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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Premier League as it happened
Birmingham 3-2 Wigan Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City Manchester United 4-1 Middlesbrough Portsmouth 0-0 West Ham Reading 2-1 Newcastle Sunderland 1-1 Fulham


By Charlie Henderson

Player of the Day: Manchester United and Chelsea men are the only ones you rate at eight or more. In the red corner we have Nani, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney. The trio in blue are Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, who takes your vote with a mark of 8.66.

1914: And there's also Match of the Day which will feature some fantastic goals from Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. Those matches are first on from 2230 BST with Gary Lineker on BBC One. After that you'll get an extra hour in bed. Don't forget the clocks go back tonight. Same place tomorrow? Catch you then in GMT and thanks for your company today.

1911: From one Green to another. Alan's in the seat for BBC Radio 5 Live's 606. Call him on 0500 909 693 or text on 85058. And there's always 606...

1910: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 0-0 West Ham
We waited more than 90 minutes for some real drama and there is no doubt who the hero of the match is. Robert Green will have bruises on his back for all the pats he's taking from his team-mates. What about Nolberto Solano's two missed headers though. Does that make him the villain.

1909: PENALTY SAVE West Ham
Robert Green goes the right way and denies Benjani, the Premier League's leading scorer, from the spot. The travelling fans behind Green's goal are going barmy mental. A harsh decision and a fine save.

1908: Penalty to Portsmouth. Niko Kranjcar looks to flick the ball round Danny Gabbidon right on the edge of the box and it hits the defender's hand. Alan Curbishley is fuming on the touchline as Benjani places the ball.

1907: Robert Green can't get a hand to Pompey's latest shot, but Kanu's right-footed effort from the edge of the area arrows narrowly wide.

1906: An attacking throw for the hosts deep in Hammers territory, but Glen Johnson's in-swinging cross is straight at Robert Green in the West Ham goal.

1905: Niko Kranjcar was particularly impressive in the first half and he digs deep for a lung-busting burst into the box which wins a corner. Yet again Pompey fail to conjure anything with their deadball delivery.

1904: Robert Green's still alert to danger and comes out to the egdge of the area to gather a raking crossfield pass ahead of Benjani.

1902: Portsmouth easily clear but fail to create anything as they work a way forward to the other end of the pitch.

1901: Now it's a corner to West Ham as Glen Johnson clears a free-kick behind. He thought his header came off Matthew Upson. The referee didn't.

1900: Corner to Portsmouth but they concede a free-kick as the ball comes in. Kanu's the culprit.

1859: Don't forget that you can put your view on the day's action to Alan Green on BBC Radio 5 Live's 606. The numbers are 0500 909 693 if you want to talk to him, or 85058 if you want to text. He will be on air from 1915 BST or thereabouts.

1858: Danny Gabbidon lets a high, clearing ball bounce. Benjani is sniffing out a chance but Robert Green comes to the edge of his area to gather.

1856: Inside the last 10 minutes. That comes as a bit of a relief as this game has never really set the pulse racing.

1855: A second completely and utterly pointless booking for West Ham. Craig Bellamy had a niggly little kick out in the first 45 and now Carlton Cole petulantly throws the ball away. All a bit kindergarten.

1854: The big men trot forward for a Pompey corner. They labour all the way back after the delivery is straight into Robert Green's hands.

1853: West Ham look as if they're happy with a point. Jonathan Spector comes on for Nolberto Solano. He will take a defensive role in midfield.

1851: Right then. This could change things. Kanu's coming on for Portsmouth. His fellow Nigerian John Utaka is the man to make way. Benjani is pushed out to the right to replace Utaka.

1850: With 15 minutes left on the clock Pompey have a nice spell of possession but it is all sideways.

1847: Come on. We want a goal. Are we going to get one? Where's it going to come from?

1844: West Ham's Carlton Cole scuffs a chance from the edge of the area.

1842: Corner to the visitors. They fail to test Pompey keeper David James.

1841: That has got West Ham going and has got the home fans a bit jittery.

