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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 August 2007, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Premier League as it happened
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham Chelsea 3-2 Birmingham Manchester United 0-0 Reading


By Charlie Henderson

Player of the Day: Step forward Fulham goalkeeper Tony Warner. He may have ended up on the losing side at Arsenal but he takes your plaudits for a quite incredible performance between the sticks to earn a mark of 8.29. He only came in to the side at the last minute and will be in the frame for a place in Garth Crooks' Team of the Week.

1759: Congratulations to Newcastle who end the opening weekend top of the table. More games to come in midweek. Check out the fixtures and predict their impact on the table. One game on Tuesday and six on Wednesday - but nothing for the Magpies who look set to be surrendering pole position at some stage in the next few days.

1758: Spoony is just around the corner on 5live with 606. Call him on 0500 909 693 or text on 85058 - standard rates apply. If you're shy of public speaking stay at your computer and log on to 606 to have your say on the weekend's events.

1757: You can catch up on all the weekend's action - good stories and bad - on Match of the Day 2 at 2245 BST. And stay across the BBC Sport output on the website or on Radio 5live for the latest updates on that Wayne Rooney injury and reaction from the Old Trafford game.

"This Reading point is one of the really good stories of the weekend."
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1754: FULL-TIME Manchester United 0-0 Reading
This is it for Manchester United. And that is that. Cristiano Ronaldo thunders an effort over the bar. Final whistle. The champions end the opening weekend 11th in the table. It's a top of sort - top of the bottom half.

1753: Reading have a corner. A well-worked effort and John Oster fires an effort over from the left angle of the box. One last chance for Manchester United - and what a chance. A free-kick in a central position after a high challenge from John Oster on Nani. Harsh.

1752: Nani chips a ball into the box for Ryan Giggs but Marcus Hahnemann is alert to the danger and clasps the ball as it skips off the turf ahead of Giggs.

1751: Cristiano Ronaldo's back on the ball. Cutting inside he lashes an effort wildly over.

1750: Manchester United need to lump this forward. Cristiano Ronaldo is ushered wide right by a wall of three defenders.

1749: Four minutes of added time to play. Michael Carrick shoots from outside the area. Marcus Hahnemann saves. The suited Sir Alex Ferguson cuts a frustrated figure on the touchline.

1748: Free-kick for Manchester United on the right. Marcus Hahnemann pushes Cristiano Ronaldo's low effort wide. When the ball comes back in the American grabs a header from Paul Scholes. No power on the header.

1747: The ball is in the wrong half of the pitch from a Manchester United perspective. Sir Alex Ferguson is urging Nemanja Vidic forward.

1746: Andre Bikey has gone in to the Reading attack.

1745: Less than five minutes to go and Reading make their last change. A few more seconds disappear down the drain as defender Andre Bikey comes on for the more attacking Stephen Hunt. Where's Sir Alex Ferguson and that watch?

1744: None of the supposed bigger teams have had it their own way today, but are Manchester United going to be the big losers on the opening weekend?

1743: Sir Alex Ferguson, chewing gum frantically, wants the referee's attention. He's got it and is pointing repeatedly at the watch on his outstretched arm.

1742: Nani's corner is curling towards goal but Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann does well to claim under pressure on his own line. That will eat up a few more seconds as he looks for a release.

1741: Edwin van der Sar is a spectator on halfway as Manchester United push for this goal.

1740: A save for Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar. Paul Scholes gives the ball away and John Oster breaks. He finds Stephen Hunt but the pass lacks momentum so it is an easy save from long distance.

1739: Reading have a free-kick and stay in the opposing half for the longest spell in the second 45. A minute or so.

1738: Steve Coppell realises he needs a man in attack to help relieve pressure. Stephen Hunt's that man.

1737: Here comes the corner. Off a Reading head high, high, high in the air. As it comes down a foul on Marcus Hahnemann relieves the pressure for the visitors.

1736: Another Ryan Giggs corner, but before that Darren Fletcher replaces Wes Brown. No need for defenders when Reading haven't got any attackers.

1734: Wes Brown comes steaming in to meet a Ryan Giggs corner. Pandemonium. Marcus Hahnemann misses the ball but grabs it at the second attempt. Both he and Brown stay down for a few seconds.

1732: There are 17 minutes or thereabouts for Reading to see out.

"On the pitch for just 37 seconds & sent off! The referees have been reminded again whose side they're on when they're at United."
Brian, from Rugby, via text on 81111

"That's a shocking challenge. What an absolute idiot. Looks like Evra will be out. If he gets up from that he is Superman. My God, he is Superman."

