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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 April 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Premiership clockwatch
Arsenal 0-1 West Ham FT
Blackburn 1-2 Aston Villa FT
Middlesbrough 4-1 Watford FT
Reading 1-2 Liverpool FT
Sheffield United 1-2 Newcastle FT
Wigan 1-3 Bolton FT

Earlier game:
Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham

Later game:
Portsmouth v Man Utd (1715 BST)

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

By Andrew McKenzie

PLAYER RATER: Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka is the leading man so far with a rating of 8.82, while Patrik Berger (8.71), Andranik Teymourian (8.52), Obafemi Martins (8.34), Robert Green (8.09) and Ben Foster (8.07) were not far behind. But it is still not too late for you to register your vote using the relevant links above.

1657: West Ham's heroes Bobby Zamora and Robert Green share a hug in the tunnel at the Emirates. A thrilling game but apparently there are question marks over whether their winning goal was offside or not. Remember to tune in to Match of the Day on BBC One 2220 BST tonight for highlights and reaction to all today's games.

1655: Sheffield United have lost 2-1 and they see their advantage over West Ham cut to just two points. The relegation scrap has took a couple of turns this afternoon.

1654: And the full-time whistle goes at Wigan and Arsenal, who slip to a third straight defeat and a first ever loss at the Emirates. West Ham boss Alan Curbishley looks more relieved than anything, what a huge three points that could be.

1654: Full-time at the Madejski. A valuable three points for Liverpool, even if it came late.

1653: Arsenal are continuing to throw everything at West Ham, but the Hammers are holding out. Nervous times for the visiting fans.

1652: It is all over at Blackburn and at Middlesbrough. Villa do their relegation battle a huge favour, but Watford slip a step closer to the drop.

1649: Villa are clinging on by their fingertips as David Bentley hits the bar for Blackburn.

1648: Luis Boa Morte has a great chance to seal the three points against his old side as he is clean through on goal but he dithers, is forced wide by Jens Lehmann and then lifts his effort wide.

1646: GOAL Reading 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool look like opening a five point gap ahead of Arsenal as Jermaine Pennant crosses to the back post and Dirk Kuyt dissects two Reading defenders to head past Marcus Hahnemann.

1645: Arsenal's attacking misery goes on as Gilberto Silva sticks out a leg and his effort hits the woodwork. That is his last effort of the day as he trudges off.

1644: Chris Lucketti heads just wide for Sheffield United. Looks like it could be a barnstorming finish.

1643: Reading are clearly not settling for a point at home to Liverpool as they send on top scorer Leroy Lita.

1642: GOAL Sheffield United 1-2 Newcastle
Newcastle go back in front when a James Milner corner is thumped home at the back post by Steven Taylor.

1641: Lee McCulloch hits the woodwork for Wigan.

1639: Middlesbrough 4-1 Watford
The Watford defence looks like they have packed up for the afternoon - if not the season - as Mark Viduka is allowed to stroll to the edge of the box and slip the ball through for Fabio Rochemback to walk the ball in.

1637: Stephen Hunt comes to the rescue for Reading as Marcus Hahnemann misses a Steven Gerrard free-kick but his team-mate is handily placed to head off the line Jermaine Pennant poised to pounce.

1635: GOAL Sheffield United 1-1 Newcastle
> Christian Nade scores the equaliser for the Blades. Former Magpie Keith Gillespie pings in a cross with the outside of his foot. Nick Montgomery wins possession and lays the ball to substitute Nade who slides his shot past Given from six yards.

1635: GOAL Middlesbrough 3-1 Watford
Middlesbrough look home and dry, Watford look sunk. Ben Foster can do little about it as his defence caves in and allow Mark Viduka drive high into the net.

1633: GOAL Wigan 1-3 Bolton
Bolton have found a new hero. Two goals in a matter of minutes from Andranik Teymourian, who heads in after being teed-up by Kevin Davies.

1631: GOAL Blackburn 1-2 Aston Villa
Villa are in front when Patrik Berger battles for the ball and then releases Gabriel Agbonlahor and he runs clear on goal before finishing past Brad Friedel.

