BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Sunday, 3 October 2010 18:31 UK

Premier League as it happened


To get involved use Twitter, 606 or SMS via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with FOOTBALL before your message. (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate.)

By Sam Lyon

1825: I make that wrap-up o'clock, then. Whatever your allegiances, you have to say today's been an absolute cracker hasn't it? If you missed any of the action, check out Match of the Day 2 tonight at 2210 on BBC One/iPlayer, otherwise make sure you're back right here on Friday with Chris Bevan for some Euro 2012 qualifiers. Lovely.

James, Hereford via text: "I'm fed up of losing to Chelsea every year. Usual story, work hard, intricate passing, no end product, Drogba, free kicks, Wenger will praise spirit and determination, no points. I'm tired of this Arsenal!"

OriginalJnr_ on Twitter: "It pained me to watch that game but I will always be proud of Arsenal, who we are and what we do. Our identity is forever."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Chelsea's ruthlessness wins the day against Arsenal's artistry. Arsenal have played badly and been beaten by Chelsea in the past - now they have played well and been beaten by Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti's team in control at the top of the Premier League."

1815: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "We had chance after chance and just never put the ball in the net. It was a good collective team performance from us but, of course, when you lose it is a massive disappointment. We have to keep battling, fighting, get our influential players back... but, yes, we have big regrets about not winning this match."

Jack, Arsenal fan, via text: "Frustration, perplexion, anger, acceptance. Mixed bag of emotions."

Who Loves Orange Soda on 606: "Sam, 22 attempted crosses with only three successful. That tells the story more than anything, doesn't it?"

Sean in Blackpool via text: "Re: Pete in Blackpool - why on earth are you a Chelsea fan when Blackpool go to Anfield and play like Barcelona?"

1805: So heading into the October international break, Chelsea are four points clear at the top of the table, Manchester United are third and a place behind rivals City, Arsenal are seven points off the league leaders, Blackpool are a point off fourth and Liverpool are in the bottom three. Anyone call that at the start of the season?

Pete in Blackpool text: "Very happy Chelsea fan today, but anyone who thinks the league is won already is very much mistaken."

Eboue_Eboue on Twitter: "As an Arsenal fan, I have to take my hat off to Chelsea. We bossed the game from box to box, but Chelsea bossed it where it counts."

SoccerDotTel on Twitter: "Is the fight now on for second place?"

Full time
1755: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal

1753: Alex limps off to a hero's acclaim with what looks a touch of cramp. Meanwhile, replays show that the defender spanked that free-kick right through a hole in the Arsenal wall created by Florent Malouda's movement. Training-ground stuff.

1752: Moments after Lukas Fabianski - who has done pretty well today - saves from an Ashley Cole snap-shot, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas looks to release fellow substitute Carlos Vela up the other end but the Mexican's touch is poor and the chance is gone.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty: "Arsene Wenger looks at his wits' end. Arsenal have acquitted themselves well but once again have been outflanked by Chelsea. Alex's free-kick provides a special conclusion. A fast bowler's run-up - but a true Brazilian's strike."

1748: It could quite easily be three as Michael Essien is set through on goal, but Lukas Fabianski gets out well to smother the midfielder's clipped effort round the post.

Chelsea goal: Pick that out. Didier Drogba allows Alex a go from the free-kick and the defender responds with a quite venomous, unstoppable rocket into the top corner. Game over.

1746: GOALFLASH Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal (Alex)

Yellow card
1745: Arsenal starting to look a tad tired in defence and after a sloppy pass, Laurent Kosielny brings Nicolas Anelka down 30 yards out in front of goal for a free-kick and yellow card.

1743: Chelsea break again but Ramires goes too early and is offside when fed by Nicolas Anelka's pass. That's his last action of the match as he comes off to be replaced by Yuri Zhirkov.

1741: Oh he has to do better. Marouane Chamakh rises well to meet Tomas Rosicky's centre but can only direct it wide from eight yards out. Meanwhile, young Jay Emmanuel-Thomas comes on for his Arsenal league debut in place of Jack Wilshere.

Yellow card
1740: We have our first booking of the match as Paulo Ferreira cynically cuts down the breaking Tomas Rosicky just inside the Chelsea half.

1737: You have to say, Chelsea are set up very well now - protecting the lead efficiently and threatening all the time on the break. Nicolas Anelka ends one such break with a ripping effort from the edge of the area, Lukas Fabianski saving well with his feet.

Mandeep Sanghera
reports: "There will be plenty of focus on what is developing into a crisis at Liverpool but Blackpool should be applauded for a win combining their passing play and character."

