Premier League football as it happened

How the action unfolded as Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Newcastle and Stoke all win.

21 December 2013 Last updated at 11:25

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As it happened

  1. 1800: 

    We'll do it all again tomorrow when Tottenham visit Southampton and Swansea host Everton. That game at the Liberty Stadium should be an absolute treat for fans of the passing game. Want another treat? How about Chris Bevan steering the super Sunday live text? Treats galore! Thanks for your contributions today and be sure to join us tomorrow. Goodnight!

  2. 1756: 

    You'll hear more from the Match of the Day commentators on BBC One and on this very website at 2220 GMT. There's certainly plenty of top goals, bizarre OGs and the odd red card to draw you in. Here's the running order:

    Fulham v Man City, Liverpool v Cardiff, Man Utd v West Ham, Crystal Palace v Newcastle, Stoke v Aston Villa, WBA v Hull, Sunderland v Norwich

    MOTD's Steve Bower at the HawthornsWest Brom 1-1 Hull

    "West Brom's search for a new manager continues but Keith Downing, in temporary charge since Steve Clarke's sacking, has at least stopped the rot as the Baggies claimed their first point in five Premier League games. Hull looked to be heading for only their second away league win of the season when Jake Livermore put them ahead in the first half. But substitute Matej Vydra, one of Clarke's signings, rescued a point with four minutes left with his first goal for the club."

    MOTD's Alistair Mann at the BritanniaStoke 2-1 Aston Villa

    "Charlie Adam came on a second half substitute and set the ball rolling. Libor Kozak equalised after an error by Erik Pieters, who will be as relieved as anyone that Peter Crouch got the winner."

    MOTD's Simon Brotherton at Craven CottageFulham 2-4 Manchester City

    "Manchester City's third away league win of the season but it came with a fright as they let a two-goal lead slip away against a battling Fulham side. Two late goals for City in the last 12 minutes won it for them."

    MOTD's Martin Fisher at the Stadium of LightSunderland 0-0 Norwich

    "This was a 0-0 draw that does Sunderland no good whatsoever. They didn't fashion enough clear-cut chances and the talking point was in injury time, when Wes Brown came clattering into Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

    "It was a horrible challenge. Brown came closest to breaking the deadlock with a header that struck the post. Norwich soaked up the pressure and looked dangerous on the break but Sunderland are in deep, deep trouble."

    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Old TraffordMan Utd 3-1 West Ham

    "Manchester United breezed to victory to end their sticky spell at Old Trafford at least for now. This never looked in doubt, even though Carlton Cole did pull one back."

    MOTD's John Roder at Selhurst ParkCrystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle

    "Selhurst Park a happy hunting ground for the Magpies - their fifth win in a row. Crystal Palace go down to their second successive defeat. Newcastle have now won six of their last eight."

    MOTD's Steve Wilson at AnfieldLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "If that is the last game for Malky Mackay as Cardiff manager he can be proud of his side's second half. The result was beyond them, but Cardiff played with determination and pride. Mackay stood tall in defeat on the pitch afterwards and possibly in the face of the sack."

  10. 1752: 

    So that's what the managers thought about today's Premier League action. Here's a bit of reaction from the Match of the Day lads...

  11. 1749: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa
    Paul Lambert

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "I thought we were excellent in the first half. The wind was very strong but even in the second half we had chances. It was a very close game.

    "We thought when we got it 1-1 that we might have gone on. We will go again. I don't think we deserved to lose."

  12. 1741: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
    Vincent Kompany

    Man City captain Vincent Kompany, who scored one at both ends today: "We knew it would not be easy and they have a new manager. It was difficult but if you count the chances we had then we could have scored twice as many.

    "Our substitutes made the difference as we had dropped a bit but our reaction was brilliant."

    On his own goal, when he sliced a clearance into his own net: "If you want to be a defender, that is what you sign up for and for a second you feel very alone if this happens.

    "No one goes through a career without experiencing these moments."

  13. 1739: 

    Some breaking news on the manager front, Aidy Boothroyd has left Northampton Town after a horrible first half of the season.

    The Cobblers were thumped 4-1 at home by Wycombe this afternoon and are bottom of the Football League. They reached the League Two play-off final back in May but it's been one-way traffic ever since...

  14. 1738: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
    Manuel Pellegrini

    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini: "The Premier League games are always close, especially when home teams are in bad positions in the table as they try to win points at home. We knew it would be difficult.

    "Before they scored for 2-1, we had three or four chances to score and when you miss so many chances the other team often scores. We had some bad luck for their second goal, it was unbelievable, but it was important for us to recover.

    "At 2-2, they were playing better than us, we were nervous and not doing the right things."

    On Joe Hart's return to the Manchester City side, Pellegrini added: "I think he did well. It was not easy. The pitch was very quick and there was a lot of wind but I think Joe had a very good game."

  15. 1736: 
    Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa

    Is it ever not windy at Stoke?

  16. 1736: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa
    Mark Hughes

    Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "It was difficult for us in the first half. We were against the wind. We set our stall out in the second half when the wind was with us. Peter Crouch, among others, did well. He gave us a focal point and we scored two good goals. They got the leveller through an individual error but we responded and all-in all a good afternoon.

    "I felt we did enough to win the game.

    "We are doing ok. We are going in the right direction. We want to kick on from this point onwards. We have worked hard in first part of season and we need to continue that."

  17. 1734: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle
    Tony Pulis

    Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis: "We made it tough. We've had plaudits over the last couple of weeks but today we were poor. The first two goals were awful."

  18. 1733: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle
    Alan Pardew

    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "Not many teams are going to come here and win 3-0. I'm delighted with the players - they were terrific. The key was to control possession and make sure ball didn't come into our box. It's not always easy on this pitch and in these conditions.

    "[Yohan] Cabaye made a difference. His contribution was important - he gave us the X-Factor. Hatem [Ben Arfa] gave us that. [Fabricio] Coloccini and [Mathieu] Debuchy were immense as was [Cheick] Tiote. I don't put Cabaye above the others. Five wins away says we have good spirit. It's difficult to break us down and we score goals in open play. We could do a little better on set-plays."

  19. 1732: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton: "We showed grit and determination but a draw was a fair result.

    "I felt we were the team most likely to score. A clean sheet away from home is valuable and we need to maintain that going into the Christmas period.

    "There's a fair bit of confidence in the team. We've been unlucky with injuries but we've got through that period with great spirit and determination.

    "Their handball shout for a penalty was never a handball and Wes Brown's challenge was reckless. The sending off was a correct decision."

  20. 1732: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich
    Gus Poyet

    Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I'm disappointed. I was expecting more from the team: I was expecting to win.

    "Every time we win an important game - like the cup win (against Chelsea) - the next step is always down.

    "We were very poor technically today. Playing extra-time on Tuesday is no excuse.

    "I'm realistic. Time is running out (to stay up)."

  21. 1731: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
    Rene Meulensteen

    Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen: "I made it clear at the beginning of the week that against a quality side like this, we would not sit back and wait for them. We gave a good account of ourselves and we did extremely well to get back from 2-0 down to 2-2.

    "But it is a shame we are again empty-handed. If you look at every performance in the last four games, we should not be in this position in the table. We have had some difficult opponents and we have to make sure we start turning the performances into points."

  22. 1728: 
    Text us on 81111
    Wes Brown

    Al, Streatham: A cynical man would say Wes Brown wants to have Christmas and New Year off...

    Chris, York: Wes Brown will be lucky to have that one overturned? He won the ball. Hard challenge yes but legal. The art of tackling will soon be completely gone from the game.

  23. 1727: 

    Incidentally, here's what's happening on Boxing Day in the Premier League...

    Premier League
  24. 1724: 
    West Brom 1-1 Hull

    West Brom certainly needed to stop the rot today [1721] because they have two away games next up - the Baggies visit Tottenham on Boxing Day and West Ham next Saturday. The visit of Newcastle on New Year's Day rounds off a pretty hectic but crucial festive period for the Midlands side. Hull host Manchester United and then Fulham next before visiting Liverpool. Tricky.

  25. 1724: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Man Utd 3-1 West Ham
    Sam Allardyce

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on MOTD: "My disappointment was we played so well at Tottenham away a short time ago. We changed the team around to play some fresh legs but you didn't see the resilience and determination today. United were always going to come out fighting as they had lost two home games in a row but we didn't make life difficult for them.

    "I looked at the stats and Manchester United are not very good in the second half if they are drawing at half-time. But we gave them two goals early on with some poor play and made it easy for them. The referee should have given us a penalty, I've seen them given here, but it wasn't given to us."

  26. 1721: 
    MANAGER REACTION- West Brom 1-1 Hull
    Keith Downing

    West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing: "I thoroughly enjoyed my first 90 minutes in charge and enjoyed the day. We'd liked to have won at home but a point after four straight defeats is important for us. We were not great in the first half and you saw a team that was a little bit anxious and a little bit edgy. But in the second period the players responded well and showed some heart. It was a well-worked goal and I'm pleased for Matej Vydra who has persevered since he's come here and taken it well."

  27. 1717: 
    MANAGER REACTION- West Brom 1-1 Hull
    Steve Bruce

    Hull manager Steve Bruce: "It feels in the dressing room afterwards like we have lost the game. I can't remember my goalkeeper making a save in the second half. We frustrated West Brom and counter-attacked them and Jake Livermore took his goal well. We had the best chance to seal it and at 2-0 we would have put the game to bed but Ben Foster has made a great double save.

    "Maybe I'm nit-picking but we're frustrated and disappointed. Before the game we probably would have taken a point. We're 20 points at Christmas so we're bang on schedule."

    Incidentally, what is Steve Bruce doing to Billy Jones in the picture above? Caption competition open...

    Former Wales striker John Hartson on Final ScoreFulham 2-4 Manchester City

    "At times Manchester City looked like the real deal. They cannot keep letting teams back into games away from home though."

    Watch Final Score now on BBC One, the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  29. 1711: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Man Utd 3-1 West Ham
    David Moyes

    Manchester United manager David Moyes on MOTD: "We played well today. I'm a wee bit disappointed we didn't take some more opportunities and I was disappointed not to keep a clean sheet but we got done on the break.

