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Page last updated at 22:32 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wednesday's football as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

2230: Football, the ultimate in unpredictability. Tonight, Blackpool completed a league double over Liverpool for the first time since the 1946-47 season with a thrilling 2-1 victory, while Ipswich, a second-tier team that lost 7-0 at Chelsea in the Cup on Sunday produced a display of spirit and skill to beat Arsenal in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final. Where do you go from here? Bed, probably. See you at the weekend. Night.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "You can see the effort and desire is there. But sometimes it doesn't matter how good the player is, he may not have the belief. We'll work hard on giving the side belief and confidence."

From SA in Brizzle, on text: "Was at school with Ollie... your dad Bill would be massively proud of your achievements. Well done Ian, you deserve all the plaudits you get... Cider me up."

Blackpool 2-1 Liverpool
Saj Chowdhury reports: "If Kenny Dalglish didn't know the magnitude of the task in hand, he does now. The Reds need to find some fighting spirit, they could do with borrowing some from Blackpool."

Ipswich 1-0 Arsenal
Paul Fletcher reports: "It might have been a largely miserable season so far for Ipswich fans but they can go home with their dreams of Wembley intact. As for Arsenal - they must show a substantial improvement if they are to overturn their first-leg deficit and reach the final. They were very disappointing."

2217: Right - time for a final word from our writers...

From fuzel07 on Twitter: "Waiting for @RyanBabel to tweet a picture of the referee in a Blackpool shirt."

Ipswich caretaker-boss Ian McParland: "I am absolutely delighted for the boys. It shows character to come back from the result against Chelsea but we could have had three goals I am absolutely dead proud of them. I have done my bit tonight and my aim tonight was to keep them in the tie and if they go to the Emirates and work hard they will be a tough prospect. I will probably be moving to pastures new and hopefully I will be managing a club again soon. I have had a great time here, there are good people and good fans and it won't take much to turn it around."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "With playing so many games you could see tonight that we had no spark. Ipswich were sharper and we made a mistake which they took advantage of. The good thing is that we play at home in the second leg and that can make a difference. We will not always be as lacking in creativity as we were tonight."

2209: And also, being accused of being anti-Blackpool? Well, makes a change from anti-Liverpool, I guess. You guys.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway on captain Charlie Adam: "He owes us, the Blackpool fans, his team-mates and myself to stay until the end of the season… unless Man Utd pick up the phone and make me a ridiculous offer because I think he's good enough to play for them. £3.5m for Charlie Adam? You've got to be kidding me."

2205: Re: 2152 - Look, I'm not talking about just tonight. I'm talking about taking everything into consideration. I'm sorry, but the football I grew up on and the history of the game... of course Blackpool beating Liverpool (twice) is a shock. If it happens next season, I'll accept it's a part of life, OK? But this is just my opinion, don't forget.

From Mark A, on text: "Stevo, anyone watching footy this year knows it's no shock. It's a great scalp and a wonderful double for Blackpool, but no way a shock."

Ipswich's David Norris on the 7-0 defeat to Chelsea: "We had to pick ourselves up as we let a lot of people down and didn't do ourselves justice. But we did a job tonight and gave something back to the fans who were brilliant at the weekend. After today's result we won't be going to Arsenal thinking we are going to lose."

Ipswich goalscorer Tamas Priskin: "I think the whole team did some great work today. I'm really happy to win and to score the goal. I had two chances in the first half and one in the second but I finally scored and I am so pleased."

2156: The television pictures we can see of Liverpool fans... Sometimes it's easy to forget just how much football can hurt. The Reds are 13th in the Premier League, four points above the drop zone, while Blackpool move up to ninth. It's a different world to the one Kenny Dalglish remembers.

From Chris, a depressed Liverpool fan, on text: "Well played Blackpool. Totally respect the way they play football. We've been beaten by the better team."

Full time
2152: Full-time Blackpool 2-1 Liverpool
Don't tell me this isn't a shock - it's Blackpool beating Liverpool in the league. For the second time this season. This is more than a fairytale. It's a footballing miracle.

2151: "This is the best trip, I've ever been on" is the song the Blackpool fans are singing and Liverpool cannot get the ball out of their own half. Seconds left.

