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Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Sunday, 10 May 2009 18:09 UK

Premier League as it happened

Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea
Man Utd 2-0 Man City


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

By Jonathan Stevenson

1808: It's exit o'clock. They're taking your calls on BBC Radio 5 Live on 606 right now, and Match of the Day 2 is on BBC Two and online at 2230 BST. Congrats to Manchester United and Chelsea, and thanks a trillion (inflation, eh?) for your company this weekend. Cheesy's back tomorrow for the Tyne-Tees 12-pointer. Soon.

1803: Final word on the day's stats? Yeah, go on then Macca: "It's a game of two halves for Arsenal's boys in the Player Rater standings, with over half of the Gunners failing to even reach the average mark of 6.0. Nicolas Anelka rubs more of the proverbial salt into the wounds of his former side by snatching the honours with 7.58. It's not too late for you to have a little play:"
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From Medieval-Evil on 606: "Scoreline flatters Chelsea more than a little, but Arsenal paid the price for shocking defending and poor finishing. Officiating was shocking, every dive bought and Florent Malouda was clearly offside for his goal."
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From Sam Gos from Reading, via text on 81111: "Cesc Fabregas seems to have completely forgotten how to pass; he's a shadow of his former self at the moment."

1755: John Terry leads the Chelsea players over to their happy band of supporters and the skipper throws his shirt to a child in the crowd. Fabulous response to the heartbreak of Wednesday night, well done the Blues.


1753: Full-time Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea
Arsenal have been taught a very harsh lesson today by a thoroughly ruthless Chelsea performance. For all their lovely football in the first half, they were blown away by some sloppy defending and some clinical finishing. It'll be a difficult summer for Arsene Wenger.

1751: We're into injury time at an Emirates stadium that has endured a very, very difficult week. There will be two minutes, but only about half the crowd have bothered sticking around to see it.

1748: Michael Ballack comes on for Florent Malouda with a couple of minutes left. Big hug and smiles all round from the Chelsea boys.


1747: GOAL Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea
Frank Lampard plays the ball through to Florent Malouda and his shot is saved by Lukasz Fabianski. It breaks to Nicolas Anelka, who shoots against the post and the rebound falls for Malouda to tap into the empty net. Salt, open wound, rubbing.

1746: Dive, dive, dive. What's worse? That Emmanuel Adebayor cheated, or that referee Phil Dowd didn't book him? The striker tries to go round Petr Cech but falls over without any contact. Woeful.

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From Toby at the Emirates, via text on 81111: "How can Wenger, having seen what a Patrick Vieira-type player can do for a team, not have realised that Arsenal HAD to replace Flamini? We just haven't got the required physicality in midfield. And no Arsene, it's not OK."

1743: It's carnage for a moment in the Chelsea six-yard box and Petr Cech makes a fine save at his near post from Mikael Silvestre, before Kieran Gibbs hammers over.

1742: Didier Drogba, who has behaved impeccably all afternoon, dinks a lovely ball over the Arsenal defence for Frank Lampard, who is wrongly adjudged offside. Would have been one-on-one.

1741: Ten minutes left, plus stoppages.

1740: Emmanuel Adebayor does well on the edge of the Chelsea box to skip away from a couple of tackles and find Samir Nasri down the right, but his cross is headed at Petr Cech by Robin van Persie.

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From mduchezeau on 606: "Great change by Guus Hiddink, that one. He's seen that Nicklas Bendtner is getting lots of joy off Jose Bosingwa."
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1737: Chelsea bring on Branislav Ivanovic for Jose Bosingwa.

1735: Emmanuel Adebayor tries to fasten on to a Cesc Fabregas pass inside the Chelsea box and tangles with Jose Bosingwa. Adebayor wants a penalty, but there's nothing doing there.

1734: Deja vu. Bacary Sagna whips over another delicious cross from the right and Nicklas Bendtner rises high at the far post, only to see Petr Cech save this header. Just over 15 minutes left.

1733: Frank Lampard takes it, and promptly slams the ball 10 yards over the crossbar.

1732: Florent Malouda is fouled by Denilson 30 yards out and Didier Drogba might just fancy this one.


