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By Chris Bevan
1755: Right, that's quite enough of me for one day. Make sure you watch all of today's last-gasp drama on Match of the Day 2 on BBC Two and this website (in the UK) at 2205 GMT. It's been a happy New Year for Everton and Sunderland, and a horrible one for West Brom and Manchester City. Thanks for keeping me company, and I'll see you very soon.
FULL-TIME West Brom 0-1 Everton Jonathan Smith reports: "An awful game to kick off the New Year but Everton fans won't care after Victor Anichebe's late strike secures the three points for the Toffees."
1748: So, what do you make of 2012 so far? Just to refresh your memories, this is what happened earlier...
DolfiThomas on Twitter:
"Re Gary. Hope that's not sarcasm! Can't expect Sunderland to match City in an open game for 90 mins... hitting on counter=win!"
From TK, via text: "Re 17.25 Gary: Just because your team couldn't break down Sunderland's resilient and outstanding defence doesn't make them 'boring'. City were hardly breathtaking today. It's about time we give credit to the 'lesser' teams that play to their own strength."
1736: The good thing about football, apart from all this excitement, is that it doesn't seem to stop at the moment. There are five more Premier League games on Monday, just for starters.
Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole on beating Manchester City: "They're a great side and you've got to ride your chances but I think, if you look at the best chances, they came to a red and white shirt. We've got the belief going into games that were going to win now. We needed a team of 8 or 9 out 10s to beat City and that's we had today."
Mike Elston on Twitter:
"The teams playing the best football in the PL at the moment are Arsenal and Spurs. Would you bet London can't catch Manchester?"
Adam Mills on Twitter:
"Really glad Martin O'Neill is back in the Premier League. Speaks his mind, is a tactical genius and comes across well."
Circadian on Twitter:
"How valuable have substitutes been today, top marks to Moyes and O'Neill, minus for Mancini! Great win."
Robbie Savage on Radio 5 live's 606: "You cannot deny Sunderland for their work-rate and the amount of effort they put in. But City left five against three in the last minute of the game. That was naive. They should know a point at Sunderland is a good point."
1725: Oops. I seem to have reappointed Martin O'Neill as Aston Villa boss just then. I know there's been a few shocks this weekend but rest assured he is still in charge of Sunderland. Luckily, none of you seemed to notice...
From Gary, frustrated Blue, via text: "Boring negative football wins again!!"
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill on his side's late win over the Premier League leaders: "We knew we were going to have withstand ferocious pressure from Manchester City. We did it and we did it remarkably well. To win this game considering the situation we found ourselves in this morning is incredible."
ian_drums on Twitter:
"Not ruling Liverpool out of the title race = not ruling out everybody from Stoke downwards out of the relegation battle."
CallMeSpits on Twitter:
"Wenger must smell blood here & sign 2/3 quality players we desperately need to charge the top of the table."
roken86 on Twitter:
"Still a 2 horse race - Spurs wont have a chance, they buckle too easily, they should just be happy they are reaching 3rd."
From Michael in Perth, via text: "Still think Man City will go on to win the title, although this weekend has proved they are not invincible as we once thought they were. The biggest winners this week are Arsenal however, think they are back in the title race now and with a few good January signings they could push on and maybe win the league."
Disappointed Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini after his side's last-gasp defeat at Sunderland: "We deserved to win this game. It's incredible. This is football. I don't know how many chances we had. A team like us can't concede a goal on the counter-attack at the end. We missed a big opportunity today because we had a chance to go three points on Manchester United. We are probably in an unlucky moment because we missed all these chances to score."
1710: By the way, re 1702, I'm not ruling Liverpool out of this title race either, especially if they win at the Etihad on Tuesday night. A lot riding on that game for Manchester City now, but not a lot of time for them to prepare for it.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"10 - After taking 11 points in their first 14 matches, Sunderland have accrued 10 points in 5 games under Martin O'Neill. Boost."
Sunderland defender John O'Shea after his side's win over Premier League leaders Manchester City: "It was a fantastic result. We'll look forward to Wigan next up. I think we've got about two hours rest now before that one!"
Blake Watson on Twitter:
"Man City and Man Utd losing? Once again the Premiership proves it's more exciting than the predictable La Liga."
1705: Arsenal were the only New Year winners in the top four after an extraordinary weekend, but who do you think will be top of the tree come May? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK).
1702: So, Manchester City remain top of the Premier League... but still only on goal difference above neighbours United. Care to rule Tottenham, Arsenal or even Chelsea out of this title race? Not me.
pleigh89 on Twitter:
"Absolutely stunned but over the moon with that last gasp Sunderland goal... that Blackburn defeat yesterday doesn't seem bad now!"
