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Page last updated at 22:03 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Premier League as it happened

RESULTS
Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea
West Brom 1-3 Arsenal

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 Caroline Cheese

2159: "Well done to Matt (see 1936)" says an anonymous text. I can only agree. Perhaps he'll be good enough to send us some similar words of wisdom tomorrow when we enjoy the Premier League's midweek bonanza part two. See you then. Ooh, don't forget - Danny Baker, 606, BBC 5 Live, right about now.
Danny Baker on 606

2158: Bit of breaking news from Fratton Park... Paul Hart will stay in charge of Portsmouth for the rest of the season.

2156: But what does it all mean? Well, Manchester United's lead is cut to four points ahead of their visit to St James' Park tomorrow. They also have another game in hand. Sunderland stay 12th, five points above the drop zone. Pompey are 16th, two points away, but they could be in the bottom three after tomorrow's games.

2153: FULL-TIME Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland

2151: Into injury time at Anfield.

2148: The game looks to be meandering gently towards its conclusion at Anfield until Ryan Babel picks up the ball and injects some pace into proceedings. The Dutchman cuts in from the left and shoots low, but it's easy enough for Marton Fulop. Final change for Liverpool see Nabil El Zhar replace Yossi Benayoun.

2144: "Bendtner finally put in a very efficient performance but I only hope he can keep some consistency. Arshavin looks to have settled superbly well and he is a very exciting talent. Never afraid to take a shot from distance, very quick and his quickness of feet is frightening sometimes. I hope the Arsenal can take this forward and really pile the pressure on Villa."
timmilew on 606
Join the debate on 606

2142: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard will get an eight-minute rest as he is replaced by Ryan Babel.

2141: It's a love-in at the Hawthorns as the Arsenal players heartily congratulate each other. Likewise Chelsea at Fratton Park. Arsenal break their four-game streak of goalless draws with a superb attacking display against a defensively naive West Brom. Chelsea post their third 1-0 win in four games since the arrival of Guus Hiddink.

2140: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea

2139: FULL-TIME West Brom 1-3 Arsenal

2139: David James up for a free-kick at Fratton Park - but Didier Drogba heads it behind. The keeper stays up for the corner, which is cleared. Ricardo Quaresma goes for goal - but his effort goes out for a throw-in.

2137: "Re 2130: Will that cause an anti-Samson-like effect and give the boy some skill?"
Anon via text on 81111

2134: Portsmouth with a decent spell of possession, with a minute of normal time remaining at Fratton Park. It's still throwing it down. Meanwhile at the Hawthorns, Andrey Arshavin picks up the ball on the left, jinks past the defender and tries to curl into the top corner. Scott Carson saves.

2130: Rafa Benitez brings on Lucas for David Ngog. The Brazilian has had a haircut. The shoulder-length locks are gone, to be replaced by a very sensible short back and sides.

2128: "Dear 2125, why do you hate Man United so much?"
Zippy, George and Bungle on 606
Join the debate on 606

2125: GOAL Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea
Deadlock broken. Jose Bosingwa swings over the cross from the right and the ball comes to Didier Drogba who fires a low shot into the opposite corner. Super finish.

2125: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
David Ngog's hooked cross is spilled by Black Cats keeper Martin Fulop and Yossi Benayoun gratefully pounces to slot into an empty net.

2122: Djibril Cisse is on for Grant Leadbitter as Sunderland look for an equaliser at Anfield. And the news you really want to hear: it's red.

2121: Quick counter-attack from West Brom, but Marc-Antoine Fortune opts for an angled shot instead of squaring for Luke Moore.

2116: Chelsea have a free-kick which goes straight into the wall. As they complain about the wall being too close, Portsmouth counter-attack, with Peter Crouch galloping clear on the right. He crosses for Niko Kranjcar, who half-volleys narrowly wide. What were Chelsea thinking of?

2112: Substitute Ricardo Quaresma floats in a cross from the right which is met by Didier Drogba but, under pressure from Pompey defender Herman Hreidarsson, the striker is off target by a yard.

