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Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Sunday, 6 February 2011

Sunday football as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

1830: In summary, a quite extraordinary weekend of football, then. And plenty of reason for you all to check out Match of the Day 2 on BBC Two and online from 2200 tonight, if you don't mind my saying. If, however, football with a rather different shaped ball is your passion, you might want to check out our Super Bowl XLV coverage starting at the same time on BBC One and, again, on this very website. I've even got a video taster to get you in the mood. I know, I'm too good to you lot. I'm back on Wednesday for a spot of international football involving Denmark v England and Northern Ireland v Scotland, so see you then. Lovely stuff. Until then, bye!

1825: Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti: "It's difficult to talk about the situation of the referee because the game has finished. It was a penalty [Glen Johnson's challenge on Branislav Ivanovic late on], but we didn't play well. We were not good enough to win this game. They defended very well [using three centre-backs] and we were not able to find the right space to attack. I took Torres off because I wanted to change to system. It was difficult because we played from the back too slow. [But] it wasn't the system: this was the same as when we beat Sunderland. The right result was a draw."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"The perfect script for Liverpool fans. Fernando Torres fails to last the match and Raul Meireles seals a fourth straight win. Kenny Dalglish has rejuvenated Liverpool - how long before he is appointed permanently?"

Alistair Magowan reports:
"He didn't do much for most of a match, but Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic showed West Ham the value of being able to stick it in the net, no matter the performance."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium:
"Finally got my breath back after the pulsating south Wales derby that was a great advert for Welsh football, settled by a great goal."

1817: Well I suppose today was always going to have an element of "after the Lord Mayor's Show" about it following yesterday's goal-fest, but do Liverpool, Birmingham and Cardiff care? Not a jot. And here's why...

richeyback on Twitter: "The biggest beneficiaries of that result have to be Arsenal; suddenly yesterday's disaster is no way near as catastrophic."

1815: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "Having Jamie Carragher back was like a new signing. He came in and was magnificent at the back. We are delighted for the players. They deserved the win. We are quite a roll at the moment and are enjoying it. I didn't see our goalkeeper having too much to do and our defence was magnificent in front of him. I don't think any of their forwards will be too happy about the game they had."

1810: Some top chat from Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish coming up...

ChristensenMike on Twitter: "Looks like the Chelsea players stayed up too late last night watching Match of the Day. Long live King Kenny."

dukkhaboy on Twitter: "What a great weekend for Man City and Tottenham..."

1805: Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher: "It's always difficult coming here and this is a great result. There was a lot of speculation before the game and that might have made it even more special. Players come and go. Fernando [Torres] is one of the best strikers in world and I'm sure he will prove that at Chelsea but he is not with us now. We have to focus on ourselves and our own jobs." And then when asked if Kenny Dalglish should get the job full-time: "That's not our decision, it is down to the owners of the club. But he is a hero to me and Steven Gerrard."

Kirielson on Twitter: "Looks like King Kenny has secured his spot as manager then."

1802: While Chelsea have now lost as many matches in the league this season as Sunderland, Everton... and Birmingham. Hhmm.

1800: In addition to 1757, by the way, Liverpool are now just six points off a Champions League spot. When Kenny Dalglish took over a month ago, the Merseysiders were four points above relegation zone. Turnaround.

DiarmuidJF on Twitter: "What a weekend of first-class football."

1757: A big three points for Liverpool, who secure a fourth clean sheet in a row on their way to a win that takes them up to sixth in the league. Chelsea, meanwhile, remain 10 points behind league leaders Man Utd with just 13 matches left in the season. Is that their title challenge over?

GoodFootball on Twitter: "Wretched we've been called. Wretched we've played at times. But THAT is a double over Chelsea!"

Tom via text: "I think Steve Clarke needs to be given a lot of credit. Not only for Liverpool's performance today, but also for their recent good defensive displays. He masterminded Chelsea's imperious defence in the Mourinho period."

Full time
1752: FULL-TIME Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool

1751: Last minute of added time. The win is surely Liverpool's.

1749: Penalty appeals from the home crowd as Branislav Ivanovic goes down under Glen Johnson's shoulder-charge in the box, but referee Andre Marriner waves them away. Replays suggest Johnson might - might - have got away with one, there.

1748: Four minutes of injury time to be played.

1746: My word, Chelsea are so flat at the moment. So flat.

1744: Five minutes to go at Stamford Bridge and no sign of a late Chelsea rally even now. More than time enough for a twist in the tale, though...

1742: To those pointing to Liverpool's 2008 Premier League win at Stamford Bridge re: 1729, I'm told that winner is credited to a Jose Bosingwa own goal.

