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Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday football as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

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By Chris Bevan

2006: And that is where I bid you farewell. Make sure you tune in to Match of the Day on BBC One and this website (in the UK) at 2200 GMT, and you can catch all of the goals in the Championship, League One and League Two on the Football League Show straight afterwards at 2320 (again on BBC One and this website in the UK). Thanks for keeping me company and I'll see you tomorrow for derby day - in Lancashire, the west midlands, and London too - don't miss it.

newbouldm on Twitter: "Which club was meant to be in turmoil today? looks more like Liverpool than Newcastle at the moment."

garrethhawkins on Twitter: "I've seen a lot of Liverpool fans with YNWA in their name on Facebook, I can only assume it means 'You'll Never Win Away'?"

1958: Hmmm, it looks like it could be quite a crucial Christmas for a few of our other top-flight managers too, not just Avram Grant. Roy Hodgson, Mark Hughes and Gerard Houllier, I'm talking to you.

West Ham boss Avram Grant looks ahead to his side's forthcoming fixtures against Blackburn, Fulham and Everton after losing at home to Manchester City to remain bottom of the Premier League table: "These are the games that are very important to us because when we play against City we try our best but we know they have quality and are strong physically. We were at home and wanted to play better but the teams we play against now are not better than us and we will try to take points."

Everton 0-0 Wigan
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "Everton may have missed chances but Wigan stood firm and almost stole it late on. Hard-luck for the Toffees and hard-fought for the Latics."


West Ham 1-3 Man City
David Ornstein reports: "City depart Upon Park with a fine win to go level on points with leaders Arsenal and leave the Hammers languishing bottom of the table. Ecstasy for Roberto Mancini's men, agony for Avram Grant's boys."

Stoke 0-1 Blackpool
Mike Henson reports: "A commendable mix of tenacity and attacking intent, with a decent dash of luck, give Blackpool their fourth away win of the season."

Fulham 0-0 Sunderland
Kevin Darling reports: "Scrappy doesn't do this one justice… a poor game, and a poor result for increasingly anxious Fulham."

Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom
Chris Whyatt reports: "Spicy Albrighton's imperious nutmeg unlocks victory for relieved Villa against unlucky playground charmers West Brom."

1945: We were a bit short of goals at times, but I still wouldn't say today's six Premier League games were dull (apart from maybe Fulham 0-0 Sunderland). Here's a reminder of what happened...

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who marked his first game in charge with a win: "It was a great victory and there's not many teams that can score three against Liverpool. The spirit on the pitch was fantastic and I'm pleased with that. I'm pleased with what we put in place but most of the stuff was what was here before. I'm just pleased that I've had a good reaction from the workplace. There was a lot of great feeling for Chris Hughton and it's difficult when a new manager comes into that situation."

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, who dedicated his man of the match award to former boss Chris Hughton, on his side's win over Liverpool after a turbulent week: "We were all disappointed to lose Chris It's a shame but we have got a fantastic dressing room and we all care each other a lot. On the back of a topsy-turvy week we've put in a magnificent performance so it is onwards and upwards. Today was more about the players, we spoke about it beforehand. We have shown we are together and we got the three points we desperately needed."

Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: "Fully deserved win for Newcastle against a woeful Liverpool. Good end to a week of bitterness on Tyneside and a perfect start for Alan Pardew."

From Zidanepirouette on 606: "Useless Hodgson doesn't have a clue. I don't blame the players, they are employing his outdated tactics and game plan."

1927: They arrived as something of an angry mob, but the Newcastle fans will leave St James' Park with smiles on their faces. Let's give credit to Chris Hughton too, though, because this is very much his Magpies side, and their three goals came in similar style to the way they have all season. Liverpool fans? Well, at least you are at home next week...

1924: FULL-TIME Newcastle 3-1 Liverpool

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Newcastle goal: And that is a wrap. Newcastle's tricky trio all have a goal to show for their night's work and it is the Magpies very own 'Hotshot Hamish' who is the latest to find the target. The Liverpool defence stands off Andy Carroll and, from 25 yards out, he takes up the invitation to shoot by hammering a net-buster past Pepe Reina.

1921: GOALFLASH Newcastle 3-1 Liverpool (Carroll)

1920: There will be four minutes of added time at St James' Park. Liverpool are still plugging away and they have just had a sniff of another equaliser when Glen Johnson beat Tim Krul to a corner but headed over.

1918: All smiles from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley in the stands, while Alan Pardew makes more notes on the touchline. No idea what he's been writing but it is probably along the lines of 'remember to pick Andy Carroll, Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan again next week'.

1917: All over at Selhurst Park and it finishes goalless. A point means Crystal Palace remain in the bottom three and they will be the more disappointed of the two teams. Hull stretch their unbeaten run to five games.

1916: Liverpool started the second half like a train but they have lost their way in this game. Badly. Anyway, Newcastle's turn to make a change - Alan Smith for Kevin Nolan.

1915: A final throw of the dice by Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson? Milan Jovanovic is on for Maxi Rodriguez.

1914: A great chance for Palace to win it at the end against Hull but Andy Dawson throws himself in front of a shot to save the visitors while Pablo Counago skies over from the rebound.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Newcastle goal: It's a scrappy goal but Alan Pardew won't care, because the Magpies are back in front. Andy Carroll, who has been superb in the air today, flicks on Tim Krul's clearance and, with Nile Ranger doing enough to put off the Liverpool defence, Joey Barton ghosts in to prod the bouncing ball past the onrushing Pepe Reina and into the net, via the far post. Eight minutes of the 90 to go.

1910: GOALFLASH Newcastle 2-1 Liverpool (Barton)

1906: Newcastle are definitely on top at the moment. Joey Barton aims for Andy Carroll with another floated free-kick into the box, but Liverpool clear their lines.

Handbags
1904: Joey Barton is putting himself about now too - he's a bit like Taz actually - but referee Lee Mason is on hand to calm everyone down. Liverpool have just brought on Ryan Babel for David Ngog, who had picked up a knock in a collision with Sotiros Kyrgiakos.

1900: Crystal Palace are edging closer to a goal in Saturday's remaining Championship encounter and look dangerous on the break against Hull - Alassane N'Diaye has a good chance to score but shot straight at Hull keeper Vito Mannone. The Tigers have taken off the experienced Nick Barmby and brought on the young legs of, er, Kevin Kilbane.

Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: "Liverpool's goal has changed the mood around St. James' Park - but Newcastle have started to gather themselves again after Dirk Kuyt's somewhat fortunate equaliser. Crowd still very much behind the team - with the odd insulting nod towards Mike Ashley."

1858: Well, Nile Ranger is certainly giving the Liverpool defence something to think about. This time he jostles with Sotiros Kyrgiakos and then Martin Skrtel on the edge of the Reds area before being penalised by referee Lee Mason.

1856: I seem to have crashed the Bullseye website (see 1847). Apologies to Jim Bowen for that.

1854: Now that would have been a way to announce his arrival. Andy Carroll's flick finds Nile Ranger, who shakes off Martin Skrtel but fires wide with only Pepe Reina to beat.

1852: A change for Newcastle, who need a shot in the arm. Nile Ranger replaces Shola Ameobi.

From Vichs riches are fit for a King continues to ruin my life on 606: "Re 1847. I'm not sure he'd be too happy about that Chris: didn't Bully used to wear red and white stripes!?"

OptaJoe on Twitter: "4 - Dirk Kuyt has now scored four goals in six Premier League starts against Newcastle. Threat."

1849: Fernando Torres looks up from 30 yards out and fires in a sizzling shot that ends up being a lot closer to goal than Newcastle keeper Tim Krul thought. Will we see the old 'rocking baby' Romario and Bebeto celebration if he does find the net today?

1847: At last, Newcastle awake from their slumbers. Joey Barton does brilliantly to get in a cross from the right... which finds Andy Carroll, charging into the area, (he sort of reminds me of Bully out of Bullseye) but he cannot find the target with his header.

1845: We are also back under way at Selhurst Park and it's fairly tepid at the moment as the temperature drops. Palace's Wilfried Zaha is looking lively for the hosts and has been pushed further forward against Hull's defence. Still 0-0.

1843: Another Liverpool chance. Dirk Kuyt crosses this time but David Ngog makes a hash of his header and it bounces well wide.

1842: Liverpool should really be ahead. The Newcastle defence is nowhere to be seen as Fernando Torres runs on to a quickly-taken free-kick, but he can only direct his shot straight at Tim Krul.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Liverpool goal: Ah. Back to square one for Alan Pardew, but is should be said his side are very unlucky to concede this equaliser. A hoisted through-ball hits a back-pedalling Sol Campbell and drops into the path of Dirk Kuyt, who surges into the area before letting fly with a shot that takes a huge deflection off Steven Taylor and rolls agonisingly past Tim Krul and into the opposite corner of the net.

1839: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool (Kuyt)

1837: If the score stays the same, Newcastle leapfrog above Liverpool and move up to eighth in the Premier League. That might keep Mike Ashley happy for a while...

1835: Newcastle get the second half started.

From Jonny Farnan, sombre Liverpool fan on his 22nd birthday, via text: "Unforgiveable defending for the Newcastle goal, Chris Hughton had them doing that all season, surely we could have been better prepared for such a set piece?"

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce on his side's stalemate with Fulham at Craven Cottage: "We didn't hit anywhere near the standards we've been used to. It was a drab 0-0, we're pleased with a point."

1830: So, in summary, you think Liverpool's poor away record is down to Roy Hodgson, and Kevin Nolan was onside? That's good enough for me...

SFurnivall on Twitter: "Re 1802. From my (Liverpool) view, Nolan was offside but linesman's view blocked by Carroll & Skrtel. No problem with the decision."

ajlarge on Twitter: "Re 1802. Nolan was level with Carroll's knockdown therefore he cannot be ahead of the play so the goal rightly stands!"

From Dave in Reading, via text: "Re 1810. Everything to do with Roy. He has a consistently poor away record in English football."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis on his side's home defeat by Blackpool: "Sometimes it is not your day. I think we created more chances today than in any of the rest of our games. Blackpool play very open and you know you need to convert your own chances because they will create their own. Whatever we did today we just weren't going to score but fair play to Blackpool. They are throwing the dice and it came up trumps for them today."

1823: It's goalless at half-time between Crystal Palace and Hull but it's George Burley's men who will be ruing the best chance of the half. James Vaughan put wide when the ball was squared to him with only the keeper to beat.

Half time
Newcastle 1-0 Liverpool
Chief football reporter Phil McNulty's HT snap-shot from St James' Park: "Newcastle United have provided new boss Alan Pardew - not to mention owner Mike Ashley - with just the sort of first half required as they lead at the interval. Joey Barton and Cheik Tiote have helped Kevin Nolan control midfield, but there have been just enough opportunities to keep Liverpool interested."

1818: Liverpool's best effort of the first half comes just before it ends. Sotiros Kyrgiakos is first to a whipped corner but his header flies a fraction wide. Newcastle fans breathe again.

1817: Maxi Rodriguez wants a penalty after turning away from Steven Taylor on the edge of the box and going down like a sack of spuds. From the angle I saw it from, it was never a pen, but Rodriguez was convinced. Referee Lee Mason shakes his head.

KopMaestro on Twitter: "Re 1802. A suspicion? He was clearly offside! I spotted it without having to see a replay!"

1815: Two minutes of the first half left. We have not seen much from Liverpool, and Newcastle have scored with their only shot on target. Tonight is all about the result, though, right?

1810: Forget their dismal away record this season (one win in nine games) for a second, this isn't exactly encouraging for Liverpool fans either: Infostrada Sports tell me it is 16 months since Liverpool came back to win after conceding the opening goal of a Premier League match - a 3-2 victory at Bolton Wanderers in August 2009.

1807: Liverpool's turn to get a bit lucky. Shola Ameobi runs towards the edge of the area and lets fly with a shot that hits Martin Skrtel and, with Pepe Reina wrongfooted, trickles inches wide.

1805: A narrow escape for Newcastle. Raul Meireles has a pot-shot when a corner drops to him on the right side of the area... it take a big deflection and is heading into the corner, but Jose Enrique is just about still on his post to block.

