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Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Sunday, 19 September 2010 18:08 UK

Sunday football as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

1805: Game, set, match for the weekend - thanks awfully for your company, hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have, though I doubt it. Check out Match of the Day 2 at 2200 BST on BBC Two and online, should be a crackerjack. Chris Bevan is back in the chair for the Carling Cup on Tuesday and I'll see you a day later. Remember: don't waste a second. Soon.

Chelsea skipper Didier Drogba: "This is my seventh year at the club and it was an absolute pleasure to be the captain today, but I'd much rather have John Terry and Frank Lampard on the pitch with me."

Chelsea's Florent Malouda: "We really enjoyed the first 45 minutes and we have to do it again, it was great for the players and for the fans. We created lots of chances and we can be more efficient taking them, but it was a real pleasure to play like that."

From Liam, an Ipswich fan in Chepstow, via text: "Guess our record is safe. No 10-0 today. As an away fan that day, stupidly proud."

From big diao on 606: "Good to see the Blackpool fans still in full voice despite the result. Would be great to see them stay up this season!"

Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool:
Paul Fletcher reports: "Hats off to Blackpool, who improved markedly after the break, creating several decent chances while keeping a clean sheet. Alas, the four they conceded in the first half rather counts against them."

1752: According to Infostrada Sports, Chelsea have now scored 21 goals after five Premier League matches, a record since the PL began in 1992/1993 and the most since Wolves scored 21 in 1955/1956.

1750: Full-time Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool

1748: We've just crept into injury time and we're due an entirely pointless two minutes of the stuff. This game was over after 73 seconds.

1744: Glorious chance for 5-0, but after being teed up 10 yards out by Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba skies his shot miles and miles over Matt Gilks' crossbar.

1742: I think at half-time Ian Holloway and Blackpool would have been absolutely delighted to lose 4-0 today. They've played pretty well since the break and while Chelsea have taken their foot off the gas a little, you have to give the visitors some credit.

From GoonerJoe, via text: "Loving the chants from Blackpool, "You're not as good as Arsenal!" Brings a little smile to my face after yesterday."

1739: Michael Essien is desperate for a goal today and he fires a right-foot shot miles wide after being teed up just outside the penalty area.

1738: We're into the last 10 minutes of normal time at Chelsea now, with the game meandering to its inevitable conclusion.

From Pattavanaanholt on Twitter: "My appolgise ... My friend took my phone and start messing around.... I was just watching the game ... "
I decided not to sub the message. I'm sure we all get the drift

1735: Jon Mikel Obi is replaced by Yossi Benayoun for Chelsea.

1734: Ashley Cole has a shot cleared away from inside the six-yard box, Michael Essien's curler is headed away from danger and then Florent Malouda's right-foot volley shins its way into the arms of Matt Gilks. The Blues have raised their game a little now.

From Robsoninho on 606: "During the England games there was the talk about whether John Terry and Frank Lampard should automatically return to the starting line-up, can the same question be asked with relation to the Chelsea starting XI?"

1732: Brazilian midfielder Ramires gets a decent hand from the home fans as he is taken off and replaced by Yuri Zhirkov.

1729: Oof, turns out Blackpool can go closer without scoring. DJ Campbell fastens on to a pass down the right and pulls it back for Marlon Harewood about eight yards out - the striker's fierce right-foot shot looks for a split-second like it has gone in, but it's whistled into the side-netting.

1727: The Blackpool fans chant "attack, attack, attack attack attack" and the players are clearly listening because they look desperate to get a goal this afternoon. We're not heading for any Premier League records, unless anything ridiculous happens, so can the Seasiders get their goal?

From Neil, Leeds, via text: "If it wasn't for Petr Cechs brilliance it would be 4-4 now."

1724: Chance for a hat-trick for Florent Malouda, but his acrobatic left-foot volley into the floor from Didier Drogba's cross is tipped over by Matt Gilks. Moments later, Frenchman Malouda drags a shot wide from 10 yards when he probably should score.

1722: Salomon Kalou springs forward on to a Didier Drogba pass and he is denied by some alert goalkeeping from Matt Gilks. Meanwhile, there are some interesting tweets from the Chelsea player Patrick van Aanholt that you might want to read.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "We created Manchester City's best chances. You cannot give these sort of goals away and we really let ourselves down. If you look at today's performance I don't think we looked solid and from time-to-time we let our supporters down."

