Premier League football: Aston Villa v Tottenham as it happened

Live text commentary as Tottenham win 2-0 at Aston Villa in a game where a linesman is hit by a flare.

20 October 2013 Last updated at 17:18 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1817: 

    Right then, time for me to bid you farewell. No refereeing clangers today, which is a good thing of course - but there is still one more top-flight game to go in this round of fixtures. Tom Rostance is back in the chair for the basement battle between London rivals Crystal Palace and Fulham on Monday night. Make sure you join him.

  2. 1814: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Tottenham's biggest problem today seems to be deciding who their best player was. Not a bad situation to be in. Sandro, Andros Townsend and Paulinho were all very impressive. Roberto Soldado's finish was the mark of a true poacher. At the back, Michael Dawson was rock-solid.

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    Andrew Priestley: Out of all the signings Spurs made, Paulinho has been the stand out performer. He's adjusted so quickly to the pace of the Premier League.

  4. 1809: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham
    Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas: "It was a great performance. We improved with time because the beginning was difficult, as we had lots of longs balls to deal with.

    "The opening goal was important to bring confidence and we really played well in the second half. We deserved to go 2-0 up.

    "It was the right response after the defeat by West Ham and it is good to see us near the top.

    "Andros Townsend had a great game. He didn't start well but really picked up after his goal. He is a great threat. His pace and ability to beat a man, he takes the team forward."


    Lee in Notts: So Tottenham concede three goals with no reply at home to West Ham, but then score two and keep a clean sheet away from home!? Funny old game isn't it!

    Philip in London: Does Sandro ever have a bad game? Good to see him back in the team.

  6. 1804:  
    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "It is Tottenham's fourth successive away win without conceding a goal. Andros Townsend was the star of the show. He scored a first-half goal he didn't really mean. Roberto Soldado worked hard to create an opportunity which he finished."


    Look back on some of the key moments from Aston Villa-Tottenham Hotspur on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  8. 1803: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham
    Andros Townsend

    England's newest star Andros Townsend, who scored Tottenham's opening goal: "It's been one of the best few weeks of my life. The main thing was getting back to winning ways after the defeat by West Ham. We didn't have the best of first halves as Aston Villa defended very well.

    "My goal was a cross. I'm not going to take credit for it but it put us on the way to a great three points.

    "The main thing for me now is to keep my feet on the ground and not to get too carried away."

  9. 1801: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Tottenham midfielder Sandro on his side's performance at Villa Park: "It was very good. After losing against West Ham, everyone had their heads down. It was a hard game and we have to enjoy this moment."

    On his first Premier League start since January after injury: "I feel very good coming to the field today, as I was out for a very long time. I have to enjoy this time, as it was very hard for me to get back playing again."

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    Tom Watson: There's only one Gareth Bale, but fortunately for Spurs his name is Andros Townsend.

    Martin Horne: Townsend for player of the year? Townsend for Real Madrid? Townsend for President?! Start the hype!

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "Mousa Dembele did not even start for Spurs. He is a really big player, and that shows how strong the Tottenham squad is.

    "Andros Townsend was slow into the game, with the Aston Villa players getting very close to him, but he was full of running at the end. If Andre Villas-Boas really gets behind him, he could arrive at the World Cup in top form.

    "They were worthy winners today, and will have a big say in who wins the Premier League title."

  12. 1753: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    That win sends Tottenham fifth, three points behind leaders Arsenal. They have 16 points from eight games which equals their best start to a Premier League season. Villa drop a place, to 13th.

  13. 1752: 
    FULL-TIME- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham
  14. 1751: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Another booking to tell you about - and I know what this one is for. Andros Townsend makes for the corner flag after picking the ball up on the right, but is crudely up-ended by Fabian Delph. Let's put that one down to frustration.

    Moments later, Aaron Lennon also makes it into Phil Dowd's notebook, barging over Andreas Weimann after Weimann had tackled Andros Townsend. That makes it seven yellow cards.

  15. 1750: 
    INJURY TIME- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Villa are pressing more men forward as the board goes up to show there will be four minutes of stoppage time. The danger is that leaves lots of gaps at the back and Tottenham almost capitalise, only for Paulinho to over-hit his pass for Jermain Defoe.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "I think Roberto Soldado is only playing as he is the new buy. I would sooner play against Soldado than Jermain Defoe.

    "Defoe, for me, is sharper and better at linking the play."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  17. 1748: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Tottenham defender Kyle Walker is booked by referee Phil Dowd - not sure what for, but I will tell you as soon as I find out. His side are just trying to see this game out, defending in numbers and looking to keep the ball when they win it back. Villa seem to have run out of steam, and ideas.

  18. 1746: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Tottenham make their final change, sending on Jermain Defoe to replace Roberto Soldado up front. Soldado gets a hearty hug from Spurs coach Steffen Freund as he makes for the dug-out - that's his reward for his first league goal of the season in open play.

  19. 1744: 
    FINAL FIVE- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    We are into the final five minutes at Villa Park. The home crowd have gone very quiet.


    Chris James: That's why Soldado is better than Defoe. Soldado has morsels of chances to feed from. Yet what a finish with so much work to do.

    MOTD presenter and former Tottenham striker Gary LinekerAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "Soldado never gave the impression he was unduly worried about his lack of goals. Has the ice in his veins that all top strikers require."

  22. 1742: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Villa still hold hope of salvaging something from this game but that might not be the case for too much longer. Andros Townsend is seeing more and more of the ball down the right as Antonio Luna tires - Villa are leaving a lot of space for Townsend to run into, and he does not need asking twice.

  23. 1740: 
    CLOSE!- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    That would have finished it. Andros Townsend is at it again, dashing away from Antonio Luna and whipping in a low cross that is begging to be turned in. Paulinho gets a touch to it, at point-blank range, but the ball flashes wide.

