BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Sunday, 16 October 2011 18:52 UK

Sunday football as it happened


To get involved use Twitter (via hashtag #BBCFootball ) or text us via 81111 with FOOTBALL before your message. (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate.)

By Chris Bevan

1849: Right, it's time for me to go but, if I were you, I would DEFINITELY watch Match of the Day 2 tonight on BBC Two (and this website in the UK) at 2200 BST. Some cracking goals, from Robin van Persie, Jermain Defoe and Shola Ameobi to name but three. Van Persie's lob, which hit the post, is a must-see moment too, promise. Anyway, I'm out of here. Join me, Chris Bevan, again on Tuesday for the Champions League and a whole lot more. Until then, laters.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Robin van Persie's future at the club after the Dutch striker wrote in today's match programme that he is committed to the club despite having not yet extended his contract beyond 2013: "The ideal situation is that he extends his contract and if he doesn't you have to respect that. What is important is he plays how he plays. We are all eager to see special football players and he is a special football player. For me commitment is giving your best as long as you are at the club, not how long you are at the club. If you give absolutely 100% until the last day of your contract, that is what I call commitment."

robsaunders9 on Twitter: "I'm not getting carried away like the rest of those #BBCFootball people, #NUFC will do well to get top 10 this year."

thelondontribe on Twitter: "Thought Spurs looked jaded today & gave the ball away far too often. We should have won but wasted the opportunity to go 4th."

AdamStadius on Twitter: "Re 1812. NUFC are turning things around under Pardew. Hughton found that fighting spirit but now we have some structure to our game."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "5 - Five of Jermain Defoe's last seven Premier League goals have come from outside the box. Swivel."

Full time
FULL-TIME Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham
Saj Chowdhury reports: "It was great team spirit that helped Newcastle win a point against a Spurs team fancied to finish many points above them. Time to reassess?"

Full time
FULL-TIME Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland
Chris Brierley reports: "Arsenal dominated this game for all but 15 minutes but they need to smarten up at the back because they cannot expect Robin van Persie to pull them out of the mire every week."

Full time
FULL-TIME Birmingham 2-0 Leicester
Paul Fletcher reports from St Andrew's: "Much improved by Birmingham after the break and they undoubtedly deserved their win. Leicester will have to do much better if they are to achieve their stated goal of promotion."

Full time
FULL-TIME West Brom 2-0 Wolves
Owen Phillips reports: "West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson looked a mighty relieved man after a deserved win in a fine Black County derby. It was open and entertaining and, despite a fifth consecutive league defeat, offered plenty of encouragement to Wolves."

Full time
FULL-TIME Sheff Utd 2-2 Sheff Wed
Paul Plunkett reports: "Two late goals rescue Wednesday, and the Blades will be hurting after dominating the fixture but failing to put it out of sight"

1830: Here's a quick reminder of what happened today, starting in the Steel City...

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp on his side's thrilling (in the end) draw with Newcastle: "When you're leading with five to six minutes to go you're looking for three points and I thought there was only one winner at that point. Once they made it 2-2 it looked they were the team to win it. When you come here, it's tough. They're in good form and Alan Pardew has done a fantastic job with them."

From anon, via text: "Re 1812. Newcastle's season could very much be like Everton's when they finished 4th a few of years ago. With a quality forward and a fit Hatem Ben Arfa, it's definitely possible. I just hope LFC beat them!!"

From Stewy in Newcastle, via text: "Re 1812. One of the best Newcastle sides I've seen for a long time! Champs League may be unrealistic but a top half finish and a decent cup run will see a lot of Geordies happy this year!"

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew after seeing his side extend their unbeaten start to the season after a pulsating finish against Spurs: "It was exciting from the moment we kicked off in the second half. We created enough pressure to warrant a draw, maybe win it. We're on a sound financial footing at the moment and have created a team that is going to have a go. We're not going to settle for a draw at home, we tried to win it. So did Tottenham to be fair, and it made for a great game."

ChopperH5791 on Twitter: "Strikers union bang on today! Lip-smacking finishes from Van Persie, Defoe and Ameobi!"

J_Blackbird on Twitter: "Re 1812. Very proud to be a Newcastle fan today. The critics have been silenced. Dare to dream of Europe yet?"

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy stays upbeat despite seeing his side's losing streak continue at The Hawthorns, making this their worst run since 1983/84: "There is nothing wrong with the Wolves spirit, effort and endeavour despite five defeats on the bounce. Spirit, effort and endeavour is always there but we need to be better in the box."

West Brom boss Roy Hodgson salutes Shane Long after the Baggies striker inspired his side's 2-0 victory over Black Country rivals Wolves: "His performance was as near fault-free as you will get. He was outstanding. He held the ball up, won balls in the air and both he and Somen Tchoyi caused enormous problems."

MattBlazey on Twitter: "Re 1812. Newcastle proved all the haters and critics wrong today! You can buy quality, but you can't buy team spirit."

From Jon from Sheffield, via text: "Re 1812. Newcastle's first real test of the season and a good performance, too. 7th place finish not unrealistic."

BayfordSpyro on Twitter: "Re 1812. All credit to Newcastle. They keep defying the odds. They are impressing!!"

1812: Have you got your breath back yet folks? All in all, that was quite an afternoon of action. Alan Green is currently taking your calls on 606 on BBC Radio 5 live, but I'd also very much like to know what you think about Newcastle's top four prospects after that display? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

Jaqqzorr on Twitter: "Most entertaining half of football this season. Great finish by Ameobi and Newcastle to finish in the top 7."

StevenAKip on Twitter: "Very intense watch at the end, that. Roaring the lads forward, fantastic end, great advert for the league!"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Pat Nevin at St James' Park on BBC Radio 5 live: "Newcastle showed spirit to come back from the dead twice. In the last five minutes only one team wanted to win this game. Look around us now, it finished 2-2, and every Newcastle fan is on their feet. They know they've got a team here, and with a little bit more quality they could be extra special."

1800: What have we learned from that? Firstly that there is substance to Newcastle's side this season, and a lot of spirit too. They remain unbeaten and remain fourth, two places and three points above Tottenham.

1759: Fair to say that second half was about a million times better than the first. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. By the way, just before the final whistle, Newcastle had a big shout for a penalty turned down (well, their fans did) when Shola Ameobi fired the ball against Jake Livermore's arm. He was only about a yard away, though, so a spot-kick would have been harsh.

Full time
1756: FULL-TIME Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham

1755: The Magpies fans are roaring their side forward. It's the home side who are looking most likely at the moment, and they go close when Jonas Gutierrez's low shot is gathered by Brad Friedel at the second attempt.

worth1990 on Twitter: "No Internet at home, checking the NUFC on #bbcfootball on my phone, don't think I've ever cheered so much at a website. SHOLA!"

1753: How on earth did Newcastle not score here? Luka Modric is booked for fouling Fabricio Coloccini, who then has two bites at the cherry when the free-kick is curled into the danger zone. He is crowded out of the first chance, but then has time to turn and pick his spot for the second when Spurs fail to clear. Instead, he swivels and lashes his first-time shot wide.