    "The job is to keep our head down and keep winning games. There is confidence among the players, we are creating a lot of opportunities right now. Danny Welbeck has a sore knee.

    "Adnan Januzaj is doing really well. We are always hard on him, we always want more but he is doing remarkably well. He can score goals, he is a real talent.

    "We would like to be doing much better, we want to be right at the top but we will continue to keep going."

  30. 1710: 

    Burnley went top of the Championship table with a 2-1 victory over Lancashire rivals Blackpool.

    Giuseppe Sannino's career as Watford boss started with a 1-1 draw at Ipswich, Troy Deeney scoring a late equaliser for the Italian's side. New Barnsley boss Danny Wilson saw his side hold Yorkshire rivals Leeds to a goalless draw.

    Wolves moved to within goal difference of League One leaders Leyton Orient thanks to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Rotherham. The O's lost 3-2 at home to Crawley. Third-placed Brentford won 3-0 away to Preston, who drop a place to fifth.

    Oxford missed the chance to go top of League Two by drawing 0-0 at York. Scunthorpe are up to third after beating promotion rivals Morecambe 2-0. Northampton are now bottom of the Football League after a 4-1 home hammering by Wycombe.

  31. 1705: 

    Here's the all-important Match of the Day running order then. No surprises who is on last...

    Fulham v Man City, Liverpool v Cardiff, Man Utd v West Ham, Crystal Palace v Newcastle, Stoke v Aston Villa, WBA v Hull, Sunderland v Norwich

    Tune into BBC One or watch online at 2220 GMT.

  32. 1704: 
    Jesus Navas

    What was your result of the day?

    Newcastle's big win in London? Manchester City rallying with two late goals to win? Leicester's win at QPR? Wigan beating Reading?

    Brentford's win at Preston?

    Let us know your thoughts using the hashtag #resultoftheday

    Manchester United defender Rio FerdinandMan Utd 3-1 West Ham

    "Lovely win today, comfortable all round. Welbeck clinical, Januzaj elusive before slotting & Ashley Young with a finish on the top bin - like it!"

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Matthew Harmonyx: Newcastle have won again. Sky is clear of pigs. Doesn't look like there's any sort of apocalypse imminent. Good times.

    Steven Jerjian: Considering lack of squad depth relative to rivals, the benefit of no European football for Liverpool and Newcastle is huge.

    Former Wales striker John Hartson on Final ScoreLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "I can only think this is personal. Vincent Tan wants another manager - it cannot be about where they are in the league.

    "They have had some fantastic performances in the league. Malky Mackay won the Championship at a canter.

    "We are pre-judging - it is a strong word to say 'sacked'. Nobody knows where they'll go from here."

    Watch Final Score now on BBC One, the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  36. 1701: 
    CLINICAL?- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa

    Two shots on target, two goals, three points. The stats add up for Stoke, who move into the top 10. They will have taken that at the start of the season...

    Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa
  37. 1659: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    From the early kick-off...

    Luis Suarez

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers tells MOTD: "Luis Suarez was outstanding again in a very good team performance. The fluency of our football in the first half was excellent, and our pressing is now at a really high level.

    "I do not think about the title. I still believe it is for Manchester City to lose.

    "To have a player of the calibre in your ranks is first class. Luis is really happy at the moment, and his performance again was outstanding, he is a remarkable man and player.

    "I do not think [the Malky Mackay situation] is right. He is a guy who has given them £90m by getting promoted.

    "Everyone in the country and in football sees it as a wrong. He is a hero to the Cardiff fans and the Liverpool fans showed their humility by supporting that.

    "Only one person does not seem to be appreciating the job he has done. He has done a magnificent job, and his team did a great job for him today.

    "They showed the fighting character which he has got."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Ian Snowsill: Norwich will take that point. Unbeaten in three and on the up (I hope!)

  39. 1658: 
    MAGPIES FLYING- Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle

    A cracking victory for Newcastle, who continue to enjoy looking down on Manchester United in the top six. They outclassed Crystal Palace today. Don't believe me? Check out these stats...

    Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle
  40. 1656: 
    Premier League

    Ten points at Christmas, and the unwanted joy of turkey and stuffing with the wooden spoon for Sunderland, who had yet another man sent off.

    That late equaliser may be important for West Brom, while there were defeats for West Ham, Palace and Fulham. Dark day for London...

  41. 1655: 
    HOW'S STAT- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City

    Manchester City's third away victory of the season was once again built on some pretty impressive forward play. They constantly asked questions of the Fulham defence. However, they will be concerned at how many shots Fulham managed to get on target. Something for Luis Suarez to think about ahead of that big Boxing Day game...

    Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
  42. 1653: 
    Premier League

    Another day with plenty of goals, and a strong day at the top of the table for new leaders Liverpool and Manchester City, who rallied after a scare to move into second spot.

    Solid from Newcastle too who keep in touch with a good win on the road.

  43. 1652: 
    FULL-TIME- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich
    Former Wales striker John Hartson on Final ScoreSunderland 0-0 Norwich

    "Wes Brown did not have to make that challenge. The Norwich player was going nowhere.

    "It was a little bit reckless, maybe it was a red card."

    Watch Final Score now on BBC One, the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  45. 1652: 
    FULL-TIME- Man Utd 3-1 West Ham
  46. 1652: 
    FULL-TIME- Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle
  47. 1651: 
    FULL-TIME- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City
  48. 1651: 
    FULL-TIME- West Brom 1-1 Hull
  49. 1650: 
    FULL-TIME- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa
  50. 1649: 
    RED CARD- Sunderland - Wes Brown

    Yet another red card for Sunderland under Gus Poyet! My word.

    Wes Brown, who had his dismissal at Stoke waived, will be lucky to have this one turned over. It's needless in injury time as he clatters hard into Ricky van Wolsfwinkel as he shepherds the ball out. Reckless.

  51. 1648: 
    PENALTY APPEAL- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Sunderland have a penalty appeal waved away in the last minute, handball by Sebastien Bassong, it hits his chest though! Great call from the ref.


    Jonny in Cheshire: Manchester City's away problems continue? Or was it just a lucky goal that put Fulham back in the game? To come back with two more goals is champions stuff. Good game for Hart too.

  53. 1646: 
    Fulham 2-4 Manchester City

    Manchester City supporters are singing about winning the league now. One thing's for sure - Vincent Kompany needs to be buying Alvaro Negredo a pint tonight. The Beast's involvement in both of City's strikes since the skipper's own goal was massive.

  54. 1645: 

    Into the last few minutes...

  55. 1644: 
    Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa

    Stoke are dominant now and Aston Villa do not seem to have any answer, they certainly don't look like drawing level for a second time...

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Tizzy: Fantastic pass from Negredo!

  57. 1643: 
    GOAL- West Brom 1-1 Hull - Matej Vydra (86 mins)

    Wow - what a fine team goal this is! Shane Long with the Zidane-style backheel to Zoltan Gera, he feeds an inch-perfect pass to Matej Vydra, and the ex-Watford man calmly sends a low shot into the net for his first for the club. Big goal.

  58. 1642: 
    GOAL- Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle - Hatem Ben Arfa (Pen 86 mins)

    It's a game effort from Julian Speroni, he gets a hand to it, but he can't stop Hatem Ben Arfa's powerful spot-kick.

  59. 1642: 
    PENALTY FOR NEWCASTLE- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle

    Jonathan Parr trips Shola Ameobi - spot kick...

  60. 1641: 
    CLOSE!- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    John Ruddy where are you going?! The Norwich keeper goes walkabout to the corner flag, is tackled and the ball is played back to Ki Sung-Yueng 25 yards out. He lofts the ball toward the vacant net - but can only find the roof of the net.

  61. 1641: 
    GOAL- Fulham 2-4 Manchester City - James Milner (83 mins)

    Another goal to check out on Match of the Day later. Alvaro Negredo plays an exquisite cross into the box from the right with the outside of his left foot and James Milner is unmarked six yards out to rifle home. Game, set and match?

  62. 1639: 
    CLOSE!- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle

    Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa wriggles past two players before setting up Yoan Gouffran, whose shot from 20 yards strikes the post. Moments later, Ben Arfa's strike from 10 yards is saved by the feet of Palace keeper Julian Speroni.

  63. 1639: 
    GOAL- Man Utd 3-1 West Ham - Carlton Cole (81 mins)

    Alex Buttner - who has just come on - plays everyone onside and Carlton Cole takes advantage, breaking through before calmly sliding the ball home. Something for the away fans to celebrate.

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    James Calder: At least Gabbidon's in good Kompany.

  65. 1638: 
    West Brom 0-1 Hull

    There's been precious little fight from West Brom as we enter the closing stages, with Ben Foster needing to pull off a fine save to deny Tom Huddlestone a second for Hull.

  66. 1635: 
    GOAL- Fulham 2-3 Manchester City - Jesus Navas (78 mins)

    A goal made in Spain. Alvaro Negredo wins a header in midfield, David Silva plays an incisive ball through for Jesus Navas and the speedy winger races through and slides the ball under Maarten Stekelenburg.

  67. 1635: 
    YELLOW CARD- Man Utd 3-0 West Ham

    Should this be a red card? George McCartney flies into a tackle on Javier Hernandez, high and late, and is shown a yellow card. The Mexican stays down and needs lengthy treatment. Not a pretty challenge.

    MOTD presenter Gary LinekerFulham 2-2 Manchester City

    "One of the most utterly hilarious own goals you're likely to see (if you watch MOTD) by Vincent Kompany."

  69. 1633: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Fulham 2-2 Manchester City

    Bayern Munich-slayer James Milner is introduced from the bench and Samir Nasri makes way. 15 minutes left for City to find the winner they crave. Or will Fulham snatch another?

  70. 1632: 
    Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle

    Up high in the Selhurst Park stands sit two musical legends - Newcastle supporters Sting and Jimmy Nail. The two are collaborating on a new album together. Rewrite that Christmas wish list!

  71. 1631: 

    Burnley are back in line to return to the top of the Championship, with Scott Arfield putting them 2-1 up against local rivals Blackpool. Two of the bottom three, Yeovil and Sheffield Wednesday, are losing to Blackburn and Bournemouth respectively.