1741: Liverpool looking to shut up shop here, Christian Poulsen on to replace Raul Meireles in the 84th minute.

1738: And in pushing forward Chelsea are risking leaving themselves short at the back - Dirk Kuyt feeding Fabio Aurelio in the hosts' box and the Brazilian turning inside John Terry before forcing a smart stop from Petr Cech with a rising effort 16 yards out.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Chelsea chasing this now and they need an inspiration they have not shown today. Liverpool have looked the more organised side - the return of Jamie Carragher has made a huge difference."

1736: Plenty of Chelsea urgency now with around 12 minutes left, but Liverpool still looking as solid as ever at the back. The hosts are going to need something special or an error from the visitors you feel...

1734: ...Liverpool defend their lines well, though, and are able to clear.

1734: Harsh handball given against Raul Meireles and Chelsea have a free-kick 30 yards out...

1732: Change for Liverpool now, Fabio Aurelio coming on to replace Maxi Rodriguez, who will be hoping for the sake of his woeful first-half miss that the scoreline stays as it is.

1730: The hosts do, indeed, respond, and Pepe Reina has to stay big at his near post to keep out Florent Malouda's shot from the angle after the winger had been found in the box by Nicolas Anelka. David Luiz comes on for his Chelsea debut in place of Jose Bosingwa.

1729: Immediate change from Chelsea, Florent Malouda on for Jon Mikel Obi. That goal, by the way, was Raul Meireles's fourth in five games - and the first scored by a Liverpool player at Stamford Bridge in the league since January 2004. Now can Chelsea respond?

Liverpool goal: Breakthrough - and you have to say it's deserved. Steven Gerrard's cross looks like an easy collection for Petr Cech but the Chelsea keeper misses it under pressure from Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles, following up at the back post, fires in from 10 yards out. Big.

1726: GOALFLASH Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (Meireles)

1725: Woah, that was close. Michael Essien cuts on to his left foot 25 yards out and pings an effort at goal - the ball just zipping over Pepe Reina's crossbar.

1723: Biggest cheer of the day... and it's from the Liverpool fans as Fernando Torres, who has been poor today, is substituted less than 66 minutes into his Chelsea debut. Salomon Kalou is the Spaniard's replacement.

1722: Better from Chelsea as Nicolas Anelka is finally found in some space between Liverpool's defence and midfielder, but the Frenchman's low effort from range skips wide.

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley on BBC Radio 5 live: "Torres' body language doesn't look any different now to how it looked at Liverpool. He's been starved of service, he's not made any decent runs, and there's been no direct link-up play between him and Drogba."

Chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Still a bit messy at Stamford Bridge but Liverpool looking very comfortable and Fernando Torres being kept at arm's length. Kenny Dalglish's plan to contain Torres, and indeed Chelsea, is working very well."

1720: Christian Poulsen looks like he is going to be introduced by Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish any moment now. Does that suggest the visitors would settle for a draw?

1718: Hour gone at Stamford Bridge, still goalless. Liverpool more comfortable than a pair of Christmas slippers right now.

1715: Liverpool, on a run of three clean sheets before today, are looking very strong defensively again and even in the face of a comparatively decent spell of possession from Chelsea, they restrict their opponents to little more than pot-shots from outside the area. With three at the back, Liverpool are coping easily with the hosts' lack of width. Time for Florent Malouda?

1711: Chelsea break forward themselves now and Ashley Cole claims a penalty when he goes down under Jamie Carragher's challenge in the box - but Andre Marriner is unmoved. Didier Drogba, following up from that challenge, sees his effort deflected wide.

1710: Dirk Kuyt recovers the ball well from a deep cross and lays it back to Glen Johnson to have a pop from range, the full-back's effort flying wide, though.

1708: It's all a bit stop-start at Stamford Bridge, with both sides guilty of niggly fouls.

1705: Liverpool on the ball immediately at the start of the half, with Dirk Kuyt and Martin Kelly combining down the right. No end product as yet, but Chelsea pushed back early in the half.

1703: The hosts kick off the second half, Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool.

1701: The Chelsea boys are out nice and early for the start of the second half... as is the Liverpool team. Restart moments away.

Paul, Manchester via text: "Been a brilliant half from Liverpool, negating Chelsea's diamond perfectly and offering a threat on the break. All the talk before the match was centred around Torres, but this match is a fight between Dalglish and Ancelotti - and the former is winning."

raffisalama on Twitter: "Chelsea's passing in the final third has been hopeless" **correction** Chelsea have been hopeless."

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley on BBC Radio 5 live: "You have to say that this Chelsea system - Torres partnering Drogba with Anelka in behind them - is just not working at the moment. They're playing into Liverpool's hands."

