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Live - Premier League

Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn
Bolton 1-3 Fulham
Everton 3-1 Stoke
Hull 1-1 Newcastle
Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
Middlesbrough 1-1 Portsmouth
Sunderland 1-2 Wigan


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

1722: Right then, I'm off to hunt down the perpetrators of a crime against Nottingham Forest Football Club (the Forest players, clearly), so that's a wrap. Congratulations to Liverpool, Arsenal and everyone else who won today, join Alan Green for 606 on BBC Radio 5 Live at 1845 GMT and an entertaining Match of the Day is on BBC One and online at 2200 GMT. The awesome Sam Lyon will be your host tomorrow. Laters.

1717: "I wonder how crucial that late equaliser at The Riverside could prove to Pompey's season. A huge mental blow for our lads."
Michael, a Pompey fan, raging, via text on 81111

1714: Not much doubt about the player of the day for Player Rater users, with Arsenal's little genius Andrey Arshavin on a mind-boggling 9.31 at this juncture. Liverpool's Fernando Torres is giving him a run for his Russian roubles, though, on 9.00 at the present moment in time. Want to vote? Then vote...
Rate the players

1710: Arsenal's win lifts them back into the top four in the Premier League, putting added pressure on Aston Villa when they face Tottenham at home tomorrow. And if Chelsea can beat Man City at Stamford Bridge, they could join Liverpool and move to within four points of leaders Manchester United (who will have a game in hand).

1706: Now the footy's over, why not pop along to Sir Tom Fordyce's live text on the Six Nations encounter between Scotland and Ireland. Hang on, no-one told me there were six...
Live text - Six Nations rugby

1703: "I can't believe Eboue took the pen with Arshavin on a hat-trick. The depressing thing is that we will probably get stuck with Eboue for at least another season - and one more thing, it is official that Bendtner is rubbish."
redDB10 on 606
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Some people aren't ever happy, are they? I hope you're suitably depresssed, redDB10.

1659: "Arshavin's performance today is the best I can remember from an Arsenal player for a long time. In fact I may even go as far as to say I think he could be the most talented player in the league."
From Alex, Blackburn fan, at The Emirates, via text on 81111

1657: Full-time Hull City 1-1 Newcastle

1656: Full-time Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn

1656: Full-time Middlesbrough 1-1 Portsmouth

1656: Full-time Everton 3-1 Stoke

1655: Full-time Sunderland 1-2 Wigan

1654: GOAL Middlesbrough 1-1 Portsmouth
Unbelievable - what a priceless point that could be for Boro. A corner from the left is headed goalwards and flicked on by Tony McMahon, with Marlon King scoring from the rebound after David James made the save.

1653: GOAL Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn
Carlos Vela is brought down in the Blackburn box and Emmanuel Eboue steps up to knock in the penalty.


1652: GOAL Everton 3-1 Stoke
All over at Goodison Park as Marouane Fellaini brilliantly brings down a long ball and rifles in via a deflection.

1651: Full-time Bolton 1-3 Fulham

1649: GOAL Arsenal 3-0 Blackburn
Game, set, match. Carlos Vela's cross finds Andrey Arshavin at the back stick and his shot is saved by Paul Robinson, with Emmanuel Eboue sticking in the rebound from close-range.

1647: Thomas Sorensen make a fabulous save to deny Steven Pienaar as Everton try to finish things off at Goodison Park.

1646: GOAL Bolton 1-3 Fulham
Sloppy from the hosts and would you believe it - Fulham have wrapped up their first away win of the season. Bolton give the ball away, Simon Davies plays in sub Diomansy Kamara and he rifles a low shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen from the left-hand side of the area.

1645: As things stand, Pompey will be climbing out of the Premier League relegation zone and Stoke will be dropping into it.

1644: "Hey Stevo, what's the Forest score?"
Jim, Edinburgh, via text on 81111

Hey Jim - do one.

1641: Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner has another golden chance, teed up by Andrey Arshavin after brilliant approach play by Theo Walcott and Alex Song, but the big Dane haplessly fires over once more. He's promptly taken off and replaced by Carlos Vela.

1639: Note to Manchester United fans: thanks a million for your sympathy, but with the greatest possible respect, you don't really know how Forest fans feel. Happy quintuple-hunting!

1637: SENDING OFF Matthew Bates (Middlesbrough)
The Boro man picks up his second yellow of the afternoon and it's for an alleged dive after he went down under a challenge from Richard Hughes just inside the Pompey box.

1636: Sunderland have the ball in the Wigan net again but Grant Leadbitter is - correctly - adjudged offside.

1634: Stoke's Glenn Whelan cuts across the ball from 25 yards with his right foot at Everton and lashes it fractionally wide, great hit. Moments later Jo is put through at the other end, but Thomas Sorensen smothers his shot.

1632: "If Newcastle win I'll drink heavily, if we lose I'll do the same. After all, it's good to cut loose!"
Joe in Chalk Farm, via text on 81111

1630: "Imagine if Arsenal actually had a centre-forward who could put away chances..."
SchmidtyT on 606
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1627: GOAL Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn
That is a brilliant goal, Russian genius Andrey Arshavin should make the points safe, collecting the ball down the left, cutting inside, dummying brilliantly past Danny Simpson and lifting a fabulous right-foot shot into the roof of the net from a narrow angle. He's so happy, it looks like he's crying.

