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Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 18:16 UK

Premier League football as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1805: I'm off. Thanks for your company on this twisty turny weekend. Don't forget to stay glued to the BBC website tomorrow - not least because Newcastle could very well seal their return to the Premier League. Before that, watch MOTD2 at 2200 BST tonight on BBC Two. Look out in particular for Julien Faubert's cross of the season and Roy Hodgson kicking a lump out of his chair. Seriously.

1801: West Ham's failure to win means Portsmouth live to fight another day. Their relegation could be confirmed next Saturday though - the day before they play their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham.

From Dan, Hammers fan, via text: "Massive point after going 2-1 down, wondered if the lads had it in them. Belief we haven't seen for weeks."

1757: Gianfranco Zola is smiling again, and Sullivan/Gold looks pretty pleased. They might be ruing that missed Mido penalty in the first half, but Everton should have had a penalty in the second half.

1756: West Ham twice fight back from a goal down to earn a draw against a side who were targetting an eighth straight home win. I make that an excellent point for Zola's men, which puts them a point clear of the relegation zone. Their remaining games are: Sunderland (H), Liverpool (A), Wigan (H), Fulham (A), Man City (H)

1755: FULL-TIME Everton 2-2 West Ham

1753: Gianfranco Zola brings on defender Danny Gabbidon to replace attacking midfielder Junior Stanislas.

1752: Corner for West Ham... Mark Noble towards Matt Upson, but he can't get any direction on the header. It's half-cleared to Araujo Ilan, whose acrobatic volley acrobatically flies into the crowd.

1751: Promising for West Ham. Radoslav Kovac escapes down the right - but he goes for the ambitious shot, which is easily blocked by Leighton Baines. Selfish. There will be three minutes of added time. Unbelievable tension at Goodison Park.

West Ham goal: Fabulous response from the visitors. Julien Faubert delivers an absolutely magnificent cross from the right and substitute Araujo Ilan throws himself at the header to draw the Hammers level. And now Gianfranco Zola is the one leaping up and down. Still two minutes to go. What next?

1745: GOALFLASH Everton 2-2 West Ham (Ilan)

Everton goal: Everton work the space down the left for Leighton Baines to deliver the cross and Yakubu is unmarked to head home. Rob Green is leaping up and down, screaming at his defenders. No-one picked up Yakubu, who probably couldn't believe his luck.

1744: GOALFLASH Everton 2-1 West Ham (Yakubu)

1742: Scott Parker is EVERYWHERE. There he is in the penalty area, cutting out Phil Neville's cross from the right. He's actually writing this text commentary as well. A real blow for West Ham that he'll miss the next two matches.

1737: Mido is taking his time going off and will eventually be replaced by Araujo Ilan. The Egyptian striker is given a friendly pat by Gianfranco Zola despite missing that first-half penalty. About 10 minutes to go. Remember: a West Ham winner would send Portsmouth down today.

Benitez on the game: "It was a great performance, we had a great chance in the first-half and in the second-half you can see at the end we have a lot of chances. It was a silly goal, when you concede, it is not the best but in this way it's the worst. The reaction of the team was good, we were attacking and creating a lot of chances. We are disappointed because it was a good performance."

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez on the decision to take off Torres: "He was exhausted, we played 60 minutes with 10 players the other day. Ngog was good for us because he was a pair of fresh legs. His movement was good for the team."

1734: Howard Webb will be England's representative at the World Cup this summer by the way. He hasn't been in very good form recently.

1732: Just seen the penalty incident again. It's not just a good shout, it's an excellent one. Everton very unlucky. It's right on the edge of the box after a free-kick from the halfway line is flicked on towards Saha.

1729: MASSIVE shout for a penalty after Louis Saha nips in front of Manuel da Costa and goes down under the defender's challenge. Howard Webb thinks Saha went down too easily. Looked a good shout. Everton not upping their game.

1727: Carlton Cole is now hobbling off for more treatment on what looks like an ankle problem.

1724: Another chance for West Ham as Junior Stanislas slips the pass through for Carlton Cole, who drags his shot wide. Everton's change sees Yakubu replace goalscorer Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.

1722: Everton have been a touch lethargic in this second half. Wonder if that goal might spark them back into life? Looks like David Moyes is about to make a change.

West Ham goal: Moments after Mark Noble is desperately unlucky to see a clever, chipped shot come back off the crossbar, West Ham get their equaliser. Noble's corner from the left causes havoc and in a crowd of players, Manuel Da Costa manages to force the ball over Tim Howard and in.