1731: RED CARD Reading
First sending off of the Premier League season and Dave Kitson has been on the pitch just 37 seconds. He slid in and caught Patrice Evra on his left shin. It's a long and humiliating walk off for the Reading man. That wasn't what Steve Coppell had in mind when he sent the striker on.

1730: Like for like change for Reading as Kevin Doyle makes way Dave Kitson. Not similar in stature, similar in that they're both strikers.

1729: Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes look to open up the Reading defence, but the Englishman's return pass into the box is too high for the Portuguese player.

1726: Cristiano Ronaldo tees up Nani with a square pass on the edge of the area and the new boy fizzes a shot wide of the target. He's got a powerful boot on him.

1725: Reading boss Steve Coppell, who is high in the stand, is on the phone to the bench plotting something. Expect a change soon.

1723: How long can Reading keep Manchester United at bay? Another 25 minutes will do them just fine. Well, make that 29 just in case added time goes on for a bit.

1721: John O'Shea escapes the clutches of the last defender to latch on to a short Ryan Giggs through ball on the edge of the area. Marcus Hahnemann parries the poked shot.

1719: Manchester United skipper Ryan Giggs spears a free-kick inches wide of the Reading wall and inches wide of the Reading goal.

1716: A re-shuffle for Manchester United and John O'Shea has gone up front. Nani's on the right, Ryan Giggs on the left and Cristiano Ronaldo is playing off target man O'Shea.

1715: A few last words for John O'Shea from Carlos Quieroz before the Irishman replaces the injured Mikael Silvestre. Reading bring on John Oster for Seol Ki-Hyeon.

1713: A good spell from Manchester United. Marcus Hahnemann and Michael Duberry run into each other as they attempt to clear a Ryan Giggs cross. Duberry keeps his cool to clear. From the corner Patrice Evra shins an attempted shot when in space. A good chance which needed to fall to a better attacker.

1712: Mikael Silvestre is hobbling now and signals to the bench that he cannot carry on. Cue the call for John O'Shea to get his tracksuit off.

1711: Manchester United attempt to up the tempo. Cristiano Ronaldo dances forward with the ball poised on the tip of his right boot before running into trouble. Paul Scholes takes up the challenge but sees his shot deflected wide.

1708: A question via text on 81111 asking why Newcastle United are top of the table. They have the same goal difference as Manchester City but have scored a goal more. If clubs cannot be split mathematically then the alphabet will come into play.

1706: Sir Alex Ferguson has been quizzed in the tunnel and said Wayne Rooney could not stand on his foot because it was too painful. The injury is being assessed by club doctors. More news as and when.

"Nani's come to play on the right and Ryan Giggs is going through the middle with Cristiano Ronaldo playing off him."
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1704: A huge roar for Nani's introduction. Wayne Rooney is the man to make way. The game resumes.

1702: Nani is stripped to his strip and ready for action at Old Trafford. Suggests Wayne Rooney will be a no-show for the second 45.

1700: Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is upbeat despite his side's defeat at Chelsea, although some "soft goals" have left him frustrated. "We can take a lot of positives and I'm disappointed we came away with nothing," he tells BBC Sport.

1659: Blimey. Chelsea new boys Claudio Pizarro and Florent Malouda have a better command of English than most English players, particularly the Peruvian. The pair tell BBC Sport they are both "very happy" with their debuts.

1655: It is like a Premier League manager's away day at Old Trafford. Manchester City's Sven-Goran Eriksson, Newcastle's Sam Allardyce and Everton's David Moyes are all there on a watching brief.

Player rater: If the news on Wayne Rooney's left foot is bad, we've just the tonic to cheer him up as he ponders weeks on the sidelines. He is leading the chase for Sunday's Player of the Day Award. You rate the Manchester United striker on 8.43, ahead of Fulham's Tony Warner on 8.25. The pair still trail yesterday's top dog Mikel Arteta who notched a 9.01.

"How many times have United turned things round after the break? Also, we could do fine without Rooney. We have plenty of options available now with Tevez/Anderson/Nani etc."
wentmat on 606

1648: HALF-TIME Manchester United 0-0 Reading
The whistle goes and Wayne Rooney immediately bends down to take off his left boot. Worrying for United. As for Reading, they can reflect on a satisfying half of hard-working football.

1647: Wayne Rooney is played in on the edge of the box but quick as a flash is crowded out by three, four, five blue and white shirts. He won't be getting through that lot.

