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Page last updated at 21:40 GMT, Monday, 25 April 2011 22:40 UK

Monday football as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

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By Jonathan Stevenson

2238: It falls upon me, Jonathan Stevenson, to bring to an end this wonderful Easter Monday's entertainment from the world of football. Stars of the show are Man City for closing in on the Champions League, Sheffield United for a stunning comeback and Bury for winning promotion to League One. Oh, and you as well. Not long to go until your next live text - so join Chris Bevan on Tuesday for Schalke 04 v Man Utd in the Champions League semi-finals. Not before you've watched The Football League Show on BBC One and online at 2315 BST tonight, though. See you soon, potentially.

From karlhysteria on Twitter: "Europa League? Useless? Try telling that to Birmingham and Stoke."

From Paul, Chesterfield, on text: "Can't say I agree with Sean there, playing in Europe at all is a privilege, and I'm sure Harry wouldn't mind a trophy."

BBC Radio 5 live
Edin Dzeko on BBC Radio 5 live: "I was on the edge of the box and knew the ball would come to me - I had a first touch and then scored, it was not so hard but was a very important goal. It feels good because I was under pressure in the last few games and this is the first payback. It's difficult when you come to a new league, but this game today is my new beginning. I want to thank all the fans for their support. Big regards to my ex-coach Steve McClaren."

From JamesHalfpenny on Twitter: "Big win. Could go a long way to securing fourth. Spurs at Chelsea next, City home to West Ham. Could be seven points clear by Sunday."

From Sean, on text: "With Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City all to play it's looking beyond us [Spurs] to get fourth place. I just pray to God, that we don't get fifth place - Europa League is a useless competition, and having to play a possible 17 extra games would ruin our chances of fourth next season."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean: "We're bitterly disappointed because we gave it a right go after the first 15 minutes. I thought we were in the ascendancy before half-time and even in the second half we were excellent. There was contact on Jason and Nikola was too honest at the end maybe. From our keeper's point of view, when the goal goes in Mario Balotelli's standing right in front of Paul Robinson and he's offside. If we can play like that against Bolton we're confident we can get a win. We were positive and gave it a go. That level of performance will keep us up."

Man City manager Roberto Mancini: "In the first half we played a fantastic game and should have scored two goals minimum. But Blackburn played very well in the second half and we had to fight very hard. Sometimes you win games like this. I'm very happy for Edin because he's a good player and a good man. After this game, we should think about Sunday against West Ham. Third is possible, but anything is possible."

From BBC Sport's Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Agree with all who pointed out the shame of "Munich" chants from Man City fans at Ewood Park. Sad reflection on those who do it."

Man City goalscorer Edin Dzeko: "I'm very happy this goal helped my team to win the game because it was one of the most important games for us in the past month. I think this is a new beginning for me and City."

BBC Radio 5 live
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren on BBC Radio 5 live: "It is going to take Edin Dzeko time to adapt at Manchester City - we won't see the best of him until next season. He came from being a big fish in a small pond at Wolfsburg and he's now a small fish in a big pond. It took him a year to get used to life at Wolfsburg. But he's a very good player and he scores goals when given the chance."

2206: So, who have these boys got left to play?
Blackburn: Bolton (H), W Ham (A), Man Utd (H), Wolves (A)
Man City: W Ham (H), Everton (A), Spurs (H), Stoke (H), Bolton (A)

From Anon, on text: "Re 2153 - four points separates City and Spurs. If we beat City, all we need is one City slip up (which is likely) and that CL spot is ours."

Man City midfielder Nigel de Jong: "The second half was a bit shaky, they came out very strongly. But for our luck the big guy came on and got his first goal in the league so it's a welcome three points for us."

From andybell88 on Twitter: "I love it when you give a short 1-2 line update. Always makes me think there's been a goal for a second. Gets me every time."

BBC Radio 5 live
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren on BBC Radio 5 live: "The thing with Blackburn is they only need a win and a draw or two wins and they are very capable of doing that. They keep fighting until the end and there is enough quality in the team to get out of trouble. Though at this stage of the season, you never really know."

Full time
2153: Full-time Blackburn 0-1 Man City
Edin Dzeko's arms go into the air as the final whistle goes - he's only scored one Premier League goal, but it might have ensured he and his team-mates are playing in the Champions League next season.

2152: Nikola Kalinic tries to bring the ball down inside the Man City box under pressure from Gareth Barry, who seems to make contact with the striker. But Kalinic doesn't go down, and referee Andre Marriner therefore doesn't have to make a decision.

2151: ... Martin Olsson smashes it goalwards and Joe Hart has to make a decent save low down to his right.

2150: Nikola Kalinic wins a free-kick from Joleon Lescott 30 yards out from the Man City goal. Shoot or cross? Stick or twist? Boom or bust? What to do, Blackburn, what to do...

2149: Jason Roberts fouls Vincent Kompany and that's more frustration for Blackburn fans. City break quickly and Yaya Toure so nearly gets through, but Paul Robinson races off his line to win the ball and clear the danger.

2147: Man City take off David Silva and send on young defender Dedryck Boyata. We've crept into five minutes of stoppage time.

2145: Jermaine Jones and Edin Dzeko go up for an aerial ball and the Bosnian comes off second best, needing to get some treatment and spend some time off the pitch, too. Time running out for the hosts.

2144: .. Golden opportunity. Ruben Rochina curls the ball over and Phil Jones gets up well to get his head on it, but the defender can only nod just over Joe Hart's crossbar. He's angry with himself.

2143: Blackburn have had a lot of free-kicks down their left tonight and Jason Roberts wins another one from Vincent Kompany - the delivery must be better this time, though...

2142: Five minutes left and Blackburn send on Mame Biram Diouf for Gael Givet. They've got no choice but to throw the kitchen sink at Man City now.

From Peter, Tividale, on text: "Re: Luke 2126 - any chance you can predict I get a pay rise tomorrow?"

2140: Man City take off Mario Balotelli and send on Patrick Vieira.

2138: Blackburn are continuing to put it in and Jason Roberts wins another free-kick down their left, again just outside the penalty area - but Brett Emerton's cross hits the first man and Pablo Zabaleta nods it away from danger.

