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Page last updated at 19:03 GMT, Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sunday football as it happened


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By Chris Bevan

1858: Right, that's a wrap. Thanks for keeping me company over the last few hours. Don't forget you can see highlights of both of today's games on Match of the Day 2 at 2200 GMT (on BBC Two and this website in the UK), and make sure you join Tom Rostance for Wigan-Man City on Monday. Me? I will see you on Tuesday night for a lorry-load of FA Cup replay action. Cheerio for now.

patfenelon6 on Twitter: "Swansea deserved their win, play brilliant football and have found a system to suit Sinclair, Dyer and Graham."

OptaJoe on Twitter: "1 - Swansea City are now the only side against whom Thierry Henry has played in the Premier League but not scored. Singular."

1845: And a transfer tit-bit for you good folk too. Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers has just confirmed that highly-rated Chelsea teenager Josh McEachran is joining the Welsh club on loan for the rest of the season. I think he will fit in nicely too. Rodgers, a former youth-team coach at Stamford Bridge, is clearly making use of his contacts at his old club.

1841: There is one more game to look forward to in this round of Premier League fixtures. The top side, Manchester City, go to the bottom side, Wigan, on Monday night. And, the way this crazy season is going, the Latics will probably win 8-6.

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From Matt, Bolton fan, via text: "Re 1818. It's not looking good for Lancashire."

Alfskiii on Twitter: "Arsene Wenger is such a Baaaa-d loser."

QuesoB150 on Twitter: "Re 1818. Had a bet with a QPR fan that Swansea would stay up, wish I could say I predicted this though. Brilliant from Swansea."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on his side's defeat by Swansea: "I still don't understand where the referee found the penalty [for Swansea's equaliser], then we defensively made some mistakes that we should not have done. When it was back at 2-2 we knew we could score a third but it was important not to make a mistake. But in the last games we have made mistakes that are difficult to explain. It is unbelievable, it happened at Fulham the same and again today."

1832: Time for some stats, as we near the end of another thrillng day of top flight action. Did you know today's loss at Swansea was Arsenal's 100th Premier League defeat under Arsene Wenger? You do now. As for QPR, they fielded their oldest ever starting line-up in the Premier League era, averaging 31 years and 71 days old and breaking the club record set earlier this season at Norwich City (30 years 140 days). It was 17 days per man short of the PL season record held by Fulham.

Full time
FULL-TIME Swansea 3-2 Arsenal
Mike Henson reports: "Swansea turn conventional wisdom on its head as Premier League aristocrats Arsenal are suckered by the Welsh side's pretty passing and clever runs."

Full time
FULL-TIME Newcastle 1-0 QPR
Owen Phillips reports: "QPR were predictably sparky under new manager Mark Hughes and will feel aggrieved they didn't get a draw, having created four or five excellent chances. But a moment of pure class by Leon Best was all Newcastle needed to take the points."

1826: A good day for Wales, and a bad day for a former Wales manager. Here's a reminder of what happened in today's Premier League games...

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers after his side's impressive win over Arsenal: "The journey we have been on in the last 18 months is incredible. The players were brilliant and I am very proud. We did not start great and defensively at times we were not at our best but we have got to respect we were playing against top players. They took their early goal well but our response was incredible. Our style is something that we all inherently believe in and, importantly, we have all had success with it. I have a great belief that we can play and pass, even against the best teams. The ball did not need to be put in an ice bucket today because both teams wanted to pass the ball properly."

reddhott77 on Twitter: "A Welsh team is playing the best football in the English Premier League."

1818: Now, I know QPR lost today and are in the relegation zone but, given Mark Hughes has taken over and has money to spend this month, I think there is a very good chance that all three promoted teams are staying up this year. As they might say on the Gower, Norwich and Swansea are looking very tidy, aren't they?

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Arsenal fan in Bedford, via text:"I hope Arsenal don't qualify for the Champions League this season. First of all they don't deserve it but also because it might make Wenger realise he needs a complete overhaul of the squad."

From Tom in Manchester, via text: "Norwich and Swansea in the top half, what a breath of fresh air! Two real teams, no primadonnas. Best of luck to them."

1810: Here's an update on Thierry Henry Bingo. Those of you who called him to score the winner after coming on in the 63rd minute almost got it right. Almost. He got an 'assist' instead, because he gave the ball away for Swansea's winner. By the way, the David Graham I was thinking of is the old Torquay striker. I have no idea why he is in my head...

Swansea forward Nathan Dyer, who won the penalty for his side's first goal and scored their second, after their thrilling win over Arsenal: "It was a clear penalty, the Arsenal player caught my standing leg. A result like this gives us massive confidence. We showed we can match one of the best sides in the Premier League at their style of play."

From J, via text: "Wenger complains teams never engage Arsenal in a game of football, but any time it happens their defensive frailties are all too obvious. Well played Swans."

From Keiran in Liverpool, via text: "That game just goes to show that you dont need to play like Stoke to beat the the big boys. Well done Swansea, brilliant display!"

Arsenal fan Dazza_Flatt on Twitter: "Well we got exactly what we deserved from that game... Nothing!! Shocking performance!"

ErnestHemingMay on Twitter: "Swansea are the most entertaining promoted team in years. Infinitely more so than Blackpool."

monsieurwpayne on Twitter: "Exhilarating match. Swansea are fantastic to watch and putting the top six to complete and utter shame. Good job The Swans!"

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "I do not think anybody outside of Swansea would have given the home team much of a chance today but they have deserved it, they have passed the ball brilliantly and defended really, really well against an excellent team."

1756: What a game that was. Full of thrills, spills, great passing moves and some superb finishes. Swansea take the points, and move up into 10th in the table. I need to go for a lie down.

