BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

Premier League as it happened

BOXING DAY RESULTS
Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom
Liverpool 3-0 Bolton
Man City 5-1 Hull City
Middlesbrough 0-1 Everton
Portsmouth 1-4 West Ham
Stoke 0-1 Man Utd
Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn
Tottenham 0-0 Fulham
Wigan 2-1 Newcastle

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times GMT)

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

By Jonathan Stevenson

1920: Time for me to bow out. I've given it my all, I only hope it was good enough. Don't forget Match of the Day on BBC One and this website at 2305 GMT tonight, it should be a cracker. And have a fantastic rest of Christmas and happy New Year. Legends, the lot of you.

1914: "Games like that really do give me goosebumps, I love it. It's been a good day of football, merry Christmas."
Man-Uniteds-Son on 606
Join the debate on 606

1912: You can't be surprised anymore, but that was a stunning finish - I don't think even Zat Knight expected Zat Knight to hit a ball like that. More gloom for the Gunners - Arsenal are now 11 points behind leaders Liverpool. Villa stay three points above their opponents today in fourth.

1910: Full-time Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal

1909: Gareth Barry is rightly booked for a lunging foul on Aaron Ramsey.

1908: You want drama this Christmas? This is it. It gets no better.

1906: GOAL Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal
Wenger probably knew what was coming. Stiliyan Petrov sends over a cross and it ricochets a couple of times before central defender Zat Knight controls the ball and rifles in an unstoppable left-foot shot into the corner. Incredible scenes.

1905: There will be four minutes of injury time. Arsene Wenger is very, very annoyed.

1905: "(See 1848) Your colleague Phil might be right with classing Diaby's performance as Vieira-style, he even has a chance to get a traditional Vieira red card!"
Simon, Dorset, via text on 81111

1904: Hairy moment there as James Milner tried to get on the end of a through ball, but Arsenal manage to clear their lines.

1900: No wonder Arsene Wenger loves Aaron Ramsey - he tries to pass the ball into the net from 25 yards. But he gets it wrong and it trickles into the arms of Brad Friedel.

1859: "Sagna has played a blinder today! Another clearance. And anyone else noticed an improvement in Gallas after the media fiasco?"
Give us Some'ere Nasri on 606
Join the debate on 606

1857: Arsenal bring on Gael Clichy for Samir Nasri.

1856: Stiliyan Petrov is booked for verbally lashing out at an assistant referee.

1855: There are 10 minutes to go plus stoppage time at Villa Park as we draw towards a close on another top-drawer Boxing Day of football action.

1854: "Arsenal can't deal with balls over the top. That's where Villa can get their goal to level the match up."
BlueAcrosstheWorld on 606
Join the debate on 606

1851: Nigel Reo-Coker squares up to Robin van Persie, bit silly that, after a foul from the Dutchman on the Villa man. Both players are booked.

1848: James Milner sees a chance open up before his eyes inside the Arsenal box, but Mikael Silvestre gets in another vital block.

1848: My colleague Phil has called it - Abou Diaby's performance today is as close to a Patrick Vieira display as you could wish to see. Gabby Agbonlahor is booked for an attempted foul on the in-form midfielder.

1847: "I'm a Spurs supporter, but Gallas got the ball. I'd be gutted if that penalty was called against us."
Steve, Swindon, via text on 81111

1844: Arsenal are starting to look a little shaky, again. It'd be massive if they could hold on to this win. Massive.

1841: Arsene Wenger and Martin O'Neill are having some chat by the dug-outs. The fourth official speaks with referee Lee Mason and he has a word with both managers, who shake hands. Wenger is fuming, still.

1840: GOAL Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
Gareth Barry smashes the penalty right down the middle of the goal and Villa are back in it. It probably was a penalty - William Gallas brought down Gabby Agbonlahor in the area after the striker had just about beaten him for pace. Hard on Gallas, but probably fair.

1839: PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA

1838: Bacary Sagna, you've had a blinder. He gets across to the back post to lunge in and get a block on Ashley Young as he is just about to convert Steve Sidwell's right-wing cross. Heroic stuff.

1836: Breaking news: Colin Calderwood has been sacked as Nottingham Forest manager. I have no comment to make. Just Happy Christmas.

1835: Arsenal are back - it's official. They are playing some beautiful stuff now, just like, er, Arsenal in fact. Emmanuel Eboue's shot is blocked and Abou Diaby nearly creates another chance with some more sublime build-up play.

1834: "Just goes to show how important an established centre-back is to a side. Villa are missing Laursen."
We don't need the alms of a billionaire on 606
Join the debate on 606

1831: Robin van Persie gets a header all wrong and directs it wide from a brilliant Aaron Ramsey clip into the Villa box.

1830: Villa's turn to be saved by the woodwork. Abou Diaby, who has morphed into Zinedine Zidane, dribbles into the box and Aaron Ramsey mis-kicks his shot before Robin van Persie hammers one against the post with Brad Friedel beaten.

1828: Villa are going to probe away and probe away, but can they find a breakthrough now that Arsenal can afford to sit back. Or will Arsenal plough forward, as they did so naively against Tottenham a couple of months back? Isn't it intriguing?

1826: That goal could just have shattered Villa. We'll learn a lot about the mentality of Martin O'Neill's young side in the next 40 minutes.

1823: GOAL Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal
What a sensational goal that is. Deep in his own half, on the touchline, Abou Diaby does a brilliant trick to see off Curtis Davies and he finds Emmanuel Eboue, who breaks forward at real speed. Diaby keeps up with his team-mate and Eboue plays in Diaby to lash the ball past a startled Brad Friedel. Magnificent goal that, courtesy of two much-maligned footballers.

1820: Back under way at Villa Park.

1817: "In fairness, we've committed a few daylight robberies away from home this season, e.g. West Ham last week. It still hurts though."
Joe from Blackheath, via text on 81111

1814: Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ashley Young is dominating on Player Rater at the moment on 7.67, with Arsenal goalscorer Denilson the pick of their bunch on 6.88. It can all change, but it's largely down to you if it's going to.
Rate the players

1811: "(See 1759) That overhead kick was a back-pass, we should have had a free-kick."
hansandersen on 606
Join the debate on 606

Easily the most stupid comment of this Boxing Day. Hang your head in shame.

