Premier League and Football League as it happened

Live text commentary as Arsenal beat Newcastle 7-3 while there are wins for Manchester United and City, but Aston Villa are thrashed at home.

29 December 2012 Last updated at 19:38 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1936: 

    And that is the end of that. Pretty average day all things considered. I'd probably give Match of the Day at 22:30 GMT on BBC1 a miss if I was you. I'll be back tomorrow for more fun. I'll see thee.

  2. 1935: 

    Arsenal striker Theo Walcott: "The team showed great quality and belief. It's great for the fans and was great to be part of it.

    "I've been saying for the past few weeks that I want to play up front and I am showing the manager what I can do. I believe I will be a striker and it is about taking the opportunity when I get it.

    On his ongoing contract situation: "I will continue to play my football. Talks are ongoing and I'm sure something will be sorted soon."


    Gabriel Inch on Twitter: "We desperately desperately desperately need three new defenders. Coloccini can't do it all on his own."

    Julian Broughton on Twitter: "Brilliant attacking performance by the Gunners, the defending left much to be desired though, Gibbs caught out twice."

    Conor Parker on Twitter: "Supporting Newcastle really does nothing for my health."

  4. 1935: 

    There have been a grand total of 35 Premier League goals today. You have to go back to 5 February 2011 - when there were 41 - to find a day with more.

    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter:

    "Been critical of Arsenal/Wenger after losses to Swansea/Bradford - so only right to give great credit after superb 7-3 beating of Newcastle.

    "And those Arsenal contract negotiations with Walcott may just take on even more urgency after his performance and hat-trick."

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "MOTD running order; Ars/New, Nor/ManC, AV/Wig, Sto/Sou, Sun/Tot, ManU/WBA, Ful/ Swa, Rea/WHU 35 goals."

    Watch the show at 2230 GMT on BBC One.


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "3 - This is the first time ever that a side has scored 3+ goals in successive Premier League matches and lost them both. Glum."


    KevinOnEarth on Twitter: "What can you say? A Historic game, nothing less. Newcastle threw caution to the wind & the wind won: Whirlwind Walcott."

  9. 1926: 

    Arsenal move up to fifth in the table, two points behind Chelsea in fourth. Newcastle are 15th with 20 points, meaning they are just three points above the relegation zone.


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "35 - Theo Walcott's hat-trick goal was the 35th scored in the Premier League today - the most seen on a single PL day this season. Bonanza."

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "Magnificent from Walcott. Time for Arsenal to do what they have to do to keep him or resign themselves to being a feeder club."

  12. 1924: 

    The home crowd at the Emirates rise in unison to applaud Arsenal and in particular Theo Walcott. They have let their feelings be known with a chant of "sign him up" - the loudest song of the day. One thing is for certain, if Arsenal don't give him what he wants, there'll be plenty of clubs who will.

  13. 1922: 
    FULL-TIME- Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle

    Mike, a Blackburn fan, on text via 81111 "How are we supposed to support a club when people like Shebby and the Venky's are looking after it. More importantly how are the players supposed to play? Shambles."

    Tim in Marlow on text via 81111: "So, Arsene Wenger has acquired a striker for Arsenal - and the transfer window doesn't even open until Tuesday!"

    Tom in Lincoln on text via 81111: "Not always been Theo Walcott's biggest fan but that goal was ridiculous. Arsene would be mad to let him go."

  15. 1922: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Latest: Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle

    We nearly had two hat-trick scorers at the Emirates. Aaron Ramsey drives a low cross from the left which is met by Olivier Giroud, but his shot rifles against the crossbar.


    Statisticians Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "It is 18 years since any Premier League club lost back-to-back Premier League matches despite scoring three goals in each - since Aston Villa in Nov 1994."


    Alex Storey on Twitter: "Theo Walcott has been unplayable today. Absolutely outstanding."

  18. 1917: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle - Theo Walcott

    Take a huge bow son. A huge bow. Theo Walcott has his hat-trick. He cuts in from the left and beats three men before being felled in the box. It could have been a penalty but instead the forward smells blood so he quickly springs back to his feet and produces a sublime chip over the advancing Tim Krul. It is absolutely brilliant.


    Ash Jacobs on Twitter: "Let's hope goals from Walcott, Giroud & Podolski keeps Gervinho on the bench for a long time."

    Lalou Akindele on Twitter: "Tennis score - 6 - 3."

  20. 1917: 
    FULL-TIME- Brighton 1-3 Watford

    Watford take all three points at the Amex Stadium, with Matej Vydra's two goals in a minute helping the Hornets to a 3-1 win over Brighton.

  21. 1917: 

    That is a very frustrated challenge from Davide Santon, who lunges out at Olivier Giroud and gets a deserved booking.

  22. 1916: 

    Newcastle's final change sees James Tavernier on for Sylvain Marveaux.

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "What an incredible way to end an extraordinary year's football on MOTD . Over 30 goals, drama, red cards, dives, you name it."

    Watch the show at 2230 GMT on BBC One.

  24. 1913: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 6-3 Newcastle - Olivier Giroud

    Not a bad little cameo from the big French forward. Theo Walcott is again the provider with a driving run from the right that allows the ball to break for Olivier Giroud and he makes no mistake with a powerful low finish. That is his 10th of the season and it gives this scoreline a harsh look for Newcastle.

  25. 1912: 

    Arsenal send on Francis Coquelin for Santi Cazorla.

  26. 1910: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 5-3 Newcastle - Olivier Giroud (84 mins)

    That surely seals the win for Arsenal. Theo Walcott turns provider with a superb cross from the right that is perfect for the diving Olivier Giroud to head past Tim Krul. It is a very well-worked goal and surely kills off Newcastle's challenge.


    SpartanDetritus on Twitter: "Newcastle may have conceded eight goals in a few days but we certainly haven't been embarrassed in two difficult away games against Man Utd and Arsenal."

  28. 1910: 
    Latest: Arsenal 4-3 Newcastle

    Theo Walcott is so close to a hat-trick as he opens his body up on the edge of the box and looks to curl a shot into the far corner. A deflection off James Perch takes the ball past the post. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

  29. 1908: 

    Newcastle send on Shola Ameobi for Gael Bigirimana in pursuit of a goal. They also send on Shane Ferguson for Danny Simpson. Arsenal also make a change with Aaron Ramsey on for Lukas Podolski.

  30. 1908: 

    Theo Walcott is sniffing out a hat-trick as nips in to claim possession ahead of the onrushing Tim Krul. The Arsenal player's first touch takes him away from goal, though, and he is unable to salvage the situation as the away defence rallies.

  31. 1906: 

    Blackburn global advisor Shebby Singh about his responsibilities at the club on BBC Radio 5 live: "My bosses are the Venky's. I make the decision with their blessings and that upsets a lot of people, but that is the way it is.

    "We came to a collective agreement for Henning Berg and mine was the final vote. Our results were not very encouraging and performances were not the best, then you have to decide how long do you have to put up with that?

    "I had been watching Blackburn for many, many years and always struggled to identify their style of play or a philosophy. So when I came here it was important for me to look into the long-term to create a concept all the way down to the academy.

    "We are rebuilding the football and emotional aspect of the players and club after relegation."

  32. 1906: 

    Blackburn global advisor Shebby Singh about the managerial situation at the club on BBC Radio 5 live: "About nine weeks ago, [amateur and youth coach] Judan Ali was very interested in coming to look at the club. He has observed training and I am sure every coach wants to know what it s going on as part of their education. The timing of his arrival was not right. At this moment of time, I do not know how people have translated that [to him becoming a permanent part of the coaching set-up].

    "Why do people think something is happening? Surely people are not as dumb as they come across to be? We are in conversation with a few very experienced managers, but there is no secret formula. I did not take training on Friday that is really stupid for anyone to think that. I was at the training ground as it is my responsibility, but I have no responsibility on the pitch."

  33. 1906: 
    Latest: Arsenal 4-3 Newcastle

    Tim Krul comes out to claim a free-kick and absolutely clatters James Perch. To be fair to the defender he is quickly back to his feet and Newcastle are able to get on with seeking out a fourth equaliser.


    Rmould on Twitter: "Will someone teach Arsenal how to defend a lead, they seem to be ignoring this fundamental aspect of football."

    Karen Langley on Twitter: "Gotta love a goal fest!"

    Mendi on Twitter: "If we believe in history then it is time for a Tiote goal."

  35. 1903: 
    Latest: Arsenal 4-3 Newcastle

    Newcastle have roughly 15 minutes to find another equaliser. I wouldn't put it past them.

  36. 1902: 

    Theo Walcott's second goal was the 32nd in the Premier League today. The statisticians at Infostrada Sports inform us that that is the most on a single day this season and equals the 32 scored on the final day of last season (13 May) when all 20 teams played. It has been a busy one.

  37. 1902: 

    You've been poor at the back but good up front. So you bring a striker on. Sure, why not? What the hell. Olivier Giroud comes on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arsenal.

  38. 1859: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 4-3 Newcastle - Theo Walcott (73 mins)

    This is just ridiculous now. Arsenal are back in front again. For the fourth time. Lukas Podolski finds Kieran Gibbs on the left and his pull-back is firstly missed by the German before Theo Walcott is given space to turn and finish into the roof of the net. What else has this game got in it's locker?

  39. 1859: 
    Latest: Arsenal 3-3 Newcastle

    Arsenal have the chance to break as Sylvain Marveaux is caught in possession by Jack Wilshere but he charges forward into a blind alley and the attack is over.

  40. 1855: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 3-3 Newcastle - Demba Ba (69 mins)

    Unbelievable! Newcastle are level again. And it is all down to Sylvain Marveaux and Demba Ba, compounded by more poor defending from Arsenal. Marveaux drives towards the Gunners box before checking and crossing to the back post where Kieran Gibbs has switched off, allowing Demba Ba to steal in and finish. This is a day of football that just keeps giving.

  41. 1852: 
    GOALS- Brighton 1-3 Watford - Matej Vydra x 2

    It's 3-1 to Watford at the Amex, with Matej Vydra scoring twice in just over a minute! His first effort took a wicked deflection over Kuszczak off El Abd, and then he raced clear to give the Brighton keeper no chance low down to his right a mere 74 seconds later!

