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By Sam Lyon
2235: And I make that wrap o'clock ladies and gentlemen. With 19 goals, a couple of red cards and a hatful of chances across the eight Premier League games alone, I reckon we might have even surpassed ourselves tonight. At the end of the day, Chelsea go four points clear at the top of the table, United, Arsenal and Man City stay in the top-four mix, six teams sit on 16 points behind Newcastle despite the Toon's defeat, and it's pretty much as you were down the bottom despite some battling performances and late drama. Tune in to Match of the Day at 2245 GMT on BBC One now won't you. Anyway, I say we go again on Saturday, what do we reckon? Oh ho yes. Join
for that, and I'll bid you adieu. Adios amigos.
Brad in Accrington via text: "Amazing to see six teams on 16 points and only one win separating 6th from 16th. The mid-table jostling has got to be the most fascinating bit of the league."
2230: Blackpool boss Ian Holloway: "Who can tell me what my best team is, I'm the only man who knows that and I picked my best team to try and beat Aston Villa. I put three internationals into that team. We were brilliant and how we got beat I don't know."
doctorbala on Twitter:
"Don't want to sound like Alan Hansen here, but why isnt anyone praising the amazing defences on both Manchester teams? Toure and Vidic especially."
AndySzpuk on Twitter:
"Glorious return to St James' for Big Sam! Let all the knockers and the doubters see this and eat their words. Real Madrid awaits..."
2226: Newcastle manager Chris Hughton: "We didn't deserve to lose, but we added to our downfall."
2225: Man City boss Roberto Mancini: "For us and for them it was most important not to lose. They are a strong team and defend very well and there weren't many chances to score. I think this proves City are at the same level as United at the moment." And Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "There was too much tension in the build-up for it to be as open as some people wanted, but I thought we controlled the game quite well, though we didn't really create many chances and that's disappointing. City set their stall out not to lose."
2224: West Ham manager Avram Grant: "We deserved to win, especially in the second half because we dominated. The spirit of team is very good, it's more frustrating that we're bottom of the league but the spirit is good."
2223: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti: "It was hard because we had a lot of chances and we didn't score. Our game was good. We have to stay focused and look forward. There is a gap (at the top of the league), but nothing is decided." Fulham boss Mark Hughes: "I'm not worried after seeing a performance like that. But obviously we would like to see more wins on the board."
2222: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "Lukas Fabianski responded with a great performance today. I know he has the talent, but mentally it shows he has the strength to do it." Wolves boss Mick McCarthy: "The man of the match has got to be their goalkeeper. He was hopeless for the goal on Sunday against Newcastle and cost them the game, but tonight he has justified Wenger's faith in him."
2220: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez on his side's 1-1 draw with Liverpool: "I'm really pleased with our performance. I felt some of our play was magnificent. I was extremely proud of our performance in the second half." And Roy Hodgson's reply: "I thought we started well and finished well but I thought there was a long period in between when we were not as good as we can be. 1-1 was probably all we deserved."
EVERTON 1-1 BOLTON Les Roopanarine reports: "Frustration, dejection and finally elation - Everton ran the full gamur of footballing emotions this evening, Bolton will feel hard done by."
ASTON VILLA 3-2 BLACKPOOL Catherine Etoe reports: "Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is one relieved man as his team score at the death to secure their first league win at Villa Park since August."
NEWCASTLE 1-2 BLACKBURN Saj Chowdhury
reports: "Newcastle paid the price for two defensive errors on what was a sweet return to St James' Park for former boss Sam Allardyce."
WEST HAM 2-2 WEST BROM Julian Shea reports: "West Ham pay the price for failing to hold their nerve and the lead as West Brom battle back for a share of the points."
CHELSEA 1-0 FULHAM Phil Dawkes reports: "Michael Essien produced a classic hero-to-villain display as Chelsea narrowly but deservedly beat west London rivals Fulham to extend their Premier League lead."
WOLVES 0-2 ARSENAL Ian Hughes reports: "Arsenal arrest a run of poor form, but only just. A brave Wolves side were undone by strikes at the start and the end of the game, and by the failure to take their chances."
PanasonicVieira on 606:
"The time wasting substitution at the end summed up the negativity of Mancini. He was scared to lose. Not that United exactly worked Hart that hard themselves."
Football League Macca: "Just one final result to bring you from the Championship, with Cardiff and Reading playing out a draw at the Madejski Stadium, leaving the Welsh side one point off top spot in the table."
2200: All right, so the game with the big build-up was the game that failed to deliver, but my oh my there was incident aplenty elsewhere no? Chelsea were their usual clinical self, Villa and Blackburn left it late to win, Everton left it late to draw, Arsenal continued their remarkable streak against Wolves, and West Brom and Wigan fought back for creditable draws. You can't say fairer than that can you???
Will Bone via text: "Lukas Fabianski world class tonight. Won the game with his save seconds before our 2nd! Big win for the Arsenal."
Wazza v3 on 606:
"We're drawing too many but I'm fairly happy with the point. If City had come out and played a bit it might have been a decent game."
2155: FULL-TIME Man City 0-0 Man Utd
2153: FULL-TIME Everton 1-1 Bolton
2153: A bit more huff and puff at Eastlands from both sides, but still neither side looking good for a winner.
Everton goal: It's virtually the last kick of the game - and what a time to grab your first Premier League goal. Leighton Baines wins the ball back by the left touchline and lays it to Jermaine Beckford, who turns in the box and plants a beauty in the top far corner. Stunning strike, draw snatched.
2151: GOALFLASH Everton 1-1 Bolton (Beckford)
2150: Super block from Kolo Toure, the Manchester City defender laying his body on the line to stop a goal-bound Javier Hernandez shot from the angle. We'll have four minutes of injury time.
