Saturday football as it happened

Live text commentary as Man City beat Swansea after wins in the Premier League for Arsenal and Wigan and draws at Stoke, Reading and Villa.

27 October 2012 Last updated at 20:05

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As it happened

  1. 1958: 

    Right, time for me to call it a night. Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight - that extra hour will come in handy if you want to watch the injury time at the end of Manchester City's win over Swansea in full. Plenty of football to take in too, starting with Match of the Day at 22:25 BST (on BBC One and this website), followed by The Football League Show at 23:45 BST. Thanks for keeping me company - see you all very soon.

  2. 1956: 

    Here's Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, reflecting on his side's unconvincing victory over Swansea.

    "It was important to get three points today after defeat in midweek. We did not play well in the first half because we were so tired and we were better in the second half," Mancini said.

    "I said at half time to keep calm and to keep working together. The players and the pitches are the same as in the Champions League, it happens sometimes that you don't play well but we had chances to score another goal when we were 1-0 up against Ajax. We have to learn to take our chances.

    "In the end the only important thing is the result. If you win you are the best manager, if you lose you are the worst."

  3. 1954: 

    No word yet on Micah Richards' injury, but Michael Laudrup says Michel Vorm will be out for "four five or six weeks" with his groin injury he sustained tonight. Gerhard Tremmel will be between the sticks when Swansea play Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

  4. 1953: 

    Swansea boss Michael Laudrup feels his side were unlucky to lose out at the Etihad Stadium, after out-playing Manchester City for long spells.

    "When you go to play the champions in an away game and you lose 1-0 then sometimes you think that is ok because nobody expects anything, but we kept them to just one chance and I really think we deserved something from the match," the Dane said.

    "It is never positive to lose but looking at it as a game there are a lot of positive things.

    "It is not for the first time this season that Joe Hart has made some great saves, he has done it again twice against Michu today and I think that their goalkeeper gave them two points."

  5. 1951: 

    Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry on his team's hard-fought 1-0 win over Swansea: "It's a massive three points. To play three games in seven days is always very tough. It wasn't a great performance but the manager said to us at half-time to stay calm, and Carlos came up with a great goal."


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Manchester City have now scored 15 goals fewer after nine Premier League matches than they had last season: 18 v 33."

    MOTD's Steve Bower at the Etihad StadiumFULL-TIME- Man City 1-0 Swansea

    "A hugely disappointing week for Manchester City ends with another three points for Roberto Mancini's men. City were far from their best but a second clean sheet this season means they did enough."

    MOTD's Conor McNamara at the DW Stadium, BBC commentatorFULL-TIME- Wigan 2-1 West Ham

    "Wigan clinch a deserved first home win of the season thanks to strikes from Ivan Ramis and James McArthur. West Ham will feel they didn't get the ball to Andy Carroll enough."

    MOTD's Steve Wilson at the Britannia Stadium, BBC SportFULL-TIME- Stoke 0-0 Sunderland

    "This is not a match that will live long in the memory. In a game of few chances, Stoke will feel they should have won it although the hosts were relieved when the referee decided against pointing to the penalty spot after Robert Huth handled Steven Fletcher's shot inside the area."

    MOTD's John Roder at the Madejski StadiumFULL-TIME- Reading 3-3 Fulham

    "A pulsating finale at the Madejski. Fulham were 2-1 and 3-2 up only for Reading to peg them back on both occasions. Anyone who left early has been badly short-changed, but Reading are still without a league win."

    MOTD's John Motson at The Emirates StadiumFULL-TIME- Arsenal 1-0 QPR

    "It was a quite amazing end to what, for a long time, was a mundane match. But it exploded into life in the last 20 minutes. The turning point was the sending off of Stephane Mbia on 80 minutes. The winning goal came four minutes later and there could have been further goals at either end. It has put Arsenal gingerly back on track and left QPR stranded at the bottom."

    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Villa Park, BBC SportFULL-TIME- Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich

    "A lively second half made up for a generally lacklustre first half. It ended honours even but Norwich had the chances to win it. Villa defended so stoutly and Paul Lambert will be relieved to get a point, but Norwich will feel they should have gone on to win."

  13. 1944: 

    Time for a quick reminder of what happened in the Premier League today. Six games, 13 goals, and lots of talking points... starting at Villa Park.

    Gary Lineker, BBC Match of the Day presenter

    "Match of the Day running order: Reading/Fulham, Arsenal/QPR, Wigan/West Ham, Man City/Swansea, Aston Villa/Norwich, Stoke/Sunderland. BBC One, 2225 BST."


    Nick Langridge on Twitter: "This time last year Tevez was playing golf in South America. Now he has got three points for City. Oh, football..."

    John Powe on Twitter: "Great performance from the Swans. Unlucky not to get a point or three..."

    Jeffrey G on Twitter: "It has been a real struggle. Swansea deserved something there."

  16. 1938: 

    The new record for the longest Premier League game? 102 minutes and 42 seconds, at the Etihad Stadium tonight (and very nearly tomorrow morning). Manchester City's win is enough to see them move above Manchester United into second place, three points above Sir Alex Ferguson's men and one point behind leaders Chelsea.

    United and Chelsea meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday of course. A win for United would leave things VERY tight at the top.

  17. 1934: 

    A very strange night at the Etihad Stadium comes to an end (eventually), and Swansea will feel unlucky to leave empty-handed. Manchester City take the points, in a victory probably more unconvincing than Arsenal's over QPR earlier today, but both sides have serious injury concerns - the Swans for keeper Michel Vorm (calf), and Roberto Mancini's side for defender Micah Richards (knee).

  18. 1933: 
    FULL-TIME- Man City 1-0 Swansea
  19. 1931: 

    We have our record folks - this is now the longest Premier League match in history... will we have the latest goal too? No, not tonight. Manchester City break forward after Swansea's last attack falls down but Mario Balotelli sees his shot clip the top of the bar.

  20. 1929: 

    The clock hits the 100-minute mark. Manchester City are defending their lead with a fair degree of desperation as Swansea pump balls into their box.

  21. 1927: 

    Less than four minutes of our marathon period of injury time to go now. Swansea are still trying hard but the closest they have come to an equaliser is a Ki Sung Yueng pot-shot which sailed a mile off target. Manchester City have had a sight of goal too, but Carlos Tevez dragged his effort wide after Swansea failed to clear a corner properly.

    Gary Lineker, BBC Match of the Day presenter

    "12 minutes added time? That's at least two more couples I'll miss on Strictly..."


    Anhar Miah on Twitter: "Never have I ever witnessed 12 minutes being added on after 90 minutes until now."

    Don Limani on Twitter: "Wow 12 added minutes! City's twelfth man?"

    Saqueeb Rajan on Twitter: "12 minutes! Even Sir Alex Ferguson would never get that!"

  24. 1924: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Man City's Joleon Lescott for Sergio Aguero

    Manchester City bring on Joleon Lescott as they look to see this one out. It involves more of Roberto Mancini's juggling at the back, though. Lescott is in the centre, Matija Nastasic moves to left-back and Gael Clichy has gone to left-midfield.


    Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi tweets: "Great win and three points and a top performance. It's a good feeling to win our first home game, and thanks to all the fans who attended today."


    Full-time: Bristol City 1-2 Hull City. Hull come out on top thanks to Stephen Quinn's winner on 65 minutes, although a deflection off Bristol's Cole Skuse made sure it went past keeper Tom Heaton. The home side hit the woodwork twice after Quinn's goal but Hull had plenty of chances, including a vicious shot by Robert Koren that rattled the crossbar. The Tigers go sixth in the table - Bristol City stay in the bottom three.

  27. 1922: 

    We have had three minutes of added time already, most of which has been spent with Swansea in possession and trying to find a way through Manchester City's defence. No joy for the Welsh side yet, but they do have time on their side. Sort of.

  28. 1920: 

    I'm told the record is 12 minutes and 26 seconds of added time in Arsenal's draw with Liverpool in 2011. I reckon that will be beaten tonight.

  29. 1919: 

    There will be 12 added minutes at the end of the game at the Etihad Stadium. Is that a record (outside of Old Trafford)?

  30. 1917: 

    Manchester City are living dangerously with their one-goal lead here. Swansea keep coming forward and keep finding space on the flanks. They are sending in some decent crosses too, with Angel Rangel the latest to bend one in from the right. It flashes right across the face of Joe Hart's goal, but none of Rangel's team-mates were there to meet it.

  31. 1915: 
    YELLOW CARD- Swansea's Nathan Dyer

    Swansea are leaving gaps at the back as they chase this game and, in trying to recover after his side lose possession, Nathan Dyer brings down Gael Clichy. That's a foul, and a booking.

  32. 1914: 

    There are only five minutes of the 90 left but those injuries to Michel Vorm and Micah Richards mean there will be a lot of injury time at the end of this game - close to 10 minutes I reckon.


    Matt in Oxford on 81111 on text: "Somehow City play badly and score and it's because they're champions, yet when Arsenal do it they got lucky and didn't deserve it."

    Tom from Nottinghamshire on 81111 on text: "You know its pointless Swansea scoring and getting back into this game, Dzeko is still to come on..."

    James in London on 81111 on text: "I feel bad for Swansea and Vorm but, as a Chelsea fan, it's good news for the game next Saturday."

  34. 1911: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Man City's Kolo Toure for Micah Richards

    We have already had one serious injury tonight, for Swansea's keeper Michel Vorm, and it looks like this is another. Micah Richards is lifted on to the stretcher and carried off, still receiving oxygen. Kolo Toure will replace him.

    Manchester City are short of right-backs too - Pablo Zabaleta and Maicon are already injured.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Reading and Fulham are two clubs who concede goals easily. Reading just can't close a game down, and they don't know how to stop leaking goals. They had a chance to win that game but they didn't. They can't keep conceding goals as they are and expect to win games."


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Man City are unbeaten in all previous Premier League matches in which Tevez has scored: 29 wins, three draws."

  37. 1908: 

    More trouble for Manchester City. Micah Richards pulls up with nobody near him and goes down clutching his knee in the area. He is in real pain too. Play continues, and Swansea have a man over - but Wayne Routledge does not trouble Joe Hart with his shot.

    Richards cannot continue, and he needs oxygen before he can be stretchered off.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "I'd have put my house on Fulham holding out with two minutes to go and winning that game. They usually have a sound defence. martin Jol will be fuming having dropped two points like that."

  39. 1908: 

    Fulham boss Martin Jol on his side's thrilling 3-3 draw with Reading: "We were the better footballing team in the first half but there was no purpose to our game. We couldn't hit the target so we told them to play with more purpose in the second half.

    "Bryan Ruiz was injured so he didn't play all the games lately but he has the quality to make the difference. I was very happy to bring him on and he did that."

