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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2007, 17:55 GMT
Premiership clockwatch
Results:
Everton 1-0 Arsenal Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool Charlton 2-0 Newcastle

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

By Charlie Henderson

  • Not a great return on the goal front, but you can catch all three on Match of the Day 2 from 2230 GMT on BBC Two. Before that, have your say on the weekend's action on Radio Five Live's 606 by calling 0500 909 693 or sending a text to 85058, or get involved on the messageboards.

    PLAYER RATER: Everton v Arsenal
    Joleon Lescott and Cesc Fabregas remain top, with the Arsenal midfielder edging out the Evertonian on 7.22.

    As for the other games, Jamie Carragher leads the way in the Villa Park bore draw with 6.89 while Charlton goalscorer Zheng Zhi is your man of the day as it presently stands with 8.17.

    1754: FULL-TIME Everton 1-0 Arsenal
    The match ends in atrocious conditions, but Evertonians will not give a damn. They are up to sixth in the table with that late winner. Arsenal stay third, but their advantage over Liverpool, who they meet next week, is now a point.

    1753: Urgent whistles all round at Goodison Park in the general direction of the referee, but there does not seem much threat of Arsenal getting a late leveller to spoil the party atmosphere.

    1751: GOAL Everton 1-0 Arsenal
    Gilberto Silva concedes a corner and it proves costly. Arsenal fail to clear and Andy Johnson drills in left-footed between Jens Lehmann and Justin Hoyte at the near post. Manager David Moyes is going doolally on the touchline.

    1750: Jens Lehmann gathers a right-footed effort from Mikel Arteta on the half volley.

    1749: Everton win a central free-kick outside the box after Gilberto Silva climbs all over Victor Anichebe. Alan Stubbs and Mikel Arteta stand over the ball.

    1748: Theo Walcott goes down in the box holding his troublesome right shoulder after a challenge from Manuel Fernandes.

    1747: A first change for Everton in what are now grizzly, sleety conditions. Victor Anichebe replaces James Vaughan. One young striker for another.

    1746: That change means Arsenal will be hunting a late goal with Freddie Ljungberg and Theo Walcott leading the line.

    1745: Snow starts to fall on Merseyside as Arsenal make a third and final change with Brazilian Denilson coming on for Brazilian Julio Baptista. Not exactly Brazilian weather.

    1744: Everton are being urged on here for the breakthrough. Lean Osman out-jumps Justin Hoyte but directs his effort from Mikel Arteta's cross wide of the target.

    1743: Everton break and Kolo Toure concedes a corner. Mikel Arteta's corner is straight down Jens Lehmann's throat. Do not take that literally. That would spell real trouble.

    1742: A third booking for Everton with James Vaughan's name going into the book on his full debut after an over-zealous challenge.

    1740: With 10 minutes remaining Cesc Fabregas is becoming a dominant figure. He meets Freddie Ljungberg's cross but is stretching for the ball and his header is easy for Tim Howard to save.

    1739: Another Cesc Fabregas shot, and this one has real venom. Tim Howard grabs it at the second chance with two red shirts bearing down on him for any crumbs of a chance.

    1738: Cesc Fabregas earns an inch of space which is enough for him to fashion space for a shot. It is a low bobbler which Tim Howard is solidly behind.

    1737: The crossing in this match really has not been up to much. Joleon Lescott's cross from the left is high and held by Jens Lehmann.

    1736: Cesc Fabregas swings an effort in from the left which goes through everybody and out for a throw on the opposite flank.

    1735: A second Arsenal change, Theo Walcott replacing Jeremie Aliadiere, just before a corner. The Gunners have scored a third of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season. We are now in the final 15 minutes.

    1733: An almighty panic in the Arsenal rearguard as the ball pings about in the box. Leon Osman sticks out a leg and for the second time the Gunners are saved by the woodwork as Osman's effort rebounds away.

    1731: A cross into the box from Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg, but Everton keeper Tim Howard is the first man on the end of it.

    1730: Phil Neville unfurls a long throw into the Arsenal box but it is cleared. Defences on top here. It could be a mistake that seals any potential win.