2149: Blackpool look the likelier side to score as the clock ticks down. Arguably Kenny Dalglish's biggest task at Anfield is to restore this team's battered confidence - they just don't look like they have any.

2147: Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield watches on from the stand at Bloomfield Road with Ian Holloway's team on the brink of yet another fairytale victory to add to their CV. We're into injury time and the home fans aren't even thinking about going anywhere yet.

2145: Liverpool have got progressively worse as the match has gone on at Blackpool and, while they are trying to get back into it, they are giving the ball away too often to exert any real pressure on their hosts. The atmosphere, it won't surprise you to learn, is unbelievable.

From MartinRoberts0n on Twitter: "Arshavin and Bendtner should be thoroughly ashamed with themselves. The rest were abject at best. Embarrassing."

2141: Anyway, it could be double shock o'clock on this fair eve with Liverpool currently trailing 2-1 at Blackpool in the Premier League. They have just sent on David Ngog for Christian Poulsen, but Kenny Dalglish's team are rapidly running out of time.

From I can spell Szczesny on 606: "One of the worst performances I've seen from Arsenal as a team and the players individually. Ipswich were immense and fully deserved the win."

2139: New Ipswich manager Paul Jewell signs autographs in the stand at Portman Road - he must be over the moon to have come in at this time and will take training for the first time on Thursday.

Full time
2137: Full-time Ipswich 1-0 Arsenal
What a magical night for everyone involved with Ipswich Town. They have breathed life not just into the Carling Cup, but also their season. A performance of the highest quality from caretaker Ian McParland's side.

2135: Cesc Fabregas shoots but it takes a deflection and Connor Wickham, tired and struggling, mis-kicks when trying to clear. Some belated pressure from Arsenal, but if they score it won't be deserved in the slightest.

2133: Liverpool bring on Jonjo Shelvey for Dirk Kuyt. Ipswich scoring hero Tamas Priskin leaves the Portman Road pitch to a standing ovation and Ronan Murray comes on in his place. We're into four minutes of stoppage time in the Carling Cup.

2132: Frankly Arsenal should be 2-0 down. Their defence is a shambles and another long ball over the top leaves them ball-watching and then walking when they should be trying to recover the situation. Carlos Edwards picks it up on the right, gets into the box and fires a shot goalwards, but the angle is too tight and Wojciech Szczesny makes a good save.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live commentator Mike Ingham: "These two Ipswich centre-backs, Damien Delaney and Gareth McAuley, they have been like Terry Butcher and Russell Osman of old. They've headed away absolutely everything."

2129: Fernando Torres dinks in a cross to the Blackpool box, where Raul Meireles, arching his back, can only head over the crossbar. They led early on, but now Liverpool are chasing a leveller in the Premier League.

2128: That's more like Cesc Fabregas. He plays a wonderful pass inside the Ipswich right-back for Kieran Gibbs to fasten on to in the hosts' penalty area, but Marton Fulop is off his line quickly to make another smart save.

Blackpool goal: That completes a stunning turnaround at Bloomfield Road and it is yet more rubbish defending from the Reds on the road. A diagonal ball is pumped into the Liverpool box and Ian Evatt nods it into the mixer, where DJ Campbell has been left alone unmarked to produce a diving header past Pepe Reina.

2126: GOAL Blackpool 2-1 Liverpool (Campbell)

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Holland: "Andrey Arshavin just came off for Carlos Vela - that's no surprise because Arshavin cannot have touched the ball more than five times in the whole second half. You'd expect Arsenal to have a go for the next 10 minutes and it's important Ipswich don't drop too deep."

2123: Liverpool's Raul Meireles fires a 20-yard shot a yard wide of Richard Kingson's left-hand post, before Dirk Kuyt's 22-yard curler is tipped behind by a sprawling Blackpool keeper Kingson.

Ipswich goal: Arsenal's defensive deficiencies have been laid bare once more tonight, but this particular story is Ipswich's to tell. Cesc Fabregas cannot get the ball under control in the centre-circle and Colin Healy plays a first-time half-volleyed pass over Johan Djourou, catching the centre-back out again. Tamas Priskin is the beneficiary, staying ahead of Djourou and keeping his cool to slot past Wojciech Szczesny.

