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Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Sunday, 12 December 2010

Sunday football as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

1838: And that's all we've got time for I'm afraid. Thanks for keeping me company, and remember to watch all today's action on Match of the Day 2 at 2255 GMT on BBC One and this website (UK only). I'll see you again for Manchester United against Arsenal on Monday night. Excited? Me too.

Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
Mike Henson reports: "Heurelho Gomes saves his own blushes and a point for Spurs by repelling Didier Drogba's spot-kick, but is a draw enough to get Chelsea motoring again? Just a point off the top after their worst run in over a decade does not look too shabby…"

1834: Gogget hits the nail on the head there with his tweet below, because it was a cracking game at White Hart Lane. Bolton-Blackburn wasn't half bad either and, when Birmingham woke up, even their game at Wolves was worth watching too. Not a bad little collection of derby games all in all - you can read more about Tottenham-Chelsea here...

gogget on Twitter: "Great game of football, if Chelsea keep playing like that they'll still be contenders, forget what everyone else says."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "2 - Chelsea have missed two penalties in a single Premier League season for the first time in the 21st century. Spurned."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti on his side's display in their draw with Tottenham: "We have to be happy because we played well against a strong team away from home. We had the chance to win with the penalty, but our performance was good and we can look forward with confidence now. This performance was a good place to start."

Wolves 1-0 Birmingham
Les Roopanarine reports: "Crisis, what crisis? Second from bottom and deprived by injury of a raft of players, Wolves produced a display brimming with spirit and style, qualities which were conspicuous by their absence from Alex McLeish's tepid Birmingham side."

Bolton 2-1 Blackburn
David Ornstein reports: "Classy, courageous and full of character, 10-man Bolton snatch a dramatic late triumph to break their Reebok hoodoo against Blackburn, continue their pursuit of a Europa League place and make it a thoroughly miserable homecoming for ex-boss Sam Allardyce."

1823: With all that late drama at the Lane, you might have forgotten what happened in our first two derby games of the day. Here's a quick reminder...

More from Harry Redknapp, this time on Chelsea's goal: "I've watched it again, and it was hand-ball by Didier Drogba in the build-up, but he hit that with real power. Heurelho Gomes would probably save it normally but he made up for it with the penalty."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on his side's pulsating draw with Chelsea: "It was exciting, which is what people pay to watch. It was end to end stuff and wide open, both teams did a lot of attacking but the end product wasn't there - the keepers didn't have a lot to save."

1812: Arsenal remain top of the Premier League at the end of the weekend, and they don't even play until tomorrow. A draw would be the right result for Chelsea, according to John Terry.

Graham Taylor on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was a good game. Yes there were mistakes, yes there was poor play but sometimes that can make a game interesting."

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Chelsea have now 31 points from 17 Premier League matches, their lowest points total at this point since 2001/2002 (27 points)."

From Joe in London, via text: "The fact that I'm this disappointed following a draw with the current champions shows how far Harry Redknapp has taken us. Come on you Spurs."

Chelsea captain John Terry on his side's performance in their draw with Tottenham: "We should have won the game. Playing the way we did in the second half it looks like things are back to normal. We've been lacking passion but hopefully that's back now. We've got two huge games next but things are looking up. No-one has hit their top form so if we do that over Christmas then we have got a chance."

1759: So, should Frank Lampard have taken that penalty? Er, probably. It's too late to change things now though. If Didier Drogba had scored from the spot, then Chelsea would surely have won to return to the top of the Premier League, but he didn't and they don't. Instead they stay fourth and have now won just one of their last seven league games. Who do they play next? Manchester United, then Arsenal.

lstacey1992 on Twitter: "The shot stopper supreme rises again!! GET IN THERE GOMES!"

1755: FULL-TIME Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea

Someone has won a penalty
1753: Wow. Talk about villain to hero. Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes clumsily concedes a 91st minute spot-kick after bundling over Ramires in the box as he tries to collect Didier Drogba's flick but redeems himself when he dives to his left to keep out Drogba's subsequent penalty. That wasn't the greatest spot-kick in the world, but boy, what a time to make a save like that.

1752: MISSED PENALTY by Chelsea (Gomes saves from Drogba)

1750: PENALTY to Chelsea

1750: The 90 minutes are up. We will have four minutes of added time at White Hart Lane.

1749: Tottenham midfielder Wilson Palacios is down in his own area after being caught by Ashley Cole. He looks in real pain - not sure whether he can carry on. Hang on, he's back on his feet now, but has just been replaced by Sandro anyway. Strange.

1747: Sebastien Bassong and Didier Drogba are battling to reach Petr Cech's long punt forward, and it looks to me that Bassong was doing more of the shirt pulling. That doesn't stop the decision going his way, though.