2136: Bit harsh on Blackburn, this scoreline - they've looked the better team for a lot of the second half, but City showed their quality when they stepped it up just prior to the goal. Have Rovers got a leveller in them in the remaining 11 minutes or so?

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Ewood Park: "Edin Dzeko gets his timing right for his first Premier League goal. Manchester City fans can see the Champions League in sight."

From henrybenryo on Twitter: "First Torres, now Dzeko, what a week."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Man City goal: Tell you what - Easter weekend is the time to break a duck, no doubt about it. After Fernando Torres getting on the scoresheet for Chelsea, Edin Dzeko has now bagged in the Premier League for City for the first time since his £27m January move from Wolfsburg. David Silva fires the ball across goal from the left and Dzeko takes one touch to compose himself and fires into the corner with his second. This is his 10th appearance in the league for City.

2131: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Man City (Dzeko)

2130: Alex Kolarov smashes in a speculative left-foot shot from 30 yards that bounces in front of Paul Robinson and forces the keeper to parry away at his right-hand post.

2129: Mario Balotelli gets a stay of execution as Man City take off Adam Johnson and send on Edin Dzeko. Johnson doesn't look too chuffed.

Yellow card
2127: Brett Emerton is booked for a foul on Alex Kolarov and Blackburn make their second change, with Nikola Kalinic coming on for Benjani. Man City are readying Edin Dzeko.

2126: Chances at both ends as Adam Johnson pulls the ball back for David Silva on the edge of the Blackburn box, he cuts in field and curls wide of Paul Robinson's right-hand post, and then Benjani drives in from the Rovers left and drags wide of Joe Hart's right-hand post.

From Luke, Watford, on text: "After correctly predicting nine Championship games, I now rely on a City win to claim £453."

2123: After an age to take it, Chris Samba's thunderbolt cannons off David Silva and flies behind for a corner, from which Gael Givet misses a shooting chance at the far post.

2121: Blackburn really do look the likelier team to score. Mario Balotelli thinks he is fouled and doesn't get the decision, so remonstrates with the referee. Rovers then get a free-kick on the edge of the Man City box, towards the left, and this is a good position...

2119: We've had more than an hour now at Ewood and it's still Blackburn 0-0 Man City. The hosts make the first change even though they are on top, with David Dunn making way for Ruben Rochina.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Ewood Park: "Lively start to the second half and Blackburn Rovers have carried on from the promise of the closing stages of the first half. Will Manchester City live to regret not taking full advantage of almost total early superiority?"

Yellow card
2116: It won't surprise you to learn Nigel do Jong has been booked for a foul on Martin Olsson. Man City need to make a couple of changes here because Blackburn are by far the better team. Maybe the goals are hiding on the substitutes' bench...

From thedippaeffect on Twitter: "The tackle wasn't that bad; more Balotelli's reputation getting the better of him. Good excuse to bring Dzeko on, though."

BBC Radio 5 live
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren on BBC Radio 5 live: "Silva for some reason has lost that movement he had in the first 20, 25 minutes, whether that's through instruction or from himself I don't know. But he was running the game at the start and we've not mentioned him in the second half yet. Michel Salgado is marking him well."

2111: Blackburn win a free-kick in a dangerous position on the left just outside the City box and David Dunn curls it harmlessly into the arms of Joe Hart. Moments later Martin Olsson fires a cross into Hart's side-netting, the winger getting his angles wrong.

Yellow card
2109: That's just buffoonery from Mario Balotelli. He gives the ball away carelessly as his touch is miles too heavy and in trying to win it back he barges Gael Givet to the floor, picking up a yellow card in the process. Silly.

2107: Lovely stuff from Blackburn as Michel Salgado gets Brett Emerton in down the right and when his cross is flicked on in the box by Jason Roberts, at the back post Jermaine Jones - on the stretch - can only volley into the side-netting.

From Jonny, Kiwi, on text: "Being a New Zealander I only started watching the Premier League because of Ryan Nelsen. Blackburn have become my team over the last few years and it would be a real shame to see them go down as the are a guaranteed upset for them supposed top teams!"

Yellow card
2105: Blackburn respond as Brett Emerton swings a cross over from the right and it's just too far ahead of Jason Roberts as Joe Hart gathers. Jermaine Jones then brings down Yaya Toure and collects a booking.

2103: Man City have started the second half as well as they did the first - David Silva clips a cross from the left-hand side of the Rovers box and it stands up nicely for Yaya Toure to head goalwards, Paul Robinson tipping the ball over the bar.

2102: Back under way at Ewood Park, where it's Blackburn 0-0 Man City. A point apiece wouldn't be an absolute disaster for either, but it's a safe bet Steve Kean and Roberto Mancini will be eyeing more from these 45 minutes.

2100: A real monster. If you'd like to tell me which monster Phil Jones most reminds you of, get in touch: bash me over a text on 81111 or hit Twitter - either send to me @Stevo_football or use the hashtag #BBCFootball.

From FoodyLondon on Twitter: "Phil Jones is an absolute monster! Not sure how long we will be able to keep him, hopefully for another few seasons!"

From frustrated Rovers fan, on text: "Nice to see Rovers reverting back to Allardyce hoof-ball. Interesting football, Venkys?"

From OptaJoe on Twitter: "In the opening 45 mins, Manchester City (143) completed over four times as many passes as Blackburn (35) in the opposition half. Raid."

BBC Radio 5 live
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think Mancini will be the most disappointed of the managers going into the break. You know when you've dominated a game away for 20-25 minutes and not scored, you are running the risk of what happens later. Slowly but surely Blackburn have come into it and they will be confident going into the second half."

Half time
2047: Half-time Blackburn 0-0 Man City
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty's HT snap-shot: "Blackburn boss Steve Kean will be happy at how they recovered from Manchester City's early supremacy. Roberto Mancini must get his players to recover that zest."