  24. 1737: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    A final throw of the dice for Villa boss Paul Lambert. He sends on Aleksandar Tonev for Gabriel Agbonlahor. Just 10 minutes left at Villa Park.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "Andros Townsend is growing in confidence. He is realising what a good player he is."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  26. 1734: 

    There are a few tired legs still out there, but Tottenham's Andros Townsend is not among them. He dances inside from the right once again and curls a delicious shot just over the bar. He definitely meant that one.

  27. 1733: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    A change for both teams to tell you about, with about 15 minutes left. Tottenham send on Mousa Dembele for Lewis Holtby, while Villa replace Karim El Ahmadi with Yacouba Sylla.

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    Tokunbo: Nice goal by Soldado but what a first time pass from Paulinho.

  29. 1732: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    Villa's world comes close to completely collapsing. Nathan Baker carelessly gives away possession in his own half and Spurs pour forward. Andros Townsend has the ball down the right and fires it in from a tight angle. Not sure if that was a cross or a shot, but it flew wide - and Baker can breathe again.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Tottenham

    "That is such a sweet ball from Paulinho. The quality of the finish is outstanding, great football from Tottenham.

    "When the best players go through, they appear to have time, and that is what it looked like for Roberto Soldado. It was great movement from Paulinho off the ball.

    "Really, it was against the run of play."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  31. 1726: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-2 Tottenham - Roberto Soldado (69 mins)

    Just when Villa's momentum was building, this happens. Tottenham win possession in the left-hand corner and, after a neat build-up, Paulinho's delicate touch plays in Roberto Soldado, bursting into the area. He makes no mistake with his finish, showing us that he can score from open play as well from the penalty spot. Spurs have breathing space.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Villa ParkANALYSIS- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "The introduction of Christian Benteke has lifted what was becoming an increasingly frustrated mood inside Villa Park. Paul Lambert is urging Aston Villa to get the ball wide and provide the supply Benteke wants. Villa have to find a way of applying concerted pressure on Spurs and the Belgium striker provides that option."

    MOTD presenter and former Tottenham striker Gary LinekerAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Andros Townsend is one of those players, that when he's on the ball grabs your attention. Wonderfully exciting talent."

  34. 1725: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Tottenham's turn to make a change. Aaron Lennon returns to action after a couple of months out, replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson. Lennon will play on the left - Andros Townsend remains on the right.

  35. 1723: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Christian Benteke might have just missed that chance but Villa look a completely different side with their talisman on the pitch - they are keeping hold of the ball for a start.

  36. 1723: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    It does not take Christian Benteke long to make his presence felt. Leandro Bacuna lifts over a lovely cross from the right... the big Belgian leaps to meet it... and sends his header soaring over the bar.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Listen to the response Christian Benteke gets. It is a good idea to get him on if he is fit to terrorise the defence.

    "I do not think that Vlad Chiriches will enjoy the physical threat he possesses. Benteke's positive body language has the fans out of their seats."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  38. 1718: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Here he comes. Christian Benteke replaces Libor Kozak and he will have 30 minutes or so to make an impact on this game. The Villa fans seem very pleased to see him back from injury.

  39. 1717: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Villa normally don't mind seeing their opponents have more possession than them but they are under a bit of pressure at the moment too.

    Spurs are passing the ball with a lot more purpose in the home side's half. The good news for Villa fans is that Christian Benteke has been warming up - and it looks like he is coming on.

    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Another booking for referee Phil Dowd to dish out. Gabriel Agbonlahor barges into Kyle Walker as he challenges for a bouncing ball that the Spurs defender has not controlled, and catches Walker in the mouth.

  41. 1713:  
    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa Park, BBC SportAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Andros Townsend is involved in most things. He has to prove he is as good a player at club level as at international level."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Statisticians Opta: 27 - It took Andros Townsend 27 shots to score his 1st PL goal of the season, more than any other goalscorer in the top tier. Persistent.

    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Holte End calling for the introduction of Christian Benteke three minutes into the second half."

  44. 1712: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Villa's set-pieces have got to improve in this half too - and they don't manage it here. Michael Dawson is booked for fouling Andreas Weimann out on the right but Ashley Westwood's free-kick is easily headed clear.

  45. 1710: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Villa have got to be tight at the back themselves if they want anything from this game and they are quite the opposite here. Paulinho runs into the box to meet a clever Roberto Soldado flick and belts the dropping ball towards the bottom corner - at full stretch, Brad Guzan sticks out a big paw to tip it to safety. A great save - it had to be.

  46. 1707: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Tottenham are sitting deep at the start of the second half and inviting Villa on to them, something Paul Lambert's men do not seem to particularly like. Fabian Delph loses out as he tries to take the ball past Paulinho and Spurs break forward - something that might happen a lot in the next 45 minutes or so.

  47. 1703: 
    KICK-OFF- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Tottenham get the second half started. No changes from either side at the break - so Christian Benteke will have to wait.

  48. 1703: 

    FA chairman Greg Dyke: "We have been speaking to Rio and Manchester United for some time about him joining the group - before we named the other members of the Commission. However, as he is a current Manchester United player we needed to be sure that Rio had the necessary time to fully participate on the Commission and not impact on his day job. It has been agreed he does.

    "As a current player with forthright views and opinions on the game, we can look forward to Rio providing significant insight and experience."


    William in Kent: If the referee wanted to make sure the flare incident never happens again he should have just stopped the match and awarded the result to Aston Villa.

  50. 1701: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham
    HT match stats

    The half-time match stats show that Tottenham have continued to dominate possession although, as discussed earlier, not much of it has come in Villa's half.

    The problem for Paul Lambert's side is clear - they have had more shots than Spurs but have not managed one on target yet. Surely Christian Benteke could put that right?