1745: This game is still being played at 100 miles an hour, which is leading to a LOT of mistakes. On the up side, both sides are still trying to win it.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "0 - Tottenham have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since the opening day of the season. Porous."

1741: Michael Essien has a pop from a long way out. To be honest, he should have passed the ball instead because his sliced shot is a mile wide. We are into the last 10 minutes at White Hart Lane.

1738: Tottenham's turn to make a change. Robbie Keane is on for Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1736: So, Frank Lampard is back, after more than three months out injured. He is on for Florent Malouda. All the momentum is with Chelsea at the moment - anyone fancy Frank for the winner?

1735: Hmmm, I think poor old lstacey1992 might be regretting that tweet at 1721...

1734: Heurelho Gomes does not have time to dwell on that mistake because he has to dive to his right to keep out Nicolas Anelka's low drive from distance. It was important he held on to it too, because Didier Drogba was lurking with intent.

Chelsea goal: Where will Harry Redknapp start with this? Michael Dawson is hustled out of things too easily as he challenges Didier Drogba for a long ball and the Chelsea striker is fastest to the loose ball too, but Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes is the real villain here. Drogba smashed his shot straight at him, and the keeper got both hands to it... but his weak wrists allowed the ball to flop over his head and bounce over the line. A soft goal all round, but Chelsea won't care because they are level.

1729: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea (Drogba)

1729: Not sure what the Chelsea defence were thinking just then... they decided to try to play it around their own area and eventally gave it away. Not too clever that, but Tottenham cannot capitalise.

1728: Time for another Chelsea change. Frank Lampard? Nope, not yet. Daniel Sturridge is replacing Salomon Kalou. We have got around 22 minutes of the 90 to go.

1727: If anything, both sides have upped the tempo in the last few minutes, and it was pretty fast anyway! This game is fast and frantic, and wide open. All we need now is some quality in front of goal.

1725: A bit of encouragement for Tottenham. Chelsea are leaving a few gaps at the back as they look for this equaliser and Roman Pavlyuchenko is unlucky to see the ball spin away from him as he attempts to latch on to a Wilson Palacios pass. He was clean through if he had controlled it.

lstacey1992 on Twitter: "Heurelho Gomes again proving why is he the best shot stopper in the league."

1721: A rare Spurs attack sees Gareth Bale pick the ball up and charge forward from the half-way line, cutting in from the right this time. That means he can let fly with his trusty left foot... but his shot is a disappointing one - he didn't get hold of that at all.

1719: Tottenham just cannot keep hold of the ball at the moment, which might be why Peter Crouch is coming on for Jermain Defoe.

1716: A much harder save for Heurelho Gomes this time, as he reacts brilliantly to Wilson Palacios's attempted header clear. The Spurs midfielder made a real mess of it, and the ball was looping under the bar, until Gomes tipped it over.

1714: It's Chelsea who are enjoying most of the possession but they still cannot open up Spurs. Didier Drogba tries his luck from distance but it's easy for Heurelho Gomes to push round the post.

1712: Branislav Ivanovic heads clear after Gareth Bale nods an Aaron Lennon cross back into the danger area. The ball drops for Luka Modric outside the box but he doesn't make a clean connection and it bobbles wide.

1710: Didier Drogba hasn't had the best time of it since coming on. He got a whack in the face almost immediately, and has also just been caught offside from a hoisted John Terry pass. Drogba tells his captain that he wants the ball played forward quicker than that.

1707: It's Tottenham who are first to venture forward though. After some neat interplay between Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric, Jermain Defoe sees a swerving shot from the edge of the box fly just the wrong side of the post.

1705: Time to find out whether Mr Drogba can provide the cutting edge that Chelsea lacked before the break. Tottenham get the second half started.

1704: Here he comes... Didier Drogba will replace Jon Mikel Obi for the second half.

Graham Taylor on BBC Radio 5 live: "Chelsea with Ramires, Mikel and Essien in midfield against the two of Palacios and Modric should be able to keep the ball and they have done. But where Chelsea are lacking is up front. When Anelka leaves the front line to go wide, there is a reluctance for people to join the attack in his place."

smitt87 on Twitter: "Chelsea must get Drog on at half time. Dawson's lack of match time is surely there for them to take advantage of second half."

From Sam, via text: "Once again Ancelotti's bold tactical move has failed. Cue an admission of guilt and Drogba coming on early in the second half."

Will Sam be right? I'm pretty sure Didier will make his appearance at some point, it's just a matter of when...

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish after his side's lethargic display for much of their 1-0 defeat by Wolves: "We didn't turn up at all for the first 60 minutes. We were outfought and then had a go. We need to start games the way we finish them. There were some boosts for us with Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis not playing for them, but they had their backs to the wall and they bullied us."