2045: Into one added minute at the end of the first half as Gareth Barry heads an Alex Kolarov cross back into the six-yard box from the far post, Chris Samba shepherding the ball out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

2044: Adam Johnson has swapped wings with David Silva and the England flier whips in a cross from the left that Paul Robinson comes out and punches clear. As far as 0-0s go, it's a pretty decent one, this.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Ewood Park: "Blackburn Rovers settling into things a little bit after a rocky ride in the first 20 minutes - so now it's Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini out in his technical area with words to say."

2041: Blackburn are so nearly ahead as Michel Salgado nine-irons a cross into the City penalty area and Chris Samba gets up highest once more, his header curling a fraction wide of Joe Hart's right-hand post, the keeper wouldn't have got near it.

2039: City win a corner and when it's half-cleared to the edge of the Rovers box, Mario Balotelli flicks the ball over Benjani's head and crashes a volley goalwards from 18 yards, the ball hitting a Blackburn defender and flying into the arms of Paul Robinson.

2037: Brett Emerton swings over a cross from the Blackburn right and Benjani gets up at the back post, the ball just a touch too high as the Zimbabwean can only flick a header wide.

From InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Blackburn's Ewood Park is EPL stadium producing fewest goals this season. There have been only 34 goals scored at this ground this season."

2035: The giant unit Chris Samba gets up highest and heads wide from the ensuing corner.

2034: Blackburn are having a bigger say on the game at the moment, putting pressure on Man City in their own half and enjoying a little more of the ball too. Still 0-0, and Rovers should be the happier of the teams at the moment. Phil Jones goes on a run from inside his own half and wins a corner on the left byeline. Hell of a boy.

From Man United's Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Darron Gibson says he came on [to Twitter] to see what the lads were up to... he came off because he couldn't be bothered with it not any other reason."

Yellow card
2030: First booking of the evening goes to Man City midfielder Gareth Barry for his bodycheck foul on Jermaine Jones. Free-kick to Rovers 25 yards out and David Dunn curls it on the bounce and into the arms of Joe Hart, who I can now happily confirm is playing tonight.

From Anon, on text: "I'm a Chelsea fan, but I want City to win this and Blackburn to go down so we can poach Phil Jones (the new John Terry) from them at a cut price."

2027: Whatever you think of Blackburn so far, Chris Samba and Phil Jones have been absolutely magnificent until now, and David Dunn is getting about the pitch too, tackling anyone in dark blue who comes near him. The Ewood crowd are trying to make some noise, but they need more up front.

2025: Still Man City continue to attack, and still Blackburn continue to punt the ball aimlessly forward whenever they get near it. They might as well put police tape up around the Man City half and just keep everyone in Blackburn's half.

From Azza_M on Twitter: "Man City lucky there, looked like a pen from where I'm sitting!"

2021: Jason Roberts collects a throw inside the Man City area, turns smartly and then falls under a challenge from Vincent Kompany. There is contact, but Roberts falls a touch theatrically and referee Andre Marriner gives a goalkick.

2020: It's a bit like a training game - Man City attack, eventually the ball goes out or Blackburn win it back and they promptly give it straight back to City so the visitors can go forward again. Worrying times for Steve Kean, though they are at least still on level terms.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Ewood Park: "Blackburn boss Steve Kean in long and earnest discussion with his assistant John Jensen. The subject? At a guess: 'How do you reckon we stop David Silva running this game?'"

2017: Man City create two more openings as first Pablo Zabaleta's low cross is hacked away inside the Blackburn six-yard box, before Gareth Barry's glancing header - that might just be drifting wide - is kneed off the line by Spanish full-back Michel Salgado.

2015: All these words written on Easter Monday, and no goal graphic yet for Stevo. Michel Salgado dumps countryman David Silva to the floor and City continue to boss proceedings.

2013: Martin Olsson draws a foul from Gareth Barry on the touchline and Blackburn have some respite from City's attacking. Time for Rovers to have a go soon, I'd have thought.

From Fletch, Dursley, on text: "Not feeling too confident for Blackburn. They seem to be punching above their weight this season. But I'm a Leeds fan so what do I know?"

2008: Mario Balotelli is knocked to the ground by David Dunn 25 yards out and the Italian picks himself up to curl the resulting free-kick into the arms of Paul Robinson. Decent effort, though. Blackburn lump it forward, but it's straight back up the other end. Matter of time before City score at this rate.

From KernowChris on Twitter: "Five mins in and I detect a hatful for MC tonight."

2006: It's all Man City, Blackburn just cannot get hold of the ball at all. David Silva plays a sumptuous pass from left to right for Adam Johnson to attack down Rovers' left, and his cross is booted away from inside the Blackburn six-yard box.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2004: Cor that was close. Pablo Zabaleta swings over a cross from the Man City right and after Gareth Barry's attempted control pops up on the edge of the box, David Silva sets himself and spanks a sweet left-foot volley against the inside of Paul Robinson's right-hand post with the keeper beaten.

2003: Better early start coming from Man City at Ewood, with David Silva trying to slide Mario Balotelli through. The Italian should get some decent service this evening.

2001: Under way at Ewood Park on a huge night at both ends of the table. Feel free to get yourself in the action, either whacking me a text on 81111 or by tweeting - either to me @Stevo_football or by using the hashtag #BBCFootball. Super, smashing, great.

BBC Radio 5 live
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren on BBC Radio 5 live: "It worries me that Blackburn might play Emerton and Olsson wide, because that only leaves two in the middle of their midfield - and Man City can pack theirs from their team selection."

From Richard, Bedford, on text: "Re Mark, Falkirk - Balotelli on Twitter? He can't even put on a bib!"

1957: The Blackburn and Man City teams are out at Ewood Park, led by their respective captains Chris Samba and Vincent Kompany. The hour of kick-off is almost upon us.

From SouthendPassion on Twitter: "Warning! Kean has as good as admitted than Blackburn are going back to hoofball!"

From Mark, Falkirk, on text: "Imagine if Ballotelli had Twitter. Darron Gibson would look like a saint."