  51. 1700: 

    The Football Association confirms Roy Hodgson and Rio Ferdinand have agreed to join the FA Chairman's England Commission.


    Look back at some of the key moments of Aston Villa-Spurs through our photo gallery on the BBC Sport Facebook page. Share your views by commenting on that page or using #bbcfootball.


    Moses Chipepo: Aston villa at home can beat anyone.

    Jake Wills: Come on Villa!

    Adam Godfrey: A draw today for Spurs is unacceptable !

  54. 1656: 
    Andros Townsend touches
    Andros Townsend touches

    Here is a graphic showing Andros Townsend's touches in the first 45 minutes. The one that mattered is the one almost parallel with the right-hand side of the Villa area, on the top edge of the third 'pitch stripe' down. It was a cross, but it bounced straight in.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "The half finished as we thought it would start. The goal continues an excellent few weeks for Andros Townsend, and was probably just about merited as Tottenham edged possession.

    "I was watching Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke warming up, and he did not look right. That could be a worry as Paul Lambert looks to his bench."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

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    Sean Whittall: Delph is Villa's unsung hero, he's an engine, seems to be everywhere on the pitch. Always gives his all.

    Peter Klein: Villa have been using Agbonlahor's pace really well, something they've missed in the past couple of seasons.

    'iAM_Oluwakolamide!: A total change of fate for Tottenham. Lamela was brought to replace Bale, but Townsend is doing the job instead.

    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Spurs end a largely undistinguished first half with the lead given to them by Andros Townsend. Wonder how long Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will wait before calling on Christian Benteke?"

  58. 1649: 
    HALF-TIME- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham
  59. 1648: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Instead it is Tottenham who go close to extending their lead. Andros Townsend scored his first Premier League goal for Spurs earlier on, and he is only denied a second by a superb sprawling save from Brad Guzan, who somehow keeps out the England star's snap-shot from the edge of the box, clawing it to safety. A brilliant save.

  60. 1646: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. Villa are looking to finish it on the attack, but they cannot make the most of a corner or a free-kick out on the left. Both are whipped in by Ashley Westwood, both are headed clear.

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    Ruaridh Williams: A few years ago, a German match was abandoned after a fan threw a cup of beer at the assistant. A flare is much worse.

    Craig Fores: I like the idea of flares in football, adds colour and atmosphere. But should not be thrown at the liner!

    Tim Mcllroy: Sad to see behaviour like that, hopefully the stewards have kicked the perpetrator out and the linesman can shrug it off.

  62. 1642: 
    CLOSE!- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Villa are getting closer, though. Which is just as well seeing how far away that Leandro Bacuna free-kick was. The home side are putting some dangerous balls into the Spurs area and, from Ashley Westwood's pull-back, Andreas Weimann fizzes a fierce first-time strike a whisker wide of Hugo Lloris's left-hand post. Close, but no cigar.

    With two minutes of the first half to go, Tottenham still hold a slender lead.

  63. 1641:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Surely it is time something was done by the increasing - not to mention idiotic - trend of supporters bringing flares into grounds. It was only a matter of time before one created an incident and we had one here at Villa Park when referee's assistant David Bryan was struck by one thrown by Spurs' fans celebrating Andros Townsend's goal.

    "Fortunately he is fit and well to carry on but that was an unsavoury incident."

    Flare thrown at linesman
  64. 1639: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    A sniff for Villa after another poor kick by Hugo Lloris puts Spurs under pressure.

    Paulinho catches Fabian Delph with a late challenge right on the edge of the box - that is a yellow card for the Spurs man and a free-kick in a dangerous position. Leandro Bacuna is behind it, but his effort is a long way high and wide. A real waste.

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    Josh Jackman: No idea why flares are allowed into football grounds. The fan who hit the linesman with one certainly shouldn't be. Terrible.

  66. 1637: 
    CLOSE!- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    Almost a second for Tottenham, who seem to have worked out that they have a chance of scoring if they advance out of their own half. Jan Vertonghen gets forward again down the left and finds Gylfi Sigurdsson unmarked in the middle, but he cannot direct his header on target.

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Mike Ingham at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "The police seem to be in control of the situation, they have gone into the stand. Someone is being escorted from the stadium."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  68. 1633: 
    Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    This is shocking. A flare was thrown out of the crowd following that Spurs goal - and hit one of the assistant referees on the back. He seems to be alright, thankfully. And the search is on for the culprit.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-1 Tottenham

    "Nobody really got on the end of it. The goalkeeper for Aston Villa took the wrong decision, by taking a step back into his goal.

    "Brad Guzan was thinking Lewis Holtby was going to take a touch, and he did not.

    "Townsend has done nothing in this game, he does not even shoot and puts it into the corridor of uncertainty. With the run he is on, you should get him to buy your lottery ticket next week!"

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  70. 1630: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-1 Tottenham - Andros Townsend (31 mins)

    Out of nothing, Spurs score... and there is just no stopping Andros Townsend at the moment. He does not even mean this goal, whipping in a curling cross from the right that eludes his team-mates but bounces straight into the net. Nice play by Lewis Holtby and Roberto Soldado in the build-up, but lots of luck about the finish.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "Tottenham are too hesitant, they need to move forward quicker. They seem to have not worked out the right formula to break through this Aston Villa team.

    "Why is Andros Townsend tied down on the right? He needs to move inside to get the bigger picture, that is what the manager should be telling him."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  72. 1629: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham
    match stats

    Tottenham are dominating possession but it is not doing them much good. Most of that possession has been in their own half and their passing has been poor when they have ventured any further forward. Neither goalkeeper has been very busy either.

    MOTD presenter and former Tottenham striker Gary LinekerAston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "It's hardly surprising, given the amount of new signings, but AVB is clearly a long way from knowing his best starting XI."