1629: GOAL Wigan 1-2 Bolton
Bolton are in front from a lovely goal by Andranik Teymourian. El-Hadji Diouf does superbly to control a clearance by Jussi Jaaskelainin and then puts it on a plate for the Iranian to score.

1628: Ben Foster is again called on as he gets down low to save from a Stewart Downing right-foot shot.

1626: The scoreline somehow remains 1-0 to West Ham but there are a couple of new faces at the Emirates. West Ham scorer Bobby Zamora comes off to be replaced by Luis Boa Morte. For Arsenal, Jeremie Aliadiere is on for Alex Hleb

1625: At the other end Michael Tonge blazes over from eight yards for Sheffield United. It was their best chance of the game.

1624: Paddy Kenny goes walkabout at Bramall Lane and leaves his goal unmanned. Fortunately for the Blades, Obafemi Martins cannot squeeze it in from a tight angle and sees his shot hit the post and then Antoine Sibierski drills the rebound over.

1623: Reading are almost in front when John Oster swings in a free-kick and Peter Crouch looks to get the final touch before the ball smacks against the woodwork.

1622: Another minute, another Arsenal chance. This time Gilberto Silva arrives late to meet a right-wing cross but he glances it wide of goal.

1621: It looks like it could be one of those days for Arsenal. Cesc Fabregas, who has not scored since grabbing two against Dynamo Zagreb at the start of August, sees a long-range effort come off the crossbar.

1619: Who says England doesn't produce good goalkeepers any more? Robert Green again keeps Arsenal at bay with a brilliant one-handed save to deny Emmanuel Adebayor.

1617: Watford keeper Ben Foster is having a great game. He's denied Yakubu a couple of times and Stewart Downing also finds the England international too good to beat.

1615: Scott Parker is replaced by Emre. The Newcastle skipper has been struggling with a knock.

1614: Arsenal still on top at the Emirates but still trailing. Gilberto Silva is denied an equaliser by a tremendous stop from Robert Green.

1613: Wigan should have their noses in front but Paul Scharner wastes a good chance. He takes a deep corner on his chest but then loses his cool by blasting well off target.

1611: The one thing you can about Yakubu is he is not afraid to shoot. This time the Boro frontman drags an ugly effort from well outside the box well wide.

1608: Liverpool have the chance to edge back in front but Craig Bellamy just runs out of room as he runs through on goal. The Welshman wants a penalty but referee Peter Walton is having none of it.

1606: GOAL Reading 1-1 Liverpool
Reading are back level through a stunning goal from Brynjar Gunnarsson. A Stephen Hunt ball over the top and the Icelandic full-back produces a delightful finish that gives Jose Reina no chance.

1604: MISSED PENALTY There is action within a minute of the restart at Ewood Park. Ryan Nelson gives away a spot-kick when he handles in the area but Gareth Barry opts for power and big Brad Friedel stands tall and is able to push it away.

1554: PLAYER RATER Patrik Berger has clearly caught the eye in the first half. The Villa forward has a rating of 8.56 after 45 minutes of Ewood action. Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka is not far behind with a rating of 8.23.

1551: That is half-time in all six games now. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger heads down the tunnel shaking his head. He seems a bit unhappy with the referee but just looks generally bewildered. And no wonder - that was just the third shot for the Hammers, while his side have managed 13. Unlucky for some.

1548: GOAL Arsenal 0-1 West Ham
There is still time for a goal at one of the late starters. Bobby Zamora latches onto a long ball from Lucas Neill and his outstretched leg manages to poke the ball over Jens Lehmann.

1548: The half-time whistles are being blown around the country.

1547: Reading have enjoyed plenty of possession as they hunt for a way back into their match but Liverpool are defending stoutly on the edge of their own area and the pace of Alvaro Arbeloa and Craig Bellamy - to name but two - means Rafa Benitez's side always look dangerous on the break.

1546: Nearly two goals in a minute for Bolton as El-Hadji Diouf's close-range shot is saved by John Filan.

1544: Wigan 1-1 Bolton
It is all square in Lancashire as Bolton finish off a good old-fashioned goalmouth scramble. The ball falls to El-Hadji Diouf at the backpost and he fires in a shot that Nicolas Anelka shins home.