Full time
1754: FULL-TIME Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal

1753: Leroy Lita is coming on for Swansea, replacing Danny Graham. Lita's a striker by the way, but that just sums them up. It's all hands to the pump in the Swans' defence at the moment - this pressure from Arsenal is immense but the home side are holding out.

1751: We will have four minutes of stoppage time. Here come Arsenal again.

1748: Arsenal are getting closer, but stll no joy. Tomas Rosicky forces a great stop from Michel Vorm, who claws away his drive before recovering to keep out Laurent Koscielny's follow-up. The fact Koscielny is up there shows how many men Arsenal are pushing forward now.

1746: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets forward down the left for Arsenal and finds Tomas Rosicky with a deep cross. Rosicky has time to take a touch but goes for the spectacular, blasting his volley high and wide. We are into the last two minutes of the 90, and Swansea stil lead 3-2.

From JB, via text: "Are Swansea showing some of that attacking intent people have been asking for? Looks like they are proving a point. That they intend to stay in this league."

1742: Swansea's turn to make a substitution. Bringing on another defender, perhaps? Nope. Nathan Dyer, who has had a very good game, is coming off, to be replaced by another forward-thinking player in Wayne Routledge.

1739: There is absolutely no sign of Swansea trying to close this out. I don't think they know how to. Their best form of defence seems to be attack and another neat move almost brings them a fourth goal. Danny Graham has room to have a pop himself inside the box, but elects to try and find Angel Rangel, who is running into the area, instead. Arsenal hack it clear.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "Theo Walcott makes a great run for his goal but defensively Swansea were all over the place. For the Swansea equaliser what a brilliant finish by Danny Graham from a really tight angle, but I do not know what the keeper was doing. He should have come off his line and cleared. This is unbelievable stuff here at the Liberty Stadium."

1735: Arsenal make their final change. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is on for Per Mertesacker.

1734: More goals in this one? It seems that way. Per Mertesacker should really have put Arsenal level again when the ball dropped to him in front of goal from a corner. Instead he skewed it horribly wide. Still, Arsenal are pouring forward now, as you would expect with them trailing with 14 minutes left.

Swansea goal: I may as well pose the same question - what happened to the Arsenal defence? Gylfi Sigurdsson releases Danny Graham, who lives up to his goal-grabbing reputation by beating Wojciech Szczesny with a cool angled finish. And no, I don't know who David Graham is either... the Swans are back in front, though.

Arsenal goal: Er, what happened to the Swansea defence? Johan Djourou bursts forward and sends Theo Walcott galloping clear... And for once he provides the finish, dinking a delightful shot over the onrushing Michel Vorm. Arsenal are level, or rather they WERE level because you know what happed next.

1729: GOALFLASH Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal (Danny Graham)

1728: GOALFLASH Swansea City 2-2 Arsenal (Theo Walcott)

1726: There are about 25 minutes left at the Liberty Stadium. The nearest Arsenal have come to an equaliser is a speculative low shot from long range by Tomas Rosicky. The Gunners are seeing more of the ball at the moment, but they need to do more with it in the final third. A lot more.

notmyipod on Twitter: "Thought Dyer had lost the chance after his first touch but that was a great finish."

1724: Swansea have not stopped working hard since they scored, and they are still making Arsenal defend rather than think about a reply. By the way, I were Aaron Ramsey I would be worried about completing my 'hat-trick'. An own-goal would cap his day, wouldn't it?

1723: Here he comes. Thierry Henry is on for Andrey Arshavin. Who had '63' in Thierry Bingo? Oh, and Tomas Rosicky is on for Yossi Benayoun too.

1720: Thierry Henry is getting ready to come on for Arsenal. Looks like we might be looking at an equaliser rather than a winner for today's salvage job.

Swansea goal: If ever anyone deserved a goal today, it's this man. Joe Allen nicks the ball off his Welsh captain Aaron Ramsey - who also gave away Swansea's penalty of course - and slides Nathan Dyer clear near the edge of the area. Dyer's first touch is heavy but he recovers his composure to fire past the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny as the Gunners defence try and fail to make up ground.

1717: GOALFLASH Swansea City 2-1 Arsenal (Nathan Dyer)

medsta on Twitter: "Re 1657. 69min and yes of course"

From Anon, via text:"Re 1657. 81st minute; yes; but won't be the winner, will be to earn a draw."

lil_wizard123 on Twitter: "64, Yes. Henry's goal coming in the 75th minute, if you must know."

1713: Swansea go close again, with Joe Allen's fierce drive whistling past Wojciech Szczesny's post. Then Laurent Koscielny has to mop up when Nathan Dyer looks to run on to Angel Rangel's lofted pass. Arsenal are having to dig in a bit here.

Darren__B on Twitter: "Never a penalty. Ramsey's lucky his leg wasn't snapped. Looked a stone-waller on first viewing though it has to be said."

From Tom, Arsenal fan, via text:"Definitely not a penalty, but don't think the stamp was intentional. Should've just played on."

1710: Swansea were never going to be quiet for long, though. Nathan Dyer continues to impress and fizzes in a dangerous low cross from the right which is put behind for a corner. When that is half-cleared, Dyer picks up the ball again near the opposite flank and flashes a rasping shot a fraction wide. Unlucky.

From Matthew, via text:"Re 1657. I'm going 67 mins and yes."

1706: Arsenal come forward immediately from the restart and Theo Walcott should do better when Robin van Persie sends him clear. Walcott fails to find the target, though. The same can be said of Andrey Arshavin when he picks up the ball in space on the edge of the box, but he blazes woefully over the bar. Wasteful finishing from both of them.

1705: Arsenal get the second half under way. Swansea have made a change, with Gylfi Sigurdsson, on loan from Hoffenheim, on for Kemy Agustien.