1802: I spoke to Lawro for his predictions this week and he said the best way for Reds fans to look at their away form was "very quickly". Just why are their results on the road so poor? Anything to do with Roy Hodgson?

1802: We are likely to hear (and see) more about this at the break but there are suspicions that Kevin Nolan was offside when he scored Newcastle's goal. He looked a fraction off to me when Andy Carroll heads the ball back across goal, but one of my colleague swears he is actually level. I'll leave you to make your own minds up.

garrethhawkins on Twitter: "Barton, Carroll and Nolan working together to score the goal? Like every other goal under Hughton! Not quite forgot him yet!"

1758: Fernando Torres runs up take said free-kick, and smashes it straight into the wall. Chance gone.

1757: Free-kick to Liverpool on the edge of the box after Sol Campbell is adjudged to have fouled Fernando Torres. Didn't look like there was much in it to me.

1756: I should also alert you to the match currently going on in south London between Crystal Palace and Hull. A win or a draw for the hosts will take them out of the bottom three of the Championship and above their opponents. So far it's 0-0, with no clear-cut chances... but it's lively enough.

Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: "Newcastle United's goal has provided real cheer for those fans still venting their frustration on owner Mike Ashley and supporting Chris Hughton. Andy Carroll was just too powerful in the air for Liverpool's defence and Kevin Nolan has that happy knack of arriving in the penalty area at the perfect time, this time against his boyhood heroes. Just what Alan Pardew needed."

1753: Not much of a response from Liverpool yet, although Maxi Rodriguez should have made more of Glen Johnson's clever chip over the top instead of heading harmlessly over.

1752: Joey Barton, who took the set-piece that led to Kevin Nolan's goal, has another go from a similar range. No joy this time around, although his mis-hit cross does almost find Sol Campbell. Pepe Reina is there instead to collect.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Newcastle goal: Er, does this make Alan Pardew an inspired choice as manager? It's a bit for all that, obviously, but his side are ahead. Andy Carroll nods down a deep free-kick into the path of Kevin Nolan, who sweeps the ball home from close range. The lifelong Liverpool fan and former Reds trainee celebrates by running towards the corner flag and doing the 'funky chicken'.

1746: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-0 Liverpool (Nolan)

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Fernando Torres returns to the Liverpool team. He has scored once in his last 10 Premier League away matches and provided one assist in his last 18."

1742: Not much shape to this game yet. Newcastle's first sniff of goal comes and goes when Andy Carroll fails to control a pass on the edge of the Liverpool area. He was in a lot of space too.

1740: A free-kick for Liverpool out on the left, which Raul Meireles hoists into the area. Newcastle clear but not for long, and the ball drops at the feet of Sotiros Kyrgiakos inside the box. He gets his shot away, but Tim Krul is in the right place to push it away.

Everton boss David Moyes after his side were held at home by struggling Wigan: "We made enough chances to win the game and once again we failed to take them. We made four or fives chances we should have scored from. We played well at Chelsea last week and wanted to continue. The players tried but we didn't have the quality."

Fulham boss Mark Hughes after seeing his side draw their 10th game out of 17 outing in the Premier League this season: "We're frustrated - we had the vast majority of possession again, we just need a change in luck."

1737: Newcastle have settled down a bit but haven't created anything yet. Off the pitch, "Get out of our club" is the polite way that I will refer to the continuing chants against Mike Ashley.

1734: Liverpool are seeing more possession in the opening minutes and have just had the first shot of the game. Maxi Rodriguez has a pop from 30 yards out but is way off target.

Football League Al: "Championship result of the day must be Middesbrough's 1-0 win over second-placed Cardiff. That lifts Boro out of the bottom three but Leeds also completed a superb turnaround to beat Burnley 3-2 after being 2-0 down thanks to Jonathan Howson's 85th minute winner. That means they are eight-matches unbeaten now and fourth in the league. Talking of comebacks, Sven-Goran Eriksson's Leicester were 1-0 down and smashed Doncaster 5-1 in the end, while Preston hung on against Ipswich handing Roy Keane his sixth defeat in a row so very worrying times at Portman Road."

1731: Here we go. Liverpool get us started.

1731: The chants are much as they were at 1703. For Chris Hughton and against Mike Ashley.

1730: Here comes Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. No cheers for him, obviously.

1729: What's this? Cheers... which turn into boos. Mixed, then - it could have been a lot worse. Alan Pardew claps the fans, and sits down.

1728: What reception will Pardew get? We are about to find out...

1727: The players, and new Newcastle manager Alan Pardew are in the tunnel at St James' Park.

Under-fire Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier after his side's win over West Brom: "We are lacking a bit of confidence and there is a lot of pressure but the players responded marvelously. It was a great effort to win against a wonderful team. This was very important, and there's a feeling of relief."

rupertlewis89 on Twitter: "We need to get off Pardew's back now and move on, however sad we are about the dismissal of Hughton."

Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd on his side's title hopes after they beat West Ham to move second in the Premier League, behind Arsenal on goal difference: "We'd like to be in contention come March-April. If the lads keep working way they are, we should be there. The manager is working hard on tactics and team shape - he's a credit to the club. I've been lucky to work alongside Sir Alex Ferguson and I can see some of that in Roberto Mancini."

1722: Alan Pardew looked quite relaxed just then, to be honest. How long do you think that will that last?

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, about to take charge of his first game as Newcastle boss after replacing Chris Hughton: "I am bracing myself for a difficult reception but I am not nervous, I am just focusing on doing my job. There will be tension in the air but that can be a good thing if we can get the crowd behind us. Let's hope we can put on a really good show."

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last 16 Premier League derby matches versus West Midlands clubs. Houllier has won all three of his PL meetings with West Brom."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Meadow Lane: "Ince on the mark at County? Yep, Thomas Ince, son of Paul and on loan from Liverpool. He struck with a crisp low strike before Lee Hughes added a second as County deservedly picked up three points."

Gallacticos87 on Twitter: "Hate to say it but I'm wondering if Moyes has taken Everton as far as he can. Toffees in real danger at this rate."

NEWCASTLE v LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS
Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: Newcastle's midfield is strengthened as Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton return to the starting line-up for Alan Pardew's first game in charge. Just one change for Liverpool as Fernando Torres returns for Ryan Babel after missing the win against Aston Villa after his wife went into labour with their second child."