  74. 1628: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Tottenham are still playing it around at the back - which is probably not a good idea if they keep passing like this. Villa close them down and force error after error until the ball breaks for Andreas Weimann on the edge of the area and he lashes in a shot that swerves a yard or two wide.

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    Shane Lees: This Spurs side have two-three gears still to come. They have the quality, but just can't seem to truly dominate sides.

    Mikes: AVB, just give Adebayor one more chance! Our style of play suits him...

    Slysatoffee: Pressure must be on Soldado. No goals from open play in the Premier League yet with Defoe in the wings.

  76. 1623: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Oh dear. Ashley Westwood's next set-piece delivery is not quite so impressive. He slices a corner into touch - that was straight out of Sunday League.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "Hugo Lloris had to go very late to reach that Ashley Westwood free-kick, as he did not know if it was goal-bound or if someone would get a knick on it. It was an outstanding save."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  78. 1622: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    Hugo Lloris has had a few problems with his kicking so far - not a good thing when you are a sweeper keeper - but until now he has not had a save to make. I say 'until now' because he has just had to deal with a tricky free-kick from Ashley Westwood. He curled the ball into the Spurs area and it bounced in front of Lloris. It would have zipped into the net if he had not pushed it away.

  79. 1620: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    The first 20 minutes have not exactly been full of thrills and spills have they? Tottenham are keeping it tight and keeping things tidy. Villa are counter-attacking team too, and neither team are offering too many opportunities for their opponents to break.

  80. 1618: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Finally, Spurs decide to feed Roberto Soldado, who tees up Sandro to crash in a low shot from 30 yards. Brad Guzan is right behind it, however, and makes a comfortable stop.


    Jack in Norwich: People clamouring for Defoe to be started seem to forget he started against West Ham and only helped to underline why Soldado is first choice.

  82. 1617: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Tottenham are very patient - almost too patient - in the build-up, spraying the ball around in their own half. Up front, Roberto Soldado has not seen much of the ball yet - although he did almost latch on to a rare long ball forward when Paulinho decided direct was the way to go.

  83. 1616:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Villa ParkANALYSIS- Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has placed plenty of faith in Vlad Chiriches here at Villa Park. He has had a quiet introduction but Aston Villa's trademark pace on the counter will provide him with a test sooner or later - and of course Christian Benteke is in waiting on the bench."

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "The referee has to show a bit more understanding there. It is a bad challenge, but it is the pace of the player that has trickled Ashley Westwood into making it.

    "Westwood is not that way inclined, for sure."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  85. 1611: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Ouch! Ashley Westwood lunges in late on Lewis Holtby and very quickly becomes referee Phil Dowd's first booking of the afternoon. Villa boss Paul Lambert is not happy, and could well be asking why Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches was not shown a yellow card for pulling back Gabriel Agbonlahor a few moments earlier. He probably should have been.


    Titus: AVB obviously feels that Soldado works better with team-mates than Defoe, but the Spaniard needs to start hitting the net - he was bought as an out-and-out striker.

  87. 1608: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Tottenham's first attack of note sees the man Martin Keown has just mentioned - Jan Vertonghen - raid down the left and send over a decent cross too. Just a shame for Spurs that there is no-one in the middle to get on the end of it. Villa put it behind for a corner, from which they clear their lines.

    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    "Jan Vertonghen has been moved out to left-back for Vlad Chiriches, so he must be a very good player. He has seen plenty of the ball, thus far."

    Listen to commentary of Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  89. 1606: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    The conditions definitely are not helping the players. Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris slices a clearance but gets away with it because Andreas Weimann cannot control the dropping ball.

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    Luke: When will AVB lose faith in Soldado? His goal return for the price is laughable. He does not even hold up play very well.

    Tom Crook: The work Paul Lambert has done at Villa since he took over is very underrated, they've even looked competitive without Benteke.

    Dan: Spurs need to show intent this game, can't afford a draw after last week. Lamela to score two goals off the bench.

  91. 1603: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    The slick pitch is making for a fast and frantic first few minutes. The challenges are flying in, and we have just had our first shot on goal too. The ball breaks for Gabriel Agbonlahor in the Spurs box when a cross is not cleared, but he leans back and skies his shot high over the bar.

  92. 1600: 
    KICK-OFF- Aston Villa 0-0 Tottenham

    Here we go then. Villa get us under way

  93. 1558: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    The players emerge into the downpour. The dark clouds over Villa Park suggest that this rain could continue for a while yet.

    Paul Lambert
    Former Aston Villa defender Martin Keown at Villa ParkAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    "There is so much strength in this Tottenham squad. It is a real job to get into the team here.

    "If Mousa Dembele became available a lot of top teams would want to buy him, and he is a substitute today."

    Listen to build-up to Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.

  95. 1555: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    The players are in the tunnel at Villa Park. They probably want to stay there - it is absolutely chucking it down outside.

    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    ESPN's John Brewin: I make it Andros Townsend versus Antonio Luna today, to continue the week's rather unfortunate NASA theme.

  97. 1553:  
    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    "I think there will be goals. There will be bits to be had in the box, be it through tap-ins and mistakes from defenders, because of the wet conditions."

    Listen to build-up to Aston Villa's game against Tottenham on BBC Radio 5 live now.


    Guy in Reading: If AVB is thinking of playing the same formation (4-2-3-1) EVERY game then he is very naive tactically - he needs to mix it up a bit.

    Matt from Looe: Just want Aston Villa to have a go at the "big" teams, especially at home. Get the Holte End behind us and anything is possible

  99. 1548: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)
    Andros Townsend

    It has been quite a fortnight for Andros Townsend. He starred for England as they qualified for the World Cup finals and has signed a new four-year contract at Tottenham.

    Will being in the limelight affect his game? Not according to Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas it won't.

    "It is part of growing up as a player," Tottenham manager Villas-Boas said when asked about how Townsend will deal with the pressure of being England's newest star.