Half time
1650: HALF-TIME Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
Chief football writer Phil McNulty at Stamford Bridge:
"Pretty dull so far - and Liverpool will be much happier with dull than a lop-sided looking Chelsea. How costly will that miss by Maxi Rodriguez be, though? Ronny Rosethal revisited."

1648: The half-time whistle blows at Stamford Bridge.

1647: A cracking ball in from the right by Martin Kelly almost causes a mix-up in the Chelsea area between Branislav Ivanovic and Petr Cech, but the latter claims at the second attempt under pressure from his own player. It sparks a brief angry confrontation between the two, but not quite enough to justify the use of the handbags graphic, I don't think. Shame.

1644: It is the visitors finishing the half the stronger - and they're starting to get some joy down the Chelsea right. Jose Bosingwa is getting exposed a little now.

1641: Liverpool have worked the ball well going forward on occasion in this half, and that's one of those times - a long crossfield ball nodded back to the edge of the area by Dirk Kuyt where Steven Gerrard is unmarked, but the midfielder's first touch goes awry and John Terry can clear.

1639: Jamie Carragher, tremendous so far on his return to the Liverpool side, once again gets the better of Didier Drogba as the Ivorian attempts to bustle his way into the Liverpool box.

efc_macca on Twitter: "Didn't know Liverpool had re-signed Ronnie Rosenthal??"

1636: Starting to liven up, this, now.

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley on BBC Radio 5 live: "Jose Bosingwa's positioning to allow Maxi that sitter was awful."

Someone has struck the woodwork
1634: What. A. Miss. Unbelievable. Steven Gerrard drills across the Chelsea goal from the left-hand side of the box and Maxi Rodriguez - four yards out and with the goal gaping - need only keep it down and it's 1-0. He doesn't though, and instead contrives to rattle the crossbar. Awful.

1633: And now Raul Meireles bursts up the other end for Liverpool, but the Portuguese's long-ranger is low, tame and easily saved.

1632: We almost had the opener there, though, and only a fabulous Jamie Carragher block denies Fernando Torres's shot after the Spaniard had been found in the box by Didier Drogba. Best move of the match, though.

1631: Liverpool corner swung in by Steven Gerrard, but the Chelsea defence head clear. Half hour gone, and a distinct lack of fireworks at Stamford Bridge. Not that we ever expected a goal-fest to be fair.

1628: Chance. Branislav Ivanovic muscles his way past his marker to get on the end of Frank Lampard's corner, but his glance header drifts wide of the Liverpool upright.

Chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Messy start at Stamford Bridge. Too many misplaced passes. Fernando Torres on the margins with one shot off-target and Chelsea adapting to using Nicolas Anelka in a deeper role."

1624: looks like Martin Skrtel is going to carry on, albeit gingerly for now.

1623: A Frank Lampard ball over the top gets Ashley Cole in behind the Liverpool defence for the first time, but the left-back's cross is well cut out by Martin Skrtel on the stretch in the centre of the Liverpool defence. It may have come at a price, though, as they defender screams in agony and clutches his hamstring immediately after making the clearance...

1622: Twenty minutes gone at Stamford Bridge and, predictably, clear-cut chances have been very much at a premium. Liverpool doing their job very nicely at present.

1620: First real moment of encouragement for Liverpool going forward as Jamie Carragher finds Dirk Kuyt on a bending run to get free on the right, but his cross is cut out for a corner. The set-piece comes to nothing.

1617: Didier Drogba is the forward attacking from deep now and he gets a chance to run at the Liverpool defence from 30-odd yards out, only for his shot to deflect off the onrushing Frank Lampard and wide.

1615: A few wayward passes creeping into this match in the last few minutes - particularly from Liverpool - but the hosts, and Kenny Dalglish, will be more than happy to have kept the hosts at arm's length so far.

1611: Fernando Torres gets on the ball, miscontrols it, loses it - and the away end cheer raucously. No secret as to who the panto villain of the piece is today.

1610: Jamie Carragher attempts a long ball over the top in an effort to get Liverpool going forward - but it's far too strong, and with Dirk Kuyt as his only outlet in attack, it was always going to be an ambitious pass anyway.

Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley on BBC Radio 5 live: "If I was Kenny Dalglish, I would go and sit Gerrard and Meireles right on Mikel now. Put some real pressure on him, and try to tempt him into another rash challenge."

1608: Plenty of early possession for Chelsea in the early exchanges, though Liverpool are buzzing about the home players in an effort to disrupt their rhythm. Nip and tuck.

1605: Looks like Nicolas Anelka has started proceedings in a deep-lying position for the hosts, with Didier Drogba the Chelsea focal point up front. I'm sure the Blues' front trio will interchange regularly throughout the match, though.