1839: Nolberto Solano misses a second golden chance off his bonce. Carlton Cole collects a Matthew Etherington pass in the box, swivels and scoops a shot on to the Pompey bar. Solano is there to nod in the rebound with David James floored, but his effort is woeful and goes wide. He had time to control and lash in instead.

1836: Plenty of incentive for Portsmouth here as the clock ticks round into the final 30 minutes. Win and they go third ahead of Manchester City. A point and they would go fifth. That was a load of rubbish. What's happened to the BBC Sport website Premier League table. It is well and truly up the spout. It's updated with this game deemed a draw. Thanks for pointing that out Mama Smurf.

1834: A rare chance for West Ham as they break down the right. Sylvain Distin's pace is always amazing for such a big lump and he eats up the ground to shield the ball into touch ahead of Luis Boa Morte.

1831: Hats off to the Pompey bell ringer - and he's wearing a hat so that's apt. Great effort from him and his band of drummers, but you wouldn't want to be sitting next to them all season. It would cost a fortune in headache pills.

1828: Benjani fires a shot in from outside the area. Good save from Robert Green. West Ham need to wake up... and fast.

1827: Portsmouth work a short corner to Sulley Muntari on the edge of the area with West Ham's defenders going walkabout. Muntari wants too much time on the ball before shooting wide.

"To the Manc. You can score four against us (Arsenal) next week. We'll score seven.
NorthLondonsFinest via text on 81111
Never mind next week, just one would do us right now.

1823: Niko Kranjcar is in fantastic form. Fleet of foot in open play, he shows an eye for goal with a free-kick which Robert Green saves at his post at a comfortable height.

1821: Benjani is slipped free on the left but is flagged for offside. Bad call. He was on. Sulley Muntari was the man roaming around in the wrong place on the opposite side of the pitch.

1819: The players are back out and West Ham are making a change. Matthew Etherington is on for Craig Bellamy. The Welshman's 'Player Rater' figure should soon fade after that.

Player rater: Craig Bellamy is doing his best to claim your vote as today's best player and is currently running second to Didier Drogba's mark of 8.71 with a score of 8.33, That's a mite more than Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney. Fair or freak? Put your vote in the mix and see how things change.

"Come on the Hammers! Not doing too bad against Pompey. Bad start, improving. Nobby is doing really well methinks."
chazridley on 606
Apart from the gilt-edged headed chance methinks.

1802 HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-0 West Ham:
The last action of the half is a West Ham free-kick from 30 yards in a central position. David James saves the effort from Nolberto Solano.

1801: One minute of added time and Carlton Cole can't head Nolberto Solano's cross on target. Better from the Hammers. Much better.

1757: Niko Kranjcar is showing the sort of footwork that is the preserve of those over on BBC One in 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Danny Gabbidon's his dance partner again and looks about as dexterous as Willie Thorne.

1754: All a bit standard at Fratton Park. Teams going through the motions with no thrills and spills for the moment.

1751: Niko Kranjcar weaves his way past Danny Gabbidon and is in the area on the left. But the first touch makes the angle a tad tight and he is unable to hook the ball back into the box and his shot on goal is actually off goal so to speak. Cheers plymjock84.

1750: Carlton Cole is West Ham's main threat and harries Sol Campbell into a mistake. The Pompey skipper pauses over a back pass and almost pays the price, but David James gets a vital touch before clearing after colliding with Campbell.

1748: West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is taking copious notes. It could be less team talk and more of a reading at half time... unless that's his shopping list instead.

"I'm a Manchester United fan and I guarantee that United will continue scoring four goals even at the Emirates next week. Man U will destroy Arsenal."
handsworth86 on 606

"I'm a Fulham boy and think that we will be relegated. We have had an 'unlucky' start but we can't blame anything else but ourselves."
MightWhitesFFC on 606

1744: Nolberto Solano looks to make amends for that missed header. He whips a dipping free-kick in from the left which David James tips over. The Peruvian's delivery from the subsequent corner is not as good and Pompey clear.