1719: Blackpool send Marlon Harewood and Brett Ormerod on for Luke Varney and Elliot Grandin. They are after goals, there's no doubt about that.

1718: My word, Blackpool could hardly get closer. Gary Taylor-Fletcher collects the ball on the left-hand side of the Chelsea box, turns into space and curls a shot towards the far corner that Petr Cech does really well to tip over the bar.

From _luckyyouon Twitter: "Here's a scary stat if you ever saw one. Chelsea are on track to score 159 goals this season, scoring 4.2 goals per game."

From Gallacticos87 on Twitter: "Blackpool's goal difference is going to be like a lost point at the end of the season. Might be the difference for them."

1713: Ooh, Blackpool are getting seriously close to a goal here. A Dekel Keinan shot is deflected behind and from the corner DJ Campbell almost turns the ball home - only for the referee to penalise him for handball.

1711: David Vaughan hauls down Ramires as Chelsea launch another blistering break and after Vaughan is booked, the Blues have a free-kick 30 yards out which Didier Drogba boots into the wall.

1709: Blackpool are suddenly at it - Charlie Adam plays a sublime pass with the outside of his left foot to the left-hand corner of the six-yard box, where Luke Varney volleys over. Could've taken it down, even.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "We never took any risks and we didn't let Wigan create any chances. We played very well in second half."

1707: What a chance for Blackpool. Charlie Adam plays a fine forward pass that splits the Chelsea defence and from an angle on the left DJ Campbell's shot beats Petr Cech, but there isn't enough pace on the ball and Branislav Ivanovic boots the ball off the line.

Wigan 0-2 Manchester City:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Carlos Tevez shone brightly on a damp and dreary day at the DW Stadium. Well worn cliché, but he's worth the admission fee alone."

1703: Blackpool have sent on Gary Taylor-Fletcher for Neal Eardley. We're up and running again at Stamford Bridge where it's Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool.

From sb1111 on 606: "The yearly wage bill and total transfer fees for Blackpool's entire first team comes to less than half the £18m Chelsea paid for their reserve left-back, just for some perspective."
Doesn't excuse switching off at set-pieces though, does it?

From Tom, via text: "As an Ipswich fan these Chelsea games give me hope that our record defeat will finally be eclipsed. 10-0 please."

From Dave in Chorley, via text: "Man City have conceded two goals all season, are currently higher in the league than they finished last year, won 2-0 in the Premier League at a ground they'd never won at before and the only opinion you post is entirely negative from Seb! What happened to impartiality!"
Consider me reprimanded

From emmabung on Twitter: "There were rumours months back Chelsea wanted Kalouda. Based on Kalou and Malouda's telepathy today, they've got a hybrid."

Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool:
Paul Fletcher reports: "Painful viewing for all Blackpool fans out there as Chelsea repeatedly carve them open. It could be a long second half for the Tangerines."

1650: Full-time Wigan 0-2 Manchester City

Someone has struck the woodwork
1649: Talking of rubbing salt into the wound, an Adam Johnson cross is deflected against the Wigan crossbar by Ronnie Stam. There isn't an awful lot of time left at the DW Stadium.

1648: I just asked our resident Blackpool fan in the office what score they would settle for. "Six," came the reply. This brutality reminds me, as a Forest fan, that I'm not sure I ever even want us to get promoted again.

1647: Half-time Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool

1645: A Didier Drogba corner from the Chelsea left is glanced wide across the face of goal by Michael Essien. Meanwhile at Wigan, Carlos Tevez gets a standing ovation from the travelling fans after being taken off and replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

1643: Charlie Adam curls a Blackpool free-kick way over the bar from 25 yards. At the other end, Didier Drogba tricks his way into space inside the box and his shot is saved by Matt Gilks.

Chelsea goal: It's a masterclass of devastating finishing. Didier Drogba, who would've made a great quarterback in another lifetime, plays a lovely pass from midfield to Salomon Kalou, who escapes Blackpool's ropey offside trap. Kalou gets to the edge of the box and rolls the ball along to Florent Malouda, who drills in a wonderful first-time left-foot shot.

1641: GOAL Chelsea 4-0 Blackpool (Malouda)

1640: A Wigan cross from the left is headed just wide of Joe Hart's left-hand post. Not long for the hosts to try and grab a lifeline at the DW.

1638: Salomon Kalou lays the ball back from the Chelsea right and Florent Malouda side-foots wide with his left foot from about 16 yards.

1636: Charles N'Zogbia shoots tamely wide from 20 yards for Wigan and the hosts are really struggling to get back into it.

