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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Saturday football as it happened

Final Score

Live video - Final Score

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

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By Sam Lyon

1735: And so, having sent you all towards Matthew Kenyon's Twitter, I'm going to wrap this bad boy up. If your interest lies in the Ipswich-Leicester match, be sure to check out our stats page for scores and running commentary, but otherwise might I advise you that - with no fixtures surviving the weather - there will be no football text commentary tomorrow. Crack out the violins folks. In the meantime, get involved in a spot of Match of the Day on BBC One and online from 2225 tonight, followed by The Football League Show at 2325. If only to see Craig Gordon's super save. Final Score continues until 1800 and I'll see you all again on Boxing Day. See ya!

Cleverclogs on 606: "On the first week of Christmas (football) my true love sent to me, "two Prem games and the foo-ootball leeaaaague". Next installment - next week."

1727: A reminder, by the way, that if you want to stay across the Club World Cup final between Inter Milan and TP Mazembe, join our man on the scene Matthew Kenyon on Twitter for all the latest.

DiamondMatt on Twitter: "Championship is tight again this season - 10 teams on either 28, 29 or 30 points!"

1726: BLACKBURN 1-1 WEST HAM
Ian Hughes reports:
"West Ham did well to fight back an earn a point, but boss Avram Grant could be one game closer to the sack."

1724: COVENTRY 1-2 NORWICH
Paul Fletcher reports:
"A deserved win for Norwich, but Coventry will be kicking themselves after crafting an equaliser out of nothing."

1722: LEEDS 2-0 QPR
Phil Dawkes reports:
"Everything is going right for Leeds at the moment, they were comfortably the better side."

1720: SUNDERLAND 1-0 BOLTON
Andrew McKenzie reports:
"Danny Welbeck and Craig Gordon combine to earn a three points for a solid Sunderland side."

1718: Let's have a look at what happened in our featured games today then shall we?

MUFC_4_E3VER on 606: "RE 1558 - Norwich are going up lalalala."

Football League Danny: "Never mind the snow - there are NO DRAWS IN THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE! Excited, sorry. Anyway, it's Championship wins for Hull, Leeds, Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Sheffield United. And a League One thumping for Sheffield Wednesday courtesy of Exeter. Ipswich kick-off against Leicester at 1720 GMT, so they could still ruin the run..."

wordsfailme on Twitter: "A draw at Blackburn is always good in a relegation battle, but if he can't win at home, Avram is toast."

Pete Jordan Thorpe Owl via text: "Credit to Exeter, but a very poor second half from Wednesday today. We definitely need to strengthen in January as we were missing a couple of defenders today and were found out. We could do with a tough-tackling midfielder too."

subsaharan_LUFC on 606: "Its premature to talk of promotion and even more premature to talk of a return to past glories. But nevertheless, nine games unbeaten and second at Christmas? Not bad Leeds."

1707: How did we all enjoy Snow Saturday then? The Big Freeze of Twenty 10 Part II might have decimated our fixture list, but it did at least give us the chance to give more focus to Leeds-QPR and Coventry-Norwich, which makes for a nice change. For the record, Leeds are up to second as a result of their impressive home win over the league leaders, while Grant Holt's late winner sends Norwich up above Coventry and into fifth in the Championship. Which is nice.

1702: So, a relatively decent draw for West Ham in the end, but will it be enough to save Avram Grant from the axe? The Hammers will be bottom of the table on Christmas Day, and Infostrada Sports tell us that that 17 of the previous 18 Premier League clubs to be in last place on December 25 have gone on to be relegated, including each of the last five. The only club to ever avoid the drop from this position was West Brom in 2005. So Grant's job not quite safe yet.

garrethhawkins on Twitter: "Holt's having a cracking season so far! Saying that, so are Norwich!"

PilgrimLeeds on 606: "Leeds are going up lalalalalallalala."

Full time
1658: FULL-TIME Coventry 1-2 Norwich

1656: FULL-TIME Leeds 2-0 QPR

Full time
1653: FULL-TIME Blackburn 1-1 West Ham

1652: Time for a dramatic winner at Ewood Park?

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Norwich goal: The Canaries win it right at the death - and you have to say deservedly so. Grant Holt is the predator supreme once again, smashing in a corner at the far post to break the hearts of 10-man Coventry.

1651: GOALFLASH Coventry 1-2 Norwich (Holt)

1651: Morten Gamst Pedersen drills his left-footed effort inches wide.

Yellow card
1650: Another chance for Blackburn here, though, as Luis Boa Morte brings down Brett Emerton right on the very edge of the Hammers penalty area. He is booked for his troubles.

1650: Brett Emerton pings in an effort from range... it sails over Ruud Boffin's crossbar.

1648: We'll have four added minutes at Ewood Park.

Football League Danny: "Late drama - Shane Long nets his second of the afternoon on 88 minutes. Derby 1-2 Reading. A right Royals tear-up. Forest are 3-0 up on Crystal Palace. Job done. And down south it's Exeter 5-1 Sheffield Wednesday. Cripes."

