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Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008
Live - Premier League



RESULTS
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
West Brom 2-1 Man City

CLUB WORLD CUP FINAL RESULT
Liga de Quito 0-1 Man Utd

LATEST ACTION (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

1807: What a day, what a day. If you need to vent your emotions, try Spoonie on 606 right now. Don't miss MOTD2 on BBC1 at 2220 GMT, it will be a Christmas cracker I assure you. Talking of which, I wish you all a fabulous, fabulous Christmas. Take care now.

1803: Robin van Persie will no doubt be delighted to learn that his superb strike for Arsenal earns him Player of the Day from Player Rater users with 7.84. Manchester City striker Darius Vassell is today's bad guy on 4.33.
Pick a game, rate the players

1800: "Despite the circumstances, we have to be happy with a point. Hats off to Lucas and especially Insua, probably their best games for us today."
Chris, Torquay, via text on 81111

1756: A fair result in my opinion (which as everyone on 606 has already established is almost always wrong). Arsenal remain eight points behind Liverpool and once again, it's over to Chelsea, who can leapfrog Rafa Benitez's side with victory over Everton tomorrow night.

1755: The Arsenal fans are still roundly booing Howard Webb as the players leave the pitch and I think the referee will be hearing from Arsene Wenger in a little while too.

1754: FULL-TIME Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

1752: Emmanuel Eboue gets a good reception from the home fans as he replaces Samir Nasri.

1750: Good chance for Liverpool and it's that man Emiliano Insua crossing it in again from the left. Nabil El Zhar glancing the header wide. Three minutes of stoppage time remaining.

1748: Liverpool replace Lucas with David Ngog for the last few minutes.

1747: Liverpool defender Daniel Agger unleashes a rocket from 30 yards and sees it fizz millimetres wide. Less than four minutes remaining.

1741: Lucas gets a very well-deserved yellow card for his millionth foul of the day - this time on Abou Diaby. Robbie Keane comes off for Liverpool, Nabil El Zhar on. Dirk Kuyt will play through the middle.

1738: Jamie Carragher fouls Robin van Persie again and he must be walking the tightrope now.

1737: "I wasn't aware you made dresses too Caroline. Maybe you can make Anon (see 1731) a nice one."
Siddy, London, via text on 81111

1733: Jamie Carragher trips Robin van Persie to collect the latest booking. Can we get back to football now?

1731: "Caroline you don't know much about football do you? Go back to your dressmaking! Only someone who never played football would come up with such a stupid comment."
Anon via text on 81111

1728: Football is a game of opinions no? Plenty of people think Emmanuel Adebayor's challenge was not even worthy of a yellow. It depends on what angle you're looking at it from. Meanwhile, Arsenal are in danger of losing control, Bacary Sagna sliding in wildly on Albert Riera and picking up a yellow.

1727: Howard Webb gets his card out again for Robin van Persie for a mis-timed tackle.

1726: "That is one of the worst sendings off I've ever seen. Absolute joke."
oligold11 on 606
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1723: The Arsenal fans are still booing referee Howard Webb as Arsene Wenger rages on the touchline, making his feelings known to anyone who will listen.

1722: RED CARD Arsenal
Emmanuel Adebayor goes in with his foot over the top on Alvaro Arbeloa and also seems to wave an arm in the defender's face. That's a definite yellow to go with the questionable one in the first half. Arsene Wenger is fuming. But it might even have been a straight red...

1721: There's Emiliano Insua again, hurtling down the left and delivering yet another cross - but only an Arsenal defender on the end.

1719: "Do we still have the receipt for David Bentley? He has to be the most inconsistent player in the Premier League. Actually, make that the world."
Craig, Essex, via text on 81111

1717: Dirk Kuyt forces the corner for Liverpool but Daniel Agger heads well wide. Arsenal are yet to recover from the shock of that Robbie Keane goal coupled with Cesc Fabregas's departure.

1714: I like this Emiliano Insua character. He delivers another dangerous cross into the box for Robbie Keane, but Arsenal survive.

1712: No news on the exact nature of Cesc Fabregas's injury - except that it's his knee.

