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Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Sunday, 22 March 2009
Live - Premier League



RESULTS
Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa
Man City 1-0 Sunderland
Wigan 1-0 Hull

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

1826: Alas, it's time to say goodbye on a weekend when the Premier League title race fairly exploded back into life. I hope you've enjoyed it half as much as I have. Spoony is taking your calls on 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live right now, and a hugely entertaining Match of the Day 2 is on BBC Two and online at 2230 GMT. Enjoy the break, and see you all soon.

1820: No surprises on the old Player Rater scores right now, with hat-trick's Steven Gerrard romping to victory on 8.96 - and he's only going in one direction. Poor Nigel Reo-Coker, meanwhile, languishes with less than half of Gerrard's score - a paltry 4.36. It's still all to play for, though, so get voting...
Rate the players

1816: "Fulham and Arsenal can have a massive say on where the title goes this year. Arsenal are still to play United and Liverpool away from home. Liverpool could temporarily take top stop if they win at the Cottage in two weeks. It's all so interesting."
Oli, an Arsenal fan, via text on 81111

1812: Did you know that Aston Villa have never won a Premier League match in the month of March under Martin O'Neill? It will be 2010 before he can put that remarkable stat to bed now - 12 matches and counting with seven defeats.

1809: "(See 1802) I'm a Villa fan and I want to join you."
hansandersen on 606
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1805: "We would have settled for a 1-0 win today, Villa are a fantastic team but have had a dip in form of late. We got an early goal and built on it. You do think about goal difference, but only when the game's won. We just have to keep piling pressure on Manchester United. My first Premier League hat-trick means a lot."
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

1802: "I'm on holiday and have missed Madrid, Man U and now this game! I think I'd better stay here if we keep winning like this!"
Mark, Barbados, via text on 81111

1800: "Rafael Benitez's side were presented with an opportunity to push the door to the title ajar and this time there was no mistake.

"United, as experienced as they are, will be feeling Liverpool breathing down the back of their necks now and there is a real air of title expectation around Anfield now.

"Villa? Tired, lack-lustre and well-beaten - although they were backed by superb support until the final whistle. Looks like the Uefa Europa League for Martin O'Neill's side now, an irony given the way they exited the Uefa Cup with a weakened team this season."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1758: "That is as good as I have seen Liverpool play this season, it would have been terribly difficult for anyone to live with them they way they played in that first hour."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jimmy Armfield

1756: Full-time Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa

1754: Craig Gardner loses possession and tries to win it back a little forcefully from Daniel Agger, and is booked. Minor details.

1753: We're into three minutes of added time.

1752: Remember, because of the international break there is no Premier League action until 4 April, when Liverpool travel to Fulham.

1751: Craig Gardner comes on for John Carew for Aston Villa.

1750: Three minutes plus stoppages left now at Anfield, but this game has been over for a long, long time.

1747: Both David Ngog and Daniel Agger play passes just beyond Fernando Torres and he must be the only frustrated man on Liverpool's side in Anfield.

1745: "I really think Liverpool ought to declare."
Rachel T, Lincoln, via text on 81111

1745: Fernando Torres is desperate for a goal, still looking very lively, and this time Brad Guzan has to be alert to race from his line and gather ahead of the Spanish striker.

1744: "The penalties and the free-kick for the first goal have all been harsh. Liverpool definitely deserve their win, but 5-0 is very harsh on Villa. We are going to have to try and bounce back from this but it will be hard."
I'm in love with the Villa on 606
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1742: David Ngog comes on for Steven Gerrard, who rightly receives a standing ovation.

1741: I wonder what odds you could get on Liverpool smashing in five at Anfield and Fernando Torres not getting on the scoresheet. His latest shot hits a Villa defender.

1739: Alvaro Arbeloa is taken off by Rafael Benitez and Daniel Agger comes on in his place. Jamie Carragher switches to right-back.

1736: Aston Villa are 14 points and five places better off than Manchester City, but their goal difference is now a goal worse.

1735: Javier Mascherano fancies his chances of making it six, but a left-foot shot from 22 yards flies into the midriff of Brad Guzan.

1735: "As a Liverpool fan I think United will be happy at the ref's decision to send Friedel off since they play them next."
Chris V, via text on 81111

1733: "Lots of sympathy around Anfield for former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel after that red card - although sympathy always comes a little easier when you have already established a four-goal lead.

