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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 March 2007, 13:42 GMT 14:42 UK
Premiership clockwatch
Bolton 1-0 Sheff Utd
Charlton 1-0 Wigan
Fulham 1-1 Portsmouth
Man Utd 4-1 Blackburn
Newcastle 0-1 Man City
West Ham 2-0 Middlesbrough

Early game:
Liverpool 4-1 Arsenal

Later kick-off:
Watford v Chelsea (1715 GMT)

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

By Ian Hughes

1652: The final whistle goes at Bolton, who edge to victory. And at Fulham, where the home side are rescued by a late strike. Charlton clinch victory at The Valley, while West Ham also take a vital three points - as do Manchester City. And United move nine points clear at the top of the table - at least until Chelsea play Watford in the day's evening kick-off.

1649: GOAL Fulham 1-1 Portsmouth
Despite carrying an injury, Ian Pearce manages to score the equaliser for his side, which seems certain to salavage a point.

1649: GOAL Manchester United 4-1 Blackburn
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rounds things off for United, slotting home comfortably after the ball drifts across the box.

1647: Newcastle almost draw level but Steven Taylor sees his effort come back off the bar.

1643: GOAL Charlton 1-0 Wigan
Darren Bent scores from the spot after he had earned the kick when he was fouled by Fitz Hall.

1642: GOAL Manchester United 3-1 Blackburn United make their second-half superiority tell as Ji-Sung Park finishes smartly from inside the box.

1637: GOAL Bolton 1-0 sheffield United
Nicolas Anelka picks up the ball and cuts inside before laying the ball into the path of Kevin Davies whose low shot beats Paddy Kenny's dive.

1637: GOAL Newcastle 0-1 Manchester City
Emile Mpenza runs on to a smart throughball and lashes home a left-foot shot that could mean so much to his side, and his manager's chances of keeping his job.

1635: West Ham are in complete control against Boro - with Carlos Tevez leading the way for the home side.

1632: GOAL Manchester United 2-1 Blackburn
United complete their recovery to move into the lead. Cristiano Ronaldo threads a ball through a crowded penalty area and Michael Carrick accepts the chance by sidefooting low into the corner.

1628: How did he miss that?? Ryan Giggs hammers a shot against the bar from close range after Brad Friedel tips away a Cristiano Ronaldo cross.

1628: Bobby Zamora comes off to a standing ovation at Upton Park. Kepa Blanco replaces him.

1624: Ryan Giggs sends in a free-kick which takes a deflection and flies narrowly wide as Manchester United turn up the heat another notch on Rovers. Cristiano Ronaldo then breaks through but is denied by a smart stop from Brad Friedel. United are rampant at the moment.

1620: GOAL Manchester United 1-1 Blackburn
Paul Scholes wriggles into space in the area and slides in a shot to bring his side level.

1619: Lee McCulloch slides in at the back post but cannot quite wrap his foot around the ball - it is about the first real chance of a tepid encounter at The Valley.

1616: Red faces all round at Old Trafford. Rio Ferdinand is embarrassed while a woman in the crowd is in pain after the United defender lashes at the ball in frustration and it smashes her in the head.

1615: Boos might just be infectious. They have been ringing out around Newcastle, with the home fans as unhappy as travelling England supporters.

1611: Fortunately for Sheffield United, Paddy Kenny is in inspired form. He makes superb stops from Gary Speed and then Kevin Davies as Bolton continue to press.

1602: As the match restarts at Craven Cottage, news comes through from Old Trafford that Nemanja Vidic has broken his collar bone - he is unlikely to play again this season. We're also underway at The Reebok and The Valley. And the rest soon follow suit.

1600: With Chelsea playing later, United will want to turn things around against Blackburn and move nine points clear of the Blues. And surely Rooney can't continue to be so off colour? Of the bottom three teams, only West Ham are winning - with Watford playing later, of course - and if it stays that way they will close the gap on Charlton to two points. Sheffield United, one place above the drop zone are also drawing.

HALF-TIME: Whisltes signal the interval at Premiership grounds arond the country - and a fair few hairdryer treatments are likely to be handed out, with Manchester United's dressing room likely to be fiery, to say the least!

1545: Sheffield United are under the cosh but might have taken the lead just before the break, Keith Gillespie's shot defelcted off Ricardo Gardner and drifted inches wide with Jussi Jaaskelainen completely wrong-footed.

1545 GOAL West Ham 2-0 Middlesbrough I'll be doing the lottery tonight! As predicted, Carlos Tevez - who is head and shoulders above eveyrone else on the pitch - doubles West Ham's lead. He gets a lucky break as the ball bounces off Andrew Taylor but then he slots home with ease.

1543: Charlton are gradually working their way into their six-pointer at home to Wigan and Jerome Thomas flashes a shot just wide of the John Filan's left-hand post.

1541: The keepers are on form today. At Craven Cottage, David James makes a great stop from Franck Queudrue's low shot at the near post. And at Upton Park, Mark Schwarzer proves equal to a Carlos Tevez effort. The Argentine striker looks a class act and seems determined to get on the scoresheet.

1540: Bolton are doing all the pressing and Paddy Kenny makes another fabulous save, this time to deny El-Hadji Diouf. Big Sam's boys look in the mood to end a poor home run in which they have won only once in five matches.

1537: Boro win a free-kick 25 yards out and after what seems like a week-and-a-half's wait for the referee to get the wall back, Mark Viduka balloons his shot wildly over. Over the bar... over the stadium... an awful effort.