    1729: Alex Hleb replaces Tomas Rosicky for the visitors. Rosicky grabs a big red beanie and a gargantuan Arsenal training jacket to protect himself from the stiff breeze.

    1728: A corner for the Gunners, their third. Kolo Toure meets the ball but heads high and wide.

    1726: The speed of the match is picking up as time ticks down. There is a freneticism to the action with a little over a quarter of the match remaining.

    1724: A skirmish between James Vaughan and Jens Lehmann. The young Evertonian slides in on the German, who as you can guess, is none too pleased. Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other. A chat from the referee and let's get on with it.

    1723: Andy Johnson's on the charge again, this time down the right. He fails to pick out James Vaughan with a return pass into the box.

    1722: Andy Johnson runs off the last man and collects the ball, but Kolo Toure eats up the ground to get back in time with a telling touch as Johnson looks to pull the trigger.

    1721: This time Tomas Rosicky plays a pass into Freddie Ljungberg on the left of the box, but the Swede hammers a rising effort well over the bar.

    1720: Tomas Rosicky and Justin Hoyte exchange passes on the left and the Czech's pull back from the byeline is shinned over the bar by Jeremie Aliadiere.

    1719: You cannot keep Joleon Lescott out of the action at the minute. His back pass from halfway is on the light side and almost allows Jeremie Aliadiere a sniff of an opening, but Tim Howard is off his line to clear on the edge of the box.

    PLAYER RATER: Everton v Arsenal
    Joleon Lescott is now the highest-rated player not just in the Everton ranks, but on the pitch. Cesc Fabregas is second best with and is the only other player scoring more than seven.

    1715: Arsenal clear the initial delivery before Lee Carsley loops a header back into the box which the retreating Joseph Yobo flicks over the bar.

    1714: Having given away a free-kick on the edge of his box, left-back Joleon Lescott now wins one on the edge of the Arsenal box.

    1713: Andy Johnson breaks and then holds the ball up waiting for support. Manuel Fernandes is a willing runner into the box but fires wide.

    1711: Joleon Lescott drags back Jeremie Aliadiere on the right of the Everton area. The home side hold firm.

    1710: A nice back-heeled volley from James Vaughan releases Andy Johnson, but he is offside.

    1709: Everyone seems to be jumping around like drunk students to House of Pain's "Jump Around' as they leap for dropping balls in the swirling wind. Nobody makes contact with the ball.

    1707: Arsenal centre-back William Gallas is pole-axed after a clash of heads with Andy Johnson. Did not seem to be much in it, but the Frenchman has to go off the pitch to receive treatment.

    1706: The action resumes.

    1705: The players emerge for the second half.

    1703: Whoops! Someone's just seen themselves dancing to Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now' on the big screen. There goes their street cred.

    1659: Arsenal's Theo Walcott could yet do the same here of the bench. Present goal odds are 5/4 on two or more, 8/5 on one and 12/5 that the stalemate continues through to the 90th minute.

    1657: The last time Everton scored two against the Gunners anywhere was at Goodison Park in October 2002 when a certain Wayne Rooney announced himself with a thunderbolt of a first Premiership goal.

    1656: Will we get any goals in the second 45? We already know it has been a while since these two shared a goalless draw and in the 14 matches since then at Goodison there has been an average of 2.14 goals-a-game between these two.

    1650: HALF-TIME Everton 0-0 Arsenal
    Abou Diaby peels away from the six-yard box and flicks the corner from Cesc Fabregas on to Julio Baptista at the back post, but the Brazilian nods over. That's the last of the action... for now.

    1649: Added time at the end of the half and a corner for Arsenal, Joleon Lescott blocking Abou Diaby's cross.

    1648: Arsenal's Abou Diaby chances his arm from distance. A thumping drive arrows over the goal.

    1647: The best move of the match from Arsenal. Neat, quick passing and Cesc Fabregas sees his effort saved by Tim Howard's legs.

    1646: James Vaughan fails to control a threaded throughball on the edge of the Arsenal area and a potential opening goes begging.

