Saturday, December 3, 2011

Live - Saturday football


By Tom Rostance
BBC Sport

1322: So no breakthrough as of yet at an emotional Elland Road where the game has fallen a bit flat.
1321: HALF-TIME Leeds 0-0 Millwall
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Chelsea fan Lee on text, via 81111: "Our defence is appalling no doubt, but Mata and Sturridge are so entertaining."
1317: That was only Frank Lampard's fourth penalty miss in the Premier League by the way. Another minute, another chance meanwhile as Juan Mata first beats his man with a deft touch and then floats in a peach of a cross from the left which Didier Drogba fires over.
1315: Bad news for Newcastle as defender Fabrico Coloccini is forced off with an injury and James Perch comes on. More woe at Leeds who have also lost Michael Brown to injury.
1312: Chance for Newcastle! Great stuff from Peter Lovenkrands on the left to make space for a cross and when it comes in, Demba Ba somehow manages to flick a powerful effort on goal. Petr Cech though makes a good save to tip it over the top. A goal is coming...
1311: A blow for Leeds as midfielder Jonny Howson hurts his knee at Elland Road. The physio signals for the stretcher but Howson is made of strong stuff and he gets to his feet and hobbles to the touchline for further treatment. A decision is quickly made that he cannot continue though and Lloyd Sam comes on. At Newcastle, Daniel Sturridge has another effort but shoots into the side-netting.
1309: BIG chance for Chelsea and again it's Daniel Sturridge. Juan Mata slides in a lovely pass down the side and Sturridge is in on goal but only hits it straight at Tim Krul. Maybe I was a bit premature on his England chances there. Both sides look like they can't defend at the moment though. I predict a goal imminently.
1307: Andre Villas-Boas is adopting his now trademark pose here, hunched down in a sort of squat on the touchline. That cannot be good for his calf muscles. On the pitch, the impressive Daniel Sturridge again cuts inside and whistles a 20-yarder just wide. Sturridge for England's Euro 2012 squad?
BBC Radio 5 live
1255: Former England defender Danny Mills on BBC 5 live: "Absolutely brilliant save, though it wasn't the greatest of penalties. Newcastle survive, and Yohan Cabaye is a lucky man. It was a poor decision by him to make that challenge. He just hung his leg out and it was a penalty.""
Someone has struck the woodwork
1304: This is going to end up 3-3. All of a sudden Chelsea look extremely lively and Daniel Sturridge twists and turns inside the area before lashing a low shot against the post from a tight angle. Great game so far.
1302: Well, well, well. Chelsea are awarded a penalty when Daniel Sturridge bursts into the area and is clipped by Yohan Cabaye. The correct call from referee Mike Dean to be fair to him. Up steps Frank Lampard but his tame kick is well saved by Tim Krul who turns it on to the post.
1300: Newcastle fans are now singing Gary Speed's name as we enter the 11th minute. The fact Chelsea still have 11 men on the pitch is the main talking point though.
1258: Chance at Elland Road as Millwall almost take the lead against the run of play. Leeds goalkeeper Alex McCarthy dives to his right to turn Darius Henderson's downward header round the post. Think Gordon Banks' save to deny Pele, but not quite as good.
1256: More slapstick defending from David Luiz as he attempts an overly elaborate turn and is stripped of the ball by Demba Ba. John Terry manages to recover in time but Newcastle are all over the shop at the back.
BBC Radio 5 live
1255: Former England defender Danny Mills on BBC 5 live: "That had to be a red card for David Luiz, by the letter of the law. Was he denying a goal-scoring opportunity? You don't get more of an opportunity than one-on-one with Petr Cech! It's a blatant red card."
1253: Ryan Taylor takes the free-kick but slams it into the wall. Bizarre decision from Mike Dean, that had to be either not a foul, or a red card. Where he got a booking from is beyond me.
Yellow card
1251: First real moment of danger at Newcastle - and it's a huge let-off for David Luiz. The defender tangles with Demba Ba as the last man - but is only booked by referee Mike Dean. What on earth is that all about? He was last man by about 20 yards. As stonewall a red card as you will ever see.
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Nigel at Elland Road on text, via 81111: "Not a dry eye here today - the match feels irrelevant. The banner (below) refers to commentary of one of Gary's early goals which is famous amongst Leeds fans."
1247: Eleven minutes gone at Elland Road and the Leeds fans begin chanting Gary Speed's name again, in recognition of the shirt number he wore. At Nottingham Forest in midweek, his name was chanted for 11 minutes. Robert Snodgrass has a clipped cross-shot cleared off the line.