Man City manager Roberto Mancini: "These matches are very dangerous. If we think we can go to Blackburn and play 50% it is better we stay at home and not spend the money to go there. If we have the same focus as against Man United [in the FA Cup], the same concentration, we will win a lot of games. We must remember what happened at Liverpool. We must give 100% because Blackburn are a strong team at home and it will be a very hard game."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean: "It's lovely to win and play nice football but at this stage of the game it's about winning. We have only lost once in almost four months at home, since I have become manager, so Ewood is going to be a tough place for any team to come."

From Iain, Glasgow, on text: "Worst way to spend the last few hours of a bank holiday? Reading literature debating the origin of life. The 'primitive' life-form of Balotelli to bag a couple of goals to (almost) ensure Champions League qualification."

1943: Yeah, I've seen the story about Man United midfielder Darron Gibson being forced off Twitter after only two hours earlier today. Apparently, he got so much abuse he couldn't be bothered to carry on. I'm in two minds: one, which says don't do things like Twitter if you're going to be so precious; and the other which despairs about the sheer hatred and fury some people feel free to vent on social networking sites. And BBC live texts too, for that matter...

1940: Blackburn v Manchester City team news:
Phil McNulty reports from Ewood Park: "Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has kept faith with the side that beat Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Blackburn counterpart Steve Kean makes two changes from the side that lost at Everton, with Benjani and Jason Roberts replacing on-loan Roque Santa Cruz - ineligible against his parent club - and Ruben Rochina, who is a substitute."

1937: Games remaining after today:
Blackburn: Bolton (H), W Ham (A), Man Utd (H), Wolves (A)
Man City: W Ham (H), Everton (A), Spurs (H), Stoke (H), Bolton (A)

From Ellguitar on Twitter: "Leave bad boy Ballotelli alone. You're worse than the police asking him why he has 25 grand in cash on him."
Haha. 'Because I'm rich'. What a hero.

From Tim, on holiday in Northumberland, on text: "Please Rovers show all the Venkys/Keane doubters your fight. I believe! My wife has just asked, 'can't you just find out the score tomorrow?' No."

1927: The day ends in a 'y', which means there must be a crazy story floating around somewhere about Man City's nutbag striker Mario Balotelli. Oh here it is - according to The Sun, Balotelli "has notched up nearly £10,000 in parking fines and had his luxury car impounded 27 TIMES... The £100,000-a-week Italian striker has had an average of three parking tickets a DAY since he signed for the Premier League club last year." No rules in Balotelliland, oh no.

1924: Blackburn v Man City line-ups:
Blackburn:
Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Phil Jones, Givet, Emerton, Dunn, Jermaine Jones, Olsson, Mwaruwari, Roberts.
Subs: Bunn, Kalinic, Formica, Pedersen, Rochina, Hanley, Diouf.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Barry, Adam Johnson, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli.
Subs: Taylor, Milner, Wright-Phillips, Dzeko, Vieira, Jo, Boyata.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

From Swifty85 on Twitter: "I have a totally unfounded optimism that we (Blackburn) might actually get something from this game."

From Jack, hopeful Rovers fan at Ewood, on text: "Got everything crossed for tonight and trying to be optimistic, the only bright side I can see is there is no Tevez!! Come on Rovers!!"

1914: Blackburn v Manchester City scene-setter:
Phil McNulty reports from Ewood Park: "Manchester City have the opportunity to take a grip on the battle for a place in next season's Champions League at struggling Blackburn Rovers tonight - victory will put them four points ahead of Tottenham. Blackburn have their sights trained on matters at the other end of the table as they currently stand just one point above the relegation places."

From MPH1982 on Twitter: "Welcome back Stevo. Just remember that nothing can be decided tonight - just in case there's another faux pas!"

1909: It's awfully good of you to get back on board for the dying embers of a glorious Easter weekend of football. Introductions, quickly - me = Jonathan Stevenson, you = legends. Get in touch, it'll make the time pass - whack a text to 81111 or tweet away instead - get those in either to me @Stevo_football or by using the hashtag #BBCFootball. Ta.

1904: With the Football League action done and dusted, it's time to move up a level. For both our teams, though, thoughts will travel outside the confines of the Premier League: for Manchester City, the Champions League pot of gold at the end of the rainbow gets ever nearer; while Blackburn continue to hover perilously close to the Championship trap door. There's an awful lot to play for.

1900: Best way to spend the last few hours of a Bank Holiday? Feet up, cuppa in hand, following the chat from Blackburn v Manchester City. Back-to-normal Tuesday? Ages away yet. Welcome back.


1740: Bombshell after bombshell today. On that difference of opinion between two Preston fans, and while I'm copping a load of flak that makes Man United midfielder Darron Gibson's Twitter hammering earlier on Monday seem tame for prematurely announcing that QPR were officially promoted, I'm going into hibernation. See you at 1900 BST for Blackburn v Manchester City.

From Slobberdan on Twitter: "Afraid Preston shot themselves in the foot sacking Darren Ferguson. Price of impatience was relegation."

QPR boss Neil Warnock: "We had plenty of chances to wrap it up. No, I had no idea what was happening in the Cardiff or Norwich games. But at the end of the game I was quite pleased to get a point from it. I'm quietly confident we won't concede enough goals for us to be overtaken, but I fancy us in both of our games coming up so we'll see."

From ImNotOnFire on Twitter: "There was not much Phil Brown could have done to save PNE after the mess he had inherited from Ferguson."

Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman: "I know what my players can do. The last 10 minutes were nervy but deep down inside I was pretty calm because I know what I've got in that dressing-room. I've always thought that if we looked after ourselves we would be alright."

Preston chairman Maurice Lindsay: "The teams went down fighting and they've been fighting for many weeks. It's been on the cards for quite some time now. It's been slowly sinking in that the club needed to be rebuild. The signing of Phil Brown is fantastic. In League One we would have the basis of a new Preston North End team. We've just run out of games."

Norwich boss Paul Lambert: "That's taking it to the extremes. We've taken it to the wire a lot of times this season, but I'm delighted with everything that's happened. The desire to not get beat and not even draw is there for everyone to see. It's a monumental win for us today. We were expected to turn up and win and it never happens like that. To do back-to-back promotions would be unbelievable."