1711: "Man Utd can have Fraizer Campbell back, he should have scored two and hardly made contact. We never should have lost that."
Sean in High Wycombe, via text on 81111

1708: Emiliano Insua does well on the left to dig out a cross which is only cleared to Lucas on the edge of the box. The Brazilian forces Manuel Almunia into a sharp save, low to his right.

1705: Arsenal get the second-half under way. Diaby appears to be playing on the left for now, with Samir Nasri on the right.

1705: Cesc Fabregas will not continue in the second half and Abou Diaby will replace him.

1703: "Re 1655: Bring back the half-time 'who from the crowd can hit the crossbar'. Oh the good old days..."
Adam in Darlington via text on 81111

1701: I'm getting a battering from some angry people on 606 for describing the Steven Gerrard chance at 1646 as a miss. Apparently, he was stretching as he hit it. I only saw it with one eye while the other was watching Damien Duff's goal so if that was the case, I can only apologise to Steven Gerrard and all his many fans.

1655: What passes for half-time entertainment is two unfortunate girls dressed as cars doing disco dancing. It has to be seen to be believed. If it isn't on MOTD2 later, I for one will be hugely disappointed.

1655: "Can we expect a third late winner from the home team today?"
ODRHBlu on 606
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1653: Damien Duff's last-gasp winner moves Newcastle up to 12th - above both Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Tottenham stay 16th.

1650: FULL-TIME Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham

1649: Cesc Fabregas is hobbling off after being hurt in a crunching challenge with Xabi Alonso. Doesn't look good at all for the Arsenal skipper.

1649: HALF-TIME Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

1647: GOAL Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
Last minute of normal time and Mark Viduka's clever backheel sets up substitute Damien Duff, who nonchalantly beats Heurelho Gomes.

1646: What a miss by Steven Gerrard. The midfielder escapes William Gallas's attentions to meet Dirk Kuyt's cross but blazes over.

1643: GOAL Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
Take a bow Robbie Keane. Daniel Agger lashes a clearance into the striker's path and the £20m man could not have caught it any sweeter, hammering a delicious right-foot half-volley into the top corner. Stunning goal. He celebrates by cupping his ear to the crowd, who have booed his every touch.

1642: Aaron Lennon gets to the byeline on the right and advances into the penalty area but Fraizer Campbell can't connect with the driven cross.

1640: Emmanuel Adebayor is the second man to go into the book for a foul on Emiliano Insua. Like the first one, a bit harsh. Just watched that Van Persie goal again - it gets better every time you see it.

1638: Aaron Lennon continues to cause problems for the Newcastle defence, but no sign of a winner at St James' where it continues to be a touch scrappy.

1635: Steven Gerrard wins a free-kick about 40 yards out, which he takes - but Manuel Almunia reads the flight and sidesteps across to catch.

1632: Looks like Rafa Benitez has got a phone line to the bench, and Sammy Lee appears to be getting some instructions now.

1630: Robin van Persie swings over a lovely free-kick from the right but Liverpool defend well. Arsenal looking confident...

1628: Mark Viduka tees up Michael Owen from Charles N'Zogbia's cross but the striker blazes over from six yards. You don't expect him to miss those.

1625: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool
Brilliant. Samir Nasri delivers a stunning 35-yard pass for Robin van Persie but there's still plenty of work to do. The striker chests it down, takes a touch to beat Jamie Carragher and finishes right-footed into the corner. He doesn't score ugly goals does he?

1623: Harry Redknapp makes his first change at St James', with Fraizer Campbell replacing Roman Pavlyuchenko.

1622: Flashpoint at the Emirates as Robbie Keane and Gael Clichy chase after a loose ball. The Liverpool striker seems to get the ball as he dives in - but the Arsenal fans don't like it and neither does the referee. Card out.

1619: Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone is carded for diving after a tussle with Shay Given. Bit harsh. He didn't seem to appeal for anything.

1618: Ex-Tottenham striker Robbie Keane is roundly booed by the Gunners fans as he tries to make some space in the left-hand corner.

1616: Emmanel Adebayor gets his head to a Bacary Sagna cross but Pepe Reina collects quite comfortably.

1615: Scrappy start to the second half at St James' Park, in contrast to the first half.

1613: Gael Clichy wins the ball well in midfield and Samir Nasri escapes down the left but Daniel Agger clears the cross meant for Emmanel Adebayor.

