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Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday football plus tributes to Gary Speed


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By Phil Dawkes
BBC Sport

1904: It has been an emotional day, where matters on the pitch have taken a back seat to an outpouring of sadness and affection for the late Gary Speed. I think the fans in the Liberty Stadium provided the most apt testimony to Speed: by spontaneously breaking a minute's silence to applaud and chant his name. RIP Gary Speed.

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on Gary Speed on 606: "I remember when Gary took over as Wales manager and there were rumours I'd come back. I was on the phone to him constantly saying 'Speedo give me one more chance.' He said: 'listen, 10 years ago maybe.' I kept on and he said 'I'll give you one more chance' I said 'seriously?' and he says: 'Yes, we need a bus driver.'"

Full time
FULL-TIME Swansea 0-0 Aston Villa
Jamie Gavin reports: "Neither side really did enough to win the game - Villa threatened through Agbonlahor and Swansea, twice through substitute Lita, came close at the end; but in a match hugely overshadowed by events elsewhere, a draw was a fair result."

Full time
FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City
Graham Chase reports: "City showed plenty of backbone to stand firm following Balotelli's late red card. They had only been held to two goals twice before this season but will look back on this as a decent point, while Liverpool also emerge with plenty of credit despite extending their frustrating run at home."

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on Gary Speed on 606: "He's given us - as Welsh people - a pride back in our country."

Josh Jones on Twitter: " a manager and a man who genuinely loved football with everything in him and did wonders the the national side, RIP Gary Speed "

Jk on Twitter: "Incredible the support for GarySpeed from every clubs fans. Theres no game in the world where fans unite like this over players"

TheAssociates on Twitter: "Times like this make the title race, relegation battle, completely irrelevant. A true legend lost."

Former Manchester City midfielder Paul Lake on Twitter: "Struggling to get Gary Speed out of my thoughts. Played at City as a kid, brother-in-law is the Wales physio - was a genuinely decent guy"

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From Steve, Salisbury fan, via text: "Gary was the kind of player you wanted to be as a kid - the ability, the looks, even the name. A sad sad day for football."

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From Ash in Northumberland, a Newcastle United fan via text: "I am devastated with the death of Gary Speed. I am 23 an grew up with him in the Newcastle team. A hero of mine and football. Am in tears with his death. Gary Speed, honorary Geordie, gone, but never forgotten."

Liam Ryder on Twitter: "Touching to see how much Gary Speed meant to people across the country, a true legend of the game, who will be sorely missed."

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on 606 on BBC Radio 5 live: "He could have been like a David Beckham with his looks but he didn't want to be, he wanted to be quiet off the field. I had a phone call from Robbie Williams saying pass my condolences to Gary's family. He touched everybody."

1845: Our chief football writer Phil McNulty has also blogged on the career of a model professional, held in such high esteem.

1843: A very emotional Robbie Savage also spoke to BBC News earlier today about Gary Speed. "I loved him as a friend, his wife is beautiful, he had a lovely family, he'd do anything for anybody. I idolised him, he was one of my heroes in life, he's been there for me, someone I spoke to every week," said Savage.

Swansea and Wales defender Ashley Williams on Twitter: "RIP Gary Speed still can't believe it! It can't be real! Hardest game I've ever played in! There are more important things than football :("

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on 606 on BBC Radio 5 live: "I remember we were playing San Marino away under Bobby Gould and there was a Ferrari and a Lamborghini in the hotel car park. All the team went to the pool and there are two what looked like supermodels lying on sun-loungers. Bobby made them rate us out of 10! There was me, John Hartson and Speedo. Of course Speedo got 10 out of 10. He was everything I'd want to be."

1834: I'm going to stay with you until 1900 GMT tonight to bring you all the latest Tweets, texts and quotes from 606 with Robbie Savage.

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Kenny Dalglish's response: "I think Balotelli got himself sent off. Sometimes when you look in the mirror you get the answer.""

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Roberto Mancini says reaction of Liverpool players prompted ref. Martin Atkinson to send Balotelli off."

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From Nathan, via text: "As a Leeds fan I am absolutely gutted to hear about Gary Speed. He was the player I wanted to be as a school kid and I just can't believe the news. Shocked. So much still to offer. So very very sad."

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart: "It was nice to do something because I haven't done much this season and it's been frustrating not to be able to contribute to some of the results. It was a big point for us today and a busy weekend for goalkeepers. It was a bad result for us at Napoli and we're happy to come here and get a result. I was thinking when Andy came on that I didn't want him to end up scoring against me again and it was nice to keep them out."

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Roberto Mancini on Mario Balotelli: "If he's damaged the dressing room door he pays - just like his house"

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on 606 on BBC Radio 5 live: "When I first walked into the Welsh dressing room aged 19 or 20 Gary Speed was there, a legend playing week in, week out in the Premier League, and he treated me the same as Mark Hughes and Ian Rush. I'll never forget that and I thought 'I'd run through a brick wall for you.' I just can't understand it, the world was at his feet. I'm just so pleased I knew the guy and counted him as a friend."

ZK Goh on Twitter: "Liverpool 1-1 ManUtd/ManCity/Norwich/Sunderland/0-0 Swansea; 10 dropped points from games we should've won… we would be in 2nd!"

Tom Clazie Flynn on Twitter: "If you think that Joe Hart's save was good you should see Kasper Schmeichel's for Leicester yesterday"

Dan Ratcliff on Twitter: "Joe Hart quality? yes... but what about the player in between the other posts, Reina, in my opinion best keeper in the league "

BBC Radio 5 live
Robbie Savage on 606 on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think it was San Marino away and Bobby Gould was manager. We'd had a run of a few poor results and Gary Speed was captain. Bobby called Mark Hughes and said he wanted him to be captain. Sparky said 'have you told Speedo?' so he went to Gary and said he was making Sparky captain and Gary said: 'no you're not Bob, I'm your captain,' so Bob has gone back to Sparky and said: "He's got the attitude of a man I want to be my captain."

BBC Radio 5 live
1823: Those of you wishing to pay further tribute to the late Gary Speed may want to listen in to 606, which started at 1806 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live and is being hosted by Speed's friend and former international team-mate Robbie Savage.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "The keeper had a few good saves and that's what he's there for but we're delighted with the performance the boys put in: attitude, commitment, determination and pride in playing for the football club. We've played both Manchester clubs here and we're disappointed we've only got one point which is a mark of the improvement we've made."

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on the game: "It was a difficult game but we knew this before in the last 10 minutes with 10 men it was really difficult. We showed strong character tonight because it is very difficult to play here against Liverpool and also because we tried to win, we played well and only in the last 10 minutes we conceded three or four chances but Joe saved well."

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on Balotelli's sending off: "For me it was not a yellow card the second one, he didn't do, no, for me, no. I saw on the pitch and from the bench it was difficult to see but now I've seen it. I don't think that the referee wanted to give a yellow card but the Liverpool players said something. Now it's finished and we can't do anything."