From Pete, Manchester, via text: "Drogba's behind the-leg-trick is known as a 'rabona', named after a dance step used in the tango."

1632: I'm sorry, but what Blackpool are doing is footballing suicide. Their right-back goes missing and Ashley Cole has the run of the park - his cross from the left is fractions too far ahead of Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou. There is a real danger of an embarrassing score unless the visitors shore it up at the back.

Chelsea goal: That really is game over. Michael Essien pings another nonchalant pass out to the left to Ashley Cole and from his pass, Dider Drogba spins and shoots and sees his shot deflected into the net.

1630: GOAL Chelsea 3-0 Blackpool (Drogba)

From darkanddom on 606: "Got to give it to Blackpool. They are actually trying to play football. So kudos to that even though they know they will get hammered. But they are trying to play football and attack. Good to see."

Man City goal: That's among the worst defending you'll see all season. Honestly, Wigan have gifted the points to City this afternoon. A Pablo Zabaleta ball into the box should be cleared, but Maynor Figueroa and Steve Gohouri both make a mess of attempted clearances, enabling Carlos Tevez to cross for Yaya Toure to score. He's booked for his celebration, I doubt he cares too much.

1626: GOAL Wigan 0-2 Manchester City (Yaya Toure)

1624: Great chance for Manchester City to wrap it up at Wigan, but after Steve Gohouri carelessly gives the ball away Carlos Tevez can only fire at Ali Al-Habsi from 15 yards. Either side and it might well have gone in.

1623: A corner is flung in from the Blackpool right and Dekel Keinan heads wide at the far post. Presentable chance that for the visitors.

1622: Wigan are struggling to create anything to get back into it and they send on Ronnie Stam for Emmerson Boyce. About 25 minutes left in that one, still Wigan 0-1 Man City.

1620: Lovely stuff from the champions. Didier Drogba comes over all "guapa" on us with an outrageous pass with his right foot kicking from behind his left foot (does that make sense?), before Michael Essien tees up Salomon Kalou to fire over the Blackpool bar.

From Seb, Bury, via text: "Man City are at their worst for three seasons. They have no desire."

1616: That's a stunning save at the Bridge - from Chelsea's Petr Cech. Alex Baptiste turns into some space 25 yards out and slams in a fabulous left-foot shot that is sizzling into the bottom corner - until Cech gets down to his left to fingertip the ball away. World-class goalkeeping.

1615: Wigan's Steve Gohouri is in the book at the DW Stadium for a foul on Carlos Tevez - the Argentine needs some treatment and hobbles off the pitch, but he's soon back on. Not great fare this, I'm afraid.

Chelsea goal: From an attacking point of view, goals don't get much easier I'm afraid. Michael Essien plays a pass to the right to Didier Drogba and his ball along the six-yard box is perfectly timed for Florent Malouda to knock into the empty net.

1612: GOAL Chelsea 2-0 Blackpool (Malouda)

1611: Another Chelsea corner causes some trouble inside the Blackpool six-yard box, but after Michael Essien is denied a clear header, the Ghana midfielder's shot is blocked by a combination of visiting players.

From xth on 606: "Stevo, don't you dare say 'no way back for the visitors' yet!"
Haha. At 1450 I was trying to make a game of it!

1606: Charles N'Zogbia needs a bit of treatment at Wigan after clashing with Gareth Barry. He's a bit dazed but the Frenchman will continue. It's a bit error-strewn still for both manager's liking. At Chelsea, Michael Essien rifles one in from 30 yards that flashes just over the Blackpool crossbar.

1605: Blackpool look nervy, which you can kind of understand I guess. The Seasiders actually beat Chelsea the last time they played at Stamford Bridge but that was in the Coca Cola Cup in 1996. They won 3-1, but lost the two-legged tie 5-4 on aggregate.

1602: They're back under way at the DW Stadium, not incidentally. It's Wigan 0-1 Man City.

Chelsea goal: Um, Blackpool's second touch is Matt Gilks picking the ball up out of the net. A corner from the Chelsea left is flicked on at the near post by Branislav Ivanovic and with no Blackpool players anywhere near, Salomon Kalou knocks it in with his left foot. Hmm.

1601: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Blackpool (Kalou)

1600: Big, big hug between Ray Wilkins and Ian Holloway and Chelsea get us under way at home against Blackpool. It takes Blackpool 44 seconds to get their first touch, and it's a clearance that leads to a corner.