From Nik in Liverpool, via text: "Re 1657. I'll go for 73 minutes and yes."

From Paul, via text: "Knew it wasn't a penalty - Dyer practically stamped on Ramsey. If the ref truly saw that then Dyer would be off in the current climate on fouls."

rioferdy5 on Twitter: "The kid Allen for Swansea looks very good every time I see him...him + Britton on same wavelength."

1657: Almost time for the second half. Shall we play Thierry Henry bingo? Guess the minute when the Arsenal legend comes off the bench... and whether he will score the winner. I'm going for '65' and 'no'. Tweet your predictions to the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

1655: I've been looking at Swansea's penalty again, and Aaron Ramsey is more than a little unlucky. Yes, he and Nathan Dyer come together, but it is more like Dyer making contact with him - the Swansea player accidentally catches Ramsey on his shin as he spins away from the Wales captain. It's a tangle rather than a trip (and definitely not a dive by the way) but did you lot think it was a penalty?

From Tom, Arsenal fan, via text: "Once again the game seems to be set up for Thierry Henry! Wouldn't be surprised to see another classic Thierry finish in the second half!"

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "It has been a great game. Arsenal look fantastic going forward but Swansea are coping really well. The Swans have got Leroy Lita and Luke Moore on the bench so they have players that can come on and make a difference."

Half time
Swansea 1-1 Arsenal
Mike Henson's HT snapshot:
"An intoxicating battle between two passing sides in South Wales with Swansea, growing in confidence, more than matching Arsenal at their own game."

Arsenal fan paulobuna on Twitter: "Can we swap nationalities for Walcott and Asharvin so that they can join Chamakh (at the Africa Cup of Nations). Wasteful and indecisive."

As Newcastle defender Davide Santon will testify, I am happy to have a go at this...

1647: HALF-TIME Swansea City 1-1 Arsenal

1646: There will be two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half, and we have about 30 seconds of it left.

1645: Arsenal have not threatened much of late, but they have a dangerous free-kick here on the left of the area, when Ignasi Miquel is pulled back. Andrey Arshavin whips it in, and Theo Walcott glances it goalwards, but it is easily dealt with by Michel Vorm.

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From Anon, via text: "Why does Wenger still refuse to play Oxlade-Chamberlain over Walcott? Walcott has never lived up to the hype. Gets pushed off the ball and can't cross for toffee. Oxlade-Chamberlain always seems to make a bigger impact when he does get a game."

1640: The sign of a good game? The time flies by - and there are only just over five minutes left until the break. It's still 1-1, and Swansea still look more likely, with Ashley Williams spraying a superb ball out to Nathan Dyer, wide on the right, and he cuts inside before shooting straight at Wojciech Szczesny.

1636: Nathan Dyer's pace is causing Arsenal's defence plenty of problems and his low cross forces a hurried clearance from Per Mertesacker with Danny Graham lurking. I've not seen too much of Graham so far today, but he is the sort of player who pops up with a goal when you least expect it.

From a jealous Wolves fan, via text: "You spoke earlier about the best non-title winning manager and suggested Alan Pardew and Paul Lambert. What about Brendan Rodgers? He's got his team playing wonderful football, you'd think they've been in the prem for years! Totally unafraid of any team they play."

1635: As well as their slick passing, Swansea have also got a useful tactic with Joe Allen's angled free-kicks from deep. Allen's latest delivery finds Steven Caulker to head it back across goal, and Arsenal again have to scramble clear. Caulker picked up a cut in the process, and has just come back on after getting himself cleaned up.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "Robin van Persie possibly should have scored but I would like to give credit for a good save. Michel Vorm has been an incredible find in the Swansea goal this season. Nobody mentions previous keeper Dorus De Vries."

1632: Swansea are still taking risks here, committing plenty of men forward. It means Arsenal are under a bit of pressure, but it also means they can threaten on the break.

1630: Out of nowhere, a great chance for Arsenal - because Ashley Williams has charged forward and left huge gaps in the Swansea defence. The Gunners really should capitalise, when Yossi Benayoun sends Robin van Persie running clear, but Michel Vorm is off his line to make a vital block.

mnene85 on Twitter: "Pinpoint accuracy! Sinclair, 4 penalties taken this season, all of which have been in the same corner (bottom right)."

1625: Swansea are still probing, and Per Mertesacker does well to head behind a dangerous cross by Neil Taylor at his near post. The Gunners half-clear the resulting corner but leave Scott Sinclair in acres of space when the ball is quickly played back into the area, and are a bit lucky he makes a mess of his cross - going for a high looping delivery that is far too deep.

1621: That equaliser has got the Swans fans singing, and their side seem to be back into their stride after their slow start. They are passing it around nicely at the moment, and also defending well when they need to.

1619: It's end-to-end stuff at the moment. Robin van Persie's deflected shot is picked up inside the box by Aaron Ramsey, who dribbles round Michel Vorm but finds the angle too tight for him to finish. Ashley Williams is on hand to hack his shot clear in any case.

Swansea goal: Since I wrote that last entry, Swansea have stepped things up... and they get their reward. Aaron Ramsey brings down Nathan Dyer as he turns away from him in the box and Scott Sinclair, Swansea's penalty-kick expert, steps up to beat Wojciech Szczesny from the spot. All-square again in Wales.

1617: GOALFLASH Swansea City 1-1 Arsenal (Scott Sinclair pen)


1613: Yep, Arsenal are pinning Swansea back and not letting them build anything from deep - reminds me a bit of that one-sided England win over Wales in Euro 2012 qualifying in Cardiff. Oh, and I meant to say - give this page a manual refresh and you can listen to live BBC Radio 5 live commentary from the Liberty Stadium.

campbellc66 on Twitter: "Top tactician Wenger. Playing high up the pitch to nullify Swansea's passing game. Great start for Arsenal."

