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By Jonathan Stevenson
1810: I think a little lie-down might be required after that. Ten goals in two games on a blinding day of top-flight football, so don't forget to watch Match of the Day 2 on BBC Two and online at 2200 BST, will you?
Man City v Liverpool
is on Monday at 2000 BST, those boys have a lot to live up to after what we've seen this weekend and
will be your host for that one. As for me, well it's been a genuine pleasure from first minute until last. See you soon.
From joe_white_22 on 606:
"Suddenly things don't look bad for the future of the England national team. Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott getting hat-tricks and we look to be spoilt for choice in the goalkeeper department. Hadn't heard of David Stockdale until this season, but looks a decent prospect."
Fulham's penalty-saving keeper David Stockdale: "There was a fair bit of guesswork involved with saving the penalty, but thankfully I did and then Brede popped up to get us a point, it's fantastic."
Fulham's Brede Hangeland: "I looked at the clock after my own goal and thought I had five minutes to score at the right end, and fortunately I managed to do it. I don't think there was much I could do about the own goal, but I'm glad I could make up for it."
From Adam9309 on Twitter:
"The best weekend of PL football in living memory. Now for City and Liverpool to make it even better..."
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "Sir Alex will be extremely disappointed, not winning when they were 2-1 up and had a penalty too. You have to win these games, and he will know that after what happened last season. Carlo Ancelotti made the point that Chelsea might have won the league in the first six games last term."
1753: Full-time Fulham 2-2 Manchester United In an incident-packed, goal-filled weekend of football, that was probably the best football match of the lot. Thoroughly entertaining from first minute until last, and a deserved point apiece. Marvellous stuff.
1752: About a minute left and both teams are probing for a winner. Have to say, 2-2 would be a very fair score if it stays this way.
1750: We're into four minutes of injury time. I wonder what's left.
Fulham goal: We shouldn't be surprised by anything in this magnificent weekend of football, should we? Buoyed by the missed penalty, a Fulham corner is flung in from the right and up gets Brede Hangeland as he goes from villain to hero and thumps a header in off the fingertips of Edwin van der Sar to get us back on level terms. Thrilling.
1748: GOAL Fulham 2-2 Manchester United (Hangeland)
1747: Couple of minutes left for Fulham to get something and they want a penalty for a John O'Shea handball, but it actually struck him on the bottom so good decision from Peter Walton that time.
Man Utd missed penalty: Strange really. Another ball into the Fulham box falls for Damien Duff and he tries to whack it away, but on his favoured left foot he whacks it against his arm, it's really unfortunate but Peter Walton points to the spot. Nani steps up, but David Stockdale dives away to his right and pulls off a super stop.
1745: MISSED PENALTY (Nani, Man Utd)
1744: PENALTY TO MANCHESTER UNITED
United goal: You know how many own goals Manchester United scored last season...? Well they are at it again - Ryan Giggs sends over yet another corner from the right and Brede Hangeland is unsighted as the ball hits his left shin and beats David Stockdale and the defender on the post to creep in. So unlucky for Fulham.
1742: GOAL Fulham 1-2 Manchester United (Hangeland og)
1740: Nemanja Vidic heads another United corner wide.
1739: Mark Hughes sends Jonathan Greening on for Fulham, with captain Danny Murphy - who passes the armband to Aaron Hughes - making way.
1738: Oh Bobby Z. What a chance. Paul Konchesky sends a fine free-kick over the top of Jonny Evans from about 45 yards out and Bobby Zamora has peeled off the defender, but his right-foot side-footed volley drifts wide of the far post.
1737: United are looking a bit more threatening as the game wears on, with Ryan Giggs' corner from the right headed narrowly wide of the far post by Nemanja Vidic.
1735: Nani slams a free-kick goalwards from 22 yards out on the left, but it flies harmlessly enough over David Stockdale's crossbar. The Fulham keeper, by the way, has played very well today.