2111: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland
Albert Riera's cross from the left finds Steven Gerrard charging in at the far post. The captain heads across goal for David Ngog who cannot miss from three yards out. His first Premier League goal wouldn't you know.

2105: And they're off again at Anfield.

2104: From Peter Crouch's flick-on, David Nugent gets in ahead of John Terry and is through on goal, but Petr Cech beats away the shot. Nugent probably should have done better. Another change by Guus Hiddink, Ricardo Quaresma on for Salomon Kalou.

2103: Incredible spell from Nicklas Bendtner. The striker picks up the ball on the right and cuts in, before rattling the far post with a low shot. Arsenal have hit the woodwork more times than any other Premier League club this season. Fact.

2102: Time for a Chelsea change. Juliano Belletti replaces Jon Mikel Obi.

2100: Nicklas Bendtner squares to Andrey Arshavin right in front of goal but he places his shot too close to Scott Carson. Moments later, Bendtner runs through about three tackles before setting up Arshavin again. This time, the Russian does brilliantly, switching the ball from the left to right foot in an instant - but Carson saves well.

2056: Incidentally, if these scorelines stay the same, Manchester United will go into tomorrow's game against Newcastle knowing victory will give them a whopping nine-point lead - with a game in hand.

2052: Arsenal are forced into a change at half-time with Abou Diaby replacing Kolo Toure, who has calf injury. Manuel Almunia has the captain's armband.

2051: Yikes. They tell me the blustery wind at Fratton Park has got even more blustery-er during half-time. Both the 1945 GMT kick-offs are back under way.

2049: Voici Danny le Stat: "Sacre bleu! Les users de Player Rater have got the right hump with Liverpool's French striker David Ngog. He has been voted a mere 5.05 after that first half. Mind you, no-one is doing all that well - Kenwyne Jones is top with a mere 6.54 - and he fluffed a great chance early on. The good news for you all is that you can still get involved by simply getting involved. Get involved."
Liverpool v Sunderland Player Rater

2048: HALF-TIME Liverpool 0-0 Sunderland

2042: Liverpool may be unbeaten at Anfield this season but they have won only two of their last seven games at home. They've had plenty of possession in the first half against Sunderland but not done a whole lot with it.

2038: "My my Nicklas Bendtner, you sure are proving me wrong tonight! I never ever thought I would say those words."
Emily, bored of coursework in Milton Keynes, via text on 81111

2035: HALF-TIME West Brom 1-3 Arsenal

2034: HALF-TIME Portsmouth 0-0 Chelsea

2034: Alex's skidding free-kick for Chelsea goes through a crowd of players but David James still manages to get across to push it behind.

2033: Good save David James, the Pompey keeper tipping over from Michael Ballack's firm header. And a good save from Marton Fulop at Anfield, the keeper pushing Albert Riera's deflected effort around the post.

2030: GOAL West Brom 1-3 Arsenal
West Brom's defence again go walkabout as Kolo Toure's ball comes over the top. Nicklas Bendtner controls it beautifully on his knee and volleys in.

2029: Chelsea again at sixes and sevens defensively, Petr Cech saving at the feet of Niko Kranjcar after a goalmouth scramble.

2025: GOAL West Brom 1-2 Arsenal
That puts an an end to that decent spell of pressure then (see below). Andrey Arshavin whips an inswinging free-kick in from the left and no one tracks Kolo Toure's run, the skipper glancing the header in at the near post to restore Arsenal's lead.

2023: Luke Moore heads just over the bar at the Hawthorns. Moore looking very lively in a decent spell of pressure by the Baggies.

2021: Pompey keeper David James spills a long-range Frank Lampard shot, but Glen Johnson is quickly in to clear. Very much worth shooting on sight in these conditions.

2016: Liverpool work a decent opening, Yossi Benayoun picking up the ball on the right of the box, but he drives a low cross straight into Marton Fulop's arms. Disappointing.

2015: Sean Davis hammers in a ferocious shot from 20 yards, which is brilliantly saved by Petr Cech, diving full-stretch to his right.