    1645: The braided Manuel Fernandes showed the beauty of his football earlier and there's the beast, on The Beast. He catches Julio Baptista and becomes Everton's second booking of the afternoon.

    1643: Julio Baptista has a furrowed brow as he stands over a free-kick concentrating on his options. He whips it left-footed, narrowly wide of Tim Howard's right post.

    1641: Jeremie Aliadiere's snap turn and shot on the left corner of the box stings Tim Howard's palms. The American bumbles and fumbles the ball round his post. Everton clear the corner.

    1640: An attacking Arsenal free-kick is cleared by Phil Neville as far as Justin Hoyte, but the Gunners are soon back-pedalling all the way to their own goal.

    1639: Now it is Arsenal's turn to turn up some pressure, but centre-back Alan Stubbs is equal to the best of their lacklustre efforts.

    1637: Everton win a corner. It is initially cleared but Leon Osman gets on the next ball and his looped header has people expectantly rising off their seats but it drops to Jens Lehmann on his line by the post.

    1636: These teams last fought out a 0-0 draw in May 1993 - 30 matches ago. Arsenal have not played out a Premiership goalless draw since January 2006, the longest current run in the league.

    1634: Alan Stubbs slides in on Abou Diaby and is booked. The defender catches the Arsenal man's ankle, which will bring back bad memories of the horrific injury he sustained at the end of last season.

    1633: A deep throw for Everton. William Gallas clears Leon Osman's flick-on before Andy Johnson can get a touch on the edge of the six-yard box in front of goal.

    1631: Abou Diaby's getting in on that midfield action now. Bigger and stronger than the other two, he shrugs off Everton attentions to try and launch something for Arsenal but the move breaks down.

    1629: A really tasty battle is building in midfield between the diminutive duo of Manuel Fernandes and Cesc Fabregas.

    1627: What a firecracker of a shot from Lee Carsley which livens up the crowd. The Irish midfielder rattles the woodwork with a rifled right-footed drive from outside the area. Jens Lehmann was beaten all ends up.

    1624: Kolo Toure's on the burst but his shot is blocked. A tussle on the edge of the area and Manuel Fernandes shows panache and poise to throw off the attentions of Abou Diaby and Cesc Fabregas with some twinkle-toed footwork.

    PLAYER RATER: Everton v Arsenal
    'Mr Casual' William Gallas is on the rise while Joleon Lescott is now Everton's lowest rated player on 5.81.

    1621: Good possession from Arsenal but no end product.

    1618: An Arsenal cross from the right this time, but again, no player can get on the end of that delivery from Kolo Toure.

    1617: Justin Hoyte runs on the outside of Tomas Rosicky to receive a pass near the byeline but his cross is heavy and high.

    1615: Now it is the turn of an Everton player to go down after a strong challenge from Julio Baptista on Mikel Arteta under a high ball on halfway.

    1614: Everton's James Vaughan catches Kolo Toure late but there is no card, just a lecture from referee Mark Clattenburg.

    1613: Everton are definitely holding the upper hand at the moment against an Arsenal side who are yet to lose in the league this year.

    1612: Another good call from the referee as Tim Howard slides in and tips away a throughball off the toes of Jeremie Aliadiere in the box.

    1611: Everton striker Andy Johnson is almost in as a bouncing ball loops into the box. Gilberto Silva gets a touch to it and Jens Lehmann then has too reach from behind and round Johnson to claw the ball clear.

    PLAYER RATER: Everton v Arsenal
    'Mr Casual' William Gallas is down on three and Joleon Lescott is bang on with 10 out of 10 at the moment - although Arsenal's strikers have barely touched the ball so he clearly hasn't been too troubled. Their fortunes, at your fingertips, should reflect those of their teams over the next 85 minutes of action.

    1605: There is an early pep to this with the ball pinging about and Gilberto Silva called into action at centre-back again. Kolo Toure is playing at right-back.

    1603: A peep on the whistle and we are up and running. A win for Everton and they go sixth. Arsenal just want to consolidate third spot before a trip to Liverpool next weekend. Win and they go into that match four points clear of the Anfield outfit.