2121: GOAL Ipswich 1-0 Arsenal (Priskin)

2119: Cesc Fabregas is just having one of those nights. Kieran Gibbs flings over a quality cross from the Arsenal left and it just misses Marouane Chamakh; but Fabregas is unsighted behind the big striker inside the six-yard box and he cannot adjust in time to the fact that the ball lands at his feet, the skipper kneeing the ball over the bar.

From Matt in Leeds, on text: "Again, Arsenal struggle against a Championship side, just against us on Saturday. Uefa might praise their lack of spending but they need a striker!"

2117: Carling Cup latest score: Ipswich 0-0 Arsenal

2116: Premier League latest score: Blackpool 1-1 Liverpool

2115: Milan Jovanovic's cross from the left is met by Fernando Torres flush on the volley, but it sails over the Blackpool bar. Both teams are trying to win that match.

2114: It's all happening at Ipswich now. Firstly Wojciech Szczesny takes a big risk by picking the ball up on the right-hand side of his penalty area - that was outside the box, you know. Next up Cesc Fabregas slips a pass into the right of the area for Theo Walcott, but the winger is foiled from the angle by a smart Marton Fulop save.

2113: David Vaughan forces another flying save from Pepe Reina inside the Liverpool box after Gary Taylor-Fletcher skinned Glen Johnson down the Blackpool right.

2112: Arsenal take off Jack Wilshere and Nicklas Bendtner off and send on Marouane Chamakh and Alex Song. At Blackpool, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has a shot deflected into the arms of Richard Kingson, before at the other end Charlie Adam has a left-foot drive parried away by Pepe Reina.

From blackeyedangel1 on Twitter: "Am I the only one concerned that Arshavin has literally forgotten how to play football?"

2109: I don't say this very often, but Arsenal are awful. Truly.

2107: Craig Cathcart's challenge prevents Raul Meireles from getting in a shot inside the Blackpool six-yard box as Liverpool try to create the first opening of the second half at Bloomfield Road.

2105: Was that Ipswich's big chance? A long ball over the Arsenal defence catches the visitors out yet again and Laurent Koscielny is guilty of letting Tamas Priskin get in behind him. Priskin gets into the Arsenal box, but - with Koscielny trying to get in a tackle behind him - takes too long to shoot and Johan Djourou does well to boot the ball over the bar for a corner.

2103: And we're back under way at Bloomfield Road, where it's Blackpool 1-1 Liverpool.

2102: I love football as much as the next bloke (he's a Sunderland fan, so you work it out), but Cesc Fabregas there - that's a classic example of Arsenal over-playing. They attack neatly and the ball falls for the Spaniard just inside the Ipswich box, there's no-one anywhere near him, but he tries to play yet another pass instead of shooting and the chance goes begging. Horrifically wasteful.

2101: Arsenal's subs are doing some serious warming up and they should be - the XI on the pitch have done very, very little this evening.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Portman Road: "An unmistakeable surge in self-belief here at Portman Road. You can almost sense that the home fans realise their team are right in this tie and have rattled their illustrious opponents. Arsenal giving possession away far too cheaply."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Holland: "Can someone please tell Arsenal they are playing in a cup semi-final? Every single 50-50, Ipswich are winning at the moment. Even Cesc Fabregas is giving the ball away, though credit to Ipswich, they are giving them no time on the ball at all."

2056: Pace, power... Connor Wickham looks a footballer. He surges down the Ipswich left and tries to cross, and Ipswich have impetus for an attack Arsenal really struggle to deal with. A Mark Kennedy cross is well headed away by Kieran Gibbs, before Wickham has a well-struck shot from 12 yards that is superbly blocked by Emmanuel Eboue.

From Nick, Leeds, on text: "I'm hoping Ian Holloway gets manager of the year - he definitely deserves it, although hopefully he wont go the way of Roy if he gets it."

2052: What a waste. A wonderful quarterback-type ball from Cesc Fabregas, with a bit of backspin, falls perfectly into the path of Andrey Arshavin on the inside left channel and he controls it and has a clear sight of goal 15 yards out, but can only screw a poor left-foot shot miles wide of Marton Fulop's goal.

2050: Arsenal can be as ineffective again, can they? Theo Walcott goes on a run down the right that is halted inside the Ipswich box, before Cesc Fabregas is ran out of it down the Gunners left.