  42. 1850: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle - Lukas Podolski (64 mins)

    Arsenal do regain the lead as Newcastle again give the ball away to be punished. Jack Wilshere drives into the box before chipping a superb cross over Tim Krul and practically on to the goal-line. Fabricio Coloccini does well to head out against the bar but the ball only falls to Lukas Podolski, who has the easiest task to head home from point-blank range.

  43. 1849: 
    Latest: Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle

    Santi Cazorla looks to restore Arsenal's lead again with a shot from the edge of the box but he is denied by a superb save from Tim Krul, who gets down low to stick an arm out and block. Soon after, Krul is alert again to come out and claim at the feet of Lukas Podolski after he had been found in the box.

  44. 1848: 
    GOAL- Brighton 1-1 Watford - David Lopez

    Brighton equalise from the penalty spot. Kazenga LuaLua is taken down by Tommy Hoban after Manuel Almunia spills the ball on the edge of the box, before David Lopez steps up to fire an excellent penalty past the Watford keeper.

  45. 1845: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 2-2 Newcastle - Sylvain Marveaux (59 mins)

    For the second time Newcastle hit back and Arsenal let it slip. Gabriel Obertain is the architect as he cuts in down the left and skins Bacary Sagna before rolling a low cross that deflects off Laurent Koscielny's boot and finds Sylvain Marveaux at the back post for the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

  46. 1845: 
    Latest: Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle

    Theo Walcott has a chance to drive into Newcastle territory after United give the ball away but he when the final moment to shoot comes he fluffs it and his effort dribbles wide. More composure needed from the striker.

  47. 1839: 
    GOAL- Brighton 0-1 Watford - Troy Deeney

    Watford are ahead against Brighton after 54 minutes at the Amex Stadium, Troy Deeney latching on to a Matej Vydra pass, powering into the area before driving the ball underneath Kuszczak into the net.

  48. 1836: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 2-1 Newcastle - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (50 mins)

    Arsenal's other former Southampton forward restores their lead with a superb finish. It is all born out of an error by Newcastle, who have a defensive throw-in but a lack of challenge from Danny Simpson's delivery allows Santi Cazorla to gain possession, thread a pass to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and watch on as the England player drives a low shot past Tim Krul and into the bottom corner.

  49. 1836: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle

    Newcastle's first real attack sees Gael Bigirimana dig out a cross from the left but Wojciech Szczesny claims above Demba Ba.


    Ruridh Allen on Twitter: "Might brand myself as a 'consistency coach'. Seems to be what teams in the PL are needing this year."

  51. 1834: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle

    That is a big chance spurned by Kieran Gibbs, who is handed possession on the left with a clear sight of goal. He has three team-mates screaming for a pull-back but he opts to shoots and his effort is saved by Tim Krul. The full-back gets a trio of frosty glares.

  52. 1833: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle

    In the first attack of the half, Santi Cazorla floats in a cross from the right but Newcastle keeper Tim Kruil is alert enough to charge out and punch clear.


    Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero after his side's 4-3 victory against Norwich on Twitter: "It's great to see the year off with a win - sets us up nicely for 2013. We have what it takes and we wont give up."

  54. 1831: 
    KICK-OFF - SECOND HALF- Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle
  55. 1831: 

    The teams are heading back out at the Emirates. 45 more minutes of Premier League football left today. Enjoy it.

  56. 1825: 
    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert

    On losing 3-0 to Wigan: "You cannot start the game like we did - especially at home. It's not great by any standards. The only spell we had was 20 minutes in the first half and the second goal from a Wigan throw-in was really poor.

    "We've got a lot of injuries at the minute which doesn't help, but we know we're in a fight. We've just got to keep going and keep trying to do the right things."

    On Villa fans leaving after the third Wigan goal: "Absolutely I can understand it. I pick the team, it's my responsibility. The crowd have been brilliant with me and that's why I can't say anything against them."

    On bouncing back from conceding 15 goals in three matches: "You have to pick yourselves back up and keep fighting. We certainly know we're in a fight but this club has been in a fight for a couple of years so it's nothing new. But we don't want to be in this position."

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "Classy finish from Walcott for Arsenal. Could be a striker in there somewhere."

  58. 1823: 
    Southampton boss Nigel Adkins:

    "I thought we did fantastically well. We quietened a notoriously vocal crowd away from home. Not many teams are going to score three goals at Stoke. They were really good goals and I thought we were dominant in the first half, but we had an opportunity to go four up. That was a turning point. Stoke scored a wonder goal to get themselves a point. And at least we come away from a game away from home with a point. We had to compete here, and in the last half hour they threw everything at us. At the end of it we have not come away with three points but we have come away with something. Away from home we've come and got a point, and that is hard to do against a very mean defence in the Premier League."

  59. 1823: 
    Norwich manager Chris Hughton:

    "A tremendous game for the neutral. They [Manchester City] showed what quality they have got. They started the game better than us and it is very difficult when you are 2-0 down. But we have got a lot of spirit here. The story of the day for us was that we conceded some poor goals."

  60. 1822: 
    Wigan boss Roberto Martinez on his team's 3-0 win against Aston Villa:

    "The performances against Arsenal and Everton were very similar to the one today. That was very important to maintain the level even when we were disappointed by not getting three points in those games.

    "I felt from the first second the players were really focused. It was very important for us to keep a clean sheet but what they did going forward was first-class.

    "The movement was very precise and the penetration was very good. I thought we could have got a few more goals if that final pass was cuter."

  61. 1822: 
    Stoke striker Cameron Jerome:

    "That goal is one of the best in my career. It was a sweet strike. Our fans are amazing and they always get behind us 100%. We were fighting and showed a great team spirit to come from two behind. We are grateful for that point. One we got the second goal I always thought we had a chance of getting the equaliser."


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "18 - Demba Ba has now scored more Premier League goals away from home (18) than at home (17). Comfortable."

  63. 1819:  
    MOTD's Jonathan Pearce at the Emirates:Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle

    "Arsenal led through Theo Walcott but Demba Ba levelled with a free-kick deflected in and he might have put Newcastle ahead on the stroke of half-time."


    Niall Devine on Twitter: "Re: Jamie in Nottingham: No sympathy, but complete understanding from a Leeds fan. Dragged under by a waste of a chairman."

    Dave Clements on Twitter: "Players need to stop being scared of the ball at free kicks. You're meant to get in the way of it, not duck Mr. Wilshere!"

    Chris Palmer on Twitter: "Wilshere just had a Nasri wall moment."

  65. 1818: 
    Latest: Brighton 0-0 Watford

    It's goalless at the break between Brighton and Watford, with the visitors twice going close to breaking the deadlock in stoppage time. Tomas Kuszczak made a fingertip save to deny Matej Vydra , while Troy Deeney failed to hit the target with a header from six yards out.

  66. 1817: 
    HALF-TIME- Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle
  67. 1816: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle

    Arsenal could well be going into half-time 2-1 down as Sylvain Marveaux skips past a couple of challenges and into a shooting opportunity, which he uses to hit the target but is denied by a good save from Wojciech Szczesny. Two corners follow, the second of which is headed just wide by Demba Ba.

  68. 1813: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 1-1 Newcastle - Demba Ba (43 mins)

    Newcastle will claim this is what they deserve for a half they contributed their share of commitment to, but Arsenal's role in their own downfall cannot be ignored. Bacary Sagna's stupid foul on Gabriel Obertan gifts a free-kick to the visitors 22 yards from goal. Demba Ba hits it and a deflection off Jack Wilshere's head takes it past Wojciech Szczesny.

  69. 1811: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Wojciech Szczesny's save results in a corner, which Arsenal clear and then break. Theo Walcott is away but when it comes to playing a ball through for Santi Cazorla he misjudges the pace and the chance is gone. He has already shown today that he is much better than that. Frustrating for the home fans.

  70. 1810: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    They may trail but Newcastle have given plenty this half. Cheick Tiote almost draws them level with a dipping, swerving shot from range that Wojciech Szczesny has to push away.

  71. 1808: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    At the moment, Theo Walcott remains the live wire to whom Arsenal look in search of inspiration. He almost scores the Gunners' second as he skips past a couple of challenges to reach a Lukas Podolski pass in the box but he cannot quite steer his shot past Tim Krul, who saves. Less than 10 first-half minutes to go.


    Jamie in Nottingham in text via 81111: "Lost. One football club by the name of Aston Villa. A famous and proud old club, thought to have lost its way on route to the promised land. Last seen being dragged through the mud by some inconspicuous American. If found please return to its rightful place. Thanks."

  73. 1806: 
    Arsenal v Newcastle

    Theo Walcott is starting his third consecutive match up front for Arsenal. He has scored in two of those matches and won the penalty for the Gunners in the match against Wigan last week.


    Jason Vowles on Twitter: "Comparing Henry to Walcott is like comparing a Aston Martin to a Ford KA."


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "31.6% - Of the 29 players to have scored 6+ Premier League goals in 2012-13, Theo Walcott has the best shot conversion rate (31.6%). Striker."

  76. 1759: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle have a corner after Danny Simpson's cross is blocked by Lukas Podolski. Wojciech Szczsney is under no pressure as Sylvain Marveaux's delivery drops into his hands.


    Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright on Twitter: "I've only been saying it for five years to play Theo Walcott through the centre, Arsene Wenger."

  78. 1757: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Arsenal force a corner which is delivered into the box and initially spilt by Tim Krul - to give the Gunners a sniff - before being gathered at the second attempt by the away keeper.

  79. 1756: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Arsenal nearly got themselves into trouble then as Wojciech Szczsney's throw hits Lukas Podolski's head and allows Fabricio Coloccini to charge forward. Luckily for the Gunners, Laurent Koscielny is able to head the resulting cross away.

  80. 1755:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "That Theo Walcott goal for Arsenal reminded me of Thierry Henry as he picked the ball up on the wing and cut back inside and placed it into the net.