1557: The teams are out at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea and Blackpool are going to meet in the league for the first time since the 1976-77 season. In March 1977, these boys drew 2-2. Fancy a repeat scoreline?

Chelsea v Blackpool team news:
Paul Fletcher reports: "Chelsea skipper John Terry misses out with a rib injury, while Nicolas Anelka is rested and Frank Lampard remains sidelined with a hernia problem, so Branislav Ivanovic partners Alex in the centre of defence, Ramires makes his first start at Stamford Bridge and Salomon Kalou lines up alongside Florent Malouda up front. Blackpool make one change from the team that won at Newcastle, with Alex Baptiste in for Brett Ormerod."

From PloKoon13 on 606: "Can we get a mention for the late, great Ian Hutchinson, who died eight years ago today? He was a legend of a striker, who played for Chelsea, winning the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup before having his career and life tragically ended prematurely. RIP Hutch - what a legend."

Saj Chowdhury reports: "For 42 minutes it was hard to see where a goal would come from at Wigan on this almost unplayable wet surface. But step forward Tevez - route one from Hart and a deft clip over Ali Al-Habsi. Easy when you know how."

Chelsea v Blackpool:
Paul Fletcher reports: "Chelsea thrashed MSK Zilina 4-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday and have scored 17 goals in their four Premier League contests so far, all of which should mean it will be a tricky afternoon for Ian Holloway's Blackpool. However, the Seasiders showed in winning at Newcastle last weekend that they play without fear and have picked up seven points from their four top-flight fixtures."

1546: Half-time Wigan 0-1 Manchester City

1545: Into a minute of injury time at Wigan. It's pelting it down.

Man City goal: That's a strange one. In treacherous conditions at the DW the visitors go ahead as Joe Hart launches a goalkick downfield (and slips while doing so), Mohamed Diame flicks it on inadvertently and Carlos Tevez scampers through and beautifully lifts the ball over the advancing Ali Al-Habsi.

1542: GOAL Wigan 0-1 Manchester City (Tevez)

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson: "I thought our second half performance was really good and we deserved to get back into it. But we've conceded three goals from crosses and we're disappointed with that. Maybe if we'd had some more composure at the end we'd have been able to see it out."

Yellow card
1539: Oh what a surprise, Nigel de Jong is back in the referee's notebook at Wigan for a sliding, late challenge on Maynor Figueroa. It's amazing he manages to stay on a football pitch for so long sometimes.

From Jacob, via text: "Re: 1520. That was never a red for O'Shea, merely a coming together and the ball would have ran through to VDS anyway. And you cant honestly suggest a win for United wasn't a fair result."
No-one is, are they?

From miichaelball on Twitter: "Man United were better than Liverpool on the day. But do you think John O'Shea being sent off would have changed the game?"
Yeah, of course. But I guess we'll never know.

1532: Pablo Zabaleta plays a one-two with Gareth Barry and slams a right-foot shot a couple of yards past the angle from just outside the Wigan box. It's livening up a little at the DW.

1532: Chelsea v Blackpool line-ups:
Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Alex, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Ramires, Kalou, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Turnbull, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Sturridge, Anelka, Bruma, Kakuta.
Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, Keinan, Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Varney, Campbell.
Subs: Halstead, Southern, Harewood, Ormerod, Taylor-Fletcher, Cathcart, Carney.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1530: At Wigan, Latics striker Franco di Santo fires in a shot from about 15 yards that takes a deflection and it gathered well by Joe Hart in the Man City goal.

1529: That was just a fabulous start to the day's football, a thriller that swung one way and then the other. You'd be hard pushed to say Man United didn't deserve the points, but Liverpool showed a lot of bottle fight back from 2-0 down and get back into it. As for Dimitar Berbatov - when the man is on form, he's a joy to behold.

From Spamburger on 606: "In the end it was actually a pretty good game despite the multiple frailties at the moment on both sides. And closer than I expected, tbh."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Manchester United had time to recover from losing their lead this week and they fully deserved to win, with Dimitar Berbatov producing a masterclass. They were vastly superior to an ordinary Liverpool."

1523: Full-time Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool

1523: The hosts are frustrating Liverpool by keeping the ball. Wayne Rooney does Glen Johnson down the left and then runs back out towards the corner flag. Only seconds left and I think that's it for Liverpool.

1520: We are into four minutes of injury time at Old Trafford. Have Liverpool got anything left?

