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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 December 2006, 12:29 GMT
Premiership clockwatch
FT Blackburn 1-0 Liverpool (KO 1500)
FT Bolton 2-1 Newcastle (KO 1500)
FT Everton 0-0 Middlesbrough (KO 1500)
FT Man Utd 3-1 Wigan (KO 1500)
Sheff Utd 0-1 Man City (KO 1500)

Late game:

Watford 1-2 Arsenal (KO 1730)

Earlier results:

FT Chelsea 2-2 Reading (KO 1300)

FT Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa (KO 1300)
FT West Ham 1-2 Portsmouth (KO 1300)


By Andrew McKenzie

  • Manchester United are the big winners on Boxing Day as they beat Wigan for the fifth time in as many games against the Latics. Chelsea slip up at home to Reading to see them slip four points behind in the title race. Watch all the goals on Match of the Day, BBC One at 2305 GMT.

    1658: FULL-TIME Sheff Utd 0-1 Man City
    A super goal from Stephen Ireland won the three points for Manchester City and sees Sheffield United slip to fourth bottom.

    1656: FULL-TIME Everton 0-0 Middlesbrough
    Middlesbrough's search for an away continues - and never really looked like ending at Goodison in a dreary day for both sets of fans at Goodison.

    1655: FULL-TIME Blackburn 1-0 Liverpool
    Liverpool concede a first goal in December and it is enough to hand a much-needed three points to Mark Hughes' side.

    1655: FULL-TIME Bolton 2-1 Newcastle
    It is all over at the Reebok where Bolton edge out another victory to jump up into the Champions League places.

    1653: FULL-TIME Man Utd 3-1 Wigan
    Leighton Baines' spot-kick is almost the last kick of the game as the full-time whistle goes at Old Trafford and Manchester United take a four-point lead at the top of the Premiership.

    1652: GOAL Man Utd 3-1 Wigan
    Wigan get the last cheer as Leighton Baines crashes a penalty straight down the middle after Mikael Silvestre fouls David Wright.

    1651: There will be three minutes to play at Reebok as Bolton look to leapfrogg Arsenal, Liverpool and Pompey into third place.

    1646: There will be five minutes of added time at Ewood Park.

    1644: This may be Christmas - a time for good will to all men and all that. But Robbie Savage still looks like a man who could start a fight, and then hide behind someone else, in an empty room.

    1642: An aggrieved Sheffield United side are going all-out for an equaliser and Manchester City just survive a good old-fashioned English goalmouth scramble.

    1640: GOAL Sheff Utd 0-1 Man City
    Manchester City pounce against the run of play with a stunning strike from Stephen Ireland. The youngster picks a good time to gte his first goal for the club, running on to a Georgios Samaras lay-off and connecting with a sweet left-foot strike.

    1638: Luis Garcia gets free from his marker but from a tight angle he finds his route to goal blocked off by another Brad Friedel save. The ex-Liverpool is in inspired form.

    1636: Wigan briefly threaten but United clear and they hit the Latics with power and pace. The ball finds its way to Wayne Rooney's feet and his first-time effort comes back off the crossbar. It is damage limitation time for Paul Jewell's men.

    1635: Craig Bellamy's frustrations are over for another day. Mr angry is replaced by Luis Garcia to the delight of the Blackburn fans.

    1633: Liverpool are struggling to find a way past Brad Friedel. Xabi Alonso finally manages it but his thumping shot crashes off the post.

    1630: Middlesbrough unwrap a well rehearsed free-kick routine, unfortunately the end result is a Stewart Downing free-kick that the words high and wide would not even come close to describing. The Everton fans' response is predictable and certainly not printable on the BBC before the watershed.

    1627: A rare Wigan chance as Matt Jackson gets up well to power in a header but Edwin van der Sar is well placed to collect.

    1624: Craig Bellamy marks his return to Ewood with a yellow card after a bit too much backchat for Rob Styles' liking.

    1621: Georgios Samaras shanks a glorious opportunity out for a throw when it seemed easier to bulge the net. It is totally against the run of play, however, Sheffield United have come flying out of the blocks this half.

    1620: GOAL Man Utd 3-0 Wigan
    United are running riot. There is a touch of fortune in the build-up but there is no doubting the finishing skills of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he runs on to Wayne Rooney's header to fire past Chris Kirkland.

    1617: GOAL Bolton 2-1 Newcastle
    Bolton are in front as a long throw in from the left is flicked by Kevin Davies, El-Hadji Diouf helps it on and Nicolas Anelka has the simple task of applying the finishing touch at the back post.

