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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 17:19 UK

Premier League as it happened

RESULTS
Birmingham 2-2 Liverpool Match report
Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd Match report
Man City 2-3 Fulham Match report
Sunderland 3-2 Middlesbrough Match report
Tottenham 1-1 Bolton Match report
West Ham 2-2 Newcastle Match report
Wigan 0-0 Reading Match report

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

1716: I could carry on talking about today's action until well into tomorrow but I think we all need to lie down in a darkened room for a little while to try to recover from the madness that was Saturday 26 April. Or go to the pub for a few... whatever. Don't forget to phone Alan Green on Radio 5 Live's 606 - should be lively - and for goodness sake, don't go missing Match of the Day at 2230 BST on BBC1.

1712: Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack takes the honours as our Player of the Day with 8.09 after his two goals earned his side victory over Manchester United. Bolton's Joey O'Brien brings up the rear on a miserable 3.47, although he was only on the field for 19 minutes before he was injured, and that's enough to save United winger Nani (4.29) from the 'honour'.

1709: "Unwittingly Newcastle can have the biggest say in the title race. Playing Chelsea next week and United top on goal difference largely because of the goals scored against them."
yorker_129-7 on 606
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1708: "Cheese... May I quote your words 'Fulham doomed I'm afraid' (see 1522). What a comeback!"
Anon via text on 81111
I am a fool. It is true. Fabulous recovery from Roy Hodgson's men.

1706: 23 goals in seven games... I ask you. The news is that Wigan v Reading will be up first on Match of the Day later... I jest of course.

Bottom of the table
Bottom of the table

1659: So after a breathless day of action, Birmingham stay in the bottom three after squandering a 2-0 lead against Liverpool. They are a point behind Reading and Bolton, with Middlesbrough three points above them. Fulham - after coming from 2-0 down to beat Manchester City - are now just three points from safety with two games remaining. They host Birmingham next.

1657: FULL-TIME West Ham 2-2 Newcastle

1657: "What an absolutely remarkable set of 3pm matches, unbelievable."
gstonesunited on 606
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1655: A delay at Upton Park as Newcastle's David Edgar is taken off with a nasty-looking head wound.

1655: FULL-TIME Sunderland 3-2 Middlesbrough

1654: FULL-TIME Birmingham 2-2 Liverpool

1654: FULL-TIME Tottenham 1-1 Bolton

1654: FULL-TIME Man City 2-3 Fulham

1654: FULL-TIME Wigan 0-0 Reading

1652: GOAL Man City 2-3 Fulham
Diomansy Kamara may just have repaid his entire multi-million pound transfer fee with that fabulous finish after a fine run down the left-hand channel. I cannot believe.

1650: GOAL Sunderland 3-2 Middlesbrough
Substitute Daryl Muphy heads in a Grant Leadbitter's corner for a precious late winner for Roy Keane's side.

1650: Kasey Keller keeps Fulham level with a brilliant save from Martin Petrov's fierce shot.

1645: Dean Ashton has a shot tipped over by Newcastle keeper Steve Harper as West Ham look for the win that would... well, keep them 10th... still.

1644: "Never seen so many draws. Except on my granny's washing line."
Rachel, Lincoln, via text on 81111

1643: As it stands, Birmingham remain in the bottom three, a point behind Reading and Bolton.

1642: Jimmy Bullard hammers a rasping shot millimetres over as Fulham press for a win. A rueful smile from Roy Hodgson.

1641: Even by this season's standards, this is an incredible day of Premier League action. Fulham back level from two goals down, Birmingham squander a 2-0 lead against Liverpool. There are currently four 2-2 draws in the six 3pm games and there is still time for more twists and turns.

GOAL Man City 2-2 Fulham
Sun Jihai is penalised for hauling down Jimmy Bullard. Danny Murphy's nervy penalty is pushed away by Joe Hart but Murphy slams home the rebound and there is life in Fulham yet.

1637: Penalty to Fulham.

1637: GOAL Birmingham 2-2 Liverpool
Lucas delivers the cross from the right and Yossi Benayoun's header takes a cruel deflection off Radhi Jaidi before beating Maik Taylor. Another twist in the relegation battle.