    "Theo is staking his claim about where he wants to play and the goals will help him."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  81. 1753: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Walcott's goal was his fourth in six Premier League games and his 12th in all competitions this season. He is putting up a very good case for getting the contract he wants.


    Fahad Khan on Twitter: "Those striker lessons Theo Walcott got from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry are really showing off their effects now!"

  83. 1752: 
    Latest: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

    Wenger is still struggling with his coat. Thankfully, Walcott has plenty of zip for the two of them.

  84. 1749: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle - Theo Walcott (20 mins)

    Arsenal have struggled to break Newcastle down but in a flash a superb ball from Lukas Podolski and the pace, drive and finishing of Theo Walcott change the whole dynamic of this game. Walcott looked every inch the striker as he broke the offside trap, tore away down the left before finishing low into the far corner. Thierry Henry applauds in the stands. He scored plenty of goals like that during his Arsenal days.

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "Wenger and his team lack any zip."

  86. 1748: 
    Latest: Brighton 0-0 Watford

    Brighton have the upper hand in the Championship clash, with Manuel Almunia keeping the home side out with fine saves to deny Andrea Orlandi and Kazenga LuaLua. For Watford, Pudil put a free header a long way wide of the post early on.


    Matt in London on text via 81111: "Still not convinced by Theo Walcott upfront for Arsenal as lacks physical presence - get Olivier Giroud on early doors."

  88. 1748:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "Barnsley are on a very tiny budget. They have really missed Ricardo Vaz-Te's goals since he was sold to West Ham.

    "Simply though, they do not have enough money to compete in the Championships but only two wins in the last few months made it very difficult for Keith Hill as manager."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  89. 1748: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    That is a tight call. Laurent Koscielny is late to come out and Demba Ba looks to be in following a cross from the left but the assistant's flag is up to rescue the Gunners.

  90. 1747: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    Arsene Wenger is having a shocker with his coat. The zip looks to be bust. Pull it apart Arsene. No, not that way, the other way. Oh forget it. Let Steve have a look.

    Meanwhile, on the pitch Demba Ba heads a corner over the bar when he could possibly have done better. Newcastle enjoying a decent couple of minutes.

  91. 1745: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle have a chance to fashion something as Sylvain Marveaux swings over a free-kick from the right but it over everyone and Wojciech Szczsney is able to claim. Quite a bland start to this game. Especially after all the fun earlier.

  92. 1742: 

    Barnsley manager Keith Hill has been sacked following the 3-1 home defeat by Blackburn. The Tykes are second bottom of the Championship table. It's very much sacking season in the second tier.

  93. 1742: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    Santi Cazorla tries to release Theo Walcott with a long ball forward but Tim Krul is quickly off his line to reach the ball first and hammer clear.


    TeeTemz on Twitter: "The bird on the Emirates pitch would have better wing play than Gervinho."

  95. 1739: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    As you'd expect, Arsenal are dominating possession. Newcastle are working hard, though, to deny the home team any opportunities.

  96. 1735: 
    LINE-UPS- Arsenal v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

    Apologies for posting these a bit late...

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Walcott. Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Giroud, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Gervinho.

    Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Perch, Santon, Obertan, Bigirimana, Tiote, Marveaux, Ba, Cisse. Subs: Harper, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson, Tavernier, Abeid, Streete.

    Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)


    Emyr Jones on Twitter: "Does anyone know what position James Perch actually plays for Newcastle? He seems to switch positions weekly. Great versatility."

  98. 1734: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    Arsenal again threaten the Newcastle defence but Fabricio Coloccini does well to chest away Bacary Sagna's cross from the right before a team-mate clears.

  99. 1731:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "It is frustrating watching Arsenal. The fans are tired of them just finishing in the top four and not winning trophies.

    "I think if former striker Thierry Henry returned, it'd be one loan move too many for me. Theo Walcott wants to play down the middle and he has got goals."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  100. 1731: 
    Latest: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle start with a short period of pressure but Arsenal regain possession and break quickly. The ball is at the feet of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the edge of the box but he pulls his shot wide. Promising break, shame about the finish.

  101. 1730: 
    KICK-OFF- Arsenal v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

    Swansea winger Wayne Routledge after his side's 2-1 win against Fulham on Twitter: "Happy as to get three points today, not the most attractive football today but we dug in and held out. Proud of the boys! Safe trip home!"

  103. 1727: 
    West Brom manager Steve Clarke after his team's 2-0 defeat at Manchester United:

    "There was a stage in second half when we had a really good control. I thought the game was more likely to go 1-1 than 2-0. Ben Foster made some good saves, that's why we spent our whole transfer budget on Ben in the summer. Some of the football we played was very good and I thought the goal would come. We had players on the pitch who can score and got into some good positions."

  104. 1726: 
    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:

    "It's a similar [Newcastle] team so we expect the same approach - they are good going forward and have power. We need to have a good balance between attacking and defending. I like the first signs [of Theo Walcott playing as the central striker] but he has to get used to this position. Let's see how it works at home. Giroud is coming back from illness and I wanted to give Theo longer spell in this position."

  105. 1726:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "That was the third cleansheet of the season for Reading and that is just as important as the win today against West Ham. Every team is capable of scoring one goal, so if you can start keeping cleansheets then you will start nicking points which are vital if you are to avoid relegation."

    Watch Final Score on BBC Two, the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  106. 1725: 
    Newcastle boss Alan Pardew:

    "I don't really care [about Sir Alex Ferguson's comments], I'm only worried about Newcastle. It's a big game today and I'm really looking forward to it. It's a tough ask for us after the Man Untied game, but we're in good spirits because we performed so well [at Old Trafford]. We've got an important couple of games and if we get anything today it will be a bonus. We've got to hope Arsenal don't stretch us and we still carry the threat we did at United."


    Statisticians Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "There have been 4 Premier League own goals so far today - equalling the most ever on a single day in PL history. It has happened on four other occasions."

  108. 1723: 
    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on his team's 2-0 win over West Brom tells BBC Sport:

    "He (Van Persie) changed the game for us. When I brought him and Paul Scholes on they settled the game down for us. West Brom dominated in the second half and kept pumping the ball into our box. They did very well. The ball came in and we had to head it out, and we did that better than we have done all season. We're in a good position. We're halfway there. We've a game on Tuesday away from home at Wigan and we've got a few players to freshen it up. We'll look forward to the next game and try and win it."

  109. 1723: 

    A bad day at the office for Preston, losing 3-0 at Deepdale to Doncaster. Hartlepool beat high-flying Sheffield United 3-2, an upset which is only Pool's second win of the season. Bournemouth solidify their play-off credentials with an impressive 3-0 win at home against Crawley.

    League Two's standout result sees Port Vale top the division after battling to a 3-2 win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Rotherham thumped Accrington 4-1 to leave Stanley eight points clear of the drop zone. Burton's 2-0 defeat of Southend pushes them into the play-off spots while preventing the Shrimpers from jumping into the automatic promotion places.


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "62 - Robin van Persie has now scored 62 goals in his last 75 Premier League appearances since January 2011. Knockout."

  111. 1722: 
    Reading manager Brian McDermott told BBC Sport:

    "I'm very pleased. We were very resilient today and we needed to be. We know what we have to do to get results in this league and we move on now and look forward to our next game against Spurs.

    "We had to deal with facing a very physical side and we have kept another clean sheet. I didn't feel they had too many opportunities. Pavel took his chance very well and we've also hit the bar.

    "A couple of their players could have been sent off and you saw two teams desperate to win out there."

  112. 1722: 

    The day's late Championship game, between Brighton and Watford, has just kicked off.

  113. 1722: 

    A late consolation for Peterborough from Dwight Gayle cannot mask the fact that Darren Ferguson's men fell 4-2 away at Bristol City. Blackpool also fell to the same scoreline away at Middlesbrough, who move to third in the table. Billy Sharp's last-minute header gave Alex McLeish a point against Crystal Palace in his first game in charge at Nottingham Forest, while without Henning Berg at the helm Blackburn beat Barnsley 3-1 at Oakwell.


    Stiofan O Braonain on Twitter: "Not happy with Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri; half a man against United and then saw red today against Norwich. Seems like he's trying to be Mario Balotelli."

    Fiachna on Twitter: "Chelsea will overtake Manchester City within the next few weeks..."

    Ranjeesh25 on Twitter: "Walcott as a striker for Arsenal only until he signs new contract or manager Arsene Wenger really wants to play him there?"

  115. 1719: 

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce told BBC Sport: "We shot ourselves in the foot from the early stages. James Collins has been solid for us this season but he made a basic error and they took full advantage. Reading defended deep in numbers and Vaz has missed a glaring, glaring chance and two errors mean we have not taken any points against them.

    "We are slipping back down that way now and that is going to put pressure on us. We should have undone our early error but Vaz has missed it. We are bitterly disappointed not to come away with a point and now we are without James (Collins) and Kevin (Nolan) through suspension for an important game against Norwich."

  116. 1716:  
    Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:

    "Wigan knew they were going to face a team at Villa Park who were not confident on the ball. Their boss, Roberto Martinez, had them playing in a way that saw them pick off Aston Villa as they made the inevitable mistakes.

    "Manager Paul Lambert has been really protective of his team, but now he has to tell them they are not doing the job for him. The players have to stand up and say they are sorry for conceding so many goals."

    Watch Final Score on BBC Two, the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  117. 1713:  
    MOTD's Jonathan Pearce at the Emirates:Arsenal v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

    "The form guide suggests an Arsenal victory - they've won their last three league games, conceded just five goals in six matches and lost only once in 10 meetings with Newcastle. The Magpies are on a dismal run - six points collected from nine games is relegation form and they've not won away in the top flight since May. But at this time of the year the form book can mean nothing."

  118. 1710: 
    Arsenal v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

    Arsenal make one change from the team that started at Wigan a week ago as Laurent Koscielny replaces the unwell Per Mertesacker in central defence. Theo Walcott is again the central striker, with Olivier Giroud on the bench.

    Newcastle make two alterations from the Boxing Day defeat at Manchester United - Chieck Tiote returns from suspension in central midfield and Gabriel Obertan starts for the first time this season.