    1614: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is not hanging about as he drags off Peter Crouch and throws on Dirk Kuyt.

    1610: GOAL Man Utd 2-0 Wigan
    It has all gone horribly, horribly wrong for Wigan in the space of four minutes. Ji-Sung Park is upended by Gary Teale in the box and while Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty is saved by Chris Kirkland the Portuguese winger sidefoots in from the rebound.

    1608: GOAL Man Utd 1-0 Wigan
    Cometh the man, cometh an instant goal. Cristiano Ronaldo heads Man Utd in front with his first touch after coming on as a half-time substitute, converting Paul Scholes' corner.

    1607: GOAL Blackburn 1-0 Liverpool
    Rovers are quick out the blocks as Benni McCarthy finishes off a lovely move to sidefoot home. Tugay started it with some lovely skill to outwit Steven Gerrard and slot the ball in for Morten Gamst Pedersen whose cross is dispatched by McCarthy.

    1606: Manchester United fans at Old Trafford are in for some second half showboating as Cristiano Ronaldo comes on for Darren Fletcher.

    1605: The players are out at Goodison and Middlesbrough are preparing to bring on Mark Viduka, hopefully to inject a bit of impetus in their forward line.

    1603: We're back under way at Blackburn. They are not messing about over at Ewood Park, perhaps they are hoping to make it home in time Pirates of the Caribbean. It's on BBC One at 1930 GMT if you're interested.

    1550: That's the half-time whistle gone around the country. Four goalless draws out of five games - hardly vintage stuff so far after the earlier excitement.

    1548: Lee Carsley drills a shot just over for Everton in a rare moment of attacking action at Goodison.

    1546: It is half-time at Anfield and while the Blackburn fans may not be pleased to see Craig Bellamy back at Ewood, Brad Friedel gets friendly as the former team-mates head down the tunnel.

    1541: It is all quiet at Goodison Park where Everton are having all the possession but finding Middlesbrough a tough nut to crack, with Jonathan Woodgate looking immense at the back.

    1537: What a lucky man Robert Kozluk is! The Blades defender clearly fancies a spell between the posts as he punches Micah Richards' towering header off the line and to safety. There's no great appeal from City, but how did the referee let that one go?

    1535: GOAL Bolton 1-1 Newcastle
    Newcastle hand out a late Christmas present to Bolton. A comedy or errors leads to Peter Ramage heading past his own keeper Pavel Srnicek.

    1534: Liverpool are looking threatening as a diagonal ball from Xabi Alonso to John Arne Riise who in turn finds Craig Bellamy but his first-time shot goes just wide. Peter Crouch then misses with a second header, though this time he forces Brad Friedel into a low save.

    1533: At Old Trafford Wayne Rooney looks well up for it. The England striker runs on to a Darren Fletcher ball and just turns his shot the wrong side of Chris Kirkland's right-hand post.

    1530: Sheffield United are forced into an early change with Derek Geary feeling the full effect of Darius Vassell's crunching challenge. Chris Armstrong comes on to replace the full-back.

    1528: Liverpool's John Arne Riise, never one to hold back from a speculative pot-shot, takes aim from 25 yards which flies just the wrong side of the upright.

    1525: Sheffield United are beginning to shade matters at Bramall Lane with Phil Jagielka hitting a rasping half volley that Nicky Weaver does well to get across to and palm the effort round the post.

    1522: Benni McCarthy shows some nimble footing to control the ball and turn before testing out Liverpool keeper Jose Reina's handling skills.

    1520: A tame Ousmane Dabo effort from distance bobbles up off the pitch and hits a perplexed Paddy Kenny on the forehead before falling to safety. It was Paul Robinson-esque, but fortunately for Kenny, his bald head repelled the danger. The only chance of note in an uninspiring opening quarter of an hour.

    1518: Peter Crouch has a header straight at Brad Friedel. His strike partner Craig Bellamy is cutting a frustrated and angry figure at Ewood Park. He's been given a rough ride by the Blackburn fans and players so far. There are potential fireworks in this fixture.

    1515: Liverpool go close again through Craig Bellamy but he is denied by Brad Friedel.

    1510: GOAL Bolton 0-1 Newcastle
    The Magpies go in front after some very un-Bolton defending. Kieron Dyer takes advantage of some sloppy play to run on and crash the ball home.