1645: Patrice Evra falls over his own feet and gets a free-kick. What can Manchester United muster on the cusp of added time? Nothing.

1642: Vein-popping reaction from Wayne Rooney as he claims for a handball against Ivar Ingimarsson in the box. His face is as red as his shirt. As for an injury update, he's certainly not moving at 100%.

1641: Don't know if Lilly Lally has a medical background but they have given a diagnosis on 606: "This has metatarsal written all over it."

1640: Wayne Rooney hobbles off the pitch and Sir Alex Ferguson comes down to meet him on the touchline. The striker returns to the fray, but will he be involved after the break?

1638: Wayne Rooney's got a problem with his left foot. Boot off, physio on.

1637: Wayne Rooney gets in front of Michael Duberry to meet Michael Carrick's low cross but pushes his effort over the bar. He's hobbling a bit after that.

1636: Manchester United earn another corner on the left. Ulises De La Cruz is being exposed somewhat but is doing a manful job of protecting the Reading area.

1634: Wayne Rooney's got his arms spread and an exasperated look on his face as he pleads for a penalty under a challenge from Ivar Ingimarsson. Not a chance of referee Rob Styles falling for that dive. But where's the yellow card in that case?

1630: The stats say Reading have enjoyed more of the possession with 53%. They'd love just 1% of the ball at the moment. Manchester United are dictating the action.

1628: Wayne Rooney peels off the back of Michael Duberry to meet Cristiano Ronaldo's left-wing cross but heads wide.

1627: Patrice Evra earns a corner off Ulises De La Cruz, but Ryan Giggs fails to beat the first man with his left-footed delivery from the left.

1625: Maybe that's the spark this very dreary game needs. Neat footwork from Cristiano Ronaldo on the right creates some space. He floats a cross over to the back post where Ryan Giggs catches it on the volley. His effort ricochets off the post.

1623: Cristiano Ronaldo cuts in from a free-kick on the left to a central position, but his shot is weak and easily saved. The free-kick came from a poor tackle by Seol Ki-Hyeon on Mikael Silvestre.

"Manchester United are a little bit narrow today and that's helping Reading cope with them."
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1617: Something for Reading fans as Mikael Silvestre is forced to concede a corner. Something for Manchester United fans as the hosts clear the danger.

1615: Michael Carrick links well with Wes Brown on the right and releases the defender in the box. That shows just why Brown is a defender. He hasn't got the sleight of foot to open up a shooting opportunity.

1611: Michael Carrick shapes his body well to fire a bouncing ball on goal from outside the area. His effort is over.

1610: Reading give the ball away in midfield and Manchester United break. Wayne Rooney races on to a ball over the top, but Royals keeper Marcus Hahnemann slides out well to push it clear off the striker's toes. A good early test for the American's right hand after surgery over the summer.

1607: A slow start in Manchester under sunny skies. Manchester United and Reading are just feeling each other out at the minute.

1605: A 4-0 Manchester United win would send them top of the table. If it finishes 3-1 they will edge out Newcastle United at the top courtesy of the alphabet.

"Reading don't have the strength in defence. Expect a thrashing. 4-0 Manchester United."
Nuggets on 606

1601: Royals skipper Graeme Murty gets his players in a huddle for some last words of encouragement before the visitors get the last game of the day going.

1558: A beaming Sir Alex Ferguson applauds as Cristiano Ronaldo collects the Player of the Year Award as voted for by the fans - a cast of Sir Matt Busby.

1555: The players emerge at Old Trafford.

1548: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho describes their win over Birmingham as a "very, very good game" but he'd prefer a more comfortable margin of victory and is worried by the white hairs he's accumulating from watching tense matches. "We had so many chances to kill the game - a 4-2 or a 5-2 would be more enjoyable than a 3-2," he tells BBC Sport. As for the new record. "Being in the history books is a reason to be proud."

1527: TEAM NEWS Manchester United v Reading
Sir Alex Ferguson spent 60m on new players over the summer, but the Manchester United manager has the luxury of not including Owen Hargreaves, Carlos Tevez or Anderson. Indeed, only Nani is deemed worthy of a place on the bench. Ferguson makes one change from the side that started the Community Shield, with Paul Scholes replacing John O'Shea. Reading boss Steve Coppell also opts not to select any of his close-season arrivals in his starting XI.