1611: Swansea are a goal down and they look a little bit flustered to me. Their usual pretty passing patterns have not really been on show yet, although Scott Sinclair did almost slide Nathan Dyer clear just now. He got too much on his pass.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "Swansea have been excellent at home this season but Arsenal have had the perfect start here and can now settle down and let Swansea try to come at them."

Arsenal goal: Looks like Robin van Persie's holiday did him some good. The Dutchman, so potent in 2011, is off the mark in 2012. He latches on to Andrey Arshavin's through-ball, and delays his shot from a tightish angle, squeezing his shot between Michel Vorm and his near post. A cool and precise finish.

1605: GOALFLASH Swansea City 0-1 Arsenal (Robin van Persie)

1604: A sniff for Arsenal too, when Robin van Persie's glances the ball on for Theo Walcott, who is running into the box. Walcott's control lets him down, though, and the chance is gone.

1602: Swansea are first to threaten, with Kemy Agustien picking up the ball near the halfway line and charging forward... but he drags his shot wide. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, formerly of Cardiff, gets a predictable welcome from the home fans - his every touch is being heartily booed.

1601: Here we go then. Swansea get the game started.

1558: I wonder if the camera will show Thierry Henry's reaction on the bench every time Arsenal miss a chance today? That happened quite a lot at Emirates Stadium on Monday, especially when Andrey Arshavin was (repeatedly) trying his luck.

darrenrix on Twitter: "Swansea-Arsenal, a game every football fan will watch with joy!"

1556: The players are in the tunnel at the Liberty Stadium - and a few members of the Arsenal side give Thierry Henry a slap on the back as he hurries past on his way to the bench. Kick-off in Wales is fast approaching.

sharkastic on Twitter: "Re 1544. Can you define a "sportsman's bet"? Is it that most unsporting kind of bet, ie: one where Lawro won't pay up?"

Er, essentially, yes.

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From Nathan Hodges, via text: "As an Arsenal fan I am really concerned about this Swansea side! They actually play a better passing game than Arsenal at the moment!"

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Swansea City have conceded only four Premier League goals at home this season, the fewest in the division."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Tom in Bristol, via text: "I can honestly see the Swans getting something here. Arsenal don't look potent up front."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on his decision to leave Thierry Henry on the bench: "He works very hard and you have to give him time to recover, but he is ready to play. I could have started him, but I have put him on the bench ready to come on. Swansea are a team with a lot of possession in their own half so we have to mix the moments when we can go and close them down and the times when we have to be patient."

Swansea v Arsenal
Mike Henson reports: Swansea
boss Brendan Rodgers rings the changes throughout his side as he recalls goalkeeper Michel Vorm, defender Steven Caulker and midfielders Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair after the quartet were rested for the FA Cup win over Barnsley . Gerhard Tremmel, Garry Monk, Wayne Routledge and Andrea Orlandi make way as top-scorer Danny Graham continues up front. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger resists the temptation to include veteran striker Thierry Henry from the start, with the on-loan striker kicking his 34-year-old heels on the bench once again. Elsewhere Johan Djourou returns from suspension to replace Sebastien Squillaci at the back while Yossi Benayoun and Theo Walcott are promoted back into the starting XI. Mikel Arteta, who has picked up a mild calf strain, is absent from the squad along with Francis Coquelin (hamstring).

1546: So, is this a must-win game for Arsenal? Or would a point be a decent return given Swansea's home record? Is Brendan Rodgers getting the credit he deserves for the job he is doing at the Liberty Stadium. Questions, questions, questions. Tweet the commentary with some answers via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

1544: A reminder that Lawro is ready make a sportsman's bet that Thierry Henry won't score another goal in a competitive match for the Gunners. We might have to wait until the last half-hour or so to find out if Henry will prove him wrong today, but I'm pretty sure we will see the Frenchman at some point.

BBC Radio 5 live
Former Arsenal and Wales striker John Hartson on BBC Radio 5 live at the Liberty Stadium: "Thierry Henry looks fantastically fit but being match fit is another thing. At this moment in time I think that Henry is probably better as an impact player, coming off the bench when Arsenal really need him."

Swansea v Arsenal
Mike Henson reports:
Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers believes his side have improved since a 1-0 defeat back at the Emirates in September. "We understand the task in front of us. I know we have grown as a team since we played them last and we're improving all the time." Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger has attacked the unsettling effect that the January transfer window can have on under-performing players. "Players maybe think, 'if I don't play then I will leave in January'. They are already less committed to the cause, it gives them an opening."

Steffan_Morgan on Twitter: "I can see Mark Hughes wanting to bring in a lot of new faces after that attacking performance. Just not Premier League standard."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From anon, via text: "Why is Arsene persisting with Arshavin? He contributes nothing, absolutely woeful. Oxlade-Chamberlain should be given a chance, already shown he has the ability."

Swansea v Arsenal line-ups
Vorm, Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor, Dyer, Agustien, Britton, Allen, Sinclair, Graham. Subs: Tremmel, Routledge, Monk, Lita, Moore, Richards, Sigurdsson.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Miquel, Walcott, Ramsey, Song, Benayoun, Arshavin, van Persie. Subs: Almunia, Rosicky, Park, Henry, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Squillaci, Yennaris.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Swansea v Arsenal
Mike Henson reports:
"After his goalscoring return to Arsenal colours in the FA Cup, the romantics among the travelling fans will fancy Thierry Henry to repeat the trick by scoring his first Premier League goal since a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough way back in February 2007. Swansea are unlikely to be as compliant as a youthful Leeds defence was on Monday however. Only champions Manchester United have won at the Liberty all season."