1627: "See 1620... I can identify. Being a Middlesbrough fan seems to get more sickening every week."
Ben, Stoke, via text on 81111

1625: Nicklas Bendtner has been so profligate today it's not even true. Arsenal are rampant, but every time the chance falls to the Dane - this time he's clean through but can't get the ball out of his feet and the opportunity goes begging.

1623: Middlesbrough's best chance of the game so far - Adam Johnson's cross from the left is met by the head of Tuncay, whose close-range header is superbly pushed away by a reflex save by David James. It's taken a while but Boro are finally showing some real intent up front.

1622: Steed Malbranque has the ball in the Wigan net, but he's rightly ruled offside.

1621: Everton are hanging on a bit, this time Danny Higginbotham heading Liam Lawrence's corner from the right towards goal, Ryan Shawcross agonisingly close to turning it in at the far post.

1620: Fair to say I'm not really enjoying my afternoon anymore. That's what happens when you support a pathetic football team.
Burnley 4-0 Forest

1618: Paul Scharner goes one-on-one with Marton Fulop and the keeper saves the day - that could have been curtains for Sunderland.

1617: Martin Olsson comes on for Stephen Warnock at Arsenal, the Rovers left-back was tormented all afternoon by Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri.

1614: GOAL Bolton 1-2 Fulham
It's carnage in the Bolton box as Danny Murphy hits the crossbar with a left-foot shot and from the rebound, Simon Davies prods goalwards, the ball just creeping over the line despite Jussi Jaaskelainen's best efforts.

1613: GOAL Everton 2-1 Stoke
Stoke get back into it at Goodison Park as Liam Lawrence swings over a corner and Ryan Shawcross heads home. Tim Howard should have done better, though.

1612: Arsenal are rampant and Samir Nasri's cross is fired goalwards by Nicklas Bendtner with Chris Samba blocking, and from the rebound Theo Walcott tries a bicycle kick that Paul Robinson brilliantly saves. Moments later, Denilson's shot blocked.

1610: Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar fires a right-foot free-kick a few inches over the Boro bar from 25 yards out at The Riverside.

1609: Theo Walcott returns the favour to Nicklas Bendtner, putting a right-foot cross on to a plate for the big Dane, who proceeds to poke wide from six yards. Got to do better.

1608: Nicklas Bendtner knocks the ball through to Theo Walcott and they can't catch him, but the youngster drags his right-foot shot badly off target.

1607: The last game to restart is at Arsenal, Andrey Arshavin was the player they were waiting for, the Russian apparently required stitches in an ankle injury.

1606: Everton get under way at home to Stoke, with Louis Saha a half-time introduction for Tim Cahill.

1606: Sunderland v Wigan is up and running.

1605: Hull v Newcastle and Middlesbrough v Portsmouth get started too.

1603: Back under way at Bolton.

1601: "Pretty comfortable at The Emirates so far, Blackburn are doing their usual style of trying to be tough. If we can take a couple more of our chances in the second half it could make a nice rosy scoreline to boost our goal difference."
Scubar2k8 on 606
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1557: "No shots, no passion, no skill, no heart, no chance!"
Ian at The Riverside, via text on 81111

1554: Kevin Davies is playing his 236th game for Bolton today and has just celebrated his 50th goal for the club since signing from Southampton on a free in the summer of 2003.

1551: Half-time Everton 2-0 Stoke

1551: Half-time Hull City 1-1 Newcastle

1551: Half-time Bolton 1-1 Fulham

1550: Half-time Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn

1549: Half-time Sunderland 1-2 Wigan

1548: Half-time Middlesbrough 0-1 Portsmouth

1547: GOAL Bolton 1-1 Fulham
Kevin Davies equalises for Bolton in first-half stoppage time. Johan Elmander cleverly leaves a Mark Davies pass and namesake Kevin collects, beats Paul Konchesky, and fires the ball low past Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer from about 15 yards.

1547: GOAL Sunderland 1-2 Wigan
Kenwyne Jones goes down injured and requires treatment, but the referee allows play to go on - I though if it was a head injury they had to stop it? Anyway, Charles N'Zogbia runs from inside his own half and keeps his cool brilliantly to slot past Marton Fulop, and the visitors are leading again.

1545: El-Hadji Diouf is going crazy again, he's got to calm down at Arsenal or he'll be off, which he should be already in fairness. He tangles with Manuel Almunia again as Blackburn prepare to take a corner, the Spanish keeper isn't blameless either. The ref has a word and they escape more punishment.

1543: GOAL Bolton 0-1 Fulham
Andrew Johnson gets a goal in bizarre circumstances. There's a huge mix-up between Andy O'Brien and Jussi Jaaskelainen at the back, the defender accidentally takes it around his own keeper, and Johnson beats him to the loose ball to squeeze it into the corner of the net and send Fulham a goal up.

1542: GOAL Sunderland 1-1 Wigan
Djibril Cisse, Steed Malbranque and Kenwyne Jones all flick on a long ball and it falls to Grant Leadbitter on the edge of the box to fire past Chris Kirkland.

1541: Lovely stuff from Everton, Jo doing his best impression of Robinho, the stepover king, before laying off to Leon Osman, who turns smartly inside the box and curls a left-foot shot just past the angle of post and bar.