Mark Wigglesworth on Twitter:
"Shocked at #safc win over #mcfc. It was just offside but it keeps the top of the table interesting for us neutrals!"
Alex Brunning on Twitter:
"What a crazy weekend of football! Great for the neutral though, anyone want to place bets on the title race now??"
1658: I was worried about 2012 earlier today, but it looks like it is going to carry on where 2011 left off, full of crazy scenes and late twists. Expect the unexpected seems to be the theme of this Premier League season.
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: "Such excitement. Sunderland gave everything. Manchester City took too many risks at the end and Martin O'Neill's side got their reward. Lee Cattermole was magnificent."
1653: FULL-TIME Sunderland 1-0 Man City
Sunderland goal: This is unbelievable. Sunderland have defended for their lives all day but they have snatched three points at the death. Stephane Sessegnon slides in Ji Dong-Won, who is offside, but is allowed to turn and round Joe Hart before slotting home. You could not make it up.
1651: Incredible. There were only 10 seconds left.
1650: GOALFLASH Sunderland 1-0 Man City (Ji Dong-Won)
1649: This will be a triumph of Sunderland's organisation and work-rate if they do hold out. They might even nick all three points when Stephane Sessegnon breaks forward, but he is crowded out.
1646: There will be three minutes of added time at the Stadium of Light. It will seem like three hours for the home fans.
1647: Incredible. How did that stay out? Simon Mignolet pushes away David Silva's shot and Micah Richards, stooping to head the rebound, sends the ball bouncing on to the bar. It lands for a Sunderland defender, who hoofs clear. Silva's next shot is also collected by Mignolet, and it is still 0-0.
1644: City are camped in the Sunderland half now, but still the home defence is holding firm. Gareth Barry has a shot blocked and Lee Cattermole goes down injured in his own area. Some City players want to carry on, but Vincent Kompany puts the ball out so he can receive treatment.
From Tim in York via text: "If Sunderland hang on, cue the praise for Martin O'Neill. Rightly so too."
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: "Sunderland will get huge plusses from this game, no matter what the result is. It's all about performances and today Martin O'Neill has got a performance."
1640: Edin Dzeko must have had about a 100 efforts on goal today, but he is getting closer. This time he meets a David Silva cross at the near post, but sees his header fly wide. Sunderland have just made their final change, with Ahmed Elmohamady on for David Vaughan. Just seven minutes left for them to hang on.
1638: It's one-way traffic at the moment, but still no way through for City. Edin Dzeko has just blasted a hopeful effort a mile over the bar. Understandably, their fans are not singing "we'll score when we want" at the moment.
1636: Here's another Sunderland change, with Ji Dong-Won replacing Nicklas Bendtner up front for the last 12 minutes or so. Edin Dzeko goes up for a header in the Black Cats box, but he is under pressure from Matt Kilgallon and the ball spins wide.
1634: The shut-out continues. Edin Dzeko tries and fails to outpace the Sunderland defence, which is still working hard and doing its job brilliantly. Support arrives belatedly, but Dzeko can only find a red-and-white shirt. Chance gone.
1632: City try a more patient build-up this time, but to no avail. Jack Colback blocks Micah Richards, who fouls him trying to retrieve the ball.
1630: Pablo Zabaleta gets behind the home defence again, but this time Jack Colback puts his body in the way to block his shot from an inswinging Adam Johnson cross. City are throwing a lot of men forward now - Zabaleta and fellow full-back Micah Richards are pushing forward constantly from the wings.
Jack Willows on Twitter:
"If Sunderland can hang on, It'll be our "Get out of Jail Free" card after yesterday - From a United fan."
1627: All hands to the pump now for Sunderland, as City begin to find space behind their defence. Pablo Zabaleta's pull-back is blocked by Craig Gardner, and the Black Cats do enough to put off Sergio Aguero when he tries his luck from the edge of the area. Into the last 20 minutes, and it is still 0-0.
1625: Seb Larsson isn't happy at conceding a free-kick for a foul on Sergio Aguero, but replays showed he hauled the City striker back in the left-hand corner of the pitch. That's a booking too. City bring on Micah Richards for Aleksandar Kolarov before they send the ball across for Edin Dzeko to glance his header wide.
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: "Sunderland have had the best two chances of the game. Sessegnon got away from the defender so easily. He should have scored and it should be 1-0. You don't get many chances against City."
1623: What a chance for Sunderland! Stephane Sessegnon turns Vincent Kompany inside out on the edge of the box but his poked shot flies agonisingly wide of Joe Hart's far post. Martin O'Neill is doing somersaults on the touchline, because Sessegnon really should have scored there.