2148: It's not so much that neither side deserves to lose at Eastlands - I'd say that neither side really deserves to win. Not that that counts for anything at all in the grand scheme of things of course.
2146: Decent chance for City at Eastlands, the ball falling to Pablo Zabaleta unexpectedly but the hosts' utility man slams well over left-footed.
Football League Macca: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Championship top scorer Jay Bothroyd has cometh to the rescue for Cardiff at the Madejski. He's levelled things up at 1-1. Just over 10 minutes to go there. Steve Howard is the man at Leicester as he grabs a late draw for Sven's men with a 90th-minute penalty. Finished 2-2 there. No late drama for Swansea as they lose 1-0 at home to Bristol C."
Everton red card: Referee Phil Dowd has little choice there, to be fair - Marouane Fellaini, unhappy with the challenge from Paul Robinson, kicks out at the Bolton defender with two feet on the floor and gets his marching orders soon after.
2143: RED CARD EVERTON (Fellaini)
2142: FULL-TIME Newcastle 1-2 Blackburn
2140: FULL-TIME Aston Villa 3-2 Blackpool
2140: In a game completely devoid of tempo, Manchester City send on Adam Johnson and Manchester United call Javier Hernandez off the bench for the closing stages as they both look for a winner. Neither side deserves the three points really.
2139: FULL-TIME Wigan 1-1 Liverpool
2139: FULL-TIME Wolves 0-2 Arsenal
2138: FULL-TIME West Ham 2-2 West Brom
2137: FULL-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Fulham
Bolton goal: Bolton break the deadlock at Goodison Park courtesy of a lightning counter-attack which culminates with substitute Ivan Klasnic turning in Matt Taylor's far-post cross.
2137: GOALFLASH Everton 0-1 Bolton (Klasnic)
JPT Macca: "It's all over at Hillsborough and Sheff Wed move into the semi-finals of the northern section of the JPT after seeing off Hartlepool 4-1. Neil Mellor is their hat-trick hero, while Gary Teele added a fourth to seal the win."
Chelsea red card: It doesn't look pretty and Michael Essien gets his marching orders, the Ghanaian going in two-footed on Clint Dempsey and, despite winning the ball, it did look dangerous.
2136: RED CARD CHELSEA (Essien)
2135: Matt Taylor shudders the Everton bar with a header from a Bolton corner, so close for the visitors. Would've been against the run of play, that.
Arsenal goal: Moments after Christophe Berra forces a fine low save with a firm effort from range, Marouane Chamakh breaks free of the Wolves defence to wrap it up in the dying minutes. The hosts' brave resolve finally broken.
2134: GOALFLASH Wolves 0-2 Arsenal (Chamakh)
Aston Villa goal: Complete roller-coaster at Villa Park. Blackpool's parity lasts just two minutes, James Collins heading in firmly from a corner. Heartbreak for Blackpool.
2132: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 3-2 Blackpool (Collins)
2131: Four minutes of stoppage time at Stamford Bridge.
Blackpool goal: There's no small element of luck about it but Blackpool will feel it's no less than their endeavour deserves, DJ Campbell showing twinkle toes on the edge of the Villa box before slamming goalwards, the ball looping up off a defender and into the net.
2130: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 2-2 Blackpool (DJ Campbell)
2129: Wolves still probing away in search of an equaliser and Kevin Doyle, on the back of a neat run into the box, curls just wide of the far post.
Blackburn goal: Jason Roberts might have just won it for Big Sam's boys, beating Newcastle defender Mike Williamson to a ball in the air and running through to clip past the onrushing Tim Krul.
2128: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-2 Blackburn (Roberts)
2125: Chelsea almost made to rue their profligacy as Fulham substitute Zoltan Gera rifles a shot from the edge of the area - Petr Cech saving superbly. This isn't over just yet.
Chief football writer Phil McNulty
at Eastlands: "Manchester United still dominating possession and City struggling to find any way through. The sight of Adam Johnson warming up brought huge cheers at Eastlands."
2122: Liverpool inches away from the lead again, Steven Gerrard running on to Maxi Rodriguez's ball and he's through - only to see his rising shot from the angle crash back off the crossbar.
2121: Ian Holloway has brought leading scorer Charlie Adam into the fray and the midfielder almost scores immediately, his whipped free-kick forcing Brad Friedel into action but the ball goes out for a corner. Blackpool are on the back foot but not giving up. Marlon Harewood goes off to applause, with DJ Campbell coming on in his place.
2120: Scramble from an Arsenal corner and the ball falls perfectly for Johan Djourou - but the defender's snap-shot is somehow deflected away from goal by Karl Henry. Wolves breathe again.
2116: A rare shot on goal at Eastlands as Dimitar Berbatov launches an acrobatic volley from Wes Brown's cross - but it's straight at Joe Hart. Carlos Tevez bounces up the other end and fires straight at Edwin van der Sar, but the tempo of this match really is... so... slow...
2115: Chelsea should really be out of sight now. A mixture of Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer and further wasteful finishing are the reasons why they are not. Firstly, Schwarzer saves point blank from Florent Malouda following a corner, and then he palms away Jon Mikel Obi's 30-yard drive. The keeper would have been powerless to prevent Michael Essien's resulting close-range effort from a Branislav Ivanovic cross, but fortuntely for the visitors it was directed wide.
West Brom goal: The Baggies are back level - and it's all thanks to a supreme cross from Chris Brunt, his left-footed effort falling right on the head of Pablo Ibanez at the back post, the defender crashing in his header.
2114: GOALFLASH West Ham 2-2 West Brom (Ibanez)
2112: Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is fuming at referee Michael Jones for not brandishing a red card to Cheik Tiote after the midfielder, already on a booking, flies into another reckless challenge. Nothing doing.