1539: GOAL Hull City 1-1 Newcastle
Parity for the visitors courtesy of Nicky Butt's floated cross from the right and there's big Steven Taylor getting in front of his marker at the near post to loop a volley over Matt Duke and into the Hull net.

1538: Time for Fulham to go close and Jussi Jaaskelainen makes a fabulous save with his right hand to deny Bobby Zamora from eight yards.

1537: Samir Nasri hits a scintillating free-kick from a good 25 yards out on the left of the Blackburn box that crashes against the angle of post and crossbar. Moments later the Frenchman has another chance, but forces a save from Paul Robinson.

1537: "See 1525 - try telling that to Pepe Reina!"
Anonymous, via text on 81111

1536: Jermaine Pennant appears to have an injury, so he is taken off and Nadir Belhadj comes on in his place.

1533: Some Middlesbrough fans are booing their own players already after they give the ball away. I can't think that's going to help.

1531: GOAL Middlesbrough 0-1 Portsmouth
Massive goal as Pompey take the lead. Glen Johnson collects a quickly-taken corner and clips it to Peter Crouch on the edge of the Boro box, the giant striker showing a touch of class to volley it into the net, wrong-footing Brad Jones.

1530: Morten Gamst Pedersen has Blackburn's first chance at Arsenal, but his looping header is clawed away by Manuel Almunia.

1529: Bolton have about four chances to score against Fulham, but Mark Schwarzer makes two saves, one shot is blocked and then finally Gary Cahill blasts wide.

1528: Incidentally, Marouane Fellaini has corn rows in today, ditching the 1970s afro look. He still looks odd.

1526: Middlesbrough's Tony McMahon's corner from the right-hand side is met by the head of the diving Tuncay, and goes into the side-netting of David James's goal. At last something for the home fans to get excited about.

1525: GOAL Everton 2-0 Stoke
Thomas Sorensen saves Tim Cahill's header from a Leon Osman cross, but the keeper only pats it into the path of Joleon Lescott, who gleefully taps into the net from three yards.

1525: "Can I just point out that Andrey Arshavin, from wintery Russia, is wearing gloves on a sunny day at The Emirates. That just proves my point, it's not to do with the weather, wearing gloves just makes you feel more confident for some reason."
From Rob at The Emirates, via text on 81111

1522: El-Hadji Diouf is booked for a quite ridiculous challenge on Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia with the ball nowhere near. Diouf should have been sent off for that, utter stupidity.

1522: Portsmouth's Jermaine Pennant crosses from the right wing and the ball is nodded down by David Nugent to Peter Crouch, who in turn lays it back to Nugent, whose shot hits the base of Brad Jones's right-hand post and bounces away to safety. The liveliest moment so far of an extremely low-key game.

1520: Big appeals for a penalty at The Emirates as Theo Walcott appears to be pulled down by Stephen Warnock but referee Phil Dowd gives nothing. Walcott is looking sharp in his first Premier League appearance for four months.

1519: GOAL Everton 1-0 Stoke
Everton get the goal their early play has deserved, Marouane Fellaini slotting though to Jo, who keeps his cool to fire under the body of Thomas Sorensen - the Dane possibly should have saved that.

1518: Fabulous double save from Chris Kirkland at the Stadium of Light, first from Andy Reid's deflected shot and then Steed Malbranque's follow-up, though the Frenchman was offside.

1517: "I'm a Newcastle fan but I wish I'd put money on Newcastle getting relegated a few weeks ago, it's looking pretty likely now."
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1515: Geremi finds Obafemi Martins in the Hull box but the Nigerian gets his shot all wrong, firing over from about 10 yards.

1515: Busy, scrappy start between Bolton and Fulham, but neither keeper's had any work to do in the opening 10 minutes. John Pantsil lifts a 25-yard strike well over the bar from a Fulham corner, and that's as close as anyone has got to a goal.

1513: GOAL Sunderland 0-1 Wigan
Poor defending from the hosts as they fail to clear a long ball into their half having had plenty of chances to do so, and the ball falls for Ben Watson to strike into the bottom corner of Marton Fulop's net from the edge of the area.

1512: First meaningful attack of the game at the Riverside - Portsmouth's Glen Johnson cuts in from the right and plays it into the path of David Nugent, whose shot is blocked by Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth and the ball is hacked behind for a corner by Julio Arca.

1509: GOAL Hull 1-0 Newcastle
Craig Fagan gets away down the Hull left and waits for Geovanni to make his move to the back post, eventually sending over an inch-perfect cross that is begging the Brazilian to head it in, which he does.

1509: "Didn't expect that result, though I can't see it affecting the title race too much. It'll be VERY interesting if they're drawn together in the Champions League however."
Luke, via text on 81111

1507: Leighton Baines cleverly pulls the ball back from the Everton left to Leon Osman, but the midfielder gets his shot all wrong and it flies harmlessly out for a goalkick.

1503: GOAL Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn
Difficult to tell who gets the final touch, but Arsene Wenger and the Gunners fans won't care - they are in front already. Nicklas Bendtner sends Theo Walcott away down the right and his crosses is converted at the near post by a combination of Andrey Arshavin and two Rovers defenders.

1502: They've kicked off at Arsenal and Sunderland too, so all six games are under way.

1501: We're under way at Boro, Everton, Bolton and Hull.

1500: Follow that, the rest of the Premier League. In the day's six remaining matches, we're about to get under way.