Newcastle v Liverpool line-ups
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Campbell, Jose Enrique, Barton, Nolan, Tiote, Gutierrez, Carroll, Ameobi. Subs: Harper, Guthrie, Routledge, Lovenkrands, Perch, Smith, Ranger.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Meireles, Lucas, Maxi, Torres, Ngog. Subs: Jones, Aurelio, Cole, Jovanovic, Babel, Poulsen, Kelly.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1703: Following on from those protests outside of the Milburn Reception at St James' Park (see 1642), here's some of the chants being heard at St James' Park at the moment: "There's only one Chris Hughton", "We hate Ashley", "Get out of our club" and "You're not fit to run our club". More to come too, I expect.

Buffalloz on Twitter: "Can u please close the door when you leave Avram? Thank you!!"

From Robert in Stockport via text: "Massive result for City today. Going joint top is a real statement of intent from us. Champions in waiting!"

1658: So, Manchester City move level on points with Premier League leaders Arsenal after beating West Ham thanks to an impressive display by Yaya Toure. Roberto Mancini probably still feels like he is in charge of a group of wayward toddlers though. After last week's little tantrum by Carlos Tevez, who spat his dummy out when he was substituted, City boss Roberto Mancini had to deal with another piece of petulance by Mario Balotelli, who stormed off after he was replaced at Upton Park. Still, the points are in the bag, so he probably won't care.

1655: FULL-TIME Everton 0-0 Wigan

NEWCASTLE v LIVERPOOL
Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: "From arriving at Newcastle station to making the journey up towards St James' Park, there is only one topic of conversation - and that is Chris Hughton's shock replacement with Alan Pardew. Pardew has hardly been welcomed with open arms by the Toon Army, but a win always helps to cure the critics. He starts against Liverpool, who will be hoping to build on their recent improvement by taking advantage of the latest turmoil on Tyneside."

Full time
1652: FULL-TIME West Ham 1-3 Manchester City

1652: FULL-TIME Stoke 0-1 Blackpool

1652: We are still playing at Goodison Park, but the other four 1500 GMT Premier League games have all finished.

Full time
1651: FULL-TIME Fulham 0-0 Sunderland

1651: FULL-TIME Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom

1650: Wow. Wigan almost snatch the points at the death. Ronnie Stam's shot is palmed round the post by Tim Howard.

1650: BREAKING TEAM NEWS
New Newcastle boss Alan Pardew makes two changes following the defeat at West Brom. Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton come into the midfield instead of Wayne Routledge and Danny Guthrie. For Liverpool, Fernando Torres replaces Ryan Babel in attack.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
West Brom goal: Villa looked to be cruising but Paul Scharner's powerful header, from Chris Brunt's corner, means they cannot rest easy yet.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
West Ham goal: James Tomkins rises to meet a corner from the right and plants his header in the back of the net, via a slight deflection from Yaya Toure on its way in. Time for a late, late Hammers fightback?

1646: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom (Scharner)

1645: GOALFLASH West Ham 1-3 Manchester City (Tomkins)

1644: After that flurry of chances, Stoke have hit a brick wall against Blackpool. In fact, the Seasiders have just gone close to a second. Matt Phillips brought a good stop out of Asmir Begovic with a cheeky chip.

1642: It won't surprise any of you to learn that there are protests going on outside St James' Park. Remember that Newcastle's game against Liverpool starts at 1730 GMT.

1642: It was John Pantsil who almost took Zenden's head off. Miraculously, the Dutch midfielder is going to carry on.

1640: Ouch. Sunderland are going to be down to 10 men for a while at least because Boudewijn Zenden is out cold. A Fulham player smashed the ball against his head from close range and he is still receiving treatment.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: Roberto Mancini's side seal the points with a fine third. David Silva slips substitute Adam Johnson clear and the England winger rounds Robert Green before tapping into an empty net.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Aston Villa goal: Here's something that will definitely put a smile on Gerard Houllier's face - a goal for Emile Heskey. It's a cool finish too, with James Collins diving in but missing Marc Albrighton's cross and Heskey stooping to glance a header into the far corner. A cute finish from the big man.

1637: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-3 Manchester City (Johnson)

1636: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 2-0 West Brom (Heskey)

Football League Al: "Leeds get an equaliser through Luciano Becchio to make it 2-2 at Burnley. Leeds were unbeaten in seven matches leading into this one. Elsewhere in Lancashire, if Preston can hang on to their 1-0 lead it will be their first win since 23 October and send Ipswich to their sixth defeat in a row. In League One, it's still goalless between Notts County and MK where Paul Ince is up against his former employers, while in League Two Stockport and Crewe are taking part in a six-goal thriller. 3-3 at the mo."

1635: It's been all Everton at Goodison Park, but they have nothing to show for it and Wigan have almost punished them with a goal at the other end. Mohamed Diame is clean through on goal, only to fail to get away a shot of any note as the Toffees defence and keeper Tim Howard quickly close the door on the chance.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1633: Jon Walters and Tuncay are on for Kenwyne Jones and Jermaine Pennant as Stoke boss Tony Pulis looks to find a way back into their game. It's working too, Matthew Etherington has just brushed the bar with a sumptuous free-kick that leaves Richard Kingson groping at thin air, then Kingson somehow keeps out Robert Huth's header from a corner soon afterward. The Potters are pressing hard for an equaliser.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: Superb stuff by Yaya Toure, who leaves James Tomkins trailing in his wake as he cuts in from the left and fires in a shot that hits the post and rebounds over the line off Robert Green's back. That has to go down as an own goal for the Hammers keeper.

1629: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-2 Manchester City (Robert Green og)


1628: So close for Fulham, who have just had the best chance of the afternoon at Craven Cottage. The ball falls to Andy Johnson and he spins and fires goalwards from close range, only for Simon Mignolet to make an excellent stop,. Sunderland break but Asamoah Gyan wastes a chance to tee up Darren Bent.

morgapplegarth on Twitter: "Re 1617. Can you replace the picture of a handbag with a picture of Balotelli?"