1535: Nicky Hunt's volley is heading for the top corner but fails to reach its destination as Sheffield United keeper Paddy Kenny pulls off an excellent save.

1530: Newcastle are perhaps blinded by the bright spring sunshine as they fail to spot and close down Emile Mpenza in acres of space and he promptly smashes in a shot from outside the box which cracks back off the bar.

1527: GOAL Manchester United 0-1 Blackburn
And it gets worse for United as Michael Carrick almost scores an own goal when he steers Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross at Edwin van der Sar. The Dutchman does well to keep the ball out but Matt Derbyshire reacts fastest to smash the ball in.

1523: Wayne Rooney is having an absolute shocker. Ryan Giggs picks him out in the box with a chipped pass only for the striker to get the ball caught under his feet and eventually dig out a tame shot straight at Brad Friedel. Shortly after, Nemanja Vidic is strechered off with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.

1522: Wigan are on top at The Valley and Caleb Folan is close to putting them ahead when he runs through on goal, but Scott Carson's challenge is enough to put him off - and leaves both men in some pain.

1521: Wes Brown looks very fortunate to have not conceded a penalty at Old Trafford after appearing to intercept David Dunne's cross with his hand.

1517: Scott Parker bursts through from midfield and finishes confidently but the goal is ruled out for offside. Very debatable.

1516: "Pimp my Defence" from Sheffield United, with Neil Warnock stripping down his back four and completely rebuilding it, picking four central defenders to cope with Bolton's areial threat.

1514: Manchester United fans will be hoping Wayne Rooney has not brought his international form back with him to Old Trafford after they see him miss a superb chance. After Cristiano Ronaldo's shot is saved, Rooney blazes the ball into the side netting. Don't expect any boos yet, though.

1511: The identity of the mysterious opera singer at The Valley has been revealed. Martin Toal was the not at all fat man who was singing well before it was over - before it began, in fact.

1509: BBC Sport columnist Kevin Nolan is booked after nine minutes for a foul on Michael Tonge, earning him a two-match suspension.

1506: West Ham have flown out of the traps and could have gone two goals up after a fine run from Carlos Tevez, but his poor final touch allowed Jonathan Woodgate to make the tackle.

1504: GOAL Fulham 0-1 Portsmouth
And there's an early strike at Craven Cottage - and it a belter. Niko Kranjcar opens his Pompey goal account with the sweetest of shots, curling into the top right corner from outside the area.

1502: GOAL West Ham 1-0 Middlesbrough
The Hammers make a dream start, opening the scoring with less than two minutes played. After a couple of deflections the ball breaks to Bobby Zamora, who cracks in a low shot from close range.

1501: And we're off at Manchester United and at Newcastle, followed by kick-off at Fulham and at Upton Park. Bringing up the rear is the newly-cultured lot at The Valley and the match at Bolton.

1452: At Fulham, the water sprinklers are in full jet and appear to be dancing in formation to the tunes ringing out around the ground. But it cannot compete with Nessun Dorma being sung back at The Valley. Nessun Dorma translates as 'none shall sleep' - let's hope the quality of football keeps everyone awake today.

1447: A mysterious opera singer is charming the Charlton and Wigan fans by belting out old all the old classics from the middle of the pitch. All together now... "Just one cornetto"....

1440: Today marks the first Premiership matches of British Summer Time 2007. Liverpool kicked things off earlier with a comprehensive win over Arsenal, who were so far off the pace they could have still been in GMT and an hour behind their opponents.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar and midfielder Paul Scholes return after three games out and Wayne Rooney starts. Blackburn have playmaker David Bentley suspended but defender Ryan Nelsen is back after a hamstring injury.

Newcastle full-backs Stephen Carr and Celestine Babayaro return after injury and Nicky Butt is recalled after a one-match ban. Manchester City make one change from the side that beat Middlesbrough 2-0, with Nedum Onouha replacing the injured Micah Richards at right-back.

Charlton make one change from the win over Newcastle with Dennis Rommedahl in for Marcus Bent, while Alexandre Song and Darren Bent were fit to start. Wigan trio Leighton Baines, Lee McCulloch and Fitz Hall all return from suspension, with Kevin Kilbane, David Unsworth and Antonio Valencia dropping to the bench.

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley makes just one change from the side that beat Blackburn last week, with match-winner Bobby Zamora replacing Marlon Harewood up front. Middlesbrough are without Julio Arca (groin) and Lee Cattermole (ban), so Stuart Parnaby and Fabio Rochemback come in, while Jonathan Woodgate has shaken off a knee problem.

Bolton show two changes to team beaten 4-1 at Old Trafford. Abdoulaye Meite and El Hadji Diouf come in for Ivan Campo and Henrik Pedersen. Sheffield United make six changes from their last Premiership outing. In addition to the injured Rob Hulse, out go Derek Geary, Claude Davis, Chris Morgan, Chris Armstrong and Alan Quinn. Into the starting line-up come Matthew Kilgallon, Chris Lucketti, Leigh Bromby, Mikele Leigertwood, Michael Tonge, and Christian Nade.

Fulham have Italian striker Vincenzo Montella back on the bench after a three-match suspension. Portsmouth are without injured Glen Johnson, but Lauren is fit again and Sean Davis returns from suspension to face his former club. Benjani Mwaruwari plays alongside Kanu in an attacking line-up.

SEE ALSO
Saturday's football photos
31 Mar 07 |  Football


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