1731: Wow, that is close. Nicolas Anelka's ball over the Arsenal defence finds Ashley Cole, who drills low into the far corner - only to look up and see the linesman's flag raised. Replays show he might have been level, but it was closer than a gnat's eyelash either way.

1729: Tomas Rosicky is about to come on for Arsenal, with Arsene Wenger pleading with his team to stretch the game out wide.

1727: For all Arsenal's possession, not only are they not creating a huge amount but they are looking very vulnerable to the counter-attack. Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, in particular, are on high alert.

1725: More touch-perfect build-up from Arsenal... just without the finishing touch as Samir Nasri's attempted through-ball to Marouane Chamakh is too heavy.

1721: Lifeline for Arsenal as Nicolas Anelka, having rounded Lukas Fabianski latching on to Sebastien Squillaci's dire back-pass, squeezes his shot at an open goal wide of the near post. Massive let-off. Now can Arsenal respond?

1720: Half-shouts for a penalty at both ends - but first Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny and then Chelsea midfielder Ramires just get enough on the ball to satisfy Mike Dean the tackles were legitmate.

1719: Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson after the 2-1 defeat: "It's a very bad start to the season. It's a start we could not envisage. It's been a strange season so far but we are very unhappy we have only got six points from seven games."

1716: Arsenal soak up a bit of Chelsea pressure before breaking - but Abou Diaby is nowhere near alert enough when fed by Andrey Arshaving and he allows Branislav Ivanovic to get back and deflect his attempted pass/shot behind.

1714: Chelsea corner... well claimed by Lukas Fabianski.

1712: Arsenal have started well again in this half - with Jack Wilshere starting to have a say in things - and Marouane Chamakh goes fairly close with a header from a corner that drifts wide.

1709: Half a penalty appeal as Marouane Chamakh goes down under Petr Cech's sliding challenge after a neat through-ball by Jack Wilshere - but that was pretty optimistic from the Arsenal frontman.

ak3691 on Twitter: "Arsenal are going to score goals in this half... it's only a matter of how many they are going to concede."

1706: Chelsea kick things off in the second half. All still to play for.

The Kop Prophet on 606: "The headlines will all be about Hodgson. But the side he put out should beat Blackpool at home. The players have let down the fans and should bear the brunt of the blame."

1700: So Liverpool end a top-flight match round in the bottom three for the first time since 19 September 1964 - where on earth do the Reds go from here? Infostrada Sports also tell us that Chelsea have won their last 21 Premier League home matches in which they have held a half-time lead. Arsenal - work very much cut out, then.

50in50 on 606: "Serious question; how long will Roy get if the results keep going this way? I know Liverpool like to be thought of as standing by their manager through thick and thin, but surely Roy's only got a few more bad results until the owners act."

JamieCourtnell on Twitter: "I joked last year that it was part of Rafa's plan to get us relegated to get the owners out... I should have held my tongue."

Full time
1652: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool:
Unbelievable result for the Premier League new-boys - and thanks in no small part to a cracking save right at the death by keeper Matt Gilks from Sotirios Kyrgiakos's shot from inside the area. The away support go ballistic, the home support just goes.

Half time
1650: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal:
Chief football writer Phil McNulty's HT snap-shot:
"Arsenal will be bitterly disappointed. The better side for most of this first half, but Didier Drogba is the difference - heard that before."

1648: We'll have three minutes of injury time in the Liverpool-Blackpool match.

1647: Troubling injury news for Arsenal at the Bridge, with Abou Diaby clutching his right ankle after Michael Essien catches him in a tackle. After treatment, though, it looks like he should be OK. Arsene Wenger can hardly do with other injury.

1645: Back at Anfield, where the clock is ticking down, Dirk Kuyt throws himself at a deep cross at the back post but can only direct his header straight at Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks.

Pushed out by Barthez on 606: "We always dominate the first half against Chelsea and then lose the first goal. Sick and tired of it, Arsene."

Chelsea goal: Who else? It's a sublime finish too, Didier Drogba flicking in off the near post from Ashley Cole's cross after great work by Ramires. All of Arsenal's fine early work undone in one fell swoop.

1639: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-0 Arsenal (Drogba)

1637: Liverpool continue to pile the pressure on at Anfield but, with Blackpool holding firm, the chances have dried up in the last few minutes. Around 10 minutes left there, can the Tangerines hold on for a famous win?

1635: And there you are. Almost. Michael Essien feeds Didier Drogba running wide into the box and Lukas Fabianski does very well to get a strong hand behind the Chelsea striker's fierce near-post shot.