1807: No half-time staying-out-on-the-pitch shenanigans at Villa Park, but I wonder what Martin O'Neill will say to his side in the next few minutes? He can have few complaints with how they've played so far. Arsenal, on the other hand, could be looking at the ultimate smash and grab.

1804: Half-time Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal

1802: Two minutes of first-half stoppage time have started.

1801: Aaron Ramsey comes on for Alex Song at Villa Park.

1759: The greatest goalline clearance you might just ever see. Gabby Agbonlahor rises high to head goalwards and with Manuel Almunia stranded it looks all end up a goal - only for Bacary Sagna to somehow produce an overhead kicked clearance off the line and back into the arms of Almunia. I'm not making it up. Honestly.

1756: GOAL Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal
Daylight robbery, that is - but you've got to love football. Nigel Reo-Coker dallies for a split-second too long and Denilson fastens on to the ball, surging into the Villa box and slotting under the advancing Brad Friedel. It's the cue for samba dancing by the corner flag - and stunned silence at Villa Park. Unexpected.

1756: "It's Ramsey's 18th birthday today, Wilshere's absolute class and Wenger should be playing them regularly to get the best out of them."
Joe, a frustrated Arsenal fan, via text on 81111

1753: This is getting ridiculous. Villa are still hammering away and eventually as the ball drops in the box, Curtis Davies lifts the ball over the stranded Manuel Almunia, only to see it cannon against the crossbar.

1753: Kolo Toure is booked for going through the back of Gabby Agbonlahor. Standard yellow card.

1751: How did Villa not score then? Ashley Young picks out James Milner with an exceptional ball to the far post and on the slide the youngster hits the near post, the ball rebounding back into the grateful arms of Manuel Almunia. The home team should really be in front by now.

1749: The tempo of this game has slowed right down at the moment, something that probably suits Arsenal more than Villa.

1746: "(See 1740) Wilshere and Ramsey? They'll be destroyed if they're put on the pitch."
MU-Blade on 606
Join the debate on 606

1744: Ashley Young's foot is high and he accidentally kicks Bacary Sagna in the head. The defender requires a little bit of treatment.

1741: Arsenal's Alex Song is booked for a trip on Stiliyan Petrov.

1740: I've just noticed that Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are both on the Arsenal bench (I'm flagging). Anyone else think at least one of those boys should be on the pitch?

1737: Arsenal enjoy a bit more luck as Gabby Agbonlahor shifts the ball inside and forces a fine low save from Manuel Almunia, Steve Sidwell's shot from the rebound deflecting wide for a corner.

1735: "Is it just me or are a lot of players getting injured in warm-ups recently? This must mess manager's game plans up no end. Any reason for an increase this season or shall we just blame the credit crunch?"
Rich, an ever hopeful Boro fan in Anglesey, via text on 81111

1732: Manuel Almunia makes a stunning one-handed flick over to deny Villa an opening goal after Luke Young's 20-yard volley was deflected off Mikael Silvestre.

1730: Robin van Persie chests the ball down and it about to fire goalwards from inside the Villa area until Zat Knight gets across brilliantly to clear it away from danger. Top-class defending.

1729: "I find it a little amazing how people are still talking about Arsenal's title challenge when it realistically ended a couple of months ago."
Jack on 606
Join the debate on 606

1727: Fabulous chance for Curtis Davies as Gareth Barry's pinpoint left-wing cross picks him out, but the defender gets it all wrong and heads hopelessly off target. He should at least work the keeper from there.

1725: I've decided - this Arsenal team is not only not good enough to win the league, but they aren't good enough to finish fourth. I know they've been unlucky with injuries, but compare these two line-ups - Villa's is comfortably better.

1722: Steve Sidwell heads against the crossbar (it might come off the post, too) from a corner from the Villa right. It's a lively start from the hosts.

1720: James Milner's cross from the right is only fractionally too high for a stretching Ashley Young, who was perhaps just onside.

1719: Johan Djourou was injured in the warm-up and Kolo Toure plays instead of the Swiss centre-back. Arsene Wenger could do without any other injuries I'd imagine.

1717: Remember, Villa beat Arsenal for the first time in 20 league matches last month, as they won 2-0 at the Emirates thanks to a Gael Clichy own goal and a vintage Gabby Agbonlahor strike. They last beat the Gunners at home on 13 December 1998, winning 3-2. Gareth Barry was in that team - he was taken off with Villa 2-0 down and they went on to win 3-2. We've just kicked off.

1712: The teams are lining up in the tunnel at Villa Park and with Martin Laursen injured, Gareth Barry is the Villa captain today. What a massive game this is, for both teams.

1710: Don't forget, dear punters, that you can give your favourites (and your not-so-favourites) marks for their performances today (not just Stephen Ireland, OK?) by getting stuck into our Player Rater. It's your special day, after all.
Rate the players

1707: Aston Villa make two changes, bringing in Nigel Reo-Coker and Zat Knight for Carlos Cuellar and Martin Laursen. Arsenal make three changes, replacing Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Adebayor with Emmanuel Eboue, Mikael Silvestre and Abou Diaby.

1705: "How many times are Newcastle going to be ruined by referees and their decisions?"
leerobson on 606
Join the debate on 606

It's true, you were hard done by today, but if the team bothered playing before the last 15 minutes of games like today, you wouldn't need to worry. That's more of a concern, surely?

1701: "Who needs Kaka when you've got Stephen Ireland?"
Bertie from Stockport, via text on 81111

1658: Full-time Wigan 2-1 Newcastle

1658: Andy Carroll is booked for diving at Wigan after a clumsy challenge from Michael Brown. For my money you know, that might just be a penalty.

1657: Full-time Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn

1656: Oh my. Reading have just equalised in the Championship at home to Cardiff thanks to a goal from their keeper Adam Federici. Oh my.

1655: Unbelievable chance for Blackburn at Sunderland, Morten Gamst Pedersen's long ball controlled by Jason Roberts and after Marton Fulop completely misses it, Roberts proceeds to shoot wide. Sam Allardyce cannot believe his eyes. At Wigan, Damien Duff fires wide as Newcastle plough forward for a leveller.