    1508: Wayne Rooney is agonisingly close to an opener as he gets on the end of a Wes Brown cross but Chris Kirkland takes the power of his sidefooted effort and then reacts well to clear off the line.

    1507: Liverpool go close with a powerful shot from John Arne Riise that stings the hands of former Reds keeper Brad Friedel, who is not given quite the angry welcome afforded to Craig Bellamy.

    1504: Everton have appeals for a penalty when Andy Johnson is dragged back in the box, but referee Phil Dowd is not interested.

    1502: Today's near non-stop football action is under way again, with five more matches.

    1500: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson leaves Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs out of his side, but recalls Wayne Rooney alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer up front, while Wigan make three changes from the team that lost to Chelsea, with injured skipper Arjan de Zeeuw among the absentees.

    1500: Striker Craig Bellamy plays against his former side and is joined up front by Peter Crouch, who replaces Dirk Kuyt in one of three changes for Liverpool. Blackburn's Shabani Nonda passes a late fitness test on an injured hip while Benni McCarthy returns from suspension.

    1500: Sheffield United name an unchanged line-up for the third successive match. Manchester City make three changes, Bernardo Corradi returning from suspension in place of the injured Paul Dickov and Micah Richards and Ousmane Dabo are preferred ahead of Ben Thatcher and Ishmael Miller.

    1458: Everton captain Phil Neville is suspended, so young striker Victor Anichebe was drafted in after recovering from illness and partners Andrew Johnson in attack, with James McFadden moving to the left flank. Middlesbrough give Gaizka Mendieta his first start in three months, coming into the side with Lee Cattermole while James Morrison and Mark Viduka are dropped.

    1458: Keeper Pavel Srnicek makes his first Newcastle start since October 1997 because of a groin injury to Shay Given, while teenager David Edgar makes his debut at right-back. Bolton striker Kevin Davies has served his suspension and is straight back in the first-team at the expense of Henrik Pedersen.

    1455: FULL-TIME Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa
    Tottenham hold on for the three points and a 12th home win in a row for Martin Jol's side. Villa slip to only a second Premiership defeat on their travels this season.

    1452: FULL-TIME West Ham 1-2 Portsmouth
    West Ham's rally comes too late as Portsmouth move to third in the table, if perhaps only briefly.

    1452: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-2 Reading
    It is all over and Reading hold on for a determined and deserved point. Manchester United see their lead clipped to a point, but have a great chance to give themselves a bit of daylight with a win at Old Trafford.

    1451: Jermain Defoe goes off to a rapturous reception at the Lane. Wycombe might have Jermaine Easter, but Jermain Christmas looks to have won it for Tottenham.

    1449: My heart rate is only coming back down after that brief flurry. There are three minutes of injury time at West Ham and Chelsea and a couple of extra minutes at Tottenham. Is there another twist in the tale at any of the three London grounds.

    1447: Chelsea are throwing everything but the Christmas tree at Reading but Didier Drogba's header is too close to Marcus Hahnemann. Can they find another late winner?

    1444: GOAL Chelsea 2-2 Reading
    High drama at the Bridge as Chelsea hand Reading an equaliser on a plate. Kevin Doyle's cross is cleared by Ashley Cole but only onto team-mate Michael Essien and into his own net. Extraordinary scenes.

    1442: GOAL Tottenham 2-1 Aston Villa
    Villa get a lifeline as Gareth Barry races onto a Gabriel Agbonlahor flick before holding off Pascal Chimbonda and Michael Dawson before burying the ball home.

    1439: GOAL Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa
    1439 - Dimitar Berbatov flicks on, Jermain Defoe uses his right forward to move the ball forward, before blasting a shot past Gabor Kiraly with his left boot.

    1439: GOAL West Ham 1-2 Portsmouth
    The Hammers ensure a nervous nine minutes as Teddy Sheringham grabs one back from a tight angle. Sol Campbell's attempted clearance drew David James off his line, under pressure from Anton Ferdinand, and James could only poke out to Sheringham who keeps the calmest of heads to finish.

    1438: You cannot take your eyes off the Chelsea-Reading game. The Royals are making a fantastic stab at trying to dethrone the champions and go close once again.

    1436: Leroy Lita and Michael Ballack have a bit of a push-and-shove match-up as things get a bit heated at Stamford Bridge. I doubt whether these two clubs were on each other's Christmas card list.

    1435: Reading are showing Chelsea-like resilience as Kevin Doyle misses a glorious chance to peg the Blues back.