    Bolton have made it 1-1 against Charlton, and Derby are 2-0 up against Doncaster.

    In League One, the top two, Leyton Orient and Wolves, were both winning but are now dropping points. The O's are 2-1 down against Crawley and Wolves have come back from 3-1 down to be 3-3 against Rotherham. Coventry are 1-0 ahead against Swindon.

    Torquay, bottom of the Football League, are 1-0 ahead to promotion hopefuls Dagenham & Redbridge. Second-placed Oxford are drawing 0-0 at York.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Matt Graham: Is 'Peter Crouch scores against his former club' the most used phrase in sports?

  73. 1630: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa

    Peter Crouch almost seals the three points for Stoke, but his attempts to divert a cross from the right into the net comes back off the post.

  74. 1629: 
    GOAL- Man Utd 3-0 West Ham - Ashley Young (72 mins)

    Whoomph! There it is! What a goal from Ashley Young! A week to silence his critics perhaps? Wayne Rooney lays the ball off to the former Aston Villa man and he hammers a rising shot right into the top corner. Screamer.

  75. 1629:  
    Former Wales striker John Hartson on Final ScoreFulham 2-2 Manchester City

    "It took a horrendous bobble. You cannot blame Vincent Kompany at all."

    Watch Final Score now on the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  76. 1627: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    More wretched defending - it's been a day of that - as Norwich defender Michael Turner shanks a clearance form a corner, it goes right up into the air and Wes Brown beats John Ruddy to the punch, slamming his header against the post. So close!

  77. 1627: 
    DISALLOWED GOAL- Man Utd 2-0 West Ham

    Javier Hernandez peels off the last defender to slam into the net - but the flag is up! Replays suggest that that was pretty close...

  78. 1627: 
    GOAL- Fulham 2-2 Manchester City - Vincent Kompany own goal (70 mins)

    Vincent Kompany scores the most bizarre Manchester City own goal since Jamie Pollock headed it over his own defender and chipped his own keeper in the nineties. Sascha Riether drills in a cross from the right and the City skipper slices his clearance over Joe Hart and into the back of the net. City's away problems continue.

  79. 1626: 
    GOAL- Stoke 2-1 Aston Villa - Peter Crouch (70 mins)

    Stoke take the lead again. Villa keeper Brad Guzan misses a Geoff Cameron cross and Peter Crouch pounces to score from close range against his former club.

  80. 1626: 
    Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle

    On such misses are defeats confirmed. Cameron Jerome fires over unmarked from seven yards out after Mile Jedinak's header down from a free-kick. The striker really needed to do better if his side are to drag themselves back into this.

  81. 1625: 
    Premier League

    While at the top of the charts Manchester City are taking advantage of the fact that Arsenal and Chelsea do not play until Monday to move up on the shoulders of leaders Liverpool.

    Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Final ScoreStoke 1-1 Aston Villa

    "Erik Pieters was under no pressure whatsoever. Terrible defending."

    Watch Final Score now on the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  83. 1623: 

    With 25 minutes or so remaining, it's not looking good for Sunderland, Fulham and Palace. But a goal or two change it all.

    Premier League table
  84. 1622: 
    GOAL- Stoke 1-1 Aston Villa - Libor Kozak (66 mins)

    A defensive howler from Erik Pieters as Stoke fail to clear a long punt forward and the full-back's attempted header back to his own keeper falls straight to Libor Kozak who gleefully smashes home.

  85. 1621: 
    Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle

    Striker Marouane Chamakh has his first effort on goal for Crystal Palace, however his attempted header flies three yards over bar.

  86. 1621: 
    Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Ah, big chance for Sunderland! Some woeful defending in the Norwich mixer sees a clearance sliced back into the danger zone, Fabio Borini controls it well on his thigh but then can only stab a tame shot right at John Ruddy. He gathers it in with ease.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Talha Mayat: Januzaj, what a gem!!

  88. 1619: 
    CLOSE!- Man Utd 2-0 West Ham

    Jonny Evans has had a header cleared off the line, and Danny Welbeck has limped off with an injury. Javier Hernandez is on in his place as United look for a killer third.

    GOAL- Fulham 1-2 Manchester City - Kieran Richardson (50 mins)

    Fulham pull a goal back after 50 minutes with a quick counter-attack after David Silva had been dispossessed on the edge of home side's penalty area.

    Adel Taarabt, who has been excellent today, countered down the left wing and found an unmarked Kieran Richardson, who calmly finished past Joe Hart from 12 yards out. City lead 2-1 and will go second in the table if they hold on to victory.

    GOAL- Fulham 0-2 Manchester City - Vincent Kompany (43 mins)

    Manchester City double their lead with Vincent Kompany tapping the ball in from close range after Martin Demichelis's header was parried by Maarten Stekelenburg.

  91. 1619: 
    GOAL- Stoke 1-0 Aston Villa - Charlie Adam (51 mins)

    Aston Villa undone by the oldest trick in the book as a long ball forward is headed down by Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam chests the ball down before rifling home.

  92. 1539: 
    GOAL- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle - Danny Gabbidon own goal (39 mins)

    Oh dear. Danny Gabbidon diverts Mathieu Debuchy's cross past his own keeper and Palace are up against it now.

  93. 1538:  
    Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Final ScoreMan Utd 2-0 West Ham

    "That was poor defending from James Collins again. Adnan Januzaj cut inside, and Collins was committed.

    "Januzaj could be world class though. I have spoken to several people at Old Trafford, and this kid... He has huge, huge potential."

    Watch Final Score now on the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  94. 1537: 
    Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa

    It's still very tight at Stoke, where the home side's Geoff Cameron goes close with a cross-turned-shot from the right which Brad Guzan does well to tip over.

  95. 1536: 
    GOAL- Man Utd 2-0 West Ham - Adnan Januzaj (36 mins)

    The penalty appeal is swiftly forgotten as Adnan Januzaj smashes in his first Old Trafford goal! Again, Danny Welbeck is instrumental, pulling out wide to the left to feed Januzaj's underlapping run. He then dances around a clumsy lunge from James Collins and buries the shot from 10 yards out. Wonderful finish which has David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson on their feet.

  96. 1535: 
    PENALTY APPEAL- Man Utd 1-0 West Ham

    Big penalty appeal at Old Trafford. Adnan Januzaj is levered off the ball by Mark Noble but told to get up...

  97. 1536: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Fulham 0-1 Man City

    Maarten Stekelenburg keeps Fulham in the game with a smart, low save from Edin Dzeko after the Bosnia striker had been teed up by Aleksandar Kolarov.

  98. 1534: 
    CLOSE!- West Brom 0-1 Hull

    Hull put together a really excellent move, started by goalscorer Jake Livermore, as they move it from right to left. David Meyler gets the shot away and it deflects wide.


    Tom in Manchester: Simple outrageous free kick from Yaya Toure!

  100. 1534: 
    CLOSE!- Fulham 0-1 Man City

    Fulham's Adel Taarabt, who has adopted a shoot-on-sight policy, forces another save from Joe Hart, with the England goalkeeper pushing his low effort for a corner, which comes to nothing.

    It came only a minute after Manchester City had a chance to make it 2-0 when Alvaro Negredo led a counter-attack and found Edin Dzeko. However, the Bosnian was greedy, shooting weakly at Maarten Stekelenburg with Fernandinho unmarked and in a better position.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    David Horsley: Would the Welbeck haters please stand up? Getting less by the week. He's a talent.

    Chris Harvey: Welbeck is a class act, technically England's finest player at present. Never had a shred of doubt.

    Nick Jehan: Anyone who's actually seen Welbeck play knows what he's capable of and how hard he works.

  102. 1532: 
    Crystal Palace 0-1 Newcastle

    Vurnon Anita is the right man in the right place as he clears off the line when his team-mate Mike Williamson inadvertently turns a cross towards his own goal. Palace have responded well to going behind.

  103. 1532: 
    CLOSE!- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    The home side have turned up the tempo in the last few minutes. Lee Cattermole drills a horrible, horrible shot into Row K after a neat move down the right but moments later Fabio Borini fires in an altogether better effort from 20 yards, rustling the side-netting with his shot.

    He only scores in the last three minutes, Borini.

  104. 1529: 
    YELLOW CARD- Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa

    A controversial incident at Stoke, where the home side's full-back Marc Wilson takes out Andreas Weimann with the Villa striker almost through on goal. Just a yellow card for the defender - and Paul Lambert is unhappy.

  105. 1527: 
    GOAL- West Brom 0-1 Hull - Jake Livermore (28 mins)

    Football can be a simple, simple game at times. Hull score a counter-attacking goal of brutal, brilliant ease. David Meyler picks up the pieces just outside of his own area, looks up and finds the willing Danny Graham running over the top. He carries it forward before picking out the run of Jake Livermore, who slides the ball into the net from a tight angle. Goal-to-goal in about four touches...

  106. 1525: 
    GOAL- Man Utd 1-0 West Ham - Danny Welbeck (26 mins)

    The goals are flying in now! Lovely stuff from the returning Wayne Rooney as he collects a pass from Danny Welbeck, flicks it back through to Welbeck who holds off James Collins and lashes in under the body of Adrian.

    That's Welbeck's first Premier League goal at Old Trafford since October 2012.

  107. 1525: 
    GOAL- Crystal Palace 0-1 Newcastle - Yohan Cabaye (25 mins)

    Newcastle have been slowly taking control of this match, and they get their reward from Yohan Cabaye sidefoots home from 12 yards, via a deflection off Damien Delaney, after Moussa Sissoko's drag-back.

    Former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage on Final ScoreFulham 0-1 Man City

    "Yaya Toure normally scores his free-kicks from the other side. He showed wonderful technique with that effort."

    Watch Final Score now on the Red Button and BBC Sport website.

  109. 1523: 
    GOAL- Fulham 0-1 Man City - Yaya Toure (23 mins)

    He scores these in his sleep now. After Steve Sidwell fouls David Silva on the edge of the area, Yaya Toure steps up and curls in the free-kick via the underside of the bar with the keeper rooted. That's 11 for the season for the big man. Immense.