1245: The players are out on the pitch at Newcastle where there is a rousing minute's of applause for Gary Speed. Newcastle coach John Carver is very upset. Speed by the way scored his first goal for Newcastle in this fixture - a 3-1 defeat of Chelsea in 1998.
1240: No real chances at Elland Road, where a huge banner is being passed around the ground by the supporters. It reads: 'Go on Gary Speed, get one yourself'
1235: A reminder that you can listen to live radio commentary from Elland Road on BBC 5 live sports extra via the link on the top right of the screen. Also there is a link to 5 live sport which will have Newcastle v Chelsea at 1245 and Manchester City v Norwich at 1500. We are a one-stop shop of football action right here.
1232: In emotional scenes at Elland Road, the Leeds anthem "Marching on Together" is sung with even more passion than normal as Gordon Strachan, flanked by a tearful Gary McAllister and David Batty, carries a wreath on to the pitch. A minute's applause follows with cries of Speedo from the terraces. The match has now kicked off.
BBC Radio 5 live
1231: Former Leeds United manager Kevin Blackwell on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Gary Speed was an absolute first-class person and an absolute privilege to work with. He was someone dedicated to making the best of what he had. I tried to sign him when I came to Leeds United, but Bolton nicked him. By the Billy Bremner stand it's been chock-a-block. It will be massively emotional today. Leeds fans are some of the best fans in the world and they will give a massive ovation to Speedo. I'm glad I'm here today."
Newcastle v Chelsea
Phil Dawkes reports:
"Newcastle make just one change to the side that drew 1-1 at Old Trafford last weekend, with the suspended Jonas Gutierrez replaced by Peter Lovenkrands. For the 13th time this season, United are able to field the same defence that has conceded the equal fewest in the division (12). Frank Lampard returns to the Chelsea midfield, in place of Raul Meireles, who drops to the bench. This is the Blues only change, with striker Fernando Torres again having to settle for a place on the bench. Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge start up front."
Newcastle v Chelsea
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Lovenkrands, Guthrie, Cabaye, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Ba. Subs: Harper, Santon, Perch, Gosling, Best, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Lampard, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata. Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Malouda, Meireles, Bosingwa, Kalou, Bertrand.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
1228: John Hartson, talking on Football Focus, pays tribute to ex-international team-mate and friend Gary Speed: "It's easy to call people a legend but he's well worthy of the plaudits. Wales is still in mourning. He was an icon because of the effort he put in on the pitch. It's tragic."
Newcastle v Chelsea
Phil Dawkes reports:
"Newcastle boss Alan Pardew knows how much sweeter his players' Christmas dinner will taste (not literally) if they are still in the top four come 25 December. Full-back Ryan Taylor said: "The Gaffer mentioned today, 'Imagine having your Christmas dinner sitting in fourth position'. What a fantastic achievement that would be. Standing in their way today are Chelsea - a rival for that top four spot - who are better away from home according to manager Andre Villas-Boas. "We might perform better away because the players [are] more concentrated," he suggested."
1224: Footage of Gary Speed with the old First Division trophy and a montage of his goals is being beamed into Elland Road to rapturous applause ahead of the teams emerging from the tunnel.
1223: BBC local radio stations across the land are providing FA Cup commentary as well - and you can find all the details right here.
1220: The first chants of Gary Speed are ringing out at Elland Road as the supporters of Leeds United prepare to pay their own tributes to the midfielder. Worth mentioning as well that alongside the Championship we have plenty of FA Cup second round fixtures on the cards this afternoon. We'll bring you the best shocks as we go.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCENE-SETTER: It's top versus bottom at the Keepmoat Stadium, as Doncaster host Southampton looking for only their second win in 10. Second-placed West Ham, just two points behind the leaders, host Burnley. At the other end of the table Ipswich, who have lost the last six, host Watford while Nottingham Forest - who slipped into the bottom three in midweek - travel to Brighton, who have won their last two.
Newcastle v Chelsea
Phil Dawkes reports:
"Where do we direct our attention first? Well, that depends on how you rank over and under-achievement. Fourth-placed Newcastle are fulfilling the former with last week's draw at Old Trafford disproving the idea they would get completely found out in a taxing trio of recent fixtures, of which this is the third. Fifth-placed Chelsea are locked in the latter having lost five of their last nine matches and AVB having to discredit suggestions he is under pressure on a daily basis. Throw all that together and we've got a potential cracker on our hands."