1632: GOAL Sunderland 2-2 Middlesbrough
George Boateng threads the ball through for Afonso Alves, who finishes into the corner to draw Boro level in a thrilling Wear-Tees derby at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland appealing for offside against the striker. He's just about level I think.

1629: GOAL Man City 2-1 Fulham
Substitute Diomansy Kamara twists and turns in the box before firing a shot through Joe Hart's legs. A lifeline for Fulham perhaps?

1629: Michael Brown's shot takes a wicked deflection off a Reading defender and Marcus Hahnemann flings himself to the right to prevent the ball finding the bottom corner.

1627: "That was never a free-kick to Birmingham (see 1616). Moments before Skrtel's challenge McFadden's foot was so high that Skrtel had to pull out of making a header in order not to wake up with a set of stud marks in his face tomorrow morning! Still it was a great strike by Larsson."
Anon via text on 81111

1627: Dullsville at the JJB. The best chance fell to Marcus Bent after six minutes when he hit the post with a header. Not a lot has happened since.

1624: GOAL Birmingham 2-1 Liverpool
Lovely slaloming run from his own half by Jermaine Pennant. He beats three men before letting Peter Crouch apply the cool finish. That sets up a nervy finish at St Andrews.

1619: "I think it's a good ploy by Jaidi. They've obviously worked on it. He's put his body in between the wall and the keeper - but it isn't like he was impeding the keeper in any way."
West Brom keeper Dean Kiely on BBC Radio 5 Live

1616: GOAL Birmingham 2-0 Liverpool
Martin Skrtel gives away the free-kick, bringing down James McFadden, and Sebastian Larsson steps up to curl home a delicious free-kick from just outside the box. Radhi Jaidi was jumping around in front of Pepe Reina as Larsson prepared to take the kick.

1614: "It was a cruel goal - it was a ricochet and such a shame for Bolton."
BBCi Score's Garth Crooks

1611: GOAL Tottenham 1-1 Bolton
Jermaine Jenas plays the ball to Robbie Keane on the edge of the area and his attempted shot is deflected to Steed Malbranque who slides home. A deserved equaliser for Spurs.

1611: "Newcastle and Bolton are showing good form and will be difficult for Chelsea in their last two games."
An_Der_Son_Son_Son on 606
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1607: We're back up and running everywhere now. That Bolton goal is timed at 19 seconds into the second half. It means Bolton will be two points above the relegation zone if scorelines stay the same.

1605: GOAL Tottenham 0-1 Bolton
Kevin Nolan lays the ball off to Gretar Steinsson whose cross is bundled in by Stelios - who has just come on as a sub. Crucial goal for Bolton - and as it stands, Fulham are relegated.

1600: Here's Chelsea captain John Terry speaking after the win over Manchester United: "All season we have had to put up with people saying we can't play as well as Manchester United or Arsenal. We showed people today we can match anyone on their day."

The bottom of the table as it stands at half-time
The bottom of the table as it stands at half-time

1556: So... as it stands, Reading are in the bottom three with Bolton only staying out on goal difference. Birmingham are a point above while Sunderland are six points clear.

1552: HALF-TIME Tottenham 0-0 Bolton

1551: HALF-TIME Sunderland 2-1 Middlesbrough

1551: HALF-TIME West Ham 2-2 Newcastle

1549: HALF-TIME Man City 2-0 Fulham

1549: HALF-TIME Birmingham 1-0 Liverpool

1549: HALF-TIME Wigan 0-0 Reading

1548: GOAL West Ham 2-2 Newcastle
All hail the Kevolution. Newcastle level with their second goal in three minutes as Geremi diverts Obafemi Martins' shot into the net with his shoulder.

1547: GOAL Sunderland 2-1 Middlesbrough
Liam Miller plays in Michael Chopra, who cuts in beats David Wheater on the right before lashing the ball home.

1544: GOAL West Ham 2-1 Newcastle
Newcastle score with their first real attack as Obafemi Martins latches onto Joey Barton's ball over the top and gives keeper Robert Green no chance.