From andrewt15381 on 606:
"Credit to Fulham, they have a lot of belief about them and don't simply roll over after conceding a goal. Unlike a lot of teams at the start of this season!"
1732: Manchester United bring Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen on for Javier Hernandez and Luis Valencia.
1731: Referee Peter Walton has booked Damien Duff for dissent and Manchester United are preparing to bring on the great Ryan Giggs as they go looking for a late winner.
1729: Danny Murphy curls a low shot goalwards from nearly 30 yards and it skips up in front of Edwin van der Sar, the Dutchman making another decent save to his left.
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "It's been a very good game because it has been based on attacking play. Since the first whistle they've both been looking to get forward."
1727: Jonny Evans is all over Bobby Zamora like a rash and the defender goes into the book as he concedes a free-kick. From the set-piece, Paul Konchesky's mis-hit effort is cleared by Paul Scholes.
1725: United nearly go in front as Patrice Evra's cross from the left is headed goalwards by Dimitar Berbatov and after his header deflects off Paul Scholes, David Stockdale reacts well to make the save.
1725: Substitution for Man United as Nani comes on for Park Ji-Sung.
1722: Interesting. Fulham play the ball into the box from the right and it looks like Nemanja Vidic has got a handful of Moussa Dembele's shirt at the near post. Referee Peter Walton waves the Cottagers away.
1719: Mark Hughes makes a change for the home side, with Clint Dempsey making way for Moussa Dembele, their new signing from AZ Alkmaar.
1718: Paul Scholes goes down in the Fulham area, but looked like he just slipped, there aren't any real appeals for a United penalty. An hour gone in London, where's your money on this one going?
Fulham goal: We have a real game on our hands now at the Cottage, cracking leveller from the hosts. Damien Duff calls upon all of his skills to trick his way past Patrice Evra on the halfway line on the right and he finds Bobby Zamora, who ploughs into the area and pulls the ball back for Simon Davies to hammer past Edwin van der Sar from 10 yards. Lovely stuff.
1715: GOAL Fulham 1-1 Manchester United (Davies)
1714: Bobby Zamora takes it and after his right-foot free-kick slams into the wall, he hits a left-foot volley way off target.
1714: Bobby Zamora is fouled by a combination of Paul Scholes and Jonny Evans and Fulham have a free-kick, just right of centre, about 25 yards out...
1710: Fulham break and after they win a corner, eventually the ball comes in from Damien Duff from the right and Aaron Hughes glances a header wide of the far post.
1709: Oof, that was close. Luis Valencia's cross from the right falls for Paul Scholes eight yards out and his goalbound shot is brilliantly blocked by Brede Hangeland.
BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor: "United have started the second half with a lot of possession, making Fulham feel like they are chasing the game already. Fulham did really well towards the end of the first half, but it's all Manchester United at the moment."
1705: Apparently, Fulham's players have all changed their shirts at half-time because the ones they were wearing in the first half were "sweat-retaining". Haha.
1704: Back under way at Craven Cottage, where the score is Fulham 0-1 Man Utd.
From Miha, Slovenia, via text: "Scholes and Giggs are getting better every new season. Can't wait to see them when they're 45:)"
From ArsenalArseneArshavin on 606:
"United deserved their lead when they got it, but since then Fulham have been on top and created good chances. A draw at HT is much more deserving, but football is not about that..."
Fulham 0-1 Man Utd:Phil Dawkes reports: "United have largely dominated the game and deservedly lead through Scholes' superb strike. However, Fulham have refused to lie down and have threatened enough to suggest one goal may not be enough for the visitors. It's gripping stuff at the Cottage."
1650: You thought he'd packed his bags and gone for the day? No way, here's more from Football League Macca: "It turns out that Middlesbrough's attendance of 14,633 was a record low for a league game at the Riverside. Afterwards manager Gordon Strachan said: 'I think in a place like ours where unemployment is huge, you're not going to get people turning up to a game that's on the television. The recession is hitting now. It's only footballers that seem to have money.'"
