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Live - Premier League

Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland


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

By Caroline Cheese

1807: Crumpets indeed. Should you wish to relive the late drama, MOTD2 is on at 2220 GMT on BBC1. DJ Spoony has taken a break from mixing UK garage choons to deal with some very angry Chelsea fans on BBC 5 Live's 606. What a day - I'm calling it Rafa Day. Don't forget to join Fletch 'n' Stevo tomorrow for a Transfer Deadline Day spectacular...

1805:Danny the Stat's final words are these: "Crumpets. What drama. What late, late drama. Over on Player Rater, things are a little more sedate than they are at Anfield, but already Fernando Torres finds himself top of the pile with 7.48. Very average marks for Chelsea - is that fair - they were within minutes of a draw at Anfield? If you're incensed, express your anger in numbers and get involved..."
Liverpool v Chelsea Player Rater

1805: "Even if Lampard was still on the pitch, and he should have been, we would never have won that game. Big Phil doesn't know what his doing."
Chris, Storrington, via text on 81111

1803: "I'm very happy. We knew it was a massive game. We had to stay close to Man U. Everything was good. I'm very happy to get my first two goals at Anfield this season. The Liverpool mentality is we keep working to the end. It's a long race and we want to fight until the end."
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres

1801: The last time Liverpool did the double over Chelsea, they won the league title.

1759: "I am Liverpool fan... Lampard should not have been sent off... but Liverpool did take the game to Chelsea. It appeared to me as though Chelsea had come for a draw, and for once Rafa was determined to get a win. Come on you Reds."
jonnysteamboat on 606
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1757: "It's fair to say Frank Lampard wasn't best pleased. He watched a number of replays on the monitors. It will be very interesting to hear what Scolari has to say about it especially given what he said on Friday about decisions going against Chelsea."
BBC 5 Live's John Southall in the tunnel at Anfield

1756: Fernando Torres' late, late show means Liverpool reclaim second and are now two points behind Manchester United - although Sir Alex Ferguson's side have a game in hand. Chelsea remain third, five points adrift of United.

1754: FULL-TIME Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea

1753: For the second game in a row, Fernando Torres comes off - but surely Liverpool can't throw away a two-goal lead?

1752: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Poor mistake by Ashley Cole lets in Yossi Benayoun. His shot is blocked but the ball comes to Fernando Torres, who slots into the empty net.

1749: Yossi Benayoun has the ball in the corner and Jose Bosingwa comes over and puts his foot in his back to shove him over. Not even a yellow though...

1747: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
With 90 seconds remaining, Steven Gerrard spreads the play to Fabio Aurelio on the left and Fernando Torres gets ahead of Alex at the near post to glance in the header from an inch-perfect cross. Is the title race back on?

1745: Dirk Kuyt manages to get a shot in off a left-wing cross but it's miles over.

1742: With six minutes remaining, Miroslav Stoch replaces Salomon Kalou.

1741: Ryan Babel on for Javier Mascherano.

1741: John Terry heads clear but Yossi Benayoun sends stinging volley about an inch over the bar.

1738: Yossi Benayoun cuts in from the left and curls a shot towards the top corner - but Petr Cech produces a flying save.

1737: "Chelsea boss Scolari presumably wants Deco to try and ensure they have their share of possession following Lampard's red card - a tough task with Liverpool now showing an air of desperation and The Kop baying for a big finish from Rafael Benitez's side. Vital moments these."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1736: Liverpool assistant Sammy Lee almost literally explodes like a balloon as Salomon Kalou wins a very, very soft free-kick on the wing. Chelsea don't do anything with it though.

1734: John Terry has a hand on Fernando Torres's shoulder as they jump for a cross - but Torres springs straight back to his feet and doesn't even bother appealing.

1733: Pepe Reina easily catches a Salomon Kalou effort. And was that Chelsea's first shot on target?

1732: A change for Liverpool now as Albert Rieria comes off to be replaced by Yossi Benayoun.