From bjorneo on Twitter: "Is 'Norwich time' becoming the new 'Fergie time'?"

1717: Last two Championship games:
QPR: Watford (A); Leeds (H)
Norwich: Portsmouth (A); Coventry (H)
Cardiff: Middlesbrough (H); Burnley (A)

1715: Let's clear something up - QPR are not promoted to the Premier League, but they would need to lose their remaining two games and Norwich and Cardiff would both need to win their last two, along with a 13-goal swing for Cardiff, that would prevent QPR from playing in the Premier League next season. If you're offering me the bet, I'd take it.

League Two Vesty: "Bury will play in League One next season after a 3-2 win over league-leaders Chesterfield kicked off their promotion party and ensured the Shakers' can still pip the Spireites to the league title with two points between them and two games to play. At the bottom end, Stockport managed to salvage a draw against fellow-strugglers Northampton but while the point mathematically keeps the Hatters in the Football League, their dramatically inferior goal difference means non league football is pretty much a certainty next season."

League One Dawkesy: "Swindon are relegated after they lost 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday and Walsall drew 1-1 with Oldham. As a result of their draw, Walsall move out of the relegation zone, but only a point clear of Dagenham & Redbridge, who lost 2-1 at Huddersfield, and Bristol Rovers, who went down 2-1 at Bournemouth. Plymouth are two points further back, after a 1-0 win over MK Dons. We are no clearer to knowing who will join champions Brighton in the Championship next season after Southampton's 2-0 home win over Hartlepool and Huddersfield's win over the Daggers left them both on 83 points, and separated by the Saints vastly superior goal difference. Bournemouth now have a three-point cushion over Leyton Orient in the battle for the final play-off spot."

From tom_mac_lfc on Twitter: "12th injury-time goal for Canaries this season. Remarkable."

From Steve in Little Snoring, on text: "Amazing Canaries do it again in extra time - fantastic spirit."

1704: Late add: Neil Danns was sent off for Crystal Palace for a second bookable offence in the dying stages of their 1-0 win at home against Leeds.

1702: Full list of Championship full-times:
Barnsley 2-2 Doncaster
Bristol City 2-3 Nott'm Forest
Burnley 1-1 Portsmouth
Crystal Palace 1-0 Leeds
Leicester 4-2 Watford
Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry
Norwich 3-2 Derby
Preston 0-1 Cardiff
QPR 1-1 Hull
Reading 2-3 Sheff Utd
Scunthorpe 1-2 Millwall
Swansea 4-1 Ipswich

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Diego Maradona eat your heart out. Ashton Gate's rocking as a second 'equaliser' hits the back of the net but it was blatant handball from Marlon Jackson. Those don't count... unless you're wearing tight shorts & a dodgy circa '86 mullet perm."

1700: By the way, how many late winners do Norwich score? They just do not know when they're beaten do they, Paul Lambert's side? A fabulous end to a wonderful afternoon of Championship football.

1658: That Norwich goal means QPR are not officially promoted to the Premier League, but it's a bit of a leap of faith to imagine how they might miss out now.

1657: Goalflash Norwich 3-2 Derby (Jackson hat-trick)

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Are the three points in the bag for Forest? Billy Davies just cracked a smile. The Scot may finally be relaxing into this helter-skelter game. Five minutes added time to go."

1654: ... Alejandro Faurlin's left-foot free-kick is magnificently clawed away by Matt Duke in the Hull goal. Stunning.

1653: Goalflash Middlesbrough 2-1 Coventry (Kink)

1653: BURY ARE PROMOTED TO LEAGUE ONE

1652: Into injury time at Loftus Road and QPR have a free-kick 25 yards out. If it goes in, they are champions...

From tom_mac_lfc on Twitter: "The big change would be if Leeds score. Would totally open up the bottom of the table all over again!"

1649: Goalflash Barnsley 2-2 Doncaster (Trippier)

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Forest boss Billy Davies has gone defensive. He was all set to bring on Marcus Tudgay as his final change but then threw on Julian Bennett for Lewis McGugan instead."

1647: Goalflash Scunthorpe 1-2 Millwall (O'Connor penalty)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "Some Preston fans have seen enough. All hopes are fading, they're going down unless they can produce something special and very quickly."

1645: Creaking towards the end of the 1500 BST kick-offs. You cannot help but feel there is some late drama to be had somewhere. Come on drama, show your face...

1643: You don't save those - not even Championship keeper of the season Paddy Kenny. A ball into the QPR box is clearly headed downwards by on-loan striker David Amoo, who with his second touch rifles a right-foot shot into the roof of Kenny's net. Way to poop the party. As it stands, QPR will still be promoted but won't be champions.

1642: Goalflash QPR 1-1 Hull (Amoo)

1640: Goalflash Leicester 4-2 Watford (Yakubu)

1639: Goalflash Leicester 3-2 Watford (Bruma)

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "You know that postage stamp zone in the top corner? That's exactly where Luke Chambers just put it with a header from a soft corner City did not need to concede. One chance. One goal."

1637: When did being able to breathe get so difficult? As it stands, QPR are promoted to the Premier League and Preston are relegated to League One. Plenty of twists and turns left this afternoon, though.

1636: Goalflash Burnley 1-1 Portsmouth (Eagles)

1635: Goalflash Barnsley 1-2 Doncaster (Euell)

1634: Goalflash Bristol City 2-3 Nott'm Forest (Chambers)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "Time is running out for Phil Brown's Preston. They are behind and back under pressure. Craig Bellamy has tormented them, but has just gone off to be replaced by Michael Chopra."

1633: Goalflash Swansea 4-1 Ipswich (Sinclair penalty)

1632: Goalflash Barnsley 1-1 Doncaster (Foster)

1631: Adel Taarabt is trying to wrap it up at QPR, but he ends another fabulous solo run with a shot from 15 yards that flies just past the top corner. The maverick hero.