1527: Let's turn our attention to the Liberty Stadium, where Swansea host Arsenal. The Gunners won their last trophy in Wales, the 2005 FA Cup. Seems a long time ago now, doesn't it?

1526: Yep, Newcastle get the three points, meaning QPR have now managed to pick up one from the last 27 available. Anyone else get the feeling we might be seeing a very different QPR team a few weeks from now?

Full time
1525: FULL-TIME Newcastle 1-0 QPR

1524: Just seconds left, and Newcastle are fighting for possession on the edge of the QPR area. Looks like being a job well done for Alan Pardew, and a return to the top six for his team.

1522: We will have three minutes of stoppage time at the end of this one. Mark Hughes isn't happy about the time Tim Krul is taking over a goal-kick - but he needs something very special to rescue a point.

1520: We know how well organised Newcastle are at the back at the moment so it is no surprise that QPR are not having much joy when they do come forward. The visitors have hoisted a couple of balls into the home side's box, but never looked like scoring from them. Time is running out now too.

Yellow card
1515: No goals for QPR yet today, but they have hit the woodwork twice... and have now had four bookings. Federico Macheda catches Danny Guthrie and is the latest Rangers player to go into Chris Foy's book.

1514: Another Newcastle substitution. Dan Gosling is on, Ryan Taylor is off. The Magpies are playing keep-ball again, content to pass it around near the half-way line for as long as they can.

1512: QPR's first sniff for a while, with Clint Hill charging forward and Federico Macheda failing to find him with his pull-back from the left-hand by-line. We are into the last 10 minutes now and Newcastle still lead 1-0 - what has Mark Hughes got up his sleeve?

BREAKING ARSENAL TEAM NEWS: Thierry Henry is again on the bench as boss Arsene Wenger prefers a trio of Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun behind Robin van Persie. More details, and Swansea news, will be winging their way to you very shortly.

1507: Newcastle are making a change too, with their goalscorer Leon Best making way for James Perch.

1506: Federico Macheda is about to come on for QPR, who have somewhat run out of ideas of late. Akos Buzsaky is the man to make way.

1504: All of a sudden, Newcastle are looking a bit more likely to score a second. Leon Best gets behind the Rangers defence on the left-hand side of the area but there is no-one in black and white to meet his low cross.

1502: Far from Paddy Kenny's finest hour, this. The QPR keeper - not the most athletic of players - dashes from his goal to stop the ball going out for a corner and succeeds, only to conceded a throw, which Newcastle take quickly. With Kenny still 'sprinting' back to his line, Jonas Gutierrez curls the ball towards goal, but Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon are both back to avert the danger.

1459: Newcastle seem happier to be containing QPR than go looking for a second goal - and they have been doing the first bit of that very effectively for a while now. With 20 minutes left, the Magpies lead 1-0.

1455: It was Akos Buzsaky who got in the way of that Jonas Gutierrez cross. Replays suggest that a penalty would have been incredibly harsh - his arm was up, but it hits his chest.

1453: Oops, I appear to have changed Davide Santon's nationality from Italian to French. Anyway, back to the action and big shouts for a penalty when Jonas Gutierrez's ball into the box hits a QPR player. I really need to see that one again... anyway, nothing was given.

1452: An hour into Mark Hughes' reign as QPR boss and he is probably already well aware of how he needs to improve his team. A new striker might be top of his list, although let's not forget Jay Bothroyd went very close with that superb bending effort that shaved Tim Krul's post in the first half, when we talk about their failure to find the net so far.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Kevin Gallacher at Sports Direct Arena: "When you are playing at this level, if you get chances you must score one of them. Jay Bothroyd has had four opportunities but I don't think he has really come close to scoring with any of them."

1449: Newcastle's first attack of the second half sees Davide Santon cut inside before eventually seeing his shot deflect wide off Clint Hill. It looks like the Magpies might just have weathered the storm because that flurry of QPR chances has dried up, for now at least.

1447: QPR keep coming forward too. Jay Bothroyd, again, finds space to run into the left-hand side of the Newcastle area and gets his shot on target this time... forcing Tim Krul to push his fierce shot round his near post.

1445: We've seen this before today. Another QPR chance, and another chance wasted. Heidur Helguson's header finds Jay Bothroyd in space in the box but, with his head back, he wildly blasts his volley high over the bar and into Row Z.

rolandgodfrey17 on Twitter: "How ironic. QPR weren't in the relegation zone once with Warnock, but will be after one game under Hughes if it stays 1-0."

To be fair to Hughes, QPR slipped into the relegation zone BEFORE his first game... on Saturday because of Blackburn's win over Fulham.

1438: Mark Hughes clearly has a knack for getting his men to make bright starts to halves. Shaun Wright-Phillips has already gone close once for QPR today, so he obviously fancies his chances of finding the net. He has a pop from about 25 yards out but his low effort is easily dealt with by Tim Krul.

1437: Yep, here we go. No changes by either side at the break by the way.

1436: Ah, here they come. That means we are about to get back under way. At the risk of getting myself in another muddle, QPR need to start the second half in the same way they started the first - not finished it.

1435: The QPR players are in the tunnel, trying to keep warm before the second half gets under way. No sign of the Newcastle team yet.

1432: Alan Pardew and Paul Lambert are probably the main candidates for 'non-title winning Premier League manager of the year'. Going back to the theme at the start of this text commentary at 1213, is it more likely that Pardew will be seen as a great PL manager when he leaves Newcastle, than Hughes at QPR?

The_Matt_Jones on Twitter: "Re Perry Sykes. Home team 1-0 up against team in relegation zone. 'Next England' manager shouts coming out already... Seriously?"