1654: Full-time Middlesbrough 0-1 Everton

1654: Full-time Manchester City 5-1 Hull City

1653: Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen has gone off at Sunderland with a massive cut on his head.

1652: Full-time Liverpool 3-0 Bolton

1650: Goal Wigan 2-1 Newcastle
Andy Carroll heads on a long ball into the box and Chris Kirkland is a fraction too late, accidentally punching the striker in the head and conceding a penalty. Danny Guthrie smacks it down the middle.

1649: PENALTY TO NEWCASTLE

1647: Afonso Alves shoots over from eight yards for Boro, a good chance that for the Brazilian who is not quite at it this season.

1647: Gary Cahill is injured at Liverpool, but Bolton have made all three subs and he is just limping around the pitch, useless. They've put him up front, out of harm's way.

1645: Great management from Mark Hughes, that. He takes Man City's Stephen Ireland off and allows the midfielder the standing ovation he warrants, as Gelson Fernandes comes on in his place.

1644: "If only Rafa had given Insua a chance earlier, it would have saved us wasting 7m on that Italian lump Dossena!"
Craig, Rainhill, via text on 81111

1641: GOAL Manchester City 5-1 Hull City
Scrap that, they won't win the second half. The inspired Stephen Ireland (what on earth did he get for Christmas??) starts a move that ends with him rifling home Robinho's cross with his left foot. If ever a man deserved a goal to cap a majestic performance, that was it.

1639: GOAL Manchester City 4-1 Hull City
Hull counter and they get their consolation goal, Daniel Cousin's left-wing cross deflected into the path of Craig Fagan, who slots in at the back post. So, if they win the second half 1-0, does that mean Phil Brown was definitely right to do what he did at half-time (see half-time)?

1639: Elano's heavily deflected free-kick drops inches wide of Boaz Myhill's right-hand post.

1639: "Cheating gets on my nerves - how can a man like Heskey fall over like that, yet still attempt to be taken seriously as a grown man?"
trackietop on 606
Join the debate on 606

1637: ASTON VILLA v ARSENAL LINE-UPS
Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Davies, Knight, Luke Young, Milner, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner, Osbourne.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Eboue, Djourou, Silvestre, Song Billong, Denilson, Nasri, Diaby, Gallas, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Toure, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Clichy, Bendtner.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1634: GOAL Wigan 2-0 Newcastle
It's a bit harsh on Newcastle, that. Sebastien Bassong is tugging Emile Heskey for a long time outside the box as Heskey tries to barge his way through, but the England man stays on his feet and eventually falls down in the penalty area - where there probably wasn't a foul. Bassong is sent off and Amr Zaki coolly slots in from the penalty spot.

1633: SENDING OFF (Sebastien Bassong, Newcastle United)

1633: PENALTY TO WIGAN

1632: "Everton are playing with no recognised forwards but have more people in the box every time they attack than we have all game!"
Mark, an unhappy Boro fan at the Riverside, via text on 81111

1630: Boro's Adam Johnson is booked for a very theatrical fall in the Everton box - you'll have to do better than that, mate.

1629: Michael Turner heads a Hull corner wide as the Tigers seek a consolation at Eastlands. Phil Brown takes Geovanni off for Daniel Cousin.

1628: Pearlo did just ask me if I wanted him to get me Roy Keane for Christmas, though. Yes please.

1628: My mate Pearlo (Spurs) wants a striker as his main present. "Relegation rivals aren't very Christmas," he says. You're talking to the wrong man I think, mate. I know little else.

1627: "Well, I have to admit, Liverpool have been outstanding today, Keane especially - look at him chasing every ball around like a man possessed."
Darandio on 606
Join the debate on 606

1624: Stephen Ireland blazes over from Elano's very cleverly thought-out free-kick. Meanwhile, with Forest 4-0 down at home to Doncaster, I'm thinking I might get my number one Xmas present after all - bye bye Colin.

1622: Sunderland keeper Marton Fulop makes a brilliant save to deny Keith Andrews after the midfielder stole into the box to get on the end of Benni McCarthy's lovely flick-on.

1621: "You have to wonder how Fernando Torres is going to get back into the Liverpool team when Robbie Keane is on fire like this."
Mark Williams, Anfield, via text on 81111

How quickly tunes can change...

1619: Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen clatters Martin Fulop's left-hand post with a belter of a curling free-kick right on the edge of the 18-yard box. Turns out the Hungarian keeper palmed the ball on to the post, making it a very, very classy save.

1615: GOAL Liverpool 3-0 Bolton
Glorious, glorious goal and game over. Pepe Reina rolls the ball out to Xabi Alonso and Liverpool break with devastating speed - Alonso playing it out wide for Yossi Benayoun to cross and Robbie Keane to tap in from close-range. Wonderful stuff.

1614: Shaun Wright-Phillips is just about to make it 5-0, racing on to - is this getting boring yet? - Stephen Ireland's pass until Michael Turner makes a sensational interception.

1614: "Is it just me, or does Afonso Alves look like Phil Collins?"
Jimbob, brooding over Forest scores in Nottingham, via text on 81111

He does. And he's on, for Tuncay. The Boro fans boo and the Turk heads off straight down the tunnel. Happy Christmas.

1612: Blackburn's Chris Samba has the ball in the back of the net from a David Dunn free-kick at the Stadium of Light - much to the incredulity of the Sunderland players, who all point towards their arms to indicate handball. Referee Martin Atkinson agrees and rightly books the centre-back for his cheeky, audacious attempt.

1611: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Bolton
Robbie Keane doubles the Reds' advantage by racing on to Steven Gerrard's through ball and hammering a fabulous left-foot shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen. Great finish.

1609: GOAL Middlesbrough 0-1 Everton
Mikel Arteta swings over a corner, Tim Cahill's header is saved by Ross Turnbull, Joleon Lescott and Cahill are foiled by some brave defending before finally Cahill rams the ball home for Everton.

1608: The second half starts at Sunderland and at Wigan.