1751: We will have five minutes of stoppage time at St James' Park. Who wants to win this one then?

1750: Hang about, because here come Tottenham. Jermain Defoe's first effort is blocked by a superb last-ditch Steven Taylor tackle, and his second is straight down the throat of Tim Kruyl. Spurs have made a change too, with Roman Pavlyuchenko repacing Emmanuel Adebayor.

Newcastle goal: This is a bit special. Very special in fact. Shola Ameobi latches on to a Yohan Cabaye flick on the left of the area and rifles an unstoppable shot past Brad Friedel and into the opposite corner. In a word (or two), a rocket.

1746: GOALFLASH Newcastle 2-2 Tottenham (Shola Ameobi)

cmcnaughton1 on Twitter: "That is a goal that could define both teams season. A win/loss here could have huge ramifications later on."

1743: ... Ryan Taylor does have a pop too, whipping his shot around the ball... But Brad Friedel reads it well and gets enough on the shot to push it to safety.

1742: Now then. This is a chance for Newcastle. Ryan Taylor is standing over a free-kick, and this is within shooting distance...

1741: Cheik Tiote is soon involved again, and his next contribution is much more positive. Gabriel Obertan tees him up on the edge of the area and he slams in a first-time shot which Brad Friedel has to tip over.

infostradaLive on Twitter: "That was Jermain Defoe's first goal at St. James' Park in more than nine years, after netting for West Ham United in April 2002."

Yellow card
1739: Cheik Tiote brings down Spurs schemer Luka Modric and that is another booking. Tiote's not happy about it but I don't think he can complain really - it was pretty blatant. Tottenham are in no rush to take the free-kick but, when they do, the ball breaks to Kyle Walker to blaze over from about 40 yards out. That was ambitious, to say the least.

1738: Another Newcastle change and a league debut for Italian full-back Davide Santon, who been mostly sidelined by injury since joining in the summer. He is on for Danny Simpson.

1736: Scott Parker is booked for clattering Shola Ameobi but can Newcastle make this free-kick count? Erm, no. Ryan Taylor bends it in to the box but it is easily cleared. Newcastle are taking the game to the visitors, though, and they have got 15 minutes left to save their unbeaten record.

From anon, via text: "Spurs have been a different side with Defoe in the team this season. Playing that second striker role better than VdV. Replacement for Rooney this summer?"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Pat Nevin at St James' Park on BBC Radio 5 live: "That second Spurs goal was all down to Scotty Parker. There was still a great deal for Jermain Defoe to do, but he turned on the ball and fired it past Tim Krul. After scoring he ran towards his own supporters… with a slight glance at his manager too, I imagine!"

1730: Alan Pardew reacts to that second Spurs goal with a double substitution. Hatem Ben Arfa and Shola Ameobi are on, Leon Best and Demba Ba, despite scoring his fifth goal in three games, are off.

Tottenham goal: Scott Parker had almost set Emmanuel Adebayor free with a precise through-ball that Tim Krul cut out in the nick of time, but it was only a temporary respite for the Magpies. Parker slips the ball to Jermain Defoe this time, and he turns Ryan Taylor on the edge of the area before drilling a low shot past the diving Krul. I suppose that's what you'd call a super-sub.

1727: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-2 Tottenham (Jermain Defoe)

1725: Spurs make their first change, but it is not Kyle Walker coming off. Instead it is Rafael van der Vaart who has been replaced by Jermain Defoe. We are into the last 25 minutes at St James' Park and it is still 1-1.

1723: Injury concerns for both sides. Spurs defender Kyle Walker has been having treatment for an injured ankle after Ryan Taylor trod on him, while Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote has an identical problem after slipping and falling awkwardly.

1721: Luka Modric is a gem of a player, but it is worth pointing out that he let Jonas Gutierrez run unchallenged into the area for Newcastle's equaliser. Modric pointed at the ball in the manner of Steve McManaman in the twilight of his career, but made no attempt to win it.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "19 - Newcastle have won none of the last 19 Premier League games in which they have been behind at home at half-time. Towel."

Manchester United striker Michael Owen on Twitter: "Can't pick a winner here. Spurs got some great players but Newcastle playing great all season. I think Modric is top top drawer."

1719: The chances just keep on coming. First Gabriel Obertan picks up a loose ball on the right for Newcastle and cuts inside to fire a real rasper just past the far post. At the other end, Newcastle stop because they think Luka Modric has carried the ball out of play. Spurs keep going, and Rafael van der Vaart fires straight at Tim Krul.

From anon via text: "Re 1705 the way this second half has started that 3-3 could be on!"

From Jon in Eastleigh via text: "Amateur hour at the back for Spurs. Most of the players still in the dressing room."

1714: Yep, this game has definitely come to life in the last few minutes. Tottenham come roaring back, with Luka Modric's delicate flick freeing Emmanuel Adebayor on the right of the area, but his angled shot misses the far post by a matter of inches.

1712: Time for a few handbags too. Yohan Cabaye slides in a touch wildly on Jake Livermore, and a few Spurs players are unhappy. Referee Lee Probert is quickly across to calm everyone down.

Newcastle goal: An equaliser is a pretty good place to start, isn't it? It's a good one too, with Jonas Gutierrez rampaging down the left and sending over a perfect cross for Demba Ba to slide in and fire home. Brad Friedel gets across to stop his shot, but the keeper's momentum takes him over the line. That's got the home crowd buzzing too.

1707: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-1 Tottenham (Demba Ba)

1705: Right, then. Let's hope for a few more thrills and spills at St James' Park in the second half, which has just begun.

chriscoughlin95 on Twitter: "To be honest, as an LFC fan i am hoping for a draw, maybe a classic 3-3, haven't had one of those for a while."

Er, did you see the first half? My advice is don't get your hopes up!

From anon, via text: "Re 1645. Newcastle shouldn't be surprised. Tottenham playing well."

1655: In reply to Paul F below, I reported on Spurs for a local paper during George Graham's reign and there were only ever two words on the team sheet that filled me with any joy: David and Ginola. Steffen Freund didn't really give me the same feeling to be honest. Tottenham have come on a bit since then.

From Paul F, via text: "Is that the worst 45 minutes football Spurs have been involved in since George Graham was boss? Surely neither team can play worse than that. Garbage."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Pat Nevin at St James' Park on BBC Radio 5 live:"When the goal was scored it was a slight surprise as Newcastle were having the better of the game at that point. A little bit more class is needed from Newcastle. Spurs, without really taxing themselves so far, have managed to go in at half-time 1-0 up."

NeilKnighton on Twitter: "Re 1641. Definitely a penalty. Bit of luck for us, we were slowly being put through the wringer before that."

RobertHardie on Twitter: "Sadly, Ledley King is the new Darren Anderton. A great talent let down by a fragile body."

Half time
1649: HALF-TIME Newcastle 0-1 Tottenham
Saj Chowdhury's HT snapshot:
"Newcastle were on top until Tottenham's penalty. The visitors are set for their fifth successive win, can they hold on for their first victory at St James' Park in six visits?"