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From Anon, via text: "Everyone wants to talk about the sending off... I'd rather talk about what a brilliant game of football that was. 90 minutes of magic. Well done lads! Ohh, and Lucas! What a gem."

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From Anon, via text: "Joe Hart's save? I bet he can't be a Goalkeeper/Defender like Reina. We salute you too Mr. Reina!"

Joe Dunn on Twitter: "Joe Hart should have taken man of the match, his best performance since Tottenham last season."

1812: It looks like Roberto Mancini's body language was misleading as he has just been on TV saying he did not think Balotelli's second yellow was deserved. He also played down a potential row between himself and the striker.

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From Mike, via text: "Joe Hart!! Best Goalie in the Premier League!! Any one going to question that??"

1810: I apologise. There should have been more superlatives in my description of Hart's save. As Jimmy says, it was an incredible save from a top-class goalkeeper. It wasn't the only one either. Joe, I salute you.

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From Jimmy Donny in London, via text: "Why haven't you made more of a bigger deal about Joe Hart's save? 'Clawed it away' doesn't do it justice. An incredible, breathtaking save. England's number 1"

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From Anon, via text: "Lucas turning into quite the silent hero. Has a habit of bossing big teams. Performance against the other Mancunian side last season equally as dominant."

Kevin Kelly on Twitter: "Drawing with City. Feel deflated for some reason. Wouldn't have said that before the match if I'd been asked."

Louis Henry-Brown on Twitter: " Good result, unlucky not to get 3 points from City. Irritatingly,the top teams are never the problem when it comes to Liverpool."

1807: Liverpool can take a lot of heart from that performace though, as they extend their unbeaten record against the top sides this season. Lucas in particular was excellent.

1805: Apparently there has been a bit of a row in the Man City dressing room between Balotelli and someone else, which has resulted in the dressing room door being damaged. Why. Always. Him?

From Anon, via text: "Ridiculous decision to send Balotelli off. Shearer used to use his arms like that to win challenges every time and hes praised as one of the greatest premier league strikers."

John Roberts on Twitter: " Balotelli was never a sending off. Lead with arm, yes, but no intent whatsoever. Anyone else would have just been a freekick."

1802: However, Balotelli has also got plenty of you willing to defend him.

1801: Plenty of chat from you on Mario Balotelli, who again propelled himself into the limelight for the wrong reasons. His elbow on Martin Skrtel seems not only to have sparked the ire of City fans but also, from the evidence of Mancini's reaction, his manager as well. I'm sure there will be more to come on that.

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From JB, via text: "City's midweek loss has knocked their confidence. Looks like they aren't going to run away with after all. Cheers Liverpool for keeping United in the title race!"

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Joe Hart has been magnificent for Man City - as has Lucas for Liverpool"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "I think a lot of people will think Liverpool deserved to win but I think that was because of the last 15 minutes when Liverpool were on top. City's season has been about the attacking players but today it was different, they rode their luck but I think they look like a really good team."

Johnny Magrinho on Twitter: "Glimpses of what Liverpool can do today. Just need to be more organised and disciplined. Work in progress for sure."

1757: So, City now lead the Premier League by five points from Manchester United, while Liverpool are sixth, two points behind Chelsea.

1755: And with that the final whistle blows. Hart preserves a point for City, that they will be grateful for in the circumstances.

1754: But then a chance does stick, with Carroll's header from a Glen Johnson cross seemingly destined for the goal until Joe Hart can claw it away. Luis Suarez has a chance from the follow-up on the byline but he drives the ball across goal and City can clear.

1752: Liverpool aiming for Andy Carroll at every opportunity but nothing is sticking as yet. There are 90 seconds to go.

Dan Wickham on Twitter: "Balotelli is like an Italian Wayne Rooney, flashes of brilliance then idiotically lashes out!"

1751: At the other end David Silva has a glimpse of goal on a breakaway, but in his attempts to out-fox Pepe Reina Liverpool regroup and are able to clear his ultimately tame shot. Three minutes of injury time to play.

1750: Luis Suarez almost does it for Liverpool. His flick releases Lucas, who returns the ball to the Uruguayan in the box, but Joe Hart is equal to his shot with a superb save.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "They're running a little bit on empty now City, they are really tired."

Nick Carr on Twitter: "Poor Balotelli. Always him... Always him."

1746: Liverpool call on the expensive cavalry. Andy Carroll joins the party, replacing Dirk Kuyt. Liverpool definitely sense a win now. City will be happy to take a point.

Red card
Manchester City red card: Barely 20 minutes after joining the match as a substitute Mario Balotelli leaves as an elbow on Martin Skrtel earns him his second yellow and an early bath. City boss Roberto Mancini shows no sympathy and waves his striker off the pitch. He said it first; why always him?


1743: Sergio Aguero departs and is replaced by Edin Dzeko. That maintains Aguero's record of having been substituted in every game he has started this season.

Dave Clements on Twitter: "Liverpool have been brilliant defensively today, and Lucas has done a good job of keeping Silva quiet"

Vishaal Mehrishi on Twitter: "Must give Atkinson credit for letting the game flow...he could've blown his whistle a lot more today"

1741: There are 10 minutes to go. Anfield is roaring the home side on. They sense a winner.

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From Anon, via text: "If Suarez spent as much time working around the ball as he does on his back moaning then he may one day live up to all these ridiculous comparisons to King Kenny"

1739: Again chaos in the City box almost benefits Liverpool as a free-kick strikes (guess who?) Joleon Lescott in the face and goes back across goal, but Martin Skrtel can't get any power on his diving shot. Then, minutes later another free-kick, to the back post, is volleyed first time by Stewart Downing but right across goal. Liverpool looking more likely to get a winner.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "It looks like they both want to win it, they are both having a go."

Emily Rogers on Twitter: "Would love to know how many touches of the ball Nasri had, kept forgetting he was even on the pitch"

Michael Behan on Twitter: " Suarez very talented player but badly let's himself with his antics "

1735: It's not always Balotelli. It seems, for this game at least, it is often Joleon Lescott. Luis Suarez nips in on the right byline and cuts back. Lescott is first to it but twice he strikes Dirk Kuyt with his clearance before the ball goes behind for a goal-kick. Then, at the other end, Pepe Reina must be quick of his line to deny the onrushing James Milner.

Ben Rees on Twitter: " A sad loss, a true footballing great. It is rare for a player to be seen as a legend at each club he played for. RIP Gary Speed"

1732: Slippy feet on both sides. Martin Skrtel goes to ground, seemingly letting in Mario Balotelli. That is until the striker's own footwear lets him down, much to the delight of the Anfield crowd. Why always him?

Shamsul Islam on Twitter: " RIP Gary Speed from everyone in Bangladesh on the other side of the world. a true gentleman."

