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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 19:34 UK

Premier League as it happened

Blackburn 0-2 Manchester United MATCH REPORT
Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal MATCH REPORT
West Brom 1-0 Fulham MATCH REPORT
Wigan 0-1 Middlesbrough MATCH REPORT


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

By Jonathan Stevenson

1933: It remains only, then, for me to wrap it up. A remarkable day that started with a goal drought, picked up with some late drama and ended with a Man Utd masterclass - all of it peppered with lively chat and some top-class banter. Get involved with Alan Green on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live shortly and don't forget to watch MOTD at 2230 BST on BBC One. I'll see you tomorrow, have a top night whatever you're doing.

1930: The Match of the Day running order is as follows (though it is subject to change:
Blackburn v Man Utd
Sunderland v Arsenal
West Brom v Fulham
Wigan v Middlesbrough

1928: "We might not be as colourful as last season, but in terms of efficiency, we're back to our best. Brilliant showing from United."
Paul Hazell, Stockport, via text on 81111

1926: Player Rater: Wayne Rooney is bossing things at the moment on 7.55, but some of those Man Utd marks look a bit low to me. Your decision, so fill your boots.
Rate the players

1924: Full-time Blackburn 0-2 Manchester United

1923: Man Utd fans are singing "Charlie, what's the score?" and "There's only one Keano". Quite funny.

1920: Into stoppage time and we're set for three more minutes.

1920: What's with all these quick free-kicks by Blackburn? What happened to the Blackburn of old, where they used to chuck it in there and fight like dogs for a goal?"
Capital(RED) on 606
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1916: Toying with Blackburn, they are. Cristiano Ronaldo crosses from the right and Carlos Tevez's shot cannons against the base of the post.

1915: Chris Samba is booked for a sliding, naughty lunging tackle on Carlos Tevez. Looks worse in the wet, but probably deserved a flash of yellow.

1913: "Good lord, Stevo! You might get a predo right this week! Fingers crossed there's no more United magic."
Ross in Peterborough, via text on 81111

I'd be lucky. They could've won 4-0 or 5-0 easily here.

1911: Carlitos Tevez slips in Cristiano Ronaldo, who times his run to perfection, but yet again the Portuguese maestro drags his shot across goal and off target. Some of the Rovers fans who bothered turning up start to drift away, rather pathetically.

1910: That really was a sensational performance from Wayne Rooney. He is in a blinding run of form, let's hope he can keep it going for England. Meanwhile, Brett Emerton's volley is blocked by Nemanja Vidic. United are strolling home here.

1907: Anderson drifts in from the right and his 25-yard shot is deflected and then well-saved by Jason Brown. Fergie takes off the inspirational Wayne Rooney and brings on Park Ji-Sung.

1906: "If Chelsea had signed Robinho I don't think people would want to shoot him down as much as they are. Would you really mind if your team signed him?"
Mark Bowden, Sale, via text on 81111

My team are bottom of the Championship having lost about 27 games in a row, so that's a silly question. But he wouldn't be the first player I'd buy, no.

1903: United are rampant and Jason Brown has to race from his line to thwart Dimitar Berbatov this time. The Bulgarian still looking for his first goal in the league for United.

1902: Wayne Rooney latches on to a Dimitar Berbatov pass (how many today, he's been brilliant) but lifts his shot over the keeper and on to the roof of the net.

1901: Darren Fletcher is booked by Steve Bennett for a clumsy foul on Keith Treacy. Meanwhile, John O'Shea comes on for Patrice Evra.

1859: Blackburn bring on Keith Andrews for Tugay.

1858: "I may be a Gooner but that is just superb football from United. Absolute class!"
kevin_goonerman on 606
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Hear, hear.

1856: Ryan Giggs is taken off after a fine display and Carlos Tevez replaces him. What a substitution to be able to make.