  110. 1522: 
    Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Sunderland have seen plenty of red cards under Gus Poyet, and Phil Bardsley is the latest man to show he is not scared of a crunching challenge. He flies into a 50/50 with Leroy Fer, leaving the Dutchman in a heap on the deck. No foul given though, and Seb Larsson whistles a shot over the top.

  111. 1521: 
    Fulham 0-0 Man City

    Adel Taarabt fancies some headlines in the morning - trying his luck from range as the driving rain makes things trickier for Joe Hart. The England keeper deals with the low shot well though.

  112. 1520: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Man Utd 0-0 West Ham

    It's all Manchester United, an Old Trafford performance of days gone by perhaps? Antonio Valencia is the latest to test West Ham 'keeper Adrian, who forces the ball around the post, slightly unconvincingly...

  113. 1520: 

    Danny Ings has scored his 17th goal of the season as Burnley lead Lancashire rivals Blackpool 1-0, a result that would take them top of the Championship.

    Uwe Rosler's Wigan are already 2-0 up at promotion chasers Reading. Yann Kermorgant has put Charlton up 1-0 at Bolton in a battle of the strugglers.

    League One leaders Leyton Orient are 1-0 up against Crawley, and second-placed Wolves are drawing 1-1 at Rotherham. MK Dons are beating Port Vale 2-0.

    In League Two, struggling Northampton trail Wycombe 2-0 at home. Cheltenham are beating third-placed Fleetwood 1-0 and Scunthorpe lead promotion rivals Morecambe 1-0.

  114. 1520: 
    Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle

    Close but no cigar - Mathieu Debuchy glances just wide of the Crystal Palace goal from Yohan Cabaye's teasing corner.

  115. 1518: 
    YELLOW CARD- Man Utd 0-0 West Ham

    A proper schoolyard challenge, maybe an old score to settle? Former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison lashes out at Tom Cleverley, just an old-fashioned chop to the shins and he is rightly booked. That will be a stinger...

  116. 1518: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    More from Cardiff boss Malky Mackay: [When asked what Vincent Tan will do] "I do not know what he'll do."

    [When asked when he last spoke face-to-face with Tan] "Face- to-face was a while ago.

    "I can only do what I can do, I will not be resigning. I went to the fans at the end like I do every week.

    "The Liverpool fans are a tremendous group of people and a class act. I was proud at the end we actually turned up and were competitive despite the score.

    "I love my job and am proud to be the manager here. There is no way I will be walking away from that."

  117. 1517: 
    Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle under some early pressure as Barry Bannan curls a free-kick over the Magpies' wall but Tim Krul is on hand to make a fairly routine save.

  118. 1516: 
    West Brom 0-0 Hull

    Albion caretaker manager Keith Downing looks frustrated as both sides make a scrappy start at the Hawthorns. Keeping the ball is not the order of the day so far, with both sides sloppy in possession.

    The only real action of note has been on the touchline, with Liam Ridgewell having to change his shirt after bloodying his nose in an aerial challenge.

  119. 1515: 
    Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa

    More good play from Aston Villa sees Aleksandar Tonev brings a save out of Asmir Begovic from Marc Albrighton's cross.

  120. 1514: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Fulham 0-0 Man City

    Manchester City's first chance of the match - and it's a good one too. Edin Dzeko holds off his marker to tee up David Silva who crashes a shot against the bar from 12 yards out.

  121. 1513: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Almost our first Premier League goal of the afternoon, and it comes from Norwich. Nathan Redmond cuts in from the left, backs his defender up and fires in an early shot which is destined for the bottom corner until Vito Mannone makes a one-handed stop. Fine work!

  122. 1513: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Fulham 0-0 Man City

    That will settle some nerves for Joe Hart, who makes a good save from Adel Taarabt's low shot after Gael Clichy had slipped and given the ball away under pressure from Kieran Richardson.

  123. 1512: 
    Man Utd 0-0 West Ham

    Good energy and strength down the right wing from Wayne Rooney which leads to Phil Jones picking the ball up in midfield, he advances 45 yards without being challenged and fires in a low shot with his left foot which is easily held by Adrian in the Hammers goal. Rooney at the heart of everything.

  124. 1512: 
    Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle

    It's amazing what a few goals can do to a man's confidence. Marouane Chamakh is showing some neat touches for Crystal Palace as the home side look to seize the early initiative at Selhurst Park. Still no clear-cut chances yet though.

  125. 1510: 
    Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa

    An early sighter for Asmir Begovic as Ashley Westwood whips in a cross from the left but Nathan Baker's header is straight at the Stoke keeper.

  126. 1509: 
    Man Utd 0-0 West Ham

    Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj and Danny Welbeck have all got some new, lime green boots for early Christmas presents and Rooney is certainly putting himself about as usual on his return from injury. Rooney playing pretty deep in the early stages.

  127. 1507: 
    Sunderland 0-0 Norwich

    Pretty tense start to proceedings in Sunderland too, with Norwich forward Gary Hooper's mishit shot across the face of goal the best opening so far.

  128. 1505: 
    Fulham 0-0 Man City

    Fulham are pressing well at the Cottage - mindful that Manchester City might get a little nervy if they don't make an early breakthrough. Still no chances, but the hosts on top.

  129. 1504: 
    Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle

    Newcastle are still trying to get to grips with the rainy, blustery conditions at Selhurst Park. A nice little leveller for Tony Pulis's men as they look to continue their mini-revival.

  130. 1503: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Man Utd 0-0 West Ham

    What a chance for United early on but Premier League debutant Adrian brilliantly denies Tom Cleverley!

    The Spanish goalkeeper dives to his right to keep Cleverley's eight-yard strike out after a cross causes chaos in West Ham's box.

  131. 1503: 
    MANAGER REACTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff
    Malky Mackay

    Cardiff manager Malky Mackay: "I told the players how proud I was of them. We were excellent until Luis Suarez showed why he is just about the best player in the world right now. I told them not to go under and we stayed in the game. Liverpool will be challenging for the league this year.

    "The crowd were our 12th man. I reiterate 100% that I absolutely will not be resigning from the football club. I am a proud man to lead this team. Why would I want to leave? That is something you will have to ask other people."

  132. 1501: 
    Fulham 0-0 Man City

    A big day for Joe Hart then, on his return to Manchester City's starting line-up. Somewhere in England, Roy Hodgson is also keeping his finger's crossed for a trouble-free 90 minutes.

  133. 1500: 

    It's the last Saturday before Christmas - who's going to send their supporters into Christmas beaming? We'll soon find out because our six 3pm kick-offs are under way.

  134. 1456: 
    HERE WE GO...

    Teams are emerging from tunnels around the land. All set? Here we go then...

  135. 1455:  
    Football FocusTHE TITLE RACE

    On who is going to win the Premier League:

    BBC pundit and former Arsenal striker John Hartson:

    "Chelsea have not hit top form but they are still second and one game from going top. I have said Chelsea from the word go."

    BBC pundit and former Sunderland and West Brom midfielder Kevin Kilbane:

    "I think Manchester City will win the league. They have the best squad. In Europe they are going to be very, very dominant."

  136. 1452: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Thousands of Cardiff fans are still out of their seats at Anfield chanting about Malky Mackay. This is a superb, extended, show of support for the manager. Will it make any difference?

    No. Not in the least...

  137. 1451:  
    Football FocusFulham v Man City (1500 GMT)
    Vincent Kompany

    Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany on Football Focus:

    "When you win those games (beating Arsenal 6-3) you always think you've done something great until you look at table and realise you've not won it yet.

    "At the moment we are doing it right, we can't lose a percentage because this could cost us.

    "This is my sixth season in the Premier League and around now you start realising which teams might win it and which teams aren't the real deal. Nothing is won in December but a lot can be lost in December."

  138. 1449: 

    Burnley can return to the top of the Championship table if they beat Lancashire rivals Blackpool. Danny Wilson starts his second spell in charge of bottom-of-the-table Barnsley in a Yorkshire derby at Leeds.

    Play-off challengers Reading are at home to Uwe Rosler's Wigan, and new Watford boss Giuseppe Sannino takes his side to Ipswich in his first ever game in England.

    League One's top two are both in action as leaders Leyton Orient host Crawley Town, and Wolves are away to promotion-chasing Rotherham. Relegation rivals Notts County and Bristol City face each other in a crucial match at the bottom of the table. Louis Carey makes his 645th appearance for City, becoming the joint record holder with John Atyeo.

    In League Two, Oxford can go back to the top of the table with victory at York today. Second-from-bottom Bristol Rovers could drag Portsmouth further into the relegation mix with a win over Richie Barker's side. Scunthorpe host promotion rivals Morecambe.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Sam Barker: Credit to the Cardiff fans. It's a sorry day for football if Mackay gets sacked although sadly it seems inevitable.

    There's still hundreds of Cardiff supporters demonstrating inside Anfield as we speak

  140. 1447:  
    QPR midfielder Joey BartonPLAYER REACTION- QPR 0-1 Leicester

    "The most ridiculous red card ever. If that is two yellows the game has gone. Will have to refrain from commenting on the referee for fear of furthering a one match ban.

    "It would help if we had full time referees IMO. Ah well, the way they handled the squirrel [1229] summed it up.

    "We will bounce back from this. Its a long season. Fair play to Leicester. They stuck to their game plan and defended for their lives."

  141. 1446: 
    HE'S BACK- Man Utd v West Ham (1500 GMT)
    Wayne Rooney

    Wayne Rooney makes a much-needed return to the Manchester United attack this afternoon after a minor groin strain which kept him out of the Stoke game in midweek. How sharp is he? We are about to find out.

    Wayne enjoys playing against West Ham though - he's scored eight goals in his last seven appearances against the Hammers.

  142. 1443: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    What a result for Liverpool though. They could now go into their Boxing Day clash at Manchester City top of the Premier League. They are at the summit for today at least. Now it's time to look ahead to our 3pm kick-offs...

  143. 1443:  
    BBC Final ScoreFINAL SCORE

    Keep up-to-date with the latest action from across the divisions with BBC Final Score.

    Watch the show on the Red Button and BBC Sport website now.

  144. 1441: 
    PLAYER REACTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Liverpool's two-goal striker Luis Suarez: "Happy with new contract but I was focused on game. We played very well in first half. It's too early to say that (we can win the title). It is important we work for the next game. When we play at home we are strong."