    1601: The shorts of players and officials flap in the wind as they line up for the pre-match picture. Could be tricky for the keepers, as it was down at The Valley.

    1600: Hats off to the Goodison Park groundsman. Concentric circles, in alternate shades, ring out from the centre spot. It is like a lawn.

    1559: Now Phil Neville has to face up to Gilberto Silva as the teams shake hands. William Gallas looks ridiculously casual as he saunters past the officials, bottle in left hand, shaking hands with them.

    1558: Finally referee Mark Clattenburg emerges from his changing room, he shuffles through the two columns of players and leads them out.

    1556: The players are in the tunnel and home skipper Phil Neville is studiously avoiding eye contact with opposite number Gilberto Silva.

    1550: Everton and Arsenal are in the top five of the Premiership form table. The Gunners are third and Everton fifth, so hopefully they will serve up something better than the large dollop of tripe we had to put up with for the first half of the afternoon.

    1548: Young Jay will be the apple of his mother's eye tonight. The wee Evertonian is holding up a homemade sign wishing her a Happy Mothers Day, signed off with a heart and signature. Nice touch.

    1540: Everton give 18-year-old James Vaughan a first start of the season, while Arsenal's Kolo Toure returns from suspension following his red card in the Carling Cup final.

    1536: Up the other end, in front of their own travelling support, the Arsenal squad are being put through their paces under the watchful eye of Pat Rice.

    1533: The focus is broken as he turns to sign some autographs for eager kids in the front row by the tunnel. David Moyes, who is celebrating five years at the club this weekend, is clearly a man for all seasons and all people.

    1532: All eyes to Goodison Park now where Everton manager David Moyes is staring at his squad's warm-up with the intensity of a sergeant major on the parade ground.

    1527: FULL-TIME Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool
    And that's it in Birmingham as well, despite the fact they started five minutes later. A dull game and Liverpool waste a good chance to climb above Arsenal into third spot. The point is enough for Villa to climb above Fulham on goal difference into 13th.

    1526: FULL-TIME Charlton 2-0 Newcastle
    Delight at The Valley as the final whistle goes. They cut the gap to Sheffield United in 17th to four points with Wigan to come at home next up.

    1524: A fine save by Scott Carson to maintain Charlton's two-goal advantage as he tips over a shot from Charles N'Zogbia.

    1523: A good save by Thomas Sorensen maintains the stalemate at Villa Park. Robbie Fowler glances Jermaine Pennant's cross downwards and goalwards, but the Dane turns is down well to turn it around his post.

    1520: GOAL Charlton 2-0 Newcastle
    That is the three points for Charlton. Jerome Thomas calmly slots from the penalty spot following Nobby Solano's trip on Zheng Zhi. Shay Given went right and could only give a helpless glance over his shoulder as the ball went to his left.

    1518: Robbie Fowler is on for Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard. In London, Amdy Faye catches Emre but no card for him. A good job too as that would equal a red for him and an early bath.

    1517: Emre's dancing forward for Newcastle but Charlton easily clear. A cheer from the home fans as Scott Parker - today's panto villain - is booked.

    1515: That is the last we see of Darren Bent. Having just recovered from a lengthy injury he is off for Kevin Lisbie. That is Charlton's third and final change of the day.

    1514: Oguchi Onyewu is dispossessed by Darren Bent as he casually runs the ball out of defence. The Charlton striker turns back on goal and spanks an effort over.

    1512: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is stalking the touchline with all the menace of Neighbours stalwart Harold Bishop. An episode of the Melbourne drama would at least have more intrigue and suspense than the stuff the Spaniard is presently watching.

    1510: Patrik Berger is on against his former club at Villa Park. Ashley Young is the player to make way.

    1509: The left byeline at the other end now. Shay Given blocks Zheng Zhi's attempted clip into the box.

    1508: That was Kieron Dyer's last contribution. He is replaced by Charles N'Zogbia.

