That's it from me
Thanks for all your emails and tweets. It was a fascinating afternoon's football, with several joyous surprises, a couple of firsts (the away win for Southampton and the first league win of the season for Reading) and another poor away performance from Chelsea, which leaves them with work to do to catch the two Manchester clubs. Come later tonight, we could also have our first Premier League managerial casualty of the season. Journalists will be monitoring the Twitter feed of Tony Fernandes with interest.
But I was on U2.5 goals in the Newcastle v Swansea game, which has finished 1-2 after two goals in the last three minutes. You can just imagine my delight, but well done Swansea who are spitting in the eye of those who said they would suffer from second-season syndrome. Meanwhile Matt Dony writes:
Yes, Paul Bergin. I did actually spend a few seconds deciding on which way to go, and ultimately decided there was greater humour to be elicited from a sub-9 number, even though I knew that the classic No8 was ill-fitting. It was a form-over-substance decision. Sorry. I won't do it again.
And another upset: West Brom have beaten Chelsea 2-1! West Brom were nearly 3-1 to win this morning (no I wasn't on it).
And Southampton have notched up their first away win of the season. As Mark Hughes disappears down the tunnel the boos are ringing in his ears ...
Reading have just won their first Premier League match of the season! They've beaten Everton 2-1. Well done them.
Newcastle have pulled a goal back - they are now 1-2 down but not yet out ...
Southampton are pressing for a fourth! I wrote this about Nigel Adkins a couple of weeks ago - glad to see he has been given a little bit of time. Meanwhile Simon McMahon is back.
In news from Scotland, Hibs (who started the day top) are somehow losing 3-0 to Dundee (who started, and will finish, the day bottom).
Teams hanging on special: Reading, West Brom. There are about five minutes left in both games. Meanwhile Vikram Singh writes:
I feel Matt Donny, for consistency's sake, should add points for Suarez's undeniable ingenuity in the penalty area, and in his general all-round play. I'd rate him a fine 9.7, and a 10 on 10 today. He's made a chilly evening in Kabul very agreeable.
Dear oh dear. Guzman has just scored to make it Newcastle 0-2 Swansea,. That's two poor home defeats in a row for Alan Pardew's side now ...
Meanwhile Paul Bergin is confused:
Does Matt Dony mean to say that Suarez partially resembles a number 8 i.e. ball-carrying midfielder? Although I guess his behavioural issues resemble the headless chicken field-play often demonstrated by Liverpool's current no.8. Maybe he meant a 9.3, that resembling more of a mix between 9 & 10.
I think he was making a joke, Paul ...
Now it's 3-1 Southampton! An Anton Ferdinand looks like giving Southampton their first away win of the season ... and Hughes' career is hanging by 140 (or less) Twitter characters
So has Mark Hughes got 10 minutes left on his QPR career? It's still 1-2 at Loftus Road.
Felliani hits the post with a header! It's still Reading 2-1 Everton.
Penalty to Reading! La Fondre steps up and sends Tim Howard the wrong way to give the Royals a 2-1 lead. Can they win their first Premier League game of the season?
Swansea are still 1-0 up at St James'. Meanwhile this from Matt Dony:
I think, (and I'm quite sure Brentan would agree), that Suarez's true position is the classic 8.7. To a casual observer, it's rounded up to the No9 role, but he offers something slightly different. Mainly, that something is inconsistency in the penalty area. I'm glad the goals are rolling in this season, but he still does miss some strange chances.
Southampton are dominating at Loftus Road ... they've had lots many chances but have not been able to extend their lead. I suspect we know how this is going to end ..
Aston Villa are getting hammered! Man City are now 5-0 up after Carlos Tevez tapped home from close range.
Have just had a quick look at the sack race odds ...
Mark Hughes is now 4/7 favourite with Nigel Adkins 8-1. That could change if QPR can get an equaliser at Loftus Road. It's still 1-2 by the way.
Enrique has just made it Liverpool 3-0 Wigan. This will be Liverpool's first win in six matches against the Latics, if memory serves.
Meanwhile Antony Hull is an unhappy man ...
A corner that wasn't for the first goal and two penalties that weren't or the second and third. There's no stopping City now. The officials have handed the Villa kids a drubbing.
