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Page last updated at 18:32 GMT, Saturday, 10 December 2011

Saturday football as it happened


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Sam Lyon
By Sam Lyon
BBC Sport

1830: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a wrap. Stay across the second half of Barnsley-Ipswich on our latest scores page - but otherwise have a stroll about, get yourself together, and then return in time to join Sam Sheringham for our El Clasico coverage at 1945, with Real Madrid v Barcelona kicking off at 2100 GMT. I - Sam Lyon - will be back with you all on the 'morrow for the next leg of my farewell commentary tour. Adios legends, see you then.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Nice to give the fans something to cheer them up today. Four goals was just the answer after a disappointing midweek... enjoy your evening."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5live pundit Robbie Savage on 606 : "I think Manchester United need three more players with Rooney's 'X Factor' to compete on the European stage."

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey on Twitter: "Great three points and a happy 125th anniversary for Arsenal :)"

David Ornstein reports:
"Robin van Persie proves ever-reliant to give Arsenal the perfect birthday present. Everton impressed but their lack of a goal threat is becoming more obvious by the week."

Marc Higginson reports:
"Aston Villa deserved the victory, but they were hanging on at times in the second half. Owen Coyle will be wondering how Bolton can be so bad in the first 45 minutes, yet so dangerous in the second. Either way, it's another hurtful defeat."

John Sinnott reports:
"Luis Suarez to the rescue for Liverpool as Radek Cerny produces the game of his life for QPR."

1815: MAN UTD 4-1 WOLVES
Sam Sheringham reports:
"Wolves? More like sacrificial lambs. Manchester United let out their anger on Mick McCarthy's men today, with Wayne Rooney and Nani at the forefront of a commanding win."

Arindam Rej reports:
"Dan Gosling was Newcastle's villain, gifting Norwich their crucial third goal then getting sent off. But credit to Norwich for exposing a patched-up, visiting defence."

Pete Shuttleworth reports:
"Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham may have got the goals but Swansea City had goalkeeper Michel Vorm to thank for victory over Fulham as he made a string of fine saves, particularly Clint Dempsey's late penalty. A proper game of two halves. First-half = rubbish. Second-half = thrilling."

Emlyn Begley reports:
"Wigan claim a crucial three points as they come from behind to beat West Brom and move out of the relegation zone - but they had to hold on towards the end as the Baggies pushed desperately for an equalise. A precious victory."

1808: Right, let's see what our match reporters made of today...

Stevie_C1977 on Twitter: "The rest of the Arsenal team will resort to wearing Van Persie masks just so they get some attention."

'Dave Whelan, Wigan chairman' via text: "Okay, new ruling from the Premier League - that's the end of the Premier League season with these as the final positions. See you all in August, thanks."

Charlton forward Jason Euell, after the League One leaders' 1-1 draw at Walsall, on Twitter: "Good point for the boys today in a hard fought game. Dug in when needed to and unlucky with a few decisions late on. On to the next one..."

1805: West Brom manager Roy Hodgson after his side's 2-1 defeat by Wigan: "This was a game we hoped to win and I thought that our performance merited a win so it's nothing but disappointment. I think we were slightly in front at half-time on points and we dominated the second half. If we keep performing like that we'll get results. I've been a lot more disappointed with team performances than today."

barnsley1001 on Twitter: "I am so happy with Barnsley's form so far. Hopefully we can secure the win tonight and get some more in the run up to New Year."

Swansea winger Nathan Dyer on Twitter: "Michel Vorm is the best keeper I've seen! Great win from the boys today! Buzzing!"

1801: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after his side's 1-0 win over Everton: "We had a very bad start [to the season] but now we are consistent. The spirit is very good, we're very focussed. The consistency is highly needed and if we can maintain that we have a good chance [of doing well]." When asked if he would like a statue of himself outside the stadium, he laughed: "I don't need one, I just want to do well for my club, that's enough."

JonHyde81 on Twitter: "No mention of the mighty Reading beating West Ham 3-0 and a double from birthday boy Simon Church?"

1755: Manchester United defender Chris Smalling reckons Sir Alex Ferguson's young players have answered some of their critics after the 4-1 win against Wolves. He told BBC Final Score: "It was a big game for all of us. The manager has shown faith all season and it was up to us to show the fans we should be a part of his starting XI."

The_Hassman on Twitter: "I think it's worth noting a brilliant defensive display from Wigan after 60 mins. Not heard that too many times recently."

Rnorville76 via text: "They say karma bites back hard. Well I think Clint Dempsey had a big chunk taken out of him today!"

Fayaz Adam on Twitter: "At this rate there's not going to be enough managers for the league! Oh well might as well join them... 'Pardew Out'."

1750: Wolves manager Mick McCarthy after the 4-1 loss at Man Utd: "I chose to be positive with a 4-4-2 and have a go at them and unfortunately for me and us they were better than us. I thought we could have done better to block the shots. We got back into the game and we all thought we could get something out of it but maybe thinking that was our undoing."

Henry Walmsley on Twitter: "Martin Jol out? do me a favour, we just need to change our attitude away from home. Bet Mark didnt even watch the game."

Anon via text: "re: EyeOfTheGuy, ha! Good one. What's the next joke?"

1745: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew after the 4-2 defeat at Norwich: "You can't concede from three set-plays in the Premier League like we did, but any team would struggle with the injuries we've got in central defence. We're still aiming for a top seven or eight finish if we can."

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam on Twitter: "Great way to celebrate my birthday - an assist and three points."

1742: Bolton manager Owen Coyle was, predictably, upset with Bolton's first half display, but has taken heart from his side's response in the second period. "I told the players at half-time that the minimum we require is guts and desire and we got that in the second half," he said. "We are left to rue one sloppy 10 minute period." Coyle also confirmed Ivan Klasnic's injury is not too serious, adding: "I think it is a twisted knee. We hope it will not be too serious because he is a goal threat for us."

LEAGUE TWO ROUND-UP: Southend's long unbeaten run is over with a heavy 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham and Crawley Town took advantage to go clear at the top by beating Burton Albion by the same scoreline. Rotherham edged a 3-2 win over Hereford and Accrington overcame AFC Wimbledon 2-0. At the wrong end, Bradford and Plymouth drew 1-1 and Dagenham & Redbridge dropped to the bottom after losing 2-1 against Port Vale.

Thomas Dolfi on Twitter: "Matt Jarvis's jaunts down the left flank to make United's rightback seem Small(ing) may reignite his England case!"

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Barnsley's on-loan midfielder from Manchester United Danny Drinkwater is brought down in the box by Ipswich goalkeeper David Stockdale, who gets a yellow card for his misdemeanour. Craig Davies steps up confidently to smash home the penalty. Barnsley 1-0 Ipswich.

Cameron Laws on Twitter: "For all of you from various teams calling for your manager's head, I think it's time to look at the players and not the manager."

BBC Radio 5 live
England legend and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer, on Manchester United's response to their dismal Champions League exit, told BBC Radio 5live : "It was an ideal game for them - against a team in the bottom half at home. They did everything asked of them. With Rooney and Welbeck up front together they looked a big threat going forward."

Newcastle striker Sammy Ameobi on Twitter: "Missed our skipper [Fabricio Coloccini] and Steven Taylor today, height at set plays was all they had on us but it was enough."

1735: Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish after his side's 2-1 win at Bolton: "It was a very good first half performance from us. The lads were excellent and the front four looked really dangerous, creating a lot of chances. We showed resilience in the second half and the team deserves lots of credit for standing firm."

LEAGUE ONE ROUND-UP: Leaders Charlton drew 1-1 at Walsall meaning the Sheffield clubs close the gap on them with wins, Wednesday's 2-0 triumph at Oldham and United's 3-0 trouncing of Rochdale. MK Dons leapfrog Huddersfield into third after a win at Tranmere as the Terriers faltered for a second successive week with a defeat against Bournemouth. Wycombe beat Chesterfield 3-2 in the relegation battle and Yeovil climbed out of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Notts County.

Patrick Bateman on Twitter: "Aston Villa fans still calling for McLeish' head? Surely not..."

Mark, Fulham via text: "Martin Jol out! End of!"

1731: QPR boss Neil Warnock on his side's 1-0 defeat at Liverpool: "We were superb. Luis Suarez was magnificent and it was appropriate the best player on the pitch scored - we lost him, but that is what good players do. We never really tested Pepe Reina but I couldn't fault anyone, and to have them biting their nails in the last 10 minutes was testament to the team. [Keeper] Radek Cerny is a top professional. He didn't deserve to be on the losing side."