1618: The Black Cats do get a free-kick this time, though, when Vincent Kompany hauls down Nicklas Bendtner about 25 yards from City's goal. Seb Larsson is standing over this one... but he slams his shot straight into the wall.
1616: It's been a while since the last Sunderland attack, and Nicklas Bendtner is feeding on scraps at the moment. The Black Cats want a free-kick when Stephane Sessegnon goes to ground near the half-way line, but play continues and City should score when the ball breaks to Sergio Aguero in the box. But he scuffs his shot and Simon Mignolet turns it round his post.
1613: Still no joy for City, even when they get a bit of space in the final third. Pablo Zabaleta cuts in from the right and fires in a daisy-cutter that leaves his manager with his head in his hands. That's the cue for David Silva to make his appearance, replacing Samir Nasri for the visitors.
1610: Sunderland are still fighting tooth and nail in midfield and they are succeeding in frustrating City here. Which is probably why David Silva is about to come on for the visitors.
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: ""Roberto Mancini coming out early for the second half makes sense. Sometimes you just want a straightforward, simple message to give to your team, probably saying it wasn't good enough, and then you get out of the dressing room and let them get on with it."
1605: At the other end, Aleksandar Kolarov causes a few problems with his low cross that Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet has to hoof away at his near post. His defenders probably should have dealt with that.
1604: City start the half with a spell of possession but Sunderland are not just sitting back. James McClean's attempt at a cross ends with him skewing the ball just over Joe Hart's crossbar.
1602: Here we go then. The second half has just started - and Sergio Aguero is on for Nigel de Jong. David Silva is going to have to wait.
1559: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has come out before his players for the second half and has been signing autographs for Sunderland fans. He has just had a word with David Silva and Sergio Aguero, who have disappeared down the tunnel.
From anon, via text: "Spare a thought for my beloved Darlington FC as it looks like we've played our final game of our 128 years. An excellent performance from unpaid players, to lose 1-0 to Gateshead in stoppage time. Sums it all up!"
1555: David Silva and Sergio Aguero are BOTH warming up at half-time.
From Gav from Derry, via text: "Having watched James McClean for my local club Derry City for the last 4 years, I am not suprised that he doesn't look out of place here today."
1553: Well, Manchester City are still the only club not to have been behind at half-time in their Premier League matches this season but, given they have not managed a goal in their last game-and-a-half, I don't think they will be too satisfied. I wonder how long it will be before we see David Silva or Sergio Aguero introduced from the bench? Silva, in particular, is being missed a bit here.
Sunderland 0-0 Man City Alistair Magowan's HT snapshot: "A good start by Sunderland and plenty of effort since, but Manchester City are just starting to gain momentum, and there is plenty to come from the bench."
1546: HALF-TIME Sunderland 0-0 Man City
1545: Just the one added minute at the end of the first half. Sunderland are looking to finish it on a high note too, with Craig Gardner flashing a shot a yard high and wide from the edge of the box.
homeless turtle on Twitter:
"If City don't win today, then Spurs have to be considered very serious, albeit still outside, title contenders."
1543: A rare bit of respite for Sunderland, as Nicklas Bendtner wins a free-kick in a dangerous position after shielding the ball well. David Vaughan swings it in, but Joe Hart is off his line to punch clear. About three minutes to go until the break, and we await the first goal.
1540: Adam Johnson and Craig Gardner do battle again, and the result is a free-kick to City near the left-hand corner of the area. Samir Nasri is behind it and there are plenty of men in the box, but instead he plays it sideways to Aleksandar Kolarov. His shot was easily blocked, and that was a bit of a waste.
1539: City have stepped things up a notch and they are enjoying all the possession at the moment. They are finding ways through the home defence now too. Adam Johnson outfoxes Craig Gardner and bends in a dangerous cross which Simon Mignolet needs two attempts to deal with.
1534: So close... City's best spell of the game is almost rewarded as Edin Dzejo's shot shaves the woodwork. The Bosnian meets the ball after a corner is half-cleared but, after a lovely touch, his shot is a fraction too high. Samir Nasri and Adam Johnson have switched flanks as the visitors continue to try to open Sunderland up.
1531: Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet is called into action for the first time, blocking Edin Dzeko's shot from point-blank range following clever play by Adam Johnson on the right-hand side of the area. City keep the pressure up and Samir Nasri fires in a low shot that Craig Gardner has to hack clear. Not sure if that was heading in, but good defending all the same.
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: "The key for Sunderland is Cattermole, Vaughan and Larsson in midfield. They are winning the battle in there at moment and they need to keep that up."
1530: Another, er, optimistic effort from Stephane Sessegnon, this time from the edge of the box. He received the ball from a throw-in, and that is the end result of his shot too.