1605: Craig Fagan comes on for Dean Windass for Hull, while Jo and Nedum Onuoha come on for Micah Richards and Felipe Caicedo for Man City. More strange goings on at Eastlands - what on earth did they put in the Christmas pudding. Under way.

1604: Back under way at Liverpool and Boro.

1603: Lots of chat in our office and from you boys and girls about Phil Brown's methods at Man City. Here's spokespeople from both sides:

"Fair play to Phil Brown, why should the Hull players be allowed to hide away in the changing room?"
Jack, Northampton, via text on 81111

"The FA should do something about Phil Brown, he practically bullied his players - he needs to be sacked and banned from the game for a long time. Disgusting."
Newcastle_bestinUK on 606
Join the debate on 606

1601: "Stevo, however bad Hull were, Forest were 10 times worse. All set for the most humiliating result since... this might be it actually. Furious."
Ade, via text on 81111

1557: "Stephen Ireland really is Superman!"
Nteeny on 606
Join the debate on 606

1554: That is the most remarkable thing I have ever seen during the interval at a football match. Phil Brown led his Hull players to their away support and after applauding the fans, he sits the players down on the ground and gives them an almighty rollocking. After five minutes, he tells them to go back to the dressing-room. They look utterly humbled. They should be. They were absolutely shocking in that 45 minutes.

1552: Half-time Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn

1551: Half-time Wigan 1-0 Newcastle

1549: Half-time Manchester City 4-0 Hull City

1548: What a chance for Man City's Shaun Wright-Phillips to make it 5-0 as he races on to another picture perfect pass from the sensational Stephen Ireland, but the little winger prods left-footed wide. They have been awesome.

1548: Half-time Liverpool 1-0 Bolton

1547: Half-time Middlesbrough 0-0 Everton

1545: Boro's Julio Arca, who shouldn't even be playing today after his horror lunge on Andrew Johnson, is booked for a silly shirt tug on Mikel Arteta.

1544: Mikel Arteta's corner is flicked on by Tim Cahill and the ball falls for Joleon Lescott - but he cannot sort his feet out and ends up clearing it away instead of diverting it towards goal. Odd.

1543: It's just extraordinary at Manchester City. Every time they attack, they've got more players forward than Hull have back. It's kamikaze football. This time, Boaz Myhill gets down brilliantly to save Shaun Wright-Phillips' 25-yard curler.

1541: There's more injury woe for Newcastle, with Habib Beye being forced off following a very clumsy late lunge by Lee Cattermole. There's a hold-up of about five minutes before the full-back is taken off on a stretcher and replaced by Steven Taylor.

1540: "This is the best I've seen Liverpool play for over 10 years."
Michael Hillman, Liverpool, via text on 81111

1537: GOAL Manchester City 4-0 Hull
George Boateng is hauled off at Man City as Hull look to shore things up, but it doesn't work as moments later Shaun Wright-Phillips scampers down the right and crosses perfectly for Robinho to tap in from close-range. Stunning, stunning, stunning.

1535: "HOW DOES HE MANAGE TO SCORE A FREE-KICK EVERY SEASON AGAINST NEWCASTLE?!"
kentc81 on 606
Join the debate on 606

Caps, on this occasion, are warranted. It almost defies belief.

1533: Everton on top at Boro, Steven Pienaar has hit the post and Phil Neville's deflected drive flies inches wide. Boro go close when Gary O'Neil's shot is brilliantly saved by Tim Howard.

1532: GOAL Wigan 1-0 Newcastle
Ryan Taylor scores his second goal of the season - my word does this boy love scoring against Newcastle as he slams in a right-foot free-kick from 25 yards. He must wish they could play the Magpies every week. He's scored four in the last four against them. Amazing.

1530: GOAL Manchester City 3-0 Hull
Stephen Ireland sets Brazilian Robinho free and he runs into the box, completely does Michael Turner with a brilliant turn and then rolls the ball cool as you like into the bottom corner. A cricket score is on the cards here. Robinho's celebration is a bit odd, mind. Watch it on MOTD tonight. Honestly.

1528: GOAL Manchester City 2-0 Hull
Blimey. Stephen Ireland races on to Shaun Wright-Phillips' flick down the right and his accurate pull-back to 10 yards out is converted by that man Felipe Caicedo. The Ecuadorian, an expensive flop a week ago, has already bagged a brace.

1527: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Bolton
Why do teams still not put players on the post at set-pieces? It's cost Bolton a goal here, as Albert Riera flicks Steven Gerrard's right-wing corner into the visitors' net.

1526: Golden chance for Wigan as Amr Zaki sends over a cross from the left and Antonio Valencia clips it wide.

1525: "Sorry other Gooners, but I have done a deal with the devil. We miss out on Champions League qualification, but Spurs get relegated."
N5girl, via text on 81111

1523: Jonas Gutierrez shows great persistence down the Newcastle right and eventually is foiled at the near post by Chris Kirkland. A Mark Viduka header is cleared off the line by Mario Melchiot moments later.

1520: Steven Gerrard sends over a deep corner and Emiliano Insua volleys goalwards, Jussi Jaaskelainen making the save. Moments later, Dirk Kuyt heads over - but he may have been offside anyway.

1519: Hull beware, Robinho is in the mood - he tricks his way into the box and curls goalwards, Boaz Myhill doing well to tip away his right-foot shot.

1518: Two Blackburn defenders get in each other's way on the edge of their box and the ball falls just right for Steed Malbranque - who promptly slams his volley high into the stand.

1516: GOAL Manchester City 1-0 Hull City
Robinho plays a quite sensational lobbed pass into the path of Stephen Ireland down the right, opening up the Hull defence, and he sends in a low cross to the back stick that Felipe Caicedo bundles in. He nearly missed, from a yard, too.

1516: It's eerily quiet at the moment. It's about to explode, I reckon...

1514: Everton are on top at Boro, but Tuncay fires in a shot straight at Toffees keeper Tim Howard.

1513: "(See 1508) Did Spurs fail to win in every single one of Bale's first 22 games at left-back? I think I have a theory as to why he is second-choice."
Zippy, George and Bungle on 606
Join the debate on 606

1510: Everton's Steven Pienaar has the ball in the Boro net but it's ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.