  119. 1707: 
    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini:

    "For me, I think that we played fantastic for 25 minutes and should have scored three or four. I don't know why (Samir was sent-off) as the linesman was there and I don't know what he saw. We saw the video both play touch heads. With 10 men it was difficult. The guys played very well. It was like at Sunderland but this time we scored. Today we showed we are there for the title."


    John Burke in Harrow on text via 81111: "The pressure on the Arsenal v Newcastle game to be a good one is massive now! Let's just hope this isn't a boring 0-0 draw."

    Hannah in Birmingham on text via 81111: "Important to remember that Villa's already paper thin squad is riddled with injuries at the moment. Owner Randy Lerner needs to get his chequebook out in January to bolster a squad of young, inexperienced players."

  121. 1702: 

    Guess what? It's absolutely hammering it down at the Emirates. The players are out warming up for today's final Premier League game between Arsenal and Newcastle.


    Lawrence Houldsworth on Twitter: "A really impressive win for Swansea against Fulham without talisman and goal-scoring machine Michu."

    JamesMaurice89 on Twitter: "Without Mohamed Diame and an effective Kevin Nolan West Ham are dire! Awful result at Reading, if we don't pick up three points on New Year's Day, trouble looms!"

  123. 1700: 

    Manchester United maintain their seven-point lead at the top of the table, with Manchester City second after both win. Tottenham are now third after their win at Sunderland, six points behind City and a point ahead of Chelsea, who have two games in hand.

    At the bottom, QPR (who didn't play today) remain bottom, with Reading now three points ahead of them in 19th and Southampton another four points better off in 18th. Wigan go level with Aston Villa on 20 points, in 16th and 17th place respectively.


    Shane McMenemy on Twitter: "RE: Jonathan Brook - Greece will be relieved."


    Seb on text via 81111: "Manager Paul Lambert is not the problem. Getting rid of another manager will make it worse. But some of the players need to show some desire. Show some fight Villa."

  126. 1655: 
    FULL-TIME- Norwich 3-4 Manchester City
  127. 1655: 
    FULL-TIME- Stoke 3-3 Southampton
  128. 1655: 
    FULL-TIME- Reading 1-0 West Ham
  129. 1653: 

    Stoke keep coming looking for the most unlikely of winners and Peter Crouch thinks he has it with a header from 10 yards but Kelvin Davis palms the ball out before Maya Yoshida completes the clearance.

  130. 1653: 
    Latest: Norwich 3-4 Manchester City

    Norwich looking for a late leveller against Manchester City but Robert Snodgrass' cross is headed back to his own keeper by Joe Hart.

  131. 1652: 
    FULL-TIME- Manchester United 2-0 West Brom
  132. 1652: 
    FULL-TIME- Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan

    David Wheatley on Twitter: "Manchester clubs have swapped roles today. City winning a high scoring game, United grinding out the win this time."

  134. 1650: 
    FULL-TIME- Fulham 1-2 Swansea
  135. 1650:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "Edin Dzeko has been begging for a chance to start for Manchester City and he has taken it against Norwich. However, his team usually have a really tight defence but they have been all over the place today."

    Watch Final Score on BBC Two, the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.


    Matthew Ryan on Twitter: "Without West Brom keeper Ben Foster, it could easily be 5-0, he's been outstanding, but you just can't stop RVP!"

  137. 1647: 
    GOAL- Manchester United 2-0 West Brom - Robin van Persie (90 mins)

    Manchester United seal their win at the end as Robin van Persie curls a shot past Ben Foster from 22 yards. They've had to work for the win but United will be top of the pile by at least seven points tonight.

  138. 1647: 
    GOAL- Stoke 3-3 Southampton - Cameron Jerome (90 mins)

    Wow! Just wow! What a stunning goal this is. 10-man Stoke are level in the dying stages after Cameron Jerome does his best Tony Yeboah impression to latch on to a loose ball and smash a shot from 25 yards that dips slightly and finds the net via the crossbar. That ball was seriously travelling. The Britannia is rocking but Saints are floored.

  139. 1646: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Arsenal v Newcastle (17:30 GMT)

    Arsenal's only change sees Laurent Koscielny replace the unwell Per Mertesacker, while Chieck Tiote and Gabriel Obertan start for Newcastle.

  140. 1645: 
    Latest: Stoke 2-3 Southampton

    The ball is in the net at the Britannia via Cameron Jerome's finish but he was offside when collecting Peter Crouch's flick. We're entering the closing stages now and five of the six Premier League games have just one goal in them. Are we going to see a final twist in any?

  141. 1644: 
    Latest: Fulham 1-2 Swansea

    Swansea are continuing to push to make sure of the win at Fulham and Stockdale is forced in to another good save this time from Angel Rangel. From the resulting corner the Fulham keeper spills the ball but the danger is eventually cleared.


    Jonathan Brook on Twitter: "There'll be financial stability in the Eurozone before Man Utd find a second goal today at Old Trafford against West Brom."


    Eddie in Canterbury on text via 81111: "When are people going to realise it's not manager Paul Lambert, it's the clubs owners who are at fault at Villa!"

  144. 1642: 
    Latest: Norwich 3-4 Manchester City

    What a save from Mark Bunn to deny Sergio Aguero after he had been given a clear sight of goal by Yaya Toure's pass. The Norwich keeper reacts quickly to palm the effort away.

  145. 1640: 
    Latest: Reading 1-0 West Ham

    West Ham should be level at Reading. Matt Jarvis' cross finds Ricardo Vaz Te in acres of space at the back post but somehow he miscues his header wide of the far post.


    Damian McGrath on Twitter: "Come on Norwich! What's the betting on a 5-4 win against 10-man Manchester City?"

  147. 1638: 
    Latest: Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan

    In contrast to Paul Lambert's former club Norwich, there are no signs of life from Aston Villa. They are sliding meekly towards another heavy defeat. They've forced a few corners but Wigan have rarely been troubled at the back.

  148. 1637: 

    It's a great day if you support Bristol City - the Championship's bottom side at the start of the day are now 4-1 up against fellow strugglers Peterborough, with Posh down to 10 men. Sam Baldock's brace has City well on their way towards collecting all three points. Ipswich, themselves battling relegation, now lead 2-0 away at Wolves, who at this rate are being sucked into the battle to avoid the drop.

    League One leaders Sheffield United have fallen behind once again to strugglers Hartlepool, thanks to a neat finish from former Wednesday striker Ritchie Humphreys. Coventry have come from 2-1 down to lead 3-2 at MK Dons, while Bury have reduced the deficit to Carlisle to just 2-1.

    Rotherham lead Accrington 2-1 at home in League Two, Exeter remain two to the good against Barnet and Burton lead Southend by the same scoreline.


    Wendy in Cambridge on text via 81111: "These must surely be manager Paul Lambert's last few hours at Villa... Could former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo be the man to galvanise them? Would he even fancy it?"


    Joseph O'Sullivan on Twitter: "When will Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini realise that Edin Dzeko is far better than Mario Balotelli?"

  151. 1633: 
    GOAL- Norwich 3-4 Manchester City - Russell Martin

    What a game. Norwich are back in it again after twice seemingly being put out of it by City. Robert Snodgrass' corner sparks a mad scramble in the box before City poke the ball clear and Bradley Johnson fires back a low shot that Russell Martin steers into the goal via the head of Joe Hart. Still 10 minutes to go.

    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter:

    "Villa taking another heavy beating - this time at home to Wigan. Owner Randy Lerner must help manager Paul Lambert in January."

  153. 1631:  
    Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:

    "That was not a red card for Stoke's Steven Nzonzi, it was not even a free-kick I do not think. Nzonzi reached over the player's body and he tries to stay away from his leg.

    "That was an awful decision. He was not trying to do any damage."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  154. 1631: 
    Latest: Fulham 1-2 Swansea

    As Fulham go in search of the equaliser at Craven Cottage, Gerhard Tremmel makes a superb save from Kerim Frei. Just moments later Dimitar Berbatov did have the ball in the net but the goal was ruled out for offside.

  155. 1630: 
    Latest: Manchester United 1-0 West Brom

    West Brom's afternoon has just taken a turn for the worse. Robin van Persie has come on as the rain begins to fall again at Old Trafford. United need a second goal to settle the nerves of their fans. Still 1-0 and West Brom respond to Van Persie's arrival by sending on Romelu Lukaku, who has six league goals this season.


    Robert McConnell on Twitter: "Villa to go down?! Surely not. Yet if Newcastle can get relegated so can they..."

    Jamie Mulholland on Twitter: "Aston Villa have definitely provided the best pantomime this Christmas."

  157. 1628: 
    RED CARD- Stoke - Steven N'Zonzi

    It is all going off at the Britannia. The home side are reduced to 10 men when Steven N'Zonzi, who was clearly unhappy following an early challenge by Jack Cork, goes in very, very late on the Saints man right in front of referee Mark Clattenburg, who shows a straight red.

  158. 1628: 

    Stoke are screaming for a penalty at the Britannia. And they have a case as well as Kenwyne Jones rises with Jose Fonte and is only denied a header on goal by the hand of the Saints defender. There are some very unhappy Potters players out there.

  159. 1625: 
    GOAL- Norwich 2-4 Manchester City - Mark Bunn og (67 mins)

    Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko beats the offside trap and powers a shot at the Norwich goal. His effort comes back off the post and hits keeper Mark Bunn on the way into the net. Technically, that's an own goal by Bunn.

  160. 1624: 
    GOAL- Stoke 2-3 Southampton - Matthew Upson (67 mins)

    Stoke grab themselves a lifeline as a corner is swung over and while Kenwyne Jones's initial shot is blocked by Jose Fonte, Matthew Upson sliding follow-up flies through the bodies and beats Kelvin Davis. Stoke will fancy their chances of rescuing something now.

  161. 1624: 
    Latest: Reading 1-0 West Ham

    Reading come within an inch or two of making it 2-0 against West Ham. Jem Karacan slams a shot from 18 yards against the crossbar before Jimmy Kebe fires over.

