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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 August 2007, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Premier League as it happened
Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea Man City 1-0 Man Utd

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

By Charlie Henderson

Player of the day: Hats off to Manchester City's immense Micah Richards. He edges out Fernando Torres and Robin van Persie with a mark of 8.45, although none of that trio are quite up to the 8.80 standard set by Tottenham's Steed Malbranque on Saturday. You can still have your say on the performances.

1800: And if you can't wait until Match of the Day 2 for all the reaction, keep abreast of it on the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5live.

1759: A day of three games in Lancashire ends with Manchester City on top of the table. Next up for them is a trip to Arsenal next Saturday when Chelsea will be hosting Portsmouth in another 1500 BST game. That's right, two of the 'big four' kick-off at home at the traditional start time. Don't fall out of your chair.

1758: And you can make up your own mind on everything, including Rob Styles, when you watch it with your own eyes on Match of the Day 2 from 2235 BST on BBC Two. Alan Hansen and Gavin Peacock join Gary Lineker in the studio.

1757: Alan Green's not hosting 606 on BBC Radio 5live, it is Spoony. Give him a call now on 0500 909 693 or text 85058. The show is set to start. You can also listen via the BBC Sport website and get involved by using your keyboard.

"Rob Styles: Public Enemy No. 1. He went over the top with yellow cards and should never referee again!"
fatboyjohnmulhern on 606

"I'm a Reds fan, but I do have to say that Alan Green should get as much stick tonight as Styles. He's got to step back from this amazing, seemingly unimpartial commentating."
robzaba on 606

"Back sides are being covered. That wasn't a difficult game to referee. Whatever his explanation he was pointing at Michael Essien and not John Terry."
Alan Green, BBC Radio 5live commentator

"I completely disagree with Graham on the booking. No doubt about it, he pointed at Michael Essien. The nightmare started with the penalty."
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

"Rob Styles clearly points at John Terry and he hasn't cautioned Michael Essien. The mistake he's made is that he's shown the yellow card twice to John Terry which is not at all like what somebody did at the World Cup. Essien saw the yellow card, but Rob then points at John Terry. Having supported him, I can't do that on the penalty. It's the wrong decision in a difficult game to referee."
Former referee Graham Poll on BBC Radio 5live

1754: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
That's that. Chelsea are up to second. Liverpool go ninth.

1753: A dull end.

1752: Pepe Reina thumps the ball long and Chelsea mop up the danger with ease.

1751: Liverpool are bossing possession, but keep going sideways.

1750: How much longer to go? The fourth official's board signals four more minutes.

1749: Liverpool switch play left to right, but can't find a killer forward ball.

1748: Ryan Babel cuts inside Michael Essien from the left and lets fly. Some thought that was in as it ruffled the side-netting. It was a fierce effort taken early.

1746: Things are petering out at Anfield inside the final five minutes. Chelsea are taking the pace out of the game. They are happy with a point - lucky or not.

1744: Alan Green's still going. If he's hosting 606 on BBC Radio 5live this evening don't expect to be able to get a word in edgeways. If you want to try you can call on 0500 909 693 or text 85058. You can also listen via the BBC Sport website.

1743: Dirk Kuyt heads a Steve Finnan cross over. Peter Crouch is on for Liverpool. Chelsea respond by sending on centre-back Alex for his debut. John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda are the pair to go off.

1742: BBC Radio 5live have got their newshounds on the case of the mystery booking and the official line is that the card was for John Terry. "They're making it up as they go along," says Alan Green - presumably about the refereeing team and not his 5live colleagues.

1741: Steve Finnan and Ryan Babel link up on the right and the Dutchman's low cross squirts through to John Arne Riise. Petr Cech stays big to block the shot from an acute angle with his legs.

1738: Claudio Pizarro drops deep to kick-start a Chelsea move forward. A neat reverse pass from the Peruvian finds Jon Obi Mikel and the Blues keep hold of possession. There are 10 minutes left on the clock.

1737: Back to the action, where it remains 11 v 11. Joe Cole is on for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

1736: "Send Styles off. Give Styles the red card. This is a joke." And that is just one of the verdicts on the referee on 606.

1735: Alan Green's still going. "This is breathtaking in its incompetence," he adds of Rob Styles.

1732: Replays show Michael Essien was booked. The Chelsea man should be off after fouling Alvaro Arbeloa in the 11th minute and he knew it. He held his hands to his head. It looks to be another Graham Poll moment.