1854: GOAL Blackburn 0-2 Manchester United
Fabulous, fabulous goal, that. Cristiano Ronaldo produces a stunning burst of pace down the right to sprint past Martin Olsson and his cross is beautifully swung into the top corner via the right foot of Wayne Rooney. Cracking goal.

1853: "I agree with you Stevo, Robinho looks the part but he has no substance, both his goals have proved immaterial, and he couldn't get the better of Titus Bramble."
James, via text on 81111

1851: I'm told it's a hamstring problem for Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz. Massive blow for Paul Ince's side, that news.

1849: Cristiano Ronaldo collects a Dimitar Berbatov pass on the edge of the box but pulls his shot badly wide of Jason Brown's goal. Seeing him struggle a bit like this, it just reminds you how frighteningly good he was the past two seasons. He'll be back, that's for sure.

1848: It's absolutely chucking it down in Lancashire now. I mean, proper rain. Meanwhile, the disappointing Morten Gamst Pedersen is taken off and Keith Treacy comes on.

1844: Jeez, Stevo you're having a bad day!.... Calling Robinho useless isn't right. I'm a United fan but I can tell you that Robinho is just world-class."
Paul Scholes's Hand - Genius at Work on 606
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And I'm telling you, he's not. He's just left a world-class team to join a team that most certainly isn't. Why? It makes no sense. When he wins Man City a major title, I'll accept I was wrong.

1841: To the disappointment of almost everyone - apart from Man Utd - Roque Santa limps off injured and Jason Roberts replaces him. Robbie Fowler watches on from the bench. Surely not...

1840: Cristiano Ronaldo's first touch is not the best and he cannot control Nemanja Vidic's sensational 50-yard pass. If he had, he'd have been clean through.

1836: Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, still ploughing a lone furrow up top, plays a one-two with Stephen Warnock and hammers a left-foot shot in from an angle that Edwin van der Sar claws away.

1835: Play back under way at Ewood Park. Meanwhile, my day goes from strange to utterly ridiculous as I get hammered for labelling John Harkes 'average'. You overly-sensitive souls.

1832: Player Rater: Blackburn keeper Jason Brown, a key figure in proceedings so far, is top of the rankings at half-time but he only has 6.89. So, no-one "broken the seven" (will it catch on?). Martin Olsson is miles away, on a poor 4.97. Get voting people.
Rate the players

1829: "Is Robinho's game just pretty step-overs then? If I'm not mistaken he's bagged a couple of goals and assists already!"
Mark Bowden, Sale, via text on 81111

That's the Robinho I remember from Real Madrid, for sure. Had a good start, yeah, didn't do much last week though did he? Jury's out on this one, to summarise.

1825: "Everyone harks on about how goalkeepers are overprotected, then as soon as there's a scuffle and the keeper goes over, it's a foul. C'mon - football is not a non-contact game. I don't see a problem with Wes's goal at all."
Matt_Utd_FC on 606
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Great mention for the under-used word 'hark'. John Harkes, now there was a very average footballer.

1822: A very impressive performance from United so far, and worth hearing what Fergie had to say about Wayne Rooney just before kick-off: "He felt good and he wanted to keep his run going. When he gets into these runs he goes on a spell." Rooney has been brilliant so far.

1818: Half-time Blackburn 0-1 Manchester United

1814: United are largely dominating possession. "Blackburn need to change this at half-time," says the remarkably wise Jimmy Armfield on BBC Radio 5 Live.

1812: Has Cristiano Ronaldo turned into Robinho? A few step-overs and that's about it, he doesn't get past his man and doesn't get a cross in. To be fair to him, he's not 100% fit I suppose.

1809: "Wes Brown to score first. That is the best £2 I have ever spent! What credit crunch??!!"
Julian Meteor, Plymouth, via text on 81111

That's not your real name. It can't be. No-one can be that lucky.

1806: Dimitar Berbatov plays another super little slide-rule pass into the path of Wayne Rooney and his first touch is brilliant, but Jason Brown races out of his goal to deny the England man.