1647: Half-time Fulham 0-1 Manchester United So, no sign of this one quite going goal-crazy yet, though remember Chelsea were only 1-0 up at the interval on Saturday. United deserve their lead, but Fulham have offered plenty of optimism that they can get back into it.
1646: Nemanja Vidic goes down clutching the back of his head after a header but there was nowhere near him when it happened. Most strange. He gets up, should be OK.
1644: The game has quietened down a touch in recent times, with Fulham probably just on top as Clint Dempsey turns into a yard of space on the edge of the United box and fires a shot comfortably over the visitors' crossbar.
From Nick in Manchester, via text: "We just saw Fabio Capello in the crowd, how he must wish he'd done the honourable thing and called Scholes himself rather than getting his assistant to do it."
1639: Luis Valencia brings down Simon Davies and he picks up a booking for his troubles. Incidentally, of course I meant 1-1 at 1631, thanks for so delicately pointing it out.
1638: Luis Valencia sets up Dimitar Berbatov just inside the Fulham box but the ball is moving too quickly for the Bulgarian and he cannot get a proper contact on it.
1636: You know what? This is a really compelling game of football. United look dangerous going forward, but Fulham have come back into it well and Dickson Etuhu's header drifts over the bar as they continue to create half-chances in and around the United box. Credit to the hosts.
1635: Fabio Capello is sat next to Hugh Grant at Craven Cottage. Insert your own gag here...
From Martin in Manchester, via text: "Berbatov is like a new signing. What a difference already from the last two seasons."
1631: Wondrous double save from Edwin van der Sar there, it looked as though Fulham had to make it 1-1. Clint Dempsey's cute flick into the box sets up Dickson Etuhu and after his first shot is saved low to his right by the Dutch keeper, his second shot bounces into the floor and pops up for Van der Sar - on the floor still - to stick a hand out and tip it over the bar. Miraculous.
1630: Decent chance for Man Utd there, but Dimitar Berbatov can only head Paul Scholes' cross over the Fulham crossbar.
1628: Bobby Zamora brilliantly chests a ball down in the Man Utd area, but there are two defenders around him and he is crowded out. Fulham are right in this game, make no mistake about that.
From InfostradaLive on Twitter:
"Paul Scholes has now scored in 17 successive Premier League seasons, only failing to do so in the two before he made his debut."
1624: Chance for Fulham as Paul Konchesky drifts in a lovely cross from their left and Bobby Zamora gets in-between two defenders to glance a header wide of the target.
1622: United look like creating a chance every time they go forward and after Javier Hernandez tees up Dimitar Berbatov on the right-hand side of the area, his fierce drive is parried behind for a corner by David Stockdale.
1619: The United fans are in great voice in London today, mostly signing songs about how they don't really like Leeds at the moment. Fulham have improved in the last few minutes and Jonny Evans has to be alert to head away from Bobby Zamora.
From plasticoutcome on 606:
"Why are people talking about the game finishing 0-6? Fulham are a dangerous side. We're not playing West Brom or Wigan."
1616: Cracking stuff from the visitors once again and this time Darren Fletcher's lay-off to the edge of the box is drilled wide from 20 yards via the left foot of Javier Hernandez.
1613: Almost a perfect response from Fulham, but after Bobby Zamora's flick-on, Simon Davies can only fire just past the angle of post and crossbar from 20 yards. By the way, that was Paul Scholes 150th goal in all competitions for Manchester United. Shall I leave the praise for you guys today?
United goal: "He scores goals, Paul Scholes, he scores goals," chant the Man United fans at Craven Cottage, and the 35-year-old man of the moment has gone and done it again. United work a corner from the left to just inside the box and when Dimitar Berbatov lays it back beautifully, Scholes hits a 25-yard rasper that flies along the floor and settles in the bottom corner.