1529: I've been impressed by Sunderland's stand-in full-backs so far. Craig Gardner is getting forward well down the right and Jack Coback is keeping Adam Johnson quiet down the left.
Glyn Martin on Twitter:
"Given Sunderland's defence is held together by spit, sellotape and elbow grease. They are doing a good job."
1527: Matt Kilgallon is coming on for the stricken Wes Brown, who has a groin injury. This is the first action of the season for the former Leeds defender.
1526: Luckily for the Black Cats, the play is down the other end of the pitch at the moment. Craig Gardner drives in a cross from the right and Stephane Sessegnon goes for a spectacular overhead kick. He misses the ball completely.
1524: This doesn't look good for Sunderland. Wes Brown shepherds the ball out of play as Adam Johnson chases it, and then immediately signals to the bench. Looks like he has tweaked something, and he cannot continue.
1522: Not too many goals around in 2012 are there? Twenty minutes gone and it is still 0-0 at the Stadium of Light, where the midfield is getting very congested. It's not just Edin Dzeko who is isolated - since spurning that golden chance, Nicklas Bendtner has not had a sniff.
From Josh in Glasgow, via text: "I've been looking forward to seeing James McClean, hopefully he can flourish. Youngsters can tend to be fearless in these games and why not, he's got nothing to lose."
Former England boss Steve McClaren at the Stadium of Light on Radio 5 live: "Sunderland have started well here and Martin O'Neill will be pleased. They are well disciplined and organised and have forced Manchester City to play long balls, which has left Edin Dzeko isolated."
1514: The visitors' first sight of goal follows shortly aftewards. Yaya Toure runs on to a slipped pass into the box but misses the ball completely with his attempt at a snap-shot. Still, a warning for Sunderland.
1513: City catch Sunderland napping from a short corner, and that allows Adam Johnson the chance to curl in a shot that brushes the top of the net. Signs that the Premier League leaders are coming to life.
1509: That Sunderland defence might be makeshift but they have not had too much work to do so far. The Black Cats have enjoyed the better of the opening 10 minutes, and City are still feeling their way into this game.
WJ_Farrell on Twitter:
"Actually backed Sunderland to pull off an upset until I'd seen the makeshift back four, now I'm worried about a City rout."
1507: Our first booking of the game goes to Nigel de Jong. Lee Cattermole nips in to dispossess the City midfielder, who sends him flying. Kevin Friend does not take long to reach for his book.
1504: It was a cracking diagonal through-ball from Stephane Sessegnon that sent Nicklas Bendtner free, and Sunderland have continued their encouraging opening. James McClean looks up from 20 yards out and drills in a low strike that brings another decent stop out of Joe Hart.
1502: No slow start here! A great early chance for Sunderland, who break quickly from a corner... and Nicklas Bendtner is clean through. Some great goalkeeping from Joe Hart comes to City's rescue, standing up and forcing the Dane wide before smothering his eventual shot.
1501: Manchester City get us under way. Give this page a manual refresh and you can listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.
From Jonny in Thrapston, via text: "Martin O'Neill has improved things at Sunderland, but don't get carried away: wins over Blackburn and QPR aren't exactly headlines. A win today would change that mind!"
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill on full debutant and Northern Irish midfielder James McClean: "He is an exciting talent. He's come on a couple of times as a substitute and he has electrified the place, particularly against Blackburn Rovers. It's still a big task for him, but he's willing and he has no fear."
1455: The players are in the tunnel at the Stadium of Light. Interesting to see the two keepers, Simon Mignolet and Joe Hart, sharing a joke. Even the referee Kevin Friend is laughing.
From Poncho Pete of Peckham, via text: "Re 1347. I do approve of Andros Townsend, but Leeds will need more big signings to get back in promotion contention with the likes of Snodgrass and Howson injured... time to put proper money into players and not executive boxes Ken!"
chickinn on Twitter:
"City team selection keeping liverpool in mind. Will we see another AJ 30 yard strike. This guy deserves more first team."
spdoran on Twitter:
"Brown has done as much for Utd this season than he has for SAFC. He and O'Shea are struggling at the minute."
mattharding007 on Twitter:
"So Sunderland win by 7 goals and Utd go top! Come on Brown and O'Shea - do it for your ex-team mates!"
Everton boss David Moyes on his side's last-gasp victory over West Brom: "There were very few chances. We were quite brave, we put a couple of forwards on and it paid dividends. That was Victor Anichebe's first time out, he's not even had a reserve game. He's a big time player because of what he can do and what he brings to us. It was always going to take a mistake or a wonder goal."
