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Page last updated at 18:39 GMT, Saturday, 21 August 2010 19:39 UK

Saturday football as it happened


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By Jonathan Stevenson

1930: Before I bid you adieu, some business to wrap up: Match of the Day is on BBC One and online at 2230 BST, with The Football League Show following at 2350 BST. Trust me, watch - they might as well rename them both 'The Millions of Goals Flying in from Everywhere Shows'. Or something. Now, I'm off to read Saj Chowdhury's report on Chelsea's tonking of Wigan, but see you tomorrow, yeah? Have a top night.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "I thought we played really well in the first half and were very unlucky to go in 1-0 down. When we went 3-0 down we'd given everything and mentally it was very difficult to recover. What we need now is for the transfer window to close and for us to work hard and get on with it. Of course we're hurt, but I can't fault the players for that first half. 6-0 does not reflect the game."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti: "In the first half it was a very open game. Wigan tried to come back into it in the second half so there was more space for our strikers and we're very good at counter-attacking now."

From jadhamizan on Twitter: "Can we just relegate Wigan today?"

Chelsea's Didier Drogba: "We scored six but we suffered a lot in the first half. The fact that we scored quickly at the start of the second half settled us down a lot. We know what we have to do when a game is difficult, we know how to make games easier."

1913: What an extraordinary end to the game that was from the champions, who have started this Premier League campaign by laying down all sorts of markers to the teams that want to take the title away from Stamford Bridge. Two games, 12 goals scored, none conceded - and what's more frightening is they haven't even got into fourth gear yet.

1910: Full-time Wigan 0-6 Chelsea

Blues goal: Wow. Didier Drogba plays a stunning pass from right to left, Paulo Ferreira gets to the byeline and pulls it back for Yossi Benayoun to stroke the ball into the far corner past a beleaguered Chris Kirkland.

1909: GOAL Wigan 0-6 Chelsea (Benayoun)

From Dan, Newcastle, via text: "Did you realise there hasn't been any corners in this game? Is that some sort of PL record?"

Blues goal: Rubbish goalkeeping again from Chris Kirkland, coming for a cross and getting nowhere near it again as Salomon Kalou glances in a header, but what a magnificent ball it was in from the left from Didier Drogba. He's just brilliant at everything, the Ivorian. Best striker at crossing the football since Alan Shearer?

1906: GOAL Wigan 0-5 Chelsea (Kalou)

1905: Charles N'Zogbia crashes into Ashley Cole and gets a telling off from referee Mike Dean, not sure how he didn't get booked for that, the Wigan man. Cole is annoyed too - his dumping to the ground brought arguably the bigger cheer of the day from the cheerless locals.

1902: Breaking news: Stoke manager Tony Pulis has revealed striker Mamady Sidibe could miss the rest of the season after snapping an Achilles tendon during their game against Tottenham.

1900: As it stands, Chelsea are two points clear at the top of the league, while Wigan are rock bottom with a goal difference already of minus eight. After two home games. Ouch.

From wakkalfc on 606: "Ten goals already for Chelsea, I can't see anyone challenging them this season."

Blues goal: Yeah, they did want to score more, but Wigan didn't have to hand it on a plate for them. Mohamed Diame gives the ball away in his own half and from then on it's about the power and pace of the brilliant Didier Drogba, who forces his way to the edge of the Wigan box and then slips a pass to his left for Salomon Kalou to slot home. Too easy.

1854: GOAL Wigan 0-4 Chelsea (Kalou)

1852: It's a training game for Chelsea now, with about quarter of an hour left in the north-west. They could still score a couple more, were they so inclined.

From bradleywestlake on Twitter: "Didn't fancy posting how N'Zogbia left a naughtily late foot in on Terry as well?"
What, at 1802 you mean? Behave. But also, like it's an eye for an eye - this is football for goodness sake, Terry earns £200,000-a-week or whatever it is, shouldn't he be able to turn a blind eye by now?

1846: Florent Malouda takes a break, with Salomon Kalou coming on. Chelsea, by the way, have scored 26 goals in their last five Premier League matches without reply.

From The strike of the cescy verminator on 606: "Terry should be off. What a bully."

1842: John Terry is a fool to himself sometimes. Two unbelievably naughty challenges on Charles N'Zogbia could both earn him another yellow and a red, but Mike Dean keeps his cards in his pockets. Terry is so lucky there, I'm almost embarrassed for him.

1841: Mauro Boselli heads straight at Petr Cech from a left-wing cross. He's unlucky, the Argentine, because at that pace either side and it's in.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp: "I don't know if the ball was over the line, but in any case their player has clearly fouled our keeper in the build-up so it shouldn't have been given either way. It's an important win for us, this, and now we can go into Wednesday's Champions League tie against Young Boys full of confidence."

1838: Wigan have the ball in the net as Mauro Boselli shoots past Petr Cech after James McCarthy's shot is deflected on to Cech's right-hand post, but the striker was in an offside position and it doesn't count. Still the Latics wait for their first goal of the season. Chelsea take Branislav Ivanovic off and send on Paulo Ferreira.

1835: Two shots from Wigan players, two fabulous blocks, the first from Ashley Cole and the second, even better, from a sliding Alex - doing his best John Terry impression.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis: "Referees are paid to make the big decisions and to get them right. Unfortunately for us, referee Chris Foy has not done that today and we've lost a game I think we deserved to get something out of."

1834: So for Wigan, they must try and save face as they still have more than half an hour left to go in already their second home thrashing of the season. For Chelsea, it's yet another chance to boost their goal difference, which might be crucial at the end of the campaign. Who says this league's getting closer?

From tininha_sou_eu on Twitter: "Re - The Year of the Liverbird, 1736: I don't know... the result looks pretty consistent."

Blues goal: Yeah, game over now (that doesn't mean you can leave, though). Petr Cech slaps a kick way down the pitch and from Florent Malouda's left-wing cross Didier Drogba sends the ball back across goal and Nicolas Anelka heads in from about two yards. There's a massive hint of offside about it, but the goal stands.

1827: GOAL Wigan 0-3 Chelsea (Anelka)

Blues goal: I wouldn't say he's "dying with laughter", but there's a pretty big smile on the face of the bad boy of French football Nicolas Anelka right now. He collects a super Jon Mikel Obi pass down on the right of the Wigan box, steadies himself and hits a crisp right-foot shot into the far corner past Chris Kirkland. Game over?