2109: I tell how I'll guarantee a goal at the Eastlands - presuming you want one? - this has 0-0 written all over it right now. Both teams are defending deep and in numbers - and it's no surprise that Carlos Tevez, on his latest surge forward, runs out of space and support as United clear easily. Wes Brown comes on for Rafael da Silva.
2107: How is that not 3-1 to West Ham? Pablo Barrera picks up the ball on the left, cuts inside and plays the ball to Kieron Dyer whose deft touch tees the ball up perfectly for Frederic Piquionne, but the Frenchman can only drag his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.
2105: So close to a second for Arsenal, who have struggled a touch this half, Andrey Arshavin cutting inside and lashing a venomous strike against the foot of the post from 18 yards.
Aston Villa goal: He's not to be denied this time, Nathan Delfouneso - onside - running on to Ashley Young's through-ball and slotting into the corner of the Blackpool goal.
2103: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 2-1 Blackpool (Delfouneso)
2102: Villa are denied a goal by referee Anthony Taylor. Nathan Delfouneso heads the ball into the Blackpool net but he is judged to have leant on Blackpool defender Dekel Keinan's shoulder and the goal is ruled out. Villa are looking the likelier to score after the break. Gerard Houllier's half-time chat has clearly worked wonders.
2101: Salomon Kalou with another chance for Chelsea. The Ivorian dances past Matthew Briggs and Brede Hangeland and into the box but his goalbound shot loses power via a flick off Mark Schwarzer's boot before being cleared away from the line by Aaron Hughes.
Football League Macca: "All three games are back under way in the Championship. As it stands we're headed for a coupon-buster of an evening as all three games are going against the form. Reading lead Cardiff 1-0, Swansea trail at home to Bristol C by the single goal and Sheff Utd have come from behind to lead 2-1 at Leicester. Plenty of time for turnarounds though."
2059: Wolves twice come close to equalising as Kevin Doyle's chip is tipped over the bar by Lukasz Fabianski and, from the resulting corner, Richard Stearman's goalbound effort is cleared off the line by Tomas Rosicky. Wolves well on top at the moment.
2058: Not nice from Joey Barton, the Newcastle midfielder - off the ball - pushing Morten Gamst Pedersen to the ground. Not spotted by referee Michael Jones, will the FA look back at that?
2057: HALF-TIME Everton 0-0 Bolton Les Roopanarine's HT snap-shot: "Restricting Bolton to a single early chance for Johan Elmander, Everton have dominated possession, fashioning decent openings for Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini - but their attack remains blunter than a Les Dawson jokebook."
Wigan goal: The hosts draw level. Ronnie Stam whips in a cross from the right which keeper Pepe Reina can only palm to Hugo Rodallega, who lashes in a left-foot shot from 10 yards.
Newcastle goal: Simple as you like for Newcastle as Joey Barton swings in a free-kick and Andy Carroll - who else? - slams a header home unmarked from eight yards out. Big Sam won't like the marking on that one little bit.
2054: GOALFLASH Wigan 1-1 Liverpool (Rodallega)
West Ham goal: Kieron Dyer is bundled over in the box by Gabriel Tamas - it's more clear-cut than the Baggies' first-half penalty award - and Frederic Piquionne slams in the penalty.
2053: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-1 Blackburn (Carroll)
2052: GOALFLASH West Ham 2-1 West Brom (Piquionne pen)
2052: PENALTY TO WEST HAM
2051: HALF-TIME Man City 0-0 Man Utd Chief football writer Phil McNulty's
HT snap-shot: "Cagey stuff at Eastlands with barely a chance worthy of the name. United look more comfortable in possession and City's Carlos Tevez - one free-kick apart - has been kept quiet. Remember I asked whether the game would match the build up? Well it hasn't."
2050: Let-off for Wolves as Cesc Fabregas gets on to the end of Tomas Rosicky's pass but, from just outside the area, clips wide with just the keeper to beat.
2049: Half time at Eastlands and Goodison Park.
JPT Macca: "It looks like Sheff Weds fans will be painting the town blue and white tonight. It's not Neil Mellor on the scoresheet for once, but it is Gary Teale and the Owls are 4-1 up against the Pools in the JPT."
2048: All the 1945 kick-offs back under way.
2046: Back under way at Molineux - and almost a repeat of the first minute, only this time Wolves are on the attack. Jack Wilshere's slip lets in Matt Jarvis and his cross is almost bundled in by Nenad Milijas but Bacary Sagna is there to make a magnificent block.
2045: Unlikely sporting combos #396. England coach Fabio Capello is at Eastlands sat next to, and deep in conversation with, the world's number one golfer Lee Westwood. The Italian really getting into the swing of things. Ahem.
2043: We have the first booking of the match at Eastlands - and Paul Scholes is the man to have his name taken after a series of niggly fouls. That's his fifth of the season so he will miss Saturday's game at Aston Villa.
2041: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Fulham Phil Dawkes's HT snap-shot: "Pre-goal, Chelsea - cautious and sloppy, post-goal - dominant. Salomon Kalou's wastefulness the only thing that has kept Fulham in this."
JPT Macca: "We're off and running in the second half at Sheff Wed and Neil Mellor has completed his hat-trick three minutes in. He does so from the spot after Gary Liddle brought him down. They may rename it the Mellor hat-trick: one inside the box, one outside the box, one from the spot. Whatever. It's Sheff Wed 3-1 Hartlepool."
2038: HALF-TIME Aston Villa 1-1 Blackpool Catherine Etoe's HT snap-shot: "There is nothing in it at Villa Park after Aston Villa old boy Marlon Harewood cancels out Stewart Downing's opener to make it 1-1 at the break. Ian Holloway may have made 10 changes to his team but they look as though they have played the entire campaign together."