1444: I'm a bit disappointed that we won't see Mario Balotelli in action today. After all, 2012 is going to be HIS year (as much to do with what he gets up to off the pitch as what he does on it, obviously). But he is at the Stadium of Light and I can report he is wearing the biggest pair of diamond ear studs you have ever seen. He has, however, left
his chicken hat at home.
greggles97 on Twitter:
"Looking at Sunderland team makes you wonder why Fergie sold Brown & O'Shea. Could use their experience with all those injuries."
West Brom boss Roy Hodgson on his side's late defeat by Everton: "I don't think we played very well to be honest. Everton didn't have to do too much to keep us out so 0-0 would have been a satisfactory result. Losing 1-0 feels a bit like being mugged especially as we were the people behind our own downfall."
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini on Manchester United's shock defeat by Blackburn on New Year's Eve: "I think that it was a good result for us. It shows the Premier League is very strong and every game is difficult and today will be very hard. We start this game on the top and we want to stay there, but usually this game is very difficult because we have never won here. We made the changes to the team because we play two games in 48 hours, it's impossible to play with the same players. We don't have any injuries."
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"3 - Manchester City haven't won any of their last three Premier League away games. Stumble."
SUNDERLAND v MAN CITY TEAM NEWS Alistair Magowan reports: "Sunderland make four changes to the team which drew with Everton. Simon Mignolet starts in goal with Craig Gardner, Jack Colback and James McClean (on his full debut) replacing the ill Kieran Richardson, and the injured Phil Bardsley and Titus Bramble. Manchester City make six changes with Tuesday's game with Liverpool in mind. David Silva and Sergio Aguero are on the bench, so Edin Dzeko starts up front on his own. Mario Balotelli travelled with the team but is not involved."
SUNDERLAND v MAN CITY (1500 BST) Alistair Magowan reports: "Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has overseen two wins and a draw in four games since taking charge but says his team have yet to start fizzing with belief. 'The confidence is good, but until you win a substantial number of football matches, I always feel that it can be a bit brittle,' he said."
liverbuddy on Twitter:
"After yesterdays results I'd have thought Man C would be wary of complacency? that team selection is not giving Sunderland respect!"
Sunderland v Man City line-ups Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Brown, Colback, McClean, Cattermole, Vaughan, Larsson, Bendtner, Sessegnon. Subs: Carson, Kilgallon, Elmohamady, Ji, Meyler, Noble, Laing. Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Kolarov, Johnson, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Barry, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Clichy, Savic, Milner, Silva, Aguero. Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
SUNDERLAND v MAN CITY (1500 BST) Alistair Magowan reports: "Blackburn's shock win over Manchester United showed that the Premier League title race will feature the odd hiccup as the main rivals turn for home in 2012. City will want to avoid any hangover from the recent goalless draw with West Brom and re-open a gap at the top of the table, particularly as this game marks the first of five in 16 days. Sunderland will have studied that Boxing Day game at the Hawthorns with interest."
1426: It wasn't a thriller, admittedly, but at least the first Premier League game of 2012 did have a late twist. Everton's win means they leapfrog West Brom and go ninth in the table. I'm sure I'm not alone for hoping for some more prolonged entertainment from the Stadium of Light, though?
1425: BREAKING SUNDERLAND TEAM NEWS: The Black Cats are without goalkeeper Keiran Westwood, so Simon Mignolet comes in. Kieran Richardson, Phil Bardsley and Titus Bramble are all missing too.
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"53% - Everton have now scored 53% of their Premier League goals this season (10 of 19) in the closing 15 minutes of games. Perky."
TomGriffin10 on Twitter:
"Anichebe is extremely underrated, he has great strength and a lethal finish! Should play more for Everton."
1422: FULL-TIME West Brom 0-1 Everton
1421: The TV pictures have just shown Baggies boss Roy Hodgson repeatedly smacking his head against an advertising hoarding. West Brom fans will know exactly how he feels. It's been a frustating afternoon for them all.
1420: There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this one, and we have already played two of them. To make matters worse for West Brom, Chris Brunt is limping off. Graham Dorrans will see out the last few seconds for the Baggies.
1417: That was Victor Anichebe's first Premier League goal since March 2010. But by Everton's standards, that is prolific.
SaintStu19 on Twitter:
"Dream comeback for Anichebe! Maybe he can be the one to start getting goals for Everton, poacher in the box!"
1416: We are into the final minute of the 90. Quite a few West Brom fans are heading for the exits.
Everton goal: A cracking finish by Victor Anichebe, for his first goal of the season and our first goal of 2012, but Everton have some terrible defending by Paul Scharner to thank for their latest last-gasp strike. Scharner headed Tony Hibbert's cross back across goal and Anichebe was in the right place to pounce from close range.
1413: GOALFLASH West Brom 0-1 Everton (Victor Anichebe)
1412: ... Chris Brunt takes it, as you would expect. Everton hold out easily, thanks to a powerful clearing header by Denis Stracqualursi.