1731: Fernando Torres has time to chest down a corner and measure his shot - but Jon Mikel Obi produces a stunning clearance. Backs to the wall time for Chelsea.

1728: Steven Gerrard goes to ground ever so easily on the edge of the box and Mike Riley cards the England midfielder for diving.

1727: Big Phil makes a double change, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka coming off, Didier Drogba and Deco coming on.

1726: At least the sending-off has livened things up. Alex throws himself in front of Xabi Alonso's shot and the ball loops up and... onto the top of the net.

1725: Big shout from the Liverpool fans for a penalty as Steven Gerrard tries to squeeze between two defenders in the box. Nothing in it though.

1724: "1716 was far worse than 1718. Referees these days..."
Anon via text on 81111

1723: "A flashpoint with a bit of previous there. Frank Lampard did an interview in the lead-up to this game admitting there was a lingering feud involving himself and Xabi Alonso in the aftermath of an incident between the pair in which the Liverpool midfiield man sustained a broken ankle. This time Lampard has seen red and we can expect that to re-open a few old wounds. Advantage Liverpool now surely."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1721: Now Mike Riley is incurring the wrath of the Liverpool fans. He brings back play as Albert Riera goes clear on the left after spotting a foul.

1720: Mike Riley had absolutely no hesitation in bringing out the red there, but I'm sorry, it wasn't a red. No way. Lampard has a rueful smile on his face as he trudges off reluctantly.

1718: RED CARD
Massive controversy. Frank Lampard goes for a 50-50 in the centre circle with Xabi Alonso. He gets the ball and clips Alonso on the follow-through, but Mike Riley decides that's a dangerous challenge.

1716: Steven Gerrard escapes punishment despite appearing to go over the ball as he connects with Jon Mikel Obi in a 50-50 challenge. He gets a talking to instead. Lucky boy.

1715: Appeals for a penalty as Albert Riera is released down the right. He plays the ball for Dirk Kuyt, who is sent flying by a John Terry challenge. Kutyt doesn't make much of it and replays show it was a good challenge.

1713: "If you didn't know better, you'd swear Chelsea have come here for a point. There's no aggression from them at all."
Mark Lawrenson on BBC 5 Live

1712: Steven Gerrard heads a long ball into Fernando Torres's path but his fierce shot is blocked.

1711: Jon Mikel Obi in the book now for clattering into Xabi Alonso.

1710: If Liverpool are going to score, Steven Gerrard is almost certain to be involved. He beats a man in midfield and gets the ball out to Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman's cross is awful but a communication breakdown sees Jose Bosingwa head it behind unnecessarily. Liverpool can't profit from the bonus corner.

1708: "Benitez and Scolari will surely have stressed the importance of victory in the respective dressing rooms during the interval. The most satisfied man around so far will be Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool offered some hope that they might flourish in front of The Kop, but Chelsea need to transform their whole approach if they are to leave here with three points."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1705: Oof. Xabi Alonso slides in on Salomon Kalou with his foot up - and gets a deserved yellow card. That's yellow number five for the Spaniard and he'll incur a one-match ban. Kalou, meanwhile, will need treatment.

1703: Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard get the second-half under way. No changes as yet.

1659: "Thanks But No Yanks" reads a large banner. George Gillett and Tom Hicks are both at Anfield... I just wrote Tom Hanks by mistake. Maybe the Liverpool fans would prefer the star of Big and Forrest Gump?

1658: "Same story from Liverpool recently, nice football up to the 18-yard box and then its 'what do we do now?'"
Craig, freezing feet at Anfield, via text on 81111

1656: "Please unleash the Drog!"
Super-JTFL on 606
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1653: "Lots of endeavour but little in the way of genuine quality. Huge frustration inside Anfield when Albert Riera chose a Hollywood return pass to Steven Gerrard instead of shooting. Liverpool, at least, are finding attacking positions - Chelsea have offered nothing in the way of threat to Pepe Reina. The shackles must be removed after the break."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1651:Danny the Stat managed to stay awake long enough to write this: "A disappointing half at Anfield, but some high-ish marks nonetheless over on Player Rater. Fernando Torres tops the pile on 7.55, while Ashley Cole has a rock bottom 4.90. I'll rate anyone who supplies us with top-drawer second-half drama a '10'. Or maybe a '9', because if you vote '10', where does that leave you to go? There is nowhere."
Liverpool v Chelsea Player Rater

1649: The stats say Liverpool have had four shots, all on target, while Chelsea have managed one - off target. I think that sums it up.