    1507: End-to-end stuff at Charlton and surely a decent penalty shout for Newcastle but the do not seem that bothered. Kieron Dyer breaks to the byeline on the left of the goal and, while it is blocked by Talal El Karkouri on the slide, it touches the defender's hands.

    1506: Charlton's Darren Bent should have backed himself there. Breaking down the right he opts to find Dennis Rommedahl but his threaded pass across the penalty area is cut out by Scott Parker.

    1505: A second change for Liverpool. Jermaine Pennant on. Craig Bellamy off.

    PLAYER RATER: Aston Villa v Liverpool
    The big news from Villa Park is that Gavin McCann has made it above four.

    1502: Another amazing miss for Charlton, but Darren Bent's embarrassment is saved by the offside flag. Two Magpies defenders missed a looped cross which dropped to Bent one-on-one with Shay Given, but he dragged the shot wide.

    1500: Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy chops at Stilian Petrov from behind and then snarls at referee Lee Mason as he is booked.

    1458: That's the tactic though. Play on the break and it almost reaped the ultimate reward. Shay Given makes another awesome save to deny a Darren Bent. Again the ball drops to Zheng Zhi but he hits his effort over the bar. What a waste.

    1456: You can tell Charlton are at the wrong end of the table. They are 1-0 up with about 30 minutes back and are throwing men behind the ball. Could be nervy in the final 10 minutes if it stays like this.

    1455: Dennis Rommedahl goes down in the box for Charlton and the referee's pointing to something, but it's not the penalty spot. Dermot Gallagher is signalling a goal kick.

    1453: A change for Liverpool with Xabi Alonso replacing Mohamed Sissoko.

    1450: Jerome Thomas whips a cross into the Newcastle box from the left. It gets a buffeting from the wind and almost deceives one and all before Shay Given claws it away at his left post. Great save.

    1449: John Carew's right boot resembles a pinball paddle. A drilled pass into the box ricochets off it as he looks to turn and runs harmlessly through to Pepe Reina.

    1447: Liverpool enjoyed 58% of the possession in the first-half at Villa Park and it is more of the same in the opening exchanges after the break.

    1445: GOAL Charlton 1-0 Newcastle
    Finally a goal. Darren Bent's free-kick hits the bar and, while Newcastle's statuesque defence looks on, Zheng Zhi nods in the rebound for his first goal in English football on his full debut.

    1444: Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder has clearly put a rocket up his team at the break. They have come out firing, only for James Milner to give away a soft free-kick outside his own box.

    1442: A shocking miss from Obafemi Martins. Emre's shot drops to him one-on-one with Scott Carson but his stabbed effort bobbles wide after catching in his feet.

    1441: Amdy Faye clatters into Scott Parker and gets a booking.

    1440: Liverpool kick-off the second half at Villa Park.

    1439: Mis-timing on the PA at Charlton. The strains of House of Pain's 'Jump Around' still ring out once the second 45 has well and truly started.

    1438: Back up and running at The Valley where Charlton have made a second change. Dennis Rommedahl replaces Marcus Bent. Kieron Dyer is still on, but he is still limping.

    1432: Yet again the Villa Park entertainment is lacking in comparison. Fans there have to do with watching the automatic sprinklers popping up, but only in the half Liverpool will be attacking come the second 45. There's one for conspiracy theorists.

    1431: Charlton director Michael Grade is texting on his phone at half-time with a bloke wearing some sort of over-sized Kossack headgear in close attendance. That is the best thing that has been seen at The Valley since the Bootleg Blues Brothers disappeared.

    PLAYER RATER: Aston Villa v Liverpool
    Steven Gerrard's leading the way at Villa Park, where Gavin McCann is measuring 3.33! He can't be playing that badly, can he?

    PLAYER RATER: Charlton v Newcastle
    You lot are being generous today. Everyone above half marks with Shay Given leading the way on 7.78. Preposterous.

    1423: HALF-TIME Aston Villa 0-0 Liverpool
    The home side roused themselves just before the break so the boos are not for them. They are for referee Lee Mason after that penalty shout was dismissed.