From Jack, via text: "O'Shea shouldn't have been on the pitch to put that ball in, absolute disgrace."

1516: Dimitar Berbatov gets one of those goosebumps standing ovations as he is replaced by Anderson for the closing stages, with Darron Gibson also on for United in place of Nani.

1515: The first chance of the match falls to Manchester City courtesy of Carlos Tevez, who speeds past a couple of Wigan players before firing in a low shot from 20 yards that whistles past the right-hand upright.

1515: There are about four minutes of normal time for Liverpool to get back into it. Have they got anything left?

Man United: It's turning into a classic. John O'Shea pumps in a cross from the right and man of the moment Dimitar Berbatov gets up above Jamie Carragher to glance a header into the bottom right-hand corner of Pepe Reina's net. Liverpool must come from behind once more.

1513: GOAL Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool (Berbatov)

1512: Daniel Agger is fuming with Nani after the Portuguese theatrically throws himself down inside the area. Howard Webb separates them.

1511: The first few minutes have been fairly uneventful at the DW Stadium although it has been entertaining watching the mis-timed challenges on the wet and skiddy pitch.

1510: A change apiece this time as Liverpool send Daniel Agger on for Paul Konchesky and United bring Federico Macheda on for Ryan Giggs. Now then, I don't think Macheda's got any history of last-gasp Premier League winners... (I'm joking. Please don't)

1508: You cannot help but feel there is a winner lurking at Old Trafford somewhere. The pace has dipped a touch, but are we going to get a finale to match what we've seen so far? Liverpool send Milan Jovanovic on for Raul Meireles.

From Tom, Winchester, via text: "Over confidence? Tactics? Or just stupidity? What ever makes this side throw away leads needs to be stamped out quick if Sir Alex wants to stay on Chelsea's heels."

1504: I think it's safe to say this one has lived up to the billing of a Superclasico. We've got 15 minutes left and it's Man United 2-2 Liverpool. I don't ever want it to end.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United are not frail at the back - they simply have lapses in concentration. Sorry Sir Alex, frail it is and they have just proved it by allowing a Liverpool team they have comprehensively outplayed back into this game. A grandstand finish - who would have thought it?"

1501: They've kicked off in the Wigan v Man City v game. Liverpool are flying and from a Christian Poulsen ball, Raul Meireles heads wide on the stretch about 10 yards out.

Liverpool goal: What a game of football this is. The Manchester United wall parts like the Red Sea and Steven Gerrard curls the ball into the gap between Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea and into the net. Liverpool have come from behind and are level at Old Trafford. Stunning.

1459: GOAL Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool (Gerrard)

Yellow card
1457: It's incident o'clock. John O'Shea hauls down Fernando Torres on the edge of the penalty area - he isn't sent off because Edwin van der Sar may well have got to the ball first. It's 20 yards out, Steven Gerrard to take...

From Batesie17 on 606: "We have seen both sides of the absolute ridiculous this weekend. Cesc Fabregas' deflection yesterday & that overhead kick by Dimitar Berbatov today. This is why the Premier League is still number one."

Liverpool goal: Brilliant response from the visitors - and we have a real game on our hands now. Joe Cole races from halfway and plays an incisive pass into the path of Fernando Torres inside the area. The Spaniard cuts inside and is fouled by Jonny Evans, spot-kick given. It's pretty blatant in fairness. Steven Gerrard steps up and coolly sends Edwin van der Sar the wrong way. Mixer.

1453: GOAL Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (Gerrard)


1450: The United fans are buzzing and you cannot see a way back into this for Liverpool. They haul the non-existent Maxi off and send on French striker David Ngog.

Man United goal: That's one of the goals of the season. I want to watch that a million times and I'll never get bored. Darren Fletcher plays a stunning 50-yard pass out to the right to Nani and when the Portuguese crosses into the box Dimitar Berbatov has got his back to goal. The Bulgarian conjures up the near-impossible, teeing the ball up with his thigh and, from 15 yards, producing a magnificent overhead kick that hits the underside of the crossbar and settles in the back of the net. Wow, wow, wow.

1448: GOAL Manchester United 2-0 Liverpool (Berbatov)

Someone has struck the woodwork
Yellow card
1445: That was almost game over. Nani collects the ball on the right of the Liverpool area and absolutely hammers a right-foot shot that Pepe Reina gets nowhere near and clatters against his near post. Soon after Wayne Rooney cynically fouls Fernando Torres and picks up a booking.