1648: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-0 Chelsea

1647: "Why didn't you shoot?" sighs an exasperated Liverpool fan behind me. Steven Gerrard cuts in from the left and plays in Albert Riera but the Spaniard tries to play the ball back to Gerrard when he's right in front of goal.

1645: "Worst half of the season?"
Fanofspecialone on 606
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1643: Hearts in mouths time for Chelsea. Petr Cech palms Albert Riera's well-struck shot into Ashley Cole, and the ball bobbles narrowly wide off the Chelsea left-back.

1640: Nicolas Anelka's snapshot hammers into the arm of Martin Skrtel, who is looking the other way. A 100%, open-and-shut case of ball to hand.

1637: One person who will be enjoying this niggly affair is Sir Alex Ferguson. A draw here and Manchester United will finish the weekend with a tidy four-point lead and a game in hand.

1635: "Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has mixed moments of uncertainty with an early great save from Xabi Alonso - almost getting caught in possession by Albert Riera and Fernando Torres. The volume is turned up inside Anfield as The Kop sense Liverpool might just be getting the upper hand."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1632: Fernando Torres takes a touch in the box and goes to smash in the shot but it's blocked. That would have gone in last season.

1631: A rush of blood to the head as Petr Cech hares out of goal and his heavy touch forces him to slide into a desperate challenge.

1630: Lovely - and rare for this game - touch of class from Xabi Alonso, swinging a beautiful pass out to Alvaro Arbeloa on the right. Liverpool keep possession for ages but the move eventually breaks down.

1626: Fernando Torres brings the ball inside on the edge of the box but Chelsea put bodies in the way. The ball eventually bobbles to Steven Gerrard whose shot is blocked.

1624: FYI, Joe Kinnear actually avoided saying N'Zogbia in his post-match interview, calling him Charles just to be on the safe side.

1623: One each. Ashley Cole barges over Dirk Kuyt and Mike Riley flashes the yellow. This game is not very good.

1622: "I've got two players lined up who we've been speaking to and I'm confident we will get those in. And as for outgoings, we're waiting on Shay Given and Charles (N'Zogbia) situations. There's a sticking point over Given's move to Manchester City, with a lot of haggling going on, so we will have to wait and see on both of those two. I hope they go through soon, though, so I can go and spend that money."
Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear

1621: Javier Mascherano is very late on Jon Mikel Obi and, though he tries to sprint away from Mike Riley, he doesn't escape the game's first yellow card.

1620: "Liverpool have started with plenty of pace and aggression - something they need to maintain if they are going to secure the victory they desperately need. They need to get Fernando Torres in the game more - his pace must be their best option in the battle against Alex and John Terry. Chelsea might say the same about Nicolas Anelka, who is up against Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1619: "The one we've done is Tal Ben Haim. I think that's going to be done some time today. We need a defender and he's a good defender. I've worked with him previously and I know what I'm getting."
Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia

1617: Dirk Kuyt swings the pass out to the left, where Rafa Benitez is waiting to collect on the touchline. Not sure that's what the Dutchman was planning though.

1615: Dirk Kuyt runs down a Chelsea clearance but Liverpool can't profit.

1614: Stop, start, stop, start. Tsk, it's like American football. Talking of which, it's the Super Bowl tonight and you can watch it on BBC1 or this website (UK users). Seamless.
Steelers favourites in Super Bowl

1612: Missile of a shot from Xabi Alonso and Petr Cech has to stick out an arm to tip it over the bar.

