Premier League as it happened

Live text commentary as Liverpool thrash Spurs in the Premier League after Man Utd win at Villa and Norwich hold Swansea.

15 December 2013 Last updated at 11:40

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As it happened

  1. 1840: 

    Righteo, it's time for us to end this live text commentary after an afternoon filled with goals and surprises. Many Liverpool fans would probably have been happy with a draw at White Hart Lane, let alone a 5-0 thumping, while Manchester United are back to winning ways after a convincing victory over Aston Villa. And let us no forget Gary Hooper's cracker of a strike in Norwich's 1-1 draw with Swansea.

    Thanks, as ever, for your contributions, but as one live text commentary closes, another one opens, or something like that...

    Live text commentary of this evening's Sports Personality of the Year is up and running so feel free to join my colleagues Lawrence Barretto and Jonathan Jurejko. Bye for now.

  2.  
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    Rory via text: Liverpool and Man United have scary attacks, Arsenal and Chelsea have brilliant midfields, and City have both. Hence they will win the league.

    Sarah via text: The players do need to take a long hard look at themselves but AVB's team selection has been poor. How can Defoe still not even get a sub appearance?

    Craig via text: Well I guess the Suarez v Van Persie debate is well and truly over.

  3.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Luke Darmanin: It's Levy who should leave not AVB. He's the one who pressured AVB into spending 100m by 31st Aug to sanction the sale of Bale.

    Ricky Ashra: Bet all those Spurs fans who preferred the squad Spurs bought with the Bale money are eating their words now. Miss him?

    Andrew Musgrove: I know Jurgen Klinsmann has just signed a new contract with the U.S national team but he'd be a good fit at Spurs.

  4. 1835: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Brendan Rodgers was asked whether he had any unused superlatives left to describe Luis Suarez, who scored twice to take his season's tally to 17. Rodgers said no. Let's just say the Uruguayan is good, really good, really really good.

    Luis Suarez

    .

  5.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    OptaJoe on Twitter: 17 - Luis Suarez has scored more goals than 10 of the 20 Premier League teams this season.

  6. 1829: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Where do Tottenham go after their worst home defeat in 16 years? Well, they host West Ham in the quarter-final of the League Cup on Wednesday but awaiting them next in the Premier League are Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.

    They will then play West Brom (26 December) and Stoke (29 December) before the end of the year, but will Andre Villas-Boas still be in charge by the time the struggling Baggies come to town?

  7.  
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    Tom, in Manchester, via text: That Man City v Liverpool game that is just around the corner looks like the perfect belated Christmas present for the neutral!

    Jonny, in Leicester, via text: AVB hasn't got a leg to stand on. The players look lost, confused and naive in their play. Shocking result to match a shocking season.

    James via text: AVB is going to be a very lucky man to keep his job, considering how harsh Steve Clarke's sacking was.

  8.  
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    Liverpool defender Glen Johnson on Twitter: Great result. Not many teams will do them at White Hart Lane. Total soccer.

  9. 1827: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    More from Villas-Boas: "Regarding my position, it is not for me to decide. I can only work to make things better. Today was not to be because Liverpool had a great, great game. They deserve credit.

    "I don't need to convince anyone. Our run is magnificent in the other competitions but not in the Premier League. Our form in the Premier League is not there, our ambition to win trophies is the same and to qualify for the Champions League is the same."

  10. 1826: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
    Andre Villas-Boas

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas: "It was difficult after the sending off. We said at half-time a goal would put us back in the game. The third goal was the killer and ruled our confidence out.

    "I think the sending off is a bit unfair. I think a yellow card was more appropriate that was the key moment in the game."

  11. 1824: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Will Liverpool maintain their form and challenge for the title? Only time will tell and the next few weeks will probably reveal much. Brandan Rodgers's side host Cardiff on Saturday before embarking on tricky away trips to Manchester City (26 December) and Chelsea (29 December). Five points from the next nine would probably do very nicely for Rogers and co.

  12.  
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    Nick Wheeler: Worst Spurs performance for at least two weeks. Awful, just awful.

    Shohidur Rahman: Playing a high line against Liverpool with 10 men....suicidal tactics.

    Saikat Nandy: Liverpool & Man City are title contenders because of Suarez & Aguero. Unless Arsenal get an similar striker, they won't win the title.

  13. 1819: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was a brilliant all-round performance. The players worked tirelessly. The level of football was superb.

    "We got five goals and arguably we could have had seven or eight. That's the beauty of team, it has goals in it.

    "We spoke before game that were missing outstanding players in Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge but I said winning teams support each other. We've shown it's the team that is most important for us."

  14. 1817: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
    Liverpool celebrate

    Liverpool are now second in the table and two points of league leaders Arsenal after that thumping victory. Tottenham's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have been dented as the north Londoners are now five points adrift of the top four.

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    Ben via text: Anyone who believes AVB should be given time are as naive as they are they are lacking in football knowledge. The team have no confidence in him hence these big beatings. They will continue as long as he is there.

    Joe via text: AVB will get all the criticism but the players need to take a long look at themselves. No character, no fight, no determination.

    Mike, in Devon, via text: I just looked and there are no more superlatives left to describe Luis Suarez.

  16. 1811: 
    THE MATCH IN STATS- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Spurs fans may want to look away now, although they've been probably wanting to do that for the majority of the match. Liverpool dominated every aspect of the game.

  17. 1807: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Injured Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard told Sky Sports: "It was unbelievable. You could have picked 11 man of the matches. This will give us belief going into the fixtures.

    "We are there, we are second and if we beat Cardiff we go top of the league. We are title contenders, but [it's] important to be realistic. There are some fantastic teams in the league so there are a lot big games and hurdles before we become real title contenders."

  18.  
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    Aaron Cox: Losing to City could been seen as a one off but after that performance today it shows its time for AVB to go. Embarrassing.

    Hannah Thompson: AVB said the recovery from the 6-0 was almost complete. Then you get thumped 0-5 at home. Time to go AVB - awful all season.

    Amar: All the players were amazing today, but credit should be given to Joe Allen. He looks a lot more confident and composed.

  19.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    "If Spurs beat West Ham the fans will be happy again. You know how fickle it is and sometimes you have to credit the opposition.

    "It's a humiliating scoreline, an awful scoreline but the team in red played an excellent brand of football and Steven Gerrard must be sitting at home so proud of the players that compensated for his absence.

    "You can get knee-jerk reactions but could any manager in England have put this one right, have turned this loss into a victory? Nonsense?

    "Liverpool were better and the more Tottenham tried to force the pace... they were caught square and limp."

  20. 1803: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez told Sky Sports: "It's no different being captain but Liverpool has only one captain and that is Stevie Gerrard. We played very well and this is more important than who the captain is.

    "I try me best on pitch, I am striker and try to score. Today most important is the performance of the team. We played very well. For confidence it is very good."

    Luis Suarez
  21. 1803: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson: "It was fantastic. We knew we had to come here and play well and it was unbelievable.

    "We need to keep on going. We have got a big game against Cardiff and we have to focus on that."

  22.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    "It was a masterclass, a display of exhilarating football. Liverpool were speedy and purposeful with brilliant individual touches. They have produced a superb away performance.

    "They started at such a fast pace, Sterling put Tottenham on the back foot and Suarez tormented them all afternoon."

  23. 1800: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
    Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

    As we have already learnt this weekend, football chairmen will wield the axe whatever time of year. The spirit of Christmas? Bah humbug, they will say. Will Andre Villas-Boas follow Steve Clarke or will Daniel Levy keep faith with his man?

    What will perhaps worry Tottenham most is that their team did not get a shot on target during that match. The first time they have failed to do so since Opta stats began.

  24. 1755: 
    PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AS IT STANDS- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool
    Premier League table
  25.  
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    Dan via text: So much impatience from Spurs fans. Most of this team have only been in the squad since the summer, lost your star player not four months ago, do you really expect your team to gel and perform to the highest standard so soon after meeting one another?

    Mark via text: It isn't that we've lost, it's how we've lost. AVB has to go- dead man walking.

    Giles, in Coventry, via text: If Suarez keeps this up, then there's no reason to go to Real apart from prestige. Surely he can realise his dreams at Anfield. Despite the protestations from Manchester, Liverpool is still a massive club.

  26. 1753: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy looks on as the final whistle is blown. Is the sword of Damocles hovering over Andre Villas-Boas?

  27. 1750: 
    FULL-TIME- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    Liverpool come close to a sixth seconds before the final whistle but no-one is at the end of Victor Moses's cross.

  28. 1749: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    The visiting fans cheering every successful Liverpool pass, of which there are many. A minute of stoppage time left.

  29. 1748: 
    Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool

    According to Opta, this is only the third time Liverpool have scored more than four goals at White Hart Lane - and it's the first time they have scored five against Spurs in the league.

  30. 1746: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 0-5 Liverpool - Raheem Sterling (89 mins)

    Luis Suarez turns provider as he releases Raheem Sterling who beats the offside trap to slot home an easy goal, his second of the season. Sterling stands still in celebration, raising a finger to his lips.