1625: Big, big shouts for a penalty by West Ham after the ball drops on to Yaya Toure's hand after a scramble in the area. I've seen them given. At the other end, Jo is showing no sign of ending his Premier League goal drought, volleying wildly over after running into the box to meet David Silva's cross.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1623: Blackpool, who are chasing a fourth away league win of the season, almost have a second goal when Gary Taylor-Fletcher escapes Dean Whitehead and meets Charlie Adam's corner at the far post.... only to power his header against the bar.

1622: Manchester City cannot clear their lines at the moment, and that is inviting West Ham forward. The visitors have not looked the same since Mario Balotelli's little spat.

Football League Al: "In the Championship, Leeds have a goal back against Burnley, it's now 2-1 to the Clarets. In the battle of Old Trafford old boys at Deepdale, bottom-placed Preston have taken the lead against Ipswich through Iain Hume. Earlier, Paul Gallagher scored an equaliser for Leicester on the stroke of half-time via the penalty spot against Doncaster."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1620: Wigan are massively under the cosh at the moment. Steven Pienaar sends Louis Saha through on goal but his effort is saved by Ali Al Habsi, before Tim Cahill sees a header hit the post. Jermaine Beckford has just come on for Louis Saha too.

1617: Yep, Manchester City striker Mario Ballotelli, who has a skull and crossbones motif on his gloves, has just had an eventful end to his afternoon. He was booked for persistent petulence by referee Phil Dowd, then replaced by Adam Johnson. Balotelli walks off the pitch, and down the tunnel, without acknowledging City boss Roberto Mancini. Well, he has got a bad-boy reputation to uphold.

1615: Fulham continue to threaten. This time Phil (NOT David!) Bardsley has to nod clear from under his own cross bar after Dickson Etuhu beats Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet to a cross and heads toward goal.

Handbags
1612: I'm told that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is cutting a frustrated figure at Upton Park. That boy is a one-man handbag graphic, so expect toys to be flung from the pram anytime soon. The Italian has just had a sniff of goal too, but James Tomkins got across in time to cover as he prepared to shoot.

1611: Told you. The arrival of Asamoah Gyan is promptly followed by a chance... for Fulham. Carlos Salcido sends in a wicked cross from the left which only just eludes Clint Dempsey.

1609: Good news for goal fans. Sunderland have brought on Asamoah Gyan, and have gone to 4-4-2 with Gyan and Darren Bent together up front. A sign that Steve Bruce is going for this.

1608: Almost something to cheer up the Goodison faithful. Almost. A stinging shot by Steven Piennar is turned away by Ali Al-Habsi, who has been by far the busier keeper.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Blackpool goal: That's better. After a sweeping move, Luke Varney cuts in from the left and finds Charlie Adam, who turns the ball across the face of goal for DJ Campbell to turn it in from the edge of the six-yard box. A lovely finish.

1605: We are back under way at Goodison. Finally.

1604: GOALFLASH Stoke 0-1 Blackpool (Campbell)

OptaJoe on Twitter: "2 - Of the 10 teams playing this afternoon in the Premier League, only two (Fulham & Man City) have had more than one shot on target. Dull."

1602: Back under way at Stoke's Britannia Stadium as well. We are just waiting for Everton and Wigan then.

1602: And at Villa Park and Upton Park too.

1600: Fulham have brought on Andy Johnson for Diomansy Kamara, perhaps in an effort to placate Antony. The second half has just started at Craven Cottage.

From Antony at Craven Cottage (again), via text: "Fulham have offered nothing and the sombre mood turned into boos after that first-half."

Football League Al: "Is the way finally up for Sheffield Wednesday? They have taken a 4-1 lead into half-time against Bristol Rovers in League One with Jermaine Johnson the latest to score, elsewhere Brentford are 2-0 up against Southampton while in League Two Gillingham are matching the Owls goal for goal: it's 4-1 against Macclesfield."

1557: Right, I can't promise you any more goals in the second half, but I think we will all agree everyone can do a lot better than what we have mustered in the first 45 minutes.

Everton 0-0 Wigan
Mandeep Sanghera's HT snap-shot: "It's scrappy as anxiety and frustration sweep through the Everton faithful with their side struggling to produce the quality to break down a resolute Wigan."

West Ham 0-1 Man City
David Ornstein's HT snap-shot: "Balotelli should have given City the lead before Yaya Toure did just that. It's a lead they deserve and one which puts them on course to join Arsenal at the Premier League summit."

Half time
Stoke 0-0 Blackpool
Mike Henson's HT snap-shot: "Ricardo Fuller and Kenwyne Jones have pressed hard up front for the hosts, but for all their presence and industry it is Blackpool who fashion the most clean-cut chances with Luke Varney and Elliott Grandin going close. Too tight to call. "

Fulham 0-0 Sunderland
Kevin Darling's HT snap-shot: "It's a master-class in solid defending from both sides - and as a result, rather dull.

1555: A slip of the fingers there. Villa are, of course, ahead against West Brom.

Aston Villa 1-0 West Brom
Chris Whyatt's HT snap-shot: ""Cross-bar denies crafty West Brom right before Albrighton's wing magic tees up Downing's breakthrough."

NEWCASTLE v LIVERPOOL
Chief football reporter Phil McNulty at St James' Park: "Two hours before kick-off at St James' Park and Newcastle United's fans are already gathered in numbers near the main entrance chanting support for sacked manager Chris Hughton - mixed with some vehement anti-Mike Ashley chants. An uneasy evening ahead for the Newcastle hierarchy."

1549: The first half has just finished at Goodison too. A real scrap going on between Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar and tough-tackling Wigan's Hendry Thomas in that game - both of them have been booked, and neither are exactly holding back.

1548: It's half-time everywhere in the top-flight, apart from Goodison Park. Not many goals about are there?

1547: Bad news for Blackpool fans. Referee Anthony Taylor has his notebook out for the first time as Charlie Adam picks up his fifth booking of the season for an aerial challenge on Dean Whitehead. The former Rangers man will be banned for one match.

1546: West Ham end the first half with a bit of a flourish, with Man City on the back foot. The Hammers go close again when Frederique Piquionne heads over from Julien Faubert's cross.