1633: Samir Nasri has Petr Cech scrambling across his goal but the Frenchman's curler goes just wide. No doubt that Arsenal are just about edging this at the moment, but can they make that count with a goal or two? Chelsea look formidable on the break...

Chief football writer Phil McNulty: "Arsene Wenger will be delighted with Arsenal's start - apart from the fact that they have not yet made their superiority count and threat of Didier Drogba lies in wait. Arsenal have been confident and have shown real self-belief."

1629: Stunning save. Petr Cech flings himself full length to get a fingertip on to Andrey Arshavin's stinging long-ranger to just get it around the post. Brilliant.

oliverhj84 on Twitter: "Referee Mike Dean is letting the Chelsea-Arsenal game flow nicely. Nobody ever praises refs do they?"

1625: Brilliant saving tackle from Glen Johnson to cut out Luke Varney's cut-back on the back of a fine run - a rare but welcome foray into the opposition box this half from Blackpool.

1622: Efforts like that are not going to help him shed the rather cruel tag of "Flappy-Hands-Ski" - Arsenal keeper Lukas Fabianski attempts to punch away under pressure from Florent Malouda and succeeds only in spooning it straight back in front of goal. Fortunately for him, no Chelsea man is on hand to capitalise.

1619: You daren't blink for fear of missing something back at Stamford Bridge, Michael Essien this time rising to meet a Chelsea corner but succeeding only in directing it well off target.

1617: Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson smells blood here, throwing Milan Jovanovic on for Christian Poulsen. Blackpool hanging on for dear life at the start of this second half.

1616: How hasn't that gone in? Joe Cole strolls through behind the Blackpool defence and clips over onrushing keeper Matt Gilks but the ball drifts agonisingly past the far post. Much more like it, though, this from Liverpool.

1614: And then, seemingly out of nothing, Arsenal nemesis Didier Drogba almost creates an opener for Chelsea, brushing Laurent Koscielny aside and aiming a cross at Florent Malouda, who can only steer wide from six yards out.

Ive seen things you people wouldnt believe on 606: "This is the most tactically astute I've seen Arsenal line up against Chelsea in a long, long time. I'm impressed."

1613: A rare moment to catch your breath at Stamford Bridge, where Arsenal are right in the faces of Chelsea.

Liverpool goal: Just what Liverpool needed at the start of the second half, Sotirios Kyrgiakos timing his run perfectly to meet Steven Gerrard's free-kick and head home. Game on.

1610: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool (Kyrgiakos)

1609: This is a really confident start by Arsenal, as Andrey Arshavin works some space in the Chelsea box drifting in from the left wing, forcing keeper Petr Cech into a smart stop at his near post with a firm shot.

Wazza v2 on 606: "100 miles an hour job. Love it!"

1606: Another half-chance for Chelsea as Florent Malouda gets on the end of a ball over the top, but his attempted lob drifts over. A barnstorming end-to-end start, here.

1605: Reds striker David Ngog finds space in the Blackpool box and meets a Dirk Kuyt cross which he can only send wide.

1603: It's a really frantic start at the Bridge, where Didier Drogba - who has 12 goals against Arsenal, lest we forget - sees a fierce drive from the edge of the area well blocked. This match is already fizzing - love it.

1602: Second half under way at Anfield.

1602: Two golden chances for Arsenal in the opening exchanges - first Marouane Chamakh glances a Bacary Sagna cross inches wide and then Laurent Koscielny somehow contrives to head over from a corner just two yards out unmarked.

1600: Up and running at Stamford Bridge.

1559: Oh - and kudos to those of you pointing out Liverpool came from 2-0 down to beat Man City in 2008. Turns out Infostrada Sports are human after all! Wow!

1557: Well well well, Chelsea-Arsenal have a bit to live up to if they are going to match today's offering so far hey? Where's ya money?

Phil Dawkes reports:
"It is often said that the sign of a good side is winning when you don't play well. Manchester City were well below-par against a spirited and industrious Newcastle, but thanks to a moment of brilliance they now find themselves a point behind the league leaders. Over to you, Chelsea."

Buffalloz on Twitter: "I really wanna hear what Hodgson has to say about this. Good owners or not, this is utterly rubbish and disgraceful!"

1551: More bad news for Liverpool fans - I'm reliably informed by Infostrada Sports that the last time the Reds came from a goal down to win a Premier League match was more than a year ago, and two years since they did so at Anfield. The last time they won after being 2-0 down was six years ago, and 11 years since they did so at Anfield. Blimey.