1542: Ben Foster looks set for another busy afternoon in the Watford goal. The young keeper does well to beat out a shot from Boro forward Mark Viduka.

1541: Middlesbrough striker Yakubu does well to spin away from Danny Shittu but then wastes all his good work with a wild swipe of a shot that is well wide.

1538: Damien Duff goes close for Newcastle after a lay off from Antoine Sibierski. The Irishman flashes a right-foot shot across the face of Paddy Kenny's goal and just the wrong side of the upright.

1535: It is all kicking off at Bramall Lane. Obafemi Martins picks up the ball and fends off a handful of challenges before he is pushed the ground by Jon Stead. Magpies captain Scott Parker, incensed by Stead's challenge, rushes in to push the Blades striker before players from both sides join in for handbags. Parker and Stead are booked by referee Mike Halsey for their part in the fracas.

1533: GOAL Blackburn 1-1 Aston Villa
Villa equalise when Phillip Bardsley makes amends for giving away a penalty when his cross finds Patrik Berger who adds the slightest touch to send the ball past Brad Friedel.

1533: GOAL Wigan 1-0 Bolton
Wigan get their necks in front after a neat build-up. A nice flick from Caleb Folan and Paul Scharner centres for Emile Heskey to bundle in.

1531: Morten Gamst Pederson is close to a second for Blackburn as he shoots over.

1529: Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd is not messing round as he hauls off Darius Henderson and replaces him with Hameur Bouazza.

1527: GOAL Middlesbrough 2-1 Watford
Or maybe not. Watford's joy was shortlived as Chris Riggott fires Boro back in front.

1525: GOAL Middlesbrough 1-1 Watford
The Hornets are back on level terms through a great volley from Damien Francis. Some hope for the Hornets.

1524: GOAL Blackburn 1-0 Aston Villa
The deadlock is broken at Ewood against the run of play. Phillip Bardsley chops down Morten Gamst Pedersen in the area and Benni McCarthy scores from the spot.

1524: Blackburn's only response to Villa's early dominance are two weak efforts from David Bentley, back in the Rovers side after suspension.

1522: A quick response by the Hammers with Lee Bowyer registering an effort on goal, but it is easily blocked.

1521: It is all Arsenal at the Emirates. The Gunners have had seven shots in the first 15 minutes - compared to West Ham's zero. The Gunners have also had 74% of possession.

1519: GOAL Sheffield United 0-1 Newcastle
The Magpies score a first goal in 397 minutes through top scorer Obafemi Martins. A Damien Duff cross is headed down into Martins' path by James Milner and he does well to wrap a chunky thigh around the ball and power past Paddy Kenny.

1518: Kevin Doyle has a great chance to level almost instantly for Reading when the ball breaks to him inside the area. But while his shot has power, it lacks accuracy and sails harmlessly over Jose Reina's crossbar.

1518: Another chance for Arsenal another dreadful finish. This time the guilty man is Tomas Rosicky who spoons wide from an Alexander Hleb cross.

1516: That goal spells danger for Reading. Of the 17 Premiership games Liverpool have gone ahead in this season they have won 16 of them.

1514: GOAL Reading 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool take the lead through Alvaro Arbeloa's first goal for the club. It came from a Reading free-kick and ended with Peter Crouch slipping it into the Spaniard and he produced the coolest of cool finishes to slot past Marcus Hahnemann.

1511: Arsenal could have been four goals ahead by now as Emmanuel Adebayor wastes their latest chance after being fed by Freddie Ljungberg.

1508: Villa's early pressure nearly pays off when Shaun Maloney's whipped corner is headed off his goalline by Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen.

1508: It has been a quiet start at the Madejski Stadium but Reading have carved out the first chance. Steve Hunt fed John Oster inside the box but his shot was beaten away by Liverpool keeper Jose Reina who then pushed Hunt aside to retrieve the loose ball.

1506: GOAL Middlesbrough 1-0 Watford
Bad news for the bottom side as they go behind to a Mark Viduka goal.

1506: Emmanuel Adebayor breaks down the left, beats Lucas Neill but curls his shot into Rob Green's arms. Moments later, Freddie Ljungberg goes down in the box but no pen.