1545: West Brom have continued to impress despite being behind at Villa Park - the Baggies are much stronger in midfield than their hosts, but have nothing to show for it at the moment.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Meadow Lane: "Notts County boss Paul Ince delayed his appearance in the dugout until just after kick-off of his team's match against his former employers MK Dons. He warmly embraced his former assistant and current MK Dons boss Karl Robinson but then it was down to business. The guv'nor could do with a win as his team have lost three of their four fixtures since he took over."

1538: West Ham's Scott Parker works space for a shot on the edge of the area but drills the ball wide. I'm pretty sure Man City keeper Joe Hart would have got there anyhow though.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1536: Stoke go close again, with Ricardo Fuller curling a shot on to the bar from the edge of the area. Over at Craven Cottage, Darren Bent gets on the end of a Phil Bardsley cross but heads wide. Sunderland are not exactly on top but they have had most of the best chances.

1535: Man City don't get many goals, but they have almost got a second at Upton Park. David Silva's corner is met by Mario Balotelli but his header is cleared off the line.

1534: Another Everton attack to tell you about. Marouane Fellaini knocks an Everton free-kick back across goal and Jack Rodwell heads it goalwards from close range, only for his effort to be blocked by Wigan midfielder Ben Watson.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: He might have underhit his shot just now, but YaYa Toure definitely did not repeat that mistake when he got his next sight of goal. Toure starts the move, feeding Gareth Barry on the left and, from his pull-back, gets in front of Jonathan Spector and slams an unstoppable shot past Robert Green.

Football League Al: "Not much doing in the Championship so far with only Doncaster scoring through Billy Sharp at Leicester. In League One, Sheffield Wednesday are 3-1 up over Bristol Rovers in front of new owner Milan Mandaric, while in League Two Gillingham are going great guns at Macclesfield, they are 3-1 up after just 19 minutes."

1529: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-1 Manchester City (Yaya Toure)

1528: At Craven Cottage, we've just seen the first big decision of the day for referee Neil Swarbrick, who is officiating his first Premier League match. Phil Bardsley goes in with his studs up on Simon Davies, cleanly winning the ball but conceding a free-kick for dangerous play. No booking though. It could have been nasty, that, although Bardsley is protesting his innocence.

1527: Yaya Toure bursts forward for Manchester City, from the half-way line in fact, but then shoots with the outside of his foot, straight at Robert Green. End to end stuff at Upton Park.

Someone has struck the woodwork
Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Aston Villa goal: I was just about to tell you that West Brom were well on top and Somen Tchoyi had just hit the bar with a superb curling shot. Then this happened: Marc Albrighton made a great run down the right and his cross was slid home at the far post by Stewart Downing. It's against the run of play, but Villa are ahead - and we have our first goal of the afternoon.

1524: GOALFLASH Aston Villa 1-0 West Brom (Downing)

1523: West Ham are looking dangerous on the break at Upton Park. Junior Stanislas cuts in from left and lets fly with a shot that is well held by Joe Hart at his near post.

pauljohnarnold on Twitter: "Can we have a goal please Chris?"


I'll see what I can do...

1521: Some news from Villa Park. Perhaps it's no surprise that in-form West Brom have started the more poised than nervy Villa, who look a little light in midfield. Emile Heskey is full of strong running though.

From Paul in Newcastle via text: "Re 1454. The average age of Sunderland's team plummeted by another 83 days with that early substitution!"

1518: Blackpool's turn to threaten. David Vaughan volleys over and, seconds later, Luke Varney is denied by a last-ditch tackle by Andy Wilkinson. The loose ball falls for DJ Campbell, but he blazes wide.

1514: Lots of chances, but no Premier League goals yet. Kenwyne Jones has just had another opportunity for Stoke. He meets Matthew Etherington's corner at the back post but skies his header over the bar. At Upton Park, Junior Stanislas is behind a free-kick in a dangerous position, but his effort is way off target.

1512: Everton continue to knock on Wigan's door. Leighton Baines crosses from the left but Marouane Fellaini, who is completely unmarked, heads over. He should have done a lot better with that.

1509: A problem for Sunderland. Anton Ferdinand has picked up a hamstring injury and cannot continue. Ahmed Elmohamady is on instead.

1508: I knew that would do the trick. Things are happening now: Kenwyne Jones blazes over for Stoke from 15 yards out and, at Craven Cottage, Clint Dempsey has had an ambitious 30-yard volley saved by Simon Mignolet.

1506: Everton have built on that early half-chance, and are pressing hard at the moment. Wigan are having to do a lot of defending. Not a lot happening elsewhere though.

1504: Manchester City have just come within inches of getting the first goal of the day. Jo gets in a teasing low cross from the left and Mario Balotelli gets in front of Matt Upson - it's a tap-in at the near post, but the Italian's casual side-foot rolls across the face of goal and wide. A real waste.

1502: First chance of the day comes at Goodison, where Tim Cahill chests down a long ball inside the box, but Antolin Alcaraz gets across to make a last-ditch challenge before he can get a shot away.

1500: And at Craven Cottage, Goodison Park, the Britannia Stadium and Upton Park too.

1459: We are under way at Villa Park, where Aston Villa are wearing red (I'm joking).

1457: Here's another stat from Infostrada Sports , this time for those of you thinking about my question at 1450. Jo has not scored in any of his last 27 Premier League matches since netting twice for Everton in their 4-0 win against Wigan in April 2009. His only previous Premier League goal for Man City came in September 2008 during their 6-0 win against Portsmouth.

JaffaSheikh on Twitter: "Jo is preferred due to his usefulness in City's formation: as Tevez drops deep, he can become the striker. Johnson cannot."

1454: Young legs versus old heads... who is your money on? Infostrada Sports tell me that Sunderland's starting line up has an average age of 23 years and 362 days - the youngest of any club in the top division this season. Opponents Fulham have the oldest starting line up in the division - aged 31 years and 21 days old.

1450: Right, that's the team news and line-ups sorted - the big kick-off is now only 10 minutes away. By the way, a few Manchester City fans on 606 are asking why Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini seems to prefer Jo to Adam Johnson. I can't explain it - if anyone can, please get in touch...