1611: Robbie Keane stays onside to collect Daniel Agger's long ball and he tees up Steven Gerrard, whose weak shot goes straight to Manuel Almunia.

1610: "Roman Bednar made me embarrass myself in the pub, my mates have disowned me, and I'm now working my last shift before Xmas, but who cares! Boing boing!"
Dave, Preston, via text on 81111

1607: Apparently Liverpool were not allowed to wear their matching silver shorts and socks because it would clash with Arsenal's white bottom halves. If you ask me, having both teams wearing red is quite confusing...

1606: "Re 1601: It is a clever ploy by Liverpool, their kit is so hideous it will distract The Arsenal from playing. Shame it won't work though, Arsenal to win 2-1."
on the 7th day... on 606
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1605: Steven Gerrard slides in for the ball and takes out Samir Nasri as well. Howard Webb is happy with the challenge though and just awards the throw-in.

1602: And away we go in today's final kick-off. Almost at the same time, the second half at St James' also kicks off.

1601: What on earth are Liverpool wearing??? Grey shirts and red shorts. It's hurting my eyes. "It looks like a training kit," remarks Graham Taylor.

1558: Here come the teams at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners will close the gap on the leaders to five points with victory today.

1555: After 17 games, Newcastle and Tottenham have 19 points and the same goal difference of -2.

1551: FA Cup heroes Blyth Spartans are introduced to the St James' Park crowd at half-time. The Conference North side will play Premier League Blackburn in the third round after beating Bournemouth.

1547: HALF-TIME Newcastle 1-1 Tottenham

1546: All gone a bit quiet at St James' Park - although as I say that, some neat passing from Newcastle results in Michael Owen earning a corner. Nothing doing though and that's...

1542: "This is Robbie Keane's chance of saving himself from being sold!"
Dan via text on 81111

1536: Newcastle keeper Shay Given is forced to punch away Roman Pavlyuchenko's 20-yard snap-shot.

1535: Your last team news for the day comes from the Emirates Stadium... Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger makes one change from the team that drew at Middlesbrough, with Samir Nasri returning from injury to replace Abou Diaby. Liverpool are without manager Rafa Benitez, who has remained in Liverpool as he recovers from surgery to remove kidney stones. Sammy Lee takes charge and makes four changes from the team that drew with Hull, with Lucas, Emiliano Insua, Robbie Keane and Daniel Agger replacing Sami Hyypia, Javier Mascherano, Andrea Dossena and Yossi Benayoun.

1534: "You cannot afford to lose to a last minute winner two weeks running. Dunne and Richards have completely lost their game. In the first half of last season those two formed one of most solid defensive pairings in the Prem. Hughes has some serious explaining to do."
Nickbluemoon via text on 81111

1531: Joe Kinnear has seen enough of Shola Ameobi, and Mark Viduka is on to replace him.

1529: GOAL Newcastle 1-1 Tottenham
Michael Dawson dispossesses Shola Ameobi in the centre circle and prods the ball through for Luka Modric who stays onside before slotting past Shay Given. Roman Pavlyuchenko was offside as the ball came through, but not Modric.

1528: TEAMS Arsenal v Liverpool
Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Gallas, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Nasri, Adebayor, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Eboue.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Agger, Insua, Kuyt, Leiva Lucas, Alonso, Riera, Gerrard, Keane. Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Benayoun, Babel, Ngog, Plessis, El Zhar.

1525: Roman Bednar's late, late winner means West Brom are only four points from safety - and Manchester City are only three points off the bottom. It's not going to be a very merry Christmas for Mark Hughes.

1524: FULL-TIME West Brom 2-1 Man City

1521: GOAL West Brom 2-1 Man City
Abdoulaye Meite wins the throw-in on the right and Roman Bednar is all on his own to head in Gianni Zuiverloon's cross. Absolutely shocking defending from City. Awful, awful, awful. Tony Mowbray stays cool, and celebrates by calmly kissing Luke Moore on the head.

1520: Jonas Olsson sticks a leg out to prevent Stephen Ireland getting on the end of Darius Vassell's cross. Vital challenge. Four minutes of injury time to be played.

1517: Robbie Keane returns for Liverpool this afternoon. More on that to follow.

1517: Less than three minutes remaining at the Hawthorns.