1611: GOAL Fulham 0-1 Manchester United (Scholes)
1610: United look very, very dangerous at the moment and after a ball into the box is headed back to the edge of the six-yard box, Dimitar Berbatov's acrobatic volley is brilliantly tipped over by David Stockdale.
1608: Luis Valencia piles forward down the United right and cuts in to the box, but his attempted backheel to Paul Scholes sells the midfielder short and the opportunity to create a chance goes begging. So far the play is more with United, Fulham trying to cause a threat on the break.
From John, Abu Dhabi, via text: "Can you believe there are 22 goals difference between top and bottom of the Premier League after two matches? Fantastic!"
1603: Lively opening from both teams, working the ball around the pitch at pace and probing for an opening. No final third action as of yet, though.
1601: After Javier Hernandez kneels down on the halfway line and prays immediately prior to kick-off, we get started as Fulham take on Manchester United.
1558: The teams are out at Craven Cottage, so shortly we'll be getting under way. After 31 goals in eight Premier League games - including three 6-0 spankings - so far this weekend, who knows what's in store on the banks of the River Thames?
1556: FULHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED Phil Dawkes reports: "Isn't it always the way. You wait 45 years for a home victory over Manchester United and then two come along in the space of nine months. That was Fulham's 2009 though, and there have been significant changes at Craven Cottage since. After Roy Hodgson's departure as manager, former United striker Mark Hughes is now tasked with ensuring Fulham's punches remain above their weight. A 0-0 draw at Bolton wasn't a bad start but United are bang in form and no doubt desperate not to let free-scoring title-rivals Chelsea steal too much of an early march on them."
Aston Villa caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald: "Maybe I was a bit naive with the team I selected so I'll take the blame for what happened against a decent Newcastle team. Marc Albrighton ran out of steam and they played him very well and Ciaran Clark had a knock, so maybe I was wrong to play them."
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "You always have to be aware of a team with a new manager. We had a good start on Monday but we need to continue - teams are scoring a lot of goals so the race for the top has started early. As for Wayne Rooney, he came in with a virus yesterday morning so we sent him home. Javier Hernendez got the nod over Michael Owen because his fitness is better right now."
Fulham manager Mark Hughes: "They have a team of outstanding individual talent and as a collective group they are very difficult to overcome. But I've been really pleased with what I've found here so far. A lot of good work was put in place before I arrived here so I'm not going to do a lot very quickly."
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton: "I couldn't have forecast this, no. We expected a very tough game, but once we got the first goal that lifted any fears we might have had and we played some very good attacking football, managed to keep it going and score some very good goals. The quality and intensity of our play was too much for them."
1541: I'm still struggling to comprehend what we've just seen. Maybe Newcastle boss Chris Hughton can make some sense of it...
From Paul, in St Paul, USA, via text: "United have to win 10-0 to go top. After what we've seen so far this weekend, anyone want to bet against it?"
Newcastle's Joey Barton: "We've bounced back from a masterclass from Paul Scholes on Monday of course. We were unbeaten at home last season and we wanted to keep that form going this time. Thankfully I can get rid of my moustache now - it was either my moustache or my relationship, so I'm quite pleased about that."
Newcastle's hat-trick hero Andy Carroll: "It's great feeling, especially in front of the home fans. I'm just over the moon with all three of them. I enjoy playing my football, I'm happy being the number nine at this club but I just want to do well for the team."
1532: FULHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED TEAM NEWS: Phil Dawkes reports: "The big news from Craven Cottage is that Wayne Rooney is not included in the 18 for Manchester United. It is rumoured that the England man has flu. His place goes to Javier Hernandez, making his first Premier League start. The only other change from the side which
beat Newcastle 3-0 last Monday,
is Sir Alex's preference for the engine of Ji-Suing Park over the ingenuity of Nani in midfield. Fulham make two changes from the side that
drew 0-0 with Bolton:
Paul Konchesky has overcome an ankle knock to replace Stephen Kelly in defence, while Clint Dempsey is prefered to Zoltan Gera as the chief attacking support for Bobby Zamora."