1646: West Ham break again, but first Frederic Piquionne's cross is too strong - and then Scott Parker, on the retrieve, fires in an even worse one. Give the Hammers a quality final ball and they'd have been dangerous today.

1644: ...Junior Stansilas's cross is poor, though, and Blackburn eventually clear.

1643: West Ham fancy the win here, I reckon. They're pushing forward in these closing stages and they have a corner kick with five minutes left...

1639: Goal disallowed at Blackburn, Ryan Nelsen penalised for a foul in the box before David Dunn's flick in. Replays suggest West Ham might've been a touch fortunate there, though.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Coventry goal: BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh Arena reports: "Scarcely deserved, but after Marlon King out-muscled Elliot Ward to a long ball up field from Michael Doyle, the striker closed down on goal before smashing the ball beyond John Ruddy. The Coventry fans are now chanting his name."

1637: GOALFLASH Coventry 1-1 Norwich (King)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
West Ham goal: It's been coming, but it's taken a substitute to show the regulars how to finish. Scott Parker's mazy run on the edge of the box ends with the ball spilling to Junior Stanislas, who curls it low into the far corner from the angle.

1635: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-1 West Ham (Stanislas)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Leeds goal: It looks like the points are going to Leeds as the hosts double their lead - and it is Max Gradel again. The winger runs with the ball from his own half into the box before beating QPR keeper Paddy Kenny at the near post.

1633: GOALFLASH Leeds 2-0 QPR (Gradel)

Football League Danny: "Sheffield Wednesday might be wishing Exeter's match had been called off. It's now 4-1 to the home side with evergreen Jamie Cureton netting his second, the veteran."

1632: Another chance for West Ham, another one wasted. Frederic Piquionne rises unmarked to meet a corner eight yards out - but heads it over.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1629: So close to 1-1 at Ewood Park. Junior Stanislas's whipped cross is only half-cleared and it falls to Matthew Upson, the defender improvising well to flick goalwards but watching on in horror as his effort comes back off the post.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Norwich goal: BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh Arena reports: "Norwich have been on top in the second half and have now taken the lead thanks to Grant Holt, who headed home Russell Martin's cross from six yards. Coventry had not conceded in their previous four games and this is a big test for them now. Remember, they are down to 10 men."

1628: GOALFLASH Coventry 0-1 Norwich (Holt)

Football League Danny: "Hull City 2-0 Bristol City. Jay Simpson's got them both."

1625: This will be the third enforced change because of injury for Blackburn, substitute Phil Jones limping from the field after coming off worse in a challenge with Carlton Cole. Welcome to Premier League management Steve Kean, huh? On comes young Scottish defender Grant Hanley.

1624: Hhmm, it would appear I relocated Leeds to Ewood Park briefly at 1616 - sorry about that. Refresh and all will be right in the world again. Cheers.

Football League Danny: "Kris Commons levels for Derby against Reading - that's his 11th of the season (I'll put something comparing his hot scoring streak with the cold, cold weather in here). Also, Exeter v Sheffield Wednesday is still the game that keeps on giving - it's now 3-1 to the home side."

1622: At the Ricoh Arena, it has been all Norwich in the second half - though Coventry's Richard Wood has just wasted the best chance of the game, heading wide at the far post from six yards.

Yellow card
1620: Oof. Gael Givet goes in really rather hard on Scott Parker, misses the ball, and the Blackburn man earns himself a yellow card as a result.

Football League Danny: "I think I love Exeter v Sheffield Wednesday - AKA The Game They Couldn't Stop. It's now 2-1 to the home side, Liam Sercombe restoring the Grecians' lead."

1616: The first chance of the second half at Elland Road goes to the home side, with Luciano Becchio striking a powerful shot from 20 yards, Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny doing well to scramble it away.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher on Twitter: "Pitch almost clear of snow now. Starting to wonder what all the fuss was about. Do not want to know the temperature. It can only damage me."

1614: Avram Grant's response is immediate - on come Carlton Cole and Junior Stanislas, Jonathan Spector and Pablo Barrera the men replaced. Blackburn caretaker boss Steve Kean, meanwhile, replaces Chris Samba with Phil Jones.

Ruining on 606: "Even the goal at Ewood Park was boring. It's like watching someone who is watching paint dry."

Football League Danny: "Marcus Tudgay puts Nottingham Forest 2-0 up at home to Crystal Palace. Victory today will send Forest flying up the Championship, given the congested nature of mid-table combined with the number of postponements."

1611: Caretaker boss Steve Kean has the lead in his first match in charge of Blackburn, then. However, Avram Grant, lest we forget, has apparently been given three matches to save his job - not the start to the half he will have wanted.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Blackburn goal: It won't win any goal of the month competitions, but Ryan Nelsen cares not. Brett Emerton's cross bobbles around the Hammers' six yard area and after seeing his initial effort saved at point-blank range by Ruud Boffin, Nelsen swivels and turns the ball in from four yards via his thigh.