1646: Just a minute of stoppage time to be played at the end of the first half.

1645: Newcastle are probably a bit surprised to be behind, but they are trying to do something about it as we move into the last minute of the first half. Ryan Taylor bends a dangerous free-kick into the Spurs area, and the visitors do well to clear their lines.

Tottenham goal: At last, some drama. Referee Lee Probert gets the decision right because Steven Taylor needlessly lunged in on Emmanuel Adebayor and tripped the Spurs striker, who was in the area but running away from goal. Probert points to the spot, and Rafael van der Vaart steps up to send Tim Krul the wrong way. Consider the deadlock broken.

1642: GOALFLASH Newcastle 0-1 Tottenham (Rafael van der Vaart)

1641: PENALTY to Tottenham

1639: My request is almost answered instantly. Tottenham's best moment for quite a while sees Luka Modric try to slip Emmanuel Adebayor clear but Fabricio Coloccini is in the right place to snuff out the danger.

1637: Ah. It's Yohan Cabaye who takes it, but it is cleared by Tottenham's first defender at the near post. We need some creativity please, and quickly.

1636: Yohan Cabaye tries his luck from distance but suffice to say it does not exactly trouble Spurs keeper Brad Friedel, mainly because it is about 10 miles off target. Still, Newcastle seem to be the side gathering momentum and they have another corner now too...

benjaminlhp on Twitter: "Ledley King's gone. That is a sign. It will not be our day."

1633: Trouble for Spurs and, specifically, Ledley King. Tottenham's captain has signalled to the bench that he is injured and cannot continue, although he is able to walk off. That means an enforced change for the visitors after half an hour, with former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong coming on to loud jeers from the home fans.

1630: OK, It's not been a thriller so far, but it's been hard fought, hasn't it? A couple of actual chances would be nice, though.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC football pundit Pat Nevin at St James' Park on BBC Radio 5 live:"Fourth position is available, but Tottenham have to win games like this. After a frenetic beginning it has died down slightly, and that's a good thing for Newcastle."

JoeyLC23 on Twitter: "Re anonymous Spurs fan. Who needs Xavi and Iniesta? Every single team in the world. I'm a big Parker and Modric fan, but get a grip lad."

jwillis50 on Twitter: "Still can't see Newcastle keeping up this early pace. They've not had particularly tough fixtures until now. 8th at best."

1627: Decent pressure from Newcastle, Firstly, when Gabriel Obertan takes down a precise crossfield pass by Yohan Cabaye and fires in a cross which is blocked by Ledley King. The resulting corner is cleared but the ball is soon played back into the danger zone by Fabricio Coloccini. Demba Ba meets it but cannot get any power behind his header. Signs of life by the home side, though.

MattBennett1976 on Twitter: "Re Tom via text. Are you for real or just having a laugh, it's gotta be Redknapp's he's the best English manager by far."

1621: At the other end, Gareth Bale has stopped limping and started linking up with Emmanuel Adebayor. The Welshman has seen plenty of the ball in the first 20 minutes but, similarly, Spurs are yet to open the Magpies up.

1619: Tottenham cannot clear their lines and this is a decent spell of possession by Newcastle. They are still waiting for their first real sight of goal, mind.

From Tom via text: "Pardew to be next England manager? I'd prefer him to Redknapp."

1617: Hmmm, Gareth Bale is limping at the moment, not sure why. I'll keep an eye on him.

From anonymous Spurs fan via text: "We're playing like Barca. Who needs Xavi and Iniesta when you have Parker and Modric!"

infostradaLive on Twitter: "Neither of these sides have had a single player red carded, whilst both have seen an opponent sent off on a season-high three occasions!"

1614: Kyle Walker slides in rashly on Ryan Taylor and is lucky to escape a booking. Steven Taylor whips in the free-kick but Brad Friedel deals with the bouncing ball.

1610: Both teams are still settling down here. We've just seen some slick passing from Tottenham, which came to nothing, while Newcastle have not managed anything of note since that first opening.

nerfspur on Twitter: "Am I the only Spurs fan who hates us being 'favourites to win'? Makes me massively nervous. Glad Adebayor is starting, though.."

1606: A first sniff for Newcastle when Gabriel Obertan finds a bit of space on the left... but he fails to control the ball. Tottenham clear, and the half-chance is gone.

1602: Here we go, then. The Magpies have just got us started. By the way, Paul Gascoigne, a true legend for both teams, is guest of honour at today's game. He has just been spotted, with a beaming smile, in the stands. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I wish him well.

TottenhamNewsUK on Twitter: "Predicting a very fast start from Spurs and expecting either Modric or Bale to find the net today, possibly both."

1557: Give this page a manual refresh and you can listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary from St James' Park (in the UK). We are about to find out what Newcastle are made of.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his side's hard-fought victory over Sunderland: "We had a good start for 25 minutes but as soon as Sunderland equalised the confidence started to wobble a bit. The second half was all us but we needed something special from Robin van Persie to make the difference."

From Carl, Tottenham fan, via text: "I can't understand why Harry Redknapp is playing Jake Livermore but it will be good experience for him and Tottenham will win 2-1 today."

Saj Chowdhury reports:
"Newcastle boss Alan Pardew believes this will be his side's sternest test yet. "They are, certainly offensively, by some distance the best team we have played." Meanwhile, Spurs counterpart Harry Redknapp believes Newcastle fans should stop complaining about their owner Mike Ashley. "The chairman's spent fortunes up there and they're still shouting and moaning. He's spent about £100m and they're still calling him names," he added.

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce after his side's 2-1 defeat by Arsenal: "I can't question the players' appetite. But we had a horrible start and Robin Van Persie was just too good for us. We'll stick together and we'll turn it around."

1552: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has responded to accusations from Patrice Evra that he racially abused the Manchester United defender during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Anfield. Suarez said on Twitter: "I'm upset by the acusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody. We are all the same. I go to the field with the maximum illusion of a little child who enjoys what he does, not to create conflicts." The FA has already said it will investigate the incident.

darylphillips1 on Twitter: "is it too early to say "Newcastle are the Invincibles of 2011/12"?"

Er, yes.

MichaelSRoche on Twitter: "Credit where its due, Pardew has solidified the defence, a few years back double figures would have been conceded already!"

1543: Fair to say that not many of you are taking Newcastle's prospects of a top-four finish too seriously at the moment. Will Tottenham provide the first real test of their mean defence? And will the unbeaten Magpies crack? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

Saj Chowdhury reports:
Newcastle name an unchanged starting XI for the fourth league game running, with full-back Davide Santon and midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa named as substitutes. Tottenham make one change with Jake Livermore in for Jermain Defoe, who is on the bench.

From anon, via text: "Re 1528. Any Newcastle fan can tell you we are a flash in the pan, but hey let's just say good job Pardew and Ashley for that matter. Love seeing the Toon look safe."

Nufc_pauly on Twitter: "Re 1528. CL wannabees? With our net spend top half would represent a great season, hope we stay unbeaten today though!"