1411: We are into the last six minutes of what has been an extremely poor match and we have just seen our first booking. Leighton Baines, who felt he was fouled by Jerome Thomas a few seconds earlier, clips the heels of Shane Long... and West Brom have a free-kick about 25 yards out...
1410: Two things to tell you about from The Hawthorns. First, Victor Anichebe's dangerous cross-shot was well dealt with by young Baggies defender Craig Dawson. then Tim Cahill almost crocked himself when he went up for a header. He seems to be alright now though.
AndrewDLR on Twitter:
"What an utterly dull, uninspiring, prosaic, mundane start to Premier League football in 2012!"
1407: BREAKING MAN CITY TEAM NEWS City rest Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and David Silva. Nigel de Jong and Edin Dzeko start as does Adam Johnson. Sunderland news and full line-ups to follow.
1406: Peter Odemwingie has a pop from an impossible angle, and the result is predictably disappointing. The Baggies have now had 10 shots on goal today - and none of them have been on target.
1404: A brief flash of quality by Everton substitute Denis Stracqualursi, who beats two defenders as he weaves in from the left byline... before passing straight to a West Brom player in front of goal. In answer to my question at 1353, no, the Toffees are not going for the three points. I think David Moyes will be very happy with one.
1401: Did I say this game was improving? It's not. West Brom hoist a couple of deep free-kicks towards the Everton goal. The first is cleared as far as James Morrison, who smacks his half-volley over. Nickey Shorey takes the second, and smashes it straight out of play.
1359: Pop quiz: who has got the best left foot, Chris Brunt or Leighton Baines? Brunt has just bent in a delicious cross, which Baggies striker Shane Long could not make the most of. Baines then sends in another corner, which is too deep for all of his Everton team-mates. They all ran to the near post, which suggests they got their wires crossed.
A_Millward on Twitter:
"Following a weekend of shocks I fully expect Tony Hibbert to pop up with a 90 minute winner."
dylanspursterry on Twitter:
"Re 1347. I'd make a lot of Townsend signing if I was a Leeds fan. I've watched him as a Spurs supporter and he is very good indeed."
anyranson on Twitter:
"Struggling to see why Everton sold Yakubu, and didn't replace Arteta. I reckon it could cost them."
1355: Those Everton changes almost have an instant impact as Leon Osman drives at the Baggies backline. His shot is blocked but the ball falls for Magaye Gueye, to drive in a low shot that Ben Foster does well to deal with.
OldKingClancey on Twitter:
"During 10 years in charge David Moyes has a net spend of 20 million pounds, so that's one Stuart Downing then..."
1353: It's change o'clock for Everton as David Moyes brings on Denis Stracqualursi and Victor Anichebe, replacing Louis Saha and Phil Neville. Are they belatedly going for this? I guess we are about to find out. Less than 25 minutes left, and it is still 0-0.
1350: Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin do enough to stop Chris Brunt getting a shot in after he latches on to a clipped ball into the Everton box. Paul Scharner does find space to let fly, from a bit further out, but his shot fizzes a couple of yards over Tim Howard's bar.
1349: Everton are still defending solidly, but they are not offering much at the other end. The left foot of Leighton Baines remains their best attacking outlet.
1347: This game is looking a bit more promising and I have a bit of transfer news to tell you about too. Leeds have completed the signing of 20-year-old Tottenham winger Andros Townsend on loan until the end of the season. Poncho of Peckham, who texted in earlier, will probably approve.
1345: This time the Baggies have a pop from distance, when Chris Brunt blasts over from 25 yards or so. Everton decide to make their first change - Jack Rodwell is off and Magaye Gueye is on. Gueye takes a matter of seconds to try his luck, but his shot from long range wasn't a very good one.
1342: More Baggies pressure. The ball breaks for Peter Odemwingie on the edge of the box and it takes a decent block from Johnny Heitinga to deflect his shot wide. Everton clear the resulting corner, but they are definitely on the back foot here.
From anon, via text: "I think people need to appreciate the job David Moyes has done for Everton. The fact they're still in the premier league after ten years (and 11th on the league!) with such little money spent is quite staggering."
ertt on Twitter:
"If Everton keep up their patience and their good work in WBA's half, goals will come. Esp with firepower on bench."
1339: West Brom are looking a lot brighter already. Maybe they thought it was a 1330 GMT kick-off? Anyway, Everton might have to dig in here, and Phil Jagielka slides in to stop Peter Odemwingie's pass reaching Shane Long, then gets up to clear the danger. Good defending.