1526: Full-time Newcastle 6-0 Aston Villa So what you're telling me is this: we've had three 6-0 wins this weekend in the Premier League? That's the most stunning of the lot - newly-promoted Newcastle against perennial high-fliers Aston Villa. I don't know what to say.
Magpies goal: Cloud nine, dreamland, whatever you want to call it, Chris Hughton's team have taken the whole city of Newcastle there today. With Villa an absolute shambles Xisco feeds Andy Carroll, and in front of the Gallowgate the big striker takes a touch before slotting into the corner past Brad Friedel to complete a fairytale treble. Extraordinary.
1525: GOAL Newcastle 6-0 Aston Villa (Carroll, hat-trick)
1523: FULHAM v MANCHESTER UNITED LINE-UPS Fulham: Stockdale, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Dempsey, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Baird, Gera, Riise, Greening, Dembele. Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Park, Hernandez, Berbatov. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Giggs, Smalling, Carrick, Nani, Rafael Da Silva. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
1521: Former Newcastle defender Habib Beye is booed as he comes on for Aston Villa for the last few minutes.
Magpies goal: Whoever wrote the script for this weekend deserves an Oscar. A Newcastle corner from the left is headed back across goal by Shola Ameobi and Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan is on hand inside the six-yard box to get his right foot up and hook the ball into the Villa net for the fifth time today. I'm blown away, this is almost unbelievable.
1517: Villa put a little bit of pressure on, but a corner from the left is glanced wide by Richard Dunne. What a thoroughly miserable afternoon for the visitors and their caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald.
1515: Hearing some reports that Wayne Rooney is not playing for Manchester United today at Fulham, will firm that up for you as soon as we possibly can.
From Gallacticos87 on Twitter:
"A penny for Chris Hughton's thoughts right now. If there's anyone who knows how hard the caretaker's position can be..."
1512: Newcastle send on Xisco for Jonas Gutierrez, who has enjoyed a very profitable afternoon. Top stuff from the Argentine World Cup star.
1511: Newcastle have a free-kick on the left-hand corner of the Villa box and Ryan Taylor smashes it a couple of yards wide of Brad Friedel's left-hand post. The Magpies are relentless.
1509: Wrap o'clock Football League Macca: "Some late and desperate penalty shouts come to nothing as it finishes Middlesbrough 1-0 Sheff Utd. It's unlikely many of the 14,633 who turned up will be ordering the DVD, but Kris Boyd's goal gives Boro their first league win of the season and moves them up to 10th. Gary Speed has his work cut out as he sees his Blades side prop up the table."
1508: Newcastle take Alan Smith off for Ryan Taylor and Wayne Routledge off for Shola Ameobi. Generous applause all round from the ever-so-slightly-delirious Geordies, who'll be painting the Toon black-and-white tonight.
1507: So nearly a hat-trick for Andy Carroll, but Brad Friedel makes a brilliant save inside the six-yard box to deny the giant striker.
1504: Villa counter and Stephen Ireland slams a shot in from 20 yards that strikes a Newcastle defender and flies away to safety. Typical Newcastle - they are still attacking and want more goals and still look a touch vulnerable at the back. Wonderful stuff.
1502: Football League Macca: "Five minutes or so to go and it's still Middlesbrough 1-0 Sheff United. The Blades have made a couple of changes but they just don't look like levelling. On a positive note, the sun is shining at the Riverside and it's nearly finished."
Magpies goal: There will be no coming back from this - even 40-year-old Alan Shearer in the stands is up to applaud that one. Joey Barton goes up to challenge for a ball on the edge of the Villa box and helps it into the area, where the new hero of the city Andy Carroll promptly spanks a left-foot volley into the bottom corner past Brad Friedel. Cracking finish, cracking display from the hosts.