1513: GOAL West Brom 1-1 Man City
A goal of huge fortune for City. Felipe Caicedo's backheel finish takes a deflection, hits the foot of the post and comes off Scott Carson's arm before creeping over the line. West Brom so unlucky.

1512: GOAL Newcastle 1-0 Tottenham
Shay Given launches a long ball for Charles N'Zogbia to chase. Benoit Assou-Ekotto gets a touch on the ball but N'Zogbia is quicker to react and turns and shoots low into the corner. Slightly against the run of play that.

1511: "Can we make sure that Mark Hughes is unable to find any positives from this game? Everything you are doing is useless, you're destroying our prestigious football club. Bring in a new manager and a couple of new players, make the current players play for their places, there's no inspiration or anything. MARK HUGHES OUT."
BoisterousCitizenTom on 606
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1509: Tottenham threaten again at St James' and Shay Given is forced to punch away Michael Dawson's goalbound looping header.

1508: Mark Hughes tells Shaun Wright-Phillips to take up a more central role as City look for an equaliser. They have 12 minutes to find one.

1507: "Hi Caroline... Could you tell the world, for the record, that I said it would be Luke Moore's day in an earlier unused text? My cred is at stake..."
Kimpton Baggie via text on 81111
Not sure the world is reading but...

1505: City keeper Joe Hart drops a high cross under pressure from Craig Beattie and the striker turns the loose ball into the net - but the whistle goes for pushing by Beattie.

1505: "I don't know which is more surprising: a good final pass, a Luke Moore finish or a goal in this game."
Capital(RED) on 606
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1504: Goalscorer Luke Moore has done his day's work for West Brom and is replaced by Craig Beattie.

1502: Spurs winger Aaron Lennon skips down the right and puts a dangerous ball across goal but there's no one on the end.

1501: And they're off at St James' Park.

1500: Michael Ball does brilliantly to get in ahead of Roman Bednar to clear James Morrison's cross as West Brom threaten a second.

1457: GOAL West Brom 1-0 Man City
West Brom break superbly and James Morrison slides a tempting ball through for Luke Moore, who finishes under the body of Joe Hart. That's his first goal for the Baggies. Happy Christmas Sparky.

1454: "The worrying thing for Manchester City is the lack of effort the team is showing."
arsenal_potty on 606
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1453: That looks like a positive substitution by Tony Mowbray as Do-Heon Kim, who had been playing in front of defence, is replaced by Graham Dorrens.

1449: That is awful. Micah Richards passes across defence to Richard Dunne, who is away with the fairies and the ball goes straight to Roman Bednar. The shot is wide.

1447: Benjani is replaced by Felipe Caicedo, who scored his first goal for the club against Racing Santander in midweek.

1447: Benjani pulls up as he chases after a long ball. The striker hobbles off the pitch, but Baggies defender Abdoulaye Meite kicks the ball out of play anyway - which doesn't meet with approval from the home fans.

1443: Shaun Wright-Phillips shoots straight at Scott Carson and the keeper fumbles it before grabbing it as Darius Vassell closes in.

1441: Paul Robinson picks up a yellow card for diving in on Shaun Wright-Phillips. Still very scrappy this game.

1436: That sums City up at the moment. Stephen Ireland lays the ball off to Gelson Fernandes, who delivers the cross to the far post - when all his team-mates had run to the near post.

1434: And we're off again at the Hawthorns.

1432: Apparently someone ran into the back of Rafa Benitez's car this week as well, and if bad luck comes in threes, I know who I'm putting my money on at the Emirates.

1430: "Try passing a kidney stone. It's more painful than watching City v Albion!"
Joey_2Arms on 606
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1428: "Re 1424: My mum had kidney stones, she said it was worse pain than child birth. And after giving birth to me, that's saying something!"
Kenny in Bristol, via text on 81111

1427: Your team news for today's second kick-off looks a little something like this: Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins fails to recover from a groin injury so Shola Ameobi joins Michael Owen up front. Tottenham are without defender Jonathan Woodgate (back) and striker Darren Bent (tonsilitis) but Ledley King, Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric are back after recovering from their respective injuries.