1506: Wigan are just off the mark through a Lee McCulloch left-foot shot.

1504: Arsenal are close to an early opener when Cesc Fabregas - the only Arsenal player to have played in every one of their league game this season - is put through on goal but his shot is saved by Robert Green.

1503: Down at the Madejski, Reading go close through a Ivar Ingimarsson header just over.

1503: All six games are now up and running, last to start is Sheffield United against Newcastle. Shame on you.

1500: Congratulations on Reading for managing to get their game under way on time.

1457: The teams are emerging through the relevant tunnels. Blackburn, complete with all 11 mascots, are making their way onto the field.

1453: Over at the Emirates the Gunners have got the sprinklers - all eight of them - out for some last-minute watering. Obviously the hosepipe ban does not apply to Highbury.

1449: Aston Villa are only four points above the dreaded drop zone and will look to do the double over Blackburn when they meet at Ewood Park. However, since beating Rovers at home in November Martin O'Neill's side have only managed three wins (Everton, Watford and West Ham).

1446: Wigan, who are just two points clear of safety, host Lancashire rivals and European hopefuls Bolton at the JJB where the home side have failed to score in seven out of the last 10.

1445: Sheffield United slipped into the bottom three for the first time since November courtesy of Charlton's goalless draw on Good Friday and they will be protecting an unbeaten home record against Newcastle that goes back to August 1972.

1443: Bottom side Watford are running out of games to avoid the drop, but they head to Teesside to face a Middlesbrough side who have not scored in nearly five hours of Premiership football.

1442: The other four games all see teams still not clear of relegation danger.

1441: Liverpool, meanwhile make their first ever trip to Reading. The Royals have not won in six games, while Liverpool go into the game on a high after a 4-1 victory over Arsenal and a 3-0 triumph over PSV in midweek.

1439: If these things do come in threes it would also mean a third straight win for West Ham over Arsenal.

1438: The Gunners host London rivals West Ham in the 100th league meeting between the two sides. Arsene Wenger's side are aiming to avoid a third straight defeat against a rejuvenated Hammers side looking for three league wins in a row for the first time this season.

1436: Arsenal and Liverpool continue their chase to secure third place, with both teams facing different tests this afternoon.

1435: With neither Manchester United and Chelsea in action at 1500 on Easter Saturday the attention turns to the other battles going on in the Premiership.

TEAM NEWS

Gilberto returns to captain Arsenal, while Tomas Rosicky and Freddie Ljungberg also start as Julio Baptista and Abou Diaby drop to the bench. West Ham are unchanged.

Blackburn recalled David Bentley after suspension in the only change to the side which lost to Manchester United. Aston Villa make four changes with Craig Gardner and Shaun Maloney replacing the injured Ashley Young and John Carew, while Martin Laursen and Patrik Berger were preferred to Gary Cahill and Gavin McCann.

Middlesbrough are without first-choice central defenders Jonathan Woodgate (knee) and Emanuel Pogatetz (ban) with Robert Huth and Chris Riggott coming in. Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd kept faith with the 11 men who lost narrowly to champions Chelsea last weekend.

Reading replace injured winger Glenn Little with John Oster and bring in Brynjar Gunnarsson at right-back instead of Greg Halford, while Kevin Doyle is preferred to Leroy Lita up front . Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy is back in their side after missing two games with a rib injury and midfielder Mohamed Sissoko returns from suspension.

Sheffield United make three changes with Chris Armstrong replacing Matthew Kilgallon, Stephen Quinn taking Michael Tonge's place in midfield and Christian Nade dropped to the bench in favour of Jon Stead. Newcastle's Craig Moore was passed fit, but the Magpies made two changes with Kieron Dyer and Celestine Babayaro replaced by James Milner and Antoine Sibierski.

Wigan rest skipper Arjan de Zeeuw while Paul Scharner replaces Denny Landzaat in central midfield. David Thompson comes into Bolton's central midfield in place of the suspended Kevin Nolan and Andranik Teymourian starts his second match following his January move.



SEE ALSO
Saturday's Premiership photos
07 Apr 07 |  Football


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