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UP: West Ham miss the opportunity to go top-of-the-table with a heavy 3-0 defeat against Reading and Cardiff miss the chance to go second after only managing a 0-0 at Millwall. Middlesbrough edged Brighton 1-0 and Leeds salvaged a draw at Watford with Robert Snodgrass bagging a penalty late in injury time. At the other end, Nottingham Forest fell back into the relegation zone with a 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace and Doncaster lost 2-1 at Birmingham.

1728: Everton manager David Moyes following his side's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal: "We were fortunate to reach half-time at 0-0. At the break we sorted things out and were better in the second half. I've got to give credit to Van Persie, it was a great goal. We didn't mean to give them chances but they're a good team. Our team did brilliantly to be in the game. We stuck at it and did a good job. This is disappointing but we'll think about the next game tomorrow."

EyeOfTheGuy on Twitter: "Alex Song must surely be recognised now as the best in his position in the league? World class again today."

1725: Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson on his side's 4-1 win over Wolves: "It was a good performance by the players. They scored a lot of goals against a Wolves team who played some good football. Sometime strikers go in bursts and hopefully that is Wayne on a spurt of goals now to take us up to New Year. I always say December is an important month; if we get to the new year still in the frame we have a great chance."

1720: Just the one late kick-off today - and Barnsley v Ipswich in the Championship gets under way at Oakwell.

1715: What have we just witnessed then? Well Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool all kept up their charge at the top of the table... but Newcastle's fall from grace continues with a third defeat in four games. Aston Villa and Swansea both won to underline their mid-table security - but arguably the biggest result of the day came at the Hawthorns as Wigan pulled off a win rarer than a sighting of Shergar to haul themselves out of the bottom three. Get all that?

Stevie_C1977 on Twitter: "The rest of the Arsenal team will resort to wearing Van Persie masks just so they get some attention."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Celtic survive a last minute penalty in their match against Hearts in Glasgow to secure a 1-0 win and edge to within four points of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Aberdeen surrender a two-goal lead against St Mirren to finish 2-2 at Pittodrie. Inverness concede three goals against Dundee United, despite earlier holding a two-goal lead at the Tulloch Homes Stadium and St Johnstone are roundly punished by Motherwell in a 3-0 hammering at McDiarmid Park.

England cricketer, and Leeds United fan, Tim Bresnan, on Twitter: "Super Robert Snodgrass. 90th min pen. Take a bow son."

Scott via text: "Deflated is for starters. Coyle out Hughes in. Not acceptable watching utter rubbish."

doolin123 on Twitter: "Another two goals for Grant Holt. Surely due an England call up soon?"

1705: Anyway, I'm going to banging on for a while yet so why not get involved? Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). It is that easy.

PauLawson on Twitter: "How fitting on the day of Arsenal's 125th anniversary celebrations they get such a famous scoreline #1niltothearsenal"

DavidBSegal on Twitter: "Quick mention for my beloved Dagenham & Redbridge, who have now lost 14 out of the past 15 games. That is a run of form..."

1700: So, erm, just the 21 Premier League goals in the space of a couple of hours, then. Love it. It's been quite the Saturday afternoon hasn't it? And so we can all forget about the gremlins frustration and ridiculousness of earlier now can't we? Ah, good. *Curses interminable technical failings under his breath repeatedly*.

AWillmot on Twitter: "I wonder where Michel Vorm and Tim Krul will be playing next year. Hard to see them both staying at their respective clubs."

Full time
1654: FULL-TIME Arsenal 1-0 Everton

1654: FULL-TIME Bolton 1-2 Aston Villa

Full time
1654: FULL-TIME West Brom 1-2 Wigan

1653: Oooh! After an afternoon almost entirely on the back foot, Everton almost snatch a point - Connor McAleny running on to Marouane Fellaini's flick and flashing a half volley inches wide of the far post. So close.

Full time
1652: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-0 QPR

1652: FULL-TIME Swansea 2-0 Fulham

Full time
1651: FULL-TIME Norwich 4-2 Newcastle

1650: FULL-TIME Man Utd 4-1 Wolves

1650: Crossbar! It's almost a fabulous finish as Shaun Wright-Phillips slides Craig Bellamy's cross on to the bar - unfortunately it's at the wrong end and QPR are grateful it didn't nestle in the roof of the net.

Swansea goal: That's it, game over at the Liberty Stadium - Danny Graham out-muscling Brede Hangeland at the near post to flick home Mark Gower's corner to make it 2-0.

1648: GOALFLASH Swansea 2-0 Fulham (Graham)

BBC Final Score pundit Martin Keown on what could be an huge penalty save from Swansea's Michel Vorm against Fulham: "That was not a lucky save - that was first class."

1646: Massive chance for West Brom to snatch a point against Wigan - but Paul Scharner heads Jerome Thomas's cross over six yards out unmarked. Waste.

Someone has won a penalty
Missed penalty: It's bedlam in Swansea as keeper Michel Vorm - booked for time-wasting before the spot-kick was taken - flings himself to his right to palm Clint Dempsey's spot-kick away after Karim Frei had been felled in the box. A miserable day for Dempsey is complete.

1643: PENALTY MISSED, Clint Dempsey, SAVED


1642: Man Utd are pushing for a fifth goal at Old Trafford and it almost comes as Phil Jones drives to the byline and cuts it back for Federico Macheda, but he is thwarted by Hennessey.

1641: Danny Graham should make the game safe at The Liberty Stadium but the Swansea striker crucially hesitates after being put through one-on-one by Kemy Agustien and the record-signing is denied by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer.

RetroGirl on Twitter: "Keown's 'Wolves are lambs to the slaughter' is almost as good as Wenger's 'We are reliant on Robin'."

BBC Final Score pundit Martin Keown reckons Arsenal legend Thierry Henry could make a shock return to the Emirates in January: "I can't help thinking he might just come back and play some sort of cameo role alongside Robin van Persie. I think it's realistic. I'm hearing they can't get the ball off him in training because he's that good."

Norwich goal: That will do it for Norwich as Newcastle's spirited fightback hits a wall, Grant Holt rising to head Bradley Johnson's cross home from 12 yards out.

1639: GOALFLASH Norwich 4-2 Newcastle (Holt)

1638: West Brom think they've gone within a whisker of an equaliser against Wigan, but not only does Shane Long's header crash back off the post but he's also ruled offside. The Baggies running out of time.

BBC Final Score pundit Garth Crooks after Demba Ba's second goal for Newcastle against hosts Norwich: "Ba has given Russell Martin nightmares this afternoon. Martin lost him for the first goal and this time Ba twisted him up and then curled home."

1635: Just as Bolton looked to be threatening a late resurgence against Aston Villa, key striker Ivan Klasnic goes down with what looks a bad injury. He'll be stretchered off, with David Ngog his replacement.

1633: That is Robin van Persie's 33rd goal of the calendar year, by the way, which is one less than Thierry Henry managed in 2004 and three less than Alan Shearer's all-time record of 36.

Arsenal goal: Arsenal finally open the scoring - and how. Alex Song drifts over a cross-field pass and Robin van Persie takes it first time with a super left-foot volley into the corner.

1631: GOALFLASH Arsenal 1-0 Everton (Van Persie)

BBC Final Score pundit Martin Keown on Manchester United's response to their humilating Champions League exit: "How many times have we seen this in the past? Wolves have been lambs to the slaughter this afternoon."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: In the Championship, Leicester have taken the lead over Peterborough courtesy of a strike from Paul Gallagher while Corry Evans has put Hull 1-0 up at Coventry. Birmingham and Doncaster are tied at 1-1 as are Derby and Bristol City. In League One, Colchester are thumping Bury 4-0 with a double for Karl Duguid and Huddersfield are behind against Bournemouth. In League Two, Aldershot lead against Shrewsbury and Rotherham have regained the advantage at Hereford.

1630: Everton are now playing without a recognised striker after David Moyes replaces Louis Saha with centre-back Sylvain Distin. However, moments later Phil Neville curls just over and the cues a spell of pressure from the visitors as Arsenal retreat deep into their own half.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1629: The woodwork again comes to Fulham's rescue as substitute Kemy Agustien almost doubled Swansea's lead just 90 seconds after coming on as he fires Scott Sinclair's pass against Mark Schwarzer's right-hand post.

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: An Anthony Stokes header off the crossbar is the closest second-top Celtic have come to breaking the deadlock against a Hearts side who have shrugged off their financial woes to create a few chances of their own in Glasgow. Graham Carey's thunderbolt of a free-kick from 30 yards against Aberdeen is one to watch when the Scottish Premier League highlights appear on the website on Sunday. St Mirren have come from two goals down there to draw level, as have Dundee United away to Inverness Caley Thistle. Third-placed Motherwell are easing to victory away to St Johnstone, leading 3-0 in Perth.

