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FT Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool

FT Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa
FT Chelsea 0-0 Hull
FT Everton 3-0 Bolton
FT Sunderland 2-0 Stoke
FT West Brom 2-3 Newcastle
FT Wigan 0-0 Fulham

FT Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough


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

By Ian Hughes

1925: That was an incredible end to the day - it seems all the excitement was packed in right at the last. Thanks for having me today. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Don't forget to switch on to Match of the Day later, which you can check out on BBC One or the BBC Sport website (in the UK only) at 2230 GMT. It will also be repeated on Sunday at 0740 on BBC One and the website. And also, please get involved on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live, starting now, and on the website.

1923: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool
They left it very late, but Liverpool have snatched victory at Fratton Park. The win puts Liverpool top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester United, although they have played two games more.

1922: GOAL Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool
Stunning late intervention from Fernando Torres, who gets on the end of Javier Mascherano's cross to head in at the near post.

1921: Three minutes of added time will be played.

1920: Into injury time now. And it's all very frantic at Fratton Park.

1917: Liverpool are in the ascendancy now and pushing for a winner. Pompey boss Tony Adams looks furious with his team for losing their lead.

1914: GOAL Portsmouth 2-2 Liverpool
Chaos in the Pompey defence as Fernando Torres runs into the box and pulls the ball back for Dirk Kuyt, who hesitates but finally lashes the ball in.

1911: David James rushes out to save with his legs at the feet of Yossi Benayoun. Time is running out for Liverpool.

1908: GOAL Portsmouth 2-1 Liverpool
Incredible. An unmarked Hermann Hreidarsson rises to glance in a header from Nadir Belhadj's free-kick into the area.

1906: On comes Fernando Torres for Ryan Babel. The Spaniard has 14 minutes to score a winner.

1904: Dirk Kuyt runs through and puts the ball into the net but is flagged for offside. It is a contentious decision.

1902: Peter Crouch will be distraught at his error which led to Liverpool's goal. His blind backpass forced David James into using his hands to nick the ball away from Dirk Kuyt. Schoolboy. But Fabio Aurelio's free-kick was stunning.

1859: GOAL Portsmouth 1-1 Liverpool
What was I saying? Liverpool equalise after Peter Crouch's backpass is illegally handled by David James. Fabio Aurelio absolutely smashes in the free-kick from 12 yards out after Xabi Alonso rolled the ball back to him. Game on.

1855: Portsmouth have 25 minutes to hold out. Can they do it? Right now, I think it's much more likely they will win or draw than a toothless Liverpool will score twice.

1852: GOAL Portsmouth 1-0 Liverpool
Peter Crouch slips the ball in for David Nugent, who races clear and coolly slots the ball past Pepe Reina. There was a suspicion of offside about the goal, though.

1851: While we await our first goal at Fratton Park, there is no shortage of action over in Jamaica as England's batsmen are in all kinds of trouble. They are 27-7 - although by the time you click on the link below to Pranav Soneji's live text commentary they will probably have lost another wicket - and heading for a shocking defeat.

Live text - West Indies v England

1848: What an incredible miss by Ryan Babel. Dirk Kuyt crosses low into the box after great work by Yossi Benayoun, but Babel fails to make any contact with the ball in front of a gaping goal. Shocking.

1846: Liverpool bring on Dirk Kuyt for David Ngog. Fernando Torres is warming up on the touchline.

1845: Portsmouth fail in an appeal for handball as Daniel Agger gets the ball caught under him. It did not look like a penalty.

1842: Now that would have been a shock, had Sol Campbell managed to reach Aggelos Basinas' cross to the far post and open the scoring. He didn't though.

1837: "Liverpool will throw everything at Portsmouth this half, and will win."
happyhopkins on 606
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Confident, aren't you? We shall see. I am not convinced, I think Pompey might earn a draw.

1835: Portsmouth bring on Niko Kranjcar for Hayden Mullins. And Pompey kick off the second half.

1833: "We are controlling and Pompey haven't really threatened but we lack that cutting edge up top, who's going to get the goal we need?"
peter_lpool on 606
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1830: A draw would lift Portsmouth into 15th place. They would, however, be only two points off the relegation zone. A win today could prove crucial to their survival chances.

1827: As things stand Manchester United will stay top of the table, one point ahead of Liverpool and with two games in hand. Liverpool really cannot afford to drop points here if they are to stay in the title race.