1730: GOAL Arsenal 1-3 Chelsea
That makes it a bit more interesting, doesn't it? Samir Nasri and Bacary Sagna take their time down the Arsenal right, eventually the full-back sends over a cross and Nicklas Bendtner climbs above Michael Essien to thump a header into the corner of Petr Cech's net.

1728: Jose Bosingwa cuts in from the right and shoots high and wide from 20 yards. Arsenal bring on Denilson and Emmanuel Adebayor for Alex Song and Theo Walcott, who has endured a very frustrating afternoon. There are definitely a few boos for Adebayor, interestingly.

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From Simon in Wimbledon, via text on 81111: "Wenger out, Moyes in. The other three big sides wouldn't settle for four years without a trophy, why should we?"

1724: Golden chance for Chelsea to make it four, Ashley Cole played in down the left easy as you like and it falls for Jose Bosingwa at the far post, but his half-volley flies over from 10 yards.

1723: Theo Walcott goes on another run at the Chelsea defence and after John Terry holds him up, Michael Essien gets back very well to intercept. It's just not young Theo's day.

1722: Just under half an hour left, and unless Arsenal score quickly, this one is going to meander to its conclusion.

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From bergkamp69 on 606: "Just goes to show that William Gallas is our most important player by far. Without him we've been absolutely awful at the back."
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1719: Nicklas Bendtner comes on after his midweek calamity, and it's Abou Diaby who is sacrificed.
Bendtner makes nightclub apology

1718: Alex Song's brilliant pass into the Chelsea box finds Theo Walcott, but he drives another shot wide of the far post. His shooting has been very poor today.

1717: Arsenal's problem is that no-one takes responsibility enough. For example, Theo Walcott's cross from the right is headed up by Alex and there are three Gunners players who all wait for each other to get possession. They're just not cut-throat enough.

1716: I'd almost forgotten that Arsenal were 21 league games unbeaten prior to today.

1714: Winning today would also mean Chelsea can still mathematically win the league, but clearly they're not going to. Robin van Persie swings over a cross from the right and Cesc Fabregas, under pressure from Michael Essien, volleys over at the back post.

1711: Great chance for Arsenal but how was Robin van Persie not flagged offside? He's two yards off and gets away with it, but he twists on to his favoured left foot and from 18 yards his low shot is saved by Petr Cech.


1709: GOAL Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea
When it's not your day, it's not your day. Jon Mikel Obi's fine pass finds Ashley Cole just inside the Arsenal box down the left and his centre is met by a sliding Kolo Toure, who can only divert it past Lukasz Fabianki and into his own net. Shambolic.

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Graham Taylor: "I have the feeling that there has been a conscious decision from the whole Chelsea team to really behave themselves this afternoon. It helps when you're 2-0 up, though!"

1707: Remember, if Chelsea win, they wrap up third place in the Premier League, which means they won't have to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League next season. Arsenal will, unless they do something pretty special.

1705: The second half begins - what have you got, Arsenal?

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From Mark, at the Emirates, via text on 81111: "Arsenal dominated for the most of the first half. Great football, but it shows Wenger needs to buy a strong central midfielder and defender. Too often Arsenal's midfield allow Lampard and Essien to drift goal side. Simple defensive basics and errors for the goals."

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From SuperFrankieLamps on 606: "Chelsea's anti-football does it again. Direct, powerful and efficient. Many people may see us as the footballing version of the Devil, but we realise that's their problem not ours."
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1656: Forget 0-2 - here are the stats that really matter. Over to Macca: "Football can be a cruel, cruel game at times. But at least Arsenal can be comforted by our good friend Player Rater, who knows when it is time to put an arm around the shoulder of young Theo Walcott. The Gunners teenager is top man at half-time with all the sevens (7.77). Have a play. Go on, have a play:"
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1652: Didier Drogba was locked in talks with referee Phil Dowd as the players walked off. I wonder what they were chatting about...


1649: Half-time Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
Arsenal dominated for long periods of that half, I'm sure Arsene Wenger will be perplexed as to how they are 2-0 behind. But credit to Chelsea for holding firm and taking their chances when they came along.

1649: Nicolas Anelka has a chance to wrap it up from Florent Malouda's pass 10 yards out, but Lukasz Fabianski makes the save with his legs.

1647: Into first-half injury time, and there will be two minutes. The Emirates is eerily quiet now.