1540: As it stands, Reading are in the bottom three, with Bolton above them on goal difference and Birmingham a point ahead.

1539: "Over the years Fulham have lost Van der Sar, Saha, Finnan, Malbranque, to name a few,w ithout adequately replacing them. I'm surprised it took them this long to go down."
redandblackT1899 on 606
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1537: Manchester City keeper Joe Hart makes a brilliant point-blank save to prevent David Healy heading Fulham back into contention at Eastlands.

1535: GOAL Birmingham 1-0 Liverpool
James McFadden makes space for a brilliant cross from the right and the ball comes to Mikael Forssell at the back post who has time to control and finish low into the corner. That could be a crucial goal for Birmingham.

1530: Tottenham are absolutely all over Bolton at White Hart Lane, with the visitors unable to keep possession for more than a couple of passes before losing it. Robbie Keane and Steed Malbranque have gone close for Spurs, but it's surely only a matter of time before they make the breakthrough.

1528: Heh heh. Sorry, Fulham did not let in 11 goals in the space of a minute. Little slip of the keyboard there. Well spotted everyone.

1526: GOAL West Ham 2-0 Newcastle
The Hammers quickly shake off that setback a minute ago as Dean Ashton swivels and shoots low into the far corner. The Kevolution is coming off the rails...

1525: A setback for West Ham as Freddy Ljungberg is stretchered off after Newcastle defender Steven Taylor accidently steps on him while running towards the ball.

1522: GOAL Man City 2-0 Fulham
Elano plays in Darius Vassell, who breaks clear of the Fulham defence down the right before pulling the ball back for Benjani to smash the ball home. Fulham doomed I'm afraid.

1522: "After the result today Arsenal can still win the title... I'm off to the bookies to put a fiver on!"
Mark the Gooner from Hertford, via text on 81111

1520: "I want to express my sympathy to Frank. We thought about him in the game and the win is for him."
Chelsea boss Avram Grant

1515: I love goals... but really, this is ridiculous. Spare a thought for my aching fingers, strikers of the world... Anyway, loads of you still debating that penalty decision at Stamford Bridge. It's a tough one. The ball did touch Michael Carrick's hand. Ball to hand, hand to ball? I'm not so sure. Let's put it this way, Chelsea would have rightly felt very hard done by if it hadn't been given. Sitting on the fence? Moi?

1513: GOAL West Ham 1-0 Newcastle
George McCartney crosses from the left, Mark Noble half-volleys home from 12 yards.

1511: GOAL Man City 1-0 Fulham
Disaster for Fulham - who had made the better start at Eastlands. Stephen Ireland strokes a stunning shot into the top corner. Roy Hodgson strokes his chin.

1507: GOAL Sunderland 1-1 Middlesbrough
Michael Chopra almost draws Sunderland level immediately but his shot is deflected over for a corner. From it, the ball comes out to Danny Collins on the left and he crosses back in for Danny Higginbotham to head magnificently into the corner. Incredible start.

1506: GOAL Sunderland 0-1 Middlesbrough
Tuncay gives Boro the perfect start in the North East derby with a lovely angled finish into the far corner from Afonso Alves's pass.

1505: Now then, just so we're all clear, Fulham will go down if they lose and two of Birmigham, Reading and Bolton win OR if they draw and Reading and Bolton win.

1503: I need some medication after that game. With apologies to United fans, that game is why I love the Premier League. Brilliant. Time to concentrate on matters at the bottom now... The six 3pm kick-offs are all under way.

1456: TEAM NEWS Man City v Fulham
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson keeps faith with the side brushed aside by Liverpool last week. Manchester City, who still harbour hopes of qualifying for Europe next season, are without skipper Richard Dunne who failed to recover from a hamstring injury.