1335: That stat almost smacks me in the face straight away. Peter Odemwingie runs on to Paul Scharner's header, holds off Sylvain Distin... and he is through on goal. Odemwingie makes a right mess of his finish, though, lashing wildly at the bouncing ball and blazing it over the bar. That was West Brom's best chance of the day by a long way, but he wasted it.
1332: We might have to wait a bit longer for our first goal of 2012, though. Everton are the only club in this season's Premier League yet to concede a goal in the 15 minutes immediately after half-time.
1332: The Baggies get us back under way.
1331: The players emerge for the second half at The Hawthorns. If you are only just joining us after a heavy night of celebrations, then don't worry - you haven't missed a thing.
1330: Let's not write off this game just yet folks. Looking on the bright side, things can only get better. They can't get much worse...
OptaJoe on Twitter:
"7 - Everton have now failed to score a first half goal in each of their last seven Premier League games. Sluggish."
From anon, via text: "The Everton fan who mentioned Everton need a playmaker?? Yep that was Mikel Arteta! Everytime you get a player with any talent you sell him on, so what's the point! Yakubu was another one... The Premier League's most prolific selling club: EFC."
West Brom 0-0 Everton Jonathan Smith's HT snapshot: "Not a terrific start to 2012. Stray passing, wayward shooting and a lack of a cutting edge from either side, things can only get better."
animated_j on Twitter:
"Watching West Brom vs. Everton and the sloppy passing and slow tempo would suggest that this match is plagued with hangovers."
1316: HALF-TIME West Brom 0-0 Everton
1314: Hmmm, at least Everton have got a tactic in the final third. West Brom just haven't got going at all yet, to be honest. Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie have not seen much of the ball, apart from that early headed chance for Long, and their most lively player has been Jerome Thomas. He goes down under a challenge on the edge of the box but referee Stuart Attwell waves away appeals for free-kick. Replays show Sylvain Distin did get the ball.
1311: Tim Cahill tries to liven things up by trying to head the ball when it was an inch off the ground. James Morrison promptly kicks him in the head (accidentally, I should add). It's been that sort of game so far to be honest. Five minutes to go until the break, and still 0-0.
1308: Another Everton chance! Guess who was behind it? Yes, Leighton Baines. He sent over another corner from the right, which Jack Rodwell got on the end of, but could only glance his header wide. Rodwell should have done better there.
From Dave Worrall, via text: "Last night Big Ben heralded a good year for the Baggies with 12 boings. Even the government's a Baggies fan."
From anon via text: "Everton need a playmaker as much as they need a striker. All moves lack a spark, someone to turn and pass in behind the defence."
1305: Forget New Year's Day, this is more like Groundhog Day. Leighton Baines keeps hoisting set-pieces into the Baggies box, in what appears to be Everton's only real tactic in the final third. His latest delivery reaches Phil Jagielka but, like Louis Saha, his effort flies a long way off target.
1303: I'd almost forgotten what a chance looked like but this was definitely a half-decent one. A Leighton Baines free-kick eventually drops for Louis Saha inside the box. Will he snaffle it up? Nope, he snatches at his shot and scuffs it a mile wide.
srgcl17 on Twitter:
"No creativity in either side makes for a boring and frustrating game of football."
1300: Leighton Baines again sends the corner across, and this time Ben Foster does punch clear. This is a decent spell by Everton, but after half an hour of play we have a definite lack of goals - and excitement - in this game.
1259: Another Everton corner. Will Ben Foster cope any better with this one? We don't get to find out. Leighton Baines swings it in and the Baggies just cannot get it clear. The ball falls for Baines again, and his shot is deflected over.
Adam9309 on Twitter:
"Billy Jones is a special little player. Don't be surprised to see big clubs sniffing around him this month..."
LobbanJam on Twitter:
"This game has 0-0 written all over it. Two defensive minded teams. Set pieces WILL decide this game."
1255: Hang on, because things just got a little bit more interesting. Ben Foster struggles to deal with Louis Saha's hooked near-post flick from a corner and can only punch it as far as Jack Rodwell, who smashes it goalwards from near the penalty spot... forcing a decent block from the West Brom keeper, who had recovered his position well.
1252: Ah, here's a couple of stats which might explain the lack of openings at The Hawthorns so far... West Bromwich Albion have scored just seven goals in Premier League home matches this season, the fewest of the 20 clubs. And Everton are the worst first half team in this season's Premier League, leading only twice at the break, and netting just five first half goals. You would not really describe either side as 'The Great Entertainers'.
1250: Better by the Baggies, firstly with Chris Brunt finding Shane Long in the box... but he cannot quite direct his header on target. Then James Morrison surges into the area, but his run is ended by some excellent defending by Johnny Heitinga, with the Everton defender expertly nudging him off the ball.