1731: Tal Ben Haim is going apoplectic after blocking Fernando Torres. The Israeli is not going to get a second yellow, but John Terry does for complaining about the Spaniard diving. And has Michael Essien gone in the book? BBC 5live commentator Alan Green thinks so which means he should be off and Green's going as apoplectic as Ben Haim. "This is a pathetic display of refereeing from Rob Styles," he says.

1728: That was Jermaine Pennant's last contribution as Ryan Babel comes on. Things flare up between Xabi Alonso and Frank Lampard. The Chelsea midfielder is booked. That's four cards for each side.

1727: One touch football from Liverpool. Steven Gerrard sweeps a high pass forward to Jermaine Pennant who hooks a volley into the box where John Arne Riise fizzes a volleyed shot wide.

1725: That man "Stevie G" fires over from the edge of the box for Liverpool.

"Set-back for Liverpool, but the controversy is sure to spur Stevie G on for another winner!"
bcfc4eva1234 on 606

"How much did Roman give Styles for that?"
the_maori on 606

"Mr Styles has just made a massive, massive mistake. Both players were mystified when he pointed to the spot. He was in a fantastic position as well."
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1721: GOAL Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea
Frank Lampard was the only Chelsea player to score in last season's Champions League semi-final shoot-out against Liverpool, and he beats Pepe Reina again, sending the keeper the wrong way.

1720: Penalty for Chelsea after an innocent collision between Steve Finnan and Florent Malouda on the edge of the box. "That's never a penalty in a million years," is BBC Radio 5live pundit Mark Lawrenson's verdict.

1717: Ashley Cole's having a mad few minutes. He is booked for a sliding tackle from behind on Fernando Torres. The Spaniard made something of a meal of it.

1716: Liverpool fail to make Ashley Cole pay for his adventurous play at the back. John Arne Riise's free-kick cannons back off the wall.

1715: A Liverpool free-kick on the edge of the box after Ashley Cole hauls down Jermaine Pennant, his best mate in football. Cole tried to play it out of defence. An agricultural clearance to Row Z was what was needed.

"Calling Lehmann a lemon is an insult to lemons."
Maxxfoot on 606

1712: Corner for Liverpool but John Arne Riise's delivery is straight at Petr Cech.

1710: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez thumps his first in his other hand as John Arne Riise shoots wide.

1709: Has Didier Drogba changed his boots? Sure they were blue in the first half. Now they are bright yellow. He scored with yellow boots on Wednesday so maybe the Ivorian's a tad susperstitious.

1708: Claudio Pizarro gets his head to a fine Shaun Wright-Phillips cross at the back post but he can't find the target. On second viewing a return header back across goal to Didier Drogba would have been the better option.

1706: An early touch for substitute Claudio Pizarro. The Peruvian flicks on a corner and Jon Obi Mikel thumps a header wide.

1704: Just 45 more minutes of action left in the day as we resume at Anfield. Will Manchester City end the day top of the Premier League? We will know by 1800 BST. Chelsea throw on Claudio Pizarro. Salomon Kalou is the man to make way.

Player rater: Jens Lehmann is not the worst ranked player of the day. That ignominy goes to BLackburn's Robbie Savage. At the other end of the scale Robin van Persie is your man of the match at Ewood Park, while Fernando Torres leads the way at Anfield. But everyone trails Micah Richards in the race to be player of the day.

"Lehmann the lemon letting us down again. The top four (excluding Arsenal) all have world-class goalkeepers. Come on Wenger, sort it out."
Shnecky on 606

1659: FULL-TIME Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal
Two goalkeeping errors and two goals and the spoils are shared between Blackburn and Arsenal.

1658: Morten Gamst Pedersen gives the ball away in midfield, but Arsenal cannot make him pay. This one's heading for a draw.

1657: David Dunn cuts out a pass from Cesc Fabregas to Robin van Persie outside the Rovers area and the hosts spring forward.

1656: A good chance for Arsenal substitute Nicklas Bendtner to score his first goal for the club as he picks up a loose ball on the edge of the area, but he fails to find the target.

1655: The death of the Ewood Park game will be in four minutes.

1654: Blackburn don't look like a side playing a man light, although against an Arsenal team who have scored injury-time goals in their last two matches they will need to stay alert to the death.