    1421: Shouts for a penalty at Villa Park. Stilian Petrov turns with the ball in the box. His first touch is not the best and he goes down after tangling with Steve Finnan and Jamie Carragher. Referee Lee Mason waves play on.

    1420: HALF-TIME Charlton 0-0 Newcastle
    That's that - thank goodness.

    1419: With Marcus Bent sniffing a chance, Nobby Solano heads behind. A corner for Charlton right at the end of the first half. The delivery is poor and rebounds off Craig Moore into Shay Given's hands.

    1418: Kieron Dyer update. He is back on.

    1417: A corner for Charlton, but it is so windy the ball keeps rolling away from wherever Zhi Zheng places it. Eventually he swings an effort in and Soulemayne has a snatched shot which he spoons over the bar.

    1416: Kieron Dyer is having treatment on his left ankle on the edge of the pitch.

    1415: Ironic chants of "shoot" as the ball drops to Scott Parker. He obliges the home fans on both levels. He shoots, and it is even more ridiculously tame than his earlier effort.

    1413: Dirk Kuyt lays the ball off for Mohamed Sissoko on the edge of the Villa box, but the home defenders are out of the blocks as if it is the Olympic 100m final and block the danger.

    1411: A change for Charlton. Alex Song had just been chatting with boss Alan Pardew at a break and he'll get another chance to pass the time of day with his manager as he is the man to come off. Former Magpie Amdy Faye comes on.

    1409: Newcastle have won only once at Charlton in the last decade. That was three seasons ago.

    1408: Shay Given flaps at a high, hanging Luke Young cross but Darren Bent fails to pounce. It falls at the striker's feet, but maybe the surprise of it left him flat footed. TO be fair to Given, it is blowy out there.

    1407: Kieron Dyer is back on the straight and narrow again.

    1405: Villa flyer Gabriel Agbonlahor is asking questions of the Liverpool defence having come into the box from the right wing. His effort to cross is blocked. And again.

    1403: Villa have only taken three points from a match against Liverpool once this century. That was in September 2001.

    1402: Aston Villa last beat Liverpool at home in 1998. That's a remarkably long time for what is a pretty decent club. Jamie Carragher's the only survivor from that match.

    1401: More injuries than notable chances at Charlton. Newcastle's Kieron Dyer is hobbling around on the fringes of the action like a disorientated drunk.

    1358: Same old, same old out there. Poor quality from highly-paid professionals in the self-styled best league in the world.

    1357: The gloved Soulemayne Diawara is back on. He's still rubbing that knee, but he is back.

    1356: A yellow card for Liverpool new boy Javier Mascherano as he catches Gareth Barry with a hanging leg in a 50-50 challenge.

    1355: Charlton's Soulemayne Diawara is struggling after a collision with James Milner. He is a big old unit but has come off second best and is nursing a knock to his right knee.

    1353: An inviting cross from the left from Newcastle's James Milner dinked into the six-yard box. Antoine Sibierski is close to getting on the end of it, but Luke Young steals in to head clear.

    1351: Steven Gerrard gets a chance to improve on that almost immediately. He does, but Villa get the second touch. It is a heavy one hoofed up the field.

    1350: A corner for Liverpool but it is the bane of the fan. A delivery that fails to beat the first man.

    1348: Now the rain has stopped and it is so sunny Charlton keeper Scott Carson has dug out his cap. All this Michael Fish stuff is because, to be honest, the weather's more interesting than the football at the minute.

    1347: A free-kick for Charlton outside the box. Talal El Karkouri rifles a drilled effort wide.

    1346: What is going on with the weather at The Valley. Bright sunshine and fierce rain all at the same time. Where's the rainbow and that pot of gold?

    1345: Villa defender Phil Bardsley and goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen get their knickers in a twist. "You have it". "No, you have it". Craig Bellamy almost sneaks inbetween them but the big Danish stopper lashes the ball away in the nick of time.

    1344: A chance for Charlton? Not with James Milner tracking Jerome Thomas and sliding in with a perfectly timed tackle in the box. Not bad for a midfielder. In fact, very good. It's like Waldorf and Statler round here. That was excellent.