  162. 1621: 
    GOAL- Norwich 2-3 Manchester City - Russell Martin (63 mins)

    The game is back on at Carrow Road as Norwich score to make it 2-3 against 10-man Manchester City. Robert Snodgrass' cross from the left is headed back across goal by Sebastien Bassong to where Russell Martin is lurking unmarked to head home. This is far from over.

  163. 1620: 
    Latest: Fulham 1-2 Swansea

    Swansea piling on the pressure at Craven Cottage as they look to reclaim their two-goal lead but Ashley Williams fires a shot wide.


    Adam Evans on Twitter: "Aston Villa are doomed."

    The AntiVillan on Twitter: "Sat in the sun on the beach in Nice with a beer in hand. I'd say life doesn't get much better than this, but I'm a Villa fan."

  165. 1618:  
    Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:

    "It is not a 30-yard screamer. It was a great finish from Kone but it was made to look easy as the defence was split apart. The Villa defender Lowton has dived in and made it so easy for him."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  166. 1617: 
    Latest: Manchester United 1-0 West Brom

    Positive start from West Brom to the second half at Old Trafford. After Chris Brunt forces a save from distance, Gabriel Tamas is presented with a glorious chance but ends up heading the ball away from goal. Manchester United fans have gone quiet. They want a second goal.

  167. 1616: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan - Arouna Kone (56 mins)

    Villa fans are heading out of the exits already - as Arouna Kone slides Wigan into a surely unassailable 3-0 lead. Kone simply brushes aside Villa defender Matthew Lowton to collect Franco Di Santo's pass and finish from a tight angle past a hapless Brad Guzan. Villa look to be heading into the bottom three - unless they produce a courageous, and highly unlikely, comeback.

  168. 1616: 
    Latest: Stoke 1-3 Southampton

    Lots of claret on the pitch at the Britannia. Stoke defensive duo Andy Wilkinson and Robert Huth leap, all eyes on the ball, straight into each other. It's a clash of heads. Both need treatment, and both now wear matching bandaged headgear as they are told to leave the pitch. Huth has to change his shirt and shorts - he's got blood on both. Both players are OK, but momentarily Stoke are down to nine men.

  169. 1613: 
    GOAL- Fulham 1-2 Swansea - Bryan Ruiz (56 mins)

    Now that is a timely strike for Fulham. Just seconds after going 2-0 down, the Cottagers hit back as Dimitar Berbatov's header hits the bar and then sees a shot blocked before the ball falls to Bryan Ruiz to finish with ease. Swansea appeal for offside as the ball went in via a slight deflection off Sacha Riether, who was past the last Swans defender.

  170. 1613:  
    Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:

    "Wigan's Emmerson Boyce had time to turn and face the goal twice and all he has done is kept on running and no Villa player has tracked him with conviction. It was far too easy and that is nothing new."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  171. 1611: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-2 Wigan - Emmerson Boyce (52 mins)

    Aston Villa are in big trouble now. Wigan have doubled their lead in stylish fashion as Emmerson Boyce charges forward and cuts through the home defence via a good one-two with Arouna Kone before making no mistake with his finish. As you can imagine, the home support is not happy. Wigan are absolutely delighted, though.

  172. 1608: 
    GOAL- Fulham 0-2 Swansea - Jonathan De Guzman (52 mins)

    The Swans double their lead at Craven Cottage as they take advantage of a mistake by David Stockdale. A poor clearance by the Fulham goalkeeper hits defender Brede Hangeland and the ball is laid off for Jonathan De Guzman who slots the ball past the outstretched reach of Stockdale.

  173. 1608: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-3 Manchester City - Sergio Aguero (50 mins)

    They may only have 10 men but they have a firm grasp on the game at Carrow Road. Yaya Toure's floated pass forward reaches Sergio Aguero in the box via a flick off his marker Sebastien Bassong and the Argentine shows supreme deftness of touch to chip the ball over home keeper Mark Bunn and in.

  174. 1607: 
    BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt at the Britannia Stadium:

    "The last visiting team to score three at the Britannia Stadium were QPR in a 3-2 win on 19 October 2011."

  175. 1607: 
    Latest: Fulham 0-1 Swansea

    Fulham have the perfect chance to equalise when Swansea conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Ki Sung-Yueng, a half-time replacement for Wayne Routledge, brought down Giorgos Karagounis but Bryan Ruiz curled the free-kick just inches wide of the right-hand post.

  176. 1606: 

    Not quite the frantic start to this half as in the first. Clearly some managers have had a word with their defenders.


    Liam, a Norwich fan at Carrow Road, on text via 81111: "I was right in front of the whole thing - Bassong got the ball with his tackle on Nasri, but neither player's reaction deserved punishment."

  178. 1602: 

    We are back under way. How about another 45 minutes like the first?

  179. 1601: 

    Just before half-time in the Championship an Andy Reid strike from 25 yards brought Nottingham Forest level with Crystal Palace. That will make Alex McLeish's first interval team-talk an easier affair. A Ruben Rochina goal makes it 2-0 to Blackburn over Barnsley at the break, while Middlesbrough lead Blackpool 2-0 at the Riverside.

    Brett Pitman's strike gives Bournemouth a 2-0 lead at home to Crawley in League One, and Yeovil lead Portsmouth by the same scoreline. A Ryan Lowe effort seven minutes before the half-time whistle gives MK Dons a 2-1 advantage over visitors Coventry.

    Four goals between Dagenham & Redbridge and Port Vale in League Two with the visitors leading 3-1, while Terry Gornell's second now makes it Bradford 2-4 Rochdale.


    Max Mclean on Twitter: "I've been on the Carrow Road stadium tour. The early bath for Nasri will not be what he's used to at the Etihad."

    Sam Parker on Twitter: "The Nasri red was completely ridiculous, no different to RVP's reaction against Ashley Williams."

    Marc Sepetowski on Twitter: "People complaining it's a strong challenge by Bassong. That's what the Premier League is missing. Fair but strong tackles!"

  181. 1558:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveNorwich 1-2 Manchester City

    Former Norwich striker Dean Ashton: "They were both head-to-head and the referee didn't need to send him off. The only issue is if Nasri said something to the linesman. We know a headbutt when we see one and that wasn't one. It's disappointing if he's been sent off for that."

    You can listen to live commentary of this match on Radio 5 live now.

  182. 1555:  
    MOTD's Martin Fisher at Villa Park:Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan

    "A few boos in among the jeers after Ivan Ramis headed Wigan in front following terrible marking by Paul Lambert's men from the first corner of the afternoon. Villa took a long, long time to get going and eventually fashioned a chance when Brett Holman hit the crossbar. But Villa are deep in the mire gain at half-time."


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "7 - Only QPR (11) have been given more red cards in the Premier League since Aug 1st 2011 than Man City (7). Sparks."

  184. 1552:  
    MOTD's John Motson at the Madejski Stadium:Reading 1-0 West Ham

    "Reading lead after Pavel Pogrebnyak took advantage of some poor defending from James Collins. West Ham have been unusually lack lustre but showed signs of coming back into it and Reading know they will have a battle on their hands if they are to claim only their second win of the season."

  185. 1550:  
    MOTD's Steve Wilson at Carrow Road:Norwich 1-2 Manchester City

    "It's been an extraordinary first half. We've had everything. Manchester City's players are questioning referee Mike Jones over Samir Nasri's red card. It's been a great first half but the red card at the end has provided a sour taste."


    Michael Ducy on Twitter: "That was a dangerous challenge by Bassong. I can't see how you send Nasri off for being mad about it."

    Akinpelu Kayode on Twitter: "Nasri springing up so quickly to confront Bassong makes making a case for him really difficult. Otherwise, it was a soft red."

    Elliott Bambrough on Twitter: "Great refereeing at Carrow Road. My only complaint would be that Bassong never deserved that yellow. Nasri off for an early tub."

  187. 1549:  
    MOTD's Simon Brotherton at Craven Cottage:Fulham 0-1 Swansea

    "No Michu, no problem for Swansea City. His replacement Danny Graham as striker had one chance and put it away with great skill. Swansea are more than a match for a frustrated Fulham here at Craven Cottage."

  188. 1549:  
    MOTD's Alistair Mann at the Britannia Stadium:Stoke 1-3 Southampton

    "What an extraordinary 45 minutes. The team with the best defensive record in the Premier League have been hit for three. Stoke are a little bit shell-shocked at half-time, while Southampton boss Nigel Adkins must be absolutely thrilled. Stoke are looking genuinely rattled, and Tony Pulis will have wanted to get his men inside that dressing room. Southampton are deservedly 3-1 up."

  189. 1549:  
    MOTD’s Guy Mowbray at Old Trafford:Manchester United 1-0 West Brom

    "One own goal divides the two teams but in truth it has been too easy for Manchester United, who should really be leading by a more handsome scoreline. West Brom have it all to do."

  190. 1548: 
    HALF-TIME- Norwich 1-2 Manchester City
  191. 1548:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "There was a really strong challenge on Manchester City's Samir Nasri by Norwich's Sebastien Bassong, who clipped him and he did a somersault in mid-air, they clashed heads and Nasri just does a little flick. That movement, for me, is the difference between a yellow card and a red card."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  192. 1547: 
    HALF-TIME- Reading 1-0 West Ham
  193. 1547: 
    HALF-TIME- Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan
  194. 1547: 
    HALF-TIME- Stoke 1-3 Southampton
  195. 1546: 
    HALF-TIME- Manchester United 1-0 West Brom
  196. 1546: 
    HALF-TIME- Fulham 0-1 Swansea
  197. 1546: 

    Bolton have recovered from falling a goal behind at home to Birmingham to lead 2-1 thanks to strikes from Marcos Alonso and Chung-Yong Lee. Striker Joshua King has given managerless Blackburn the lead at struggling Barnsley. Peterborough have pulled it back to 1-1 at Bristol City.

    In League One, Doncaster are two goals up away at stuttering Preston. Hartlepool have not been able to hold on to their lead over high-flying Sheffield United, Michael Doyle equalising for the Blades on the half hour.