Half time
1548: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-2 Blackpool:
Mandeep Sanghera's HT snap-shot
"Liverpool fans boo their team off at half-time after an opening 45 in which the home side have been left stunned by a vibrant Blackpool."

Blackpool goal: Pinch yourselves Blackpool fans, because you're not dreaming. A flowing move ends with Gary Taylor-Fletcher flicking into the box through the Liverpool defence and Luke Varney slamming into the corner. Replays show the Tangerine striker timed his run perfectly - and Ian Holloway's men have scored twice in front of the Kop. Unbelievable.

1546: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-2 Blackpool (Varney)

1543: Blackpool showing no sign of abandoning their ambition at Anfield despite the lead, and Stephen Crainey stings Pepe Reina's palms with a curler from the edge of the area, soon after DJ Campbell had done similar from the angle.

SAFC on 606: "Can you Charlie Adam and Eve it? Everybody loves an underdog, c'mon the (Tangerine) 'pool!"

GilesMacca on Twitter: "This is shameful. No disrespect to Blackpool but at home!? We don't even look like a team worthy of this division right now."

1538: Signs of improvement for Liverpool as Dirk Kuyt rises to meet Raul Meireles's cross but his header is straight at keeper Matt Gilks. The Blackpool fans still making an almighty racket, and why not.

The strike of the cescy verminator on 606: "Why wont Wenger let Nasri play centrally? This midfield will definitely get bullied. I wonder if we'll create a lot. All the same, c'mon on you Arsenal!!!"

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Carlo Ancelotti keeps faith with the Chelsea team that lost so disappointingly at Manchester City, recalling how they have swept aside all other opposition in the Premier League. Great opportunity for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere to confirm his growing maturity against Chelsea's powerful midfield, and for Lukasz Fabianski to back up Arsene Wenger's claim that he is an outstanding goalkeeper in the making, despite a lack of compelling evidence.."

Mojohaza1 on Twitter: "Re Man City-Newcastle - we was robbed Mr Lyon, we was robbed."

1532: Liverpool defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos - who had a header from a corner headed off the line a couple of minutes before Blackpool's opener - rises to meet another set-piece, but this time he heads over the bar.

Blackpool goal: And it's been coming. Luke Varney is unceremoniously dumped on his backside by a sloppy Glen Johnson tackle - a definite penalty - and Charlie Adam steps up to crash home the spot-kick.

1529: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-1 Blackpool (Adam pen)


Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Essien, Ramires, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, Zhirkov, Ferreira, Sturridge, Van Aanholt, Kakuta, McEachran.
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Diaby, Nasri, Wilshere, Song, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Emmanuel-Thomas.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Full time
1526: FULL-TIME Man City 2-1 Newcastle

1523: We'll have three minutes of injury time at Eastlands.

Jack Wilshere
starts for Arsenal, who also have Abou Diaby fit. Chelsea unchanged from the side that lost to Man City.

1520: Another substitution at Anfield as Dekel Keinan comes on to replace Craig Cathcart. Blackpool playing with impressive freedom, passion and no little quality so far.

Spamburger on 606: "Torres' injury is a blessing in disguise. I've more faith in Ngog at the moment. It just means we can't have him coming on fresh on 70 mins."

1516: Newcastle defender Mike Williamson rises unmarked to meet Joey Barton's corner, but he can't direct his header on target - had he done so, it would surely have been 2-2 with Joe Hart beaten.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Stakes are high, as ever, at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will want to exert their authority on Arsenal once more to prove that last week's defeat at Manchester City was a temporary setback on what most believe will be another journey to the Premier League title. Arsenal will want to produce evidence that they can be serious challengers to Chelsea after being swatted aside twice by Carlo Ancelotti's side last season."

1514: A waste by Dirk Kuyt as the Liverpool man bursts down the right only to push his cut-back to the well-placed Raul Meireles behind the onrushing midfielder. Moments later at the other end, Neal Erdley crosses to the back post and DJ Campbell crashes a shot on the stretch just past the post. End-to-end stuff, this.

1511: I don't think Martin Atkinson is going to be on many Newcastle fans' Christmas card list after what is another let-off for Manchester City. Shola Ameobi gets on the ball in the City box and then looks to be tripped by Joleon Lescott, who gets nowhere near the ball, but the visitors' penalty appeals are waved away.

1509: Big early blow for Liverpool at Anfield as star striker Fernando Torres has to go off injured - looks like he's pulled a groin muscle - David Ngog coming on as his replacement.