1653: A late change for Rovers with Benni McCarthy coming on for Roque Santa Cruz.

1651: Blackburn's 10 men are pushing for victory. David Bentley swings a corner in which Jens Lehmann holds. That is correct. Lehmann held the ball.

1648: HALF-TIME Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
A feisty affair lit up by a wonderful goal from Fernando Torres. Not a bad way to notch your first, but it will count for nowt if Liverpool don't pick up the three points.

1647: RED CARD Blackburn
It had been coming and the name to come out of the hat is Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen. He hauled back Robin van Persie as the Dutchman spun off him to race in on goal. A second yellow equals a red.

1645: Jermaine Pennant breaks down the right but fails to pick out Fernando Torres with the pull back. Poor defending from Chelsea and a poor pass from Pennant.

1644: Steven Gerrard is booked for sliding through on Jon Obi Mikel. That's the fourth yellow card at Anfield.

1642: Jermaine Pennant is booked at Anfield where things are getting niggly. Fernando Torres and John Terry have had a small coming together as well.

1641: Heroics at the back for David Dunn now. He blocks a Cesc Fabregas shot as Arsenal look to get back in front.

1640: Morten Gamst Pedersen shoots into the Arsenal side netting. The Norwegian's a reported target for Arsene Wenger. His agent Rune Hauge will be familiar to Gunners fans after dealings with George Graham in the nineties. Hauge became Norway's bridge champion last week.

1638: Robin van Perise catches Ryan Nelsen late and is booked. That makes it all square on the card count as well as the scoreboard. Eight yellows evenly split.

1636: That equaliser has drawn a change from Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner is on for Theo Walcott.

"I know I should get frustrated at Lehmann's apparent inability to keep hold of a ball for more than three seconds but there's this little part of my brain that cackles every time he commits a clanger. Don't change Jens, you are pure gold."
mindajax on 606

1635: GOAL Blackburn 1-1 Arsenal
A second shocking mistake of the season by Jens Lehmann. He fumbles a David Dunn shot, at a comfortable height, and it is over the line for a leveller.

1633: Arsenal are on the back foot against Blackburn, who are enjoying their best spell of the game.

1632: Dirk Kuyt is booked at Anfield for persistent fouling.

1631: Gael Clichy is the latest player to go into referee Alan Wiley's notebook at Blackburn. He is booked for a sliding tackle on David Bentley. He didn't touch him.

1630: Debutant Eduardo da Silva gets a pat on the head from Gunners assistant boss Pat Rice after being replaced by Denilson.

"The only positive I can take is Chelsea have been behind every game so far and won!"
J4K247 on 606

1628: Didier Drogba heads a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross over.

1626: David Bentley motors into the Arsenal box after poor play from Gael Clichy. Mathieu Flamini is back to concede a corner. There's a Rovers foul as the ball comes in. Christopher Samba is going nuts at the referee over that decision and wants a penalty as Cesc Fabregas stopped his goalbound effort with more than a hint of arm.

1625: Blackburn's Matt Derbyshire climbs high at the back post but cannot direct his header on the Arsenal goal.

1624: Dider Drogba's free-kick goes through the wall but takes a deflection off Jermaine Pennant and is wide for a corner. Poor corner.

1623: Time for Liverpool to defend after Florent Malouda wins a free-kick in a central position with an extravagant "fall" under a challenge from Xabi Alonso.

1621: Roque Santa Cruz gets a glancing touch to David Bentley's inswinging free-kick from the left but cannot turn his header on goal.

1619: All eyes on Fernando Torres and Tal Ben Haim again. The Spaniard flicks the ball past the Israeli but cannot get round him and goes to ground in the box. Hopeful shout for a penalty in the extreme.

"Torres. Yeah. Can't believe I am cheering Loserpool on but they are a lesser evil given our poor start to the season."
Bengstoj on 606

1617: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
Fernando Torres scores his first Liverpool goal. Steven Gerrard finds the Spaniard on the left and the club's record signing stands up Tal Ben Haim, races past him and dinks the ball beyond Petr Cech and it's in at the far post.

1614: Robbie Savage beats the turf in frustration after going down on the edge of the box after a barrelling run through Cesc Fabregas and Kolo Toure. No penalty. Cue histrionics.

1613: Michael Essien is booked for a sliding tackle on Alvaro Arbeloa. The Spaniard was flying, and literally after having his feet taken from beneath him. Essien has been targeted by Liverpool, who will give him even more work now.