1821: Here's the planned running order for tonight's Match of the Day, which you can check out on BBC One or the BBC Sport website (in the UK only) at 2230 GMT. It will also be repeated on Sunday at 0740 on BBC One and the website:

Portsmouth v Liverpool
West Brom v Newcastle
Blackburn v Aston Villa
Everton v Bolton
Chelsea v Hull
Sunderland v Stoke
Man City v Middlesbrough
Wigan v Fulham

1818HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-0 Liverpool
Few clear-cut chances in that opening half. Liverpool shaded it, after a decent start, but faded as the game wore on. Pompey have done well to get a foothold in the game but their attack is non-existent. One goal will settle this, I reckon.

1815: It's all a bit scrappy at the moment. Right now a goal looks very unlikely - from either team.

1812: "These last 5 minutes or so i dont think liverpool have had a formation. They have been all over the place." Dicky via text on 81111

Fair point, that. Liverpool have definitely gone off the boil. But maybe we should give Pompey credit for adjusting to the problem they faced and making more of a game of it.

1809: Referee Howard Webb gets in the way of the ball and it falls to Peter Crouch, but the striker smashes his shot high and wide. Webb is a relieved man.

1809: After a bright start, Liverpool appear to have lost their rhythm a little. Pompey have come into the game.

1806: Rafa's off the bench. His hand speed is a blur as he gestures to his team - but with that many formations being used throughout the game, I guess he needs to be quick.

1804: "Re 17:50 i think it will be 5-4-1 when defending. 3-5-2 when controlling the game and 3-4-3 when attacking. Looks decent whatever it is." Mike via text on 81111

I agree that is seems to be working ok. But it's still a mystery.

1759: Portsmouth are really struggling to get hold of the ball at the moment. They have probably never faced Liverpool's chosen formation before. Has anyone ever fielded that formation before? And what is it, exactly? Regardless, there is no denying Liverpool look fluid and in the mood.

1757: David James produces a stunning save to turn away a fierce long-range drive from Javier Mascherano. It did look as though the shot might be going wide though.

1754: "Liverpool's perfomance so far reiterates that Pompey,at present, are not premier league material. Adams,the players or someone must do something before they get relegated."
tgbutd on 606
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1751: Portsmouth have a chance to strike at goal as Aggelos Basinas lines up a free-kick but his effort sails over.

1750: As far as that formation goes, your guess is as good as mine. Liverpool fans in the office here have offered 5-4-1, 3-5-2, 3-4-3... it goes on and on....

1748: David Ngog lays the ball off, square, to Fabio Aurelio but his shot is tame and he drags it wide. Good build-up for Liverpool, though, who look to have settled well into an unusual formation.

1745: Liverpool have taken the game to Pompey and are playing with pace and purpose. At the moment they are just lacking a decisive pass in the final third.

1742: Fabio Aurelio takes the free-kick and hits the shot with venom and is unlucky to see it clip the outside of the post with keeper David James beaten.

1741: Liverpool win a free-kick about 20 yards out after Yossi Benayoun is pulled down.

1739: Yossi Benayoun slips as he attempts to take a shot and the ball squirms away from him and drifts harmlessly wide.

1737: Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch almost gets a shot away from inside the box but scuffs it and the chance is gone.

1733: There is a big responsibility on the shoulders of David Ngog, who leads the forward line for Liverpool on his own. It could be a tough evening for him.

1731: Liverpool get the match under way.

1725: "I'm a bold man saying this: Pompey Win. Talk about stick your neck out!"
Francesc Fabulous on 606
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Anyone agree?

1723: "Can Villa challenge for the title? Surely not?"
ManUtdLeo on 606
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I think the title is beyond Villa but Liverpool and Chelsea are in danger of being overhauled. Second place in the league would be an incredible achievement.

1720: Liverpool are on a 13-match unbeaten league run, but have drawn seven of the last 13.

1716: "I'm not a liverpool fan but that is one of the worst sides i have ever seen from a team going for the title."
Chris via text on 81111

1713: Liverpool have the chance to top the Premier League this evening but manager Rafael Benitez has picked an unusual team. It will be interesting to see just how his side plays in terms of formation. Pompey boss Tony Adams is under massive pressure to get a result - his side are without a win in eight league games.