2038: And another chance soon after for Everton, who are starting to turn the screw, Marouane Fellaini blazing over on the volley when well placed just to the left of goal eight yards out.
2037: Everton almost break the deadlock from Mikel Arteta's corner, Louis Saha powering a header goalward only for Chung-Yong Lee to clear off the line. Best chance so far.
2036: HALF-TIME West Ham 1-1 West Brom Julian Shea's HT snap-shot: "A tepid game until Luis Boa Morte's needless push gifted Peter Odemwingie a penalty to put West Brom ahead, then Scott Parker's screamer of an equaliser levelled things."
2036: The closest we've come to an opener at Eastlands - and of course it's Carlos Tevez, the Argentine curling a free-kick 22 yards out towards the top corner and Edwin van der Sar doing well to claw it away.
2035: HALF-TIME Newcastle 0-1 Blackburn Saj Chowdhury's
HT snap-shot: "Blackburn are winning every first and second ball and have showed great spirit. Newcastle haven't turned up yet."
2034: HALF-TIME Wigan 0-1 Liverpool Mandeep Sanghera's
HT snap-shot: "Liverpool took their foot off the pedal after a bright start but are having to endure a few scares as Wigan try to fightback."
2033: Last incident of the first half at Upton Park, and nearly a second for West Ham - Luis Boa Morte barges through two challenges on the edge of the box and hits a left-foot effort which Scott Carson stands up to and pushes away. Boa Morte almost made amends for giving away the penalty there.
2033: HALF-TIME Wolves 0-1 Arsenal Ian Hughes's HT snap-shot: "Arsenal stunned Wolves with a goal after only 37 seconds and should have added to it, but Mick McCarthy's men showed signs of a recovery towards the end of the half that leaves the result far from a foregone conclusion."
Football League Macca: "Mark Yeates has a second of the game and Sheff Utd, on a run of three losses in a row, have poked their noses in front at Leicester, who have won three straight. Work that one out. It's a screamer as well."
2032: The half-times rolling in around the 1945 kick-offs now.
Blackpool goal: It's fair to say he enjoyed that. Marlon Harewood, back on his old stomping ground, latches on to a delicate back heel from the excellent Matt Phillips before settling himself and planting the ball into the far left corner.
2030: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 1-1 Blackpool (Harewood)
West Ham goal: Pick that out. Carlton Cole does well to hold it up and lay it to Scott Parker who rifles an absolutely unstoppable shot into the top corner. What a way to mark his 100th Hammers appearance.
2029: GOALFLASH West Ham 1-1 West Brom (Parker)
2029: A series of Bolton corners seems to have sparked Everton into life, with Louis Saha and Tim Cahill testing Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen twice in quick succession.
2028: All Newcastle's good work from the last three matches evaporated in the first three minutes and since then they've looked sloppy. Blackburn look disciplined and keeper Paul Robinson has not been tested yet.
2027: It should be 2-0 to Chelsea. Florent Malouda crosses from the right and Salomon Kalou fluffs his first-time shot wide from 10 yards. Minutes later he held of Matthew Briggs and powered into the box but shot just inches wide of the far post.
2026: It's real end to end stuff at Villa Park. Marc Albrighton almost made it 2-0 with a half-volley from close range but Richard Kingson palmed the ball away. Within seconds, Brett Ormerod picked out Marlon Harewood but the forward was unable to beat Brad Friedel.
West Brom goal: Big talking point at Upton Park. No-one appeals and few know he's even given it, but referee Mike Dean gives a penalty against Luis Boa Morte for holding Steven Reid in the area from a corner. Peter Odemwingie ignores the protest and sends Rob Green the wrong way from the spot.
2025: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-1 West Brom (Odemwingie pen)
2024: PENALTY TO WEST BROM
2023: A Wolves cross from the left is deflected by Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci and keeper Lukasz Fabianski has to scramble across his goal to claw the ball away from Stephen Hunt. Wolves forcing their way back into the game now.
2022: First genuine opening at Eastlands and it's United who produce a lovely passing move to cut through the City defence - bad luck for them that the ball falls on Patrice Evra's right foot 16 yards out, the Frenchman shooting straight at Joe Hart.
JPT Macca: "It's HT in the JPT at Hillsborough but not before Hartlepool get themselves back in the tie when Uruguyuan Fabian Yantorno gets his first goal for the club. It's 2-1 to Sheff Wed, but very much game on."
Football League Macca: "Some joy for under-pressure Blades boss Gary Speed as on-loan winger Andy Reid sets up Mark Yeates to level matters at Leicester."
2020: Wigan have the ball in the net at the DW Stadium - but it's, rightly, ruled offside. Lucas's woeful pass is cut out by Charles N'Zogbia and he slips it to Hugo Rodallega, but the striker is offside, meaning when he squares back to N'Zogbia to tap in inside the area it's all rather redundant. Wigan stepping it up against Roy Hodgson's boys, though.
2018: Manchester United are much more into the game at Eastlands, but it's all very cagey still with both teams happy to keep it tight rather than risk aggressive, attacking lines going forward. Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, meanwhile, looks like he's struggling with a leg problem after slipping in the build-up to the goal.
2017: At last something to warm the fans of the cold fans at Upton Park - Pablo Barrera's corner from the right is met cleanly by the head of Carlton Cole, but the ball goes inches over the West Brom bar. The first moment of real incident in the game so far.
Football League Macca: "It's not been the greatest of starts for the Welsh mafia in the Champo. Swansea trail and now Cardiff have slipped behind five minutes into their trip to Reading. Noel Hunt the poacher for the Royals."
Chelsea goal: Typical Chelsea - one clear chance, goal. Michael Essien ghosts into the Fulham box unmarked and heads in Salomon Kalou's near-post cross from eight yards out.
