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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2006, 16:57 GMT
Premiership clockwatch
Results:
Blackburn 2-1 Middlesbrough Bolton 3-2 Portsmouth Charlton 2-1 Aston Villa Chelsea 2-2 Fulham Everton 3-0 Newcastle Man Utd 3-2 Reading Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool Watford A-A Wigan West Ham 0-1 Man City

Later kick-off:
Sheffield Utd v Arsenal (1715 GMT)

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

By Charlie Henderson

  • Have your say on the afternoon's action on Radio Five Live's 606 after the Sheffield United v Arsenal game (Tel: 0500 909 693) and catch the day's goals - and that Obafemi Martins penalty miss - at 2245 GMT on BBC1 with Match of the Day.

    1656: FULL-TIME Manchester United 3-2 Reading
    The Royals give Manchester United a late fright, but Sir Alex Ferguson will celebrate his birthday on Sunday with his side six points clear at the top of the Premiership.

    1655: FULL-TIME Everton 3-0 Newcastle
    Newcastle's wait for a win at Goodison Park goes on. It is now five years and counting as Everton keep a third successive clean sheet and leapfrog Tottenham into seventh spot.

    1655: FULL-TIME Bolton 3-2 Portsmouth
    Bolton go third with a fifth straight win and Portsmouth drop a place to sixth. Wanderers will be watching what happens between Sheffield United and Arsenal to see if they can hang on to third going into 2007.

    1654: FULL-TIME Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool
    Spurs lose for only the second time at home in the league this season, but was it any surprise? They have only beaten Liverpool once in their last 10 meetings... make that 11.

    1654: FULL-TIME West Ham 0-1 Manchester City
    West Ham fans greet the final whistle with boos as Manchester City celebrate back-to-back Premiership wins for the first time in more than 14 months.

    1654: FULL-TIME Blackburn 2-1 Middlesbrough
    That is a fifth successive win for Rovers over Boro and helps Blackburn climb away from the dreaded drop zone. Boro remain right in the mix in 16th spot. They could drop further depending on how Sheffield United do against Arsenal.

    1653: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-2 Fulham
    How much will Chelsea splash in the January transfer window to get their title challenge back on track? The Cottagers climb three places to ninth.

    1652: GOAL Manchester United 3-2 Reading
    Is there a twist in the tale this afternoon? Leroy Lita latches on to the end of a long ball after a mistake from Mikael Silvestre and slips a shot beyond Edwin van der Sar to give Reading - and Chelsea - hope.

    1650: Fulham, who have not won at Stamford Bridge since October 1979, are pushing for a winner. Brian McBride is just unable to get on the end of a low Moritz Volz cross.

    1649: Bolton 3-2 Portsmouth
    Portsmouth pull one back but you suspect it is too little too late. Andrew Cole beats three defenders as he cuts in from the left and rifles a 25-yard shot into the corner of the net.

    1646: Chelsea shouts for a penalty for handball in the box against Michael Brown are waved away by referee Howard Webb.

    1645: Cheers at Old Trafford as the score from Stamford Bridge is relayed over the PA system. If the score in London stays the same Manchester United will take a six-point lead into 2007.

    1643: GOAL Chelsea 2-2 Fulham
    More comedy defending from Chelsea. Michael Ballack fails to clear a cross and while Hilario saves Brian McBride's initial shot he has no chance as Carlos Bocanegra follows up.

    1642: GOAL West Ham 0-1 Manchester City
    Completely against the run of play DaMarcus Beasley breaks the deadlock at Upton Park. The American takes the direct route and slams a shot beyond Robert Green.

    1641: He has done it again. Pepe Reina parries Jermain Defoe's stinging shot into the path of Hossam Ghaly and the Egyptian, with an open goal blazes high and wide.

    1639: GOAL Manchester United 3-1 Reading
    Manchester United wrap up the points as that man Cristiano Ronaldo volleys in at the far post after Ryan Giggs delivers a cross with pinpoint perfection on to the stepover king's foot. Over to Chelsea.

    1636: Never mind John Terry, bring back Petr Cech! Hilario punches the ball clear straight at Ricardo Carvalho and Wayne Routledge pounces but fires just wide.

    1635: So near again for Spurs, Pascal Chimbonda's low cross evades Jermain Defoe but it falls to Hossam Ghaly three yards out only for the Egyptian to somehow blaze wide with Pepe Reina stranded.

    1634: Blackburn 2-1 Middlesbrough
    Rovers are back in front as Benni McCarthy heads in for his eighth goal of the season from Robbie Savage's chipped cross from the left.

    1632: And you cannot now wow your mates with that ridiculously inconsequential fact about Hungarian Tamas Priskin as his goal, as well as Emile Heskey's, will be struck from the records. Never has anything actually been more inconsequential.