1709: "That isnt Liverpools line up, it cant be? What is Rafa doing!"Jabran, London via text on 81111

1707:Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is only fit enough for a place on the bench as David Ngog starts in attack. Albert Riera, Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt are also on the bench as manager Rafael Benitez rotates his squad following the extra-time defeat to Everton in the FA Cup on Wednesday. Portsmouth new signing Angelos Basinas makes his debut in midfield, centre-back Sol Campbell returns from a hip injury and left-back Nadir Belhadj is back from suspension.

1704: "It's a very interesting team Rafa has put out. I don't think I recall any manager in the top four starting with five at the back. I think it could work out great or go horribly wrong."
Riquelminho on 606
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1658:Portsmouth v Liverpool line-ups

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Basinas, Davis, Mullins, Belhadj, Crouch, Nugent. Subs: Begovic, Lauren, Mvuemba, Pamarot, Kanu, Kranjcar, Gekas.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Dossena, Arbeloa, Mascherano, Aurelio, Babel, Ngog, Benayoun. Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Torres, Riera, Alonso, Kuyt, El Zhar.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1656:FULL-TIME Sunderland 2-0 Stoke

1655:GOAL Sunderland 2-0 Stoke
Kenwyne Jones crosses low for David Healy to convert at the far post.

1653:FULL-TIME West Brom 2-3 Newcastle


Wigan 0-0 Fulham
Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa
Everton 3-0 Bolton

1649:GOAL Everton 3-0 Bolton
Jo caps an excellent debut by slotting the penalty with ease, following Mark Davies's handball.

1648: FULL-TIME Chelsea 0-0 Hull

1648:PENALTY to Everton

1646:GOAL Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa
Gabriel Agbonlahor looks to have sealed the points for Villa with an angled shot that takes a deflection off Ryan Nelsen.

1643: Andy Reid leaves the field to a standing ovation from the Sunderland fans, and Darryl Murphy takes his place.

1639: GOAL Sunderland 1-0 Stoke
Finally Sunderland capitalise on their numerical advantage. Andy Reid floats over a pinpoint cross which is met by Kenwyne Jones at the back post with a downward header.

1634: Bobby Zamora has been taken off for Fulham. That makes it one league goal for Zamora in a Cottagers' shirt in just over 1,800 minutes of football.

1633: Andy Reid's cross is met on the volley by Carlos Edwards and his shot zips inches wide of the upright. Very close to Sunderland taking the lead.

1631: GOAL West Brom 2-3 Newcastle
Substitute Filipe Teixeira threads the ball through to Marc-Antoine Fortune who scores his second with a powerful strike from just inside the area.

1627: Dean Marney goes close for Hull latching onto Giovanni's slide rule pass he drags his shot across the face of the goal from close range. Inches wide.

1626: Ten-man Stoke have a great chance to take the lead but Henri Camara smashes a shot against the bar from about six yards out.

1625:RED CARD Stoke's Matthew Etherington is shown a straight red after kicking out at Danny Collins in an off-the ball incident.

1623: It's end-to-end without much sign of a goal at the JJB. Amr Zaki is now on for Wigan but isn't seeing a lot of the ball, while Zamora and Johnson look dangerous for Fulham but the home side's keeper, Chris Kirkland, has been solid so far.

1622: "Oi Hughsie. The second halves have been going for over 10 minutes and you've provided one piece of information. I'd be sacked for such poor performance." Gordon, Bromley via text on 81111.

If I could make things happen on the all the football fields in the country, fella, I would do. Until then I've promised to be honest. I wish it was a day of classics, but it ain't.

1618: Ricardo Quaresma's Chelsea debut comes to an end as he is replaced by Didier Drogba. It wasn't the most impressive debut from the winger. So far, Everton's Jo and Man City's Shay Given are streets ahead in those stakes.

1617: "Another tenuous hughes link - my mate's dad from porthcawl once played you at tennis, back when you had Gwyn in your name. 100% true. Nice debut by the way!"
Liam via text on 81111

Who won?

1613: Dan Gosling is unable to turn a cross in from six yards out as he heads straight at the keeper.

1610: "Just goes to show David Moyes is a top boss and deserves a top job. Especially when you've got a player low on confidence and give him his first start in months and he scored. GOOD ON YOU JO."
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1607: They are back under way at Sunderland - the game is a bit behind after a lot of injury time in the opening half.