2015: GOALFLASH Chelsea 1-0 Fulham (Essien)
Aston Villa goal: Breakthrough for Villa, Stewart Downing collecting Ashley Young's cross, taking a touch, and curling into the top corner via a deflection off a Blackpool defender.
2013: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 1-0 Blackpool (Downing)
2012: First half chance for Wolves against Arsenal, Kevin Doyle's acrobatic header dipping just over the bar.
Logos on 606:
"Looks like the recent flu virus in the squad has taken a lot of the energy out of United because we aren't pressing like normal. Lack of energy from United."
2011: First flurry of excitement at Stamford Bridge and it is a 30-yard drive from the visitors' full-back Matthew Briggs, comfortably saved by Petr Cech. Jon Obi Mikel matches the youngsters effort seconds later at the other end. And relax.
2010: Half chance for Bolton's Johan Elmander at Goodison Park but his shot is well blocked by Sylvain Distin. Otherwise it's fairly quiet, Everton dominating possession.
2009: Luke Young wastes a great chance to put Villa ahead when teenager Nathan Delfouneso slips a lovely defence splitting ball into his path but the defender skies the ball over the bar.
2008: Plenty of verve and effort on show at Eastlands - and it's the hosts dominating proceedings for sure. Carlos Tevez, unsurprisingly, is right in the thick of it against his former side. No clear chances so far, though.
2007: Coming up to 20 minutes gone at Upton Park and it's all a bit tame by both sides, really. West Ham have looked positive and enthusiastic going forward but have no cutting edge, while West Brom have had a couple of shots from distance which have either been straight at the keeper or wildly off-target.
JPT Macca: "Neil Mellor is having a decent night. The Sheff Wed hot-shot has his second and they lead Hartlepool 2-0 after less than half an hour of their JPT quarter-final tie. Some would say they have a foot in the next round, others would suggest 2-0 is a dangerous scoreline. I'm quite happy over here on this fence."
2005: Arsenal closing to doubling their lead. Andrey Arshavin's pull-back finds Cesc Fabregas in the box but his shot is straight at Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves escape.
2004: West Ham have the first corner of the game but a very quick counter-attack sees the action move to the other end of the pitch, where West Brom's Jerome Thomas wastes a good chance by firing straight at keeper Robert Green.
2003: Lovely move from Liverpool involving Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard, ending with the England midfielder spooning an effort over the top from inside the area. Could have done better there.
2001: More clumsy defending from the hosts at St James' Park and the ball falls to Morten Gamst Pedersen on the egde of the area, but the Norwegian's snap-shot is deflected inches wide.
2000: And now we're under way in our 2000 GMTs at Goodison Park and Eastlands. Hold on to your hats, people.
Chief football writer Phil McNulty
at Eastlands: "Great atmosphere at Eastlands as the stadium is plunged into darkness and a Blue Moon rises on the giant screens. Red flares flash among the Manchester United supporters. Will the game match the build-up?"
1959: With City-United moments away from the start, let's hear from Sir Alex Ferguson shall we? "The last two or three days, the press have made a meal of it, but it'll be a great match," he said. "This one could affect the title now. City have taken important points off Chelsea and played well against Arsenal with 10 men too. The crucial thing for our players is to go and enjoy themselves tonight."
Football League Macca: "Sometimes I don't understand football. Swansea, fresh from beating Cardiff at the weekend, have slipped behind at home to lowly Bristol City, with Jonathan Stead doing the unlikely damage. In less surprising news Leicester are ahead against Sheff Utd thanks to Paul Gallagher."
1957: Marlon Harewood has just missed two chances in a minute to make an impact on his first return to Villa Park. His first, from Matt Phillips dangerous cross, is soft, and his second is bundled away by Richard Dunne. It's end to end stuff though and Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton draws a save from Ghana international Richard Kingson at the other end.
1956: As might have been expected, Chelsea dominating possession at Stamford Bridge, but the hosts seemingly happy to bide their time whilst Fulham undertake Operation: Shadow Chase.
Liverpool goal: Back with a bang isn't he? Steven Gerrard is the creator, curling a delicious pass behind the Wigan defence and Fernando Torres, whose first touch is sublime, crashes early into the far corner from 18 yards.
1954: GOALFLASH Wigan 0-1 Liverpool (Torres)
1953: No chances at Upton Park, but West Ham bossing it. Wolves meanwhile have made a change already - Stephen Hunt on for the injured David Edwards.
JPT Macca: "Twit-a-woo. That was on Owl by the way. Nine minutes in and Sheffield Wednesday are in front at home to Hartlepool. Neil Mellor was the scorer."
1951: Arsenal threatening a rout even in these early stages - they love playing against Wolves don't they? - as Andrey Arshavin closes down a clearance and is clean through, but keeper Marcus Hahnemann gets out to save well.
1950: Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva fires in a good shot from 20-yards but Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi does well to tip his effort over the bar.
Blackburn goal: Terrible from Cheik Tiote in the Newcastle area, the midfielder getting caught unnecessarily on the ball allowing Morten Gamst Pedersen to take a touch and slam low into the far corner.
1948: All the 1945s under way now - we were delayed at Wigan by a well respected minute's applause for John Benson.
Arsenal goal: Less than a minute gone and Arsenal are ahead already, Marouane Chamakh rising unmarked to meet Alex Song's cross and head in. What a start for the Wenger boys.
1946: GOALFLASH Wolves 0-1 Arsenal (Chamakh)
1946: And at Molineux now.
1945: Prompt start at Stamford Bridge and Villa Park.
1944: With the players emerging all round the grounds, give this page a cheeky refresh and the magic of Final Score will appear above in front of your very eyes, with Five Live to your right. Happy days.
