Saturday football

Manchester City snatch a late draw, while Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, QPR, Wigan and Bolton all win on a dramatic afternoon.

31 March 2012 Last updated at 20:00

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As it happened

  1. 1930: 

    Right, it's time for me to bid you farewell. Thanks for keeping me company today on another dramatic day in the Premier League, which was full of thrills and spills. Before I go, remember to watch all today's top-flight action - and all 27 goals - in Match of the Day at 2220 BST on BBC One and this website (in the UK) and all the goals from the Football League in The Football League Show immediately afterwards at 2345 BST. Enjoy, and I'll see you all again tomorrow for Newcastle-Liverpool and Tottenham-Swansea. Cheerio for now.

  2.  

    Ali Bandali on Twitter: "Hope Blackpool can manage to get promoted. Such a good side to watch."

  3.  

    Briain O'Donoghue on Twitter: "People are saying it's over if United win their next two, they're forgetting that includes a QPR side who beat Arsenal today."

  4.  

    Blackburn fan Iain Russell on Twitter: "You've gotta be kidding. Out all afternoon and come home to see QPR, Wigan & Bolton have all won. Huge game at Ewood on Monday."

  5.  

    Blackpool striker Stephen Dobbie, who scored two goals in his side's win over Championship leaders Southampton: "It's a massive result which gets us back in the play-off places. The big results have to keep coming every week now because we have to stay in there. I hope we are running into form at the right time. Hopefully we can build on this performance and repeat what we did two years ago (when they won six of their last eight league games to get a play-off place and ended up being promoted to the play-offs)."

  6.  
    BBC football pundit Steve Claridge at Bloomfield Road

    "I wouldn't be surprised if Southampton boss Nigel Adkins came out and said that was one of the worst performances by his side this season. I have watched them extensively and I haven't seen them play like that too often."

  7. 1920: 
    FULL-TIMEBlackpool 3-0 Southampton

    Southampton remain top of the Championship but they were well beaten by a Blackpool side who thoroughly deserved the three points.

  8. 1919: 

    There will be three minutes of stoppage time played at Bloomfield Road. We have had two of them already.

  9. 1918: 

    It's been an impressive display by Ian Holloway's side, and it is going to be an excellent win for them too. They have out-passed and out-fought Southampton and it's been an entertaining reminder of how Holloway approaches the game, with attack always near the forefront of his mind.

  10. 1914: 

    Barring an unlikely comeback from Southampton in the last couple of minutes, Blackpool's win today will lift them up to fifth in the Championship table and into the thick of the play-off race.

  11. 1909: 

    Into the final 10 minutes at Bloomfield Road and Southampton have resorted to the long ball to try to get something out of Blackpool. It's not working. The Seasiders still lead 3-0 and look extremely comfortable. On today's evidence, you would look at Ian Holloway's men and think they were the Championship leaders, not the Saints.

  12. 1908: 

    Time for some stats now, courtesy of Infostrada Sports. Sunderland ended Manchester City's run of 20 consecutive Premier League home wins in a row, as City dropped points at home for the first time this season. City were also behind at half-time today for the first time this season. The previous time they were trailing at the break in the Premier Leagie was at Liverpool in April 2011, the last time at home was against Everton in December 2010.

    Fernando Torres' goal against Aston Villa meant he ended a run of 18 Premier League games without a goal, netting his first in the division since a 4-1 win over Swansea City in September and. The result meant Villaconceded four goals at home against Chelsea in a top-flight match for the first time since 17 September 1966 - a 6-2 defeat.

  13.  

    Everton captain Phil Neville on Twitter: "What a great end to a great week got to keep this form/momentum going now for the rest of the season time to rest up players/fans!"

  14.  

    Fulham boss Martin Jol on his side's victory over Norwich that ended a three-game run without a point or a goal: "The balance between our offensive and defensive play was good in the first half, but we couldn't get out in the second half. The points were very important for us. Pavel Pogrebnyak twisted his ankle but he should be back next weekend."

  15. 1901: 
    YELLOW CARDBlackpool's Angel Martinez

    Another booking at Bloomfield Road, when Angel Martinez concedes a free-kick on the edge of the box. David Fox is behind it and curls a beautiful strike round the wall... but Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks flies to his right to paw it round the post.

  16.  

    From Joe Ballard on Twitter: "Re Naz (1838): How a team that wins promotion from League One then goes to the top of the Championship be considered overrated?"

  17.  

    Norwich boss Paul Lambert, whose side conceded two early goals against Fulham but were pouring forward in search of an equaliser at the end of their 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage: "We lost two silly goals which gives you a mountain to climb, but the response was excellent. I thought we should have got something from the game. A lot of positives there."

  18.  

    From Marcus Parry on Twitter: "Re Jack (1832): Context, my friend. In the context of the game it's a great result. In the context of the season it's an awful one."

  19.  

    West Brom boss Roy Hodgson, speaking after his team's 2-0 defeat at Everton: "In the first half we played quite well and some things were going well in the second half. But the second goal allowed Everton to play with more confidence. After that we found it difficult to get back into the game. Our work-rate was good, we worked very hard, but we were playing against a good team."

  20. 1856: 

    Southampton have shown a bit more intent in the final third of late, but their cause is not helped by Blackpool's ceaseless desire to attack themselves. Just 20 minutes left now for the Saints, but Blackpool's fluent forward play means they are still looking as likely to score further goals.

  21. 1854: 
    YELLOW CARDSouthampton's Daniel Fox

    It's taken until the 67th minute but referee Dean Whitestone has just shown the first yellow card of the game at Bloomfield Road. Saints defender Daniel Fox was a bit rash as he dived in on Thomas Ince, and probably deserved a booking.

  22.  

    Branislav Ivanovic who scored a brace - his first Premier League goals - in Chelsea's 4-2 win over Aston Villa: "I think it was difficult game, it's always difficult at Villa Park. We started well with two goals but I didn't think it was over. It's always a shock when you're 2-0 up and it becomes 2-2 but I think our good reaction after that decided the game."

  23.  

    From Andrew in Birmingham: "You've got to love the way Ian Holloway sets his teams up. I'd love to see Blackpool back in the Premier League tearing into the top teams and striking the fear of God into them!"

  24.  

    QPR boss Mark Hughes on Adel Taarabt, who finally broke his Premier League scoring drought in Rangers' win over Arsenal, with his 69th shot of the season: "He did a really defensive shift for us and the goal will do him the world of good as he gets off the mark. He is a little bit of a free spirit, but he just lacks a little guidance and just needs a structure and a plan he understands.

    "I thought his defensive discipline was as good as it has been, but I will always give him the freedom in the final third because he will always create there."

  25. 1847: 

    Southampton are still giving this a go, and sheer brute strength gives Guilherme Do Prado the chance to fire in a shot inside the box. It is deflected wide and, from the resulting corner, Do Prado tees up Adam Lallana to blast hopelessly over the bar. Lallana looks angrily at the pitch, because he is blaming a bobble, but it was a pretty wild attempt anyhow.

  26.  

    Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill after seeing his side pegged back at the Etihad Stadium by two late Manchester City goals: "We performed brilliantly and should have won. We didn't and you have to credit Manchester City. I'm disappointed we didn't take three points but it was a magnificent effort.

    "I wouldn't single anybody out today. It was a great team effort but in between that there were individuals who were very good. They were immense today. Any neutral would have thought we would have been well and truly beaten today. We showed spirit and ability. They are a top quality team. There will be twists and turns in the title race before end of season and Manchester United still have to visit us on the final day of season. We have to be up for every game."

  27.  

    From Naz Al-Ani on Twitter: "I stand by my theory that Southampton would still be mid-table in League One if it wasn't for Rickie Lambert. So overrated."

  28. 1838: 
    GOALBlackpool 3-0 Southampton - Ian Evatt (52 mins)

    In answer to my question from a couple of minutes ago - no, Blackpool are still by far the better team. They start the second half with a flurry of corners and, with the Saints defence all at sea, Ian Evatt runs in to nod home. Evatt's wife gave birth to twins this week, so he is definitely enjoying himself at the moment.

  29.  

    Jack in Manchester: "Re Des. Cast your mind back to 4:30 when it was 3-1 to Sunderland. Now tell me it wasn't a good result."

  30. 1832: 
    KICK-OFF

    We are back under way at Bloomfield Road. Southampton were second best before the break. Will they be any better after Nigel Adkins' half-time team-talk?

  31. 1830: 

    Some good news for England's women's team: They thrashed Croatia 6-0 in their Euro 2013 qualifer today. Rachel Williams, Jess Clarke, Rachel Unitt, Ellen White and Stephanie Houghton all bagged goals before the break, with Houghton adding a sixth in the second half. England sit second in their group, two points behind the Netherlands, whom they play next on 17 June.

  32.  
    BBC football pundit Steve Claridge at Bloomfield Road

    "Everything I said before the game about Southampton hasn't happened. I said Southampton would be tough to play against and tough to break down. And at times that simply hasn't happened."

  33.  
    MOTD's John Roder at Goodison ParkFULL-TIMEEverton 2-0 West Brom

    "It has been a terrific week for Everton with the midweek FA Cup quarter-final success and two league wins at either end. And it's been a terrific run in the Premier League for David Moyes' men recently as two defeats in their last 11 matches has moved them up to seventh. They had the better of this match with the Baggies struggling to replicate their previous impressive away performances."

  34.   
    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Loftus RoadFULL-TIMEQPR 2-1 Arsenal

    "A huge result for Mark Hughes as he gains only his third win in 11 league games and it could mean the world to QPR in their fight against relegation."

  35.  
    MOTD's Dan O'Hagan at Craven CottageFULL-TIMEFulham 2-1 Norwich

    "A well earned win for Fulham. Norwich did come back in the second half but Fulham hold on after losing their previous three league games."

  36.   
    MOTD's Jonathan Pearce at the Etihad StadiumFULL-TIMEMan City 3-3 Sunderland

    "It was a tremendous game of football. There's one significant thing now though; the title is in Manchester United's hands. If they win on Monday, they will be five points clear and they are the masters of being in front."

  37.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at MolineuxFULL-TIMEWolves 2-3 Bolton

    "Wolves now cut adrift at the bottom of the Premier League and left to regret missed chances and a controversial penalty decision that gave Bolton a route back into a game where they had been second best. Hard to see Wolves escaping the drop now."