1608: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-0 West Ham (Nelsen)

1607: That's a waste, Frederic Piquionne failing to pick out what looks a fairly simple through-ball for Kieron Dyer, Ryan Nelsen easily cutting out the Frenchman's pass. Dyer would've been through otherwise.

Yellow card
1605: Early booking at Ewood Park as Tal Ben Haim earns himself a yellow card by steaming into Mame Diouf by the left corner flag.

1602: Right, deep breaths all round, the match at Ewood Park is back under way.

hugrrr on 606: "Tomorrow's live commentary - three hours of Sam playing 'I Spy'."

1557: That West Brom-Wolves postponement tomorrow, by the way, means there are no surviving matches for us to feast upon on 'Not So Super Sunday'. It could be a quiet text commentary, I will warn you.

Football League Danny: "Fact fan? Why not feast on these non-Premier League half-time scores? Coventry 0-0 Norwich; Derby 0-1 Reading; Hull 1-0 Bristol City; Leeds 1-0 QPR; Nottingham Forest 1-0 Crystal Palace; Sheffield United 1-0 Swansea and Exeter 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday."

Half time
1554: HALF-TIME Leeds 1-0 QPR
Phil Dawkes' HT snap-shot:
"Leeds deservedly hold the half-time advantage but it is an open encounter. More to come."

Half time
1552: HALF-TIME Coventry 0-0 Norwich
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher's HT snap-shot:
"There has not been much quality in the final thirds and much of the game has bypassed the middle third. Make of that what you will."

Half time
1551: HALF-TIME Blackburn 0-0 West Ham
Ian Hughes's HT snap-shot:
"Those who braved the weather at Ewood Park may well wish they hadn't. A dire first half."

1550: West Brom-Wolves (Sunday) OFF

1547: The whistle brings an end to the first 45 minutes at Ewood Park.

1545: Another fine chance for West Ham as Blackburn's right-hand side is again breached, but Paul Robinson gets down well to save Luis Boa Morte's low shot at his near post. The Hammers ending the half well.

1543: Luis Boa Morte releases Frederic Piquionne as West Ham, practically for the first time, get in behind the Rovers defence, but the French striker's effort slams into the side-netting.

Red card
Coventry red card: BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh Arena reports: "Coventry down to 10 men after Aron Gunnarsson sees red for a late tackle on Henri Lansbury. It did look bad at first viewing as the Coventry player stretched to try to win the ball but, given the conditions, a yellow might've been fair."

1540: Some neat build-up play almost ends with Jonathan Spector releasing Kieron Dyer, but the Hammers midfielder - playing in a far more advanced role than usual today - is flagged offside running through on goal.

1538: RED CARD COVENTRY (Gunnarsson)

1535: Bit better at Ewood Park as Morten Gamst Pedersen curls a 22-yard free-kick towards the top corner left-footed, Ruud Boffin across well to pluck the ball out of the air on the dive. One for the cameras, that.

Football League Danny: "St James Park in Exeter has proven to be some kind of balmy Big Freeze-defying oasis this weekend. And the fans who have turned up for the only remaining League One or Two match have been rewarded with goals goals goals. Well, goals goals anyway. Jamie Cureton put Exeter ahead, only for Tommy Miller to level almost immediately. 1-1."

Matt, stuck working in a bank, via text: "Come on Leeds! Lets steal second place for Christmas."

1531: Deary me. Pablo Barrera's free-kick underlines the paucity of spark and incident so far at Ewood Park, curling a free-kick from wide on the left straight into the arms of home keeper Paul Robinson.

1528: Coventry might not have conceded in four games but they have been opened up a couple of times by a Norwich side favouring a 4-3-3 formation. Simeon Jackson created the best chance with a smart turn but his effort flew over the crossbar. Some spicy tackles flying in, plus the odd bit of pushing and shoving there too.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Leeds goal: Not great news for Hoopsididitagain, sorry. Robert Snodgrass engineers room for himself to cross with his right foot and Max Gradel is on hand to fire home with a well-executed left-foot half-volley. Just about deserved so far, that.

1525: GOALFLASH Leeds 1-0 QPR (Gradel)

Hoopsididitagain on 606: "Sweltering in a Rwandan Internet Cafe to see that suddenly QPR are second billing! God bless this so-called 'Big Freeze'."

1522: Now, this will surprise a few of you (ahem), but Blackburn-West Ham is pretty dire so far, I must say. Ho hum.

1519: West Ham look to have settled into something like a decent rhythm now at Ewood Park, though Jonathan Spector's optimistic effort on the half-volley from outside the area is way off-target.

1517: It's starting to open up a touch at Elland Road, with QPR threatening this time - Adel Taarabt sending a long-range effort narrowly past Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel's upright.

1515: Chance for Leeds at Elland Road now as Robert Snodgrass' cross leads to a Luciano Beccio effort that is well tipped over the bar by QPR keeper Paddy Kenny.

1514: At the Ricoh Arena, Coventry will probably consider themselves unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty as Michael Nelson appears to clip the ankles of Clive Platt as they chase down the ball.