1608: Another free-kick, and this one's spot-on, as Michael Ballack mistimes the challenge on Javier Mascherano - but Steven Gerrard puts it straight out of play from distance.

1606: Mike Riley is clearly lacking attention. He can't stop blowing his whistle for what look like fairly harmless challenges.

1605: Steven Gerrard is penalised for whacking a loose ball into Jose Bowingwa's midriff. Free-kick for Chelsea just beyond the halfway line but Alex's header from Frank Lampard's delivery floats harmlessly into the arms of Pepe Reina.

1602: Fernando Torres breaks and Steven Gerrard is galloping into space but Torres plays in Fabio Aurelio instead and when the ball does eventually come to Gerrard, Chelsea have got men back to cover.

1601: Scolari points to his midriff and grins as he shakes hands with fellow kidney stone-sufferer Rafa Benitez. And we're off.

1600: It's almost a blizzard as the Liverpool fans belt out You'll Never Walk Alone, a huge flag featuring Rafa Benitez very prominent at the front of the Kop.

1558: Let's not forget that Liverpool are going for a double against Chelsea. Xabi Alonso's deflected goal ended the Blues' 86-game unbeaten home run in the league earlier this season.

1555: You've caught me pondering how absolutely tremendous it would be to spend an afternoon tobogganing with Fabio Capello. Sorry. I'm back on it now. Players ready to emerge from the tunnel.

1553: Fabio Capello looks out on the falling snow at Anfield. He's probably planning to get the sledge out later.

1551: "George Gillett has done a tour of the Anfield directors' box looking very relaxed, chatting happily to stewards. Hopefully we will hear more of what he appears so pleased about later. The Anfield DJ has just played a song by Starsailor entitled "Tell Me It's Not Over" - Rafa Benitez and Luiz Felipe Scolari will hope it is not a prophetic choice when applied to the Premier League title race."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1548: It's snowing at Anfield. How very exciting. Someone has texted in to suggest Rafa Benitez only bought Robbie Keane because he was denied Gareth Barry. If that is true - which I doubt - that seems a shambolic approach to buying players.

1546: "Re 1532: I think I'm right in saying it was Rick Parry who ''shelled out 20m'' for Keane - exemplifying a contentious issue for Benitez's next contract..."
Anon via text on 81111

1543: Robbie Keane is at Anfield by the way. He hasn't gone... yet.

1541: "I don't get why a return for Keane at Spurs is such a good thing. He didn't play well, or indeed, Defoe didn't play well when they were in the same side, so why bring him back to a partnership that doesn't work?"
Moon1971 on 606
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1535: An over-excited Danny the Stat: "Stop the presses. I believe we have an unprecedented Player Rater event. Shola Ameobi scored the vital equalising goal for Newcastle, but he actually has the lowest score of any of the starting 22 players with a five-bothering 5.46. I am stumped. I have nothing more to say. I will simply silently contemplate this moment while you lot get involved (and no doubt change it)...."
Newcastle v Sunderland Player Rater

1532: Rafa Benitez coming in for a bit of stick from the Liverpool fans over the Robbie Keane situation. When you see Steven Gerrard producing such barnstorming performances behind Fernando Torres, you do wonder what Rafa was thinking of when he shelled out 20m for a player who enjoys playing behind the main striker... This will, of course, all be forgotten if they beat Chelsea.

1531: "No-one at Anfield is disagreeing with the assumption that Robbie Keane's failure to make even the bench spells the end of his Liverpool career. What a thoroughly bizarre episode this has been. Tom Hicks and George Gillett are in town and the word is that Rafael Benitez's contract situation may now be a little more to his liking - still don't bet on more drama before that particular saga is concluded."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1527: Classic Premier League game. Attacks on top, defences nowhere to be seen, tackles flying in all over the place.

1526: FULL-TIME Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland

1525: Andy Reid fires a millimetre wide! Cripes.

1524: Panic stations for Newcastle as Steven Taylor misjudges his header in the box and appears to handle it - and then Kenwyne Jones gallops on to Andy Reid's defence-splitting pass but is stopped by Steve Harper.