1610: We are back up and running between Blackburn and Arsenal.

1609: The two teams are back out at Ewood Park. Robin van Persie was your player of the first 53.

"Liverpool are sharper. Everything about them is sharper and they are just starting to push Chelsea back."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1607: A thunderous shot from Steven Gerrard is blocked by Frank Lampard.

1606: John Arne Riise is winning the early battle with Michael Essien. The Norwegian wins the first corner of the game with a deflection off the Ghanaian

1604: Michael Essien is the ultimate utility man. More concerning for Chelsea fans will be the absence of Ricardo Carvalho. Their win percentage dropped to 29% last season when the Portuguese centre-back was absent.

1603: Jermaine Pennant picks out John Arne Riise with a cross-field pass that leaves Michael Essien exposed at right-back. Riise's first touch is poor and affords Petr Cech the opportunity to race off his line and save.

1602: An early sighter for Didier Drogba who shoots well wide from distance.

1601: The final game of the day starts with Chelsea getting the ball rolling.

1556: Liverpool and Chelsea emerge. This is the 16th game between these two in the last three years. The Blues hold the advantage with six wins, including five out of six in the league.

1555: The teams are in the tunnel in Liverpool as the home fans clear their throats with a rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' before their first home game of the season.

1554: The visiting Chelsea supporters unfurl a huge flag at Anfield. It reads: "Welcome to Liverpool - a trophy-free zone."

1553: HALF-TIME Blackburn 0-1 Arsenal
After a 53-minute half the whistle goes at Ewood Park. Four yellow cards, three to Blackburn and one for Robbie Savage who is in referee Alan Wiley's ear as they stroll off. Wiley finds something to laugh about. Savage doesn't and looks as scary as a bloke with girly hair can.

1551: Stephen Warnock slides in with a vital tackle as Mathieu Flamini looks set to pull the trigger in the box after an intricate Gunners move.

1549: Robbie Savage is running around like the proverbial headless chicken and has just got the most predictable yellow card of the day.

1547: Phillippe Senderos sees a header from a corner deflected wide off the shoulder of Christopher Samba.

1546: Sven-Goran Eriksson promised Sir Alex Ferguson a glass or two of red whatever the result, although not the reported 415 of Cabernet Sauvignon. Before that though are press duties. The happy Swede tells the BBC his side were "lucky" and adds that he has two more signings up his sleeve, hopefully. Ferguson obviously doesn't need to bother with chatting to Auntie.

1545: The players are warming up at Anfield where Frank Lampard's thundering in some vicious shots on goal. Never mind Chelsea, Liverpool will be looking to open up a four-point lead on 16th-placed Manchester United with a game in hand.

"City are top of the table and United are deep in the other end! Don't write off United. They can recover, but it may be too late. Chelsea are a very consistent team and can open up a seven-point lead later."
Elfenomeno_9 on 606

1540: Robbie Savage is urged to calm down by referee Alan Wiley. There have been eight sendings-off in Premier League matches between Blackburn and Arsenal and at this rate number nine will be coming round the corner pretty soon.

1539: Eduardo da Silva arrows a shot from the left wide. This is a good little spell for the visitors at Blackburn. Home boss Mark Hughes looks a bit concerned.

1538: Theo Walcott breaks on the right but his cross into the box for Robin van Persie is simply shocking. A wasted chance for Arsenal.

1537: Eduardo da Silva shoots wide for Arsenal. He's convinced Brad Friedel got a finger tip to his bobbling shot and wants a corner. He's not going to get one.

1536: TEAM NEWS Liverpool v Chelsea
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard starts after taking pain-killing injections on his fractured toe, while Jermaine Pennant, Dirk Kuyt, Xabi Alonso and Daniel Agger return. Chelsea skipper John Terry is in the first XI having recovered from knee ligament trouble, while midfielder Steve Sidwell makes way for Jon Obi Mikel.

1535: Ryan Nelsen heads on to the Arsenal woodwork inside the box from a free-kick. The Gunners are stretched from the subsequent corner but clear.

1533: It is really bitty between Blackburn and Arsenal. Eduardo da Silva needs treatment after Ryan Nelsen climbs over him under a high ball. Arsene Wenger's venting on the touchline in the direction of the fourth official.

1531: Now Brett Emerton and Alexander Hleb are having a piece of each other.