A chilly BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher on Twitter: "Hurrah. Not quite the luminous bright orange ball of old but a sort of peachy orange and white number. Quite fetching, for a football."

1511: Finally, here comes that Blackburn change, Benjani on to replace Jason Roberts.

1508: Over at Elland Road, it's fairly even in the opening exchanges, though league leaders QPR have at least forged a couple of half-chances.

1507: It's been a positive start so far for Blackburn, with Mame Diouf in particular looking a threat. They may have to make an early change, however, with Jason Roberts pulling up with what looks a hamstring injury.

1504: ...and Pedersen's effort is travelling at a fair ol' rate of knots and on target before crashing off a Hammers defender and away.

1504: Early sniff at goal perhaps for Blackburn as Mame Diouf - rather theatrically - goes down under a challenge from Danny Gabbidon on the edge of the box. Morten Gamst Pedersen is over it...

1503: The early chant at Ewood Park? "There's only one Jack Walker". Venky's not off to the most popular of starts to their Blackburn reign are they?

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher on Twitter: "Any teccies out there? Should I be worried about snow drifted peacefully on my laptop before turning into water? (By the way a big shout to the large number of Norwich fans who have made the trip)"

1502: We are up and running at Ewood Park.

1459: By the way, I'm being told it's been 16 - yep, 16 - years since a Leeds match at Elland Road had to be postponed because of the weather. Take heed the rest of ya, take heed.

Chris, central London, via text: "I wonder whether West Ham's goalkeeper will get full marks today and be top of the class? Sorry, couldn't help myself."

Meerschaum_221B on 606: "Avram Grant in charge today - he shouldn't be. Big Sam gone and he should be there. Sometimes football befuddles me."

1457: A cheeky refresh of this page will see Final Score appear at the top of this page and an audio link to Five Live sports extra appear on the right-hand side. Jubbly.

1456: AMENDED TEAM NEWS
West Ham midfielder Valon Behrami has been injured in the warm-up and will be replaced against Blackburn by Jonathan Spector.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher on Twitter: "Coventry's mascot Sam trying his best to look chipper despite the snow and the cold. He looked glum in the media room a short while ago."

1451: LEEDS v QPR
Phil Dawkes reports:
"Leeds name the same team that won 3-2 at Burnley last weekend, with Neil Collins continuing to deputise for the injured Andy O'Brien at centre-back. Collins is partnered by Alex Bruce, who plays despite being involved in a car crash on Friday. League leaders QPR make two changes from the 3-1 home defeat by Watford. Rob Hulse starts against his former team in place of Heidar Helguson, while Bradley Orr comes in for Alejandro Faurlin."

1447: COVENTRY v NORWICH
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh Arena:
"Coventry make one enforced change, as David Bell comes into midfield with skipper Lee Carsley suspended. Norwich make three changes from the team that lost against Portsmouth, with striker Grant Holt back after serving a suspension of his own, while Michael Nelson and Korey Smith also come into the side."

1446: BLACKBURN v WEST HAM
Ian Hughes reports:
"So Blackburn make two changes, bringing in Mame Biram Diouf - who scored in last week's defeat by Bolton - and David Dunn. West Ham's five changes include a debut for keeper Ruud Boffin - in for the injured Robert Green - with Valon Behrami, Danny Gabbidon, Luis Boa Morte and Kieron Dyer also brought in."

1444: So what have we got in store now then? Well, in a late reshuffle, I'll be paying special attention to Blackburn-West Ham in the Premier League and Coventry-Norwich and Leeds-QPR in the Championship, while Football League Danny will bring you all the latest from the other matches in the lower leagues. Happy days.

1442: So yep, Sunderland supporters will enjoy their Christmas lunch from the rare heights of sixth spot this year thanks to that win - what a recent run the Black Cats have been on. A word on Man City too, by the way - the deluge of Premier League postponements means victory for them over Everton on Monday and they will top the table at Christmas for the first time since 1929. Wowzers.

Full time
1440: FULL-TIME Sunderland 1-0 Bolton

1439: Massive chance and it should be 1-1. Rodrigo picks out a beauty of a cross and Ivan Klasnic is completely unmarked six yards out in front of goal - only to skew his volley wide. Big let-off for Sunderland and surely that means a top-six spot for the hosts over Christmas now.

1436: We'll have four minutes of injury time.

1435: With Bolton pressing for an equaliser Sunderland can break, and Jordan Henderson clips a cross in for Bolo Zenden to head at goal - but it's wide. Still hope for the Trotters...