  145. 1440: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    The Cardiff City supporters are defiant - staying behind in their hundreds to chant support for their manager and raise 'Tan out' banners. They've certainly done their bit.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "Liverpool have been in great form, and played really well in the first half and conserved energy in the second half. Ultimately, it is about Malky Mackay this afternoon.

    "That looked as much of a goodbye as you are ever likely to see when he went over to the Cardiff fans. He looked really disappointed as he loves this club."

  147. 1438: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    While the Cardiff City supporters chant his name, Malky Mackay is met by every single Liverpool player who shake the Scot's hand. Even the referee Lee Probert offers some words of encouragement to a man who looks like he is taking charge of his last match.

  148. 1435: 
    FULL-TIME- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    All over at Anfield, where Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers immediately embraces Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay who then stands and soaks in the atmosphere. He's in no rush to get down the tunnel today.

  149. 1435: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Mamadou Sakho is inches away from turning in at the far post for Liverpool's fourth after another floated ball from Luis Suarez. The French defender loves to get forward, doesn't he?

  150. 1431: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Luis Suarez is denied a hat-trick by David Marshall - the Cardiff keeper getting down well to save the striker's low, angled shot. We're into injury time now. Four minutes to be added on.

  151. 1430: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Still the Cardiff fans get behind their manager - "Malky Mackay, we want you to stay" - and again the Liverpool supporters applaud the visitors' chants. That doesn't happen too often.


    Dave, a Liverpool fan: Malky Mackay deserves the greatest of credit for the way he has conducted himself during this episode!

  153. 1425: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    A sure sign that Liverpool are happy to see this one out as Daniel Agger replaces Philippe Coutinho. Luis Suarez immediately hands over the captain's armband to club vice-captain Agger.

  154. 1424: 
    LINE-UPS- Crystal Palace v Newcastle (1500 GMT)

    Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Puncheon, Ward, Jedinak, Bannan, Chamakh, Jerome. Subs: Parr, Campana, Bolasie, Phillips, Gayle, Jonathan Williams, Price.

    Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Tiote, Anita, Cabaye, Sissoko, Remy, Gouffran. Subs: Cisse, Ben Arfa, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara, Elliot, Shola Ameobi, Obertan.

    Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

  155. 1424: 
    CLOSE!- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    As Cardiff begin to commit more men forward, Liverpool are finding more joy on the counter - Jordan Henderson breaking through from midfield and passing to Luis Suarez but the two-goal striker curls wide.

  156. 1422: 
    Crystal Palace v Newcastle (1500 GMT)

    Crystal Palace full-back Dean Moxey is back in the first XI having recovered from a hamstring problem, but midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi misses out through injury.

    Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye returns to the starting line-up after having served his one-match suspension. Striker Shola Ameobi drops down to the bench.

  157. 1421: 
    LINE-UPS- Sunderland v Norwich (1500 GMT)

    Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, O'Shea, Brown, Bardsley, Cattermole, Borini, Larsson, Ki, Giaccherini, Altidore. Subs: Dossena, Gardner, Fletcher, Johnson, Pickford, Colback, Roberge.

    Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Olsson, Snodgrass, Johnson, Fer, Redmond, Elmander, Hooper. Subs: van Wolfswinkel, Bunn, Hoolahan, Garrido, Becchio, Ryan Bennett, Murphy.

    Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

  158. 1421: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    One last change for Cardiff as Danish striker Andreas Cornelius replaces Aron Gunnarsson.

  159. 1420: 
    LINE-UPS- West Brom v Hull (1500 GMT)

    West Brom: Foster, Billy Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Mulumbu, Sinclair, Sessegnon, Brunt, Long. Subs: Yacob, Myhill, Lugano, Amalfitano, Vydra, Gera, Berahino.

    Hull: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Figueroa, Sagbo, Graham. Subs: Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, McShane, Boyd, Harper, Faye.

    Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)


    James: RIP David Coleman. A true gentleman and a broadcasting legend.

  161. 1419: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Nobody's picking up the little fella in the box and Joe Allen heads just over as Liverpool take some sort of control back with a little over 10 minutes left to play.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Dave Payn: Sad news about David Coleman. Could still imagine the Coleman of yesteryear commentating and presenting today.

  163. 1417: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    A superb chance for Liverpool to finish the game - Raheem Sterling being set free on goal but being denied by a sprawling David Marshall before Luis Suarez's follow-up hits the outside of the post.

  164. 1417: 
    Stoke v Aston Villa (1500 GMT)

    Stoke make three changes from the midweek defeat to Manchester United with Asmir Begovic back in goal.

    There are five changes for Aston Villa - with Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor both out.

    Stoke XI: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Arnautovic, Whelan, Assaidi; Crouch

    Aston Villa XI: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Herd, Westwood, Albrighton, Weimann, Delph, Tonev, Kozak

    MOTD presenter Gary Lineker

    "Sad to hear, David Coleman has died. A giant of sports broadcasting. Brilliant, gifted, precise and concise. Much more than 'one-nil'."

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "David Coleman was in many ways the sports broadcaster of his generation. I remember fondly watching 'Sportsnight with Coleman'."

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "It will be very interesting to see the reaction of Malky Mackay at the end of this game. I will be amazed if he does not walk over to the Cardiff fans.

    "His team has not given up, and they are getting forward more often. It is almost unrecognisable to the way they played in the first half."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  168. 1413: 
    West Brom v Hull (1500 GMT)
    Ben Foster

    West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster plays for the first time since August after recovering from a foot injury and replaces Boaz Myhill.

    James Morrison and Scott Sinclair are the other changes for the Baggies with Morgan Amalfitano and Claudio Yacob dropping to the bench.

    Hull boss Steve Bruce names the same side which drew 0-0 with Stoke last time out with son Alex fit enough to play in defence after overcoming a groin problem.

  169. 1413: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Suddenly it's Liverpool chasing the ball and being pressed back as Cardiff grow into this game - Joe Allen desperately clearing from a corner after Steven Caulker had played the ball back across goal under pressure from Martin Skrtel, who was pulling the Cardiff defender's shirt.

  170. 1411: 
    TEAM NEWS- Sunderland v Norwich (1500 GMT)

    Sunderland boss Gus Poyet makes three changes from Tuesday's extra-time League Cup victory over Chelsea. Phil Bardsley, Ki Sung-Yueng and Fabio Borini return, with Andrew Dossena, Craig Gardner and Adam Johnson dropping to the bench.

    Norwich make one change after last week's 1-1 draw with Swansea, Robert Snodgrass replacing Jonny Howson in midfield. Norwich's Twitter feed reports that Howson has picked up an injury.

  171. 1409: 
    FULL-TIME- QPR 0-1 Leicester

    The match has finished at Loftus Road, where Jamie Vardy's strike is enough to see Leicester draw level with QPR at the top of the Championship.

  172. 1408: 
    David Coleman

    Former BBC commentator David Coleman has died at the age of 87.

    Tony Hall, BBC Director-General said: "David Coleman was one of this country's greatest and most respected broadcasters. Generations grew up listening to his distinctive and knowledgeable commentary. Whether presenting, commentating or offering analysis, he set the standard for all today's sports broadcasters. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends."

    Barbara Slater, the BBC's Director of Sport, added: "David Coleman was a giant in the sports broadcasting world, an iconic and hugely respected figure. From his famous football and athletic commentaries to his presentation of events and programmes such as the Olympics, the World Cup, Question of Sport and Grandstand, he was quite simply the master of his craft. David had many friends at BBC Sport and was admired by audiences in their millions. We send sincere condolences to his family."

    BREAKING NEWS- David Coleman dies at the age of 87

    Sports broadcasting has today lost a legend after the death of former BBC commentator David Coleman OBE at the age of 87. His family has released this short statement: "We regret to announce the death of David Coleman OBE, after a short illness he died peacefully with his family at his bedside."

  174. 1407: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Cardiff sense a back-post weakness in Liverpool's defensive play and Ben Turner heads straight at Simon Mignolet after getting on the end of another top Peter Whittingham delivery.

  175. 1405: 
    TEAM NEWS- Man Utd v West Ham (1500 GMT)

    Wayne Rooney starts for Manchester United. West Ham keep faith with goalkeeper Adrian after he played in midweek.

    Man Utd XI: De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Evans, Smalling, Januzaj, Valencia, Jones, Cleverley, Rooney, Welbeck

    West Ham XI: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney, Noble, Morrison, Taylor, Jarvis, Maiga, Diame

  176. 1405: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "Malky in, Vincent out," sing the Cardiff supporters before the Liverpool fans respond with a round of applause. If the visitors did somehow turn this around, could Tan really sack him?

  177. 1403: 
    Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    Cardiff are sensing a momentum shift now and are pushing Liverpool back. One more goal and it might get interesting...

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    James Anthony Finn: Cardiff City comeback to save Malky Mackay's job?

  179. 1401: 

    Championship leaders QPR will have to play the last six minutes of their game against Leicester with 10 men.

    QPR midfielder Joey Barton is booked for a challenge by referee Paul Tierney.

    Barton then kicks the ball at one of the Leicester players and Tierney instantly shows Barton a second yellow and a red card. Leicester still lead 1-0 at Loftus Road through Jamie Vardy's first-half goal.

  180. 1401: 
    TEAM NEWS- Fulham v Man City (1500 GMT)

    Joe Hart is back in goal for Manchester City, with Edin Dzeko partnering Alvaro Negredo. Gael Clichy also appears to be playing at right-back.

    Fulham are playing Adel Taarabt as a striker.

    Fulham XI: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise; Dejagah, Karagounis, Parker, Sidwell, Richardson; Taarabt

    City XI: Hart, Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Nasri, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva, Dzeko, Negredo

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-1 Cardiff

    "It is a neat header, and Mr Tan applauded it. That was very poor marking, and I would suggest that Martin Skrtel tucked in too far.

    "The defence had not put a foot wrong before then."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  182. 1359: 
    GOAL- Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff - Jordon Mutch (58 mins)

    A glimmer of hope for Cardiff? Peter Whittingham flights a perfect ball into the box and the unmarked Jordon Mutch heads home at the far post from six yards out.