1629: West Brom have a chance to level as Nicky Shorey's cross finds Shane Long but the Republic of Ireland striker's low header from six yards out is tipped around the post by Ali Al-Habsi.

Newcastle goal: Maybe all is not lost for 10-man Newcastle after all? With 19 minutes left they pull to within a goal behind, Zak Whitbread losing the ball to Shola Ameobi, who feeds Demba Ba to run at the Norwich defence and curl in. Game on.

1628: GOALFLASH Norwich 3-2 Newcastle (Ba)

1628: It's quite an open game at the Reebok Stadium now. With Bolton desperate to find an equaliser, Villa are a constant threat on the break. Anything could happen in the last 20 minutes there.

gorjemondragon on Twitter: "That ban reduction has done wonders for Rooney. Wonder what would have happened if it happened before the Basel game?"

1627: Fulham have responded well after going behind at The Liberty Stadium as Clint Dempsey tested Swansea keeper Michel Vorm with a long-range shot, Jean Arne Riise went close with a free-kick thunderbolt and Vorm saved well from Andy Johnson.

1626: QPR keeper Radek Cerny is having the game of his life at Anfield as he makes another point-blank save, this time from Maxi Rodriguez. It could have been a cricket score at Anfield - instead the Londoners are just about still in it.

BBC Final Score pundit Martin Keown on high-flying Newcastle slipping 3-1 behind at Norwich: "It's been tough for Alan Pardew this afternoon - he's found out what it's like when you're in that top group. People come gunning for you."

1625: QPR rejig their attack with DJ Campbell replacing Tommy Smith - and I can't say it's not overdue, Pepe Reina has yet to make a save in this game.

Red card
Newcastle red card: Alan Pardew's luck really has turned for the poorer in recent games and it isn't getting any better at Carrow Road, his midfielder Dan Gosling seeing red for a lunge at Russell Martin. Very harsh.

1623: RED CARD, Dan Gosling, NEWCASTLE

1622: Just like London busses at The Liberty Stadium as nothing for 50 minutes then two moments of excitement in two minutes. Swansea have won all of their home games when they've taken the lead this season so Fulham be warned!

Someone has struck the woodwork
1621: Wonderfully agile save from QPR keeper Radek Cerny to deny Maxi Rodriguez extending Liverpool's lead, the QPR keeper throwing himself to his left to tip Maxi's shot on to the post.

Norwich goal: A second Norwich goal in four minutes after some dire Newcastle defending and the Magpies' poor run looks like continuing. Dan Gosling gives the ball away, allowing Andrew Crofts to curl in a cross that unmarked Steve Morison powers in with a firm, 12-yard header.

Man Utd goal: Antonio Valencia is the provider again for United's fourth goal as another pin-point cross picks out Wayne Rooney, who swivels and drills a first-time shot into the corner. The world and his mother could have predicted this response from United I reckon.

1620: GOALFLASH Norwich 3-1 Newcastle (Morison)

1619: GOALFLASH Man Utd 4-1 Wolves (Rooney)

1618: A first meaningful attempt of the second half at the Emirates, Theo Walcott bursting past Leighton Baines but seeing his powerful strike repelled by Tim Howard's brilliant one-handed save.

1618: Just moments after Swansea's opener, their keeper Michel Vorm ensured the lead remained in tact as he superbly saved Brian Ruiz's shot after he was put through one-on-one by Clint Dempsey's defence-splitting pass.

Norwich goal: A neat, short corner routine catches Newcastle out. Grant Holt's first header from point-blank range is saved well by Tim Krul, but the Newcastle goalkeeper has no chance as Holt heads in at the second attempt.

Wigan goal: Wigan take the lead - and you have to say they deserve it on their display since their leveller. Jordi Gomez sends Ben Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot after Steven Reid fouled the jinking Victor Moses on the edge of the box.

1616: GOALFLASH Norwich 2-1 Newcastle (Holt)

1615: GOALFLASH West Brom 1-2 Wigan (Gomez pen)


1614: Demba Ba is the centre of attention for Newcastle again at Norwich, shooting from long range into John Ruddy's arms. But this game is still end-to-end and both teams will fancy their chances.

NickSlobodyanyk on Twitter: "We're well into the second halves of the 3pm kick-offs in the Championship and there have been only two goals. What's going on?"

Swansea goal: The Liberty Stadium finally roars into life as Clint Dempsey deflects Scott Sinclair's strike into his own net after Fulham failed to clear a Swansea corner.

Man Utd goal: A second of the game for Nani and Wolves are let down defensively again, Antonio Valencia getting a yard down the right before crossing low for Nani to tap in from close range, centre of goal.

Bolton goal: Hope for Bolton, who look like a different team in the second half and deserve to reduce the arrears. A cleared corner finds Zat Knight on the edge of the box, who fires towards the predatory Ivan Klasnic and the Croatian hitman expertly swivels in the box and fires home.

1613: GOALFLASH Swansea 1-0 Fulham (Dempsey og)

1613: GOALFLASH Man Utd 3-1 Wolves (Nani)

1613: GOALFLASH Bolton 1-2 Aston Villa (Klasnic)

1612: Bolton, meanwhile, have been a bit brighter in the second half, without creating any noteworthy chances. Ivan Klasnic was blocked out by a bank of Villa defenders while, for Villa, Darren Bent has headed into the stands after more good work from impressive winger Marc Albrighton.

1611: Nothing to report from the second half so far from the Hawthorns - West Brom and Wigan feeling each other out like a couple of boxers; flyweight division.

BBC Final Score pundit Martin Keown on Luis Suarez's opening goal for Liverpool: "The goal came from a lack of defending from QPR. Suarez was just standing on his own in the six-yard box. All their hard work from the first half has gone down the drain."

1608: Wolves's revival almost nipped in the bud barely after it had begun, but it's close but no cigar for United as Danny Welbeck fails to get a clean connection on Phil Jones's low cross from the right.

1608: Bad to worse for QPR - Anton Ferdinand looks like he has pulled his hamstring as he falls painfully after a Charlie Adam tackle. Bradley Orr is Ferdinand's replacement.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1606: Chance at Carrow Road - but Demba Ba misses the opportunity to quickly double his and Newcastle's tally as his shot from close range at a tight angle - following Shola Ameobi's cross - skims the bar.

1605: A young Swansea supporter snoozes on his dad's lap as his team kick-off off the second-half at The Liberty Stadium. Can't blame him as this has been one for the purists thus far.

1605: That's Luis Suarez's first league goal in eight, by the way.

Liverpool goal: Breakthrough - and it's been a long time coming. It's a soft one in the end with the QPR defence AWOL, Luis Suarez completely unmarked to head home Charlie Adam's dinked free-kick six yards out. Simples.

Wolves goal: Ooh... game on at Old Trafford? Steven Fletcher grabs his 11th goal in 16 games to get Wolves right back in it at United, rising highest at the back post to nod Matt Jarvis's cross home with aplomb. How are the hosts' nerves?

1603: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-0 QPR (Suarez)

1603: GOALFLASH Man Utd 2-1 Wolves (Fletcher)

1602: Right, no rest for the wicked... we're getting up and running again in the second halves...

1559: So, I can only offer apologies for the invasion of gremlins over the past hour or so that saw this page shudder to a halt - on today of all days. Woe is me. Perhaps have a little read through of the past few umpteen updates and see what you've been missing? And then get in touch... tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK).

Pete Lant on Twitter: "One person who won't be sad to see Mr Lyon go is Gervinho!"

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Very few goals in the Championship but Watford have taken the lead against Leeds through a goal from on-loan winger Michael Kightly. In League One, Wycombe have drawn level against Chesterfield while Ched Evans has given Sheffield United the lead against Rochdale and in League Two, Hereford fell two behind against Rotherham but have pulled level, while Cheltenham and Swindon both lead 1-0 against Southend and Bristol Rovers respectively.

jacodemon on Twitter: "Aston Villa had eight shots on target in that first half. That's more than in their last three games put together."

Half time
1556: HALF-TIME Arsenal 0-0 Everton
David Ornstein's HT snap-shot:
"Plenty of Arsenal pressure but no end product. Moving above Chelsea into fourth? Not at this rate. Their 125th birthday celebrations are falling flat."

Half time
1555: HALF-TIME Liverpool v QPR
John Sinnott's HT snap-shot:
"Liverpool fail to make the most of plenty of possession and 10 corners, with Radek Cerny performing wonders at times in goal for QPR. Will this be a fifth successive home draw for Kenny Dalglish's side?"

Half time
1554: HALF-TIME Norwich 1-1 Newcastle
Arindam Rej's HT snap-shot:
"Norwich should be ahead, having imposed themselves on Newcastle's makeshift defence. They were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when the ball appeared to strike Davide Santon's right hand."