Jack Anniky on Twitter: "So good to see tributes for Speed coming in from across the world, just shows how football transcends the globe"

Jamie Savin on Twitter: "Lucas is outstanding has used the ball sensibly and read the game well, so different to when he first came here "

Mark Voisey on Twitter: " Liverpool are battling well but Man City look so dangerous on the ball. Too close to call."

1729: Luis Suarez is getting very irate about the treatment he is receiving from Vincent Kompany. The striker has gone to ground twice in the last few minutes but been awarded no free-kick. Kompany has to be careful as he has already been booked.

1728: Liverpool threatening now as a corner is cleared but only as far as Stewart Downing, whose first-time shot is into the turf but has to be tipped over by Joe Hart.

1725: Jose Reina is loving a bit of out-of-goal action today. He tears out to meet a ball over the top for Sergio Aguero, realises he has misjudged it as the ball and striker go wide, but sticks to his guns and eventually clears.

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From Sophie, via text: "Speedo was a great pro, a decent man and a very intelligent person. But he was a much better player than he was given credit for - Newcastle beat Juve in the CL a few years ago and he was described by Del Piero as being our shining light."

Ian Hobbs on Twitter: " This game needs Balotelli"

1720: Gael Clichy almost fashions something for City with a superb ball behind the Liverpool defence and across goal. Unfortunately for City, none of their forwards are able to dart in to get contact and Jose Enrique clears.

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From Ollie, via text: "I remember accidentally walking in on Gary Speed having a medical at Bolton several years ago - I was really embarrassed but he laughed it off and told me not to worry. An absolute gentleman"

1718: City holding on to possession to gain a foothold in the game again. They are content to patiently wait for an opening. Liverpool in contrast are driving forward as soon as they have the ball. It is the classic home v away performances.

Kennedy Ihe on Twitter: "RIP Gary Speed on behalf of the English Premier League Followers in Nigeria. your days will always be remembered forever!"

1714: After a quiet little period, Liverpool forage forward again and almost reap reward. Stewart Downing's cross from the right is lifted slightly by the leg of Vincent Kompany to the back post where it is met by Dirk Kuyt. However, the Dutchman miscues his header past the far post. Liverpool have started strongly this half.

Lorenzo Scala on Twitter: "Lescott to score at the correct end in the 2nd half? Redemption for the OG is remarkably common in football "

Derek Ametepey on Twitter: "If Man City wanna win the league Liverpool is a team to beat. Lets see what happens."

1710: City on the ropes a bit as Liverpool try to land a big shot. Jordan Henderson is firstly crowded out before Charlie Adam's shot is blocked out wide to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan cannot produce anything of value though and City wriggle clear of danger.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "It's a big ask for anyone to win at Anfield, this is a tough, tough place to come."

1706: An early chance for City sees Samir Nasri curl a shot across goal with the outside of his boot.

1705: They are now out on the pitch. And the game is under way again.

1704: We're minutes away from what promises to be a superb second half at Anfield. On the evidence of that first 45 minutes you can only envisage further goals. The players are in the tunnel.

Alex Jones on Twitter: " R.I.P. Gary Speed, a Welsh icon who was a legend for his clubs who he played for and managed, didn't get praise he deserved"

1700: Tributes are continuing to pour in for Wales manager Gary Speed, who has sadly died at the age of 42. You can read these on this very website, with quotes from across the world praising the playing career and personality of the former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton, Sheffield United and Wales midfielder.

England bowler Graeme Swann on Twitter: "I can't believe the news about Gary Speed, used to love watching him play for Newcastle"

Martijn Stolze on Twitter: "Aaron Ramsey and Joleon Lescott are amongst the players who have scored more goals for Liverpool than Downing."

1654: Something to give Liverpool fans hope for the second half from Infostradalive: Liverpool have only conceded more than one goal in one of their 15 matches in all competitions this season (4-0 at Tottenham).

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "City were the more composed team but they haven't done enough going forward."

Aaron Johal on Twitter: "There's something about Charlie Adam's drive forward that reminds me of Stevie G. Just something..."

Half time
Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City
Graham Chase's HT snapshot from Anfield:
"City certainly deserved the lead Vincent Kompany gave them after an enthralling opening 30 minutes at Anfield. But after Charlie Adam's shot was deflected past Joe Hart by Joleon Lescott less than two minutes later Liverpool took control. Enthralling rather than free-flowing it may be, but the next 45 minutes will tell us plenty about what these two sides can expect to achieve this season."

1650: Sergio Aguero has the penultimate word of the half, cutting down the right to find a shooting chance from 10 yards. Unfortunately for the Argentine, the final word goes to Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, who saves low down. And that's half-time.

1649: We're nearing the end of what has been an engrossing first half of football at Anfield. We'll have one minute of injury time.

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From AJ, via text: "RIP Gary Speed on behalf of all Sheffield Wednesday supporters, despite having spent some of his career at our rivals United and Leeds he was a player impossible not to respect and fear. A true gent and professional gone too soon."

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Liverpool have now profited from 3 own goals this season, a league high they share with Fulham"

1644: City looking to hit back, but they are unlikely to do it from there. Yaya Toure attempts a 35 yard effort but it dribbles harmlessly wide.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "I think Liverpool sense there might be something in this for them."

James Milne on Twitter: "Perhaps this is the game that Capello has to be watching? Johnson vs Richards and/or Downing vs Milner "

Adam Duckett on Twitter: " Is anyone else frustrated with talented Suarez's liberal use of gravity? Smacks of Drogba in his earlier Chelsea days."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "What Lescott was doing I have no idea, that was never going to trouble Joe Hart - or any other goalkeeper in the Premier League."

1642: Now it is Glen Johnson's turn to try his luck for the home side. He tries a curling effort from distance but it flashes past the post. City need to stem this tide or Liverpool could run riot.

1641: The goal has clearly lifted Liverpool. Dirk Kuyt drives in to City territory but is forced wide. However, having waited for the cavalry to arrive he picks out Charlie Adam and only Joe Hart's boot keeps the scores level. From the resulting corner Luis Suarez blazes over at the back post. It's livened up significantly.

1639: Just prior to the Liverpool goal, City midfielder Gareth Barry picked up a booking that means he will be suspended for the next match. A bad minute for Roberto Mancini.

Liverpool goal: That didn't last long. City are pegged back almost instantly. Charlie Adam lines up a shot from 35 yards, more in hope than anything, but a deflection of the boot of Joleon Lescott steers the ball past the helpless Joe Hart.

1636: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-1 Manchester City (Joleon Lescott own goal)

Manchester City goal: Well wouldn't you just know it. He's not had the most solid of starts in the defensive third but Vincent Kompany has sure shown his prowess at the other end. The Belgian beats both Dirk Kuyt and Glen Johnson to David Silva's corner to give his side the lead.

1633: GOALFLASH Liverpool 0-1 Manchester City (Vincent Kompany)

1633: If Glen Johnson's pass had been better Luis Suarez could have been in there for Liverpool. Again, the striker finds space behind Vincent Kompany but is let down by the over-hit attempted assist.