2048: Back under way at Portman Road and neither Ipswich nor Arsenal have made any changes for the second half.

Half time
Blackpool 1-1 Liverpool
Saj Chowdhury's half-time snapshot: "There's been no respite in the action at Bloomfield Road. We've had great goals, trickery and a glaring keeper error. It's a cliche, but this really could go either way."

2046: A Lucas header from a Liverpool corner is saved by Richard Kingson. It may have struck a Blackpool hand, but it would have been an extremely harsh penalty.

2045: Into first-half stoppage time at Bloomfield Road, where the opening period is coming to a tame finish after a very lively beginning.

From chris1ian on Twitter: "Blackpool have played some great football, I hope they don't "pull a Hull" and collapse in the second half of the season."

2041: Apologies if you're struggling get on to 606 right now, we seem to be having a few troubles with it. Don't worry, though - you can still fire texts to 81111 and smash some tweets my way @Stevo_football too.

2039: Sounds a bit like Romelu Lukaku, does our Connor Wickham... Anyway, at Blackpool both midfields have become a bit sloppy, giving the ball away after a fast and furious start. No-one's created anything in the last few minutes.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Holland: "He's a huge guy and has got great physical presence, Connor Wickham. You expect him to play like a man because he's got the figure of one, but he's just a kid. I've been really impressed with Wickham and Tamas Priskin so far tonight."

From Warren, South Molton, on text: "Re: 2024, yes you can say that, Shearer was an excellent crosser of the ball, I'm now staring wistfully into space remembering his cross for Ferdinand against United in 96... If I wasn't at work I'd be digging out the DVD now."

Half time
Ipswich 0-0 Arsenal
Paul Fletcher's half-time snapshot: "Ipswich have grown stronger through the opening half and the sell-out crowd has responded, really backing their team and clapping them off. They have had most of the precious few chances and played with spirit and guts. Arsenal have been pretty in places and that is about all."

2031: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina gets into a bit of a mess after leaving his area to deal with a Daniel Agger backpass and the end result it that Gary Taylor-Fletcher is 30 yards out on the right with the ball at his feet and Reina out of his goal - but his shot sails comfortably wide.

From randomgirlfi on Twitter: "Blackpool have now scored in 32 consecutive home games, by far the country's best. Bloomfield Rd is rocking!"

2028: Brilliant - but it doesn't count. Colin Healy's heavy touch into the Arsenal box falls for Tamas Priskin, who controls and executes a stunning overhead kick into the net, but he had already correctly been flagged offside.

2026: Arsenal are under some pressure, you know. Laurent Koscielny concedes his umpteenth needless free-kick of the season, allowing Ipswich to pump the ball into the Gunners box - and when Damien Delaney heads it back across the six-yard box, there is Koscielny to redeem himself and head clear.

2024: Good grief. Fabulous cross from the left from Ipswich's Connor Wickham, inswinging, right-footed, swirling and dangerous and David Norris can't quite get high enough, only able to glance a header wide. That was very reminiscent of Alan Shearer, from Wickham. Can I say that?

2023: ... Cesc Fabregas curls the ball harmlessly into the Ipswich wall and then when it pops back up for the Spaniard he can only head it out of play for a goalkick. Arsene Wenger, sat on the Gunners bench arms folded, looks none too impressed.

2022: Here's a chance for Arsenal after they win a free-kick 22 yards out for a Mark Kennedy foul on Emmanuel Eboue. It was a bit soft, obstruction from the defender, but what have Arsenal got..?

2020: It's pretty even at Bloomfield Road - Liverpool aren't being put under the cosh, but Blackpool do look dangerous when they get into the final third.

2018: After being penned back for much of the first half, Ipswich build a little pressure on the Arsenal goal. Connor Wickham sees a shot deflected wide and Gareth McAuley heads over as Carlos Edwards sends over two corners in quick succession.

From dk_davy_kelly on Twitter: "Re Liverpool vs Blackpool. Think it's going to be more than 2-2 Stevo, at this rate it could be 5-5."

2015: Liverpool could be behind. Neal Eardley crosses from the Blackpool right and there's a touch of pinball in the Reds box which ends with DJ Campbell heading wide from about five yards when he probably should have hit the target.