1459: GOAL Newcastle 4-0 Aston Villa (Carroll)
1456: Villa make another change, with Nigel Reo-Coker coming on for John Carew, but it won't really matter unless the guys already on the pitch buck their ideas up. They've been hopeless since falling behind. Alan Smith is booked for a foul on right-winger Emile Heskey.
1453: Correction: Emile Heskey is actually playing on the right wing. Good Lord. Newcastle nearly go and score again, Wayne Routledge's low shot saved by Brad Friedel.
Adam at St James's Park, via text: "This isn't over - Newcastle can't defend. If we can stop them scoring it could finish 4-3! Up the Villa!"
1449: Here he comes - Emile Heskey on for Marc Albrighton, who has looked a bit leggy today. Back to 4-4-2 for Villa with the two big men up top and Stewart Downing and Ashley Young providing the width.
1447: Talking of which, Emile Heskey is now stripped and ready to come on for what would be his 500th career league appearance. He's scored 113 goals, in case you were wondering. Jose Enrique's cross from the left is gathered well by Brad Friedel.
1444: In the way of options, Aston Villa have midfielders Barry Bannan and Nigel Reo-Coker and strikers Emile Heskey and Nathan Delfouneso on the bench. They just look lifeless at the moment.
From The Understudy on 606:
"Carew is NOT, repeat, NOT a lone striker, nor should Ireland be played in the centre of midfield. Shift Young to the wing, or sub Ireland and go 4-4-2. Delfouneso on please."
1440: Ashley Young takes on Mike Williamson down the Villa right and the defender does really well, getting a tackle in and winning a goalkick in the process. Young is all sorts of fuming with everyone and everything, he needs to calm down a little.
1439: Newcastle start the second half as they ended the first - swarming all over Villa. Kevin Nolan narrowly fails to get Andy Carroll through, while Joey Barton is bossing the midfield in fine style.
1437: After an 18-minute half-time, Newcastle get us back under way at a buzzing St James's Park.
From JasonKAM on Twitter:
"I hope your BBC updates on the Villa are some kind of twisted joke. 3-0, really?! I'm sick. Get Maradona in, damn it."
1431: Football League Macca: "We're off and running again at the Riverside and we've only gone and got ourselves some goal action. It's gone to the home side just a few minutes after the restart as Kris Boyd latches on to a defensive error by Chris Morgan before despatching past Steve Simonson. Action at last. Boro 1-0 Sheff Utd."
1429: Breaking news: Newcastle have confirmed they have agreed terms with FC Twente for Ivory Coast's wonderfully named midfielder Cheick Tiote.
From James in London, via text: "I think I'm going to throw up. This does not bode well for Villa's season."
From Robsoninho on 606:
"This is where we'll discover if Kevin McDonald is the right person to take over permanently at Aston Villa, if he can turn this around at half-time he must be a shoe-in."
Saj Chowdhury reports:
"A remarkable scoreline during a remarkable half of football. It may end 6-0 or it may end 4-3. Brilliant."
1419: Half-time Newcastle 3-0 Aston Villa Stunning half of football - Villa were in the ascendancy, before Barton's bolt from the blue handed Newcastle the initiative and they have not looked back. Surely there's no way back for Villa?
1417: We're into two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half. I'm guessing Newcastle fans won't ever want this to end.
1415: Greats in the crowd today include Newcastle's on-his-way-back-to-fitness defender Sol Campbell, the club's new assistant reserve-team coach Steve Stone and Everton boss David Moyes.
1413: Here's the more subdued Football League Macca: "It's half-time at the Riverside and very little to report as Middlesbrough and Sheffield United have carried on their distinctly below-par start to the season. It's dull. It's lifeless. It's 0-0. It can only get better."