1605: GOAL Everton 2-0 Bolton
After an exquisite first touch, Jo turns inside the area and lashes in a low volley to mark an excellent debut with a goal of real quality.

1604: The match at West Brom resumes.

1603: Back under way at the JJB.

1601: The second half starts at Chelsea and at Blackburn, closely followed by the match at Everton.

1600: Blackburn bring on El-Hadji Diouf, for his debut, and Tugay also comes off the bench. Keith Andrews and David Dunn make way. Craig Gardner replaces Carlos Cuellar for Villa.

1555: "Hey ian, you know when the england squad is announced?"
Chris via text on 8111 on 606

There doesn't seem to be an official time for it, only that it will be announced later this evening. If I find out otherwise, I'll let you know.

1550: "Re 1535 - 20m yards? Thats one hell of a shot"
Anon via text on 8111

I think I might have over-estimated the distance there. Thanks to all of you who spotted that error. It would literally have been a rocket of a shot.

1549: And half-time at Sunderland.

1547: Half-time at West Brom. And at the JJB.

1545: Half-time whistles start to ring out, with the players going off at Chelsea, Blackburn and Everton.

1544: Everton could be five or six up before half-time. Leighton Baines, who has been outstanding for the home side, delivers a corner into the near post and Phil Jagielka can only watch as his glancing header hits the bar. Moments later Leon Osman sees hit shot deflected behind for an Everton corner.

1542: Bobby Zamora's goalscoring jinx continues. Standing well inside the six-yard box for a Fulham corner, he only needs to head the ball a couple of yards in a straight line for an easy goal, but it loops up off his head and over. Nobody seems to want to score at Wigan. And now Wigan, like Stoke, have to use all three substitutions in the first half - Mido hobbles off and Amr Zaki comes on.

1541: Controversy at the Stadium of Light. Andy Reid crosses to Steed Malbranque at the far post and his header in the six-yard box clearly strikes Danny Pugh's arm before rebounding off Malbranque and behind. The Sunderland players scream for a penalty but the referee gives a goal kick. Very lucky escape for Stoke.

1541: Blackburn pile on some pressure to get an equaliser and are denied a penalty for Gareth Barry holding Benni McCarthy. Villa go up the other end and Gabriel Agbonlahor slots in but is ruled offside by the narrowest of margins.

1541: Kevin Kilbane heads against the post from 12 yards out for Hull. Henrique Hilario was well beaten.

1540: GOAL 1-3 Newcastle
Steven Taylor heads in from close range from Ryan Taylor's corner, despite the presence of a West Brom defender on the goalline.

1539: GOAL Everton 1-0 Bolton
Andy O'Brien fouls Jo, and Mikel Arteta steps us to confidently slot home the spot-kick to put his side deservedly in front.

1538: PENALTY to Everton

1535: For all their dominance Everton just can not find the back of the net. Mikel Arteta is the latest player to try his luck, but his shot from 20 yards is comfortably saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen down to his right.

1530: Stoke have had to make their three allotted changes already within the first 25 minutes. Danny Pugh on for Andy Wilkinson, Ibrahima Sonko for Ryan Shawcross and just now Henri Camara, making his debut, for Ricardo Fuller, who is taken off in obvious agony from a shoulder injury.

1528: "re 1522 ignore him Ian, I'd rather have you than no-one."
pompeyfanrichie on 606
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Now that's flattery for you. I am touched.

1525: Wigan's Maynor Figueroa sends a beautiful ball in to give Mido a clear header from six yards out, but the Egyptian sends it wide. Dismal, it was a great cross and that should have been buried. It's livening up nicely now at the JJB.

1524: GOAL Blackburn 0-1 Aston Villa
James Milner picks the ball up from a corner played short to him, runs forward into the area and unleashes an arrow of a shot through a crowd of players and into the top corner.

1522: "Where's Cheese or Stevo. This Hughes guy has no passion."
(I am NOT the next Messi)PaceyVision of Theo Fabregas.r on 606
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That hurts.

1520: Bobby Zamora, with just one Premier League goal to his name for Fulham this season, draws a fine save from Wigan's Chris Kirkland, low to his right. But Wigan have now had to make not one but two substitutions with just 20 minutes gone, Antonio Valencia and Michael Brown both coming off injured. Ben Watson and Jason Koumas come on.

1518: Hull keeper Matt Duke pulls off a fine save tipping debutant Ricardo Quaresma's curling effort around the post.