1215: With half an hour to go before the first top-flight kick-off, let's see what Phil Dawkes is expecting on Tyneside.
1213: Football Focus is about to kick off, and the guests are John Hartson, Steve Staunton and Rafa Benitez. If you hit refresh again then you will be able to watch it right here at the top of this page.
1210: Former Leeds midfielder Gary McAllister told BBC Sport: "It's still pretty raw in Yorkshire. With people you've won something with there's that camaraderie, that togetherness which is essential to win. As soon as you meet any of that team, within a couple of minutes you're back talking about it. There is a unique bond between that group and Gary was a popular player and all the guys in that dressing room loved him."
BBC Radio 5 live
1207: Leeds title-winning trio David Batty, Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan will lead tributes to former team-mate Gary Speed at Elland Road ahead of United's game with Millwall, which kicks off at 1230 GMT and is live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.
1204: Of course, this afternoon's game will be tinged with sadness as supporters around the country pay tribute to Gary Speed. Speed spent six years with Newcastle and a planned celebration of his life has been postponed until the next home game with Swansea on 17 December at the request of his widow Louise - who is attending a similar event at his first club Leeds today. There will still be a minute's applause for Speed at St James' Park - and at every Premier League game this weekend.
1200: So all in all, the pressure is on for Chelsea today. And there are easier places to be heading at the moment than Sports Direct Arena where Alan Pardew's boys are unbeaten this term. What do you think? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag #BBCFootball, Tweet me @TJRostance or text in via 81111 (UK)

1155: So comically-haired David Luiz keeps his place despite the fact Chelsea have been shipping goals left, right and centre. Meanwhile, Newcastle have become a fixture in the top four. This football lark is not so predictable any more is it? Chelsea lost against Liverpool in midweek and the Blues have now lost five of their last nine in all competitions. With Arsenal back on song and Tottenham flying, can they even make it into next year's Champions League?
1154: If you could all hit refresh quickly, that would be spot on.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS: That Chelsea backline will be tested by the pace of Peter Lovenkrands as he is handed a start, while Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye are also in. Daniel Sturridge starts for Chelsea alongside Didier Drogba so there is no place for Fernando Torres.
1152: Yep, Alan Pardew has had a fantastic start to the season while Andre Villas-Boas most certainly hasn't. I expected AVB to be resembling a young Jose Mourinho by now in charge of an unstoppable juggernaut with a defence tighter than Mick Quinn's wristwatch. But not so.
1149: Morning all, and I tell you what, it's a cracking day in Salford. That's not a sentence I thought I'd be writing on the first weekend in December. And here's another one - Newcastle host Chelsea and you could be very, very tempted to say they start as favourites.
By Phil Dawkes
BBC Sport

1146: Thank you very much for all your contributions this morning. As Yaya's favourite singer would say, I will always love you. I'm going to leave you now in the capable hands of Mr Tom Rostance. I'll see thee.
Tom Woods on Twitter: "RE: 11.27 it's not right, but it's OK."
1144: Speaking of big Yaya, here's another quote from his Daily Mail interview: "I kept the teamsheet from the United match. Later on I called my friends in paris to tell them we'd won 6-1. They said: 'What? On PlayStation?'" Whitney Houston though Yaya? Seriously?
Stephen Bickerstaffe on Twitter: "I think with his performances (and size) Yaya has earned the right to listen to what he likes, I won't argue with him one bit."
Robbie Devenney on Twitter: "I think England's group could a number of ways. It just depends what England and France turn up to the tournament."
Billy Walker-Lane on Twitter: "Overreaction about England's travel in Euros. Silly really, Krakow to Kiev is only 40 miles farther than Plymouth to Glasgow."
1135: You've got your own thoughts, theories and predictions, but what does a former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland centre-back, who has since forged a career in the media think of today's matches, I sense you wondering. Luckily, we've employed Mark Lawrenson to serve this very purpose. See what he and this week's challenger, actor John Simm, think will happen in the Premier League this weekend.
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From Matt in Notts, via text: "It would seem that saying 'you heard it here first' justifies the most farcical statements. Since this is the case...Norwich to beat Man City to then go on and win the league! You know the rest...."
1127: I have some shocking news to bring you (unless you've already read today's Daily Mail or watched Sky Sports News this morning... in that case I'm just repeating it). Are you ready? Okay, here it is... Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is a big Whitney Houston fan. Yaya's brother Kolo has told him it is bad for his image. I wholeheartedly concur.