1824: GOAL Wigan 0-2 Chelsea (Anelka)

1823: Hugo Rodallega collects a lovely pass down the Wigan left and is one-on-one with Branislav Ivanovic for a moment, but after trying to turn past the defender, Alex strolls across to pick the ball up and get rid of the danger. Super covering.

1821: You lot, you're a bit quiet at the moment. As Chelsea kick us off in the second half, there's plenty more time to get your chat in: texts go to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); you can tweet me @Stevo_football; and people are still chatting over on 606.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "What was pleasing today with Theo was that he made right decisions in final third and was calm in front of goal. He could finish but also give final balls. That shows he has improved. We think we can have a big word in the championship and we want to show that week in, week out. With a point at Liverpool and good win today, we've had a very good start."

1815: By the way, couple of things courtesy of our friends from Infostrada Sports earlier: Gareth Bale scored the first ever double of his career. He has now scored five PL goals since the start of April - only Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard have scored more over this period. And Theo Walcott scored his first ever PL hat-trick, and only the second ever scored at the Emirates - after Emmanuel Adebayor against Derby County in September 2007.

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway: "We were doing OK before the referee deemed Ian Evatt's challenge a sending off. I thought it was a penalty at best, but to then send him off was ridiculous. It absolutely ruined game as spectacle. But we probably would have ended up getting beaten anyway, Arsenal have fantastic players and the way they pass and move is an education. It's a long hard road but our lads have to get up and get on with it."

From Tom, Nottingham, via text: "Frankly, we don't need this goal line technology everyone rambles on about. We simply need a bloke with a camera replay. I'll do it for a fiver."

Wigan 0-1 Chelsea - Saj Chowdhury reports: "What better way for Wigan to be rewarded for their resilience and endeavour than to go behind. First Chelsea attack led to the first Chelsea goal."

1804: Half-time Wigan 0-1 Chelsea

1802: There are a few boos going around for a couple of Chelsea's England boys at the DW, and a few cheers there when Charles N'Zogbia's attempted tackle on John Terry ends with the Blues skipper getting a French knee in his face. He gets up, shrugs, and gets on with it.

1759: It's fair to say Chelsea have markedly improved since taking the lead a few minutes ago. That's what goals do, they give teams confidence.

Everton manager David Moyes: "First half very good, second half not so good. We had enough opportunities to get the second goal but we didn't do enough second half with the ball, gave it away too often and got punished for it. They made it much harder and when it's only one goal the opposition has always got a chance."

1755: Chelsea attack again, but some last-ditch defending from Ronnie Stam prevents Didier Drogba from getting in a shot.

From Spamburger on 606: "It was to be expected of course, what with Wigan totally dominating them. Totally against all logic, run of play etc, but that's Chelsea."

Blues goal: It's totally against the run of play, but that's what champions do. Chelsea launch a rare attack down their left and when Charles N'Zogbia slips, Ashley Cole is suddenly in. His ball into the box is touched and fired goalwards by Frank Lampard and after Chris Kirkland makes a fine low save, Florent Malouda is the first to react to turn home the loose ball.

1751: GOAL Wigan 0-1 Chelsea (Malouda)

West Ham manager Avram Grant: "We did everything right and the players responded well to going behind. But we didn't pay attention at the back and we got punished."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: "We simply weren't good enough in the first half in particular. There's no hiding place. If we have any aspirations in this league we have to improve away from home."

From Silvio_Di_Fede on Twitter: "Re Marcus at 1725 - Last year Tottenham lost both matches against Wolves and finished fourth."

1744: Hugo Rodallega is adopting a shoot-on-sight policy today and another neat Wigan move presents him with a chance 20 yards out, only for his well-struck 20-yard shot to fly straight into the arms of Petr Cech.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy: "We were abject in the first half and held on for 43 minutes. I take responsibility for that because I tinkered with the team to stop Everton playing. Second half I addressed that. I said to them, show me I don't need to make substitutions. I thought it was a well-earned point in the end. I might take credit for that if I take the criticism for the first half."

1742: Hugo Rodallega slams a free-kick goalwards, but it's from 35 yards and Petr Cech just takes a couple of steps to his left and catches the ball with consummate ease. Chelsea remain on the back foot.

West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo: "I have belief in my players and they gave me what I was asking for. We didn't make any mistakes - we played some great stuff and could have scored another goal but I'm happy to take three points."

1738: Wigan are still in the ascendancy in the north-west, Chelsea really struggling to get into their stride in the opening 20 minutes and they haven't created anything yet, the champions.

Les Roopanarine reports:
"The proverbial game of two halves, if ever there was one. The first was as dull as dishwater, the second an absolute corker, crammed with penalty saves, missed chances, and three fine goals."

From The Year Of The Liverbird on 606: "If you look under inconsistent in the dictionary it says 'Wigan Athletic'."

Sam Lyon reports:
"Spurs' first victory of the season and Gareth Bale's volley would certainly be deserving of winning any game - but it was a game that ultimately hung on the goal-that-wasn't-given by Jon Walters. Stoke left distraught and yet more weight added to the video technology argument, surely."

1728: Wigan are completely on top and after Branislav Ivanovic carelessly gives the ball away, Maynor Figueroa's left-foot drive from 25 yards forces Petr Cech to parry away at his right-hand post.

David Ornstein reports:
"Arsenal register their first win of the new season, and what a win it is. Inspired by an effervescent Theo Walcott, the Gunners tear Blackpool apart and even squander numerous chances to embellish the 6-0 scoreline. Blackpool are left furious with referee over his Mike Jones' 31st-minute decision, which sees them reduced to 10 men and fall 2-0 behind, but the newly-promoted Seasiders are thoroughly outclassed and must now regroup for the visit of Fulham next weekend."

1725: It's all Wigan so far and a cross from the left from Mohamed Diame is only inches over the head of Mauro Boselli inside the Chelsea six-yard box. Cracking start from Roberto Martinez's side.

1725: Here's a cheeky little wrap-up from our mate Football League Macca, who had to deal with goal after goal after goal today, poor fella: "QPR's relentless start to the season under Neil Warnock continued as they cruised past Scunthorpe to go clear at the top of the Championship. Cardiff were also easy winners with Craig Bellamy enjoying a lively start to his career in the Welsh capital as they beat Doncaster 4-0. Burnley beat Leicester 3-0 to go third, while Roy Keane's Ipswich moved fifth with a win at Palace. In L1, Charlton's 1-1 draw with Oldham meant Carlisle went top with a 4-1 victory over MK Dons. L2 saw a whopping 44 goals - two of them going to Torquay who are top after a third successive win."