1516: Everton could be three up at Goodison Park already. This time Dan Gosling is the provider as he crosses from the right, but Jo scoops the ball over when well placed after Tim Cahill had missed his diving header.

1515: Good chance for Sunderland. Kieran Richardson fires over a cross which is met by Danny Collins at the back post but he sends his header over when he should have done better.

1515: It's been a quiet first 15 minutes at the JJB - Andy Johnson reckons he should have had a penalty just now but it didn't look like there was too much in it, otherwise Fulham are on top but not many clear-cut chances.

1513: Gareth Barry's free-kick is bundled in by Emile Heskey for Villa but the goal is disallowed. It is not clear whether it was a foul or handball.

1512: Craig Bellamy got the winner at Eastlands, but in the land of Player Rater there was one man who stood out from all the rest: Shay Given. At full-time he was in pole position with a mark of 8.53, but there is plenty time for you to register your thoughts: Rate the players

1510: More nervy moments for Bolton as Osman crosses for Jo in the six yard box, but Sebastien Puygrenier gets just ahead of the Brazilian to hook clear.

1508: GOAL West Brom 1-2 Newcastle
The ball takes two deflections off defenders before falling to Peter Lovenkrands, who slots the ball into the corner to restore Newcastle's lead.

1507: Andy Wilkinson appears to have shouldered the long throw-in responsibilities for Stoke in Rory Delap's absence. Sunderland fans will be pleased to hear that his first effort fell short of the six-yard box by some distance.

1503:GOAL West Brom 1-1 Newcastle
Antoine Fortune collects the ball at the edge of the area turns Steven Taylor, who falls over, and slots the ball low past Steve Harper.

1502: How did he miss that? Great piece of football from Everton as Leighton Baines picks the ball up down the left before delivering low for Tim Cahill, but the Australian slices wide from only two yards out. Huge let-off for Bolton.

1501:GOAL West Brom 0-1 Newcastle
Damien Duff slides a precise finish in from 10 yards out after he capitalises on a defensive error.

1500: Chelsea skipper John Terry shoots over the bar from inside the six-yard box after his initial header was saved.

1459: The matches at Chelsea and Everton have kicked off. Closely follwed by West Brom and Wigan and Sunderland.

1458: They are under way at Ewood Park.

1456: Aston Villa will achieve a club record of seven successive away wins if they beat Blackburn.

1452: "Hughesy, please could you give us constant Quaresma updates. I'm a Chelsea fan in desperate need of a creative spark. If he plays terribly just lie - we need good news at the moment!"
AJ, London via text on 81111

Sorry, it's got to be total honesty all the way. Incidentally, have I told you about the time I scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup final and then went in goal and saved a penalty?

1445: "Surely the saves shay given has pulled off today has just gone to show what all newcastle fans think that he is worth more than 8m." Sean via text on 81111

"Ian - I think you should learn the difference between a superb save and one that should be made, Given the poor finishing that's being prevalent." Paul Spencer via text on 81111

A difference of opinion there. I don't think you can really criticise a keeper who pulls off a string of fine saves and effectively secures your team a victory, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, enough Given chat, let's move on to this afternoon's matches...

1440: TEAM NEWS West Brom v Newcastle
West Brom boss Tony Mowbray has chosen to play one man up front, Marc-Antoine Fortune, with Jay Simpson out with a hamstring problem. Central defender Leon Barnett is recalled after four games out with injury. Newcastle hand debuts to forward Peter Lovenkrands and midfielder Ryan Taylor, while Mark Viduka, Alan Smith and Claudio Cacapa return from injury and take their places on the substitutes bench.

West Brom: Carson, Hoefkens, Barnett, Meite, Robinson, Kim, Koren, Borja Valero, Brunt, Morrison, Fortune. Subs: Kiely, Cech, Bednar, Moore, Pele, Filipe Teixeira, Mulumbu.

Newcastle: Harper, Steven Taylor, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Nolan, Butt, Duff, Ameobi, Lovenkrands. Subs: Forster, Cacapa, Smith, Xisco, Geremi, Edgar, Viduka.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1437: FULL-TIME Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough
It is all over at Eastlands and Craig Bellamy's goal proves enough to secure victory for City - although they needed four brilliant saves from new goalkeeper Shay Given to keep them ahead. Boro's awful run continues, they have now not won in 14 games.