1603: What a start that could have been for Fernando Torres, the Chelsea new boy latching on to Maxi Rodriguez's wayward pass 30 yards from goal, taking a touch... and then lashing way off target from 25 yards. The away end breathes a collective sigh of relief.

Yellow card
1602: Just 30 seconds in and we have our first booking - Jon Mikel Obi cautioned for a clumsy ol' challenge on Steven Gerrard.

1601: We are up and running at Stamford Bridge.

1559: Warm enough reception from the Liverpool players for Fernando Torres in the customary hand-shake... and no great shakes from the Liverpool mascot as far as I can tell. Unless he's snuck itching powder into Torres's shorts without anyone looking. I'll keep you posted on any backside scratching.

Greg via text: "Chelsea's big chance today, after Arsenal's draw and Man United's defeat. This could reignite their title challenge, especially now they have arguably the scariest front line in the world."

Doparope on Twitter: "Is it too much to ask for Liverpool to win 18-0? #spursfor4thspot"

1556: Right then, the players are in the tunnel - Fernando Torres is busy shaking hands with a few of the Liverpool players rather cordially - and we're minutes away from the start.

1554: Urgh, coding error at 1549 - please refresh folks. Thanks.

1552: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "He [Torres] only trained two or three times this week, he doesn't have a problem to play against Liverpool, he has the knowledge and experience to manage this kind of game." Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish: "Of course it's a difficult game. Chelsea are a good side - but I don't think we are too bad either. They will be looking at us and see that we are on the up. They will be as concerned about us as we are about them."

1549: As you all know, I don't make predictions... but Mark Lawrenson does. What does the former Liverpool star make of today? He's going for... a 2-0 Chelsea victory. Hhmm.

Mike, Hull, via text: "If Chelsea lose today that must mean their title bid is over?"

Chief football writer Phil McNulty on Twitter: "Jeers from Liverpool fans when Torres' name read out - but drowned out by the cheers of Chelsea's fans."

1545: Fancy a stat attack, then? Well tough, you're getting one anyway. Liverpool go to Stamford Bridge having only scored on one of their last six visits - their 1-0 win in October 2008, which came courtesy of a Jose Bosingwa own goal - making it nine hours and 57 minutes since a Red scored in the league at Chelsea. Conversely, Chelsea are on their best run of form since the start of the season with three wins from three and have won their four league matches at home against 'big four' opposition without conceding a goal. Still, in Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool do boast a manager who - as a player - scored Liverpool's title-winning goal at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the 1985-86 season. I make that game on.

Ian_Cecil on Twitter: "A potentially season-changing fixture for Liverpool."

1540: CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL (1600)
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"Chelsea's £50m capture of the one-time idol of The Kop Fernando Torres makes Stamford Bridge the place to be at the conclusion of a remarkable Premier League weekend. Torres is certain to receive a hostile reception from Liverpool's fans today, but they have a new hero of their own in Uruguayan Luis Suarez and it is certain comparisons will be made between those two huge January investments."

MichaelKleopa7 on Twitter: "Why on earth would you stick Luis Suarez and David Ngog on the bench, and start with Lucas?!?! I don't see the game plan here..."

Poncho via text: "I'm now more excited by what the mascot will do than the game - let us know please Sam!"

1535: So Fernando Torres starts for Chelsea. Drama. Wondering how the Spaniard is going to fit in at Stamford Bridge? Or how Liverpool might cope without the £50m asset in the coming months? Former England striker Alan Shearer let us know his thoughts.

1531: CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL (1600)
Chief football writer Phil McNulty reports:
"No protecting Chelsea's new boy Fernando Torres from Liverpool's fans or his former team-mates as he is included in the starting XI alongside Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. Back to greet him will be Jamie Carragher, in Liverpool's team for the first time since sustaining a shoulder injury at Spurs in November. Luis Suarez is on the bench."

moonmonkey0794 on Twitter: "Never has an attacking line-up [Chelsea's] scared me so much."

Dan, Kentish lad, via text: "My little bro is a mascot for Liverpool today. He cried when he heard Torres had gone - and since then he has come up with a cunning plan to get his own back! Beware Torres!"

1527: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the clock ticks down to the day's main event, Chelsea v Liverpool. I'm so excited I may actually implode.

TheClapperBored on Twitter: "Back to the bottom of the table we go. It's starting to feel a lot like home..."

1525: That defeat sends West Ham to the bottom of the Premier League table on goal difference, by the way, but Birmingham leap up to 16th and are now just four points from mid-table security.

Full time
1524: FULL-TIME West Ham 0-1 Birmingham

1523: Birmingham, just as they did in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against West Ham, are killing the tempo of this game perfectly at Upton Park...