1427: "City are playing as if they are waiting for the January sales."
ThisSideOfBurnage on 606
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1424: Anyone ever had kidney stones? Seems quite fashionable these days. I'm wondering if it's something I should be trying out...

1421: The news keeps coming... BBC 5 Live report that Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has not travelled to the Emirates Stadium today as he continues his recovery from kidney stones.
Benitez 'close to new Reds deal'
Rafa recovers from kidney surgery

1420: TEAMS Newcastle v Tottenham
Newcastle: Given, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia, Ameobi, Owen. Subs: Harper, Duff, Geremi, Taylor, Edgar, Viduka, Carroll.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, King, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Zokora, Huddlestone, Lennon, Pavlyuchenko, Modric. Subs: Cesar, Bale, Gunter, Campbell, Taarabt, Boateng, O'Hara.

1418: HALF-TIME West Brom 0-0 Man City

1415: Darius Vassell gives away a free-kick with a shove on James Morrison on the right, near the penalty area. The ball is played just too high for Jonas Olsson, who is stretching as he heads over.

1413: "City look like a team of stewards in their bright orange kits - and the stewards might give them a game at the moment."
BBC 5 Live commentator Conor McNamara

1409: Gelson Fernandes hurdles into the penalty area as West Brom pay for failing to close down the space but he shoots straight at the keeper. About 10 minutes remaining in this half.

1406: "Full-backs Paul Robinson and Gianni Zuiverloon are giving West Brom some width now. It's going to a busy day for those two."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Steve Claridge

1403: So close. Lovely counter-attack from West Brom ends with Roman Bednar swinging his right foot at a shot which hits the post and Joe Hart - but the keeper collects.

1359: James Morrison chips the ball up for Robert Koren running in at the far post, but Pablo Zabaleta gets in with the challenge.

1356: Shocking defending from City, their failure to clear allowing the Baggies about 17 bites of the cherry in the area. James Morrison has the last shot, from a tight angle, and it is deflected behind.

1355: "Re 1346: it's true. We scored over 80 league goals in defence of our league title and still went down!"
Tom via text on 81111
Heartbreak

1353: Do-Heon Kim - who looks out of his depth - loses the ball in midfield and the move ends in a shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips, which is deflected narrowly over.

1351: City are starting to build some pressure now, Stephen Ireland providing a good cross from the right and Shaun Wright-Phillips doing likewise from the other side. Slim pickings though to be honest.

1348: "This has goalless draw written all over it. The WBA 'attackers' are notoriously goal shy and Mark Hughes would be better off starting with two turtle doves up front."
redandblackT1899™ on 606
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1347: Roman Bednar has his arm in the air in apology after having a shot from a difficult angle on the left, which dribbles into Joe Hart's arms.

1346: "Re 1316: The last team to get relegated with a positive goal difference was in 1938 and it was Man City!"
Jamie, a Luton fan, via text on 81111
This may or may not be true. Sounds good though.

1344: "There's been some good opportunities here for both sides, but the quality in the final third is lacking."
BBC 5 Live analyst Steve Claridge

1340: Do-Heon Kim slides in to get the ball and gets nowhere near it. Bizarre. Vincent Kompany picks it up and advances to the edge of the area, but his low shot is too close to the keeper. Hectic pace to this game.

1338: It's a classic 4-4-2 for Manchester City, with Benjani and Darius Vassell up front.

1335: West Brom dispense with the pretty stuff as James Morrison flings two successive throw-ins into the mixer. City clear.

1334: City win an early corner and it results in the first shot of the game - a miscued effort by Stephen Ireland.

1332: West Brom get the game under way.

1328: Here come the players then, City skipper Richard Dunne almost tripping over a couple of little mascots in his hurry to get on the pitch.

1327: "This is one of the most pressurised situations Mark Hughes could be in. I have great sympathy for him. He has to be in charge of the transfers - but I'm not certain that's going to be happen."
BBC 5 Live analyst Graham Taylor

1324: "Elano doesn't dig Hughes' management style, or being left out of the team, his work rate doesn't warrant inclusion when City are playing as poorly as they have lately. Elano will be sold in January, and he'll probably play incredibly for someone else (like Geovanni has) before going off the boil again."
Ali via text on 81111

1320: "Re 1304: 'Last minute presents'? It's Sunday. Today is advanced gift buying. Last minute is 4.55 pm on Wednesday."
nogginthenogforever on 606
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1316: "When has a team ever been in the bottom three with a positive goal difference after 17 games? I am thinking, never."
Mark, passing Spurs fan, via text on 81111
I wish I knew the answer. A passing Spurs fan though? Seriously?