1742: BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has got four of the five results correct today and has plumped for a 2-1 result to Portsmouth in this game.

1741: Something that always warms home fans when West Ham are in town. Craig Bellamy is booked for a snide little kick on Hermann Hreidarsson on the edge of the Hammers box.

1739: Well, Carlton Cole can do quite a bit. He's looking lively and whips an inviting cross into the box. It arcs beyond Sylvain Distin, but Nolberto Solano cannot convert with a free header. Oh dear.

1738: West Ham have withstood that early Pompey pressure well and are beginning to see a squeak more of the ball. What can they do with it though?

1735: REACTION Manchester United 4-1 Middlesbrough
United assistant Carlos Quieroz thinks his side "deserved the win". Suppose that's a fair assessment, although he doesn't go over the top on another exceptional performance. "They made it difficult for us but we regained out composure, first touch and movement."

1733: Portsmouth are clipping the ball about in a comfortable manner, and they've got plenty of ball to do it with. A whopping 67% so far.

1730: REACTION Sunderland 1-1 Fulham
Home boss Roy Keane salutes the fans as "different class" and feels a touch unfortunate. "We dominated the second half, particularly after going down to 10 men and we were unfortunate not to win." That's not how Lawrie Sanxhez saw it. "We dominated from the first minute to the 85th and you wouldn't believe they were the home team. In terms of play there was only one team in it."

1727: REACTION Birmingham 3-2 Wigan
Daniel de Ridder's got himself a fan in the form of manager Steve Bruce. "He's something different, he's a wide player who can go past people," says the Birmingham boss, before adding: "We've beaten Derby, we've beaten Bolton and now we've beaten Wigan. I've got rid of October, which is always a bad month for me."

1724: Pedro Mendes cracks another effort on goal from 25 yards or so. It fizzes low and wide of the target.

1723: Pompey have started well and Niko Kranjcar chances his arm from distance. Robert Green stretches high and tips the effort over.

1720: Hammers boss Alan Curbishley wasn't even one when West Ham last took the spoils in a top-flight game at Fratton Park. The Kalin Twins were top of the charts with 'When'. Never mind when. Who the hell are they?

1717: West Ham have won just one of their last three, last time out at home to Sunderland. A win will take them up a place to ninth. They have won on three of their last five visits to Fratton Park, but last took the honours in a top-flight match way back when in 1958.

1715: Portsmouth get us going. They are eyeing five wins on the bounce in the Premier League... something they have never done before.

1712: Here come the players. This one will also be on BBC Radio 5 Live. Ian Brown, Ali Bruce Ball and Steve Claridge are standing by.

1711: REACTION Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City
Avram Grant says there is no secret to Chelsea's success. "The players have shown full commitment to positive football and winning - there are no big secrets behind this. We are still in the middle of the process, we have to continue." City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson apologises to the fans, describing his defence's efforts as "very, very bad." He adds: "It started OK and then it got worse and worse. We have to do much, much better."

1710: All set to go on the south coast. Now all we need are some players at Fratton Park, where Portsmouth host West Ham.

"I was never one to get caught up in the hype of Man City but this isn't a disaster for them. It just shows how far everyone is off the top four. When they really play they will destroy any of the other 16 teams in the league."
villa4life89 on 606

"I have to say, I was an Avram Grant doubter, but at the moment it looks like I'll have to eat my words (chomp, chomp.... belch!) Back on track in both Premier League and Champions League.
Daripa on 606

1700: TEAM NEWS Portsmouth v West Ham
Pedro Mendes comes into the Portsmouth midfield in place of the suspended Sean Davis and Kanu is on the bench after knee injury. Nolberto Solano and Luis Boa Morte are promoted from the West Ham bench to the starting XI. Lee Bowyer out with a knee injury.

1655: FULL-TIME Sunderland 1-1 Fulham
Both teams were craving three points from this, but one's better than nothing, escpecially for the hosts who played out much of the second half with 10 men. Sunderland climb a place to 15th and Fulham drop a place to 14th.