1522: CHELSEA v LIVERPOOL (1600)
Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Anelka, Torres, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, David Luiz, Malouda, Ferreira, Kalou, McEachran, Sala.
Liverpool: Reina, Skrtel, Carragher, Agger, Kelly, Lucas, Meireles, Johnson, Gerrard, Maxi, Kuyt. Subs: Gulacsi, Aurelio, Suarez, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Ngog, Poulsen.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1521: Plenty of muscle and intent from West Ham, but Birmingham are standing firm and it looks like being 'one of those days' for Avram Grant's side. Less than a minute of stoppage time remaining...

1519: Three minutes of injury time for West Ham to snatch an equaliser...

1518: West Ham continue to knock on the door at Upton Park, but Lars Jacobsen's fabulous cross is headed wide of the far post unmarked by Manuel da Costa from the angle. The defender is working as a fourth striker for the hosts at the moment.

1517: Cardiff match-winner Craig Bellamy on BBC: "Overall in the game I didn't deserve it [the goal]. But no-one will remember that performance, just the win. The result is great and an invaluable three points for us and where we want to go."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Wow, what a thriller that was and a special goal was needed to separate the two sides. Both are still eyeing promotion, though, so this might not be the last time these two meet this season..."

1515: Into the last five minutes at Upton Park, but for all their possession in the last 10 minutes West Ham are just struggling to forge any clear openings. Nail-biting times for the Hammers fans.

Fernando Torres will form part of a three-man attack for Chelsea v Liverpool alongside Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba. Full teams to follow.

Full time
1512: FULL-TIME Swansea 0-1 Cardiff

1511: Well into injury time in Wales now, this game looks won for Cardiff.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1508: So close to a Hammers equaliser! West Ham, now with Carlton Cole and Demba Ba on up front, press from a free-kick and the Senegal debutant almost scores on his debut, hitting the post with a bullet shot from the angle after the ball falls to his feet eight yards out. The hosts pressing well now.

1507: Four minutes of stoppage time to be played in Wales, Swansea 0-1 Cardiff.

JAudley89 on Twitter: "What a goal by Bellamy!! Worthy of winning any game at any level!"

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "You knew a goal was coming, just didn't know which end. Now we do and it was certainly one worth waiting for - what a belter. We're set for a frantic final few minutes."

Fernando Torres STARTS for Chelsea against Liverpool, with fellow deadline-day arrival David Luiz on the bench.

Cardiff goal: Yes they can, and it's Cardiff. It's a strike of true class from Craig Bellamy, the Welshman - with barely any backlift - smashing a beauty of a curler in off the far post from 25 yards out to send the away fans ballistic.

1501: GOALFLASH Swansea 0-1 Cardiff (Bellamy)

1457: Ten minutes remaining at the Liberty Stadium and Swansea's Scott Sinclair has just fired into the side-netting from the angle under pressure from Mark Hudson. Can one of these teams go on and grab a winner?

Luis Suarez starts on the Liverpool bench v Chelsea, but Jamie Carragher is back in the starting XI following his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

Birmingham goal: Breakthrough - and how precious a goal might that prove for Birmingham? Sebastian Larsson swings over a fine free-kick from the left and Nikola Zigic nods home at the back post with marker Wayne Bridge nowhere. Simple.

1454: GOALFLASH West Ham 0-1 Birmingham (Zigic)

1453: The match in south Wales starting to swing one way then t'other and Aaron Ramsey lays in Chris Burke, only for the Cardiff midfield substitute to skew his snap-shot wide from inside the area.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Neither side wants to lose this and you can tell nerves are setting in off the pitch as the clock ticks down. Thoroughly entertaining stuff, though, and a bit like watching a tennis match as the ball pings from one end to another."

1449: Scott Sinclair is at the heart of anything that is good for Swansea, and another bright run from the forward is ended only by a fabulous block by Cardiff defender Mark Hudson.

1447: Over in London, West Ham are looking more dangerous and have a penalty appeal turned down when Robbie Keane is pushed as he approaches goal - but the referee Chris Foy waves play away. Good decision. Frustration rising at Upton Park.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Cardiff are getting closer and looking stronger on the ball, but Swansea have shown they can break and have now thrown on Craig Beattie up front in place of Luke Moore who's hardly had a look in."

1443: Now it's the turn of Swansea forward Scott Sinclair to go on a run of his own, but after bustling his way across the area he blazes his attempted finish over the bar. Shame.

Someone has struck the woodwork
1439: Darcy Blake - who has never scored for Cardiff and is only just on as substitute - almost breaks the deadlock in stunning fashion, playing a one-two outside the box, bursting past two defenders and then clipping goalwards from the angle, 16 yards out, but his effort rattles back off the post.