1655: I've just had another look at Roman Pavlyuchenko's goal and it appears Jermain Defoe was a whisker offside before he latched on to Benoit Assou-Ekotto's lofted ball over the top. Not by much, but it should have been given. Nothing is going Carlo Ancelotti's way at the moment, is it?

From ghost_of_cygan - for lack of a better name on 606: "August seems a long while ago for Chelsea now. How can their attack be so blunt with the players they have?"

OptaJoe on Twitter: "9 - Tottenham have won all nine of the Premier League home games in which Roman Pavlyuchenko has scored before today. Omen?"

1649 HALF-TIME Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea
Mike Henson's half-time snap-shot: "Pavlyuchenko's strike was just desserts for a Tottenham side that has looked slick in attack and solid at the back. Plenty of possession for the visitors, but not enough penetration. Those glorious early-season performances seem a long time ago now."

1648: Almost a disaster for Chelsea. Nicolas Anelka loses possession and, as Spurs break, Roman Pavluchenko plays a measured through-ball behind John Terry and into the path of Jermain Defoe, but Petr Cech is out of his box to slide in and clear the danger.

1645: With less than a minute of the first half left, Chelsea are looking a bit more like their old selves, but the lack of an end product means they are still behind. Nicolas Anelka has just put the ball in the net from close range for the Blues after reaching Ramires' deflected cross, but the flag was already up for offside. The right decision.

Yellow card
1640: Before that Florent Malouda free-kick, I meant to tell you that Benoit Assou-Ekotto has become the first player to go into Mike Dean's book. Not sure what it was for, because the referee allowed play to go on before eventually penalising the Tottenham defender.

1638: John Terry then launches a Chelsea attack, which ends with a dangerous ball into the box from Salomon Kalou... but none of his team-mates can get on the end of it. Kalou is having a busy evening, and he is unlucky to se his flicked header drop the wrong side of the post after he gets on the end of a Florent Malouda free-kick.

1636: An absolutely crucial tackle by John Terry denies Jermain Defoe, with the Blues skipper putting a foot in to stop the Tottenham striker from running through on goal.

1634: Tottenham are looking to take the sting out of this game as we near half-time, and it seems to be working. Ramires has to resort to a hopeful punt into the box that is easily collected by Heurelho Gomes.

1630: Hello, we've seen this before. As Tottenham launch a counter-attack, Gareth Bale picks up the ball and sprints from his own half before firing over a useful low cross... but this time it only finds Petr Cech.

1628: That early Tottenham goal has opened this game up a treat for neutrals - it's all about attacking for both teams at the moment. Chelsea have more possession but Tottenham look very dangerous on the break.

1627: Another sniff for Chelsea, and Salomon Kalou. He gets his head to a dinked Nicolas Anelka cross but Heurelho Gomes dives to his left to save.

From Tony, expectant Man Utd fan in Lisburn, via text: "Cant help but feel if this match was on a Wednesday night, in a certain European competition, Spurs would absolutely trounce this below par Chelsea side. Here's hoping!"

1623: Better by Chelsea. Well, slightly better anyway. Ramires crosses from the right and Salomon Kalou reaches the ball first at the near post, but cannot keep his shot down.

1620: Gareth Bale needs some treatment after a hefty challenge by Michael Essien. Bale twisted his leg quite badly but it looks like he will be able to continue.

Tottenham goal: Erm, where is the Chelsea defence? Jermain Defoe controls a long ball and is able to cut in, unchallenged, before feeding Roman Pavlyuchenko inside the box. Again, no tackle is forthcoming, and the Russian is able to turn and fire past Petr Cech and into the bottom corner. Too easy. Was Defoe offside in the first place though?

1616: GOALFLASH Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea (Pavlyuchenko)

1615: He does as well... but Heurelho Gomes is able to stand and watch as the ball sails high and wide. At the other end, Gareth Bale jinks past Paulo Ferreira for the first time but his cross is just too deep for Jermain Defoe.

1613: Branislav Ivanovic stands over a free-kick about 35 yards out. Is he going to shoot here?

From King Salomon kalouon 606: "Paulo Ferreira worries me greatly... but if he can handle Gareth Bale, Chelsea will take three points today, no doubt."

From Joe in London, via text: "People seem to be taking this match as a foregone conclusion that Spurs will win. I'm a Spurs fan, but Chelsea still have a strong side and will come out their dip sooner or later. It will definitely be a tougher game than people are saying."

1610: It's very tight in midfield but Michael Essien has started with real purpose for Chelsea. He played a couple of corking passes in the first couple of minutes and has had a couple of shots from distance too. Nothing to trouble Heurelho Gomes though.

1608: Tottenham come forward with purpose for the first time but, with men over, Roman Pavlyuchenko fails to capitalise after bursting into the right-hand side of the box. He runs into trouble and the chance is gone.