1458: "We have good players, a good mentality and great character. We knew we had to win, but even after conceding we had to push forward and believe we could do it. It was a good game, but today we've played better."
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez

1455: "All great teams are allowed to have a few poor defensive display. This was one of ours. I am 110% certain that we're gonna come back much better and stronger for next game."
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1452: "It was magnificent, we showed great character to come from a goal down. It was quite comfortable in the end, but they did have a man less. We all played like men today. Hopefully that gives teams who play against United belief they can be beaten."
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

1450: "I'm disappointed, but credit where it's due, Liverpool have been great. The ref has also had a good game. Never thought I'd say that."
Jack, Man Utd fan at Old Trafford, via text on 81111

1447: I'm utterly stunned. Who could have possibly seen that coming? United haven't suffered a home defeat like that since New Year's Day 1992, when Dennis Bailey bagged a hat-trick and QPR left Old Trafford with three points and a 4-1 victory.

1445: "They cannot get to the exits fast enough at Old Trafford and United simply wanted to be put of their misery. Liverpool have ripped the champions apart - and if this performance does not give them the incentive to continue carrying the fight to United nothing will.

"The turning point of the game was the brilliance of Fernando Torres, who stripped away the armour of Nemanja Vidic and gave him an horrendous afternoon. United are still title favourites - but no need to roll the credits on this one just yet."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1444: "Liverpool did a very, very professional job here today, but United looked very leggy, especially near the end. They need a rest this week, put their feet up and come back stronger. All these games have caught up on them."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1443: Full-time Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool

1441: This is extraordinary. Liverpool are picking United off with ease and Nabil El Zhar's cross from the right is turned behind by Rio Ferdinand - it nearly went in. Unbelievable scenes.

1441: Hull welcome back left-back Andy Dawson who served a one-match ban. Newcastle striker Michael Owen returns to the starting line-up after recovering from an ankle injury. Nicky Butt also starts having overcome a knee problem and takes his place in midfield alongside Alan Smith, Geremi and Jonas Gutierrez.

1439: GOAL Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool
Talk about rubbing salt into the wound. A long Pepe Reina ball from the back is missed by what is left of the United defence and Andrea Dossena lifts the ball magnificently over a stranded Edwin van der Sar and into the net, sending the visiting fans into a state of delirium.

1439: Steven Gerrard is taken off and Nabil El Zhar replaces him.

1438: Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick smashes into the wall from 30 yards. He's been really disappointing today, the world football of the year. There's a minute left of normal time.

1437: Arsenal winger Theo Walcott makes his first start since his comeback from a shoulder injury, while Andrey Arshavin, Johan Djourou and Alex Song also come into the first XI - William Gallas, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue and Robin van Persie are the four who make way. Blackburn make three changes, having had a midweek game against Fulham, bringing in Danny Simpson, Aaron Mokoena and Zurab Khizanishvili for Ryan Nelsen, Keith Andrews and Tugay.

1436: "I don't think the title race is on now. They've proved today they can more than match United, Liverpool, but their squad is the difference. It just isn't as good."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1435:Macca's got some more United chat: "The last time Man Utd lost at home by more than one goal was to Coventry in the League Cup in September 2007. The last time they did so in the league was in May 2005 when Chelsea, who were already crowned champions, came to town."

1434: Good job that wasn't crucial - Ryan Babel collects Andrea Dossena's pass inside the United box and backheels for Steven Gerrard - it looks like he has to score, but the Reds skipper blazes it miles over from eight yards. It won't matter.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Ben-Haim, Collins, McCartney, Malbranque, Whitehead, Leadbitter, Reid, Jones, Cisse.
Subs: Gordon, Edwards, Murphy, Yorke, Davenport, Healy, McShane.
Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Scharner, Valencia, Watson, Brown, N'Zogbia, Mido.
Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Kapo, Koumas, Rodallega, Zaki, De Ridder.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy, Walcott, Song Billong, Denilson, Arshavin, Nasri, Bendtner.
Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Gallas, Van Persie, Vela, Eboue, Gibbs.
Blackburn: Robinson, Simpson, Samba, Ooijer, Givet, Diouf, Mokoena, Khizanishvili, Warnock, Pedersen, Roberts.
Subs: Bunn, Kerimoglu, Dunn, McCarthy, Andrews, Treacy, Olsson.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

1432: Ricardo Gardner replaces Fabrice Muamba, who drops to the bench, in Bolton's starting line-up. Fulham striker Bobby Zamora has recovered from a hip problem which kept him out of Wednesday's 2-1 home defeat by Blackburn - he starts at the expense of Zoltan Gera. Zamora scored against Bolton in September's reverse fixture, after which he had to wait five months for his next league goal.

1431: "Even the great escape artists Manchester United will surely not get out of this now - and no-one can deny Liverpool deserve the lead they have.

"Nemanja Vidic will not have had many more harrowing afternoons in the Premier League than this one, and once again it was his decision-making that let him down. Referee Alan Wiley called it right again to give him a straight red card after he hauled down Steven Gerrard.

"Another great performance by Liverpool against their closest rivals - but will they pay for those draws against the lesser sides, especially at Anfield? United's fans are showing defiance, but they have been second best today."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1430: Sunderland make one enforced change from the side which drew 1-1 with Tottenham last time out. Midfielder Kieran Richardson is suspended so Grant Leadbitter replaces him. Wigan striker Amr Zaki is dropped to the bench and Lee Cattermole is suspended so Paul Scharner and Ben Watson start in their place.