Newcastle v Tottenham line-ups
Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Santon, Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart, Adebayor. Subs: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Giovani, Defoe, Bassong, Rose, Townsend.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Saj Chowdhury reports:
"It's a Champions League six-pointer! OK, a tad premature, if you're a Newcastle fan. The Magpies are on their longest unbeaten run since the 1996/1997 season, when they finished second. However, many black and white supporters will be thinking, "we're almost halfway to safety". There are some that expect this current run to end today against a Spurs outfit that have won their last four league matches. To balance the expectation scales - they have not won on their last five visits to St James'. Verdict: Thrilling draw."

1528: Just one match left for your entertainment today, up at St James' Park where in-form Newcastle take on Tottenham. Both of these teams are Champions League wannabees, but who has got what it takes? Today might tell us if the Magpies are more than a flash in the pan.

1526: Relief, then, at the final whistle at the Emirates, and not the convincing victory that looked on the cards when Robin van Persie notched after 29 seconds. The Gunners have the Dutchman to thank for their win, and their defence definitely needs to go back to the training ground.

Full time
1524: Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland

1523: I think this is what's called the last throw of the dice. Simon Mignolet hoists a long free-kick into the Arsenal area but no-one can get a meaningful touch and it bounces through to Wojciech Szczesny.

1522: Sunderland have got possession but they are being forced backwards. Wes Brown launches a useful looking ball forwards towards Ji Dong-Won but Andre Santos is able to shield the ball out of play. Arsene Wenger is still looking anxious on the touchline, however, because the points are not in the bag just yet.

1519: There will be FIVE minutes of added time at the Emirates. Time for one last Sunderland surge...

Davros18 on Twitter: "Where would Arsenal be without Robin van Persie? Complete one man team today."

cashOsullivan on Twitter: "Massive, massive, massive goal. Captain Fantastic. Wes Brown should be off though."

Hawkins_M on Twitter: "YES!!! RVP to the rescue - again. Come on Arsenal!"

1516: Sunderland are going for this now, replacing Lee Cattermole with Craig Gardner. They have to be careful, though, because they are leaving a lot of space at the other end. Andrey Arshavin almost punishes them, but Simon Mignolet dives to his right to keep out his rasping low shot.

1515: If Arsenal hang on, they are up to the heady heights of 10th in the Premier League table. That's not a certainty, mind, because Sunderland are not done yet. Ji Dong-Won thinks he has beaten the offside trap to slide a low finish past Wojciech Szczesny after good work from Connor Wickham. The linesman's flag tells him otherwise.

Arsenal goal: Whatever Seb Larsson can do, Robin van Persie can do better. Well, match anyway. Just like the Swede's first-half set-piece, this is an absolute pearler. Van Persie curls his free-kick over the wall and inside Simon Mignolet's left-hand post.

1511: GOALFLASH Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland (Robin van Persie)

1509: Under 10 minutes to go at the Emirates. Robin van Persie is standing over a free-kick. This looks dangerous...

1508: Sunderland are defending as though their lives depend on not conceding, with Wes Brown throwing himself at a cross to stop the ball reaching Robin van Persie. Before the resulting corner can be taken, the Black Cats try to run down the clock with another change too, with Stephane Sessegnon ambling off. Howard Webb, though, is quick to tell the French forward he has stopped his watch so he is wasting his time trying to waste time (sorry). Anyway, Connor Wickham is on.

1505: Another Arsenal change. Tomas Rosicky, who has shown the occasional glimpse of his talent today, is off and Yossi Benayoun is on instead. Can he unlock this Sunderland defence?

jamesgiblin on Twitter: "There's yellow cards galore at the Emirates. Surprisingly, none of them are for Lee Cattermole."

SoakyDavies on Twitter: "Arsenal are an odd team - lots of concentrated pressure with no real goal threat."

1502: This is more like it. Andrey Arshavin embarks on a mazy run and works himself a shooting chance after getting into the Sunderland area. Just a shame about his finish really, because it is weak and off target.

1500: Yet again, a promising Arsenal attack peters out thanks to a misplaced pass, when Robin van Persie sends over a cross that is far too deep. We are into the last 20 minutes, and the Gunners need to buck up their ideas if they are going to win this one.

Full time
1459: FULL-TIME Birmingham 2-0 Leicester

1459: Mind you, it doesn't matter how much probing Arsenal do if they are going to play final balls like this. Alex Song escapes Lee Cattermole in midfield and brings the ball forward to the edge of the area. He has options either side of him but his attempt to find Theo Walcott is a woeful one. Another attack is over.

1455: More of the same from the Emirates, where Arsenal continue to probe but the Sunderland defence is holding out, for now anyway. Both sides are making changes, with Ji Dong-Won replacing Seb Larsson for Sunderland and Andrey Arshavin on for Gervinho for the Gunners.

Match of the Day pundit Martin Keown at St Andrew's: "A breakaway goal was always going to be the problem for Leicester after committing so many men up front. But Chris Wood showed maturity beyond his years in taking his goal."

Birmingham goal: Looks like game over at St Andrew's, where we are into the final four minutes. The Blues break clear and Chris Wood calmly rounds Kasper Schmeichel before finding the net from a tightish angle. A real striker's finish from the on-loan West Brom man.

Yellow card
1449: I make it four yellow cards in 10 minutes at the Emirates, and this is the worst challenge of the lot. Wes Brown crunches Theo Walcott as he surges towards the edge of the area. Walcott takes the resulting free-kick too but, like Mikel Arteta before him, his curling shot is a LONG way off target.

1448: GOALFLASH Birmingham 2-0 Leicester (Chris Wood)

From anon, via text: "Re 1433. The technical term in rugby for a punch is 'handbags'."

Yellow card
1445: Another yellow card at the Emirates? Yep, this time it goes to Alex Song, for tripping Stephane Sessegnon on a rare foray forward by Sunderland.

Yellow card
1443: Seb Larsson joins David Vaughan in Howard Webb's notebook, bringing down Robin van Persie as Arsenal attack again. The Gunners want a penalty a few moments later, when Theo Walcott's cross appears to hit Kieran Richardson on the arm. Nothing given, though.

1442: Kasper Schmeichel is doing is best to keep 10-man Leicester in it at St Andrew's, denying Marlon King after he ran through.

Yellow card
1439: The Gunners are still having the better of it, but no sign of a second goal yet. This time Tomas Rosicky charges forward as the Gunners break quickly, forcing David Vaughan into a desperate tackle to stop him in his tracks. That's a booking, and a free-kick about 25 yards out. Andre Santos takes it, but spoons his shot hopelessly over the bar.

1436: Arsenal have started the second half in similar style to the way they began the first - on the attack, but without a ridiculously quick Robin van Persie goal this time. Sunderland seem happy to soak up the pressure for now.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at St Andrew's: "Leicester look stunned after first falling behind and then seeing skipper Matt Mills sent from the field. Sven-Goran Eriksson has certainly acted quickly, bringing on John Pantsil, Richie Wellens and Jermaine Beckford."