1523: Sunderland break and this time Kenwyne Jones horribly overhits his pass for Michael Chopra.

1521: Peter Lovenkrands crosses for Shola Ameobi, whose far-post header back across goal falls to no-one. Poor. Then Lovenkrands's cross-shot drifts narrowly over the bar.

1520: We are into five - yes, five - minutes of added time.

1519: "I can't believe Rafa has left out Keane again, just look at some of the names we have on our bench. I have lost a lot of respect for Benitez for his handling of Robbie Keane, and I'm a life long Liverpool fan."
NiallSF on 606
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1518: "If Alan Shearer was through on goal like Chopra just was, do you think he'd be looking to square it? Chopra didn't look like he wanted to shoot at any stage there."
Steve Stone on BBC 5 Live

1517: TEAMS Liverpool v Chelsea
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Gerrard, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Benayoun, Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Anelka, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Drogba, Ferreira, Deco, Mancienne, Stoch.

1515: Michael Chopra saves his old club. He's through on goal but instead of shooting, tries to set up Kenwyne Jones, but the ball is out of Jones' reach. Golden chance goes begging.

1514: So are Liverpool going to ship out Jermaine Pennant, a tricky winger whose final ball often disappoints, and bring in Aaron Lennon, a tricky winger whose final ball often disappoints?

1513: 10 minutes remaining. Peter Lovenkrands replaces Andy Carroll for Newcastle.

1512: Early team news from Anfield... Chelsea are unchanged and will play with Nicolas Anelka as a solo striker. There are three changes for Liverpool - Lucas, Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Babel are dropped with Xabi Alonso, Dirk Kuyt and Albert Riera coming in. Perhaps more significantly - Robbie Keane is left out of the 18-man squad amid rumours at Anfield that he's on his way back to Tottenham, with Aaron Lennon coming the other way. Blimey.

1511: Kewnye Jones easily beats Fabricio Coloccini for pace on the left and sets up Andy Reid, but shot goes over.

1508: Shola Ameobi should score... Damien Duff's cross from the right comes all the way to him but Ameobi plants the ball straight into Marton Fulop's arms. Not sure what he was trying to do there. Seconds later, Andy Carroll has the ball in the net but Ameobi has handled in the build-up.

1507: Steven Taylor powers a header towards goal but it's straight at keeper Marton Fulop.

1506: The answer is no, and Bardsley is a very lucky boy. The Newcastle bench are furious.

1505: Phil Bardsley wipes out Jonas Gutierrez on the left, but Howard Webb plays the advantage and Jose Enrique has a chance to cross - but can't beat the first man. Play continues - but will Bardsley get a second yellow when it stops?

1504: How did Newcastle survive that? Just as Kenwyne Jones is pulling the trigger, Sebastien Bassong sticks a leg out and robs the ball. Incredible challenge. The follow-up is blocked before Kevin Nolan barges into Steed Malbranque just outside the box. Kieran Richardson powers the free-kick over.

1502: "As a Newcastle fan, that was never a penalty. But I'm not complaining!"
Suraj182 on 606
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1500: The radio commentary verdict is that Newcastle have had two half-shouts for a penalty - and we all know what two halves make. Steven Taylor definitely won it, if you know what I mean.

1458: GOAL Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland
Another big, big shout from Howard Webb. Steven Taylor drives into the box and tangles with Steed Malbranque. Taylor seemed to be looking for it - and he gets it. Shola Ameobi lashes the penalty high into the net. Mike Ashley hugs Derek Lambias in the stands.


1455: Brilliant work from Jonas Gutierrez, winning the ball in midfield and going past two before being clipped by George McCartney on the right. Yellow for the Sunderland man, but Danny Collins clears the free-kick.

1453: Andy Carroll is back on now, so substitute Xisco can sit back down.