1509: Great start at Man City, chances at both ends and Stephen Ireland smashes a half-volley just over from 20 yards. Great hit - Ireland is making his 100th Premier League appearance for the club today.

1508: "Why oh why is Gareth Bale being kept out of the team by that permed oaf at left-back? Shocking."
Steve, London, via text on 81111

Benoit Assou-Ekotto, I take it you mean?

1506: Marlon King lashes in a vicious shot from the edge of the Man City 18-yard box and Joe Hart gets down well to deflect the ball over his crossbar.

1505: Albert Reira fires a cross-shot across goal and Robbie Keane reacts quickly, but not quickly enough, the ball flying wide.

1504: Bolton should score. Kevin Nolan goes through but tries to lob Jose Reina and does not get enough on the ball to beat the Spanish keeper.

1503: Wigan-Newcastle and Sunderland-Blackburn are under way too.

1502: The games at Liverpool and Manchester City have started. Rafa Benitez is at Anfield, but in the directors' box.

1501: Under way between Boro and Everton, Meanwhile, Mark Viduka starts for Newcastle after Jose Enrique was injured in the warm-up.

1459: Phew. Four down, six to go, give of which start in a minute. You keeping up? More importantly, am I?

1455: Full-time Portsmouth 1-4 West Ham

1454: Full-time Tottenham 0-0 Fulham

1454: Full-time Chelsea 2-0 West Brom

1453: Luka Modric fires over. End of.

1453: Spurs v Fulham really is pretty poor. Not long left now for the fans to be put out of their misery. Little in the way of Christmas cheer at the Lane this afternoon.

1451: "Is this Bellamy's message for pursuing teams to step up their chase to make a move for him in January then?"
FoxForever - Decode on 606
Join the debate on 606

1448: Liverpool make two changes to the team that drew at Arsenal, with Sami Hyypia and Yossi Benayoun coming in for Lucas and the injured Alvaro Arbeloa. Bolton boss Gary Megson makes one change from the side that defeated Portsmouth, with Fabrice Muamba replacing Kevin Davies, who drops to the bench.

1446: "(See 1434) David from Horsham, did you see the elbows or lash-out? Are you at the game? I am and it was nothing."
Stoke fan at the Brittania, via text on 81111

1445: Heurelho Gomes pulls off a fine stop to deny Andrew Johnson at White Hart Lane. "Football is definitely not the winner of this game," bemoans (again) our unlucky correspondent.

1444: GOAL Portsmouth 1-4 West Ham
Luis Boa Morte gets to the byeline down the left and pulls the ball back for that man Craig Bellamy to slot into the far corner. Very much game over now.

1442: Not an easy ride that one for the champions, but they came through and boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be absolutely delighted with that three points. With Chelsea cruising to victory, the pressure is now all on Liverpool.

1440: Full-time Stoke 0-1 Manchester United

1440:Middlesbrough recall Andrew Taylor in defence in place of Robert Huth, while manager Gareth Southgate also finds a starting spot for striker Mido. Everton are without the injured Joseph Yobo, so Joleon Lescott moves to centre-half and Leighton Baines comes in at left-back. Dan Gosling replaces Jack Rodwell in the only other change from the side that drew 0-0 with Chelsea.

1438: United waste some time by replacing Paul Scholes with Michael Carrick.

1437: Nothing happening at Chelsea and Spurs-Fulham is still, I'm led to believe, a rubbish, rubbish game. Into injury time at Stoke.

1435: Wigan recall midfielder Wilson Palacios, meaning Michael Brown drops to the bench in the only change from the side that romped to a 3-0 win over Blackburn. Newcastle also make one change from the team that saw off Tottenham last Sunday. Damien Duff, who grabbed the late winner in that game, replaces the injured Shola Ameobi.

1434: "I'm disappointed that you've failed to mention either Rooney's elbow in the corner or Ronaldo's lash out."
David from Horsham, via text on 81111

Ronaldo I did mention, Rooney I didn't - four games going on, I'm not going to see everything am I? That's what Match of the Day (2305 GMT) is for tonight.

1431: GOAL Portsmouth 1-3 West Ham
Not the luckiest manager is he, Tony Adams? Marc Wilson's header hits the post and West Ham race up the other end through Craig Bellamy, who wastes the first chance but keeps his cool to lash into the net. Harsh on the home team, but joy unconfined for the visiting fans and Gianfranco Zola.

1429: GOAL Stoke 0-1 Manchester United
You sensed that was coming. I wonder how Andy Wilkinson is feeling now. Dimitar Berbatov collects Gary Neville's pass inside the area, turns nicely and volleys to the back post where Carlos Tevez fires home from close-range.

1428: GOAL Portsmouth 1-2 West Ham
Craig Bellamy has caused mayhem down the Hammers left today and his cross is struck firmly against the post by Jack Collison, the ball rebounding kindly to Carlton Cole who slots into the net from close-range.

1428: As expected, Robinho is named by Mark Hughes in Man City's side to take on Hull. The 32.5m Brazilian is fully fit for the first time in five weeks. For Hull City, Paul McShane returns after missing the Sunderland defeat, while Craig Fagan is on the bench after recovering from a broken leg.

1426: MIDDLESBROUGH v EVERTON LINE-UPS
Middlesbrough: Turnbull, McMahon, Riggott, Pogatetz, Taylor, Aliadiere, O'Neil, Arca, Downing, Sanli, Mido. Subs: Jones, Emnes, Alves, Huth, Johnson, Wheater, Walker.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Neville, Fellaini, Pienaar, Gosling, Cahill. Subs: Nash, Van der Meyde, Rodwell, Jutkiewicz, Anichebe, Kissock, Wallace.
Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire)

1425: Scott Carson makes another good save low to his right from Didier Drogba's right-foot shot after good work from Nicolas Anelka.