1429: Ryan Babel comes on for Fernando Torres. Job done for the Spanish hitman today, Nemanja Vidic won't be forgetting his display in a hurry.

1429:Middlesbrough's Justin Hoyte misses out with a groin problem so his place in defence goes to Tony McMahon. Afonso Alves is fit again after illness, but only makes it as far as the bench, with Marlon King starting up front. Portsmouth, who have been away warm-weather training in the Middle East, name the same starting XI who lost to Chelsea last time out.

1428: On 8 March last year, Man United lost their last game at Old Trafford, to Portsmouth in the FA Cup. They haven't lost a league game at home after leading since 2005. They had only dropped points once at home this season, on the opening day in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle.

1427: "Wow."
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1425: GOAL Manchester United 1-3 Liverpool
That is how to punish a team for going a man down. Fabio Aurelio takes the free-kick from 25 yards, right of centre, and curls it sumptuously into the top corner with Edwin van der Sar, like 76,000-odd others at Old Trafford, watching it admiringly as it nestled in the back of the net. We have a title race.

1424: SENDING OFF Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United)
The big defender's afternoon goes from bad to worse and it was of his own making, mis-controlling as Steven Gerrard tried to burst past him and hauling the Liverpool captain down with no defenders covering. Had to be a red card.

1423: Andy Van Der Meyde misses out for Everton after injuring a hamstring in training. Jack Rodwell drops back to the bench while Jo returns to the side having been cup-tied against Middlesbrough in the week. Stoke's starting line-up is unchanged from the side which earned a 2-0 win over Bolton 10 days ago.

1422: United have got Ronaldo, Rooney, Berbatov and Tevez on the pitch now, as they go for the jugular.

1421: What a triple change that is. Paul Scholes, Dimitar Berbatov and Ryan Giggs come on for Anderson Park Ji-Sung and Michael Carrick.

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Taylor, McCann, Mark Davies, Gardner, Kevin Davies, Elmander.
Subs: Al Habsi, Hunt, Muamba, Riga, Puygrenier, Makukula, Shittu.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey, Johnson, Zamora.
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Gera, Kamara, Dacourt, Stoor, Smalling.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1420: Carlos Tevez controls a Michael Carrick pass on his chest but on the turn, he slides his shot wide. Tevez was offside, but the decision wasn't given - that could have been interesting.

1418: Hearing news that Theo Walcott starts for Arsenal today. Full teams news coming up. There are 20 minutes plus stoppages left at Man United.

1417: "The only good thing about Lucas starting is that at least he can't come on as a sub! Come on mighty Reds!"
Mike, via text on 81111

1416: Andrea Dossena comes on for Albert Riera in the first change of the afternoon at Old Trafford.

Middlesbrough: Jones, McMahon, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, Aliadiere, Arca, Bates, Downing, Sanli, King.
Subs: Turnbull, Taylor, Emnes, Alves, Shawky, Adam Johnson, Walker.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Davis, Mullins, Kranjcar, Crouch, Nugent.
Subs: Begovic, Kaboul, Pamarot, Utaka, Hughes, Kanu, Belhadj.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

1415: The ball falls on the edge of the United penalty area to Lucas, who sees his left-foot volley fall into the arms of Edwin van der Sar. Meanwhile, the Manchester United subs are warming up with interest.

Hull: Duke, Ricketts, Turner, Gardner, Kilbane, Mendy, Ashbee, Zayatte, Geovanni, Fagan, Cousin.
Subs: Myhill, Dawson, Barmby, Hughes, Garcia, Halmosi, Manucho.
Newcastle: Harper, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique, Smith, Butt, Geremi, Gutierrez, Owen, Martins.
Subs: Forster, Duff, Ryan Taylor, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Edgar, Carroll.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Osman, Neville, Cahill, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jo.
Subs: Nash, Castillo, Saha, Jacobsen, Rodwell, Gosling, Wallace.
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Lawrence, Whelan, Diao, Delap, Beattie, Sidibe.
Subs: Simonsen, Fuller, Pugh, Amdy Faye, Etherington, Camara, Sonko.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

1411: Top stuff from the hosts, starting with Anderson and ending with a fabulous Cristiano Ronaldo cross that Wayne Rooney can only direct wide, Carlos Tevez falling under a challenge as he tried to get the ball over the line.

1411: "Manchester United, inevitably, are turning up the pressure but Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are not having any serious influence on affairs. Their best hope appears to lie in an uncharacteristically uncertain performance from Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina. How long does Ferguson give it before he looks to his substitutes?"
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1410: Carlos Tevez finds Wayne Rooney and he cuts in from the left, his shot deflected over. United are dominant at the moment.

1409: Javier Mascherano fouls Wayne Rooney and as he's had a couple of others today, the Argentine is cautioned.

1408: "Reina is having a shocker, just get some shots and crosses in at him, he's awful. I rated him as one of the better keepers in the league but after today and same game last season, he's gone down in my estimate."
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1407: Jamie texts in to say Steven Gerrard's goal is only the second time this season an Englishman has scored against United, the first being a Wes Brown own goal! In the league, that is absolutely true.