    1342: It is now bucketing down at Charlton.

    1341: Neat footwork by England discard Gareth Barry on the left, but after turning away from Steven Gerrard he spanks an angled cross into the box over everybody and out of play.

    1340: Liverpool break down the left but Dirk Kuyt fails to head John Arne Riise's cross on target.

    1338: Randy Lerner's looking on at Villa Park sporting the sort of overcoat Frank Butcher wore on the car lot in Eastenders, although no doubt the American's beige number is of greater quality and more expense.

    1337: Soulemayne Diawara slides in to take the ball off the toes of Antoine Sibierski on the edge of the Charlton box. It is all Newcastle in the scrappy opening exchanges.

    1336: Aston Villa's Ashley Young shows some nimble footwork... as he dances over the static ball before kick-off. Boss Martin O'Neill will want to see more of that now the game has actually begun.

    1334: Scott Parker, sporting a Clark Kent slicked combover, shoots wildly wide. The home fans are lapping that up as the ball trickles out closer to the corner flag than the goal.

    1333: The players emerge at Villa Park and finally some music to get people going - Republica's 'Ready To Go' is the track of choice. The Blues Brothers win that one hands down.

    1332: Up and running at Charlton.

    1331: It's a blustery old afternoon at the Valley, with a bite to the wind. Rumour has it snow is on the way but no sign of that in London or up at Birmingham where there is a milky sunshine.

    1330: Former Addicks midfielder Scott Parker is at the head of the Newcastle line of players. His name gets roundly booed when read over the PA system.

    1329: Talking about Charlton, here they come alongside Newcastle. Darren Bent leads out the home side and those dudes in suits have really got the atmosphere going.

    1328: In terms of the Premiership table, what can happen this afternoon? Well, Liverpool will be looking to climb back above Arsenal into third - for a few hours at least - and Charlton will be looking to cut the gap to safety from seven to four.

    1326: Still not much to stir those who have turned up at Villa Park as the players trot off down the tunnel. Bear in mind this match starts five minutes later than the one in south east London.

    1323: They get a grand reception come the end of their set. "When the red, red robin comes bob bob bobbing along" is going to seem pretty tame in comparison.

    1322: Time for a bit more from 'Gimme Some Lovin'', but is this prophetic or tempting fate regarding the relegation scrap they are in? "I'm so glad we made it, so glad we made it...'

    1320: Back to The Valley which is way more fun. "Well my temperature's rising and my feet on the floor, 20 people rockin' and they wanna go more..." It's is way more than 20 and the Bootleg Blues Brothers have got the locals tapping their get here and swinging those hips.

    1318: It is all a bit more sedate at Villa Park. Announcements about tickets for forthcoming matches as Aston Villa and Liverpool players tune up on the green stuff.

    1316: While on the pitch there is a real party atmosphere with two blokes dressed up as the Blues Brothers, with the added twist of Addicks scarves. "Bend over, let me see you shake your tail feather...". Is that some sort of come on for Magpies fans?

    1315: There's a revolution at Charlton! Not really, but a huge flag of Che Guevara is being pushed across the heads of supporters.

    TEAM NEWS

    Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill keeps faith with the starting line-up beaten by Arsenal in midweek. Liverpool make two changes from the team that were beaten by Manchester United in their last Premiership outing, with Fabio Aurelio and Javier Mascherano coming in for Xabi Alonso and Mark Gonzalez.

    Darren Bent hands Charlton a much-needed boost after shaking off a knee problem to start, while Hermann Hreidarsson and Marcus Bent also return from injury. Newcastle make wholesale changes after their Uefa Cup exit to AZ Alkmaar, with Titus Bramble and Steve Taylor among those paying the price for a poor defensive display.

    Everton make three changes with Alan Stubbs, Leon Osman and James Vaughan coming into the side. It is two changes for Arsenal with Kolo Toure back from suspension and Tomas Rosicky fit again. Johan Djourou and Denilson drop out.




  • SEE ALSO
    Sunday's football photos
    18 Mar 07 |  Football


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