1452: "Re 1443: Definite dive and Duff looked for the leg to come out to maximise the impact of it all, was denied and was then booked for his reaction. Excellent handling by Webb."
LiverBirdMate on 606
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1450: Andy Carroll goes up for an aerial challenge with Anton Ferdinand and lands very awkwardly on his ankle. Agony. The striker curse, er, strikes again for Newcastle.

1449: Jones hobbles off the pitch, but he is ready to come back on now.

1447: That's a derby challenge if ever I saw one. Sebastien Bassong takes the ball and then Kenwyne Jones with a cruncher. Jones, not surprisingly, needs treatment.

1446: Seen a few replays of that non-penalty now. Duff takes the ball past Ferdinand, who does stick a leg out, but the contact is minimal, if at all. Still a brave call from Howard Webb.

1445: Djibril Cisse limps off and is replaced by ex-Magpie Michael Chopra, who gets the inevitable boos.

1443: Big moment. Jonas Gutierrez slides a lovely pass through for Damien Duff, who goes flying under a challenge from Anton Ferdinand. Howard Webb feels the wrath of the home crowd as he waves away the penalty claims. Yellow card for Duff for diving.

1442: Crunching tackle from Danny Collins on Shola Ameobi in the box. Brilliant. Newcastle looking lively though.

1439: Jonas Gutierrez's devilish cross from the left has Sunderland panicking and the ball loops towards goal off Danny Collins but George McCartney heads off the line.

1438: Half-chance for Shola Ameobi, but he scuffs the shot and it's blocked anyway. I actually heard a vicar on the radio this morning taking the mickey out of Ameobi. I mean, it doesn't get any worse than that.

1435: Apologies if you were actually hoping to avoid the tennis result until later. I just couldn't help myself. It was enthusiastic rather than malicious. Anyway, no more mention of tennis I promise. Second-half under way.

1433: Here comes the players at St James', a tumultuous roar greeting the arrival of the Newcastle players. If that doesn't inspire them...

1431: Mike Ashley is at St James' Park today. If the scoreline stays the same, expect him to sidle off quietly.

1427: Hello everyone. Good day for Rafa then...
Nadal beats Federer in epic final

By Dan Warren

1421: I'll just leave you with some words from my good friend Danny The Stat: "High-octane thrills all round at St James's Park and they've been matched by some high-octane scores on our Player Rater. Goal hero Djibril Cisse leads the way with an eight-busting 8.13, with seven-breakers (it'll catch on) Kenwyne Jones and Jonas Gutierrez just behind. It'll all change, should you do your duty and get involved..."
Player Rater

1420: I've got some great news, text fans. Caroline "tireless" Cheese is ready to take on the commentary. She has doubtless coated her fingers in balm and is good to go.

"Newcastle need to get the ball wide more. Sunderland will be delighted, but they've been the better team and they deserved Djibril Cisse's goal."
Steve Stone on BBC Radio 5 Live

HALF-TIME Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland

1418: One minute injury time to play. Ooh, it's flown by.

1416: More trouble in the Newcastle defence as a corner comes in from the left. The loose ball falls to Kieran Richardson who has a shot on target - but there is no power and Steve Harper claims comfortably enough. He looks a tad miffed at his defenders' efforts, mind.

1413: Decent left-foot effort from Andy Carroll, but the ball goes past the angle of Marton Fulop's goal.

1412: Determined attacking from the Magpies. Jose Enrique shows great persistence to retain the ball down the left and eventually Jonas Gutierrez gets clear on the left. But his low cross is eventually cleared.

1410: A quick moment of fear for the home fans as a long ball from Sunderland meets the head of Kenwyne Jones. His header is looping goalwards, but Steve Harper adjusts his footing and claims the ball. Newcastle not dealing with the long ball particularly well so far.

1407: Third booking of the day - this time Kieran Richardson's in the book for a not-particularly-pleasant challenge on Jonas Gutierrez.

1404: GOAL Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland
Dean Whitehead chips the ball forward and the static Newcastle defence are caught out. Fabricio Coloccini is playing Djibril Cisse onside and the striker races on to the loose ball. Steve Harper saves the first effort but it rebounds kindly and Cisse has the easiest task in tapping it home.