1655: FULL-TIME Birmingham 3-2 Wigan
They did it the hard way but the Blues pick up three points for the first time since 15 September when they saw off Bolton at home. Wigan scored for the first time since 22 September, but still now win. You have to go back to August for that.

1654: FULL-TIME Manchester United 4-1 Middlesbrough
United conceded a first goal at home this season, but the four going in at the other end were pretty special. They go top of the Premier League. Boro have lost their last five in all competitions.

1653: Fulham's Antti Niemi saves well from Anthony Stokes.

1652: FULL-TIME Reading 2-1 Newcastle
That means Reading have equalled the number of points from 11 games that they had last term. What was that about second-season syndrome.

1651: Wigan have run out of puff at Birmingham. They were hauled back twice and are now out of ideas in an effort to level up at 3-3.

1648: FULL-TIME Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City
That's five wins on the spin for Chelsea. Jose who? And that's six games now for City at Stamford Bridge without a goal. Of more concern for the visitors will be the six that went in. Painful.

"Is it possible that Avram Grant can deliver Roman's dream? The press will be having nightmares about his possible success!"
Barrow Blue via text on 81111

1647: GOAL Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City
An absolute hammering. Even the misfiring Andriy Shevchenko gets in on the act at Stamford Bridge, latching on to Michael Essien's pass and firing the ball past the hapless Joe Hart.

1646: GOAL Sunderland 1-1 Fulham
A point is not really what either side would want, but try telling that to the celebrating Sunderland fans. Kenwyne Jones heads in a deep cross from Grant Leadbitter for the 10-man hosts.

1645: GOAL Manchester United 4-1 Middlesbrough
For the first time in 100 years United score four goals in four successive games. Wayne Rooney races forward before realesing Carlos Tevez on the left of the box. His rifled shot takes a wild deflection down into the turf bouncing high over the diving Mark Schwarzer.

1643: GOAL Birmingham 3-2 Wigan
There's that Birmingham goal. Oliver Kapo collects a loose ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal. Options left and right, he goes alone, turning and drilling a low shot beyond the flailing arm of Chris Kirkland.

1641: GOAL Reading 2-1 Newcastle
Steve Coppell earns his corn as Royals boss. He throws on Shane Long and guess what happens? The substitute collects Ibrahima Sonko's flick-on from a deep free-kick with his first touch and hooks the ball home in off the post with his second.

1640: A chance for Chelsea but Claudio Pizarro and Andriy Shevchenko can't get on the end of Salomon Kalou's low cross.

1639: If anyone's going to win at St Andrews it will be Birmingham. Anyone got a sense of deja vu? They look much the better side but still need to translate that on to the scoreboard.

1638: Charles N'Zogbia's shot bounces wickedly in front of Marcus Hehnemann but the Reading keeper parries well and powerfully to deny Newcastle's follow-up runners a chance.

1637: Didier Drogba gets an excellent ovation as he makes way for Claudio Pizarro. That's four goals in three games for the wantaway striker.

1634: GOAL Reading 1-1 Newcastle
The Magpies didn't look like scoring and they need a Reading player to get back on terms. Emre's flat free-kick from near the corner flag bounces in the six-yard box and is in the back of the net off Michael Duberry for an own goal. Unlucky for the Royals. A lifeline for the visitors.

1632: GOAL Chelsea 5-0 Manchester City
Chelsea are bang on their game today and Salomon Kalou is on target. Michael Essien slips a pass forward on the right and the Ivorian slots another one through Joe Hart's legs. Great stuff from the Blues.

1630: Sunderland may be down to 10 men but they manage an effort on goal. Fulham's Antti Niemi, one of two former Hearts keepers on show, saves well from Grant Leadbitter.

1628: GOAL Birmingham 2-2 Wigan
Rafael Schmitz heads Daniel De Ridder's corner back across the Wigan box and Blues skipper Liam Ridgewell hammers home from close range.