    Struggling Wimbledon concede a brace inside five minutes to fall 2-0 behind at home to Oxford, while it's Bradford 2-3 Rochdale in a five-goal thriller at Valley Parade.


    David Toole on Twitter: "Southampton doing at Stoke what Liverpool couldn't do... This says a lot about Liverpool at the moment."

  199. 1545: 
    Latest: Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan

    Aston Villa create their best chance of the game - but are denied by the woodwork. A deep free-kick is nodded down by Christian Benteke to the far post where Brett Holman smashes a half-volley crashing back off the Wigan crossbar.

  200. 1543: 
    RED CARD- Manchester City - Samir Nasri (44 mins)

    It's kicking off at Carrow Road and Manchester City's Samir Nasri is the one who suffers. He has cause to be quite upset about how this has turned out as he is completely upended by Sebastien Bassong, who took the ball first then the man, before the two square up head to head. He does no more than the Norwich defender but you can only assume referee Mike Jones thought the City man had stuck his nut in.

  201. 1542:  
    Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:, BBC Final Score

    "I do not know how Villa will get out of this slump. They do not seem to know what to do with the ball when they get it.

    "Striker Christian Benteke will hit the target when he gets the ball but he is not even getting one good chance a game at the moment."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  202. 1541: 
    Latest: Fulham 0-1 Swansea

    It's end to end stuff at Craven Cottage and Bryan Ruiz is the latest player to try his luck for the home side. Gerhard Tremmel is equal to it though, making an excellent save at his near post.

  203. 1540: 
    Latest: Norwich 1-2 Manchester City

    Yaya Toure comes within an inch of restoring Manchester City's two-goal cushion at Norwich. He unleashes a shot from the edge of the area but it swings just past the far post.


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: 5 - "This is only the fifth time that Stoke have conceded 3+ goals in a PL home game and the first occasion since Nov 2011. Shock."

  205. 1539: 
    Latest: Manchester United 1-0 West Brom

    No sign of any rants from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford - unlike 26 December against Newcastle. And no wonder as his side are in total control against West Brom. Gareth McAuley's goal divides the teams but with United's poor defensive record, Ferguson will want to see his side score again.


    Paul at Villa Park on text via 81111: "It's worrying how quickly headless chicken syndrome has set in at Villa. A young team's heads are obviously going to drop after an 8-0 battering, but there's no hint of going back to how we were playing before the Chelsea game. All over the place. Need some senior players to step up and calm the mentality."


    Deletsu D. Selase on Twitter: "Welbeck is at best a support striker for Man Utd. Don't know why Fergie decided to put him up there all by himself!"

    Hugh Merlin on Twitter: "Where is Stoke's defence today? Oh yeah, he's suspended..."

  208. 1536: 
    GOAL- Stoke 1-3 Southampton - Andy Wilkinson og

    This is remarkable at the Britannia. Stoke have been so solid at the back this season, having only conceded four at home prior to this. But now they've been hit for three by struggling Southampton on less than 40 minutes. Jason Puncheon's cross into the box is headed down by Rickie Lambert and then sliced horribly past his own keeper by Andy Wilkinson.

  209. 1536: 

    That's naughty from Fulham's Giorgos Karagounis. The midfielder slides right through Kemy Agustien to pick up a deserved booking.

  210. 1532: 

    It is backs to the wall for West Brom at Old Trafford. Ben Foster pulls out a cracking save to tip Ashley Young's 16-yard shot onto the bar before the Baggies defence combines to block and clear Michael Carrick's low drive from inside the box.

  211. 1532: 
    Latest: Reading 1-0 West Ham

    We've got some handbags at the Madejski between West ham's Kevin Nolan and Alex Pearce following a late tackle by the former. The referee steps in to restore order and hand everyone their lipstick back.


    Jim in Southampton on text via 81111: "I'm desperate for a cuppa, could we have just five minutes without any more goals please?"

  213. 1530: 
    Latest: Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan

    The Aston Villa fans are very frustrated. They have seen their side concede goal after goal in the last two and a bit games and they are struggling to offer anything to suggest they can cancel out Wigan's opener at Villa Park.

  214. 1529: 
    Latest: Norwich 1-2 Manchester City

    Norwich defender Javier Garrido nearly scores a spectacular own goal against Manchester City. He chips the ball towards his own goal and keeper Mark Bunn has to tip over his team-mate's attempted clearance.


    Joe Pape on Twitter: "At this rate Reading will overtake the 11 points record help by Derby. Season already a success."

  216. 1528: 
    Latest: Stoke 1-2 Southampton

    Southampton are well on top at the Britannia. Jason Puncheon turns Andy Wilkinson inside and out before firing a shot on target that Asmir Begovic has to palm away.

  217. 1527: 

    Carlisle are already two goals up in League One against Bury, while a Steve Howard header has bottom side Hartlepool one up at table-topping Sheffield United.

    Port Vale's two strikes in the opening 10 minutes has them comfortably in control at Dagenham & Redbridge. Alan Connell converts from the penalty spot to draw Bradford level at a goal apiece with Rochdale.

  218. 1527:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic for me has to dominate that situation before Jay Rodriguez's goal for Southampton. He has to shout to Robert Huth to sort the situation out as they are going into the same area and he can see the whole pitch while the defender has his eyes just on the ball."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  219. 1526: 

    In the Championship, Crystal Palace are spoiling Alex McLeish's start as Nottingham Forest manager, Glenn Murray sliding in to grab his 21st goal of the season after nine minutes at the City Ground. A Paul Anderson strike inside six minutes has the bottom club Bristol City a goal up versus fellow relegation contenders Peterborough. Things are looking very bad for Posh, with strike Lee Tomlin dismissed for violent conduct.

  220. 1524: 
    GOAL- Stoke 1-2 Southampton - Jay Rodriguez (24 mins)

    It's suddenly gone all keystone cops at the Britannia. Rickie Lambert swings a cross into the box, where Robert Huth sticks out a foot in front of his own keeper to deflect the ball on to his own bar before it falls to Jay Rodriguez to slot into the empty net. Looks like those changes to the Stoke backline have had a serious impact.

  221. 1523: 
    Latest: Reading 1-0 West Ham

    Superb save from Adam Federici to keep it level at the Madejski. James Collins' header looks destined for the goal until the home keeper's hand pokes out to tip the ball over.


    Dave in Birmingham on text via 81111: "Would honestly be happy if Villa just managed to score today against Wigan. Our young team's future is about as bright as the skies over Villa Park at present."

  223. 1522: 
    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas on Gareth Bale:

    "It was a big mistake from the referee. I understand that reputations can sometimes be created on the outside through the media or situations on the pitch, but it's a bit unfair. If you see the images, Gardner is not even focusing on the ball, he goes in and clips him. It doesn't mar the win but Gareth was one game from being clean from yellow cards and it's extremely unfair that he misses Reading because of such a big mistake. It was the same situation with Defoe in the first half, so it looks like persecution. We want to take it out of the game, the game here is respectful with fair play, but speed it difficult for referees to analyse. It's a little bit unfair. We lose him for Reading but we'll recover and try to complete a magnificent run in December."

  224. 1522:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Norwich striker Dean Ashton: "Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is remonstrating with the referee that it was not a foul by him which led to the Norwich free-kick from which Anthony Pilkington scored. City keeper Joe Hart has had his critics but there nothing he could do as the strike took a deflection off Gael Clichy. It was a good time for Norwich to score as they were looking a bit shaky."

    You can listen to commentary of this match on Radio 5 live now


    David Pritty on Twitter: "Man City keep conceding goals, Lescott on the bench all the time, coincidence?"

    Asho1992 on Twitter: "Loads of goals already! This is why football should be played over the Christmas period!"

  226. 1521: 
    Latest: Fulham 0-1 Swansea

    Fulham could be level straight away as Kerim Frei shoots from an angle on the right but is frustrated to see his effort fly just past the far post. It's good this football thing.

  227. 1518: 
    GOAL- Fulham 0-1 Swansea - Danny Graham

    And we have a full set. Swansea take advantage of Fulham's inability to clear as David Stockdale's save from a Nathan Dyer shot in the box falls straight to Danny Graham, who acrobatically turns the ball into the far corner for his second Premier League goal of the season.

  228. 1518: 
    Latest: Manchester United 1-0 West Brom

    The Old Trafford surface might be drenched but Manchester United are passing it around with their usual style. Gareth McAuley's own goals means United have now scored 49 Premier League goals in 19-and-a-bit Premier League games. The way things are going, No 50 should not be too far away. Albion struggling to make an impression.


    Henry Whitfield on Twitter: "No goals yet between Swansea and Fulham? What a bore, what are they waiting for!?!"

  230. 1518: 
    Latest: Fulham 0-0 Swansea

    Fulham and Swansea are really letting the side down here. There has barely been a shot on goal at Craven Cottage.


    Neil in Manchester on text via 81111: "How was that a foul from Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany for the free-kick, perfectly timed tackle!"

  232. 1515: 
    GOAL- Stoke 1-1 Southampton - Kenwyne Jones (16 mins)

    Kenwyne Jones makes amends for his shocking miss earlier with a superb goal. Ryan Shotton cuts in down the right and crosses low to the near post where Jones is well-placed to flick the ball into the far corner with his instep. Lovely stuff.

  233. 1514: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-2 Manchester City - Anthony Pilkington (15 mins)

    This afternoon just keeps giving. Anthony Pilkington strikes a free-kick from 22 yards and it finds the goal courtesy of a deflection off Gael Clichy. Game back on.

  234. 1513:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "There was not much West Brom defender Gareth McAuley could do about the own goal against Manchester United. Winger Ashley Young drove the ball across and it hit his shin and went in."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.


    Oliver James Spencer on Twitter: "13 goals conceded and non scored in 185 minutes for Villa!"

  236. 1512: 
    Latest: Stoke 0-1 Southampton

    Oh, Stoke should be level. A shot from range is deflected into the path of Kenwyne Jones, who has a clear sight of goal from barely 10 yards out but can only slice his shot wide of goal. Woeful finishing.

  237. 1511:  
    Former Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright on Final Score:

    "I liked Pavel Pogrebnyak last year for Fulham and was surprised no bigger teams wanted to sign him than Reading. It was a good finish from him there against West Ham."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.