1436: Deary me - it's Paul Quinn again, the Cardiff defender again found inside the box, again unmarked, but again his header is off target. Will the visitors live to rue these missed opportunities?

1435: We've kicked off again in the second half in London, West Ham 0-0 Birmingham.

1434: Matthew Upson won't be out for the second half for West Ham - he's succumbed to injury again - Manuel Da Costa will replace him at the heart of the hosts' defence.

1432: I tell you what, that's a chance for Cardiff - Paul Quinn unmarked from Craig Bellamy's corner but heading off-target eight yards out. He looked off balance, the defender, but still...

1428: The hosts build patiently here, though, only for Mark Gower to drill his ambitious 25-yarder well over the bar.

1426: Cardiff race out of the blocks in the second 45 and Swansea look a little sluggish following the break. Craig Bellamy, relatively quiet to date, is finally getting on the ball for the visitors.

1422: The second half kicks off in Wales, Swansea 0-0 Cardiff.

Half time
1420: HALF-TIME West Ham 0-0 Birmingham
Alistair Magowan's HT snap-shot:
"West Ham the more threatening, with Victor Obinna and Robbie Keane promising. Only some resolute Birmingham defending is keeping this goalless."

1418: Time for a break at Upton Park. Grab yourself a quick tea.

1417: Great work by Robbie a point, the Irishman turning inside the box brilliantly, only to then swipe his shot miles over the bar. West Ham have definitely edged this half, but it's still 0-0.

1415: Muted penalty appeals from West Ham when Lars Jacobsen's cross hits Liam Ridgewell's arm - but it was clearly a case of ball to hand and ref Chris Foy is absolutely right not to award a spot-kick.

BBC Sport's Nigel Adderley at the Liberty Stadium on Twitter: "Craig Bellamy appeared to have a disagreement with a Swansea fan on way off."

Peter Kearns, Bognor Regis via text: "All huff and puff in the Welsh derby, with no end product! A single goal could decide the match in the second half..."

Yellow card
1411: Oof... Mark Noble deservedly goes into the book for a late, reckless challenge on David Bentley. Unnecessary, really.

1409: Matthew Upson is struggling now. Really struggling. Looks like a possible recurrence of the Hammers defender's tendonitis problems.

1408: West Ham still looking the likelier to break the deadlock at Upton Park, but Birmingham are defending resolutely - and Roger Johnson does very well to clear Victor Obinna's excellent cross from the left with Robbie Keane lurking in the box.

Half time
1407: HALF-TIME Swansea City 0-0 Cardiff City
David Dulin's HT snap-shot:
"Cardiff have the upper hand, but this game is too close to call. Aaron Ramsey is class. Alan Tate and Jay Bothroyd are having a good battle."

1406: The half-time whistle goes at the Liberty Stadium.

1405: Yep, all right. I suppose after yesterday we were due a couple of 0-0s. I can't even say the scorelines aren't reflective of the matches either, unfortunately.

1404: Best chance of the match so far for Birmingham as Lee Bowyer's cross finds Roger Johnson - up from a corner - but the defender directs his header over. Could have done better there, Johnson.

1400: Back in south Wales, it's great work down the left from Scott Sinclair as he out-paces his man before dinking a cross of real danger into the box - but Bluebirds defender Kevin McNaughton is back to clear brilliantly under pressure from Swansea's Darren Pratley.

1358: Matthew Upson has held his own so far against the giant that is Nikola Zigic, who has just returned to the field in London after receiving treatment on a facial wound.

1355: Swansea come again, though, and Darren Pratley - who has had a few pops at goal today already - skews high and wide from 20 yards with the hosts three-on-three in attack. Might have chosen to pass there in hindsight, the midfielder.

1353: Great challenge in south Wales as Swansea striker Scott Sinclair, through on goal, is halted by a fine tackle on the slide by Cardiff defender Mark Hudson 16 yards out.

1352: And now Victor Obinna drags a shot wide low from 20 yards for West Ham.

1351: Decent chance for West Ham as Robbie Keane's flick behind his legs finds Frederic Piquionne on the edge of the Birmingham area, but the Frenchman dallies a touch before spooning a simple save to keeper Ben Foster.

1347: First 15 minutes gone at Upton Park, and the match has yet to spark into life to be fair. With so much potentially riding on the result, I suppose that's no great surprise.

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "It's real end to end stuff here, and while Swansea pass the ball well, Cardiff look more dangerous on the attack. This game has goals in it and the way fans are cheering every tackle, this place will rock when the deadlock is broken."