  31. 1746: 
    Tottenham 0-4 Liverpool

    Three minutes remain and Tottenham do not seem any nearer to scoring. Liverpool keeping possession.. Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson taking charge while 'You'll Never Walk Alone' reverberates around the stadium.

  32. 1743: 
    Tottenham 0-4 Liverpool

    The camera focuses on a number of Tottenham fans making their way towards the exit. Rows of empty seats at White Hart Lane, while the visiting fans are, predictably, in full voice.

  33.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-4 Liverpool

    "I want to give Villas-Boas credit for one thing. He's stood up in the technical area the whole time and taken it on the chin.

    "I remember Wigan coming here and conceding nine and Roberto Martinez never flinched from the technical area once. It's easy to drop back amongst the crowd but he's stood up the whole game."

  34. 1741: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 0-4 Liverpool - Luis Suarez (84 mins)

    Magnificent from Luis Suarez as he chips the ball over the onrushing Hugo Loris after being put through by Luis Alberto.

  35. 1740: 
    Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool

    It should be four after another flowing, incisive move but a heavy touch at the wrong time from the otherwise very impressive Raheem Sterling and the chance is gone.

  36. 1739: 
    Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool

    It's all Liverpool as we approach the final 10 minutes and Jordan Henderson is the visiting team's metronome.

  37.  
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    Daniel Betson: People say AVB out, but who exactly do you bring in? Ian Holloway?

    Varuth Kuonsongtham: Any striker should be proud of a strike like that. Well done Flanagan.

    Steven Jerjian: Lucas and Henderson had a lot of stick in their first seasons but both have been absolutely phenomenal today.

  38.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-3 Liverpool
    Jon Flanagan (left) celebrates scoring for Liverpool

    "Flanagan's the left-back, they're winning 2-0 and he's made up acres to get in the box and sweep that in. It was a magnificent chip from Suarez and on the half volley he drifts that in. A great team goal and it's the team play all afternoon that you can only be impressed by.

    "On this performance of course they can challenge for the title. It's just about consistency. They're playing with such a zest. They are so much better as a group and playing so well together and they're doing it against good players."

  39. 1737: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool

    A change for Liverpool as Spaniard Luis Alberto comes on for Lucas Leiva. A shade more than 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

  40. 1734: 
    Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool

    Lewis Holtby can deem himself fortunate not to receive a second yellow for his petulant reaction to not being awarded a free-kick. The Spurs man punched the turf in anger as the referee waved play on after Glen Johnson's sliding tackle.

  41. 1732: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool - Jon Flanagan (75 mins)

    The young Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan finishes like an old pro but celebrates like the novice goalscorer that he is. Luis Suarez picks out Flanagan and, with his first touch, the left-back curls it into the top corner, the ball going in off the crossbar.

  42.  
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    Zed: I'm a Spurs fan and of course that was a red card. Paulinho moved his foot into Suarez chest - correct decision. Next red, AvB!!

    Jay Bardia: The top four is a crowded place and Spurs don't stand a chance.

    Ryan Cowie: Paulinho didn't mean it but what on earth was his foot up that high? Very poor attempt at defending.

  43. 1729: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Luis Suarez skips down the left... closes in on goal... but the angle is a tad too zany for even a man of Suarez's calibre and the side netting is all he can find.

  44. 1728: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Tottenham need to score twice in the final 20 minutes, which isn't an impossible task - but they've been reduced to 10 men and have yet to muster a shot on target in this game.

  45. 1726: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    A beautiful diagonal ball from Philippe Coutinho who bisects the Spurs defence to pick out Glen Johnson. There was perhaps something in Sandro's pre-match claims that Liverpool's Brazilian has the swagger of former Barcelona great Ronaldinho.

  46.  
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    Dan Wilkinson: Never ever ever ever a red. Not in a million years.

    Mike Martin: If you kick somebody in the ribs, you'll be sent off. So don't do it.

    Alex Briggs: I bet AVB is secretly relieved by that red card. He had no-one else to blame for the loss beforehand.

  47. 1724: 
    YELLOW CARD- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Another Tottenham player in the book and this time it's Lewis Holtby for a clumsy late challenge on Joe Allen.

  48.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    "The ball had gone and Paulinho had to withdraw his foot completely. His foot did go up high and if he did catch Suarez really badly his ribs would be damaged. He put his foot up and I don't think Suarez feigned it, it's rather silly frustration from Paulinho.

    "The odds are now massively against Spurs. They're down to 10 men and they haven't played well but Liverpool were superb in the first half, every man in the team."

  49. 1722: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Luis Suarez receives some medical attention before walking towards the sidelines, face contorted in pain and holding his right hand.

  50. 1720: 
    RED CARD- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool - Paulinho

    A shake of the head from Andre Villas-Boas. Luis Suarez knocks the ball forward and Paulinho's challenge is late. In fact, he kicks the Liverpool striker in the ribs, but he did not seem to do so out of malice.

  51. 1720: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Andros Townsend replaces Mousa Dembele and Andre Villas-Boas must be hoping the England forward can spark his team into action.

  52. 1718: 
    PENALTY APPEAL- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Tottenham probing, asking questions of Liverpool's defence. Aaron Lennon's cross fizzes across the face of goal... Martin Skrtel prevents Roberto Soldado from making contact. Did the Liverpool defender do so illegally? Play goes on.

  53.  
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    Thomas Abbott: Loving this. We are finally title contenders.

    Damola: AVB will ride the 4-2-3-1 to his demise. He is too rigid in his game plans.

    Samuel Davies: What a fantastic tempo this game has been played at. Exhausting to watch.

  54. 1715: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Nacer Chadli gets the better of Glen Johnson and Tottenham earn themselves a corner. The crowd roar. Jon Flanagan, though, heads the ball away and the home fans have little else to cheer at the moment.

  55. 1713: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Aaron Lennon skips beyond one defender but in his attempt to weave beyond Lucas Leiva the winger allows the ball to trickle away for a goalkick. That moment perhaps sums up Tottenham's afternoon.

  56. 1710: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    The rain falling heavily in north London. Jordan Henderson has oodles of time and space to find Philippe Coutinho and the diminutive Brazilian releases Luis Suarez who again looks threatening. The move fizzles out but Andre Villas-Boas will be concerned that Henderson is being allowed to maraud in midfield.

  57.  
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    Vinny Person: Genuinely don't think I've seen a better 45 minutes of football from any Premier League team this season. Liverpool unlucky not to be five up.

    Alex Turner: Say what you like about some of Kenny Dalglish's purchases [Carroll and Downing notably] but Suarez and Henderson were both bargains.

    Matt Love: Spurs have needed a decent left back for years now, yet despite all the millions spent, they still haven't got one.

  58. 1708: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Liverpool playing with a certain joie de vivre. Raheem Sterling's trickery again causing Tottenham problems and Mamadou Sakho heads the winger's cross against the crossbar. The ball finds its way back to Martin Skrtel who rashly thunders his 25-yard effort well wide. Sakho is only a yard from the goal when he connects and really should score.

  59.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    "Suarez was finding all sorts of space in the opening half, pulling the centre-halves away, and then Henderson was bombing through the middle with Sterling finding width on the right. They just had so many options. They've all got the ability to beat their individual opponent which is a great asset to have.

    "I'm sure Tottenham will do better in the second half but they'll need an early goal to get back in this game. They have to throw caution to the wind."

  60. 1705: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Roberto Soldado trades power for accuracy and his shot rises and rises until it misses its indented target, which was the top corner.

  61. 1703: 
    KICK-OFF- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    A change to the Tottenham line-up as Ezekiel Fryers replaces Kyle Naughton, who had a torrid time against Raheem Sterling in the first half. There are suggestions he could be injured.

  62.  
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    Charlie Newman: Spurs defence looking shaky with those injuries. Regret selling Caulker anyone?

    David Nicholas: Injuries killing Spurs in defence...inept left back and both centre backs too slow. Plus a massively inconsistent right back.

    Fahad Khan: Hodgson probably came to assess the young English talents. I bet he is now scratching his head on how to stop Suarez in the World Cup.

  63. 1700: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Andre Villas-Boas might be telling his team at half-time that that is as bad as it will get this afternoon because only 31% of Liverpool's league goals have been scored in the second half. Although, in Luis Suarez Liverpool have a player who has scored more league goals than the entire Tottenham team.

  64. 1700: 
    DON'T MISS IT

    Don't forget it is BBC Sports Personality of the Year tonight and you can follow @bbcspoty for the latest news or go to the BBC Sport Instagram page for all the behind the scenes pictures from Leeds.

  65.  

    OptaJoe on Twitter: 25 - Liverpool have scored 25 Premier League goals before half-time this season, at least four more than any other side. Energised.

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    Jake, in London, via text: Liverpool keep playing like this WITHOUT Gerrard/Sturridge and when they come back, I think they are serious contenders for the title. Rodgers is one of the most underrated managers.

    Mark via text: Spurs are hopeless, a yard slower all over the pitch. Not good enough. AVB, this half-time talk is where you earn your money.