1434: LEEDS v QPR
Leeds:
Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce, Collins, McCartney, Kilkenny, Howson, Johnson, Gradel, Becchio, Snodgrass. Subs: Higgs, Paynter, Sam, Faye, Bromby, Somma, McCormack.
QPR: Kenny, Orr, Gorkss, Connolly, Hill, Mackie, Derry, Walker, Smith, Taarabt, Hulse. Subs: Cerny, Hall, Clarke, Helguson, Rowlands, Ephraim, Tofas.
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)

1433: COVENTRY v NORWICH
Coventry:
Westwood, Keogh, McPake, Cameron, Wood, Bell, Gunnarsson, Doyle, McSheffrey, King, Platt. Subs: Ireland, Eastwood, Jutkiewicz, Cranie, Clarke, O'Donovan, Thomas.
Norwich: Ruddy, Russell Martin, Nelson, Ward, Lappin, Korey Smith, Fox, Lansbury, Jackson, Holt, Chris Martin. Subs: Rudd, Hoolahan, Johnson, McNamee, Tudur Jones, Berthel Askou, Habergham.
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire)

1431: Close for Bolton as Gary Cahill follows up Ivan Klasnic's blocked snap-shot, but the defender's slapped effort from 16 yards is deflected inches wide. Bit of a rally forging from the visitors here.

1430: COVENTRY v NORWICH
BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Ricoh Arena:
"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Not that many fans have taken to their seats here at Coventry's stadium just yet - and I cannot say that I blame them. Groundsmen are sweeping snow off the pitch, there is an eerie silence here rarely associated with a football match and the players are wrapped up as they go through their warm-up routines. This is fifth against sixth as two form teams lock horns - and hopefully the events on the pitch will take the fans' minds off the cold."

1429: Another bonus for you as we continue to think on our feet...

1428: Double change for Bolton as Rodrigo and Tamir Cohen come on for Fabrice Muamba and Matt Taylor. Into the last seven minutes of normal time.

1425: BLACKBURN v WEST HAM
Blackburn:
Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, Emerton, Mame Diouf, Dunn, Pedersen, El-Hadji Diouf, Roberts. Subs: Bunn, Kalinic, Mwaruwari, Hoilett, Jones, Olsson, Hanley.
West Ham: Boffin, Ben-Haim, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon, Barrera, Parker, Dyer, Behrami, Piquionne, Boa Morte. Subs: Larkins, Reid, Cole, McCarthy, Spector, Faubert, Stanislas.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1424: Half a chance for Bolton as they press for an equaliser, Johan Elmander swapping passes with Ivan Klasnic on the edge of the box but just allowing the ball to run away from him as he burst into the Sunderland defence.

picto27 on 606: "RE: 1350 - Coupet's double save against Barcelona - diving header from a backpass onto the bar and then saves the follow-up from Rivaldo. Stunning."

Cheetham91 on Twitter: "RE: 1350 - Jim Montgomery's double save. Sunderland vs Leeds FA cup final."

1421: TEAM NEWS SNAP
Under-pressure West Ham boss Avram Grant makes five changes to his side for the trip to Blackburn, the most surprising of which sees young Belgian keeper Ruud Boffin handed his Hammers debut in place of the injured Rob Green.

1419: Sunderland substitution - Bolo Zenden on for Asamoah Gyan.

1418: Sunderland all over Bolton like a rash all of a sudden, and moments after Danny Welbeck just fails to get on the end of a one-two with Darren Bent on the edge of the box, Asamoah Gyan's cross into the six-yard box is well cut out by visiting defender Gary Cahill.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1415: So nearly 2-0. Twice. Darren Bent contrives to mis-control Jordan Henderson's delightful pass into the box with just the keeper to beat, but the threat continues and Asamoah Gyan lays it back to Danny Welbeck to shoot, the loan striker's slide-rule effort clipping the outside of Jussi Jaaskelainen's post and away.

1411: Bolton just starting to press the Sunderland back line in the last few minutes of so, and Anton Ferdinand does well to get a block in to stop Kevin Davies's hooked snap-shot 16 yards out.

Justinihno van Capo on 606: "Re: 1350 Dudek 2005 Champion League final extra time."

Fergustinho on Twitter: "RE: 1350 Surely Rene Higuita gets a shout?"

Yellow card
1409: Fabrice Muamba is the next man to receive a booking, this time for a foul on Asamoah Gyan. It has been a bit spicy at times this match.

1408: Bolton change, Martin Petrov the man replaced, Ivan Klasnic brough on in his place.

1407: LEEDS V QPR
Phil Dawkes reports:
"The weather may be sub-zero but there is no doubt that the hottest Championship ticket in town is for Elland Road this afternoon. Unbeaten in eight games, and having impressively won 3-2 at Burnley last Saturday, fourth-placed Leeds come flying into this game brimming with confidence. League leaders QPR had their first wobble of the league campaign last time out, losing 3-1 at home to Watford, and will be desperate to get back to winning ways to keep the chasing pack at bay."

1405: BLACKBURN v WEST HAM
Ian Hughes reports:
"This could be billed as the battle of the bosses. Blackburn's first match under caretaker manager Steve Kean - in charge following the shock sacking of Sam Allardyce - comes against a West Ham team who may have only three games left with Avram Grant at the helm: reportedly he must win one of them to keep his job. Expect festive spirit to be in short supply - although the Hammers' away form (winless since August 2009!) suggests they may come to Ewood Park bearing gifts."