"A swash-buckling game. Home fans got their money's worth today, but how many times have they been able to say that? Birmingham did particularly well, but it has been a good attacking display from Chelsea and their new signings did well. If that's a sign of things to come from Chelsea they will be entertaining and I think that is the shape of things to come. Wonderful play in a wonderful match."
Terry Butcher, BBC Radio 5live pundit

"Good positive win by Chelsea. Hope they continue to open up - even against top teams and not just promoted teams. Really exciting match. Best so far."
bengstoj on 606

1522: FULL-TIME Chelsea 3-2 Birmingham
Chelsea set a new top-flight record with a 64th successive game at home without defeat, eclipsing Liverpool's efforts from the late seventies, early eighties.

1521: The ball's in the net from Salomon Kalou. He's offside. It's all a bit scrappy. Birmingham need the ball.

1520: Mikael Forssell and Olivier Kapo huff and puff on the edge of the Chelsea area but cannot blow down the Blue defensive line.

1518: There will be four more minutes. Maintain their advantage and Chelsea will set a new top-flight record for being unbeaten at home.

1517: Closing in on added time at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea look to have ridden out that brief Birmingham storm.

1515: Didier Drogba, sporting a big white wrap-around bandage on his bonce, feeds substitute Steve Sidwell outside the area and midfielder rifles a low daisy-cutter inches wide.

1513: Didier Drogba is down injured after a clash with Liam Ridgewell. Looks like he'll live. A cut above the right eye.

1511: Colin Doyle races out of his area to clear... straight to Didier Drogba on halfway. The Ivorian takes two touches and beats Sebastian Larsson before thumping a long-distance effort wide.

1510: Birmingham relieve the pressure in the lamest of circumstances. A foul throw from Olivier Kapo on the left. Over to you Chelsea.

1509: Inside the last 10 minutes. Liam Ridgewell attacks the near post but cannot direct his header on target.

1508: Is there a sting in the tail for Chelsea? Tal Ben Haim shins Cameron Jerome's cross out for a corner. And Glen Johnson concedes another corner. Late pressure from City.

1507: Petr Cech flaps at the free-kick and Glen Johnson puts it out for a corner. Didier Drogba does sterling work in defence to clear the corner.

1506: Birmingham get a free-kick on the left in an attacking position after Ricardo Carvalho wrestles Mikael Forssell to the ground.

1503: Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is going for this equaliser. Daniel de Ridder is on for the more defensively-minded Mehdi Nafti. The Dutchman goes to the right and Sebastian Larsson steps inside.

1502: Sweeping football from Chelsea. Shaun Wright-Phillips puts an inviting, low cross into the box, but Salomon Kalou cannot get on the end of it.

"Frank Lampard is playing a more restrained role in Chelsea's midfield. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Florent Malouda have come inside, have set the game alight and their passing in particular has been very good. Birmingham need a spark."
Terry Butcher, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1356: A change for each side. Michael Essien, who had picked up a knock a few minutes ago, makes way for John Obi Mikel. An attacking swap for the visitors. Cameron Jerome on. Gary McSheffrey off.

1453: A slight lull in proceedings at Stamford Bridge - but the home fans don't care. They're delighting in this performance.

"I'm seriously impressed with Pizarro and Malouda. Is Pizzaro going to be the kind of player we hoped Sheva would be?"
riskyrobben on 606

1451: Things get better and better for Chelsea fans. As well as this new brand of attacking football, the yellow-booted Didier Drogba is fit and on. The Ivorian replaces Claudio Pizarro.

1448: Glen Johnson's called on in defence now. He nervelessly chests a ball back to Petr Cech from a wickedly bouncing cross from the right.

1445: Excellent pass from Glen Johnson into the near post which Claudio Pizarro pokes wide of the post.

1441: Claudio Pizarro and Salomon Kalou link up and somehow find a route through the white-shirted Birmingham defence before Stephen Kelly gets a vital block on the Peruvian's shot from a central position.

1438: Franck Queudrue has been given the run around by Shaun Wright-Phillips today and Steve Bruce has seen enough. The Frenchman is off and Stuart Parnaby is on. He goes to right-back and Stephen Kelly swaps to left-back.

"Essien should be off now. Dirty tackle on Larsson in first half and now over celebrating. Refs are leaning towards the top clubs and I hope it stays that way for the Man Utd game."

1437: GOAL Chelsea 3-2 Birmingham
Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle is not enjoying the best of birthdays. He gets his hands to a Michael Essien piledriver but cannot stop it screaming into the top of the net. An assist for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

1436: Chelsea flyer Shaun Wright-Phillips is played in in space on the right but he shanks a spanked shot into the side netting.