    Jonathan via text: I don't how long we can give Spurs, and Villas-Boas, the benefit of the doubt for having many new players. They are so far from playing as a team, with players constantly lacking support or on different wavelengths.

  67.  
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    Kirk Hughes: This is Liverpool's best team performance by far this season. Pressing all over the park and should be further ahead.

    Jamie Jenkins: Liverpool have shown their top four credentials in that half. Spurs have to show theirs to get back into this.

    Hussain: Tottenham very lucky not to concede more goals. Suarez could easily have two goals in his name already!

  68. 1651: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Liverpool's overwhelming dominance in the opening 45 minutes not only reveals itself in the scoreline but also the statistics. Six shots on targets for the Merseysiders, while Tottenham have a zero next to their name. The visitors have also enjoyed 58% of the possession.

  69. 1654: 
    FULL-TIME- Wigan 3-2 Bolton

    Something of a thriller at the DW Stadium, but victory for the home side and joy no doubt for new boss Uwe Rosler.

  70.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    "It's the speed of Liverpool's forward play that's really been something special. It's 2-0 and Hugo Lloris has made three great saves.

    "Liverpool's supporters know this has been an effective and ruthless team performance. Henderson has taken on Gerrard's mantle, spread the ball superbly well. Tottenham just can't lock Suarez up and 2-0 is a more than fair reflection."

    Listen to Luis Suarez's goal described on BBC Radio 5 live.

  71.   
    Simon Brotherton, Match of the Day commentator at White Hart Lane

    "Boos around White Hart Lane and there is not much for the home crowd to enjoy, Tottenham have been outplayed by Liverpool in the first half."

  72. 1647: 
    HALF-TIME- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool
    Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring

    Boos reverberate around White Hart Lane as the half-time whistle blows.

  73. 1646: 
    Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Sloppy from Mousa Dembele as his attempted crossfield pass bounces into touch, giving Liverpool another platform from which they can attack.

  74.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    "Mignolet is lucky to get away with that one. It was shoulder to shoulder. Mignolet was in trouble."

  75. 1643: 
    DISALLOWED GOAL- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

    Simon Mignolet attempts to control the ball with his thigh but on that evidence the Liverpool striker could not trap a bag of cement. The ball bounces for Roberto Soldado, who sticks the ball in the net. But the goal is disallowed as the striker is deemed to have fouled Mignolet and, to be fair, he did seem to barge into him as they tussled to win the loose ball.

  76.  
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    Andrew Soar: Sakho looks immense. Soldado needs people running beyond him. Spurs lacking guile.

    Phil Hakim: Dear AVB I want to believe. With the safety net of Bale gone, please do something to prove to us that you know what are doing.

    Brett Mills: Why are footy fans such moral compasses? People are flawed and do stupid things but it doesn't stop them being great leaders.

  77. 1640: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool - Jordan Henderson (40 mins)

    Where to start with this goal? Hugo Lloris saves Jordan Henderson's initial effort from point-blank range... the ball falls to Luis Suarez and Lloris again sticks out a hand to stop the striker's shot... but the ball loops up invitingly and the Tottenham goalkeeper can do little to prevent Jordan Henderson from volleying into the corner. The scorer then runs just about the full length of the pitch.

  78. 1636: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Ten minutes remains of this fabulously frantic first half. Liverpool should be two goals to the good after Hugo Lloris's error and could Luis Suarez's failure to turn the screw prove costly?

    Lovely interchange between Nacer Chadli and Roberto Soldado ends with Lewis Holtby going close with a first-time strike.

  79.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    "Tottenham just need to regroup and get some possession and confidence but at the moment Liverpool are in the ascendency in every way.

    "Suarez plays on his own up front and finds space between the centre-back and full-backs so well. Clive Allen played a similar game on his own. He makes those runs so well, but Tottenham got a lifeline there. Capoue has got to sit deeper than Dawson and one of them has got to get tight on Suarez and man-mark him."

  80. 1634: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    A blunder from Hugo Lloris as he comes off his line and heads the ball to Luis Suarez, who has the chance to double his side's lead. But the Liverpool striker stutters ever so slightly which gives the Tottenham keeper the opportunity to recover and, in the end, it's a surprisingly tame effort from Suarez. The ball rebounds back to Suarez but his attempt to find a team-mate is cut out.

  81. 1632: 
    CLOSE!- Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Nacer Chadli has the freedom of the six-yard area to leap above the Liverpool defence and meet a Lewis Holtby corner. The winger's header is only fractionally off target.

  82.  
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    Matt Harding: Whisper it quietly, but Liverpool are a better team without Gerrard? They're too reliant on him and his Hollywood passes.

    Sanj: Err...do LFC look better without Gerrard? They are travelling at some pace here.

    Seb Crane: Sterling seems to be making good use of the lack of Vertonghen. Naughton is off the pace.

  83. 1630: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    The injured Sandro is replaced by Lewis Holtby, which might add more creativity to Tottenham's play.

  84. 1628: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Luis Suarez sprints towards the byline, looks up and sees Philippe Coutinho, unmarked, and 20 or so yards from goal. The Brazilian volleys and it is only the crossbar which prevents the playmaker from scoring. Glen Johnson then goes close with a follow-up.

  85.  
    GOAL- Wigan 3-2 Bolton - Callum McManaman (67 mins)

    Emmerson Boyce involved involved again - this time as a force for good. He wins a header that Callum McManaman pounces on and finishes with his left foot.

  86. 1627: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool
    Luis Suarez scores for Liverpool

    It might be of some comfort to Tottenham fans to learn that Liverpool have only managed one clean sheet in their last 12 Premier League games. What won't be of comfort is news that Luis Suarez is proving to be a handful for the Spurs backline.

  87.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    "Brendan Rodgers must be proud of this performance. Liverpool are so quick and their movement is excellent. Every time there's a runner, always someone seeking the space behind the Tottenham backline."

  88. 1625: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    The match is being played at a breathtaking pace are Liverpool are looking to do damage on the counter attack. For Tottenham, Aaron Lennon cuts in from the right and weaves his way towards the goal, but Liverpool's defence hold firm.

  89.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball- Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Samuel Davies: Liverpool good value for their lead, breaking with pace and good movement and Spurs struggling.

    Mike Wren-Kirkham: Liverpool are showing Tottenham the importance of keeping your best player whatever the cost.

    Gareth Whalley: Sterling is playing excellently today, he's winning the battle against Naughton.

  90. 1623: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Luis Suarez is nearly let loose again, but Hugo Lloris is alert enough to stop the Liverpool striker from pouncing once more.

  91. 1622: 
    GOAL- Wigan 2-2 Bolton - Andre Moritz (64 mins)

    Emmerson Boyce brings down Chung-Yong Lee and Andre Moritz does the rest, levelling with the second penalty of the match.

  92. 1620: 
    Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    Liverpool had been threatening for five minutes in the build-up to that goal with Raheem Sterling proving to be a very tricky customer indeed. Such is Sterling's influence on the match, Mousa Dembele has now come over to help his team-mate Kyle Naughton.

  93.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-1 Liverpool

    "Liverpool have been terrific and very bright on the right flank. It was a brilliant goal for Suarez, absolutely world class. It was anticipation, calmness and strength to get through. He's just so clever."

  94.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Sumeer Rawal: Sterling showing some glimpses of the confidence and form he showed at the start of last season. Good start for Liverpool.

    Ada: It's time for Henderson and Coutinho to show why they are our future.

  95. 1618: 
    GOAL- Tottenham 0-1 Liverpool - Luis Suarez (18 mins)

    Michael Dawson fails to clear the ball and so Jordan Henderson swiftly nicks it from the defender and sets Luis Suarez free to score in the bottom corner. It's the Liverpool captain's 13th goal in eight league games and another superb finish from the Uruguayan.

  96. 1616: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Momentum swinging this way and that in the opening 15 minutes but it is the visitors are now in the ascendancy.

    Luis Suarez is clipped by Etienne Capoue on the edge of the box. The Liverpool striker falls but even off balance, Suarez manages to produce a shot which is turned away for a corner. There were a few penalty appeals and although the evidence is inconclusive, Suarez did seem to be inside the box when Capoue made contact.

  97.   
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    "I saw Jon Flanagan in a youth match here at White Hart Lane a few years ago and Townsend really gave him a hard time. But Martin Kelly's on the bench, Andre Wisdom's on loan at Derby and Flanagan's done very well to impose himself on the Liverpool management."

  98. 1613: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Kyle Naughton brings down Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box, wide on the right, and up steps Philippe Coutinho for the free-kick. Tottenham's defending isn't pretty... There's a touch of ping-pong in the area... Hugo Lloris comes off his line and comical punches away the danger.

  99. 1611: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Jordan Henderson switches play and sets Jon Flanagan free down the left but the Liverpool defender is stopped in his tracks by Kyle Walker and concedes a free-kick for grappling with the England right-back.

  100. 1609: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool
    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez

    Liverpool captain Luis Suarez has not yet had an opportunity to display his skills, mainly because Tottenham are now dominating possession.