1942: Struggling to make your predictions for this evening's games? Racking your brain with no joy? Tempted to put any old number in our match predictor tool just to see what would happen if Wolves were to beat Arsenal 17-3? Well fret no more people -
has once more put his head on the chopping block with his thoughts and, if you want a more mathematical approach, check out
Infostrada Sports' Euro Club Index?
As always, if anyone can explain the maths... Euro rankings in brackets, followed by win percentage Aston Villa (35) 71% v Blackpool (236) 9% Chelsea (4) 78% v Fulham (59) 6% Newcastle (76) 46% v Blackburn (71) 24% West Ham (138) 44% v West Brom (106) 25% Wigan (167) 21% Liverpool (10) 50% Everton (27) 63% v Bolton (99) 13% Man City (26) 24% v Man Utd (3) 46% Wolves (203) 15% v Arsenal (7) 59%
SoccerDotTel on Twitter:
"Hope Dickson Etuhu plays and scores today for one reason only: As a chant, his name fits with the Smith's 'Vicar in a Tutu'."
1938: WEST HAM v WEST BROM Julian Shea reports: "West Ham make two changes to the side who drew 2-2 at Birmingham - Victor Obinna drops to the bench and there is no place for Valon Behrami, with Kieron Dyer and Pablo Barrera the two players coming into the starting XI. West Brom ring the changes - Midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu is banned after being sent off in the 2-0 home loss against Manchester City. Peter Odemwingie starts in attack and James Morrison returns after missing two league games because of a knee problem, and Graham Dorrans is promoted from the bench, with Nicky Shorey, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Simon Cox are all named as substitutes."
alex on 606:
"RE 1930: Hats off to Ryan Giggs - magnificent stat, magnificent."
1935: Anyone wondering what Arsene Wenger had to say about Andrey Arshavin this week (see Adamharristweet below), here it is: "He has personality, Andrey. He is not scared of anybody or anywhere. He is, of course, a player who can make a decision but also a player who gives personality to the team. He understands that to survive in the Premier League, you have to be much more physical. I must say his attitude has been absolutely sensational since the start of the season." The Russian might not quite have hit his top form this season - but I'm a massive fan of the little winger. Wolves will do well to keep tabs on him this evening, says me.
Adam, Uxbridge via text: "Main Manchester clash has to be Rafael Vs. Silva. Rafael has made some rash challenges in the past and Silva is finding his feet in the Premiership, and what feet they are! Makes me nervous as a Red."
SisuBlog on Twitter:
"I get exactly what TheGreatestSportsman is saying (1920): all managers whose surname begins with 'H' need to watch out!"
1933: EVERTON v BOLTON Les Roopanarine reports: "Having made an early recovery from the hamstring injury he suffered on international duty last month, Marouane Fellaini returns to Everton's midfield. In two further changes to the Toffees side that drew 2-2 with Blackpool at the weekend, manager David Moyes hands starts to Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Louis Saha. No prizes for guessing that Bolton boss Owen Coyle sticks with the same team that beat Tottenham 4-2 on Saturday."
Twirlip on 606:
"I've been impressed by West Ham every time I've seen them play this season. So I'm predicting that they finally get the reward their work on the pitch deserves: 2-1."
1931: ASTON VILLA v BLACKPOOL Catherine Etoe reports: "Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier makes one enforced change to the side that drew to Fulham on Saturday. Defender Ciaran Clark comes in for stand-in skipper Nigel Reo-Coker, who is out with a knee injury. Ian Holloway makes an astonishing 10 changes from the Blackpool team that ran out against Everton on Saturday. Midfielder Keith Southern is the only survivor of that 2-2 draw, while six players make their first Premier League starts this season. Leading scorer Charlie Adam is on the bench."
1930: MAN CITY v MAN UTD Chief football writer Phil McNulty
reports: "Manchester City fans will be relieved lingering worries over Carlos Tevez's thigh injury have been overcome and he starts against his former club. Nani has shrugged off a knock to play for Manchester United, who have been unable to recall Ryan Giggs after injury as he misses a derby for the first time in 19 years - before tonight he had played in 33 consecutive games."
1929: NEWCASTLE v BLACKBURN Saj Chowdhury
reports: "Newcastle select the same XI that beat Arsenal, with Shola Ameobi, who was a slight worry, starting alongside Andy Carroll in attack. Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce makes three changes with Pascal Chimbonda, Junior Hoilett and Niko Kalinic in for El Hadji Diouf, Mame Biram Diouf and Benjani."
1928: CHELSEA v FULHAM Phil Dawkes reports: "Chelsea welcome midfielder Michael Essien, who has recovered from a toe injury and replaces Ramires. Didier Drogba starts despite being diagnosed with malaria this week, but there is no place for Nicolas Anelka. The only other change from the 2-0 loss at Liverpool sees Jose Bosingwa replace Alex, with Branislav Ivanovic switching to the centre of defence. Fulham hand a first league start of the season to academy graduate Matthew Briggs, who replaces the injured Carlos Salcido at left-back. Stephen Kelly replaces Chris Baird at right-back, while Damien Duff and Dickson Etuhu come into midfield in place of Zoltan Gera and Jonathan Greening.."
1927: WOLVES v ARSENAL Ian Hughes reports: "Wolves make only one change with Michael Mancienne coming in to the midfield at the expense of Stephen Hunt. Arsenal replace suspended centre-back Laurent Koscielny with Johan Djourou, while Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky start in place of Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott."
1925: WIGAN v LIVERPOOL Mandeep Sanghera
reports: "Wigan boss Roberto Martinez reshuffles his pack as he makes one enforced change from the defeat by Blackburn with midfielder Tom Cleverly coming in for suspended defender Steven Gohouri. Liverpool striker Fernando Torres starts and right-back Martin Kelly keeps his place as the Reds are unchanged from their 2-0 win over Chelsea."