1433: The action resumes. Chelsea legend Kerry Dixon has told 5live that the first half was the most entertaining he can remember watching at Stamford Bridge in an age.

"We face a massive task in the second half. Chelsea are in a better position considering their resources on the bench."bcfc4eva1234 on 606

1432: Back to the Bridge where a win is vital for Chelsea if they harbour hopes of the title. In the last seven seasons the eventual champions have always won on the first day. At the moment that means that Newcastle, Manchester City, Blackburn, Everton, Liverpool, Sunderland and Arsenal are definitely in the mix for it this season.

1429: Arsene Wenger feels his side wouldn't have been able to come from behind last season as they did today and hails the "belief" of his side. "Better late than never," he tells BBC Sport. "Physically strong and mentally strong, they never gave up. They have a real spirit and are ready to fight."

1424: Reading skipper Graeme Murty thinks going to Old Trafford is the "perfect start" for the Royals. It means they have to get straight back into things and cannot rest on their laurels as they aim to stave off any hint of second-season syndrome.

1423: Conor McNamara thinks it unlikely too many of Manchester United's new signings will be on show this afternoon. The 5live commentator is nosing around Old Trafford for the first hint of team news. The champions start against Reading at 1600 BST.

Player rater: Mikael Forssell is setting the standard today at the minute. Birmingham's first goalscorer is on 8.38. Maybe things need to settle down a bit. Amazingly you don't even think Tony Warner is Fulham's best performer. He is trailing David Healy. No surprise that Jens Lehmann is trailing everybody.

1418: HALF-TIME Chelsea 2-2 Birmingham
Gary McSheffrey almost gets on the end of Sebastian Larsson's cross from the left at the far post. Glen Johnson looks a weakness at right-back for Chelsea. A cracking first 45.

1415: Excellent play from Salomon Kalou. Back to goal, he collects a bouncing pass, flicks it over his shoulder and spins away from defender Johan Djourou along the edge of the box, but his left-footed shot is straight at Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle.

"It might be exciting, but does nothing for my ever-increasing blood pressure. I can't go through the entire season like this."
amillsuk on 606

1409: The long-legged Olivier Kapo, who arrived from Juventus in the summer, is off and racing down the Birmingham left. A poor pass inside and here come Chelsea. End to end.

1407: GOAL Chelsea 2-2 Birmingham
What a game. Olivier Kapo worms his way into the area on the left past Glen Johnson and then unleashes a firecracker of a shot into the far corner.

1404: Salomon Kalou is free down the right. He cuts inside, finds Frank Lampard and it would have been three but for a block from Johan Djourou.

1402: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Birmingham
Incisive play from Chelsea and a second debutant scores for the Blues. Florent Malouda accelerates forward, swaps passes with Salomon Kalou on the edge of the area and slips the ball past Colin Doyle.

1359: All eyes on Stamford Bridge now where Shaun Wright-Phillips has started the season in exceptional form. In fact, make that "fantastic" according to 5live pundit Terry Butcher.

"Arsenal have not deserved to win this. They've picked up some of that London Luck which helped Chelsea in so many games last season."
Jacob Barker on 606

"Sorry I doubted you boys! That's how you do it Spurs. Yes, I'm going crazy!"
GoonersGonnaGetYa on 606

1355: FULL-TIME Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
After more than five minutes of added time that's that at the Emirates at Arsene Wenger tries his best to hide a smile. His Arsenal side, who go for a post-match huddle, got away with that one. "Sketchy" is David Pleat's verdict on 5live. Fulham, and Tony Warner in particular, will feel they've been fleeced.

1355: Theo Walcott breaks for Arsenal. His progress is slowed when he steps on the ball and he ignores the pass to Nicklas Bendtner before blazing over. Arsene Wenger does his nut.

1353: Jens Lehmann ends the game better than he started it. As Arsenal look to take the sting out of the game he controls and clears a Kolo Toure back pass with two Fulham men bearing down.

1352: Papa Bouba Diop rifles in a low effort, but Jens Lehmann saves, gratefully grabbing low down.

1351: GOAL Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
They left it late but turned it round. Cesc Fabregas clips a lofted pass into the box where Alexander Hleb controls, takes his time, ignores options either side and scores.

1350: Arsenal substitute Nicklas Bendtner swivels and shoots in the box, but there's that man again, Tony Warner. He blocks and grabs at the second attempt.

1349: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Birmingham
That didn't last long. A break down the left and Claudio Pizarro sweeps in a low cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips.