1529: Mathieu Flamini is booked for a challenge on Robbie Savage as they both went for a high ball. It is getting testy at Ewood Park.

1526: Phillippe Senderos is on for William Gallas. Kolo Toure takes the captain's armband.

1525: David Bentley is booked for wrestling Robin van Persie to the ground. Not the sort of impression the former Gunner was hoping to make.

1524: Arsenal skipper William Gallas is heading for the touchline after twisting his knee. Doesn't look good.

"Up to the 18-yard box Manchester United were a joy to watch. City were dogged and they will be milking this. Dunne and Richards were outstanding, with Dunne leading by example."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1522: FULL-TIME Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
Now or never for United. Never. Richard Dunne hammers a Owen Hargreaves forward ball clear and that heralds the final whistle. Delight at Eastlands. City are top of the table and this is their best start to a season since 1991 when they finished fifth. It is United's worse start to a top-flight season since 1992.

1521: Carlos Tevez is booked. That eats up some more time for the hosts who are being serenaded by a bellowing chorus of 'Blue Moon' and nervy whistles anticipating full time.

1520: Edwin van der Sar's up for a corner, but it is cleared at the front post and he has to trot all the way back to his own goal.

1519: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Arsenal
Absolute calamity in the Blackburn defence after keeper Brad Friedel spills the ball. It bobbles about in the box before Robin van Persie taps home easily from close range for his second of the season and seventh in six games against Rovers.

1518: Richard Dunne's been mopped up and it is all hands to the pump in the City defence. A Ryan Giggs corner whistles across the line, Kasper Schmeichel misses the ball and Carlos Tevez heads wide at the back post. How did he miss? Sir Alex Ferguson will be asking him just that in a few minutes. The manager was up and celebrating.

1516: Richard Dunne and Micah Richards are like twin towers at the heart of the City defence. Skipper Dunne needs treatment to a cut. Hard to see how he got it but it does afford his team-mates a bit of a breather. Chris Waddle nominates Dunne as his man of the match. You give it to Richards with a mark of 8.03.

1514: Last-ditch defending from Richard Dunne who falls on his bum after swinging his left leg to clear inside his own area.

1513: Dietmar Hamann and Vedran Corluka double up on Carlos Tevez and there is certainly no way through for the dribbling Argentine. Dribbling as in the ball, not as in rabid saliva.

"Manchester United are running out of ideas and the changes haven't improved them. City are better after their substitutions."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1511: Micah Ricahrds jumps high to clear a United free-kick from his six-yard box with a firm header. Inside the last 10 minutes at Eastlands.

1509: Arsenal's number one Jens Lehmann is fine to carry on. The game resumes with a blood-and-thunder drop ball. Robbie Savage and Cesc Fabregas go head-to-head and as well as getting a touch to the ball line up some ankle as well in a whirl of legs.

1508: City are enjoying a spell of possession in United's half. Have they seen out the storm? Don't bet on it.

1507: You can't keep Jens Lehmann out of the action. The Arsenal keeper comes to punch a Brett Emerton cross clear and after doing so collides with Kolo Toure. He is down nursing his right arm. Treatment needed. Manuel Almunia, sporting peroxide blond hair these days, is warming up.

1506: Patrice Evra and Emile Mpenza wrestle for the ball which breaks for Vedran Corluka. Gasps of "Ooooh" as his rasping drive is narrowly over.

1504: Carlos Tevez pounces on a loose ball on the left of the area but his shot is wide.

1503: Arsenal start better than they did last Sunday against Fulham - and Jens Lehmann has touched the ball.

1502: Under way at Ewood Park for Blackburn's first home match of the Premier League season.

1501: Changes at Eastlands. Michael Ball replaces goalscorer Geovanni. United bring on striker Fraser Campbell and John O'Shea for Michael Carrick and Wes Brown.

"Underestimate Arsenal at your own peril. The scoreline will tell the story this afternoon. No stopping the Gunners at the moment."
AFOLASOJI on 606

1457: The players emerge at Ewood Park.

1546: A scrap between Vedran Corluka and Rio Ferdinand as the Croatian lets the ball roll out of play in defence. Rio's riled and pulls the City man down in an ungainly grapple.

1454: Thaksin Shinawatra looks a bit of a fidget. He's anxiously sitting forward in his seat watching the action unfold. His wife's wearing a far-from-fetching peaked visor to protect her from the sun. What sun? This is Manchester not Phuket.