OptaJoe on Twitter: "3 - Only Bolton (2) have dropped fewer points after scoring first in the PL this season than Newcastle. Unassailable."

From another Anon, via text. "Re Perry Sykes. Yes it does sound ridiculous! He is no good for England. From a Newcastle fan who doesn't want to lose Pardew."

From Anon, via text: "Good start for QPR, so unlucky to go 1-0 down but Newcastle are a quality team!"

Half time
Newcastle 1-0 QPR
Owen Phillips' HT snapshot: "A brilliantly composed finish by Leon Best separates the sides in a frantic, feisty game and Newcastle are now on top. But QPR started superbly, have twice hit the woodwork and are still well in it."

Perry Sykes on Twitter: "Pardew for England? Not as ridiculous sounding as it once was."

1420: HALF-TIME Newcastle 1-0 QPR

1418: Another good run by Danny Simpson down that right flank ends with him crossing for Ryan Taylor, who cannot quite connect with his shot. Still, the ball almost falls for Leon Best and QPR are grateful to clear. Rangers are not certainly finishing the half in the same way they started it.

1416: We will have four minutes of stoppage time because of that Yohan Cabaye injury. Time for another Newcastle goal? Maybe. Danny Simpson sends over an inviting cross but there is no-one there to get on the end of it.

1415: Newcastle are looking full of confidence as we head into the last couple of minutes of the first half. The Magpies are playing keep-ball and spraying passes around. Mark Hughes will need to make sure his first half-time team-talk as QPR boss is a good one.

tommydutts87 on Twitter: "That is why nobody should question Alan Pardew's team selection. Great manager. Great goal!"

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Kevin Gallacher at Sports Direct Arena: "It is a very, very soft goal. Leon Best was played onside by Clint Hill. Best's first touch was fantastic and he bent the ball beyond Paddy Kenny. I must admit it is not what Newcastle deserve on the evidence so far."

Yellow card
1410: So QPR are behind after failing to make the most of their bright start... and they keep racking up the bookings, this time when Jay Bothroyd brings down Davide Santon.

Newcastle goal: Er, who needs Demba Ba? Newcastle won't miss him with finishing like this. After great worky by Danny Guthrie, who touches on a pass from the edge of the area, Leon Best turns inside Luke Young and curls a precise low shot past Paddy Kenny. Great skill and a composed finish.

1407: GOALFLASH Newcastle 1-0 QPR (Leon Best)

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From Craig in Notts, via text:"Typical start by a team with a new manager: renewed air of confidence and players desperate to impress the new gaffer. QPR should get something from this game."

Yellow card
1404: Clint Hill joins Shaun Derry in the referee's book after fouling Danny Simpson. That means another free-kick for Ryan Taylor to send into the visitors' area, and keeper Paddy Kenny makes a bit of a mess of it as QPR look to clear. Kenny does rather better when Taylor sends in a skidding low shot moments later, mind, pushing it round his post.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1402: QPR are not just defending, though. Far from it. Heidur Helguson escapes down the left and pulls the ball back for Jay Bothroyd to bend a shot in from about 20 yards out and shave the outside of Tim Krul's post. Close, but no cigar.

1400: Here we go again. Shaun Wright-Phillips concedes another foul on the right and Ryan Taylor bends the ball in again. This time, Leon Best is offside. Chance gone.

1358: Hmmm. The home side are coming into this now. Ryan Taylor has already clipped one free-kick into the danger zone and he has just repeated the trick from out on the right flank. Jonas Gutierrez gets on the end of it, but cannot keep his header down. That's the closest Newcastle have come to a goal yet. Still 0-0 with almost half an hour gone.

1355: Newcastle are back up to 11 players. If I tell you that the substitution was welcomed by a massive cheer from the home fans, do I need to tell you that it is Hatem Ben Arfa who has come on? Thought not.

1353: Yohan Cabaye is getting stretchered off now, after lengthy treatment. He throws his gloves off as he leaves the pitch and disappears down the tunnel - still on that stretcher. I don't think we will be seeing him again either. The Magpies are down to 10 men at the moment.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Kevin Gallacher at Sports Direct Arena: "Rangers are so disciplined at the minute. It is not very often these days that we see two sides playing a 4-4-2 formation with two strikers. At the moment QPR are the team with the upper hand."

Jamil Satchu on Twitter: "Why is Macheda on the QPR bench? Why take a player on loan if you are not going to play him?"

Yellow card
1349: Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini is a bit lucky to escape a yellow card after tugging back Jay Bothroyd after he had turned him to make for goal. Chris Foy does not even give a free-kick, but it is not long until we do see our first booking, when QPR midfielder Shaun Derry catches Yohan Cabaye with a late lunge. Cabaye got up to remonstrate with the referee, but is now down on the floor getting treatment.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1348: Oh so close for QPR! It's been about seven years since we saw Shaun Wright-Phillips play consistently at his best but maybe Mark Hughes will coax some magic out of him? Wright-Phillips has made a lively start and has just had a snap-shot from the left-hand corner of the area that clipped the top of Tim Krul's crossbar with the Newcastle keeper beaten.

Rated_Lolo on Twitter: "Nothing championship about QPR at the moment!!"

1343: By the way, I missed out a key word after 'Akos Buzsaky' in my entry at 1338 - 'shot'. QPR players are not simply trying to run into the Newcastle net, just in case that is the image you were conjuring up. It would be fun if they were, though.

1342: At last, Newcastle enjoy a bit of possession, and string together a few passes. They don't do much with it mind, because when the ball is hoisted into the QPR area, Anton Ferdinand is able to easily head clear.