1348: More shenanigans at the back for Arsenal as Kolo Toure and Jens Lehmann get their knickers in a twist. Diomansy Kamara cannot quite reach the ball as it rolls out for a corner.

1346: GOAL Chelsea 0-1 Birmingham
Never mind being all Chelsea, Birmingham are in front. Mikael Forssell looks to have got the final touch against his old club after Liam Ridgewell flicks on Gary McSheffrey's floating cross.

1345: Finally the action at the Emirates resumes. Over in west London it is all Chelsea against Birmingham.

1343: GOAL Arsenal 1-1 Fulham
Tony Warner is finally beaten as Robin van Persie lashes his effort high into the net, and then all hell breaks out. Arsenal wanted the ball, Warner wouldn't release it and Gunners players swarm around him. An "unholy mess" is David Pleat's description on 5live. Papa Bouba Diop and Mathieu Flamini are also carded.

1342: Kolo Toure's charging run into the box is checked by Carlos Bocanegra. Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot.

1340: The ball breaks for Kolo Toure in a central position and he is urged to shoot by the crowd. He doesn't. He steps on the ball. Fulham clear.

1339: An early chance for Chelsea. Salomon Kalou slips an infield pass to Florent Malouda who blasts a shot from the edge of the area over the bar.

1337: Brian McBride slips a pass through the Arsenal defence to Clint Dempsey, but the American pokes his effort beyond Jens Lehmann and the Arsenal goal.

1336: Just 15 minutes for Fulham to hang. A weak shot from Robin van Persie is easily saved by the heroic Tony Warner.

1334: Zat Knight clears Kolo Toure's goalbound shot. Chris Baird climbs high to deny the Ivorian under a cross at the back post. Arsene Wenger glowers.

1332: Chelsea get things going at Stamford Bridge - but for the time being we'll be paying more attention to the action at the Emirates where there are two more changes. Arsenal throw on Nicklas Bendtner for Tomas Rosicky and Papa Bouba Diop steps into the Fulham midfield in place of Alexi Smertin.

1331: Fulham failed to win any of their London derby matches on the road last season, but are 20 minutes or so from doing just that first up this term.

1330: Corner number 10 for Arsenal. Corner number 11 for Arsenal. Nothing from either.

1328: Fulham open up the Arsenal defence down the right and but for Bacary Sagna's intervention that would surely have been 2-0 with Brian McBride waiting in the wings.

1327: Here come the teams at Chelsea. The hosts include three debutants in Tal Ben Haim, Florent Malouda and Claudio Pizarro. Arjen Robben is not even on the bench. Birmingham are led out by Liam Ridgewell who crossed the city's footballing divide from Aston Villa in the summer.

1326: Arsenal over play things on the edge of the area before Steve Davis is booked for bringing down Robin van Persie on the edge of the area. The Dutchman's deadball effort whistles just wide.

1323: A change apiece. Theo Walcott is on for Emmanuel Eboue and Diomansy Kamara makes his Fulham debut in place of goalscorer David Healy.

1322: A sliding Chris Baird tackle on Robin van Persie only succeeds in giving the ball to Tomas Rosicky. His snapshot is deflected wide by Zat Knight. The Fulham goal has some sort of Tony Warner-inspired force field around it.

1320: Robin van Persie has flecks of grey in his hair despite being just 24. Perhaps it's the pressure of leading the mis-firing Gunners in front of goal. His free-kick goes straight into the Fulham wall.

1316: A Fulham corner finds Brian McBride in space. The American's shot-cum-pass-cum-quick get rid of the damn thing, bobbles past Carlos Bocanegra at the post with Arsenal all over the shop.

"I'm changing my name to Tony Warner if we win!"

1311: Tony Warner is in quite brilliant form. This time he dives at Robin van Persie's feet after the Dutchman is played in by Tomas Rosicky. Van Persie needs attention to his left knee before tentatively getting back to his feet.

1310: Fine save from Jens Lehmann which could boost his pitiful player rater ranking. The German stays big and beats away a Steve Davis shot after the ball broke to the Fulham midfielder inside the area. He had time to pick his spot, but picked the wrong one.

1309: Corner number seven to Arsenal. It's another poor one.

1307: Tomas Rosicky breaks on the Arsenal left, but yet again Tony Warner is up to the challenge. The Fulham keeper makes an excellent block when one-on-one with a red-shirted attacked.

1305: Back to the action at the Emirates where Fulham have made a change. Clint Dempsey replaces Hameur Bouazza.