Half time
1553: HALF-TIME Man Utd 2-0 Wolves
Sam Sheringham's HT snap-shot:
"Wolves probably feared a backlash and that is exactly what they are getting, with Manchester United already in cruise control after two fine goals."

Half time
1552: HALF-TIME Swansea 0-0 Fulham
Pete Shuttleworth's HT snap-shot:
"That first half will be quickly forgotten with defences on top and Luke Moore's long-ranger that clipped the crossbar being a rare highlight. Cue yawn."

Half time
1552: HALF-TIME Bolton 0-2 Aston Villa
Marc Higginson's HT snap-shot:
"There cannot be many colder grounds in the country than the Reebok Stadium, but Villa's misfiring forwards have been given a warm reception by the Bolton defenders. This could be 4-0 if Wanderers are not careful."

Half time
1551: HALF-TIME West Brom 1-1 Wigan
Emlyn Begley's HT snap-shot:
"Wigan looked bereft of ideas and in trouble when West Brom led through Steven Reid's free-kick. But Victor Moses opened his Latics account for the season with a beautiful curler and Wigan ended the half the stronger side."

1550: And that's half time at the Emirates too, where I think they were trying to play on for as long as it took Gervinho to hit a barn door with a banjo, before giving up.

_footballgeek on Twitter: "Why is it that all visiting keepers play a blinder at Anfield?"

1547: We're half time everywhere in the top flight other than at Arsenal...

BBC Match of the Day on Twitter: "An old school Match of the Day tonight - seven 3 o'clock kick offs. No early or late game."

1545: Bolton might be ropey at the back, but they have just forced a fantastic save from Brad Guzan in the Villa goal at the other end of the pitch. In for the injured Shay Given, Guzan somehow manages to stop Kevin Davies' goalbound header with a super stop.

Newcastle goal: Super stuff from Newcastle, super stuff from Demba Ba - and that's his 10th goal in 10 league games, running on to Yohan Cabaye's fabulous ball over the top, controlling with his first touch and sliding past the keeper with his second. All square.

1545: GOALFLASH Norwich 1-1 Newcastle (Ba)

1544: More heroics from Radek Cerny at Anfield as the QPR goalkeeper stands up to Luis Suarez as the Uruguayan tries to chip him a la Kenny Dalglish's goal in the 1978 European Cup final against Bruges at Wembley.

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Bottom side Aberdeen are on course to celebrate the anniversary of Craig Brown's year in charge by beating St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League. Scott Vernon and Rory Fallon put the Dons 2-0 head, although Kenny McLean has replied for the Buddies. Meanwhile, second-top Celtic have failed to make their dominance of possession pay and financially-troubled Hearts are creeping back into the goalless match in Glasgow. Third-top Motherwell are looking comfortable thanks to goals from Omar Daley and Jamie Murphy away to St Johnstone. Jonny Hayes' goal has Inverness ahead against Dundee United.

Aston Villa goal: It really is no surprise that Bolton have the worst defensive record in the Premier League - they have been awful again today. Stiliyan Petrov picks up the ball 30 yards from goal and, with nobody closing him down, tries his luck and drives home via a deflection off Gary Cahill.

1540: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-2 Aston Villa (Petrov)

Norwich goal: Perhaps the Newcastle bubble really has burst? It's a scrappy goal for Norwich after they are awarded a controversial corner, Andrew Crofts's initial effort blocked and then, during a scramble, Wes Hoolahan's touch forcing Danny Simpson to divert the ball into his own net.

Wigan goal: Out of nowhere, Wigan are level - and it's only taken 46 shots this season for Victor Moses to register his first goal of the campaign, lining up a shot from the edge of the area and curling brilliantly into the top corner.

1538: GOALFLASH Norwich 1-0 Newcastle (Simpson og)

1538: GOALFLASH West Brom 1-1 Wigan (Moses)

Marbles365 on Twitter: "Help! I'm stuck in a toilet cubicle at the Emirates! Game sounds lively from here, but I'd much prefer to be back in my seat..."

1537: I'm not sure how there hasn't been an opener at Carrow Road, John Ruddy making amends for an earlier gaffe by pushing wide a deflected strike from Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye. Truly an open game now.

1536: Arsenal squander two more glorious chances to take the lead. First, Alex Song feeds Aaron Ramsey in the box but after turning well he curls a left-footed strike over on to the roof of the net. Moments later, Gervinho goes through on goal but his low effort is saved by the legs of Tim Howard.

1535: It has taken more than half an hour for a goalkeeper to be called in to action at The Liberty Stadium as Fulham's Mark Schwarzer saves comfortably from Swansea winger Scott Sinclair's low shot.

Aston Villa goal: Villa score in the league for the first time in four matches as Gabriel Agbonlahor crosses from the left and Marc Albrighton is given the freedom of the penalty area to fire home from 10 yards out.

West Brom goal: Opener at the Hawthorns - and it's deserved. Steven Reid lines up a free-kick from 22 yards and curls a doozy right into the top corner with keeper Ali Al Habsi unmoved. A beauty.

1534: GOALFLASH Bolton 0-1 Aston Villa (Albrighton)

1533: GOALFLASH West Brom 1-0 Wigan (Reid)

1532: Radek Cerny is called into action and then some at Anfield. Dirk Kuyt's perceptive pass releases Maxi Rodriguez and the Argentine bends his shot to the right but Cerny is quickly down to make a one-handed save.

BBC Radio 5live pundit Danny Mills on Manchester United's second goal against Wolves at Old Trafford: "It was very similar to the first goal. The ball came to Rooney and he was given far too much time and space on the edge of the box. Wolves defenders have got to close him down. Rooney did very, very well - but Mick McCarthy will be furious."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: A big goal at the bottom of League One where Dean Morgan gives Chesterfield the lead at Wycombe. Colchester and Scunthorpe are both ahead too. In the Championship, Scott McDonald puts Middlesbrough ahead against Brighton but it's League Two where the goals are at, Accrington and Rotherham both 2-0 ahead and Crawley ahead against Burton Albion.

1531: Penalty shout for Norwich as Kyle Naughton's cross from the right appears to strike Davide Santon's right arm - but Newcastle escape with referee Martin Atkinson waving the appeals away. I say that's a let-off.

Man Utd goal: A Uefa reprieve in midweek and now a first league goal in nine games - it's not turning into a bad week for Wayne Rooney, who cuts across the Wolves defence before firing a low shot through the crowd and into the corner to double United's lead.

1528: GOALFLASH Man Utd 2-0 Wolves (Rooney)

1527: Bolton are slowly working their way into the game at the Reebok, with Brad Guzan spilling a Chris Eagles free-kick and thankful for Richard Dunne's timely intervention.

1527: Another fine chance for Arsenal at the Emirates as Gervinho races clear but instead of going for goal himself, he squares the ball for Robin van Persie, who is marginally offside. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm not convinced by Gervinho. Not at all.

1526: Fine chance for Newcastle as the game opens up at Norwich, Ryan Taylor showing his crossing ability by picking out the unmarked Dan Gosling, who shoots wide. Should have done better.

1525: QPR at last threaten the Liverpool defence - sort of. Daniel Agger is booked after fouling Jay Bothroyd but the QPR striker's free-kick is straight into the Liverpool wall.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1524: Swansea are getting closer to breaking the deadlock at The Liberty Stadium as recalled striker Luke Moore clips the top of Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer's crossbar with a 25-yard strike. Nice effort.

1522: Norwich are getting on top of Newcastle. Grant Holt bullies stand-in centre-back James Perch off the ball then strikes at goal, but he is denied by a timely block from Danny Simpson.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5live pundit Danny Mills on Manchester United's opening goal against Wolves at Old Trafford: "Wolves were a little bit too respectful. They stood off, backed off and no-one got tight to Nani. He went past three players and shot almost back across his body into the corner. Wayne Hennessey had no chance."

1520: At the Emirates, Arsenal are dominating possession in the early stages but it's Everton who engineer the first meaningful opening as a Wojciech Szczesny punch falls to Louis Saha and his driven shot is blocked amid a penalty-area scramble. Moments later at the other end, Mikel Arteta sends Theo Walcott clean through but he opts to square the ball instead of shooting and Tony Hibbert gets back to disrupt Aaron Ramsey and Gervinho as both line up to tap home.

1519: A previously quiet afternoon at Carrow Road is heating up with a bit of needle between Russell Martin and Demba Ba. Martin thought Ba went to ground too easily and the pair furiously exchanged words. Oooh-er.

1518: Villa have missed a glorious opportunity to go ahead - Stiliyan Petrov firing wide after good work on the left by Charles N'Zogbia, who left Gary Cahill with egg on his face.