From Harvey in Essex, via text:"Pardew is a better man-manager than most people think. He knows that Ben Arfa is desperate to play and prove himself at the moment. And by holding him back on the bench, Pards realises that he'll put 100% whenever he plays. Look out for Hatem bursting off the bench to seal three points for the Toon!"

1338: Newcastle just haven't got going yet. In fact, they have barely got out of their own half. Magpies keeper Tim Krul is called into action again, this time pushing away a swerving Akos Buzsaky shot from just outside the area.

1335: A big shout for a QPR penalty this time, when Heidur Helguson's shot cannons off Danny Simpson in the box. It might have got a bit of his arm but it hit a lot of his chest too, and referee Chris Foy is unconvinced.

1333: This is an encouraging start for QPR. They continue to take the game to Newcastle and when Shaun Wright-Phillips has a pop with an angled cross-shot he finds Jay Bothroyd in front of goal. Bothroyd is well offside, and Tim Krul saves in any case, but it is the visitors who are making the early running.

1331: QPR's first shot of the Mark Hughes era comes inside the first 20 seconds, as Heidur Helguson lets fly from long range. He gets plenty of power behind it but it is straight at Tim Krul.

1331: And we're off. QPR get us under way.

robwalker567 on Twitter: "Newcastle should win this, effectively a Championship strike force against a Championship defence."

If true, doesn't that mean they will cancel each other out?

Stuart__Smith on Twitter: "I do not believe Newcastle's front line will beat QPR's woeful defence."

1327: Here come the players, Newcastle wearing their familiar black-and-white stripes and QPR in their not so familiar red-and-white quarters. Kick-off is coming right up.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, speaking before kick-off, on his team selection: "My feeling are the pair that I have started with up front can make an impact but I have this fantastic option (Hatem Ben Arfa). He has been working hard and scored a fantastic goal last week."

1324: What are we expecting from QPR then? We've seen Mark Hughes play for an away draw a few times before... I get the feeling he will be happy to leave with a point. As for Newcastle, we know they are well organised, but who will provide the magic moments to break down the visitors?

1322: Right then, kick-off is fast approaching at Sports Direct Arena. If you're at that game, I hope you've wrapped up warm - the sun is out in the north east, but it's still freezing cold.

DolfiThomas on Twitter: "Loic Rémy is exactly the type of player Spurs need; someone pacey, direct and who has that continental swagger about him!"

BBC Radio 5 live
QPR assistant boss Mark Bowen talking to BBC Radio 5 live about what he and boss Mark Hughes have worked on since taking charge: "A week's a long time in football. We are trying to get our ideas into the players but we have to be guarded and don't want to flood them with information. There can be a bit of nervousness with new managers coming in but we feel the players have embraced things."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live football pundit Kevin Gallacher, on the same subject: "When you look at the number of goals Demba Ba has got, it was great for Newcastle the way they stumbled across him. His absence gives Shola Ameobi and Leon Best another chance. I am surprised they have not tried to replace Ba but manager Alan Pardew has obviously seen something on the training pitch that nobody else has."

Alan Shearer
Newcastle legend and BBC football pundit Alan Shearer speaking about the Magpies' striking options: "Demba Ba has been sensational this season. His goalscoring record is better than he's ever had, he'll be a huge miss and I'm slightly surprised he hasn't brought anyone in to replace him. Without him they wouldn't be sitting in seventh position. We know he has problems with his knee but you wouldn't know that watching him play."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Deano_nufc, via text: "I can understand why Pardew doesn't start Ben Arfa against the better teams because of his lack of defensive work rate, but surely if he is going to build any momentum today against an injury hit struggling QPR side who will be playing for the draw is ideal? Glad Taylor is prefered to Obertan and great to see Guthrie back he played really well against Stoke and Man utd before his injury."

1302: A bit of transfer chat for you now. Tottenham's title bid has hardly come off the rails with Saturday's 1-1 draw with Wolves but you can hardly blame Spurs boss Harry Redknapp for thinking about strengthening his squad. This morning, he told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme that he was flying to Marseille to watch 25-year-old striker Loic Remy in their game against Lille tonight (2000 GMT). "I watched him about 18 months ago and I'm going to have another look," he said. "I've had reports on him. I'd be doubtful if anything happens but I've got to keep looking." Just keep a close eye on your wallet this time Harry, because we know what happened when you went to Madrid this time last year...

Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "After Demba Ba who is unavailable, Newcastle's top scorers are Leon Best and Own Goal, both with three."

BBC Radio 5 live's Nigel Adderley at Sports Direct Arena/St James' Park on Twitter: "Least half of the St James' Park pitch bathed in sunshine, Gallogate half still frostbound in the shadows."

Newcastle v QPR
Owen Phillips reports: "Newcastle's Africa Cup of Nations absentees Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote leave a huge void in their starting line-up but Danny Guthrie is fit to replace the latter in midfield and Leon Best starts up front. Hatem Ben Arfa is on the bench. QPR make just two enforced changes from Neil Warnock's final Premier League game, the defeat against Norwich. Suspended skipper Joey Barton and Alejandro Faurlin, who is out for the rest of the season, miss out so Mark Hughes brings in Akos Buzsaky into the midfield and Jay Bothroyd up front alongside Heidar Helguson."

Newcastle v QPR line-ups
Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ryan Taylor, Guthrie, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Best, Shola Ameobi. Subs: Elliot, Ben Arfa, Abeid, Perch, Gosling, Obertan, Ferguson.
QPR: Kenny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Buzsaky, Mackie, Helguson, Bothroyd. Subs: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Campbell, Smith, Ephraim, Macheda.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

QPR owner Tony Fernandes on Twitter: "Just had a wonderful call from Neil Warnock to wish us luck today. Top man and great to have the call before a tough game."

banana_hill on Twitter: "Baffles me as to why Hatem Ben Arfa is on the bench and chronic underachiever Guthrie starts?"