1627: RED CARD Sunderland
Sunderland's task of getting back on terms has just got a whole heap harder. Right-back Greg Halford is the man who will have an early bath. He tugged back David Healy for a second booking, having fouled Carlos Bocanegra in the first half.

1624: Birmingham striker Cameron Jerome spins and turns on the right, but Wigan's Chris Kirkland sticks out a strong arm to deny him at the post. The hosts have responded well to going behind for a second time.

1623: Newcastle look clueless against Reading. They are creating nothing.

1620: GOAL Birmingham 1-2 Wigan
The easiest goal Marcus Bent will ever score. Stephen Kelly and Maik Taylor get in the way of each other as they attempt to block Mario Melchiot's right-wing cross and Bent taps in.

1617: GOAL Chelsea 4-0 Manchester City
Didier Drogba heads Alex's acrobatic forward ball to Joe Cole who races clear of the City defence and stabs in number four. All too easy.

"I'm starting to wonder if City were just lucky to face Manchester United while they were still stuttering at the beginning."
TO_MUfan on 606

"...and, as much as I hate to admit it, United were lucky to face Chelsea on their down swing. Especially considering our defensive weaknesses at the moment."
BigDragg on 606

1616: Sunderland have come out with a bit more purpose, but still no chances on goal against Fulham.

1615: GOAL Manchester United 3-1 Middlesbrough
Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney link up to delightful effect. Tevez lays off Anderson's clipped pass to the Englishman and is on hand to rifle in Rooney's backheel in the box.

1612: GOAL Chelsea 3-0 Manchester City
Joe Hart parries an initial effort from Frank Lampard but Didier Drogba pounces in the box and powers a piledriver of a shot home through the goalkeeper's legs.

"Drogba is arguably the best in the world at the moment. He has to go out there and show the fans his commitment by scoring goals, and that's what he's done."
Gavin Peacock, BBC Score pundit

1610: GOAL Reading 1-0 Newcastle
Dave Kitson scored the only goal of the game when these two last met at the Madejski, and he is on the scoresheet again. The ball bobbles through Leroy Lita's legs on the edge of the box and Kitson sweeps the ball home high over Shay Given with a left-footed shot.

1609: Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson catches Michael Essien and is lucky to escape a booking. He already has one yellow card to his name.

1607: The quintet of games is complete as Birmingham and Wigan resume.

1605: Carlos Tevez plays in Wayne Rooney with a sliderule pass on the right of the Boro defence but his shot blasts over the bar. Nice play from Manchester United's strike duo.

"United will destroy Boro in the second half. Just watch. 4-1 is my prediction. Maybe even 5-1."
So which one's your predicition?

1603: The other four matches are resuming in dribs and drabs.

1602: First in, first out. Chelsea get the second half started at Stamford Bridge.

"City can still win this game as long as it stays 2-0."
Kzrcfc26 on 606

"I hope Roy Keane gave the players a rollocking at half time. This is a must-win game and we're looking woeful."
Scott, in Sunderland, via text on 81111

Player rater: Fulham's Clint Dempsey has the perfect 10. Surely some mistake. Join in and give your verdict...

"Newcastle are once again out to prove they are the most inconsistent team in the known universe."
nufc_josh on 606

1550: Thanks for those who have inundated the text inbox with the message 'BBC Sport'. You don't have to do what it says at the top to the letter. Don't be shy about waxing lyrical on footballing matters.

Chelsea and Manchester City are the first to head for the tunnel. Maybe Avram Grant will crack a cheeky grin away from the cameras in the privacy of his dressing room. They are still playing elsewhere and Reading's Nicky Shorey flashes a free-kick over the Newcastle bar.

1546: Chelsea assistant Henk ten Cate has the beginning of a smile on his face, but boss Avram Grant is nowhere close to one. Come on man. You're set up for a first home win in the Premier League.

1545: Leroy Lita's having one of those days. Stephen Hunt lays off a wonderful ball but Lita hammers the volley over from inside the six-yard box. In his defence he had to snap at the chance under pressure.