And now it's Man City 4-0 Aston Villa ... after Aguero's shot gets the hint of a deflection and flies past Guzan.
Meanwhile it's Man City 3-0 Aston Villa after Tevez slots home another disputed City penalty. That's my bet on this game in (second-half to feature the most goals)
Mata and Oscar on for Chelsea ... and Torres off. "AVB says one game does not decide the league position," points out Simon McMahon. "Yes, but every game counts towards the final standings, and end of season league positions are determined by decisions, incidents, tactics deployed, performance and results in individual matches. Yours, A Pedant."
Saurez makes it Liverpool 2-0 Wigan ... after toe-poking home Enrique's throughball. Perhaps everyone who has been calling him a second-striker not a true No9 needs to start reconsidering?
It's Newcastle 0-1 Swansea! Against the run of play, Michu scores with a header from six yards.
Reading, dreadful for 45 mins, look a different team now. So do Everton.— Neil Jones (@neiljonesecho) November 17, 2012
GOAL Newcastle 0-1 Swansea. Michu heads in the opening goal on 58 mins as Swansea take advantage of Tim Krul's sliced clearance #NEWSWA— Premier League (@premierleague) November 17, 2012
Southampton are still pressing forward looking for a third. Meanwhile on the subject of Movember Charles Antaki writes:
Admittedly it was via a very blurry South American channel, but I did seem to see a line of fuzz on Theo Walcott's upper lip in the game against Spurs this afternoon. Either he's got the Movember bug, or his football maturity is beginning to express itself in his hormones, but either way, it's all a bit too embryonic to tell. When it gets to the full handlebar, perhaps he'll be putting away air more than his current 20% of chances.
Meanwhile Manchester City are now 2-0 up against Aston Villa after a Aguero scored a dubious penalty
Given by the linesman from a City corner. The Villa players surround the assistant ref. Puzzling decision.— Timothy Abraham (@TimothyAbraham) November 17, 2012
Three goals in the space of a minute across the Premier League! West Brom (Odemwingie 50) 2-1 Chelsea, Liverpool (Saurez) 1-0 Wigan and Reading (Le Fondre 51) 1-1 Everton
Perfect start to the second-half for QPR. Taraabt's cross found Hoilett, who headed home. It's now QPR 1-2 Southampton. Could there be yet another comeback from 2-0 this season? There have been a few ...
Speaking of Movember, John Solako - who is the Sky Sports News commentator - is clearly growing one. Meanwhile Ryan Dunne writes:
It's easy to mock Movember (like many a meterosexual guardianista, I'm not willing to abandon my twice-a-day-and-then-heavily-moisturise shaving routine for any cause!), but I think mad props must be offered Michael Owen's way for the facial fuzz he was rocking on last week's Match of the Day. He reminded one of nothing so much as poor Vito's Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski from The Sopranos, or possibly U2's Edge dressing like one of the Village People circa the Popmart Tour.
Here we go again ... and here's Gary Naylor.
If anyone is seduced by media talk into investing a little wager on Everton to finish fourth, they should have a look at the bench today. It'll be another big achievement to repeat last year's seventh really.
Me think you doth protest too much. I certainly wouldn't give Arsenal about a 60% chance of making the top four, which is what the bookies' prices suggest.
Man City 1-0 Aston Villa
Newcastle 0-0 Swansea
Reading 0-1 Everton
QPR 0-2 Southampton
Liverpool 0-0 Wigan (injury time)
WBA 1-1 Chelsea
Taxi for Mark Hughes?! It's QPR 0-2 Southampton Jason Puncheon cuts in from the right and bananas one into the far corner. Meanwhile Kathleen Smith writes:
Presumably Harry Redknapp is at Loftus Road today ready to enter negotiations with the losing club. As a long suffering Rangers fan might it be possible that the P45 be handed to Hughes at half time and Harry provide us with an immediate new manager bounce in the second half before we head to Old Trafford next week for a hammering?
Manchester City have broken the deadlock at the Etihaad ... they're 1-0 up against Aston Villa thanks to David Silva.