    "I would suppose that wouldn't divert his attention too much. I expect him to be the same player. There are going to be more people worried about him, he will be more in the public eye and they will demand performances from him and I expect him to respond."

  100. 1542: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    CONFIRMED VILLA TEAM: A bit of confusion over the Aston Villa team that has been announced - there was no Christian Benteke in their squad in the first version I saw, hence the confusion earlier. Since then, Nathan Baker has come into the starting XI for Ciaran Clark and Benteke is now listed among their subs.

    Just to clear that up, here is the Villa starting XI and subs: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Luna, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Kozak. Subs: Steer, Helenius, Sylla, Benteke, Bowery, Tonev, Lowton.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Andrew Priestley: What does Jermain Defoe need to do to get a start in the Premier League! Great striker, but he needs a run of games.

    Tayyiote: Spurs have to win to prove their title credentials.

    Paul Moore: Expecting goals galore today! Neither team can defend!

  102. 1536: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    Around 25 minutes to go until kick-off at Villa Park, where it has just started to rain. There has been a change to Villa's starting XI since the teams were first announced: Nathan Baker comes into their defence for Ciaran Clark.

  103. 1531: 
    Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    Just time for a bit of reaction from Elland Road. Understandably, Brian McDermott seems a lot more cheerful than Lee Clark does...

    Leeds manager Brian McDermott: "The boys were really good. The international break came at a good point for us as it gave us a chance to work on things.

    "Rudy Austin was excellent, as were all the lads, and I took him off for him to realise how much the Leeds fans appreciated his performance."

    Birmingham boss Lee Clark: "We weren't good enough. The defending was atrocious. You cannot defend like that. We came in at half-time 3-0 down and deservedly so.

    "It was a mountain to climb in the second half. We've done it before. We had opportunities but we got what we deserved. We've got young players and we defended like young players."

    GET INVOLVED- Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)
    Aston Villa fans

    Villa fans at the ground are in good spirits, but with Christian Benteke only on the bench, do the hosts have enough firepower to trouble Spurs? Send your thoughts to #bbcfootball on Twitter or the BBC Facebook page.


    There are a number of topics from an interesting weekend of Premier League action being discussed on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

    John Adair: So when will referees be brought to book for not getting the rules right? Chelsea's equaliser being a prime example. An 'oh they are only human and make mistakes' doesn't cut it. The FA are very quick to haul managers and players over the coals when they mess up.

    William Mari: The build up to Arsenal's first goal was a masterpiece. I envy Arsene Wenger with the talent he has in the midfield, plus Ramsey and Giroud have really improved their skills.

    Bill Treeton: David Moyes should 'man up' and admit he is not up to the level of Manchester United... BUT more to the point is that Sir Alex ferguson should admit he made the biggest mistake in his managerial career in saying Moyes was the right man, because he is definitely not. Man United will NOT finish in the top-six and may not even qualify for the Europa League!! WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT!!!!!!

    You can also in the debate now on text via 81111 or using the hashtag #bbcfootball on Twitter.

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin speaking on MOTD2 ExtraAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    "Aston Villa will be top 10 for me this season. If they do better than that, they will really exceed expectations.

    "Last season they were woeful at times. The players now have confidence and seem happier.

    "They have the manager, they know what he wants, and they are now delivering that. It shows how good the manager is."

  107. 1526: 
    LINE-UPS- Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Luna, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Kozak, Agbonlahor. Subs: Steer, Helenius, Sylla, Benteke, Bowery, Tonev, Lowton

    Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Sandro, Townsend, Holtby, Sigurdsson, Soldado. Subs: Lennon, Defoe, Dembele, Friedel, Naughton, Eriksen, Lamela.

    Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

  108. 1524:  
    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Villa ParkAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    "In Tottenham's last two visits to Villa Park, they have metaphorically pulled Aston Villa's pants down with thumping 4-0 wins. Villa are, however, five points better off than at this stage last season.

    "That's not in itself a totally accurate barometer of improvement, but it is when you consider they've already had to play Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. If Villa beating City was a surprise, then Spurs getting spanked 3-0 at home by West Ham a fortnight ago went into genuine shock territory."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Rian Hoskins: Surprised Holtby is starting ahead of Eriksen while Defoe's form should surely warrant a start ahead of Soldado up front.

    Dan Fookes: Why is Lamela still starting on the bench given how much we spent on him?

  110. 1521:  
    Mark Lawrenson, Football AnalystLawro's predictions
    Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke

    Tottenham thumped Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park in the Capital One Cup last month, but BBC Football expert Mark Lawrenson thinks today's meeting will be a lot closer.

    "This will be a completely different game," Lawro said in his weekly predictions column.

    "Christian Benteke could feature for Aston Villa after making a faster-than-expected recovery from his injury, and that will clearly be a big boost for them.

    "Villa will have a point to prove after that defeat while we must wait and see whether Spurs have been unhinged a bit by their shock home defeat by West Ham."

    Lawro's verdict? 1-1

  111. 1516:  
    Phil McNulty, BBC Sport chief football writer at Villa ParkAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    "Tottenham - along with England's man of the moment Andros Townsend - will want to restate their Champions League credentials after that shock 3-0 loss at home to West Ham United. They have already won 4-0 at Villa in the Capital One Cup but will face a different side today and Paul Lambert's team has already shown its capability this season by beating Arsenal and Manchester City.

  112. 1514: 
    Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    You have just seen the team news - now it is time to turn our full attention to Villa Park and today's sole Premier League game. I will start with a correction: Christian Benteke is on the bench for the home side. Not such good news for Tottenham, that.

  113. 1509: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    Vlad Chiriches makes his Premier League debut in Tottenham's defence and Sandro returns in midfield to make his first Premier League start since January. Lewis Holtby replaces Christian Eriksen, and Roberto Soldado is up front.