1719: GOALFLASH Everton 1-1 West Ham (Da Costa)

1717: Gianfranco Zola turns away in disgust as Scott Parker's deep free-kick drifts straight out and behind for a goal-kick. The under-fire Hammers boss soon turns around though and shouts some encouraging words at his players. Everton still leading 1-0.

1710: Leighton Baines is back on for Everton and seems to be OK. Should West Ham make a comeback and win this game, Portsmouth would be relegated today. Seems unlikely at the moment, but you never know...

From KopOfTheLeague on 606: "Don't count Liverpool out yet, as they still have a fairly easy run-in compared to Spurs, Villa and City. Spurs have to play all of the top three while City have to face United and Arsenal as well as Spurs and Villa."

1706: Leighton Baines needs some treatment on his knee after twisting awkwardly. Might be a concern for Fabio Capello, as well as David Moyes.

1705: The sun is shining as they kick off the second half at Goodison Park. I think it's fair to say the vast majority of messages from Liverpool fans are not particularly complimentary about Rafa Benitez. Reaction from the Liverpool boss to follow (to dropping points, not to your messages).

From BlueJolz on Twitter: "As a Birmingham fan, pleased with the result, but we've moved on so much this season I'm honestly disappointed we didn't win."

1701: Liverpool join Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham in failing to win at Fortress St Andrew's this season. Rafa Benitez's winless run against Birmingham stretches to eight league games.

1658: Fulham end a run of three straight league defeats, but stay 12th. Wigan still in bother at the bottom, four points clear of the drop zone. The Latics' remaining games are: Portsmouth (H), Arsenal (H), West Ham (A), Hull (H), Chelsea (A).

1656: FULL-TIME Fulham 2-1 Wigan

1654: In injury time at Craven Cottage and Fulham fans are screaming for a penalty as Clint Dempsey goes flying in the area. It's Titus Bramble with the challenge - but he just about got to the ball first.

1653: Liverpool drop two points away from home - and could that be the end of their challenge for fourth? They are four points behind Manchester City having played a game more. Their remaining games are: Fulham (H), West Ham (H), Burnley (A), Chelsea (H), Hull (A).

1652: FULL-TIME Birmingham 1-1 Liverpool

1651: Kevin Phillips beats the challenge of Jamie Carragher and gets his shot away but it's easy for Pepe Reina. A minute remaining.

1649: Three minutes of added time remaining at St Andrew's.

1648: HALF-TIME Everton 1-0 West Ham

Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter on Twitter: "Confirmation that Europe obsesses Rafa most. Torres protected for Benfica. Have Liverpool given up on 4th so easily? Where's Rafa 'promise'?"

1645: And Maxi Rodriguez blazes a volley over now. Liverpool pressing for the winner.

1644: Four minutes remaining at St Andrew's where Steven Gerrard's dipping effort from the edge of the box doesn't dip enough.

1641: While all that was going on, Alberto Aquilani came on for Liverpool - and has just prevented his side from taking the lead. David Ngog makes headway down the left and cuts it back for Maxi Rodriguez, whose shot smacks into his Italian team-mate.

Someone has won a penalty
Hammers penalty: Scott Parker threads a ball through for Carlton Cole, who is tussling with Sylvain Distin. It looks to be more a tangle of legs than a clear foul, but Howard Webb points to the spot and books Distin. Mido's penalty is heading for the bottom corner but is not brilliantly struck and Tim Howard gets across to make an excellent save.

1639: PENALTY SAVED Howard from Mido


1637: Fernando Torres has some ice on his knee as he sits on the bench - but he certainly did not look happy to be coming off, and he appeared to be moving freely.

1635: The excellent James McFadden is replaced by supersub Kevin Phillips for Birmingham. About 12 minutes left.

From Jim via text: "The two chances Ngog has just horribly missed would have found the back of the net had Torres still been on. Rafa has lost the plot."

1633: Wigan pressure at Fulham as Aaron Hughes concedes a corner, which Victor Moses only narrowly heads over.

1631: David Ngog smashes a shot into the side netting from about nine yards. Should have hit the target. Fernando Torres is now on the bench in his coat. Presumably, he's being saved for Thursday. Maybe Rafa Benitez considers the Europa League a more realistic target than fourth?

1629: Ryan Babel replaces Yossi Benayoun for Liverpool, a slightly less controversial change than the last.

1627: It's all drama at St Andrew's. Liverpool's Glen Johnson bends a ball into David Ngog and he heads just wide. But don't think Birmingham are settling for a point. Liam Ridgewell breaks down the left and curls the ball in for Lee Bowyer. He's unmarked at the back post and got all the time in the world. He's got to score… hasn't he? His volley limps wide. What a chance to take the lead.