From Marcus, Goodison Park, via text: "Everton - absolute joke today... to have that much possession and not score at least three, just embarrassing. Why in God's name are we thinking of a top four finish when we can't even beat Wolves?! Beckford isn't up to Prem standard yet, so Saha needs to start."

1720: Pressure from Wigan in the early stages, one lovely cross from the left from Maynor Figueroa needing a decent headed clearance away inside the Chelsea six-yard box.

Mark Ashenden reports:
"A super show by West Brom and those yellow boots finally came good with Peter Odemwingie stealing the headlines. Keep an eye out for Chris Brunt though - a big beautiful Baggie with a whole bag of talent. Steve Bruce's boys should be hanging their heads in shame in that dressing room."

1718: Under way between Wigan and Chelsea. What does our seventh top flight game of the day have in store?

Saj Chowdhury reports: "Following their 4-0 humiliation at home to Blackpool last weekend, Wigan face a Chelsea side who began their title challenge with a 6-0 win over West Brom . And Latics fans don't need reminding that they were thrashed 8-0 on the last day of the season by the champions, but it's not all doom and gloom. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was keen to remind the press that they beat Chelsea 3-1 at the DW Stadium in the corresponding fixture last season. It's a tough ask for a repeat show."

1713: The teams are out at the DW Stadium and we're not far off getting under way in the final Premier League match of the day. And what a day it's been, so far.

Kevin Darling reports:
"West Ham's bogey team strike again as Bolton notch yet another win against the team they love to play, despite an improved showing from the Hammers."

From Jim Auton, Spurs fan, Hampshire via text: "Swings and roundabouts! Spurs have been on the receiving end of goals that never were. And Stoke did a smash and grab at the Lane last season. They even themselves out."

Phil Dawkes reports:
"Everton will be left to rue not making more of their first-half dominance, but you can't take anything away from Wolves. The visitors showed greater endeavour in the second half and deserve their point."

From shinydh on Twitter: "How dramatic would that finale have been with a video challenge from the Stoke boss? And the roar upon the goal being given?"

Saj Chowdhury reports: Wigan's Hendry Thomas replaces Ben Watson in the centre of midfield, while Charles N'Zogbia, linked with a move away from the club, also starts for the home side. Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic replaces Paulo Ferreira at right-back, while Nicolas Anelka stays out on the right with Didier Drogba up front. New signing Yossi Benayoun is on the bench.

Kirkland, Stam, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa, McCarthy, Thomas, Diame, N'Zogbia, Boselli, Rodallega.
Subs: Al Habsi, Watson, Moses, Gomez, McArthur, Boyce, Scotland.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
Subs: Hilario, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Kalou, Van Aanholt, Borini.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

1700: Keep the chat on those early games coming, but let's also roll onwards to the late game in the Premier Leaguer today, which sees Wigan - humbled at home by Blackpool last week, a result which suddenly looks even worse - entertain Chelsea, who have scored 23 goals in their last four league games.

1658: The Stoke players surround referee Chris Foy and the assistant at the final whistle, fuming that Jon Walters' late effort was not allowed. Boos reverberate around the Britannia, but Gareth Bale doesn't care - Spurs two-goal hero has the widest smile in the Potteries plastered across his face.

1656: Full-time Stoke 1-2 Tottenham

From Nick, a Spurs fan in Stafford, via text: "And that's why we need video technology."

1655: Full-time Birmingham 2-1 Blackburn

1653: Full-time West Ham 1-3 Bolton

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth in Cardiff: "Craig Bellamy quickly establishes hero status at the Cardiff City Stadium as the new Bluebirds captain fires an unstoppable 35-yard free-kick off the post and into the Doncaster net. Two assists, one yellow card and a stunning goal in a 4-0 win - Bellamy fever has officially hit Cardiff."

1652: Full-time Everton 1-1 Wolves

1652: Full-time Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool

1651: Full-time West Brom 1-0 Sunderland

1649: Controversy at Stoke. A corner is headed goalwards and after Heurelho Gomes saves underneath his crossbar, Jon Walters heads in from close range. Peter Crouch's frame gets in the way, but A) It looks like it hits his arm and B) It looks like the whole ball is over the line. Been here before...

1647: Just had a quick glance of the scores around England today. It's like being transported back to the 1950s with all these goals. I always dreamed that might happen.

1646: Stoke continue to press but keeper Heurelho Gomes continues to preserve Spurs' slender lead - the Brazilian this time getting down low to keep out Ricardo Fuller's shot on the stretch.

1645: Football League Macca: "A Graham Alexander penalty has made it Burnley 3-0 Leicester. It's also Crewe 6-0 Barnet and Burton 2-2 Morecambe. Just over 10 minutes to go and no sign of the goals drying up."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1645: Stunning. Chris Brunt hits an absolute scorcher from fully 30 yards that crashes back off the Sunderland crossbar. He's been top-drawer today.

Bolton goal: No West Ham comeback here, though that goal is dubious and no mistake. A ball into the Hammers box appears to hit the arm of a Bolton player and after Herita Ilunga mis-kicks his clearance, Johan Elmander knocks it in to make it 3-1 for Owen Coyle's side.

1643: GOAL West Ham 1-3 Bolton (Elmander)

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth in Cardiff: "Craig Bellamy claims his second assist of the afternoon as Chris Burke adds to Jay Bothroyd's double as Cardiff City go 3-0 up against Donnie. Bellamy's 60-yard ball from the corner flag set Burke free and the Scot shows his finishing is as bright as his luminous orange boots."

Arsenal goal: He looked desperate to get on the scoresheet and that does just the job. Robin van Persie swings over a corner from the right and Marouane Chamakh gets up high, high, high to power a header down and past Matt Gilks' despairing dive. You've got to feel sorry for Blackpool, haven't you?

1640: GOAL Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool (Chamakh)

Hammers goal: Another penalty at Upton Par, this time for Gary Cahill's challenge on Scott Parker. Mark Noble steps up and sends Jussi Jaaskelainen the wrong way, West Ham have a lifeline.

Baggies goal: Deadlock: broken. Poor marking from Sunderland, all West Brom have to do is let James Morison slip a pass forward for debutant Peter Odemwingie, and the Nigerian keeps his cool this time to slot into the Black Cats net.