"Torres was simply too quick and too good for Friedel and there was no malice in his challenge. Hardly a game-changing moment, but sums up the sort of day Villa have had here."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1731: Brad Friedel has told BBC Radio 5 Live he could not get out of the way of Fernando Torres and didn't know what else he was supposed to do. It's a bit harsh, in fairness.

1729: Xabi Alonso is taken off and Lucas comes on in his place.

1728: GOAL Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa
Brad Guzan follows his countryman Brad Friedel in being sent the wrong way from the spot as Steven Gerrard completes his hat-trick.

1727: Xabi Alonso sends Fernando Torres through and he surges into the Villa box, he's brought down by Brad Friedel and the American is sent off, with a penalty awarded. Brad Guzan comes on for Nigel Reo-Coker and he'll face a Steven Gerrard penalty - the Reds captain is on a hat-trick.

1726: SENDING OFF Brad Friedel (Aston Villa)

1726: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL

1725: Villa are knocking the ball around at the moment, but Liverpool are quite happy to let them have it. It's a bit like a training game now.

1722: "(See 1703) Why did you have to point out the predictor thing?!! Villa have just beaten Arsenal to fourth and my happy vibe is gone!"
Kelly, unhappy, via text on 81111

1720: Gabriel Agbonlahor is brought on for Emile Heskey and the Villa fans are off their seats to give Gabby a decent ovation.

1719: Dirk Kuyt's cross from the right is met, controlled, and spanked wide by Xabi Alonso. Liverpool fans - pleased he's been in your team rather than Gareth Barry this season?

1719: "If Villa had any hope - and let's face it they didn't - then they can forget it now. Liverpool's task now is to take advantage of Villa's despondency and rack up more goals. If they can it would cap a golden spell for Liverpool and manager Rafael Benitez.

"For Villa, only respectability remains in this game and even that may be beyond them."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1718: Rafa Benitez is still giving the impression of a man who is watching his team lose as he barks out instructions on the touchline. He looks furious. Maybe he just is.

1716: James Milner fizzes in a lovely cross from the right on the volley and Emile Heskey climbs high at the back post, only to head straight into the floor and at Pepe Reina.

1716: "How bizarre is it that Liverpool would probably love to play Villa, Real Madrid or Man Utd every week at the minute?"
huh??? on 606
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Good point, huh???

1714: A penny for Sir Alex Ferguson's thoughts right now...

1712:GOAL Liverpool 4-0 Aston Villa
That is just genius, absolute world-class from the brilliant Steven Gerrard . He is frustrated because Ashley Young appears to be encroaching from the free-kick, but when Xabi Alonso does tap the ball to him, he just passes it from 22 yards into the bottom corner of Brad Friedel's net. Wonderful.

1711: Dirk Kuyt spins past Gareth Barry and is hauled down by Carlos Cuellar 22 yards outside the Villa penalty area, left of centre.

1710: "I told my partner of 17 years I would marry her if Liverpool win the title. I'm starting to worry."
Anonymous, via text on 81111

No wonder you're staying anonymous then, anonymous.

1708: We're back under way at Anfield. All eyes on goal difference?

1707: "Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was still agitated with his players about some technical point as that first 45 minutes came to a close - but could it have gone any better? Talk about hard to please.

"Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has got real problems. Villa's attempt to qualify for the Champions League is running out of steam badly. They can, however, point to two outstanding saves from Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina when they had that brief spell of supremacy, but no way back now."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1705: "I'm scared of Liverpool..."
AshfordTownMiddlesex on 606
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1703: "I've just done the predictor thing on the BBC site. I have Liverpool winning the league, level with Man Utd on points and goal difference. Villa end up sixth on goal difference. Out of interest, Spurs take seventh and West Brom, Hull and Newcastle are relegated. Can't wait!"
Luke, via text on 81111
Play predictor

1659: "Anfield is celebrating like victory is already assured - and who can blame Liverpool's fans? Villa look ragged after a decent spell midway through the half. The big worry for Villa is that Fernando Torres has been relatively quiet so far and they have still been unable to cope with Liverpool.

"And on this evidence Nigel Reo-Coker's footballing future does not lie at right-back. Liverpool must keep pressing - everyone is aware of that goal difference factor."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1655: Full-time Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland

1653: Marton Fulop has kept the score respectable today and the Hungarian makes another fine save to deny the luckless Robinho.