  101. 1608: 
    GOAL- Wigan 2-1 Bolton - Neil Danns (49 mins)

    Bolton pull a goal back at Wigan, with Neil Danns heading home at the far post after a cross from Andre Moritz.

  102. 1607: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Clumsy defending from Mamadou Sakho as he allows the ball to bobble underneath his foot. The ball eventually makes its way to Paulinho, who should have at least found the target with his effort.

  103. 1605: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Lucas Leiva fails to control the ball while defending on the edge of the box but it might be the Brazilian's lucky day as the ball bounces towards a red shirt. Tottenham, slowly getting to grips with the game, have been spraying the ball around confidently in the last two minutes.

  104. 1603: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    "Come on you Spurs," a Tottenham fan is heard bellowing towards his team. A touch of frustration in his voice as Liverpool are keeping hold of the ball with ease.

  105. 1601: 
    Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Roberto Soldado hunts down Simon Mignolet and the Liverpool goalkeeper's quick footwork gets him out of trouble. At the other end, Philippe Coutinho has an early chance but tamely side-foots it towards Hugo Lloris.

  106. 1600: 
    KICK-OFF- Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool

    Let's go!

  107. 1558:  
    David Pleat, Former Tottenham manager on BBC Radio 5 live at White Hart LaneTottenham v Liverpool (1600)

    "Early in the season Tottenham were playing slower football with less purpose, playing too much sideways and backwards and the supporters believe in glory here, they don't like caution.

    "From Gascoigne to Greaves, they've been brought up on great players here but slowly Andre Villas-Boas has bought into that philosophy and they're playing a quicker game now.

    "Whether it's Soldado or Defoe they can't wait forever for the ball to get up front. The hierarchy here will hope and expect to get a Champions League place this season."

  108. 1557: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "I thought we started as well as we have done for a number of weeks but the first goal was poor as we should have stopped the cross. The second and third goals, we were in possession and they scored.

    "The pleasing thing is we never gave up. The disappointing thing for me is the manner of the goals."

  109. 1556: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Manchester United manager David Moyes: "It was a good job from us. The players did well and the only thing I would criticise is that we didn't score more goals.

    "We were a bit sloppy in first five minutes but after that played really well."

    David Moyes
  110.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Krishan Goyal: Frustrated with AVB's selection. All the creativity on the bench.

    Scott Duncan: Joe in Stevenage clearly hasn't seen much of Liverpool in the last year if he doesn't think Coutinho is world class.

    Aidan Williams: The comments are highlighting one vague point about the role of the captain: is he your best player or most respected?

  111. 1554: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "Swansea have had a tough week. I thought we very much edged it in the second half. We conceded a poor goal, showed great character, and needed a special goal to get back into it.

    "I thought if anyone was going to score in the sore in the second half it would be us. [But it was ] Important we didn't lose the game."

  112. 1551: 
    Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)

    Ok, so if we are to learn anything from history then Tottenham would be many people's favourites for this match.

    Liverpool have a sorry record at White Hart Lane, losing their last six matches in that corner of north London and Liverpool fans might not want to read this next bit, but the Merseysiders have scored four own goals at White Hart Lane. And, yes, Martin Skrtel is starting...

  113. 1548: 
    HALF-TIME- Wigan 2-0 Bolton

    So far, so good for Uwe Rosler's team.

  114. 1547: 
    LIVERPOOL LINE-UP- Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)
    Tottenham v Liverpool
  115. 1546: 
    TOTTENHAM LINE-UP- Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)
    Tottenham v Liverpool

    There's 15 minutes or so until it all kicks off at White Hart Lane so let's turn our attention to the final match of the day and, just because we can, here's a reminder of how the teams line up.

  116.  
    Text us on 81111

    Tim Benson via text: Consider the history of Liverpool FC and then the history of Suarez. Making him captain embarrasses the club.

    Ian, in Winchester, via text: Looking at Liverpool's midfield they might as well play Snow White at centre back.

    Joe, in Stevenage, via text: The Liverpool team doesn't fill me with dread. Suarez is carrying them. He is the only player in their team who is world class. Gerrard and Mignolet are quality but the rest are nothing special. I can't see them getting top four.

  117. 1542: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Swansea manager Michael Laudrup on Nathan Dyer's injury: "The health of a person is the most important thing. We know football can have injuries. Hopefully I'm wrong, but this looked much more serious.

    "We have to wait a couple of days for an X-ray and a scan, and we all cross our fingers to hope it is not that bad. That will overshadow everything else. It is just a game of football.

    "That game of football we controlled quite well in the first half and then just before half-time, after the injury, we had 10 minutes where we lost a little bit of perspective and they scored a fantastic equaliser.

    "We have reached 20 points after 16 games. That is positive after a very difficult week for us."

  118. 1541: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Manchester United's victory over Aston Villa means they have reduced the gap between league leaders Arsenal and themselves to 10 points. David Moyes's men are now just six points from a Champions League spot, but that could all change after Tottenham's clash with Liverpool.

  119. 1537: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Manchester United enjoyed plenty of success down the right during their victory over Villa, which illustrates Antonio Valencia's influence on the match. The Ecuadorian linked well with Rafael and the pair were a nuisance for the hosts.

  120. 1534:  
    John Roder, Match of the Day commentator at Carrow RoadNorwich 1-1 Swansea

    "Gary Hooper's fantastic goal will be the lasting memory of this match - a match that was overshadowed by a bad injury suffered by Nathan Dyer."

    Listen to BBC Radio 5 live's description of Gary Hooper's goal.

  121. 1533: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Norwich striker Gary Hooper: "They had a few chances. They are a tough side to break down.

    "It was a great ball for my goal, a great chest down and I just looped it in. I had to make up for the one I went round and missed. It sat up nice for me.

    "We had a few chances, they have had a long week. I thought we played well in the second half but didn't take the chances."

  122. 1532: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Over at Carrow Road, Swansea somewhat predictably dominated possession but in other areas the contest was far more even, although neither side was able to keep the majority of their shots on target.

  123. 1529: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United
    Aston Villa 0-3 Man Utd

    Every match has a story and at Villa Park it was a tale of Manchester United dominating possession and proving to be more ruthless in front of goal despite their opponents peppering David De Gea's goal with more shots.

  124.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders: "Villa were outclassed. Manchester United needed the win and showed their quality. Valencia was the man of the match. He destroyed Luna and they could have scored more."

  125. 1526: 
    GOAL- Wigan 2-0 Bolton - Nick Powell (24 mins)

    Manchester United loanee Nick Powell scores with an overhead kick after Chris McCann's initial effort is blocked.

  126.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Chris Bailey: The return of Fletcher, Cleverley scores and I can watch MOTD later without crying. Very positive day...

    Elvis: Clean sheet for the champions against a team that beat Arsenal and City.

    Faraz: That's one game chalked off. It'll bring confidence back into the team decent performance I hope we can kick on now

  127. 1525: 
    FULL-TIME- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    A draw it is at Carrow Road. The opposing managers hug each other after a tough battle.

  128. 1525: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    A one-two between Jonathan De Guzman and Jonjo Shelvey, but the Norwich defence sniff out the danger. Swansea attempting to finish in style.

  129. 1522: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Three minutes of stoppage time at Carrow Road. I repeat, three minutes of stoppage time!

  130. 1521: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Substitute Wilfried Bony goes close for the visitors and momentum has swung in Swansea's favour as the game nears its conclusion. Jonjo Shelvey forces a fine save from John Ruddy and half-heartedly appeals for handball as the ball hits Sebastien Bassong on its way towards the goal.

  131.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders: "I just despair at times. I know there's a difference in budget but I watch the strikers and Agbonlahor, Benteke and Kozak have not put enough into it.

    "I remember when I was a kid and I didn't chase the goalkeeper and my youth coach sent me home for a week and told me not to bother coming back until he phoned me. As a striker you've got to run and they don't work hard enough."

  132. 1519: 
    FULL-TIME- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Villa camped in the United half as the final seconds tick by. The United defence make a meal of a Villa free-kick but it matters little. The full-time whistle is blown. Game over.

  133. 1517: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    We have been informed that three minutes of stoppage time will be played at Villa Park. A victory, a clean sheet and a first win in five games looms for the reigning Premier League champions.

  134. 1515: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    A number of empty seats around Villa Park which suggests the home supporters have given up hope of scoring three in the minute which remains. The match has fizzled out somewhat, with United it seems content with the current scoreline.

  135. 1514: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Final 10 minutes at Carrow Road and the home team are looking the likelier of the two to score.

  136. 1513: 
    TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS- Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)
    Roberto Soldado in action for Spurs

    Striker Roberto Soldado retains his place in the Tottenham team after his midweek hat-trick against Anzhi Makhachkala. Jermain Defoe is on the bench, while Sandro also starts alongside Paulinho in midfield as two of the seven changes from that 4-1 win in the Europa League.

    Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Walker, Capoue, Dawson, Naughton; Paulinho, Sandro; Lennon, Dembele, Chadli; Soldado.

  137. 1512: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    There have been plenty of neat passes from Darren Fletcher since he has been on the pitch. The midfielder coping well with the pace of the game.