  40. 1905: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Swansea's Nathan Dyer for Pablo Hernandez

    Another switch in attack for Swansea, who have been causing Manchester City's defence some anxious moments of late. Nathan Dyer is on for Pablo Hernandez, and he has 13 minutes left to make an impact.

  41. 1903: 

    Swansea are pushing more men forward too, and this is another decent spell by the Welsh side. Micah Ricards can only clear as far as Jonathan de Guzman, in space 25 yards from goal, and he has time to pick his spot before bending the ball a fraction wide of Joe Hart's right-hand post. That was close.

  42. 1901: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Swansea's Danny Graham for Leon Britton

    A change of plan for Swansea, who are going to get the ball forward quicker by the looks of things. Deep-lying midfielder Leon Britton is off, and Danny Graham is on.


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "Manchester City have now scored in their last 36 home Premier League games. Only Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea have ever gone on longer runs."


    Nsikan Matthew on Twitter: "That goal might just be what City needed to put them back in title mood."

    Akude Emeka O on Twitter: "That's why they are champions, scoring when they really aren't playing well. Football really can be harsh but city won't care."

  45. 1858: 

    With 20 minutes left, Manchester City are pushing hard for the second goal. Swansea are struggling to clear their lines, but they have been enough of a threat tonight to show that Roberto Mancini's men need some breathing space.

  46. 1855: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Swansea's Gerhard Tremmel for Michel Vorm

    Michel Vorm is carried off and the game continues. Gerhard Tremmel has not played very often for Swansea - this is only his second league appearance for them - but the 33-year-old has played at the Etihad Stadium before, when he lined up for Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League.

  47. 1853: 

    Michel Vorm needs treatment before he can even be stretchered off. German keeper Gerhard Tremmel will come on in his place, but the problem for Swansea is how long will Vorm be out for, because this looks nasty.


    Dan Wickham on Twitter: "I just stubbed my toe! I bet that Chris Bevan has something to do with it!"

    William Harvey on Twitter: "I didn't have the motivation to revise today. Pretty sure that's your fault too..."

    Philip Maher on Twitter: "Damn it Chris, you didn't know you're supposed to teleport into games and score a hat-trick if it's boring?"

  49. 1850: 
    GOAL- Man City 1-0 Swansea - Carlos Tevez (61 mins)

    Manchester City were grateful to Vincent Kompany for blocking Ki Sung Yueng's shot straight after that Joe Hart save... now they are ahead. The home side surge forward and Carlos Tevez picks up the ball 25 yards out, looks up, and buries a piledriver of a shot straight into the bottom corner.

    The even worse news for Swansea is that their goalkeeper Michel Vorm injured his groin while trying to keep that shot out, and cannot continue.

  50. 1849: 

    Manchester City have been on top in this second half but they have just survived a huge scare, from Swansea's first attack since the break. The Swans pour forward through Pablo Hernandez down the right and, when the cross comes in, Michu stoops to meet it with a header. Either side of Joe Hart and the Welsh side are ahead but it is straight at him.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Stoke, year on year, are making progress. They are ditching that ugly, rugged performance for a bit of finesse. I think that is healthy."

  52. 1848: 

    Stoke manager Tony Pulis has been talking about his team's goalless draw with Sunderland, the Potters' sixth in nine league games this season.

    "We're disappointed. We needed a break but Sunderland have been very strong and were very well set up," Pulis said. "I thought their keeper was brilliant but it just wasn't our day. I can't remember Asmir Begovic having a save to make.

    On Marc Wilson's injury, Pulis added: "We're not sure what Marc's injury is yet but he has been sent to hospital. Let's not get too up or down about it. We need to await the results."


    Mike on 81111 on text: "Anyone would of thought us Blues haven't be rubbish before. This is a return to the norm for us isn't it? Get behind the lads in the second half and have faith. Come on Citizens!"

    Karl from Manchester on 81111 on text: "Re 1832: I found a tenner today. Thanks Chris!"

  54. 1842: 

    Manchester City are finding all sorts of gaps in the Swansea defence now, but the scoreline remains 0-0.

    The chances keep coming, though. Carlos Tevez releases Micah Richards on the right of the area with a intricate through-ball but Mario Balotelli is unable to get on the end of Richards' low ball across goal. Balotelli goes down and wants a penalty, but referee Martin Atkinson is having none of it.

  55. 1840: 

    Again Manchester City come forward - whatever Roberto Mancini said at half-time seems to be working. This time Samir Nasri splits the Swansea defence to send Mario Balotelli clear, only for Michel Vorm to come rushing off his line and do enough to put him off.

  56. 1839: 

    Another Manchester City attack. This time Samir Nasri raids down the right and, under pressure, Mario Balotelli is just unable to get on the end of it.

  57. 1837: 

    Manchester City come forward with purpose straight from the restart. Sergio Aguero finds space for a shot from the edge of the area but it flies wide. The crowd are a bit more lively too.


    Laksh on Twitter: "City missing De Jong - Toure doesn't have the freedom to venture forward without leaving the defence exposed."

    Claus Bo Bjerglund on Twitter: "Overheard Balotelli and Dzeko talking about how to get a argentine passport."

    Richard Parfitt on Twitter: "Gosh, one goalless half and the City fans think its all gone to hell. Keep your pants on, you still have some decent players."

  59. 1835: 
    KICK-OFF- Man City 0-0 Swansea

    We are back under way at the Etihad Stadium, where Mario Balotelli is on for Aleksandar Kolarov, who was injured.

  60. 1832: 

    Dave (below) has got a bit of stick for his text but actually deserves credit for continuing the theme set by Steven earlier, in that everything that has gone wrong today (for anyone) is my fault. Watching a rubbish match? My fault. Your team not playing well? My fault. Lost your wallet? Blame me.

  61. 1828: 

    So, what has gone wrong for Manchester City tonight? Very little has gone right - they have barely warmed the palms of Swansea keeper Michel Vorm so far.

    Looking on the bright side for the Blues, it was a similar story in the first half against the Swans last season - they laboured for a long time until Edin Dzeko broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, and went on to win 4-0.


    HT: Bristol City 1-1 Hull City Bristol City's attempt to get out of the bottom three got off to a bad start with Sone Aluko's goal after eight minutes, but they are back in contention after Stephen Davies equalised midway through the half. Hull still have their eyes on a win which would move them into the top six though.

    MOTD's Steve Bower at the Etihad StadiumHALF-TIME- Man City 0-0 Swansea

    "Swansea hoped for Champions League hangover from the Premier League champions and that is exactly what we have got here."


    Tom in Worcester on 81111 on text: "Worst performance form City I have seen for a couple pf seasons. Absolutely rubbish."

    Gary from Manchester on 81111 on text: "Quick Roberto, it's not working. Bring on Balotelli to form a back three and swap Sergio with Joe Hart. Good players can play anywhere."

    John, also in Manchester, on 81111 on text: "City fans are being treated to some good football for the first time in a while. Shame it's by Swansea."

  65. 1818: 
    HALF-TIME- Man City 0-0 Swansea

    City end the first half by ballooning a 35-yard free-kick high over the bar, and boos ring out around the Etihad Stadium as the half-time whistle blows.


    Dave in Timperley on 81111 on text: "Yet more City bashing comments from you lot, only posting negative comments. It is getting tedious."

    Dave, I struggle to think that even the most die-hard Blue could say something positive about Manchester City's first-half performance tonight, other than that it is about to end and it is still 0-0. Please text back with the positive comment that I am missing.

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live, 606 phone-in

    "Mark Hughes was one of my heroes as a kid but too many QPR players are getting sent off, and it costs them. Their performance today created a few chances, and it will just take them time. We're only eight or nine games in, and they have had some difficult games. I think they've got some good players and Mark Hughes has converted that squad from Championship standard."

    You can listen to 606 online, on digital or on medium-wave, and you can join in by calling 0500 909 693, texting 85058 or tweeting @bbc5live using the hashtag #606.

  68. 1813: 

    Three minutes or so to go until half-time. Manchester City can expect a rocket from Roberto Mancini at the interval at this rate - they deserve it too because they have been terrible. Swansea are the better team.


    Kazza on Twitter: "Swansea deserve something here!"

    Sagar Shah on Twitter: "Swansea are currently nullifying City. Mancini will push Toure forward in the second half, and push Aguero to partner Tevez."

    Paddy Emerson on Twitter: "Can't agree with those feeling sorry for Mark Hughes over the red cards. Surely its part of his job to stop this?"

  70. 1811: 

    An even bigger scare for Manchester City this time, with Ki Sung Yueng sliding Michu clean through only for Joe Hart to come to the home side's rescue by rushing from his line to block his shot.

    We've seen that from Hart a few times this season, but I didn't expect to see it against Swansea.

  71. 1809: 

    Manchester City get a bit lucky here and they still show no sign of waking from their slumbers. Referee Martin Atkinson plays the advantage when Micah Richards fouls Jonathan de Guzman and Pablo Hernandez dances down the right and sends over a teasing cross that Vincent Kompany has to hoof clear under his own crossbar. Richards is then booked when the ball goes out of play.

  72. 1807: 

    To be fair to Manchester City, the offside flag went up a LONG time before Michu ran on to a slide-through pass to bury his shot past Joe Hart. Still, he took it well. And Swansea are not just sitting back, they are passing the ball around crisply when they get it and are stretching the home defence on occasions, just like they did there.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "When you have had two poor results in midweek it will impact on your confidence, no matter how good you are. At the moment Arsenal are having o work really hard to get that confidence back. Today they got a lucky break when Mbia was sent off, and it cost QPR the game."

  74. 1805: 

    Here's more reaction from Arsenal's scrappy win over 10-man QPR, with Gunners boss Arsene Wenger saying they badly needed their win to avoid a "crisis" after losing two games in the past week.

    "It was a good game overall. We played against a QPR side which has quality," Wenger said. "We played quite well but lacked a little bit of the confidence you miss when you have lost two games. We had chances before the sending off but it made it easier and more difficult for Rangers.

    "A draw would have been a big disappointment, but if we had lost today it would have been a crisis."

    On Jack Wilshere's return: "Overall if you consider the time he was out, 17 months since his last appearance, it was quite positive. Of course he still lacks the rhythm needed at that level, but it will come with games."


    Xavier on Twitter: "Very quiet at the Etihad. I wonder why..."

    Dave Thomas on Twitter: "Has anyone seen Scott Sinclair on a football field since his 'dream move' to Man City?"

    Ryan Langdon on Twitter: "Mancini has got something against Dzeko and Balotelli. They never seem to start..."

  76. 1802: 

    I'm still not sure what is wrong with Manchester City so far? We are now more than half-an-hour into their game with Swansea and, despite upping the tempo of late and getting Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri to switch wings, they are still unable to even look like imposing themselves on this match. This is poor from the champions, but Swansea will not be complaining.