1606: Oops. A spot of bother for the Blues. Branislav Ivanovic puts John Terry in trouble with a dangerous ball across his own back-line, and his skipper only just recovers under pressure from Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1602: It's Chelsea who have had the first effort on goal too - Nicolas Anelka has just dragged a hopeful shot wide from about 25 yards out.

1601: Here we go. Chelsea get us started.

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Lampard can play 1st PL match today since August (vs Stoke). Chelsea have won the last 6 PL matches with him playing with a goal difference of 31-0."

seank1984 on Twitter: "Gallas has been immense for us and will be missed, I'm just hoping Spurs' Champions League hangover isn't as bad as mine."

1556: The players are waiting in the tunnel at White Hart Lane. Not long to go now...

1555: Chelsea's form is already a cause for concern, so when does that become a full-blown crisis? Time to see if Carlo Ancelotti can turn things round, but I can think of a few easier places to try to end a slump than White Hart Lane. Feeling confident, Spurs fans?

oliverhj84 on Twitter: "Drogba has not scored from open play since October. Begins to explain Chelsea's recent form I think!"

From Rob, Chelsea fan in Derby via text: "Ancelotti playing Salomon Kalou and Ramires? Lost before we have even started."

MidjetJames on Twitter: "Chelsea are going to struggle creating anything today with the midfield trio. A lot is going to rest on Malouda I feel."

1545: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has just said that it was a 'technical' decision to put Didier Drogba on the bench. He isn't injured... Hmmm, I wonder how that little chat went down with Didier?

Bolton boss Owen Coyle after seeing his side beat Blackburn despite having Mark Davies sent off with the score at 0-0 and more than 30 minutes left to play: "I know I've got spirit in my team, it's evident in the dressing room. To take the blow of the equaliser and go up the other end and score a wonderful goal like that was fantastic. It was important to bounce back after losing last week. I think people realise now that if you come to see Bolton it's going to be an entertaining game."

From Ryan, gutted Rovers fan, via text: "Full credit to Bolton with 10 men and all, but can everybody get off the 'Bolton playing good football' wagon now? They dug in today and ultimately won it with a long ball. Everybody plays it!"

Mike Henson reports: "The big news for Chelsea is that Didier Drogba, who has scored just once in eight league games, drops to the bench. He will find himself sitting alongside Frank Lampard who is on his way back from a tendon and groin problems that have kept him out since August. Chelsea recall Ashley Cole and Jon Mikel Obi for Jose Bosingwa and Josh McEachran in the other two changes from the team that lost to Marseille in midweek. Tottenham name Michael Dawson at the heart of defence alongside Sebastien Bassong as William Gallas drops out of the matchday 16. Alan Hutton is in at right-back while Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon are back in midfield at the expense of Niko Kranjcar and Jermaine Jenas who played in Tuesday's 3-3 draw with FC Twente."

matroycem on Twitter: "Spurs/Chelsea is all about midfield today. Who rules that will win."

Tottenham v Chelsea line-ups
Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe. Subs: Cudicini, Bentley, Keane, Crouch, Giovani, Corluka, Sandro.
Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Essien, Kalou, Anelka, Malouda. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Drogba, Sturridge, Van Aanholt, Bruma, McEachran.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1530: Which leads me nicely on to today's final game. Chelsea will go top if they win at White Hart Lane, while Spurs will climb back above Wanderers if they manage a draw. A win would put Harry Redknapp's men within three points of leaders Arsenal, so plenty to play for.

1529: Wolves definitely deserved their win over a lacklustre Birmingham side, but almost paid the price for failing to finish off their local rivals. Over at the Reebok, the Lancashire derby took a while to get going but it ended up being a real thriller. It's 10-men Bolton who take the points, and they move above Tottenham and into fifth place.

Full time
1526: FULL-TIME Bolton 2-1 Blackburn

1525: That's what the Bolton fans want to see. Kevin Davies breaks forward but heads for the corner flag, not for goal. The home side are playing keep-ball and trying to run down the clock.

1524: Blackburn have sent everyone forward. Paul Robinson pumps the ball forward from his own half, but Bolton clear their lines... for now. This is some finish.

Full time
1523: FULL-TIME Wolves 1-0 Birmingham

1521: There will be SIX minutes of added time at the Reebok.

1519: Kevin Phillips has just wasted a decent chance for Birmingham, who are finishing strongly. He heads wide from the edge of the six-yard box after running on to a Craig Gardner chip.

Bolton goal: Straight from the restart, Sam Ricketts finds Kevin Davies with a long ball forward and his flick is controlled by Stuart Holden before he slams his shot home just inside the post. The 10 men are back in front.

Blackburn goal: A Jason Roberts flick sends Mame Diouf clear and his low shot hits a defender and loops pat Jussi Jaaskelainen. Rovers are level, but not for long...