    Tottenham's starting XI: Lloris, Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Sandro, Townsend, Holtby, Sigurdsson, Soldado.

  114. 1507: 
    FULL-TIME- Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    Leeds had lost five out of their last six games before today. Things look a whole lot rosier at Elland Road now.

  115. 1505: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Aston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    Christian Benteke is on the bench for Aston Villa, who are are unchanged from the team that drew with Hull City last time out.

    Villa's starting XI: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Luna, Delph, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Kozak

  116. 1504: 
    INJURY TIME- Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    There will be three minutes of added time at Elland Road. I don't think it will make much difference to the outcome...

  117. 1503: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    Time for a Leeds change. Veteran ankle-biter Michael Brown replaces Rodolph Austin, who has been immense today. He gets a standing ovation from the home fans.

  118. 1458: 
    Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    Birmingham, to their credit, are still trying to get something from this game. Anything.

    A goal would clearly be a start, but they are out of luck again here. Andrew Shinney squeezes in a shot from the edge of the area but can only find the side netting. Unlike in the Bundesliga, there are no holes in the nets in Elland Road... so no joy for the Blues.

  119. 1453: 
    Leeds 4-0 Birmingham

    There are 10 minutes to go at Elland Road. Barring something incredible happening, Leeds have got the three points sewn up. They will climb to ninth place, five points off the play-offs.

  120. 1448: 
    GOAL- Leeds 4-0 Birmingham - Matt Smith (74 mins)

    I think this just about finishes any faint hopes Birmingham had of a comeback. At the end of a whirlwind 60 seconds that sees Leeds' Sam Byram clear Matt Burke's shot off the line and Matt Smith see a header brilliantly kept out by Darren Randolph at the other end, Leeds get their fourth goal.

    It is a beauty too, with a flowing move ending when Smith gets on the end of Alex Mowatt's inviting cross to score his second of the game.

  121. 1446: 
    DISALLOWED GOAL- Leeds' Matt Smith

    At first glance this looks like a certain offside - and the flag definitely goes up early enough. Matt Smith runs clear to bury a superb finish into the roof of the net but his celebrations are cut short when he realises play has stopped. TV replays show it was not so clear-cut.

  122. 1445: 
    Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Birmingham's improvement continues, but they still cannot find a way through. This time Chris Burke makes space for a shot on the edge of the area but his daisy-cutter is tipped to safety by a diving Paddy Kenny.

  123. 1441: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Birmingham have got around 20 minutes to salvage something from this game but it looks far more likely that any goal they muster will just be a consolation. They go very close here, with David Murphy slamming in a free-kick from 30 yards that beats Paddy Kenny but crashes against his left-hand post. Leeds STILL have a clean sheet.

  124. 1441: 
    Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Leeds have not exactly been stretched today but here are a couple of good reasons why they have got a clean sheet at the moment: First defender Tom Lees shows great awareness to get behind his keeper Paddy Kenny and nod away Chris Burke's cross as it drops under his bar. Then Kenny gets in on the act, pulling a spectacular diving save out of his locker to keep out Nikola Zigic's 25-yard shot. One for the TV cameras, that.

  125. 1437: 
    YELLOW CARD- Birmingham's Kyle Bartley

    Kyle Bartley clattered Ross McCormack in the build-up to that Rodolph Austin chance and referee Paul Tierney remembers it when the ball goes out of play - Barley joins Stephen Warnock in his book.

  126. 1436: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    I was just saying that Leeds have not done much in the way of attacking, and that Rodolph Austin likes to get forward. Both happen here - Austin gallops clear but Darren Randolph is off his line sharply to block his shot. Austin did not really get hold of it to be fair.

  127. 1432: 
    YELLOW CARD- Leeds' Stephen Warnock

    Our first booking of the day comes after almost an hour of play. It is Leeds defender Stephen Warnock who goes into referee Paul Tierney's book, after stopping Wade Elliott in his tracks.

  128. 1432: 
    Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Leeds skipper Rodolph Austin has looked the part today, spraying passes all over the pitch as well as grabbing his side's second goal after starting and finishing the move. He looks to repeat the trick here, spreading the ball left then ghosting into the box to get on the end of it.

    This time, however, the Birmingham defence remembers that their job is to cut out crosses, and Austin is crowded out.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Munaimsayd: Manchester United fans should keep calm and carry on 20 years of dominance and now sometime to rest! Trust in Moyes and Januzaj.

    GoonerDon: I think United's start to the season is great. Not for them, but I love what they're doing there.

    Karl Bristow: Difficult start but to be expected. Hope David Moyes is given time to make his mark. Definitely the right man for the job, long-term.

  130. 1427: 
    Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    We have not seen much of Leeds going forward since the break, but then they don't really need to. Their first attack for a while sees Stephen Warnock's driven cross-shot deflected over - and the Blues clear the resulting corner.

  131. 1422: 
    Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Better by Birmingham already, and both subs are involved. Nikola Zigic feeds Andrew Shinnie, who fizzes a low shot past Paddy Kenny's right-hand post. We still await the Blues' first effort on target though.

  132. 1420:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa v Tottenham (1600 BST)

    A reminder what is coming up later. Former England and Aston Villa defender Martin Keown is joined Alan Green and Mike Ingham, as the trio bring you full commentary of the Midlanders match against Tottenham from 1600 BST on BBC Radio 5 live.

  133. 1418: 
    KICK-OFF- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    No great surprise to see Birmingham are making two changes at the break - Nikola Zigic and Andrew Shinnie are on for Dan Burn and Lee Novak. The second half has just started at Elland Road.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Birmingham fan Simon Atkins on Twitter: We never win when we're on TV, and we're usually on the end of an awful defeat. Loss at home to Bolton, loss here today.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    We asked you for the worst refereeing decision ever...

    S Dot: Pretty much every single decision made in the South Korea v Italy game at the 2002 World Cup.