From T0mLang on Twitter: "Working on a bank holiday never fun but Bueno and Brizzle City have just cheered me up #dcfcfans."
Delighted for you. Not had too much to smile about this season, to be fair #fivetwo ;)

1628: Goalflash Leicester 2-2 Watford (Yakubu)

League Two Vesty: "It's turned into a goal-fest as the top two sides in League Two go up against each other in Chesterfield. The score is 2-2, but what does that mean? It means the Spireites will not win the title today and Bury will not quite confirm their place in League One next season. Stockport are still level against Northampton - a result which would all-but relegate the Hatters baring two wins and a 35-goal swing in the final two games of the season. Unlikely."

1627: Thanks, Charlie.

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Cracking equaliser. City player of the season Adomah goes on a mazy run & Spence's cross headed back across Camp by Stead, trickling in at the corner. Forest were cruising. Not anymore."

League One Dawkesy: "Southampton have taken the lead against Hartlepool meaning they reclaim second from Huddersfield, who are 2-1 up against Dagenham & Redbridge. At the other end, it's looking increasingly bad for Swindon as they now trail Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 and courtesy of the one-goal lead held by Bristol Rovers at Bournemouth and Walsall's one-goal advantage at Oldham are currently destined for League Two."

1624: Goalflash Norwich 2-2 Derby (Bueno)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "Absolutely pulsating here. You can't take you eyes off it. Keith Treacy has had a shot saved and a penalty appeal waved away for Preston while Seyi Olofinjana and Chris Burke have both come close for Cardiff."

1623: Goalflash Bristol City 2-2 Nott'm Forest (Stead)

1622: There's a big part of me that doesn't even want to put the next goal in. *Sighs*

1622: Goalflash Norwich 2-1 Derby (Jackson)

1621: Goalflash Barnsley 0-1 Doncaster (Euell)

1620: Remember as it stands, QPR are the Championship champions and will be playing in the Premier League next season, and Preston will be relegated to League One.

1619: Goalflash Burnley 0-1 Portsmouth (Nugent)

1617: It's an enormous goal for Derby, that - and it means Cardiff have, for now anyway, moved up to second in the Championship. Significance everywhere you look. I don't know if I can take another half an hour of this. Eek.

From beaverbrad on Twitter: "Cue a 91st-min goalmouth scramble sending Sheff Utd down in a 5-5 draw. The bad thing is, it wouldn't surprise me this year."

1615: Goalflash Norwich 1-1 Derby (Davies)

From Carly, Gosport, on text: "In the interests of family harmony, QPR really need to do this today... my husband is a QPR fan and my dad a Brighton fan... but the Seagulls have already done it and my poor husband is getting some stick!!"

1612: Big few goals, those. Sheffield United's turnaround at on-fire Reading is a story and a half - those two Darius Henderson goals are his first of the season, would you believe? You couldn't make the Championship up. Love it.

1611: Goalflash Bristol City 1-2 Nott'm Forest (Elliott)

1611: Goalflash Reading 2-3 Sheff Utd (Henderson)

1610: Goalflash Scunthorpe 0-2 Millwall (Marquis)

BBC Sport's David Dulin: "Preston have just under 45 minutes to preserve their Championship status. They've started brightly and the home fans have found their voices, but Phil Brown isn't singing yet. Cardiff have just lost defender Kevin McNaughton to injury."

1607: Ouch. Aaron Mclean was brought on at half-time by Hull at QPR and within seconds of the restart his ankle was accidentally trod on by Shaun Derry. He could be in a bit of trouble there. Meanwhile Leeds make two changes at Palace, with Neil Kilkenny and Sanchez Watt on.

1605: Time to get under way again, then. Very, very big 45 minutes coming up around the country - especially at Loftus Road, where QPR are on the brink of a return to the Premier League.

1603: As a mate of mine used to say, we're here for a good time, not a long time. Get stuck in - send us a text on 81111 or whack a tweet instead - get them flying in @Stevo_football or by using the hashtag #BBCFootball. Happy days.

From, Rob, Hendon, on text: "As a Crystal Palace fan, I'll be quite happy if the Championship has already met its goal quota for the day."

League Two Vesty: "The Champagne might have to go back in the cupboard for Chesterfield who, instead of toasting a League Two title triumph this afternoon, might end the day looking over their shoulders with second-placed Bury 1-0 up and only two points adrift of the Spireites in the league as it stands. Wycombe lead 2-0 against Crewe and are in the third automatic promotion spot, but they can't secure that position this afternoon. At the bottom, Stockport are still level 1-1 against Northampton and are potentially 45 minutes away from relegation. Ouch."

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Forest are good for their lead - if slightly flattered by the margin. McGugan's the difference. If City had someone with his drive & vision in midfield they would have asked more questions than the couple of teasers they have posed. Biggest home cheer of the half? When a pre-half-time pitch invader was tackled to the ground by a steward."

League One Dawkesy: "Huddersfield's 2-1 half-time lead over relegation-threatened Dagenham & Redbridge means they currently occupy second spot, as Southampton and Hartlepool is goalless. Bournemouth are trailing 1-0 at home to Bristol Rovers, in a game that has seen both sides reduced to 10 men. This means the Cherries now occupy the final play-off spot only on goal difference from Leyton Orient, who are winning 1-0 at Carlisle. Fellow play-off hopefuls Rochdale and Exeter both trail 1-0. Bristol Rovers's lead means as it stands Swindon are going down as they trail 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. Plymouth continue to battle against the drop and lead 1-0 at MK Dons."

From mattskinner17 on Twitter: "Here at Edgeley Park, we're(Stockport) still clinging on alright, don't you worry about that."

From OptaJoe on Twitter: "Simeon Jackson has scored 6 goals in his last 6 apps for Norwich, this after scoring just 4 in his previous 32 apps for the club... Scott Rendell has now scored six goals in his last seven appearances for Wycombe Wanderers."