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From Sam, just getting in from work in Newcastle, via text on 81111: "Can you say well done to Whitley Bay who beat Glossop North End 2-0 in the FA Vase? Since you mentioned the play-offs, Arsenal Ladies and F1 earlier. Thank you."

No - thank you, Sam.

1644: Robin van Persie finds Theo Walcott just inside the Chelsea box, but the winger's radar isn't working today and he drags it wide of the far post.

1642: How on earth are Arsenal 2-0 down? Five minutes left in the first half.


1640: GOAL Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea
It's Arsenal's soft centre that costs them, but that's a fine goal from former Gunner Nicolas Anelka. He turns Samir Nasri about 45 yards out and is allowed room to drive forward, hitting a swerving shot from 25 yards that flies past the despairing dive of Lukasz Fabianski and nestles in the bottom corner.

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Graham Taylor: "Yes they are 1-0 down, but Arsenal are bound to score if they keep playing like this, they just need to be prepared to have more shots on goal for the amount of possession they have."

1638: Arsenal break with pace and Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas exchange a couple of passes before the skipper crosses for the Dutch striker to flick goalwards, but Jose Bosingwa clears his lines.

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From Adam, Liverpool, via text on 81111: "Interesting choice of words with 'daylight robbery', don't think it comes anywhere near the events of earlier this week."

1636: Petr Cech and Ashley Cole have some words after the defender tried to shield the ball back to his keeper, only for Robin van Persie to nip in - the Dutchman cannot control it and it runs out of play, but that was a bit risky from Chelsea.

1634: Cesc Fabregas needs to be very, very careful here. He slides in and fouls Florent Malouda and he couldn't have many complaints if he'd picked up another yellow. Good refereeing from Phil Dowd, though - common sense.

1632: Florent Malouda collects the ball down the left and cuts inside - he tries to pick out Didier Drogba, but Kolo Toure is there to intervene. Nervy moments for Arsenal.

1632: That's the first goal Arsenal have conceded at the Emirates in the league since Robbie Keane bagged for Liverpool (imagine?) on 21 December. That was 13 hours and 16 minutes ago, would you believe?


1629: GOAL Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
Daylight robbery. Didier Drogba picks himself up to swing over the free-kick and Alex rises high to thump a brilliant header against the underside of the bar and into the net. Simplicity itself.

Yellow card

1629: Cesc Fabregas picks up a booking on his 200th start for Arsenal for a foul on Didier Drogba. The fact he accused Drogba of diving probably didn't help. Naughty.

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From Niko_Kranjcar on 606: "Chelsea are losing this in midfield, Arsenal are completely controlling the game. But Arsenal are wasting chances, while Chelsea look dangerous on the counter."
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1626: From the resulting free-kick the ball bounces miles up into the sky before landing at the feet of Alex Song six yards out, but he slices wide with the goal gaping. How are Arsenal not in front?

1626: Jon Mikel Obi has a couple of little kicks at Samir Nasri just outside the Chelsea penalty area and Phil Dowd penalises him, giving him a few words of calming advice too.

1623: Cracking flick from Didier Drogba down the Chelsea left to send Ashley Cole through and his cut-back finds Florent Malouda, but the Frenchman doesn't catch his shot properly and Kieran Gibbs is on hand to kick it away from danger.

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From Danny B, London, via text on 81111: "If only we could buy in Tevez's work-rate and somehow plant it into Adebayor. We might just have the perfect player then!"

1620: Arsenal in full flow as Abou Diaby does well down the left and cuts the ball back to the edge of the area, where Theo Walcott side-foots it a yard wide with Petr Cech beaten. Good stuff from the hosts.

1619: Congratulations to Arsenal Ladies, who beat Everton 1-0 today to secure the Women's Premier League title.

1618: Chelsea are all over the place at the back and Samir Nasri's cross is deflected across the six-yard box, before Ashley Cole intercepts Bacary Sagna's follow-up centre. Cole is getting his customary boos at Arsenal.

1616: Arsenal look dangerous every time they go forward and it's Robin van Persie's turn to play a lovely pass into the path of Cesc Fabregas, but as he surged into the box Petr Cech raced off his line to thwart the Spaniard.

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From gunstolze on 606: "The current and the future left-backs of England on show today; and Kieran Gibbs is showing Ashley Cole up..."
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Hmm. Bit early to say that, isn't it?