Newcastle v QPR
Owen Phillips reports: Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says defender Mike Williamson's return after an ankle injury has been crucial in their recent mini revival. "We have had two clean sheets from Mike in four games, and that's fantastic. It just goes to show how he has conditioned himself in that time off. He can be very proud of himself," Pardew said. Meanwhile Mark Hughes has lofty aims of challenging for the title and Champions League places as he prepares for his first game as manager of the Loftus Road club. "It has to be the ultimate goal," the QPR boss said.

From anonymous Newcastle fan, via text: "I have faith in Pardew but starting Ben Arfa on the bench is madness. What does he have to do to earn his place?"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Lamby625 on Twitter: "Re 1225. Hughes had a smaller budget at Blackburn than he has with QPR & he worked wonders with them - I think he will do well with £30m."

Hawaii_Mag on Twitter: "Think Shola is the key today. If he is in the same form as the United game QPR won't be able to live with him."

will_caruana on Twitter: "Akos Buzsaky back in the QPR midfield today, didnt get a chance under Warnock but easily premiership class #watchthisspace"

1242: BREAKING NEWCASTLE-QPR TEAM NEWS: Leon Best starts up front for Newcastle, and Danny Guthrie comes into midfield. Hatem Ben Arfa is on the bench. Meanwhile, Jay Bothroyd partners Heidur Helguson in QPR's attack and Akos Buzsaky comes into their midfield. Full details and line-ups coming right up.

ada_darlington on Twitter: "Re 1230. Nicely said Lawro, as long as we (Arsenal) caress our way to the goal post and deliver well-deserved goals, it's all good."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From anon, via text: "Re 1225. Look at what Sparky can do without money! QPR have money and a decent squad. Mid-table finish for them. Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves to go down."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
From Owyn, via text: "Re 1225. I'm not sure where the negativity is coming from. QPR have a decent squad. All they need are two quality centre backs, an extra midfielder and a striker or two. Oh, wait a minute... "

QPR legend Rodney Marsh on Twitter: "Think #QPR can get something at Newcastle but must get 3 points against #Wigan (next weekend)."

1236: Whether he is leaving Loftus Road (as is being reported in today's Sunday Mirror), or not, Joseph Barton will not play against the Magpies today - he is suspended. Like Newcastle, Rangers also have two players - Adel Taarabt and Armand Traore - away on Africa Cup of Nations duty. I cannot help thinking that Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote will be missed just a tiny bit more, mind. Your thoughts?

Newcastle v QPR
Owen Phillips reports: "Injuries to key defensive players threatened to derail Newcastle's season but a stunning win over Manchester United and a Hatem Ben Arfa-inspired FA Cup victory over Blackburn have got things back on track in style. It's no coincidence the upturn has come about with Mike Williamson's return, and a third win out of four Premier League games will ensure they end the day in at least sixth spot. Meanwhile, it's all quiet at Loftus Road isn't it? It's not like they have sacked an experienced manager, swiftly installed an ambitious young replacement, been linked with a host of top talent, are supposedly about to sell their skipper and have slipped into the bottom three."

alwyn12 on Twitter: "Re 1225. Mark Hughes had millions at city to play with. It'll be interesting to see how he does with an even smaller budget!"

Mark Lawrenson
1230: Newcastle versus QPR is just the first installment of our two-part footballing feast today, followed by a clash between the prettiest passing side in Wales and the prettiest passing side in England. Otherwise known as Swansea versus Arsenal (at 1600 GMT). As Lawro told me: "If you were a Premier League football, you'd like to be used in this game. You are not going to get humped from one end of the pitch to the other, you are going to get caressed."

AndrewHarvey10 on Twitter: "Re 1225. Hughes is a good manager, but the QPR squad just isn't good enough to stay in the league, Wigan have more chance than them!"

1225: Personally, I think Mark Hughes will keep QPR up this season, but I'm not sure one of the Premier League's all-time great players will ever be regarded as one of its all-time great managers. What do you think, though? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc or text in via 81111 (UK).

1221: So, we know he can talk the talk... but Hughes gets his first chance to walk the walk today as QPR take on Newcastle in his first game in charge (1330 GMT KO). Bearing in mind Rangers have taken just one point from the last 24 available, getting anything at Sports Direct Arena (aka St James' Park) would be a great result, even if it wouldn't make him a great manager (just yet). Agreed?

1216: New QPR boss Mark Hughes, there, speaking when he was unveiled at Loftus Road this week. Do you think anyone will remember those words when the Welshman does come to leave? It's not like anyone has been reminding him of what what he said when he departed Fulham last summer, is it?

1213: "People view me now as a competent Premier League manager and at the end of my tenure here, whenever that might be, I would like to think they will think of me as a great Premier League manager."

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Premier League results

15 Jan 2012 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 15 Jan 2012 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 20 40 48
2 Man Utd 21 32 48
3 Tottenham 21 18 46
4 Chelsea 21 15 40
5 Arsenal 21 7 36
6 Newcastle 21 5 36
7 Liverpool 21 6 35
8 Stoke 21 -9 30
9 Norwich 21 -4 28
10 Swansea 21 -2 26
11 Everton 21 -4 25
12 Sunderland 21 3 24
13 Aston Villa 21 -4 24
14 Fulham 21 -6 23
15 West Brom 21 -10 22
16 Wolves 21 -14 18
17 Blackburn 21 -12 17
18 QPR 21 -17 17
19 Bolton 21 -21 16
20 Wigan 20 -23 15

see also
Sunday's football photos
15 Jan 12 |  Football

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