1453: A poor cross from Carlos Tevez with two red shirts waiting in the box. So poor it goes out for a throw.

1452: City clear a corner and break. Poor touch from Geovanni and the swift counter-attack breaks down.

1451: A change for City and Rolando Bianchi replaces Elano, who has been somewhat anonymous. Two strikers on for the hosts, but will anyone be able to get the ball up to them?

1450: City have the confidence to play the ball out from defence, but it invariably breaks down on pass three or four, somewhere near the halfway line, and back come United.

1449: Carlos Tevez gets a touch to a teasing Ryan Giggs cross at the near post, but it is so faint the ball stays out, shaving the back post. Another chance goes begging.

1448: A change for Manchester United. Chris Eagles replaces Nani.

1447: Carlos Tevez releases Paul Scholes on the edge of the box with a backheel, but Scholes blazes over.

"There's only one team playing football, but City have got that all-important lead."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1445: Carlos Tevez spins away from Vedran Corluka on the left flank but is hauled back. A second booking for City.

1443: Dietmar Hamann is booked for a foul on Ryan Giggs. City are camped in their own half.

1442: Micah Richards races in between Paul Scholes and Carlos Tevez to thump away a Ryan Giggs low cross for a corner. The hosts were easily opened up there and but for Richards it would have been all sqaure.

1440: It's the same story as the first half at Eastlands. United dominating. City standing firm.

"This game will definitely not peter out to a draw, either United will bombard City in search for a win or they will get suckered by a City counter and end up losing the game."
desertwalker on 606

1434: Nemanja Vidic heads a Ryan Giggs corner on to the City woodwork. The ball rebounds off the crossbar but Paul Scholes hurries a shot and his effort is shinned wide.

1432: Back at Eastlands the action resumes.

1430: TEAM NEWS Blackburn v Arsenal
Benni McCarthy's fit but starts on the Rovers bench. The hosts have one change from their Uefa Cup exploits with Brett Emerton playing. The Gunners give a first start to Eduardo da Silva who plays alongside Robin van Persie. Theo Walcott also comes in. The Gunners are now out going through their paces.

1425: Blackburn are out warming up at Ewood Park. The referees are out warming up as well. But no sign of Arsenal. Some questions via text on 81111 have been asking why the Gunners have changed their match from Saturday to Sunday. It is because Blackburn were playing in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.

"This confirms my suspicions that last season's title was a one off for Man United. Without Ronaldo they're useless. They can't score."
Celtic-06-Paul on 606

Player rater: Micah Richards is leading the way at the break. Ryan Giggs is Manchester United's best ranked player.

"United's movement has been outststanding. They totally dominated possession but they have to have a goalscorer. We've been talking about Arsenal trying to walk the ball into the net with that one extra pass and Manchester United look to have fallen into the same trap. City are not going to out-football United, but they need to impose themselves better."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1417: HALF-TIME Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
United end the half where they have spent most of it - in the City half. But this game's all about goals, not possession and territory.

1416: Carlos Tevez lays it off to Nani in a central position and his fizzing shot whistles wide of the City woodwork. Low at Kasper Schmeichel's right post.

1415: Vedran Corluka has an ungainly air about him at right-back, but he's effective and has a thou-shalt-not-pass mentality. It will be needed this afternoon.

1412: Michael Carrick is furthest forward for Manchester United, but Carlos Tevez's pass is wayward.

1409: Kasper Schmeichel lets the ball slip from his grasp after saving low from Ryan Giggs. Paul Scholes almost steals in to tap in the loose ball, but there's that man again Micah Richards to thump the ball clear.

1407: Nani pops up on the right, but his low cross in to Ryan Giggs is cut out by the exceptional Micah Richards.

1406: The pace has picked up. This is now a proper derby match. Wes Brown is booked for a foul on Geovanni.

1404: City fans, sporting broad smiles, can't believe it. Sir Alex Ferguson is slumped in his seat. United have been done a treat after dominating.

1403: GOAL Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
Out of nothing City score. Paul Scholes loses possession in the middle of the park, City break and Geovanni lets fly from the edge of the area. His shot takes the slightest of deflections off Nemanja Vidic and beyond Edwin van der Sar's despairing dive.

1400: A first shot on goal from Manchester City. Not exactly 'on goal', but above goal. Michael Johnson shoots high from distance.