Fraser Marnie on Twitter: "Dear England fans. Why are France a so called "weaker team"? Didn't they beat you at Wembley earlier this year?"
1123: During his time as Leicester boss, Martin O'Neill confided that he was a "Sunderland fanatic as a kid because of Charlie Hurley." Irish-born Hurley is a former Sunderland centre-half and captained the side in the 1960s. He was voted the club's Player of the 20th Century. O'Neill's affections probably aren't going to harm his popularity on Wearside.
Paul Epton on Twitter: "2002 world cup group of death. Didn't want it but brought out the best in us. We underwhelm against weaker teams. Bring it on."
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From Jim in Birmingham, via text: "Man City will effectively win the league today when Villa beat utd in a surprise result & Spurs jump up to second. You heard it here first."
1118: O'Neill will apparently be in the directors' box for Sunday's match at Wolves. Sky Sports News are also reporting that the 59-year-old has arrived at the Sunderland training ground this morning. Putting two and two together, I'm guessing he's there to watch them train. Or maybe they just serve a genuinely top-notch breakfast buffet? If so let's hope he's brought a 12 inch plate with him.
Daanish Diwan on Twitter: "Arsenal became known as "chokers" after that 3-2 shocker against Wigan in 2010. Full circle? Lets hope so. Optimistic Gooner."
Marek on Twitter: "It would be nice if Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheff Utd would win their matches #RIPGarySpeed"
1112: As mentioned earlier, Steve Bruce departed as Sunderland boss this week (Wednesday in fact). And the Black Cats have wasted no time in replacing him, it would seem. Former Wycombe, Norwich, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has reportedly agreed to fill the vacancy. Much to the delight of the red and white striped Wearside.
Rich Foster on Twitter: "Villa are going to get hammered today, only saving grace is that come January we may be rid of McLeish"
Al Simons on Twitter: "Going to see my Arsenal-fan Father-in-Law today wearing my Spurs shirt and holding a copy of the leage table... can't wait!"
1108: There are going to be a few beads of sweat on the brows of Dutch, German, Danish and Portuguese players this morning as they contemplate being stuck with each other in Group B. It's like the semi-final of X Factor, except all four contestants are good instead of utterly, utterly terrible.
1106: Of course, England aren't the only team in the tournament, which is a shame because they would have a better chance of winning it (although we'd still probably get knocked out in the quarters on penalties). No, Ireland are also attending and find themselves in Group C along with Spain, Italy and Croatia. Ouch. Although, if you think that's bad...
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From Chris in Basingstoke, via text: "FOOTBALL 13 games in and people are saying that today's games are season defining. Calm down. Saying that, I think if Chelsea lose today, they could be relegated."
1100: It wouldn't be the English press without some criticism of the national team and this has centered around England's decision to stick with the Polish city of Krakow as their base, despite all three of their group games being played in Ukraine. This means the squad will travel over 4000 miles to and from fixtures. The other teams in the group are all based in Ukraine, by the way, because, you know, it's like practical and that.
Samuel Davies on Twitter: "This is Sam's girlfriend, get off Twitter and away from the football and take me shopping! :)"
1055: Unlike my colleague Mr Lyon, I can assure you I'm above bribery. I like to think of myself as the Elliott Ness of the BBC text commentary world. Or maybe I'm nothing but a lot of talk and a BBC badge?
Arthur on Twitter: "Let me see if this works on Phil... If Chelsea lose today, I'll buy you a palace, the Queen's Palace, to be exact."
1052: "FABulous," declares the Daily Mail, "Ukraine Dance," says the Daily Mirror, "Phew!" exhales the Sun, all of which believe that Fabio Capello's men should be second round bound come 19 June next year.
Tom Robinson on Twitter: "Really tough month of fixtures for Villa. Could find ourselves in totally different situation come 2012."
Andreas Mallia on Twitter: "Some fans are getting abit ahead of themselves. It's December not may. Season still has a long way to go."
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From Carl in Newcastle, via text: "Everyone is going on about if chelsea don't win today big questions need to be asked, newcastle are no push overs and i think they have a better chance of winning. TOON TOON!!!"
1045: Understandably, this morning's papers are awash with all things Euro 2012, in particular England's selection in Group D of the tournament along with Ukraine, Sweden and France. The general concensus appears to be overwhelming positivity. Which is unlike the papers in the build-up to a major tournament featuring England.