1638: GOAL West Ham 1-2 Bolton (Noble)

1637: GOAL West Brom 1-0 Sunderland (Odemwingie)


1635: More Football League Macca: "Theo Walcott has nothing on Adam le Fondre, who has popped in his fourth of the day as Rotherham now lead Cheltenham 6-3 (SIX). Stevenage are 3-0 ahead against Stockport, Walsall beating Plymouth 2-1 and Peterboro's comeback looks complete as they lead Huddersfield 4-2. Cardiff 3-0 against Donny and it's Exeter 2-2 Bristol R. Just three games awaiting a goal in the FL."

1633: Frederic Piquionne blazes over from 12 yards at Upton Park. It doesn't look like being West Ham's day.

Wolves goal: Wolves have been more positive in the second half and they are rewarded when Adlene Guedioura wins the ball and feeds Kevin Doyle, who crosses for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to slot home from close range.

1632: It's been a proper rearguard action this half for Spurs and they have keeper Heurelho Gomes to thank for their lead now, the Brazilian getting back brilliantly to tip Tuncay's deflected long-ranger over the bar. Moments later Tuncay has a free header from a corner, only to direct it wide, and then Ryan Shawcross blazes over when well placed in the box. It's all Stoke.

1632: GOAL Everton 1-1 Wolves (Ebanks-Blake)

Blues goal: It's a decent hit from Craig Gardner from 25 yards that flies into the Blackburn net, but Paul Robinson probably shouldn't be beaten by that from there. Gardner at the double and the hosts now lead.

1630: GOAL Birmingham 2-1 Blackburn (Gardner)

1629: Football League Macca is buzzing: "There are so many Football League goals going in the Videprinter is steaming. Carlisle have four against MK Dons, Chesterfield four against Hereford, Bounrmouth three against Tranmere, Crewe five against Barnet and it's now Bristol C 3-3 Barnsley and Rortherham 5-3 Cheltenham. Burnley just the two against Leicester and Torquay likewise against Bradford. Same for Cardiff against Doncaster."

Bolton goal: Maybe Johan Elmander should just head everything - that's a stunning finish with his bonce. Chung Young Lee sends over a cracking cross from the Bolton right and up gets the big Swede to thump a header past Robert Green and double the visitors' advantage.

1627: GOAL West Ham 0-2 Bolton (Elmander)

1623: Football League Macca: "Edgar Davids doesn't seem to have inspired his Palace team-mates as Ipswich are 2-0 ahead now. Nott'm Forest are level at Reading and Barnsley are ahead again - 3-2 against Bristol C. Carlisle 3-0 MK Dons in L1, while Peterboro have come from 2-0 down to 3-2 up. In L2, it's raining goals at Rotherham who lead Cheltenham 4-3 now and Crewe lead troubled Barnet 4-0 now."

1623: Theo Walcott gets a standing ovation as he is taken off and replaced by Carlos Vela. You've set the bar now, Theo, can you stay at that level?

Someone has struck the woodwork
1621: Nikola Kalinic goes agonisingly close to getting Blackburn back in front, his header from a free-kick hitting Ben Foster's left-hand post.

1620: Winston Reid, on for Matthew Upson who took a kick in the face while scoring that own goal, fires a volley straight at Jussi Jaaskelainen. Will the Hammers beat the Finn today? Meanwhile at The Hawthorns, West Brom have gone from lively to mediocre. Sunderland remain barely one level above inert. Where are your touchline rants Stevie Bruce?

1619: How did Marouane Chamakh miss that? Andrey Arshavin lays the ball into the box for him and it's on a plate, but the striker can only shin over the bar. The Gunners bring on Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas.

Blues goal: Great response from the hosts. A ball into the Blackburn box is superbly volleyed to the far post by James McFadden, where Craig Gardner steers in an almost immediate leveller.

Arsenal goal: Beautiful. Theo Walcott has had a ball today and he collects an Abou Diaby pass at pace before taking it into the box and curling a left-foot shot into the bottom corner. This is Walcott at his absolute best, a terrific performance.

1616: GOAL Birmingham 1-1 Blackburn (Gardner)

1615: GOAL Arsenal 5-0 Blackpool (Walcott, hat-trick)

Rovers goal: Classic Blackburn. After Ben Foster makes another super save to keep them at bay, Morten Gamst Pedersen curls over a corner from the right and Steven Nzonzi gets across his marker to glance in at the near post.

1613: GOAL Birmingham 0-1 Blackburn (Nzonzi)

From mike_mcgrail on Twitter: "I can't believe none of the 'Big Four' Prem sides has ever made a big move for Jaaskelainen."

Bolton goal: After all those Hammers chances... Not content with keeping West Ham at bay, the outstanding Jussi Jaaskelainen has now set up a goal. The Finn's long goal-kick is flicked on by Johan Elmander and Matthew Upson stoops to head the ball past his own goalkeeper, Robert Green. Not great communication between the two England men there and West Ham, who dominated the first half, are behind.

Someone has struck the woodwork
Blackburn missed penalty save: That is a fabulous penalty save from Ben Foster, tipping Morten Gamst Pedersen's spot-kick on to the bar and away to safety after Nikola Zigic had pulled Chris Samba's shirt to concede a penalty.



Arsenal goal: They could get as many as they want to this afternoon. Bacary Sagna scampers away down the right, skips past a desperate challenge and pulls it back for Abou Diaby to sweetly volley into the corner of Matt Gilks' net. Fabulous finish, made it look easy.

1607: GOAL West Ham 0-1 Bolton (Upson og)

1606: GOAL Arsenal 4-0 Blackpool (Diaby)

1606: Second half Football League Macca: "At Selhurst Park new signing Edgar Davids gets a fine reception at his half-time unveiling, where the score remains Palace 0-0 Ipswich. As it stands, with the games getting under way again, only QPR and Torquay are on course to retain their 100% records. Plenty of goals left in today though I reckon."

1605: They've started again at West Ham too - apologies for the Jussi Jaaskelainen 'Icelander' references, I hope they've been wiped from the record. Under way at Stoke and Birmingham too now.

1602: Back under way at West Brom, Everton and Arsenal.

West Brom 0-0 Sunderland - Mark Ashenden: "Goalless at the Hawthorns. Peter Odemwingie's debutant yellow boots go quiet after early missed sitter. Sunderland look half asleep. And that's generous."

Stoke 1-2 Tottenham - Sam Lyon: "Brilliant Bale the difference."