  77. 1758: 

    Plenty of talking points from the Emirates Stadium today, especially if you are QPR boss Mark Hughes, who has been speaking about Mikel Arteta's late winner.

    "The referee has absolutely killed it to allow their winning goal because Arteta was clearly offside on two occasions," Hughes said.

    "I've been to see the referee in his dressing room and he has created some cock and bull story about Ryan Nelsen being off the pitch. I've no idea what he is going on about because Ryan Nelsen, at no stage, went off the field of play. It has cost us the point."

    On Stephane Mbia's red card: "He's obviously very upset. The frustration from our point of was the foul had been given our way."

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Reading are in trouble and Brian McDermott has to sort his defence out - they have conceded 17 goals. That is ridiculous at this stage of the season. They are in the bottom three and are staring at the abyss."

  79. 1756: 

    The game of the day so far has undoubtedly been Reading's 3-3 draw with Fulham. The Royals are still without a league win this season but, having seen his side fight back to force a late draw, Royals boss Brian McDermott is happy enough.

    "At 3-2 my weekend was absolutely miserable, but at 3-3 we were trying to kick on and win," McDermott said. "It was a strange game - that's the fourth time we've taken the lead in this league and we need to finish the job off.

    "All we can do is talk about the game and playing our football, doing what we have to do and if we do that the win will come."

  80. 1753: 

    Another Swansea attack, but again it ends in unfortunate circumstances. Pablo Hernandez bends in an inviting cross from the right and Michu looks set to meet it until Micah Richards gets across to get something on the ball first. Michu comes out worse of the clash of heads and needs lengthy treatment before he can continue.

  81. 1751: 

    Slightly more promising for Manchester City, with Carlos Teves nudging Ben Davies off the ball in the left-hand corner and trying to slide a cross in for Sergio Aguero. Michel Vorm is off his line to clear the danger.

  82. 1749: 

    It's all been a bit subdued so far from Manchester City's point of view. We have been playing for 20 minutes now and they are yet to create a half-chance, let alone a clear-cut one. Swansea's game-plan of defending deep and in numbers is working well so far.


    Jamie Williamson on Twitter: "Edin Dzeko though... what's the boy got to do for a Premier League start?"

    Philip Murphy on Twitter: "This is the worst game of the day - so sloppy."

    Paul Currant on Twitter: "Take a look at the table right now. That's exactly how it will end."

  84. 1746: 
    YELLOW CARD- Swansea's Angel Rangel

    Swansea are seeing more of the ball but their latest attack ends in, erm, unfortunate circumstances when Angel Rangel tries to burst past Gareth Barry but runs/jumps into him and goes to ground. Referee Martin Atkinson sees it as a dive and, because that is Rangel's fifth booking of the season, he will miss next week's Capital One clash with Liverpool.

  85. 1743: 

    Their forward line is not firing, but how is Manchester City's occasionally-dodgy defence faring? Not much better, on this evidence. Jonathan de Guzman bends in a free-kick from out on the left after he is fouled and Joe Hart misses it completely under pressure from Ashley Williams. The flag is up for an offside but that had nothing to do with Hart's error, and he was lucky to get away with that.

  86. 1741: 

    Hmmm. Manchester City look ponderous when they come forward and are not giving Swansea's defence much to think about. Michael Laudrup's men look well organised to me, and the home side need more urgency. LOTS more urgency.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Wigan attacked with great creativity. Kone was very, very good and it was a good, bright performance all round. They took advantage of a West Ham team who have started very slowly away from home before. Wigan were impressive."

  88. 1740: 

    Wigan were good value for their 2-1 win over West Ham today and Latics boss Roberto Martinez was pleased with his side's display, particularly Ivan Ramis for his spectacular opener.

    "We don't get too many goals from set plays but it was a tremendous finish from Ivan," Martinez said. "That early goal set the tone of the game and allowed us to control it.

    "I really enjoyed the performance. We have been showing flashes of our ability but today we were really good. Our philosophy and way of playing will never change."

  89. 1738: 

    Better from Swansea, who have kept hold of the ball and also advanced into the Manchester City half. Even so, the Welsh side are not committing too many men forward.

  90. 1736: 

    Fit-againArsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been speaking about his return from injury in today's win over QPR, and how much the squad has changed since he last played for the first-team 14 months ago.

    Wilshere said: "It was amazing to be back - words cannot describe it. I was just running around smiling. It's great to be back.

    "Last time I played it was with Fabregas and Nasri - now it's with Arteta and Cazorla who are great players too. It's like a new team and I'm like a new player."


    Rory Boyle on Twitter: "Swansea will score but I can't see City not winning, especially after being dominated in midweek."

    Steve Milne on Twitter: "Good news is that Mancini finally sees sense and starts Tevez and Aguero together. Bad news is it's against our beloved Swans."

    Saqueeb Rajan on Twitter: "I would like to congratulate Man City and Dzeko in advance for grabbing a winner at the death."

  92. 1733: 

    Lots of possession so far from Manchester City, but no penetration. Both sides are still feeling their way into this game, but in Swansea's case they have barely touched the ball.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "It's a big test for Michael Laudrup and Swansea today. They're not sure about their new manager and his team. Laudrup has to convince the supporters that he's the real deal."

  94. 1730: 
    KICK-OFF- Man City v Swansea (17:30 BST)

    Manchester City get us started. Win or draw, and Roberto Mancini's men go second. They really need three points though.

  95. 1726: 

    The players emerge from the tunnel at the Etihad Stadium. It's been a sunny day in Manchester, and there are still blue skies overhead... but it definitely isn't t-shirt weather - it looks pretty nippy out there now.


    Ali in Milton Keynes on 81111 on text: "If Arsenal are playing this badly and are still in the top four, where will they be when they start playing well?"

    Louis, a bemused Gunner in Clapham, on 81111 on text: "Arsenal are weird this season. No-one, pundits included, seems to know what to make of them. One week they're title contenders the next they're hopeless."

    Ben from Manchester on 81111 on text: "Sympathy for Mark Hughes is something I have absolutely none of. Good managers manage their team - that includes managing their temperament. Good managers make their players play for the team's cause - getting sent off is the opposite of that."

  97. 1722: 

    Maybe you should watch Stoke v Sunderland Match of the Day after all? Or maybe not...

    Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill wanted a late penalty after Steven Fletcher's shot hit Robert Huth's arm late on. He didn't get one (obviously) and it didn't look like a spot-kick to me. It turns out even O'Neill wasn't totally convinced.

    "It's a difficult call for the referee," O'Neill said. "It's definitely struck him but he's tried to keep his arm down.

    "Our players felt it was a penalty kick but on reflection if that had been given against us, I wouldn't be too happy. It would be fair to say we haven't fired on all cylinders but we're getting fitter and stronger."

    LINE-UPS- Man City v Swansea (17:30 BST)

    Man City: Hart, Richards, Nastasic, Kompany, Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Barry, Kolarov, Tevez, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Toure, Evans, Sinclair, Dzeko, Balotelli.

    Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Ki, Routledge, Britton, de Guzman, Hernandez, Michu. Subs: Tremmel, Dyer, Graham, Monk, Shechter, Tiendalli, Agustien.

    Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Any manager other than Arsene Wenger at Arsenal would have got the sack. He is rebuilding but the rebuild for me is too slow. But in Arsenal's credit today they worked their way back into the game and got the points that, really, I'm not sure they deserved."

  100. 1715: 

    A lot of Arsenal-bashing (not to mention Stephane Mbia-bashing) going on at the moment. But the Gunners got the win, despite not looking too convincing for much of their win over QPR. Oh, and they are up to fourth in the table. That's like a trophy, according to Arsene Wenger, isn't it?

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "Arsenal are full of world-class footballers yet they're happy to beat QPR 1-0 at home? But QPR switched off, got a man sent off, then conceded the one goal that mattered."

  102. 1714:  
    MOTD's John Motson at The Emirates Stadium

    On QPR defender Stephane Mbia's red card that cost his side dear against Arsenal, who went on to snatch a late winner: "Mbia just turned around and kicked Thomas Vermaelen. If you do that 10mins from the end and lose your team one of its centre-backs you're not going to be very popular. Looking at the league table it's pretty bad news for QPR. They will wonder if they could have held out had Mbia not had a red mist moment."

  103. 1712: 
    Man City v Swansea (17:30 BST)

    Roberto Mancini makes three changes for Manchester City against Swansea, with Matija Nastasic replacing Joleon Lescott, Carlos Tevez in for Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov in for the suspended James Milner.

    The Swans name an unchanged side from the one that beat Wigan last weekend.


    Nick Searing on Twitter: "OK, not a classy performance by Arsenal, but lets look at the positives: three points, a clean sheet, 60mins for Jack and 70% possession."

    Daniel Taylor on Twitter: "Arsenal were poor, yes, but if this was Man Utd then we'd be complimenting them on managing to churn out the three points."

    Oliver Jones on Twitter: "If one of our players is going to get sent off, we might as well get them all sent off. Hughes out."

  105. 1710: 

    West Ham could have gone fourth today if they had beaten Wigan. They didn't and, in truth, they never really came close.

    Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was a disappointed man after his side's performance in their 2-1 defeat, saying: "It was a bit of a push on Winston Reid for their first goal but it was a brilliant volley.

    "And they deserved to win. We didn't play any football today, we didn't get past half-decent. We weren't good enough to get anything and I'm disappointed our performance has reduced to such a level.

    "It wasn't about Wigan today, it was about us not using the ability we've got. We can't keep giving the ball back to them."


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "Sunderland didn't manage a shot on target today and have only fired in 12 all season. Every other Premier League team has had at least 28."

    I think it's fair to say that Stoke v Sunderland is not a game you should be looking out for on Match of the Day tonight.

    MOTD's Steve Bower at the Etihad StadiumMan City v Swansea (17:30 BST)

    "At the end of another hugely disappointing week in Europe, Manchester City will want a response on their return to domestic action - and there have been few negative headlines for the champions on Premier League duty.

    "Their home form has once again been the foundation as City are now unbeaten in their last 33 league matches at the Etihad Stadium so Swansea face a huge challenge.

    "There's no doubt that last weekend's win at home to Wigan was important for new boss Michael Laudrup as it ended a run of five matches without a victory.

    "Swansea were, in fact, one of only five Premier League teams to beat City last season but for them to take anything back to South Wales they'll need a Champions League hangover from the champions and their best performance yet under their new manager."

  108. 1703: 

    So, a frenetic end to what had been a slow afternoon... particularly at the Madejski Stadium. Still one more game to come too, at the Etihad Stadium where defending champions Manchester City host Swansea.


    Keith on 81111 on text: "Despite the win, Arsenal are playing a dangerously high line with a slow centre half. A better team would've picked them apart today."