1455: "Despite the goal difference, I think United are in trouble. Momentum is so important and they have lost theirs. A loss on Tuesday and season will implode."
Greg via text on 81111

1451: TEAM NEWS Birmingham v Liverpool
Mikael Forssell gets the nod ahead of Mauro Zarate in attack for Birmingham, while Sebastian Larsson and Olivier Kapo also start ahead of Cameron Jerome and Gary McSheffrey. Liverpool make nine changes to the side which started against Chelsea in midweek. But there is only one change from the second string line-up which beat Fulham last week as Damien Plessis starts instead of Javier Mascherano, who is not in the squad along with Fernando Torres.

1450: TEAM NEWS Tottenham v Bolton
Tottenham bring left-back Gilberto and centre-back Jonathan Woodgate into the starting line-up. Jamie O'Hara and Tom Huddlestone are the players to make way, while goalkeeper Paul Robinson returns on the bench after injury. Bolton, who are looking for a third straight win, make just one change with Joey O'Brien starting in place of Tamir Cohen in midfield.

1450: TEAM NEWS Wigan v Reading
Wigan restore Jason Koumas to the centre of midfield, the only change from the side that drew with Tottenham last week. Leroy Lita returns to lead the Reading attack after being recalled from his loan spell at Charlton and Michael Duberry and Nicky Shorey start in defence.

1448: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Sunderland boss Roy Keane drops Paul McShane and Daryl Murphy after last weekend's derby defeat at Newcastle. Kieran Richardson and Michael Chopra return for the Black Cats. Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate also makes two changes from the defeat to Bolton last week - goalkeeper Brad Jones takes over from Ross Turnbull, and Lee Cattermole comes in for Jeremie Aliadiere.

1448: TEAM NEWS West Ham v Newcastle
Dean Ashton returns to the West Ham side after recovering from tonsillitis. Newcastle make just one change, with Canadian David Edgar replacing Abdoulaye Faye.

1446: So Manchester United stay top - but only on goal difference. Their final two games are at home to West Ham and away to Wigan. Chelsea go to Newcastle and then host Bolton in their final game. Avram Grant is smiling, folks. I kid you not.

1445: "When I look at the whole 90 minutes, I think the victory for Chelsea is just about right. The title race stays open with two games to go."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1445: FULL-TIME Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd

1440: Oh my goodness. What the blazes is going on? Andriy Shevchenko clears off the line from Darren Fletcher's header - and from his reaction you would think he had scored, high-fiving one of his team-mates. Rio Ferdinand lets his frustration boil over and is pushing and shoving John Terry. That nearly sparks a mass brawl - but the ref just about keeps things under control.

1439: FIVE minutes of stoppage time.

1438: Ashley Cole saves Chelsea, clearing off the line from Cristiano Ronaldo's shot from the edge of the box.

1436: With three minutes remaining, Chelsea bring on Claude Makelele for Joe Cole to shore up the midfield.

1434: GOAL Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd
Can you believe it? Edwin van der Sar does his best to delay the kick, getting booked in the process, but Michael Ballack does brilliantly to keep his cool and send the keeper the wrong way. He gets a hug from new best friend Didier Drogba for his troubles.

1433: Penalty to Chelsea. Incredible. Michael Carrick is penalised by the linesman for blocking Michael Essien's right-wing cross with his arm.

1431: Didier Drogba chests the ball down brilliantly in the box and flicks a leg out to poke it home but Edwin van der Sar is alert to the danger and clutches the ball to his chest.

1430: Salomon Kalou comes off and on comes... Andriy Shevchenko. Can the Ukrainian save Chelsea's title hopes?

1428: All sorts going on out there. Owen Hargreaves is on the ground after the ball hits his unmentionables. Rio Ferdinand cheers him up by kicking him three times on the backside. Rio is very pleased with himself, Hargreaves not so.

1426: Jon Mikel Obi is booked for bringing down Cristiano Ronaldo. No debate about who's taking that but Petr Cech is behind it.

1425: Chelsea are giving it everything but United are holding firm at the moment. Ricardo Carvalho volleys over wildly.

1423: It's all going on. Nani breaks but loses control of the ball under pressure from Mikel, allowing Petr Cech to come out and collect. As Mikel receives treatment for an injury, Didier Drogba and Chelsea coach Steve Clarke have a heated debate on the touchline - no doubt over who takes the free-kicks.