  38.  
    MOTD's Martin Fisher at the DW StadiumFULL-TIMEWigan 2-0 Stoke

    "These could be three vital, vital points for Wigan at the end of the season as they look to beat the drop. The players and the fans can now start to believe that they can beat the drop. Wigan might just pull off the great escape again."

  39.  
    MOTD's Alistair Mann at Villa ParkFULL-TIMEAston Villa 2-4 Chelsea

    "A tremendous game at Villa Park which even included a Fernando Torres goal in the Premier League."

  40. 1819: 

    Time for a recap of what happened in the Premier League this afternoon. Seven matches, and just the 27 goals. It felt like most of them went in the final five minutes, but maybe that was just me...

  41. 1814: 
    HALF-TIMEBlackpool 2-0 Southampton

    It's been a lively affair at Bloomfield Road, and the Championship leaders are in big trouble. Blackpool fully deserve their lead.

  42.  

    From Lee in Cornwall: "Yes,the manner of City's comeback makes it a good point,but put it into context, when United got back to 3-3 at Stamford Bridge, City's players would have been gutted and the pressure goes back on them, yet this result has failed to put pressure on United and their players, that's the difference."

  43.  

    From Greg in Loughborough: "I agree with Des, you only get points for the results, regardless of the manner in which they were achieved. And that's all that counts. No-one will remember the performance if City fail to win the title."

  44.  

    From Jake Wilson on Twitter: "Adam Lallana needs to play in the Premier League, he is such a good player. An England future, maybe?"

  45.  

    David Moyes after his Everton side capped a great week, where they clinched a FA Cup semi-final spot, by beating West Brom 2-0 to move up to seventh in the Premier League table: "It was a great result for us today.

    "After the performance in midweek I was a little concerned about how we would get on today. But the players did a brilliant job to go on and get an important three points."

  46.  

    Reading forward and BBC pundit Jason Roberts has tweeted following the Royals 4-2 defeat of West Ham: "That feels so good! Lots of feeling, passion and emotion involved in that game, as expected when second plays third in the Championship. West Ham gave us one Hell of a game and a lot of credit to them. It's always an intimidating place to come, but we showed real team spirit to win."

  47. 1808: 

    Things have really opened up at Bloomfield Road, where Saints are trying to get men forward but leaving lots of gaps at the back. Tricky Tommy Ince is making the most of the space he is being given down the right and Blackpool look like they have a few more goals in them yet.

  48.  

    Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo on his side's topsy-turvy 4-2 win at Aston Villa, which leaves his side two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, who play Swansea on Sunday: "I thought it was an exciting game, we controlled it very well apart from five minutes. I credit the opposition with playing well. We conceded from a long throw but we thoroughly deserved to win.

    "We were dominating the game, controlling it and a third goal could've killed it off earlier but credit to Villa. Historically it has proven a difficult place to come for us. We're delighted to score four goals and apart from five minutes we were a good team."

  49.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE

    In League Two, Accrington Stanley battled to a 2-1 victory in what was AFC Wimbledon's first visit to the Crown Ground, while leaders Swindon had to settle for a goalless draw against Bristol Rovers. Meanwhile, Oxford United's automatic promotion hopes took a knock after they lost 2-1 at home to Morecambe.

  50.  

    From Andy Millar on Twitter: "Take notice Swansea because Stephen Dobbie is Premier League quality. Come on Blackpool, back to the Prem next year!"

    I should probably point out that Stephen Dobbie is on loan at Blackpool from Swansea.

  51.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE UPDATE

    Charlton's dominance at the top of League One continued after they beat Leyton Orient 2-0. Relegation-threatened Rochdale came from behind to draw 3-3 against Walsall, John Coleman's side had been 2-0 down before the break. Carlisle grabbed a late winner against play-off rivals Huddersfield to keep their promotion hopes on track, while Bury ended their torrid 13 game winless run with a 2-0 victory against Tranmere.

  52.  

    Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill on Stiliyan Petrov, who played under him at Celtic and Aston Villa. O'Neill spoke to the Bulgarian last night: "I was devastated to hear the news. I've known him for a long, long time - he's a great footballer but more importantly a fantastic character. He's upbeat, very strong mentally and we all wish him the very, very best. It's a desperate blow."

  53.  

    From Samuel Pett on Twitter: "Cracking first 20 minutes in the Blackpool-Southampton game. The penalties have really livened up the game."

  54. 1759: 
    GOALBlackpool 2-0 Southampton - Stephen Dobbie (31 mins)

    The Saints go within a whisker of equalising when Jos Hooiveld heads wide from a corner but instead find themselves two goals down seconds later. Blackpool punt a long ball forward and Stephen Dobbie runs through on goal before beating Kelvin Davies with a cool finish into the bottom corner. Dobbie has two goals today - and two goals for the season.

  55.  

    Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish speaking about Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagosed with acute leukaemia this week, after his side's defeat by Chelsea: "The players responded well, Stan came in to see us before the game, we gave him a hug, and said it'd be nice to win it for Stan. We gave everything, it's a shame we're not talking about a win as we felt we had Chelsea on the ropes. It was quite an emotional moment, a show of strength and support from the Villa fans. Stunned is the word, you don't imagine something like that can happen to one of your fit players. We've got to support Stan, he's started his recovery, and I'm sure he can fight it and beat it."

  56.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score, commenting on the Villa Park reception for Stiliyan Petrov this afternoon

    "When the football family comes together it's a great lift for the person who is actually at the centre of the storm. Petrov now has to focus on the future with his wife and his family, and hopefully it's a bright one. But football takes a back seat."

  57.  

    From Des in Chessington: "Unbelievably naive from all City fans and back-slappers who are complimenting them on a home draw. Cast your minds back to 3pm. You've eight games to go in a title race, playing a mid-table team at home which is apparently a fortress, so what is a good result for City? What would be a bad result for City? What would be a catastrophic result for City? Now consider the score... I think I've made my point!"

    Yes, Des. You have. But the manner of City's comeback means the result is a lot more positive than it might have been, no?

  58.  

    QPR boss Mark Hughes on his side's 2-1 victory over Arsenal that means his side are only in the Premier League relegation zone on goals scored: "We were fantastic today. It was really important to bounce back from our defeat at Sunderland where we didn't do ourselves justice' and we were determined to get something out of this."

    "We upset the applecart against Liverpool, but I think this performance was even better if anything. We restricted them to few chances and the players should take the credit. I can give them a gameplan, but they are the ones that have to pull the shirt on and go out and execute it. It was about restricting Arsenal and restricting their chances to do well."

  59.  

    From Jonny in Manchester: "Re Sean (1735): How have Spurs done under Harry? Spent a few quid yourselves, won nothing, shaky for fourth, and if you've forgotten City are currently the FA Cup holders."

  60.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Manchester United's game on Monday evening at Blackburn on Final Score: "I'm hoping United do well because they're one of my old clubs, but it's going to be a tough game on Monday considering the position Blackburn are in."

  61. 1750: 
    GOALBlackpool 1-0 Southampton - Stephen Dobbie (22 mins, pen)

    Another soft one. Gary Taylor-Fletcher slaloms into the box, hurdling two challenges but then goes to ground with no further contact made. Never a penalty in my book but referee Dean Whitestone points to the spot and Stephen Dobbie makes no mistake with a convincing finish.

  62. 1749: 
    PENALTY to Blackpool
  63.  

    Wolves manager Terry Connor on the first-half row between team-mates Roger Johnson and Wayne Hennessey in his side's home defeat by relegation rivals Bolton: "I don't like altercations in front of everyone. But it just shows you the passion and the desire to get a result. We'll sort it out on Monday. At half-time they came in and shook hands and got on with it. We're shattered. The players gave everything but just came up short. But the situation is still retrievable."

  64.  

    From Ian Dowell on Twitter: "That Southampton penalty was so much against the run of play. Blackpool have bossed it so far."

  65. 1745: 
    MISSED PENALTY by Southampton

    This is a soft penalty, awarded when Guilherme Do Prado goes to ground under a challenge from Rob Harris, who was off balance and fell over as he ran past the Saints striker. With Southampton's usual penalty-taker Rickie Lambert out injured, Billy Sharp steps up to take it, and gets enough power behind his strike too, but he fires the ball too close to Matt Gilks... who springs to his right to push the ball away.

  66. 1744: 
    PENALTY to Southampton
  67.  

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on his side's 2-1 defeat by QPR: "It is a disappointing performance. They defended well and I felt we played football without hurting them and we made defensive mistakes that we could not afford to on top of that. They had a gameplan where they left us with the ball and it is more suited to playing against the bigger teams. I felt that if you had the choice you want a better pitch but I don't think it explains why we were beaten in too many domains."

  68.  

    From Pratik Singh on Twitter: "QPR were written off due to their tough fixtures. And look now! It seems Hughes's experience against top teams is counting!"

  69. 1743: 

    Another Blackpool attack. Another Kelvin Davies save. Thomas Ince weaves into the area and makes space for a shot but he cannot quite squeeze it past the Saints keeper at his near post. It's still 0-0 but this is a great little spell for Ian Holloway's side.

  70.  

    From Iain Grant on Twitter: "Don't let two late strikes decieve you. City were poor today. The wheels have fallen off. If United win at Ewood, it's over."

  71. 1742: 

    Another great save from Kelvin Davies, again from Gary Taylor-Fletcher... although I'm not sure he knew too much about it. Thomas Ince gets down the right and pulls the ball back, but Davies somehow keeps out Taylor-Fletcher's first-time effort at the near post.

  72. 1740: 

    Blackpool's first attack of note, and it brings a super stop from Saints keeper Kelvin Davies. A flowing move ends when Matty Phillips tees up Gary Taylor-Fletcher, but his flicked finish is acrobatically tipped over by Davies.

  73.  

    Wigan boss Roberto Martinez on his side's win over Stoke that means that, although they remain second-bottom, his side are only in the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference: "It's very pleasing because I feel it was the perfect performance from us. We looked a real well organised side and we limited Stoke to very little chances. We showed maturity, know-how and composure and that is extremely pleasing. This group of players deserved that victory and we have given ourselves a great chance."