  183. 1358: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Brendan Rodgers has certainly been good to his word by developing the English youngsters within Liverpool's squad. That can only be a good thing for the Three Lions.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Colin Davies: Forget the headline maker! Sterling and Flanagan have been excellent today, and Henderson has been absolutely fantastic!

  185. 1356: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Time for a few changes as Cardiff bring on Kim Bo-Kyung and Fraizer Campbell for Gary Medel and Peter Odemwingie. Liverpool also freshen things up by replacing Jon Flanagan with Martin Kelly.

  186. 1355: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- QPR 0-1 Leicester

    Leicester nearly double their lead at Loftus Road when a shot from Matty James takes a deflection off Rangers defender Richard Dunne and bounces off the crossbar.

    Championship leaders QPR have had more shots on goal, but still trail to Jamie Vardy's first-half goal. Harry Redknapp's side have less than 15 minutes to maintain their unbeaten home league record.

  187. 1355: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Indeed, Charlie raises a fair point [see Tweet below]. Jordan Henderson has been magnificent this season - Luis Suarez's impact filters through to all areas.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Charlie Ferguson: England NEED Henderson in Brazil!

  189. 1352: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Philippe Coutinho wants a slice of the action and he wins the ball in midfield but drags his 25-yard shot just wide. Liverpool dominant.

  190. 1350: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Luis Suarez's hunger is unbelievable - his side might be 3-0 up but he still chases a lost cause and almost panics Steven Caulker into a mistake.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    "Mr Tan was late coming out for the second half. That is not a major surprise, as this will be one of the occasions where he will be talking to his fellow board members."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  192. 1347: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    This match has resumed exactly how we left it - Jon Flanagan getting behind the Cardiff defence but seeing his pull-back cleared before Raheem Sterling rattles an effort wide from the edge of the box.

    MOTD presenter Gary LinekerLiverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    "Always the same when a player signs a new contract. They go completely off the boil. Only two goals for Luis Suarez in the first half."

  194. 1346: 
    KICK-OFF- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    The Cardiff City players spent a full two minutes on the field waiting for Liverpool to reappear. But the Reds are back and we are under way again at Anfield.


    Ben in Bournemouth: I'd like to put on record how impressed I've been with Jordan Henderson's transformation. I was as critical as anyone but he has been outstanding of late and deserves a place on the plane to Brazil. I happily swallow my words and hope he has a long and prosperous career at Liverpool.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Morelli Junior: Suarez is the best player in the world right now by a country mile.

    Matt Thorpe: Suarez is an absolute beast in front of goal.

    Ryan Kerr: Behave Suarez! As a Man United fan it pains me to say this...but Suarez is just too good. On fire recently.

  197. 1342: 
    TIME RUNNING OUT FOR MACKAY?- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    It's certainly not looking good for Malky Mackay. Will he still be Cardiff City manager by the end of today?

  198. 1337: 
    THE GOAL MACHINE- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff
    Luis Suarez

    Luis Suarez has now scored at least twice in five Premier League games at Anfield in a row. He has 19 goals in 13 games in all competitions this season. This is Ronaldo-style scoring...

    MOTD's Martin Fisher at the Stadium of LightSunderland v Norwich (1500 GMT)

    "With Christmas just around the corner, will the real Sunderland please stand up?

    "Are they the warriors of Tuesday night who came from behind to beat Chelsea after extra-time in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals? Or the meek, misfiring bunch who have gone five games without a league win and sit four points adrift at the bottom of the table?"

    MOTD's Guy Mowbray at Old TraffordMan Utd v West Ham (1500 GMT)

    "Winning at home to West Ham has been all but a 'given' to Manchester United for years. The facts? Twenty wins from 23 Hammers visits since 1986; a current run of six wins in a row; not a single goal from the visitors in the last five.

    "This season, though, the overriding fact is that United can be beaten at home. They have been three times in the league already. They haven't lost more home games in a season since 2001-02 - and we aren't yet halfway through.

    "They're vulnerable at Old Trafford like never before in some people's lifetime, with this game carrying the possibility of three successive home league defeats for the first time since 1978-79."

    MOTD's Simon Brotherton at Craven CottageFulham v Man City (1500 GMT)

    "Manchester City's patchy away form this season, which includes four defeats, is enough to give struggling Fulham a glimmer of hope as they prepare for the weekend, but their own defensive frailties could be ruthlessly exposed here if they're not careful.

    "While City were sticking six past Arsenal last week, Fulham were conceding four on Merseyside for the second time in just over a month with impressive Everton matching Liverpool goal for goal."

    MOTD's Steve Bower at the HawthornsWest Brom v Hull (1500 GMT)

    "Whatever the opinions about Steve Clarke's sacking, and for what it's worth mine was that it was an extremely harsh dismissal, it's time now for West Brom to regroup and pick up some points quickly.

    "It's time for the players to stand up and create a positive vibe around the club again. They are a team who have won just three times in the last 20 Premier League matches but it's also easy to forget that they have won at Manchester United this season, should have won at Chelsea and have held Arsenal."

    MOTD's Alistair Mann at the BritanniaStoke v Aston Villa (1500 GMT)

    "Is "home, sweet home" the most suitable motto for Stoke City since their promotion to the Premier League in 2008?

    "The raucous atmosphere created by their fervent supporters has officially been recorded as the noisiest in the country, a significant contribution to the Britannia Stadium's air of invincibility.

    "However, Stoke have statistically made their worst start to a Premier League campaign."

    MOTD's John Roder at Selhurst ParkCrystal Palace v Newcastle (1500 GMT)

    "Alan Pardew will forever be a Crystal Palace legend, thanks to his winning goal in the amazing FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool at Villa Park back in 1990.

    "The Newcastle manager brings his current team to his former club with the Magpies having won five of their last seven, but Crystal Palace will certainly not be the pushover that they may have been earlier in the campaign."

  205. 1334: 
    Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    Superb stuff from Liverpool, and Luis Suarez in particular. I bet Roy Hodgson's hair gets a little greyer with every passing wonder goal the little number seven scores. While we digest his brilliance, let's preview the 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League...

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Hazy: What a ball from Henderson again... Unreal with the outside of the boot.

    Alan Ferguson: Seriously good football. Loving Liverpool.

    Richard Powell: Running out of superlatives for Suarez. Scorer, creator, tormentor. Priceless.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    "This could get slightly out of control for Cardiff now. Luis Suarez is getting beyond a joke, everything he touches goes in."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  208. 1331:  
    MOTD's Steve Wilson at AnfieldHALF-TIME- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff

    "Cardiff owner Vincent Tan will make his way to the boardroom, Liverpool to the dressing room. Another spectacular and deadly 45 minutes from Luis Suarez, who scored two and set up another."

  209. 1330: 
    GOAL- Liverpool 3-0 Cardiff - Luis Suarez (45 mins)

    It doesn't matter what manager you have when Luis Suarez is in this kind of form against you. Jordan Henderson backheels to the Uruguayan magician on the edge of the box and the striker instinctively curls home a first-time effort from the edge of the box. Wow.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 2-0 Cardiff

    "I have been so impressed by Luis Suarez on many occasions this season, but that was his most impressive moment for me. He had a 90% chance of scoring himself, but he knew Raheem Sterling had a 100% chance of scoring if he passed to him."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  211. 1327: 
    GOAL- Liverpool 2-0 Cardiff - Raheem Sterling (42 mins)

    This is not pleasant viewing for those of a Cardiff City persuasion. Jordan Henderson opens up the visitors' defence easier than a can of beans and Luis Suarez gallops forward before squaring for Raheem Sterling to slide home. Selfless play from Suarez, but a hint of offside when he passed to the young winger.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    "Cardiff are getting destroyed on their left-flank. Andrew Taylor is being beaten for pace time after time by Raheem Sterling and Glen Johnson, but he is also not getting enough support.

    "He is asking his central midfielders to drift across, and they will need to do that."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  213. 1324: 
    Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    It's one-way traffic now - Raheem Sterling breaking through and having a shot beaten away by David Marshall.

  214. 1324: 
    AS IT STANDS- Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff
    Premier League

    Liverpool fans - it's been a while - but here you go, back on top of the shop as it stands. Will they stay there? Arsenal - and Cardiff for that matter - will have plenty to say about that...

  215. 1324: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    Liverpool are rampant now. Luis Suarez fires across the face of goal where Jon Flanagan tries his luck but the young left-back sees his angled effort hit the post and then cleared off the line by David Marshall.

  216. 1322: 
    KICK-OFF- QPR 0-1 Leicester

    We're back under way at Loftus Road. Can Rangers fight back and squirrel away three precious points heading into mid-winter?

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Edward McKeon: I can see Cardiff going down if Mackay is forced out by Tan. This is the time the players need to voice their support for him.

  218. 1320: 
    Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    It's a shame we won't see Luis Suarez against Sergio Aguero when Liverpool visit Manchester City on Boxing Day. It'll still be a cracker though. The Reds are warming up for that test nicely - Martin Skrtel close to doubling their lead with a header which goes just over the bar.


    Shaf from Bedford: Fergie may have taken United to 20 league titles but Suarez might cancel the advantage out fairly soon with this new deal.

  220. 1319: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    Philippe Coutinho is pulling the strings for Liverpool this afternoon, cutting in from the left and leaving his marker on his backside before firing a shot against the post from a narrow angle. The boy has magic in his boots.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Stacy Phillips: Suarez: Suarez - The rampant straw that will unfortunately break Malky Mackay's back?

    Ste Stainton: Will ANYONE stop Luis Suarez scoring? Unbelievable talent.

    Isaac Wolofar: Hodgson and England has got a task on hand on how to deal with this Suarez. He scores from just nothing.

  222. 1315: 
    Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    A chance for Cardiff to respond when Peter Whittingham whips in a free-kick, but Martin Skrtel does enough to prevent Steven Caulker making any contact at the far post and Simon Mignolet safely gathers.

    BBC Radio 5 liveLiverpool 1-0 Cardiff
    Juliette Ferrington

    BBC Radio 5 live's Juliette Ferrington is keeping a close-eye on Cardiff owner Vincent Tan. How did he take his side falling behind?