Man Utd goal: Wolves might have feared a backlash at Old Trafford today - and it looks like it might be a long afternoon. Nani makes the breakthrough for the hosts, cutting in from the left before firing a low drive into the corner from outside the area.

1517: GOALFLASH Man Utd 1-0 Wolves (Nani)

1516: Good Man Utd chance as Michael Carrick plays a ball inside the full-back for Wayne Rooney, but his shot from a tight angle is sharply saved by Wayne Hennessey.

1515: It has been a frustrating opening quarter of hour for Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan attempts to beat Radek Cerny at his near post with a fierce shot and then miscues after he is teed up by a Maxi Rodriguez pass.

1513: Nervous moment for Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy, who fails to deal with a Jonas Gutierrez cross. His poor punch goes out to Demba Ba, who tees up Yohan Cabaye but the midfielder's effort is weak and straight at Ruddy.

1512: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez should score, but he doesn't. Stewart Downing's cross from the right finds the Uruguayan unmarked but Suarez's header is straight at Radek Cerny.

1511: First sight of goal in a cagey opening at The Liberty Stadium, Swans striker Leory Lita heading Mark Gower's right-wing cross wide from 10 yards.

1510: It's been a fairly quiet opening at the Reebok, too. Brad Guzan has made a straight-forward save from Gary Cahill's header, while at the other end, Paul Robinson made a fine tackle on Gabby Agbonlahor as the game threatens to break into life. Other than that, as you were people.

1509: Lethargic start at Norwich but Grant Holt is already making a pain of himself, testing out Newcastle's new-look defence. Could be a tough afternoon for the visitors here.

1508: Man Utd took all of five minutes to settle in against Wolves and that's a fine chance for Michael Carrick, the midfielder flinging himself at Antonio Valencia's cross and heading over on the dive 12 yards out.

1506: Not much to report from Arsenal-Everton, where it's all a bit 'after the Lord Mayor's show' early doors.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1504: Crossbar! Wigan fail to clear their lines from a West Brom attack and Chris Brunt hits a sweet strike from 20 yards out that is tipped onto the crossbar by Ali Al-Habsi. So close.

1503: Half a chance, too, at Anfield as Martin Skrtel spins inside the box and fires - via a deflection - narrowly wide of the QPR goal. Bright start from Liverpool at Anfield.

1502: Decent start for Wolves at Old Trafford as the ball is squared to Steven Fletcher, who slices wide with his left foot from the edge of the box. Half a chance, that.

1501: ...we've now kicked off everywhere.

1500: Here we go then... we are up and running pretty much everywhere, although Arsenal are dragging their celebrations out somewhat...

1458: So Jonas Gutierrez breaks with superstition and leads the Newcastle team out of the tunnel from the front as captain - rather than being last man out. Will it affect his performance? Has he cursed himself? Can I ask any more fairly redundant questions?

mholland11 on Twitter: "Ronnie McFall celebrates his 25th anniversary in charge of Portadown FC in Northern Ireland today."

Anon, via text: "I would like to thank lydiarkell (see 1437) for putting a jinx on the last result of my accumulator where I had Blackpool to win for £18,326.97!!"

mholland11 on Twitter: "Four leaf clovers and lucky heather in the Cardiff stands at Millwall today. They've not won at the Den since 1982 and Malky MacKay is manager of the month! Curse?"

1455: I tell you what, judging by sticking all that lot in - 1500-1700 GMT is going to be absolutely postal for me today. Be gentle with me, yeah? Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). You beautiful people.

MWT26 on Twitter: "No Zamora in the Fulham squad? What is that all about?"

1453: MAN UTD v WOLVES (1500)
Sam Sheringham reports:
"Sir Alex Ferguson has issued a staunch defence of his Man Utd youngsters following some characteristic criticism from Roy Keane in the aftermath of the Basel debacle. "They have achieved many great things so far," said Ferguson. "They will not be hounded because of one bad performance.." Meanwhile, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has compared Jones to former United and Republic of Ireland defender Paul McGrath. "Paul got into the best World XI in 1990 as a centre-back playing midfield," said McCarthy. "That's remarkable. But I also think Phil Jones has got everything.""

1452: ARSENAL v EVERTON (1500)
David Ornstein reports:
"Arsene Wenger says the "present" Arsenal want on their 125th birthday is victory over Everton. "I am always more focused on the future than I am on the past," he explains. "We would like to be at the level of the history of the club [today] but history is one thing, performance on the day is another." Everton counterpart David Moyes has just the one wish too: "We've not been renowned for scoring goals this year so it's staring us in the face what we have to try and do."

1451: LIVERPOOL v QPR (1500)
John Sinnott reports: "Liverpool
manager Kenny Dalglish is hoping Lady Luck visits Anfield this afternoon after what he perceives to be a string of ill-fortune in recent weeks. "We can only do what we know best and keep believing," he said. "We'll just go out and stick to our principles. Let's see if we can get a bit of luck coming our way." It won't surprise anyone to hear Neil Warnock in bullish mood ahead of the match, the QPR boss saying: "It's a feeling of excitement when we play these teams. In years gone by it would have been trepidation and fear, but it's not like that anymore. We won't go to Anfield and sit back, we'll try and give them a game.""

1450: WEST BROM v WIGAN (1500)
Emlyn Begley reports: "Wigan
boss Roberto Martinez is looking forward to January to freshen up his table-propping squad. "Maybe one or two players would give us an extra bit of life in certain positions. We need to use the transfer window to our advantage." West Brom counterpart Roy Hodgson is looking to take advantage of Wigan's woes. "It's a good opportunity and we are aware of our responsibility. We are playing a team that is below us in the table and have had a bad run.""

Arindam Rej reports:
"Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been torn apart by Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, who is unimpressed by the Newcastle boss's referee-related moaning. But sour-faced Pardew should have a smile on his face today as he celebrates a year in charge. "There have certainly been more highs than lows," he reflects. The same can be said for Norwich's Paul Lambert, who suggests: "Newcastle have performed really well but we are at home so the onus is on us.""

1448: BOLTON v ASTON VILLA (1500)
Marc Higginson reports:
"Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has felt compelled to defend his management style, saying it is a 'myth' he has a negative style of play. "In all my days as a coach and manager I've had pretty dynamic teams all the way," said the former Birmingham boss. Conversely, Bolton manager Owen Coyle has told Gary Cahill to cut out the tricks after he was sent-off against Tottenham when playing himself into trouble. "Gary knows within himself he made a bad decision," said Coyle. "It's all about learning.""

1447: SWANSEA v FULHAM (1500)
Pete Shuttleworth reports: "Swansea City
manager Brendan Rodgers is keeping calm despite his side winning just once in seven Premier League games. "If we had won last week we would have gone eighth," he insisted. "And I am not going to get suckered into any negativity as the league is so tight and we are doing all right." Martin Jol is certainly not taking Swansea lightly as the Fulham boss seeks his first back-to-back Premier League win for four-and-a-half years. "They may have lost to Blackburn last week, but they managed to score goals despite that," said the Dutchman. "It is not easy to play against them but I feel over the past six weeks we have controlled other teams even when they played in a different system.""

RyanHanley91 on Twitter: "Who remembers playing football in this weather? Freezing cold hands, colder toes! This is what they get paid for!"

Anon, via text: "A poll on a Villa fan site this week had 96% wanting McLeish out. No Eck-cuses will cut it today, he really need the three points if he wants to stay in his job."

bhojani10 on Twitter: "Loving the creativity in Manchester United's central midfield of Michael Carrick and Phil Jones. Outstanding players - but not together!"

1445: ARSENAL v EVERTON (1500)
David Ornstein reports: "Arsenal
mark 125 years in existence by putting out their strongest available team, with Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou the only survivors from Tuesday's loss at Olympiakos. Vermaelen replaces the injured Andre Santos while Mikel Arteta starts against his old club and goal-machine Robin van Persie leads the line. Everton make two changes from their defeat at Stoke last time out, Phil Neville and Louis Saha replacing Leon Osman and Apostolos Vellios."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Full-time in the Championship and Southampton's winning home record is gone after a 2-2 draw against Blackpool. Striker Rickie Lambert rescues a point for Nigel Adkins's men with a thumping header in injury-time to spare goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski's blushes.