    1631: ABANDONED Watford v Wigan
    The crowd troops out of a damp Vicarage Road as it is announced the match between Watford and Wigan is called off because of a water-logged pitch.

    1630: Tottenham almost pull level against Liverpool as Steve Finnan heads Dimitar Berbatov's cross on to his own bar.

    1629: RED CARD Reading
    If the Royals are going to take anything home from Old Trafford they are going to have to do it the hard way - as if it wasn't hard enough already! Sam Sodje pulls back Wayne Rooney for his second yellow card in four minutes.

    1628: Early reports suggest the match between Watford and Wigan has been abandoned. The PA announcer is having a whale of a time putting 'Sunshine on a Rainy Day' and REM's 'Night Swimming' on his decks.

    1626: That Vicarage Road rains seems to have crossed London to Stamford Bridge. Back in Watford that bloke is still digging around with his fork as the powers that be talk in hushed tones in the tunnel.

    1624: GOAL Everton 3-0 Newcastle
    Phil Neville scuffs a superb goal from 20 yards - his first in the Premiership for the Toffees. The former Manchester United player connects with Mikel Arteta's free-kick and gives goalkeeper Shay Given no chance.

    1622: GOAL Bolton 3-1 Portsmouth
    Sol Campbell tried to intercept Kevin Davies' cross but only succeeded in sending it goalbound and when David James could only get a hand to it Nicolas Anelka had the simple task of tapping in. Another man in good scoring form. That makes it five in five for the Frenchman.

    1621: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Fulham
    Just as in the first half, Chelsea score shortly after Manchester United. Didier Drogba extends his lead as the Premiership's leading scorer just as a hailstorm begins at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard twists and turns and crosses from the left and Drogba rises high to nod home from close range. He cannot stop scoring.

    1620: GOAL Manchester United 2-1 Fulham
    Manchester United are back ahead as Wayne Rooney flicks the ball to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who fires a shot against the post and Cristiano Ronaldo pokes in the rebound.

    1620: GOAL Blackburn 1-1 Middlesbrough
    Yakubu equalises for Boro, sending Brad Friedel the wrong way from the penalty spot after Lucas Neill hauls down Emanuel Pogatetz.

    1619: GOAL Everton 2-0 Newcastle
    Another scrappy goal at Everton and it is Victor Anichebe who gets on the scoresheet again. His flick-on from Andrew Johnson's header comes back off the bar and he stabs in the rebound.

    1617: DELAY Watford 1-1 Wigan
    Referee Steve Tanner consults with Graham Poll and they decide to stop playing for 10 minutes to see if the rain eases. One man with a fork comes out to prod the turf. It may need more than that to get rid of the standing water.

    1616: Manchester United look good for a second but Wayne Rooney's radar is slightly off and he again shoots over.

    1614: There is torrential rain at Vicarage Road and it is surely only time before this match is abandoned. Graham Poll is only a fourth official today but he is in the heart of the action with Wigan boss Paul Jewell in his ear on the touchline complaining about conditions.

    1613: David James makes amends for that first-half flap as he blocks a Kevin Nolan shot after the Bolton skipper gallops on to a Kevin Davies throughball.

    1610: Manchester United have also come out revitalised. Cristiano Ronaldo and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer almost link up again, this time from the right, before Wayne Rooney fires over.

    1609: Who put what in Fulham's half-time tea? They are flying but Collins John is just unable to get on the end of a low cross from Brian McBride.

    1607: Carlos Bocanegra flashes a header wide from Michael Brown's corner for Fulham, while across London Craig Bellamy goes close to doubling Liverpool's lead over Tottenham.

    1604: The only goalless game of the afternoon between West Ham and Manchester City is the first to resume.

    1559: Constant afternoon rain all over the place and Watford's Vicarage Road ground has leapfrogged Bolton's Reebok in the race for the Worst Pitch of the Afternoon Award. It is like a paddling pool in the half the Hornets will be attacking in the second half.

    1553: A reassuring sight for Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge as Petr Cech is introduced to the crowd on his first return to the ground since that head injury. How those clad in blue must wish he was inbetween the sticks this afternoon to add some authority to the home defence.

    1546: HALF-TIME Blimey, that was a harum-scarum finish to the first 45.

    1545: That Tamas Priskin, on his Premiership debut, is only the second Hungarian to score in the Premiership after Zoltan Gera. Go on, stun your pals with that useless piece of information.

    1544: GOAL Watford 1-1 Wigan
    Tamas Priskin heads a crucial equaliser for Watford in the dying stages of the first half as he receives Jordan Stewart's pass from the left and nods in from six yards.