1436: TEAM NEWS: Blackburn v Aston Villa
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has put strikers Roque Santa Cruz and El-Hadji Diouf on the bench as he makes seven changes from the team which beat Sunderland in the FA Cup during midweek. Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey is back after missing the midweek FA Cup win over Doncaster, while keeper Brad Friedel, midfielder Gareth Barry and striker Gabriel Agbonlahor are back after being unused substitutes in that game.

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Pedersen, Grella, Andrews, Dunn, McCarthy, Roberts. Subs: Bunn, Kerimoglu, Roque Santa Cruz, Khizanishvili, Diouf, Villanueva, Givet.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Davies, Knight, Luke Young, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Carew, Delfouneso, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner.

Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)

1435: Stewart Downing scuffs a shot from outside the box and Boro look to be heading for another defeat.

1432: TEAM NEWS: Everton v Bolton
Everton manager David Moyes hands a debut to new loan signing Jo, who joined from Manchester City on transfer deadline. One other change sees FA Cup hero Dan Gosling come in, Maroune Fellaini and Steven Pienaar are both out injured. Bolton make one change, with Andy O'Brien replacing Ricardo Gardner


Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Gosling, Neville, Arteta, Osman, Cahill, Jo. Subs: Nash, Yobo, Van der Meyde, Castillo, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Baxter.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Andrew O'Brien, Cahill, Puygrenier, Samuel, Steinsson, Mark Davies, Muamba, Taylor, Kevin Davies, Makukula. Subs: Al Habsi, Smolarek, Riga, Shittu, Basham, Obadeyi.

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

1431: Boro have only four minutes to try to get something from the game. They will be reflecting on a host of missed chances. And at the moment they are being pegged back in their own half by City.

1429: TEAM NEWS Sunderland v Stoke
Sunderland recall strikers Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse to the starting line-up in place of David Healy and Daryl Murphy. Also included are Marton Fulop, Phil Bardsley and Dean Whitehead as Craig Gordon, Michael Kay, Grant Leadbitter, Carlos Edwards make way. Anton Ferdinand has shaken off a hip problem so newcomers Tal Ben Haim and Calum Davenport had to make do with seats on the bench. Stoke boss Tony Pulis is without the suspended Rory Delap so Salif Diao takes his place. Richard Cresswell and debutant Stephen Kelly come in for Amdy Faye and Danny Pugh.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Richardson, Reid, Jones, Cisse. Subs: Gordon, Edwards, Ben-Haim, Murphy, Leadbitter, Davenport, Healy.

Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Kelly, Cresswell, Whelan, Diao, Etherington, Fuller, Beattie. Subs: Simonsen, Olofinjana, Lawrence, Kitson, Pugh, Camara, Sonko.

Referee: Rob Styles (Hampshire)

1427: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Hull
Chelsea bring in Hilario to replace the injured Petr Cech, while Ricardo Quaresma is thrown straight in for his debut. Hull make just one change from the side that drew with West Brom, with Geovanni replacing the suspended Bernard Mendy.

Chelsea: Hilario, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Quaresma, Ballack, Lampard, Kalou, Anelka. Subs: Taylor, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Drogba, Deco, Belletti, Stoch.

Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Garcia, Ashbee, Marney, Kilbane, Geovanni, Fagan. Subs: Myhill, Doyle, Barmby, Hughes, France, Halmosi, Manucho.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1424: TEAM NEWS Wigan v Fulham
Wigan welcome Antonio Valencia back into their side and hand a debut to Charles N'Zogbia, with Emmerson Boyce and Daniel De Ridder dropping to the bench. Striker Amr Zaki is only a substitute as he returns from a knee injury. Fulham leave Olivier Dacourt on the bench with no Giles Barnes, as Roy Hodgson opts for the same starting line-up that beat Portsmouth 3-1.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Brown, Cattermole, N'Zogbia, Mido, Rodallega. Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Watson, Koumas, Zaki, Boyce, De Ridder.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Johnson, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Gera, Dacourt, Gray, Stoor, Kallio.

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

1421: "Is it me or does anyone else think that something really unlucky will happen to Given today, like a shot will hit the post and then rebound onto him and into the back of the net?"
FoxForever on 606
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I think it might be just you, FoxForever. But I will bow at your feet if your prediction comes true.