1516: GOALFLASH Bolton 2-1 Blackburn (Holden)

1516: GOALFLASH Bolton 1-1 Blackburn (Mame Diouf)

1515: Every time I look up, Blackburn are firing the ball into the Bolton area. Must be like the old days for the Reebok faithful. Wanderers survive again, though, because Mame Diouf head straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen from a Phil Jones cross.

Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard are on the bench for Chelsea, and Michael Dawson returns to the centre of the Tottenham defence. More on that in a mo.

Yellow card
1510: Blackburn are pushing hard at the Reebok. Rovers substitute David Dunn has had a close-range shot saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen after reaching Mame Diouf's cut-back. Bolton defender Gary Cahill has been booked for time-wasting too - the 10 men are hanging on.

1507: Almost a sucker punch at Molineux, where Birmingham almost fashion an unlikely equaliser. Sadly for them, a stretching Cameron Jerome is only just unable to get on to the end of a teasing ball into the box. That is probably their first real threat of the game, and it comes with less than 10 minutes to go.

Player rater
1505: Bolton's Martin Petrov is not a happy chappy after being replaced by Matt Taylor, chucking his gloves to the floor as he comes off. Wanderers boss Owen Coyle has a quiet word.

1503: Just in case you are wondering, Fabrice Muamba buried his shot past Paul Robinson, NOT Jussi Jaaskelainen. It took me five minutes to write JJ's name out too.

1502: Still no signs of life from Birmingham, although Kevin Phillips has come on for the Blues, replacing Lee Bowyer.

Mike Henson reports: "There have been clear-the-air talks at Cobham this week as the Chelsea squad attempt to revive a flat-lining title challenge. Five points clear at the top at the end of October, they are now fourth, two points off the summit, with matches against Manchester United and Arsenal next. Tottenham will relish the chance to deepen Carlo Ancelotti's perma-frown. They have won three of the last four meetings between the two at White Hart Lane and victory would take them within a point of their faltering London rivals."

1458: Things almost get worse for Blackburn. Bolton think they have a second when Martin Petrov lashes home but referee Mark Clattenburg has already blown for a foul by Stuart Holden on Michel Salgado, although the contact looks minimal.

Bolton goal: Blackburn have been laying siege to the Bolton goal but it is the 10 men of the home side who are ahead. Ryan Nelsen tries to clear Sam Rickett's hoisted free-kick but only finds Fabrice Muamba inside the area. Nelsen slips as he tries to block Muamba, who turns inside two defenders before burying his shot past Paul Robinson. A quality finish.

1455: I haven't forgotten about Wolves-Birmingham by the way. Mick McCarthy's men continue to dominate that one and a Wolves corner almost leads to a second goal for the home side, with Ben Foster (again) tipping over a Nenand Milijas header from point-blank range.

1453: GOALFLASH Bolton 1-0 Blackburn (Muamba)

1451: Bolton's Johan Elmander catches El-Hadji Diouf, and Wanderers only just survive an almighty goalmouth scramble from the resulting free-kick when Kevin Davies blocks Chris Samba's goalbound header.

1450: And here comes Rovers' first change of the day too. Martin Olsson is off, and Mame Diouf is on. Big Sam is going for this.

Yellow card
1449: A first booking of the day for a Blackburn player, Martin Olsson catches Johan Elmander with a high foot in the face and the Bolton striker needs a spot of treatment.

From Andy in Lancaster, via text: "Re 1430. To be fair, Blackburn fans will chant for anything, just to try and keep warm!"

1446: Bolton boss Owen Coyle immediately makes a change to try to tighten things up. Fabrice Muamba is on for Chung-Yong Lee.

Red card
Bolton red card: He was booked before the break, and a second yellow means red for Mark Davies, after he catches Phil Jones with his leading arm as they challenge for a header. Wanderers are down to 10 men, with over half-an-hour to play.

1445: RED CARD Bolton's Mark Davies

1444: Better by Bolton, and a good stop by Paul Robinson. Stuart Holden whips in a free-kick from the left and it is heading towards the top corner until the former England shot-stopper fists it away.

1442: We've got a bit bogged down in midfield in the Lancashire derby. No shortage of effort from Bolton or Blackburn but no inspiration, yet.

From Mick in Blackburn, via text: "Re 1430. We actually chant 'Too good for England' and long may it remain so."

1440: Not much happening at the Reebok, but another set-piece to tell you about in the midlands. Wolves Nenad Milijas is behind this one, and his curling shot brings another good save out of Ben Foster. The England keeper is having a busy day.

1437: Birmingham hardly look likely to punish Wolves at the moment, mind. Sebastian Larsson has the chance to put the home side under pressure when he stands over a free-kick about 35 yards out on the right, but proceeds to smash the ball straight out of play. Oh dear.