  138. 1511: 
    GOAL- Wigan 1-0 Bolton - Ben Watson PEN (11 mins)

    Ben Watson makes no mistake from the penalty spot after Matthew Mills is adjudged to have handled the ball. Good start for Uwe Rosler's team.

  139. 1509: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Mon dieu, Michel Vorm! The Swansea goalkeeper half-heartedly punches a hopeful Norwich ball and is lucky it does not fall to an opponent. The Dutchman soon makes amends, though, by diving low to his left to stop Gary Hooper's palm stinger of a shot. Brilliant save. That would have been a goal had Vorm been alert to the danger.

  140. 1507: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United
    Villa boss Paul Lambert (left) and Man Utd boss David Moyes

    There's 10 minutes left at Villa Park and Paul Lambert is standing on the touchline looking a bit helpless, which he is, I suppose, as his team have to score three in the next 10 minutes. United keeping possession well.

  141. 1506: 
    Wigan 0-0 Bolton

    No goals to report yet at the DW Stadium. Six minutes played there in the match between two of Owen Coyle's old clubs.

  142. 1505: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    A slight delay in play as Nathan Baker is punished for a clumsy late challenge on Danny Welbeck. The United striker also receives a yellow card for reacting to Baker's foul. Where on earth has the spirit of Christmas gone?

  143. 1503: 
    Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)

    Liverpool make one change to the team that beat West Ham last weekend, as Lucas comes into the midfield for injured captain Steven Gerrard. Luis Suarez will skipper the side in Gerrard's absence.

    Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet, Flanagan, Sakho, Skrtel, Johnson, Allen, Lucas, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez.

  144.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Areef: This is what United have been missing. Pressing from the whole team not just Rooney. Defence leading from the front.

    Ajay Patel: Darren Fletcher looks sharp! Glad to see him back. Fantastic reception from the fans.

    Sean: Can see why Villa are better away from home. The crowd is always on their backs, prawn sandwiches etc, away fans are die-hards.

  145. 1502: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    You don't see this every day of the week - and Norwich's Michael Turner would rather this particular incident had a different ending. His powerful header strikes the Swans crossbar and then bounces on to the head of Jordi Amat before going out for a corner.

  146. 1501: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    A bit of a melee in the Villa box as United huff and puff around the home team's goal. Wayne Rooney skips beyond a couple of defenders but is unable to get a shot away. Brad Guzan dives for the ball as it ricochets yards from his line but Antonio Valencia, on his backside, pokes it towards Danny Welbeck, who fails to keep his shot on target.

  147. 1458: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Twenty minutes remaining at Villa Park and every successful Villa pass is being cheered by the home fans. The hosts maintain possession briefly but do so without threatening their opponents.

  148. 1456: 
    YELLOW CARD- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    I would not tell Swansea keeper Michel Vorm to try to slow down play too much during the remainder of the match. He has just been booked for time wasting. Fair to say Vorm is not too thrilled about it.

  149. 1456: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    It's a double substitution for Manchester Untied as Ashley Young and Darren Fletcher come on for Ryan Giggs and Adnan Januzaj. There were boos for the appearance of former Villa boy Young but applause from both sets of supporters for Fletcher.

  150. 1454: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    "There's only one Darren Fletcher" sing the visiting fans as the Scot takes instructions from the sidelines and prepares to make his first appearance in a United shirt since Boxing Day.

  151.  
    Join the debate on the BBC Sport Facebook page

    There has been plenty to feast your eyes upon so far this afternoon - and you can check out some of the best available images on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  152.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Pinda Mann: Cleverley played well on Tuesday when he came on and he's done well today. Give the kid a chance. Rooney in deep position solves everything.

    Dan Harris: I have defended Lambert for months. But something has to give. We are playing such poor football. Lambert has to go.

    Mike: Unless Villa buy defenders in January, we are going down in May.

  153. 1453: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Alejandro Pozuelo plays a one-two with Pablo Hernandez on the fringes of the penalty box, but the 22-year-old summer signing fails to keep his looping effort on target. Swansea boss Michael Laudrup remains in his seat, unmoved by that attack.

  154. 1450: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    There's nothing much to report from Carrow Road unless you want to read about Steven Whittaker cutting in from the right before going wide from distance.

  155. 1448: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    According to our friends at Opta, Aston Villa are the only Premier League side yet to score a first-half goal at home this season. We're now an hour into the match and the hosts are no nearer to breaching the United defence. In an attempt to add some attacking thrust to Villa's play, Andreas Weimann comes on for Yacouba Sylla.

  156. 1444: 
    Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Wayne Rooney draws oohs from the crowd as he attempts to beat Brad Guzan with a curling free-kick. It's a frantic few minutes, and at the other end of the pitch Yavouba Sylla leans back and shoots high and wide for Villa.

  157.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball
    Tom Cleverley celebrates scoring for Manchester United

    Muggaz: Tell everyone you know you love them because the world is about to end. Tom Cleverley has scored.

    Jay: Did Manchester United declare today as some sort of a Redemption Day for its underperforming players?

    Azza: Heard enough of this Cleverley criticism. He's played excellently today and deservedly scores his goal. Celebration says it all.

  158. 1442: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    A chance for Nowrich as Sebastien Bassong leaps unchallenged in the box, but heads the corner wide. Swansea respond by quickly working their way towards John Ruddy's goal but Pablo Hernandez half-hearted attempt comes to nothing.

  159.  
    Text us on 81111

    Ciaran via text: All United have lacked is confidence following the managerial change. If they grab an early goal as they did against Leverkusen, they look just like the old United.

    Danny, in Maidstone, via text: I cannot believe half the comments I am reading. Welbeck scores two simple goals and is suddenly best striker in the league and United finally start winning a game against a very poor team and it's crisis over. United fans are far too optimistic it seems."

  160. 1440: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea
    Nathan Dyer receives treatment on his ankle injury

    The latest news on Nathan Dyer's injury is that he has suffered a suspected fractured right ankle. Terrible for the Swans forward.

  161.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders: "Rooney's is the best pass I've seen this season. With the outside of his right foot, a throughball with the right weight. Aston Villa had a throw in their own half and threw it straight to the opposition."

  162. 1438: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United - Tom Cleverley (52 mins)

    The much-criticised Tom Cleverley celebrates wildly as he scores his first goal of the season. The midfielder collects Wayne Rooney's sublime pass and drills low, beating Brad Guzan at the near posts.

  163. 1437: 
    KICK-OFF- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    We're under way at Carrow Road.

  164. 1437: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea
    Norwich v Swansea stats

    All square at the break at Carrow Road - and the stats would suggest the home team were good value for their equaliser late i the opening half. Certainly, they've created more chances and had more attempts at goal.

  165. 1436: 
    YELLOW CARD- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Yellow cards for David de Gea and Gabriel Agbonlahor after a bit of pushing and shoving, and a few choice words, between the pair. It means Agbonlahor will miss Villa's next game, which is at Stoke.

  166. 1435: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    As has already been mentioned, Manchester United have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League games so Aston Villa have hope but first the hosts must deal with a Ryan Giggs free-kick and Brad Guzan does so confidently.

  167.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Peter Dunmore: Gary Hooper for England chance if he continues. Better than Defoe and Carroll and younger than Lambert.

    Chris Harvey: Can't believe Hughton gets stick. Being the only Premier League coach to recognise Hooper's ability makes him better than most for me.

    David Horsley: Why do people berate Welbeck? He is young, athletic and has the touch of an angel! Oh and he's versatile.

  168. 1432: 
    Wigan v Bolton (1500 GMT)
    Wigan boss Uwe Rosler

    Wigan manager Uwe Rosler makes four changes from the 2-1 defeat at Maribor for his first home game in charge, with striker Grant Holt among those drafted into the starting line-up. Neil Danns comes in for Chris Eagles in Bolton's only change from the 3-0 win over Doncaster. Midfielder Mark Davies, out since February with a cruciate injury, is on the bench.

  169. 1432: 
    KICK-OFF- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    The players have emerged from the dressing rooms and the second half is up and running.

  170. 1430: 
    Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    Very much an afternoon of mixed fortunes for Nathan Dyer, who scored for his team but was stretchered off before the break. No word yet on the seriousness of the injury but we will keep you updated on that front.

    You can listen to BBC Radio 5 live's description of Dyer's goal.

  171.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders: "Villa have been outclassed. Agbonlahor and Benteke just look like they're lacking confidence, they're not sprinting, not putting themselves about and you can see the other end is where the money is, with Valencia and Welbeck and everything Rooney does has an end product. From Man United's point of view, Welbeck has stepped up to the plate and he's produced the goods but Valencia has been man of the match so far."

  172.  
    Text us on 81111

    Pierre, in Swansea, via text: Can only hope that's not as bad as it looks for Nathan Dyer. He was the best player on the pitch. Gutted.

    Jim, in Manchester, via text: Welbeck has been playing well for two and a half seasons. Still, what do Ferguson, Capello, Hodgson know?