1614: Gilt-edged. Samir Nasri sends the ball over to the right and Theo Walcott delivers a perfect cross to the edge of the six-yard where Abou Diaby can only slide it wide. Should score.

1612: The ball breaks to Frank Lampard 25 yards out and he slams a left-foot shot two, three yards over the bar. It's still mostly Arsenal though, in the early stages.

1612: With 10 minutes gone Chelsea finally get into the Arsenal box, but Didier Drogba's flick-on header is cleared by Kolo Toure.

1611: Oops, forgot to mention why the brilliant Andrey Arshavin isn't playing today - he's been ill this week, so the Russian hasn't been included in Arsenal's squad of 18. Shame.

1610: Samir Nasri plays a cute pass into the path of Theo Walcott on the right-hand side of the penalty area but the angle is tight and Petr Cech saves Walcott's near-post shot.

1607: Haven't seen much of Didier Drogba yet because Chelsea have had hardly any of the ball.

1606: Arsenal are up for this one, no doubt at all. They are getting stuck in to every 50-50 and winning most of them - encouragingly, too, Kieran Gibbs has had a very impressive start after his unfortunate slip in midweek.

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Graham Taylor: "There is a feeling that although Theo Walcott does play out wide, his eventual position will be as a striker."

1602: Only 18 seconds gone and Theo Walcott plays a one-two with Robin van Persie and although he gets blocked off, the ball comes back to him and the England winger fires a right-foot shot over the bar from 12 yards.

1602: We're officially under way at the Emirates, courtesy of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

The sun is out

1559: The teams are out, the sun's out, and I'm getting another graphic out. Let's hope we get some goals at the Emirates to round off the weekend.

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From Sarah at the Emirates, via text on 81111: "Stevo, we need a big strong centre-half and a decent centre-forward, Emmanuel Adebayor is useless and lazy; get rid."

1557: Chelsea will want to improve their record against the other so-called 'Big Four' clubs this season - the Blues have picked up just a solitary point from their five meetings. Teams are in the tunnel.

1556: Blimey. Cesc Fabregas is making his 200th start for Arsenal today, a remarkable number of games for a man who has only just turned 22 years of age. I wonder how long the Spanish schemer plans to stick around in north London for...

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From Riquelminho on 606: "I think experience is the key word for Arsene Wenger when he's looking to purchase this summer. Far too many times has Arsenal's naivety cost them this season."
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "Forget about me, I'm here to suffer when it doesn't go well, that's my role. There's a big difference between finishing third and fourth so we really want to win today."

1549: It's a safe bet Arsenal aren't too happy that Didier Drogba is playing today - after all, the combustible Ivorian hitman has scored eight goals in nine appearances against the Gunners, including the winner in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last month.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink: "I didn't have any second thoughts about selecting Didier Drogba today, we have to go on. Wednesday was a big blow for everyone and we've had to swallow it. Now we have to react and it's a beautiful game in which to do that."

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From Jeff, Reading, via text on 81111: "Yaya Toure, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Carlos Tevez, with Emmanuel Adebayor going to partly fund it."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "It was a horrible game today and the second goal killed it off. A win's a win, we should congratulate the players after a hard week. As for Carlos Tevez, he's a United player. I'm not going into it any further."

1537: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been talking in his programme notes about the need to strengthen his squad in the summer: "We will look to bring in one or two players. We are prepared to spend the necessary money to get the players we want." So, Gunners - who do you want/need?

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From manfrombelmonty on 606: "Disappointed in City today. They played with all the passion of a Newcastle team. Wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if Hughes isn't around next year."
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1531: Macca thinks you should know about the latest ratings, and I'm not about to start arguing with him: "Player Rater is now siding with the fans in the shall-we-or-shall-we-not-sign Carlos Tevez case. He ends the game on a sizeable 8.50. Cristiano Ronaldo will be furious with all of you for his 7.76. There's still time for you to have a little play..."
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1528: Arsenal v Chelsea line-ups
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Walcott, Nasri, Song Billong, Diaby, Fabregas, Van Persie.
Subs: Mannone, Denilson, Ramsey, Djourou, Adebayor, Bendtner, Eboue.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Di Santo, Ballack, Kalou, Belletti, Mancienne.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Jimmy Armfield: "Whatever Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo do won't affect Sir Alex Ferguson. I'm not sure what Tevez was doing really when he scored, but the crowd do like him and he's endeared himself to them even more today. It'll be interesting to see what happens."