1543: Whoops. A mix up at the back for Newcastle which almost gifts Reading a goal. Claudio Cacapa's back pass catches Shay Given on the hop and is trickling towards the net before the Irish stopper recovers to clear.

1542: That Fulham goal has failed to galvanise Sunderland. They still look listless and it could be a long hard season. This is the sort of game they need to win for sure.

1539: Just the one game still goalless and it's between Reading and Newcastle. The Royals are having the better chances but no belters since that legless effort from Leroy Lita. This time the striker manages to connect with the ball but shoots straight at Shay Given.

1538: A glorious chance for Stephen Ireland at Chelsea after he collects a lay off from Michael Johnson on the edge of the box. His shot arrows wide of the target. Head in hands time for the Manchester City midfielder.

1536: Daniel de Ridder, who is looking good on his home debut for Birmingham, shoots straight at Chris Kirkland. The Blues are bossing things again since equalising against Wigan.

1534: GOAL Manchester United 2-1 Middlesbrough
Stewart Downing turns away from danger in defence with an exquisite twist and drag back but then goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. His tame pass, under pressure from Nani, is straight at Wayne Rooney. His shot is straight in the net as it blazes through Mark Schwarzer's attempted save.

1532: GOAL Sunderland 0-1 Fulham
The deadlock is broken at the Stadium of Light and Black Cat keeper Craig Gordon is picking the ball out of the back of his net. Simon Davies executes a wonderful free-kick which sails in at the post.

1531: GOAL Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City
Micah Richards cannot cut out Frank Lampard's wonderful cross-field pass and Didier Drogba collects before firing low beyond Joe Hart.

"Lampard's pass may be our best pass of the year - perhaps 2nd to Joe Cole's against Valencia. And how the hell could Lampard get booked for the Richards row? He clearly hit him deliberately in the neck because of being frustrated with being behind."
JohanMourinho on 606

1529: It's all getting a bit heated at Stamford Bridge with Micah Richards and Frank Lampard squaring up after a wrestling match over the ball. The pair are booked.

1527: GOAL Birmingham 1-1 Wigan
A chance for Birmingham to level after Paul Scharner handles in the Wigan box from Franck Queudrue's header. Olivier Kapo duly despatches from the penalty spot with a cool finish left of centre.

1526: The blue-booted Tuncay causes problems in the Manchester United box with another inviting cross. Stewart Downing's header is just wide.

1525: Fine defending by Richard Dunne. The Manchester City skipper nips in to nick the ball off the threatening Didier Drogba.

1524: GOAL Birmingham 0-1 Wigan
The Latics are in more than a groove now. Mario Melchiot lofts a long ball forward and Marcus Bent is through one-on-one and finishes well with a lofted effort.

"Steve Bruce is going to be mortified."
Gary Pallister, BBC Score pundit

1523: Still no Birmingham breakthrough and that's because Wigan are slowly getting into some sort of groove.

1520: Manchester City look to get on level terms. Martin Petrov's crackerjack of a left-footed free-kick from 30-odd yards is pushed behind by Petr Cech.

1516: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City
Frank Lampard finds Michael Essien with a pass into the box down the right channel and the midfielder flashes a shot across Joe Hart into the opposite corner of the net.

"For some reason Micah Richards steps away from Essien. It's poor defending from Manchester City."
Gavin Peacock, BBC Score pundit

1515: A great ball from Newcastle's Habib Beye on the right wing finds Michael Owen whose chest control lets him down and allows Reading's Marcus Hahnemann to smother.

1514: Over on 606 Englandlad23 was hoping for good things from Anderson today with Owen Hargreaves giving him more scope to go forward. the early signs aren't all that as a square pass is woefully wide of the intended target and goes out on halfway.

1513: Leroy Lita goes at the ball like an English punter going at a prawn with chopsticks at his local Chinese. Kevin Doyle plays a square ball into the box, but with the Newcastle goal gaping Lita gets his legs in a tangle.