    Alex from Hertfordshire on 81111 on text: "An unconvincing win should keep Arsenal on their toes for the next game."

    Paul on 81111 on text: "It seems QPR have swapped Joey Barton for a French version of, well, Joey Barton..."

  110. 1658: 

    If Stephane Mbia is QPR's villain, Julio Cesar was their hero today, making a string of saves even after Arsenal had taken the lead to keep his side in the game. Cesar has not always looked convincing since his move to Loftus Road, but he earned his corn today.

    Oh, and a special mention to Fulham defender Chris Baird, who put his side ahead late on in that crazy game against Reading... and then had to come off after injuring himself when he slipped into an advertising hoarding during his celebration.


    Chris Johnson on Twitter: "Still think they're going to get relegated, but incredible fight from Reading today."

    Richard Nartey on Twitter: "You have to feel for Mark Hughes. Stupid red card and an offside goal."

    Paul Swain on Twitter: "Looks like another belter at Stoke, can't wait until the last 30 seconds of Match of the Day to see it..."

  112. 1655: 
    FULL-TIME- Stoke 0-0 Sunderland
    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "Mark Schwarzer can only do so much. He needs help from defenders, and Fulham have not been there for him today."

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "The game at Reading is just unbelievable. But if you're a Reading fan you must feel pretty disheartened about your chances of staying in the Premier League if you need four goals at home to pick up three points. How often is that going to happen?"

  115. 1654: 
    FULL-TIME- Arsenal 1-0 QPR
  116. 1654: 
    FULL-TIME- Reading 3-3 Fulham
  117. 1653: 

    We are still playing at Stoke versus Sunderland, where there will be eight minutes of added time because of Marc Wilson's injury.

  118. 1653: 
    FULL-TIME- Wigan 2-1 West Ham
  119. 1651: 
    GOAL- Wigan 2-1 West Ham - James Tomkins (90 mins)

    West Ham have got a goal back now, and it is James Tomkins who has got it. He leaps to reach George McCartney's cross and send a towering header past Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi.

  120. 1650: 

    West Ham have been poor today and have created very little, Wigan looked comfortable until James Tomkins volleys a Matt Jarvis cross against the bar... and Tomkins has just been involved again...

  121. 1650: 

    The drama isn't over at the Emirates, though, because here come QPR. Jamie Mackie runs through three challenges but cannot find the finish, firing straight at Vito Mannone.


    Paul Paulson on Twitter: "Arteta's goal looked offside to me. Completely undeserved from a poor Arsenal team."

    Pratik Singh on Twitter: "What can Hughes do when his players produce such senseless red cards."

    Adam Bull on Twitter: "Goals starting to fly in. Britania, take note."

  123. 1646: 
    GOAL- Reading 3-3 Fulham - Hal Robson-Kanu (90 mins)

    Incredible. Reading's turn to respond with a goal within a few seconds of the restart. Nicky Shorey's clipped free-kick from near the left-hand by-line lands in a crowd of players in the six-yard box and the ball drops for Hal Robson-Kanu to bundle the ball home from point-blank range.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "QPR's Cesar made two great saves but it counts for nothing. Why? Because their centre-half, their tallest defender, is sent off for a ridiculous lack of control. yet again Mark Hughes finds himself with no points because of his own players' indiscipline."


    Infostrada Sports tweets: "Stephane Mbia was given QPR's 9th Premier League red card in 2012, equalling the record for most reds in a calendar year: Everton (1995), WHU (1999)."

    Robbie Savage, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Mbia costs his team massively! Idiotic kick out."

  127. 1644: 
    GOAL- Reading 2-3 Fulham - Dimitar Berbatov (88 mins)

    Reading were level for less than three minutes. Fulham go up the other end and, from Steve Sidwell's pass, Dimitar Berbatov cuts inside from the left-hand side of the area and unleashes a bullet of a shot into the opposite bottom corner.

  128. 1642: 
    GOAL- Reading 2-2 Fulham - Garath McCleary (85 mins)

    The Royals have kept plugging away since falling behind and they have got their reward late on. Adam LeFondre's cross finds Garath McCleary near the penalty spot and he makes no mistake with a firm low finish.

  129. 1640: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 1-0 QPR - Mikel Arteta (84 mins)

    They did it the hard way, but Arsenal are ahead despite the best efforts of Julio Cesar. The QPR keeper brilliantly denies Olivier Giroud but Aaron Ramsey follows up and Mikel Arteta turns the ball on to the bar from point-blank range before turning in the rebound.

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "It was a ridiculous red card for Mbia. Hughes can only use words to get his players onside. If they don't take on board what the manager is saying, what else can he do?"

  131. 1638: 

    Arsenal can scent blood here, and I am not sure how it is still 0-0 after the ball ricochets around the QPR area and eventually against the post. Replays show it is a great save by Julio Cesar after Ryan Nelsen's attempted clearance hits Samba Diakite and spins towards the bottom corner.

  132. 1636: 
    RED CARD- QPR's Stephane Mbia (80 mins)

    What is Stephane Mbia thinking here? He wins a free-kick when Thomas Vermaelen slides in late on him near the by-line, but then lashes out senselessly at the Belgian. Referee Anthony Taylor produces the inevitable red card and QPR are down to 10 men.

  133. 1635: 

    A big chance for Arsenal this, by far their best since the break. Theo Walcott's cross is cleared by Stephane Mbia but only as far as Santi Cazorla... the ball bounces up invitingly for the Spaniard, who blazes his half-volley high over the bar.

  134. 1633: 
    GOAL- Reading 1-2 Fulham - Chris Baird (77 mins)

    Chris Baird strikes again. Fulham's match-winner last week against Aston Villa has put the Cottagers ahead against Reading, timing his run to perfection to meet Bryan Ruiz's corner at the near post and beat Alex McCarthy with a glancing header.


    In the Championship, Everton loanee Ross Barkley has a second goal for Sheffield Wednesday to put them 2-0 up at bottom club and managerless Ipswich.

    Elsewhere, the battle of the seaside resorts is going Brighton's way at Bloomfield Road, where they lead Blackpool 1-0 with an Ashley Barnes goal and Scott McDonald has equalised for Middlesbrough at home to Bolton.

    Crawley Town have a decent chance of going top of League One tonight. A combination of Stevenage's nightmare at home to Swindon, Sheffield United's game being postponed and now leaders Tranmere going 1-0 down at home to Preston (Paul Huntington, 50 mins) means a win against 10-man Rochdale will have Crawley leading the division. If they could just get a goal…

    In League Two, Cheltenham broke the deadlock against Exeter with a goal from Lawson D'Ath and Keith Lowe has added a second. A win there could move them up into third position.

  136. 1630: 

    Gervinho is also on for Arsenal, who have been short of ideas for most of the second half. QPR are defending in numbers and looking to hit the home side on the break, a tactic which has brought them the odd glimpse of goal, which is more than Arsene Wenger's men have managed of late. About 15 minutes of the 90 left for the Gunners to change that.


    Colin Bundred on Twitter: "More poor officiating this time at the Arsenal game. Apparently tackling is now automatically a yellow card."

    Neill on Twitter: "Is Dion Dublin (1618) watching this game? Granero has been guilty of five or six now and probably shouldn't be on the pitch."

    Simon Gibbens on Twitter: "With 65mins gone, West Ham look like getting nothing from this. But wait, here comes Carlton Cole!"

  138. 1627: 

    Back to the Britannia now, because I've got a chance to tell you about - and they haven't had many of those this afternoon. Other than his first-half double save, Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet has largely been a spectator today (as has Stoke's Asmir Begovic at the other end) but the Belgian has just denied Charlie Adam from about eight yards out. In truth, it was a pretty tame effort by the Potters midfielder.

  139. 1625: 

    Suddenly it's one-way traffic at the Madejski Stadium... and, having just drawn level, it is Fulham who are looking far more likely to find the winner. This time Dimitar Berbatov shows great persistence to wriggle his way into some space before firing a low shot into the side netting.

  140. 1623: 

    The Gunners have not looked too hot at the other end, though. Jack Wilshere has definitely looked the part on his long-awaited return to the Arsenal first team but his afternoon is over. Theo Walcott is on for the last 20 minutes or so to add some pace to the home side's attack.

  141. 1621: 

    A couple of anxious moments for Arsenal, who need a last-ditch challenge by Bacary Sagna to stop Junior Hoilett moments after a superb Thomas Vermaelen defensive header stops a Hoilett cross reaching Bobby Zamora. QPR are coming forward with renewed belief.

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "There have been a few late challenges in the Arsenal-QPR game, and Mark Hughes is out of his area shouting and screaming at the officials. I do think most of the challenges have been on QPR players."

  143. 1618: 
    GOAL- Reading 1-1 Fulham - Bryan Ruiz (61 mins)

    Talk about an instant impact. Bryan Ruiz has just come on for Fulham, and within two minutes he has fired Fulham level. He helps make the goal too, playing a swift one-two with Damian Duff on the edge of the area before despatching the return pass past Alex McCarthy and into the top corner. No chance for the Royals keeper there.

  144. 1617: 

    Still no goals at the Britannia, but Dean Whitehead has made his mark against his former club Sunderland - for all the wrong reasons.

    The Stoke midfielder, who made 185 league appearances for the Black Cats, is guilty of a shocking challenge on Sebastian Larsson which earns the midfielder a yellow card. It would have been red had Larsson been in a goalscoring position.


    Babeleb Rage on Twitter: "Yet another Jekyll and Hyde performance from the West Ham defence, wonder which one will show up next week?"

    Ed Aspen on Twitter: "If QPR get a result here and then at home to Reading, they could be mid-table in seven days' time."

    Hishaam Habib on Twitter: "I see Jack Wilshere becoming another Owen Hargreaves story. Immense talent, but tormented by injuries."

  146. 1613: 

    Arsenal are still not having much luck breaking down this QPR defence, which has conceded an average of more than two goals a game in the Premier League this season. They have just wasted another free-kick too, with Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla taking an age about who will let fly from a dangerous central position... before Cazorla sends a shot into the wall and trundling wide.

  147. 1611: 

    Not much happening in the way of chances at the Madejski Stadium, where Reading look comfortable with their 1-0 lead, especially because Fulham are lacking any sort of pace and urgency going forward. Cottagers striker Dimitar Berbatov is cutting an unhappy figure up front, gesturing in frustration to his team-mates.

  148. 1610: 

    QPR have the ball in the net at the Emirates Stadium, courtesy of Junior Hoilett, but the linesman's flag is up and replays show that Hoilett was one of three Rangers men offside when Esteban Granero played him in.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Sam Allardyce will be upset with conceding that goal. James Tomkins froze in the box when he should have thrown himself at the ball with nothing to lose. But West Ham were too stretched there."