Man City goal: He's only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, but Adam Johnson makes his mark immediately. The winger collects the ball on the left, dances around a couple of defender on his way into the box, and then drives left-footed low into the far corner. Terrific strike.

1508: GOALFLASH Man City 2-1 Newcastle (A Johnson)

1506: Looks like Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is going to enter the fray soon at Eastlands... but before he does Jonas Gutierrez slaps an effort through a crowded City area after a Joey Barton free-kick is only half-cleared, Joe Hart saving comfortably.

1503: And now Liverpool go agonisingly close to an opener, Joe Cole millimetres away from forcing Fernando Torres's cross into the net inside the six-yard area. Flying start to this match.

1502: Almost a dream start for Blackpool at Liverpool. Charlie Adam lines up a free-kick 22 yards out and drills it through the wall, only for home keeper Pepe Reina to beat it away on the stretch. Cracking atmosphere at Anfield, by the way.

1500: Blackpool kick things off at Anfield.

1458: Now James Perch is down for Newcastle after being caught on the ankle by Joleon Lescott. It looks like he'll be OK to carry on, though, hopefully.

1455: Over at Anfield, the teams are coming out with around five minutes until kick-off - and I'm told that some of the Blackpool players, ahead of their warm-up, brought their cameras on to the field to take pictures of the Kop end. The Tangerines are here to enjoy the Premier League, that's for sure.

1453: There's a bit more purpose about Manchester City since Emmanuel Adebayor's introduction, and the substitute - ranging down the flanks well - almost lays it on a plate to the onrushing Carlos Tevez in the box, but Newcastle keeper Tim Krul gets down well to cut out the cross.

1449: And that's Yaya Toure's last action, Emmanuel Adebayor on to replace the midfielder. An attacking substitution from Roberto Mancini.

1448: It's still very open at Eastlands as Yaya Toure's burst leads to a chance for Carlos Tevez, the Argentine's snap-shot from the angle beaten away well by Newcastle keeper Tim Krul.

1446: Newcastle break and Shola Ameobi almost forces his way beyond the City defence and into the box, but Kolo Toure does his work well to nick the ball off the striker's toes.

1443: And step it up they do as some patient build-up ends with Joleon Lescott earning a corner... that ends with a fabulous tackle by Joey Barton to clear the danger after a surging Gareth Barry run into the box.

1441: Newcastle have picked up where they left off in this second half with a performance full of energy and running. Manchester City need to step it up here.

1438: Back at Eastlands, we are up and running. No more changes for either side, though Emmanuel Adebayor is warming up for City.

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"So Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard returns to the starting line-up in place of Lucas Leiva. The Reds have problems at left-back and Jamie Carragher will fill in in that role with Sotirios Kyrgiakos being recalled to partner Martin Skrtel in central defence. Martin Kelly played at left-back against Utrecht in midweek but drops to the bench. Blackpool make two changes as striker Luke Varney and midfielder Elliot Grandin replace Marlon Harewood and Brett Ormerod."

Reina, Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Carragher, Poulsen, Meireles, Kuyt, Gerrard, Cole, Torres. Subs: Jones, Jovanovic, Maxi, Lucas, Ngog, Spearing, Kelly.
Blackpool: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Vaughan, Adam, Campbell, Grandin, Varney, Taylor-Fletcher. Subs: Halstead, Southern, Harewood, Ormerod, Sylvestre, Phillips, Keinan.
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)

evanpritchard on Twitter: "Newcastle losing players troubles me more than losing points."

Mandeep Sanghera reports:
"We go into this game with Liverpool sat third-from-bottom of the Premier League and Blackpool two places above them. 'Transition', 'work-in-progress', 'patience' are all phrases which have been associated with the Reds as manager Roy Hodgson tries to get his side into some kind of form. But, none of those words will be any consolation if things do not go for them against Blackpool. The Seasiders last played at Anfield in January 1971 when they drew 2-2 and boss Ian Holloway says they have to prove they are not the 'winnable match' they are take for on paper."

Whos_The_Daddy68 on 606: "The way Utd and now City have played this weekend shows just how hard it is for players to recover from gruelling midweek European games."

1427: A couple of you, by the way, have given me some stick for referring to Nigel de Jong's tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa as a "classic reducer" earlier. Two things - one, I wrote that having seen the tackle once, before it became apparent Ben Arfa was seriously injured, and I certainly did not mean it in any way as condoning the challenge. I meant it purely as a reference to the increasing trend of hard, early tackles that are apparent in today's game. Having seen it again, I can confirm it was indeed a horrid challenge - even worse than I first thought. So I've taken that reference out. Cheers.