1433: The players are back out at the Emirates. No changes from either side as the second half gets started.

mistermersh on Twitter: "That tackle by Matt Mills makes Sam Warburton's red card for Wales yesterday seem even more ridiculous, all kinds of dangerous."

A nice cross-sport reference there. You don't get many two-footed tackles in rugby, do you? They prefer to punch each other on the nose...

From anon via text: "With all this talk of London clubs expanding and the battle for the Olympic stadium - how depressing it is to see Emirates silent and half empty. These clubs need to put atmosphere over profit margins."

From Matt from London via text: "At the game and Arsenal fans around me not happy. Calling for Wenger to 'sort it out or get out'."

Red card
Leicester red card: I don't think Leicester defender Matt Mills can argue about this too much. Yes, he gets the ball - but he was airbourne as he flew in two-footed on Morgano Gomis. He was back on the ground when he made contact with the player, but it was still a wild and reckless challenge.

Birmingham goal: Finally, some excitement at St Andrew's. Jean Beausejour, who had hit the post a few momemts earlier, is tripped by Andy King and Marlon King steps up to slot away the resulting spot-kick.

SamuraisShadow on Twitter: "Not that long ago Arsenal were known for having the best defence around. Nowadays, sloppy mistakes are what we're known for."

Squealer66 on Twitter: "If Sunderland can avoid conceding a goal in the first 2 minutes of games we might have a chance in future."

Half time
Arsenal 1-1 Sunderland
Chris Brierley's HT snapshot: "Robin van Persie should have had this game wrapped up after 15 minutes but Sunderland exposed the Gunners' dodgy defence. Sebastian Larsson hit a cracker and the Black Cats could have gone in 3-1 themselves. Instead it's 1-1 half-time and anything could happen."

1420: RED CARD Leicester's Matt Mills

1417: The half-time whistle goes at the Emirates. Lots for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to think about at the break.

1416: It is Sunderland who are finishing the half with a flourish. Seb Larsson turns provider this time, nodding down a deep cross into the path of Jack Colback, who goes for the spectacular finish but scoops his volley over. Still, a very neat build-up.

1414: GOALFLASH Birmingham 1-0 Leicester (Marlon King pen)

1413: PENALTY to Birmingham

1413: A sort of stunned silence at the Emirates as they approach half-time. The Sunderland fans seem pretty happy, though.

HighRangeMan on Twitter: "So far Man City will be buying Robin van Persie and Seb Larsson."

Did you know City almost bought Seb Larsson from Birmingham in January? A lovely player to watch, isn't he?

Adam_Clatworthy on Twitter: "It's quite amazing that Arsenal's worst squad in many years coincides with the best goalkeeper they've had for many years."

AlexTJones on Twitter: "Best save of the season by SZCZ there, incredible."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at St Andrew's: "The start of the second half delayed by five minutes to allow fourth official Kevin Wright to warm up, replacing injured referee Graham Salisbury. Easily the most exciting thing to happen here so far."

1407: Many of Arsenal's problems in the past few minutes have stemmed from the fact Laurent Koscielny is continuously playing Stephane Sessegnon onside. The Gunners defence is doing its best to live up to its reputation, I'm afraid.

1404: Incredibly, Sunderland should now be in front. The Arsenal defence goes walkabout, again, allowing Stephane Sessegnon to weave into the area and find Lee Cattermole arriving unmarked at the back post. It should be a certain goal, and would have been if not for an absolutely superb stop by Wojciech Szczesny, who does brilliantly to get across and keep out his header.

Sunderland goal: It is almost TOTALLY against the run of play but the Black Cats are level courtesy of a stunning strike by Seb Larsson against his former club. Mikel Arteta concedes a free-kick about 25 yards out, and Larsson steps up to bend an exquisite shot past Wojciech Szcesny and inside the post.

1401: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-1 Sunderland (Seb Larsson)

Match of the Day pundit Robbie Savage at St Andrew's: "If I went down the local park, I'd have seen better than that. It was the worst half of football I've seen in ages."

1358: A first scare for Arsenal. Stephane Sessegnon escapes down the left and rounds Wojciech Szcesny who, inexplicably, has come dashing from his goal. Sessesgnon looks up and tries to pick out Lee Cattermole in the area, but Alex Song is back to mop up the danger. Incidentally, Song is wearing gloves today. Are they really necessary?

OptaJoe on Twitter: "29s - Robin Van Persie's goal is the quickest in the Premier League since Geovanni for Man City v Wigan in Dec 07 (also 29s). Rapid."

Full time
1353: FULL-TIME Sheff Utd 2-2 Sheff Wed

AdamHull22 on Twitter: "Sunderland offer nothing going forward. Definitely going to be involved in the relegation scrap come May."

Full time
1353: FULL-TIME West Brom 2-0 Wolves

Sheffield Wednesday goal: It is hardly a contender for goal of the season but the 11,000 Owls fans watching this game on a beam-back at Hillsborough won't care. United fail to deal with a set-piece and Gary Madine pokes the ball home from point-blank range. All-square, and into stoppage time. Anyone want to pick a winner?

Half time
1350: Birmingham 0-0 Leicester
Paul Fletcher's HT snapshot from St Andrew's:
"One of these teams is in the Europa League, the other spent an estimated £10m in the summer. You wouldn't know it on the evidence so far. Poor, scrappy and very little to lift the quiet crowd."

From anonymous Sunderland fan, via text: "~Sat in Heathrow waiting to leave on honeymoon. Flight delayed by 90 mins. Perhaps the pilot is waiting for Steve Bruce to pack his bags..."

1348: Robin van Persie is definitely wearing his shooting boots today. He lets fly from the edge of the area this time, and Simon Mignolet is relieved to see his shot swerve wide. More brilliant work from the Arsenal striker, who has been on fire in the first 20 minutes at the Emirates.

1347: GOALFLASH Sheff Utd 2-2 Sheff Wed (Gary Madine)

Sheffield Wednesday goal: Late drrama in the Steel City derby. Chris O'Grady latches on to a Rob Jones pass to nod the ball beyond Steve Simonsen. Stand by for a tense finale.

1345: Wolves have not given up yet, you know. Adlene Guedioura goes close with an acrobatic effort from the edge of the box, but sees his volley bounce wide. If Robin van Persie is impersonating Dennis Bergkamp (or maybe Eric Cantona with that last lob) today, then that was a flash of Mark Hughes.

1344: GOALFLASH Sheff Utd 2-1 Sheff Wed (Chris O'Grady)

Someone has struck the woodwork
1343: Robin van Persie is everywhere at the moment and he has just gone within inches of adding a magnificent second for Arsenal. The Dutchman turns Kieran Richardson on the edge of the area and dinks a majestic lob over Simon Mignolet, who turns to watch it bounce off the inside of his post and dribble along the line. Sunderland survive, by the skin of their teeth.

nnajiprincec on Twitter: "And that's why he is the captain! Yes Yes Yes RVP!!!!!Goal!!!!!!!"

1339: Gervinho is causing chaos down the right flank for Arsenal and it takes a desperate near-post block from Wes Brown to stop his low cross reaching Robin van Persie. Theo Walcott has had a looping header easily saved by Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet and it is fair to say it is all Arsenal at the moment.