1444: MAN UTD v WOLVES (1500)
Sam Sheringham reports:
"Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson responded to his team's meek Champions League surrender in Basel by making four changes for the visit of Wolves. Not surprisingly the midfield is given a shake-up with Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-Sung and Ashley Young dropped for Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck. Jonny Evans replaces the injured Nemanja Vidic at the back. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy makes two changes, bringing in Roger Johnson in for hamstring victim Jody Craddock and replacing Stephen Hunt with Karl Henry, who has served his one-match ban for collecting five bookings."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Rangers go seven points clear at the top of the SPL - at least until Celtic's home game against Hearts - thanks to goals from Nikica Jelavic. But it was a nightmare for Hibs defender Michael Hart. The full-back's grab at the arm of Lee Wallace led to the 61st-minute penalty that opened the scoring for the reigning champions. And Hart then allowed the Croatia striker space to head the second eight minutes later from Gregg Wylde's corner.

1443: BOLTON v ASTON VILLA (1500)
Marc Higginson reports:
"Bolton have made two forward-thinking changes to their team, bringing in Tuncay and Darren Pratley to replace Fabrice Muamba and Nigel Reo-Coker. Injuries have forced Aston Villa into a reshuffle, with Charles N'Zogbia, Stiliyan Petrov and Brad Guzan in for Shay Given, Jermaine Jenas and Barry Bannan."

1441: SWANSEA v FULHAM (1500)
Pete Shuttleworth reports:
"England under-21 international Steven Caulker returns from two months out with a knee injury to replace captain Garry Monk in the heart of Swansea's defence for the visit of Fulham. Swans boss Brendan Rodgers makes two other changes as Wayne Routledge and Luke Moore come in for Nathan Dyer and the suspended Joe Allen. Fulham captain Danny Murphy has not recovered from an ankle injury so is replaced in their midfield by Simon Davies, who starts his first league game of the season following knee trouble. Martin Jol has also dropped striker Bobby Zamora amid rumours of a bust-up between the Fulham manager and the England international so Andy Johnson comes in."

1440: LIVERPOOL v QPR (1500)
John Sinnott reports:
"Liverpool make three changes to the side that lost to Fulham on Monday. With Jay Spearing suspended and Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy left on the bench, in comes Maxi Rodriguez, Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt. There is just one change for QPR as Tommy Smith replace the absent Heidar Helguson up front. Let the hoopla begin!"

1438: NORWICH v NEWCASTLE (1500)
Arindam Rej reports: "Newcastle's
back four - which has been so settled this season - is unrecognisable. Davide Santon is drafted in at left-back and Ryan Taylor switches to right-back as Fabricio Coloccini is left out of the squad because of a thigh injury. Versatile Dan Gosling also starts. Norwich have Grant Holt back up front while Zak Whitbread returns to central defence after his hamstring injury."

1437: WEST BROM v WIGAN (1500)
Emlyn Begley reports:
"As expected West Brom make one change, with Peter Odemwingie coming in for Graham Dorrans, and he will start up front alongside Shane Long. Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz returns from suspension, while striker Hugo Rodallega is again on the bench as he recovers from a knee injury. Victor Moses and Connor Sammon start up front - the pair have not scored in 24 games between them this season."

lydiarkell on Twitter: "Could today be the end of Southampton's reign at the top of the Championship? Come on you Irons."

Anon via text: "I think that 20,000 goal could be scored today if Van Persie's up against Tony Hibbert..."

1435: SWANSEA v FULHAM (1500)
Vorm, Richards, Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Routledge, Britton, Gower, Sinclair, Lita, Moore. Subs: Tremmel, Graham, Dyer, Dobbie, Monk, Bessone, Agustien.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, John Arne Riise, Dembele, Davies, Etuhu, Dempsey, Ruiz, Johnson. Subs: Etheridge, Orlando Sa, Gecov, Bjorn Helge Riise, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

JacobRobertson8 on Twitter: "Jonas Gutierrez to captain Newcastle today. Given his huge superstition to be last out of the tunnel every game, this should be fun."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5live pundit Danny Mills on Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who has been charged by the FA for improper conduct this week : "Sometimes the South American mentality is not quite what we are used to. We don't completely understand it. He needs to understand what makes England and the Premier League tick."

Man Utd:
De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani, Welbeck, Rooney. Subs: Lindegaard, Giggs, Park, Young, Macheda, Gibson, Fryers.
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Zubar, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Edwards, Henry, O'Hara, Jarvis, Doyle, Fletcher. Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Hunt, Hammill, Milijas.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

1431: Do we have an added treat for you today, by the way, or do we have an added treat for you today. Clue; we have an added treat for you today. Give this page a cheeky refresh and Final Score - for the first time in HD - will appear at the top... and if you want it on your TV you can find it here; Freesat - 109, Freeview - 54, Sky - 169, Virgin Media - 187 or on the Red Button. Bootiful.

Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Ramsey, Gervinho, van Persie. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Arshavin, Frimpong, Chamakh, Benayoun, Miquel.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Coleman, Neville, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Saha. Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, Distin, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios, McAleny.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1429: WEST BROM v WIGAN (1500)
West Brom:
Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Brunt, Mulumbu, Morrison, Thomas, Long, Odemwingie. Subs: Fulop, Tchoyi, Dorrans, Dawson, Jones, Cox, Scharner.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Moses, Diame, Gomez, McCarthy, Jones, Sammon. Subs: Pollitt, Gohouri, Watson, Di Santo, Maloney, McArthur, Rodallega.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1427: NORWICH v NEWCASTLE (1500)
Ruddy, Naughton, Whitbread, Martin, Tierney, Crofts, Fox, Hoolahan, Surman, Morison, Holt. Subs: Rudd, Johnson, Jackson, Pilkington, Bennett, Barnett, Wilbraham.
Newcastle: Krul, Santon, Simpson, Perch, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Gosling, Gutierrez, Ba, Shola Ameobi. Subs: Elliot, Ben Arfa, Lovenkrands, Smith, Best, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

InfostradaLive, our statistical friends, on Twitter: "There have been 19,934 goals scored in Premier League history. We are 66 short of reaching the 20,000 milestone."

1424: LIVERPOOL v QPR (1500)
Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Maxi, Adam, Henderson, Downing, Suarez, Kuyt. Subs: Doni, Carroll, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy.
QPR: Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Barton, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Smith, Bothroyd. Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Campbell, Buzsaky, Connolly.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1423: BOLTON v ASTON VILLA (1500)
Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Eagles, Pratley, Mark Davies, Tuncay, Kevin Davies, Klasnic. Subs: Bogdan, Steinsson, Muamba, Petrov, Ngog, Kakuta, O'Halloran.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, N'Zogbia, Petrov, Herd, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Bent. Subs: Marshall, Ireland, Delfounso, Heskey, Clark, Bannan, Weimann.
Referee: Phil Dowd

make two chances from their defeat at Stoke for the trip to Arsenal, Phil Neville and Louis Saha replacing Leon Osman and Apostolos Vellios

AP261 on Twitter: "Scrap Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool. It's all about Bradford v Plymouth at the bottom of League Two!"

More bad injury news for Newcastle's defence as Fabricio Coloccini is ruled out by a thigh injury and is not even in their squad for the trip to Norwich - but Jonas Gutierrez is back in after suspension.

call up Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez for the visit of QPR, with Craig Bellamy and Andy Carroll dropping to the bench.

DanielMein on Twitter: "Newcastle's bubble burst?! No way! We have a team spirit that cannot be defeated and a good team to go with it! 2-1 today!"

Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou the only survivors from Tuesday's defeat at Olympiakos for Arsenal against Everton, with Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott among those recalled.

make four changes for the visit of Newcastle, including Zak Whitbread's return to central defence after his hamstring injury.

Man Utd's
under-fire keeper David de Gea continues in goal against Wolves, with Jonny Evans in for the injured Nemanja Vidic.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former England right-back Danny Mills reckons Wolves need to tear into hosts Manchester United from the first whistle. The BBC Radio 5live pundit says: "Wolves cannot allow United any time on the ball. Confidence is a bit of a problem. They're out of the Carling Cup, out of the Champions League and five points behind City. It's not the greatest of times for United."

Roy, Spurs fan, via text: "You don't want Harry Redknapp for England. He's rubbish. Take Alan Pardew, the guy's awesome."

Freddie Leech on Twitter: "Whole foundation of a Sir Alex Ferguson team is that they pick themselves up and return stronger. Here is the start of a LONG winning streak!"

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Rangers look to have taken control at Easter Road and Hibs defender Michael Hart will be particularly disappointed at that. Hart's grab at the arm of Lee Wallace resulted in a penalty tucked away by Nikica Jelavic. And the Croatia international evaded the full-back's attentions to head in the second from a Gregg Wylde corner kick. Hibernian 0-2 Rangers.

1405: Our next port of call, then, is your team news (alongside the Scottish Premier and Championship updates of course). While we wait for that, why not get in touch? You know you want to. Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Now.

1402: And they, ladies and gentlemen, are your scene setters for a bumper afternoon of Premier League football. Nice, huh?