  136. 1403: 
    HALF-TIME- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham
    Match stats - Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    Birmingham have not managed a shot on target yet but the stats don't really tell the full story of the first half at Elland Road. If we were counting 'defensive howlers' then the Blues would be well ahead... which is why they trail by three goals.

  137. 1401: 
    HALF-TIME- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham

    The Leeds fans cheer their side off at half-time. Is there any way back for Birmingham from this?

    Leeds celebrate
  138. 1359: 
    GOAL- Leeds 3-0 Birmingham - Matt Smith (45 mins)

    The Birmingham horror-show continues and the game looks up for them before half-time. The Blues defence stand and watch as Leeds play their way through them again. Darren Randolph does well to keep out Ross McCormack's angled shot but his defence do not react to the rebound and Matt Smith - who you might recall was Oldham's FA Cup hero last season - follows up to fire home.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Peter Ryan: Stuart Attwell and Nigel Bannister hallucinating a ghost goal for Reading v Watford. Noel Hunt for celebrating it.

    Nigel Boothroyd: Clive Thomas blowing the final whistle seconds before Zico scored the 'winning' goal in a 1978 World Cup match.

    Tom Flanagan: The decision to send off Hakan Unsal at the 2002 World Cup after Rivaldo dived, holding his face.

  140. 1355: 
    Leeds 2-0 Birmingham

    It is just not happening for Birmingham in front of goal. This time Jesse Lindgard gets his attempt at a glancing header all wrong - far too much 'glance' if you catch my drift. It drifts about a mile wide of Paddy Kenny's goal.

    There are less than five minutes left of a first half that has been totally dominated by Leeds.


    Gavin in Dundee: If you want to see the worst referee decision ever, search for Paddy Connolly for Dundee United v Patrick Thistle in the mid-'90s. He scores, the ball hits the back of the net and bounces back into the hands of the Thistle defender and he hands it to his goalkeeper. The referee waves play on!

    Matt: The beach ball goal for Sunderland against Liverpool! Absolutely hilarious, but terrible refereeing.

    Louis: The decision not to send off Ben Thatcher for his elbow challenge on Pedro Mendes has to be the worst decision ever.

  142. 1348: 
    GOAL- Leeds 2-0 Birmingham - Rodolph Austin (33 mins)

    Leeds have got more than one goal now. Birmingham have improved going forward but they are still having a collective shocker at the back. Moments after Ross McCormack goes tumbling - and gets nothing - after beating Dan Burn to a ball over the top, he sends over a peach of a cross from the left that is just begging to be turned in. His captain Rodolph Austin obliges, and the home side have breathing space.

  143. 1345: 
    CLOSE!- Leeds 1-0 Birmingham

    Leeds are going to need more than one goal to win this game if they keep defending like this. Alex Mowatt's clearance is poor - and falls straight to Chris Burke on the edge of the area. He looks up and crashes in a low shot, but it skids wide of Paddy Kenny's post. He really had to hit the target from there... but it is still Birmingham's best effort, with half an hour gone.

  144. 1342: 
    Leeds 1-0 Birmingham

    Birmingham are working hard to get back into this game, and have lifted some useful balls into the Leeds box, but it is the home side who are still creating the best openings.

    They need better finishing than this if they are going to extend their lead, however: The ball is played to Rodolph Austin on the right of the Blues box and he takes a swing at a shot. Sadly for the Jamaican midfielder, his effort is so bad it almost goes out for a throw-in... and would have done had it reached the touchline.

  145. 1338: 
    ONE TO WATCH: Hugo Lloris
    Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris is always ready to dash out of his area

    I think Birmingham keeper Darren Randolph should have watched this before kick-off...

    BBC Sport football analyst Pat Nevin highlighted how Tottenham's use Hugo Lloris as a 'sweeper-keeper' in his video analysis column this week - which is definitely worth a watch.

    The France international keeper was then quizzed about that subject when he spoke to the media ahead of today's game against Aston Villa, and said: "Since my professional debut I've always had a risky game. I try to control my box. I always think the goalkeeper has to be the chief of the box, it's his area and he has to defend it.

    "It's true that with Spurs maybe I have to control the box and just outside as well but I don't have a problem with that. You need to be active and read the game to make decisions. You have to be aware and close to your central defenders, and have good communication all the time. We work every day in training to improve in that system."

  146. 1333: 
    GOAL- Leeds 1-0 Birmingham - Ross McCormack (18 mins)

    A Leeds goal has been coming, but I did not expect it to be such a gift. Darren Randolph's fine early saves were all for nothing because the Blues keeper makes a right old mess of this, coming out of his area needlessly to deal with a ball over the top, then losing possession straight away. Leeds quickly played in Ross McCormack, who lifted the ball into the empty net.

    Like any keeper worth his salt, Randolph blamed his defenders afterwards. Not sure the replays will back him up.

  147. 1331: 
    Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    Somewhat predictably, Birmingham respond to my last entry by immediately creating their first chance. It is Jesse Lindgard who is behind it - I told you to watch out for him - by playing in Chris Burke, but his low shot is off target.

  148. 1328: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    Er, have you worked out the pattern of this game yet? The one-way traffic continues as Rodolph Austin finds Ross McCormack with a sweeping cross-field through-ball but Birmingham keeper Darren Randolph rescues his side again with a fine stop. The Blues are hanging on.

  149. 1325: 
    Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    Another golden Leeds chance goes begging. This time defender Jason Pearce gets on the end of a corner but heads over from point-blank range. Birmingham are all over the place at the back.

  150. 1324: 
    Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    Oh dear. Dan Burn is the villain this time, though. He fails to cut out a routine through-ball and suddenly Ross McCormack is clean through. This is a great chance - can he take it? No. McCormack shoots straight at Darren Randolph. Nobody covered themselves in glory there, apart from the keeper.