1651: Marton Fulop makes another decent save to deny Gelson at the near post. We're into stoppage time now at Eastlands.

1651: Half-time Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa

1649: Marton Fulop pulls off a super one-handed save to tip over Elano's right-foot flier - he's had quite a good game, the Brazilian schemer.

1648: "Has a team ever scored four goals three games in a row against teams who have won the European Cup?"
Tony D, via text on 81111

1647: "This is the best season ever but it is having adverse effects on my health."
Cesc 'The Spitfire' Fabregas on 606
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1645: Aston Villa's Luke Young and Gareth Barry are both booked for separate fouls and Villa are in all sorts of trouble.

1644: Micah Richards has limped off and Javier Garrido replaces him. Grant Leadbitter shoots straight at Shay Given from 20 yards, not long left at Eastlands now.

1642:GOAL Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa
Game over. Dirk Kuyt sweeps a ball from right to left, brilliant pass, and Albert Riera runs into the area and looks like he is tripped by Nigel Reo-Coker. Steven Gerrard steps up and sends Brad Friedel the wrong way, though the American did dive so, so early.

1642: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL

1640: Sunderland have a great chance to level, Djibril Cisse playing in Andy Reid in the area on the left, but Richard Dunne makes a last-ditch tackle to deny the Irishman.

1639: Brad Friedel amazingly gifts possession back to Alvaro Arbeloa in the Villa box but he opts to square to Fernando Torres instead of shooting and Torres is crowded out.

1638: Is it already beyond Villa, this one? Liverpool's goal difference is now just one behind Manchester United's and parity was nearly achieved there as Steven Gerrard swings a shot inches wide.

1636: GOAL Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa
Two can play that route one game. Aston Villa have a free-kick and Gareth Barry swings it over, but it's straight through to Pepe Reina. The Spanish keeper launches it miles downfield, Fernando Torres leaves it to Albert Riera and the winger slams in an unstoppable left-foot volley that flies in-off the underside of the bar.

1635: "Signs of life from Aston Villa and the threat is an obvious one - quality balls into the box and John Carew's massive frame on the end of them. He has already forced Pepe Reina into two excellent saves, but needs more assistance from his attacking partner Emile Heskey.

"Liverpool still in command, but battle has certainly been joined. Anfield a little more pensive now."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1633: Djibril Cisse and Andy Reid come on for Kenwyne Jones and Steed Malbranque for Sunderland.

1632: "Is it just me or are the black bands that the Liverpool players are wearing just a bit of black gaffer tape? Clearly the credit crunch has hit hard at 'Pool."
Sam in London, via text on 81111

1630: Shaun Wright-Phillips gets down the right and his cross from just inside the penalty area is deflected into an area just under the Sunderland crossbar - Robinho tries to head it in, but Phil Bardsley defends with his life and it's out for a corner.

1629: Villa launch a massive ball into the Liverpool box - it gets no more route one - and John Carew gets his head on it. It looks for all the world a goal, but Pepe Reina makes a terrific save diving to his left, and the angle beats Ashley Young from the rebound.

1626: Steven Gerrard is rightly booked for a diving, late tackle on Curtis Davies. There was no malice at all, but he was late and caught the Villa man.

1625: Valeri Bojinov comes off and Craig Bellamy is his replacement at Eastlands.

1625: Cracking touch from bid John Carew - he flicks Ashley Young's fine cross from the left towards the top corner and Pepe Reina sticks out his right hand to make a decent save.

1623: Villa aren't having much possession, but when they do get it they are causing some problems down their right, first through Ashley Young and then James Milner. But it's mostly all Liverpool.

1623: "There's too much space being accommodated to Liverpool in the middle of the field, no pressure at all. Liverpool are doing everything right though."
Pepe Consoli on 606
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1620: My word, how did Liverpool and Manchester City not both score in almost the same second? At Eastlands, Elano shows some samba magic to collect a Micah Richards pass and glide past his defender, before somehow slotting wide from seven yards. At Anfield, Albert Riera's cross from the left is deflected and loops up to the far post, where Steven Gerrard can only hook inches wide.

1618: "Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill looks suitably concerned in the technical area, because Liverpool's high tempo start is the sign of a team oozing confidence and Steven Gerrard is causing havoc in a free role just off Fernando Torres.