1337: Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is looking disconsolate on the bench. His side have developed a horrible habit of conceding early goals - they were 2-0 down within five minutes against West Brom in their last game. But optimistic Black Cats fans will know they battled back for a point in that one.

West Brom goal: Baggies substitute Peter Odemwingie doubles his side's lead, drilling a low shot into the bottom corner after a superb backheel from Paul Scharner. A long, long way back for Wolves now, especially as we are into the last 10 minutes at The Hawthorns.

Match of the Day pundit Martin Keown at St Andrews: "This game needs a spark. Teams are running away with it in this league so you've got to go for the three points. It's there for the taking if someone has a go."

1334: GOALFLASH West Brom 2-0 Wolves (Peter Odemwingie)

Arsenal goal: That didn't take long did it? Just 29 seconds in fact - that's the fastest goal in the top flight this season, and Arsenal's fastest ever Premier League goal. Sunderland kicked off too, but gave the ball away immediately. Gervinho got down the left and crossed for Robin van Persie, who cleverly let the ball run past him, and Wes Brown, before firing into the bottom corner.

1331: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Sunderland (Robin van Persie)

1331: We are under way at Arsenal.

1330: Gary Madine has not stopped scoring in recent weeks but the net continues to elude him today. His header from a Ben Marshall cross goes high and wide and into the Bramall Lane stands. That is still Wednesday's best moment of the second half, which says it all.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at St Andrew's: "Leicester might not have conceded in 412 minutes going into this match but Steven Caldwell should have put Birmingham in front with a header at the far post that instead found the side netting. Blues have been more than a match so far against a Foxes team expensively assembled and expected to succeed."

derekvplzni on Twitter: "This is a really entertaining game. Wolves can't handle West Brom at the moment. More goals in this. Long impressive."

hussayn93 on Twitter: "Just hope and pray its not one of those days. #Arsenal much needed 3 points today"

1327: The players are shaking hands at the Emirates, which means the second Premier League game of the day is about to get going. Feeling confident, Arsenal fans? And what about you Black Cats? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK). Get involved.

1326: A change for Wolves, with Stephen Hunt replacing Adam Hammill. They have got 20 minutes left to rescue this game.

1324: Wolves should be level. Honestly they should. Roger Johnson rises above Billy Jones to meet an inviting Kevin Doyle cross from the left but, with the goal gaping, he sends his header flying wide. His head are in his hands, and for good reason.

1323: Great defending by Stephen Ward, who sticks out a leg to stop a cross reaching Shane Long at the back post. Wolves are still living a tad dangerously at the back but they know they have to get men forward to try to nick an equaliser.

1321: Er, that second half charge that we were expecting from Sheffield Wednesday hasn't quite materialised. Far from it in fact. The Blades look comfortable and Steve Simonsen is yet to make a meaningful save since play restarted. They still lead 2-0.

1320: There's lots to like about West Brom forward Somen Tchoyi - he runs at defenders, and is quick and skilful. Sadly an end product isn't always part of the package, and on this occasion he can only dribble a shot goalwards at the end of a powerful run. A waste.

From Anthony from Harrow, via text: "Re RVP and 1302. In today's world, contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on. If a player wants to go, he will go, contract or not. Loyalty doesn't exist in the game nowadays. Money talks."

1317: A bit of a delay in the Black Country derby. Wolves defender Stephen Ward needs treatment after getting an accidental boot in the face from Shane Long, but he has been bandaged up and is back on the field. Half an hour left, and the Baggies still lead 1-0.

1314: A first sniff of a goal at St Andrew's. Steven Caldwell gets on the end of a deep free-kick from Jean Beausejour, but cannot direct his header on target.

1313: Both teams are going for it at The Hawthorns, and we have a wide-open game on our hands. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is on for Nenad Milijas and involved in an attack straight away. Adam Hammill's low shot is creeping inside the post until Ben Foster sticks out a big paw to push it away.

1312: West Brom continue to create chances. This time Youssuf Mulumbu elects to shoot when the ball breaks to him on the edge of the area, blazing wildly over. He should really have slipped it through to Shane Long, who is unmarked to his right, and is telling his team-mate exactly that.

OptaJoe on Twitter: "8 - There have only been eight goals scored in the last seven Premier League matches between Arsenal and Sunderland. Dour."

Chris Brierley reports: "Tomas Rosicky and Laurent Koscielny return for Arsenal after injury in place of Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin while Carl Jenkinson continues to deputise for Bacary Sagna who broke his leg against Spurs. Sunderland are without striker Nicklas Bendtner - ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement with the Gunners - and Craig Gardner while midfielders Jack Colback and David Vaughan are drafted in by Steve Bruce.

1308: The second half has started at Bramall Lane too. Owls boss Gary Megson made an attacking change at the break, bringing on Jamaican winger Jermaine Johnson for James O'Connor.

1307: Shane Long is at it again, chasing a, er, long ball over the top and out-pacing Roger Johnson, who seems to bring him down with a desperate lunge. That looks like a foul to me, but Chris Foy, who like the Wolves defence is struggling to keep up with Long, says play on.

1304: Half of Wolves' problems are down to the fact their centre-backs, Roger Johnson and Christophe Berra, are being left to deal with Shane Long and Somen Tchoyi. They are not getting much help from their full-backs, who are looking to get forward and leaving the visitors short at the back. Could be dangerous, especially when they have Long's pace to contend with.

From Josh in Liverpool, via text: "We just can't seem to handle Shane Long. I thought our defence would be less shakey this season but its not coping well. No end product either. Could be a long day for us Wolves fans."

Arsenal v Sunderland line-ups
Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho. Subs: Fabianski, Park, Andre Santos, Djourou, Arshavin, Frimpong, Benayoun.
Sunderland: Mignolet, O'Shea, Turner, Brown, Richardson, Elmohamady, Vaughan, Colback, Cattermole, Larsson, Sessegnon. Subs: Westwood, Gardner, Wickham, Ji, Meyler, McClean, Laing.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1302: Right, we are under way at St Andrew's, and the second half has just started at The Hawthorns too.

Chris Brierley reports: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes centre-half Per Mertesacker has similarities to Tony Adams and said: "Yes, he's a little bit like that. Not the quickest but he uses his brains. He is a very intelligent player. Trust the Germans, they can fight." Black Cats boss Steve Bruce reckons he can fix Sunderland's poor start. "I'm a determined, resilient, horrible so-and-so and I will try my utmost to turn it around," he said."

welshjrc1984 on Twitter: "Re 1246/ RVP basically saying, believe what he wrote, and not some speculation."

Call me a cynic, but players have been known to pledge loyalty to clubs one minute, and slap in a transfer request the next. Even if and when Robin van Persie signs a new deal (he is out of contract in 2013, hence the current speculation), that won't necessarily mean he will see it out either. But putting pen to paper would be a lot more meaninful than words, no?

BenniiiP on Twitter: "Is this the season where Wolves don't escape the drop? I think so."