Blackpool goal: Ian Holloway's teams don't do lying down. Liverpool give the ball away cheaply and then they are in trouble when David Vaughan slips in Gary Taylor-Fletcher - he bundles his way past Daniel Agger way too easily and slots coolly past Pepe Reina from just inside the Reds' area.

2012: GOAL Blackpool 1-1 Liverpool (Taylor-Fletcher)

2011: Martin Kelly is continuing to have joy down the Liverpool right at Blackpool, with a couple of crosses testing the home defence. Going forward, the Seasiders haven't done a great deal. Oh, and at 1959 - of course it was Kieran Gibbs, not Gael Clichy. In my defence, they're both brilliant at that.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Holland: "I think Ipswich will be delighted with their effort and application tonight and if you try that hard then the supporters will always forgive you other failings you might have. But they are over halfway through the first half and not in any big danger at the moment."

2007: Cesc Fabregas plays a cracking ball in from the right and Nicklas Bendtner is marginally beaten to the ball by Gareth McAuley. Great defending from the Ipswich man. Arsenal are enjoying some possession, but the hosts will be delighted with how things are going so far.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Portman Road: "Ipswich are dropping Connor Wickham into the left side of a five-man midfield when Arsenal are in possession. The Gunners look capable of opening up their struggling opponents but Tamas Priskin showed with his surging run and shot that the home side are determined to impress in front of their new manager."

2005: We've got 134 seconds on that Fernando Torres goal. How will Blackpool respond?

Reds goal: King Kenny's off the bench and his arms are up in the air... what a start to his attempt to revive Liverpool's Premier League fortunes. Martin Kelly plays a ball down the inside right channel and there's the real Fernando Torres, taking the ball into the box and then, from a tight angle, lifting a stunning, fierce finish into the roof of the Blackpool net. He meant that.

2003: GOAL Blackpool 0-1 Liverpool (Torres)

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Portman Road: "Seems like Ipswich are going 4-5-1 now, with Tamas Priskin up front alone."

2001: Under way at Bloomfield Road. This might have stoked the fires in the north-west today - the suggestion that Liverpool want to sign Seasiders' captain Charlie Adam. Thoughts?

1959: Two openings for the hosts at Portman Road there, with the ball falling kindly for Carlos Edwards on the edge of the Arsenal box and his well-struck left-foot shot superbly blocked by Kieran Gibbs. Moments later Tamas Priskin confidently cuts in from the left and slashes a shot from 20 yards just wide of Wojciech Szczesny's left-hand post.

1959: Teams are out at Blackpool, so feast on these facts, fun fans: When Kenny Dalglish was last in charge of Liverpool, Blackpool were in the old Fourth Division (now League Two); Liverpool last lost at Bloomfield Road in 1954; this is Dalglish's first Premier League match as a manager in 4,527 days and first league game at the helm of the Reds in 7,278 days; Blackpool could become first team in Premier League history to both score and concede in their first eight home matches of a season.

1957: Arsenal still look much the livelier of the two teams, but they are both giving it away a bit too easily at the moment. Ipswich especially need to be more careful on the ball because they'll just invite Arsenal on to them.

1955: According to worldwide provider of sports statistics (others are indeed available) Infostrada Sports, Blackpool have a 21% chance of winning this evening, while Liverpool are 50% likely to take the three points. Strangely, Blackpool have conceded at least once in every home game this season, though they have a division-high five clean sheets away from home. The guys have also written a piece on whether Liverpool should still be regarded as a Big Four club.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at Portman Road: "Ipswich have gone 4-4-2, while Arsenal are 4-3-3. Fast-paced start to the tie. Cracking atmosphere here at Portman Road - a glimpse of the future for Paul Jewell if he can deliver success?"

From phoeberoberts on Twitter: "First and last time BBC Radio Merseyside has been streamed in the Vogue office?"

1953: Cesc Fabregas delivers a free-kick from about 40 yards to the far post, where Andrey Arshavin has peeled off the defenders, only for the Russian to tamely bobble a volley wide of Marton Fulop's right-hand post.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Holland: "I know they wanted to play three in the centre of midfield, Ipswich, but they have been very depleted in that area. It's crucial they go 4-5-1 because otherwise they risk being completely over-run by Arsenal in there."