Half time
1423: HALF-TIME Man City 1-1 Newcastle
Phil Dawkes' HT snap-shot:
"Despite losing Hatem Ben Arfa to a serious injury in the opening five minutes, Newcastle have been the better side at Eastlands - and City leave the field to boos."

1422: Jerome Boateng bustles his way into space some 25 yards from the Newcastle goal, but his slapped shot is never troubling the goal as it drifts wide.

1419: With five minutes of first-half stoppage time being played, Jonas Gutierrez attempts to feed Cheik Tiote on the egde of the City box, but Vincent Kompany gets out just in time to clear.

1416: A minute of normal time to go in this half and it's been high-octane stuff and no mistake. Newcastle still shading it - just - for my money.

Yellow card
1413: Carlos Tevez becomes the fifth player to go into the referee's book for a clumsy challenge on Newcastle keeper Tim Krul.

1411: Infostrada Sports tell us Sol Campbell becomes only the second player (after Ryan Giggs) to play in every Premier League season. The only other player who can do this is David James - though he needs to join a PL club this season first. On the field at Eastlands, it's a rare period of calm amidst a furious - in more ways than one - first half.

1408: Summer signing Sol Campbell comes on for his league Newcastle debut in place of the injured Fabricio Coloccini.

1406: Newcastle are going to pay the price for this high line of defence sooner rather than later if things continues like this. For all the visitors' dominance, it could all have been undone when James Milner sends Gareth Barry clean through on goal with the Toon defence up by the halfway line. The England midfielder takes far too long, though, and when in the end he opts to cross it is cleared by the backtracking defenders.

1404: According to ESPN, Newcastle have enjoyed 84% of possession in the last five minutes... and still the best chance of the period falls to Manchester City as David Silva gets clear on the left on the byeline, but his cross is brilliantly headed clear by a Magpies defender. It looks, by the way, as if Sol Campbell is readying himself for an introduction in place of Fabricio Coloccini, who is struggling with an injury.

pitroddieloon on 606: "It's pretty safe to say that De Jong and the referee has turned every single neutral here into die hard Newcastle fans. Spicy."

1400: James Milner continues to be heavily involved for City, mind, and he goes close with a low 20-yarder that zips wide.

1359: Newcastle have the bit firmly between their teeth now and all of a sudden this match is being played at 100mph.

Yellow card
1357: Kolo Toure is the first City player into the book for a cynical ankle tap of goalscorer Jonas Gutierrez. Newcastle defender Mike Williamson, by the way, was booked after conceding that penalty earlier.

Newcastle goal: Boom. Jonas Gutierrez smashes Newcastle back level, following up on his own half-cleared cross to drill into the roof of the net from 12 yards and we have a right royal tussle on our hands at Eastlands now.

1355: GOALFLASH Man City 1-1 Newcastle (Gutierrez)

1354: Newcastle are still in this, though, and defender Fabricio Coloccini almost pulls a rabbit out of the hat with a dipping long-ranger that forces Joe Hart into a fine save on the stretch, the City keeper tipping the ball around the post. The corner comes to nothing.

1352: It could be two straight away as James Milner breaks free - for the umpteenth time already - but his ball across the six-yard box fails to find Carlos Tevez, who had checked his run.

Man City goal: Referee Martin Atkinson has got that wrong, for me. Carlos Tevez looks to break free on goal but he tumbles over the sliding challenge of the back-tracking Mike Williamson and a penalty is given. Looked to me like the Newcastle man got something on the ball, though. Either way, Tevez shows no mercy in smashing the penalty home.

1349: GOALFLASH Man City 1-0 Newcastle (Tevez pen)


1345: Another encouraging City move peeters out when James Milner fails to get substantial contact on a deep cross at the back post. Confirmation from pitch-side that Hatem Ben Arfa has a suspected left leg break. Deary me.

1344: The visitors are defending so high at the moment, you can bet City will be looking for the ball over the top towards the likes of Carlos Tevez, David Silva and James Milner time and again.

1342: A nice interchange of passes ends with James Milner - booed by the Newcastle fans - released down the left but his cross is overhit. Joey Barton - booed by the City fans - completes the clearance.

Luxinho on 606: "Very surprised that went unpunished. Gotta feel sorry for the lad."

1338: According to the TV peeps, some replays have been held back from broadcast as they are rather upsetting. I fear that means a broken leg for Hatem Ben Arfa. Heartbreak. On comes Wayne Routledge as his replacement, but what a horrid way to start proceedings.