1250: A special treat for you lucky people today. We have a live Championship game for you on BBC One and this website (in the UK), so give this page a manual refresh now to watch Birmingham versus Leicester. Robbie Savage, who played for both teams before starting his dancing career, is the pundit in the Match of the Day studio.

Half time
Sheff Utd 2-0 Sheff Wed
Paul Plunkett HT snapshot:
"It's been an even Steel City derby but the difference has been the Blades' finishing in front of goal, while Wednesday have hit the woodwork twice. Don't write off the Owls just yet."

Chris Brierley reports: "Two managers under pressure go head-to-head at the Emirates. Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have seven points from seven games - their worst start in 37 years. They have only won once in their last six meetings with the Black Cats with four draws. Steve Bruce's six points from the first seven games is Sunderland's lowest since 2005/06 when they were relegated. Two sets of fans are getting twitchy."

Half time
1247: West Brom 1-0 Wolves
Owen Phillips' HT snapshot: "West Brom lead an engrossing Black Country derby after scoring with their first attack and Shane Long is terrorising a shaky Wolves defence. But it's very open and the visitors are also creating chances."

1246: Just one minute of stoppage time to be played at the end of the first half at The Hawthorns. By the looks of things, West Brom have survived that spell of heavy Wolves pressure.

From M in Wales, via text: "So with West Brom and Wolves both desperate for a win, a draw is a nailed on certainty then!"

1243: Wolves are ending the half with a succession of corners. Christophe Berra goes close from their latest one, but his poked effort is deflected and then tipped over by Ben Foster.

Carl Jenkinson comes in at right-back for the injured Bacary Sagna, and Tomas Rosicky, Gervinho and Robin van Persie all start. Full details, plus Sunderland news, will be with you shortly.

1239: Action at both ends at The Hawthorns. Wolves want a penalty for a Billy Jones handball but West Brom break swiftly through who else but Shane Long. He raids down the left this time and finds Paul Scharner with his pull-back. The Austrian takes a touch before steering the ball towards the top corner... but it flies just wide of Wayne Hennessey's post.

1238: Wolves are having plenty of possession but West Brom are getting the best shooting chances. This time Youssuf Mulumbu has a pop from the edge of the box and his shot takes a nick off Roger Johnson, bringing a solid low stop from Wayne Hennessey.

1236: We are still waiting for team news from the Emirates, but here is a snippet from the match programme. Arsenal captain Robin van Persie has rubbished stories linking him to a move to Man City, saying: "I see stories which make me laugh, but I can see how frustrating it is from the fans' point of view. But I am committed to Arsenal. I am captain, and fans should not believe everything they read." Er, should they believe what they read in the match programme then?

infostradaLive on Twitter: "Wolves have not lost more than four consecutive top flight matches since 1983/1984."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at St Andrew's: "Birmingham make three changes from the team that won at Nottingham Forest, with fit-again skipper Stephen Carr joining strike duo Marlon King and Chris Wood in the starting XI, while Jonathan Spector, Nikola Zigic and Wade Elliott drop to the bench. Leicester have Michael Johnson, Richie Wellens and Jermaine Beckford fit again but Sven-Goran Eriksson sticks with the team that thrashed Derby 4-0 before the international break."

1234: More news from Bramall Lane. Sheffield United have scored twice, while Sheffield Wednesday have now hit the woodwork twice. Ben Marshall's shot shaves the top of Steve Simonsen's crossbar, with the visitors looking for a quick response. They need one too.

Injured Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere on Twitter: "At the Emirates with my boy! Getting the Gooner blood running through him already!"

Birmingham v Leicester line-ups
Myhill, Carr, Caldwell, Ibanez, Ridgewell, Burke, Gomis, Fahey, Beausejour, Wood, King. Subs: Doyle, Murphy, Elliott, Zigic, Spector.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Peltier, Mills, Bamba, Konchesky, Danns, King, Fernandes, Abe, Vassell, Nugent. Subs: Weale, Pantsil, Johnson, Wellens, Beckford.
Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at St Andrew's: "Walking to a sunny St Andrew's I heard one Birmingham fan say to another that if Blues win their three games in hand they would be at least third in the table. Sunday's opponents Leicester thrashed Derby in their last game and are unbeaten in seven. I think it is fair to say there are currently plenty of grounds for optimism among both sets of fans that their remodelled teams are on the up."

1229: Half an hour gone at The Hawthorns and West Brom go close to number two. Somen Tchoyi pulls the ball back across goal for Shane Long, who is shaping to stroke the ball home until Stephen Ward gets back to put in a vital and well-timed tackle.

Sheff Utd goal: Moments after Chris O'Grady hits the post for Wednesday from point-blank range, United extend their lead. Lee Williamson sends in a delicious free-kick and Ched Evans heads home from about four yards out.

1225: More good work by Shane Long, who surges forward from his own half, sprinting past Karl Henry. He is heading for goal too, until he is chopped down by Christophe Berra. That's a booking.

1222: Shane Long is getting the better of Wolves defender Roger Johnson when they go up for long balls, and this time Long's flick sets Somen Tchoyi free. Tchoyi dwells on the ball too long on the left-hand side of the area, however, and when he is dispossessed he goes to ground too easily too.

1219: GOALFLASH Sheff Utd 2-0 Sheff Wed (Ched Evans)

Joeheard1 on Twitter: "Big game for safc today,no one giving us a chance, however got a draw away at arsenal + liverpool last year and beating Chelsea"

1214: Better from Wolves, and their best chance yet. Matt Jarvis does brilliantly to get down the left and his cross, despite being blocked, eventually finds Nenad Milijas. His drilled shot is saved by Ben Foster but it looks like Kevin Doyle is going to put away the loose ball at the back post until Jonas Olsson gets across to get the vital block.

1213: Like Wolves, West Brom are playing with a lone striker today, but Shane Long doesn't half look lively. He latches on to a long Chris Brunt clearance, cuts inside and gets away a useful shot from the edge of the area that Wayne Hennessey has to deal with.

Sheff Utd goal: A goal in the Steel City too, which has been lively to say the least so far. Ched Evans slams his shot against the post but Stephen Quinn is following up to fire in the rebound.

1211: GOALFLASH Sheff Utd 1-0 Sheff Wed (Stephen Quinn)

West Brom goal: West Brom's first attack ends with a goal. It's a nicely worked one too, with Billy Jones getting down the left and pulling the ball back perfectly into the path of Chris Brunt, who runs in from the opposite wing to absolutely bury his first-time shot into the roof of the net. Unstoppable.

1208: GOALFLASH West Brom 1-0 Wolves (Chris Brunt)

1208: Two Wolves players go down in quick succession. Kevin Doyle is backing into Jonas Olsson inside the box so that's not a penalty despite his protests. Jamie O'Hara had the ball at the time, until he was sent tumbling by a defender anyway. That looked more like a foul to me. Nothing given though.

1205: West Brom are trying to bring Chris Brunt into the game, and his left foot can be a potent weapon from the right flank. Not this time, mind. His dinked through-ball is meant for Shane Long but skips off the turf and flies out of play.