    Rebecca Moore on Twitter: "Looks like Norwich could get torn apart here against Manchester City."

    Elijah Cummins on Twitter: "Fix up West Brom!!!"

  239. 1509: 
    GOAL- Stoke 0-1 Southampton - Rickie Lambert (10 mins)

    Southampton have had the better of it at the Britannia and the buoyant home support are silenced. Guly de Prado received the ball on the left-hand side of the Stoke area, checks out then inside and curls a delightful cross over the home side's static back line. Rickie Lambert steals in and it's the most straightforward thing in the world for the Liverpudlian to convert the chance for his eighth goal of the campaign.

  240. 1508: 
    GOAL- Manchester United 1-0 West Brom - Gareth McAuley og (9 mins)

    Manchester United get in on the early goal action. Ashley Young cuts into the box down the left, with some held from a deflection off Graham Dorrans before firing over a cross that deflects in at the near post off the unlucky Gareth McAuley.

  241. 1508: 

    Well that was a pretty good start to the afternoon. I think we could be in for a belter of a day.


    Sam Alexander on Twitter: "Was Dzeko subbed on in the first minute?"

  243. 1505: 
    GOAL- Reading 1-0 West Ham - Pavel Pogrebnyak (5 mins)

    Pavel Pogrebnyak gives Reading an early lead after a poor back pass from James Collins is intercepted and tucked away beautifully by the Russian.

  244. 1504: 
    GOAL- Norwich 0-2 Manchester City - Edin Dzeko (4 mins)

    Another for Manchester City and Edin Dzeko. Norwich keeper Mark Bunn is tempted out of his goal to stop Sergio Aguero, who capitalises by cutting the ball back to Dzeko to slot into an empty net. Norwich complain about a challenge from Vincent Kompany on Bradley Johnson in the build-up to the goal but it is 2-0.

  245. 1503: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-1 Wigan - Ivan Ramis (3 mins)

    Villa's fortunes go from bad to worse. They've been hit for eight and four in their last two matches and they are behind again against Wigan in the first few minutes. Ivan Ramis has acres of space to charge towards the six-yard box and head in a corner. Where was his marker? It is Ramis's third Wigan goal and the 13th Villa have conceded in two and a bit matches.

  246. 1501: 
    GOAL- Norwich 0-1 Manchester City - Edin Dzeko (2 mins)

    Manchester City have set their stall out early at Carrow Road. Sergio Aguero floats a ball from right to left for David Silva to cushion a pass into the path of Edin Dzeko. The big striker makes no mistake with a neat side-foot finish. Superb goal.

  247. 1500: 

    And we are under way in five games across the Premier League and a host of fixtures in the Football League.


    Paul in High Wycombe on text via 81111: "RE - Gareth Bale's booking for diving. Why is it so hard to believe that a slight tap will bring someone down? It's a good tackle in rugby and a dive in football. Other players dived much more blatantly in that game but got no booking. Bale is victimised for having a 'reputation'."

  249. 1457: 
    Norwich v Manchester City (15:00 GMT)

    Norwich boss Chris Hughton knows Manchester City will be smarting from the loss to Sunderland but he is also hoping his side can get back to winning ways after two defeats. He says: "City will want a reaction but we also want a reaction here because, although the Chelsea game was a tight one and there is no shame for us in losing to a top team, it hurts."

  250. 1455: 
    More from Tottenham winger Gareth Bale:

    "That's the third time now I've been clipped and booked for no reason again. There's nothing I can do, the referees need to look a bit closer. People think I'm diving when there's contact. If there's contact it's a penalty or free kick, there's nothing I can do. If there's contact, what do you want me to do - hit my head on the floor? I have to put my hands down to protect myself. If people kick me, I'm going to go down. It doesn't bother me, people keep saying I'm diving but it doesn't bother me whatsoever. It's a foul and I know it myself."

  251. 1454: 
    Norwich v Manchester City (15:00 GMT)

    Manchester City's forward line is misfiring at present and the club's assistant boss David Platt spoke to the media instead of boss Roberto Mancini before the game at Carrow Road. Platt says: "Goalscorers go through barren spells. It is just unfortunate that at the moment all of them seem to be having one at the same time."


    Millsotheblues on Twitter: "Kelvin Davies starts again in goal for Southampton today, he is a massive liability."

    Chris Pilcher on Twitter: "Hope Welbeck & Kagawa aren't rusty coming back from injury/illness for Manchester United... Hernandez & RVP to come on late against West Brom and save the day!"

  253. 1452: 
    Aston Villa v Wigan (15:00 GMT)

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes the next month of fixtures, starting with this afternoon's game at Aston Villa, will shape his side's chances of securing Premier League survival once again. "These next five or six matches could be the most important five or six games in the club's history," says the Spaniard, who almost quit the Latics for Villa in the summer of 2011. "It is a transitional period for Aston Villa but they have a lot of heart and are capable of competing against anyone on their day."

  254. 1450: 
    Manchester United v West Brom (15:00 GMT)

    Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making any major signings during the January transfer window after claiming his current group of players are as good as any he has worked with during 26 years at Old Trafford. "Don't hold your breath waiting for Manchestr United to jump through the transfer window when it opens next week," Ferguson writes in the match programme. "It's been open season to link us with a stack of players, admittedly some very good ones, but it just isn't going to happen. You can never say never in football because you don't know who might become available, but speaking generally, I am not looking to do any serious business in January.I don't have to because I am more than satisfied with the players I have in my squad, a group as good as I have had in my time at Old Trafford."


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "73 - Jon Walters has started each of Stoke's last 73 PL games, the longest current run of any outfield player in the league. Evergreen."

  256. 1450: 

    Games at Aldershot, Cheltenham and Gillingham have all gone, so Port Vale could capitalise and top League Two should they beat Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Road. Wimbledon will also climb out of the relegation zone with three points versus Oxford, while a draw between Wycombe and Plymouth will do neither side good as they both seek to escape the gravity of the bottom.

  257. 1449: 

    Just the 10 League One fixtures after games at Colchester and Stevenage fell victim to the weather. Table-topping Sheffield United will look to extend their lead at the summit as they host bottom club Hartlepool, whilst second-placed Tranmere face second-bottom Scunthorpe. The Bournemouth-Crawley match is also significant, with the winners standing a good chance of sneaking into a play-off position by the end of play today.

  258. 1448: 

    A tale of managerial changes in the Championship this afternoon. New Nottingham Forest boss Alex McLeish makes his bow in front of the City Ground faithful as his play-offs chasing team host fourth-placed Crystal Palace. Managerless Blackburn, meanwhile, travel to relegation-battling Barnsley. Rovers reserve team coach Gary Bowyer takes charge at Oakwell, with his side having managed just one win in their last 10. Another basement battle has bottom club Bristol City hosting 22nd placed Peterborough.


    Ryan Heatly on Twitter: "Still can't believe people can call that a dive. Awful stuff. Gareth Bale being victimised again."

  260. 1448: 
    Aston Villa v Wigan (15:00 GMT)

    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert wants to instil a German mentality into his young side as they look to avoid relegation. Lambert, who won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1996/97, says: "The great thing about being in German football was the mentality they had. I think that was the secret. It was a big learning curve for me, seeing how they dealt with defeats as a footballer and as a manager. You could see how they lifted things and how they put things to bed. They knew how to handle it."

  261. 1447:  
    Former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin on Final Score:, BBC Final Score

    "Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is very passionate man. Whether he is right or wrong, he had to get his point across to the officials against Newcastle.

    "If he knows he can get away with something, and if people fear and respect him, he will go ahead.

    "As an ex-player, if you do not say hello to him, he will give you a clip over the head. I have felt that a few times."

    Watch Final Score on the BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  262. 1447: 
    Tottenham winger Gareth Bale:

    "It's a vital win for us. We have put pressure on the other teams around us and it was a great performance from us. We got the two goals which we thoroughly deserved and won the game positively. This is the same again - three times now I've been clipped and I've been booked for no reason. People keep saying I dive but if you're clipped it's not a dive. Referees just have to look a bit closer."

  263. 1447: 
    Stoke v Southampton (15:00 GMT)

    Stoke climbed to eighth in the Premier League with their Boxing Day win over Liverpool, but Potters boss Tony Pulis believes struggling Southampton could provide a tougher test. "In many respects the Southampton game will be the toughest of the two because of the raised expectations," he said. "Southampton are giving it a good go and they will be a big challenge for us, especially if we are not up for the game."

    Stoke success has been based on the strength of their defence, and Southampton centre-back Maya Yoshida says Saints must learn from their hosts if they are to become the first side to win at the Britannia Stadium since February. "We have to give away less free-kicks, corner kicks and deep throw-ins otherwise they will put many, many long balls in the box," said the Japan international. "It would be really nice to win because they haven't lost a home game (for a long time)."

  264. 1445: 
    Reading v West Ham (15:00 GMT)

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is boosted by the news that Carlton Cole has had his red card rescinded following his dismissal against Everton and is available to face Reading. "He's playing very well, leading the line for us and in terms of creative play he's the pinnacle for us with his hold-up play," said Allardyce. "He's scored a superb goal against Everton and we're seeing the Carlton Cole we all want to see consistently - I hope he can keep it up because he's a big threat to anyone."

  265. 1444: 
    Reading v West Ham (15:00 GMT)

    Reading manager Brian McDermott insists his side can beat the drop ahead of Saturday's game against West Ham despite the fact they only have one league win this season. "People talk to me about history and positions in the table, points and what have you, but it's irrelevant," said McDermott. "With 19 games to go this is definitely doable for us. We enjoy and relish the challenge. We can do this."

  266. 1443: 
    Aston Villa v Wigan (15:00 GMT)

    Four changes for Paul Lambert as Villa look to earn a morale-boosting win against relegation rivals Wigan. Full-back Eric Lichaj replaces Nathan Baker, who limped off against Tottenham with a hamstring problem, while Stephen Ireland, Barry Bannan and Andreas Weimann also start.