West Ham 0-0 Bolton - Kevin Darling: "It's West Ham v Jussi Jaaskelainen and so far the keeper is winning."

1556: Football League Macca: "QPR have a second and it's gone to Heidar Helguson. QPR 2-0 Scunny. Cardiff lead 1-0 against Donny and Burnley are beating Leicester 1-0. In L1 Sheff Wed are beating Brighton, Carlisle are ahead against MK Dons and Oldham levelled at Charlton just before HT.

Everton 1-0 Wolves - Phil Dawkes: "For all their superiority, Everton have actually created relatively little."

Birmingham 0-0 Blackburn - Les Roopanarine: "Expect tonight's highlights to be brief; a decent Paul Robinson save aside, this has been drabber than drab."

Arsenal 3-0 Blackpool - David Ornstein: "Are you watching, Fabio? A Theo Walcott-inspired Arsenal are putting Blackpool to the sword."

1549: Half-time Birmingham 0-0 Blackburn

1548: Half-time West Ham 0-0 Bolton

1548: Half-time Stoke 1-2 Tottenham
Just before the break, Jermaine Jenas had a shot brilliantly saved by Thomas Sorensen, with the keeper possibly catching the midfielder as he tried to go for the rebound.

1548: Half-time Arsenal 3-0 Blackpool

1547: Half-time Everton 1-0 Wolves

1547: Half-time West Brom 0-0 Sunderland

Someone has struck the woodwork
1546: Kieron Dyer has never come closer to scoring his first West Ham goal. The midfielder bursts onto Scott Parker's pass and fires goalwards but that man Jussi Jaaskelainen pushes the shot on to the post. The keeper is keeping Bolton in it.

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth in Cardiff: "Craig Bellamy started a little too over-excited on his high-profile home-coming with a few loose balls but showed his quality to set-up Jay Bothroyd for Cardiff's opener here against Doncaster. An open game in the Welsh capital - and Bellamy is loving it."

1544: Matt Gilks is determined not to let Marouane Chamakh score today - he pulls off another stunning save to deny the striker after he volleys Gael Clichy's cross goalwards.

Everton goal: The hosts have dominated possession and get the goal they deserve. Mikel Arteta's free-kick hits the wall and after a scramble inside the Wolves box the ball breaks loose for Tim Cahill to swivel and slam a left-foot shot into the roof of the net from seven yards.

1542: GOAL Everton 1-0 Wolves (Cahill)

1541: Little of note to report from St Andrew's, where the only notable goalmouth incident so far came came when Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson was forced to turn over a close-range Scott Dann header on the half hour mark. Meanwhile there are strong calls for another penalty at Upton Park and Carlton Cole is involved again. His cross from inside the box hits Zat Knight's hand, but this time referee Andre Marriner waves play on.

Arsenal goal: Scrap that: Theo Walcott IS having a field day. The occasional England winger collects a pass from Jack Wilshere, spins his defender and shoots low into the bottom corner of Matt Gilks' goal.

1539: GOAL Arsenal 3-0 Blackpool (Walcott)

1538: Theo Walcott could have a field day here - he clips another pass in for Marouane Chamakh which the striker takes really well only to see his goalbound shot brilliantly saved once again by Matt Gilks.

West Ham missed penalty: Drama at Upton Park. Gretar Steinsson barges over Carlton Cole in the penalty box and concedes a penalty. The England man picks himself up to take the spot-kick but it's a weak effort and Jussi Jaaskelainen dives to his right and holds it. Moments later, Cole breaks through and fires in a low effort but the Finnish keeper denies him again with a fingertip save.

BBC Sport's Garth Crooks on Final Score: "The referee has ruined the game, he's killed Blackpool."

Red card
Arsenal goal: Tomas Rosicky feeds Marouane Chamakh and Ian Evatt has got wrong side - the defender brings Chamakh down, but it looks outside the box, first contact. Referee Mike Jones sends Evatt off and awards a penalty, which Andrey Arshavin sticks away. Long afternoon for the visitors now.

1533: GOAL Arsenal 2-0 Blackpool (Arshavin)


1532: SENDING OFF (Ian Evatt, Blackpool)


Spurs goal: Goal of the weekend - that is absolutely magnificent. Aaron Lennon clips a cross from the right to the far post and from about 15 yards out Gareth Bale hits an absolutely majestic volley into the top corner.

1530: GOAL Stoke 1-2 Tottenham (Bale)

1529: Lower league chat courtesy of Football League Macca: "Goals aplenty at Ashton Gate and it's 2-2 all of a sudden as Marvin Elliott and Albert Adomah score twice in a matter of minutes. In L1, Exeter lead Bristol R, Brentford are winning at Swindon, Bournemouth are two-up at Tranmere, Huddersfield are beating Peterboro and in the battle of the top two Chalrton have just gone in front against Oldham."

Stoke goal: Level pegging at the Britannia. Matty Etherington swings over a corner from the Stoke right and after Heurelho Gomes gets nowhere near it, the ball hits Younes Kaboul and pops up nicely for the quick-to-react Ricardo Fuller to stick out his right leg and flick the ball into the Tottenham net.

1525: GOAL Stoke 1-1 Tottenham (Fuller)

1524: West Ham well on top right now and the lively Pablo Barrera shoots over from 20 yards. At Everton, Johnny Heitinga's 20-yard effort forces Marcus Hahnemann to tip over.

1524: Theo Walcott is on fire this afternoon. He speeds down the right at electric pace and from his ball into the Blackpool box, Andrey Arshavin's sliding half-volley is brilliantly parried away by Matt Gilks. Moments later, Walcott's pass sets up Marouane Chamakh, but he drags wide from 16 yards.

1522: Football League Macca: "The first two goals in the Championship have gone to Barnsley and Andy Gray. Bristol C 0-2 Barnsley. Goals are flowing now as Reading's Alex Pearce puts them 1-0 up against Nott'm Forest. QPR's fine start continues as they lead Scunny 1-0. Pointless Preston lead 1-0 at home to Pompey. In League Two, Torquay look keen to keep up their 100% record. They're 1-0 up against Bradford, who are down to 10 men after Robbie Threlfall's dismissal."

Spurs goal: Not sure Gareth Bale knew too much about the finish, but he probably won't care much because Tottenham are in front. Aaron Lennon tees him up and after Bale's shot is saved by Thomas Sorensen, Peter Crouch heads goalwards and Ryan Shawcross's attempted boot off the line hits Bale in the chest and flies into the net.