1524: Full-time Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City
United will be absolutely delighted with those three points, they must have expected a far tougher game today. City just did not turn up, and they got what they deserved. United need four points to win the league.

1521: We're into injury time and Manchester City are about to be put out of their misery.


1520: Wayne Rooney's corner from the right is headed on by Darren Fletcher and at the far post, Carlos Tevez nods it against the upright from about six inches out.

1519: Wayne Rooney plays an outrageous outside-of-the-foot pass to send Paul Scholes through but he's not quite as quick as he once was and Richard Dunne gets back in to make a very timely tackle. Robinho is injured, and he's replaced by Ched Evans.

1518: Wayne Rooney looks up from the halfway line, sees Shay Given six yards off his line and attempts to lob it over the goalkeeper. He gets it wrong, and it drifts 20 yards wide - good thinking though.

1516: Martin Petrov, with that wand of a left foot of his, curls a crackerjack from 30 yards that is curling into the top corner until Edwin van der Sar's fingertips divert it wide. Unlucky, son.

1516: Robinho's 25-yard shot is blocked by the imposing figure of Nemanja Vidic, who has had an absolutely flawless game once again. Magnificent.

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From Dave at OT, via text on 81111: "Stevo, the volume here is shockingly bad, but it generally is these days. The only people who make any noise are Stretford End tier two and the away fans. The latter have been unusually quiet today though????"

1512: Oh what a gift for today. Didier Drogba starts for Chelsea at Arsenal. More team news from the Emirates in due course, but there's your starter for 10.

1511: There are less than 10 minutes left at Old Trafford. Up in the stands, Rio Ferdinand looks a good deal more pleased than Ricky Hatton.

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From torrestacular on 606: "I am a Liverpool fan and think Ronaldo is a truly fantastic footballer. Unfortunately, he is not a likeable person. If he showed a bit of modesty and humility about him he would be liked a lot more. However, he reeks of arrogance and petulance."
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Yellow card

In a nutshell, I guess that's why the average football fan is much fonder of Lionel Messi - he's just so much more likeable as a person.

1507: Tell you what, Dimitar Berbatov's had a cracking game this afternoon. His link-up play has been terrific and he's led the line perfectly for United. Probably deserves a goal for his performance.

1504: Dimitar Berbatov feeds Carlos Tevez and he skips around Richard Dunne before ploughing a 20-yard drive just wide of Shay Given's left-hand post.

1503: Manchester City bring on Martin Petrov for Nigel de Jong.

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From Becky, Man Utd, via text on 81111: "(See 1444) You are not wrong, it is very quiet at Old Trafford. I've noticed it has been like that the last few matches... are we losing our faith in our team? I hope not. They are the champions!"

1501: Micah Richards heads a Manchester City corner wide, and Cristiano Ronaldo is still musing on his substitution on the United bench. He looks like he might burst into tears. I'm not sure Fergie will be best pleased with his star man's behaviour.

1459: Robinho tricks his way past Rafael and finds Valeri Bojinov, who has a 20-yard left-foot shot deflected wide by Nemanja Vidic. United bring John O'Shea on for Jonny Evans.

1459: Paul Scholes plays a stunning pass towards the left to Ryan Giggs, who sees his cross blocked by Micah Richards. Classic Scholes.

1456: There are 25 minutes left, and it's got the air of a training game right now. Even Sir Bobby Charlton looks a bit underwhelmed.

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From Sign him up!!!(Tevez) on 606: "Disappointing reaction from Ronaldo. Fergie's stuck by him all season, even when he was not at his best. Now he is at his best and is taken off to have a rest for the big games coming up and he is being a disgrace."
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Yellow card

1453: The wholly ineffective Felipe Caicedo is taken off by Manchester City and Valeri Bojinov comes on.

1452: The camera focuses on Cristiano Ronaldo for 20 seconds, and for the duration he is shaking his head. It's hard to believe how prima-donna-like one person can be sometimes.