1947: Some early warning signs for Ipswich already as Arsenal plough forward from the start. Nickals Bendtner capitalises on a mistake from a defender and moments later Andrey Arshavin's cross from the left just evades Cesc Fabregas in the box. The hosts haven't started yet.

1945: Ipswich get us under way at Portman Road - before kick-off, Paul Jewell had a little wander around the pitch and took in the applause of his new club's fans. But really it's not about him tonight.

From Bobbo in Romford, on text: "This season Blackpool have made other teams realise that attack is a great way to play and a crowd pleaser."

1943: I wish I had two eyes, so I could watch both gam- no, wait. I wish I had four eyes, so I could see both mat- no, that doesn't work either - I've got glasses on (that's not really four eyes is it?). Look, I'd just like to be able to concentrate fully on Ipswich v Arsenal and Blackpool v Liverpool, that's what I'm trying to say. Stick with us and we'll keep you bang up to date with events from the Roads Portman and Bloomfield, of that you can be sure.

1940: I'm not saying it has anything to do with tonight's game, but I've only ever seen one game that Ian McParland managed a team in and that was Forest's 7-1 destruction of Swindon back in February 2006, when he was caretaker-boss at the City Ground. Yes, people: I saw Nicky Southall score a hat-trick. Memorable.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway on Liverpool counterpart Kenny Dalglish: "I can't remember a better player than him in my whole life. I hope things go well for him."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I thought Ipswich might have had their minds on tonight's game, perhaps. We are favourites for the cup because we are the highest-ranked team in it and we want to reach the final."

Ipswich caretaker-boss Ian McParland: "There were no difficult decisions tonight because we are seven players down. We were missing a lot of players and the players were still taking in their manager being sacked on Sunday, and Chelsea can do what they did to us to anyone."

Neil, in A&E, somewhere, on text: "I'll be taking sneaky 10 min breaks tonight. Working in A&E, and am risking my job! As long as Liverpool win tonight, I don't care what happens."

1930: Stevo's Predos (thanks for not keeping a tally):
Ipswich 1-3 Arsenal
Blackpool 2-2 Liverpool

Blackpool v Liverpool team news:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "Blackpool midfielder Elliot Grandin comes back into the starting line-up having missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury - he replaces Matt Phillips. Liverpool, who are without suspended midfielder Steven Gerrard, bring Christian Poulsen and Milan Jovanovic into the first XI. Full-back Glen Johnson returns following the birth of his child, while Paul Konchesky makes the bench after overcoming a dead leg. However, Joe Cole (ankle) fails to make the squad."

Ipswich v Arsenal team news:
Paul Fletcher reports: "Ipswich make two changes from the team thrashed 7-0 at Chelsea, with Damien Delaney and Tamas Priskin in for Troy Brown and Jason Scotland. Arsenal name a strong side, with Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny all coming in from the XI that drew with Leeds on Saturday."

From Alex the Gooner in Norwich, on text: "Paul Fletcher wants to know why Paul Jewell will not be taking charge tonight? Obviously Ipswich are relying on the Jewell in the Crowd."

Ipswich v Arsenal line-ups:
Fulop, Peters, McAuley, Delaney, Kennedy, Edwards, Norris, Healy, O'Dea, Wickham, Priskin.
Subs: Lee-Barrett, Smith, Eastman, Civelli, Lambe, Murray, Hourihane.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Denilson, Fabregas, Wilshere, Arshavin, Bendtner.
Subs: Shea, Vela, Ramsey, Song, Chamakh, Eastmond, Miquel.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Blackpool v Liverpool line-ups:
Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Crainey, Grandin, Adam, Vaughan, Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney.
Subs: Rachubka, Southern, Ormerod, Baptiste, Euell, Sylvestre, Phillips.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Kelly, Meireles, Poulsen, Lucas, Jovanovic, Torres, Kuyt.
Subs: Gulacsi, Konchesky, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Wilson, Ngog, Shelvey.
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)

From artillery_john-TW14 on 606: "Steve-o, got an absolute dilemma! As an Arsenal fan, do I watch my team, or do I give in to my suspicion that the Blackpool/Liverpool game could be one of the all-time Premier League greats? Decisions."
Wow, that is a dilemma. You know me - I'd always watch my team. But all-time great? Let's hope so.