1630: There haven't been any goals so far, but the stats suggest there will be. Man City have averaged 3.50 goals per league match this season, second most of all clubs in Europe's top 30 leagues (based on UEFA ranking). Real Madrid lead the way with an average of 3.54 goals per match in La Liga. That from infostradalive.

1627: City continue to press and after his intial free-kick is half-cleared David Silva is presented with a shooting chance, which he blazes high and wide. Liverpool could do with a prolonged period of possession.

SoccerLimey on Twitter: "How Gerrard would love a game like this!"

1625: Like Suarez, Sergio Aguero is looking a threat. He picks up the ball 35 yards from goal and runs into the box before turning Martin Skrtel, but a second turn sees him run out of space and the ball runs out harmlessly for a goal-kick. Mocking cheers from the home fans draws a grin from the Argentine.

1623: At the other end Vincent Kompany misjudges the flight of the ball and Jordan Henderson is given room to cross to Luis Suarez, but keeper Joe Hart claims. The usually reliable Kompany has made a dodgy start here.

1620: Liverpool keeper Jose Reina is called upon to bail out defender Jose Enrique after the defender's poor back-pass is seized upon by Sergio Aguero. The Spanish keeper is quickly off his line to tackle 30 yards from goal.

Andy1611David on Twitter: "City's amazing run has to surely end at some point, and I think Anfield is the place where it will happen!"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "I don't understand City's policy [of rotating their full-backs]. There can be little doubt their best two full-backs are the ones playing here today [Richards and Clichy], so why not just play them all the time? What will please Mancini at the moment is when they do lose it, and they have lost it on a couple of occasions, is how quickly they get it back."

1616: The first yellow card goes to Vincent Kompany, who sythes through Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had nicked the ball past him.

1615: Liverpool's forst real forray into City territory sees Dirk Kuyt fires a 40-yard driven pass across the pitch, but it is too far ahead of Stewart Downing and goes out of play.

Scotland national coach Craig Levein tells STV: "Football has lost a real talent and a gentleman. Gary was a young manager with the world at his feet. He was doing some fantastic work with the Welsh national team and I was looking forward to pitting my wits against him over the next couple of years. My deepest sympathies go out to Gary's family and the football community in Wales."

1613: City with most of the possession so far, but haven't fashioned any clear chances yet. They have had a couple of corners but Samir Nasri's delivery hasn't been great and Liverpool have cleared with ease.

GavinHaddock on Twitter: " I hope Liverpool and Man City put on a great performance for Gary Speed! "

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby: "Liverpool have decided to pack their midfield, with Jordan Henderson in the centre and Dirk Kuyt on the right, Kenny Dalglish obviously felt with all Manchester City's good players Lucas and Charlie Adam needed some help."

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty at Anfield: "Impeccably observed minute's silence at Anfield as respects are paid following the death of Wales manager Gary Speed and Luca Jones, the young son of Liverpool keeper Brad Jones. Former Everton star Speed once scored an equaliser at The Kop end in a Merseyside derby."

1607: Nice piece of passing play from City, who look to weave an opening for David Silva down the right, but the Spaniard is crowded out and Liverpool diffuse the danger.

1605: Plenty of noise at Anfield. Both sets of fans realise how significant this game could be. The players have responded with a high-tempo opening.

JayElekt on Twitter: "Will be interesting to see who has the better game today. G. Johnson or M. Richards"

1603: We are under way at Anfield.

eedms61 on Twitter: "Devasted by the news. He will always be remembered. RIP Gary. Condolences from a Man Utd fan in India!"

1601: Anfield stands unified for a minute's silence for both Gary Speed and Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones' young son, who died recently of leukaemia. As you would expect it is impeccably observed by all.

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From Loachy, via text: "Shocked and saddened to hear the news of Gary Speed's untimely death. The world of football desperately needs characters of integrity to lead and set an example. This is a great loss on many levels."

Tom_Stanley on Twitter: "never had the pleasure of watching him at his prime, but these tributes really show off the great player he obviously was"

AdamJGrossman on Twitter: "An Evertonian in Canada, watched Gary from the stands for his years at Everton. Proud to have called him a blue."

1556: Infostradalive tell me that under Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool have won five out of seven matches against City. The last time City were here, last season, they were battered 3-0.

1554: That was a long time and a lot of money ago, though.

1553: City have not won in their last eight Premier League visits to Anfield. Nicolas Anelka, who has played for both these clubs, scored twice to give them their last win (2-1) in 2003.

1550: We're 10 minutes from kick-off at Anfield. Events in Merseyside have clearly been over-shadowed today, but let us not forget that this is a huge game for both sides. City can take a seven-point lead at the top of the table with a win, while Liverpool will be looking to keep up with the rest of the Champions league-chasing clubs.

Liverpool v Man City
Graham Chase reports: "Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits he is looking for a reaction to the midweek Champions League loss to Napoli, as well as a birthday present from his players. He told Sky Sports: "I hope that if we can play as we play in Naples but not make the mistakes and do a job. Every match here is a big test for us now because we're on top. Liverpool at home is very strong and we have to do a job. I am happy to be here for my 47th birthday and I hope that my team will play a good game."

Premier League's chief executive Richard Scudamore tells : "This is truly tragic news and the thoughts of all of those associated with the Premier League are with Gary's family and friends. Gary was a wonderful ambassador for our league, and indeed all of football, but more than that he was a decent man widely respected throughout the game and beyond."

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on Gary Speed: "I am very sorry for his family. It is a very bad thing. I remember him as a really good player. It is a very sad moment for everyone in football but in particular his family."

Everton manager Joe Royle on Gary Speed: "He always had a smile on his face, he played with a smile on his face and he was one of the best players I was fortunate enough to manage and handle and I still can't believe it. He wanted to come [to Everton] when his time had run out at Leeds and he was ready for a change and it wasn't a hard deal to do because he wanted to come and he was always a Blue. He was part of the North Wales-Everton supporters' band and from the minute he came he was perfect for the club."

Arsenal and Netherlands forward Robin van Persie on Twitter: "I heard the sad news about Gary Speed, great footballer my condolences and sympathies to his family."

Alex on Twitter: "I am devastated by the news about Speedy. I used to serve him in Tesco when i was younger, he was the nicest man who came in."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish on Sky: "It's come as a shock to myself and everybody involved in football. He was a smashing lad, really well respected and a lot of people in football will be disappointed and saddened. The most important people are his wife and kids who must be devastated. Our thoughts are with them. Football becomes irrelevant at times like this but he was a well respected man in football for his ability and as a person. It was best for us to make the decision for Craig. He was very close to Gary, who was a mentor to him, and he admired and looked up to him. Bellers was upset and football is not as important as grieving. I signed Gary for £5m from Everton and he did a fantastic job at Newcastle. It would be disrespectful to Gary if we didn't get on with the game so we have to do that as best as we can."