1404: Right, with the Sunderland-Bolton match experiencing a bit of a Rod Lull, let's have a look at Blackburn-West Ham and, as an added bonus thanks to The Big Freeze Twenty 10, Leeds-QPR shall we?

1402: Fetch it! Bolton winger Martin Petrov has a go from all of 35 yards - but all it is in danger of troubling are those currently occupying row Z of the South Stand. Not the best effort.

Amir Mir on 606: "RE - 1350: GORDON BANKS!!! I say no more."

Liam_McDonagh on Twitter: "RE: 1350 - Peter Schmeichel for Manchester United against Rapid Wien in 1996 Champions League away game?"

Yellow card
1358: A couple of sloppy challenges in a minute - the second a foul on Danny Welbeck - sees Stuart 'Texas' (I'm claiming it, I really am) Holden become the latest name to be taken by referee Chris Foy.

1357: He's put plenty behind that, Johan Elmander, but man-of-the-moment Craig Gordon follows up his wonder save of the first half with a neat claim from the Swede's snap-shot from the angle.

1353: Lee Cattermole is a lucky boy. The Sunderland midfielder, on a booking, goes through Johan Elmander's ankle nowhere near the ball but referee Chris Foy misses it and waves play on. Had the official seen it, Cattermole would surely have seen his third red card of the season. And we're only in December. Blimey.

dancalamity on Twitter: "Craig Gordon's - amazing save, yes. Best ever? No. David Seaman's save against Sheff Utd in the FA Cup Semi."
Oh yes, that was rather incredible too. Any other shouts?

1350: Righty-oh, let's get back to Sunderland-Bolton. Sunderland, as it stands, are on course for sixth in the Premier League - another goal and they'd be on course for fifth, ahead of Tottenham.

1347: Infostrada Sports tell us, by the way, no other Premier League player has scored more goals in the division than Danny Welbeck since the Sunderland striker netted at Chelsea on 14 November. Dimitar Berbatov (five) has also scored five goal during this period.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher on Twitter: "I am quite literally being sent to Coventry today. Anyone reckon they are realistic promotion material?"

1344: Blackpool-Tottenham (Sunday) OFF

Football League Danny: "Even the Big Freeze Twenty Ten cannot destroy the Football League. Decimate it, yes. Destroy, no. It looks like eight matches have survived, including the tasty looking Championship match at Elland Road where Leeds host QPR. Paul Fletcher will be sending us news from Coventry-Norwich and the matches at Derby, Hull, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Ipswich are all still on. Football League Danny's special prize this week goes to Exeter City, whose tie against Sheffield Wednesday goes ahead - the only one in Leagues One and Two..."

thekingofnothin on Twitter: "That is the most ridiculous save I have ever seen. Cannot believe Gordon managed to pull that off. Unbelievable."

Jason in an unsnowy Burton on Trent via text: "RE 1327 - Bolton's got talent presented by Elmander Holden and Simon Coyle. Ha ha."

tesodosbichos on Twitter: "I know Roman's yacht was expensive but surely he can afford a couple of shovels?"

Half time
1335: HALF-TIME Sunderland 1-0 Bolton
Andrew McKenzie's HT snap-shot:
"Welbeck's goal and Gordon's brilliance prove the difference in an otherwise scrappy affair occasionally brought to life by some meaty challenges."

1334: And there goes the half-time whistle.

mattzaliar on 606: "Holy Moly! What a spectacular save. Take a bow son!"

1331: What. A. Save. That might just be the best save I've ever seen. (Hyperbole? Me?) Gary Cahill nods a deep Bolton corner back into the six-yard box and Zat Knight prods goalwards from all of five yards, only for Craig Gordon to instinctively stretch out his left hand and turn the shot over the bar from point-blank range. Stunning.

hippo on toast on 606: "Any chance of the Ashes match being called off? Please?"

1327: You know Stuart Holden - is his nickname 'Texas'? If not, it should be.

Yellow card
1326: Lee Cattermole is the second player to have his name taken at the Stadium of Light, the Sunderland midfielder cautioned for a foul on Stuart Holden. That rules him out of the Boxing Day match against Manchester United game, by the way. So Cattermole, at least, will be able to fully enjoy his Christmas dinner.

1325: By the way, it's not all bad news for Arsenal fans today - the Gunners have today announced that Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi will be joining the club in January 2011. "I am delighted Ryo will be joining us in the New Year," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. "He trialled with us in the summer and has raw ability which has attracted many clubs around the world. I look forward to helping him fulfil his potential here at Arsenal." So that's nice.

Pushed out by Barthez on 606: "Nice piece of improvisation from Welbeck on that goal, that was at an awkward height and he didn't have much to aim for with the defender and Jaaskelainen on the line."

Yellow card
1320: Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is enraged on the touchlines as Gary Cahill crashes through the back of Darren Bent on halfway, the Bolton defender booked for his troubles.

1319: Luton-York abandoned after 55 minutes.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Sunderland goal: Jordan Henderson's deep cross is salvaged brilliantly by Darren Bent and when his shot is well saved Jussi Jaaskelainen, Danny Welbeck stoops home to head in the rebound. That's his fifth goal in six outings. Advantage Sunderland.