1425: LIVERPOOL v BOLTON LINE-UPS
Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Agger, Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera, Keane, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Babel, Mascherano, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar, Darby.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Muamba, Nolan, McCann, Taylor, Gardner, Elmander. Subs: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Davies, Riga, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

1424: MANCHESTER CITY v HULL CITY LINE-UPS
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne, Richards, Ball, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Elano, Robinho, Caicedo. Subs: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Vassell, Jo, Garrido, Fernandes, Sturridge.
Hull: Myhill, Mendy, Zayatte, Turner, McShane, Boateng, Geovanni, Ashbee, Marney, Windass, King. Subs: Duke, Doyle, Fagan, Barmby, Hughes, Halmosi, Cousin.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1423: Managerless Sunderland - under the temporary stewardship of Ricky Sbragia - unsurprisingly name an unchanged starting XI from the team that thumped Hull 4-1 last week. Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce also keeps faith with the 11 men who started in Rovers' 3-1 victory over Stoke.

1422: Ronaldo's cross is headed over by Dimitar Berbatov as United go close again.

1422: Cristiano Ronaldo, who did get away with a little clip at Andy Wilkinson just before the red card incident, shoots tamely wide. He's been very roundly booed and jeered at the Britannia Stadium now, the Portuguese.

1420: Craig Bellamy crosses to the near post and Carlton Cole slides in with David James, the ball squirming under James and rolling just wide. Soon after, Matthew Upson heads a corner against the Pompey crossbar.

1419: Rory Delap is sacrificed for Stoke, with Andrew Davies replacing him.

1418:SENDING OFF Andy Wilkinson (Stoke City)
Having been booked already, that is a quite ridiculous challenge. Wilkinson goes straight through the back of Cristiano Ronaldo and is shown a second yellow. He applauds the crowd as he runs off - and, amazingly, they clap him back. Well done, son, you might have just cost your team a very, very hard earned point. Silly.

1418: "See 1405 - I know the West Ham defence often goes missing, but calling him Lucan Neill is taking the ...!!!"
Phill, Ashford, via text on 81111

Haha. Freudian slip, clearly.

1417: WIGAN v NEWCASTLE LINE-UPS
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Palacios, Taylor, Heskey, Zaki. Subs: Pollitt, Kilbane, Koumas, Brown, Boyce, De Ridder, Camara.
Newcastle: Given, Beye, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Butt, Guthrie, N'Zogbia, Duff, Owen. Subs: Harper, Xisco, Geremi, Taylor, Edgar, Viduka, Carroll.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1415: Our pundit covering the Spurs-Fulham game describes it as "woeful". Ah. "It's gone downhill", he adds. From 0-0 at half-time, that's quite an achievement.

1413: Stoke fool Man Utd with a beautifully-constructed surprise free-kick, but the ball is a fraction too far ahead of Rory Delap and he is foiled at the near post by Edwin van der Sar. Moments later, the Dutchman saves Abdoulaye Faye's header from the resulting corner.

1412: SUNDERLAND v BLACKBURN LINE-UPS
Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Nosworthy, Ferdinand, Collins, Malbranque, Tainio, Richardson, Reid, Cisse, Jones. Subs: Colgan, Whitehead, Edwards, Diouf, Murphy, Leadbitter, Chimbonda.
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Dunn, Andrews, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy. Subs: Brown, Khizanishvili, Kerimoglu, Mokoena, Treacy, Derbyshire, Olsson.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1410: United's Carlos Tevez is clean through but is flagged offside - he wasn't, in fairness. Dimitar Berbatov comes on for John O'Shea, who has picked up an injury this afternoon.

1408: West Ham's Robert Green pulls off another fine save to deny Peter Crouch from 10 yards after a cross from Sylvain Distin fell to the giant striker.

1408: "Following live text eating my brekkie in the States. Just love Boxing Day footy, it should never stop. Great to see JJ on for his 100th Spurs game. We're not the same team without him. 'Arry knows it; it's time all you WHL doubters understood it too."
Last Train to Newbury, via text on 81111

1406: Juliano Belletti comes on for Bosingwa at Chelsea and that game is under way too, as is Portsmouth-West Ham.

1405: West Ham bring Julien Faubert on for the injured Lucan Neill. Spurs and Fulham are back under way.

1404: From a resulting throw-in, Danny Pugh heads fractionally over from Rory Delap's long throw. United have 30m man Dimitar Berbatov warming up.

1403: Fabulous save from Thomas Sorensen as ht seems like Paul Scholes is putting Manchester United ahead - the keeper getting down brilliantly to get a hand to his 22-yard right-foot shot. At the other end, Ricardo Fuller's left-foot drive is tipped away by Edwin van der Sar. Good end-to-end stuff.

1401: Stoke break and Gary Neville has to be alert to head away Amdy Faye's cross from the right, with Danny Pugh waiting behind him to nod home. I still think Neville's legs have gone, though.

1359: United are still camped on the edge of the Stoke penalty area. But they are struggling to create clear-cut chances, their build-up play is just not quick enough. Has Fergie got his team selection wrong?

1356: The ball ricochets to Carlos Tevez seven yards from goal and he has to react quickly to hit a snap-shot inches wide of the Stoke left-hand post.

1355: "Even as a Tottenham fan, I have to say that this year Frank Lampard has been the best midfielder around. That finish was world-class."
THFC_Jake on 606
Join the debate on 606

Well if that isn't the Christmas spirit, I don't know what is.

1353: Carlos Tevez hammers hits a left-foot shot from an angle that Thomas Sorensen parries away at his near post.

1353: "Could see that penalty miss coming a mile away. Defoe's heart just isn't with Pompey anymore... you can just tell."
Josh at FP, via text on 81111

1351: Stoke get us back under way at the Britannia Stadium.

1351: Half-time Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham

1351: Half-time Tottenham 0-0 Fulham

1351: Half-time Chelsea 2-0 West Brom

1349: GOAL Chelsea 2-0 West Brom
Joe Cole plays in Ashley Cole and as he raids into the Baggies box, the ball falls to Frank Lampard, who dribbles brilliantly past a defender just outside the six-yard box before lifting the ball expertly over the advancing Scott Carson. Classy finish.

1348: PENALTY MISSED BY PORTSMOUTH'S JERMAIN DEFOE
It's as bad as you could imagine. The former Hammers striker lets his old team off the hook by dragging hopelessly wide from the spot after Lucas Neill fouled Peter Crouch. Shocker.