1357: Carlos Tevez breaks off the last defender to race on to a forward pass from Michael Carrick. The problem for the little Argentine is that that last defender is Micah Richards, who eats up the ground, wins the ball and clears the danger.

1355: A wonderful backheeled flick from Nani releases the underlapping Patrice Evra. He's through on goal but shoots wide as Kasper Schmeichel and Vedran Corluka bear down on him. Sir Alex Ferguson is jumping around claiming a penalty. No chance.

1353: Elano's in the wars again. It's his hip this time after a bruising bump from Paul Scholes.

1352: Carlos Tevez breaks but is marshalled and well tackled by Micah Richards on the edge of the area.

1351: A couple of quick corners for Manchester United. They play the second short and Owen Hargreaves floats a cross into the box. Kasper Schmeichel's all at sea but is helped out by his defence.

1349: Elano is wincing and rolling around after being muscled off the ball by Owen Hargreaves. After treatment he lifts his top to show the referee the point of impact. A lot of fuss over nothing.

1348: Manchester United are playing some lovely stuff. A sweeping move ends with Nani on the left, after a stepover from Paul Scholes on the edge of the box. Kasper Schmeichel saves low to his right.

1346: Referee Mark Clattenburg has not sent off a player in 49 top-flight matches.

1345: Wes Brown escapes a booking after clattering into Martin Petrov. He's on thin ice but referee Mark Clattenburg deems a talking-to sufficient.

1344: Nani's the outlet for United on the left, but as yet his crossing into the box is not up to the mark. City right-back Vedran Corluka will be in for a busy afternoon.

1341: Paul Scholes jumps in frustration as Nani fails to find him on the edge of the box with a threaded pass. The radar might be slightly awry, but United are bossing things.

1339: Finally here comes the replacement. It is Emile Mpenza instead of Rolando Bianchi.

1337: Valeri Bojinov's full debut isn't going to last long. City's Bulgarian striker is stretchered off after falling awkwardly under a high ball with Patrice Evra. No substitute ready and waiting to come on.

1336: Here's the threat. Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes link to release Nani on the left of the area. He gets a second bite of the cherry after Kasper Schmeichel parries the first effort. The Dane saves the second.

"The first dramatic moment of today's football - I had to change the batteries in my remote."
Torres never scores the same goal twice on 606

1335: Owen Hargreaves sitting in the slot in the centre circle and United enjoy some sustained possession. No threat, but a chance to feel their way into the game.

"It's going to take a good 20 minutes for this game to calm down. Manchester City are very compact."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1333: All a bit scrappy early doors.

1331: We are up and running.

1329: For those wanting uninterrupted text commentary you can go here...

1327: Sven-Goran Eriksson and Sir Alex Ferguson take their seats. We're all set to go. Just waiting on the TV people.

1326: Here they come. Owen Hargreaves is wearing four. Sven-Goran Eriksson has a winning record head-to-head against Sir Alex Ferguson. One game played and one win. It came in his Lazio days in the European Super Cup.

1325: The teams are in the tunnel. Some terrible trance, dance music is helping build up the atmosphere.

1319: Manchester United are breaking into new territory today. This is the first time since Wayne Rooney joined the club in 2004 that they will play without Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is suspended for that headbutt at Portsmouth in midweek.

"Who cares about the Manchester derby or the Liverpool-Chelsea game? Wolves to beat Wednesday win 3-0!"
Simon, Wolverhampton, via text on 81111
There's a 15-minute delay to that game.
Revised start time: 1345 BST

1314: The last time Manchester City boasted a four-point lead over United was in May 1991. Cher was top of the hit parade with the 'Shoop Shoop Song'.

1310: TEAM NEWS Manchester City v Manchester United
City only include two players from the corresponding fixture last season, which was only in May. They are Richard Dunne and Dietmar Hamann. Valeri Bojinov starts in attack. Ryan Giggs, Nani and Carlos Tevez start up front for the visitors.

"Owen Hargreaves gives Paul Scholes more licence. Going forward they're technically superb but they haven't got a goal poacher at the moment. Scholes is a fantastic footballer, a natural goalscorer and on form is probably the best midfielder in the country."
Chris Waddle, BBC Radio 5live pundit

1306: A relaxed Sven-Goran Eriksson is expecting "a very good football match". Same as England days. He doesn't really give much away when the microphone is thrust in front of him. He's cool with "expectations getting higher" at City and says his team are ready for what will be a "big test".