"Villa will be looking to get crosses into the big men Emile Heskey and John Carew - but they need to get the ball first and that early goal has just made their task more difficult."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1617: GOAL Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland
Elano clips a free-kick into the Black Cats' danger zone and there bustling in at the far post is Micah Richards to head into the far corner, much to the relief of the locals and probably Robinho to boot.

1616: "Liverpool look like a team that thinks the title race is still open."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Alan Green

1615: Man City's Shaun Wright-Phillips balloons miles over from 14 yards after a neat pull-back from Micah Richards from the right.

1614: "Fantastic start, but we do need a second goal. We have to kill these games off while we're in the ascendancy, and to our credit that's what we've been doing since our defeat against Boro."
Skrtel doesn't need boots on 606
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1613: Steven Gerrard nearly makes it 2-0 - Liverpool look to be flying, until they leave Gareth Barry unmarked in their area and he gets it all wrong, a left-foot effort screwing well wide.

1611: GOAL Liverpool 1-0 Aston Villa
Liverpool's dream week just keep on getting better. Nigel Reo-Coker brings down Albert Riera, Steven Gerrard whips in the free-kick, Xabi Alonso glances a header against the crossbar and Dirk Kuyt rifles in the rebound.

1611: "Stevo, the Villa fans weren't jeering Gabby last week, they were cheering because it seemed that no matter how badly he played, he was immune to substitution. It was directed more at O'Neill than Agbonlahor and it certainly wasn't your standard mean-spirited booing, everyone knows what both have done for the club."
Rich, via text on 81111

1609: Fernando Torres shows a lovely touch to release Steven Gerrard, but the Reds captain doesn't have enough support and the attack peters out.

1608: Calum Davenport is booked for going down inside the Man City box - ridiculous decision from the referee - Richard Dunne was holding his arm. Not a penalty, but that doesn't mean it has to be simulation.

1607: "Boos from the visiting fans as the officials left the field at Eastlands. Other than a brief flurry of incidents it's been a pretty flat affair so far. Here's hoping for a livelier - and warmer - second half."
BBC Sport's Andrew McKenzie at Eastlands

1606: Back under way at Eastlands.

1605: Martin Skrtel gets his head on a Liverpool corner from the left, but it's a routine catch for former Reds stopper Brad Friedel.

1605: "Everyone is really sad today, Liverpool have lost a great servant and I got to know him well, he was a lovely man, Bryce Morrison."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Alan Green

1604: We are under way in the big game of the day, with Liverpool taking on Aston Villa.

1603: They are having the minute's silence at Anfield for secretary Bryce Morrison, who died on Saturday.

1602: Blimey, Robinho's afternoon goes from bad to worse - he'll have sat down for a cuppa in the City dressing-room to discover he's got a Player Rater score of only 3.87 right now, lower even than Sunderland's George McCartney, who was sent off early doors. Keep voting.
Rate the players

1600: "Hope Gareth Barry won't ruin this! Just have a sneaky feeling he could."
redandblackT1899 on 606
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1558: "I was quite pleased to see what Fulham did to United. If Liverpool can win, that would set them up nicely, the competition is wide open now."
West Indies batting legend and, it turns out, Liverpool fan, Sir Viv Richards on BBC Radio 5 Live

1556: So Liverpool take on Aston Villa and it will presumably be a buoyant Anfield after one of the greatest weeks in the club's very recent history. Thrashing Real Madrid, hammering Manchester United, watching their title rivals slip up, securing boss Rafa Benitez on a long-term contract - it doesn't get much better, does it?
Benitez signs long-term Reds deal

1553: "My 11-year-old scored twice in a penalty shoot-out for West Cliff school at Whitby Town FC. He must be worth a few quid. Any offers?"
Jon Stokoe, Whitby, via text on 81111

1551: How are Manchester City not leading? I cannot believe a player of Robinho's undoubted star quality could take such an appalling penalty kick, but he is struggling badly at the moment, without a goal since 28 December. City need him to turn this around.

1548: Half-time Manchester City 0-0 Sunderland

1546: They are into the two minutes of added time at Eastlands and Sunderland are holding Man City in relative comfort at the moment, despite the early dismissal of George McCartney.