Dan, Spurs fan, via text: "On the 125th anniversary for Spurs we were 4-1 at home to Villa before coming back to draw 4-4. Another celebratory football feast on the cards at the Emirates? Hope not."

philbeck10 on Twitter: "That Blackpool goal was justice for what Southampton did to poor old Massimo Taibi all those years ago..."

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "Southampton goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski has had a shocker with this one in the early Championship game, perfoming what's known in the industry as a 'Taibi'. Blackpool striker Callum McManaman's tame effort at goal is unable to be gathered by the Polish shotstopper as it trickles in between his legs and into the net. The Saints' home record is under threat. Southampton 1-2 Blackpool."

1357: LIVERPOOL v QPR (1500)
John Sinnott reports:
"It's a tale of two penalty boxes for Liverpool this season. They are miserly at one end, only conceding 13 goals this season, but they are more accommodating to the opposition up front. Andy Carroll is struggling to live up to expectations and, perhaps more worringly for the Reds, Luis Suarez has scored just four league goals this season, the last on 1 October. QPR, meanwhile, have an impressive away record having already won three times this season, and given Liverpool have drawn five games at Anfield this season Rangers fans will hope for a positive result."

1355: ARSENAL v EVERTON (1500)
David Ornstein reports:
"It may be a day of celebration for Arsenal but once the pre-match 125-year anniversary festivities are over, their sole concern will be three points. That would move them above Chelsea into fourth, until Monday evening at least. Everton have taken the lead in each of their past three visits to Emirates Stadium - will they play the role of part-poopers today? Without a victory at Arsenal since 1996, history suggests not."

holformr on Twitter: "Re: ccalum: You would have a valid point if the England job was about developing young French talent like he does at Newcastle!"

Shahil, London via text: "Tough game for us cottagers today! Having won against Liverpool, I'm hoping we continue improving our away form! Zamora to get a hat trick."

MrWiseCracks on Twitter: "Andre Villas-Boas is absolutely right! If the media can't take criticism, they shouldn't dish it out."

1352: WEST BROM v WIGAN (1500)
Emlyn Begley reports:
"Two teams seemingly allergic to goals come head to head at The Hawthorns. Wigan have scored fewer goals in the league than any other professional team in England, while West Brom are the least prolific side at home in the top five divisions. No man sums up the visitors' problems more than Victor Moses, who has had 43 shots this season without scoring."

1348: SWANSEA v FULHAM (1500)
Pete Shuttleworth reports: "Swansea City
are keen to stop their worrying slide towards the Premier League relegation zone as Brendan Rodgers' men hope for their first win in five league games. But Fulham are improving under Martin Jol and have lost just once to the Swans in their last 13 meetings. Fulham, however have scored the joint fewest goals on the road in the Premier League this season, scoring just four, while Swansea have the best defensive home record conceding only two - and the Welsh team have not lost a Saturday 3pm kick-off at home for exactly two years."

1345: NORWICH v NEWCASTLE (1500)
Arindam Rej reports:
"Has the Newcastle bubble burst? Will their injury crisis impede them further? It sounds harsh but the answer to both questions could be 'yes'. The evidence is one point from the last three games, all against top clubs, and five players on the treatment table. Norwich have been performing admirably in recent weeks - but have just been hammered 5-1 by Manchester City and they've still not kept a clean sheet this season."

Race Goer on Twitter: "Liverpool's position in the table is justified - Downing, Adam and Henderson were signed and 6/7th place is where their limits are."

1342: BOLTON v ASTON VILLA (1500)
Marc Higginson reports:
"The only thing Owen Coyle and Alex McLeish want for Christmas is a long overdue victory. Bolton have lost five of their last six Premier League matches, with Villa winning just one of their last seven. Wanderers' problems are at the back - they have the worst defensive record in the division. Aston Villa's issues are at the other end after stats showed record signing Darren Bent touches the ball on average just 24.6 times a game, the fewest in the league. Surely something has to give this afternoon?"

1338: MAN UTD v WOLVES (1500)
Sam Sheringham reports:
"The Specials were at number one in the pop charts the last time Wolves beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in February 1980. Mick McCarthy's men certainly need a special performance to get something today against the wounded Reds. When United were last eliminated from the Champions League in the group stage in 2005, they went unbeaten in their next 10 matches in all competitions. Wolves will, however, take heart from beating United the last time the two teams met, in February."

1335: With our bumper seven-strong 1500 Premier League kick-offs fast approaching, then, I say we hear from our match reporters...

aaronhardy5 on Twitter: "Re Geoff Hurst - Englishman would be nice but remember the last one didn't even get us to the competition."

Sammy's Stat
STAT ATTACK: Liverpool have picked up 23 points from their 14 Premier League matches - their equal-lowest ever points total at this stage of a season under Dalglish. They also had 23 points from their opening 14 matches in old Division One in 1988-89... when they eventually finished second in the table.

ccalum on Twitter: "Erm, has anyone even considered Alan Pardew for the England job? Newcastle are unrecognisable from the team he inherited a year ago."

1330: Golly, are we 90 minutes into this commentary already? How time flies. This seems like as good a time as any, then, to let you know that we're only doing a dedicated commentary on El Clasico Real Madrid v Barcelona later! Christmas come early. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Iker Casillas, Xavi... let me tell you, as a man who knows his onions, they're all quite good at football. True say.

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: Two goals in quick succession in the Championship. It's not good defending from Blackpool as Neal Eardley gets caught in possession and is duly punished by Southampton's lethal, goalscoring machine Rickie Lambert whose shot takes a deflection of Craig Cathcart and ends up in the back of the net but Ian Holloway's men quickly equalise through Chris Basham who nods in from close range. Southampton 1-1 Blackpool.

Luke Cullen on Twitter: "All home wins?! Knowing Sam's luck they'll probably all finish 0-0..... what's the odds on that?? Well it's 25455375-1 actually."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Hibernian will be kicking themselves for not taking a half-time lead against SPL leaders Rangers. The reigning champions have had slightly the better of a game stifled by a crowded midfield. However, on-loan Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths missed the only real chance of the game when he fired straight at Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor from close range in stoppage time. Hibernian 0-0 Rangers

1325: After a Swansea vibe, people? Let me hit you with some knowledge - Swans midfielder Leon Britton is set to make his 350th English league appearance today having made his league debut eight years ago in the 4-2 home victory against Bury at the Vetch Field... in the fourth tier of English football... in front of 8,826 fans. The times they are a'changing, huh?

jonnykeogh88 on Twitter: "As a Chelsea fan, it's a bit embarrassing to hear villas-boas comments to the media."

England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Thursday, has revealed which Englishman he is backing to replace Fabio Capello after Euro 2012. He told Football Focus : "Having had two foreign coaches that haven't got us beyond the quarter-finals, I believe an English coach could have taken us that far. The next manager should be English and it should be Harry Redknapp."

Newcastle United defender Danny Simpson, whose team play at Norwich today, on Twitter: "En route to the stadium now! We can do this today, come on boys and come on to all the crazy Toon fans travelling down :)"

Football Focus guest Paul Ince says he is ready for a return to football management: "I've had six months out and I feel refreshed. I'm going to spend Christmas with the wife and kids, then next year I will look to get back into the game."

1317: Did everyone get the chance to have a look at Newcastle defender Steven Taylor's blog this week by the way? A first-person account from a player having to endure the rigours of fighting his way back to fitness following a season-ending injury. Top stuff. "I noticed that my foot wasn't right. It was floppy but there was no pain. I tried to walk but my foot just wouldn't work." Erm... urgh.

James Hurley via text: "Putting poor old Perry Groves in the same bracket as Cygan and Caesar is rather harsh. If you'd said Chamakh, I'd have been with you..."

Tim, Battersea via text: "Re 1250. As a Spurs fan I'm loving every minute of it, while also fully expecting the wheels to fall off. COYS!"

1311: Can I just say at this juncture, a thousand heartfelt thanks for all your messages re: my commentary farewell. I love you all. If I could make this page all about me, trust me I would. In fact I nearly did, but I have a man with a very large stick hovering over me and he's not afraid to use it. Keep your missives coming in, though, blatantly. Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Jubbly.

mattharding007 on Twitter: "Looking at the fixtures today, could well be all home wins. Has this been seen before?"

1305: One man totally alien to mistakes, meanwhile, is a Mr Wayne Rooney. You may have heard of him. He's the Man Utd/England striker - arguably one of the best in a generation - with the weave. Well he's had a rare let-off from the authorities this week after Uefa reduced his Euro 2012 suspension for trying to kick Montenegrin Miodrag Dzudovic's legs off from three matches to two, meaning he can turn out for Fabio Capello's boys in their last group match against Ukraine next summer - and beyond (optimism alert). You all know what this means don't you? Hop aboard... the 'England can win Euro 2012' bandwagon is about to set off...

shai1001 on Twitter: "I might just sue you actually. For leaving us all in the lurch. Baw waaaaa!"