Everton goal: Jonathan Spector's attempt to clear Leighton Baines's cross from the left only goes as far as Tim Cahill, who heads back into the six-yard box for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov to nod past Rob Green. The Hammers held out for 24 minutes.

1624: GOALFLASH Everton 1-0 West Ham (Bilyaletdinov)

1622: Remarkable, absolutely remarkable. David Ngog comes on for Liverpool - and he replaces Fernando Torres. There are loud boos at St Andrew's where Ngog is less than popular after his dive at Anfield earned Liverpool a draw against the Blues earlier this season. The boos could just as well be coming from the perplexed Liverpool fans. Torres also looks baffled.

Yellow card
1620: Bad news for West Ham. Scott Parker is booked for a lunging tackle on Tim Cahill and as a result the influential midfielder will now miss the next two games of the Hammers' ongoing fight against relegation.

Fulham goal: Damien Duff's corner from the left and defender Brede Hangeland heads in from six yards out. Chris Kirkland got the slightest touches on the ball, which hits the post and goes in.

1619: GOALFLASH Fulham 2-1 Wigan (Hangeland)

1618: Liverpool's lead lasted nine minutes and as it stands, they are four points adrift of fourth having played a game more.

Birmingham goal: Blimey. That is defending of the schoolboy variety. On the Birmingham right, James McFadden cuts back onto his left foot and sends an inswinging cross to the far post where Liam Ridgewell is all on his own to bundle the ball in off his midriff. Where was right-back Glen Johnson? A bemused-looking Rafa Benitez may be asking himself the same question.

1614: GOALFLASH Birmingham 1-1 Liverpool (Ridgewell)

1612: Opening for West Ham at Everton as Scott Parker latches on to a clearance from a corner but it's a pretty tame effort that drifts wide.

Fulham goal: Roy Hodgson's half-time substitution does the trick. Paul Scharner should clear the ball, but he loses possession to Zoltan Gera, who fires in a low cross from the left for Stefano Okaka to bundle in at the near post. Okaka replaced David Elm by the way. Shame for pun fans, but not for those of Fulham.

1608: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-1 Wigan (Okaka)

Liverpool goal: What a start to the second half for Liverpool. Steven Gerrard picks up the ball on the left, turns Lee Bowyer inside out and strokes a lovely right-foot finish into the far corner for his first goal in nine matches. That could be a huge goal for the Reds in the chase for fourth.

1604: GOALFLASH Birmingham 0-1 Liverpool (Gerrard)

1602: And they're off at Goodison Park.

1559: A late change for West Ham. Valon Behrami picked up an injury in the warm-up and is replaced by Junior Stanislas.

1557: Out come the teams at Goodison Park. West Ham would take a draw here I would have thought. Their remaining games after today are: Sunderland (H), Liverpool (A), Wigan (H), Fulham (A), Man City (H)

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live commentator Conor McNamara: "If the league had started on 1 January 2010, Everton would be in second place behind Manchester United."

From The Kop Prophet on 606: "Rafa is absolutely a master at misusing and nullifying players. Just when player shows some creative verve, they get dropped or shunted to another position. This game is the perfect illustration. Lucas is not a holding player and never will be, Kuyt is doing nothing behind Torres and is not a Premier League quality forward. Benayoun is not a left winger and is completely wasted in this game."

1549: HALF-TIME Fulham 0-1 Wigan

1547: HALF-TIME Birmingham 0-0 Liverpool

1546: They'll be planning the tickertape parade through Wigan. That was Jason Scotland's first Premier League goal - with his 27th shot of the season (thanks optajoe!)

1544: Damien Duff's cross deflects off Maynor Figueroa and Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland has to claw it out. Kirkland is wearing a cap. I worry about keepers who wear caps.

1542: TEAM NEWS Everton v West Ham
Everton's only change from the side who drew 0-0 at Wolves last weekend is in midfield where Diniyar Bilyaletdinov starts in place of Jack Rodwell, who drops to the bench. The Russian was a late replacement for Rodwell in the game at Molineux. Mikel Arteta and Joseph Yobo remained sidelined through injury. West Ham make just one change themselves from the side that lost at home to Stoke last Saturday. Radoslav Kovac comes into midfield in place of Keiron Dyer, who was substituted at half time last weekend as he continues to regain match fitness following a long-standing hamstring injury.