1924: WEST HAM v WEST BROM West Ham: Green, Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga, Jacobsen, Dyer, Parker, Barrera, Boa Morte, Cole, Piquionne. Subs: Stech, Reid, Tomkins, Kovac, McCarthy, Spector, Obinna. West Brom: Carson, Cech, Pablo, Tamas, Morrison, Brunt, Reid, Thomas, Dorrans, Scharner, Odemwingie. Subs: Myhill, Tchoyi, Barnes, Shorey, Zuiverloon, Fortune, Cox. Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
SaggyCatCracker on 606:
"Game of the night? It has to be Everton vs. Bolton. I never thought I would say that with a straight face."
TheGreatestSportsman on 606:
"First Hodgson was under the spot light, then Hughton, and now if Villa lose today I'm sure Houllier will feel the pressure. Do you get what I'm saying?"
1918: MAN CITY v MAN UTD Man City: Hart, Boateng, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, Toure Yaya, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Milner. Subs: Given, Richards, Adebayor, Adam Johnson, Kolarov, Lescott, Vieira. Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Berbatov, Park. Subs: Amos, Brown, Smalling, Hernandez, O'Shea, Obertan, Gibson. Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
1916: ASTON VILLA v BLACKPOOL Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Clark, Bannan, Downing, Ashley Young, Delfouneso. Subs: Guzan, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Beye, Hogg, Lichaj, Johnson. Blackpool: Kingson, Basham, Edwards, Keinan, Carney, Southern, Sylvestre, Euell, Phillips, Harewood, Ormerod. Subs: Gilks, Eardley, Evatt, Grandin, Varney, Adam, Campbell. Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Adamharristweet on Twitter:
"Will Wenger's comments on his Russian winger have a positive impact this evening? Time for Arshavin to get involved!"
Mike, Liverpool via text: "Same line-up two games in a row? Hogdson really is casting off the shackles of the Benitez era..."
1911: WIGAN v LIVERPOOL Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam, Gary Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, Cleverley, Gomez, N'Zogbia, Rodallega. Subs: Kirkland, Di Santo, Watson, Boselli, Moses, Steven Caldwell, McArthur. Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky, Meireles, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Kuyt, Torres. Subs: Hansen, Jovanovic, Ngog, Spearing, Poulsen, Shelvey, Eccleston. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
Ruining on 606:
"Typical. Biggest Weds night for football in ages and it's my turn to spend the night in the loft licking the wooden beams clean and sucking the dust off all the boxes. Makes me wonder why I started this ritual... and why it's always my turn. Although, thinking about it, I am single, live alone and drink a bit too much. Tsk, just my luck."
1909: WEST BROM TEAM NEWS SNAP Peter Odemwingie starts for West Brom, who only arrived at Upton Park at 1850 due to traffic congestion.
1908: WOLVES v ARSENAL Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Foley, Stearman, Berra, Ward, Edwards, Mancienne, Henry, Milijas, Jarvis, Doyle. Subs: Hennessey, Elokobi, Mouyokolo, Hunt, Van Damme, Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher. Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Szczesny, Eboue, Nasri, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner, van Persie. Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
1907: CHELSEA v FULHAM Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Zhirkov, Kalou, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Ramires, Ferreira, Sturridge, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran. Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, Briggs, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff, Dempsey, Dembele. Subs: Stockdale, Pantsil, Andrew Johnson, Gera, Eddie Johnson, Dikgacoi, Greening. Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
1906: MAN UTD TEAM NEWS SNAP Dimitar Berbatov, Nani and Michael Carrick all start.
1905: MAN CITY TEAM NEWS SNAP Carlos Tevez starts against Manchester United.
1903: ARSENAL TEAM NEWS SNAP Johan Djourou replaces the suspended Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Gunners defence at Wolves, with Tomas Rosicky and Andrey Arshavin also starting.
1902: NEWCASTLE TEAM NEWS SNAP Shola Ameobi shakes off an injury scare to start in an unchanged Magpies XI at home to Blackburn.
1901: CHELSEA TEAM NEWS SNAP Didier Drogba and Michael Essien start.
Patrick_in_NY on 606:
"Re Lord Sugar on twitter: Has Lord Sweetypants noticed what Mr. Abramovich has achieved?"
matt1190 on Twitter:
"Off down the pub in Salford to watch the boys beat City and show them that Manchester will always be red!"
JPT Macca: "In Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern section quarter-final action - can we just call it JPTNSQFA for short? - Sheffield Wednesday host fellow League One side Hartlepool at Hillsborough. The last time these two met the Owls won 5-0 (FIVE), but I think we all know that the formbook goes out of the window when it comes to JPTNSQFA. I promise never to call it that again."
1855: Here's a little nugget on tonight Manchester derby for you from
by the way - City fans may want to look away now. Chris Foy has refereed 15 Manchester United matches in the Premier League and United are yet to be beaten with him as referee. They have won 12 and drawn three, and he was also the referee on 10 May, 2009 when United beat City 2-0.
rrengland3 on Twitter:
"Ahh, most exciting night of football in such a long time and I'm stuck going coursework for a deadline tomorrow. Arrgh!!"
Football League Macca: "Just the three games in the Championship this evening, but a very decent three games they are. Cardiff, deposed of top spot in the Championship at the weekend, can regain pole position with a win at Reading. But the Royals will be eyeing a scalp themselves, knowing three points will take them up to fifth. Swansea, meanwhile, host third-bottom Bristol City and a slightly crazy combo of results could actually see them move about Cardiff. In t'other game, Sven's rejuvenated Leicester host Gary Speed's Sheff Utd, who are in need of some major rejuvenation."