1511: Fulham striker David Healy fails to find an empty net from 20 yards with his left foot after being gifted the ball via Danny Higginbotham's poor clearance.

1510: The Newcastle tactics board must be full of sweeping lines forward from midfield because they keep trying to release Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins with balls over the top at Reading.

1509: Birmingham are on top at St Andrews and looks just a matter of time before that pressure turns to goals against Wigan.

1507: GOAL Manchester United 1-1 Middlesbrough
No doubt which game you want to be at if you want goals. Manchester United concede for the first time at Old Trafford this season as Jeremie Aliadiere arches his back and climbs well to head in Tuncay's right-wing cross.

1505: After a good Chelsea start, a chance for Manchester City. Stephen Ireland ghosts behind the home defence and almost gives the visitors the lead, his header drifting just wide of Petr Cech's left post.

1504: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Middlesbrough
Sorry Stuart. More from Old Trafford and an absolute humdinger from Nani. He cuts in from the left and unleashes a corker of a shot from outside the area. Worth watching Match of the Day for that alone... and the celebration.

1500: Up and runnng and Carson Yeung is in the VIP section at St Andrews, sitting behind David Sullivan. Birmingham's prospective new owner is set for talks with manager Steve Bruce afterwards. No pressure on Bruce then.

1459: John Terry's in the front row at Stamford Bridge with his wife and twin kids. Former Tottenham management duo Martin Jol and Chris Hughton are at Southend watching the League One match against Carlisle.

"Is anyone else sick of hearing about what is going on at Old Trafford? And this before the match has even started!"
Stuart, at work in Crewe, via text on 81111

"Good to see Hargreaves getting a start. Let's hope he gets a good run in the side. Be interesting to see if his selection gives Anderson some more attacking freedom."
Englandlad23 on 606

1455: Thank heavens here come the players around the grounds. This isn't NME you know. As if you needed telling.

1454: Manchester United mascot Fred the Red leads the choregraphed clapping to Queen's 'We Will Rock You' at Old Trafford.

1450: Just the 10 minutes to go. The players have left their respective arenas and it's a chance for the PA announcers to take centre stage on the decks. Elton John playing at Stamford Bridge, something loud and upbeat at the Madejski and the steel band have been ditched at St Andrews.

1448: But there should be goals at Reading. In each of Newcastle's last four Premier League games the home side has scored three goals. The Magpies have fortunately been at St James' Park for three of those. The last eight games the Magpies have been involved in have all been home wins.

1445: Mention of dodgy away records takes us to the Madejski Stadium. It is almost 11 months since Newcastle last kept a clean sheet. That was against Frankfurt on the last day of November last year.

1443: Fulham are only 13th in the table because of the number of draws they are picking up. Five and counting. But it is eight matches without a win for the Cottagers and a remarkable 21 games since they triumphed on the road.

1441: Like Birmingham and Wigan, Sunderland against Fulham sees two teams in a bit of a muddle go head-to-head. The Black Cats are on a nine-match run in the Premier League without a clean sheet and have won just four from a possible 24 points.

1436: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Fulham
A final bit of team news for the 1500 BST games. Sunderland welcome back striker Michael Chopra, who replaces Roy O'Donovan in the only change from last week's defeat at West Ham. Fulham make four changes, suspended Paul Konchesky, injured Hameur Bouazza and Chris Baird and Seol Ki-Hyeon all out as Carlos Bocanegra, Elliot Omozusi, Simon Davies and David Healy come in.

1432: Very un-steel band weather in the midlands, but that's the pre-match entertainment at St Andrews. Down in London, Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson gives Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard a pat on the back and a bit of patter in his ear. "Wellllllll....". Talking of Franks, Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Two Tribes' is the musical accompaniment for the early arrivals at Old Trafford.