1421: Nani's clumsy foul on John Terry about 25 yards out gives Chelsea a free-kick in a promising area. Incredibly, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba appear to scrap over who's taking it. Ballack storms off, leaving Drogba to take it and Edwin van der Sar pulls off a magnificent save, getting two hands to it.

1420:John Terry's glancing header from a corner goes to Ricardo Carvalho at the far post but the angle is too tight and the shot is into the side netting.

1417: John Terry fouls Cristiano Ronaldo 35 yards out... Guess who's taking it? Yup, it's Ronaldo, but the wall does its job. Chelsea are now playing 4-4-2 and Andriy Shevchenko looks like he might be coming on in a bit.

1415: Paolo Ferreira is the man to make way for Anelka. Michael Essien switches to right-back. John O'Shea has slotted into the Manchester United midfield, with Owen Hargreaves staying at right-back.

1414: That's a surprise to me. Anderson, who has been impressive in midfield in this half, is replaced by John O'Shea. Nicolas Anelka is preparing to come on for Chelsea.

1412: United are stroking the ball about confidently now. The ball eventually comes to Ryan Giggs and his fierce shot is well saved by Petr Cech for a United corner. That allows United to make their second change, with Cristiano Ronaldo replacing hobbling goalscorer Wayne Rooney.

1411: Michael Ballack's free-kick is deflected behind by Nani but ref Alan Wiley decides it's a goal-kick. Suddenly, it's all going United's way.

1410: "Come on Chelsea, where is Riise when we need him!!"
The Blue Hatter on 606
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1405: GOAL Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd
Calamity for Chelsea. Didier Drogba wins a free-kick in midfield and Paulo Ferreira passes it across to Ricardo Carvalho, who doesn't seem to be ready for it and allows the ball to slide under his feet. He hurriedly stabs it across to John Terry but Wayne Rooney nips in and finishes low past Petr Cech. The striker gestures at his team-mates not to touch him as he holds his injured hip. Sir Alex Ferguson stumbles as he jumps up to celebrates, but he won't care about that.

1403: Ashley Cole heads the ball behind under absolutely no pressure as the Chelsea lines of communication break down. Chelsea clear the corner though.

1401: Wes Brown gets the second yellow card of the game for a blatant block on Michael Essien. It's a poor free kick from Chelsea though.

1400: Wayne Rooney is limping about, holding his hip. These are worrying times for United.

1358: Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez are warming up.

1357: Plenty of possession for United early on in this half, but nothing in the way of chances. All looks a bit ponderous.

1352: We're away in the second half. By the way, if you're into cars, can I heartily recommend the live F1 qualifying commentary by Sarah Holt? Thanks.

1350: Former Chelsea winger Paul Canoville and striker Tore Andre Flo are out on the Stamford Bridge pitch during the break. Canoville was Chelsea's first black player, and endured racist abuse from his own fans when he broke into the side in the early 80s. Since retiring, he has twice beaten cancer and now works as a driver for disabled people. Legend.

1349: BBC Radio 5 Live reports that both Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are at St Andrews today - but neither will play. The Liverpool team to face Birmingham will show only one change from the one that faced Fulham last week.

1347: "Lose today and the pressure is so on. Would rather lose through playing attacking football than playing negative, go for the draw football. Come on Fergie, we're better than this."
Anon via text on 81111

1343: Well, I am absolutely amazed. Nani has got 5.08. His one contribution in that half was picking the wrong option on almost every occasion. He will almost certainly score a wonder goal in the second half. Michael Essien is the man of the first half 7.21 which is spot on I would say.

1341: "If Fergie has any sense, Ronaldo will come on for Nani."
Chris via text on 81111
I'm about to check the Player Rater for this game and if Nani has more than four, I will be absolutely amazed.

1339: Well I don't think you can argue that the scoreline isn't fair. Chelsea were the better side in that half. Michael Ballack was booked, by the way, for taking his shirt off as he celebrated his goal.