1435: Wolves should really be 2-0 up. Stephen Ward squeezes in a cross from the right and it finds David Edwards unmarked and charging into the box, but he does not get enough on his header and it drifts wide of the far post. A real waste, that.

1434: The second half has started at the Reebok too.

1433: We are back under way at Molineux. No changes from either manager yet.

salilphatak on Twitter: "Wolves haven't kept a single clean sheet this season, so Birmingham to score in the 2nd half. Backing Kevin Davies as well to score for Bolton."

1430: Wolves will remain 19th in the Premier League even if they go on to win today, but a victory would leave them just a point adrift of safety. It would also leave bottom club West Ham all alone on 12 points. Still, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Birmingham have got 45 minutes left to turn this one around, and they surely cannot be much worse than they were in the first half?

From Matt via text: "Re 1405. Rovers fans chant 'England's number one' at Robbo but he doesn't want to warm the bench!"

Half time
Wolves 1-0 Birmingham
Les Roopanarine's HT snap-shot: "After a dominant first-half performance against a below-par Birmingham, Wolves are well worth the half-time lead stylishly supplied by Stephen Hunt."

Half time
Bolton 0-0 Blackburn
David Ornstein's HT snap-shot: "A bright start from Bolton but it's Blackburn who finish the half on top and look good value to extend their unbeaten run at the Reebok Stadium to 11 matches."

1418: The half-time whistle has gone at the Reebok and Molineux. Wolves are ahead in the midlands and Blackburn finished the half on top in the Lancashire derby, which is still goalless. Rovers feel they should have had a penalty just before the break when Martin Olsson burst into the box and appeared to be hauled down by Stuart Holden. Mark Clattenburg thought otherwise.

Wolves goal: It's been coming. Sylvan-Ebanks Blake turns Scott Dann, gets down the right flank and sends over a cross that Stephen Hunt sweeps home at the near post.

1415: GOALFLASH Wolves 1-0 Birmingham (Hunt)

OptaJoe on Twitter: "6 - Ben Foster has dropped six crosses in the Premier League this season, more than any other goalkeeper. Lurpak."

1412: About five minutes left of the first half in both our early Sunday games. Plenty of chances but no goals yet, although Stephen Ward has just found the net for Wolves... it was rightly ruled out for offside though.

1409: Ben Foster comes to the rescue for Birmingham again, palming away a ferocious effort from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at his near post. It's still all Wolves - the Blues have not got going yet.

1407: ...Morten Gamst Pedersen is behind it, and hammers his low shot goalwards. Jussi Jaaskelainen keeps it out, but cannot hold on to it, and Bolton are grateful that Gael Givet knocks the rebound wide. That came out to him very quickly, to be fair, but he should probably have done better with the goal gaping.

Yellow card
1406: Phil Jones feeds Jason Roberts with a searching through-ball, and he races clear. Roberts is brought down by Zat Knight on the edge of the box... the only reason that wasn't red is because Gary Cahill was next to Knight and covering. Still, this is a dangerous looking free-kick...

1405: Stephen Ward chests the ball down, and hits it goalwards on the turn. Not a bad effort, but it doesn't test Paul Robinson. I agree with Richard in Reading, but it was actually Paul Robinson who retired from international football, which is why he hasn't been involved with England recently.

From Richard in Reading, via text: "Is it just me or should Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson be back in the England squad? Him, Joe Hart and Ben Foster are the best options we have. Robinson had a bad couple of years with confidence but people forget how reliable he was for England until that unfortunate miskick, which wasn't even his fault! I'd get him back in the squad as number two to Hart. He's back to his best and he should be rewarded for that, he's been sensational for Blackburn over the past year or so!"

1403: Blackburn are not having much success on the ground, so instead take to the air and carve out their best chance of the first half. Paul Robinson's free-kick is met by the head of Chris Samba but the centre-back's flick is plucked from under the crossbar by Jussi Jaaskelainen. Big Sam might be a bit happier with that.

nemorigby on Twitter: "Surely today is the first time that El-Hadji Diouf has ever taken the field where both sets of fans actually like him? Come on you Whites!"

1400: Just before that Cameron Jerome booking, Wolves had their first shot for a little while when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had a pop on the turn from the edge of the area. He got enough power behind it, but it was too close to Birmingham keeper Ben Foster.

Yellow card
1357: Blackburn defender Phil Jones goes into Mark Clattenburg's book after bringing down Johan Elmander to end a slick Bolton counter-attack. At Molineux, Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome also picks up a booking for a foul on Richard Stearman.

1355: Birmingham's first effort on goal is not a very good one. Sebastian Larsson curls in a free-kick from 35 yards out. He goes for the top corner, but the ball flies a mile high and wide.