  150. 1608: 

    Good news for Arsenal, because Jack Wilshere is fine to continue against QPR.

    Over at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke have a far more serious injury concern in their game against Sunderland, with Marc Wilson stretchered off to be replaced by Andy Wilkinson. Wilson was caught on his Achilles by Steven Fletcher, who immediately kicked the ball out of play so he could get treatment.


    Akinpelu Kayode on Twitter: "Cesar apart, that has to be QPR's most comfortable 45 mins this season."

    Aiyesa Dare on Twitter: "Giroud has been totally clueless today... too slow for the Premier League, in my opinion."

    Stephen Jackson on Twitter: "Julio Cesar looks a bit dodgy. I can't understand why they aren't just peppering him! Pick up the rebounds!"

  152. 1604: 
    GOAL- Wigan 2-0 West Ham - James McArthur (47 mins)

    Wigan have breathing space after James McArthur (not McCarthy, sorry) puts the finishing touches to a fine passing move. West Ham inadvertently start the attack through a poor Jussi Jaaskelainen clearance and the Latics pour down the left, with Jean Beausejour's cross being slipped into McArthur's path near the edge of the area by Shaun Maloney.

  153. 1603: 

    Bad news for Arsenal, this. Jack Wilshere is down after being caught by Esteban Granero. Wilshere is clutching his ankle but I think Granero just trod on his foot.

  154. 1603: 

    Modibo Maiga is on for West Ham at half-time, replacing Yossi Benayoun as they look to fight back against Wigan. That game has now restarted too.

  155. 1602: 

    We are back under way everywhere in the top flight apart from at the DW Stadium.


    Opta Joe tweets: "Jack Wilshere completed all 33 passes that he attempted in the first half versus Queens Park Rangers."

  157. 1559: 

    What's this? Some silverware on display at the Emirates Stadium? Surely some mistake? Oh, it's actually the Arsenal Ladies team parading their Women's Superleague trophy at half-time.

    First Jack Wilshere, and now a trophy. Gunners fans have had a real treat today, even if they don't end up seeing their team beat bottom side QPR.


    Crystal Palace may not have a manager after Dougie Freedman jumped ship for Bolton, but the Eagles do have a 2-0 lead at table-topping Leicester in Championship. Damien Delaney grabbed the first and Peter Ramage doubled the lead before the half-hour mark. Elsewhere, Barnsley's Marlon Harewood has given his team the lead against his former club Nottingham Forest.

    In League One, Crawley Town's push for the top of the table - they could go top tonight if results go their way - has been eased a little by Oldham's Jean-Yves Mvoto, who has got himself sent off in their match at the Broadfield Stadium, no score yet, however. Swindon are now 2-0 up at second-placed Stevenage, with Matt Ritchie bagging the second. Bottom club Hartlepool have fought their way back to level 1-1 at Brentford thanks to an own goal from the Bees' Harlee Dean.

    League Two leaders Gillingham are on course for their 11th win in 15 games this season - they lead 1-0 at Wimbledon thanks to new loan signing Romain Vincelot's goal.


    Ben on 81111 on text: "Robbie Mustoe (1542) denouncing former Wales captain Ramsey, Ligue 1's top goalscorer last year Giroud, and 100 caps for Germany Podolski as 'not very good players'? Ludicrous. Even if they're not playing well, they're clearly excellent footballers."

    Mitchell in Southampton on 81111 on text: "Arsenal are really lacking that cutting edge up front. Surely it couldn't hurt bringing Walcott on and playing him as a striker?"

    Isaac from Manchester on 81111 on text: "Arsenal are finding it hard to pass because the pressing from QPR is amazing. Hoilett, Zamora and the central midfielders are making the pitch small."

  160. 1552: 

    I think Steve Wilson is being a bit sarcastic about the entertainment (or lack of it) on offer at the Britannia Stadium. I just hope Steven Bache (see 13:47) doesn't notice, or blame me.

    MOTD's Steve Wilson at the Britannia Stadium, BBC SportHALF-TIME- Stoke City 0-0 Sunderland

    "It has been a pretty mundane 45 minutes. Sunderland's Jack Colback has tried to get forward and support Steven Fletcher, but it looks like the two draw specialists of the Premier League might be at it again. This is the best league in the world, you know."

    MOTD's John Roder at the Madejski StadiumHALF-TIME- Reading 1-0 Fulham

    "Mikele Leigertwood's last goal for Reading confirmed their promotion to the Premier League. Has his first goal this season put them on the way to victory? Fulham have rarely threatened on a day when we have seen all four seasons at the Madejski."

    MOTD's John Motson at the Emirates StadiumHALF-TIME- Arsenal 0-0 QPR

    "Not quite the first half Arsenal were looking for at the end of this turbulent week. They have had plenty of possession, boosted by Jack Wilshere's return, but are unable to break QPR down."

    MOTD's Conor McNamara at the DW Stadium, BBC commentatorHALF-TIME- Wigan 1-0 West Ham

    "Wigan have created so many chances, but should they have got more on target? Roberto Martinez may feel his team should be more than 1-0 ahead. Andy Carroll looks the most likely to score for West Ham."

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "There's a lot of weight on Jack Wilshere's shoulders, and he's only just come back. Players are always looking to give him the ball. But you have to tip your hat to QPR. They've shored things up at the back."


    Ryan Langdon on Twitter: "McAnuff = Class Act, Getting Assists left right and centre. Will a big club come calling?"

    Max Reid on Twitter: "Nerve-wracking every time Wilshere gets tackled. Arsenal looking better though."

    Akude Em "Is it just me or are there too many left-footed players in the Arsenal frontline? I think it's affecting their movement."

  167. 1547: 

    The half-time whistle has gone at the Britannia Stadium where Stoke versus Sunderland has not exactly been a thriller so far, and at the DW Stadium too. Wigan are on top in that one.

  168. 1547: 

    It's half-time at the Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal have had a frustrating afternoon, and at the Madejski Stadium too, where Reading are on course for their first top-flight win of the season.

  169. 1544: 

    Lots of chances, not many goals would be my summary of the first 45 minutes in our four Premier League games.

    Fulham have had another sniff, with Damian Duff turning the ball wide from Kieran Richardson's low cross. And Arsenal have forced Julio Cesar into another stop, with Andre Santos having a pop from the edge of the box after a neat build-up involving Jack Wilshere.


    Northampton's Alex Nicholls has suffered a broken leg while scoring their opening goal against Port Vale in League Two. He was caught late by John McCombe, who was sent off for the challenge. The game was held up for 11 minutes and 15 minutes of stoppage time was played at the end of the first half. Northampton are currently 2-0 up.


    Former Middlesbrough midfielder Robbie Mustoe tweets: "Midfield three for Arsenal are very good players. Unfortunately the front three are not. Possession, but not enough goal threat. QPR are there for the taking."

  172. 1542: 

    A couple more chances for Wigan, with Franco di Santo's low shot being pushed away by Jussi Jaaskelainen, before Arouna Kone is crowded out by the Hammers defence after latching on to a high ball over the top.

  173. 1540: 

    No sign of any more excitement at the Britannia Stadium just yet, though. Stoke are enjoying more of the ball but Sunderland look solid. You can see why both these teams are stuck in mid-table.


    Infostrada Sports tweets: "Reading's Mikele Leigertwood scored his 2nd Premier League goal 2835 days after his first goal in 2005."


    Jamie Atkins on Twitter: "Arsenal have had years of world class left backs and useless (Eboue) right backs, and now it's the complete reverse!"

    Segun Agbaje on Twitter: "What is Julio Cesar doing? Doesn't look confident at all. May end up costing QPR."

    Koechner on Twitter: "I foresee a Cesar assist for an Arsenal goal..."

  176. 1538: 

    The game has opened up a bit at the Madejski Stadium, where Fulham have spurned a great chance to equalise. Damien Duff's cross from the right picks out Hugo Rodallega, whose header from six yards is straight at keeper Alex McCarthy.

  177. 1536: 

    Another sniff for West Ham, which comes when Andy Carroll fails to get on the end of a deep free-kick hoisted into the Wigan box but the ball drops for James Collins instead. Collins can only prod his shot weakly towards goal, and it is easily dealt with by Ali Al Habsi. Even so, signs there that Wigan might not like West Ham's set-pieces too much.

  178. 1535: 

    Arsenal have lost their way of late after that bright start but they have a chance to put that right here. Mikel Arteta and Lukas Podolski are standing over a free-kick, about 25 yards out. Podolski takes it... but bends it straight into the QPR wall.

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "Arsenal have had a lot of the ball but haven't done anything with it, and when they get into the final third the delivery's been poor. There's been nothing for the attackers to use yet."


    In the Championship, Cardiff have made a good start in their bid for a seventh successive home win - Joe Mason has put them 1-0 up against Burnley. Ross Barkley has given Sheffield Wednesday the lead at Ipswich in the bottom-of-the-table clash. Ipswich have not won at home, Wednesday have not won away so something has to give. Meanwhile, Wolves lead Charlton 1-0 thanks to Bakary Sako's goal.

    In League One, second-placed Stevenage have gone behind at home to a Raffaele De Vita goal against Swindon, while at the bottom, Bury have hit back against Walsall at Gigg Lane thanks to a Dominic Poleon effort. Fellow strugglers Hartlepool are a goal down at Brentford with Paul Hayes getting the opener.

    Port Vale are two goals down at Northampton in the 14:00 BST kick-off in League Two. They've also had John McCombe sent off after 22 minutes.


    Will Styles on Twitter: "What an amazing smash by Leigertwood!"

    Jack Lovatt on Twitter: "Who needs Jack Wilshere when you've got Mikele..."

    Eoin Walsh on Twitter: "Arsenal look about as confident as a kid on there first day of school."


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "Jobi McAnuff has now made four Premier League assists this season. Only Hazard and Mata (five) have made more."

  183. 1532: 

    Almost a case of commentator's curse there. West Ham break forward down the right and Matt Jarvis bends in a wicked inswinging cross that Yossi Benayoun cannot quite get on the end of, but still forces an excellent save from Ali Al Habsi, who pushes the ball round his post. If Benayoun had got even a shoelace on that, that would have been a goal.

  184. 1531: 

    Over at the DW Stadium, Wigan are still pressing hard for a second goal, and West Ham are chasing shadows at the moment. Jean Beausejour has just tried his luck for the Latics with a curling effort, which Andy Carroll had to block. It's one-way traffic for the home team, though.

  185. 1530: 

    QPR hold out this time, though. The ball reaches Olivier Giroud on the left of the box. He doesn't have much of an angle but he gets the shot away and forces Julio Cesar into a decent low stop.

  186. 1528: 

    I've written that (Martin Keown's comment below) a few times this season about QPR looking solid at the back. It is usually followed by a horrendous defensive error to gift the opposition the lead.