1544: "There will be a minute's silence before kick-off at Anfield and Liverpool's players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect to the club's popular and respected secretary Bryce Morrison, who died suddenly on Saturday."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield
Reds mourn club secretary's death

1543: Well I never. Down in the Championship, Cardiff are 1-0 down to Sheffield United at Ninian Park. They have also had two players sent off, and it's not even half-time yet. Unbelievable.
Live - Cardiff v Sheff Utd

1541: "At least Liverpool won't need to worry about the counter-attack play of Villa today, which is Villa's main attacking threat when they're away."
theRish92 on 606
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Two words: Ashley, and Young.

1538: Grant Leadbitter launches a right-foot piledriver straight into the City wall.

1537: Steed Malbranque turns really smartly away from Richard Dunne on the edge of the Man City box and the City captain brings him down. It's 20 yards out, great opportunity...

1535: Shaun Wright-Phillips is full of running and he skips past a Sunderland defender before dragging his right-foot shot badly off target.

1534: Valeri Bojinov heads Elano's corner over at Eastlands. At Anfield, Aston Villa have brought in Curtis Davies for Zat Knight.

1534: "Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez makes two changes as he attempts to take advantage of slips by Chelsea and Manchester United.

"Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa return in place of Sami Hyypia and Lucas - while Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has gone for a real power play up front, pairing Emile Heskey and John Carew. Interesting that he has chosen to drop Gabriel Agbonlahor to the bench after he was jeered by his own fans in the home defeat against Spurs.

"Real expectancy around Anfield today - a huge opportunity for Liverpool."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Anfield

1532: LIVERPOOL v ASTON VILLA LINE-UPS
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Gerrard, Kuyt, Riera, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Lucas, Ngog, El Zhar.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Cuellar, Davies, Luke Young, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Heskey, Carew.
Subs: Guzan, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1531: Manchester City are still piling forward at Eastlands, with their man advantage, but Vincent Kompany leans back and skies their latest shot miles over.

1529: After a ludicrous nigh on seven minutes of injury time, Wigan hold on and get the victory that lifts them up to seventh in the Premier League. Uefa Europa League here the Latics come!

1529: Full-time Wigan 1-0 Hull

1527: "I can miss penalties too, and I'll do it for free!"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

1525: Shaun Wright-Phillips steals possession down the City right and crosses, Robinho producing a diving header that Marton Fulop saves.

1524: Referee Andre Marriner limps off at Wigan and with about a minute left of injury time, we have a quite ludicrous wait as fourth official Mike Dean prepares to take the whistling duties.

1523: Hasn't it got lively all of a sudden? We're into injury time at Wigan, with the hosts easily hanging on to their lead right now.

1523: "Fulop was a few yards off his line but what terrible penalty from Robinho. First Martins then Robinho - I thought it was meant to be the English players that choked on pens..."
BulgarianManc on 606
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1520: MISSED PENALTY (Robinho)
He hasn't scored in 2009, in his last 12 games, and that is an absolutely pathetic attempt at a penalty for such a gifted footballer. It's a penalty alright as Steed Malbranque brings down Micah Richards and Valeri Bojinov and Phil Bardsley are booked in the aftermath. Robinho steps up, pauses, and rolls it ever so tamely to Marton Fulop's left, the Hungarian making an easy save.

1519: PENALTY TO MANCHESTER CITY

1518: This was George McCartney's 150th game for Sunderland - what a way to celebrate. Incidentally Valeri Bojinov fired the resulting free-kick over, and Sunderland have since pulled Daryl Murphy off for Calum Davenport.

1516: GOAL Wigan 1-0 Hull
The hosts get the goal they probably deserve - Mario Melchiot launches a long throw from the left, Matt Duke does not punch it very far and Ben Watson does really well to float it over a stranded Duke and into the empty net.

1515: SENDING OFF George McCartney (Sunderland)
Shaun Wright-Phillips chases a pass on the inside right channel and George McCartney tugs him back - the referee misses it, but the assistant referee is flagging furiously. They deem a goalscoring chance was denied Wright-Phillips and McCartney is sent off. What a shame for the game.

1514: Craig Fagan is taken off by Hull and Peter Halmosi, who has a lovely left foot, comes on in his place.

1512: It's just like watching Bulgaria - there have been some sublime touches from the injury-plagued Valeri Bojinov in the early stages at Eastlands.