    If you missed Saturday's Premier League action you can go to the BBC Sport Facebook page to catch up with photographs of all the key moments.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    We asked you for some of your suggestions for the worst refereeing decisions.

    Daniel Lynch: Worst referee decision ever 1. Allowing the goal in 1966 final. 2. Not penalising Henry's handball v Ireland.

    Matthew Wladarz: Anytime you book a player for celebrating with the fans.

    Ollie O'Brien: Frank Lampard's disallowed goal versus Germany in the 2010 World Cup!

  153. 1319: 
    Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    Leeds have been lively in the first couple of minutes and have posed the greater threat. No real chances to speak of yet, but that would have been different had Blues defender Dan Burn not sped back to get a vital block on Sam Byram's cross after he burst into the box.

  154. 1317: 
    ONE TO WATCH: Jesse Lingard- Leeds 0-0 Birmingham
    Birmingham midfielder Jesse Lingard

    You have probably heard about Birmingham boss Lee Clark helped turn Ravel Morrison's career around during his loan spell at St Andrew's last season. Now Clark is working with another product of the Manchester United youth system, Jesse Lingard. The 20-year-old midfielder, who scored four goals on his Blues debut against Sheffield Wednesday last month, was due to go back to Old Trafford after today's game but his loan has been extended until 14 December.

    One to watch today? Definitely, according to Clark.

    "He's right up there talent-wise, with Morrison," Clark told the Birmingham Mail. "He's a very elegant footballer, lovely on the eye and can play numerous positions across the top end of the field.

    "What I like about him is that he's got the goalscoring instinct, even if he's playing in the wide areas he wants to get into the penalty area from crosses coming in from the other side. He plays the game with a smile on his face. He looks like he is enjoying his time here."

  155. 1316: 
    Leeds 0-0 Birmingham

    We are under way at Elland Road.

    Former Aston Villa & Man Utd striker Dion Dublin on MOTD2 Extra

    Why are Manchester United struggling?

    "Smaller clubs in stature are now coming to Manchester United and having a go. The Manchester United players have never experienced this before, being on the back foot.

    "When I played for Coventry and Aston Villa, you lost the game before you got there. Managers will also think differently now Sir Alex Ferguson is not there."

  157. 1314: 

    The fall-out from yesterday's action gives us plenty to talk about so, while we wait for today's games to get going, what I want to know is this: Why are Manchester United struggling, can leaders Arsenal can sustain their fine start to the season... and what is the worst refereeing decision you have ever seen?

    Tweet me your answers using the hashtag #bbcfootball or text me on 81111 (UK only, I'm afraid).

  158. 1313: 
    LINE-UPS- Leeds v Birmingham

    Leeds: Kenny, Lees, Wootton, Pearce, Warnock, Byram, Austin, Murphy, Mowatt, Smith, McCormack. Subs: Peltier, Varney, Pugh, Brown, Tonge, Poleon, Cairns.

    Birmingham: Randolph, Caddis, Robinson, Burn, Murphy, Lee, Bartley, Burke, Elliott, Lingard, Novak. Subs: Lovenkrands, Doyle, Reilly, Zigic, Shinnie, Ferguson, Gray.

    Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

  159. 1312: 
    Leeds v Birmingham (1315 BST)
    Birmingham boss Lee Clark

    Birmingham's last game was a home defeat by Bolton a fortnight ago and Lee Clark thinks he has worked out what went wrong: they didn't turn their possession into chances. How has he put it right, though?

    Clark told his club's official website: "You never want to go into an international break on the back of a loss, but you get a chance to work with the players and keep pushing the messages that are right and hopefully they can deliver.

    "The standard of the play against Bolton was good up to a point, but we didn't work the goalkeeper enough and we didn't have enough attempts on goal. That's the area we've looked to improve in the last couple of weeks on the training pitch.

    "Hopefully we can do that and come away (from Elland Road) with maximum points. It's not going to easy, but that's what we're looking to do."

  160. 1308: 
    Leeds v Birmingham (1315 BST)

    But we start in the Championship, at Elland Road to be precise. Leeds United have lost five of their last six games in the league and Capital One Cup. They are still above Birmingham City, though. Lee Clark's side are 19th. It is fair to say that both teams need a win, and badly.

  161. 1304: 

    Phil Dowd is the man in the middle for our sole Premier League game of the day, between Aston Villa and Tottenham at 1600 BST. I bet he will be telling his assistants to check carefully when they inspect the nets at Villa Park before kick-off.

    Oh and Phil, if you want to have a quick read up on the rules before kick-off, I have linked to Fifa's Laws of the Game document here. At 138 pages it is not a short read, but it is probably worth it. The bit about keepers still being in control of the ball when they bounce it is on page 120. I don't think Anthony Taylor made it that far in.

  162. 1300: 

    Hello. This weekend has not been a great one for officials, has it? First there was Friday's 'ghost goal' in Germany, when Bayer Leverkusen scored through a hole in the side netting.

    Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling headed the ball through a hole in the side of the net.

    Then referee Anthony Taylor forgot the rules at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, when Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o kicked the ball away as Cardiff keeper David Marshall bounced it, but play was (wrongly) allowed to continue and the Blues scored.

    David Marshall is left sprawled on the turf as Chelsea score their equaliser

    So, what will Sunday's clanger be? I am not sure - but if it is going to beat Graham Poll awarding Croatia's Josip Simunic three yellow cards in one game at the 2006 World Cup, then it is going to have to be something very special indeed.

    Graham Poll showed three yellow cards and an eventual red to Croatia's Josip Simunic at the 2006 World Cup

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Upcoming Fixtures Sat 4 Apr 2015 - Premier League
  • Arsenal v Liverpool 12:45
  • Everton v Southampton 15:00
  • Leicester v West Ham 15:00
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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

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