1347: PENALTY TO PORTSMOUTH

1344: West Ham go so close to taking the lead at Portsmouth but Sol Campbell heads off the line to save the home team after David James makes a bit of a hash racing off his line to deny Mark Noble.

1342: "Three games on the TV in Egypt. I can't understand a word, but the blue team are 1-0 up. Love Boxing Day footy!"
Ben, via text on 81111

It's a pharaoh shout, mate. What??

1340: Calum Davenport has got his arms wrapped around Peter Crouch at Fratton Park - it's on the edge of the box and the big striker cannot even attempt to jump, but nothing given. Poor.

1340: Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes pulls off a wonderful save from Clint Dempsey's 18-yard overhead kick. Meanwhile, Fulham's Jimmy Bullard has been forced off, with Dickson Etuhu replacing him.

1338: Double save at Chelsea from Scott Carson and the first one is a cracker, tipping Ashley Cole's left-foot drive against the post, before the left-back hits the rebound at the keeper, though that one was probably drifting wide.

1338: "Ronaldo, Neville, O'Shea and Tevez are having a shocking afternoon. But in truth, United are looking ordinary."
Alan's Green With Envy on 606
Join the debate on 606

1335: Sweetest volley of the day at Fratton Park as Sean Davis connects from the edge of the box but it's near enough to Robert Green for the West Ham keeper to make the save. Lovely, lovely hit.

1334: Half-time Stoke 0-0 Manchester United

1333: Peter Crouch's volley from a deep Glen Little right-wing cross is saved by the legs of Robert Green at Portsmouth. The Hammers might lose captain Lucas Neill - he looks to have gone over on his ankle earlier on in the same move.

1332: Aaron Lennon rifles in a low, left-foot shot from 14 yards at Spurs that is heading for the bottom corner until Mark Schwarzer sticks out a big right hand and diverts it behind.

1329: Apparently, one of the assistant referees has donned a Portsmouth hat at Fratton Park to keep the sun out of his eyes. On the pitch, Jermain Defoe slams wide left-footed from 16 yards after turning into space.

1328: Leon Barnett comes on for Meite for West Brom, but Greening looks OK to continue.

1327: Abdoulaye Meite pulls up with a hamstring injury at Stamford Bridge and his afternoon looks to be over. From the ensuing corner, Jonathan Greening goes down after a clash of heads with Alex. They are dropping like flies.

1324: Tom Huddlestone has been forced off at Spurs after an early challenge with Danny Murphy - a fit-again Jermaine Jenas replaces him for his 100th Premier League appearance for the club.

1323: There's some last-ditch defending going on at Chelsea from the West Brom players and a particularly hairy spell ends with Michael Ballack shooting well over. How long can the Baggies stay in it?

1320: GOAL Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham
Carlton Cole gets in a cross from the West Ham left and it falls for Jack Collison to send the ball goalwards - his low, right foot shot flies past two bodies in the way of David James and the England number one is unsighted and helpless to stop it going in.

1317: David Bentley tries one from 25 yards at Spurs, but Mark Schwarzer is more than equal to it. Tottenham on top, but few chances to speak of so far.

1316: "What an amazing league. Newcastle, Wigan and Sunderland can be between eighth and 17th tonight and almost every other team can move four or five places."
Dan in Pompey, via text on 81111

1314: Frank Lampard strikes a rasping, low free kick from a full 35 yards out, but Scott Carson manages to get himself behind it fairly easily.

1313: Young Jonny Evans is shown a yellow card for a foul on Richard Cresswell. Bit harsh, that one - seems like he got the ball.

1312: United are camped outside the Stoke box. Eventually, Gary Neville crosses from the right (seriously) and Wayne Rooney's flashed header is saved by Thomas Sorensen.

1311: "Say what you want Stevo, that was a brilliant header."
IcyBlueCFC on 606
Join the debate on 606

Drogba? Agreed. Brilliant header.

1308: GOAL Portsmouth 1-0 West Ham
It's been even so far, but Glen Little whips over a cross from the right to the back stick (there's a theme brewing here), Peter Crouch pulls the ball back and Nadir Belhadj fires into the net from around the penalty spot. Bad news Hammers fans - you've lost every league game after falling behind this season. Oops.

1308: Richard Cresswell is booked for an interesting use of his arm in an aerial challenge with Jonny Evans. He can have few complaints.

1307: "I'm at Fratton. I'm dressed as Santa. Everyone's coming up to me saying they're disappointed with their presents from yesterday."
Ben, via text on 81111

Santa hit by the credit crunch, do you think?

1304: GOAL Chelsea 1-0 West Brom
Joe Cole sends over a deep cross from the right and Didier Drogba rises above his marker Gianni Zuiverloon to loop a header back across goal and into the far corner. Poor goal to concede for the Baggies, that one. Very preventable.

1304: Chris Brunt arrows a 25-yard left-foot shot wide as West Brom counter-attack at Chelsea, who have had most of the ball early on.

1302: Strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka get Chelsea started and it's under way at Spurs too.

1301: We are under way at Portsmouth.

1259: Stoke are having some joy with their balls into the box at the moment - can't be easy for United, drafting Jonny Evans in so late, and the home team should look to take advantage whenever they can.

1258: If you're at the Britannia, Stamford Bridge, Fratton Park or White Hart Lane, drop us a line. Rub it in that you're there and we're here if you like, just get in touch. Texts on 81111 are gleefully received.

1256: Of course you probably know this already, but let me refresh your memory. Stoke last hosted Man Utd in the league on this day 24 years ago and they pulled off an astonishing 2-1 victory - astonishing because they were relegated that season with a record low 17 points and even went their next eight league games without scoring! They had a very good Christmas, though.

1253: By the way, it is absolutely rocking at the fearsome Britannia Stadium at the moment. No wonder Stoke are unbeaten in six at home - this may not prove to be easy for the new 'world champions'.

1251: Fulham's Brede Hangeland has flu, for anyone wondering why he's not in their team today.

1250: Marc Wilson makes his Premier League debut for Portsmouth after impressing against Heerenveen in the Uefa Cup. The 21-year-old replaces Noe Pamarot at right-back, while Nadir Belhadj comes in at left-back for Herman Hreidarsson. And Glen Little replaces Papa Bouba Diop. West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has devoted extra time to his strikeforce this week - they have only scored twice in the last six games. Midfielder Scott Parker starts after shaking off a muscle strain.