1401: Steve Harper is proving a more than adept replacement for Shay Given. Djibril Cisse sends in a cross-shot which he has to athletically tip behind for a corner. Which comes to nothing.

1359: Great chance for Newcastle. Steven Taylor runs clear down the right, he cuts in and cross low to Shola Ameobi. The home fans get off their seats - and then sit down in disappointment as Ameobi blazes way, way over the top.

1358: It's calmed down ever so slightly after a frantic few minutes. But the pace is still high - no-one's getting more than a few seconds on the ball.

1355: (See 1350) Told you. That's one predo I got right. Now Nicky Butt's in the book for a foul on Dean Whitehead. Possibly a touch unlucky.

1354: Now Newcastle hit the woodwork. Jose Enrique crosses and Andy Carroll's looping header comes back off the top of the bar. Brilliant, intense derby fare so far.

1351: So close for Sunderland. Kieran Richardson sends in a free-kick. I think it's intended as a cross, but it eludes everyone, including Steve Harper and comes back off the post. Kenwyne Jones gets on to the rebound, fires it goalwards - but there's Kevin Nolan, starting to repay some of his 4m transfer fee already, by clearing off the line.

1350: And there's the first yellow card of the day. Sunderland's Phil Bardsley is in Howard Webb's book after clattering into Gutierrez. I suspect he won't be the last.

1348: First shot on target for Newcastle. Shola Ameobi has the chance, although his low effort is easily gathered by Marton Fulop.

"Re 1331: I can't believe you fell into the trap of making predos, all you can do is make a fool of yourself. Caroline Cheese knows better."
Stephen F via text on 81111

I never predicted that sort of reaction.

1345: Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez gets in a great position for a cross - then makes a horrible job of the delivery.

1341: Some nerves at the back for Newcastle as Sebastien Bassong slightly over-hits a back pass to Steve Harper, who slices the clearance with Kenwyne Jones lurking.

1339: Excitement among the home fans as Shola Ameobi tries to send Damien Duff in, but there's a foul and Sunderland clear.

1336: Sunderland's first half-chance. Carlos Edwards lofts a long free-kick into the area, keeper Steve Harper leaps high to claim it but is knocked over by Anton Ferdinand. Referee Howard Webb has a word, no card.

1334: An early challenge from Newcastle local boy Andy Carroll. Robust. A foul. I think that's what you call 'setting the tone'.

1332: Sunderland get the action under way. The atmosphere, it has to be said, is fantastic.

1331: Friendly handshakes all round between Joe Kinnear and the Sunderland bench. Will we see similar at full-time?

Dan's predos (see 1308)
Newcastle 0-2 Sunderland
Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea

1328: The teams walk out at St James's Park. It is, needless to say, packed to the rafters. Packed to the Pat Rafters I might say, on this day of Australian-based tennis drama.

1325: There's a rousing sing-song at St James's. I'm afraid my lack of knowledge has kicked in - I don't know the number, but I know that it is Graeme Danby of the English National Opera singing it - and he's doing a mighty, mighty job.

1320: Ten minutes until kick-off at St James's. Derby day is the day you hate to love isn't it? You fear to watch, yet you cannot turn away. It's what makes football so wonderful and so terrifying and rubbish at the same time.

1316: Caroline Cheese fans everywhere will rejoice at the news that the epic Australian Open final has finished. I'll not tell you who won in case you're somehow trying to avoid the result, in a Likely Lads style. But I can tell you that she'll be coming over here soon, probably after she's dipped her smoking fingertips in a bucket of iced water. She types lots, her.
Aussie Open final - Federer v Nadal as it happened

"I would love it, love it, if the PA at St James's Park would play the classic Faithless dance tune Insomnia and then Joe Kinnear emerged out the tunnel with glowsticks and a smiley face T-shirt."
Ed, St Helens via text on 81111.