1300: Both Chelsea and Birmingham are out warming up at Stamford Bridge.

1255: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Birmingham
Chelsea start with Salomon Kalou and Claudio Pizarro in attack. Didier Drogba is on the bench. Three new faces in the Birmingham defence where Liam Ridgewell, Johan Djourou and Franck Queudrue start. Olivier Kapo is their fourth debutant.

Steve Bruce admits to 5live that his Birmingham City side face a "huge challenge". But he is adamant they are up to it. "That's what we're here for. We've certain players who I'm convinced can hack it in the Premier League like Muamba, McSheffrey and Larsson."

Player rater: No surprise who's top of the pops and top of the flops at the Emirates. David Healy boasts the leading mark of 7.88. Jens Lehmann is down at the bottom on 4.30.

"I'm travelling home and read about the Lehmann howler on the BBC live text commentary and nearly fell over laughing. Can't wait to get home and watch it for myself."
Fade to Black

"We're set up for a super second half. Arsenal are just beginning to exert themselves, but they have been sloppy. Tony Warner's done well coming in at the last seconds and the game is fascinating at the moment."
David Pleat, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1249: HALF-TIME Arsenal 0-1 Fulham
Great stuff from Fulham - but can they last the distance?

1247: Twinkle-toed footwork from Alexander Hleb in midfield and he releases Cesc Fabregas, but Tony Warner is off his line like an exocet to block the Spaniard's weak effort.

1243: Fulham's Lawrie Sanchez is venting his spleen again after an offside call goes against his side. Referee Phil Dowd is over with some calming words. They have little effect on the bespectacled boss.

1242: Excellent from Tony Warner. He saves with his legs one-on-one from Alexander Hleb and then pushes a Robin van Persie shot, from an acute angle, around the post.

1241: Fulham want a penalty. Cesc Fabregas clipped Steve Davis as the Fulham midfielder looked to race on to a pass. Cottagers manager Lawrie Sanchez is up out of his seat and fuming. Replays show Davis fell over his own leg.

1237: Tomas Rosicky lets fly from distance. Tony Warner is down well to his right-hand post to push round the post. Arsenal get two corners but Fulham easily stand firm.

1236: Good pressure from Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas is seeing more of the ball, but neither he or any of his team-mates can find a way through this Fulham defence.

"Fulham are hustling in midfield and at the moment they are more than content."
David Pleat, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1226: Jens Lehmann beats away a rising shot from Simon Davies. Kolo Toure gets to a Davies cross just ahead of David Healy. Toure looks particularly nervy.

1222: Another swift Gunners break ends with Alexander Hleb going down in the box under a challenge from Steve Davis. Cue chants of 'Same old Arsenal, always cheating'.

1220: Zat Knight throws himself at the ball to block a goalbound shot from Alexander Hleb, after a quick Arsenal break.

1219: Lucky clearance from Arsenal after more good work from David Healy on the right. Kolo Toure didn't know what was going on as he stuck out a leg.

"Arsenal are nervous at the back when they have the ball and Cesc Fabregas needs to get into the game."
David Pleat, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1214: Neat link up by Bacary Sagna and Emmanuel Eboue on the right and Tomas Rosicky flashes the Frenchman's cross wide on the volley.

1211: Alexander Hleb twists past Chris Baird and goes down under the tackle. No penalty. Seems like a poor call on second viewing.

1208: Ironic cheers from the away end as Jens Lehmann manages to control a back pass this time and clear. Fulham look lively. Arsenal are stretched and Kolo Toure blocks a David Healy cross from the left.

1207: Arsenal respond well. Arsene Wenger strokes his chin in a rather menacing manner.

"And here starts the demise of Arsenal FC - though I think they may snatch a draw."
ebd253 on 606

1203: GOAL Arsenal 0-1 Fulham
An absolute howler. Jens Lehmann makes a hash of a clearance from Gael Clichy's back pass and David Healy pounces to score in the first minute of his Fulham career. The worst possible start to the campaign for Arsenal.

1202: We are up and running at the Emirates. Robin van Persie, who will be leading the Arsenal line on his own, gets the ball rolling.

"Fulham will do well - I'd expect 2-2, and we will only concede due to a Zat Knight mistake. Remember Spain v Northern Ireland? Don't be too surprised if it happens here again!"
LorkSwift on 606

1158: Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor is sporting a tweed cap back to front and gives high fives to all his team-mates before they troop out.

1157: The players are in the spacious Emirates tunnel. Brian McBride is the new Fulham skipper following Michael Brown's departure to Wigan. No sign of Antti Niemi. Tony Warner is between the sticks. A new captain for Arsenal as well in William Gallas.