    1433: Carlos Tevez - still looking for a first goal in a West Ham shirt - curls a free-kick inches over the bar and onto the top of the net for the Hammers' best chance of the game so far.

    1431: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Reading
    Five minutes and 26 seconds. That's how long Reading's party lasted. Shaun Wright-Phillips races down the right and tees-up a wonderful cross at the back post for man-of-the-moment Didier Drogba to head Chelsea back in front.

    1426: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Reading
    Maybe half-time was a bit too early to write off Reading. The Royals get their reward for a spell of domination when Glenn Little jinks his way down the right and produces a beauty of a cross for Leroy Lita to head in. The striker looked borderline offside and Jose Mourinho looks far from jolly.

    1424: Chelsea almost grab a second as the outstanding Michael Essien hammers a shot just wide.

    1423: The half-time introduction of Teddy Sheringham and Carloz Tevez has given West Ham a bit of a booster. The Hammers are much more confident and purposeful going forward, with Pompey now firmly on the backfoot.

    1419: GOAL Tottenham 1-0 Aston Villa
    Tottenham lead through Jermain Defoe. The striker takes his tally to 11 for the season when he races onto a Dimitar Berbatov throughball and slides in a right-foot shot low into the far corner. It is only Defoe's fifth goal in the league this season.

    1416: Jose Mourinho reacts to the Reading 'revival' by hauling off Andriy Shevchenko, who has again been pretty anonymous. Shaun Wright-Phillips gets chance to impress.

    1415: Reading, obviously buoyed by that little bit of irrelevant historical trivia, go close with Steve Sidwell shooting into the side-netting.

    1412: Reading fans looking for some signs of optimism will be clutching at the history books. Chelsea have never done the double over Reading in a single season. OK, so they have only been in the same division in four previous seasons, but it is something.

    1409: Pompey will be hoping recent history will not be repeating itself. In their last away game they led 2-0 at half-time but saw their lead erased by Arsenal. However, similarities between this West Ham side and Arsenal are not glaringly obvious at the minute.

    1406: The second half is finally up and running at White Hart Lane. Martin O'Neill was obviously not happy with his side's first-half efforts as he uses his remaining two subs. Olof Mellberg is injured and replaced by Isaiah Osbourne while Wilfred Bouma comes on for Wilfred Bouma.

    1406: Hammers' new boss Alan Curbishley makes two changes at the interval. Teddy Sheringham is on for Marlon Harewood and Carlos Tevez is on for Matthew Etherington. Incidentally Tevez's Argentine mate Javier Mascherano is not even on the bench again. Maybe he overdid it on the Christmas pud.

    1404: The game is back under way at West Ham and Chelsea. Still no sight of either team at White Lane though.

    1350: It is half-time around the grounds. It has gone pretty much to the form book so far. Chelsea look good value for another three points at home to Reading, West Ham look no closer to solving their troubles while it is all to play for at Spurs.

    1344: Gabor Kiraly is proving Dimitar Berbatov's nemesis at White Hart Lane. the Villa stopper again prevents Spurs from going in front.

    1341: Before today Linvoy Primus had gone 58 games without scoring for Pompey, then he grabs two in 22 minutes. His last goal? Boxing Day 2004. It's a funny old game.

    1337: GOAL West Ham 0-2 Portsmouth
    A second goal for Pompey and unbelievably a second goal for Linvoy Primus. Manuel Mendes fires the corner over to the far post again and this time it is Hayden Mullins who cannot cope with the Pompey goal machine.

    1337: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Reading
    Didier Drogba puts the champions in front. This time Marcus Hahnemann cannot stop Drogba, who shows great strength to hold off the keeper and head in from close range.

    1335: Chances at both White Hart Lane and Upton Park. At the Lane Dimitar Berbatov drives through the middle of the Villa defence but his sliding effort is too close to Gabor Kiraly. Over in the East End Yossi Benayoun goes on a similar run but he cannot apply the finishing touch either.

    1332: Didier Drogba tries some toe-end trickery but only succeeds in making a laughing stock of himself with a shot that was wider than a Steven Harmison opening delivery.

    1331: At White Hart Lane, Tom Huddlestone is having a Christmas cracker of a game. Sorry, but he is. El Tel cannot help but be impressed in the stands at the teenager.

    1330: Marcus Hahnemann again pulls off a fine save to deny Didier Drogba. Frank Lampard's deep free-kick finds the big forward but his downward header is flicked round the post by the American keeper.