1540: Rumours reaching me that Roy Hodgson may have been so angry after that Wigan goal went in, he kicked his chair and left a dent in it. This seems improbable, but brilliant if true.

1538: From a Birmingham corner, James McFadden shoulders the ball narrowly over the bar, with Pepe Reina flapping.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1536: After a sweet four-man move, Fernando Torres curls a cute ball into Maxi Rodriguez eight yards out and the Argentine crashes his shot against the bar. Joe Hart may have got a fingernail to the ball but the score remains goalless. Best chance of the game by a country and urban mile. However long that is.

Wigan goal: Wigan take a deserved lead as Mario Melchiot's deep cross from the right is headed back by Marcelo Moreno and lashed home by Jason Scotland, the Wigan striker beating Mark Schwarzer at his near post. The Fulham keeper might be disappointed with that.

1535: GOALFLASH Fulham 0-1 Wigan (Scotland)

1534: Mark Schwarzer makes an awful mess of coming for a cross - scooping it straight to Paul Scharner, whose first-time lob is headed off the line by Brede Hangeland. The ball comes out to Maynor Figueroa, whose audacious 40-yard effort is tipped over by the Fulham keeper. He may have to settle for just one audacious goal for the season.

1532: Fernando Torres can't get enough curl or dip on his right-foot effort from outside the box. High and wide.

1530: Wigan win a corner. Paul Scharner meets it at the near post but heads well over. This has not been the Premier League's finest half an hour.

1527: Not much happening, if anything.

1523: TEAMS Everton v West Ham
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Osman, Heitinga, Cahill, Bilyaletdinov, Saha. Subs: Turner, Hibbert, Yakubu, Senderos, Rodwell, Duffy, Wallace.
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Da Costa, Upson, Spector, Noble, Parker, Kovac, Behrami, Mido, Cole. Subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Ilan, McCarthy, Daprela, Spence, Stanislas.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1519: Boos at Craven Cottage as Fulham's Zoltan Gera goes down after an apparent trip by Mohamed Diame. Mark Clattenburg says no - and replays show Gera appearing to trip over his own foot.

1517: David Elm shoots low from the edge of the area, but it's straight at Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland who beats the effort away.

1515: Birmingham haven't lost a league game at home since September, a run of 12 games. The last team to win at St Andrews in the Prem was... Bolton. Obviously.

Yellow card
1514: Paul Scharner picks up a yellow card for Wigan for dragging back Fulham striker David Elm.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC 5 live summariser Kevin Kilbane: "Liverpool have had a lot of possession so far but not done much with it."

1507: Fernando Torres suddenly breaks into the box, but his attempt to chest the ball into the path of Steven Gerrard is misdirected. Not sure why he didn't try to take that on himself. Meanwhile at Fulham, Zoltan Gera's diving header from Damien Duff cross is well saved by Chris Kirkland.

1505: Lovely skill from James McFadden on the right and he draws the foul from Emiliano Insua. Free-kick comes to nothing, as Martin Atkinson spots some mischief in the box.

1504: Jamie Carragher backheels to Lucas as Liverpool clear their lines. Fancy that.

1502: Both games are up and running.

1459: Gloomy stat from Infostrada Sports: "Fulham and Wigan are the two least productive Premier League teams in 2010, scoring just nine and eight goals respectively."

It's sunny
1458: The sun's out in Birmingham, and it's trying to show its face at Fulham too. Quite a contrast to the rain dump at Burnley in yesterday's late kick-off.

1455: Birmingham's mascot Beau Brummie (a dog) is merrily clapping along to a bit of Proclaimers at St Andrews, but his fun is ended by the arrival of the two teams.

From Dan, Hammers fan, via text: "I don't think many of us fans blame Fulham for their team selection, just like Zola doesn't. I bet it's Sullivan getting involved again. We need to concentrate on our own game, starting with a point today. COYI!"

1448: An anonymous texter points out that Roy Hodgson has resisted the temptation to partner Elm and Oak-aka up front. Stefano Okaka has to settle for a place on the bench.

From anon via text: "Why do I get the feeling that Liverpool and Birmingham will be like watching an omnibus edition of EastEnders?! 0-0, any takers?"

From TheSportsDirector on 606: "I think this complaint from West Ham is pathetic, I think this is Fulham's 54th game of the season, and you can't blame Fulham if West Ham go down, it's not our fault that West Ham haven't played well this season."

1437: As many of you have noticed, Alberto Aquilani is on the Liverpool bench, despite apparently suffering from an ankle injury. Benitez said this week: "He has some pain and we will just analyse that with the doctor. Some players maybe can manage with the pain, but some - when they have pain - cannot."