2012: "Mascherano at right back can be defined as skrtel. To quote Robbo Robson: 'To skrtel - or even 'scurtle' - to attempt to do a job for which one is wholly unsuited'."
SimpreZola on 606
Robbo's blog

2009: Portsmouth keeper David James allows a Florent Malouda cross to squirm out of his hands, but the ball falls to a Pompey defender. Malouda having a decent game so far. Yes indeed.

2005: Crikey, that's a good chance. Kenwyne Jones picks up the ball on the halfway line and beats Martin Skrtel with ease. He races clear but his eventual shot is too close to Pepe Reina.

2004: Gael Clichy's cross is punched away by West Brom keeper Scott Carson only as far as Emmaunel Eboue, but the midfielder lashes a wild shot off target.

2003: Didier Drogba is an inch away from connecting with Ashley Cole's driven cross after a lovely pass from Florent Malouda. And the news from Anfield is that Javier Mascherano is indeed playing at right-back for Liverpool. "Steven Gerrard is in goal," says a wag to my left.

2002: And we're up and away at Anfield now.

2001: Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia saves at his near post from a decent Luke Moore strike. End to end stuff at the Hawthorns.

1959: Comedy of errors from Arsenal. Emmanuel Eboue completely mis-hits his effort from the edge of the box but it turns out to be a lovely pass for Nicklas Bendtner, who turns and blazes over the bar.

1958: Really dreadful conditions at Fratton Park: driving rain and blustery wind. Plenty of players struggling to keep their footing.

1953: GOAL West Brom 1-1 Arsenal
Free-kick for the Baggies about 25 yards out. Chris Brunt doesn't seem to connect with his left-footed effort all that well but it goes through the wall and nestles in the corner.

1951: GOAL West Brom 0-1 Arsenal
Arsenal ruin their chances of breaking the top-flight record for consecutive goalless draws. Shame. A corner is cleared only to Denilson, who plays it out wide to an unmarked Nicklas Bendtner. The Dane cuts inside and scuffs his shot, but it's enough to beat Scott Carson.

1949: Shaky defending from Chelsea early on, and that allows Hermann Hreidarsson a shot - but John Terry dives in to block.

1947: The games at Portsmouth and West Brom are up and running.

1944: Don't forget now that after tonight's football activities, you can tune into the magnificent Danny Baker on BBC 5 Live's 606 at 2200 GMT. AND if you want the chance to be mildly famous, you could contribute to his 606 thread...
Danny Baker on 606

1942: "I feel this could be a masterstroke by Wenger! Arshavin to feed Bendtner balls all night where he must score one! And against a tiring Baggies defence, Van Persie, Vela and Diaby to come on for the kill!"
Richard, a confident Arsenal fan, via text on 81111

1940: Quick weather update... West Brom: wet, Portsmouth: very wet, Liverpool: looks OK actually.

1936: "I bet you anything Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will all win their games, and people will completely forget about the 'peculiar' team selections."
Matt, Cheltenham, via text on 81111

1932: The more observant of you will have noticed that these games are the return fixtures from the opening day of the season. Remember? Luiz Felipe Scolari's Chelsea spanked Pompey 4-0, Liverpool scraped past Sunderland 1-0 and Arsenal needed an early Samir Nasri goal to see off West Brom.

1927: "Finally Mowbray sees sense and plays a 4-4-2 with Valero not in it! Koren and Greening all the way! We Baggies fans are not throwing in the towel just yet!"
Will, Baggies fan living in Swansea, via text on 81111

1925: So to sum up the majority of texts and 606 comments so far: Benitez and Wenger have lost it. Surely, though, even a Van Persie-less Arsenal can score against West Brom, who have conceded 14 goals in their last five games. Surely...