    1326: Reading boss Steve Coppell is up in the stands next to Chelsea legend Ginaluca Vialli. At the moment his side are holding out well, but it looks like it could be a difficult hour-and-a-half for his Premiership upstarts.

    1325: West Ham get their first corner of the game but Bobby Zamora is off target with a glancing header.

    1323: Pompey almost get a second as West Ham's defence is all at sea again. Sean Davies is close with an overhead kick and then Sol Campbell blazes over from a few yards out.

    1321: Chelsea fans get their first sight of Stephen Hunt, who takes a leisurely warm-up stroll down the touchline. The festive spirit has just dried up at the Bridge.

    1319: The action is starting to heat up as Tom Huddlestone, who turns 20 on Thursday, is denied an early birthday present when his left-foot effort is tipped over by Gabor Kiraly.

    1317: GOAL West Ham 0-1 Portsmouth
    Pompey get the first corner of the game and convert it into the opening goal. Manuel Fernandes' corner finds Linvoy Primus at the back and he takes advantage of some weak defending from Marlon Harewood to head in.

    1316: I might have spoken too soon about Ibrahima Sonko. The Reading player gets his first extended touch of the ball and hears the boos.

    1315: Glenn Johnson tries his luck with a left-foot shot but it only finds the side-netting.

    1314: Andriy Shevchenko puts strike partner Didier Drogba in on goal but from a wide angle Marcus Hahnemann is quick out of his blocks to deny the Chelsea forward.

    1311: The first attempt on goal at White Hart Lane comes from the right boot of Steed Malbranque but it is way over.

    1308: Chelsea fans are obviously in festive spirits, Reading defender Ibrahima Sonko, who was involved in the clash that saw Carlo Cudicini injured in the stormy affair earlier this season, seems to have escaped the expected abuse.

    1306: Gabor Kiraly's Christmas Day stocking was clearly missing some new clothes as he is again sporting those fetching grey tracksuit bottoms.

    1304: There is an early scare for Tottenham as Gabriel Agbonlahor races clear on goal but Paul Robinson comes to Spurs' rescue.

    1303: It takes Chelsea less than 75 seconds to threaten Reading's goal. Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard combine, but the England man is just wide with a bit of a scuffed effort.

    1302: All three games kick-off almost simultaneously. Here's hoping for a footballing Boxing Day bonanza.

    1253: Spurs are being watched by England assistant coach Terry Venables. He will be pleased to be able to watch the in-form Jermain Defoe, who has four goals in as many games and shaken off a knee problem to play. If this morning's papers are to believed he could be off to Aston Villa in January. He gets a chance to impress his potential new employees today.

    1249: Back at Stamford Bridge, things are unlikely to be so friendly. But Stephen Hunt, who was involved in the controversial clash that saw Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech suffer a fractured skull earlier this season, has been taken out of the firing line and is on the bench.

    1244: There are plenty of familiar faces over at Upton Park. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp returns to one of his old clubs, as do Pompey pair Glen Johnson and David James. Hammers forward Teddy Sheringham will meet one of his former sides if he makes it off the subs bench. Redknapp and West Ham's new boss Alan Curbishley are also close friends. It should be one big love-in.

    1231: Premiership champions Chelsea will be looking to pile the pressure on Manchester United when they host Reading in one of the three early games.

    A win for Jose Mourinho's side will see them go top of the table - for at least two hours, with Sir Alex Ferguson's men not hosting Wigan until 1500 GMT.


    Spurs make one change from the side that lost at Newcastle on Saturday, with Jermain Defoe coming in for Danny Murphy. Aston Villa make just one alteration as well, with Milan Baros replacing Chris Sutton.

    West Ham have Danny Gabbidon back after injury, with Christian Dailly making way, while Lee Bowyer makes way for Yossi Benayoun. Portsmouth's injured Benjani Mwaruwari is replaced by Manuel Fernandes, whose place on the bench goes to David Thompson.

    Chelsea captain John Terry is again out with a back injury, with Geremi being drafted in at right-back and Paolo Ferreira likely to play in central defence. Wayne Bridge replaces Ashley Cole at left-back, while Andriy Shevchenko is recalled up front, with Arjen Robben out of the squad altogether. Reading midfield man Stephen Hunt is on the bench. Seol Ki-Hyeon is also a reserve, with Leroy Lita getting a starting place after impressing against Everton.

    Boxing Day football photos
    26 Dec 06 |  Football


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