  74.  

    From Nick Bullough on Twitter: "Wigan proving that total football pays off."

  75.  

    Bolton's Martin Petrov on his friend and Bulgaria team-mate Stiliyan Petrov, who has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia: "I spoke to him yesterday and he told me. I was in shock. I made the decision this morning to play. You have to understand that I lvied with him for two years and we were team-mates. This morning I spoke with the gaffer and told him I wanted to play."

    Just to add, Martin Petrov celebrated his goal in Bolton's vital win over Wolves by revealing a t-shirt showing his support for his friend.

  76.  

    From Sean, a Tottenham supporter: "Mancini hasn't done well enough at Man City. Out in the Champions League group stages, out of the Europa League, out of FA Cup, out of the Carling Cup, and now out of the title race. With all the money spent that's not good enough."

  77. 1735: 

    The Saints are behind the first chance too. And it's a good one. Guilherme Do Prado chases a ball over the top and gets to it before Matt Gilks, but cannot prod his shot on target. The ball bounces a yard or two wide.

  78. 1733: 

    Southampton, who will go five points clear at the top if they win today, have made a bright start but we've just had a hold-up because of a problem with the ball. Quite a big problem, really, in that it isn't round. A new one which is the right shape is now being used.

  79. 1730: 
    KICK-OFF

    We are under way at Bloomfield Road, where Championship play-off hopefuls Blackpool are taking on leaders Southampton.

  80.  

    From Richard, concerned Villa fan: "This time last year Birmingham had 34 points from 30 games and were 15th. Villa now have 33 points from 30 games and are 15th. I see a pattern emerging... "

  81.  

    From Karl: "Re Brad Smith. City keep saying that, yet all the twists seem to be turning in City's direction at the moment. You're kidding yourself if you don't think it's two points dropped. And you sound worried. That's a great result for United."

  82.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "QPR are fighting for their lives and they played like it. That was Taarabt's best performance in the Premier League."

  83.  
    MOTD's Alistair Mann at Villa Park

    "Chelsea assessing ankle ligament injury for David Luiz and foot injury for Didier Drogba. Next 48 hours will know more."

  84.  

    From Nick Whitbread on Twitter: "Does anyone really fancy City to beat Arsenal next weekend? If United beat Blackburn and QPR and City lose, that's eight points!"

  85.  

    Unhappy Stoke boss Tony Pulis after his side's disappointing display in their defeat against Wigan: "The better team won, I can't be too severe or critical of the players this season, but today we weren't at it. The players get paid to perform and we had 2,000 fans here today who paid good money and they didn't play well enough."

  86.  

    From Brad Smith on Twitter: "Man Utd fans are kidding themselves by saying two points dropped. I think they're all a tad worried. There are going to be tonnes of twists yet."

  87.  

    Bolton manager Owen Coyle on Martin Petrov, who scored one and made one as his side fought back to beat relegation rivals Wolves: "It was a big ask for Martin to play. Stiliyan Petrov is a very close friend and he was very emotional, but he wanted to play. We wish Stiliyan well in his battle ahead. That's three league wins on the bounce for us but I still believe the battle at the bottom is going to go to the wire."

  88.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "The title race is now back in control of Manchester United. That is what Mancini will be furious about; they've lost control."

  89. 1717: 

    Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini on his side's 3-3 draw with Sunderland: "It was a crazy game, a very emotional game. We didn't play well but we have a chance again. It was very important to play well but we didn't. We defended very badly. We made mistakes. I'm not happy with our performance."

    And on whether title rivals Manchester United will slip up against Blackburn in their next game? "They can do a draw on Monday, why not? Are we still in the title race? I think so because eight games is enough to do two draws. It's normal. Until we have a point to win this league we will try until the end. I'm sure that we will do better [against Arsenal next week] than today."

  90.  

    From Olamide Abiola on Twitter: "Let's not forget that Arsenal desperately need a win against City next week or risk dropping to fourth position..."

  91.  

    From James Russell on Twitter: "I'd say it was very predictable. Arsenal were due a defeat, City have been poor, and Villa's defence is atrocious."

  92.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Sunderland drawing 3-3 with Man City on Final Score: "I think Martin O'Neill will be absolutely fuming, having been 3-1 up against one of the best sides in the league and having dominated the game."

  93. 1714: 

    Eight points, coincidentally, is the biggest lead Manchester City have held at the top of the table this season. That was on 19 November, when City beat Newcastle in a 3pm kick-off, before Manchester United saw off Swansea to bring the gap back to five points. That all seems a long time ago now, doesn't it?

  94. 1712: 

    Man City could be eight points behind Manchester United by the time they are next in action if the Red Devils beat Blackburn on Monday and then see off QPR the following Sunday, because Roberto Mancini's men don't play again until later that day. City's next game? At the Emirates Stadium against an Arsenal side who lost to QPR today and are fighting tooth and nail for third place.

  95.  

    From damihce726 on Twitter: "City's heroics were admirable, but reality will bite on Tuesday morning if they are five points behind United with seven games left..."

  96. 1709: 

    In the late Championship kick-off, leaders Southampton travel to play-off hopefuls Blackpool - you can watch the match live on BBC Two (and this website in the UK) from 1710 BST (in other words, now!). Nigel Adkins' side have a two-point gap at the top of the table following a 12 match unbeaten run. The Seasiders lie 18 points behind their opponents but their home form has been one of the best in the Championship this season. Ian Holloway's men have lost just once at Bloomfield Road in their last 12 games.

  97.  

    From Andy, a pleased United fan: "Before the game I would have taken a City draw so I'm pleased with the result. Another two points dropped by City!"

  98.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    Reading move to within two points of leaders Southampton at the top of the Championship, at least for the time being, after coming from behind to beat automatic promotion rivals West Ham 4-2 in a pulsating game. Current leaders Southampton take on Blackpool at Bloomfield Road in the late kick-off which you can watch live on BBC Two at 1710 BST. Brighton remain on track for a play-off place after grabbing a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Middlesbrough, while Portsmouth's worries deepen following a 5-1 defeat at home to Burnley. Radoslav Majewski grabbed a hat-trick for Nottingham Forest away at Crystal Palace to ease Steve Cotterill's relegation worries. Meanwhile, Coventry grabbed their first away win of the season in a 2-1 win at Hull.

  99.  

    From Lewis in Manchester: "If United win on Monday then there's a good chance they can go to the Etihad not even needing a win. Red half of Manchester are loving Martin O'Neill now."

  100.  

    From Josh Moore on Twitter: "As a Chelsea fan I hate QPR, but if they go down after beating us, Liverpool and Arsenal, something isn't right."

  101.  

    From Charles Bailey on Twitter: "Big day top and bottom. The advantage is heavily United's. Surely goodbye Wolves?"

  102.  
    Scottish Premier League latest:

    A double from Jon Daly helped Dundee United to a convincing 3-0 victory over Dunfermline that moves the Tannadice side into fourth spot in the SPL, ahead of St Johnstone on goal difference. Hearts winger Rudi Skacel also scored twice as the Edinburgh side clinched their place in the top six before the split with a 3-0 win over Aberdeen. Steven Thompson was another scoring a double as St Mirren defeated Kilmarnock 4-2.

  103.  

    From Conor Murphy on Twitter: "That point for City still could be decisive, despite a possible five-point gap come Monday night."

  104.  

    From Mike in Sunderland: "The sickening thing as a Sunderland fan is the fact that comeback over-shadows the fact City were outplayed for the majority of the game and were consigned to long distance shooting by a really positive Sunderland performance."

  105. 1700: 

    So, today's dramatic draw leaves Manchester City two points behind Manchester United at the top of the table, having played a game more. United play Blackburn on Monday, and a win would leave them five points clear with seven games left.

  106.  

    From a disappointed United fan: "This is what champions are made of. They keep fighting until the end. Hats off to City."

  107. 1659: 

    It's been a dramatic day at the top of the table, and at the bottom too. Wolves collapsed against Bolton - are they down and out? QPR claimed an impressive win over Arsenal and Wigan saw off Stoke, meaning Terry Connor's side are six points adrift from safety. You can tweet the commentary about the title race and the relegation battle via the hashtag #BBCFootball or Tweet me @chrisbevan_bbc and also text in via 81111.

  108. 1655: 
    FULL-TIME

    It is full-time everywhere in the Premier League.

  109. 1654: 

    The full-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City have salvaged a point after a dramatic and thrilling comeback but the hard fact is that they have failed to win at home in the Premier League for the first time this season, losing their 100% record in their 16th game.

  110. 1654: 

    Just one minute of stoppage time to go at the Etihad, and here come Man City again. Simon Mignolet has to claw away an Aleksandar Kolarov cross with home players queuing up in the box.

  111.  

    From Chris Tapsell on Twitter: "Really feel for Terry Connor at Wolves. Thrown in at deepest of deep ends by the owners, who should be ashamed of their haphazard planning."

  112. 1652: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    The City fans are urging their players forward but a neat build-up goes to waste when Yaya Toure spoons a shot over from 25 yards. Sunderland are making a change to eat up a few seconds, with David Vaughan on for Lee Cattermole.

  113. 1651: 

    It's still all City. Their keeper Joe Hart will be going forward if they get a corner. No doubt about it.

  114. 1651: 
    GOALWigan 2-0 Stoke - Victor Moses (90 mins)

    The points are definitely secure for the home side now. Victor Moses profits from a poor Stoke clearance and slots the ball into an empty net after rounding the keeper.

  115. 1651: 

    There will be four minutes of stoppage time at the Etihad Stadium.

  116.  

    From Greg in Watford: "Well done City for this comeback. Some fans are just desperate for them to fail."

  117. 1650: 

    City continue to pour forward in search of a winner. This is one-way traffic. Can Sunderland hold out?

  118.  

    From Dan Dowling on Twitter: "And... we're doing down. It's always too painful to be a Wolves fan..."

  119.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Man City's equaliser against the Black Cats on Final Score: "I think Sunderland are thinking that Kolarov isn't going to shoot, but he hits it perfectly and puts it exactly where he wants it. Great goal."

  120. 1649: 
    GOALAston Villa 2-4 Chelsea - Fernando Torres (90 mins)

    Chelsea strike on the counter-attack, with Daniel Sturridge playing the ball to Fernando Torres, who strikes with a right-foot shot from the edge of the area.