    Kenny, in Swindon, via text: People are saying United's next three games are winnable... but weren't Newcastle and West Bromwich at home also winnable?

  173.   
    John Roder, Match of the Day commentator at Carrow RoadNorwich 1-1 Swansea

    "A spectacular strike from Gary Hooper in stoppage time levelled this match up.

    "Nathan Dyer had earlier given Swansea the lead. Swansea perhaps affected by Dyer's withdrawal with what looked like a nasty ankle injury. Everything to play for in the second half."

  174.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveNorwich 1-1 Swansea

    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Phil Brown: "The injury to Nathan Dyer has galvanised Norwich into action. There's no doubt that kind of interplay is the reason Chris Hughton has picked Johan Elmander and Gary Hooper. That's a real quality finish from Hooper.

    "The reason Norwich were the better team after Dyer went off was that they hit the front man earlier with a bit of quality."

  175.   
    Steve Wilson, BBC Match of the Day commentator at Villa ParkAston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    "A very reassuring 45 minutes for Manchester United, who have been totally comfortable since Danny Welbeck scored the opener after 15 minutes."

  176. 1422: 
    HALF-TIME- Norwich 1-1 Swansea

    A timely equaliser, if there was ever one, as Norwich restore parity minutes before the whistle is blown.

  177. 1418: 
    GOAL- Norwich 1-1 Swansea - Gary Hooper (45 mins)

    Johan Elmander controls Steven Whittaker's long ball with his chest and finds Gary Hooper, who unleashes a volley from 25 yards for his fourth goal in his last six league games.

  178.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    James Bradley: Two tap-ins don't make up for two and a half seasons mediocrity. Welbeck still isn't good enough.

    Harj Gill: A Valencia-Rafael tandem is frighteningly good, when they are both fit and raring to go.

    Matthew Duffy: If Norwich don't get anything today I can see them going for Steve Clarke before anyone else does.

  179. 1417: 
    Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    Six minutes have been added at Carrow Road because of Nathan Dyer's nasty-looking injury. Norwich are searching for that equaliser but are currently unable to work their way out of their own half.

  180. 1416: 
    HALF-TIME- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    It would be fair to say that United deserve their lead.

  181. 1414: 
    CLOSE!- Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    A Norwich corner results in a goalmouth scramble and Ashley Williams comes to his team's rescue, heading a goal-bound effort away for another corner. It was a Swansea player who seemed to poke the ball towards his own goal.

  182. 1413: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    Nathan Dyer had been Swansea's most dangerous player, but the former Southampton trainee is carried from the pitch and is sucking in some extra oxygen while on the stretcher. Alejandro Pozuelo is the man to replace him.

  183. 1411: 
    AGONY FOR GOALSCORER DYER- Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    The stretcher comes on for Swansea goalscorer Nathan Dyer who is flat on the floor. The medics put a leg brace on the forward and replays show Dyer's ankle gave way while trying to withstand a Sebastien Bassong challenge.

  184. 1409: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    So confident are United that Patrice Evra is operating inside the centre circle and attempts a quick one-two with the impressive Adnan Januzaj. It comes to nothing, United earn a free-kick on the right, although Wayne Rooney's effort fails to trouble Brad Guzan.

  185. 1406: 
    Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    Not one for the Ashley Williams showreel as he is hustled off the ball by the in-form Gary Hooper just outside the area. The Canaries striker then charges into the box and eludes the advancing keeper but he smashes his shot a disappointing distance wide.

  186.  
    Text us on 81111
    Manchester United boss David Moyes

    Dan via text: United's next three games eminently winnable. Crisis over for David Moyes, who is next?

    Sam, in Cambridge, via text: Valencia is playing with pace and direction for the first time in ages. Back to his best?

    Andy, in Durham, via text: Rooney the heartbeat of the team. Should he play centre mid?

  187. 1405: 
    CLOSE!- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck are proving too hot for the Villa defence to handle. The Ecuadorian releases his striker down the middle and Welbeck is a whisker from finding the bottom corner.

  188.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders on BBC Radio 5 Live: "United are ripping Aston Villa's back four to shreds and Antonio Valencia is the biggest culprit. He is terrorising Villa's left-back and he's got in behind three or four times. Villa look alright going forward but when they do that they leave Welbeck and Rooney against those two centre-backs and they're ripping them to shreds."

  189. 1401: 
    Norwich 0-1 Swansea

    Murmurs of discontent at Carrow Road as Norwich fans make their frustrations heard. The home supporters are being forced to watch Swansea monopolising possession. By doing so, the visitors are stopping Norwich from creating anything.

  190. 1359: 
    CLOSE!- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    By the beard of Zeus what a crazy few minutes! A crafty flick from Danny Welbeck finds Antonio Valencia down the right but the winger cannot find a white-shirted team mate. The ball ricochets madly in the box and seconds later Wayne Rooney drags it fractionally wide. Oof, that was close.

  191. 1357: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Nearly 30 minutes have whizzed by at Villa Park and the visitors, as the scoreline would suggest, are in control. United spraying the ball around in midfield, forcing Villa to chase the ball and the game.

  192.  
    Text us on 81111

    Isaac, in London, via text: That was a prime example of how useful Valencia can be on that wing. All those united fans asking for his sale really need to look at how hard he works for the team in defence and attack. Really valuable player for United.

    Rob, in Newbury, via text: Wonder if this will silence the Welbeck haters? Probably not. They might switch to Fletcher, forgetting how he was playing before he became ill.

    Andy, in Manchester, via text: This shows why criticism of Welbeck is unfair. When he plays in his best position for United, like he does for England, he delivers. Too often he's asked to be the utility man and takes the flak.

  193. 1355: 
    CLOSE!- Norwich 0-1 Swansea
    Swansea celebrate scoring against Norwich at Carrow Road

    Michu has a chance to double Swansea's advantage, but the Spaniard takes a wild swipe at Ben Davies's cross and watches his effort sail over the crossbar. Swansea have yet to hit top gear, but so timid is Norwich's attack the Welshmen have not needed to leave second gear.

  194.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Tomer Tsur: Who are these 11 men and what have they done with Man United?

    Kenny: Welbeck the goal machine! This is why Sir Alex & Moyes kept faith in him, consistently great positioning as a goal threat

    Sophie Gayter: That's what United miss by playing Chris Smalling at right back. Fantastic delivery from Rafael. Great reaction Welbeck.

    Jon Evans: Baker simply isn't good enough. Villa can't wait for Vlaar to be back!

  195. 1350: 
    Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United

    Manchester United fans are full of bonhomie thanks to Danny Welbeck's quick-fire brace, chanting 'we are staying up' at full voice. Aston Villa, a little shell-shocked, work their way towards David de Gea's goal with Gabriel Agbonlahor taking his chance from distance but his low effort does not trouble the United goalkeeper.

  196. 1348: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United - Danny Welbeck (18 mins)
    Manchester United celebrate scoring

    Ruthless from Manchester United as Antonio Valencia sprints down the right and produces a lovely cross which a sliding Danny Welbeck converts at the near post, beating team-mate Adnan Januzaj to the ball.

  197.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveNorwich 0-1 Swansea

    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Phil Brown: "The goal was not what you normally expect from Swansea. It was crashed from the back to the front and Nathan Dyer produced a fantastic finish.

    "Sometimes the big fella underestimates the little fella in the air and Bassong should have put his head in like he was up against a Michu but he didn't and Dyer got his rewards."

  198.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveAston Villa 0-1 Manchester United

    Former Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders on BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's against the run of play but United have got class players and there are five or six of them that can do that to you any time."

  199. 1347: 
    GOAL- Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United - Danny Welbeck (15 mins)

    It was poor defending from Aston Villa as Adnan Januzaj, unmarked six yards from goal, heads Rafael's cross onto the post. Luckily for United, the ball falls kindly for Danny Welbeck and the England striker is clinical, side-footing in from six yards.

  200. 1344: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

    While Nathan Dyer was scoring his fourth goal of the season Swansea, Marc Albrighton - given the freedom of the right - had created a super opportunity for Christian Benteke.

  201. 1342: 
    GOAL- Norwich 0-1 Swansea - Nathan Dyer (12 mins)

    Ashley Williams goes long from defence and Sebastien Bassong fails to deal with the danger. Nathan Dyer, lurking on the defender's shoulder, takes advantage, nudging the ball forwards before flicking it over a helpless John Ruddy.

  202. 1341: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

    United's defence does not look comfortable. Patrice Evra squanders possession merely yards from the edge of the box and Marc Albrighton takes advantage, forcing David de Gea to dive low to his right to prevent the ball from rippling the net.

  203. 1339: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

    Aston Villa have started brightly and Christian Benteke is receiving plenty of the ball. The Belgian gallops towards the box - thousands of Villa fans encourage him to shoot - but he dawdles and the ball is snatched away from him.

  204. 1337: 
    Norwich 0-0 Swansea

    Swansea keeping possession well and Pablo Hernandez takes aim, although the Spaniard is off target from the edge of the area. An evenly contested opening in this match, though.