1419: "Ian, I was once treated by a nurse who use to be best friends with Mark Hughes' sister. No word of a lie."
50in50 on 606
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Unbelieveable! Me too. Erm.... every word's a lie. Maybe I need to be treated for that?

1417: Boro are pressing in search of an equaliser. City are backtracking and looking vulnerable - well, apart from the outstanding Shay Given. Can anyone beat him today?

1414: Episode four of the Afonso Alves v Shay Given show ends in another victory for the City keeper, who again produces a superb save to beat away the striker's low shot from 20 yards.

1413: "You would have bet your house on Robinho scoring there wouldn't you Jimmy?"
BBC Radio Five Live commentator to Jimmy Armfield. "No I wouldn't! He just hasn't looked confident today."
Jimmy Armfield

Who'd be a gambler, eh?

1412: Robinho closes in on goal but is denied by a sprawling Brad Jones, who keeps his side in the game with another vital stop.

1410: A disgruntled colleague of mine has just pointed out the following: Boro might have five academy boys (see 1401), but City have still got four in the starting line-up - Ireland, Richards, Onuoha and Wright-Phillips (who was sold, then bought back again at a profit).

1409: Robinho is starting to fancy it now. It has taken him a while to get into the game, but a mazy run down the flank might just have served notice that he's about to make something happen.

1407: "Ian, are you any relation to Mark before I start lambasting the City manager for ruining Sven's good work?"
Shobhit, Trinidad via text on 81111

You're not the first to ask that, actually. No, I'm no relation. But that doesn't give you licence to start abusing Mark Hughes. He's doing his best.... isn't he?

1404: Didier Digard is replaced by Gary O'Neil as Boro try to mix things up and get back into the game.

1401: "Come on Boro, we're overdue some good luck! Up against a side that cost way over 100m to assemble, five of our starters came through the academy!"
Anon via text on 81111

It's true, City's line-up is the first to have cost them more than 100m. Money well spent?

1358: That was Craig Bellamy's second goal since he joined City from West Ham. You have to say that City's signings are paying off for them today. And you have to wonder why Boro did not do more in the transfer window.

1355:GOAL Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough
Craig Bellamy jinks past Emanuel Pogatetz and fires a low shot in to the bottom left corner.

1354: However, Boro have conceded more second-half goals (27) than any other club.

1352: Boro have scored 10 goals against Manchester City in their last two matches, though eight of those came in the final round of league matches last season. Can they get one in the second half, or will Shay Given continue to prove unbeatable? I fancy them to score.

1350: The teams are coming out for the second half at Eastlands. And they are under way again - with no changes to the line-ups.

1341: How do you calculate value? 8m for Given, 108m for Kaka. Three great saves vs dreamy dribbles
Mike via text on 81111

1340: "I know he's only 45 minutes into his debut, but Shay Given is looking like a great signing for Man City."
Steven Gerrards Right Boot on 606
Join the debate on 606

1337: A fine start so far for Manchester City keeper Shay Given and he is halfway towards collecting a prestigious Player Rater gong on his debut. He doesn't really get a prestigious gong, he doesn't even get a rubbish one. Whatever, he leads the way on 7.91, but why not spend the interval punching in some marks of your very own:
Player Rater

1331: HALF-TIME Man City 0-0 Middlesbrough

1331: "Poor Shay, he has gone from one disastrous defence to another one. Will he ever get a break?"
bigjedhammerhead on 606
Join the debate on 606

A bit harsh, bigjedhammerhead. But maybe Given's just an attention seeker? One thing he is proving to be is an excellent shot stopper! And yes, he's getting plenty of practice today.

1329: I'm not quite sure how it's still goalless. There have been some excellent chances. Great goalkeeping, or bad finishing?

1327: Shay Given makes it a hat-trick of saves from Afonso Alves, this time blocking with his legs as the Brazilian bears down on goal. Given is having a dream debut.

1326: City again come close to making the breakthrough when Stephen Ireland's cross is narrowly missed by Craig Bellamy.

1325: The best passage of football in the match so far ends in Stephen Ireland heading the ball against the bar. Boro escape.

1324: Afonso Alves tests Shay Given again with a swerving shot that forces the keeper to make a low save with his left hand. A good contest between these two.

1317: It's a tale of two keepers. Brad Jones makes a superb save, diving to his left to parry Craig Bellamy's shot. Two great chances and two top-class saves in the space of a few minutes. That's better, the players have woken up.