1343: Penalty shout at the Liberty stadium now, but Paul Quinn is adjudged to have got the ball before Swansea midfielder Darren Pratley. Was a close call, but looks a good decision by Mark Halsey.

1340: It's all settled down a bit at the Liberty Stadium after that 100mph start, though Alan Tate and Jay Bothroyd have given me reason to use a graphic, which is nice. The pair face-off "like rutting stags" says the BBC commentator, and we all know what that means... handbags!

1338: The West Ham supporters - unswayed by my error at 1331 claiming the match was around a hundred miles away at St Andrew's - are in good voice at Upton Park, but the impressive David Bentley is causing the odd worry already down Birmingham's right.

1335: Good pressure in these early stages from West Ham, Robbie Keane in and amongst it in the opening five minutes. No clear chances as yet, though.

1333: Sounds like James Tomkins suffered a calf injury in the warm-up for West Ham, prompting Matthew Upson's promotion from the bench. Upson is only just back after recovering from tendonitis so this could be a big test for him.

1331: Up and running at Upton Park.

1329: It looks a great chance for Cardiff striker Michael Chopra as he follows up Aaron Ramsay's parried shot, but not only does he hit the post with just the keeper to beat - but he's offside anyway.

1328: Late change to the West Ham line-up at Birmingham - Matthew Upson is in for James Tomkins after receiving the call 10 minutes before kick-off. Not sure what's gone on there, will try to find out.

1326: WEST HAM v BIRMINGHAM (1330)
Alistair Magowan reports:
"Very debatable whether this game is more important than the last time these two teams met in the Carling Cup semi-finals last month. The second leg - where Birmingham sealed a Wembley spot - was a stormer, but West Ham won 2-1 at home in the first tie, courtesy of a Ben Foster howler. Both teams are in the relegation zone and a win for either will see them leapfrog Wigan and West Brom. West Ham will look to their in-form striker Victor Obinna."

1325: Absolute buzz about the match in Wales so far and we're only five minutes in. Tasty atmosphere too.

1323: Real intent from both sides early in the piece at the Liberty Stadium, and Darren Pratley has Swansea's first effort on goal - his long-ranger blocked inside the area.

1321: And with less than a minute on the clock, Cardiff have a golden opportunity to take an early lead - a bit of ping-pong in the box ending with the ball falling to Jay Bothroyd, who strokes wide from eight yards out. Chance.

1319: A little delayed, but we're up and running in south Wales.

1314: More to come ahead of West Ham-Birmingham to come, then, and plenty of chat around the Chelsea-Liverpool match - as you'd expect - but for now, all eyes are on Wales and the Liberty Stadium. Wet, windy and rocking... we're moments away.

1311: Kick-off in Swansea-Cardiff game is minutes away, then, and in the absence of Lawro's Predictions for the Championship, I've conducted the least technical sweep of the office ever to garner a score prediction from the Liberty Stadium for you. Outcome: Swansea 1-2 Cardiff.

lackerman123 on Twitter: "Only bad thing about yesterday is that I'll never be excited by a Saturday's football again. Ever."

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Almost ready for kick-off and you've got to love the derby atmosphere. It's bubbling nicely. Both sides have promotion in their sights but Swansea are looking to become the first team to complete the league double in the south Wales derby's 82-year history having beaten Cardiff 1-0 in November. Cardiff have won just four times since that day and their last derby win in Swansea came in 1997."

1305: WEST HAM v BIRMINGHAM (1330)
Alistair Magowan reports:
"West Ham make one change to the team which beat Blackpool in midweek. Kiwi defender Winston Reid comes in for the injured Danny Gabbidon. For Birmingham, Alex McLeish names an unchanged side to the one that drew with Manchester City but there is no room in the squad for new signing Obafemi Martins, who is still waiting on clearance to play."

1302: I know you all know this, but even so... Swansea v Cardiff is live on BBC One AND this website, for UK users. If you can't see the video at the top of this page, give it a refresh. Nice.

simondallan on Twitter: "Could we see today if Robbie Keane is in fact the best signing of the transfer window?? I think the answer will be yes!"

Stevo via text: "Gus Poyet is being lined up for the Albion. Still shouldn't have sacked Robbie though."

1259: WEST HAM v BIRMINGHAM (1330)
West Ham:
Green, Jacobsen, Reid, Upson, Bridge, O'Neil, Parker, Noble, Obinna, Piquionne, Keane. Subs: Boffin, Cole, Kovac, Sears, Ba, da Costa.
Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Jiranek, Ridgewell, Bentley, Ferguson, Gardner, Bowyer, Jerome, Zigic. Subs: Doyle, Murphy, Larsson, Phillips, Fahey, Beausejour, Davies.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

BBC Sport's David Dulin at the Liberty Stadium: "Hoping for a thriller at a chilly Liberty Stadium. Atmosphere is building nicely. Cardiff fans were escorted in a while ago. Swans fans just coming through the turnstiles. Swansea are unchanged from the midweek win over Bristol City. Cardiff striker Michael Chopra is back in the starting line-up while Dekel Keinan makes his debut for the Bluebirds."

rrengland3 on Twitter: "Re 1247: we had to wait a whole four minutes for a goal in that game? They're slacking..."