Am keeping half an eye on Liverpool v Wigan. Nothing is happening. It's pretty but not very exciting. Meanwhile on the subject of Movember, Duncan Smith writes:
Both Leon Osman and Leighton Baines are sporting godawful taches. Joey Barton is Sadly missed. It's a travesty that Fellaini hasn't grown one, and put on a gold medallion. There must be some others. Gary Neville?
What was I saying? It's WBA 1-1 Chelsea. Hazard's header gets a deflection off Jones and, against the run of play, Roberto Di Matteo's side are level
Goal given as a Jones OG. Hazard's header might still have sneaked in but Jones' touch ensured Myhill had no chance #wba— Chris Lepkowski (@chrislepkowski) November 17, 2012
No further goals in the Premier League It's WBA 1-0 Chelsea, QPR 0-1 Southampton and Reading 0-1 Everton. The other games are goalless. Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas has been speaking about today's game
Andre: "We played with desire and emotion. The league position is not good but a game does not decide the league position"— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 17, 2012
Random tweet apropo of nothing. Imagine being coached by these two?!
Jari Litmanen is open to a coaching role at Ajax. The thought of him and Bergkamp coaching the next generation (Fischer cld really benefit).— Mohamed Moallim (@jouracule) November 17, 2012
QPR are about as at sea as a competitor in the Vendee Globe round-the-world yacht race. "Tony Fernandes is putting the finishing touches to that P45 letter as we speak," says Paul Bergin. "Not many players seem to be sporting moustaches this year - any Guardian journalists growing one?" Not to my knowledge Paul ...
It's still goalless in the Liverpool v Wigan match. Suso had another half-chance just then, but he volleyed Johnson's cross over the bar.
26. Villa are holding firm despite the increasing City pressure. There's been nothing particularly clear-cut for the Blues as yet— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) November 17, 2012
Wigan's Ben Watson hobbles off at Anfield. He's clearly in pain and I'm not sure he'll be coming back.
A partially cleared Maicon cross drops to Nasri, who scuffs his volley into the turf and gives Guzan a routine save #avfc— Mat Kendrick (@MatKendrick) November 17, 2012
Still Man City 0-0 Aston Villa for those asking. Meanwhile Allan Castle writes:
I wonder if arch Evertonian Gary Naylor is beginning to feel the flutters of anxiety/false hope that fans of teams who Just Might Do Something This Year begin to feel around Christmas. His wry fatalism somewhat gone missing so far this year. PS: as a Gooner I know that fluttery "quadruple" feeling well. But strangely all I can conjure this season is wry fatalism." Let's ask him. Gary, we know you're reading - you're always reading. What say you?
QPR 0-1 Southampton. Ricky Lambert has scored! From a corner Traore cleared a chance off the line but Lambert stuck his head in close to score.
Liverpool are pressing against Wigan ... but pressure hasn't been turned into goals yet. Al Habsi had to be alert there with Suso lurking, mind.
Save from Joe Hart! Beneteke header looked goalward before the City keeper pushed it away with his left hand. "I have to tip my hat to Adebayor. In the space of nine minutes, he turned what seemed to be a dull match for 5th place into a potentially scintillating derby, before subsequently sucking the life out of the match with a ridiculous studs-up challenge," says Daniel Schulworf. "Emmanuel giveth, Emmanuel taketh away." Bit early to call it a dull match early on Daniel -- I was just warming up!
QPR have just had two decent chances against Southampton. It's still goalless, mind ...
Meanwhile Ryan Dunne says:
"Great entertainment in the North London derby (I'm guessing you're regretting not betting on a repeat of last year's 5-2!) but the Glorious Glasgow Rangers have gone one better, humping East Stirlingshire 6-2. Re: sackings. Rather than the stereotypical handing-a-P45, perhaps Hughes will be the first manager to be fired via Twitter? One can understand Hughes' boss thinking that approach would be both consistent with the Modern Communications Social Media Paradigm yada yada and also less likely to result in confrontation from the stereotypical hardman Hughes."
At Anfield, Wigan are pinging it around the own half ... without actually threatening. That said, Watson has just come close with a 25-yarder than flew over the bar.
Meanwhile at the Hawthorns Chelsea are behind! Shane Long has a scored a 10th-minute goal.
Everton are 1-0 up at Reading. Naismith has scored from six yards after following some shoddy defending and a decent cross from Jelavic.