1314: "I can't help but think Man City are going to benefit from missing the likes of Robinho for today's game Cheesemeister. He's a top player but I think a back-to-basics approach will get them a win today."
Fred via text on 81111

1312: Sounds like Mark Hughes might tinker with his formation today in a bid to make his side more solid. The City boss sounds pretty chipper, and isn't at all worried about being in the bottom three.

1309: If you are suffering from any injuries or ailments, I recommend a trip to Manchester City. On Monday, Mark Hughes predicted Benjani would be out for a "number of weeks" with a hamstring injury, and he's back in the team today. Similar thing happened with keeper Joe Hart a little while ago. The miracles of Eastlands!

1307: That teams news in full: West Brom recall striker Roman Bednar in place of Chris Brunt and pair him with Luke Moore up front while Do-Heon Kim comes in for Borja Valero in midfield. Manchester City are without Robinho, who suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury in their midweek Uefa Cup defeat by Racing Santander, but striker Benjani is back in the starting line-up after recovering from a hamstring problem quicker than expected and City skipper Richard Dunne also returns after missing the trip to Spain following the birth of his baby.

1304: By the way, do not panic if you have last-minute Christmas shopping to do, you can still follow this text commentary and get all the scores on your mobile. From a UK phone, just text FOOTBALL to 81010, it will cost you 10 to 15p and you will receive in return a link to our mobile site. Click on that, and you'll be straight through (then bookmark it so you never need to text that number again). The cost of being online on your phone will vary according to network and your own contract.

1301: "Re 1255: The problem with Elano is probably that he hasn't played his best for about nine months."
Tom, a city fan, via text on 81111

1259: TEAMS West Brom v Man City
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Koren, Greening, Kim, Bednar, Moore. Subs: Kiely, Hoefkens, Barnett, Brunt, Beattie, Dorrans, Filipe Teixeira.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Dunne, Ball, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Kompany, Fernandes, Mwaruwari, Vassell. Subs: Schmeichel, Onuoha, Garrido, Clayton, Hamann, Evans, Caicedo.

1255: Some early Manchester City teams news: Brazilian trio Robinho, Jo and Elano are all missing from the squad. Robinho has an ankle injury, Jo has a virus, not sure what's up with Elano...

1254: Some stats for you: Manchester City are on their lowest points total after 17 games since 2000/1 when they were relegated. West Brom have had more success against City than any other Premier League team.

1250: "If City win it's hard to see a way back for West Brom, but if West Brom win then it still could be any three of about 14 teams in the relegation battle. Unbelievable how tight it is at the bottom AND middle this year!"
chizzleface on 606
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1247: "Watching Sir Alex try to bounce up and down with the players... it's so funny."
Man Utd - Jambo on 606
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1243: United's players are bouncing up and down in traditional fashion on the top of the podium, and now Rio Ferdinand raises a rather handsome trophy skywards. Tickertape, fireworks etc etc.

1239: Wayne Rooney is awarded a giant car key as a reward for being named man of the match in the Club World Cup final. But where is his giant car?

1237: Anyway, first up today: West Brom host Manchester City in a relegation ding-dong. As a City fan mournfully said this morning: "If you'd told me when we signed Robinho that our crunch game of the season would be against the club at the bottom of the league…" Well, he couldn't even finish the sentence, bless him. I think we get what he means though. Still, a win today puts Mark Hughes' side 12th and things will look a whole lot brighter. Defeat for the Baggies will leave them four points adrift at the bottom at Christmas. But then, if anyone knows how to escape the drop from that position, it's them.

1231: Raccoon on 606 wants to know what I made of the Club World Cup. Yeah, it was mildly entertaining. Better than the Hollyoaks omnibus I suppose. The LDU players looked absolutely distraught at the final whistle. Not sure the United team would have been quite so upset.
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1229: Saj was shipped in especially this morning on account of his in-depth knowledge of Ecuadorian football - and the fact that he does not suffer from hangovers. Top work, Senor Chowdhury. Now, shall we get back to proper football?