1520: GOAL Stoke 0-1 Tottenham (Bale)

1518: West Ham have improved and Pablo Barrera has had two decent efforts, the second flying just wide of the far post from 20 yards. Kieron Dyer then gets to the byeline and pulls it back, but a defender gets in before Carlton Cole can convert.

BBC Sport's Mark Bright on Final Score: "Blackpool had been giving as good as they'd got until then, but it was a great goal from Arsenal."

1516: Snap-shot from Stoke new boy Jon Walters against Spurs, but his 22-yard effort flies into the arms of Heurelho Gomes.

1514: What a chance for Blackpool. Stephen Crainey flings over a sublime cross from the left and at the far post Gary Taylor-Fletcher somehow contrives to head it wide of Manuel Almunia's left-hand post. Should be 1-1.

Arsenal goal: That's lovely. The Gunners work it beautifully from left to right with Tomas Rosicky finding Andrey Arshavin and the Russian teeing up Theo Walcott on the right-hand side of the box to slot into the far corner of the Blackpool net.

1512: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Blackpool (Walcott)

1512: Football League Macca: "Barnsley have not won away from home for six months but they've gone in front at Bristol City, whose troubles continue. Andy Gray got the goal from the spot. Those two teams shared 13 goals in the two meetings last season. Fact fans might want to know the fastest scorer in the Football League went to Aaron Webster of Burton Albion (v Morecambe) after 40 seconds."

1510: Neat move from Blackpool at Arsenal ends with David Vaughan curling goalwards from 20 yards, but there isn't enough power to test Manuel Almunia. Good start from Ian Holloway's team, would you believe?

1509: Fabio Capello is at Everton today, fyi.

1507: Openings aplenty in the top flight, but no goals still. West Brom new boy Peter Odemwingie is sent clean through, but he goes all Elmander on us and screws wide when he should have at least tested Simon Mignolet.

1505: Decent opening at Everton for the hosts now - after Mikel Arteta's free-kick is half-cleared by Wolves, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov spanks a left-foot volley way over the bar from 14 yards. Presentable, that.

BBC Sport's Peter Shuttleworth in Cardiff: "A sell-out Cardiff City Stadium crowd gives new signing Craig Bellamy a standing ovation and a deafening applause. The on-loan Manchester City striker lead out his home-town club against Doncaster Rovers to complete one of the most sensational signings of the summer."

1502: Great chance for Bolton at West Ham as the hosts concede possession sloppily and after Martin Petrov feeds Johan Elmander, the big Swede can only drag wide from inside the box. Got to hit the target from there, son.

1502: And West Ham v Bolton and Birmingham v Blackburn get started. We're rocking and rolling.

1501: Now Arsenal v Blackpool and Stoke v Spurs have kicked off.

1500: Everton v Wolves and West Brom v Sunderland are the first two games to get under way in the Premier League.

1459: A warm embrace for Ian Holloway from Arsene Wenger at the Emirates, and we're seconds away from kick-off around the country.

From OptaJoe on Twitter: "Michael Oliver (25) will become the youngest-ever Premier League referee when he takes charge of Birmingham v Blackburn today. Whistle."

1455: Now I know you love our friends at Infostrada Sports almost as much as I do, but they've rarely stepped up to the plate in as spectacular fashion as this before. Here, courtesy of the Euro Club Index, are the percentage chances of each team winning today, along with, in brackets, their ECI ranking:

Arsenal (seven) 85% v Blackpool (259) 4%
Birmingham (111) 40% v Blackburn (59) 32%
Everton (24) 72% v Wolves (182) 9%
Stoke (112) 28% v Spurs (15) 44%
West Brom (168) 47% v Sunderland (153) 25%
West Ham (134) 47% v Bolton (120) 25%
Wigan (191) 10% v Chelsea (three) 71%

1453: Trust me, you'll like the next one...

Blackpool fan here sat at the Emirates, via text: "The pies are no where near as good as Plymouth's. I've not been this excited since we played Rotherham and I saw Paul Chuckle eating a cheese burger."

West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo: "When you lose, don't get too down, when you win, don't get too excited."

Mark Ashenden reports: "West Brom put new boy Peter Odemwingie straight in after getting international clearance. (Facts: He's a striker from Lokomotiv Moscow, born in Uzbekistan and has dual Russian and Nigerian citizenship). Roman Bednar drops to the bench. Sunderland hand a first start to Cristian Riveros and Paulo Da Silva comes in for the injured John Mensah."

Phil Dawkes reports: "Everton
are without captain Phil Neville, who has a foot injury so Tony Hibbert starts. Manager David Moyes has responded to his side's lack of ruthlessness in front of goal at Blackburn last week by bringing in striker Jermaine Beckford for his first league start in place of Louis Saha. Also recalled are Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Johnny Heitinga for Leon Osman and Marouane Fellaini. Wolves welcome back striker Kevin Doyle, who starts in place of summer signing Steven Fletcher, who has a foot injury. Their only other change from the opening day win over Stoke is in defence with George Elokobi filling in for another new recruit, Jelle Van Damme, who has an ankle problem.

West Brom:
Carson, Jara, Tamas, Olsson, Cech, Morrison, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Brunt, Odemwingie, Thomas.
Subs: Myhill, Pablo, Barnes, Bednar, Steven Reid, Shorey, Cox.
Sunderland: Mignolet, Onuoha, Da Silva, Bramble, Richardson, Malbranque, Henderson, Riveros, Elmohamady, Bent, Campbell.
Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Angeleri, Welbeck, Colback, Waghorn.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

From dmrichkt on 606: "Spurs are surely going to struggle with that line-up? Should be the game of the day. Hats off to them if they win it."

Kevin Darling reports: "West Ham
manager Avram Grant wields the proverbial axe following the Hammers' miserable defeat to Aston Villa last week, making four changes to his side. New boys Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne get their first starts, while there are also rare sightings in the first XI of fit-again duo Kieron Dyer and Danny Gabbidon. Rotund striker Benni McCarthy makes the bench. By contrast, Bolton boss Owen Coyle names exactly the same team that drew with Fulham last week, right down to the seven substitutes.

Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Heitinga, Arteta, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Beckford.
Subs: Mucha, Saha, Gueye, Osman, Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell.
Wolverhampton: Hahnemann, Foley, Berra, Craddock, Elokobi, Jarvis, Henry, David Jones, Ward, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle.
Subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Halford, Keogh, Milijas, Zubar, Guedioura.
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

1434: If you wouldn't mind refreshing your page, you'll see Final Score appear at the very top of this here page. It's like magic, and if I told you how it worked, I'd have to kill you (not really).