Wigan v Manchester City:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Wigan striker Franco Di Santo is handed his first start while Charles N'Zogbia comes in for Ronnie Stam. Tom Cleverley is sidelined after picking up a knock in training. Man City forward Carlos Tevez leads the line with Emmanuel Adebayor still out injured, with Jo and Roque Santa Cruz on the bench."

1441: Glen Johnson curls over a cross from the Liverpool right and it's a bit behind Fernando Torres - the Spaniard's well-struck volley appears to clip the top of John O'Shea's head, but goalkick given, much to Torres's disgust.

1440: United's turn to be profligate in possession as Wayne Rooney tries to play it out to the left to Ryan Giggs but over-hits the ball. Moments later Darren Fletcher's shot cannons off Christian Poulsen and with the Reds defence static, Pepe Reina has to be alert to claim at the feet of Dimitar Berbatov.

1438: Wigan v Manchester City line-ups:
Al Habsi, Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, N'Zogbia, Thomas, McCarthy, Diame, Rodallega, Di Santo.
Subs: Kirkland, Watson, Boselli, Moses, Steven Caldwell, Gomez, Stam.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Toure, Zabaleta, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Barry, Silva, Milner, Tevez.
Subs: Given, Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Santa Cruz, Vieira, Jo, Boyata.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1436: Liverpool start the second half with a little spell of possession, but Joe Cole's attempted pass to Glen Johnson down the right rolls out of play, much to the former Chelsea man's anguish. He hasn't really got into the game much so far.

1434: Television pictures show Blackpool arriving at Stamford Bridge, but more on that one later. Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney high-five and the visitors get us back under way at Old Trafford. Man United 1-0 Liverpool.

Wigan v Manchester City:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Wigan had a shocking start to the season - conceding 10 goals in two games. Since then their league form has improved, with a win away to Spurs and a draw against Sunderland. Manchester City is another big test for the Latics but one they may pass, with Roberto Mancini's men coming to the DW on the back of Thursday's Europa League tie. Home win?"

From wonderboi711 on Twitter: "We are in dire straits... we can't even string a couple passes going forward. We're excellent at side-to-side, though."

From Dan, Newcastle, via text: "When a player plays poorly, it's worrying. When a player shows no commitment, clearly wants to leave and lacks any interest (Fernando Torres), it's unfair on the club."

From Tom, via text: "We're playing United v Liverpool drinking game and all have had to down the remains of our drinks due to rule seven: when a clueless so-called expert questions Torres' fitness because he hasn't scored a hat-trick. The lad needs service, fit or otherwise. He's had nothing."

1425: Difference of opinions coming right up...

From GraymeadYNWA on 606: "That was the worst defending I have seen from a corner. I expected to lose here, but at least don't let it be because of poor defending."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty: "Manchester United's goal from Dimitar Berbatov was effectively 42 minutes in the making, the result of almost total domination of territory. Liverpool lacking in ambition and quality in attacking positions."

1418: Half-time Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool

1417: Into first-half stoppage time at Old Trafford, we're due only a minute extra.

1416: It nearly gets worse for Liverpool as first Maxi's attempted header back to Pepe Reina seems to hit Jamie Carragher on the arm, and then Wayne Rooney shoots wide from the edge of the penalty area.

United goal: That goal has been coming, but it's a horrible, horrible goal for Liverpool to concede. Ryan Giggs swings a corner over from the left and with Fernando Torres standing behind Dimitar Berbatov, holding him, the Bulgarian stoops and heads into the net. Paul Konchesky, who should have been by the post, was standing behind Pepe Reina, rendering him useless. Very poor.

1414: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool (Berbatov)

1413: Fernando Torres just doesn't look fit to me. He goes in for a challenge half-heartedly and loses it, then Christian Poulsen slides in and totally misses ball and man.

1411: Liverpool have had a fair bit more of the ball in the last few minutes, but their threat is twice curtailed when first Christian Poulsen balloons a cross over the bar and then moments later Paul Konchesky slices another attempted centre out of play for a goalkick.

From mtcefc on Twitter: "It seems football is turning into a complete no contact sport. This is not a good thing."

1408: Nani slides in on Paul Konchesky and this time Howard Webb does give a free-kick. Might have been a touch of retribution in that one. The set-piece is headed clear by, of course, Nemanja Vidic.

1406: Very good defending from Paul Konchesky as Nani shoves the ball ahead of them and tries to do the defender for pace. He leans across Nani and the Portuguese goes to ground. United want a free-kick, but Howard Webb waves play on.