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 1-0 Cardiff

    "Liverpool have been probing for ages, and they were waiting to get the yard of space. Gladly for Liverpool, Luis Suarez was the man to find that space.

    "Most players would have panicked at that as the ball took a long time to come down. Nobody in the ground thought he would miss."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  225. 1309: 
    GOAL- Liverpool 1-0 Cardiff - Luis Suarez (25 mins)

    It's his party and he'll score when he wants to! Luis Suarez celebrates his new contract extension with another sublime finish - rifling home a right-footed volley after being picked out in the area by Jordan Henderson. That's 18 league goals for the season now.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Kyam Harris: Good luck to Malky Mackay in today's match, surely to be hired straight away if sacked.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Ben Newbon: How about the pine martin incident in Switzerland earlier this year, ended up biting a player too!

    Waqar Hussain: The Anfield cat was class!

    Pete Decadent: That squirrel story is a strange tail.

  228. 1307: 
    AS IT STANDS- QPR 0-1 Leicester
    Championship table

    That Leicester goal means that QPR still sit at the top of the Championship table - but only on goal difference. Leicester are breathing down their necks.

  229. 1306: 
    HALF-TIME- QPR 0-1 Leicester

    BBC Sport's Michael Emons: "Despite dominating possession at Loftus Road, Championship leaders QPR trail 1-0 at home as Jamie Vardy's goal has given Leicester a half-time lead.

    "QPR's Niko Kranjcar had an effort headed off the goalline and Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel twice denied Kranjcar and also saved shots from Gary O'Neil and Charlie Austin, before Vardy scored against the run of play.

    "The first half was delayed by four minutes with a squirrel on the pitch and Rangers boss Harry Redknapp will be going nuts if his side fail to pick up any points from this one."

  230. 1305: 
    Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    "Ooh Malky we love you," sing the Cardiff City supporters who are making a right din inside Anfield. They are doing their best to keep the manager in his job. But has the axe already fallen?

  231. 1303: 
    CLOSE!- Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    It's end to end now - Philippe Coutinho cleverly finding Luis Suarez who sees his shot deflected wide.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    "If that had been Jon Flanagan, I think Craig Noone would have tried to dribble past him and shoot from closer range. As it was Mamadou Sakho, he decided he had to shoot early."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  233. 1300: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    Craig Noone, a boyhood Liverpool supporter who once fixed Steven Gerrard's roof before he turned professional, almost puts Cardiff in front with a stinging shot from the edge of the area which Simon Mignolet does well to beat clear. Moments later, Jordon Mutch heads wide from a corner. Good play from the Welsh side.

  234. 1258: 
    Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    Has there ever been a manager who has been sacked at half-time, or walked away from the job?

    MOTD presenter Gary LinekerLiverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    "Can Cardiff hold off Liverpool for 90 minutes? Can Malky Mackay hold on to his job for 90 minutes?"

  236. 1256: 
    GOAL- QPR 0-1 Leicester - Jamie Vardy (41 mins)

    Route one and against the run of play, but Leicester won't mind. David Nugent's flick-on sets Jamie Vardy free on goal and the striker shows fine composure to fire home from the angle. QPR's unbeaten home record in the Championship is under threat.

  237. 1254: 
    Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    Pat Nevin is right - the good times seem to be back at Anfield. They are pinging the ball about nicely and seem to have a wealth of options going forward this afternoon thanks to the fluidity of their system - Luis Suarez getting good support from the likes of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and even Jordan Henderson.

  238. 1253: 
    GAME OFF- Newport County P-P AFC Wimbledon

    We have a casualty in League Two as Newport County's clash with Wimbledon is OFF - waterlogged pitch at Rodney Parade.

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    "It has been like the Liverpool of old watching them at home this season. It is beautiful football and they create a lot of chances."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  240. 1252: 
    CLOSE!- Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    What a ball! Jordan Henderson sets Raheem Sterling free on goal with a delightful pass from the halfway line and the winger pulls the ball back for Luis Suarez but the Uruguayan striker sees his effort charged down well by Andrew Taylor.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Kieron Steele: I've heard of a fox in the box but a squirrel?!

    Jamey Barron: There was that dinosaur that interrupted play last time Liverpool seriously changed for the title...

    Nathan Westley: The Loftus Road squirrel showed some intelligent runs, outwitted 11 Rangers & 11 Foxes.

  242. 1250: 
    Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    Malky Mackay continues to sport a red and black striped tie - the colours introduced to Cardiff City by Vincent Tan. I wonder if he was tempted to go with a dark blue number this afternoon?

    Vincent Tan
  243. 1248: 
    Loftus Road squirrel

    It appears that this afternoon is not the first time a squirrel has disrupted a game at Loftus Road. He made a guest appearance last year in the 1-1 draw with Everton - though I can't say for sure whether it is the same squirrel or not...

  244. 1248: 
    CLOSE!- Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    A cracking start for Liverpool as they pile the pressure on Cardiff - Joe Allen showing good commitment to pull the ball back for Luis Suarez who fires a shot into the side-netting.

  245. 1245: 
    KICK-OFF- Liverpool 0-0 Cardiff

    A rousing rendition of 'You'll never walk alone' and we are under way at Anfield...

  246. 1244: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    It's a fair bet that Cardiff City supporters have never taken as many banners to an away ground as they have today for a long time. Will the groundswell of support for Malky Mackay have any effect on Vincent Tan at all?

    Former Scotland winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    "Anything could have happened after Luis Suarez was linked with a summer exit, but Brendan Rodgers has played it wonderfully. The Liverpool fans have also stood by him.

    "His agent would have been doing a poor job if he has not got a release clause in his deal if Liverpool do not make the Champions League. When the time is right, I am sure that information will be leaked."

    Listen to commentary of Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  248. 1242: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Cardiff City are wearing their more traditional blue kit this afternoon, as opposed to their home kit of all-red which was introduced by Vincent Tan. "We'll always be blue," reads one banner in the Cardiff end of Anfield.

  249. 1240: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    As the players congregate in the tunnel, the Liverpool PA announcer reads out the teams. Needless to say, Luis Suarez gets the biggest cheer of the afternoon so far.

  250. 1239: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Vincent Tan has just taken his place in the Liverpool directors' box, wearing the old suit, shades and leather gloves combo. Fetching.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Rhys Rosser: The squirrel incident at Loftus Road is nuts.

    Come on Rhys, you can do better than that. Can anyone else recall any other similar incidents in sport where an animal has stopped play? The Blackburn chicken was impressive...

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Alex Stott: Football clubs are not good businesses and are self sufficient at best. Being a good owner means no one hears from you.

    Sam Levey: Does Tan really think a 'big name manager' is going to join Cardiff after the way he's dealing with MM?

    Rian Hoskins: Tan is complaining about signings but the only big transfer that hasn't worked for Cardiff is Cornelius, who has had injuries.

    Football FocusLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    BBC Match of the Day's Steve Wilson at Anfield on Malky Mackay's future as Cardiff City boss:

    "Those meetings were with owner Vincent Tan and chairman Mehmet Dalman. Tan flew in from Malaysia.

    "There is no reason to believe the policy has changed and that policy is to relieve Malky Mackay of his duties. Mackay has played a straight bat at Anfield today.

    "Dalman will be involved in finding a replacement. I reckon there is every chance Malky Mackay will be at a club as good as Cardiff before Cardiff City get a manager as good as Malky Mackay."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Nathan Land: 'There's only one squirrel'. Great banter from the QPR fans.

    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Statisticians Opta: 12 - 12 of Luis Suarez's 17 Premier League goals this season have been scored at Anfield; from just 5 appearances. Haven.

  256. 1231: 
    ARE LIVERPOOL THE BEST?- Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Liverpool know they stand a good chance of being top of the Premier League if they take all three points today. The last time that happened was in 2008 - and manager Brendan Rodgers reckons that would be the perfect tonic for his side.

    "Being top at Christmas would certainly be a statement," he said. "I'd rather be there. It shows getting to near enough the halfway point of the season you're the best team."

    Are Liverpool the best team? Let me know...

  257. 1230: 
    QPR 0-0 Leicester

    More squirrel news as David Nugent chases it off the pitch - only for it to come back on. Finally, after three minutes of action resembling a Carry On movie, the animal is ejected from the stadium.

  258. 1229: 
    QPR 0-0 Leicester

    I'm not joking - there's been a two-minute delay at Loftus Road because there is a squirrel on the pitch, and it's refusing to budge. Harry Redknapp and Nigel Pearson are not seeing the funny side...

  259. 1224: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Having made Luis Suarez one of the best paid players in the world, Liverpool have certainly made a statement about their future intentions - and chairman Tom Werner believes the club can once more compete at the very top for both trophies and players now.

    "We are working very hard to keep our best players here," Werner told the Liverpool Echo. "This demonstrates our commitment to build a team that competes at the highest level both in the Premier League and in Europe.

    "Luis is a world class talent. Whenever he's on the pitch we have a chance to win."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Kassim Sodiq: A Suarez hat-trick today to add to the contract he signed, perfect Christmas gift.

  261. 1220: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    So what has persuaded Luis Suarez to stick with Liverpool for the long term after it looked like he would leave last summer?

    He told Liverpool TV: "I love the city and the supporters. They have helped me and I try my best on the pitch.

    "It was a difficult time after the summer, but they helped me come back and play and I think when supporters help you off the pitch you try your best to make them happy on the pitch."

    Football Focus

    BBC pundit and former Arsenal striker John Hartson on recent managerial departure on Andre Villas-Boas: "It will be a while before we see Villas-Boas in a top, top job again. He spent an awful lot of money, top four was a must but they have taken some heavy defeats. Too many and the writing was on the wall."


    Paul in Dundee: Am I the only one who thinks that Tan is playing some sort of psychological masterstroke with all this publicity? Cardiff to win 1-0 and Mackay and Tan to waltz across the Anfield turf.

  264. 1217: 
    MACKAY SPEAKS- Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Cardiff manager Malky Mackay: "These (on whether he received an ultimatum from owner Vincent Tan about his future) are things I will deal with in time.

    "Right now, my whole focus is on the game here, make no mistake about that. My duty is to my team, my football club and my support. An hour before game my whole focus is on the game in hand.