1247: Not much goalmouth action so far but we have seen a LOT of misplaced passes from both teams and Tim Cahill has just given us a contender for 'worse cross of the year'. He sliced it out of play horribly by the near post.
From Dan in Mansfield via text: "Re MShaique at 1230. Are you kidding? Hodgson owes you nothing. The treatment he received from the LFC fans was nothing short of disgraceful."
1242: Around 13 minutes gone at The Hawthorns and we are still waiting for our first chance of the New Year, let alone our first goal. If I was going to sum up this game in one word, I'd say 'cagey'. Saha is fine by the way.
1240: Louis Saha and Craig Dawson tangle as they fight for a high ball on the halfway line, and it is the Everton striker who comes out worse. He is currently getting treatment. Saha is yet to be injured in 2012, so let's hope that lasts just a little bit longer...
1238: The Baggies are defending deep, but then they always do, don't they? Everton are not exactly pouring forward themselves but they have a chance to launch the ball into the home side's box when Billy Jones brings down Tim Cahill. They do just that... but Chris Brunt is able to clear.
1235: West Brom come forward with intent for the first time. A neat passing move ends with Jerome Thomas crossing for Nicky Shorey running in at the back post, but he cannot direct his header goalwards.
1232: Everton appear to be playing in a 4-3-3 formation, with Leon Osman pushing up on the right. Not much action to speak of in the opening couple of minutes, apart from a long throw from Phil Neville which bounced all the way through to Ben Foster. That doesn't count as an effort on goal though.
1230: The first Premier League game of 2012 is now under way. This is 11th (WBA) vs 12th (Everton), so I'm expecting this to be tight. I'm usually wrong, mind.
1227: Right then, The players emerge from the tunnel at The Hawthorns, which means kick-off is oooh, moments away. Everton are playing in yellow shirts today, a slightly different shade to the match-ball.
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson speaking just before kick-off at The Hawthorns: "We should be going into this game with a great deal of confidence but the Premier League has a habit of knocking that confidence out of you."
1215: Here's your first stat of 2012, courtesy of
and I don't think it is going to provide much New Year cheer for Everton fans. This is their 11th Premier League match on New Year's Day. No other club has played more than nine but it isn't usually a happy day for the Toffees as they have lost seven of these matches and won only twice.
WEST BROM v EVERTON (1230 BST) Jonathan Smith reports:West Brom manager Roy Hodgson won't get carried away despite lifting the Baggies to 11th in the Premier League. "The league is so topsy-turvy it would be foolish to start saying: 'Look how far we've come,'" he insists. Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes is hoping the Toffees get their traditional second half of the season surge saying: "The first half of the seasons have always been tough for us but there is no guarantee that in the second half of this season we will do what we have done in the other ones - we have to prove that."
SaintStu19 on Twitter:
"It's going to be a Happy New Year, as #SaintsFC make the move into the Premiership and England win Euro 2012!"
From Poncho of Peckham, via text: "Re 1155. No rush on the transfer window Chris? Think Leeds fans will massively disagree. Unfortunately Ken Bates probably won't... "
WEST BROM v EVERTON TEAM NEWS Jonathan Smith reports: "West Brom are forced into two changes with defender Craig Dawson making his first start since September in place of Jonas Olsson while James Morrison replaces Youssouf Mulumbu. For Everton, Royston Drenthe makes way for fit-again Jack Rodwell in midfield.
From Mike from Manchester, via text: "Happy New Year Everyone! Great end to 2011 for us Man City fans! I'd like 3 points today and maybe a cheeky move for a centre half! Thiago Silva anyone??"
WEST BROM v EVERTON (1230 BST) Jonathan Smith reports: "2012 kicks off at the Hawthorns and West Brom will hope to start the New Year just as they ended the last after a run of three wins before becoming the first side to shutout leaders Manchester City. In contrast, Everton are struggling for goals, scoring just three times in their last five games and can't call upon American loan signing Landon Donovan, who is ineligible.
1202: So, is 2012 going to be a happy New Year for you and your team? Or a horrible one? Let me know. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK).
1159: If you want to check out who might be moving, and where, then you are in luck. BBC Sport has put together a list of the
top 50 most likely January transfer targets.
Apparently there are some Premier League clubs in for Corinthians Alagoano centre-back Ewerton. Can one of them be Everton, please?
1155: A New Year equals a new start, right? For some players it definitely does... As I'm sure you're aware, the January transfer window swung open just under 12 hours ago, meaning we have a month of frenzied transfer activity ahead of us. Not much has happened this morning, to be fair, but there's no rush is there?
1142 GMT: Good morning (just about) and, er, welcome to 2012. Can you think of a better way to start the New Year (and get rid of your hangover) than with a double dose of Premier League action? Nope, me neither...
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