Sam Lyon reports: "A late failed fitness test for Kenwyne Jones means it's an immediate debut for new Stoke frontman Jon Walters, while Danny Collins replaces Danny Higginbotham in defence. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp plays his only fit striker Peter Crouch up front on his own ahead of a midfield containing the recalled Jermaine Jenas. Ledley King is rested with Wednesday's crunch Champions League qualifier against Young Boys in mind - but there is a change at the back, with Younes Kaboul replacing Sebastien Bassong."

West Ham:
Green, Faubert, Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga, Dyer, Parker, Noble, Barrera, Piquionne, Cole.
Subs: Stech, Reid, Tomkins, Boa Morte, Kovac, McCarthy, Sears.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Lee, Muamba, Holden, Petrov, Kevin Davies, Elmander.
Subs: Bogdan, Taylor, Mark Davies, Klasnic, Ricketts, Blake, Andrew O'Brien.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1428: Yet more from Football League Macca: "It's game over at Leeds. A second goal from super-sub Davide Somma in the dying stages made it Leeds 3-1 Millwall. The Yorkshire side have their first victory back in the Championship, Millwall's winning start to the season ends. Half an hour or so until the other games get cracking."

Les Roopanarine reports:
"Alex McLeish makes three changes to the Birmingham line-up. Nikola Zigic, the giant Serbia forward signed from Valencia this summer, is rewarded for last weekend's impressive second-half cameo against Sunderland with a first Premier League start. Craig Gardner and James McFadden are preferred in midfield to Lee Bowyer and Keith Fahey, both of whom are on the bench. Blackburn make just one change, with Steven N'Zonzi deputising in midfield for the injured David Dunn."

David Ornstein reports: "No place in Arsenal's starting line-up for Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie as Arsene Wenger makes three changes from the side that drew at Liverpool, with Alex Song, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott replacing Laurent Koscielny, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboue. Just the one alteration for Blackpool following their opening-day thrashing of Wigan, new-signing Ludovic Sylvestre coming in for Brett Ormerod."

Almunia, Sagna, Song, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby, Wilshere, Walcott, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh.
Subs: Fabianski, Fabregas, van Persie, Vela, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs.
Blackpool: Gilks, Baptiste, Evatt, Cathcart, Crainey, Sylvestre, Vaughan, Adam, Grandin, Harewood, Taylor-Fletcher.
Subs: Halstead, Eardley, Ormerod, Basham, Edwards, Demontagnac, Keinan.
Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)

1417: Football League Macca update: "It's finished at Coventry and the hosts have moved to the top of the Champions tree thanks to Ben Turner's late winner. Coventry 2-1 Derby. Leeds have just poked their noses in front at home to Millwall, Davide Somma the scorer. Five minutes or so to go. Leeds 2-1 Millwall.

Sorensen, Huth, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Collins, Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Fuller.
Subs: Begovic, Higginbotham, Sidibe, Pugh, Sanli, Tonge, Wilkinson.
Tottenham: Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Jenas, Huddlestone, Palacios, Bale, Crouch.
Subs: Alnwick, Naughton, Bassong, Kranjcar, Rose, Walker, Livermore.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Gardner, McFadden, Jerome, Zigic.
Subs: Taylor, Murphy, Bowyer, O'Connor, Derbyshire, Michel, Fahey.
Blackburn: Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Givet, El-Hadji Diouf, Jones, Olsson, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Kalinic.
Subs: Bunn, Jacobsen, Emerton, Hoilett, Judge, Morris, Mame Diouf.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

From man-on-football on 606: "Stevo, I'm not sure whether this will get discussed, but worth a try! I chucked a fiver on Blackpool this afternoon after finding them at 25/1. I'm thinking newly-promoted Stoke, Hull etc. Not unheard of for the Gunners to struggle against unknown quantities? Seasiders need to get physical..."

1408: If I may be so bold, I'd like to point you in the direction of features two of my colleagues wrote this week. The first, by Marc Vesty, asks 'Can Roberto Mancini keep his sizeable Man City squad happy?' No, according to ex-Villa midfielder Ian Taylor who said: "Mancini is going to rotate the squad and he will end up with a lot of unhappy players." The second, courtesy of David Ornstein, focuses on the wonderful early season form of the ageless Paul Scholes. "He's the best role model any kid could have," said his former Man Utd team-mate Henning Berg.

From bosunescobar on Twitter: "I hope AW goes for the attacking trident of Arshavin-Chamakh-RVP... would like to see them score an early goal too."

1400: Stevo's Predos:
Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool
Birmingham 1-2 Blackburn
Everton 2-0 Wolves
Stoke 1-1 Spurs
West Brom 1-1 Sunderland
West Ham 0-2 Bolton
Wigan 0-3 Chelsea
Lawro's predictions

1358: Good Lord, it's only a pre-1400 BST Football League Macca: "Ten minutes to go at Cov and the hosts have edged ahead through a headed goal from Ben Turner. Derby were agonisingly close to levelling again though moments later, only for Cov keeper Keiren Westwood to come to their rescue. Looks like the closing minutes could be lively - Cov 2-1 Derby. In t'other game it remains tight and Leeds 1-1 Millwall.

Les Roopanarine reports:
Birmingham, who play their first home game of the new season, established an aura of invincibility at St Andrew's last season, losing just twice and establishing a club record 12-game unbeaten league run. That form provided the platform for Birmingham's highest league finish since 1959, and Alex McLeish will want more of the same. If the auspices are good for Birmingham after last Saturday's dogged late comeback against Sunderland, Sam Allardyce will expect better from his Blackburn side after they were indebted to a goalkeeping blunder from Tim Howard to edge past Everton in their season opener at Ewood Park.

From Heather, Manchester, via text: "Stevo, I am very excited about the second lot of matches! I would really like Blackpool to pull off a shock but its not going to happen is it?"
In a matter of seconds, you'll find out...

1352: We're getting closer to transfer deadline day, which makes our daily column of gossip increasingly interesting. Maarten Stekelenburg to Arsenal? Charles N'Zogbia to Birmingham? Cheick Tiote to Newcastle? Didier Drogba to Real Madrid? Take your pick.