  121. 1646: 
    GOALMan City 3-3 Sunderland - Aleksandar Kolarov (86 mins)

    And, within seconds, City are level. A cross from the right isn't cleared and Aleksandar Kolarov collects the ball on the edge of the area, makes space for a shot and slams home through a crowd of players. Wow! City's title hopes are alive, again, but can they get a winner?

  122. 1645: 
    GOALMan City 2-3 Sunderland - Mario Balotelli (85 mins)

    Hello drama. Hello twists. We were busy writing Manchester City's title hopes off. Then this happened. First, City's pressure paid off when Mario Balotelli rifled home through a crowd of players from the edge of the area.

  123. 1645: 
    GOALWolves 2-3 Bolton - Matt Jarvis (88 mins)

    Could Wolves yet snatch a very dramatic point? Matt Jarvis shoots home from 10 yards for the home team.

  124.  

    Man City are trying everything to get the ball forward now, but there is no way through Sunderland's massed defence. Roberto Mancini's men just cannot get the ball into the area.

  125. 1642: 
    GOALWolves 1-3 Bolton - Kevin Davies (84 mins)

    Wolves fall apart. Completely. They fail to deal with a cross from the right and Kevin Davies snaps up the ball to fire a low shot past Wayne Hennessey. There is a stream of home fans leaving Molineux.

  126.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    It could be a late comeback for West Ham against Reading. Ricardo Vaz Te has got the Hammers back into the game at Upton Park with 13 minutes remaining, with the away side seeing their lead reduced to 3-2.

  127. 1641: 

    Manchester City are still toiling. There have been no chances for Roberto Mancini's men since that flurry of goals began elsewhere. The Etihad Stadium is quiet. Very quiet. Just under 10 minutes left for what would be a remarkable comeback now.

  128. 1640: 
    GOALAston Villa 2-3 Chelsea - Branislav Ivanovic (83 mins)

    A corner is flicked on by Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic smashes the ball home from inside the six-yard box for his second of the afternoon. Terrible for Villa but it could prove to be a crucial goal for Chelsea.

  129.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "The Villa game should have been over but one of the best full-backs in the world, Ashley Cole, has really screwed it up. That was a difficult ball that he had to deal with with his right foot at the back post, but he should have done better."

  130.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    Martin Petrov levels it up and reveals a "Be Strong Stan" t-shirt in support of fellow Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov. Molineux has gone ominously quiet after Bolton's equaliser. The team and fans need to lift themselves as they did so well for an hour.

  131. 1638: 
    GOALWolves 1-2 Bolton - Marcos Alonso (80 mins)

    Bottom-of-the-table Wolves are really regretting not making that early pressure count now. David Ngog heads Martin Petrov's cross against the bar but Marcos Alonso follows up to smash home the rebound.

  132. 1636: 
    GOALAston Villa 2-2 Chelsea - Eric Lichaj (80 mins)

    Big goals going in all over the place today. Marc Albrighton's low cross is met by Eric Lichaj, to haul Villa level. Where did that comeback come from?

  133. 1635: 
    GOALFulham 2-1 Norwich - Aaron Wilbraham (77 mins)

    Norwich out of it? It does not look that way any longer. The tricky Wes Hoolahan plays in Aaron Wilbraham, who cuts in from the right and sees his low strike take a slight deflection on its way into the Fulham goal.

  134.  

    From Rob Wibbs: "Roberto Mancini, the Italian Kevin Keegan. Choke."

  135.  

    From Anthoney in Scarborough: "Manchester City have discovered mineral water under the Etihad. They're bottling it."

  136. 1634: 
    GOALAston Villa 1-2 Chelsea - James Collins (77 mins)

    Is there hope of a late Villa fightback? Yes, because James Collins has got on the end of a long Eric Lichaj throw to head home.

  137. 1633: 

    At Craven Cottage, Fulham are searching for more goals but John Ruddy denies John Arne Riise. The points look safe for Martin Jol's men.

  138. 1633: 

    Better from Man City, who are putting Sunderland under pressure... but they need to make Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet a lot busier than he has been.

  139.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "Wolves fans furious with Mark Davies for going down under minimal contact from Roger Johnson. Martin Petrov's first act after scoring from the spot was to reveal a "Be Strong Stan" t-shirt in support of his fellow Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia."

  140.  

    From Kwaku Sarfo Mensah on Twitter: "For all their attacking prowess, City's Achilles heel remains their defence. Kompany and Toure are no Ferdinand and Vidic."

  141. 1632: 

    Jean Beausejour has got a wicked cross on him, no doubt about it. But his finishing leaves a lot to be desired. For the second time today he miscues at the back post when he gets on the end of a cross and does not test Asmir Begovic.

  142. 1631: 

    City are huffing and puffing but they are having no joy in breaking down this resolute Sunderland defence. You could argue the first cracks appeared in Roberto Mancini's side when they lost to a last-gasp strike at the Stadium of Light at the turn of the year. Could the Black Cats finish them off today?

  143.  

    From Jack Golding on Twitter: "Man City are well and truly bottling it. It's disgusting that a poor United team (by their standards) is going to win the league again."

  144. 1628: 

    Another Sunderland corner but it ends in a Man City attack as they break forward quickly. Carlos Tevez gets a shot away too but it is into the side netting.

  145.  

    From Sam Godby on Twitter: "Man City are clearly demonstrating that the mentality needed to win Championships cannot be taught... or bought, for that matter."

  146. 1627: 
    GOALEverton 2-0 West Brom - Victor Anichebe (68 mins)

    Steven Pienaar picks up the ball close to the half-way line, makes a surging run into the Baggies half before passing to Victor Anichebe, who takes a touch before smashing the ball low into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

  147. 1627: 

    City need goals. Desperately. But they cannot clear their lines at the moment as Sunderland force a succession of corners.

  148.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    It's not looking good for West Ham, as Ian Harte thunders in a penalty for Reading to make it 3-1. The goal will take the Royals to the top of the Championship ahead of the match between Blackpool and Southampton which is live on BBC Two at 1710 BST. Meanwhile, Portsmouth's struggles continue at the bottom as Burnley's Danny Ings makes it 2-1 to the Clarets. Nottingham Forest have taken the lead against Crystal Palace to move Steve Cotterill's side further away from the relegation dropzone. Also, what could be a huge goal at the top of League One as James Berrett opens the scoring for Carlisle against Huddersfield, denting the Terriers hopes of securing an automatic promotion spot.

  149. 1625: 

    Manchester City players are arguing over who will take a free-kick, and yes Mario Balotelli is one of them. Roberto Mancini looks on in frustration from the sidelines as Aleksandar Kolarov ends up taking it and sends his shot whistling just over the bar. City are rattled here, no question.

  150.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "I think the referee has been conned at Molineux. I don't think Roger Johnson makes contact. The tackle is made but no contact is made, and the forward manipulates the situation and goes down. Look at the response from the Wolves players. They're furious about it."

  151.  

    From Sam Tomlin on Twitter: "Will Mancini be sacked if they don't win any trophies this year?"

  152. 1622: 
    GOALQPR 2-1 Arsenal - Samba Diakite (66 mins)

    Arsenal have bossed this game since the break but they are behind again when a spinning ball foxes Thomas Vermaelen and allows Jamie Mackie to barge into the box and pull the ball back for Samba Diakite to smash his first-time finish into the net for his first QPR goal.

  153. 1622: 

    What's been happening at Loftus Road in the middle of all this? Arsenal have been going close, that's what. Robin van Persie, without a goal in his last two games, has a great chance to end his relative goal drought. QPR keeper Paddy Kenny makes a superb stop from a fierce shot as he goes one-on-one with the Dutchman.

  154.  

    From Stephen Henriques on Twitter: "Someone get a Heimlich Manouevre specialist to the Etihad. Chronic choking occurring."

  155. 1620: 
    GOALWolves 1-1 Bolton - Martin Petrov (pen, 63 mins)

    Another big, big goal in what is turning into an intriguing relegation tussle. Martin Petrov steps up to send Wayne Hennessey the wrong way and drag his side level. Petrov celebrates by lifting his shirt to reveal a t-shirt saying 'be strong Stan' in support of Villa captain and fellow Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov.

  156.  

    From Rob Hughes on Twitter: "City are falling apart before our eyes!"

  157. 1619: 
    PENALTY to Bolton

    Roger Johnson brings down ex-Wolves midfielder Mark Davies. There was minimal contact.

  158. 1618: 

    Yep, Carlos Tevez replaces David Silva, who has been poor today - and in truth, below-par for a few weeks. Tevez's latest rescue act begins now, with about 30 mins left.

    Over to Craven Cottage, where Norwich are showing signs of life. Wes Hoolahan almost pulls a goal back with a low shot that is only partially parried by Mark Schwarzer. Aaron Hughes is quick to help his goalkeeper by throwing himself at the ball to block the follow-up effort.

  159. 1618: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Carlos Tevez is about to come on for Manchester City. They have never needed him more than now.

  160.  

    From Dan Downing on Twitter: "Beautiful goal, Michael Kightly! If the forwards can't do it, then just do it yourself. Yes!"

  161.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "Wolves one up through Kightly. They have deserved that and so has he. Perfectly placed left foot finish from the angle."

  162.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "The way this is going, Man City are going to need snookers. City are going to need Blackburn to do them a mighty, mighty favour on Monday."

  163. 1615: 
    GOALMan City 1-3 Sunderland - Seb Larsson

    Are Man City's title hopes disappearing down the drain? It appears so, because Sunderland are further ahead thanks to a deadly counter-attack. Stephane Sessegnon's perfectly-weighted ball releases Nicklas Bendtner, who is behind the City defence on the right, and he sends over a perfect cross for Seb Larsson to slide the ball past Joe Hart from close range. City have been poor today, but Sunderland have been sensational.

  164. 1613: 
    GOALWigan 1-0 Stoke - Antolin Alcaraz (54 mins)

    It's all happening at the bottom of the table, because Wigan have made the breakthrough against Stoke. Jean Beausejour sends over an inviting cross and Antolin Alcaraz arrives to power home the header.