    1544: GOAL Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool
    With virtually the last kick of the half, Liverpool take the lead. A disastrous mistake from Didier Zokora on the edge of his own box, gifting possession to Steven Gerrard whose shot finds Luis Garcia who sweeps home from close range.

    1544: PENALTY MISS Newcastle
    A kerfuffle at Goodison Park as Tim Howard takes exception to Emre brandishing an imaginary yellow card after Kieron Dyer is dragged down in the box. The resulting penalty is possibly the worst you will ever see. Tune in to Match of the Day tonight to have a good old laugh at Obafemi Martins.

    1543: Andrew Cole shakes off a defender and works space in the box but his effort is blocked by Jussi Jaaskelainen. From the resulting corner Noe Pamarot heads over.

    1542: Denny Landzaat has an effort ruled out for offside at Vicarage Road for Wigan.

    1541: GOAL Bolton 2-1 Portsmouth
    Bolton are in front against Portsmouth. David James denies Kevin Davies from close range but Ivan Campo is on hand to nod in the keeper's parried save.

    1539: GOAL Manchester United 1-1 Reading
    Make that four points. 'Sonko is Superman' sing the Reading fans as defender Ibrahima Sonko beats Edwin van der Sar to head in Nicky Shorey's free-kick.

    1536: Chelsea 1-1 Fulham
    Make that six points. Frank Lampard absolutely loves playing against Fulham and fires in fierce daisy-cutter from the edge of the area for what may be his seventh goal in seven games against Chelsea's local rivals. Only maybe because it takes a deflection of Liam Rosenior and should go down as an own goal.

    1535: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Reading
    Marcus Hahnemann is not having one of those days. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer climbs high to meet a Cristiano Ronaldo inswinging cross from the left and his header is in at the near post. United are now seven points clear of Chelsea.

    1532: GOAL Bolton 1-1 Portsmouth
    Some bloke is running round the pitch at Bolton with a giant Wanderers flag saying "I Feel Good". No wonder, the Trotters are level after David James flaps at a corner and Abdoulaye Faye heads in the loose ball.

    1530: Is Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann having one of those days? He has been far from convincing, juggling a lot of Manchester United efforts on goal, but he is getting in the way of everything, the latest being a shot from Michael Carrick.

    1527: Craig Bellamy lays the ball off for Dirk Kuyt but Liverpool's Dutch striker fails to find the net, curling an effort from his in-step just wide of the Tottenham goal.

    1524: GOAL Watford 0-1 Wigan
    Out of nothing a goal at Vicarage Road. Emile Heskey rolls a defender on the edge of the box after picking up Kevin Kilbane's pass and fires a low effort across a sodden penalty area into the opposite corner.

    1523: Problems for another England centre-back. Rio Ferdinand is struggling at Old Trafford. At Bolton Kevin Davies lashes a shot wide off the outside of his right boot.

    1522: Bring back John Terry. The Chelsea defence is all at sea and Wayne Routledge gets on the end of a cross from the left but blazes an effort high.

    1521: West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is looking anxious on the sidelines at Upton Park. Manchester City are bossing proceedings at Upton Park.

    1520: Newcastle's Steven Taylor lays the ball off to Emre on the edge of the box and Turk fizzes a shot narrowly wide of the Everton goal.

    1518: Fulham are yet to lose when they have scored first in the Premiership this season.

    1517: GOAL Chelsea 0-1 Fulham
    There it is, Premiership goal number 15,000 and it is an unlikely goalscorer in the guise of Fulham's Moritz Volz. The German latches on to a long throw that evades everyone in the box and his shot takes a deflection off Paulo Ferreira to beat Hilario at the near post.

    1516: Salomon Kalou should do better with that. Geremi's cross from the right is headed high and wide and if Didier Drogba was on the end of it you suspect it would have been a bit different.

    1514: The next goal will be the 15,000th in the 15-year history of the Premiership. Excited?

    1511: GOAL Everton 1-0 Newcastle
    Newcastle fail to clear a cross from Phil Neville and a bobbling ball falls for Victor Anichebe who stabs it beyond the exposed Shay Given.

    1510: GOAL Blackburn 1-0 Middlesbrough
    Great execution from Rovers striker Shabani Nonda, who latches on to a ball dropping over his shoulder and volleys beyond Mark Schwarzer. A rare Australian on the receiving end over the festive season.

    1510: Things are opening up at White Hart Lane where there are chance at either end. Mido should have done better and then Craig Bellamy has an effort well saved by Paul Robinson.

    1509: In an enticing meeting between two of the league's also-rans Tottenham are looking nervy and Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy almost pounces after a scrappy back pass by Lee.