1539: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has just been on Sky explaining that he took the decision not to select Craig Bellamy for the game against Manchester City as the striker is understandably devastated by the news of Gary Speed's death.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Pete Dewhirst, Stockton-on-Tees, via text: "I went to see Newcastle v Leeds in 2002 and Gary Speed was tho only player who made the effort to come over and sign my programme during the warm up. Sums up what a true gent he was... RIP Gary. "

Liverpool v Man City
Graham Chase reports: "It may be utterly overshadowed by the sad death of Gary Speed, with Wales international Craig Bellamy being left out by Liverpool, but Manchester City have the chance to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League at Anfield. City responded to their 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich with nine wins on the bounce and Roberto Mancini has demanded his team restore some defensive grit to match the attacking swagger that has marked their record-breaking start to the season."

Phil Beeton, treasurer of the Leeds United supporters club: "Gary was a valued member of the team during the 90's. He was a great footballer who always gave 100 per cent and he was a good guy to go with it. He was up there with the best midfielders we've ever had at this club. He got better as his career progressed and he formed a great partnership with David Batty. He often came back to our functions and is held in the highest regard by all Elland Road fans."

Liverpool v Man City
Graham Chase reports: "Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish makes two changes to the side that won 2-1 at Chelsea last week, with Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson coming in for Maxi Rodriguez and Craig Bellamy. Wales international Bellamy has returned home following the death of international manager Gary Speed. Manchester City retain six players from the team that was beaten 2-1 at Napoli in midweek as Roberto Mancini's side look to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League."

1532: That clean sheet is Swansea's sixth of the season, the equal most in the division with Manchester United. You have to respect that from a promoted side.

Kushal Raj on Twitter: "My thoughts are also with Liverpool keeper Brad Jones... To lose a kid so young must be horrible"

1526: And that is full-time in what has been a difficult and emotional day in Wales. Fans inside the Liberty Stadium show their appreciation for the efforts of the players. A draw was probably a fair result. Neither side did quite enough to earn all three points.

1525: James Collins makes amends for giving the free-kick away by heading the delivery clear.

1525: Those three minutes are nearly up with little incident. Although, a foul on Leroy Lita by James Collins may give Swansea one last chance...

1522: We're going to have three minutes of injury time.

1522: We are into the final minute in Wales. Villa doing most of the pressing.

1521: Two great chances for Villa. The first sees Chris Herd head a Barry Bannan corner wide and then Gabriel Agbonlahor fires across goal with team-mates potentially better placed further back.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing, Suarez, Kuyt. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Maxi, Coates, Spearing, Carragher, Kelly.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Barry, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Johnson, Toure, De Jong, Balotelli.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Andy McNamara on Twitter: " I remember seeing Gary Speed score on his Everton debut when Shearer made his debut. Speed stole the limelight"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Jo, via text: "FOOTBALL Gorffwys mewn hedd, Gary Speed. Thoughts to his family - shocking news. Enormous courage shown by Swansea City team and the Welsh players today. Proud to be Welsh."

1514: At the other end, almost a carbon copy as Scott Sinclair feeds Leroy Lita and his shot on an angle is blocked by Shay Given. There was no flag this time, though.

1513: Villa respond as Darren Bent is fed in at an angle, but sees his shot from close range saved by Michel Vorn. The linesman flag was up, though, so it wouldn't have counted. Replays suggest he wasn't off though.

1511: Swansea showing more signs of attacking life. Scott Sinclair receives the ball on the left and jinks beautifully past Alan Hutton before his goal bound shot is blocked by James Collins. Leroy Lita is disappointed that Sinclair didn't square it to him in the middle.

1509: Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts has paid an emotional tribute to manager Gary Speed, who died today. Roberts describes the news as "totally unbelievable" and says Speed "had everything going for him".

Wales international Chris Gunter on Twitter: "Completely devastated by the news. My thoughts and prayers are with Gary's family and children. A role model and inspiration. Rip gaffer"

1505: From nowhere, Swansea almost take the lead. Mark Gower feeds into Leroy Lita on the edge of the area. The striker is heavily marshalled by James Collins but still manages to turn his man before firing his shot agonisingly wide. That was a golden opportunity for the home side, for whom chances have been few and far between.

1502: For Villa, Emile Heskey is replaced by Jermaine Jenas, who is another rocked by the news of Gary Speed's death, having played alongside him at Newcastle. In terms of the game, does this represent Villa looking to strengthen in the middle of the park and ensure at least a point?

Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer: "Gary was a magnificent person, bright, fun and a wonderful family man - he lit up every room he walked into. I am proud to have been his friend and will miss him dreadfully."

Joshings on Twitter: "Anyone who plays football, young or old, can learn about how to act in the game and in life from Speed"

1456: Swansea offer their first real attack of the second half, which sees Joe Allen blaze high and wide from 22 yards. Not the best effort but at least it shows some initiative from the home side in the final third.

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn: "I'm absolutely shocked. I can't believe the news. I've seen Gary around at some of the grounds. He was doing a fabulous job for his country. Welsh football has been down in the dumps for a long time but they've got some terrific players coming through. He was very fit and energetic. A midfield dynamo. He was terrific on the ball and scored goals for all the clubs he was at."

1454: Villa are getting a real hold of the game in this second half and most of the play has been in the Swansea's final third with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Charles N'Zogbia threatening at every opportunity. Fabian Delph is also grabbing the initiative for the visitors in the middle of the park.

Josh Grainger on Twitter: "When I was a ballboy for NUFC, Gary Speed was the only one that thanked me after giving him the ball. #truegent #ripspeedo"

Leeds manager Simon Grayson: "We signed on the same day and played in the youth and reserve teams together. We also did all our coaching badges together. He was a good friend and this is a very sad day. Gary was such a popular person and this is a hard time for everybody."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE: A late headed goal from Manuel Pascali gives Kilmarnock their first home win over Rangers since 1994 and the champions' lead at the top of the table is now down to four points over Celtic.

1449: It is all Villa at the moment. Fabian Delph feeds Gabriel Agbonlahor and his shot on the turn almost sneaks in through the hands of Michel Vorm. The goalkeeper got enough on the ball, though, to direct it over the top.

1448: Almost another opening for Villa as Darren Bent's header down into the box is left by Garry Monk allowing Charles N'Zogbia to nip in, but the midfielder can only steer the ball out of play.

1445: And there is an early blow for Swansea in this second half as striker Danny Graham is helped from the field to be replaced by Leroy Lita.

1443: The game is starting to open up just a little bit now. Fabian Delph's sweeping left-foot pass is picked up by the advancing Alan Hutton on the right hand side, bringing it down well on his chest before firing a right-foot volley just over the top.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From James Sarek in Colchester, via text: "Gary Speed was one of the hardest working football players I have had the good fortune to watch. In the modern age of football I doubt there were few more loyal servants to the game than he."