1318: GOALFLASH Sunderland 1-0 Bolton (Welbeck)

1317: Best chance of the match and he makes it all himself. Asamoah Gyan flicks a header over Zat Knight, dashes in behind the defender and lashes goalwards - Jussi Jaaskelainen saving despite a big deflection off Gary Cahill.

SimplyZola on 606: "Weather update from the Club World Cup: Sunny and warm."

1314: May I just pay notice to the 3,475 (give or take) of you that have texted, tweeted or 606'd the 'observation' that they needn't have postponed the Chelsea-Man Utd game this early as all the fans that would've attended the match live near Stamford Bridge anyway. You can all stop that now. Thanks.

anamanaguchi on 606: "So much for lounging in my underpants all day watching the footy."
And may I say what a wonderful image that is for all of us.

1311: Bolton enjoying a decent spell, now, and Johan Elmander should really do better with a free header 10 yards out - the Swede succeeding only in glancing well over Craig Gordon's bar. Chances at a premium so far.

1308: Early change for Sunderland as John Mensah is forced off through injury, Ahmed El Mohamady on as a makeshift full-back with Nedum Onuoha switched to centre-half.

1306: I can confirm Chelsea-Man Utd is definitely off due to heavy snow in London say the club, following consultation with police and the local authority.

1305: Yep, it would appear the snow - somehow - is just threatening to affect our operating systems which, believe me, is as frustrating for me as it is for you. Apologies nonetheless. It looks like we're good to go at the moment, though, and I can tell you that 20 minutes into proceedings its all fairly even-Steven at the Stadium of Light.

1303: We're just having a few technical issues so apologies if things are running a tad slow. Meanwhile, more injury worries for Sunderland as John Mensah picks up a knock.

1300: Decent opening for Sunderland as Kieran Richardson burst pasts the Bolton backline and then dances past Zat Knight, but Gary Cahill rescues the Trotters with a last-ditch tackle to deny Asamoah Gyan.


1257: As the boys in the office chase that Chelsea-Man Utd postponement news, we have a break in play at the Stadium of Light as Darren Bent receives treatment on a leg injury. He's getting his left peg strapped up as we speak but it looks like he should be OK to carry on.

1256: Great chance for Bolton, Matty Taylor getting free down the left and squaring it for Kevin Davies eight yards from goal but the big frontman's snap-shot is blocked. Let-off for Sunderland.

1255: Chelsea-Man Utd (Sunday) OFF, say Sky Sports News

1254: Bolton winger Martin Petrov tries his luck from range this time but it's straight down the throat of Black Cats keeper Craig Gordon.

AndySzpuk on Twitter: "Let Venky's taste the wrath of the Turnip!"

1249: Both teams feeling each other a touch in these early stages at the Stadium of Light - and Kieran Richardson has the first meaningful pop at goal on four minutes, firing way off-target from 30 yards.

mushtaqquraishi on Twitter: "RE: 1235 - Lifetime Achievement award at the age of 35? Really?"

AdrianClarkCHt on Twitter: "I agree with you whole heartedly, Becks is the ultimate sports role model."

1246: We are up and running.

1244: Right then, we're almost ready to go folks. Two of this season's surprise packages are poised with fifth place up for grabs... you lot ready?

Jon from Notts via text: "Tell Graham Taylor there's a great recipe on the BBC website for 'Stilton and toasted walnut balls' - full of flavour and hits Venky's where it hurts!"
Vive la revolution people!

1242: Sunderland manager Steve Bruce: "We had a terrible time in the derby game (against Newcastle) and the one thing you need is resilience. We have put some results together and, hopefully, to be fifth at Christmas would be a wonderful achievement." Bolton boss Owen Coyle: "The only concern I have is for my players to do their best. I don't think there's more than a coat of paint between 10 teams in the league."

1240: So as the players make their way out into the sunshine at the Stadium of Light, let's concentrate on matters Sunderland-Bolton shall we? I'll of course keep you updated with any further postponements (we're up to 54 for the day bymy calculations), but for now let's hear from the managers...

raffisalama on Twitter: "Forget all the cancelled matches, the two left are going to be Christmas crackers."
That's the spirit mate, top work.

1238: SUNDERLAND v BOLTON
Andrew McKenzie reports:
"What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago Bolton were mired in relegation trouble under Gary Megson, while Sunderland were in freefall - four matches into a 14-game winless run that would ruin their season. Now the two sides have eyes on Europe and a victory for either could see them in fifth place at the end of the day. Sunderland won this fixture 4-0 last season but Bolton's in-form forwards Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander will be a big test for the Black Cats' backline."

1235: And there's good news for David Beckham, too, as it has been announced the former England captain is to receive the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award on Sunday. Utterly deserved in my book, the bloke's an absolute legend. Agreed?