    1506: Manchester United are also going well. If Cristiano Ronaldo had picked out Wayne Rooney there instead of going for goal after cutting in from the right the league leaders could - and should - be ahead.

    1505: A lively start in the west London derby at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea and Fulham both have chances to open the scoring.

    1504: Admittedly there is a long way to go, but if Pompey pick up the win at Bolton they will end the day with the same number of points they finished last season with - 38.

    1503: GOAL Bolton 0-1 Portsmouth
    Andrew Cole squirts a pass through for Matt Taylor who holds of the attentions of a couple of defenders in the box to score his sixth goal of the season.

    1501: Whoever nets that goal will get 15,000 from Barclaycard to give to a charity of their choice.

    1500: The action starts and something to keep your eye out for is the fourth goal of the afternoon which will be the 15,000th in the Premiership.

    1457: Jermain Defoe is not Tottenham's skipper for the day. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson was late coming out. With that close crop he cannot blame it on hair products.

    1456: Steven Gerrard MBE leads Liverpool out at White Hart Lane, alongside Spurs striker Jermain Defoe.

    1454: The PA systems are cranking up which is always a sign that 1500 GMT beckons. Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" at Old Trafford seems apt for Fergie today. He beat off fellow luminary peers including the Queen, Rupert Murdoch and Nelson Mandela to top the prestigious... ahem... Virgin Money Gold Age Pensioners Report 2006.

    1451: Players of a fashionable persuasion will be in front of the mirror now layering on extra gel to spiky barnets ready for the drowning their locks will take.

    1450: The search for a dry ground goes on but to no avail. Upton Park, Goodison Park... you name it it is wet.

    1448: What a rubbish job! The groundstaff at Vicarage Road roll up a huge plastic sign from the centre of the pitch and carry it off. It is sodden and in turn they are as water drains off it on to them.

    1445: Foul weather all over the place this afternoon, and none worse than Bolton where the saturated Reebok Stadium pitch looks in pretty poor nick under constant drizzle.

    1444: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson looks in jovial mood on the eve of his 65th birthday. Most people of his age are preparing to receive a bus pass, but the Scot is awarded a silver trophy.

    1442: A little over 200 miles away at Old Trafford it is also miserable weather that welcomes Manchester United and Reading on to the pitch as they tune up for their 90 minutes.

    1440: The champions Chelsea are out warming up in some foul, squally rain at Stamford Bridge as the ground slowly fills up.

    1439: It is rare that Chelsea and Manchester United play at the same time - apart from when they go head-to-head - but that is what is happening this afternoon.

    1437: FULL-TIME Charlton 2-1 Aston Villa
    A last-gasp Bryan Hughes goal gives Alan Pardew a first win as Charlton boss as Villa's woeful run of form continues. Neither team moves up in the table, but they are precious points for the Addicks.

    TEAM NEWS

    Blackburn boss Mark Hughes names an unchanged team in a battle towards the bottom of the Premiership. Middlesbrough are without Julio Arca (hip), so boss Gareth Southgate brings in Mark Viduka and James Morrison for Gaizka Mendieta.

    Bolton boss Sam Allardyce sticks with the same side that beat Newcastle on Boxing Day. Portsmouth make two changes with Niko Kranjcar coming in for Pedro Mendes and Andrew Cole returning to the side in place of the rested Kanu.

    Chelsea recall Ashley Cole and Claude Makelele, with Wayne Bridge and Andriy Shevchenko dropped to the bench. Fulham replace the suspended Heidar Helguson with Collins John and Luis Boa Morte is fit enough to be a substitute.

    Everton's Phil Neville returns from suspension but centre-back Alan Stubbs misses out after failing to recover from his injury. Newcastle have Shay Given and makeshift right-back Nolberto Solano back from injury, while Obafemi Martins starts as a lone striker.

    Manchester United recall Cristiano Ronaldo, Gabriel Heinze, Rio Ferdinand and fit-again Michael Carrick against an unchanged Reading side at Old Trafford.

    Tottenham are without Ledley King and Aaron Lennon, while Dimitar Berbatov is only fit enough for a spot on the bench following illness meaning Mido starts up front. Liverpool opt for Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt in attack, with ex-Spurs striker and top-scorer Peter Crouch on the bench and Sami Hyypia left out of the squad.

    Watford hand a first Premiership start to striker Tamas Priskin in place of the injured Hameur Bouazza. Wigan make four changes with captain Arjan de Zeeuw returning from injury to replace Matt Jackson.

    West Ham make three changes, with Christian Dailly, Lee Bowyer and Teddy Sheringham all recalled, while Manchester City replaced banned captain Joey Barton with Stephen Jordan.



  • SEE ALSO
    Saturday's Premiership photos
    30 Dec 06 |  Football


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