From Robi1993 on Twitter: "An attacking formation away from home. That's a rarity from Rafa. Perhaps it shows you how much we need to win this game."

1435: TEAM NEWS Fulham v Wigan
With all eyes on the Fulham teamsheet after West Ham's complaint to the Premier League about the team selected against Hull last weekend, Roy Hodgson makes just one change to the line-up that saw off Wolfsburg in the Europa League on Thursday night. Leading scorer Bobby Zamora drops out, paving the way for Swedish front man David Elm to make a rare start. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez makes three changes to the side beaten 3-0 at Manchester City on Monday. Chris Kirkland returns in goal following a virus, while Charles N'Zogbia and Jason Scotland also start.

1432: TEAM NEWS Birmingham v Liverpool
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish names the same starting XI from their 1-1 draw against Arsenal with striker Cameron Jerome looking for goals in front of James McFadden, who will make his 200th club career start. Maxi Rodriguez and Yossi Benayoun come into the Liverpool midfield, Sotiros Kyrgiakos starts at the back, while Javier Mascherano, Daniel Agger, and Ryan Babel settle for the bench.

From Fulham fan Anthony, currently in Germany, via text: "Not as many players being rested than I would have hoped by Sir Roy. However I'm still confident of three points today and progression to the semis on Thursday. Is this really the same Fulham I watched lose to Scarborough 15 years ago?"

1425: Sorry about that, but if I've got to put up with it, it's only fair you should too. I think I might actually be sick. Please don't send any more to 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) or put them on 606 or Twitter.

1423: Actual quote from Football League Danny: "Elm is a tree-mendous addition to the Fulham team but I'm surprised he's starting, I thought they might leaf him on the bench. In fact, I'm surprised he's in the squad at all because he doesn't know the root to the stadium."

1419: TEAMS Fulham v Wigan
Fulham: Schwarzer, Davies, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Gera, Elm. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Shorey, Okaka, Nevland, Smalling, Greening.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, McCarthy, Moreno, Diame, N'Zogbia, Rodallega, Scotland. Subs: Stojkovic, Gohouri, Amaya, Watson, Moses, Gomez, Sinclair.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1417: TEAMS Birmingham v Liverpool
Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Jerome, McFadden. Subs: Taylor, Larsson, Phillips, Benitez, Michel, Parnaby, Vignal.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard, Lucas, Maxi, Torres, Kuyt. Subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Agger, Babel, Mascherano, Ngog, Degen.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1415: Reports suggest Bobby Zamora won't be starting for Fulham today, which may prompt more gnashing of teeth by the West Ham hierarchy. The Hammers have made an official complaint about the team Roy Hodgson put out against Hull. But Gianfranco Zola refused to criticise Hodgson: "Roy Hodgson is a person I respect for his loyalty and I have no complaints with that. He decided to do that and I'm sure he has done the right thing for the club."

1412: And it's a big day at the bottom as first Wigan travel to Fulham, who have understandably stopped bothering with the Premier League since they started mixing it with Juventus and all those fancy European teams. Then, desperately out-of-form West Ham, with a manager who seems unlikely to stay regardless of whether they survive, are at Everton - who have won their last SEVEN home games.

1409: Rafa Benitez hasn't tasted victory against Birmingham in seven top-flight games. They are the only Premier League to deny him.

1406: In the absence of hot cross buns, this live text will be fuelled instead by chocolate - and a lot of it. Three days after the battle at Benfica, Liverpool, who are five points adrift of fourth, travel to Birmingham, who have drawn all their home games with the top five this season.

1400: An estimated seventy million hot cross buns sold by Tesco this year and not a SINGLE ONE in this office. Happy Easter everyone!

Premier League results

4 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 4 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 33 54 74
2 Man Utd 33 50 72
3 Arsenal 33 41 71
4 Man City 32 24 59
5 Tottenham 32 26 58
6 Liverpool 33 21 55
7 Aston Villa 32 12 54
8 Everton 33 8 50
9 Birmingham 33 -4 46
10 Stoke 32 -3 42
11 Blackburn 33 -15 42
12 Fulham 32 -2 41
13 Sunderland 33 -7 38
14 Wolves 33 -23 32
15 Bolton 33 -25 32
16 Wigan 33 -34 31
17 West Ham 33 -17 28
18 Hull 32 -35 27
19 Burnley 33 -39 24
20 Portsmouth 33 -32 14

see also
Ups and downs
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football
BBC Sport's football predictor
22 Mar 10 |  Football

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