From Mr_Cyy on Twitter: "Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-1 and Chelsea beat Ipswich 7-0, so Arsenal should win this 10-1. C'mon u Gooners!"

1914: ... Get the texts flying in on 81111, tweet me on the footballers' favourite plaything Twitter @Stevo_football and banter away on our 606 thread too. Special bonus points if you are indeed a footballer and you can tweet me something interesting without getting an FA charge thrown in your direction...

1913: I heard a little rumour that my commentary colleague and occasional 5-a-side team-mate Chris Bevan was left a bit short of your chat for last night's belter between West Ham and Birmingham. Luckily for me, I know you'll get stuck in tonight, even if only to tell me to stop being so pro/anti Ipswich/Arsenal/Blackpool/Liverpool*. If you want to know how...
* Delete as inappropriate

Blackpool v Liverpool scene-setter:
Saj Chowdhury reports: "So, Blackpool could leapfrog Liverpool in the league if they win. Sounds strange stating that in the second part of the season, but that is exactly what could happen in a few hours. But which is stranger, Blackpool's success or the demise of Liverpool? Another peculiar twist in this tale is that Kenny Dalglish is back in charge at Anfield, although for me the fact he's tweeting is more surprising. The Reds need to win and the Tangerines like attacking - expect a bagful."

Ipswich v Arsenal scene-setter:
Paul Fletcher reports: "New Ipswich boss Paul Jewell will be watching from the stands as Town take on Arsenal. Given that Town were hammered 7-0 at Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday and the Gunners will be wary of the merits of Championship sides after their serious FA Cup scare against Leeds on Saturday, it could make for painful viewing. By the way, can anybody tell me why Jewell has not taken charge of this game?"

1907: For the tragically uninformed time-wise, here's how we're shaping up for this evening's feast of football:
1945 GMT: Ipswich v Arsenal (Carling Cup)
2000 GMT: Blackpool v Liverpool (Premier League)

1904: Though from his position on cloud nine (you've got to feel for the other eight clouds, they get nothing), it's a safe bet King Kenny will be licking his lips in anticipation ahead of tonight's Bloomfield Road showdown. I know I am.

1902: If you're Kenny Dalglish, you'd probably also be wondering what you've done to deserve this particular start. You end a holiday with the wife to take up the reins at the club you most adore (which is in crisis), only a day later conceding a penalty after 30 seconds, having your captain sent off and going out of the FA Cup at the hands of your most hated enemy. Next up, you face a devilishly tricky away trip at Blackpool, who are hoping to complete their first league double over your side since the 1946-47 season.

1900 GMT: Cor, how's your luck, Ian 'Charlie' McParland? You're rocking along as first-team coach at Championship side Ipswich, happily nowhere near any sort of limelight. Forty-eight hours before an FA Cup tie at Chelsea you are suddenly thrown into the lions' den, thereafter presiding over a horrific 7-0 defeat at the previously bang-out-of-form Blues. For your final task before handing over to new manager Paul Jewell, you must prepare the team for a Carling Cup semi-final against an Arsenal side desperate to win some silverware for the first time since 2005. Oh, for an easy life...

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Carling Cup results

12 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 12 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 20 24 44
2 Man City 22 17 42
3 Arsenal 21 20 40
4 Tottenham 21 6 36
5 Chelsea 21 17 35
6 Sunderland 22 3 33
7 Bolton 22 5 30
8 Newcastle 21 3 28
9 Blackpool 20 -4 28
10 Blackburn 22 -6 28
11 Stoke 21 0 27
12 Everton 21 -2 25
13 Liverpool 21 -4 25
14 Fulham 21 -2 22
15 Birmingham 20 -5 22
16 West Brom 21 -13 22
17 Wolves 21 -13 21
18 Aston Villa 21 -15 21
19 Wigan 21 -15 21
20 West Ham 22 -16 20

Latest video highlights
Tuesday 11 January

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES WENGER LOOKING FOR GUNNERS RESPONSE - 2 hrs ago Gunners close in on another rising Saints star - 4 hrs ago
The Independent Dalglish, the Carling Cup and January transfers - 4 hrs ago EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Arsenal hero George Graham - 6 hrs ago King Kenny comes home on big weekend for title race - 6 hrs ago


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