1430: TEAM NEWS Manchester United v Middlesbrough
Bang on cue after that mention of the 'Theatre of Dreams' and here's the team news. United hand Owen Hargreaves only his fourth start, while Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo will support strikers Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez. Middlesbrough forward Mido is injured so Jeremie Aliadiere comes in, while skipper George Boateng is dropped to the bench.

1429: So, much as at Old Trafford for Manchester United, that looks like three points nailed on for Birmingham. That's the same Birmingham who haven't won any of their last five games and have lost four on the spin. Maybe it won't be so easy after all.

1428: Wigan really are in the doldrums. One point from 18. They have plummeted from third to 15th in that time. They haven't won on the road all season. And they haven't scored in 310 minutes of football.

1426:Mario Melchiot scored when Wigan last met Birmingham, although he was turning out for the boys in Blues then. Wigan have never beaten Birmingham in the top flight and have never won at St Andrews.

1424: TEAM NEWS Birmingham v Wigan
Birmingham boss Steve Bruce makes one change from the side that lost 1-0 to Manchester City, with Dutch midfielder Daniel de Ridder coming in for Gary McSheffrey. Wigan are boosted by the return of Mario Melchiot at right-back, while winger Antonio Valencia, who has recovered from a thigh injury, comes in for Michael Brown, with Paul Scharner moving into a centre midfield role.

1422: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Manchester City
Avram Grant clearly doesn't love Shaun Wright-Phillips as the winger's not in the Chelsea squad again. There's no place for Florent Malouda either. Julio Belletti, Jon Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou start. One change for City with Georgios Samaras for the unwell Emile Mpenza.

1420: If Manchester City do beat Chelsea today it will be their first win at Stamford Bridge since January 1993. Whitney Houston was number one with 'I'll Always Love You' way back then.

"Man City to beat Chelsea and put a real dent in Chelsea's title aspirations. Man Utd to go top and go on to retain title."
Mark via text on 81111

"I am at Stamford Bridge writing this on my mobile. Its a great atmosphere here. If Liverpool lose tomorrow Benitez will surely get the sack, this year is a year of sacks!"
ManBlue4Eva on 606

1416: Newcastle have never won at Reading, losing two and drawing one of their three meetings. Last season Dave Kitson scored the only goal of the game and he's in an attacking line up for the Royals today.

1412: TEAM NEWS Reading v Newcastle
Reading captain Graeme Murty shakes off a bout of sickness to start, although there in no place in the XI for American Bobby Convey despite his having recovered from a calf injury. Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton makes his first start for the club after coming on as a substitute during last Monday's win over Tottenham.

1410: BBC Radio 5 Live's coverage is based at Old Trafford, but they will be focusing on Chelsea against Manchester City, where John Murray will be joined by Graham Taylor. Taylor is backing Arsenal for the title.

1409: Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the only goal of the game the last time Manchester United picked up three points at home to Boro more than five years. Talking of the Dutch striker, it's the 25th anniversary of 'My Little Pony' this weekend.

1407: Hang on there with all that fast and loose talk about a Middlesbrough mauling. They have a great record at Old Trafford. They are unbeaten in their last four visits to Manchester United in the league, with a win and three draws, and have lost just one of their last six visits.

1406: Manchester United host Middlesbrough, one of a number of teams in action today who are in a dire run of form. Surely three points in the bag. And who knows, a good chance for another four United goals.

"After a hard morning doing coursework I'm looking forward to an afternoon of football. More to the point I'm looking forward to a cold beer and watching Man U beat Boro to go top. No matter how short lived it will be."
Doug via text on 81111

1402: Makes a nice change being able to put your feet up early doors and there's another major change today. Manchester United are playing at home, on a Saturday, at the traditional kick-off time. Rub your eyes and read that again United fans, because it doesn't happen often.

1400: Did you enjoy your morning slumber undisturbed by football? If you didn't feel free to vent on 606.

"I enjoyed my morning slumber! I'm in Winnipeg, Canada, and if there is an early kick off, I have to get up at six in the morning to watch!"
Winnipeg Gooner 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

Saturday's football photos
27 Oct 07 |  Football


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