1354: Wolves have not really built on their bright start but, over at the Reebok, Bolton keep creating openings. After a swift break, Martin Petrov cuts inside on to his weaker right foot... and scuffs his shot wide of the target.

1352: This time Bolton do get a free-kick. Martin Petrov lets fly from a long way out. It takes a deflection off the wall on its way through, and bounces just in front of Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson, but he just about holds on to the ball.

conorkiwi on Twitter: "Wolves really need to pick up a win today - getting further adrift despite good performances."

1349: Bolton feel they should have a free-kick right on the edge of the area when Gael Givet upends Sam Ricketts but referee Mark Clattenburg is having none of it. He seems to be suggesting Ricketts had lost control of the ball anyway.

1347: We've been having a few technical problems, leading to delayed updates, but you have not missed much. Bolton and Wolves are the teams on top at the moment.

1344: Infostrada Sports tell me that Roger Johnson yellow card is the fastest card for a Birmingham player in Premier League history. He was booked in the second minute. The Blues' previous fastest was Martin Taylor, who was sent off in the third minute of a 2-2 draw against Arsenal in February 2008.

1342: Birmingham keeper Ben Foster has been very busy in the last couple of minutes. First he keeps out a David Edwards header, then he rushes from his goal to block Stephen Hunt's shot after he had wriggled into space in the area. A decent start by Wolves but nothing to show for it yet.

1339: We've seen him do this before. Bolton's Martin Petrov bends in a wicked cross from the left, that whizzes across the face of the Blackburn goal and only just eludes Johan Elmander.

TiltonWarrior on Twitter: "Re 1325. Because with two up front, having Gardner in the middle of the park spoils the balance of the team. Trust in Big Eck!"

1335: An early half chance for Blackburn, with Jason Roberts sending a glancing header wide from El-Hadji Diouf's cross. At the other end, Mark Davies has a 25 yard shot comfortably saved by Paul Robinson.

1333: Referee Martin Atkinson has not taken long to get involved in the midlands derby. Birmingham defender Roger Johnson is booked after just two minutes, for a foul on Richard Stearman.

1332: And at the Reebok too.

1331: We are under way at Molineux.

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "David Dunn is on the bench for Blackburn. The club do a lot better with him, winning almost 41% of their Premier League matches - compared to winning 22% without him."

From Mark, via text: "Why oh why does Birmingham boss Alex McLeish not start with our top scorer Craig Gardner?... GRRRR!"

1325: Right then. Just five minutes left until our first two derbies of the day get started. By the way, no matter what happens at the Reebok Stadium, I won't be calling that game a 'Lancashire hot-pot'. Well, hopefully not anyway...

man_on_football on Twitter: "I've got sympathy for Carlos. Who wouldn't miss the beauty of Argentina, and want to be with their family. Footballers are human and its easy for us to criticise foreigners for wanting to return home, but how many Brits adapt to playing abroad?"

1322: I'm told Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell is ill, which is why he has been left out today.

Les Roopanarine reports: "A spate of injuries forces Wolves manager Mick McCarthy to make four changes to the side that lost 3-0 at Blackburn last time out. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Stephen Hunt, David Edwards and Richard Stearman are thrown into the derby fray, while the home bench includes a quartet of development players. Catching the prevailing mood, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish makes three changes to the side that drew with Tottenham last weekend, handing starts to Nikola Zigic, Sebastian Larsson and David Murphy."

1317: Hmmm. There doesn't seem to be much sympathy for Mr Tevez out there... a lot of you are suggesting money is his motive, which would be a first for a footballer wouldn't it? Ahem. Anyway, I suppose only time will tell... and where he ends up next if he does leave Eastlands of course.

From anon via text: "Wouldn't it be a lot less hassle for everyone if Tevez's family moved over here? Tevez might move back to Argentina in January but I bet he's back in Europe by the summer."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "135 - Blackburn Rovers have hit fewer shots than any other side in the Premier League this season. Considered."

Wolverhampton v Birmingham line-ups
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Zubar, Berra, Stearman, Elokobi, Foley, Edwards, Milijas, Ward, Hunt, Ebanks-Blake. Subs: Hahnemann, Fletcher, Mujangi Bia, Ebanks-Landell, Winnall, Rooney, Doherty.
Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Murphy, Larsson, Bowyer, Ferguson, Fahey, Jerome, Zigic. Subs: Taylor, Gardner, Phillips, Derbyshire, Parnaby, Beausejour, Redmond.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

From Dan via text: "Bolton with six attacking players on the field. This is going to be entertaining one way or another!"

tim_rolls on Twitter: "Chelsea fan en route to WHL. Last season Bale destroyed Ferreira, who was taken off at HT. Same confrontation today. Aargh!"