1552: Half-time latest scores update, anyone?
Barnsley 0-0 Doncaster
Bristol City 0-2 Nott'm Forest
Burnley 0-0 Portsmouth
Crystal Palace 1-0 Leeds
Leicester 1-2 Watford
Middlesbrough 1-1 Coventry
Norwich 1-0 Derby
Preston 0-1 Cardiff
QPR 1-0 Hull
Reading 2-2 Sheff Utd
Scunthorpe 0-1 Millwall
Swansea 3-1 Ipswich

1548: Goalflash Norwich 1-0 Derby (Jackson)

1547: Goalflash Reading 2-2 Sheff Utd (Williamson)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "What a game we have here. Preston have weathered the Cardiff storm and are finishing the half strongly. Ian Ashbee has drilled just wide, Darren Carter saw a glancing header saved and Chris Brown has also hit the post. If Preston are going down, they're going to go down fighting."

1546: Goalflash Leicester 1-2 Watford (Sordell)

1545: Goalflash Bristol City 0-2 Nott'm Forest (Boyd penalty)

1544: Goalflash Leicester 1-1 Watford (Bruma)

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "Billy Davies is pushing Arsene Wenger for the Tortured Soul of the Month. The Forest manager's a man of perpetual motion arms all over the place as if he's applying for a summer job in air traffic control. The next minute he's in the ear of the fourth official... again. And now he's slumped on his bench as McGugan picks up a silly booking. Relax man. Look at the scoreboard. You're still winning."

From BBC Sport's Chris Charles on Twitter: "QPR fans now humming the Match of the Day theme. Steady on fellas - still a long way to go."

League Two Vesty: "Chesterfield have the carrot of winning the League Two title dangling in front of them this afternoon but second-placed Bury lead against the Spireites - boosting their own promotion hopes, with Wycombe and Shrewsbury drawing their respective games. Stockport are clinging on to their Football League status with a 1-1 scoreline against Northampton but it still seems like just a matter of time before the Hatters fall through that trap door with second-bottom Barnet drawing 1-1 against Oxford."

1538: Goalflash Scunthorpe 0-1 Millwall (Marquis)

From Mike_Greenhill on Twitter: "Bristol Rovers will be the death of me."

1536: QPR should be 3-0 or 4-0 ahead, but somehow it's still only 1-0. Hull get away with a goalmouth scramble, before Adel Taarabt smashes a 40-yard free-kick a couple of yards wide of Matt Duke's right-hand post.

1534: Goalflash Swansea 3-1 Ipswich (Borini)

1533: Goalflash Leicester 0-1 Watford (Sordell)

1532: Goalflash Reading 2-1 Sheff Utd (Henderson)

From Angry but Not Surprised in Keston, Kent, on text: "What have Millwall got to do to get a mention on here or Radio 5 live ? We have a chance of a play-off place and Scunthorpe are in the bottom three, surely that warrants some attention?"
Score a goal?

1529: Goalflash Middlesbrough 1-1 Coventry (Arca)

League One Dawkesy: "It's not looking good for Swindon in League One. As it stands, they will be playing League Two football next season as they are trailing 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday, while fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers lead 1-0 at Bournemouth. Huddersfield have a one-goal lead over Dagenham & Redbridge, which currently takes them above Southampton into second place in the division. MK Dons' hopes of a win that would seal them a play-off spot has suffered a blow as they trail 1-0 at home to Plymouth, who are themselves desperate for a win to claw themselves out of relegation trouble."

From Jaywilds on Twitter: "I reckon this division is a tad under-rated, great league for the goalflash lover."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "It's very flat here among the Preston faithful. The home side are giving it a go despite trailing, but Cardiff are turning the screw. Jay Bothroyd had a penalty appeal turned down and Seyi Olofinjana saw his volley tipped over by keeper Iain Turner. Already, the next goal is vital."

1524: Sheffield United look like a team about to get relegated. They just can't string any passes together and Reading can carve them open at will. Seems strange to be talking about them as a League One side.

1522: Goalflash Reading 2-0 Sheff Utd (Robson-Kanu)

1522: Goalflash Swansea 2-1 Ipswich (Healy)

1520: QPR are bombarding the Hull goal - Heidar Helguson again glances a header towards the top corner, but Matt Duke is up to the challenge and flicks it behind for another set-piece. Looking very confident, Neil Warnock's Premier League-bound side.

From Bolton0301 on Twitter: "Goalflash! Goalflash! Goalflash! What a start to the afternoon."

1518: Goalflash Swansea 2-0 Ipswich (Moore)

From Martin, Reading, on text: "Can we get a mention for Chris Armstrong at the Madejski? Former Reading and Sheffield United player who sadly had to retire at just 28 because of MS. He continued playing even after being diagnosed with the illness. True inspiration. 'Stand up for Chris Armstrong'."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "Lively start here, end to end stuff but it's Cardiff who have the lead after Craig Bellamy broke free and found Peter Whittingham in the box to fire into the roof of the net. That puts pressure on second-place Norwich, but down the bottom Preston have it all to do."

1515: Goalflash Middlesbrough 0-1 Coventry (Jutkiewicz)

1514: That's a lot to take in all at once. Effectively it means QPR are promoted, Preston and Sheffield United relegated. Only as it stands, mind.

BBC Sport's Charlie Henderson at Ashton Gate: "The sun's out & it's a sizzle & a fizzle in the Brizzle... but not for City. James spills McGugan free-kick leaving Boyd a tap in with a simplicity rating of 4/10. Large travelling contingent buzzing."

1512: Goalflash Reading 1-0 Sheff Utd (Hunt)

1511: Goalflash Swansea 1-0 Ipswich (Borini)

1510: Goalflash QPR 1-0 Hull (Routledge)

1510: Everyone having fun? Now you ask, I've had worse starts to an afternoon... QPR go perilously close to an opener against Hull as Heidar Helguson flashes a header on to the roof of the net.

1508: Goalflash Bristol City 0-1 Nott'm Forest (Boyd)

1507: Goalflash Preston 0-1 Cardiff (Whittingham)

1506: Apparently that Palace goal is down to a decent-sized deflection off Andy O'Brien, but it's a big strike at both ends of the table.

1505: Goalflash Crystal Palace 1-0 Leeds (Danns)

1504: Early chance for Hull at QPR, the Tigers attempting to spoil the party as Matty Fryatt forces an early save from Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny.

From eddkahn on Twitter: "The ironic thing is that today is actually the day of my daughters wedding!"
So if I ask you for a Forest victory...