  205. 1334: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

    Christian Benteke finds Marc Albrighton on the edge of the box and and the forward engineers a shooting opportunity for himself, turning sharply and aiming low, forcing David de Gea into action.

  206. 1331: 
    Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

    A pulsating start as both sets of players step in early to put pressure on their opponents. Villa's Karim El Ahmadi with an early shot but David de Gea comfortably collects.

  207.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Ollie: Those who say Fletcher isn't the answer are fools. His presence will allow Jones to start playing regularly at CB.

    Jay: Fletcher isn't the answer to United's issues. If he gets a consistent run, it's a start.

    Thomas Booker: Great to see Fletcher back. People seem to have forgotten just how important he was for our midfield. Remember the Champions League final in 2009?

  208. 1330: 
    KICK-OFF- Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330) & Norwich v Swansea (1330)

    Huddles have been formed and, then, dismantled. Whistles toot. We're off in both matches.

  209. 1328: 

    The teams are out at Villa Park and Carrow Road which must mean both matches will be under way shortly. Stand by.

  210.  
    Text us on 81111

    Graeme, in Wetherby, via text: Rightly or wrongly managers whose clubs are in the bottom half of the table are just a few defeats from getting sacked. The Premier League is simply too lucrative to drop out of.

    Gaz via text: Sad, but pressure was always going to be on Clarke after transfer day spending. Form in 2013 just not consistent enough. Anelka a bad call.

    Rob via text: re Adam Stewart, what is it you think managers do? Clarke was responsible for Lukaku being there!

  211.  
    Text us on 81111

    Stuart, in Cambridge, via text: How is sacking Clarke harsh? Seven wins in 34 games, huge budget for the club and the best squad in the Premier League they have had yet performances were poor and not going to improve...blaming referees too. As a Wolves fan I'm gutted he has gone.

    Jack Moss via text: Has everyone forgotten about West Brom's sacking of Roberto Di Matteo? It also seemed extremely harsh but turned out to be the right decision.

    Nick via text: Who would be a football club chairman? At least the new Baggies boss will have time to deal in the transfer market in January. Better than leaving sackings until after the busy festive period and then having limited time to do business.

  212. 1327:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Southend manager Phil Brown speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "I think Steve Clarke's downside was managing the expectations of the board and the supporters. He overachieved last year and he had to bang that drum this season.

    "But they went to Manchester United and got a win and they should have got a win at Chelsea and that would have kept him in a job longer. He's out of work because of his achievements last year, quite simply."

  213. 1325: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Something has to give at Villa Park this afternoon because while Aston Villa have failed to score in three of their last four Premier League home games, Manchester United have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League matches. Either Villa's attack will finally flourish or United's defence will, at last, hold firm, but which one it will be, I do not know.

  214. 1322: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Manchester United manager David Moyes: "It is great news for Darren Fletcher to be back but great for anybody who has had an illness. He has trained for two or three months and we've been thinking of when to give him the opportunity to play, which was today.

    "We just need to win the next game and we will do everything we can to do that."

  215.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Kay: Great to see Januzaj start the match. Fletch's return and Zaha on the bench. Moyes is restructuring the squad.

    Rob Green: If Darren Fletcher is the answer Man Utd fans are asking the wrong question.

    Tom: Wish Fletcher good health, but never was and never will be the answer to United's midfield. Squad player at best

  216. 1319: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Former Aston Villa and Liverpool striker Dean Saunders speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "Villa started alright and they've got enough points to keep the pressure off the manager. Steve Clarke's gone and Aston Villa are four points ahead of them. The owners of Aston Villa can see what Paul Lambert is trying to do.

    "If Manchester United let Aston Villa have the ball and they come at them, Manchester United will do them on the counter attack.

    "Centre-backs that played against Christian Benteke last year will be thinking 'You're not doing that against me again'. They have worked Benteke out."

  217. 1316: 
    Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    The players are warming up at Villa Park and in 10 minutes or so we will have kick-off.

    Ryan Giggs and Phil Jones are giving each other some ballast as they stretch the hamstrings, while Patrice Evra is kicking the ball about. The left-back was on Sky Sports a few minutes ago, talking passionately about how it's unthinkable for United not to finish in the top four.

  218. 1315: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Former Aston Villa and Liverpool striker Dean Saunders speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It's been 18 years or something since Villa have beaten United but they've got a great chance. United aren't firing on all cylinders.

    "They don't look right and the biggest problem is the centre of midfield. I remember playing against Ince, Keane, Scholes and Butt. I played against Ryan Giggs but he's not a central midfield player, he's 40. You look around the Premier League and a lot of the midfielders would get in the United team.

    "It's difficult for David Moyes. He'll get it right but he needs to get players in and that's difficult to do in January."

  219. 1311: 
    Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    Andy Dunn, chief sports writer for the Sunday Mirror: "We all thought Everton left-back Leighton Baines was going to go to Manchester United but now he has got a decision to make about whether he still moves with the positions the two teams are in."

  220. 1308:  
    Mark Lawrenson, Football Analyst on Match of the Day 2 EXTRA

    "Manchester United have to win today. Why on earth didn't they keep chief executive David Gill. They should have just said to him to see David Moyes through the start of his tenure."

  221.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Jonathan Guckian: Big welcome back to Darren Fletcher. Is the solution to United's midfield woes already here?

    Ed Gutteridge: Great to see Fletcher on the United bench but no game-changing options alongside him. Squad looks weak after a few injuries.

    Barry Travis: Good to see Fletch back in the squad. If he can get back up to fitness it would be a real bonus. The guy deserves some luck.

  222. 1305: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert speaking to Sky Sports: "It's a huge game and no-one needs lifting for this one. You have to try to get on the front foot. Them not winning a couple of games isn't a crisis and if you look at their team they're still a top side. We'll go and try to win the game."

  223. 1302: 
    Norwich v Swansea (1330)

    Swansea manager Michael Laudrup on Match of the Day 2 Extra: "I have to look at Michu and Wilfried Bony. We can't play them both right now because they're not able to play 90 minutes so I have to play one or the other.

    "We've had a lot of travelling this week but it's a part of it and it's no excuse for the game today. If you look at the squad today we've made quite a few changes so they should be ready to play a Norwich side that has a lot of confidence after the wins against Crystal Palace and West Brom. It's a tough test for us."

  224. 1259:  
    John Roder, Match of the Day commentator at Carrow RoadNorwich v Swansea (1330)

    "The last six meetings between Norwich and Swansea have produced 25 goals, so will it be another high-scoring encounter this Sunday?

    "Three wins in their last five matches mean that Norwich come into this fixture just two points behind Swansea in the Premier League table.

    "The Swans, having qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League, will be looking to record their fourth away victory of the campaign. However, the Welsh side have averaged less than a goal a game on their travels."

  225. 1253:  
    Steve Wilson, BBC Match of the Day commentator at Villa ParkAston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    "Aston Villa's home record against Manchester United is surely one of the most miserable, barren, fruitless, fallow and literally almost pointless sequences in football.

    "Villa's last home win over United came a little more than 14 years ago in a League Cup tie, their last league win was more than 18 years ago, after which Alan Hansen proclaimed that United would 'win nothing with kids'.

    "Scoring goals continues to be a problem for Villa. Belgian striker Christian Benteke has gone more than 10 and a half hours without a goal, but is still Villa's top scorer with four in the league. That alone speaks volumes."

  226. 1250: 

    More from Steven Reid on Match of the Day 2 EXTRA: "At the moment we are in one of those runs we are finding it difficult to get out of but with the squad we have in dressing room confident can get out of it.

    "If manager goes you look at yourself and ask if you as a squad could've done more. First person got to look at is yourself and not the manager."

    Asked about who might become the new manager, Reid added: "Got to leave that decision to board - the last three appointments have gone really well - Roberto Di Matteo got us promotion, Roy Hodgson got us mid-table security and Steve Clarke took us to our highest Premier League position last season."

  227. 1249: 
    SENSE OF SHOCK AT WEST BROM
    Steven Reid in action for West Brom

    West Brom defender Steven Reid on Match of the Day 2 EXTRA: "There is a shock, sometimes in a dressing room you get a sense a change is coming but this has come as complete shock.

    "In recent weeks we can only put the results down to a drop in confidence - in the Premier League when you go on run of three or four games without a victory it can affect confidence of the lads and then you are looking at ways you can get back on track."

  228. 1247: 
    Aston Villa v Manchester United (1330)

    Aston Villa make four changes from the defeat by Fulham last week. Right-back Matthew Lowton, left-back Antonio Luna, midfielder Yacouba Sylla and winger Marc Albrighton come into the side.

    Manchester United also make four changes from their win over Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. Left-back Patrice Evra, winger Antonio Valencia, midfielder Tom Cleverley and striker Danny Welbeck return to the side. Midfielder Darren Fletcher has not played since Boxing Day last year but is on the bench.

    Aston Villa XI: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Luna, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Sylla, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

    Manchester United XI: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj; Rooney, Welbeck.

  229. 1246: 
    Norwich v Swansea (1330)

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton names the same side that won 2-0 at West Brom last time out.