    "It (the support) is quite humbling. A lot of nice people have said some kind things about me and it is nice to hear but it is about making sure I do my job and do it properly. That is what I have always done and what I am going to do today.

    "Liverpool are a top team. Brendan Rodgers is a good friend of mine and has made this team flourish."

  265. 1215: 
    KICK-OFF- QPR v Leicester

    We're under way in the Championship, where third-placed Leicester are hoping to draw level on points with leaders QPR.

    Former Scotand winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    "Vincent Tan appears to have been angered about the extra summer expense, but who allowed that money to go out the club? It has to go through a financial offer, Malky Mackay would not have signed the cheques himself."

    Listen to build-up to Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.


    James in Bournemouth: As a Liverpool fan, today worried me as it reminds me of the Hull game. Huge unrest at the club the night before and everyone writing them off and predicting an easy Liverpool result - and we all know how that turned out.

  268. 1214: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    There are no worries at Liverpool, where the Kop must be delighted to see Luis Suarez sign a new deal. At 26 and approaching the prime of his career, can he finally help end Liverpool's league title drought?

    "I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term," Suarez said.

    "I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Dex Fitzgerald: Whatever you think of Cardiff City, Malky Mackay is a class act!

  270. 1211:  
    Former Scotand winger Pat Nevin at AnfieldLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)
    Malky Mackay

    "It has been extraordinary to see the way Malky Mackay has reacted. He stayed out on the pitch even when all the players went back in.

    "He could have been soaking up the atmosphere, or maybe he wanted to stay away from Vincent Tan? It was very strange."

    Listen to build-up to Liverpool v Cardiff on BBC Radio live now.

  271. 1209: 

    In Scotland, Hearts travel to Celtic Park having conceded 10 goals against the Scottish Champions already this season.

    Their first league meeting of the season ended in a 3-1 win for Celtic and Neil Lennon's side also recorded a 7-0 triumph against Hearts in the Scottish Cup.

    Lennon's men are looking to preserve or extend their seven-point lead in the Scottish Premiership, with second-place Inverness hosting Aberdeen later today.

    You can follow the action in a separate Scottish live text commentary now.

  272. 1208: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    If Malky Mackay does leave Cardiff City, who is in line to replace him? The South Wales Echo say the club will turn to a "big name young foreign manager", with ex-Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer among the early favourites.

  273. 1205: 
    WHO IS VINCENT TAN?- Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)
    Vincent Tan

    We know he's got questionable fashion sense - football shirt under blazer and tucked into trousers - but who is Vincent Tan?

    "Whether it is doughnuts, gyms, phones or lottery tickets, he is the man behind many of Malaysia's biggest brands," writes BBC Sport's Mike Henson in his excellent feature on the Cardiff owner.

    Tan's investment in the club since he joined the board in May 2010 is thought to be around £140m.

  274. 1204:  
    Football Focus BBC Sport, Football Focus

    Football Focus from the largest UK military base in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion, has just started on BBC One.

  275. 1201: 

    Perhaps more importantly, the Cardiff City supporters are firmly behind their manager. They want to wake up on Christmas Day with Malky still at the helm.

    The row centres around Mackay's plan to bring in three players in the January transfer window. However, Vincent Tan used a club statement to say there had been a £15m overspend in the summer.

    "It's a very sad state of affairs. The fans will back Mackay because he is popular," said Tim Hartley, chair of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust.

    "We are used to chairmen and managers of football clubs having spats but to do your dirty washing in public does raise a question of the long term relationship between Malky Mackay and Vincent Tan."

  276. 1156: 

    As you might expect, after guiding Cardiff to the Premier League and overseeing victories over Manchester City and rivals Swansea and a draw against Manchester United whilst there, Mackay's fellow coaches have thrown their full support behind the ex-Norwich and Watford defender.

    "From the outside they should be really thanking Malky, he has done a wonderful job," said Hull City manager Steve Bruce. "He gets them up, and is making a fist of keeping them up."

    And Manchester United manager David Moyes is equally as forthright.

    "It certainly can't be a decision about football because Malky has done everything correctly with the football team, he has prepared them right, he has got them into the Premier League, he has got them competitive, he has got a stadium and a crowd that is right behind him and the team," said Moyes.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcfootball

    Shaun Bridgeman: Am I the only Liverpool fan concerned that Cardiff & MM will be out to prove a point today? We cannot afford to be complacent!

    Lifa: As a Chelsea fan , I can't help but admire the way Brendan Rodgers runs his business at Anfield. He's destined for greatness.

    Gibson Lee: As a Liverpool fan I am weary of Cardiff. Siege mentality with all their troubles? Heroic keeper and all that.

  278. 1151: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers decides to stick with a winning side as he keeps the same starting line-up which beat Tottenham 5-0 last Sunday.

    Cardiff boss Malky Mackay makes one change from the win over West Brom last Saturday as midfielder Aron Gunnarsson replaces striker Fraizer Campbell.

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

    Cardiff XI: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Taylor, Medel, Caulker, Turner, Odemwingie, Mutch, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Noone.

  279. 1149: 
    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    For obvious time-related issues, there's only one place to start our build-up. And that's with Cardiff and Malky Mackay.

    The Bluebirds boss held talks with the club's owner Vincent Tan last night following a turbulent week which started when the Malaysian businessman sent Mackay a letter listing at length his grievances with the 41-year-old and giving him the ultimatum to resign or face being sacked.

    The Scot is still at the helm for now - giving the thumbs-up to the cameras when he got off the Cardiff team bus at Anfield. Since then, he's spent a lot of time on the phone in the centre of the pitch...

    Liverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)
    Cardiff fans

    Some of the Cardiff fans heading into Anfield appear to have ditched the last-minute Christmas shopping and spent their morning making protest placards against owner Vincent Tan.

    MOTD's Steve Wilson at AnfieldLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    "If Cardiff owner Vincent Tan sacks Malky Mackay, and who'd bet against it, he guarantees himself a storm of protest from fans already being peddled shirts that are red instead of blue. He guarantees himself a major headache in finding a credible replacement willing to work under his regime, and he might just guarantee himself a swift return to the Championship."

    Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar HamannLiverpool v Cardiff (1245 GMT)

    "Just arriving at Anfield for hopefully another Liverpool win. Confidence should be sky high and Cardiff look in turmoil off the pitch."

    BBC Radio 5 live

    The day's action on 5 live sport kicks-off at midday, with Mark Chapman presenting the build-up to the day's football.

    At 1245 GMT there is full match commentary on Liverpool v Cardiff, as John Murray and Pat Nevin bring all the goals, drama and incidents from Anfield.

    Then at 1500 Ian Dennis and Mark Lawrenson provide commentary from Manchester United's clash with West Ham.

  284. 1141: 
    Football Focus

    Football Focus comes from the largest UK military base in Afghanistan, Camp Bastion, this lunchtime and will include Prime Minister David Cameron, who pitted his wits against Lawro with his Premier League predictions, and a special piece on the future of football in Afghanistan.

    Former West Brom and Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane and ex-Arsenal striker John Hartson will join Dan Walker in talking about this weekend's games, the future of Cardiff boss Malky Mackay and Luis Suarez's new contract.

    You can see Football Focus at 12:00 GMT on Saturday on BBC One and the BBC Sport website (in the UK).

    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    There's plenty to talk about today - and this is where you good people come in. I want to hear from Cardiff supporters about the club's apparent decision to get a new manager. And from Liverpool supporters - how surprised were you to see Luis Suarez signing a new deal and does this now mean he'll stay and lead the club to future glories? You know the drill - #bbcfootball on Twitter or send a text with your name and message to 81111.

  286. 1139: 

    Everything else might be winding down for the festive season, but it's business as usual in the world of sport. Apart from the fact Phil Taylor is out of the World Darts Championships before Christmas, of course.

    Between now and New Year's Day there will be four rounds of Premier League fixtures. Bingo! That also means plenty of time for the managerial merry-go-round to continue apace.

    Before we crack on with some Cardiff and Liverpool chat, here's today's full Premier League programme:

    Liverpool v Cardiff

    Crystal Palace v Newcastle

    Fulham v Man City

    Man Utd v West Ham

    Stoke v Aston Villa

    Sunderland v Norwich

    West Brom v Hull

    And if that's not enough, we've got an early kick-off in the Championship:

    QPR v Leicester

  287. 1134: 
    Luis Suarez

    Meanwhile, over at Anfield, Luis Suarez is a few quid better off after signing a new four-and-a-half-year deal with Liverpool, which will see his earnings rise to £200,000 at the end of the season.

    With their star striker tied down long-term and knowing three points could give them the Premier League's Christmas number one spot, Liverpool supporters must be pinching themselves.

  288. 1130: 
    Malky Mackay

    It's silly season. People are panicking, desperate to have everything in place for a perfect Christmas and new year - and they'll do everything in their power to make sure they get it.

    Nope, I'm not talking about local shopping centres on the last Saturday before Christmas. I'm talking football and the sudden rush of owners sacking their managers.

    Steve Clarke and Andre Villas-Boas have both been given their cards in the last week while Malky Mackay could be taking charge of his final match when Cardiff visit Liverpool in the lunchtime kick-off.

    Madness or sensible footballing decisions? I'll let you be the judge...

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 21 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 Liverpool 17 23 36
No movement 2 Man City 17 31 35
No movement 3 Arsenal 16 16 35
No movement 4 Chelsea 16 14 33
No movement 5 Everton 16 12 31
No movement 6 Newcastle 17 2 30
No movement 7 Man Utd 17 8 28
No movement 8 Tottenham 16 -6 27
No movement 9 Southampton 16 5 24
No movement 10 Stoke 17 -4 21
No movement 11 Swansea 16 1 20
No movement 12 Hull 17 -6 20
No movement 13 Aston Villa 17 -6 19
No movement 14 Norwich 17 -14 19
No movement 15 Cardiff 17 -12 17
No movement 16 West Brom 17 -5 16
No movement 17 West Ham 17 -8 14
No movement 18 Crystal Palace 17 -16 13
No movement 19 Fulham 17 -17 13
No movement 20 Sunderland 17 -18 10

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