  165.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Wolves' potentially vital goal: "It's bad defending from Bolton. The left-back is actually showing a left-footed player onto his left foot into the pitch, and giving him a chance to do what left-footers want to do. And he buried it."

  166. 1613: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Any sign of a Norwich fightback? Er, not right now. Fulham hit the woodwork for a second time as young Swede Alex Kacaniklic hits the bar with a beautifully adjuged curling shot.

  167.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "It was poor defending from Villa. Ivanovic gets the goal and he's got a habit of doing that, scoring big goals. Under Di Matteo, Chelsea have been outstanding. There has been a real change, a distinct change from the side that played under Andre Villas-Boas."

  168. 1610: 
    GOALWolves 1-0 Bolton - Michael Kightly (53 mins)

    Michael Kightly has had a torrid time with injuries for the last couple of years but he remains a top class player when he is fit. Can he keep Wolves up? He is certainly having a go on his own today and has put them up with a really special strike, cutting in from the right before letting fly with his left foot and sending a shot arrowing past Adam Bogdan and into the bottom corner. At last Wolves have the goal their dominance has deserved.

  169. 1610: 

    Bolton spent most of the first half defending but they have started the second on the attack. Ryo Miyaichi sends over a peach of a cross that lands on David Wheater's head, but he cannot direct his header on target. Wolves breathe again.

  170. 1607: 
    GOALAston Villa 0-2 Chelsea - Branislav Ivanovic

    It's all too easy for Chelsea as they extend their lead. Villa fail to deal with a corner from the left and the loose ball drops for Branislav Ivanovic to swivel and stab it home from about six yards out.

  171. 1607: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Stoke are making a change, with Matthew Etherington forced off by an ankle injury. Cameron Jerome is coming on instead.

  172. 1606: 

    Play has resumed at all seven of our top flight games. It is very quiet at the Etihad Stadium at the moment.

  173. 1606: 

    We have restarted at the DW Stadium, where Wigan want a penalty. They have good reason too because replays show Dean Whitehead clearly handled Gary Caldwell's flick in the box. Referee Mark Clattenburg gives a corner instead. Will the Latics live to regret that at the end of the season?

  174. 1604: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Manchester City are making a change too, with Adam Johnson on for Micah Richards.

  175. 1604: 
    KICK-OFF

    We are back under way at Loftus Road. At Goodison Park, referee Peter Walton continues to be given a fond farewell in his last Premier League game, with more applause following an announcement over the tannoy. The Toffees have made a change at the break with Magaye Gueye on for Leon Osman.

  176.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    Two goals in two minutes have turned the game around between Reading and West Ham. First Kaspars Gorkss and then Noel Hunt scored for the Royals after Carlton Cole had given the Hammers the early lead. The Royals could go top with victory. In the battle of the play-off contenders in League One neither Carlisle nor Huddersfield have been able to find the back of the net at Brunton Park. Table-topping Charlton lead London rivals Leyton Orient by one goal, where a win could take the Addicks nine points ahead of nearest rivals Sheffield United, who are currently drawing 0-0 away at Hartlepool. Meanwhile, the problems continue for struggling Rochdale, already eight points from safety, Joe Widdowson has added to John Coleman's problems heading into his own net minutes before half-time.

  177.  

    From Rhidian Humphreys on Twitter: "Can't remember seeing the City defence, with Kompany, looking this shaky..."

  178.  

    From Paul: "All this fuss about City missing Kompany? He comes back and they are still awful. They've lost their bottle."

  179.  

    Asfand Baig on Twitter: "Man City have 45 minutes to save the title."

  180.  

    From Conor Tierney on Twitter: "As if we needed reminding, the genius of Martin O' Neill is shining through at the Etihad..."

  181. 1601: 

    Belated news of a substitution for you from Villa Park. Chelsea defender David Luiz was injured just before the break and Gary Cahill came on for the Blues instead.

  182.  
    MOTD's Steve BowerHALF-TIMEWolves 0-0 Bolton

    "Steven Fletcher could have had a hat-trick during a first-half dominated by Wolves yet somehow it remains goalless."

  183.   
    BBC Sport MOTD's Jonathan Pearce at the Etihad StadiumHALF-TIMEMan City 1-2 Sunderland

    "It's not going according to the script for Manchester City and Rob Mancini will have harsh words to say at half-time."

  184.  
    MOTD's Dan O'Hagan at Craven CottageHALF-TIMEFulham 2-0 Norwich

    "It has been Fulham's half. Having suffered three successive defeats prior to this match, the Cottagers have given Norwich a torrid first period and taken a hold on this match."

  185.  
    MOTD's Alistair Mann at Villa ParkHALF-TIMEAston Villa 0-1 Chelsea

    "The home side enjoyed their best spell in the final 10 minutes of the first half but Chelsea have been good value for their lead."

  186.  
    MOTD's John Roder at Goodison ParkHALF-TIMEEverton 1-0 West Brom

    "A distinct improvement is needed by Roy Hodgson's side in the second period. Leon Osman celebrated like it was his goal but it took a significant deflection off Gareth McAuley, which means it must surely go down as an own goal. Everton have had far the better of the first half, with only one chance of note for the Baggies."

  187.   
    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Loftus RoadHALF-TIMEQPR 1-1 Arsenal

    "It has been harem scarem stuff but the half comes to an end with it all square at Loftus Road. Let's have more of the same please after the interval."

  188.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at MolineuxHALF-TIMEWolves 0-0 Bolton

    "Wolves in complete command - but chances have come and gone in a game they should have wrapped up already. And a little bit of half-time diplomacy required from Wolves caretaker manager Terry Connor after that spat between Roger Johnson and his own keeper Wayne Hennessey."

  189.  
    MOTD's Martin Fisher at the DW StadiumHALF-TIMEWigan 0-0 Stoke

    "Chances have been at a premium but Jean Beausejour wasted a great opportunity for Wigan. Those are the sort of chances you have to take if you are to win games and stay in the Premier League."

  190.  

    From Alex Smith on Twitter: "Brilliant performance by Everton. Particularly Osman and Pienaar on the two wings. Lucky but a deserved goal. Come on Everton!"

  191.  

    Louie Silvani on Twitter: "Wolves have been brilliant. Dynamic, passionate and incisive. Where have they been all season?"

  192.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Sunderland's second goal on Final Score: "As a centre-forward, that kind of cross put in by Sessegnon is perfect. Bendtner out-muscled Micah Richards at the far post, and I never thought I'd say that."

  193. 1552: 
    HALF-TIME

    It is half-time in all seven of today's top flight games. I would imagine that Sir Alex Ferguson will be quite pleased with the way things are going at the Etihad Stadium so far.

  194. 1549: 
    GOALMan City 1-2 Sunderland - Nicklas Bendtner (45 mins)

    Another twist in the title race and it's not a good one from Manchester City's point of view. They go to sleep at the back on the stroke of half-time and are ruthlessly punished. From a quick free-kick, the energetic Stephane Sessegnon clips in a delicious cross for Nicklas Bendtner to rise to nod home. City boss Roberto Mancini is apoplectic on the sidelines because his side will be behind at the break.

  195. 1549: 

    Still goalless at the DW Stadium, but only Jean Beausejour knows why. The Wigan wideman was all alone at the back post when Victor Moses sent over a cross, but he skewed his shot wide from close range.

  196. 1547: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK

    Back over to Craven Cottage now. As I was saying, Norwich have improved of late but it is Fulham who have gone closest to scoring again, when Clint Dempsey hits the post after a clever turn. Moussa Dembele reacts quickly to the rebound but his shot is well blocked.

  197. 1545: 

    Lots of players squaring up at the Etihad, after words are exchanged between Edin Dzeko and Craig Gardner. No prizes for guessing they are in disagreement about that penalty. Anyway, referee Phil Dowd calms everyone down and play is back under way.

  198. 1543: 
    GOALMan City 1-1 Sunderland - Mario Balotelli

    A penalty gave Manchester City a way out of the woods against Chelsea in their last game at the Etihad Stadium and they are level here because of a spot-kick. Sunderland aren't happy but the reason this spot-kick is given is because Craig Gardner blocks off Edin Dzeko inside the box. Gardner might have been trying to get out of the way but there was definite contact. Referee Phil Dowd points to the spot and Mario Balotelli steps up to slam home the penalty.

  199. 1543: 
    PENALTY to Man City
  200. 1542: 

    The chances have dried up for Fulham after their fast start, and it is Norwich who are pressing as we approach the end of the first half, with Elliott Ward firing wide from a corner. There is more trouble for the Cottagers too, because striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has just had to go off. The Russian has been limping since been tackled by Eliot Ward.

  201.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "Tensions surfacing among Wolves players as keeper Wayne Hennessey goes head-to-head with captain Roger Johnson. Bit of squaring up and finger-pointing after Bolton miss a chance. Referee Jonathan Moss steps in - and the Molineux crowd are vociferously in Hennessey's corner."

  202.  

    From Ethan, a Chelsea fan: "Chelsea may be fifth in the league, but we are playing well still. Torres and Mata are forming a dangerous partnership up front and at the back the same can be said with Cahill, Luiz and Terry. Promising signs for Chelsea."

  203.  

    From Darren in Redditch: "I was never keen on McLeish's appointment and he's yet to win me over, but I have to sympathise for him with so many injuries to key players. It's this time of the season when we could really do with the experience and quality of Bent, N'Zogbia and Dunne. Best wishes to Petrov!"

  204.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin commenting on Theo Walcott's equaliser for Arsenal on Final Score: "I think Walcott's form has come through playing games and getting comfortable playing in that position. Plus the emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The best players always fight for selection."

  205. 1539: 

    They might be arguing with each other but Wolves are still on top, and they must be wondering what they have to do to score. Steven Fletcher throws himself at a corner Keith Houchen-style for a diving header which is heading into the net until Bolton midfielder Ryo Miyaichi stops it on the line. Still 0-0 at Molineux.