David Ornstein reports: "Bolton hope to get back to winning ways after defeat by Manchester City and make only one change from the team that lose 1-0 at Eastlands as Stuart Holden returns from a thigh injury to replace Fabrice Muamba in central midfield. Blackburn eased past Wolves last time out and boss Sam Allardyce, returning to his former club, also makes just the one alteration - Martin Olsson coming in for David Dunn after six weeks out with a hamstring strain."

Les Roopanarine reports: "Wolves have lost five of their last six Premier League outings, Birmingham have been defeated just once over the same number of games, yet both sides find themselves at the wrong end of the table. In neither case are the reasons difficult to fathom. Second-from-bottom Wolves have conceded 30 times this season, giving them the joint-worst record in the league, while Birmingham, having drawn nine times, seem better at avoiding defeat than grinding out wins. That said, the visitors haven't lost a league game against Wolves since 2001, and that statistic seems unlikely to change unless home manager Mick McCarthy can engineer a timely upturn in form."

1302: Whatever happens this afternoon, let's hope I can write GOALFLASH more often than I did yesterday. There were only 12 goals scored in the Premier League, which Infostrada Sports tell me is the equal-fewest on a Saturday in the top flight this season. The same total was reached on 2 October and 30 October.

adamjdoherty on Twitter: "Re 1239. Maybe the Manchester City owners will move the entire club to Argentina to keep Tevez on the books."

Robi1993 on Twitter: "Bolton to beat Blackburn in a five-goal thriller, Wolves to earn a draw against Birmingham and Tottenham to thrash Chelsea."

David Ornstein reports: "What better to get the juices flowing on a chilly Sunday lunchtime than a feisty Lancashire derby between two contrasting sides with a point to prove. Owen Coyle's stylish Bolton, barely recognisable from the team left by Sam Allardyce in 2007, are chasing a first home win against Blackburn in more than a decade and know victory would maintain their European charge. But Allardyce - now leading workmanlike Rovers - will have other ideas and little would give him greater pleasure than defying the boo boys to emerge from his old club with all three points."

From Meerschaum_221B on 606: "Never known so many managers to be under so much pressure. Hodgson, Houllier, Avram Grant and today the spotlight is back on Ancelotti. Ridiculous but fascinating. Ruthless times in which we live."

1252: This is where you play your part too. Whether you are stunned by the Tevez story or salivating at the prospect of Spurs versus Chelsea, then I want to hear from you. Here's how: Tweet me at chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter, join the regulars on 606 or text me via 81111 (UK).

Bolton v Blackburn line-ups
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee, Mark Davies, Holden, Petrov, Elmander, Kevin Davies. Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Muamba, Taylor, Klasnic, Moreno, Blake.
Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Olsson, Emerton, Jones, Pedersen, El-Hadji Diouf, Roberts. Subs: Bunn, Dunn, Kalinic, Mwaruwari, Hoilett, Hanley, Mame Diouf.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1247: Anyway, this is what's happening in the Premier League today. If you like derby games, you are in luck because we've got three crackers on the way.

Bolton v Blackburn (1330 GMT)
Wolves v Birmingham (1330)
Tottenham v Chelsea (1600)

1245: By the way, the transfer window opens in 19 days, 11 hours and 15 minutes. If you see Kia Joorabchian, can you let him know? Thanks.

1242: With his estranged partner and children back in Buenos Aires, and continuous rumours he is homesick, Tevez demanding to leave is not quite a shock on the scale of Wayne Rooney saying he wants to quit United. It's hardly a surprise to learn he and Roberto Mancini don't get on very well either. But the timing is odd, seeing as he said this in an interview earlier this week: "I do miss my family, just like anyone would when they are not around. A sacrifice has to be made when you make a commitment like I have done with City and it is something I am going to see through." Maybe that quote should have had "until January" at the end of it?

1239: Yep, it seems that whatever Roo can do, Tevez can do better. Just days after telling Manchester City fans "I'm happy here. I really am." Carlos Tevez slaps in a transfer request. How do you think this particular saga will turn out?

1235 GMT: I haven't got a huge billboard handy, but I'd just like to say 'Welcome to Sunday's football!'. No doubt what the story of the day is, but let's hope this afternoon's three Premier League games provide us with plenty to talk about too...

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Barclays Premier League results

12 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 12 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 17 19 31
5 Tottenham 17 3 27
6 Bolton 17 6 26
7 Sunderland 17 2 24
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 17 -5 21
14 Aston Villa 17 -9 20
15 Everton 17 -2 18
16 Birmingham 17 -3 18
17 Fulham 17 -4 16
18 Wigan 17 -15 16
19 Wolves 17 -12 15
20 West Ham 17 -15 12

see also
Sunday's Premier League photos
12 Dec 10 |  Premier League

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