1302: Coverage of the football has started on BBC Radio 5live with Eleanor Oldroyd on 693 & 909 MW. Mike Ingham leads the commentary team at Eastlands with Chris Waddle in the summariser's seat.

1258: Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is over-seeing the warm-up from the touchline with Tord Grip. The two silver-haired Swedes are in matching suit and tie and look like a couple of bookends.

"Hargreaves in allows Scholes to push forward & support Tevez. I think the City defence will be in for a very busy afternoon! 0-2 United with Liverpool holding Chelsea to a draw makes the perfect Sunday."
freddyflintoff64 on 606

"Anything less than a win for United today will pretty much hand the title to Chelsea in my opinion."
MUFC_PAFC Fans on 606

"This is the best chance City will get. They can do it if they really apply themselves."
rincewind100 on 606

1251: The players are out warming up at Eastlands.

1248: Sir Alex Ferguson is understandably "delighted" to be able to include Owen Hargreaves and says he hopes he lasts the game after injury. The Manchester United boss adds he expects it to be "an open game". He says: "We've got confidence to get the result we want."

"My uncle is manager of that hotel! He claims Sven is more charming in person than on TV!"
fatboyjohnmulhern on 606

1244: Some early team news. Owen Hargreaves, who is staying in the same hotel as Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson as they look for houses (not together), will make his Manchester United debut today.

1241: There's some early heat for a 3-1 United win on 606 as well from the phantomdreamer. In addition he's predicting Blackburn 1-2 Arsenal and a 0-0 bore draw between Liverpool and Chelsea... "but I have been wrong before". Get involved with your predictions, everyone else seems to be.

1238: It will be tasty in the Hatton household today between boxing brothers Ricky (City fan) and Matthew (United fan). Ricky told BBC Radio 5live he was quietly optimistic as United have had a "dicky start". But Matthew, the black sheep of the family because of his red allegiance, is "very confident" of a United win. He reckons: "3-1, with Tevez opening his account."

1235: In fact, the only team in action today who have no possibility of taking over top spot are the champions Manchester United. A worst case scenario for them in terms of the nascent title race is Chelsea opening up a seven-point gap. Time will tell. The next five-and-a-bit hours will tell.

1233: In stark contrast, hosts City have a 100% record in the league, have yet to concede a goal and go into the game boasting a four-point cushion over their much-vaunted rivals. A draw would be enough for them to overhaul Wigan at the Premier League summit.

1230: And before all of that there is the Manchester derby which kicks off in one of your English hours. Sven-Goran Eriksson's City host Sir Alex Ferguson's United who are without Rooney, Ronaldo and rins... sorry, wins.

1227: Talking fists of fury, Arsenal's southern softies have been perceived to lack the stomach for fights in northern enclaves in the past. But Cesc Fabregas made mincemeat of Sparta Prague's mean machine Tomas Repka in midweek so Robbie Savage surely won't be a problem for the spikey Spaniard.

1225: Prior to that is the little matter of a game between Blackburn and Arsenal at 1500 BST. Will "Rocky" Santa Cruz deliver the knockout punch with another Rovers goal after two in two?

1222: The returning John Terry can chat broken toes with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard at Anfield. Gerrard is fit for action today but will not be fit to represent his country on Wednesday. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard can also compare toe fractures as he's on the comeback trail from one he suffered in the summer.

1220: At 1600 BST Chelsea will welcome back one of their "untouchables" - John Terry. He's a definite for the Sean Connery character from Brian de Palma's 1987 film about Eliot Ness and co. Lamps, Drogs and whatever it is they call Petr Cech in the dressing room can fight it out for the other roles. Short straw gets the geeky accountant with the big forehead and spectacles.

1217: With all due respect to table-topping Wigan and the other 13 clubs in action on Saturday, that was just a taster before today's mouth-watering action. A plate of gastro pub antipasti before some proper pub grub of Sunday roast and all the trimmings. Tuck in with relish.

1215: A little over a week into the Premier League season and we have some mega matches. It's the sort of day when England's top division really does live up to the self-styled billing of the best in the world. So let's get the show on the road, let me know your views on the action on 606 or through the medium of text on 81111.



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

SEE ALSO
Sunday's football photos
19 Aug 07 |  Football


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