STOKE v BLACKPOOL TEAM NEWS
Mike Henson reports: "Jermaine Pennant will be hoping to convince Stoke that his loan deal from Zaragoza is worth making permanent after recovering from a hamstring injury to take his place in the starting line-up. Danny Higginbotham drops to the bench to make way for Andy Wilkinson at right-back with Robert Huth shifting to centre-back. Blackpool are unchanged from the side that saw a two-goal lead wiped out in a 2-2 draw against Bolton last time out as they chase a fourth away league win."

FULHAM v SUNDERLAND TEAM NEWS
Kevin Darling reports: "Fulham boss Mark Hughes makes just one change to his side, with fit-again Carlos Salcido replacing Matthew Briggs at left-back. Sunderland welcome back midfielder David Meyler, who makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee ligament injury, while Simon Mignolet starts in goal. Asamoah Gyan and Craig Gordon, who have been struggling for fitness, drop to the bench."

From anonymous Newcastle fan via text: "Vocal fans outside of St James' Park this afternoon. It should be a good atmosphere this evening if they get behind the team and make as much noise."


I don't doubt they will get behind the team... not sure whether Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew will get the same treatment though!

ASTON VILLA v WEST BROM TEAM NEWS
Chris Whyatt reports: "Changes aplenty for Aston Villa from the team which limped to a 3-0 defeat at Anfield on Monday. Emile Heskey returns from injury to start up front with Ashley Young in support, while Barry Bannan also comes into the midfield. Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is out with a chest infection. Acting captain Richard Dunne is dropped as Carlos Cuellar takes his place in defence. Stephen Ireland doesn't even make the squad. Blow for West Brom with top scorer Peter Odemwingie missing because of a groin injury. Marc-Antoine Fortune is his replacement. Some good news: influential midfielder Chris Brunt is fit to start."

WEST HAM v MAN CITY TEAM NEWS
David Ornstein reports: "West Ham make four changes from the side beaten at Sunderland last Sunday as Julien Faubert, Pablo Barrera and Junior Stanislas come in for Tal Ben-Haim, Kieron Dyer and Luis Boa Morte, while Frederic Piquionne is preffered to Carlton Cole up front. There are two enforced changes for Manchester City; Jo deputises for the suspended Carlos Tevez to partner Mario Balotelli in attack and Aleksandar Kolarov - also banned - is replaced by Jerome Boateng."

1438: Interesting that it was early December when Chris Hughton became the first managerial casualty of the season (Martin O'Neill left Aston Villa a few days before it started) but clearly it doesn't mean that managers are under any less pressure this season - see Tom's text below for starters. Mark Hughes, Avram Grant and of course Gerard Houllier are among those feeling the heat.

From Tom at the Cottage via text: "Somber mood at Craven Cottage today, if we don't get a win then I think the Mark Hughes reign could be over before Christmas."

Fulham v Sunderland line-ups
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Gera, Kamara. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Andrew Johnson, Duff, Eddie Johnson, Greening.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Onuoha, Mensah, Ferdinand, Bardsley, Meyler, Cattermole, Henderson, Richardson, Welbeck, Bent. Subs: Gordon, Zenden, Malbranque, Angeleri, Da Silva, Elmohamady, Gyan.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Stoke v Blackpool line-ups
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington, Jones, Fuller. Subs: Sorensen, Higginbotham, Whelan, Gudjohnsen, Wilson, Walters, Sanli.
Blackpool: Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney. Subs: Halstead, Southern, Ormerod, Euell, Phillips, Edwards, Carney.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

FULHAM v SUNDERLAND
Kevin Darling reports: "Premier League draw specialists Fulham need to quickly develop a new specialism - winning. Nine ties from 16 games have left the Cottagers hovering just above the relegation zone, on goal difference. They seek their third victory of the season against a Sunderland side who have drawn eight of their 16 matches this season. The last four league games between these sides have delivered a total of just two goals… so we're due a barnstorming classic today."

West Ham v Man City line-ups
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ben-Haim, Barrera, Spector, Parker, Stanislas, Piquionne, Obinna. Subs: Stech, Reid, Dyer, Cole, Boa Morte, Kovac, Hines.
Man City: Hart, Boateng, Toure, Kompany, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Jo, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli. Subs: Given, Richards, Milner, Adam Johnson, Santa Cruz, Lescott, Vieira.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

From Sam in Newcastle, via text: "Re 1414. did I miss something Jason or was Chris Hughton a big part of the managerial team that got Newcastle straight back up, breaking records in the process? Also beating Arsenal in their own backyard?"

STOKE v BLACKPOOL
Mike Henson reports: "Stoke are unbeaten in their last five matches and have an identical record in their recent meetings with Blackpool. Tony Pulis' side came out on top in a 4-3 tear-up in the Carling Cup encounter last season with a typically late goal from Andy Griffin proving decisive. There will be no sneaking out early at the Britannia. The home side would be second in the table if judged solely on their second-half performances. Blackpool will hope their beachside kick-about this week will have kept them sharp after their home match against Manchester United last weekend was postponed."

Aston Villa v West Brom line-ups
Aston Villa: Friedel, Lichaj, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Hogg, Bannan, Downing, Ashley Young, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Dunne, Pires, Carew, Delfouneso, Reo-Coker, Herd.
West Brom: Carson, Jara, Scharner, Tamas, Cech, Brunt, Dorrans, Tchoyi, Morrison, Thomas, Fortune. Subs: Myhill, Pablo, Miller, Reid, Shorey, Mulumbu, Cox.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

EVERTON v WIGAN TEAM NEWS
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "Everton striker Jermaine Beckford came off the bench to grab his side's equaliser at Chelsea last week but has to be content with again being a substitute as manager David Moyes retains the same starting line-up as at Stamford Bridge. Wigan's top scorer Hugo Rodallega is straight back in the side after completing a three-match ban and replaces Mauro Boselli in attack. That's the only change from the Latics side which drew 2-2 with Stoke last time out."

vincent737 on Twitter: "Surely Chris, the team most needing a win is Fulham at the Cottage today. Deserve more points then we have I feel!!"

1416: BREAKING TEAM NEWS
Manchester City replace the suspended Carlos Tevez with Brazilian striker Jo. Frederique Piquionne comes in for Carlton Cole in one of four changes by West Ham.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "30 - Louis Saha has had more shots without finding the net than any other player in the PL this season (30 - inc. blocked shots). Misfire."