1316: "Southgate, get out of the Womens shoe department and down to the touchline! No wonder you're in the relegation zone."
Rich, Surrey via text on 81111

1314: What a magnificent save! Shay Given has already started to pay back his transfer fee after somehow making a point-blank block from Afonso Alves. It's the first save Given has had to make, and he will not make a better one all afternoon.

1311: "So Mr Hughes, what have we done to deserve being blessed with your online company today?"
Join the debate on 606

It must be karma. Or a bad dream. No, let's blame the snow. Anyway. I'll try to keep you updated and entertained. Thanks for having me.

1308: Shaun Wright-Phillips has a shot from the edge of the box. It drifts harmlessly wide. Maybe this match will be a slow burner.

1305: Actually, Gareth (see 1301), you're not missing too much at the moment. Boro have started to come into the game a little after a shaky start, but neither team looks menacing at the moment. I wonder if Kaka is watching this and feeling full of regret? I wonder if he's in a shoe shop with his missus?

1301: "Sat in a ladies shoe department instead of in front of the telly. HELP!"
Gareth, ladies shoe department, Wilmslow via text on 81111

Have you managed to find any to fit you, Gareth?

1257: Vincent Kompany takes a decent touch to control the ball in the box and turns to hit a shot on the volley but his effort is wide of the target.

1253: "I think Shay will be Given a quiet debut against Boro, they won't get any decent shots in will they?"
Join the debate on 606

What makes you say that, Sakaria2? Is it because Boro went into today's game having failed to score in 315 minutes of Premier League football?

1250: City have made a bright start and almost create an opening when Stephen Ireland plays in Craig Bellamy, but keeper Brad Jones comes out to the edge of his box to make a good save.

1247: They're under way at Eastlands.

1245: "It's my birthday tomorrow, if Aston Villa win and Arsenal lose tomorrow, that would be the perfect present."
Join the debate on 606

What is they say about not being able to please all the people all of the time?

1240: For those of you interested in the Sheffield derby, you can follow all the action on the website. It's started at a cracking pace, with Wednesday 2-1 up after three goals in 29 minutes.
Sheff Utd v Sheff Wed

1237: "It's my birthday tomorrow. If Aston Villa lose today followed by an Arsenal victory tomorrow, that would be the perfect present."
I belong to Nasri
Join the debate on 606

Quite tricky to wrap those presents, though. But Happy Birthday to you anyway.

1227: "Big freeze? It's bright blue skies and sun here in Nottingham today."
chizzleface on 606
Join the debate on 606

So it's a t-shirt and shorts for you then, chizzleface?

1222: TEAM NEWS Man City v Middlesbrough
Shay Given makes his Manchester City debut while Shaun Wright-Phillips also starts despite his imminent violent conduct hearing. Micah Richards is also included despite his midweek arrest for alleged assault. Middlesbrough are boosted by the return of Didier Digard to the side while Gary O'Neil is fit enough for a place on the bench.

1217: Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear has been taken to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after feeling unwell. Chris Hughton will take charge of the team to face West Brom.
Kinnear taken to hospital


Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Kompany, Bridge, Zabaleta, De Jong, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Bellamy, Robinho. Subs: Hart, Elano, Vassell, Garrido, Fernandes, Caicedo, Evans.

Middlesbrough: Jones, Wheater, Riggott, Huth, Pogatetz, Adam Johnson, Bates, Digard, Downing, Alves, King. Subs: Turnbull, Hoyte, O'Neil, Emnes, Shawky, Sanli, Arca.

Referee: A Mariner (Coventry)

1200: New Manchester City keeper Shay Given revealed he was "so excited he couldn't sleep" ahead of his first day with his new team-mates. I know how he feels.

Today is a day for new faces - and that includes me, a late substitute for the unavailable Stevo and Cheese - and it'll be interesting to see how the new signings settle in.

Ok, so there's no Kaka. But would he have been able to cope with the big freeze anyway? Speaking of which, how many players do you think will be wearing gloves today? Personally, I'd be sporting a big Russian hat as well.

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
Saturday's football photos
07 Feb 09 |  Football
Chelsea 0-0 Hull
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Blackburn 0-2 Aston Villa
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Everton 3-0 Bolton
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Man City 1-0 Middlesbrough
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Sunderland 2-0 Stoke
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
West Brom 2-3 Newcastle
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Wigan 0-0 Fulham
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League

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