1922: "Very peculiar teams from all three managers. Hiddink goes for Malouda, who's had an appalling season, Wenger's gone for Bendtner up front, and Rafa, well, we shouldn't really be surprised in anything he does."
Sakaria2 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1920: "Has Arsene Wenger given up on fourth place by starting Bendtner and saving RVP for the FA Cup game on Sunday? Don't see Arsenal ending their goal drought with Bendtner up front!"
Chris in Weybridge, via text on 81111

1919: TEAM NEWS Liverpool v Sunderland
Striker David Ngog starts for Liverpool as left-back Emiliano Insua and midfielders Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun return to the starting line-up. Sami Hyypia, Fabio Aurelio, Nabil El Zhar and Ryan Babel make way. Midfielder Javier Mascherano looks like he will be playing at right-back. Grant Leadbitter takes the place of Teemu Tainio in Sunderland's midfield as manager Ricky Sbragia's only change. Former Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse only makes the bench but strike partner Kenwyne Jones overcomes a knee injury to play.

1917: TEAMS Liverpool v Sunderland
Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Skrtel, Carragher, Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard, Alonso, Riera, Kuyt, Ngog. Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Aurelio, Babel, Lucas, El Zhar.
Sunderland: Fulop, Ben-Haim, Ferdinand, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Reid, Leadbitter, Richardson, Jones. Subs: Gordon, Bardsley, Edwards, Cisse, Murphy, Davenport, Healy.

1916: TEAM NEWS West Brom v Arsenal
West Brom replace Borja Valero and Jay Simpson, who is on loan from the Gunners and ineligible, with Jonathan Greening and Luke Moore. Arsenal make four changes. Johan Djourou replaces the injured William Gallas. Top scorer Robin van Persie, Carlos Vela and Abou Diaby are all dropped to the bench as Alex Song, Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue start.

1913: TEAM NEWS Chelsea v Portsmouth
Chelsea make two changes to the side that beat Wigan 2-1 on Saturday. Jose Bosingwa returns from suspension to take Michael Mancienne's place at right back and Florent Malouda is in for Nicolas Anelka, who has a damaged toe. Portsmouth make just the one change from the team that drew 2-2 with Stoke 10 days ago as they aim to end a run of 27 games without a win over Chelsea. Angelos Basinas makes way for Hayden Mullins in midfield. David James and Sol Campbell are both making their 100th appearance for Portsmouth.

1910: TEAMS West Brom v Arsenal
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Donk, Robinson, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Brunt, Moore, Fortune. Subs: Kiely, Hoefkens, Cech, Kim, Filipe Teixeira, Menseguez, Borja Valero.
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Eboue, Clichy, Song Billong, Djourou, Nasri, Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Van Persie, Vela, Ramsey, Gibbs, Merida.

1909: TEAMS Portsmouth v Chelsea
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Mullins, Davis, Kranjcar, Crouch, Nugent. Subs: Begovic, Kanu, Kaboul, Pamarot, Utaka, Basinas, Belhadj.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Ballack, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Quaresma, Ferreira, Belletti, Mancienne.

1905: And as Arsenal seek to score their first league goal since 28 January, Robin van Persie is left on the bench and Nicklas Bendtner starts. Curious...

1903: Of course, it isn't only a battle for second. It's a battle for third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth... well, you get the idea. And if that isn't exciting enough for ya, Arsenal could set a brand spanking new record this evening when a goalless draw at West Brom would make it a top-flight best five in a row. Hurrah! Oh wait...

1900: Are we down to a battle for second then? Is that what has become of this Premier League season? Well? Is it????

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Premier League table
Sunday, 3 November 2013 17:56 UK
    P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 10 13 25
2 Chelsea 10 8 20
3 Liverpool 10 7 20
4 Tottenham 10 4 20

5 Man City 10 17 19

6 Southampton 10 7 19
7 Everton 10 4 19
8 Man Utd 10 4 17
9 Newcastle 10 -2 14
10 Hull City 10 -2 14
11 West Brom 10 0 13
12 Cardiff 10 -4 12
13 Swansea 10 0 11
14 Aston Villa 10 -3 11
15 West Ham 10 0 10
16 Fulham 10 -5 10
17 Stoke 10 -4 9

18 Norwich 10 -14 8
19 Sunderland 10 -15 4
20 Crystal Palace 10 -15 3

see also
Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
03 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Portsmouth 0-1 Chelsea
03 Mar 09 |  Premier League
West Brom 1-3 Arsenal
03 Mar 09 |  Premier League


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