1248: Early mistake from Jonny Evans allows Ricardo Fuller to half-volley goalwards as a ball drops out of the sky, but the Jamaican's shot flies over. Nervy, from the young replacement for Rio Ferdinand.

1248: "I'm in Spain for Christmas, sat on the balcony sipping mulled wine and looking across the med. But still I'm checking the laptop every 10 mins for footy updates. Sad or what?"
Dave Honour from Estepona, Spain, via text on 81111

1247: Ooh, it's like Boxing Day 1984 all over again. Stoke and Manchester United get this extravaganza of football under way.

1243: Stevo's Boxing Day Predos:
Stoke 1-2 Man Utd
Chelsea 3-0 West Brom
Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham
Tottenham 2-0 Fulham
Liverpool 3-2 Bolton
Man City 2-2 Hull City
Middlesbrough 1-2 Everton
Sunderland 2-2 Blackburn
Wigan 1-1 Newcastle
Aston Villa 2-1 Arsenal
Lawro's predictions

1238:Stoke recall keeper Thomas Sorensen after he recovered from a finger injury. Andy Wilkinson and Danny Pugh are also back in the starting team. Manchester United are forced into a late reshuffle after defender Rio Ferdinand sustains a back injury in the warm-up. Jonny Evans comes in, while Paul Scholes starts his first league game in three months after recovering from knee surgery. Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher also all return to the side.

1236: "I'm quite surprised by all the oldies in the United line-up. Didn't think SAF would play Neville, Scholes and Giggs in the same team. Any idea where are Nani and Anderson, not even on the bench?!"
Cahalyjoe on 606
Join the debate on 606

1232:Chelsea have set out their stall with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front. Deco makes way and Branislav Ivanovic is in for the suspended John Terry. West Brom have consigned Roman Bednar, injury-time hero in their 2-1 win over Manchester City, to the bench, with Chris Brunt and Craig Beattie in for Bednar and Luke Moore.

1230: "I got 12 pairs of socks this year. A record. Can anyone raise me?"
Jim, via text on 81111

I got nothing. Feel free to send me a couple.

1229: Haha. Jermaine Pennant, to Real Madrid? Hahaha. That's all.

1227: Ledley King is fit to return for Tottenham, but Jonathan Woodgate takes his place among the substitutes along with Jermaine Jenas, who could make his 100th league appearance for Spurs. Fulham's Zoltan Gera has a calf strain and misses out, with Andranik Teymourian also short of match fitness after his knee injury.

1226: CHELSEA v WEST BROM LINE-UPS
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Alex, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Joe Cole, Drogba, Anelka. Subs: Malouda, Ferreira, Deco, Kalou, Cudicini, Mineiro, Belletti.
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Koren, Greening, Kim, Brunt, Beattie. Subs: Kiely, Cech, Barnett, Bednar, Moore, Dorrans, Borja Valero.
Referee: Rob Styles (Hampshire)

1224: Breaking news: Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand has been injured in the warm-up and has been replaced by Jonny Evans. Meanwhile at Chelsea, Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba start together up front.

1222: PORTSMOUTH v WEST HAM LINE-UPS
Portsmouth: James, Wilson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Little, Davis, Hughes, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe. Subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Diop, Nugent, Pamarot, Kanu, Armand Traore.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Davenport, Upson, Ilunga, Collison, Noble, Parker, Behrami, Cole, Bellamy. Subs: Lastuvka, Boa Morte, Mullins, Collins, Faubert, Tristan, Di Michele.
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1221: TOTTENHAM v FULHAM LINE-UPS
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone, Bentley, Modric, Bent. Subs: Cesar, Bale, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Campbell, O'Hara, Woodgate.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Baird, Hughes, Konchesky, Dempsey, Murphy, Bullard, Davies, Johnson, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Gray, Etuhu, Stoor, Andreasen, Kallio.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

1219: Unbelievably, it's 19 - yes, 19 - days since any of the so-called 'Big Four' won a Premier League game. OK, smug Manchester United fans, you've only played once in the league since then, but I still like that stat. It reminds me of football in the olden days. Remember not being able to predict the top four?

1215: "So what did you get for Christmas, Stevo?"
Eothain on 606
Join the debate on 606

A Brian Clough statue replica + tickets to see Bob Dylan = a very, very, very happy Stevo indeed. But I'm sure you lot can raise me some...

1212: This is what they call a full house. All 20 Premier League teams take to the field today as most of Europe's other major leagues take a break. For what it's worth, I think it's utter, utter madness we don't follow suit. But on my way into work this morning, boy was I looking forward to this. I don't care how bad your hangover is or who you've got coming over this afternoon - get those texts coming in on 81111 and get involved in the debate on 606. Today, I need you maybe more than ever.
Join the debate on 606

1208: STOKE v MANCHESTER UNITED LINE-UPS
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Amdy Faye, Pugh, Cresswell, Fuller. Subs: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Lawrence, Pericard, Davies, Tonge, Sonko.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez. Subs: Kuszczak, Berbatov, Park, Carrick, Welbeck, Rafael Da Silva, Evans.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1205: I bet you all had a truly sensational Christmas, didn't you? I bet you bagged all the presents you've ever wanted, indulged your vices and shared golden times with friends and family. I bet today will be better, though. That's why you're here, isn't it?

1200: There's nothing like it in the world, is there? The extraordinary excitement you feel the night before - tossing and turning, all the time knowing you won't be able to sleep. Arising from your slumber, leaping out of bed, waking everyone up in your house and reminding them what a special day it is.

Boxing Day football - magical.

Print Sponsor


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 2-2 Arsenal
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Liverpool 3-0 Bolton
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea 2-0 West Brom
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Stoke 0-1 Man Utd
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Man City 5-1 Hull
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Portsmouth 1-4 West Ham
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Wigan 2-1 Newcastle
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Middlesbrough 0-1 Everton
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Sunderland 0-0 Blackburn
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Tottenham 0-0 Fulham
26 Dec 08 |  Premier League


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.