Deanmitchell123 on Twitter: "On train to Blackburn be there soon looks quite deep the snow! Is the game still going?"
The club website's update on the situation says "Game on", with no change expected unless there is a "further significant snowfall".

RKW - White Eagle on 606: "'Live - Saturday football'... or what's left of it."

1230: If you lot thought I'd be struggling to entertain you on this bare-bones day of football... you'd be wrong. For example, check out this chat from former England boss Graham Taylor. It is pure football commentary gold. Taylor says he will be boycotting turkey and chicken this Christmas in protest at the decision by Blackburn Rovers owners Venky's to sack Sam Allardyce. Seriously. That is genius. Poor ol' Venky's won't know what hit 'em.

gilbertdowding on Twitter: "On train to Arsenal game. What reasons are they giving for the cancellation? Was fine under an hour ago according to club site."
"Adverse weather conditions", according to the club mate.

Mourinho on 606: "Looks like I might as well just get back into bed."
...with your laptop open on this commentary? Nice.

1226: SUNDERLAND v BOLTON
Andrew McKenzie reports:
"Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand surprisingly starts after passing a late fitness test on his hamstring injury, while striker Asamoah Gyan comes in for David Meyler and Craig Gordon returns in goal in place of Simon Mignolet. Bolton boss Owen Coyle also make two changes as Fabrice Muamba replaces the banned Mark Davies and Matt Taylor comes in for Lee Chung-yong."

MatthewUnsworth on Twitter: "Finally... for the first time in yonks... Bolton may be on first on Match of the Day!"

1222: So bad news for WHATEVER BLAD and Arsenal-Stoke fans the land over as the match at the Emirates becomes the latest victim of the snow. That leaves just two Premier League fixtures on today as it stands... Sunderland-Bolton (where it is gloriously sunny, by the way) and Blackburn-West Ham. There's plenty of Championship matches on, though, if that's any consolation?

Farslayer on 606: "Why do you need a winter break? It's cost a lot less than 1 week of Carlos Tevez's wages to hire enough people to clear all the roads around any British stadium. It is just pure lunacy that the matches are being called off!"

TheOriginalJez on Twitter: "Whatever happened to orange balls and long sleeves? Scared of a sniffle or an ice-scraped knee these days? Bah."

1218: Arsenal-Stoke OFF

1217: SUNDERLAND v BOLTON
Sunderland:
Gordon, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Mensah, Bardsley, Henderson, Cattermole, Richardson, Welbeck, Gyan, Bent. Subs: Mignolet, Angeleri, Malbranque, Zenden, Elmohamady, Da Silva, Riveros.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Taylor, Holden, Muamba, Petrov, Elmander, Kevin Davies. Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Klasnic, Moreno, Blake, Cohen, Lee.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1215: If you give this page a cheeky refresh folks, Football Focus will magically appear at the top of your page. Merci (French).

WHATEVER BLAD on 606: "As long as the Arsenal match goes ahead I'm not fussed."

1212: Millwall-Barnsley OFF

1211: Where are ya then people? It's far too cold to go out - so stick the fire on, put your feet up and get involved in this here commentary why don't you? Tweet me @sampatricklyon, text me via 81111 or get yourselves on over to 606. It's your time to shine.

1208: TEAM NEWS SNAP
Anton Ferdinand passes a late fitness test to start for Sunderland against Bolton, with Asamoah Gyan one of three forwards up front.

1207: Well think again people, because I've still got plenty on offer you all. Sunderland v Bolton kicks off three Premier League matches involving Arsenal and West Ham, Football League Danny makes his return to Saturday football with all your lower league chat, and later I'll be telling you how you can get all the latest from the Club World Cup final involving Inter Milan and TP Mazembe with our man on the scene Matthew Kenyon. Don't go anywhere.

1204: So far, over 50 matches across England and Scotland have fallen foul of the weather - and Ipswich-Leicester could follow with a lunchtime inspection due at Portman Road. In the Premier League we have already lost Birmingham-Newcastle,Wigan-Aston Villa, Liverpool-Fulham, while four top flight matches have been postponed in Scotland. In short, the day's football schedule is looking skinnier than a supermodel's ankles. I know what you're all thinking - this might not be a bad day to get some Christmas shopping done.

1200: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The 2010 Big Freeze Part II (This Time It's Personal). Just when you thought it was safe once again to assume Saturdays were your guaranteed bumper day of football action, the cold snap has returned to do its worst. Boooo.



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Barclays Premier League results

18 Dec 2010 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 18 Dec 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 16 20 34
2 Arsenal 17 15 32
3 Man City 17 11 32
4 Chelsea 17 19 31
5 Tottenham 17 3 27
6 Sunderland 18 3 27
7 Bolton 18 5 26
8 Newcastle 17 1 22
9 Liverpool 17 -1 22
10 Blackpool 16 -5 22
11 West Brom 17 -5 22
12 Blackburn 18 -5 22
13 Stoke 17 -1 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 18 -15 13

see also
Snow problems continue for sport
28 Dec 10 |  Sport Homepage
Saturday's football photos
18 Dec 10 |  Football


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