By Saj Chowdhury

1227: Right, I'm off for some food. I'll hand you over to the more than capable Caroline Cheese. Thanks.

1226: Player Rater: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, who was simply sensational and the match-winner, came out top with 7.99.

FULL-TIME: Liga de Quito 0-1 Man Utd
That's it. Manchester United are English, European and World champions. That was a very entertaining match, full credit to both teams.

1218: Excellent tip-over save from Edwin van der Sar from Alejandro Manso's bending rasping shot. Yes, it bent and rasped. By the way, Manso does look a great player.

1216: There is action on the pitch, but it's just a lot of running around. They take a break from doing that and LDU bring on Reinaldo Navia for Luis Bolanos and United bring on Darren Fletcher for Anderson.

1214: Rafael comes off and veteran right-back Gary Neville comes on.

1210: Neicer Reasco goes off and Pedro Larrea comes on for EDU.

1209: re: 1143 & 1157 -"I just Googled the phrase "right in the popcorn maker" and got one hit. This page. Go figure."
Alan Bates, Huddersfield via text

That's very Twilight.

1207: While that was all happening my colleague, Caroline Cheese, who will be taking up the live reins later, informs me that any player who receives a red card will be suspended for club competitions at confederation level. I think that means Uefa and Fifa. So using my Hercule Poirot powers of deduction, Nemanja Vidic would miss Champions League action.

1203: GOAL Liga de Quito 0-1 Man Utd
Fantastic strike from Wayne Rooney. The lad deserved that. Cristiano Ronaldo spots his team-mate standing on the left-corner of the area. Rooney is left to place his shot into the bottom left corner of Jose Cevallos' goal.

1201: Great low shot from William Araujo is well held by Edwin van der Sar low down.

1159: Former Southampton player Agustin Delgado is on the bench for LDU. Lovely.

1157: "Re:11.43 my American girlfriend informs me that the popcorn maker phrase is used to explain the the ball is peppered in repeatedly, similar to the way popcorn pops when made."
Paul, Northants via text

So now we know.

1154: I just heard that Nemanja Vidic could miss the first leg of United's Champions League tie against Inter Milan as result of his earlier sending off.

1152: Edwin van der Sar performs a 'one for the cameras' moment saving brilliantly from Alejandro Manso.

1151: A lot of people have been asking via text on on 606 what length of ban, if any, Nemanja Vidic will receive as a result of his red card. I will try to find out for you guys before the end of play.

1149: Cristiano Ronaldo sizes up one of his special free-kicks from 25 yards. But after the anticipation, he fails, miserably.

1147: "I'm in New York and a big United fan, and I'm loving your updates on the game Saj! You are a funny guy! Merry Christmas everybody!"
anon via text

No I didn't make that text up. Hey, a guy needs an ego boost now and again.

1144: Jose Cevallos is called into action again - this time it's one for the cameras as he stretches to save Wayne Rooney's blockbuster from 20 yards.

1143: "My friend is watching this game on an American network and the commentator has just referred to one of United's many crosses as being 'right in the popcorn maker.' Does anyone have any idea what that means?"
Butch in Didcot via text

I, for one, don't have the foggiest.

1141: News Alert... Gary McAllister has been sacked by Leeds.

1140: Tactical change. Carlos Tevez is brought off by Sir Alex Ferguson and is replaced by defender Jonny Evans.

1139: Red Card Nemanja Vidic is shown a straight red for an elbow aimed at Claudio Bieler.

1138: "Saj doing a great job however at 10.15 this is the third trophy of the season they are going for they lost in the European Super Cup. Third time lucky?" altree in Barrow via text

I stand corrected.

1134: LDU kick off the second half.

1132: The teams are coming out. No changes for United. By the way there about 72,000 in the stadium.

Player Rater: Wayne Rooney leads the way with 7.74. LDU's Jairo Campos is at the bottom of the pile with 4.17. Poor bloke.

1126: "This has been the same in the league recently. We lack confidence in front of goal. How many more chances do our world class strikers need??"
OldSmokeyJoe on 606

A bit harsh don't you think? They've been unlucky not to score. The LDU keeper 83kg Jose Cevallos seems to be in the right place at the right time.