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: Midway through the first half and neither goalkeeper has been tested at Easter Road. SPL leaders Rangers have had the better of possession, but Hibernian have had the only attempt worthy of note. Even then, Lewis Stevenson's drive from just outside the box was yards wide in what is a tactical battle smothered by a crowded midfield.

BBC Radio 5 live
Shane Long says there is more to come after impressing during his first few months at West Brom. He told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I still have a lot to do, the pressure is on my shoulders because I still have a few years on my contract to prove my worth."

Mrbakestone on Twitter: "Don't you think though that Spurs are the most exciting team to watch live? Their fast fluid passing is enough to excite..."

1257: Mistakes. We all make 'em. Heaven knows in my entire time leading the commentaries on here I may have made a typo or two. Three even. Ahem. But not even those typos (all three of them) have landed me an FA charge. But then I'm not Luis Suarez - the Liverpool striker who landed himself in hot water this week with a hand gesture at Fulham fans. A hand gesture I'm sure not one single football fan has either offered nor would even recognise. He's on a bit of a run with the FA, Suarez - what effect might that have on the Reds' charge for Europe this season we wonder?

Jayjay_89 on Twitter, in response to Robbie Savage (see below): "The use of the word 'again' by Savage was unjustified. De Gea has been very good for some time now and then makes one mistake."

1250: Tottenham. They're being talked about a lot. As title challengers. Yep, believe it. To be fair, they've won six in a row in the league, 10 out of their last 11, and can go second in the table by rights if they win their game in hand over Manchester United. Isn't it around about this time that the white half of London gets a nose bleed, implodes, and slumps lazily down the league before a late-season surge sees them threaten again but ultimately fall short?

D_Benton on Twitter: "Back on twitter after being banned this week! Let's hope the football is something worth talking about!"

BBC Radio 5 live
John Hartson on Radio 5 Live: "Andre Villas-Boas has to take criticism, that's why we have pundits. Gary Neville is there to give an opinion and I think he is correct about David Luiz. A centre-half is there to head the ball and tackle, not to pretend they are Alan Hansen."

Sahil Goyal on Twitter: "Think I should kickstart Sam's greatest hits.The LaFontainesque opening of last season's UCL El Clasico, an absolute peach."

Former England skipper Paul Ince cannot believe Arsenal have overlooked fellow Football Focus pundit Martin Keown in the statue stakes: "I'm disappointed. I thought he was better than Tony Adams!"

1246: Up and running in the day's second kick-off, this time in the Championship, with Southampton playing host to Blackpool.

1242: One man you can't keep out of the headlines this week, of course, is Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. A wolf who has shed his mild-mannered, polite facade sheep's clothing to reveal himself a Jose Mourinho-style media-basher and Gary Neville-loather. Everyone's against the Blues, so said this week, while desperately itching at the Gary Neville-shaped lump that has burrowed rather deeply under his skin. And the last from Stamford Bridge? He's ordered his players to celebrate goals with him. Has there ever been a man in football more in need of a hug?

PeteFHumphreys on Twitter: "Can't wait for the football today! Bring on 3 o'clock! I've put some Yorkshire Puds in the oven for a lunchtime snack!"

BBC pundit Robbie Savage reckons there are still huge question marks over goalkeeper David de Gea and his Manchester United team-mates after their embarrassing Champions League exit. He told Friday Focus : "The goalkeeper's performance against Basel was, again, poor. Very poor. Is it now time for United to get more creative players like we've seen them do in the past?"

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: One early kick-off in the Championship today as Southampton welcome Blackpool to the St Mary's Stadium. The Saints have made their home ground a fortress and defend a 100% win record of 10 victories from 10. The three points will also mean they extend their lead at the top of the table. Blackpool will enter the play-off spots with a triumph and have won all six game they have kept clean sheets in, just like their opponents.

Everton defender Phil Jagielka says the players are not worried about the Merseyside club's off-the-field worries. He told Football Focus : "I think as far as the ownership of the club is concerned it's been going on for about six years. I massively understand the fans' frustrations. Unfortunately there's not much we can do about it. We haven't got any money."

1236: Now then, talking of statues (mildly tenuous link alert), it's been a week of unveiling from Arsenal at the Emirates this week, hasn't it? To mark their 125-year anniversary, the club have had three statues at the ground installed - of Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and Herbert Chapman. Henry, bless 'im, shed a tear so he did, claiming it was the first time he'd cried since... leaving Arsenal. Sheesh, get a room Thierry. In other news, fans are still awaiting confirmation that statues of Perry Groves, Pascal Cygan and Gus Caesar are to be unveiled after Christmas.

RhysMorgan453 on Twitter: "No can't believe it's your last weekend commentary Sam! You are the king of Saturday football! I'm sure a statue will be made ;)"

1231: Up and running in the day's early kick-off north of the border, Hibernian v Rangers.

Mergasaurus on Twitter: "Nice to see all the games at 3pm for a change, football shouldn't have to change to fit in with television schedules."

Will in London via text: "Sad to see you go Sam, but any chance I can get your job? I could do that thing you do at the end of a sentence. Cheeky."

SCOTTISH PREMIER LATEST: So Rangers have the chance to stretch their lead over Celtic, who later host troubled Hearts, in the table to seven points in the early kick-off against Hibernian at Easter Road. Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has named an unchanged line-up, but Rangers counterpart Ally McCoist makes three changes. One is forced following the two-match ban handed to Sone Aluko after the forward was ruled to have dived during last week's narrow win over Dunfermline Athletic. Fit-again Carlos Bocanegra and Lee Wallace come in for Thomas Bendiksen and Kirk Broadfoot.

Terry__Cox on Twitter: "Cooking puppies?" I know Wogan rants about the BBC canteens, but I didn't think it was that bad."

Sammy's Stat
STAT ATTACK: When Manchester United last exited the Champions League in the group stages in 2005-06, they went unbeaten in their next 10 matches in all competitions, starting with a 1-1 home Premier League draw with Everton.

1223: Where to start then people? How about with a bit of Manchester United, despite their relatively quiet week. Ahem. Out of the Champions League, Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, their title hopes ground to dust by a cynical media. It's round about this sort of time that Sir Alex Ferguson proves just about everybody wrong again isn't it?

tommydutts87 on Twitter: "Don't need to worry about PL football when you have the mighty Saints on early."

Richard, Manchester via text: "Sam I just hope there's plenty of goals today to send you out with a bang."

Shane McMenemy on Twitter: "Go back to bed, Sam... It's practically morning."

1215: First and foremost, though - give this page a nice, cheeky Saturday morning refresh and Football Focus will magically* appear before your very eyes at the top. Get involved.
* Not actually magic

1212: So put your violins away my friends, dry your weeping eyes, and climb aboard the good ship 'Saturday football'. There is much to discuss, ponder and argue - and I'm going to need your help. Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @sampatricklyon or text in via 81111 (UK). Let's get this puppy cooking real nice.

1210: And I'll tell you this for free - it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that this is my last weekend commentary shift at BBC Sport before I sail off down the canal and into the sunset bound for pastures exciting and new. Oh ho no. Don't even think it. Na-uh.

1207: Alongside that we've got Football Focus, an early Scottish Premier League game and an early Championship fixture to boot.

1204: But, do you know what, it's Christmas. Why shouldn't we revel in the glorious game we call football for as long as we can, right? We can talk about the week gone by, the big talking points, build up to what promises to be another monster day of football. It's all there.

1200: Seven Premier League kick-offs all at 1500 GMT, with no early or late game to cover, and I'm kicking off the BBC live commentary at 1200 GMT? Have I completely taken leave of my senses? Have I?! Do you know what, people, I think I just might have done. Sue me.

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 10 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 14 35 38
2 Man Utd 15 21 36
3 Tottenham 13 13 31
4 Arsenal 15 8 29
5 Chelsea 14 14 28
6 Liverpool 15 5 26
7 Newcastle 15 2 26
8 Aston Villa 15 -1 19
9 Norwich 15 -4 19
10 Stoke 14 -9 18
11 Swansea 15 -4 17
12 Everton 14 -3 16
13 QPR 15 -11 16
14 Fulham 15 -2 15
15 West Brom 15 -9 15
16 Wolves 15 -12 14
17 Wigan 15 -15 12
18 Sunderland 14 -1 11
19 Blackburn 14 -11 10
20 Bolton 15 -16 9

see also
Saturday's football photos
10 Dec 11 |  Football

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