlyuchenko, Keane, Palacios, Giovani, Bassong.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Wright-Phillips, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Tevez. Subs: Given, Zabaleta, Adebayor, Adam Johnson, Lescott, Vieira, Jo.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

Chris Nathan on 606: "Ten months of pure adrenaline - well saddle up and let's go for that ride!"

Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe start for Spurs, Joe Hart gets the nod in goal for Man City. Full team news to follow.

Lucy, Newport via text: "Finally working on a Saturday has become bearable!! Premier league welcome back - how I've missed you!!"

Harry WHOA on 606: "I'd be Lyon if I said I wasn't super excited today."

1152: So where to start then? At the top? There has been some debate this summer about whether the Premier League is becoming a two-horse race for the title. Me - I disagree. Don't get me wrong, of course defending champions Chelsea will be strong, and Manchester United - champions 11 times in 17 seasons - can never, ever be written off, but Arsenal will fancy a challenge having kept hold of Cesc Fabregas and Manchester City are throwing money around like confetti and, as a result, are building a bit of a squad. Then, of course, there is Tottenham - fourth place last year and Nicolas Anelka's tip for the title - Liverpool, who in Joe Cole have a player Steven Gerrard rates higher than Barcelona's Lionel Messi - and Everton, who statistically speaking are guaranteed the title having won it every 24 years since 1891. That last stat is a beauty isn't it?

liam7490 on Twitter: "I woke up this morning and it felt like Christmas, only better!"

1144: Of course it's not just about the Premier League today - good golly, no - we'll also be bringing you the biggest and best chat from the Championship, League One and League Two. Football League Danny is in situ for all your lower league needs, and there will also be the odd guest appearance from the folks at Score and Radio Five Live too. What more - seriously, what more - could you want?

footballfm on Twitter: "Really can't wait, just under 90 minutes away from kick off, so exciting!!"

James, Winchester via text: "Dear Premier League, please never leave again. There are times when we get frustrated and tired of you, but ultimately we are grateful to you for being the most exciting and intriguing league in the world. Less talk about winter breaks, you should never ever end! Welcome back."

UpTheArs3nal on 606: "The goals, the controversy, the transfers, the trophies, the pundits, the players, the fans and the managers. All the ingredients for a great season! Oh and no vuvezelas!!!"

1139: Yep, just 34 days after the climax of the World Cup, the Premier League kicks back into action - and it promises to be the greatest and most competitive season yet. I'm Sam Lyon and I'll be your host as we set into motion a domestic competition full of thrill, spills and incident. We hope. It would be nothing, though, if it weren't for you lot - so get involved why don't you? Tweet me, text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) or join the chat over on her majesty's 606. If you're like me, you're more excitable than a nine-year-old after too many pear drops - so let me know.

1135: The Premier League. The most watched and most lucrative league in the world, the league that has earned England the top Uefa co-efficient in Europe for four years, the league that helped England's domestic leagues provide more players at the World Cup (118) than any other, the league that boasts six teams in Europe's top 20 according to a Team Strength Index ... quite simply, the greatest league in the world*. Welcome to Premier League Kick-Off Day.
* Alongside La Liga. And Serie A. And possibly the Bundesliga.

1130: Oh sweet Premier League football, how I've missed you so.

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 14 Aug 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 1 6 3
2 Blackpool 1 4 3
3 Aston Villa 1 3 3
4 Wolves 1 1 3
5 Blackburn 1 1 3
6 Birmingham 1 0 1
7 Sunderland 1 0 1
8 Bolton 1 0 1
9 Fulham 1 0 1
10 Man City 1 0 1
11 Tottenham 1 0 1
12 Arsenal 0 0 0
13 Liverpool 0 0 0
14 Man Utd 0 0 0
15 Newcastle 0 0 0
16 Stoke 1 -1 0
17 Everton 1 -1 0
18 West Ham 1 -3 0
19 Wigan 1 -4 0
20 West Brom 1 -6 0

see also
Premier League photos
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Premier League set for kick-off
14 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Has the Big Four become a Big Two?
13 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Squads under scrutiny
13 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Who are the champions? First
12 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Premier League Ten to Tackle
13 Aug 10 |  Football
Lawro's predictions
12 Aug 10 |  Football
New Premier League squad rules explained
27 Jul 10 |  Premier League
Football on the BBC
05 Aug 10 |  Football

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