1411: James Perch tries to control a long pass from the Newcastle left and Stephen Warnock nips in first, causing Perch, who only had eyes for the ball, to foul the Villa man. Perch is booked, which is a silly decision.
1409: Newcastle are fuming - they want a free-kick or even a penalty. Kevin Nolan gets away into acres down the right and just as he is about to centre for Alan Smith, the midfielder is tripped by Richard Dunne on the edge of the box. Would have been a bit harsh, looked like an accidental one maybe. The atmosphere is electric.
1408: This is not a misprint: Newcastle 3-0 Aston Villa.
Magpies goal: They just do not do boring do they, Newcastle? Heavens above. Joey Barton flings over a corner from the right, Mike Williamson heads it back across the six-yard box and after a calamitous mis-kick from Richard Dunne, Andy Carroll slams into the corner of the Villa net to send St James's Park into dreamland.
1406: GOAL Newcastle 3-0 Aston Villa (Carroll)
1404: Villa attack immediately and Stewart Downing's shot from the left is well blocked by James Perch.
Magpies goal: It was coming, it really was. Newcastle are playing to their strengths now and that's a very nicely worked goal. Jose Enrique sends a cross over from the left to the far post, where Andy Carroll superbly heads it back across goal - after Brad Friedel superbly saves Kevin Nolan's first header, the captain latches on to the rebound to nod into the Villa net. The ground erupts.
1403: GOAL Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa (Nolan)
1402: Good stuff from the hosts - Alan Smith clips a pass into the box, Andy Carroll gets up to head it back into the path of Kevin Nolan and the midfielder's shot is blocked by Richard Dunne.
1400: Brad Friedel comes for a corner and flaps, only getting half a punch on the ball. But the referee gives a free-kick to the keeper for not much. What an over-protected species they have become. Newcastle are looking lively right now.
From Mark in Matlock, via text: "Should Don Fabio be looking at Barton? You would certainly get a player who plays with the desire we lacked in the World Cup."
1356: Ashley Young collects a pass, runs through on goal and scores. Only the referee has called him back for a handball, which the Villa man looks none too happy about.
1353: Stewart Downing, the former Boro boy, is getting roundly booed by the home fans and a huge cheer goes up when his 22-yard drive sails well wide of Steve Harper's left-hand post.
1351: From the sublime... Joey Barton is the first name in the book today for a late, high-ish challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Box office, that boy - can't take your eyes off him.
From VillaFour on 606:
"With great moustache comes great responsibility. Not saying it's a great moustache, but what a strike. It moved all over the place."
1348: Football League Macca: "We've just reached the half-hour stage at the Riverside and it's lacking the drama of the game just up the A19. Just one half chance that fell to Sheffield United's Ched Evans. Middlesbrough have yet to show anything so far."
Magpies goal: What a start - they've just about raised the roof at St James's. Buoyed by still being level, Jonas Gutierrez feeds Joey Barton and he hits a screamer drive from 25 yards that swerves about three different ways and flies into the top corner of Brad Friedel's net. Wonder strike from the moustachioed midfielder.
1344: GOAL Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa (Barton)
Missed penalty: Wow. I mean that wasn't just missed - it probably wouldn't have even gone in another goal had they placed one on top of the goal that's already there. Stiliyan Petrov sends Ashley Young clear and the Magpies defence is exposed, so Steve Harper rushes off his line and brings Young down. John Carew steps up and absolutely mullers the spot-kick miles and miles over the top. An horrific penalty.
1341: MISSED PENALTY (John Carew, Aston Villa)
1340: PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA
1339: Villa have enjoyed the better of the last few moments, before Joey Barton curls a free-kick into the Villa box and Andy Carroll climbs highest to glance a header over Brad Friedel's crossbar.
From SimplyZola on 606:
"I think Eddie Howe wouldn't be a bad shout for Aston Villa manager, a young and talented English manager. Worked wonders at Bournemouth."