1404: A long ball into the Man United area sees Fernando Torres in a John o'Shea and Nemanja Vidic sandwich and the Spaniard goes down, but there's nothing doing there. At the other end, John O'Shea's clipped ball in from the right is nodded over by an under-pressure Dimitar Berbatov.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Manchester United exerting all the pressure without making Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina work. They will want tangible reward from this period of pressure. Fernando Torres still waiting for the opportunity to try his luck against Nemanja Vidic, the ploy that has brought Liverpool success in the past."

From Theo, London, via text: "Does Poulsen ever play a forward pass?! The guy's got the ambition of a sloth!"

1359: As Liverpool don't really look like they want to win the game, United are taking it to them. They get John O'Shea into space down the right but his low cross is cleared by Martin Skrtel. The visitors are under the cosh a little here.

1357: Liverpool finally get the ball to Fernando Torres and he wins a corner down the right. When it's played short to Glen Johnson, he cuts on to his left foot and slashes a shot across goal and a few yards wide of the far post.

1355: An aimless ball into the Man United box causes no problems whatsoever and the hosts can attack again. Liverpool look a little bit toothless at the moment - they haven't even given Fernando Torres any scraps to feed off.

1353: A Ryan Giggs corner is cleared to the edge of the box, where Paul Scholes hits an always rising 25-yard half-volley that flies well over Pepe Reina's crossbar. United have raised it again, and Liverpool are second best at the moment.

From TheSportsDirector on 606: "Man Utd can do what they want to Paul Konchesky, he didn't have any problems last month when he was part of a Fulham team that drew with the Reds."

1348: Great chance for the hosts. A brilliant dummy from Dimitar Berbatov and a one-two with Wayne Rooney springs United forward and Rooney finds Nani in acres on the right - he cuts into the box and passes back to Rooney, and after his shot is blocked it falls to Nani 10 yards out, the winger dragging a shot hopelessly off target.

1346: Liverpool have got a footing in the game after that flying United start, knocking it around the midfield quite nicely. They do look more secure with those boys in front of the back four, that's for sure.

From ACMilandrew on Twitter: "Seems United are going to target Konchesky. Nani in full flow just might be too much for him."

1342: In response to Hose, below, it doesn't look like Steven Gerrard is playing off Fernando Torres at all, as had been expected. He is indeed right in the thick of it alongside Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles. There's a few strong challenges between that triumvirate.

1340: It's all Manchester United. Paul Scholes has played two stunning passes out to the right to put Nani in space and they are bombarding Liverpool with balls into the box. John O'Shea drags one shot off target and then Pepe Reina punches clear, before Wayne Rooney heads wide. In among one melee, there is a coming together between Jamie Carragher and Nemanja Vidic. The United captain went down, but Howard Webb played on.

From Hose, Windsor, via text: "It worries me, Gerrard lining up so far forward. He's ineffectual there and the game passes him by. He needs to be right in the middle, with the blood and thunder, snapping into tackles, driving the team forward, leading the charge."

1336: Nani slaps in a right-foot shot from 20 yards that Paul Konchesky does well to block and Man United have their first corner of the afternoon. Ryan Giggs takes it, and Nemanja Vidic heads over the bar.

1334: First little bit of pressure from United, with Wayne Rooney heavily involved down the left, and from a Patrice Evra cross from the left Paul Konchesky does really well to stop Dimitar Berbatov getting a header in on goal. Good start for the hosts.

1332: Fergie and Roy have a little chat as they walk along the touchline to their seats and once everyone's ready, World Cup final referee Howard Webb blows his whistle to get things under way. Man Utd in red shirts and white shorts, Liverpool in white shirts and black shorts. Info.

It's raining
1327: The teams emerge in the north-west of England, where it's raining. Shortly, Manchester United v Liverpool will kick-off.

1324: As three United fans don their sombreros at Old Trafford, the teams line up in the tunnel and we are not far off getting under way in the first English Superclasico of the season.

1322: I know what you want to know before we start: the likelihood, in percentage form, of each team getting their hands on three points today, in conjunction with Infostrada Sports and their Euro Club Index (ranking in brackets):
Man United (three) 64% v Liverpool (10) 15%
Wigan (174) 25% v Man City (22) 49%
Chelsea (two) 91% v Blackpool (242) 2%

From bill40 on 606: "Blackpool have the ultimate pirate in Sir Ian Holloway. International speak like a pirate day is very appropriate to sink the good ship Chelsea."