    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live at The Emirates Stadium

    "QPR are looking very solid and very compact. They are bottom of the league but it seems strange to say that from the way they have started."

    Dion Dublin, BBC Final Score

    "That wasn't too bad from Leigertwood! There was no real power, but just lent into the shot. Brilliant strike. I would have just hit it!"

  189. 1525: 
    GOAL- Reading 1-0 Fulham - Mikele Leigertwood (26 mins)

    You knew Reading were on top, and now they are ahead too. It's a lovely goal too, with Jobi McAnuff skipping past a couple of challenegs before teeing up Mikele Leigertwood to bury his shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

  190. 1525: 

    Wigan are still looking dangerous going forward and James McCarthy has forced a decent stop from Hammers keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen after letting fly from 25 yards out.

    Speaking of great saves, we've just seen a terrific double stop by Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet to deny Stoke the breakthrough at the Britannia. Having kept out Charlie Adam's curling free-kick, the stopper then spreads himself to keep out Ryan Shawcross's mis-hit shot.


    Lee Slatter on Twitter: "Ivan Ramis, take a bow son!"

    Nick Walsh (being slightly sarcastic) on Twitter: "Loads of English players on display for both teams at the Emirates..."

    Rhys Hardstaff on Twitter: "Re Vivek K Singh (1439). Give Ramsey a chance out wide. He already looks way more lively than he ever has at centre mid!"

    Gary Lineker, BBC Match of the Day presenter

    "Arsenal's new number 10 looks a good signing. Oozes class!"

  193. 1521: 

    QPR's turn to attack, with Jose Bosingwa finding space down the right again, enough to advance into the area. Can he find a team-mate with his cross though... ? No, he can't... and the chance is gone.

  194. 1520: 

    It's still goalless at the Emirates, but Jack Wilshere is doing his best to change that. His shot from the edge of the area is fumbled badly by Julio Cesar, who only just recovers in time to reach the loose ball ahead of Santi Cazorla.

  195. 1518: 

    Not such a positive contribution from Ivan Ramis this time, with Wigan's goalscorer blocking off Mohamed Diame as he rides a couple of challenges and makes for the Wigan area That's a booking, and a free-kick for the Hammers, which Mark Noble curls straight into the wall from 25 yards out.

  196. 1516: 

    As just discussed, Fulham have been on the back foot at the Madejski Stadium, but they have just gone close to nicking the lead with their first real effort on goal. The ball falls for Dimitar Berbatov outside the Royals area, who fires in a shot that flies only a couple of yards wide.

  197. 1514: 

    Reading are still on top, in terms of possession, against Fulham but they are lacking quality with their final ball. The same could be said of Stoke against Sunderland, with Michael Kightly sending a cross straight out of play after escaping down the left.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "QPR look lightweight in midfield. That have had problems there - they are very unsettled. And they've had disciplinary problems too."

  199. 1512: 

    Arsenal are trying their best to put that last stat to bed, and have just gone close twice in a matter of moments.

    QPR goalkeeper Julio Caesar is called into action for the first time when he clears with his legs after his defender Stephane M'bia diverts Andre Santos' low cross goalwards. And, seconds later, Aaron Ramsey's free header loops on to the Hoops crossbar.


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "Arsenal have scored fewer goals in the first 30 minutes of matches than any other team in the Premier League."

  201. 1510: 

    Not much happening at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke's Peter Crouch has been on the wrong end of an incorrect offside call. That's about as exciting as it has got. Crouch wouldn't have been clean through if play had continued either.

    Garth Crooks, BBC Final Score

    "Ramis is in my Team of the Week already! For a fullback, he couldn't have hit that sweeter. Here we go again, Wigan. They couldn't have had a better start, but can they close this game out? That has been their problem."


    Dahood on Twitter: "Good to see Wilshere starting. Amazing player let down by a frail body."

    Mark G on Twitter: "Arsenal breath a sigh of relief as Ji Sung Park sits on the QPR bench. Always a thorn in our side."

    Darren Hall on Twitter: "Villa fans should vent their anger towards the chairman rather than the manager! No investment = Failure."

  204. 1507: 
    GOAL- Wigan 1-0 West Ham - Ivan Ramis (8 mins)

    What a strike this is, from Wigan's Spanish defender Ivan Ramis. He finds space to get on the end of Jean Beasejour's corner, steering a perfectly-hit volley into the net. A cracker of a goal, but you would have to ask questions about the Hammers' defending. Sam Allardyce almost signed him in the summer, so its not as though he didn't know anything about him.

  205. 1505: 

    West Ham striker Andy Carroll is causing the Wigan defence a few problems, winning a free-kick, which he then smashed against the wall.

    And Reading have just had a real chance, with Nicky Shorey's cross being headed wide by Pavel Pogrebnyak (facing his old club Fulham today) from point-blank range. After seeing that one again, I'm not sure how he missed it.

  206. 1502: 

    Arsenal's first attack sees Santi Cazorla advance to the edge of the QPR area before being blocked off. Rangers are not just defending, though, and Jose Bosingwa has just got forward down the right to send over a cross. It was hardly a dangerous one, mind, because it went straight out of play.


    Andy in Carlisle on 81111 on text: "If I were a Villa fan, I'd be very worried. Lambert is prepared to do without and probably sell your best player, Bent, when the team is at rock bottom. Madness."

    Matt from Hertfordshire on 81111 on text: "Giroud has shown glimpses of what he can do. The time has come for him to step up."

    Cameron, an Arsenal fan, on 81111 on text: "Got to feel for Jenkinson. Been brilliant all season and then benched when Sagna gets back."

    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live at Emirates

    "Arsenal is a great club, and we all need to pull together. The players need to feel passion, but last week against Norwich the team just didn't turn up. Being part of Arsenal should put a smile on your face every day, but they took their eye off the ball against Norwich and got what they deserved."

  209. 1500: 

    We are under way in all four 15:00 BST Premier League games. Jack Wilshere's first touch gets a big cheer too.. and his second actually. How long will they keep that up?

  210. 1459: 

    QPR manager Mark Hughes has been insisting his bottom-of-the-table side can cause an upset against Arsenal at the Emirates.

    "We'll go there with belief that we can compete with any team in the Premier League," Hughes said. "We've shown that. We know we can go to the top sides and make a game of it. We'll try and cause an upset."

  211. 1459: 

    Jack Wilshere gets a massive cheer from the Arsenal fans when his name is announced before kick-off. I think they might be pleased to see him back...

  212. 1458: 

    Norwich goalscorer Michael Turner on his side's 1-1 draw with 10-man Aston Villa: "The only disappointing thing is that we didn't get the three points. Maybe I should have got over [for the Villa goal]. That was the only real thing they created but the team showed great character to get something from the game. Last week against Arsenal was a massive win and we came with a lot of confidence can take that forward and I think we can have a good season.

  213. 1456: 

    Seems there are lots of centurions about today. There is a 100-year-old Arsenal fan being honoured at the Emirates too... he's almost old enough to remember the Gunners' last trophy.

  214. 1455: 

    It is a big day for Brian McDermott, who has called on Reading's fans to get behind their team as they look to secure their long-awaited first Premier League win of the season against Fulham, who are not always so convincing on their travels.

    "We really need the fans. They have to believe in us," McDermott said. "They have stuck by us when times have been difficult. Now we are going through a difficult spell of results but they can really pull us through."

    McDermott has a big month ahead of him too - The Royals play QPR, Norwich, Aston Villa and Wigan in November.

  215. 1453: 

    A nice moment at the DW Stadium as veteran Wigan fan Tom Gill, who turned 100 this week, has been given a squad number for today's match. He is listed on the back of the match of the programme, and is being presented with his shirt now.

    I wonder if Mr Gill ever thought he'd see the Latics playing in the top flight a few years back? For most of his life they were not even a Football League side.

  216. 1452: 

    QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, one of the players not to wear Kick It Out t-shirts last weekend, has been wearing one in the warm-up at the Emirates today.

  217. 1451: 

    Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and his West Ham counterpart Sam Allardyce are hardly kindred spirits in terms of their favoured playing style but Spaniard Martinez thinks the Hammers boss is good enough to manage in La Liga (if maybe not Real Madrid, who Big Sam said he was "suited to" in 2012).

    "People have a certain perception of Sam, but there is a forward-thinking side to him that would make him well suited to managing on the continent. He has all the attributes to manage in La Liga," said the Wigan boss.

    Allardyce is aiming to negate Martinez's 3-4-3 formation in Saturday's game, saying: "We come across that system hardly ever. So we have got to make sure we can combat that system tactically and nullify its strengths and expose its weaknesses."

    Wigan v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    High-flying West Ham and struggling Wigan have had contrasting fortunes recently, but both stick with unchanged starting line-ups for today's match at the DW Stadium. That means James Tomkins keeps his place at right-back for the Hammers, with fit-again Joey O'Brien on the bench. Wigan's Ryo Miyaichi misses out with a groin strain, so Ronnie Stam is among the Latics substitutes.

    LINE-UPS- Wigan v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo, Maloney. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Watson, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam.

    West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Collins, Reid, McCartney, Jarvis, Noble, Nolan, Diame, Benayoun, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Cole, Maiga, O'Brien, O'Neil, Chambers, Hall.

    Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

    Stoke City v Sunderland (15:00 BST)

    "There is no place in the Sunderland squad for new signing James McFadden but Lee Cattermole does make an automatic return from suspension, Stephane Sessegnon making way in midfield.

    "Despite a 4-2 defeat at Manchester United in the previous game, Stoke are unchanged with 30-year-old midfielder Dean Whitehead starting against the club he served for five years. Michael Owen is once again on the bench."

    LINE-UPS- Stoke City v Sunderland (15:00 BST)

    Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Kightly, Whitehead, Adam, Nzonzi, Walters, Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Upson, Etherington, Wilkinson, Palacios.

    Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Johnson, McClean, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha, Sessegnon.

    Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)


    Max Germain on Twitter: "Having Wilshere back is basically a new signing."

    Chris Mac on Twitter: "If Arsenal don't win today then they are as good as out of the title race, just ahead of their Old Trafford visit."

    Vivek K Singh on Twitter: "This Arsenal team just won't do. Santos and Mannone are not up to the mark and Ramsey is not a winger."

    Reading v Fulham (15:00 BST)

    Two changes apiece at the Madejski with Reading drafting in Jason Roberts and Jay Tabb for the injured Jem Karacan and Danny Guthrie, while Fulham boss Martin Jol brings in Mahamadou Diarra and Damien Duff for Steve Sidwell and Mladen Petric. Russian Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak starts for Reading against the club for whom he scored six goals in 12 games while on loan from Stuttgart last season.