Personally, Ed, I reckon you've mixed up some late 90s dance culture with some late 80s dance culture there. But I like your style.

1308: Our 606 users and texters are quite literally ablaze with chat on whether or not I'm going to supply you with predictions or - to use the in-vogue vernacular - "predos" today. Stevo, famously, loves to do so, while Cheesy is, not quite as famously, reticent. I like to keep a bit of mystery, so why not spend a few minutes predicting whether or not I'm a predo kind of guy?

1305: Back to the north-east. While Sunderland seem to have the edge in terms of current form, they have not won at St James's Park since November 2000. Current chairman Niall Quinn scored the winner in a 2-1 victory that day, while a certain Alan Shearer missed an 82nd-minute penalty.

1300: So after the Tyne-Wear derby is over, the small matter of Liverpool v Chelsea will be occupying us. Dark rumours abound that Robbie Keane has been left out of the squad ahead of a headline-grabbing deadline day move. Surely the lad's not had a fair crack of the whip up there, has he?
Read Sunday's football gossip column

"Re 1246: Rubbish! The Liverpool v Chelsea match has drab game and 0-0 written all over it!"
Anonymous via text on 81111

1258: So, Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has made four changes to his injury-hit squad, with Nicky Butt, Shola Ameobi and Jonas Gutierrez all returning to the starting XI and Kevin Nolan handed his first start following his move from Bolton. Just the two changes for Sunderland, Carlos Edwards and Kieron Richardson replacing Teemu Tainio and Andy Reid.

1254: As the Newcastle players run out, the smattering of fans give the warmest reception possible on this chilly day in the north-east. By the way, it's going to snow like fury tomorrow. If school/work is cancelled, fancy building a massive snowman?

1252: There are only a few hundred people in St James's Park at the moment, but they are still able to give a frosty reception to the Sunderland players who have come out to limber up. Where's everyone else? Still watching Rafa v Roger?

Newcastle: Harper, Taylor, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Butt, Nolan, Duff, Carroll, Ameobi.Subs: Krul, Xisco, Geremi, Lovenkrands, Edgar, LuaLua, Donaldson.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Edwards, Whitehead, Richardson, Malbranque, Cisse, Jones. Subs: Colgan, Murphy, Chopra, Leadbitter, Yorke, Reid, Healy.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1246: Local derby fans everywhere will be salivating at the prospect of Newcastle v Sunderland. But Liverpool v Chelsea has every chance of matching it in terms of high-octane thrills. These two have got "form" as I believe grizzled London TV cops say.

"There's an Arctic blizzard outside and a Kabatic wind to boot... I'm at work, heating on full yet still cold, please can I have some goals to warm me up?"
Raccoon on 606
Join the debate

1241: It would seem that the omens are better over at Sunderland. Kenyne Jones and Danny Collins have both committed to the club and their fans will not need reminding about the 2-1 win over Newcastle at the Stadium of Light in October. But don't get too confident, Black Cat supporters. Newcastle have won their last three home derbies...

1238: In this crazy, crazy season of Premier League action, it's not surprising Joe Kinnear has insomnia on his mind. Having 12 players unavailable would give almost any manager sleepless nights. Shay Given is seemingly moments away from a move to Manchester City, and the chances of Charles N'Zogbia playing today are on a par with us all getting our shorts on and lapping up the warm sunshine tomorrow. But will the adversity fire the Magpies to greater things?
Given having medical at Man CityWigan agree N'Zogbia transfer fee

1232: Speaking of which, where's Caroline Cheese? Fear not - she'll be here forthwith. You may have heard there's a tennis match going on and she's currently gripped with a severe case of Australian Open final fever. Join her peerless commentary on the emerging classic between Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer by all means, but don't forget about little me over here...
Caroline Cheese's live text - Federer v Nadal

1230: These are exciting times. The deadline approaches. Football fans hold their breath. They know that as the clock ticks down, there will be dramatic last-minute changes to high-profile personnel.

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
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
01 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland
01 Feb 09 |  Premier League

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