1405: Man United have upped the tempo and Pepe Reina tips behind a Carlos Tevez centre. From the corner, Reina flaps and he reacts quickly to grab the ball with Tevez waiting to pounce. He looks so nervy today, Reina.

1403: Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kick from the left causes mayhem in the Liverpool box and Nemanja Vidic tries an overhead kick which smacks against a Reds defender and eventually they clear their lines.

1401: Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't catch it properly and it bounces once into the arms of Pepe Reina.

1400: Lucas brings Wayne Rooney down 30 yards out and in the blustery conditions, you'd be surprised if Cristiano Ronaldo didn't have a pop from here...

1359: Fernando Torres is limping a bit, prompting a shake of the head from Rafa Benitez on the Liverpool bench. They could do without having to take him off, especially with a lack of options on the bench.

1356: United have started at a decent tempo, with Cristiano Ronaldo starting down the left. His cross is mis-hit and hits the post, with Pepe Reina for some reason not claiming the ball. The goalkeeper has been very shaky today.

1354: We're back under way at Old Trafford.

1352: "Alan Wiley should referee all Premier League games. Not just between the top four, all of them, EVER."
Danny, joining Alan Wiley appreciation group, via text on 81111

1350: "Let's not forget this is United. I'd love nothing more than to win this game and claim bragging rights, but they haven't dominated an era for nothing. Still a long way to go, but a great position for Pool at the moment."
Chasney on 606
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1346: Here's Macca, with some Player Rater chat: "Fernando Torres's barnstorming efforts have helped give Liverpool's title chances a bit of a booster and he's been rewarded in the land of Player Rater, with a half-time score of 8.13. Poor old Pepe Reina can only look on in envy as he ponders his measly mark of 4.93. If you're feeling in a numerical mood, why not head over there and punch in some numbers:"
Rate the players

1343: "Pace did the trick again as Steven Gerrard is too quick for Patrice Evra - takes some doing - and referee Alan Wiley gets another big decision right. Liverpool's captain completes the formalities and suddenly Old Trafford is stunned and quiet at this twist in fortunes.

"Torres has been the catalyst for Liverpool's revival, scoring one and helping Gerrard get the penalty. He has not given Vidic and Ferdinand a moment's peace - great show of character by Liverpool to turn this around and they have ended this half in the ascendancy.

"What price Fergie getting the old hairdryer out at the interval? He certainly didn't waste any time in his march to the dressing-room."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1340: "Liverpool have used the ball quite well and Fernando Torres is always a threat. United have followed on from their performance against Inter Milan, they've not been great and I think Fergie will give them 10 minutes to improve before making changes."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1337: Half-time Manchester United 1-2 Liverpool

1335: That is the second penalty scored against United at Old Trafford this season in the league, after Geovanni bagged for Hull.

1333: GOAL Manchester United 1-2 Liverpool
Again, there's no doubt that's a penalty - Steven Gerrard fastens on to a pass into the United box and Patrice Evra gets his challenge wrong, bringing the Reds captain down. Gerrard dusts himself down to slot the penalty home and Liverpool lead.


1331: Lovely little turn from Michael Carrick to get away from Lucas, but his sweetly-struck right-foot shot flies a couple of yards over the Liverpool crossbar.

1330: Albert Riera nicks the ball from John O'Shea and races down the left, but he'd taken it out of play. The Spaniard has been far too quiet so far, he needs to get in the game more.

1328: "Where is the Gerrard who played midweek? The Talisman needs to make an impact!"
Jez the Gooner in Liverpool, via text on 81111

1327: Lucas gives the ball away for the umpteenth time already, he's not having the best of days again, the much-maligned young Brazilian midfielder.

1326: Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand is booked for a foul on Dirk Kuyt.

1325: Cristiano Ronaldo surprises everyone by teeing up Wayne Rooney, but his shot is blocked.

1324: Jamie Carragher is rightly booked for a cynical foul on Carlos Tevez, who was marauding forward from the United left. The free-kick is about five yards outside the area, it's got Cristiano Ronaldo written all over it.

1324: "Nemanja Vidic can make a case for being the Premier League's outstanding defender this season - but he is being given a torrid time by Fernando Torres. Liverpool's master striker was just too quick Vidic after he made the fatal error of letting a clearance bounce.

"Torres has followed that up by nutmegging the Serbian and having a respectable penalty shout turned down after the pair collided in the area. Liverpool's swift response to United taking the lead must give them a real confidence surge."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1323: "I've never seen anyone get the better of Vidic really, but Torres has done him three or four times already."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1321: Make no mistake, Fernando Torres is bang up for this one. He turns smartly in the United box again but falls as he runs in Nemanja Vidic, who is having his most difficult afternoon for a very long time.

1319: Pepe Reina is not having the best of afternoons, this time he gets nowhere near a corner and he's fortunate to see Cristiano Ronaldo just not quite able to get high enough to head it in.

1317: GOAL Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool
What an uncharacteristic mistake that is. Nemanja Vidic is in the right position to deal with a Liverpool ball over the top, but he dallies and Fernando Torres takes advantage, nicking the ball ahead of him, racing through on goal and slotting past Edwin van der Sar. We have a real game of football on here.

1316: "Senseless error of judgement from Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina. He dashed from goal with Ji-Sung Park going nowhere - ignoring a signal from defender Jamie Carragher to stay at home. Severe blow for Liverpool, who had just worked their way into the game after an uncertain start."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1315: Hammer blow for Liverpool that after they were looking like the better team, but they can have few complaints about the penalty, there was definite contact between Pepe Reina and Park.

1312: GOAL Manchester United 1-0 Liverpool
First blood to the champions, but Pepe Reina must be asked some questions there. Carlos Tevez slots a pass through to Park, splitting Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia, and Reina races from his line to bring Park down. He shouldn't have been out there - it was miles away from goal. Cristiano Ronaldo steps up to slot home the penalty at Old Trafford erupts.


1311: What a waste - Liverpool have a free-kick 35 yards out dead centre, but Steven Gerrard floats it out of play for a goalkick.

1309: Brilliant touch from Fernando Torres, who creates some space out of absolutely nothing, but Nemanja Vidic gets across to clear the danger. Liverpool are on top here.

1308: "Berbatov should be playing. Only 15 mins gone but you can already see we are missing someone to hold the ball up in Liverpool's half."
Wazza v2 on 606
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1306: "Liverpool are settling after being penned back by United in the early stages - Steven Gerrard is being pushed into a very advanced role to assist Fernando Torres in his battle with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Rafael Benitez has already felt moved to leave his dug-out and issue orders from the technical area - accompanied by predictable chants from his Old Trafford 'admirers'."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1304: Jamie Carragher tries to head a long Rio Ferdinand pass back to Pepe Reina, but it flies away for a corner, which leads to another corner, which leads to nothing as Liverpool clear.

1302: Wayne Rooney vents his fury at Patrice Evra, who attempts a ludicrous shot on the half-volley from way out on the left instead of crossing for the waiting striker.

1301: Liverpool are looking dangerous when they go forward, this time Fabio Aurelio's pass finding Steven Gerrard in the box and after he turned inside Nemanja Vidic, Edwin van der Sar has to come out to stop the Reds captain getting in a shot.

1300: "I was stood next to today's ref Mr Wiley watching Chasetown bow out of Staffordshire Cup semi-finals... hopefully he won't let Thursday's disappointment distract him today."
Lee, Chasetown, via text on 81111

1258: Decent move from Liverpool there, with Lucas as the architect, they manage to knock it around before Rio Ferdinand gets in the way and clears as Lucas tries to move into the area.

1257: It's been a bit scrappy, both teams are struggling to get the ball down and string a few passes together. Plenty of tackles, as you would expect.

1254: For the first time, Fernando Torres goes on a proper run at the heart of the United defence and runs into Rio Ferdinand, referee Alan Wiley waving away his appeals for a free-kick. Better from Liverpool.

1252: Cristiano Ronaldo sends over a cross from the right and Jamie Carragher comes to the rescue, deflecting Park Ji-Sung's 18-yard shot over the bar. It's all United.

1252: "Liverpool haven't started at all, they're just clearing the ball anywhere."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

1251: First test for Jamie Carragher as Wayne Rooney tries to run past him down the United left, but the Liverpool defender gets in a strong tackle that does the job.

1249: Apparently, Alvaro Arbeloa did his hamstring in the warm-up, and that's why he's had to miss out.

1249: Manchester United v Liverpool is under way.

1244: The teams are out. We're about to get under way. I'm worried for Liverpool - I don't like Jamie Carragher playing at right-back, he's a fabulous centre-half.

1244: There is a very late team change for Liverpool - Alvaro Arbeloa misses out after picking up an injury in the warm-up and Sami Hyypia comes in, with Jamie Carragher switching to right-back. Another cruel twist of fate for the visitors.

1241: So, can Liverpool bring their A-game, their Real Madrid demolition job performance, to Old Trafford today and keep the Premier League's title race alive? Neutrals all over the land will be hoping they can.

1239: "I've been sat in the library for the last hour trying to do some work, but they're filming Silent Witness right outside. Add to that the live text and my chances of getting anything done today are rapidly fading!"
Jack, giving up hope, in Kingston, via text on 81111

1237: "Xabi Alonso was playing well, but we still have confidence because we've got a good squad. United have to win too, because they're playing in front of their own fans, but it's like a cup tie for us, we must get the three points. We know how we want to play, but it depends on the other team too. Only a win is good enough."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

1235: A story that has surprised me this week is the one about Manchester United's Everton-supporting striker Wayne Rooney. Apparently, he hates Liverpool, and for some reason that's caused quite a kerfuffle. Next, we'll be hearing that Arsene Wenger likes signing Frenchmen, and Cristiano Ronaldo uses products in his hair. Apparently.
Ferguson defends Rooney comments

1233: "Rafa just said what every Premier League manager and non-Man United supporter thinks. Power to him for that. What he said had nothing to do with the Pool's current position. It's inconvenient for them that their injuries had to crop up during the same period."
azaniangooner on 606
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1229: By the way, I'm not a Manchester United fan, and I don't hate Liverpool, I just happen to think Rafa's rant was ridiculous. Having said that, United probably would have won the league anyway by virtue of them being the best team in the world.

1227: "The air of optimism among regular Liverpool observers has been punctured somewhat by the news that Xabi Alonso is out injured and Lucas has been drafted in. The much-maligned Brazilian has been a target for his own supporters this season, but if ever there is a stage to endear yourself to Liverpool fans, it is Old Trafford.

"Sir Alex Ferguson has ensured his midfield is packed with energy and industry to combat Liverpool - and intriguing to see Carlos Tevez get the nod over Dimitar Berbatov.

"Windy conditions at Old Trafford. Let's hope it doesn't have a detrimental affect on the quality on show."
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at Old Trafford

1224: "I'm so glad Rafa is as positive as I am. 4-0 to the mighty Reds from Anfield with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Cilla Black all on the scoresheet."
From Ernie Elks in Church town, via text on 81111

1220: Not that Senor Benitez thinks his explosive little outburst has had any effect whatsoever on the destiny of the championship, oh no. "I do not regret saying anything, and it did not have any effect on results. It was the right time to say what I said, my remarks were facts, not comments," said the Spaniard yesterday.

1217: A day after Rafa's rant, Liverpool drew 0-0 at Stoke and in total they have picked up only 13 out of the 24 points available, the wheels coming off the Reds' bid to win their first title for 19 years. United, meanwhile, have picked up 27 points out of a possible 27 - that's a 14-point swing in their favour. What's the moral of this story? Never, ever play mind games with the master.

1213: Of course, 64 days ago, Liverpool were in pole position in the Premier League. They were seven points clear, though United did have two games in hand. But Rafa Benitez decided to vent his spleen in the direction of Sir Alex Ferguson, and things have never quite been the same since.
Benitez lays into rival Ferguson

1209: "I'm working all day in a pub - I'm a Man Utd supporter and the head chef's a Liverpool fan, so hide the knives. Man Utd to win by the odd goal."
Gav from Carlisle, via text on 81111

1207:Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson makes three changes to the side that beat Inter Milan 2-0 in the Champions League in midweek, with Anderson, Ji-Sung Park and Carlos Tevez coming in to the side in place of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov, who drop to the bench. Rafael Benitez also shuffles his Liverpool side, replacing the injured Xabi Alonso with Lucas in midfield and Ryan Babel with winger Albert Reira, in what looks to be a fluid 4-5-1 formation.

1204: "Some might say that's a surprisingly attacking line-up from United given we only really need to avoid defeat today. Usually we use a five-man midfield against Liverpool. Hopefully Liverpool come with the same intent as in midweek and make it a thrilling match."
Desolation_row on 606
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Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Rooney, Tevez.
Subs: Foster, Berbatov, Giggs, Nani, Scholes, Evans, Fletcher.
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Gerrard, Riera, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Babel, Insua, Ngog, El Zhar.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

1200: Stevo's Predos:
Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool
Arsenal 3-1 Blackburn
Bolton 2-1 Fulham
Everton 2-0 Stoke
Hull 1-3 Newcastle
Middlesbrough 2-2 Portsmouth
Sunderland 1-0 Wigan
Lawro's predictions

1156: Want to know what the brace of legends that are Ian Rush and Peter Schmeichel think of today's game? Then read BBC Sport's ever so handy 'Man Utd v Liverpool showdown' feature and find out...
Man Utd v Liverpool showdown

1153: I'm hearing that Lucas is set to start for Liverpool in place of the injured Xabi Alonso, which seems like a hammer blow for the Reds' hopes. Will bring you full team news as soon as.

1148: "At Old Trafford now, you can just feel the excitement in the air, come on United!"
Sami, Manchester, via text on 81111

1144: There are six other Premier League games today too, but I hope you can forgive me for putting them to one side for now and concentrating solely on the titanic clash at Old Trafford. We'll come back to them later, I promise.

1142: "Rafa says he wasn't to blame for Liverpool's slip-up when he made his outburst. I disagree. This clearly injected complacency into the team and he has felt the consequence. Man Utd aren't untouchable, but they are certainly uncatchable, even if they drop points today."
FoxForever - Decode on 606
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1139: I really hope to whet your appetite in the build-up, though it probably doesn't need whetting. If you'd like to get involved yourself I'd be properly made up, via the usual avenues of 81111 for texts and the 606 link below for the debate. Which will be unbelievably lively today, trust me.
Join the debate on 606

1135: And it gets no hotter in English domestic football than United against Liverpool, the two giants of the game and arguably its fiercest rivals to boot. This season, there's something else at stake too: United are closing in on their 18th league title, a number Liverpool have been stuck on since 1990.

1130: About three hours from now, we will know whether we've got a Premier League title race this season. That is the challenge facing Liverpool as they travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, right now the world's hottest football club.

Premier League table
Sunday, 3 November 2013 17:56 UK
    P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 10 13 25
2 Chelsea 10 8 20
3 Liverpool 10 7 20
4 Tottenham 10 4 20

5 Man City 10 17 19

6 Southampton 10 7 19
7 Everton 10 4 19
8 Man Utd 10 4 17
9 Newcastle 10 -2 14
10 Hull City 10 -2 14
11 West Brom 10 0 13
12 Cardiff 10 -4 12
13 Swansea 10 0 11
14 Aston Villa 10 -3 11
15 West Ham 10 0 10
16 Fulham 10 -5 10
17 Stoke 10 -4 9

18 Norwich 10 -14 8
19 Sunderland 10 -15 4
20 Crystal Palace 10 -15 3

see also
Man Utd 1-4 Liverpool
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Arsenal 4-0 Blackburn
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Bolton 1-3 Fulham
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Everton 3-1 Stoke
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Middlesbrough 1-1 Portsmouth
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League
Sunderland 1-2 Wigan
14 Mar 09 |  Premier League

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