    Michael Laudrup makes three changes to the Swansea team that drew 1-1 with Hull in their last Premier League match, with Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel and Jordi Amat coming back into the side. Michu starts in attack and Wilfried Bony, who started the 1-0 defeat at St Gallen, returns to the bench. There are only three survivors from the team that played on Thursday.

    Norwich XI: Ruddy, Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Olsson, Howson, Johnson, Fer, Redmond, Elmander, Hooper.

    Swansea XI: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Ben Davies, Dyer, Shelvey, de Guzman, Canas, Hernandez, Michu.

  230. 1244: 
    Norwich v Swansea (1330)

    How about this for a fact? Here it comes: This afternoon's other early match involves, geographically, the widest east-west fixture to feature in the English top-flight.

    There should be goals at Carrow Road, too, as there have been 20 goals in just four Premier League meetings between Norwich and Swansea. Other stats are available on that match, but let's not get carried away.

  231.   
    Mark Lawrenson, Football Analyst on Match of the Day 2 EXTRA
    Fernandinho celebrates scoring

    "I thought yesterday was Manchester City's statement to the league. They look like the league winners. It doesn't mean they are going to win it because of their away form but that was the best statement of intent they could make. They are one of the few teams in the league that play two up front."

    "I thought Arsenal were a bit naive. You can sometime get behind the ball."

  232.  
    Join the debate on the BBC Sport Facebook page

    Fenton Ellwood: Got to love a knee jerk reaction. Whatever happened to stability? Do they forget how much he had done for the club? Disgraceful in my opinion.

    Chris Faulkner: As an Albion fan I'm glad he's gone. He's tactically inept, a good number two but not a manager.

    Daniel Stant: I remember when my team Saints sacked Adkins back in January I was so angry but have been proved wrong. Maybe WBA have something up their sleeve.

    Let us know what you think on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  233. 1234: 
    Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    Yes, the opening day of the 1995-96 season... Oh, go on then, let's mention it... A 3-1 victory for Aston Villa which led to Alan Hansen's never to be forgotten "You can't win anything with kids" moment.

    Will the pundits be whispering "you can't win anything with David Moyes" come this evening or will the Manchester United manager have steered his team to victory and ended, for now at least, concerns about a crisis at Old Trafford?

    David Backham against Aston Villa in 1995
  234. 1230: 
    VILLA LOOK TO END UNITED'S HOODOO- Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    It is to Villa Park and Carrow Road we travel to first this afternoon so let's first chat a bit about matters in the Midlands. Could Aston Villa become the latest Premier League to end their hoodoo against Manchester United?

    The task before them is a tough one. Villa have won just one of their last 35 Premier League games against the reigning champions and have not beaten United since the opening day of the 1995-96 season.

    But Everton and West Brom have already enjoyed historic victories against David Moyes's men this season so nothing, as they say, is impossible.

  235.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Sheldon Serrao: West Brom have not been without their share of rotten luck lately. Poor refereeing decisions as well. Bit harsh on Clarke.

    Matt Smith: While I feel the Steve Clarke decision least the new manager will have January to put their stamp on the team.

    Bob: He was one of the best managers in the league last season now he's gone.

  236.   
    Mark Lawrenson, Football Analyst on Match of the Day 2 EXTRA

    "West Brom will also have been looking at the [television] money they would be due to receive next August which is now a massive factor for clubs."

  237. 1224: 
    THE PUNDITS ON CLARKE'S SACKING

    Andy Dunn, chief sports writer for the Sunday Mirror: "It seems incredibly harsh to sack Steve Clarke. The win at Manchester United is still fresh in the minds and also the draw at Chelsea when they should have won but for a controversial penalty decision.

    "But now chairman are looking at the bounce Fulham and Crystal Palace have had after changing managers. It is not a significant jump but enough to make chairman think."

    Steve Clarke
  238.  
    Text us on 81111

    Mark Leyland via text: We haven't got the quality finishing touch like last season, and in the Premier league you are penalised for not having it. Steve Clark was limited with what he had.

    Steve Huish via text: What's odd about West Brom sacking of Clarke is who an earth can do any better? I mean am sorry but there just isn't a top flight manager who would want to come to West Brom.

    Dan via text: The league table is the proof, Clark had to go. Moyes next?

  239. 1221: 
    SUNDAY'S FIXTURES

    We're not merely going to reflect on Saturday's Premier League's shenanigans, however. Oh no.

    There are three Premier League fixtures we need to keep an eye on and a Championship ding-dong. For everyone's convenience, here's something I prepared earlier - a list of today's fixtures.

    Aston Villa v Man Utd (1330)

    Norwich v Swansea (1330)

    Wigan v Bolton (1500)

    Tottenham v Liverpool (1600)

  240. 1215:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Sometimes a football fan needs more than the written word to carry them through the day, and understandably so, which is why I'm letting you know that you can listen to live commentary of Norwich versus Swansea and Tottenham versus Liverpool on BBC Radio 5 live while ALSO reading whatever informed gobbledegook is written on this page. Sometimes life is just great, eh.

  241.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Adam Stewart: This season it is evident that Lukaku kept Clarke in a job last season with his performances.

    Si: For all the good Clarke did for WBA, football is a results business... and nine wins in 41 since Nov 2012 don't add up to much.

    Ryan: At least their new manager will have January to bring in any new faces to improve. Better than sacking a man in February.

  242. 1212: 
    MATCH OF THE DAY 2 EXTRA

    Before it's too late, let me remind you that Match of the Day 2 Extra will be on BBC One from 1215. Mark Chapman's guests are Mark Lawrenson, BBC Radio 5 live's Guy Mowbray and the Sunday Mirror's Andy Dunn. They will no doubt discuss Steve Clarke's sacking, as well as analyse Saturday's Premier League games. A look ahead at today's fixtures will also be on their schedule, I'm sure.

  243.  
    Text us on 81111

    Bobby via text: I have questioned Clarke's tactics and team selection recently, but I think it's very harsh. My worry is who on earth we are going to replace him with.

  244. 1207: 
    STEVE CLARKE SACKING

    BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Murphy: "Roy Hodgson left behind a professional outfit. Under Steve Clarke, when West Brom were at their best, they were more attractive than when they played under Hodgson, but they were less difficult to beat. Jeremy Peace likes his seat at football's top table and it would not sit well with him if they got relegated."

  245.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Joshua Roberts: People think it's harsh because we beat MUFC. You've quoted the stats, it's simple. We've been in relegation form for 41 games.

    Chris Lutton: Saddened by Steve Clarke's dismissal. He's a good manager, where is the patience in football these days?

    Fahad Khan: Clarke's sacking shows how patient West Ham owners have been with Sam Allardyce. Time is ticking Big Sam, its boom or bust next game.

  246. 1200: 
    WEST BROM STATEMENT

    "We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration," said West Brom sporting and technical director Richard Garlick on Saturday night.

    "This club's track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years.

    "But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season."

    Sean Long
  247. 1155: 
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Is it ever wise to 'relieve a manager of his duties' ahead of the jam-packed Christmas period? Did West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace pull the trigger too soon or do the statistics tell their own story?

    A 20% win percentage in 2013, 31 goals in 34 league matches and nine victories from the last 41 league outings do not make happy reading for Baggies fans.

    You can chuck in your views on Clarke's sacking via Twitter using the hashtag #bbcfootball or tweet 81111.

  248. 1153: 
    STEVE CLARKE SACKING

    Nope, the head honchos at West Brom could not just let the Christmas spirit ring with their team rockin' around, erm, the bottom of the Premier League.

    A fourth straight league loss and Steve Clarke is now West Brom's former head coach. It's the way the cookie crumbles. The 1-0 defeat by Cardiff on Saturday proved to be the 50-year-old's last game in charge and left the Baggies two points above the relegation zone.

    Premier League table
  249. 1145: 
    Steve Clarke

    What happened to the festive cheer? Where did the goodwill go? It seems the Grinch has infiltrated the football world and stolen everyone's Christmas spirit. Jack Wilshere and his raised finger set the tone and then those at St James' Park followed suit by bringing pantomime to the touchline. But the man who has suffered most from this bah humbug mood is poor old Steve Clarke.

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 15 Dec 2013 UK

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 Arsenal 16 16 35
Moving up 2 Liverpool 16 21 33
Moving down 3 Chelsea 16 14 33
Moving down 4 Man City 16 29 32
Moving down 5 Everton 16 12 31
No movement 6 Newcastle 16 -1 27
No movement 7 Tottenham 16 -6 27
Moving up 8 Man Utd 16 6 25
Moving down 9 Southampton 16 5 24
No movement 10 Swansea 16 1 20
No movement 11 Aston Villa 16 -5 19
No movement 12 Hull 16 -6 19
No movement 13 Stoke 16 -5 18
Moving up 14 Norwich 16 -14 18
Moving down 15 Cardiff 16 -10 17
No movement 16 West Brom 16 -5 15
No movement 17 West Ham 16 -6 14
No movement 18 Crystal Palace 16 -13 13
No movement 19 Fulham 16 -15 13
No movement 20 Sunderland 16 -18 9

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