1336: Actually, this doesn't look too good for Ben Arfa. It looks on the replays like De Jong gets the ball but then sweeps his right foot round to sweep the Frenchman's standing leg - it doesn't look good. The stretcher is on and the winger remains down, receiving oxygen. De Jong can consider himself lucky to have got away with that.

1334: A few early tackles flying in, and Nigel de Jong has just gone crunching in on new Newcastle favourite Hatem Ben Arfa. Lay off him Nige, I've been looking forward to watching the 'new David Ginola'.

1331: Newcastle get us up and running.

Julian at Eastlands via text: "An ideal opportunity for us to shake the 'typical City' tag... However, I'm awaiting an Ameobi hat-trick. Or a last minute Barton penalty winner."

Moobabe on 606: "£300 million pounds to play three defensive midfielders... should be another enthralling game at Eastlands."

1328: Right, plenty of time for more Liverpool-Blackpool and Chelsea-Arsenal chat later, for now let's concentrate on proceedings at Eastlands shall we? It has been shelting it down in Manchester for hours, but the playing surface looks really rather dreamy. Despite Mancini's safety-first preference, I'm tipping a barn-stormer today. And, I think I'm right in saying, I have never ever been wrong in my life. So that's all good.

i_bets on Twitter: "On paper Man City should win, but this has been a season of shock results, so would not surprise me if Newcastle win today."

1324: Man City manager Roberto Mancini: "We must think only of this game because it will be difficult. I'm happy with how the season has gone. I have only one problem, which is player injuries. Balotelli, Kolarov and Bridge are injured but for everything else I'm happy." Newcastle boss Chris Hughton: "Ours' is a very competitive squad. Shola did exceptionally well at Chelsea and he has been excellent in training. We have competition with places and sometimes you have to reward players. We've done well away from home recently. There is no tougher place to come than here but we have to put ourselves in a position to get something."

det66 on Twitter: "RE mrcann's tweet - that's what Spurs fans said for years."

1319: Before we switch focus to Man City-Newcastle, then, let's have a look at Infostrada Sports' Euro Club Index to see what they make of today's fixtures. They have it thus:
Man City win 64% Newcastle win 12%
Liverpool win 81% Blackpool 5%
Chelsea win 59% Arsenal 15%
And no, I still haven't been able to get my head around it really. If you want things a little less mathematical and a little more speculative, check out Lawro's predictions for today's games maybe? Or, just have a go yourself. Happy days.

Sam via text: "Arsenal are being run very successfully as a business. But who wants to support a business?"

1314: And what about the Liverpool-Blackpool match later? Heady days indeed for Blackpool, surely everybody's favourite 'second' team in the Premier League these days, who surely have a lot less to lose with a defeat today than Liverpool. Still, while the Reds are enduring their worst start to a top-flight season since 1953, a win today would see them jump right up to 10th and only a few points off the front-runners at the top of the table. Much focus, either way, could come off the pitch, though, with another protest against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett expected. I'll keep you posted on that.

mrcann on Twitter: "It really bugs me how the media bang on about Arsenal not winning trophies, it would be nice, but I'd rather see sexy football."

Phil Dawkes reports:
"There are at least 121m reasons why Manchester City are favourites to take all three points from this match. They may have made a record loss off the field, but on it they are beginning to produce the kind of results their huge financial outlay demands. Newcastle used to be big cash splashers themselves in this league but they are a far more frugal outfit these days. United have made an inconsistent start to their first season back in the top flight, but their best results have come against teams considered to be their superiors - so all to play for then."

ClockEndPete on 606: "I can't accept Wenger is under pressure to keep his job, even if we are beat today. He hasn't only transformed Arsenal FC, he has been a major factor in making the PL as good as it is. I don't believe there is a manager out there that could have done as good a job as him over the last five years."

IanCecil on Twitter: "An opportunity today for Man City to display their top four credentials. But it will not be easy at all!"

1304: I wonder, too, if Sven-Goran Eriksson will be casting half a glance at today's match at Eastlands? Confirmed as the new manager of Leicester City today, the former City boss has had a rather odd journey since the heady days of England and Eastlands hasn't he? Check out Paul Fletcher's blog to refresh the memory.

1301: There will be a few familiar faces for opposition fans of both teams at Eastlands today, then. I dare say James Milner and Shay Given will get decent receptions from the Newcastle faithful, but what about City fans' welcome of Joey Barton? Not the happiest of hunting grounds for the midfielder, this, having been booed on his return in 2009 before leaving the field with a broken foot. He might be one to keep an eye on today.