Cameron Jerome, Barry Ferguson and Roger Johnson all pass late fitness tests to start for Birmingham against West Ham, who are without Danny Gabbidon - Winston Reid starts.

1250: SWANSEA v CARDIFF (1315)
De Vries, Williams, Tate, Richards, Rangel, Pratley, Dyer, Sinclair, Gower, Britton, Moore. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Beattie, Van der Gun, Dobbie, Serran, Allen, Agustien.
Cardiff: Heaton, McNaughton, Hudson, Keinan, Quinn, Whittingham, Olofinjana, Ramsey, Bellamy, Chopra, Bothroyd. Subs: Marshall, Gyepes, McPhail, Burke, Parkin, Blake, Emmanuel-Thomas.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Tim via text: "I'm a Wolves fan, and I'm sympathetic to Di Matteo. Not enough respect for managers in today's game."

TyroneLewis22 on Twitter: "Don't tell me they sacked Di Matteo just because West Brom were the only Premier League team not to score yesterday?"

1247: By the way, if the Rangers-Celtic match is anything to go by, today is picking up exactly where it left off last night. Love it.

ChrisMac1991 on Twitter: "What the hell has Roberto di Matteo done wrong? Temporarily keeping WBA away from relegation isn't good enough anymore? #Crazy"

1244: So let's get chatting, people. As always, you can Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, ask me a question direct @sampatricklyon or text me via 81111 (UK). Easy.

1242: Here's what we're looking at, then, people. Lick your lips...
FLC: Swansea v Cardiff (1315)
PL: West Ham v Birmingham (1330)
PL: Chelsea v Liverpool (1600)

All in all, it's a recipe for greatness isn't it? This beautiful game of ours... it just keeps on giving and giving and giving...

1240: Yeah, thinking about it, I reckon we'll be all right today.

1238: Oh yeah, and you can probably add in a high-profile Premier League managerial sacking too. Roberto di Matteo dismissed as West Bromwich Albion boss you say? Boom.

1237: And then, of course, you'd need something in the way of an appetiser. Two appetisers, even. One could feature the very definition of a Premier League relegation six-pointer, with the added spice of it being a replay of a recent domestic cup semi-final. The other might feature a derby, probably involving two sides desperate for promotion back to the big league, a match some are calling "the biggest south Wales derby of all time".

1234: So, like I say, how to follow that? Well I guess you'd probably need a barn-stormer of an afternoon fixture, featuring two giants of English football, one with designs on the title the other on making a late run at the top four. You might need a sub-plot featuring a star striker, possibly on the back of a record transfer move, making his debut against the club whose fans once idolised him but now despise him. Throw in a potential full debut for said striker's possible replacement, on the back of a goal-scoring substitute appearance perhaps, and a resurgent away team thriving under the guidance of one of its true club legends, and I suppose we might be on our way.

1232: Mark it down in your diaries, folks; Saturday, 5 February, 2011 - the day English football officially went nuts. The Premier League alone boasted a record number of penalties, the comeback to end all comebacks, the ending of a stunning unbeaten league run and more controversy, incident and intrigue than you could shake a rather large stick at. And goals. Oh so many goals. The 41 we saw in eight games was a Premier League record on a Saturday, and anyone that stayed up to watch Match of the Day will testify to just how remarkable a day it was. Don't believe me? Relive the madness.

1230: In all seriousness, just how do you follow that?

Barclays Premier League results

6 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 6 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 25 31 54
2 Arsenal 25 27 50
3 Man City 26 20 49
4 Chelsea 25 24 44
5 Tottenham 25 8 44
6 Liverpool 26 3 38
7 Sunderland 26 1 37
8 Bolton 26 -1 33
9 Stoke 25 -1 33
10 Newcastle 25 2 31
11 Blackburn 26 -8 31
12 Fulham 26 0 30
13 Everton 25 -1 30
14 Aston Villa 26 -15 29
15 Blackpool 25 -11 28
16 Birmingham 24 -9 27
17 West Brom 25 -17 26
18 Wigan 26 -18 26
19 Wolves 25 -17 24
20 West Ham 26 -18 24

see also
Sunday's football photos
06 Feb 11 |  Football

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