1511: Wigan have come oh so close and Steve Bruce cannot believe it. Daniel de Ridder swings over a fabulous cross from the right and there are three Wigan players going up with Hull keeper Matt Duke - it's Hugo Rodallega who gets his head on it but it hits the post and rebounds to the Colombian, his acrobatic follow-up effort brilliantly blocked by Michael Turner.

1509: Olivier Kapo comes on for Paul Scharner at the JJB Stadium and Wigan boss Steve Bruce has now made all his changes.

1508: Shaun Wright-Phillips is played over the top and clean through by a brilliant first-time Valeri Bojinov pass, but the little winger's clipped finish over Marton Fulop drifts agonisingly past the post.

1507: Another breakaway from Sunderland - this time led by Daryl Murphy. The Irishman finds Kenwyne Jones, but the lone striker allows the ball to run away from him.

1506: Quarter of an hour left at Wigan, and plenty to play for.

1505: Quick break from Sunderland, inspired by some Steed Malbranque trickery, but it ends with Grant Leadbitter overcooking the cross.

1504: Amr Zaki, who bagged a brace when Wigan smashed Hull 5-0 earlier on in the season, comes on for the disappointing Mido.

1503: Kevin Kilbane does brilliantly down the Hull left, but his excellent cross is headed into the air by Craig Fagan, who slightly mis-timed his jump.

1503: "It's a blustery day at Eastlands, definitely one for getting the ball down on the deck. It was fairly empty until quite recently, most fans seemed to be taking cover until kick-off."
BBC Sport's Andrew McKenzie at Eastlands

1501: We are under way at Eastlands between Manchester City and Sunderland.

1500: Ben Watson slams in a shot from just inside the Hull penalty area on the left, but he finds the side-netting. Some Wigan fans on the other side of the pitch thought it was in - oh how the Hull fans laughed.

1458: "Looks like a stressful end to the season. I hope it doesn't go to the last game with Hull needing points to survive - Man United at home!"
Hull fan stuck at work in Africa, via text on 81111

1456: "Wigan have upped the tempo, there's more pace and power to their play and Mido and Hugo Rodallega are linking up better as well."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Robbie Savage

1453: Matt Duke makes a vital block to deny Ben Watson after Hugo Rodallega missed a chance to shoot inside the Hull box.

1453: Kamil Zayatte has come off for Hull and Caleb Folan comes on.

1452: Craig Fagan hacks at Daniel de Ridder from behind after losing possession and he is rightly cautioned. Naughty, and the game has lost its flow from the first half, too.

1450: Titus Bramble gets that one all wrong, the Wigan central defender catching Richard Garcia very late and being booked for his troubles.

1449: Geovanni crosses from the left and turning back on to his right foot and the ball is slightly behind Richard Garcia, who can only head over the bar.

1449: "This is a game for insomniacs."
RichtheForest on 606
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Tut, tut, RichtheForest, you haven't been paying attention, have you? Charles Insomnia was taken off at half-time...

1445: Hull have started the second half slightly the better of the two teams - but will their improvement force a response from Wigan, who must still be frustrated they are not in front after dominating for long periods.

1443: "Negativity again from Sbragia. Murphy as support for Jones, joke - we can win this game."
Matt, bored at work, via text on 81111

1442: Dean Marney swings over a corner from the Hull left and Manucho gets a run on it at the near post, glancing goalwards and forcing Chris Kirkland into a good reflex save.

1440: Ben Watson sends over a useless free-kick from the Wigan right and Hull break, but Craig Fagan is not quite as quick as he hoped he might be and Chris Kirkland can sweep up for the hosts.

1437: We're back under way at the JJB Stadium.

1436: Charles N'Zogbia hasn't been so lucky, however, and the Frenchman is taken off and replaced by Daniel de Ridder for Wigan.

1435: Hull's Kamil Zayatte is back out for the second half, he still looks a bit fragile though.

1435: Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov starts for the first time since August 2007, while Craig Bellamy takes a place on the bench after recovering from his own knee problem. Injured Wayne Bridge and Stephen Ireland are replaced by Elano and Nigel de Jong. Sunderland have Anton Ferdinand back fit, while manager Ricky Sbragia has elected to pick Kenwyne Jones as his lone front man, leaving Djibril Cisse on the bench.