Benjamin Howells on Twitter: "If Tottenham win today, top 4 is pretty much guaranteed, I think it's that big a game. We'll start being taken seriously."
1040: It has also been an emotional seven days, with the football world still coming to terms with the death of Gary Speed. Last Sunday saw tributes at the Liberty Stadium and Anfield and today will see further honouring of the former Wales player and manager across the country. In particular, at Elland Road, where Speed played for Leeds between 1988 and 1996, there will be a pre-match ceremony attended by his wife Louise and former United midfield team-mates Gary McAllister, Gordon Strachan and David Batty
Football Focus presenter Dan Walker on Twitter: "This will he our final shot on Football Focus today. Hopefully we'll do him proud #GarySpeed "
Cfc_jbj on Twitter: "Regardless of the results AVB gets over the next few matches we can't sack him. No manager could win anything with our old squad"
1035: This week has been an eventful one. We've seen Palace shock Man Utd in the Carling Cup, Steve Kean hold on to his job but Steve Bruce lose his, all but one of our Europa League teams damage their hopes of progression and the Euro 2012 finals draw take place during a ceremony that lasted about 15 hours*.
* Not really, but it sure felt like it.
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From Dan in Stourbridge, via text: "Can we get a shout out for Stourbridge today, in the FA Cup second round for the first time ever and a home tie against Stevenage, c'mon you Glassboys!"
1030: Also on the card today is a full programme of Championship fixtures, starting at Elland Road and ending at Ashton Gate, 17 FA Cup second round matches and a shed load of action from Scotland. Let's be honest, you'd be mad to go shopping. So back slowly away from your wallet, stick the kettle on and get ready for a concerted spell of sitting.
Iain Russell on Twitter: "Here we go, the beginning of a 4 game winning streak for Blackburn starts today!!"
Levi Barrow on Twitter: "Huge game today. A loss could hand City an unassailable lead at the top with a trip to Eastlands one of our remaining fixtures!"
Will McFerran on Twitter: "Massive game for Chelsea today, possibly there biggest in Abramovich era, lose and serious questions need asking!"
1026: So, today we start with an over-achiever against an under-achiever, before the leaders attempt to be even more leadery, the bottom club hope to be less bottomy, and all sorts of issues in-between are advanced another step, with an intriguing final salvo from Villa Park. And that's just the top-flight.
1024: I tell you what, though, in all the excitement about today, I forgot that Fleetwood and Yeovil played in the FA Cup last night. And drew 2-2. You can read about it as well on this site. There are details and everything.
1022: A bit of breaking news from north of the border to tell you about. Celtic captain Scott Brown has signed a new contract which will keep him at Parkhead until 2015.
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From Anon, via text: "Nail on head Phil. Been up an hour and already spent half that time in Harvey Nic's* with the missus. Need a strong Toon performance to keep my spirits up!"
* Other department stores with maze-like make-up sections and dire Christmas soundtracks full of gawping, slow-moving erratic pedestrians are available.
1017: Before I get cracking with a round-up of what has been going on this week, let's have a quick look at what matches we have in store for us today. Here's Saturday's Premier League fixtures in full:
Newcastle v Chelsea (1245 GMT)
Blackburn v Swansea (1500)
Man City v Norwich (1500)
QPR v West Brom (1500)
Tottenham v Bolton (1500)
Wigan v Arsenal (1500)
Aston Villa v Man Utd (1730)
John Hiley on Twitter: "Massive game for Spurs today to prove their title credentials. It's these games they've struggled with in the past."
Nathan Buckton on Twitter: "An FA Cup AND Premier League Saturday is way more exciting than a turkey and a tree."
1012: However, like some sort of technologically-advanced Santa, I can't do my job properly without hearing from you first, not by grovelling letter but via the medium of Twitter and text. As always, you can Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @phildawkes or text in via 81111 (UK).
1008: And what action there is. All of the Premier League top four and the bottom three are playing, along with the vast bulk of the Championship and 34 sides in the FA Cup. I haven't even mentioned Scotland yet. But have now.
1005: Yes, as you attempt to navigate your way through the make-up section maze of half-a-dozen department stores, obstructed at every turn by gawping, slow-moving, erratic pedestrians, with Slade and Mud ringing in your ears, me and my band of BBC Sport elves will be here working our baubles off to bring you everything you need to know about the day's action.
1000: There is a good chance you'll be hitting the mean shop-lined streets of your nearest city today, with only your mobile phone, this website and the way they magically combine to beam the day's football information directly into your eyes to save you from the sheer festive horror of it all.
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