1443: Confirmed news via our chief football reporter Phil McNulty at Anfield that Craig Bellamy will not play for Liverpool this afternoon against Manchester City.

Former Wales international team-mate of Speed Ryan Giggs on the Manchester United website: "I am totally devastated. Gary Speed was one of the nicest men in football and someone I am honoured to call a team-mate and friend. Words cannot begin to describe how sad I feel at hearing this awful news. It goes without saying my thoughts are with his family at this tremendously sad time."

Kevin Blackwell, who Speed succeeded as Sheffield United manager: "Gary was developing a plan [at Wales]. The first few games they weren't very good but he knew that. He was very excited about the players he had with Wales. He knew he could turn it around. They were playing some terrific stuff under Gary. He was a great raconteur. He was a first-class man. He leaves behind such a legacy. The feeling about the man is unbelievable. I just feel sick. It doesn't seem right. It's a sad loss for football."

1437: The second half gets under way in Wales.

1437: Sky showing pictures of Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given crying following the minute's silence for his former Newcastle team-mate Gary Speed. A clear indication of just what Speed meant to those who knew him. Also a testimony to the bravery and professionalism of Given by taking his place in the Villa side today.

Houphanne on Twitter: "The genuine sadness felt by football fans here in Tanzania and East Africa as a whole is true testament to Gary Speed."

Edgar A Omwango on Twitter: "I'm a Man Utd fan from Kenya, and I'm numb with shock. Shows how deep, widespread and universal the shock of Speedo's death is."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE: Kilmarnock are ahead thanks to a header from Manuel Pascali. Rangers don't have long to protect their long unbeaten run away from home. Follow the live text commentary.

BBC Wales football reporter Rob Phillips: "The whole of the sporting world are united in their grief."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Wales international teammate of Gary Speed, Robbie Savage on BBC Radio 5 live: "I loved him as a friend. His wife is beautiful, he had a lovely family. He'd do anything for anybody. Football and family were Gary's life. I idolised him. He was one of my heroes in life. Everybody loved Gary Speed. It's so sad he couldn't talk to people. He was such a good looking guy, he had everything. Why has this happened?"

Paul Thompson on Twitter: "Gary Speed will live long in the memory as someone who gave his all for anyone and everyone. He will be sadly missed. RIP Gary"

Dan Walker, who presented Football Focus, with Gary Speed as a guest, yesterday: "He was as bubbly as I've known him. He was talking about his kids how they were really coming on and talking about playing golf next week. Even small things like how he'd just got into Twitter. It's awful to think someone who was so gifted and so well liked with the rest of his life to look forward to has been cruelly removed. He was in such a good mood about the show and said he'd love to come back before Christmas, he said: 'I really enjoyed it.'"

1421: Undoubtedly, the game at the Liberty Stadium has been overshadowed by the sad news from this morning with a subdued atmosphere throughout that half. Both teams are clearly giving it their all though as a number of full-blooded tackles and a handful of yellow cards pay testimony to. Villa edged the chances, but it remains firmly in the balance.

Half time
Swansea 0-0 Aston Villa
Jamie Gavin's HT snapshot: "A very even tussle in the opening 45 minutes at the Liverty Stadium; Swansea with the early pressure but Villa came more into the game with the in-form Agbonlahor providing their main threat."

1421: And that is all for the first half from Swansea. 0-0.

1420: As we near half-time, Villa have a decent shout for a penalty. Emile Heskey appears to head it against the arm of Ashley Williams in the Swansea box from N'Zogbia's cross. It would have been harsh, but his left arm was high and I've seen them given before.

Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey on Twitter: "I was given the tragic news this morning. To say I am devastated is an understatement. My thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family and friends. Today the world has lost a great football manager but even more sadly a great man. He will be missed by all."

1417: Darren Bent with a decent chance for Villa, but he wastes it. The striker has the chance to test the Swans defence by driving towards them, but instead opts to shoot from range and gets it horribly wrong, blazing over the bar.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Anon, via text: "Applause, passion and tears from fans and players. How to tell someone you'll miss them."

QPR midfielder Joey Barton on Twitter: "Moments like this put everything truly into perspective........nothing in this world is more important than feeling loved by ur loved ones."

BBC presenter Gabby Logan on Twitter: "So many memories of Gary. I'm immobilised with sadness. Met him 1st when Dad managed Wales then worked with him. It's all so unfathomable x"

Owain Evans on Twitter: "Gary Speed was a true national icon and a figure-head of what it meant to be Welsh and proud. Gorffwys mewn tangnefedd."

1410: Very little action at either end to speak of between Swansea and Aston Villa. It's something of stand-off between two equally-matched sides at present, with both tentatively seeking openings.

Former Wales international teammate of Gary Speed Robbie Savage on BBC News: "I spoke to him yesterday and he was in high spirits. I just can't believe it. He was my mate and he's gone. He's left two gorgeous kids behind. Gary was [a professional]. He was one of the fittest guys. He looked after his body. He was a great team-mate, a great manager. He was joking yesterday [about Robbie being onStrictly Come Dancing], saying don't get a two off Craig [Revel Horwood]"

Former Wales teammate of Gary Speed Iwan Roberts on Twitter: "It was a privilege and an honour to have known Gary and to have played with him and to have had him as captain and a friend. RIP Gary Speed"
"Thoughts go out to Gary's family. The world is a sadder place today without this true gent."

Arsenal and England international Jack Wilshere on Twitter: "Wow shocked at the news about Gary Speed! thoughts are with his family! RIP"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Anon, via text: "FOOTBALL: Re Michael Owen at 1230 - Devastated for the little boy who has lost a truly inspirational father and footballer. Rest in peace Speedo."

1402: There's little to choose between the sides now. The pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor could be a factor for Villa as this one wears on, but equally Swansea have their own road-runner in the shape of Scott Sinclair. It's intriguingly poised.

Spain and Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso on Twitter: "RIP Gary Speed. My first PL game game was against him, he showed me in that game what is british football about."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Anon, via text: "Football has become such a cold business, but today proves fans still are the heart of our game, they know how to pay respects in the right way. RIP Gary Speed."

1359: Angel Rangel hasn't been able to shake off his injury and so is replaced by Ashley Richards. Swansea back up to a full compliment of players again.

Stephen Olphert on Twitter: "What is it someone said about the brightest stars shining for the shortest time? Devastating. RIP Gary"

1357: Villa have swung this game in their favour now. Gabriel Agbonlahor takes advantage of a mix-up in the Swansea defence to take possession, but his shot is deflected wide of Michel Vorm's right-hand post.

Greg Mitchell on Twitter: "Any young kid looking to make a career as a footballer should try and emulate the career of Gary Speed and they'll go places!"

1355: Villa threatening again. Charles N'Zogbia flicks on a corner with his boot at the near post and it loops to the opposite upright where Richard Dunne heads over. At the other end Scott Sinclair fires wide from 20 yards for Swansea.

1353: Swansea briefly down to 10 men as Angel Rangel limps to the touchline for treatment.