1431: "Why on earth would Hull be delighted and fancy their chances of nicking a winner?! They've barely had a shot all half!"
banshee_beat on 606
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Well they can't play that badly again, can they? Can they?

1428: "(See 1356) I wish Villa had more than one 'difference maker' at the minute... Ashley Young is class but will never be a goalscorer. Our chance of a Champions League spot is over from 5.45 this evening!"
George, Birmingham, via text on 81111

Er, any Villains feeling slightly less pessimistic?

1425: MANCHESTER CITY v SUNDERLAND LINE-UPS
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Zabaleta, Wright-Phillips, Elano, De Jong, Kompany, Robinho, Bojinov.
Subs: Hart, Garrido, Fernandes, Evans, Etuhu, Berti, Bellamy.
Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Edwards, Whitehead, Leadbitter, Murphy, Malbranque, Jones.
Subs: Gordon, Cisse, Yorke, Reid, Davenport, Healy, McShane.
Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset)

1423: "Credit to Wigan for the way they're playing - from the team that started the season, they're without their three best players today in Emile Heskey, Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Robbie Savage

1421: Half-time Wigan 0-0 Hull

1421: Charles N'Zogbia limps off after coming back on - they'll get to work on him at half-time.

1419: Charles N'Zogbia and Kamil Zayatte smash into each other just inside the Hull half and they both need treatment before walking gingerly off the field. Ouch - on the replay, that had to hurt - a full-on collision.

1417: Paul Scharner tees up Mario Melchiot down the Wigan right and his cross is gathered at his near post by Matt Duke - though Hugo Rodallega probably should have got a bit more in the mix instead of standing watching.

1416: Geovanni dribbles in from the left and hits a right-foot shot that cannons against a Wigan defender and is cleared.

1414: Hull will be absolutely delighted if they can get to half-time level - they might just fancy their chance of nicking something from this one. Three minutes left of the first half.

1411: Bernard Mendy takes Charles N'Zogbia out with a cynical lunge on halfway as the former Newcastle winger tried to burst forward. It was late and high, and he's perhaps a little lucky the colour of the card is yellow.

1410: The injured Andy Dawson is taken off for Hull, with Richard Garcia coming on in his place.

1408: Hearing news that Valeri Bojinov starts for Manchester City today. More team chat to follow.

1407: "Super Hugo Rodallega, all the guy needs is a goal and he'll start banging them in."
bochum17 on 606
Join the debate on 606

1405: Pace. Hugo Rodallega latches on to a Paul Scharner ball over the top and they can't get near him, the Colombian rifling in a right-foot shot from 20 yards that forces another fine low save from Matt Duke.

1404: "Wigan against Hull sounds like a great rugby league game. They have done so well to both be in the top flight - shows you what hard work can do for you."
Chris, York, via text on 81111

1400: What a chance. Hugo Rodallega heads the ball down to his strike partner seven yards out and Mido has the chance to volley in, but he is on the fall and can only rifle over the crossbar. Wasteful Wigan.

1358: Tell you what, Wigan play some lovely stuff at times, full credit to Steve Bruce for producing this sort of football. For those of you worried this would be boring - shame on you.

1356: Geovanni whips over a left-footed cross from the right and Mario Melchiot defends it brilliantly, heading away with Manucho waiting to pounce.

1356: "Hull will sneak past Wigan by one goal today I reckon, with Bernard Mendy being the difference maker. The guy's top class."
Rich, via text on 81111

Difference maker? Love it.

1354: Danger over, as Hugo Rodallega curls the set-piece into the arms of Matt Duke.

1353: Free-kick to Wigan right on the edge of the Hull penalty area after Paul Scharner goes down under a challenge from Sam Ricketts, who is perhaps harshly booked for his involvement. Great shooting chance for the Latics, this...

1352: Better from Hull, who knock it around nicely in the Wigan half, that's their first real period of possession in the game so far but ends when Bernard Mendy heads out of play for a goalkick.

1350: "The gaps between Hull's back four and their midfield four or five is too big - when Wigan break they've got too much space to play in."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Robbie Savage

1349: Michael Brown lashes a shot wide from 25 yards and apart from a rubbish Craig Fagan volley that dribbled wide earlier, I cannot remember Hull threatening their opponents' goal.