Early drama at the Hawthorns - Ridgewell has just cleared Bartrand's shot off the line. Meanwhile Southampton are dominating at QPR and have hit the post ...
6. First glimpse of goal for City as Aguero tried to hook Nasri's corner goal-bound and Tevez couldn't direct his close-range header— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) November 17, 2012
No early goals in the Premier League yet ... Meanwhile thanks to Peter Corway who points out that Phil Neville is injured. "Jelavic seemingly inspired by Ibrahimovic tried an acrobatic volley unmarked at the back post, proving he's sadly no Zlatan," says Duncan Smith. Who is Duncan?
We're off! "Feeling for Villa today, sneaky point for them at decent odds...?" says Adam Hirst. I'd be surprised but you never know. Have backed the second half to be the highest scoring.
An email from Duncan Smith. "Do you, or anyone out there know what's happening with Phil Neville? He isn't listed as injured but he's not even in the squad. I somehow can't imagine that he's been out on a wild night out. It's odd that the captain isn't even on the bench for cover." I don't Duncan. But given that he's about to offered a new contract I'd be surprised if there was anything heated behind it.
So, 10 minutes to go. Any predictions? Imagine a few people will be having a Man City, Everton, and Liverpool short-priced treble, but given the latter's home form I certainly wouldn't be sticking the Ingle Family Silver* on it
*There is no Ingle Family Silver
Manchester City v Aston Villa Mario Balotelli has again be left out of the City squad. Maicon and Samir Nasri come in for Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov while Villa are unchanged from the side beaten by Manchester United last week.
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Dzeko, Sinclair, Kolarov, Javi Garcia.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Stevens, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Bannan, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Baker.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Newcastle v Swansea
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Tavernier, Abeid.
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Britton, de Guzman, Dyer, Michu, Hernandez, Shechter. Subs: Cornell, Chico, Graham, Routledge, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Liverpool v Wigan
Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Fernandez Saez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey.
Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Watson, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Miyaichi.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
Reading v Everton
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Roberts, Le Fondre. Subs: Stuart Taylor, Mariappa, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, McCleary, Harte, Cummings.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Fellaini, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Distin, Vellios, Junior, Kennedy, Duffy.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
WBA v Chelsea Interesting team selection from Roberto DI Matteo, who has made five changes for the trip to the Hawthorns. Victor Moses, Daniel Sturridge, Oriol Romeu, Gary Cahill and David Luiz are in for - deep breath - Juan Mata, Oscar, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and the injured John Terry. The Baggies, meanwhile, replace Gareth McAuley with Gabriel Tamas while Zoltan Gera andPeter Odemwingie come in for Chris Brunt and ineligible on-loan Chelsea player Romelu Lukaku.
CFC: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, David Luiz, Bertrand , Mikel, Romeu, Sturridge , Hazard, Moses ,Torres#wba— Chris Lepkowski (@chrislepkowski) November 17, 2012
#wba (4231) : Myhill, Jones, Tamas, Olsson, Ridgewell, Yacob, Mulumbu, Gera, Morrison, Odemwingie, Long.CONFIRMED— Chris Lepkowski (@chrislepkowski) November 17, 2012
QPR v Southampton Both teams are unchanged, with Fabio back on the QPR bench after a two-month absence with a hamstring problem. Meanwhile Southampton are playing 17-year-old Luke Shaw at left-back.
A question ...
... Assuming Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea end in the top three places - and that's up - who do we think is going to finish fourth? For what it's worth, Arsenal are 8-11 favourites, with Everton 3-1, Spurs 7-2, Liverpool 6-1, Newcastle 8-1 and West Brom 20-1.
Good afternoon everyone. So will this be the day? The day when a 40-something man is tapped on the shoulder, handed a freshly-licked envelope containing a P45, and a club statement - using that inevitable smokescreen 'mutual consent' - is put out by either QPR or Southampton? We - and Mark Hughes and Nigel Adkins - are about to find out. Of course 'el sackico' isn't the only tasty-looking 3pm game. Manchester City host Aston Villa, Chelsea head to the midlands to face the Baggies, Wigan are at Liverpool, Reading aim for their first win of the league season against Everton and Newcastle face Swansea.