    LINE-UPS- Reading v Fulham (15:00 BST)

    Reading: McCarthy, Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey, Pogrebnyak, Tabb, Leigertwood, Kebe, McAnuff, Roberts. Subs: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary, Robson-Kanu.

    Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Baird, Diarra, Richardson, Rodallega, Berbatov. Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Sidwell, Petric, Ruiz, Karagounis, Dejagah.

    Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

  225. 1439: 

    That was much better wasn't it? The second half at Villa Park was a proper game, with a goal, plenty of chances, some great saves and even a red card too. I'll do my best to bring you similar entertainment from the four 15:00 BST kick-offs, which are coming up shortly...

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "You can see why both of these teams are going to be struggling at the wrong end of the table, fighting relegation. They are lacking in quality and confidence.

    "Villa keeper Brad Guzan is man of the match today for me. He has been immense, with some great saves, and could do nothing with the goal."

  227. 1437: 
    FULL-TIME- Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich

    Boos ring out at the final whistle at Villa Park. I think they are from Villa fans, not Norwich supporters, but they are definitely aimed at Paul Lambert.

  228. 1436: 

    Actually, I was right, there was time for one last Norwich chance. The ball is pumped into the Villa box and Wes Hoolahan tries to clip it goalwards, but only succeeds in looping it on to the roof of the net. I think that's about it, though.

  229. 1435: 

    I was going to say, that probably means time for one more Norwich chance but it is actually Villa who are on the attack. Darren Bent feels he is pulled back as he chases a ball over the top, but Phil Dowd is unimpresed and John Ruddy (not Brad Guzan!) is out of his box to clear.

  230. 1435: 

    Less than a minute of the added time left at Villa Park, although we might see a bit more than four minutes because Darren Bent and Sebastien Bassong both needed treatment after a clash of heads.

  231. 1433: 

    Norwich definitely still want all three, though. They really should have just secured them too, with a cross from the left falling for Ryan Bennett near the penalty spot, after Villa fail to clear. Bennett has time to take a touch but instead swings a leg at the ball and blazes his first-time shot over.

  232. 1432: 

    There will be four minutes of added time at Villa Park. I think Villa boss Paul Lambert would definitely take a point now, if you offered it to him.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "The passing and set pieces from Norwich have been poor. That's the difference between the Premier League and the Championship - consistency of delivery."

  234. 1431: 

    Another poor Norwich delivery, to say the least. Robert Snodgrass stands over a free-kick on the right of the area and about 35 yards from goal. He is aiming for Grant Holt but sends the ball straight out of play. A real waste, that.


    Ian Snowsill on Twitter: "Norwich have to take advantage of Villa's 10 men and go for the win. They have the momentum."

    Neil Ralf on Twitter: "Vlaar has been immense, despite the goal. Bigger clubs will be in for him in due course. Vidic-esque today."

    Tom Castle on Twitter: "How many Villa players were sent off for the red card? Feels like three..."

  236. 1429: 

    At the other end, Villa have been feeding on scraps since Joe Bennett saw red but a mistake by Javier Garrido has just caused panic in the Norwich defence. Darren Bent and Marc Albrighton tried to capitalise, but the Canaries have enough men back to clear the danger. Just shows they still have to careful here though.

  237. 1427: 

    Norwich are still pushing for more but their crosses into the box have lost its edge of late - Anthony Pilkington and Rob Snodgrass have just sent in duff deliveries. More quality needed.

    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live at the Emirates Stadium

    "There's no real experience in this Arsenal defence. In my time the team sometimes had over 2000 appearances between us in the back four. Now I don't think there are 200. The fans are now on the Arsenal players' backs a little bit, because they have seen better over the years. Where are the winners now?"

    Arsenal v QPR (15:00 BST)

    After a tough week for Arsenal, the pre-match atmosphere at the Emirates has been boosted by the news Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna make their long-awaited comebacks from lengthy injuries. The pair replace Francis Coquelin and Carl Jenkinson, while Olivier Giroud is also recalled in place of Gervinho. Theo Walcott also returns to the Gunners bench after injuring his shoulder while on England duty.

    QPR skipper Park Ji-sung fails a late fitness test on a knee injury and is replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips in Mark Hughes' only change to his starting XI against Everton.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "At home Villa really should be looking to win, but they have been holding on. If both teams end up with just a point from this it will be Norwich who will be the more disappointed. Hoolahan has been excellent and has got a great touch, but he should have scored in the first half."

    LINE-UPS- Arsenal v QPR (15:00 BST)

    Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Walcott, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Gervinho.

    QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Mbia, Nelsen, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Diakite, Granero, Hoilett, Taarabt, Zamora. Subs: Green, Ferdinand, Cisse, Mackie, Onuoha, Ephraim, Faurlin.

    Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)


    A Kenny on Twitter: "Wes Hoolahan, what a player. Should be playing for Ireland."

    Brendan Bennett on Twitter: "Great cross into the box and an exceptional header by Turner for the equaliser. Well deserved."

    Daniel Law on Twitter: "Norwich are heads up favourites to go on and win this now. Villa are a man down and definitely on the back foot."

  243. 1423: 

    So, Villa were hoping to hold out for three points, now they are battling to protect just one. Nine minutes left at Villa Park and I cannot see Norwich settling for a draw against 10 men.

  244. 1420: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich - Michael Turner (79 mins)

    Villa's resistance is finally broken. Norwich continued to pour forward, with Robert Snodgrass denied by a fine Ron Vlaar block. The equaliser comes from the resulting corner, however, which is taken short for Wes Hoolahan to pick out Michael Turner, who rises at the near post to direct his header into the opposite corner, via the inside of the woodwork.

  245. 1418: 

    Norwich keep coming, and at last they manage a clear sight of goal. Grant Holt holds off Ron Vlaar, then Fabian Delph as he swivels to meet a through-ball and trundles to the edge of the area... where he tries to place the ball past Brad Guzan but is denied by another fine stop.

  246. 1417: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Villa's Andreas Weimann for Brett Holman

    Fresh legs needed for Villa, and Andreas Weimann has the pace to burst forward as well as help out at the back.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "This pressure is just building and building, but can Norwich carve out a single clear chance?"

  248. 1416: 
    Wigan v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    BREAKING: Both Wigan and West Ham are unchanged. That means Wigan play with Arouna Kone and Franco di Santo up front, while Andy Carroll continues to lead the Hammers line.

    Stoke City v Sunderland (15:00 BST)

    BREAKING: Stephane Sessegnon makes way for the return of Lee Cattermole, available after suspension, to the Sunderland midfield. Michael Owen again starts on the substitutes bench as Stoke boss Tony Pulis names the same side that lost 4-2 at Manchester United last Saturday. Former Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead starts against his former club.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "The pressure is building now, with the quality brought to the game by Snodgrass and Morison. Norwich are starting to have a real go. But they have to be careful they don't get hit on the counter-attack with the pace of Darren Bent."

  251. 1413: 

    Norwich keep the pressure up, with corner following cross and cross following corner. Brad Guzan comes off his line to punch a corner clear but the ball is soon pumped back into the danger zone, forcing him to punch clear again. About 18 minutes for Villa to hold out or, alternatively, Norwich to find a way through.


    Ben Olive on Twitter: "To get nothing from a woeful Villa down to 10 men will cause real concern. What happened to the team that beat Arsenal?! We need consistency."

    Jordan King on Twitter: "Re Steve (1401). Most of the teams in the Premier League aren't owned by an oligarch and still play better football than Villa."

    Tony Brown on Twitter: "Welcome back Jack Wilshere. We've missed that surge from midfield in the last two games."

  253. 1411: 

    More changes, by both teams. For Villa, it's striker for striker - Darren Bent is on for Christian Benteke, although with his side down to 10 men and defending a 1-0 lead, I am not sure how much he will see of the ball in the Norwich area.

    For Norwich, it's striker for midfielder - Steve Morison on for Bradley Johnson. The Canaries will hope Morison is a lot more involved.

  254. 1410: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Norwich's Robert Snodgrass for Elliott Bennett

    Norwich are hoisting more and more balls into the Villa area, with Grant Holt getting on the end of it at the back post. He thinks Villa defender Ron Vlaar got a touch to deflect it wide, but a goal-kick is given. The Canaries have made a change too, with Snodgrass on for Elliott Bennett... leaving Ryan as the only Bennett left on the pitch.

  255. 1408: 
    Arsenal v QPR (15:00 BST)

    BREAKING: Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere returns to the Gunners starting XI to make his first senior appearance after 14 months out injured.

  256. 1405: 

    Norwich are seeing a lot more of the ball and have just launched their best attack of the half, started and - almost - finished by Wes Hoolahan. He plays the ball out to the left wing and bursts into the box to meet the return pass, taking a neat touch at the near post before forcing a fine save from Brad Guzan. The Canaries need more of the same if they are to get back into this game.


    Steve from Bicester on 81111 on text: "Easy to play beautiful football when you are top of the league and owned by an oligarch. Villa are neither."

    Nigel on 81111 on text: "Villa have far too many average players. They really need to buy some quality, but who's going to join a side playing like this?"

    Phil on 81111 on text: "Re Steven Bache (1347). Putting lipstick on a pig does not mean it is still not a pig!"

  258. 1404: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa's Chris Herd

    Referee Phil Dowd is reaching for his pocket again, this time to book Chris Herd after his latest tangle with Grant Holt.

  259. 1401: 

    Norwich have got half an hour left to make their extra man count. Villa have pulled everyone back, apart from Christian Benteke, but he should provide a decent outlet up front.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "I'm intrigued to see what Chris Hughton does now. They are still not really in the game, despite now being a man up. Will he go more attacking and bring Morison on?"

  261. 1400: 

    Norwich are huffing and puffing, and still using their flanks against Villa's 10 men. They are having mixed fortunes to be honest, Elliott Bennett just swung a dangerous cross into the box but, from the opposite flank, Javier Garrido was only able to pick out Brad Guzan.


    Simon Newport on Twitter: "Such an unnecessary second yellow putting the team up against it for most of the second half. Typical Villa."

    Yamin Chowdhury on Twitter: "Red card? This game has gone mental!"

    Leigh Thomas on Twitter: "One more goal could get us three points. Come on Villa!"

  263. 1357: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Villa's Eric Lichaj for Gabriel Agbonlahor

    Not a surprise to see Villa make a defensive change, with Eric Lichaj coming on to fill in at full-back in place of the recently red-carded Joe Bennett.

    More of a surprise to see the 10 men create a chance, with only a timely challenge by Michael Turner stopping Christian Benteke getting a sight of goal.

  264. 1355: 

    Looks like we have a game on our hands now. Norwich have the man advantage and they have their tails up. Elliott Bennett takes advantage of the space down his flank to send over a decent cross that Brad Guznan loses in mid-flight and has to claw to safety at his back post (when he seemingly had little idea of where that back post actually was).