Mark Ashenden reports: "A 6-0 battering in your first game back in the top flight was a shocker for West Brom last weekend and they'll be desperate to hit back. Visitors Sunderland are no Chelsea though and the Baggies will fancy their chances against a team who won just twice on their travels last season and are without skipper Lee Cattermole who saw red a week ago. This isn't an early six-pointer is it? The Hawthorns arena awaits."

Kevin Darling reports:
New West Ham manager Avram Grant skipped the traditional 'honeymoon period' and instead treated his new side to a dirty weekend in Birmingham as the Hammers were tonked by Aston Villa in the Israeli's first game last Saturday. Grant will be desperate to get his relationship with the Hammers fans back on track against Bolton today, especially with upcoming dates with Manchester United and Chelsea. Worryingly for him, the Trotters have won the last five matches between these sides.

1342: You might have heard that Aston Villa new boy Stephen Ireland has been having his say on all things Manchester City, which makes for pretty interesting reading. Favourite quote? "I think Aston Villa got a really good deal," he says of the £18m plus Ireland they took in exchange for James Milner. I think he might be right, too.

From AndyHizzle on Twitter: "I'm at a wedding today so will only have one eye on the scores. Any chance of some well wishes for Katherine & Grant?"
Yeah, why not. Is it worth a best man speech mention, though?

Sam Lyon reports: "William Gallas's imminent arrival might anger some Spurs fans, but after watching their defence cut apart by Swiss minnows Young Boys on Tuesday few could argue the Londoners don't need strengthening at the back. That same defensive unit will seek some measure of redemption today against a Stoke outfit boasting fit-again Kenwyne Jones and new-boy Jon Walters but, while keen friends off the pitch, Harry Redknapp can expect few favours from Tony Pulis despite the prospect of Wednesday's crunch Champions League qualifier return leg looming large. Game on."

1333: Football League Macca II: "Derby have grabbed a leveller at Coventry, six minutes or so after HT as a cross from the right is side-footed home by the unmarked Dean Moxey. Cov 1-1 Derby. At Leeds they're in having their half-time cuppa/rehydrating energy drink. It's Leeds 1-1 Millwall.

From SweatyRich, Cardiff, via text: "Really looking forward to Bellamy's first game for Cardiff this afternoon. Came so close last season - if we don't get promoted this season, we ain't EVER going up!"

Phil Dawkes reports:
"Everton came into the season with high hopes after losing just two of their last 24 matches last campaign. However, these were tempered somewhat by the opening day 1-0 defeat at Blackburn. However, unlike much of last season, manager David Moyes has a near fully-fit squad to choose from. In contrast, Wolves began their second season back in the top flight with an impressive 2-1 win over Stoke. But the Toffees should offer a thorough test of the assertion of Wanderers' boss Mick McCarthy that his side now have greater Premier League "experience and understanding", on a ground that Wolves have failed to win on in 31 years."

David Ornstein reports: "This time four years ago Blackpool were plying their trade in the third tier of English football - so when they walk out against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium today, the enormity of their rise is sure to hit home. Buoyed by their opening-day thrashing of Wigan, could the newly-promoted Seasiders claim a first win at Arsenal since 1958? The title-chasing the Gunners own a fearsome home record and are expected to prevail, but stranger things have happened."

1323: Transfer news just in: Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani is joining Juventus on a season-long loan subject to the 26-year-old passing a medical in Turin on Monday.

1322: Things are gonna be a little different around here this season, as you may have seen last week. We're getting our match reporters into the thick of the live text so they can bring you all the chat from their fixture. Here's the motley crew you'll be hearing from today:
Arsenal v Blackpool: David Ornstein
Birmingham v Blackburn: Les Roopanarine
Everton v Wolves: Phil Dawkes
Stoke v Tottenham: Sam Lyon
West Brom v Sunderland: Mark Ashenden
West Ham v Bolton: Kevin Darling
Wigan v Chelsea: Saj Chowdhury

From chris__charles on Twitter: "'The bloke's a genius. He's even got his name in their name, Arsene/Arsenal. Maybe I should change my name to Black' - B'pool boss Ian Holloway."

From SimplyZola on 606: "What are the odds for Drogba to score three [Premier League] hat-tricks in a row?"

1313: Look, I'm rambling already. Help me out will you? The seasons come and the seasons go, but the avenues of chat remain the same, just waiting to be lined with your top-class football banter:
Twitter @Stevo_football;
Texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
The chamber of chat on our 606 fans' forum

1309: What's this very early treat, then? It's only Football League Macca, who'll be bringing us all the chat on the Championship and League One and Two today: "No early top flight game, but there's a couple of FL matches going on to fill your early Saturday afternoon hunger for live footy. And there's goals to shout about as well. At Elland Road Leeds have quite literally just equalised through Lloyd Sam. It's 1-1 now after Richard Naylor's headed own goal had put Millwall in front. Coventry lead at home to Derby - thanks largely to Lukas Jutkiewicz's penalty."

1306: I'd like to wish every single one of you a very, very warm welcome to BBC Sport's coverage of English football on Saturday 21 August, 2010. By 'I', I mean me, Jonathan Stevenson, of course, your *insert your own word here* host for this afternoon's proceedings. No, no, the pleasure's all mine.

1300: Chelsea hardly breaking sweat yet scoring goal after goal, Manchester United's golden oldies turning back the clock, the odd expensive signing flattering to deceive and a team shrugging off the *catastrophe* of losing their manager to cruise to victory. I mean let's be honest, it's like we've never been away isn't it?

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 21 Aug 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 2 12 6
2 Arsenal 2 6 4
3 Bolton 2 2 4
4 Birmingham 2 1 4
5 Wolves 2 1 4
6 Tottenham 2 1 4
7 Aston Villa 1 3 3
8 Man Utd 1 3 3
9 Blackburn 2 0 3
10 Blackpool 2 -2 3
11 West Brom 2 -5 3
12 Liverpool 1 0 1
13 Fulham 1 0 1
14 Man City 1 0 1
15 Sunderland 2 -1 1
16 Everton 2 -1 1
17 Stoke 2 -2 0
18 Newcastle 1 -3 0
19 West Ham 2 -5 0
20 Wigan 2 -10 0

see also
Saturday's football photos
21 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Lawro's predictions
22 Aug 10 |  Football
New Premier League squad rules explained
27 Jul 10 |  Premier League
Football on the BBC
05 Aug 10 |  Football

related bbc links:

related internet links:
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