1338: HALF-TIME Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd

1334: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 Man Utd
Didier Drogba does brilliantly to keep the ball under pressure and eventually makes space for the cross - which is headed home by an unmarked Michael Ballack. Avram Grant goes beserk on the bench. As the Chelsea players celebrate, they unfurl a number eight shirt with "Pat Lampard RIP" on it.

1333: Nani catches Ashley Cole late and gets a stern talking to from the referee. Nani has had a diabolical first half I think it's fair to say.

1328: Didier Drogba is endearing himself to the Manchester United players. After being brushed on the cheek by Darren Fletcher, the striker is terribly upset, complaining to the ref and indeed anyone else who will listen. We'll miss him when he's gone...

1323: John Terry heads well over from a long free-kick. Only the one goal for the Chelsea skipper this season.

1322: "Fergie too negative at Barca. Just as bad today. You need to be more positive - just playing for a draw and the odd counter. Better to play with your normal flair and positivity."
PositiveSteve on 606
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1320: Michael Essien plays in Joe Cole on the right-hand side of the box but the angle is far too tight and he smacks a shot into the side netting. Chelsea have got to be disappointed they haven't turned dominance into goals.

1316: Joe Cole skips through but the pass is too far ahead of him and Edwin van der Sar gets there first. Cole flicks out a leg, but doesn't make any contact with the United keeper. Nonetheless, Van der Sar holds his head and stays down for a while - which is a little bit naughty, to say the very least.

1314: "Manchester United are just holding on at the moment."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1313: Eeuuuuw. Nemanja Vidic has a tooth through his lip and is receiving treatment in the dressing room.

1311: So close for Chelsea. Joe Cole probably should have passed the ball to Didier Drogba initially but Rio Ferdinand's clearance hits his team-mate and goes straight back to Cole, whose clipped shot hits the angle of post and bar.

1310: Anderson wins a free-kick on the left after being caught by Joe Cole. Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown trot into the box but they've wasted their energy because Nani plants the kick straight into Petr Cech's arms.

1309: "What is going on!?!?!?! It's an entertaining game!?!!?!?"
PBUnited83 on 606
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1304: Wasteful from Nani. United break from a Chelsea corner but the winger opts for a hopeful shot rather than playing in Wayne Rooney. Rooney is incandescent.

1303: United finally bring Owen Hargreaves on to replace the injured Nemanja Vidic. He'll play at right-back I think with Wes Brown moving into the centre.

1302: Salomon Kalou appeals for a penalty as he is sandwiched between two United defenders. It wasn't a penalty. United still down to 10 men.

1300: Vidic will not be carrying on. He tries to get to his feet but very quickly sits down again and leaves the pitch on a stretcher. No replacement from United as yet.

1258: Claret... Nemanja Vidic has taken a shocking blow on the mouth from Didier Drogba's knee. Accidental - but it looks nasty.

1257: "Chelsea have shown more energy and vim in these early 5 minutes than they did for the whole match against Liverpool mid-week..."
Maxxfoot on 606
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1253: "It's been a good start to the game. We all expected it to be tight but Chelsea are really taking the game to United."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1252: Terrific start from Chelsea. Salomon Kalou is crowded out in the box and the ball again comes out to Michael Essien, but he mistimes the shot and Edwin van der Sar collects easily.

1251: Awful defending from United. Wes Brown attempts to head back to Edwin van der Sar but gets it all wrong, allowing Chelsea to reclaim possession. The shot eventually comes in from Michael Essien but his volley flies over.

1249: A bit late but we're under way on a beautiful sunny day in London.

1245: "Chin up, anon (1239), you could have Senderos at the back!"
Danny B, London, via text on 81111

1242: Wayne Rooney is all smiles as the players wait in the tunnel - no doubt cheered by the fact he'll be playing up front today instead of being stuck out wide as he was at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

1239: "Silvestre the worst defender in the league, what is Fergie thinking?!
Anon via text on 81111

1234: Well, Avram Grant is positively chirpy ahead of the game. "As always," says Avram. "We'll play attacking football and try to win the game." Marvellous. He also says he thinks Fergie is playing for a draw with his line-up.