1805: "Another referee to add to Fergie's Christmas Card list..."
EllCalDan on 606
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1802: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Manchester United
A cross is sent in from the United left by Wayne Rooney and Jason Brown goes up for the ball with Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown. The keeper seems to be impeded by the Serbian and rocks back, Wes Brown heading the ball in at the far post. United might have got a bit lucky there.

1801: What. A. Save. Ryan Giggs gets on the end of a cross from the right and his shot looks goalbound before Jason Brown acrobatically tips the ball over.

1800: Frantic stuff in the Blackburn box as Cristiano Ronaldo has two shots blocked and Ryan Giggs one. Rovers are under the cosh in a big way at the moment.

1759: Got one predo right, at least - Fabio Capello is in the stands at Ewood Park, having made the short trip from Wigan.

1758: "WOW! So many comments today yet only four goals out of every match. What's there to talk about today?!"
pompeyfan08 on 606
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Er, I think I might have something to do with that...

1756: Brett Emerton lets fly from 30 yards and the ball flies a yard or two wide off the Australian's right boot.

1751: Should be 0-1. Dimitar Berbatov plays one of those stunning, lazy-looking Bulgarian passes he specialises in and Darren Fletcher is clean through on goal, but he arrows his shot past the keeper and past the post.

1750: "Best hope United don't draw this or they will be out of the title race _ FACT."
Stevo's clone, Tabloidsville, via text on 81111

1747: Cristiano Ronaldo thinks he should have a free-kick after a tangle with Andre Ooijer. He doesn't look happy - to be fair, he hasn't looked happy for ages. Wonder what the weather's like in Madrid...

1746: Matt Derbyshire is sent through by a fabulous pass from Andre Ooijer and the striker's shot across Edwin van der Sar is brilliantly saved by the Dutch keeper.

1745: And for those of you trying to wind me up by saying Forest are already relegated, I agree, but only if our beloved manager stays in charge. Sack him now, and we've got a chance. I'm bored of sitting on the fence. Let's get stuck in.

1742: "Is it just me or has anyone noticed how big the Blackburn keeper looks?"
mdfactor on 606
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He's a unit, there's no doubt about it.

1738: A corner is whipped over from the United left and Blackburn's defence goes missing, Nemanja Vidic finding himself clear in front of goal but stretching, and he can only deflect the ball wide.

1737: The pitch is saturated, this might suit United's fast, flowing passing game. Then again, you could have said that about Arsenal at Sunderland. Oh no, what have I done now...

1735: "Why is Tevez repeatedly left on the bench despite one awesome performance after another? I would make sure I found room in the team for a player of that quality."
Joe, Kent, via text on 81111

1733: By the way, there was a long handshake and pre-match chat between Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Ince, who are best of buddies now. The word 'bottle' was heard uttered - wine, or who's got any?

1731: We are under way at Ewood Park.

1730: "Stevo, any chance you could say Man United's title race is over in around five minutes time? We could do with an early goal."
deise59 on 606
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You guys. If you really want me to just say boring, dull stuff, let me know. I'll be happy to oblige.

1727: The teams are out for the north-west derby at Ewood Park. It's a horrible late afternoon in Lancashire, the sort that makes you glad you're, er, having a horrible late afternoon in London. This country...

1723: "The Premier League is full of hard games and this is another one. Paul Ince has done well since taking over from Mark Hughes. It is a local derby, a different atmosphere and one of the games when Blackburn get a full house."
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson

1720: Interesting that Wayne Rooney starts today despite limping out of Manchester United's game in midweek. Carlos Tevez is on the bench once more - he won't like that much, the maverick Argentine. Talking of maverick Argentines, it's Lionel Messi v Sergio Aguero tonight as Barca host Atletico. Awesome.

1717: I'm not even for a second going to tell you boys and girls to focus now on the events at Ewood Park, so feel free to keep slaughtering me for telling you what you already know about Arsenal. But I'm looking forward to this one.

1714: Jason Brown continues in goal for Blackburn, Vince Grella and Danny Simpson miss out but Morten Gamst Pedersen and Andre Ooijer come into the starting line-up. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney passed a fitness test and will partner Dimitar Berbatov in attack, while Darren Fletcher, Anderson, and Ryan Giggs come into midfield.

1712: "I am relieved the Gunners got a point but I think that our title race will be over by Xmas. We are weaker than last season!"
Anand, London, via text on 81111

1709: Certainly has livened up you Gooners though, hasn't it, that 'title over' chat? A quick straw poll of the office and the Arsenal fans in here think their team has got absolutely no chance of winning the league. They are proper supporters too, before you say anything.

1705: "Have to agree with Stevo, though his analysis is a little wayward. Title may be too much for this Arsenal team, like last year and the year before, they can only pick the lock and lack the ability to smash down the door."
Medieval-Evil on 606
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1700: "Haha, Cesc silences Stevo, unbelievable end to a mostly dull game!"
Andy, via text on 81111

Listen, someone has to be the fall guy in a bid to liven things up. I'm happy to take the hit, but boy are you guys hyper-sensitive today. Anyone would think it's been ages since Arsenal won the league... lighten up people!

Blackburn: Brown, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Olsson, Emerton, Kerimoglu, Warnock, Pedersen, Derbyshire, Roque Santa Cruz.
Subs: Bunn, Mokoena, Andrews, Villanueva, Fowler, Treacy, Roberts.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs: Amos, Park, Nani, Rafael Da Silva, O'Shea, Evans, Tevez.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent).

1655: Now that's what I call a proper end to a Saturday's football action. Oh wait, hang on, we've still got Blackburn v Manchester United to come. And to think, some of you were moaning about a lack of action...

1654: Full-time Wigan 0-1 Middlesbrough

1653: Full-time Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal

1651: GOAL Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal
OK, so maybe they are still in the title race. Robin van Persie swings in a corner and Cesc Fabregas somehow gets his head on to the ball amongst a posse of bodies and it's in the net. Extraordinary drama.

1650: "This probably wont be posted for obvious reasons. 'Title over for Arsenal'? Are you for real? After seven games... get a grip."
Sean, London, via text on 81111

Three defeats in seven games, to Fulham, Hull and Sunderland? Yeah, it's title over mate. Sorry.

1648: GOAL Wigan 0-1 Middlesbrough
Super goal to win the game with. Didier Digard crosses from the right, Stewart Downing heads the ball down and Jeremie Aliadiere takes it first time, slamming into the bottom corner from 12 yards with his left foot.

1648: Full-time West Brom 1-0 Fulham

1647: Cesc Fabregas hits a shot straight at Craig Gordon. It's just not Arsenal's day, another hugely disappointing one for Arsene Wenger.

1644: GOAL Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal
Title over for Arsenal and it's another unbelievable hit they've gone down to. Grant Leadbitter hits a cracker from 25 yards that smacks against the underside of the bar and nestles - for the hosts - the right side of the net. He wheels away and looks like he is about to cry as he celebrates the goal. Emotional times on Wearside.

1642: Roman Bednar crashes a 35-yard shot against the crossbar at West Brom. What a hero.

1641: Robin van Persie is denied by a brilliant save from Craig Gordon, the Dutchman played in by Nicklas Bendtner and his shot saved by the legs of the Scottish keeper.

1639: Jason Koumas cuts in from the left and keeps on running, drifting past three, four Boro players before firing in a shot that Ross Turnbull does well to save. Steve Bruce holds his head in his hands. I feel the same, Steve, I think we all do.

1638: Difficult to know who to shame next - maybe everyone in action today should feel just a little bit disappointed in themselves. Except Roman Bednar - you've more than made amends for your earlier misses.

1636: Emmanuel Adebayor tees up Samir Nasri, who came on for Denilson, but the Frenchman's shot is toe-poked and lacking in power and it's an easy save for Craig Gordon.

1635: "I watched the Hull game and I didn't think Arsenal could play worse... guess what I was wrong - not one clear-cut chance so far."
sportszombie on 606
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1631: Apparently, David Wheater is having a very, very good game under the watchful gaze of Fabio Capello at Wigan. He's keeping Emile Heskey quiet, I'm reliably told. Squad announcement tomorrow, by the way.

1630: "Have you seen the Brighton v Cheltenham game? 3-2, all five goals scored by people called Murray. Spooky huh?"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

How is it spooky? By the way, Glenn Murray has a hat-trick for Brighton, Scott Murray and pair for the visitors. Bill Murray in the stand... probably.

1628: Arsenal are building some pressure at Sunderland and the hosts are giving the ball away too easily. Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios cuts in from the left and his shot is saved by Ross Turnbull.

1625: Clint Dempsey heads wide unmarked from 10 yards as Fulham go in search of a leveller at The Hawthorns.

1624: Theo Walcott is taken off. His ears must be burning after the hammering he's got from you lot today. Nicklas Bendtner is his Danish replacement.

1624: "This is a real character test for Arsenal to get the three points here. On the opening day Fernando Torres snatched a late winner for Liverpool at Sunderland, Arsenal need someone to step up and get that goal."
neoliverpooltillidie on 606
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1621: Andy Reid curls a free-kick into the arms of Manuel Almunia from 25 yards as Sunderland try to break the deadlock against Arsenal.

1621: "Stevo, thank you. Please could you name and shame a few more Albion players?"
Kimpton Baggie, via text on 81111

1619: Didier Digard, who has just come on for Boro, is denied by a brave bit of goalkeeping from Chris Kirkland.

1618: Danny Murphy goes treacherously close to a leveller, his right-foot first-time shot deflected wide by Robert Koren.

1616: GOAL West Brom 1-0 Fulham
Finally, a goal! Ryan Donk's effort from a corner is blocked, Fulham cannot clear their lines and Roman Bednar slots into the net. All that just after James Morrison's header had been cleared off the line.

1615: Theo Walcott crosses from the right and Robin van Persie volleys in, but it's ruled out as the ball went out of play before Walcott could keep it in.

1614: Djibril Cisse runs for 40 yards into the Arsenal half and without ever looking up to see the options, he slams a shot miles over from 20 yards.

1612: "The look on Arsene's face tells it all. Looks like we aren't challenging for the title this year."
onithor on 606
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1610: Antonio Valencia's shot is blocked and Wilson Palacios fires over. Does anyone know how to hit the target?

1609: I'm going to have to start shaming these players. Roman Bednar, hang your head in shame. His control is rubbish, the ball bounces up and he volleys over the bar.

1607: "I'm sure I'm not the first person to point this out, but Match of the Day has an hour of 'highlights' to show tonight. With football like this, is there any chance of showing the Joe Kinnear press conference instead?"
Jordan in Hull, via text on 81111

Now you're talking.

1605: Back in action too at Wigan and at Sunderland.

1604: "Arsenal have got to get the ball forward a lot quicker. They need to start getting in behind Sunderland - I'm expecting a lot more from Theo Walcott this half."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Steve Stone

1602: Ryan Donk crashes a header against the post from Jonathan Greening's left-wing cross. So near, yet so far.

1602: Brilliantly, I'm now being accused of hating Arsenal. The Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea fans will never believe it when I tell them!

1600: With sensational time-keeping, we are back under way at The Hawthorns.

1559:Player Rater: Jimmy Bullard of Fulham is leading the way so far on 7.75, with Cesc Fabregas just behind on 7.62. Theo Walcott is struggling on 5.74, but Gary O'Neill is being hammered on a woeful 4.40. If you're raging at those ratings, get yourself voting.
Rate the players

1555: "Interesting fact about Arsenal. The team on the pitch cost approx £16.65m. About the same as one position at Chelsea."
Jake, bored Arsenal fan, via text on 81111

Probably explains why they look so rubbish, then...

1552: "Can you get Dan the Stat to find out when the longest time there wasn't a goal scored from kick-off in the Premier League?? I can't find out anywhere."
FoxForever on 606
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'Dan' the Stat? That's Mr Danny to you, mate. And would you believe, he's still on holiday? Ridiculous, isn't it? I'd never leave you for that long (unlucky).

1548: The whistle blows for half-time at the JJB Stadium and at the Stadium of Light.

1546: Denilson slots in a shot from 20 yards first-time, it's a couple of yards wide of Craig Gordon's right-hand post.

1544: Half-time at The Hawthorns. Disappointing.

1543: Amr Zaki hammers in a shot from 25 yards and Ross Turnbull does really well to tip it behind for a corner.

1542: "I think I'll go to sleep and when I wake up there best be some goals, you could have probably scored by now Stevo."
Sam, Hull, via text on 81111

Damn right I would have mate. Smashed one home.

1539: Lee Cattermole is shown a yellow card for a lunge at Mohamed Shawky. He could have been sent off for that and the Egyptian requires a bit of attention.

1537: Ishmael Miller is ruled offside so it wouldn't have counted anyway, but he sends a 10-yard header wide.

1536: The Arsenal fans are slaughtering Theo Walcott on 606. He's not having a great game, and fires a shot wide. In swirling wind and rain to boot, young Theo's not having his more enjoyable afternoon.

1534: "Seriously, what sort of hairstyle is Fabregas carrying this season? My God, he looks like a soaked chihuahua."
Sackeyprince on 606
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1532: David Wheater heads just wide for Middlesbrough from a Mido cross. Boro are getting more into the game at the JJB Stadium.

1531: "Did you see Zaki's great goal? E-gypt the ball over the keeper's head! I'm not putting my name to that."
Anonymous, via text on 81111

Shame, I quite liked that one.

1529: Clint Dempsey battles well to create an opportunity for Zoltan Gera, but his slide-rule right-foot shot goes marginally wide.

1527: West Brom are probably just on top against Fulham at The Hawthorns, but there is a lack of real clear-cut chances so far. Don't these boys know there are only three games?

1525: England manager Fabio Capello is at Wigan, probably keeping a close eye on Emile Heskey. Wouldn't be surprised if he was helicoptered across to Ewood Park later, either.

1522: "Arsenal look a bit unsettled at times here, if they don't score then I can see a late winner for Sunderland."
eirebilly on 606
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1520: A goal would be quite nice, wouldn't it? Cesc Fabregas tries to deliver, but his 30-yard shot flies into the arms of Craig Gordon.

1517: It's all action at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland's Djibril Cisse fires in a thunderous snap-shot from the right-hand corner of the 18-yard box and Manuel Almunia has to be alert again to tip over the bar.

1516: Theo Walcott, so often hero of recent times, almost turns villain as his woeful back-pass runs to Djibril Cisse, but the French striker is foiled by the advancing Manuel Almunia.

1515: Aaron Hughes is in the right place to clear a Jonathan Greening cross from the right after a fine run from the midfielder.

1514: "If your score predictions are right, Arsenal will be in the Luxor-ious position of being one point Cleo at the top of the table tonight."
Keith, nearly out-of-work banker, via text on 81111

1511: Amr Zaki bundles the ball just wide of the Boro goal from close range after another flick-on from that man Emile Heskey. Unplayable in the air, the big man today.

1510: Sunderland have a good little spell and only a fabulous interception from Kolo Toure prevents Dean Whitehead with a shooting chance, before Andy Reid hammers over from long range.

1509: Wilson Palacios gets on the end of an Emile Heskey flick-on but the angle is tight and he lashes wide of the far post. Wigan are big time on top.

1508: "Stevo - any particular reason why Samir Nasri isn't starting today?"
Samir8Nasri on 606
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Hang on, surely you know better than me?

1505: Roman Bednar is played through by Jonathan Greening and he turns neatly on to his left foot, only to hit a weak shot straight at Mark Schwarzer.

1503: "Stevo I hope you're not in de-nile regarding your Egyptian heritage, I sphinx its pretty cool myself. (Sorry)."
Sam in Liverpool, via text on 81111

You're not sorry though, are you? The clown sat next to me in the office has been saying it for the last 10 minutes, in fairness.

1501: Under way at the JJB Stadium and the Stadium of Light.

1458: Two minutes early, they have kicked off at West Brom. Maybe the ref's got somewhere to go tonight.

1458: Wigan's Amr Zaki and Boro's Mohamed Shawky have a little kiss and a cuddle in the tunnel at the JJB Stadium. What an Egyptian love-in this is turning into!!

1455: "Nothing wrong with having an Egyptian mummy, I think it's pharaoh nuff."
Dave in Kingston, via text on 81111

Sadly, that's the best I've been given. Jeez.

1453: So apparently, there aren't any good Egpytian gags out there. Disappointed with you lot. Thank goodness the football starts so soon. Come on football!

1450: "I've got to play two from Heskey, Cisse and Bednar in my fantasy team this weekend. What should I do?"
Sneed, London, via text on 81111

Er, realise Fantasy Football is rubbish and stop?

1447:Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole has overcome a hamstring strain to take his place the team, while Paul Scharner comes in to replace Emerson Boyce in defence. Middlesbrough's Gary O'Neill is fit after an illness but Robert Huth (ankle) is replaced by Chris Riggott and Jonathan Grounds features at left-back in place of Andrew Taylor (hip).

1444: "(See 1417) What's the family link to Egypt, Stevo? Parents went on holiday to Sharm el-Sheikh in 1987?"
Whittingham_42 on 606
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Very witty, Wittingham. Actually, my mum was born in Egypt. As if I even have to say it, insert your own gags here...

1441:West Brom bring in striker Ishmael Miller for the injured Kim Do-Heon, going with two up front for the first time this season. Fulham are without the banned Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey coming in for the striker.

1439: "Don't copy off Lawro too much with your predictions Stevo, he's not often right!"
Rob in Boro, via text on 81111

You guys. Seriously, you think I'd want to copy someone else's predos? I mean, mine are useless, but they're always mine. Maybe me and Lawro know something you don't today...

1436: Sunderland boss Roy Keane hands Dwight Yorke his first start of the season, in for Liam Miller, while Andy Reid replaces El-Hadji Diouf. Arsenal make just one change from their thumping 4-0 win over Porto in midweek, with Alex Song replacing Samir Nasri.

West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Koren, Greening, Borja Valero, Miller, Bednar.
Subs: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Barnett, MacDonald, Moore, Pele.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard, Murphy, Gera, Zamora, Dempsey.
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Ki-Hyeon, Nevland, Stoor, Andreasen, Kallio, Baird.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Sunderland: Gordon, Chimbonda, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Yorke, Reid, Richardson, Cisse.
Subs: Fulop, Bardsley, Diouf, Murphy, Chopra, Leadbitter, Healy.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Walcott, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Van Persie, Adebayor.
Subs: Fabianski, Nasri, Vela, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboue.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios, Kapo, Zaki, Heskey.
Subs: Pollitt, Taylor, Kilbane, Koumas, De Ridder, Camara, Brown.
Middlesbrough: Turnbull, Hoyte, Wheater, Riggott, Grounds, Aliadiere, O'Neil, Shawky, Downing, Alves, Mido.
Subs: Jones, Digard, Emnes, Adam Johnson, John Johnson, Walker, Craddock.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

1430: Stevo's Predos:
Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal
West Brom 1-1 Fulham
Wigan 3-1 Middlesbrough
Blackburn 0-2 Man Utd
Lawro's predictions

1425: "I think Ronaldo could actually do with some of Fergie's infamous "hair-dryer treatment" himself today - his greasy locks are an increasingly disturbing sight."
Simmons, Worthing, via text on 81111

Mate, I don't think Fergie's hair-dryer treatment is actually done with a hair-dryer. I mean, I am happy to stand corrected if this is true, but it probably isn't.

1422: "Stevo, instead of fuelling the Sunday-haters you could have just quelled them all by making it clear to them all that five teams played in the Uefa Cup in midweek and therefore have to play on Sunday. I am going to count how many times I have to repeat that today."
SAFCjim Cissť is faster than Usain Bolt on 606
Join the debate on 606

I'm guessing 42. But also, Cisse isn't faster than the boy Bolt, is he? I mean, is he?

1417: "Did you know, the reason Amir Zaki is in great form is because he has the pyramids tattooed on his back, giving him the power of Tutankhamun!"
Jon in Crewe, via text on 81111

I don't even care whether that's true or not, it's absolutely awesome. As I have family history relating to Egypt, I might do the same...

1414: The 606 crew are fuming that there are more Sunday games than Saturday. I know where you're coming from, but it's happened before and it'll happen again. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying let's get on with our lives.

1411: Desperate news from Upton Park as the perennially-injured Dean Ashton (who I'd have in my England team if he was 100% fit) will be out until 2009 with his latest ankle problem. Sad times for the former Crewe hitman.
Ashton out for Hammers until 2009

1407: "I hope there are no repeats of the shocking refereeing decisions from last week, otherwise we may just see a few more 52-expletive rants from some managers at full-time!"
ReeskiMU10 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1404: There is some chat in today's newspapers about Patrick Vieira returning to England - to join up with former arch rival Roy Keane's Sunderland. I don't even know where to begin with that one. It'd be a pretty scary tunnel at the Stadium of Light, though.
Saturday's gossip column

1400: "Parents just gone to Spain for a week. Big mistake leaving an 18-year-old a free house on footy day!"
Mike, Liverpool, via text

Oh, the carnage. Probably see your picture in the Daily Mail next week, and a glorious snap of your folks' horrified faces upon their return home.

1357: Of course, I haven't even mentioned yet that at 1730 BST, former Manchester United skipper Paul Ince welcomes his former side to Ewood Park for the first time as manager of Blackburn Rovers. "I regret calling Paul a 'big-time Charlie'," said Ferguson yesterday. Regrets, I've had a few.
Ferguson apologises for Ince jibe

1354: "Any chance of Joe Kinnear taking over from you for one week? If he's too blue maybe Roy Chubby Brown is free?"
Keith from Edinburgh, via text

I'll ask the gaffer. But I wouldn't hold your breath mate, in all honesty.

1349: But more about Big Joe tomorrow, I'm sure. For now, there are some lively games to get stuck into. Sunderland will be hoping to send Arsenal to their third defeat of the season, West Brom will be looking to record back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since 2005 when they host Fulham and Egyptian Amr 'the bulldozer' Zaki will be chasing goals when Wigan entertain Middlesbrough. Massive.

1347: With plenty over an hour to go before three of today's games, there's a huge chance for you guys and girls to get yourself in the mixer. I'll start with my favourite quote from the last day, thanks to a certain Vincent Jones: "Short of Peter Pan or Paul McKenna, Newcastle have the next best thing in Joe Kinnear." Love it.

1344: "Greetings Stevo, don't know about you, but I'm ready for another action packed day from the greatest league in the world."
Join the debate on 606

You know what? I am too pal. Like never before (apart from last weekend, maybe).

1337: Only Joe-king. Look, it's not big, it's not clever, and it's got no place in football. Not the football we know and love, anyway. Welcome to Saturday's Premier League action - anyone got any thoughts? If you have, get texting on 81111 and join the debate on 606. I've probably upset some of them already, but they'll get over it. Join the debate on 606Kinnear fury at 'scandalous lies'

1330: **** ****, ****.

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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