1850: MAN CITY v MAN UTD Chief football writer Phil McNulty
reports: "Another night with the "noisy neighbours" for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson at Eastlands. And high stakes for both camps. Victory for United will maintain their unbeaten Premier League sequence and keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea, not to mention City manager Roberto Mancini. City, for their part, will regard tonight as the perfect opportunity to banish even further the recent air of discontent at Eastlands and inflict a blow on their fierce rivals."
1847: CHELSEA v FULHAM Phil Dawkes reports: "Apologies to Fulham fans, but the omens are not good. The Cottagers have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1964 and have not tasted victory away from home at all in the league in 15 months, while Champions and league-leaders Chelsea have won 15 of their last 16 league home games and Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has never lost back-to-back games in the Premier League. Still, at least it's not very far."
escapehere on 606:
"I've got a (very small) bet on every Prem game being a draw tonight, just because so many of them look so hard to call and I don't have a clue who to back."
Michael, Iverness via text: "All the best to Ian Holloway and the lads tonight away to Villa, never easy to get a result at Villa Park!"
1845: EVERTON v BOLTON Les Roopanarine reports: "Everton are unbeaten in six Premier League outings, but still their ever-demanding manager, David Moyes, is unhappy. His displeasure stems from a lack of goals - just 12 in 11 games and, in particular, from a strikeforce that has scored only once all season. Yakubu and company will hope to fare better against a Bolton defence that last kept a clean sheet on the opening day, but Owen Coyle's team have lost just once in seven games, and looked mighty impressive in beating Tottenham at the weekend."
1843: NEWCASTLE v BLACKBURN Saj Chowdhury
reports: "Forget Haye v Harrison, the heavyweight fight of the week is Newcastle striker Andy Carroll v Blackburn defender Chris Samba - that first challenge will register on the Richter scale. The Magpies are in hot form, but Rovers have won their last four matches at St James' Park. Prediction: Newcastle 12th-rd KO."
1841: WIGAN v LIVERPOOL Mandeep Sanghera
reports: "Wigan boss Roberto Martinez says it is "probably the worst moment to play Liverpool" after the Merseysiders continued a return to form which has seen them win their last three league games. Wigan, by contrast, have lost two on the bounce and have garnered just two points from their last four top-flight outings. So, can Liverpool avoid suffering a hangover after their win against Chelsea and show the signs of consistency needed to challenge for a top-four spot? Or can Wigan create an upset as they try to move out of the bottom three?"
1839: ASTON VILLA v BLACKPOOL Catherine Etoe reports: "This is the first time these boys have met in the top flight since 1967 and in any fixture since 1975 and they do so with Villa winless in five in the league, as Gerard Houllier's side sit two places below Blackpool in 14th. The hosts are struggling badly for goals and the visitors have the divison's leakiest defence, so it looks like something's got to give."
1837: WEST HAM v WEST BROM Julian Shea reports: "Something's got to give at Upton Park - bottom-of-the-table West Ham's home record is one win, one draw, three defeats, and West Brom's away record is the same. Avram Grant's strugglers showed some signs of rousing themselves to life when they went 2-0 up at Birmingham on Saturday, only to the concede twice in nine minutes, while two goals in six minutes did for the Baggies at home to Manchester City. West Ham's inspirational midfielder Mark Noble is absent as he recovers from having his appendix out, while the visitors are without suspended duo Youssouf Mulumbu and Gonzalo Jara."
1834: WOLVES v ARSENAL Ian Hughes reports: "Wolves may well be thinking now is a good time to play Arsenal. The Gunners arrive at Molineux after back-to-back defeats and with manager Arsene Wenger admitting morale is low. Add to that the fact the visitors have no first-choice centre-backs available and Wolves might just fancy their chances of securing their first top-flight win over Arsenal for 31 years."
1832: Right, absolutely shedloads to get through before the action kicks off, so let's go round the grounds...
kaysho4real on Twitter:
"Man City to beat Man Utd 1-0 and Chelsea to beat Fulham. I hope Michael Essien anchors the midfield well."
1827: All in all, then, it's going to be a frantic and fascinating evening, one that can only be made better by your input. I'm sure you know the drill by now but just in case - please tweet me
@sampatricklyon, get on
or text me via 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) and I will endeavour to use the best - and possibly the worst - on this here commentary. Bootiful.
1824: And as if that wasn't enough, we've got three Championship matches and a Johnstone's Paint Trophy quarter-final as well. I KNOW. Basically, football - indeed life - doesn't get bigger than this.
1822: In total, we have eight Premier League matches this evening, and you won't want to miss a moment. Can Chelsea win
the west-London derby against Fulham
and stay atop the Premier League? Can Arsenal bounce back from two defeats with a now
customary win over Wolves
to reignite their own title push? Will
continue their resurgence, can
push into the top four, who will emerge victorious in the form-clash between
Everton and Bolton?
And, most importantly of all, will
'Ollie' the Blackpool Octopus
pick up where cousin Paul left off and prove itself a worthy successor to the psychic cephalopod? Massive issues on a massive night of football.
1819: Yep, it's
that's being billed as
the biggest for years,
and anyone interested in where the balance of power in Manchester lies in the 2010-11 season might want to keep an eye on this one. If City win, they draw themselves level with United and primed for an assault on the very highest echelons of the Premier League. Lose, and the phrase "money can't buy success" will undoubtedly get its now almost weekly run out in the press. In short, it's big. And the best part is... that's only the tip of our footballing iceberg tonight...
1815: In 24 years in charge of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has only once seen his side finish below rivals City in the league. On the road to 35 major honours, the Scot has presided over 33 derbies, winning 18 and losing only six, and watched on as City have fluctuated between leagues, racked up 14 different managers, and generally had to settle for being United's poor relations.
They say good things come to those who wait - and some are sensing a turning of the tide in Manchester. Where's ya money?
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