1232: "What do I watch, the football or the F1 qualifying???"
jessiefido on 606
Join the debate on 606 Is that a real question?

1224: Stat attack... Chelsea and Manchester United have met 31 times in the Premier League. They have won nine each, with 13 draws. United won the last clash, 2-0 at Old Trafford in Avram Grant's first game in charge.

1220: "I think United's team selection is spot-on. Fletcher is quality in big matches and not putting fresh players in would have been stupid."
Anon via text on 81111

1216: Just seeing pictures of the teams heading to the dressing rooms at Stamford Bridge, United all suited and booted, Chelsea in tracksuits. Everyone looks super cool... until Didier Drogba arrives, wearing a backward baseball cap and massive headphones.

1214: "I've seen very few players who can ran as fast with the ball at their feet as Manchester United midfielder Anderson."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1211: The chat on BBC Radio 5 Live is that neither manager has picked their strongest team, with Avram Grant leaving Claude Makelele out to save him for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool.

1204: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Man Utd
Chelsea bring in Jon Mikel Obi and Michael Essien in place of Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard in midfield, while Salomon Kalou is preferred to Florent Malouda. Manchester United drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez to the bench. Nemanja Vidic is back in defence while Mikael Silvestre plays at left-back instead of Patrice Evra. Anderson, Darren Fletcher, Nani and Ryan Giggs also come into the line-up.

1159: Stat attack... Chelsea are unbeaten in 80 straight league games at Stamford Bridge and 100 games overall in domestic competition - if you count the 1-1 draw with Charlton which ended with a Carling Cup defeat for the Blues on penalties. Which I don't. Personally.

1155: "As a Liverpool fan I don't want United or Chelsea to win the league. I'm waiting for the catastrophic turmoil that sees the top three deducted 20 points each. Even then we'll only narrowly win the league."
Mr Sixx, Battersea, via text on 81111

1147: "Chelsea are dreadful to watch. United to be worthy champions, it's a no brainer. Caviar or cod roe anyone?"
dirtymeister on 606
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1144: "Re 1128: I'm a neutral but I'm torn today! Man U have played great football this season and deserve the title, but I'd love it to go down to the wire. Here's hoping for a good game."
Alex, Leicester, via text on 81111
Hear, hear, Alex. Hear, hear.

1141: "Re 1128: How can anyone be supporting Chelsea? United play the better football and deserve the title... although I'm a Spurs fan. But I wouldn't mind Chelsea scoring just to see Avram Grant's celebration."
Tom via text on 81111

1137: I can summarise the 606/text chat so far thus: Manchester United will win; Chelsea will win; I don't care who wins; what about Luka Modric signing for Spurs eh?; is West Ham's interminable stay at 10th in the Prem some sort of record?; ha, ha, ha, your surname is Cheese.
Join the debate on 606

1132: Greenie's just been on Radio 5 Live. He says it's going to be a dull 0-0 draw. Talk about bursting our bubble. He also suggests Fergie might not even pick his strongest side. We shall see...

1128: According to my notes, Manchester United have not scored at Stamford Bridge since August 2002. But here's a (completely unrelated) question: are the neutrals supporting Chelsea today? On the basis that a win for the Blues keeps the title race alive? Come on neutrals, let's be having you.

1125: "I'm a Man Utd and a Notts County fan. I've got two massive games to cope with today!"
Anon via text on 81111
What? Seriously. What?

1122: "Arsenal are still mathematically in the title equation, aren't they?"
fqiren on 606
Join the debate on 606 Time to let it go. Sorry.

1117: Jamie (see last comment) is probably best staying away for the next few hours because, while I am of course quivering with excitement about Everton v Villa tomorrow, Chelsea v Manchester United has got me ready to explode...

1110: "Tomorrow is a much bigger day. Man United win the league. Yawn. Fulham relegated. Yawn. Villa beat Everton to move into the Uefa Cup place - that's the big one."
Jamie via text on 81111
Yup, sorry, my mistake.

1106: The Premier League title race could be over by 3pm. Fulham could be relegated by 5pm. Today is officially huge. No word of a lie.




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

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