1450: Manchester United make a double substitution, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Park coming off and Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes coming on. Ronaldo looked utterly gobsmacked to be hauled off, shrugging his Portuguese shoulders and wafting away the offer of a training top.

1448: Congratulations to Shrewsbury, who have just booked their place in the League Two play-off final after beating Bury 4-3 on penalties. Luke Daniels, their keeper, even saved a peno in normal time - what a hero.

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From Jim, Brighton, via text on 81111: "You know when people go on about textbook - to which textbook are they referring? Where can I find a copy?"

1444: Correct me if I'm wrong (though only if you're there), but it doesn't sound like a typically noisy derby day atmosphere at Old Trafford today. Is that because City haven't really made a game of it so far?

1441: The United fans have got their ole's out, but City should have got one back there. Vincent Kompany plays a fabulous pass into the path of Robinho but the Brazilian, eight yards out, gets it all wrong and slices his shot miles wide.

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From Civelli's Chevrolet on 606: "Anyone noticed how many Ireland runs haven't been picked out by City? He gets into nice positions, yet the ball is floated into the area. Scared, rushed play from City."
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Yellow card

1438: Manchester United's Darren Fletcher picks up another card, this time a yellow for a late challenge on Stephen Ireland in the centre-circle.

1437: Set-pieces are an area where City could threaten, but Elano's delivery hasn't been great today and another corner is cleared by the first man, on this occasion Patrice Evra.

1435: City were out a good bit before United and we are back under way at Old Trafford. An early goal for the visitors could make it interesting.

1432: You know what? Carlos Tevez really, really enjoyed proving his point, too. After scoring, he wheeled away towards the touchline where Sir Alex Ferguson sits. He cupped his ears and held the pose for about a minute, as the fans celebrated and sang his name. But Fergie vs the fans? Only one winner there.

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From Cecil at Old Trafford, via text on 81111: "'Fergie, Fergie sign him up' is being sung all over Old Trafford. Hasn't Fergie got the hint yet? There are 76,000 fans in this ground who want Tevez to sign for their team. 70,000 United fans and 6,000 City fans!"

1426: I wonder what's going on in the joyful land of Player Rater? Macca, fill us in, son: "If our good friend Player Rater was to decide Carlos Tevez's future at Manchester United, it would be fair to say he's undecided at present. He's on 6.44 at half-time, with Cristiano Ronaldo top man on 7.76. Things could change with that late Tevez goal though. Why not pop over there and have a play?"
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BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Jimmy Armfield: "It was Cristiano Ronaldo's goal that kicked United into life and since then they've been easily the better of the two teams, they're just sharper than City in every area."


1419: Half-time Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City
That goal on the stroke of half-time is a body blow to City's hopes of getting back into the game - you cannot see anything other than a comfortable United win now. The visitors just haven't really turned up.

1418: Nemanja Vidic produces a perfect sliding challenge in his own penalty box to prevent the marauding Stephen Ireland from racing through and having a shot.


1416: GOAL Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City
That's a brilliant goal to watch, and Carlos Tevez might just have proved his point. A long ball is played over the top of the City defence and Dimitar Berbatov showcases his unbelievable touch, somehow bringing it down and playing it back to Tevez. The Argentine shifts it sideways and rifles a superb shot in-off the right-hand post from 20 yards. Stunning.

1416: City's big problem today is that they don't have enough pace in the team. Their build-up is just so deliberate, they cannot make any headway whatsoever. Mark Hughes looks very, very frustrated on the touchline.

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From The Anderson, Rafael and Fabio Posse(bon)! on 606: "I wonder what the reaction would be of the majority of United fans if Tevez were to join Liverpool at the end of the season? I would personally still applaud the guy, but I couldn't help feeling a bitter taste in my mouth if he did. I believe he would excel there too with Torres, Gerrard and Masch."
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1410: Referee Chris Foy has words with Vincent Kompany and Dimitar Berbatov, who clashed off the ball a few moments ago. Kompany appeared to run into the Bulgarian, who half kicked out. Much ado about nothing.

1409: Bit better from City, who are content to knock the ball around in the United half without looking all too threatening, until Nigel de Jong curls one into the arms of Edwin van der Sar from 25 yards.

1406: City get on the ball in the United half for the first time in a while, but the move breaks down as Stephen Ireland clips it out of play. He's really struggling today.