1502: I won't lie to you - I've got a visual on only two of this afternoon's games, QPR v Hull and Reading v Sheffield United. But that shouldn't get in the way too much. Pretty sure we're getting under way in the Football League games across Britain.


BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "The Great Escape was played out as the teams came to the field - that's what Preston are hoping for, but Cardiff have done all they can to prepare for their promotion hopes. Malaysian backer Vincent Tan flew the team up to Preston on his private jet."

1459: Before we get under way, don't forget to check our brilliantly comprehensive Ups and downs - the place to go for all the promotion/relegation issues when it gets to crunch time. Oh, and if you fancy yourself as a bit of a 'predo expert', why not have a go on BBC Sport's football predictor? Even I got one right t'other day*.
* I didn't really.

From EvertonJ17 on Twitter: "Stevo, how do you know today is going to be so good? Have you made the the Football League 'an offer he can't refuse'?"

Premier League promotion-chasing QPR v Hull:
Chris Whyatt reports: "Just one change for giddy Queens Park Rangers from the side which drew 2-2 at Cardiff on Saturday. Centre-back Fitz Hall - known to his team-mates as 'One Size' - replaces Matthew Connolly in defence. Injury-hit Hull have to make a number of key changes. James Harper coming in for midfield maestro Robert Koren is the pick, perhaps, while Matt Duke replaces Vito Mannone in goal. The Uxbridge Road is absolutely jumping."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at Deepdale: "It could be a case of win or bust for Preston today as they bid to stay in the Championship. Only a win will guarantee they live to fight another day and anything else will depend on how other results go. It won't be easy as they face a Cardiff side who still have their sights on a top-two finish, trailing second-place Norwich by a point."

From Anon, on text: "Blade here, lose today and both Sheffield clubs will be playing L1 footy next season, dark times ahead (though we are in FA Youth final!)."

From DJOC23 on Twitter: "Godfather pt 1 and 2? Good to see you're not setting the bar too high. This should be interesting."
Good point. I'll go Godfather: Part III next time.

League Two Vesty: "There's plenty to keep an eye on in League Two this afternoon where the title could be won if League One-bound Chesterfield beat Bury. But a win for Bury will promote them if either Shrewsbury or Wycombe fail to win. Bury are also up if they draw and Wycombe lose, while a win for Shrewsbury would guarantee them a play-off place. At the bottom end of the table it's not looking good for Stockport. The Hatters will slip into the Blue Square Premier if they lose to fellow strugglers Northampton. If that game is drawn, Stockport are still down if Barnet win."

League One Dawkesy: "With Brighton already up as champions, the main battle at the top of League One is for second place. Southampton are the team in possession, which they will be hoping to maintain with a home win over Hartlepool this afternoon. Hot on their tail are Huddersfield, who host struggling Dagenham & Redbridge. MK Dons can make sure of a play-off spot with victory at Plymouth, who themselves need a win to boost their hopes of beating the drop. A Dons win leaves Bournemouth, Rochdale, Leyton Orient and Exeter scrapping for the final play-off spot. At the bottom, the aforementioned Daggers, in 20th, are one of three clubs, along with Walsall and Bristol Rovers, on 44 points and desperate for a positive result. Should any of these win, bottom-placed Swindon will make the plunge to League Two."

1444: What a bumper afternoon this is. Twelve games in the Championship all kicking off at 1500 BST - and I don't need to tell you that's the maximum amount of simultaneous starts possible in the English leagues. Here's what we've got:
Barnsley v Doncaster
Bristol City v Nott'm Forest
Burnley v Portsmouth
Crystal Palace v Leeds
Leicester v Watford
Middlesbrough v Coventry
Norwich v Derby
Preston v Cardiff
QPR v Hull
Reading v Sheff Utd
Scunthorpe v Millwall
Swansea v Ipswich

From georgefcht on Twitter: "The crudest but most true start to a live text, ever?"

1440: Throw in full coverage of Blackburn-Man City and I think we've got a reet treat for you on our last Bank Holiday until, er, the end of the week. One good turn deserves another as my mam always told me, so feel free to drop us a missive and wade in whether you think appropriate or not: you can send texts to 81111, or you can tweet instead - get those in either to me @Stevo_football or by using the hashtag #BBCFootball.

1437: That's right. I'm Jonathan Stevenson and I'll be your guide for this Easter Monday's eggstravaganza. Here's what you can expect between 1500 and 1700 BST:
Championship: Goalflashes from every single game, plus context from the matches that really really matter.
League One: Updates from Phil Dawkes.
League Two: Updates from Marc Vesty.

1433: Best way I can describe today? Like The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II. Between now and about 1730 BST, I and a team of brilliant writers (I hand-picked them myself) will bring you all the chat from the Championship, League One and League Two. Then tonight, from about 1900 BST, we'll be concentrating on an enormous game in the Premier League as relegation-threatened Blackburn entertain Champions League-chasing Manchester City at Ewood Park. I'm hoping that like the Two Greatest Films Ever Made™, both parts will be equally as entertaining.

1430: Whichever chair I sit in, no matter how I adjust, no matter the lucky pants I decide to don, I simply cannot get myself comfortable. In my experience of football this means one thing and one thing only: It's officially Squeaky Bum Time.



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Barclays Premier League results

25 Apr 2011 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 25 Apr 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 34 39 73
2 Chelsea 34 37 67
3 Arsenal 34 31 64
4 Man City 33 21 59
5 Tottenham 33 8 55
6 Liverpool 34 12 52
7 Everton 34 5 47
8 Bolton 33 4 46
9 Newcastle 34 1 41
10 Sunderland 34 -10 41
11 Aston Villa 34 -12 41
12 West Brom 34 -15 40
13 Fulham 33 1 39
14 Stoke 33 -3 39
15 Birmingham 34 -17 38
16 Blackburn 34 -15 35
17 Blackpool 34 -22 34
18 Wigan 34 -23 34
19 Wolves 33 -20 33
20 West Ham 34 -22 32

see also
Ups and downs
30 May 11 |  Football
BBC Sport's football predictor
26 Apr 11 |  Football


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