    Wigan boss Roberto Martinez makes just the two changes with Spanish central defender Ivan Ramis making his first start since late November following a hamstring injury. He replaces Ronnie Stam, while Argentine striker Franco Di Santo starts ahead of midfielder James McArthur, who drops to the bench.

  267. 1439: 
    LINE-UPS- Manchester United v West Brom (15:00 GMT)

    Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Cleverley, Valencia, Kagawa, Young, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Hernandez, van Persie, Scholes, Buttner.

    West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell, Thorne, Brunt, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Odemwingie, Long. Subs: Myhill, Morrison, El Ghanassy, Jara Reyes, Lukaku, Dawson, Fortune.

    Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

  268. 1439: 
    FULL-TIME- Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Luke from Essex on text via 81111: "Tottenham winger Gareth Bale booked for diving again! Leading the league in bookings for diving by far, he will never be world class until he cuts it out... Disappointing."

  270. 1438: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Sunderland have a late chance to create something but spurn it when a free-kick launched into the box falls for Carlos Cuellar and he can only tamely shoot wide.

  271. 1437: 
    Stoke v Southampton (15:00 GMT)

    Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson, Kightly, Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington, Walters, Jones. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Owen, Adam, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome.

    Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Lambert. Subs: Boruc, Steven Davis, Ramirez, Fox, Richardson, Mayuka, De Ridder.

    Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

  272. 1436: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Sunderland have a late corner, which Adam Johnson swings in and Hugo Lloris gets a free-kick after being impeded. Tottenham can eat into more time.

  273. 1435: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    We are into five minutes of added time at the Stadium of Light.


    Statisticians Opta on Twitter: "5 - Gareth Bale has been given five cautions for simulation in the PL since the start of 2011-12. No other player has more than two. Fly."

  275. 1434: 
    Fulham v Swansea (15:00 GMT)

    Fulham make six changes with Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Matthew Briggs, Giorgos Karagounis, Kerim Frei and Bryan Ruiz all called into the starting line-up. Swansea make six changes to the side from their Boxing Day draw at Reading as Gerhard Tremmel, Garry Monk, Angel Rangel, Kemy Agustien, Jonathan De Guzman and Danny Graham all come in. Michu is ruled out with an ankle injury.

    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter:

    "Seem to be spending inordinate amounts of time on MOTD talking about diving this season. Yet more tonight it appears..."

    See the highlights from the day's Premier League action at 2230 GMT on BBC One.

  277. 1433: 
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Jurejko reports:Hull 2-0 Leeds

    "Second-placed Hull move within two points of Championship leaders after a resounding victory against Yorkshire rivals Leeds. The Tigers dominated from start to finish against the lacklustre Whites, who barely mustered a shot on target. Hull chief Steve Bruce will certainly have one eye on the Premier League after this high-tempo display, while Leeds counterpart Neil Warnock must be praying new owners GFH Capital provide some squad-boosting funds in the New Year."

  278. 1433: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Gareth Bale leaves to boos from the home crowd to be replaced by Gylfi Sigurdsson.


    Neil Knighton on Twitter: "Spurs manager AVB making the same defensive changes that have resulted in so many late goals against us. Definition of insanity?"

  280. 1431: 
    LINE-UPS- Reading v West Ham (15:00 GMT)

    Reading: Federici, Gunter, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Leigertwood, Karacan, Kebe, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, Morrison, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Cummings.

    West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Taylor, Nolan, Jarvis, Cole. Subs: Spiegel, Collison, Maiga, Vaz Te, Demel, Diarra, Spence.

    Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

  281. 1431: 
    BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt at the Britannia Stadium:

    "Southampton are out warming up on what can only be described as yoga mats. Each player has one, perhaps to protect himself from the wet ground as they stretch, bend and reach. Luckily for Saints, the Britannia currently has very few Stoke fans inside. I can't imagine that yoga mats would go down too well in these parts."

  282. 1430: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Five minutes to go at the Stadium of Light and Sunderland are not completely out of this yet. Adam Johnson crosses low from the left and only a good interception from Kyle Naughton prevents the Black Cats capitalising.

  283. 1430: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Gareth Bale looks to seal the win for Tottenham with a shot from range but his effort is saved by Simon Mignolet.

  284. 1429: 
    LINE-UPS- Aston Villa v Wigan (15:00 GMT)

    Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj, Lowton, Ireland, Holman, Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Westwood, Bowery, Stevens, Carruthers.

    Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Gomez, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.

    Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

  285. 1428: 
    LINE-UPS- Fulham v Swansea (15:00 GMT)

    Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Briggs, Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Frei, Ruiz, Berbatov. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Riise, Senderos, Baird, Richardson, Rodallega.

    Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Tiendalli, de Guzman, Agustien, Dyer, Hernandez, Routledge, Graham. Subs: Vorm, Bartley, Britton, Shechter, Moore, Ki, Davies.

    Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

  286. 1428: 
    LINE-UPS- Norwich v Manchester City (15:00 GMT)

    Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Morison. Subs: Rudd, Howson, Jackson, Elliott Bennett, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Kane.

    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Toure, Tevez.

    Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

  287. 1427: 
    Manchester United v West Brom (15:00 GMT)

    Robin van Persie is on the bench as Danny Welbeck starts for Manchester United at Old Trafford. Shinji Kagawa is also handed his first start since October after recovering from a knee injury while the side also includes Nemanja Vidic, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young.

    Nineteen-year-old George Thorne, who played in Peterborough's 3-0 win at Wolves on 26 December, makes his second league start for West Brom after returning from loan.

  288. 1426:  
    Former Everton and Sunderland winger Kevin Kilbane at the Stadium of Light on BBC Radio 5 live:

    "As Tottenham's Gareth Bale has gone past Sunderland defender Craig Gardner there was a slight bit of contact but he has thrown himself to the ground. The referee Martin Atkinson was right on the spot to give the booking for diving.

    "Bale has been gone over looking for that penalty and has quite rightly been booked. If he stayed on his feet he would have been in a really good position."

    Listen to commentary of Sunderland v Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  289. 1426: 
    BBC Sport's Becky Ashton reports:FULL-TIME- Huddersfield 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday

    "It has ended goalless at the John Smith's Stadium but all the talk will be about referee Mick Russell who showed Helan two yellow cards but did not send him off. The result leaves Huddersfield without a win in nine and takes Wednesday's unbeaten run to four."

  290. 1425: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Emmanuel Adebayor could have sealed the game for Tottenham but Simon Mignolet blocks the striker's shot with his boot after Clint Dempsey had fed through a neat pass.

  291. 1425: 

    Gareth Bale has got himself into some trouble with what the referee deems a dive. He charges into the box and tumbles after Craig Gardner came across and put his arm across him. That means Bale will be suspended for the next game against Reading.


    Peter from Newcastle on text via 81111: "Nothing like beating the winter blues at work by seeing Spurs beat Sunderland. All we need now is for Newcastle to win at the Emirates against Arsenal. Optimistic."

  293. 1421: 
    BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt at the Britannia Stadium:

    "The most miserly central defensive partnership in the Premier League - Stoke's Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth - are parted for the first time this season as Shawcross serves a one-match ban. With full-back Geoff Cameron also suspended, Matthew Upson and Ryan Shotton come in to plug the Potters' defence. Michael Owen - not seen since October - is on the bench. Southampton make three changes, adding the extra height of Jos Hooiveld, Jay Rodriguez and Guly do Prado for Nathaniel Clyne, Gaston Ramirez and Steven Davis."

  294. 1421: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Tottenham continue to be a threat as Aaron Lennon gets space on the right to cross low but a Sunderland boot puts the ball behind. Kyle Walker's corner is deep and headed back into the box for Steven Caulker to plant a headed effort into the arms of Simon Mignolet.

  295. 1418: 

    Tottenham's turn to twist as Jermain Defoe is removed and replaced by Clint Dempsey.

  296. 1418: 
    Latest: Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham

    Sunderland are grafting for an opening but Spurs are holding strong. Stephane Sessegnon drives into the box but Michael Dawson sticks a foot in to dispossess him and clear the danger.


    JKoenza77 on Twitter: "Welcome back Shinji Kagawa, hopefully he'll give Man Utd that spark that'll be missing without Wayne Rooney."

    Steven Gough on Twitter: "Robin van Persie on the Man Utd bench... Despair for fantasy football players across the country."

    Callum Alexander on Twitter: "Disappointed to see Chicharito isn't starting for MUFC but excited to see Kagawa behind the striker."

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All the goals and incidents as they happen from all the matches across the divisions.

Latest Football

Upcoming Fixtures Sat 4 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Arsenal v Liverpool 12:45
  • Everton v Southampton 15:00
  • Leicester v West Ham 15:00
  • Man Utd v Aston Villa 15:00
  • Swansea v Hull 15:00
  • West Brom v QPR 15:00
  • Chelsea v Stoke 17:30
Upcoming Fixtures Sun 5 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Burnley v Tottenham 13:30
  • Sunderland v Newcastle 16:00
Upcoming Fixtures Mon 6 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Crystal Palace v Man City 20:00
Upcoming Fixtures Tue 7 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Aston Villa v QPR 19:45
Upcoming Fixtures Sat 11 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Swansea v Everton 12:45

More fixtures

As It Stands Table

Barclays Premier League summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Chelsea 29 36 67
No movement 2 Man City 30 34 61
No movement 3 Arsenal 30 27 60
No movement 4 Man Utd 30 25 59
No movement 5 Liverpool 30 12 54
No movement 6 Southampton 30 21 53
No movement 7 Tottenham 30 5 53
No movement 8 Swansea 30 -4 43
No movement 9 West Ham 30 3 42
No movement 10 Stoke 30 -3 42
No movement 11 Crystal Palace 30 -5 36
No movement 12 Newcastle 30 -15 35
No movement 13 Everton 30 -4 34
No movement 14 West Brom 30 -12 33
No movement 15 Hull 30 -12 28
No movement 16 Aston Villa 30 -20 28
No movement 17 Sunderland 30 -21 26
No movement 18 Burnley 30 -23 25
No movement 19 QPR 30 -23 22
No movement 20 Leicester 29 -21 19