1117:HALF-TIME LDU 0-0 Man Utd How have United not managed to score? How? Really? I can promise goals in the second half. It goes to penalties doesn't it?

1116: Ji-Sung Park tries some acrobatics from four yards in his attempts to put United ahead, but fails, and then Wayne Rooney, for the umpteenth time, tries his luck from distance, and once again sees his shot go narrowly wide.

1111: LDU (Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito) keeper Jose Cevallos is solid as a rock, as Ashford and Simpson once sang, making saves from Carlos Tevez, long range, and then Wayne Rooney from three yards out.

1106: Jairo Campos goes into the referee's book after a challenge on the lively Ji-Sung Park.

1105: Silky skills from Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney ends with Ji-Sung Park stinging the palms of keeper Jose Cevallos from 20 yards. Cevallos will surely need a some TLC of those hands later. Seconds later Rio Ferdinand heads wide from a cross from the right - surely it's only a matter of time before the deadlock is broken. Surely.

1103: An Anderson free-kick from the right is delivered into the area... behind the Quito goal.

1102: Back to the action. Michael Carrick tries his luck from about 25 yards with a low drive, but his effort goes about two yards wide of the Quito right-hand upright.

1059: Thanks for all the responses to the question: "Is the competition always held in Japan?" I believe my colleague Ian Westbrook has the answer, well, Fifa.com to be exact has the answer.

The first tournament was held in Brazil in 2000 with Manchester United among the teams next year. It then moved to Japan in 2005 and has been held there ever since. Liverpool were runners-up in 2005.

1057: Luis Bolanos tries his luck from 20 yards, but his shot is weak and very wide of the United goal, which today is occupied by Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.

1054: "I just like to say Saj is a type of bread in Lebanon. It is scrumptious."
mdfactor on 606

Join the debate on 606

Interesting that you mention that because I am from the north yeast of England

1051: Wayne Rooney in again. This time the former Everton striker lifts the ball over the head of Jose Cevallos but on to the netting.

1050: A Gordon Banks-esque save by our friend Jose Cevallos from Carlos Tevez's header. Good efforts all round.

1048: "Can anyone tell me why its always held in Japan?"
gunner-zp on 606

I don't know the answer myself. Anybody else know?

1045: Another great strike from Wayne Rooney from the edge of the area which keeper Jose Cevallos can only push behind for a corner - technically, it bounced off him.

1044: "Hi Saj, you don't normally do live texts. Nice to see other people given a chance. Is it your debut?"
cheese666 on 606

I used to do live texts years ago then I stopped.

1040: Cracking half-volley from the lad Wayne Rooney which is punched away by keeper Jose Cevallos, who according to my stats is 83kg.

1037: It's a bit blowy in Yokohama - just like in London.

1034: Unbelievable! The Ecuadorians go close to taking the lead. Alejandro Manso almost gets on the end of a cheeky free-kick which is swung in low into the area. Where were the United defence?

1032: Yellow card for Claudio Bieler after a shoulder charge on Cristiano Ronaldo. Is referee Ravshan Irmatov a little bit card happy?

1030: The 2008 Club World Cup final kicks off.

1026: Is this first timeUnited have faced an Ecuadorian outfit? Answers on a postcard, or preferably on 606.

1022: Wayne Rooney starts up front with Carlos Tevez for Manchester United with Dimitar Berbatov on the bench after recovering from a virus. Rafael, Ji Sung Park and Michael Carrick all return to the starting line-up as boss Sir Alex Ferguson rings the changes from the side that beat Gamba Osaka in the semi-final on Thursday.

1015: Manchester United are going for their second trophy of the season - yes, I'm counting the Community Shield. They face Ecuadorian outfit Liga de Quito whose coach Edgardo Bauza takes charge of his last game before leaving.

"It will be the match of our lives," said the Argentine.

"Even though we are not favourites we will be at the top of our game and do our best.




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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 1-1 Liverpool
21 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Newcastle 2-1 Tottenham
21 Dec 08 |  Premier League
West Brom 2-1 Man City
21 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Liga de Quito 0-1 Man Utd
21 Dec 08 |  Man Utd
Liga de Quito v Man Utd photos
21 Dec 08 |  Man Utd


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