1352: Villa with their first real chance. Darren Bent tees up Gabriel Agbonlahor on the edge of the area but his low shot is saved by Michel Vorm.

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville on Sky Sports: "It's absolutely devastating. My career and his crossed many times, I played against him many times. Everyone that I know that knew him couldn't say enough good things about him. We think of football as being important, but it's not really. "

1349: Villa defender Alan Hutton is booked for a very strong challenge on Swansea full-back Neil Taylor near the half way line. It is going to be a long 75 minutes for the Villa defender, as he has got the tricky Scott Sinclair down the Swans left hand side to think about for the rest of the game.

England cricketer Michael Vaughan on Twitter: "Cannot believe the News about Gary Speed...A true pro ... Thoughts to his young family.. #RIPGARY"

TV actor James Corden on Twitter: "Such sad sad news about Gary Speed. Thinking about his family, what a fantastic player and man he was."

1345: Villa have settled a bit now and are stemming the home attacks. Swansea still bossing possession though.

Huthaifa Ahmed on Twitter: "Gary Speeds autograph is the first and only autograph I have of someone famous. So proud. Rest In Peace."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE: It's 0-0 at half time at Rugby Park as Kilmarnock hold their own against leaders Rangers. Chances have been few and far between, with a gusting wind causing problems for both teams.

Everton defender Phil Neville on Twitter: "Horrific news about Gary speed my thoughts and prayers are with his family"

1341: Excellent pressure from the home side at the Liberty Stadium. Joe Allen is one of a number of players to have a shot blocked as Villa withhold the pressure.

BBC Radio 5 live
Iain Dowie on the minute's applause at the Liberty Stadium, on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was very moving and summed up Gary, he had the ability to bring out the best in people. He was the player everybody wanted to play alongside because he made them feel better."

1339: No chances to speak of yet at the Liberty Stadium, but plenty of endeavour from both sides. Some early, territory-marking tackles flying in as well.

Henry Whitfield on Twitter: "The ovation that the crowd just gave Gary Speed is what makes Football the beautiful game. #RIPGarySpeed."

Wales rugby international Leigh Halfpenny on Twitter: " Shocking news! Sad day for Sport and Wales! RIP Gary Speed #welshlegend"

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill on Twitter: " Gary Speed was the ultimate pro on and off the pitch. So sad to lose someone so special to Football,Friends,Fans,Family Rest in Peace mate."

FAW Chief Executive, Jonathan Ford on the FAW website: "I, and all of the football family of Wales, am devastated by the news of Gary's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this difficult time."

1333: The game has kicked off.

Rangers FC Official on Twitter: "We're saddened to to learn that Wales manager Gary Speed has tragically passed away, our thoughts and condolences are with his family."

Cardiff City FC on Twitter: "Respects and condolences to the family of Gary Speed on a sad day for Wales and football. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all. RIP Gary"

1332: The request for a minute's silence is touchingly and wonderfully broken by applause and chants of Gary Speed's name. A fitting tribute.

1329: And rightly we're going to have a minute's silence.

BBC Radio 1 DJ and Leeds United supporter Chris Moyles on Twitter: " Just heard the very sad news about Gary Speed. Such a sad loss and so young. RIP "

BBC football pundit Mark Bright on Twitter: " I just cannot believe it, Gary Speed has passed away, I'm stunned... So sorry to hear this.. #RIPSpeedo"

1328: The players are making there way out on to the pitch at the Liberty Stadium. A banner greets them on to pitch reading "Get on with the game". There is no doubt that their own professionalism will match that which Gary Speed demonstrated throughout his career.

Blake Peterson on Twitter: "Gary Speed scored the first ever goal I saw live at a game. I'm truly shocked about the news.. R.I.P Gary."

1324: Understandably, there is a very sombre atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium. The fans in attendance, like everyone else, realise that football matters have been put into perspective today. Football comes a distant second.

Luke Gibbons on Twitter: "Can't believe the news. Gary looked so well on FF yesterday, talking about a great future ahead with Wales. Gary=Football"

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish speaking to Sky Sports: "My blood ran cold when I heard the news, James Collins, Shay Given and Jermaine Jenas were very, very upset about it. Our thoughts go out to his family. We would have fully understood if the game had been called off by Swansea, but logistically it's difficult."

BBC Radio 5 live
Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham: "I automatically think of his family and like everyone else have the feeling of numbness. He was a great footballer, always geeing his teams up, nobody ever had a bad word to say about him."

Michael Mackay on Twitter: "It's a testament to the man to see condolences from fans & players of all clubs across the sporting world. #RIPGarySpeed"

Kurt Sullivan on Twitter: "The best way for the football community to mourn the death of a footballer, is to play football."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Leeds United manager Howard Wilkinson: "It's unbelievable, I've known Gary since 88 when I joined Leeds and I've rarely come across a better balanced genuine person. I watched him yesterday on the television and I find it unbelievable, I cannot start to try and understand what his family are going through. He had a life of success to look forward to."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE: Rangers started like a whirlwind at Rugby Park but that early storm has petered out and Kilmarnock are holding their own in a scrappy match.

Swansea v Aston Villa
Jamie Gavin reports: "Swansea make one change to the team that lost 1-0 to Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium. Midfielder Joe Allen has returned to full fitness and he comes in to replace Wayne Routledge, who is dropped to the bench. Aston Villa make two changes to the side that were comprehensively beaten at Tottenham. Charles N'Zogbia and Fabian Delph replace Carlos Cuellar and the injured Stiliyan Petrov, meaning Alan Hutton will revert to his more familiar right back role."

1313: Returning to matters at the Liberty Stadium, here is the team news for today's match...

Liverpool FC on Twitter: " We're saddened to to learn that Gary Speed has tragically passed away and extend our sympathy and condolences to his family."

Former Wales player and manager Mark Hughes: "I'm devastated by the news. Gary was a fantastic player and a top professional but, most importantly, a genuine guy who it was a privilege to work alongside and call a friend. My thoughts are with his family."

1310: The sad news of Gary Speed's death is still sinking in, with fellow professionals and fans across the country recalling their own fond memories of the man. Midfielder Speed became the first player to reach 500 Premier League appearances during a career that saw him play for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United. He managed the latter briefly before taking over as Welsh manager in December 2010. Speed was also capped 85 times by Wales. He was also awarded the Member of the British Empire last year.

Norwich City's Zak Whitbread on Twitter: " Just turned to Sky sports news and feel sick about the news regarding Gary Speed.. Can't believe it. A Prem legend #RIP"

Jordan Bell on Twitter: "Much respect to Swansea for playing today, their players & fans will be devastated #RIPGarySpeed"

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Wales international Mark Bowen: "Like the rest of the footballing community I am totally stunned. My thoughts are with his family it's hard to put into words, it goes without saying the plaudits will come in thick and fast. He trained like he played, he gave it 100%, he lived his life right off the field in terms of nutrition, which was new to a lot of us in those days. I'll remember seeing the smiling look on his face in the tunnel after the last Wales game."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Wales international Dean Saunders: "I just can't believe it, I spoke to him last week, I roomed with him all the way through our careers with Wales, I can't get my head round it. I knew him really well and he was always level-headed, I never saw him down in the dumps. He was so fit as well, he was one of those who stayed behind after training doing press ups and sit ups."

Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Twitter: "He was upbeat on phone yesterday we were laughing together, talking football and dancing he was a great teammate and a great friend"

Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Twitter: "He came to watch strictly 3/4 weeks ago I high fived him in the front row he loved the show ,he loved life he loved his family ! Devastated"

Aston Villa FC - official Twitter account: "RIP Gary Speed. Condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time "

Swansea v Aston Villa
Jamie Gavin reports: "Swansea will be aiming to get back to winning ways at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon after their proud unbeaten home record came to an end against champions Manchester United last weekend. Opponents Villa have lost three of their five games and manager Alex McLeish is under increasing pressure. Villa were still European champions the last time these clubs met in May 1983 - and Swansea took the points then."

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Taylor, Sinclair, Britton, Allen, Gower, Dyer, Graham. Subs: Tremmel, Dobbie, Routledge, Lita, Moore, Richards, Moras.
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, N'Zogbia, Delph, Herd, Bent, Agbonlahor, Heskey. Subs: Guzan, Jenas, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Clark, Cuellar, Bannan.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

1257: The teams have now been announced for the match between Swansea and Aston Villa at the Liberty Stadium...

Zaqer Mused on Twitter: "Gary Speed RIP Can't believe you was on football focus yesterday looking well! #bbcfootball things change so quick"

1252: I can confirm that the game between Aston Villa and Swansea will go ahead. It is clearly going to be a very emotional afternoon for all concerned at the Liberty Stadium.

Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Twitter: "The world has lost a great man in Gary speed I'm devastated spoke to him yesterday morning why ! Why. Why !! I'll miss him so much x "

Wales striker Simon Church on Twitter: " I can't believe it. What a great man and a true Welsh footballing legend a great inspiration to all. RIP Gary Speed "

1250: We are hearing that there is a chance the game at the Liberty Stadium may not go ahead following the news of Gary Speed's death. Obviously, there are a number of players due to figure who are part of the Wales national setup. I will bring you more news on this as soon as I know any more.

Sam Y on Twitter: "RIP Gary, puts it all into perspective and reminds us that football is just a game, tragic news"

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam on Twitter: "Devastating news about gary speed 1 of the best midfielders in the premiership"

The Football League on Twitter: "Such shocking and tragic news about the death of Gary Speed. Our thoughts are with his family. RIP"

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Wales manager Bobby Gould on BBC 5 live: "Very stunned, still shivering, cold, a few tears have been shed. I've seen John Hartson and asked if he had heard the news. He looked at me in disbelief. He was due to be working on the Swansea game for 5 live but he had to go home. Speedy was such a great lad, my skipper. He had a tough time when he first took over but the last few months have been brilliant for him, he was starting to turn the corner very quickly. Welsh football was on the way up and that's what Gary created, he led from the front. I had my ups and downs with Welsh football but he was always there for you and never turned away."

Joshua on Twitter: "RIP Gary speed. Condolences to his family. Great player, Great manager, Even better person!"

BBC Sport's Dan Walker on Twitter: " Staggered by the news of Gary Speed's death. Was with him for much of yesterday. I genuinely cannot believe it. Thoughts with his family."

1237: Understandably, the football world is reacting with shock and sadness at the news of Gary Speed's death. I remember many a happy afternoon down at Elland Road watching Speed as part of one of the best midfields our club ever had. RIP Gary, thanks for all the happy memories.

BBC Radio 5 live
Scottish football correspondent Roddy Forsyth on BBC Radio 5 live at Kilmarnock: "People are just breathtaken as the news spread around the press box. I last saw him in the Carling Cup international matches in Dublin and he was always a very approachable, straightforward, articulate character."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Northern Ireland international Iain Dowie on BBC Radio 5 live: "I was with Gary a couple of weeks ago, our two sons played football against each other and he looked exactly the same as when he played. He was a proper man's man, it's staggering, one so young. The world has lost a great footballer and potentially a great football manager."

Manchester United striker Michael Owen on Twitter: "Just cannot believe the news regarding Gary Speed. We waved at each other a couple of days ago dropping our kids off at school. I'm numb."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Leaders Rangers visit Kilmarnock looking to extend their 14-game winning run on the road. And the omens are good for the Ibrox side, who have not lost an SPL fixture at Rugby Park since May 1994. You can keep up to date with this match via a live text commentary with Colin Moffat.

Andrew Moss on Twitter: "Hearing that Gary Speed has died. I'm in shock. RIP."

1230: As always, though, I need you to get involved. You can Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @phildawkes or text in via 81111 (UK).

1228: So, today we have two games of (hopefully) top-class Premier League football, with plenty at stake, and a Premier League game from Scotland between Kilmarnock and Rangers (more on that in a minute).

1226: While this news has undoubtedly cast a shadow over events taking place today, I will still of course be bringing you all the build-up to the games at Anfield and at the Liberty Stadium, where this news will be particularly felt.

1222: Before I go on, though, I have some incredibly sad news to bring you. The Football Association of Wales has just announced the death of national team manager Gary Speed. I can only offer deepest condolences to his family on behalf of us here at BBC Sport. I will bring you further news on this as it develops.

1218: However, standing in City's way are Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool, who have aspirations at the top end of the table themselves. The Reds are no respecters of reputation either. This season they are unbeaten in three matches against the Big Five (Yep, we've got a Big Five now. Big Four was so 2010).

1215: Yesterday was a good day for Manchester City, and they didn't even have to leave the settee*. They have fierce rivals Manchester United's failure to beat Newcastle to thank for that. A victory at Liverpool this afternoon will take City seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. So, today could be an even better day for Mancini's men.
*They probably don't own settees. Possibly, but not really, they just have big bean-bags. Full of cash.

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Premier League results

27 Nov 2011 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 27 Nov 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 13 31 35
2 Man Utd 13 17 30
3 Tottenham 12 10 28
4 Newcastle 13 7 26
5 Chelsea 13 11 25
6 Liverpool 13 5 23
7 Arsenal 13 3 23
8 Aston Villa 13 -1 16
9 Everton 12 -1 16
10 Norwich 13 -2 16
11 QPR 13 -10 15
12 Stoke 13 -10 15
13 Swansea 13 -4 14
14 West Brom 13 -8 14
15 Fulham 13 -1 12
16 Sunderland 13 0 11
17 Wolves 13 -10 11
18 Bolton 13 -12 9
19 Wigan 13 -12 9
20 Blackburn 13 -13 7

see also
Football on the BBC
10 Aug 11 |  separator

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