  206.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    David Norris has got struggling Portsmouth back into the game against Burnley in the Championship, guiding the ball into the back of the net after the Clarets had opened the scoring through Kieran Trippier. Meanwhile, Craig Bryson scores his fifth goal of the season for Derby County against Bristol City. In League One, Emanuel Jorge Ledesma has given Walsall the lead against struggling Rochdale, John Coleman's side are eight points away from safety. Jordan Robertson equalises for Scunthorpe away at Chesterfield, while Jonathan Douglas has extended Brentford's lead against MK Dons to make it 2-0. Northampton continue to struggle in League Two as Crewe take the lead through Luke Murphy. AFC Wimbledon have scored their first ever goal at Accrington to bring the sides level, Luke Moore firing into the top corner.

  207. 1537: 
    GOALQPR 1-1 Arsenal - Theo Walcott (37 mins)

    The Gunners had not done much since falling behind, but now they are level. On the edge of the QPR area, Robin van Persie slips a precise pass to Theo Walcott, who sees his first effort come back off the inside of the post but gets on the end of the rebound to beat Paddy Kenny.

  208. 1536: 

    What is going on at Wolves? Despite their bright start, two of their players are shouting at each other, with Roger Johnson and keeper Wayne Hennessey having to be separated by referee Jon Moss. A lot to be sorted out in the dressing room at half-time.

  209.  

    From James S A Watson on Twitter: "This is the worst I've seen Man City play. Where has Silva gone?"

  210.  

    From Mickey in Wembley: "Arsenal are losing simply because the Ox isn't playing. There's hardly any forward movement from Aaron Ramsey on the left."

  211. 1533: 

    Wolves continue to press and at last they get a decent sight of goal. Matt Jarvis lifts in a cross which is met by Steven Fletcher, but his downward header is superbly stopped by Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan. A great save.

  212. 1533: 

    West Brom's best attack of the afternoon sees Paul Scharner skip into the area but his shot is pushed away by Tim Howard and Shane Long is crowded out as he tries to follow up at the far post.

  213.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on Final Score: "Wolves are surprising me. They are playing now like they should have started playing five games ago. They are on the front foot against Bolton."

  214.  

    From Opta Joe on Twitter: "Adel Taarabt has finally scored his first Premier League goal, with his 69th shot of the season. Patience."

  215.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "It's been a good contest but Sunderland, from the word go, have really taken the game to Man City. Sessegnon has looked lively and it's been a great start. City have got some work to do."

  216. 1529: 
    GOALMan City 0-1 Sunderland - Seb Larsson (31 mins)

    A huge goal in the title race, this one, because Manchester City are behind for the third match in succession. Stephane Sessegnon rolls the ball across the edge of the area for Seb Larsson, who is in acres of space to sidefoot the ball between the diving Joe Hart and his left-hand post. It is against the run of play, but Sunderland are ahead.

  217. 1528: 

    It is still goalless at the DW Stadium too, where it has got a little bit scrappy after Wigan's bright start. The Latics had the last chance of note, but a decent move ended with Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic pulling off a decent low save from Shaun Maloney's volley at the back post.

  218.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "Wolves applying all the early pressure here at Molineux - but must make this period of supremacy pay. Michael Kightly very prominent so far."

  219.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin reacts to Adel Taarabt's goal for QPR on Final Score: "It's really hard as a forward to receive the ball in the middle of the pitch, knowing you have a big, hairy centre-back coming up from behind you. But he played it past Vermaelen in one movement, turned, and only a player of real quality can finish like that."

  220.  

    From Sam Wyatt on Twitter: "Arsenal can't cope with QPR's physicality. It's as simple as that!"

  221. 1526: 

    Wolves are still dominating against Bolton. They are piling on the pressure, with Michael Kightly looking in fine form on the left wing, but still cannot create a clear-cut chance. Still 0-0 at Molineux.

  222. 1525: 

    Chelsea go close to a second goal at Villa Park. Fernando Torres sets up Juan Mata, who hits the post with a shot from a tight angle. Torres attempts to gobble up the rebound too, but Villa have enough men back to clear the danger.

  223.   
    Garth Crooks on Final Score

    "It's a great game at Etihad between Manchester City and Sunderland. A proper football match. Sunderland are having a real go!"

  224. 1521: 
    GOALQPR 1-0 Arsenal - Adel Taarabt (22 mins)

    We have not seen an awful lot of Adel Tarrabt in the Premier League this season, but he has just made his mark in a big way here. The Moroccan, who previously had the most shots in the top flight without scoring this campaign, glides past Thomas Vermaelen and leathers a low shot into the bottom corner. Rangers are ahead and the form book is turned upside down, for now at least.

  225.  

    From Paul Lummis on Chelsea's goal on Twitter: "Juan Mata offside when the ball is played into box, and Villa's Baker down with a head injury, yet play still goes on? Atrocious officiating!"

  226.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    In the Championship, Coventry's Liam Cooper has headed into his own net against Hull and Kieran Tripper has given Burnley the advantage at Portsmouth. Meanwhile, Scott Wagstaff has given promotion hopefuls Charlton an early advantage in their League One clash against London rivals Leyton Orient, firing in from close range, while Clayton Donaldson has given Brentford the lead at MK Dons . In League Two, Accrington Stanley have taken the lead through Luke Joyce against AFC Wimbledon in what is the first trip for the London club to the Crown Ground.

  227. 1519: 

    Great scenes at Villa Park where the whole ground and both benches are giving Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov a standing ovation, and are now chanting his name. Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia on Friday. His side almost mark it with a goal too, with James Collins heading narrowly over from a corner.

  228. 1519: 
    GOALEverton 1-0 West Brom - Gareth McAuley own goal (18 mins)

    Leon Osman opens the scoring for Everton with a 20-yard strike - but there is a huge element of fortune. Neat build-up play sees Osman spin off his marker and play a quick one-two with Nikica Jelavic before his strike takes a wicked deflection off West Brom defender Gareth McAuley and past a stranded Ben Foster.

  229. 1518: 

    QPR have weathered the storm against Arsenal at Loftus Road and now are creating the odd chance too. Bobby Zamora nods narrowly over the top from Adel Taarabt swirling delivery from the right flank and the hosts have had a decent penalty shout turned down too, after the ball appeared to strike Alex Song's arm.

  230.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    West Ham, who started the day in third, have taken the lead in their match against second-placed Reading, Carlton Cole shooting home from close range, while Chris Iwelumo has given Watford the early advantage against Leeds. In League Two, Bradford's long trip to Plymouth hasn't started well with Juvhel Tsoumou giving the Pilgrims an early goal, while Colchester have taken the lead against Exeter through Karl Duguid.

  231.  

    Villa fan Chris Johnson on Twitter: "Well that didn't take long. We're in real danger of being dragged into the relegation battle. McLeish has to go."

  232. 1516: 

    Sunderland come forward again. More good work by Stephane Sessegnon and Seb Larsson gives Craig Gardner a shooting chance, but he fires into the side netting.

  233. 1515: 

    A chance apiece in the early stages at the Etihad Stadium, where Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon forces Micah Richard to scramble clear after racing towards goal, before Aleksandar Kolarov's free-kick for City is well saved low down to his left by Simon Mignolet.

  234.  

    From Mike Hall on Twitter: "Norwich are obviously making absolutely certain that they don't qualify for the Europa League!"

  235. 1513: 
    GOALFulham 2-0 Norwich - Damien Duff (13 mins)

    Clint Dempsey's through-ball finds Damien Duff running into the area, who fires in a low angled shot that John Ruddy gets a hand to, but cannot keep out of his net. Fulham are running riot here.

  236. 1509: 

    Arsenal are beginning to look menacing too. Robin van Persie smashes a free-kick under the QPR wall. It bobbles a bit but Paddy Kenny gathers it at the second attempt.

  237. 1509: 
    GOALAston Villa 0-1 Chelsea - Daniel Sturridge (9 mins)

    After a neat build-up by Chelsea, Juan Mata crosses for Fernando Torres, who is denied by a great block by Stephen Warnock in the six yard box. It's a goal-saving tackle but it is to no avail because the ball falls for Daniel Sturridge to slot into the unguarded net. There was a Villa player on the floor injured but, apart from Warnock, I'm not sure what happened to the rest of their defence.

  238.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "Wolves all over Bolton early on. Bogdan saving from Ebanks-Blake - visitors under serious pressure."

  239. 1507: 

    Chelsea have wasted a golden chance too. Fernando Torres is clean through but fires straight at Aston Villa keeper Shay Given. The rebound falls for Juan Mata, but he spoons his shot over.

  240. 1506: 

    And Wigan have made a bright start against Stoke. Franco di Santo is through one-on-one with Potters keeper Asmir Begovic, who denies him with his legs. The Latics striker should really have done better there.

  241. 1505: 

    Everton go close to an early goal too. Leighton Baines swings in a cross which is met by Leon Osman but his glancing header flies wide.

  242. 1502: 
    GOALFulham 1-0 Norwich - Clint Dempsey (2 mins)

    Fulham had failed to score in their previous four matches but they are ahead with their first attack of the match. Bryan Ruiz's angled shot is parried by John Ruddy and Clint Dempsey, following up, reacts quickly to put the loose ball into the net using his thigh.

  243. 1501: 

    All seven of our 1500 GMT Premier League games are now under way. Referee Peter Walton got a warm round of applause at Goodison Park when it was announced that today is his final Premier League game.

  244. 1500: 
    KICK-OFF

    We are under way at the DW Stadium and the Etihad Stadium, and Villa Park too.

  245. 1457: 

    There is also a message to Fabrice Muamba on a banner in the Bolton end at Molineux. It reads: "Fab, hope u r smiling @ the Reebok soon #prayforMuamba"

  246.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at Molineux

    "One of the joys of Molineux. Always a touch of pre-match Led Zeppelin featuring Wolves fan Robert Plant. The Immigrant Song. And straight into Kashmir. Can't knock that."

  247. 1456: 

    And now the Villa supporters are giving Petrov a standing ovation. The Bulgarian international, who is in a hospitality box with his family today, rises to his feet to acknowledge the crowd. He is putting on a brave face but he looks very emotional.

  248. 1454: 

    The Villa fans are singing 'There's only one Stiliyan Petrov' now, as we approach kick-off at Villa Park. In fact, there are just six minutes to go until all SEVEN of our top-flight games get under way.

  249.  

    From Tom Mason on Twitter: "Aston Villa are in real danger of getting sucked into relegation battle. Weimann, Gardner et al not good enough to win games yet."

  250.  

    Absent Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has tweeted: "I'm injured and in my house ready to watch the game. Come on boys, let's get three points!"

  251.  

    From Guy Remon on Twitter: "I think Arsenal can catch up if the good form continues! COYG!"

    From Max Germain on Twitter: "I'm also one for the Gunners to win the Premier League. I have faith in the Arsenal. 1st or 2nd definitely!"

    From Mattercus on Twitter: "If Arsenal win the league I'll get 'Wenger is a God' tattooed on my forehead... and I'm a Spurs fan!"

  252. 1450: 

    Plenty of banners showing appreciation for Stiliyan Petrov on display at Villa Park. A reminder that Villa fans are to show their support for their captain, known as Stan, with a standing ovation in the 19th minute of today's game following his diagnosis with acute leukaemia.

  253. 1448: 

    Something else to look out for at Goodison Park. Referee Peter Walton is taking charge of his final Premier League game today. He flies over to the United States on Monday to become the head of referees in the MLS.

  254.  
    Everton v West Brom (1500 BST)

    David Moyes makes two changes to his Everton defensive line with right-back Tony Hibbert and centre-half Phil Jagielka starting instead of Phil Neville and Johnny Heitinga. The third switch from their midweek FA Cup quarter-final victory at Sunderland sees South African attacking midfielder Steven Pienaar, cup-tied for the Stadium of Light clash, replace Magaye Gueye. West Brom counterpart Roy Hodgson keeps an unchanged defence but brings Somen Tchoyi, Paul Scharner and Chris Brunt into his midfield. Winger James Morrison (knee ligament) could miss the rest of the season, while Shane Long starts in attack instead of Marc-Antoine Fortune.

  255.  
    SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST:

    Lee McCulloch's late goal has given Rangers a 2-1 victory over third-placed Motherwell that denies leaders Celtic the opportunity of clinching the Scottish title with victory over St Johnstone on Sunday. Well had taken the lead through Henrik Ojamaa after six minutes, but Steven Whittaker equalised three minutes later. McCulloch's winner takes Rangers six points clear of their hosts and 15 behind their city rivals. Now the attention turns to Tannadice, where Dundee United host a Dunfermline Athletic side looking for a win that would take them level with second bottom Hibernian, who play on Sunday. Hearts host Aberdeen and will clinch a top-six place before the SPL split should they better Kilmarnock's result away to St Mirren.

  256.  
    QPR v Arsenal (1500 BST)

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insists he is not entertaining the prospect of overhauling Manchester City and stealing into second place in the Premier League despite a seven-match winning run in the Premier League. "We are in a position that nobody expected us to be in and we want to strengthen that position from now on," he said. "I see us fighting like mad on Saturday to win the game. I don't see further." QPR counterpart Mark Hughes believes his side can build on their win over Liverpool in their last home game and bring Arsenal's winning streak to an abrupt halt." "We fancy our chances at Loftus Road. We were exceptional last time out and no-one has come to Loftus Road and really turned us over," said Hughes.

  257.  
    QPR v Arsenal (1500 BST)

    QPR manager Mark Hughes recalls Joey Barton for the first time since the midfielder was withdrawn to a chorus of boos after an hour against Liverpool. Djibril Cisse is unavailable after starting a four-match ban for his red card against Sunderland, leaving Bobby Zamora to lead the attack alone. Clint Hill replaces Luke Young at the back in the only other change to the starting XI. Arsenal also make a couple of changes with Laurent Koscielny recovered from a knee injury to replace Johan Djourou at the centre of the defence and Gervinho dropping to the bench to make space for Aaron Ramsey's inclusion in midfield.

  258.  
    LINE-UPSEverton v West Brom (1500 BST)

    Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Osman, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar, Cahill, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Stracqualursi, McFadden, Distin, Neville, Gueye, Anichebe.

    West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Brunt, Andrews, Scharner, Tchoyi, Long, Odemwingie. Subs: Daniels, Dorrans, Shorey, Mulumbu, Dawson, Cox, Fortune.

    Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

  259.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    In League Two, Swindon have three games in hand on their nearest rivals and have won 11 consecutive home games ahead of the visit of Bristol Rovers. Bradford had three players sent off in their midweek defeat by Crawley and will take a weakened squad on one of the longest trips in the Football League to face Plymouth. Shrewsbury are still eyeing an automatic promotion berth and are looking to extend their unbeaten home record against Aldershot. Crewe remain unbeaten in nine matches and have won their last four to push their hopes of a play-off spot come May. They welcome struggling Northampton to Gresty Road.

  260.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    In League One, leaders Charlton take on Leyton Orient, where a win could take the Addicks nine points ahead of nearest rivals Sheffield United. The Blades travel to Hartlepool, who have the worst home record of the teams in the top half of the table. Play-off hopeful's Huddersfield and Carlisle tackle each other in a tough clash at Brunton Park. At the other end struggling Exeter, who are eight points adrift of safety, following a torrid seven-match run that has seen them pick up just one point out of a possible 21, travel to play-off chasing Colchester. Bury are on a run of 13 League One games without a win and will be trying to improve at home against Ronnie Moore's resurgent Tranmere.

  261.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    The big game in the Championship takes us to Upton Park where third placed West Ham take on second placed Reading who, if they win, would be just two points behind leaders Southampton, who in turn face Blackpool in the late kick-off - which you can watch live on BBC Two from 1710 BST. In another top-of-the-table clash, Middlesbrough embark on the 312-mile trip to Brighton in search of their first win in six games. At the other end, following Doncaster's 3-1 defeat by Birmingham on Friday night, Coventry and Portsmouth will be hoping to boost their chances of avoiding the drop with the Sky Blues travelling to Hull, while Michael Appleton's side welcome Burnley to Fratton Park. In other notable games Leeds United play Watford and Crystal Palace tackle Nottingham Forest.

  262.  

    Injured Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has tweeted about his absence: "In my home recovering and cheering Manchester City. Very important match. C'mon City!!"

  263.  
    Wigan v Stoke (1500 GMT)

    Wigan are unchanged from the team that beat Liverpool 2-1 at the weekend. That means Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega has still not recovered from a knee injury while Mohamed Diame is still missing with a groin problem. Stoke City make one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester City with Jermaine Pennant coming in for Cameron Jerome. Ricardo Fuller returns to the bench after serving his three-match ban.

  264.  
    Fulham v Norwich (1500 BST)

    Bryan Ruiz and Danny Murphy return for Fulham, with Kerim Frei and Mahamadou Diarra making way. Ryan Bennett makes his debut for Norwich City as Paul Lambert makes four changes from the side that beat Wolves last weekend.

  265.  
    LINE-UPSFulham v Norwich (1500 BST)

    Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, John Arne Riise, Murphy, Dembele, Ruiz, Dempsey, Duff, Pogrebnyak. Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Diarra, Etuhu, Frei, Kacaniklic, Trotta.

    Norwich: Ruddy, Ward, Whitbread, Ryan Bennett, Martin, Naughton, Fox, Surman, Howson, Hoolahan, Morison. Subs: Steer, Drury, Johnson, Crofts, Jackson, Elliott Bennett, Wilbraham.

    Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

  266.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    Cardiff missed the chance of returning to the Championship play-off places following their 0-0 draw against Millwall. Joe Mason had the best chance to give the Bluebirds the lead but his shot was cleared off the line early in the first half. Both sides had efforts ruled out for offside after Cardiff's Aron Gunnarsson and Millwall's Andy Keogh had found the back of the net. In League One, Sheffield Wednesday defeated struggling Preston 2-0 to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.

  267. 1440: 

    Stiliyan Petrov is in his seat at Villa Park, smiling, shaking hands and signing autographs. He got a great reception from the Chelsea players when he met them a few minutes ago too.

  268.  

    Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin speaking about Stiliyan Petrov on Final Score on the BBC red button: "It doesn't surprise me at all that he is at the game. That's Stan. He's a great captain and you can tell, being around him, how professional he is. That's why he's got so much respect at Aston Villa."

  269. 1437: 

    Here's a stat that should make QPR fans wince, courtesy of Infostrada Sports. Rangers have had six players sent off this season - five of them at Loftus Road. If they get a red card today it will be a new Premier League record for teams having the most red cards at home in a single season, beating Bolton's five in 2001-02. Not really a record QPR will be hoping to set, and one that is probably a little bit safer with Djibril Cisse sitting in the stands.

  270.  

    From John on Twitter: "Am I the only one who thinks Arsenal still has a chance of winning the Premier League? There are 24 points to play for and it's 'only' a 15 points difference..."

    John, I'm pretty sure that you are alone on this one. Are there any other supremely-optimistic Gunners out there to prove me wrong?

  271.  
    LINE-UPSQPR v Arsenal (1500 BST)

    QPR: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo, Barton, Diakite, Derry, Taarabt, Mackie, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Campbell, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Young, Wright-Phillips.

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Walcott, Rosicky, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Gervinho, Chamakh, Benayoun.

    Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

  272.  
    LINE-UPSAston Villa v Chelsea (1500 BST)

    Aston Villa: Given, Lichaj, Collins, Baker, Warnock, Gardner, Herd, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Bannan, Weimann. Subs: Guzan, Albrighton, Heskey, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers, Grealish.

    Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Sturridge, Mata, Kalou, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Essien, Meireles, Malouda, Bosingwa, Cahill, Bertrand.

    Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

  273.  

    From Joe Farley on Twitter: "As much as I appreciate a young line-up, that Villa team today is a cry for help. We need to buy in the summer!"

  274.  
    Aston Villa v Chelsea (1500 BST)

    Aston Villa make six changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Arsenal with Eric Lichaj, Nathan Baker, Barry Bannan, Chris Herd, Gary Gardner and Andreas Weimann returning. Alan Hutton is missing with a calf injury, Charles N'Zogbia will be out for a further month with a knee problem and Stiliyan Petrov has been left out but is in attendance at Villa Park. Midfielder Raul Meireles misses out for Chelsea (knee injury) but defender Branislav Ivanovic has recovered from a thigh injury to make the starting XI. Midfielder Ramires has also shaken off a knock and is on the bench.

  275.  

    Manchester City's assistant manager David Platt speaking ahead of kick-off at the Etihad Stadium on his side's title prospects: "We've got eight games left and you get tense for these games as everything is tight. We might as well enjoy it [the tension] as it ain't going away. It's going to be neck-and-neck between us and United until the end. I'd be surprised if we're not in this situation until final couple of weeks of the season. During the week we try and relax, go about our work on training pitch and do what we've been doing all season. It's just a matter of keeping it ticking along waiting for games and affect what we can affect."

  276.  
    Man City v Sunderland (1500 BST)

    Manchester City make four changes to the side that started at Stoke last time out. Captain Vincent Kompany returns at centre-back, Aleksandar Kolarov replaces Gael Clichy at left-back, Nigel de Jong is preferred to Gareth Barry and James Milner comes in for Samir Nasri on the left. Nasri is not even on the bench but Carlos Tevez is, as Mario Balotelli is up front with Edin Dzeko. There are two changes for Sunderland from their midweek FA Cup defeat by Everton - in come Matt Kilgallon and Jack Colback and out go Sotiros Kyrgiakos and the ineligible Wayne Bridge, with Nicklas Bendtner leading the line.

  277.  

    BBC Radio 5 live pundit Jimmy Armfield at Etihad Stadium for Man City-Sunderland: "Manchester City have got to start proving some things. They're in the middle of a hiccup, and this has suddenly become a crucial match. Manchester United have got much the better run-in. These are the kind of games where you've really got to make a point."

  278.  
    LINE-UPSMan City v Sunderland (1500 BST)

    Man City: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Milner, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Pizarro, Barry, Johnson, Tevez, Zabaleta.

    Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner. Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Richardson, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos.

    Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

  279.  

    From Jack: "As long as Arsenal don't start with Ramsey, this will be an eighth successive win for the Gunners. He has been completely burnt out recently, slows play and misses chances."

  280.  

    From K Damo on Twitter: "Big ask for Aston Villa to win today. The team is an awkward mix of promising youngsters and ineffective experienced players. Get well, Stan."

  281.  

    From Dan in Dorchester: "Can we have a shout for Nigel Adkins and the Southampton boys? Whatever the season outcome is, they've done a great job and have started installing pride back into our club, after our shameful and embarrassing financial mismanagement."

  282.  
    LINE-UPSWigan v Stoke (1500 GMT)

    Wigan: Al Habsi, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Moses, Di Santo, Maloney. Subs: Kirkland, Crusat, Ben Watson, Gomez, Sammon, Jones, Stam.

    Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Whitehead, Whelan, Etherington, Crouch, Walters. Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Fuller, Upson, Shotton, Jerome, Palacios.

    Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

  283. 1423: 

    News from Villa Park, where the Villa players are wearing t-shirts with 'Support Stan' and a picture of their captain on them during the warm-up, and Chelsea's goalkeepers are also on the pitch wearing 'Petrov 19' shirts.

  284.   
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty at MolineuxWolves v Bolton (1500 BST)

    Wolves prefer Sylvain Ebanks-Blake - making his first start since the 5-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion that saw Mick McCarthy sacked - to Kevin Doyle in attack while David Davis takes his place in midfield, with Karl Henry returning on the bench after four weeks out with a hamstring injury. Bolton are set to line-up with a 4-4-2 formation, David Ngog and Ivan Klasnic staring up front. Gretar Steinsson has not travelled so Sam Ricketts is poised to start at right-back with Marcos Alonso in at left-back.

  285.  
    LINE-UPSWolves v Bolton (1500 BST)

    Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Bassong, Ward, Kightly, Davis, Edwards, Jarvis, Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher. Subs: De Vries, Henry, Hunt, Berra, Milijas, Zubar, Doyle.

    Bolton: Bogdan, Ricketts, Ream, Wheater, Alonso, Miyaichi, Mark Davies, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Klasnic, Ngog. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Eagles, Knight, Kevin Davies, Boyata, Sordell, Vela.

    Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

  286.  
    Wolves v Bolton (1500 BST)

    Bolton manager Owen Coyle has praised the resilience of his squad after an emotional fortnight and insists they are focused on the job in hand against Wolves on Saturday. "The players have always been an honest and conscientious group in the way they have conducted themselves in difficult circumstances," said Coyle. "I think they've been a credit to themselves and to the club".

  287.  
    Everton v West Brom (1500 BST)

    Everton manager David Moyes is refusing to get sidetracked by the Toffees' forthcoming FA Cup semi-final. He said: "We have got West Brom, Norwich and then Sunderland before then and they are three really important games for us. You'd be wasting your time asking me about the cup. Maintaining our form is important and we just need to keep on playing well like we have done." Baggies boss Roy Hodgson has hailed Everton, who have finished in the top eight in each of the past five Premier League seasons, as the benchmark for his West Brom side. He said: "They are the team that teams like ourselves need to have in our sights as a guide to what is required to not only stay in this league but to consistently perform well. They are always the team just below the big-money teams."

  288.   
    MOTD's Alan Hansen, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Hopefully for the Premier League the title race will go down to the wire. The last three away games that Man City have had, they don't look like a team that are going to win away from home. They've got mega games coming up. Matches against Norwich, Newcastle and at the Emirates are never easy, then there's the big Manchester derby game. You fear for Manchester City."

  289.  
    Wolves v Bolton (1500 BST)

    BREAKING: Karl Henry is on the bench for Wolves after four weeks out with a hamstring injury. Ronald Zubar is also on the bench after returning from suspension. For Bolton, striker Ivan Klasnic and left-back Marcos Alonso both start. Full line-ups to follow shortly

  290.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    In League One it is looking very much like the points are in the bag for Sheffield Wednesday, who are now 2-0 up against struggling Preston thanks to a Gary Madine header. It is Madine's second of the match.

  291. 1411: 

    Stiliyan Petrov has just arrived at Villa Park with his family. He was waving at fans as he went into the ground and looked in good spirits. Villa supporters plan to show their appreciation for their captain, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia this week, with a tribute in the 19th minute.

  292.  
    Aston Villa v Chelsea (1500 BST)

    Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish says it was a "massive shock" to hear Stiliyan Petrov had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia but has urged his players to "get behind him and be galvanised by what has happened" in Saturday's game. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has told his players "there is no time and space to be arguing" about his rotation policy and instead they must focusing on finishing in the top four and getting Champions League football.

  293.  

    From Moha on Twitter: "Sacking Mick McCarthy and replacing him with Terry Connor is up there with the worst decisions made in the Premier League era."

  294.  

    From Yani Kapitanov on Twitter: "The whole of Bulgaria is supporting our captain Stiliyan Petrov..."

  295.  

    From Charlie Brown on Twitter: "Ipswich are celebrating 50 years since the last league title. A stand is being named after Sir Alf Ramsey's achievements. Great day at Portman Road."

  296.  
    Everton v West Brom (1500 BST)

    BREAKING: West Brom boss Roy Hodgson names an attacking line-up at Goodison Park. There are four changes for the Baggies with Somen Tchoyi, Paul Scharner, Chris Brunt and Shane Long handed starts. I will give you Toffees news when I get it...

  297.  

    West Ham chairman David Gold on BBC Radio 5 live, speaking ahead of his side's big game against Reading at the top of the Championship: "People are talking about this as a must-win game. I think it's a must-not-lose game, though I do believe we can win. It's true that we've drawn a lot of games recently, but we are undefeated in 11. In most cases we've set ourselves up to win in games and we've been frustrated but teams that have been really hard to break down. We can go into an automatic promotion position this evening with a win today."

  298.  
    Fulham v Norwich (1500 BST)

    Fulham have lost their last three matches but Norwich manager Paul Lambert believes his team will be in for a tough time at Craven Cottage, saying: "Maybe they don't get the praise they deserve because they have a good manager and really, really top players in their team." Lambert's counterpart Martin Jol, whose side are three points behind the Canaries, is keen to win to ensure Fulham have 39 points - the number that would probably guarantee their place in the Premier League next season. "There were a lot of clubs winning their games last weekend, putting them on 39 or 40 points and that is exactly what we wanted so hopefully we don't have to wait too long to achieve that," said Fulham's Dutch coach.

  299.  
    Man City v Sunderland (1500 BST)

    Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has challenged his team to 'play with concentration' to 'win the last eight games' as they seek a first top-flight title since 1968. 'We stayed at the top for five months, we want to get back on top and stay there until the end,' he adds. Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill admits: "On their own patch City's record is absolutely incredible. If we're not focused, we will suffer accordingly."

  300.  
    FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST

    We've had a goal! Yes, top scorer Gary Madine has blasted League One promotion-chasers Sheffield Wednesday ahead against Preston at Hillsborough. The striker found space on the edge of the away penalty area before turning to smash in a thunderous angled drive for his 16th goal of the season.

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Upcoming Fixtures Mon 29 Dec 2014 - Premier League Upcoming Fixtures Thu 1 Jan 2015 - Premier League
  • Stoke v Man Utd 12:45
  • Aston Villa v Crystal Palace 15:00
  • Hull v Everton 15:00
  • Liverpool v Leicester 15:00
  • Man City v Sunderland 15:00
  • Newcastle v Burnley 15:00
  • QPR v Swansea 15:00
  • Southampton v Arsenal 15:00
  • West Ham v West Brom 15:00
  • Tottenham v Chelsea 17:30
Upcoming Fixtures Sat 10 Jan 2015 - Premier League
  • Sunderland v Liverpool 12:45

More fixtures

As It Stands Table

Barclays Premier League summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Chelsea 18 27 45
No movement 2 Man City 18 24 42
No movement 3 Man Utd 19 14 36
No movement 4 Southampton 18 17 32
No movement 5 West Ham 18 8 31
Moving up 6 Tottenham 19 0 31
Moving down 7 Arsenal 18 10 30
No movement 8 Swansea 18 4 28
No movement 9 Liverpool 18 -2 25
No movement 10 Newcastle 18 -7 23
No movement 11 Stoke 18 -4 22
No movement 12 Everton 18 -1 21
No movement 13 Aston Villa 18 -11 20
No movement 14 Sunderland 18 -11 19
No movement 15 West Brom 18 -8 17
No movement 16 QPR 18 -13 17
No movement 17 Hull 18 -7 16
No movement 18 Crystal Palace 18 -10 15
No movement 19 Burnley 18 -15 15
No movement 20 Leicester 18 -15 10