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "This is a disaster for Aston Villa right at the start of the second half. They will have to play all of the rest of this game a man down. They have invited more and more pressure on themselves."

  266. 1353: 
    RED CARD- Aston Villa's Joe Bennett (53 mins)

    We did have three Bennetts on the pitch, now we are down to two.

    Elliott Bennett of Norwich tries to run round Joe Bennett of Villa on the right win, and Joe pretty blatantly blocks him off. Joe was booked for fouling Elliott (forgive me for using first names just for now) in the first half and Phil Dowd is quickly across to show him his second yellow card. Villa are down to 10 men.

  267. 1350: 

    I've got more good news for you (especially YOU Steven Bache). There is already a better tempo about the game, even if playing at 100mph has not done a lot for the quality on show. The Villa fans are making a lot of noise too.

  268. 1348: 

    Blimey, it's only just started and the second half is already almost more entertaining than the whole of the first 45 minutes. Marc Albrighton sends over a deep cross from the right and Christian Benteke's header is kept out by John Ruddy.

  269. 1347: 
    KICK-OFF- Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich

    The second half gets under way. Norwich have made a change with Ryan Bennett on for the injured Russell Martin.


    Steven Bache on Twitter: "Your commentary on the BBC live text is so dull. Just constantly moaning about the game you are watching. Get an other job!"

    Yes, sorry everybody. You should blame me for this being a poor game - it's all my fault.


    Russel from Devon on 81111 on text: "I've supported Villa for almost 25 years, and I've seen some bad performances in that time. But I've never seen them play with such a total lack of spirit and passion as this. The atmosphere in the ground reflects the mood perfectly."

    Hafford in Kent on 81111 on text: "A truly dreadful game, poor advert for the Premier League!"

    Cosmo from London on 81111 on text: "Never seen a Premier League match with so little quality on show. Worried for both these teams this season!"


    From Owyn, via text, on Villa v Norwich: "I know the quality is poor, but surely I'm not the only one enjoying this? It's rather engaging."

    Nope, just you and Paul Lambert I think Owyn...

    Jake Humphrey, Presenter, BBC Sport

    "Poor first half by both teams. Low point for me was Lambert's over-the-top celebration against his former employers. High point - Hoolahan."

    MOTD's Conor McNamara at the DW Stadium, BBC commentatorWigan v West Ham (15:00 BST)

    "A month ago the purists could purr as Wigan's pretty passing earned a 4-1 win at Upton Park in the League Cup - a victory for style over substance.

    "But Sam Allardyce will care little about perception, style and attractiveness when he points to the league table, where West Ham have more than double Wigan's points tally. Allardyce was the bookies' favourite to be the first Premier League manager sacked this season. A win today would send the Hammers fourth."

    MOTD's Steve Wilson at the Britannia Stadium, BBC SportStoke City v Sunderland (15:00 BST)

    "The question for both Stoke and Sunderland is the same; what next? Sometimes mid-table security can be dangerous territory - without progression there is only stagnation, and after stagnation there's usually relegation.

    "In recent years both clubs have found themselves slightly below mid-table but comfortably safe. They are both consistent, without being spectacular. It would not surprise me one jot if both sides chalked up their sixth draw of the season."

    MOTD's John Roder at the Madejski StadiumReading v Fulham (15:00 BST)

    "Reading have yet to keep a clean sheet in their opening seven league games, and they'll face a difficult task against a Fulham side who are the fourth highest scorers in the Premier League this season, with 16 goals already.

    "The Royals have scored in every home match since last January, while if the match is half as exciting as Fulham's last away game, the 2-2 draw at Southampton earlier this month, it will be a cracker."

    MOTD's John Motson at The Emirates StadiumArsenal v QPR (15:00 BST)

    "The visit of bottom-of-the-table QPR is now a huge game for Arsenal. If they are not in crisis yet, they soon will be if they don't start winning quickly.

    "Arsenal's problems have deflected much of the pressure away from QPR. When the new season started, who would have thought a new-look QPR side would be bottom without a win at this stage? Despite Arsenal's problems, anything the visitors get at the Emirates would be a bonus."

  278. 1335: 

    To be honest Guy (see below) I've mostly forgotten about it already. It's probably for the best. Other than Villa's goal and Norwich's one golden chance, there wasn't much worth remembering.

    Shall we look forward to our four 15:00 BST kick-offs instead?

    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Villa Park, BBC SportHALF-TIME- Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich

    "It's not a half that will live long in the memory but for Paul Lambert it could be a very important 45 minutes. It's the result that is the be all and end all and you feel it was absolutely vital that Villa hung on until half-time. You could see why both teams are struggling."

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "There's a sense of relief all around Villa Park as they are 1-0 up, against the run of play you have to say. It's been a poor first half but Villa will be the happier side."

  281. 1331: 
    HALF-TIME- Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich
  282. 1330: 

    Just one minute of added time for us to endure, sorry I mean enjoy, at the end of the first half. Villa defender Ron Vlaar celebrates by hoofing the ball straight out of play with a clearance straight out of Sunday football.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "This is all so much better from Aston Villa, but both sides look like very fragile teams. Both managers look like they want to get out there and join in, just to bring some leadership to their teams."

  284. 1326: 

    Villa have also had their moments of late, using Christian Benteke as an effective target-man. They look less convincing when they try to pass the ball around near the half-way line, however, and Norwich soon have the ball back. Worry not though Villa fans, because the Canaries soon give it away again. I think they need to work on their throw-ins, as well as their passing.

  285. 1325: 

    So, can Norwich end the first half with a bang and, unlike earlier, make this pressure count. Er, no. Grant Holt tries his luck with a snap-shot that ends up near the corner flag... no, it actually hits it. Oh dear.

  286. 1324: 

    Hang about. It's been a terrible match so far but Norwich have upped their game. At last they deliver a decent cross into the box, via Elliott Bennett, and Chris Herd does well to clear.

  287. 1321: 

    Seven-and-a-half minutes to go until half-time, which will come as a welcome relief. Not that I'm counting the seconds or anything.... but there are less than 500 to go.


    Conor Parker on Twitter: "Good finish but that has come against the run of play!"

    Tokunbo on Twitter: "What on earth were the centre-backs doing? Talk to each other!"

    Niall Halford on Twitter: "I swear every time that the BBC live text says there are no chances for a team, there is always a goal just a few minutes later..."

    Tell me about it Niall. Not a bad thing in a game like this, though. I might try it again in a moment...

  289. 1318: 

    Paul Lambert will be happy with the score at the moment but this game is still not much of a spectacle. There have been lots of misplaced passes from both sides, as Norwich try to use the flanks to get behind the Villa defence and the home side look to hit them on the break. Neither tactic is having much in the way of success.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    On Villa's goal: "Villa haven't been in the game, but they are now! From Norwich's point of view that is terrible marking. They could have put a double decker bus in there between the goalkeeper and his defence. It was a great finish from Benteke, though, with nobody marking him. He had time to get the ball out from under his feet and stroke it into the bottom corner. That is just what Villa needed."

  291. 1314: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa's Joe Bennett

    We've had a goal, now we've had a booking too. Joe Bennett lunges in on Elliott Bennett near the right-hand side of the Villa area. Phil Dowd produces a yellow card but Norwich cannot make the most of the free-kick, which is easily headed clear, and they waste another set-piece from Javier Garrido soon afterwards. It sails straight out of play.

  292. 1311: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 1-0 Norwich - Christian Benteke (27 mins)

    Er, amazing. Not so much the way Villa score, rather the fact they have scored at all. It's a nice goal, though, with Gabriel Agbonlahor neat and tidy on the ball before playing it out to his left and, when Joe Bennett's cross comes in, Christian Benteke finds space to meet it and beat John Ruddy with a cool finish. Who needs Darren Bent? Norwich were on top, but now they are behind.

  293. 1308: 

    So, Norwich have had a decent opening. What about Villa? Same as before, I'm afraid. Karim El Ahmadi just blasted the most hopeful of shots about a mile high and wide from 30 yards out.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "Brad Guzan spread himself very well, but Wes Hoolahan should have scored from six yards out with the best chance of the game so far. Villa's central defenders both went for the same ball, and the communication really has to be there. At the moment they look very short of confidence."

  295. 1306: 

    At long, long last, we get our first clear-cut chance. It falls to Norwich, with Grant Holt slipping Wes Hoolahan clear inside the box. Hoolahan is clean through too, but Villa keeper Brad Guzan spreads himself well and gets a foot on his shot to push it wide.

  296. 1305: 

    Slightly better by Villa, in that they have got into the Norwich box. I suppose it's a start.

    Marc Albrighton had a free-kick easily cleared but Paul Lambert's side kept the pressure up and another ball into the area forced an uncertain clearance by Norwich's Sebastien Bassong.

  297. 1302: 

    You have probably noticed there have not many chances to speak of in the first 20 minutes at Villa Park, but we have just had a shout for a penalty, when Villa defender Ron Vlaar nudged Elliott Bennett over on the edge of the Villa box. Referee Phil Dowd waves play on.


    Kit in London on 81111 on text: "Bent is on the bench because he hasn't done the job under Lambert, or even looked remotely like he might."

    Declan from Belfast on 81111 on text: "Halloween coming up - obviously Villa and Norwich are playing like a horror movie!"

  299. 1300: 

    According to Infostrada Sports, Norwich have conceded in a Premier League record 37 away consecutive matches. They might fancy their chances of ending that run here, though. Villa look completely toothless in attack and their latest attack ends when a long ball intended for Marc Albrighton down the right runs straight out of play.

    Nigel Spackman, BBC Radio 5 live at Villa Park

    "Villa are just not getting tight enough to Norwich as a group. The pressure is on and they're falling back deeper and deeper, penned to the edge of their 18 yard box. They've got no leaders in that back four and are too deep, allowing Norwich to pass and move well."

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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 26 34 60
No movement 2 Man City 27 30 55
No movement 3 Arsenal 27 22 51
No movement 4 Man Utd 27 20 50
No movement 5 Liverpool 27 10 48
No movement 6 Southampton 27 18 46
No movement 7 Tottenham 26 5 44
No movement 8 Swansea 27 -3 40
No movement 9 West Ham 27 6 39
No movement 10 Stoke 27 -3 39
No movement 11 Newcastle 27 -10 35
No movement 12 Crystal Palace 27 -7 30
No movement 13 West Brom 27 -9 30
No movement 14 Everton 27 -6 28
No movement 15 Hull 27 -11 26
No movement 16 Sunderland 27 -16 25
No movement 17 QPR 26 -18 22
No movement 18 Burnley 27 -20 22
No movement 19 Aston Villa 27 -24 22
No movement 20 Leicester 26 -18 18