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson: "This match has come a little bit early. Five games into the season is a poor time for barometer readings - they need to come at least a third of the way through the season. I would be very surprised if the intelligent people out there who understand the season is a marathon not a sprint will start reading too much into a defeat for one or the other teams."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "To lose two points in added time once is perhaps bad luck, but to do it twice this early in the season is just downright careless and it has to stop. It's a quality our present team must acquire and I want the players, both up front and at the back, to reflect on their powers of concentration - or lack of - and work on that aspect of their game."

Jack from London, via text: "The feeble Jonny Evans will struggle today. Vidic doesn't need to be reminded about the nightmares Torres gives him. He'll be back on form in this game. Man Utd 1-2 Liverpool with a Torres brace."

1309: By the way, as well as it being Superclasico day in England, across the world it's International Talk Like A Pirate Day. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, especially any Bristol Rovers fans out there.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Rio Ferdinand's apparent inability to string a run of games together is in evidence again today as he is ruled out of Manchester United's meeting with Liverpool because of illness. Jonny Evans will partner new United captain Nemanja Vidic. Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson gives Joe Cole a place on the left flank as he starts a Premier League game again following a three-match ban. Recent acquisitions Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles pair up in central midfield with Steven Gerrard supporting Fernando Torres."

1300 BST: Stevo's Predos:
Man United 3-1 Liverpool
Wigan 1-2 Man City
Chelsea 4-1 Blackpool
Lawro's predictions

From I Taught Berbatov How To Run on 606: "Didn't we play Scholes and Giggs last year at Anfield and our midfield got completely overrun? Hope that doesn't happen today."

1254: If there are any Wigan fans out there on your way to the game against Manchester City, why not get involved in a documentary being made on supporting a Premier League club? Film-maker Ron Taylor is visiting the Supporters Club right now, so feel free to pop along and have your say on all things Latics.

1251: There are three games in the Premier League on this Superclasico Sunday, as I've hereby dubbed it (by the way, at 1234 I wasn't suggesting those games are all being played today. Read it again if you're struggling). Here's how we roll:
1330 BST: Man Utd v Liverpool
1500 BST: Wigan v Man City
1600 BST: Chelsea v Blackpool

From Shoaib in Preston, via text: "Form is temporary, class is permanent! So Torres or Rooney to be the heroes."

1246: Yep, no Rio Ferdinand for Man Utd. Full team news chat on the way.

1246: Manchester United v Liverpool line-ups:
Man Utd:
Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Jonny Evans, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Macheda, Gibson.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Meireles, Poulsen, Maxi, Gerrard, Cole, Torres.
Subs: Jones, Agger, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Babel, Lucas, Ngog.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford: "Sir Alex Ferguson describes this as "the daddy of the derbies" in his match notes and as usual the stakes are high when Manchester United face Liverpool. United will want recover from the costly loss of concentration and subsequent loss of two injury-time goals in the draw at Everton. Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson would like to make a statement about where his new regime is heading. Will Fernando Torres come to life when faced by the man he torments, Nemanja Vidic?"

1243: Ooh, as an add, can you please put 'FOOTBALL' before any text you fire this way? I'm picking up quite a few Great North Run missives and it doesn't take much for me to get confused.

From The Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter on Twitter: "At OT. Fergie in prog: 'today is the daddy of Derbies. Look at Liverpool's history: more trophies than Chelsea, Arsenal &, yes, United'."

1241: I'd be honoured if you'd furnish me with your chat today, Superclasico-based or otherwise. You can send texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), you can tweet me @Stevo_football and you can spill all on the 606 thread too. Crikey, scream it from the rooftops if it makes you feel special.

1237: It feels like we should celebrate this occasion as they would in those other countries. It's a truly monumental game, I'm English, and I feel proud we've got such a stellar football match on our shores. At 1330 BST, two of the grand old rivals of the game go tete-a-tete at Old Trafford, and I can hardly wait.

1234: In Spain they have Real Madrid v Barcelona, in Argentina they have River Plate v Boca Juniors, in the Netherlands they have Ajax v Feyenoord, in France they have Marseille v Paris St Germain, in Scotland they have Rangers v Celtic. In England, we have Manchester United v Liverpool. The derby of derbies.

1230: Happy Superclasico day.

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Premier League results

19 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 19 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

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

see also
Sunday's Premier League photos
19 Sep 10 |  Premier League

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