Dan on 606: "I'm so sick of people talking about the title race being "over" so early in the season. Chelsea could be 12 points clear and it wouldn't be over by a long shot."

Phil Dawkes reports: "Manchester City
make four changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Juventus in the Europa League on Thursday. In midfield, Nigel De Jong and James Milner replace Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson, in attack David Silva replaces Emmanuel Adebayor, and in defence Joleon Lescott is in for the injured Pablo Zabaleta. Newcastle make two changes - both tactical - to the side that lost 2-1 at home to Stoke last weekend. Andy Carroll, who is reportedly set to earn an England call on Monday, is dropped to the bench, with Shola Ameobi leading the line on his own. Wayne Routledge is also amongst the subs, with Jonas Gutierrez starting."

Floorless on Twitter: "What a day of football! Come full time, Chelsea to be five points clear & Man City in 2nd place on 14. Blackpool to also win??"

Alex Batt via text: "Wenger is not under threat. Without him Arsenal would be nothing. He's a hero here."

TheSportsDirector on 606: "Sorry to be hasty but the title could be decided today. Chelsea win, it's game over to be honest."

Man City:
Hart, Boateng, Toure, Kompany, Lescott, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Toure Yaya, Milner, Tevez. Subs: Given, Adebayor, Adam Johnson, Santa Cruz, Vieira, Jo, Boyata.
Newcastle: Krul, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ben Arfa, Nolan, Tiote, Barton, Gutierrez, Ameobi. Subs: Soderberg, Campbell, Carroll, Routledge, Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor, Smith.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

OptaJoe on Twitter: "Manchester City have never lost a Premier League home game in October to a non 'Big-Four' side. Fortress."

striker Andy Carroll is left on the bench v Man City.

Bonus_mosher on Twitter: "The thing is, Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal is not as unthinkable as it once was. We should be winning more than 0 trophies."

United6060 on 606: "Huge day as a United fan, ideally City and Chelsea will slip up. Rooting for an Arsenal win so we will in fact have closed the gap."

1243: So, five weekends into the Premier League season, and we're already talking massive matches - for all the teams involved. The potentially key match between title hopefuls Chelsea and Arsenal rounds off our Super Sunday, but before that another couple of potential crackers. Man City v Newcastle gets us up and running, with the former looking to press their own title claims, with Liverpool v Blackpool providing the meat in our Sunday sandwich, a meeting unexpectedly involving two teams currently residing in the Premier League's bottom five. Quite simply, a terrific trio. Excited?

keeper9 on Twitter: "Never thought I'd hear the day when Blackpool would be part of Super Sunday."

Shan on 606: "Arsene Wenger trusted players such as Diaby, Song, Nasri, Rosicky, Eboue like no one else.. Now it IS the time for them to deliver.. Can they do it?"

1239: Why don't you take over here folks? Tweet me @sampatricklyon , get chatting over on 606, or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). I have a feeling you might have a few thoughts to lend.

1234: Apparently - and unbelievably - he can. Arsene Wenger's failure to lead Arsenal to a trophy in the last five years is starting to rankle with a few supporters with some (...of my mates down the pub) claiming the clock is ticking. How big, then, is today's game against Chelsea? Win and Arsenal's title challenge is well and truly ignited. Lose... and...

1230: Fourteen years and two days ago, Arsene Wenger took over as manager of Arsenal. He has gone on to win three league titles and four FA Cups, fall just short of the 2006 Champions League, reinvent the north Londoners as one of football's finest exponents of the beautiful game, and been hailed by many as the most important boss in the club's history. So he can't really be under pressure... can he?

Print Sponsor

Premier League results

3 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 3 Oct 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 7 21 18
2 Man City 7 6 14
3 Man Utd 7 7 13
4 Arsenal 7 7 11
5 Tottenham 7 2 11
6 West Brom 7 -3 11
7 Stoke 7 -1 10
8 Aston Villa 7 -3 10
9 Blackpool 7 -4 10
10 Fulham 7 1 9
11 Sunderland 7 0 8
12 Bolton 7 -1 8
13 Blackburn 7 -1 8
14 Wigan 7 -9 8
15 Newcastle 7 0 7
16 Birmingham 7 -3 7
17 Everton 7 -1 6
18 Liverpool 7 -4 6
19 Wolves 7 -5 5
20 West Ham 7 -9 5

see also
Sunday's football photos
03 Oct 10 |  Football

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites