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Live - Premier League

Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton
Liverpool 2-2 Hull
Man City 0-1 Everton
Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal
Stoke 0-0 Fulham
Sunderland 4-0 West Brom
Tottenham 0-0 Man Utd
Wigan 3-0 Blackburn


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

By Caroline Cheese

1937: Draws for Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal today. Over to you then, Chelsea. Stevo will be back to take you through tomorrow's action - but before then, he'll be all over El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. Kick-off is at 2100 GMT tonight. Do not miss it. If you're stuck for what to do in the mean time, why not give Alan Green a call on 606, you'll have to get there before the Blackburn and Man City fans though. Then there's always Match of the Day at 2230 GMT on BBC1. Don't know when we're going to have time to breathe to be honest. Bye for now!

1931: Time to find out who wins Player of the Day from Player Rater users. That man is Aston Villa winger Ashley Young on a stonking 9.30. He was good today, but Gabby Agbonlahor was even better if you ask me. Much respect to Steven Gerrard (8.54), Antonio Valencia (8.76) and Kenwyne Jones (8.92). Far be it from me to heap more pressure on Paul Ince, Blackburn's scores are rubbish all round, not a single player scoring more than six. Still, plenty of time to have your say though...
Pick a game, rate the players

1929: "Re 1924: Finally Fergie whips off that ridiculous hat! Oh well, if he can smile so can I! Well played Spurs, you tried to attack a fair few times and defended manfully."
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1927: Immense performances from Tottenham pair Heurelho Gomes and Michael Dawson today and that means Manchester United will head off to the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan at least six points behind the leaders. Could be more if Chelsea beat West Ham tomorrow.

1925: FULL-TIME Tottenham 0-0 Man Utd

1924: Blimey, Fergie goes all Tommy Cooper there, controlling the ball on the touchline and then taking his hat off and bowing to the fans.

1923: Into added time.

1921: Vedran Corluka catches the back of Ryan Giggs' legs and that's another tempting one for Cristiano Ronaldo. About 25 yards this time... and OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT A SAVE THAT IS. Heurelho Gomes leaps to his left and claws the ball away just as it's heading for the top corner.

1920: A tired-looking Michael Dawson - who has been magnificent so far - drags back Cristiano Ronaldo. It's 40 yards out but that doesn't put off Ronaldo, who gets his free-kick through the wall but just wide.

1919: You have to admire the Spurs fans' persistence. They are still booing Dimitar Berbatov.

1916: Harry Redknapp has his hands in the air. Tottenham break with Luka Modric and the Croatian's shot hits Michael Carrick and lands on the roof of the net. Five minutes remaining.

1914: Brilliant save from Heurelho Gomes. Brilliant. Ji-Sung Park catches his shot perfectly but the keeper tips over. Next, the Brazilian punches a corner clear with effortless ease. It's like watching a different player.

1912: Cristiano Ronaldo kicks out at Michael Dawson. Naughty. The winger quickly puts his hand out to Dawson, and the referee is content to let that one go.

1908: All United. A well-worked corner is flicked on by Rio Ferdinand and Vedran Corluka's clearance slams straight into Michael Carrick. Heurelho Gomes makes the save. It's been a solid display by the Brazilian keeper today.

1906: Rio Ferdinand jumps above Tom Huddlestone and heads a Ryan Giggs corner inches over. Good chance squandered there. Giggs already stamping his authority on this game. His set-pieces have got to be more productive than Ji-Sung Park's were.

1903: Ryan Giggs swings an early cross over from the left and Nemanja Vidic causes chaos in the box, Heurelho Gomes making a smart save to his left. 18 minutes remaining.

1900: Fergie heeds my call. On come Paul Scoles and Ryan Giggs, off go Carlos Tevez and Darren Fletcher. Disappointing game for Tevez. I imagine he'll be straight back on the bench when Wayne Rooney returns.

1857: Still no sign of any changes by Sir Alex. Paul Scholes has got to be in with a shout - although with this slippery surface, his notorious tackling might be a bit of a liability.

1853: Aaron Lennon goes on another of those pacy runs, turning Rafael inside out, and the young full-back trips him - picking up a deserved yellow card. Jamie O'Hara replaces Jermaine Jenas for Spurs. David Bentley takes the free-kick and his curling effort is well saved by Edwin van der Sar.

1852: Dimitar Berbatov, who is becoming increasingly influential, feeds Ji-Sung Park on the edge of the box and though the South Korean turns well, he can't get his shot away from Heurelho Gomes.

1847: Harry Redknapp makes his second change as Darren Bent replaces fellow striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1845: Cristiano Ronaldo brings the ball down and lashes it home - but the ball clips his arm as he controls it and Ronaldo is left fuming as the ref disallows the goal.

1845: Tottenham lose the ball and Dimitar Berbatov is off on a jinking run through midfield, but as the striker gets to the edge of the box, Michael Dawson arrives with the vital tackle.

1842: "I'm predicting a repeat of United's game last weekend, with Tevez scoring late from close range!"
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1840: Here's Macca with a lil update: "Little Aaron Lennon is standing tall and proud in the Player Rater stakes at half-time, with a heady mark of 7.22, while the lanky John O'Shea is the lowest of the low on 5.43." Rate the players

1838: Almost a brilliant move from United. Almost. Carlos Tevez's return ball for Dimitar Berbatov is just too far behind the Bulgarian, whose pass into the box is just too far ahead for Tevez.

1837: Mike Dean gets half number two under way at White Hart Lane.

1833: "It doesn't matter about Paul Ince, it only matters about these players. What will be, will be."
Er... Paul Ince after Blackburn's 3-0 defeat by Wigan

1829: I can only apologise for the slow updating of this commentary. We have technical problems. That's all I know.

1825: With Liverpool drawing today, Manchester United will not want to let this opportunity to close the gap pass by - especially as this is their last league game until Boxing Day. But Tottenham more than matched the champions in the first half - and probably had the better chances.

1821: HALF-TIME Tottenham 0-0 Man Utd

1820: The ball comes out to the edge of the Spurs box where the unlikely figure of Rio Ferdinand is in space. Decent shot - but too close to Heurelho Gomes.

1819: Carlos Tevez puts a cross straight out of play - which sort of sums up his half. He's not exactly making his case for a first-team place.

1816: This is a cracking game now - being played at about a million miles an hour - and the crowd respond, creating a terrific noise.

1813: And another. Jermaine Jenas lays the ball back to Tom Huddlestone, whose fierce piledriver hits team-mate Roman Pavlyuchenko full in the stomach. That comes shortly after Heurelho Gomes dives to palm Cristiano Ronaldo's cross away from the advancing Dimitar Berbatov.

1812: Another chance missed for Spurs. Didier Zokora delivers the ball from the right and Luka Modric launches himself at a header which flies wide.

1809: Carlos Tevez sets off from the left and cuts inside two defenders but slices his shot - which goes out for a throw-in.

1807: The switch almost pays immediate dividends as Ji-Sung Park beats Didier Zokora and lays the ball off for Dimitar Berbatov but the striker's first touch is too heavy.

1806: It's switcheroo time as Cristiano Ronaldo comes over to the right and Ji-Sung Park goes left.

1805: "United missing Evra's forward runs. O'Shea's about as static as a caravan."
Anon via text on 81111

1804: Cristiano Ronaldo is given time in the box to control a corner and set up Nemanja Vidic, but the defender's shot hits a defender. Tottenham seemed to fall asleep there.

1802: So unlucky. Aaron Lennon goes on a mazy run through midfield, beating several United players before arrowing a shot towards the corner - but Edwin van der Sar dives to his right to make the save.

1802: Poor old Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have hurt his wrist, but that doesn't stop him cutting in and having a go from distance. Shot loops up and is easy for Spurs.

1801: "Rooney's absence in the final third is very noticeable. We are definitely lacking a spark up front."
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1759: We now have Didier Zokora up against Cristiano Ronaldo down United's left wing. Interesting. Ronaldo tries a few tricks but Zokora's far too clever for that and the European Footballer of the Year has to pass back.

1757: Jonathan Woodgate apparently has a back problem, not an ankle injury as I erroneously typed earlier - not that you would have seen that due to some technical issues, but still, you'll get nothing but honesty from me.

1754: Sir Alex Ferguson has a beanie hat perched atop his head as he braves driving rain at White Hart Lane. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think there is an age at which you can no longer pull off the beanie hat or the baseball cap - and Fergie has gone past it.

1753: "O'Shea has started poorly again... I hope he wakes up. Decent game so far though."
Nemanja Vidic... on 606
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1748: Dimitar Berbatov stretches to get his head to Cristiano Ronaldo's cross but can't get any power on it and it loops into Heurelho Gomes's arms.

1744: Spurs are forced to make a change after just 10 minutes as Jonathan Woodgate falls awkwardly in an aerial challenge with Carlos Tevez and limps off. Tom Huddlestone is on. Didier Zokora moves to right-back, Vedran Corluka into the middle of the defence.

1741: That's better from Spurs. A lot better. Edwin van der Sar dives to his left to beat away a spectacular left-foot volley from David Bentley - much like the one he scored against Arsenal. That follows a hugely optimistic penalty shout from the Spurs fans as Roman Pavlyuchenko crumbles under the slightest of touches from Rio Ferdinand.

1739: All United so far. Luka Modric eases the pressure by winning a free-kick on the halfway line - but Spurs return the ball to United almost immediately.

1737: Crisp passing on the edge of the box from United, and Dimitar Berbatov sets up Ji-Sung Park, but his shot is deflected onto the roof of the net.

1735: United are lining up with Ji-Sung Park on the right and Cristiano Ronaldo on the left. Expect a switcheroo later.

1733: Dimitar Berbatov gets an early touch in midfield, and the boos are almost deafening. It's a cracking atmosphere at the Lane.

1733: A quick blast of Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur, handy for the visiting fans who can adapt it to their own anthem, and we're off. Big game for referee Mike Dean you would think.

1728: A warm cheer for Berbatov... no, I'm kidding... a resounding boo from the home fans as his name is read out.

1727: Our host gives it the big build-up with some over-dramatic music as the teams wait in the tunnel - and here they are! Berbatov gives a sideways smile to former team-mate Aaron Lennon as they come out.

1725: "City will bring in Bernard Schuster before the transfer window. Big name to go with the big money."
Mark-Steins-Boots on 606

1724: Dimitar Berbatov scored for Tottenham in the corresponding fixture last season. Carlos Tevez equalised. Those two start up front for United in the absence of the suspended Wayne Rooney. Tevez has only scored one Premier League goal this season.

1719: "Mark Hughes is just getting City relegated then moving to United to take over from Fergie. Didn't you read his contract?"
Feldman61 on 606
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1717: "HUGHES OUT. I have had enough of his tactical nonsense. The man has spent 70m and does not deserve another 100m to spend."
sweetSubsea on 606
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1714: Looking at the texts and 606 comments, both Paul Ince and Mark Hughes are getting equal amounts of stick. Hughes for Blackburn?

1713: "Re 1651: Justice for the Everton 11! That's a hell of a way to banish the Villa memories. And what an away record..."
Dave, Liverpool, via text on 81111

1711: By the way, I have just had the pleasure of watching Aston Villa-Bolton. I'm happy to say England's future is in very safe hands. Ashley Young and particularly Gabby Agbonlahor were outstanding.

1708: They said it could never happen. They said it was impossible to fit the hugely-inflated egos of Cheesy and Stevo into the same room. Just as well then that I am in my custom-built live text commentary lounge, reclining on my golden throne and typing on my velvet keyboard, while Stevo mixes it with the hoi-polloi.

By Jonathan Stevenson

1705: It's treat number one time as Cheesy steps into the seat to lead you through Tottenham v Manchester United. Have fun, but don't forget treat number two - coverage of El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid begins at 2030 GMT. See you there, I'd expect.
Real can beat Barcelona - Ramos
Barca & Real renew El Clasico rivalry

1701: "I'm starting to wonder if 200m will be enough in January. Hughes has got to go."
David, Cheshire, via text on 81111

1659: Tottenham bring in Michael Dawson for their injured skipper Ledley King. Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is fit to face his former club, while Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo have also shrugged off knocks and Carlos Tevez replaces the suspended Wayne Rooney.

1658: Full-time Stoke 0-0 Fulham

Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Zokora, Jenas, Bentley, Modric, Pavlyuchenko. Subs: Cesar, Bale, Huddlestone, Bent, Gunter, Boateng, O'Hara.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Tevez. Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Scholes, Evans.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

1656: Full-time Liverpool 2-2 Hull City

1654: Full-time Wigan 3-0 Blackburn

1654: Full-time Manchester City 0-1 Everton

1652: Full-time Sunderland 4-0 West Brom

1651: GOAL Manchester City 0-1 Everton
Put Tim Cahill up front all the time - he's only gone and nicked all three points, heading home from a Leon Osman corner.

1651: Full-time Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton

1650: Everton's Marouane Fellaini picks up his eighth booking of the season for a trip on Pablo Zabaleta at Manchester City.

1650: "Lucas comes on. Keane - pack your suitcase, son."
Redinthehead on 606
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1648: Liverpool bring on Lucas Leiva - not Robbie Keane. Three minutes plus injury time left and they leave a 20m striker on the bench. I'm confused.

1646: "I hope Ince has left his car running - the sooner he goes the better. And it's freezing here."
Glenn in Wigan, via text on 81111

1644: GOAL Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton
A goal that has Bolton written all over it - Gretar Steinsson sends over a fine cross from the right to the back post and Kevin Davies towers above his marker to head downwards and into the net. Too little, too late, mind.

1642: Brilliant save from Boaz Myhill to deny Nabil El Zahr at Liverpool and he picks himself up quite superbly to gather the rebound with Steven Gerrard sniffing around the six-yard box.

1642: The ineffective Robinho comes off at Manchester City, with Darius Vassell replacing the Brazilian.

1639: Ashley Young comes off to a standing ovation at Villa Park and a massive hug from his manager Martin O'Neill. Marlon Harewood, who has never threatened to be world-class, comes on.

1636: GOAL Wigan 3-0 Blackburn
That man Antonio Valencia gets in another cross from the right and again Blackburn fail to deal with it, the ball falling for Lee Cattermole to side-foot into the far corner from 15 yards.

1636: GOAL Aston Villa 4-1 Bolton
Gabby Agbonlahor does his best Ashley Young impression by speeding down the left and his pull-back falls to Young, who slots in-off Gretar Steinsson from 20 yards.

1635: Xabi Alonso finds some space to the left of the Hull box 25 yards out and his dipping right-foot shot flicks off the top of the net.

1634: "(See 1618) You can criticise Pantsil for the way he went down, but that was a clear headbutt by Fuller."
Adam, Stoke, via text on 81111

1633: Simon Davies has perhaps Fulham's best chance, finding space just outside the area but dragging his low shot wide.

1632: Stephen Ireland forces Tim Howard to make a low save at Man City, Geovanni fires wide from 25 yards at Liverpool and Johan Elmander has gone off with a head injury at Aston Villa.

1631: "Are the English press only caring about the Real-Barca match because of Ramos? They never talk about this fixture."
Junglemanchild on 606
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Well I can't speak for the rest of the English press, but we'd decided to cover the game way before Ramos's appointment. Honestly.

1628: Kenwyne Jones, on a hat-trick, turns West Brom's Jonas Olsson inside out but sees his strike repelled by the feet of Scott Carson before Andy Reid fires the rebound narrowly high and wide.

1628: "Michael Turner is Hull's most prized asset behind Geovanni. He's been outstanding."
Rich, Bristol, via text on 81111

1625: GOAL Aston Villa 3-1 Bolton
You have to say, that's brilliant. Ashley Young twists and turns his way down the left and fires over a sensational cross that Gabby Agbonlahor can only head into the net. Phenomenal stuff.

1624: "The chant goes up at Anfield: 'He's big, he's red, he speaks like Father Ted, Robbie Keane, Robbie Keane'. Keane's not that big though is he? Anyway, the home fans want to see him introduced."
BBC Sport's Russell Barder at Anfield

1624: "(See 1611) Stevo, do you really think he'd want to take over a team who it appears can't even beat Blackpool? I pray he does, but can't quite see it myself..."
Debs, York, via text on 81111

Well Sunderland were down there - he's done it once, why not again?

1621: Brave stuff there from Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson - he goes in head first as Amr Zaki tries to poke home a corner from close-range and takes the full force of the Egyptian striker's knees on his jaw. Reserve keeper Jason Brown warms up on the sidelines but the England man courageously opts to carry on - for how long remains to be seen.

1620: Agonisingly close for Liverpool as Sami Hyypia heads against the post from a corner from the left.

1619: Roman Bednar shoulders the ball over the bar from Jonathan Greening's cross at Sunderland. They really are in trouble aren't they?

1618: There is a coming together of heads between Ricardo Fuller and John Pantsil at Stoke and the Fulham man goes down like he has been shot - talk about a delayed reaction, that was pathetic.

1617: Phil Neville's cross is touched away by Pablo Zabaleta just as Tim Cahill is about to head the ball in.

1617: Djibril Cisse fires over from six yards at Sunderland.

1614: "There's a real nervousness at Anfield which is transmitting itself to the players and aside from Gerrard, Liverpool are looking pretty toothless up front."
BBC Sport's Russell Barder at Anfield

1613: "Have Dossena's crosses ever made it past the first man?"
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1611: I wonder what Roy Keane's thinking right now? Let's hope he's preparing to become the new manager of his first English league club. Let's just all hope.

1609: They are under way at Liverpool and Stoke now.

1608: "Please sack Ince. Andrews can't play in this league. Because of him we're going to lose Santa and Warnock in Jan. We'll be in the Championship next year."
Mo, Blackburn fan, via text on 81111

1605: GOAL Sunderland 4-0 West Brom
Roman Bednar has just come on at half-time and he inexplicably handles in the box - his first touch, with Djibril Cisse firing the spot-kick down the middle of the goal.

1605: Back under way at Man City.


1604: Sunderland-West Brom and Wigan-Blackburn get back under way, while Jo comes on for Benjani at Manchester City.

1603: Back under way at Villa Park.

1603: And here's Macca's Christmas cracker: "Today's half-time Player Rater hero is Ashley Young, who is in a world-class of his own on 9.29. Worthy mentions for Steven Gerrard, Robinho, Kenwyne Jones, Amr Zaki and Antonio Valencia, while Gary Cahill is an early front-runner for dunce of the day on a lowly 3.18. Plenty of time for those ratings to change though."
Rate the players

1601: As it's nearly the holidays, we've got a couple of very special treats for you today. First up, at about 1715 GMT, the one and only Caroline Cheese will be throwing me out of the hot-seat and talking you through and Spurs v Man Utd game from White Hart Lane. But I'll be back - oh yes, at 2030 GMT for our first-ever coverage of Barcelona v Real Madrid from the Camp Nou. Happy Christmas.

1558: Macca's been delving into the history books, here's what he's found: "According to our records, that is the 11th time Jamie Carragher has found the net during his Liverpool career - unfortunately seven of them have come at the wrong end, including a trio for Tottenham and two for Man Utd."

1555: "Time to go Incey, leave now and take 'defensive coach' Nigel Winterburn with you! What a load of rubbish."
Ben, Newcastle, via text on 81111

1552: Half-time Stoke 0-0 Fulham

1551: Half-time Liverpool 2-2 Hull City

1549: How Liverpool are not ahead, I do not know. Xabi Alonso has just drilled narrowly wide, Albert Riera has a header cleared off the line and then the Spaniard miscues a volley wide moments later.

1549: Half-time Manchester City 0-0 Everton

1548: Half-time Wigan 2-0 Blackburn

1548: Half-time Sunderland 3-0 West Brom

1547: Half-time Aston Villa 2-1 Bolton

1546: Gary Cahill goes up for a Villa corner and he inexplicably flicks the ball away with his hand - but nothing is given by referee Lee Probert. Ridiculous decision - blatant penalty.

1545: Wigan are rampant and Antonio Valencia's cross is headed on to the Blackburn crossbar by Lee Cattermole.

1545: "I've got a fiver on 4-4 between Liverpool and Hull today at 500-1. That would be a nice Christmas prezzie."
Joe in south Wales, via text on 81111

1544: Very close to being 3-0 to Wigan there, with Antonio Valencia - who else - putting a flying half-volley from Maynor Figueroa's long throw just over the bar.

1543: Sub Richard Cresswell, on for the injured Mamady Sidibe, curls over from inside the area with the first clear-cut chance, having been put through by Ricardo Fuller.

1542: Shaun Wright-Phillips hammers a right-foot shot against the Everton crossbar from 22 yards at Manchester City.

1540: GOAL Aston Villa 2-1 Bolton
Gareth Barry crosses from the left and Kevin Davies and Martin Laursen go up for the ball together, it flying past Jussi Jaaskelainen into the net.

1539: GOAL Sunderland 3-0 West Brom
Steed Malbranque collects Kenwyne Jones' pass and crosses to the back stick where probably the smallest man on the pitch rises to head the ball into the net - Andy Reid, take a bow.

1538: Liverpool cause problems every time they plough forward, this time Albert Riera lashing a left-foot shot wide from 20 yards.

1537: After their early double setback Blackburn have started to come into the game a bit more but they have yet to really test Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, and by far the most dangerous player on the pitch is Wigan right winger Antonio Valencia. Every time he gets the ball Blackburn's defence go into reverse, and if Wigan are to add to their lead, you feel sure Valencia will be involved.

1534: "Has any player rescued a team as many times as Gerrard?"
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1532:GOAL Liverpool 2-2 Hull City
It was coming, it really was. Jamie Carragher cross from the right, Dirk Kuyt heads it on, Yossi Benayoun tees up Steven Gerrard and he slots in from 10 yards. That quick enough for you?

1528: "Andrea Dossena is truly terrible. Come back Djimi Traore. All is forgiven."
Mccoy in Glasgow, via text on 81111

1527: Steven Gerrard's shot from the left is deflected and then hits Yossi Benayoun - I don't think it would have beaten Boaz Myhill, but Liverpool are piling on the pressure now.

1525: GOAL Aston Villa 1-1 Bolton
Villa go route one. Gabby Agbonlahor controls Martin Laursen's long ball with his head and then finishes crisply into the corner for his eighth league goal of the season.

1525: GOAL Liverpool 1-2 Hull City
Didn't take them long to get back into it, as Dirk Kuyt's cross from the right breaks kindly for Steven Gerrard to tuck into the net from eight yards.

1524: GOAL Sunderland 2-0 West Brom
Two goals in a matter of minutes for Kenwyne Jones and Sunderland. Djibril Cisse's shot is saved by Scott Carson but the striker reacts well to square and after Andy's Reid's effort is kept out Jones manages to prod it in.

1522: GOAL Sunderland 1-0 West Brom
Sunderland score their first goal since the departure of Roy Keane as Kenwyne Jones swoops to head Djibril Cisse's cross from the right past Scott Carson.

1522:GOAL Liverpool 0-2 Hull City
Unbelievable. Bernard Mendy cross from the right - it's a good one, and clearly panics Jamie Carragher, because he puts the ball into his own net.

1521: Fulham should have a penalty at Stoke but Danny Higginbotham's handball is not spotted. It's all Fulham so far.

1521: Wigan's fans are 'ole-ing' at the JJB Stadium, I wonder what Paul Ince makes of that?

1520: Sam Ricketts clears the ball from danger after lovely build-up play by Steven Gerrard and Andrea Dossena nearly created a simple tap-in for Yossi Benayoun at Liverpool.

1519: "It's fair to say the majority of Anfield is stunned by that goal and the home fans are already getting on the players' backs. The Hull fans seem to be enjoying themselves though."
BBC Sport's Russell Barder at Anfield

1517: GOAL Aston Villa 0-1 Bolton
These little flicked finishes are all the rage today, aren't they? Kevin Davies does well to get the cross in from the Bolton right and Johan Elmander gets to the front post to clip the ball through his legs and past Brad Friedel. Terrific finish.

1515: Stephen Ireland shoots over when he should have scored and then Tim Howard saves well from Robinho as Man City start to put pressure on Everton.

1514: GOAL Wigan 2-0 Blackburn
Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson's poor clearance only goes as far as Mario Melchiot, who heads it into the path of Antonio Valencia on the right wing. He cuts in and with no-one bothering to challenge him, unleashes a rocket of a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner of Robinson's goal.

1513: GOAL Liverpool 0-1 Hull City
Marlon King sends over a cross from the left, just outside the box, and Paul McShane rises above Andrea Dossena to nod the Tigers into another extraordinary lead.

1512: GOAL Wigan 1-0 Blackburn
First chance to either team and Emile Heskey notches. Antonio Valencia crosses from the right and Heskey flicks the ball through his legs and past Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal.

1511: Mikel Arteta hits the crossbar with a magical 20-yard free-kick, with Marouane Fellaini's rebound header going over the bar.

1510: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard needs some treatment for a knock on his ankle. He gets up gingerly, but should be OK to continue.

1509: "With the injury crisis at Goodison I really think Everton should try coaxing Big Duncan Ferguson out of retirement on a six-month loan in January."
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1507: Nicky Barmby's cross hits Javier Mascherano's arm at Anfield, but nothing given - it would perhaps have been a bit harsh. Meanwhile at Stoke, Mamady Sidibe is being stretchered off.

1506: "I'm not worried about Kuyt at all, he may have some awful games but just as you think he can't get worse he scores. I hope he has a bad game so he is sure to score."
From Josh in Somerset, via text on 81111

1504: Kenwyne Jones volleys Djibril Cisse's cross straight at Scott Carson as Sunderland go close to an opener at the Stadium of Light.

1502: Wigan v Blackburn and Stoke v Fulham kick off. Let the goals commence.

1501: Under way at Sunderland, Liverpool and Manchester City too.

1500: Aston Villa v Bolton is the first match to kick off of this afternoon's six games.

1458: "Stevo! Villa's chance has come... Arsenal at Villa Park on Boxing Day. Champs League play-off?"
Matt, at an Xmas party, via text on 81111

1456: Big test for Aston Villa today, who have struggled a little so far this season with the pressure of trying to overtake Arsenal in fourth. They face Bolton, with Ashley Young (see 1206) hoping to continue his world-class form.

1453: You have to feel sorry for Everton today, after their one remaining striker, Victor Anichebe, failed a fitness test this morning, joining Yakubu, Louis Saha and James Vaughan on the sidelines. Tim Cahill, expert at breaking from midfield, plays up top on his own. He hasn't scored since September.

1451: If there's a spotlight on anyone in the Premier League today, it must surely be Blackburn Rovers' under pressure manager Paul Ince. Without a league win since September, Ince's boys have picked up a meagre three points from their last 10 games and plummeted to 19th in the table. They travel to mid-table Wigan today - the hosts have lost only once in six league games. It's another Man Utd old boys derby, too.

1448: "Am I the only Liverpool fan who is more worried about Kuyt being the starting lone striker than Agger being on the bench for the match today?"
Giles in Tunbridge Wells, via text on 81111

Cue a thousand 'Tunbridge Wells? Is he kidding?' texts...

1446: "You've got to worry when your plan B is Nicklas Bendtner - I think that has summed Arsenal up this season."
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1443: More dropped points for the Gunners and though they won't be mathematically out of the title race for a long time, but there is no way this team is strong enough to win the Premier League. They have got too many players who are not performing - Arsene Wenger must strengthen his team in January, otherwise they risk finishing outside the top four.

1441: Full-time Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal

1438: Marvin Emnes comes on for Adam Johnson, who took a bang in the face from Cesc Fabregas.

1438: Lots of chat about the Liverpool team flying around. More of that when this one's finished.

1436: Nicklas Bendtner gets his head on a Cesc Fabregas free-kick but the ball loops agonisingly wide of Ross Turnbull's right-hand post.

1436: Boro waste a few seconds with Mohamed Shawky coming on for Didier Digard.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Nosworthy, Collins, Malbranque, Tainio, Richardson, Reid, Cisse, Jones. Subs: Colgan, Edwards, Diouf, Miller, Murphy, Leadbitter, Yorke.
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Olsson, Meite, Robinson, Brunt, Borja Valero, Koren, Morrison, Greening, Moore. Subs: Kiely, Cech, Barnett, Bednar, Beattie, Kim, Filipe Teixeira.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

1434: Robinho and Micah Richards have overcome ankle injuries to make the starting line-up for Man City, while Elano makes a return to the side. Everton are missing Victor Anichebe, who has a back injury, and he is replaced by Segundo Castillo in their only change.

1433: Cesc Fabregas plays in Nicklas Bendtner down the right and his shot is parried away by Ross Turnbull. Arsenal are all over Boro.

1433: Sunderland caretaker manager Ricky Sbragia makes four changes to the team that was beaten at Manchester United, Kieran Richardson returning from suspension as captain and Kenwyne Jones, Nyron Nosworthy and Teemu Tainio all earning starts. For West Brom, Luke Moore comes in for Ishmael Miller, whose season has been ended by a cruciate ligament injury.

1432: Pinball in the Boro box and two goalbound shots are bravely blocked as Arsenal throw everything forward in search of a winner. There is still time.

1429: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez makes a host of changes to the team which beat PSV in midweek with Pepe Reina, Sami Hyypia, Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun, Steven Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt all starting. Robbie Keane has to make do with a place on the bench. For Hull, Bernard Mendy starts instead of Dean Marney in the only change to the side which beat Middlesbrough last weekend.

1428: Wigan have Amir Zaki back in place of Henri Camara, who drops to the bench, and Paul Scharner replaces Winston Palacios. Blackburn stick with the same starting XI who lost against Liverpool last time out. Their only changes are on the bench, where David Dunn and Jason Roberts replace Johann Vogel and Robbie Fowler.

1427: Desperate times... a white-booted Nicklas Bendtner comes on for Abou Diaby for Arsenal.

1427: There are 10 minutes to go plus stoppages at the Riverside. Arsenal really need a winner here.

1426: The news from the Britannia is that Glenn Whelan comes into the centre of the Stoke midfield in place of Salif Diao. Fulham play Andrew Johnson as a lone striker.

1425: "Stevo, I can't understand Rafa! Why is Daniel Agger on the bench and Sami Hyypia playing? Especially with all the Milan/Madrid speculation. Gotta trust him I guess seeing as we're top."
Gareth, Basingstoke, via text on 81111

1424: James Milner has recovered from flu in time to take his place in an unchanged Aston Villa team. Bolton boss Gary Megson also sticks with the same line-up who lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea last time out.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Ireland, Kompany, Elano, Wright-Phillips, Mwaruwari, Robinho. Subs: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Vassell, Jo, Fernandes, Hamann, Ben-Haim.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Castillo, Arteta, Cahill. Subs: Nash, Hibbert, Baines, Van der Meyde, Rodwell, Jutkiewicz, Gosling.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Sonko, Higginbotham, Delap, Amdy Faye, Whelan, Pugh, Sidibe, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Cort, Cresswell, Pericard, Davies, Tonge.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard, Murphy, Gera, Dempsey, Johnson. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Gray, Etuhu, Stoor, Andreasen, Kallio.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Laursen, Davies, Luke Young, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Ashley Young. Subs: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Knight, Reo-Coker, Shorey, Gardner.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, McCann, Nolan, Muamba, Taylor, Elmander. Subs: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Gardner, Riga, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.
Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Brown, Taylor, Zaki, Heskey. Subs: Pollitt, Kingson, Kilbane, Koumas, De Ridder, Cywka, Camara.
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Kerimoglu, Andrews, Pedersen, Roque Santa Cruz, Derbyshire. Subs: Brown, Dunn, McCarthy, Villanueva, Simpson, Treacy, Roberts.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Dossena, Mascherano, Alonso, Benayoun, Gerrard, Riera, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Agger, Keane, Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar.
Hull: Myhill, McShane, Zayatte, Turner, Ricketts, Mendy, Ashbee, Boateng, Geovanni, Barmby, King. Subs: Warner, Windass, Garcia, Halmosi, Marney, Cousin, Giannakopoulos.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).

1417: "Denilson should have an extra name. As a Brazilian, he's not worthy of one-name status. Something like Denilson Smith."
MJF, via text on 81111

1415: Arsenal are bossing the ball right now but they cannot find a way through Boro's massed ranks at the back. It'll take something special to win it for the Gunners - have they got it in them?

1413: None of this only getting involved at half-time and full-time, like a certain (gone missing) Danny the Stat. Macca's working overtime: "Stewart Downing is having no absolutely no luck in front of goal this season. The Boro winger has had more shots than anyone else in the Premier League without notching - 30 attempts before today's game. But if you don't shoot, you don't score, apparently."

1411: "Van Persie fluffs another one... he's starting to make Bendtner look clinical."
fabuniquemembername on 606
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1408: Robin van Persie latches on to an Abou Diaby pass on the inside left channel but he can only drag his shot across goal and wide.

1406: Julio Arca plays a fabulous pass down the left into the path of Stewart Downing and he surges into the area only to see his goalbound left-foot volley expertly palmed away for a corner by Manuel Almunia. Terrific stuff from Boro.

1405: Denilson is having a shocker. He tries to slip a pass in for Robin van Persie and he's hit it miles too hard - the Dutchman looks at him as if to say 'what on earth am I supposed to do with that?' Wenger should take the Brazilian off, he's been woeful.

1402: Gael Clichy tries a hugely ambitious left-foot shot from 20 yards out on the left that flies straight into the arms of Ross Turnbull. Arsene Wenger turns away in disgust.

1401: "Am at the Riverside. Not many other people are! Arsenal deserve to drop points here. Song should find another job."
James, via text on 81111

In recession-hit Britain? He's got no chance.

1359: Tell you what, keepers don't half start further forwards these days than they used to. Ross Turnbull is fully 35 yards out of his goal as he races off his line to stop Emmanuel Adebayor sprinting through. Surely they're vulnerable to the lob?

1356: "I can't wait till Rosicky comes back and gives us a bit of width. Sure, he'll probably be past his best, but a past-his-best-Rosicky is still better than an at-his-best-Denilson."
Samir8Nasri ... support the team and support wenger!! on 606
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You might be waiting a while yet, sadly...
Injured Rosicky out until March

1353: Anyone at the Riverside? Wouldn't mind a text on 81111, if I'm honest.

1352: Abou Diaby is booked for a late, high foul on Chris Riggott.

1351: Emmanuel Adebayor gets us back under way at the Riverside.

1350: "Yeah, Stevo is biased journalistic tosh, he is completely against *insert team you support here*, it's ridiculous. Typical BBC!"
RARD *Keano - Red Legend, Prem's Greatest* on 606
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I still can't get used to being called a journalist...

1347: "Denilson on the right is rubbish. He has offered no width, no attacking flair, hasn't tracked back to help Sagna cope with Downing and is not good enough to even be in the 16. Can we swap him for Aliadiere at half-time?"
Chip it like Vela on 606
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1342: Macca's in the mixer again and he's Player Rater-ed us up in a quite massive way. Here's his 1342 GMT chat: "Cesc Fabregas is Mr Fabulous in the land of Player Rater today with a mark of 7.68 at half-time. Everyone else is at fives and sixes after a fairly decent 45 minutes of action up in Teesside. Well, everyone but poor little Robert Huth. He's on 4.45. Why not take the opportunity to get involved?"
Rate the players

1338: Pretty decent stuff so far from the Riverside, Arsenal got the goal their early play deserved but since Boro's equaliser they've been by far the better side - plenty of encouragement for Gareth Southgate's team. Arsene Wenger needs his two up top to start delivering a bit more - Adebayor's goal apart, he and Van Persie have been off the pace.

1335: Half-time Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal

1334: Tuncay clips a pass into the path of Adam Johnson cutting in from the Boro right and it opens up for him to have a shot on his favoured left-foot, but that won't have impressed anyone watching at the Bernabeu as it trickles wide.

1331: Cesc Fabregas goes on a mazy little run at the heart of the Boro defence but his left-foot shot lacks power and accuracy and fails to trouble Ross Turnbull.

1329: "Clichy is making his performances from last season look like a one-off..."
blue7860 on 606
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1326: Robin van Persie tries an elaborate flick-through-his-legs finish from Emmanuel Adebayor's cross from the right, but he gets nothing on it and looks a little bit silly in the end.

1326: The referee gives Adam Johnson a free-kick as he is brought down by Gael Clichy outside the area. Easy decision to make, that one. Manuel Almunia claims the set-piece and Arsenal need to compose themselves here.

1323: Potential Real Madrid winger Adam Johnson races into the box and Gael Clichy brings him down just inside the area - it's a definite penalty, but referee Peter Walton waves play on. Poor decision, that.

1323: The goal has lifted Boro and their fans and Arsenal are under real pressure for a couple of minutes as the home team get down the flanks and get a couple of really good crosses in.

1319: Peter Walton gives Arsenal a free-kick for a fair Tony McMahon challenge on Abou Diaby - luckily for the ref and for Boro, Ross Turnbull easily claims from the set-piece.

1317: GOAL Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal
You won't see a better header this season. Gael Clichy's attempted clearance is blocked and the ball falls for Tuncay, who whips over a cross that Jeremie Aliadiere reacts brilliantly to - stooping and glancing it into the net past a flailing Manuel Almunia.

1315: Arsenal are simply not letting Boro have the ball right now - they are just passing it around like it's a training session. The hosts fail to clear a corner once more and Abou Diaby is foiled again by Ross Turnbull.

1313: "Imagine how good Adebayor would be if he could learn the offside rule? He's already been offside about five times so far, all from Cesc passes that would have put him through on goal."
gunner-zp on 606
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1311: Jeremie Aliadiere turns Johan Djourou neatly down the Boro right and hammers in a left-foot shot miles wide and over. Boro's good start is looking like a distant memory already.

1308: Emmanuel Adebayor and Robert Huth are having a little bit of chat. Maybe Adebayor is asking Huth why he couldn't be bothered to mark him for the goal. Poor defending from the German.

1305: GOAL Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal
It gets no more simple. Cesc Fabregas swings over a corner from the left and with about five Boro players standing watching, Emmanuel Adebayor rises high to head the ball down and into the net. Too easy.

1304: Robin van Persie tees up Emmanuel Adebayor inside the Boro box at an angle on the right, but his shot is blocked by Robert Huth. Arsenal are on top now and moments later Adebayor sets up Abou Diaby who sees his shot saved by Ross Turnbull.

1301: "I've just seen Aidy Boothroyd going into the Stadium of Light! Didn't know he was a Black Cats fan."
Matt, very cold in the north east, via text on 81111

Interesting, as I'm sat in-between a Sunderland fan and a Watford fan.

1259: Goalkeepers on top so far, as Ross Turnbull and Manuel Almunia both race off their lines to thwart opposing strikers. Soon after Boro's attack comes to nothing Arsenal pass their way up the field and Robin van Persie volleys off target from the edge of the box. Lovely stuff.

1256: Goodness me that was close. Emmanuel Adebayor flicks on a Boro corner and it only just flies over his own crossbar. Phew. From the next corner, Adam Johnson lashes a right-foot volley miles over the bar.

1255: "Arsene Wenger has never taken three points off Gareth Southgate's team. Don't expect him to do so today."
RasDam on 606
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Oh, OK.

1253: "Stevo, meeting the lads now for our annual all-dayer. Can you save us five hours of drunken arguing and tell us who you think will win the Prem?"
Aaron, via text on 81111

No way mate, that's why you go to the pub in the first place isn't it?

1251: Good atmosphere at the Riverside in the early stages, and Boro are doing most of the attacking in the opening moments.

1248: Boro have their pre-match hug, which frankly I find unnecessary, and the home team get us under way.

1246: "On the topic of Ashley Young, he is nowhere near the quality of Ronaldo and Messi yet. Yes, he is a very good player but Ronaldo and Messi are in a different class, world class. In a few years, maybe he can be put in the same class but at the moment, he is still out of their league."
TheRockwillSaveUs on 606
Join the debate on 606

I agree up to a point, but Young will never, ever be in the same class as Messi. Barring a serious injury, Messi is destined to go down as one of the all-time greats.

1243: I can bring you great news if you're an Arsenal fan who already thinks you can't win the title: Arsenal's current situation resembles their first Premier League title success in 1997/98: they were two points worse off than today and trailed leaders Man Utd by seven points but still won the league.

1240: "(See 1206) Would Ashley Young get a first-team place at Barcelona or AC Milan? Doubt it."
kristianowall on 606
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1237: "Stevo, I'm working my last shift and am unemployed from 4pm; had to loan out my Sunderland season-ticket for the game today! How'd you rate my chances of a perfect send-off?"
Jim (soon to be a bum), via text on 81111

Heartbreaker. However, you'll win 2-0, and get unemployed life off to a cracking start.

1233: So, Middlesbrough drop record signing Afonso Alves to the bench for only the second time this season, with Chris Riggott returning at the back in place of the suspended David Wheater. Arsenal have captain Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna all back in their starting line-up after the midweek Champions League defeat away to FC Porto. Emmanuel Eboue, barracked by his own fans in the home win against Wigan last Saturday, drops to the bench.

1230: Stevo's Predos:
Middlesbrough 0-2 Arsenal
Aston Villa 2-1 Bolton
Liverpool 2-1 Hull
Man City 2-1 Everton
Stoke 1-1 Fulham
Sunderland 2-0 West Brom
Wigan 1-1 Blackburn
Tottenham 2-3 Man Utd
Lawro's predictions

1228: Middlesbrough are in shocking form, without a win in their last four games, while Arsenal's recent record is a bit patchy. Boro winger Adam Johnson starts today - he's apparently a transfer window target for Real Madrid. The silly season is properly under way.

1223: "Why Wenger insists on playing four central midfielders is beyond me... surely Jack Wilshere could do a better job on the wing than Denilson?"
alex_the_gooner on 606
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1220: "I've just got a feeling about Alves today, and I'm not his biggest fan, but something just tells me he will make his mark today. Here's hoping."
Smogman, Manchester, via text on 81111

1216: There should be a fair bit to talk about today I reckon, so prime yourselves to get in the mix. If you text me from a stadium on 81111 you've got a friend for life, but I'm willing to accept them from anywhere, as long as the chat's good and you leave your name. If you like bantering with other footy fans, look no further than 606 for some like-minded people. The best comments, as always, will get on this page. Enjoy.
Join the debate on 606

1213: So first up we've got Arsenal's trip to the Riverside to take on Middlesbrough. I wonder which Arsenal will turn up today? The one that did for both Man Utd and Chelsea in recent weeks, or the shadow of a team that went through the motions in Porto in midweek. Defeat would be their sixth in the league already - almost unthinkable.

Middlesbrough: Turnbull, McMahon, Riggott, Huth, Pogatetz, Johnson, Digard, Arca, Downing, Sanli, Aliadiere. Subs: Jones, Emnes, Alves, Shawky, Bates, Hines, Grounds.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Diaby, Van Persie, Adebayor. Subs: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Bendtner, Eboue.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

1206: I've spent half the morning trying to repair my sides after hearing Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill's comments about Ashley Young: "Is Young in the company of Messi and Ronaldo? Yes. I've just put him in it." Hahaha. Martin, you're a Forest legend, but you might need to have a little rethink on that one.

1200: I hope you got your Christmas shopping out of the way this morning, because there's a little cracker of a day in store. Eight Premier League games, with Arsenal up early, Liverpool this afternoon and Manchester United's potentially explosive trip to Spurs this evening. Oh, and we're bringing you live coverage from Spain of Barcelona v Real Madrid from 2030 GMT to boot. Consider yourselves officially spoiled.

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

5 Liverpool 24 16 41

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

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

see also
Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Liverpool 2-2 Hull City
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Man City 0-1 Everton
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Middlesbrough 1-1 Arsenal
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Stoke 0-0 Fulham
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Sunderland 4-0 West Brom
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Tottenham 0-0 Man Utd
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Wigan 3-0 Blackburn
13 Dec 08 |  Premier League

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