1335: Pretty even start in glorious sunshine in the north-east of England, with neither side creating anything like a chance yet. The Toon fans are up for this, no doubt about that.
1332: Aston Villa get us under way as Premier League football returns once again to St James's Park.
From Sam in Manchester, via text: "If Ireland plays in the hole instead of centre-mid, he will be PFA Player of the Year! And that's from a Man City fan. Good luck, Superman."
From Jamie from Barry, via text: "No idea why fellow Toon fans are getting stressed. We have enough to stay up and with Tiote and Ben Arfa signing tomorrow we'll push for top half. Stop being so negative and get behind the lads! Howay the lads."
1327: It won't be as crazy as Saturday, but here's Football League Macca with Sunday's action: "They've just kicked off at the Riverside in the 100th meeting between Middlesbrough and Sheff United. Both sides are looking for a first league win of the season and Gary Speed takes charge of his first game as boss of the Blades, who have won only once in 14 previous away games in the league."
1325: I know you love the
Euro Club Index,
and being told how likely each team is to win on any given day percentage-wise. So, here we go, along with their ECI ranking in brackets, courtesy of course of our great friends at
Infostrada Sports: Newcastle (103) 32% v Aston Villa (25) 40% Fulham (52) 19% v Man Utd (two) 55%
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton: "It's vitally important we continue to do the things we did so well last season, especially at home. We need to take what we did in the first 35 minutes at Man United into today's game, and we're at home, so we need to win."
1321: NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA Saj Chowdhury reports:
Newcastle were expectedly
beaten by a Paul Scholes-inspired Manchester United
at Old Trafford last week, so the Magpies will be looking to get at least a point on the board in their first home game this season against managerless Villa. What will buoy Chris Hughton's side is they are unbeaten in four matches against the Midlands side at St James' Park. Villa,
who won last week,
rested some of their big names for the trip to Vienna on Thursday, so don't expect a tired performance.
From JonAlexSmith on Twitter:
"Monday (vs Man U) showed the quality gap between Prem & Championship. As a NUFC fan, I'd just love to stay up this season."
Aston Villa caretaker-boss Kevin MacDonald: "Stephen Ireland is an exciting young talent, hopefully he'll complement some of the other players in the team. He's a glider, he drifts around the pitch and links play up well. He's a good person to get on with and let's hope he does well here. But this will be a very hard game because Newcastle are a good team and won the Championship easily last year."
From Sambo23 on 606:
"Stevo, can you give a shout out to Torquay United, 10 games without conceding a goal (a club record) and three wins out of three to start the season. All done on a shoe string budget, and yesterday I was at the races and saw where they train... in the middle of a horserace track!"
From Mitch in Taunton, via text: "Looking forward to seeing how Newcastle hold up at home today. If they are gonna survive, these types of games are crucial."
1302: NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA TEAM NEWS Saj Chowdhury reports:Newcastle select the same starting XI that lost 3-0 at Manchester United. Peter Lovenkrands returns from injury to take his place on the bench. Aston Villa name a strong side having rested many of their key players for the trip to Rapid Vienna in the week. Striker John Carew shakes off a knee injury to start and new midfield signing Stephen Ireland makes his club debut.
1253: NEWCASTLE v ASTON VILLA LINE-UPS Newcastle: Harper, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Jose Enrique, Routledge, Smith, Barton, Gutierrez, Nolan, Carroll. Subs: Krul, Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor, Xisco, Ameobi, Vuckic, Tavernier. Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Clark, Dunne, Warnock, Albrighton, Petrov, Ireland, Downing, Ashley Young, Carew. Subs: Guzan, Delfouneso, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Beye, Lichaj, Bannan. Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
1252: Unless you want more *gags* of that standard, I suggest you provide your own witticisms on all things football. Remember, I get to choose which of your comments appear on this page, so get impressing:
the debate is raging on 606,texts are already flying in to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), and you know me, I'm always around
on Twitter @Stevo_football.
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