1346: Hugo Rodallega finds space on the right with Hull's defence badly stretched and he picks out Mido on the right-hand corner of the 18-yard box, but the Egyptian's left-foot shot flies a couple of yards over the crossbar.

1346: "It's a pity, but looks very much like Hull's insane start to the season will be cancelled out by this abysmal finish. I have a feeling they'll join West Brom and Newcastle in the Championship next season."
Football_Realist on 606
Join the debate on 606

1344: Wigan are flying and Ben Watson hits a crisp volley from 30 yards all along the floor that Matt Duke, who is in for a very busy day, gets down well to save. It's all Wigan so far.

1341: Paul Scharner does well down the right but Michael Turner sticks out a foot to stop his cross getting to Mido. It's Scharner's 100th Premier League appearance today.

1341: "(See 1332) Are we gonna see a David James-esque appearance up front by one of them if Wigan need a late goal?"
Ted, Derby, via text on 81111

1339: Hull have won one of their last 12 and two of their last 20 league games, and you can see why on this evidence so far - they are being run ragged by Wigan at the moment.

1337: Charles N'Zogbia surges at the Hull defence and after being blocked initially he manages to fire a brilliant low cross right across the Hull six-yard box - Matt Duke in fact got a vital touch on it and the visitors eventually clear.

1334: Charles N'Zogbia crosses from the left and Maynor Figueroa, who has had an interesting start to the game, glances a header wide.

1333: Woah, where did that come from? Maynor Figueroa swings over a cross from the left and the wind seems to take the ball over Matt Duke in the Hull goal and it cannons off the angle of post and crossbar.

1332: Wigan have got two goalkeepers on the bench - according to BBC Radio 5 Live, Richard Kingson and Mike Pollitt are both on the bench so their appearance money keeps them happy. Remarkable.

1331: Hull City, looking precariously over their shoulder in the Premier League, get us under way at the JJB Stadium.

1327: The players are out at the JJB and we're not far off getting under way.

1326: "In that changing room there is a group of very motivated players. We have to bring our fighting spirit to the table - it will be a battle today because Wigan are fighting for survival like we are."
Hull City boss Phil Brown

1324: A win for Wigan would lift them up to seventh in the table, which at the end of the season is likely to be enough to secure a place in the Uefa Europa League (the new Uefa Cup). Though they'll need to start winning more regularly - they've only bagged all three points once in their last nine games.

1320: Stevo's Predos:
Wigan 2-1 Hull
Man City 2-0 Sunderland
Liverpool 3-1 Aston Villa
Lawro's predictions

1317: "Being a Chelsea fan who like Guus has given up on winning the title this season, I would prefer the Mancs to win it. I don't think I could cope with the summer-long media love-in with Liverpool's first Premier League title. Pass me the sick bag."
John, Kent, via text on 81111
Hiddink hints title bid is over

1313: "My mum just head-butted me, happy Mother's Day!"
Robin Van Persie's Right Foot on 606
Join the debate on 606

Extraordinary.

1311:Wigan make one enforced change from their win over Sunderland. Midfielder Antonio Valencia is out with a hamstring injury, so striker Hugo Rodallega starts. Hull make five changes from the side that was knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal in midweek. Boaz Myhill, Anthony Gardner, Ian Ashbee, Peter Halmosi and Nick Barmby make way for Matt Duke, Michael Turner, Kevin Kilbane, Dean Marney and Bernard Mendy.

1308: WIGAN ATHLETIC v HULL CITY LINE-UPS
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Watson, Brown, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Rodallega, Mido.
Subs: Kingson, Pollitt, Edman, Cho, Zaki, De Ridder, Kapo.
Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Zayatte, Turner, Dawson, Mendy, Marney, Kilbane, Geovanni, Manucho, Fagan.
Subs: Myhill, Doyle, Barmby, France, Garcia, Halmosi, Folan.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1305: The game between Liverpool and Aston Villa is later, but feel free to get involved in some chat in the meantime. Wigan v Hull is first up today, and then there's Manchester City v Sunderland. Texts go to 81111, and the debate never stops raging on 606.
Join the debate on 606

1300: Hello, is it a title race you're looking for? Then you've come to the right place. Manchester United are wobbling, so Liverpool, it's over to you.



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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 5-0 Aston Villa
22 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Man City 1-0 Sunderland
22 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Wigan 1-0 Hull
22 Mar 09 |  Premier League


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