Everton v Wigan line-ups
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha. Subs: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Beckford, Osman, Yakubu, Anichebe, Duffy.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Steven Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Thomas, Diame, N'Zogbia, Watson, Cleverley, Rodallega. Subs: Pollitt, Gary Caldwell, Boselli, Gomez, McArthur, Stam, McManaman.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

1414: BREAKING TEAM NEWS
Aston Villa drop defender Richard Dunne, and striker Emile Heskey is back in their starting XI.

From Jason, on the 93 bus to Fulham, via text: "Did I miss something or was Chris Hughton not a very big part of the managerial team that took Newcastle down? Mark me, Pardew is a better appointment than many people think."

Championship Al: "Some tantalising tasters on Saturday with Cardiff able to close a four-point gap at the top to QPR by beating second from bottom Middlesbrough at the Riverside. Flirting with the play-off places are Burnley, who host sixth-placed Leeds United, while there is a Manchester United old boys battle at Deepdale where Preston's Darren Ferguson faces Roy Keane's Ipswich. Strugglers Crystal Palace also face Hull in the late game and then there is the South Yorkshire derby between Barnsley and Sheffield United, so plenty to get your mits into."

MMMikeA on Twitter: "Although Tevez is Man City's biggest threat, it will be a shame not to see him play and receive the heroes welcome he does."

ASTON VILLA v WEST BROM
Chris Whyatt reports: "Will the wary Holte End forgive Gerard Houllier for joking about that latest lifeless loss at Anfield? Stopping struggling Villa's run of three straight defeats against local rivals West Brom should put out a fire for the Frenchman. But a first league win at Villa Park for the in-form Baggies since 1979 could see his injury-hit side slip into the relegation zone - and a cloudy sky would become a gale-force storm. Villa want this more than a vote-begging X-Factor contestant."

1403: The reason Manchester City can go joint-top today is that two of the three teams above them, Manchester United and Arsenal, don't play until Monday. Pre-match chat between those two clubs is often a bit lively, but I can't help thinking that Patrice Evra has ramped it up a bit with his claims that "Arsenal is a training centre". The other two teams in the top five, out-of-form Chelsea and goal-crazy Tottenham meet on Sunday - no verbal grenades have been lobbed across London in either direction yet, but there is still time.

WEST HAM v MAN CITY
David Ornstein reports: "While West Ham are scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table, City are in the hunt for a first top-flight title since 1968. The Hammers can take heart from a run of five home games without defeat in all competitions - but they face a side unbeaten in the league since October and a victory shy of moving level on points with leaders Arsenal. That said, 48% of City's league goals this season have come from Carlos Tevez and with the former West Ham striker missing this one through suspension, how well they cope in his absence may just prove the determining factor."

rrengland3 on Twitter: "I am worried about Everton today, the lack of Arteta and Pienaar means we have no creativity. Oh well, we have Cahill."

EVERTON v WIGAN
Mandeep Sanghera reports: "The Toffees are in a bit of a sticky patch at present. Everton have not won in their six league games since 30 October and will be out to avoid a third successive home defeat when they take on Wigan. They are just two points above third-from-bottom Wigan, who have the incentive of being able to leapfrog their opponents with a win at Goodison Park. But the Latics have just one league victory on the road so far this season and are the Premier League's lowest scorers."

LeeRobson23 on Twitter: "Even if the Toon do win tonight, Pardew should not get plaudits, it's still Hughton's team until he can make his mark!"

From FoxForever - Reality continues to ruin my life on 606: "As much as I hate the debacle that has occurred at Newcastle, I feel a tad sympathetic towards Alan Pardew. He's come in with what would seem like the whole world on his back. I believe the fans should give him time to make an impact whilst also be thankful for Chris Hughton for the fantastic job he did."

1352: What that basically means is that you don't need to leave this web page, let alone your house, for the next six hours or so. But, if you are at a game (or even at the shops) then please get in touch. You know how, right? Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, join the regulars on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK).

1347: Enough already about Alan Pardew (for now at least). There is plenty else going on this afternoon before we switch our attention to the north-east: Five Premier League games at 1500 GMT (see below), and a full programme in the Football League too.


Aston Villa v West Brom
Everton v Wigan
Fulham v Sunderland
Stoke v Blackpool
West Ham v Man City
Newcastle v Liverpool (1730 GMT)

1344: By the way, it's three-and-a-half years since Pardew last took charge of a Premier League game, when he was boss of already-relegated Charlton. The opponents? Liverpool again, at Anfield. He didn't do too badly, either - it took a last-gasp Harry Kewell penalty to deny the Addicks victory - but I don't think a draw will do Pardew much good today... the way things are going, he probably needs a win by at least seven or eight goals (and to score a couple of those himself) to win over the Magpies faithful.

1339: Yep, the majority of the home fans in the 52,000 crowd are expected to protest against Pardew's appointment as the Magpies manager this week. At the very least, I think he will be hearing the name of his predecessor Chris Hughton being repeatedly sung very loudly when he walks out of the tunnel before kick-off (at 1730 GMT) and heads for the dug-out. Not exactly the ideal start to his reign then.

1335 GMT: For Alan Pardew's sake, I hope the 14 fans that voted for him in a poll by Newcastle's evening paper, the Evening Chronicle, on who they wanted as the next Newcastle United boss are at St James' Park for today's game against Liverpool. Although, even if they are, they might struggle to make themselves heard...



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 11 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 16 16 32
2 Man City 17 11 32
3 Man Utd 15 19 31
4 Chelsea 16 19 30
5 Tottenham 16 3 26
6 Sunderland 17 2 24
7 Bolton 16 5 23
8 Newcastle 17 1 22
9 Liverpool 17 -1 22
10 Blackpool 16 -5 22
11 West Brom 17 -5 22
12 Stoke 17 -1 21
13 Blackburn 16 -4 21
14 Aston Villa 17 -9 20
15 Everton 17 -2 18
16 Birmingham 16 -2 18
17 Fulham 17 -4 16
18 Wigan 17 -15 16
19 Wolves 16 -13 12
20 West Ham 17 -15 12

see also
Saturday's football photos
11 Dec 10 |  Premier League


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