1153: The sprinklers are on to give the pitch a sheen which should help for some slick passing and Curtis Mayfield's 'Move On Up' gets an airing. With Arsenal starting the day ninth and Fulham 12th, both will be hoping to live up to the Superfly sensation's words.

1150: Ridiculously early start in north London and the Emirates is slowly filling up on a cloudy London day.

"I'm expecting Man Utd to win comfortably today! Reading, although a good side, have not really strengthened this summer. Our bench must scare any team in the world."
andrewt15381 on 606

"Arsenal can do very well and will compensate for Thierry Henry's absence. They'll cope well and Arsene Wenger has always got something up his sleeve. They have strengthened."
David Pleat, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1148: But for all that Carlos Tevez nonsense more attention may have been paid to how Fulham stayed up last season. They survived by just a point after picking up a 1-0 win over Liverpool's second string in the closing weeks. No wonder Mohamed Al Fayed opened the chequebook for manager Lawrie Sanchez in the summer.

1145: BBC Radio 5live Sport hits the airwaves. Tune in on 909 or 693 MW with Eleanor Oldroyd. They have commentaries from all three games this afternoon.

1144: Looks like Tony Warner will step into the breach between the Fulham sticks. Goalkeeping coach Dave Beasant is putting him through his paces with Antti Niemi trooping off holding that wrist.

1142: And there could be some trouble for Fulham. Goalkeeper Antti Niemi is receiving lengthy treatment on an injury he has picked up while warming up. The Finn seems to have hurt his left wrist.

1140: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v Fulham
Getting a feeling of deja vu here? Well, it's because the first take of the team news had a massive error in it. Not the best start to the day. Emmanuel Adebayor has not made a miracle recovery from injury and is not playing.

1139: And the Gunners supremo is already bleating about how unfair things are. Champions League qualifying shouldn't clash with the first week of the Premier League, according to Arsene Wenger. And they haven't been helped by problems on the tube network which is why today's game was put back 24 hours. Is he already coming out with excuses?

1137: Or is it? Check what's on offer at the bookies and you'll find Arsenal are at their longest odds to win the title at the start of a season since Arsene Wenger took charge.

1135: So all seems pretty set in stone then. Get on an accumulator for three home wins.

1133: Reading have never beaten Manchester United in the league, and before last season's victory over Arsenal at Craven Cottage, the last time Fulham took the spoils against the Gunners was on New Year's Day in 1966. The Beatles were at number one with 'Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out'.

1128: Cliff Richard's 1979 ditty still seems apt today though what with Jose Mourinho at the Bridge. Is he talking to Roman Abramovich again? Does he talk to Avram Grant? Whatever the behind the scenes goings on in west London, BBC pundits Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson are both tipping Chelsea to take the title.

1124: To put the challenge that faces the three away teams in a bit of perspective, Fulham and Reading have never won at Arsenal or Manchester United and the last time Birmingham took all the points at Chelsea was in September 1979 when Cliff Richard was on top of the hit parade with 'We Don't Talk Anymore'.

1120: TEAM NEWS Arsenal v Fulham
The Gunners give a debut to Bacary Sagna, but he is the only new face involved. Eduardo da Silva is not even on the bench, while Emmanuel Adebayor is remarkably fit again. Fulham hand debuts to Chris Baird, Paul Konchesky, Steve Davis, Hameur Bouazza and David Healy.

1117: First up is Arsenal v Fulham at midday. That overlaps with Chelsea against Birmingham which gets underway the other side of London at 1330 BST. Then a little breather before champions Manchester United start the defence of their crown at home to Reading at 1600 BST.

1115: So Newcastle are top of the table, but how long will that last? Three games today, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in action. Who will end the first weekend of the Premier League in top spot? You know the score. Text us your views on 81111 or get involved on 606.

Barclays Premier League Table
01 February 2010 22:00
    P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 23 38 54
2 Man Utd 24 36 53
3 Arsenal 24 32 49
4 Tottenham 24 20 42

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

6 Man City 22 14 41
7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
9 Everton 23 -1 32
10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
11 Fulham 23 -2 27
12 Stoke 22 -7 26
13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
14 Wigan 22 -23 22
15 West Ham 23 -9 21
16 Bolton 22 -15 21
17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

18 Burnley 23 -23 20
19 Hull 23 -26 20
20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

Sunday's football photos
12 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
11 Aug 07 |  Premier League


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