Yellow card

1404: City break quickly and Stephen Ireland tries to get to the loose ball but Patrice Evra is just too quick for him and Ireland catches the Frenchman. Evra rolls around on the floor until Ireland is booked, and then gets up. Not good.


1402: City are saved by the woodwork as Carlos Tevez, with a point to prove today, creates a yard of space on the left-hand side of the visitors' penalty area and curls a fabulous shot that smacks against the far post with Shay Given watching on.

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From Tony in Bath, via text on 81111: "People talk about Messi being the best player in the world, but can anyone honestly say there is a more complete player than Ronaldo? Left foot, right foot, great in the air, fast, skilful, open play, set-pieces. Is there no end to his genius?!"

Sickening, isn't it?

1400: Robinho, who has been desperately quiet thus far, wriggles away from Rafael and drills a low shot a few yards wide from outside the United box. Didn't quite catch it, the Brazilian.

1359: Nemanja Vidic heads a Wayne Bridge cross away from danger. He heads it further than most people could even kick it. It's his starting position that is so exceptional, the centre-back - it's pure textbook.

1357: United are bossing it now and Cristiano Ronaldo is in the mood to cause havoc. Micah Richards will certainly know he's been in a game come the final whistle, I almost feel sorry for him.

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From Ashy07 on 606: "Liverpool fan here. Initially I thought it wasn't a free-kick but having seen the replay, it was a free-kick. Ireland caught the man first."
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1352: Stephen Ireland's had a cracking season, but he's had an indifferent start here. He gifts possession to Cristiano Ronaldo and then when he gets it back, he is easily dispossessed by Darren Fletcher.

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Jimmy Armfield: "He's done it so often Cristiano Ronaldo with his free-kicks, like David Beckham, that he almost expects to score, and that's probably one of the reasons he's so successful. But City had six men in that wall, I don't think Shay Given could see the ball until too late."


1349: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City
Stephen Ireland brings Dimitar Berbatov down and from then on it's all about Cristiano Ronaldo. He rifles the ball goalwards, it takes a slight deflection and dips horribly just in front of Shay Given, beating the keeper's dive and nestling into the corner.

1348: Manchester United have a free-kick 25 yards out...

1347: I wonder how many times Nemanja Vidic heads a ball during the course of a game? Elano swings over a lovely free-kick into a dangerous area, but the big Serb is in the perfect place to thump it away.

1346: Cristiano Ronaldo shoots from a 45-yard free-kick. It hits the wall, probably about seven yards away. In the form he's in, why not?

1344: City are knocking it around quite nicely at the moment, but there isn't a great deal of movement up front for them.

Text in your views on 81111

From Anon, via text on 81111: "Looks like the game could be a cracker. Both teams still have reasons to play for, the title for United and Europe for City. As a Liverpool fan, I'm hoping City are the hungrier side."


1339: Rio Ferdinand is missing today because of a calf injury he picked up in training. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is almost never injured, turns Micah Richards inside out down the United left, cuts inside and hammers a shot straight at Shay Given from 25 yards.

1337: Hopeless. Robinho's lovely flick gets to Elano and he drives towards goal from the left only to drag a horrible shot yards wide, with options in the area too.

1336: Cristiano Ronaldo finds Carlos Tevez and he tries a highly ambitious shot from 30 yards that rolls all along the ground and Shay Given gets down comfortably to save.

1334: First chance and it goes to the champions. Rafael's cross from the right is neatly cushioned into the path of Park by Cristiano Ronaldo and the midfielder fires wide from 12 yards.

A celeb has been spotted

1331: Ricky Hatton is in the stands at Old Trafford, sat alongside Rio Ferdinand. Not sure that's the best place for a massive City fan. United get us under way.

Text in your views on 81111

From Shameless Steve, via text on 81111: "A lot may depend on the referee today. Will Chris Foy be stronger mentally than Howard Webb was in the Spurs game? If so, City can get something."

1327: The players are out at Old Trafford, led by the captains Ryan Giggs and Richard Dunne.

1326: Though City's away form does leave a little to be desired. Since beating United at Old Trafford in February last year, they've won only three of their 23 league games away from Eastlands.