1203: Wolves have the first shooting chance when a deep cross from the right finds Jamie O'Hara, but his effort is blocked. The visitors don't stop there, though, and from the same flank Adam Hammill fires in an angled snap-shot from the edge of the box which Ben Foster has to push around his post.

1200: Here we go. The games have started at Bramall Lane and The Hawthorns.

1159: Give this page a manual refresh for BBC 5 live sports extra commentary of the Sheffield derby, which is also about to get under way.

1158: Here come the West Brom and Wolves players. Will be interesting to see how the visiting fans treat Karl Henry today, after ironically cheering him against Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. That didn't go down too well with his team-mates, or his manager.

From Ed in Bristol, via text: "The Steel City derby. THIS, Sir Alex, is the biggest game in club football. come on you Owls!"

Paul Plunkett reports: "Blades
boss Danny Wilson has made three changes from their last league game with Nick Montgomery, Richard Cresswell and Marcus Williams replacing Michael Doyle, Chris Porter and Lecsinel Jean-Francois. New loan signings Billy Clarke and Matt Phillips are on the bench. Owls midfielder David Prutton, who has missed the last games with a thigh injury, makes the bench.."

It's sunny
1151: I don't know about Sheffield, but the midlands is basking in autumn sunshine. The Hawthorns is jumping by the way, with less than 10 minutes until kick-off.

McMilne on Twitter: "I didn't even need to set my alarm last night, the sound of the police helicopter over Bramall Lane did the job!"

From Luke in Chester, via text: "Chester City's crowds may have never been the biggest but Chester FC's are the sixth best in non-league (not bad considering we're in the third tier) and we took over 1500 for our 3-2 win at FC United yesterday!"

Apologies, didn't mean the below to be a dig at Chester - more an example of my own organisational incompetence. Great to see the new club doing so well after the slow and painful death of City a couple of years ago.

HenderTheGreat on Twitter: "Pheelo isnt the worst at remembering times... a couple of mates of mine flew over to a Champions League game... a WEEK early!"

Owen Phillips reports: "West Brom manager Roy Hodgson knows the importance of the game, but is wary about letting the occasion overtake the performance. "Derbies are about passion and skill," he said. "If it was just the former I'd go and pick the 11 biggest and most passionate West Brom fans." Meanwhile Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has given his unwavering support to Karl Henry, who was jeered by the Molineux fans in his last game. "It's Karl, and 10 others will be playing for Wolves on Sunday," McCarthy said."

Sheff Utd v Sheff Wed line-ups
Sheff Utd:
Simonsen, Lowton, Maguire, Collins, Williams, Williamson, Montgomery, McDonald, Quinn, Evans, Cresswell. Subs: Long, Jean-Francois, Porter, Clarke, Phillips.
Sheff Wed: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, Rob Jones, Reda Johnson, Marshall, Lines, Semedo, O'Connor, Madine, O'Grady. Subs: O'Donnell, Bennett, Prutton, Jermaine Johnson, Palmer.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

jamestit on Twitter: "Stuck 200 miles from Bramall Lane, if we score I'll shout loud enough for the players to hear. It's all about today... COYRAWW!"

Pheelo on Twitter: "On my way to Emirates for 2nd time in 2 days. Thought the game was yesterday and didn't bother checking. Doh!"

I would give Pheelo some stick here but as a teenager I once got within about 400 yards of Chester City's ground before realising the game wasn't on that night. Chester's crowds are never the biggest, but there is only one road to their stadium and I probably should have noticed I was the only one walking down it. The fact the floodlights weren't on meant the penny dropped eventually.

Owen Phillips reports: "West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie is on the bench after failing to fully recover from a foot injury, one of four changes from the team that drew with Sunderland, but Stephen Reid plays despite a broken hand. Wolves make two changes from the side beaten by Sunderland. Top scorer Steven Fletcher, who has a calf injury, misses out and Stephen Hunt drops to the bench. Adam Hamill and Nenad Milijas come in to a five-man midfield."

Paul Plunkett reports:
"You have to go back 31 years to find the last time the Steel City derby was played in the third tier of English football. Managers Danny Wilson and Gary Megson, both midfielders for Wednesday in their hey days, will be keen on a quick return to the Championship, and Megson's Owls are well placed after winning their last four league games. Ninth-placed United hold the bragging rights, winning 45 derbies to Wednesday's 40."

Wolves fan JamesDileva on Twitter: "About time Wolves won at The Hawthorns, 15 years is too long... glad Hammill is in! Come on you Wolves!!!"

Wolves fan George_Rinaldi on Twitter: "Hoping for a win today. Brilliant to see Milijas and Hammill get the nod!"

1123: Just one thing missing so far, and that's you lot. Whether you are expecting derby delight, or despair, I want to hear from you. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK). Get involved.

West Brom v Wolverhampton line-ups
West Brom:
Foster, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Jones, Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Thomas, Long, Tchoyi. Subs: Fulop, Morrison, Dorrans, Shorey, Odemwingie, Dawson, Cox.
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Stearman, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Jarvis, Milijas, O'Hara, Henry, Hammill, Doyle. Subs: De Vries, Craddock, Ebanks-Blake, Hunt, Vokes, Zubar, Guedioura.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Owen Phillips reports: "While a Black Country derby is always an occasion to be savoured, this one looks particularly spicy as both teams are in desperate form. West Brom, winless in the league at home and with just one Hawthorns goal could come out of the relegation zone and leapfrog Wolves with a win. The visitors won their opening two Premier League games this season but have lost four on the spin. A victory would be the perfect tonic for either side."

1118: There's more too. A total of five matches from three divisions, spread over the next six hours. Should be good, no?
Sheffield Utd v Sheffield Wed (L1, 1200 BST)
West Brom v Wolves (Premier League, 1200 BST)
Birmingham v Leicester (Championship, 1300 BST)
Arsenal v Sunderland (Premier League, 1330 BST)
Newcastle v Tottenham (1600 BST)

1116: Yep, today starts at high noon with two derbies involving noisy neighbours - in the Steel City and the Black Country - where local pride and valuable points are at stake. It's all about promotion for the Sheffield clubs and, on current form, staying out of the relegation battle in the midlands. If you're not buzzing yet, you will be soon. Promise.

1113: Morning all. Anyone fancy a nice quiet Sunday? Sorry, but you're bang out of luck...

Print Sponsor

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 16 Oct 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 8 21 22
2 Man Utd 8 19 20
3 Chelsea 8 11 19
4 Newcastle 8 5 16
5 Liverpool 8 2 14
6 Tottenham 7 1 13
7 Stoke 8 -2 12
8 Aston Villa 8 1 11
9 Norwich 8 -1 11
10 Arsenal 8 -5 10
11 QPR 8 -8 9
12 West Brom 8 -3 8
13 Swansea 8 -5 8
14 Fulham 8 1 7
15 Everton 7 -4 7
16 Wolves 8 -6 7
17 Sunderland 8 0 6
18 Bolton 8 -10 6
19 Wigan 8 -8 5
20 Blackburn 8 -9 5

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.