1324: Manchester United are always in good form aren't they? But City are flying too, as they aim for Europe. They've won their last three games, Robinho's scored in all of them, and they haven't won four in a row in the Premier League since November 1992.

1322: I must admit, I fall on the side of Dimitar Berbatov in the argument about who I'd rather have out of the Bulgarian and Carlos Tevez. I know Tevez is a fans' favourite, he works unbelievably hard and has got plenty of ability. But for me, for £30m, he misses too many chances. I think Berbatov maybe just needed a few months to settle, to get used to his price tag and playing for a club like United. But he's a sublimely-talented footballer.

Get involved on 606

From gerrard=legend on 606: "Matt, Berbatov starts every week and still isn't prolific. Berbatov was the waste of £30m, Tevez wouldn't be. But now Fergie's bought Berbatov, it looks like Tevez will go. Huge mistake in my opinion."
Join the debate on 606

1314: It's Ronaldo v Robinho today, I wonder how that one will pan out as they're both in very, very good form of late. Robinho threw his toys out of the Real Madrid pram when the Spanish club made it clear they wanted to sign Ron, so maybe the Brazilian has something to prove.

Text in your views on 81111

From Matt, via text on 81111: "I'm a Liverpool fan, but fair play to United for suggesting they don't want to sign Tevez for £30m. That's a crazy price for a reserve striker who isn't prolific in a recession. Wish there was more perspective in the Premier League."

1307: By the way, they are hammering around the track in Barcelona right now as the Spanish Grand Prix takes centre stage. There's been a right old smash up early on, too. Sam 'the' Lyon is your master of ceremonies.
Live - Spanish Grand Prix

Get involved on 606

From Seb {Napier not out Runs 152 Balls 58} on 606: "I love Tevez but it's too much cash. If you're paying £20-30m for a striker they need to be clinical, which he just isn't. I know he does a lot for the team, but for all the huff and puff he misses a lot of chances."
Join the debate on 606

1300: Stevo's Predos:
Man Utd 3-2 Man City
Arsenal 1-1 Chelsea
Lawro's predictions

1256:Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney drops to the bench and Carlos Tevez starts, while centre-back Rio Ferdinand is out and Jonny Evans starts in his place. Rafael, Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov come in for John O'Shea, Michael Carrick and Anderson. Manchester City boss Mark Hughes keeps faith with the side which has won their last three games. Winger Shaun Wright-Phillips again misses out with an ankle problem.

Text in your views on 81111

From Sami, Old Trafford, via text on 81111: "I have a terrible feeling City will get something off us today, let's hope I'm wrong."

1249: Lots of you talking about Carlos Tevez already. It's a little surprising that he starts after his interview in the News of the World today, where he essentially says goodbye to United. "I have not been treated as a member of the family," said the Argentine. Question is, how far should United go to keep him? Do they really need Tevez?
Tevez expecting to leave Man Utd

1247: Manchester United v Manchester City line-ups
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Giggs, Park, Berbatov, Tevez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Rooney, Carrick, Nani, Scholes, O'Shea.
Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Elano, Ireland, Kompany, De Jong, Robinho, Caicedo.
Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Bojinov, Petrov, Fernandes, Evans, Berti.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1243: I'm hearing news that Wayne Rooney is not playing for Manchester United today - Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez all start up front. Full team news shortly.

1242: And how will you respond? Consider the gauntlet laid down, now shake off those inhibitions and make my day with your virtual presence. Texts, about whatever takes your fancy, go to 81111, and the debate on 606 is up and running.
Join the debate on 606

1238: As if it's not enough that we've got a mouth-waterer (it's a new word) at Old Trafford to get stuck into, later on Arsenal and Chelsea meet at the Emirates in what they might call the 'Battle of the Vanquished'. Both will be hurting deeply after midweek Champions League heartbreak, so how will they respond?

1235: It's Manchester o'clock and there's a lot at stake for both teams, as well as local bragging rights. United will take a giant step towards winning the Premier League if they can bag the points, while victory for City would move them into seventh - the last Uefa Europa League spot for next season.

1230: As a football fan, it's got to be right up there, surely: beating your fiercest local rivals on their own patch and (potentially) derailing their title bid in the process.

You up for it, Manchester City?

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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
Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea
10 May 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd 2-0 Man City
10 May 09 |  Premier League

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