No worries for City, who celebrate in relief as the whistle goes on their 3-2 victory. They were just toying with you. They remain in third place on 28 points, two points behind Chelsea and six behind the leaders Arsenal. Liverpool and Everton are a point behind City. Manchester United, meanwhile, are down in ninth place on 22 points. Anyone for a game of Big Catch-Up?
GOAL!!! West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Manchester City (Anichebe 90)
This is Manchester City, folks. Anichebe has just buried a low shot, deep into injury time. They couldn't let this slip, could they? There's only a minute of added time remaining, so this would be special even by their long, historical standards.
"I'm very disappointed ... but Everton showed what a good team they are." Poor David Moyes, who at least has come out quickly to face the media. He allows himself a wry smile upon being asked if it hurts doubly to lose to the club he left in the summer, leaving it at "I was fortunate to manage Everton, and I'm fortunate to manage Manchester United", before admitting that his side now have to play "big catch-up". That they do. You still wouldn't put it past them, though, no?
GOAL!!! West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Manchester City (Pantilimon og 85)
What a day for Joe Hart!
So let's assume Manchester City, 3-0 up at the Hawthorns with time running out, are going to win today. The top of the table will look like this:
Arsenal (34 pts)
Manchester City (28)
Tottenham Hotspur (24)
That's the final whistle at Craven Cottage, where Tottenham have made off with a fantastic 2-1 victory. Not the best start for Rene Meulensteen, then, but they've played very well indeed, and will take heart for the relegation battle ahead. Meanwhile what a fine away win for Spurs, who were staring down a one-point-from nine scenario, but suddenly are feeling much more chipper, moving up to sixth.
GOAL!!! West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Manchester City (Toure pen 74)
If we didn't already know this was this, that is that.
Not all the games have finished yet, but here's the classifieds as things stand:
Arsenal 2-0 Hull City
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (L)
Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City
Manchester United 0-1 Everton
Southampton 2-3 Aston Villa
Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City
Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea
Swansea City 3-0 Newcastle United
West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Manchester City (L)
Sunderland had a chance to equalise at the death, but Ki took a fresh-air shot on the penalty spot, and skittered around the area on his arse when he really should have been celebrating. And that's that in a brilliant game at the Stadium of Light. No points for Sunderland, but they can take a little heart from pushing Jose Mourinho's title contenders so hard. It ends 3-0 to Swansea against Newcastle. And it's Stoke 0, Cardiff 0. You've let us down, you two!
GOAL!!! Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Holtby 82)
Berbatov has just missed two decent chances. So sure enough, Spurs flood up the other end, Holtby sending a left-footed heatseeker into the top-right corner! A magnificent turnaround by AVB's side!
Well, what a result at Old Trafford. Everton have won at Manchester United for the first time since 1992, a 1-0 victory which is certain to cause David Moyes no little embarrassment. Never mind, the last time this happened, United went on a magnificent run during the second half of the campaign to win the title. Eh?
Stoke have been playing Cardiff, by the way. Tum te tum.
Arsenal have won 2-0 against Hull, and that's their sixth straight home league win. They'll still be four points in the lead at the top of the table, unless Sunderland do something amazing. Liverpool have just won their fourth home game on the bounce, too; the whistle's gone on a 5-1 won over Norwich.
Official Guardian statement: This has been one evening of Premier League football all right!
GOAL!!! Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City (Sterling 88)
There goes the beautiful symmetry of Liverpool's scoresheet. Ah well, you can't have everything. And this just in from Andrew Brodie: "Arsenal have offered £40,000,002 for Suarez. Have to see how Rodgers handles that."
GOAL!!! Fulham 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Chiriches 73)
This one has caused AVB to dance around in the relieved style. A defeat at Craven Cottage wouldn't have been fatal to his reign, but neither would it have helped much. "Sounds like Suarez's right boot is a hand grenade stuffed with hornets who are on their sixth can of Special Brew," suggests Simon McMahon. They're sexually frustrated, as well. They really want to fertilise that queen!
GOAL!!! Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea (Bardsley 86)
Oh Phil! This match is bonkers in the noggin, and it's not the only one either. What on earth is going on tonight?
GOAL!!! Sunderland 2-4 Chelsea (Bardsley og 84)
Oh Phil! Game over! Or is it?
GOAL!!! Manchester United 0-1 Everton (Oviedo 86)
No need for me to go into details, as Daniel Harris is all over this match over here. But look at that scoreline. Oh David!
GOAL!!! Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City (Johnson 83)
It wouldn't be a Liverpool game without Daniel Agger being beaten in the air. And this is what's happened here, as Bradley Johnson grabs a consolation for the visitors. Unless Bradley's got another three in him. Hey, anything Suarez can do ... Meanwhile Alec McAulay has a word to say about "ice cream fascism" (8.55pm): "Can I just say that I also like yummy ice cream and I don't need fancy-dan metrosexual guardianistas droning on and on about it in a typically patronising manner. I can remember when this paper had standards." This is satire, ladies and gentlemen. Below-the-line satire, above the line.
GOAL!!! Southampton 2-3 Aston Villa (Delph 80)
What on earth has happened to Southampton's defence tonight? They never let in goals. But they're letting them in against Villa alright, despite having had the lion's share of the possession in this game. For the third time the visitors go ahead; can they hold on this time? First winning at Arsenal, now this; blimey, Paul Lambert's side certainly know how to give the division's big boys a bloody nose.
GOAL!!! Luis Suarez 4-0 Norwich City (Suarez 74)
He's just pelted a free kick into the top-right corner. This is a preposterous performance. "Sportsnight should be good tonight," suggests Niall Mullen.
Swansea have gone 2-0 up, by the way. They're not getting an orange GOAL! though, because it's not my patch. Paul Doyle has the details.
GOAL!!! Fulham 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur (Dejagah 57)
DejaGAH! That's what under-pressure Andre Villas-Boas may or may not be screaming right at this minute, his team having fallen behind to the winger's opening goal, Berbatov having put him through with a pass, a yawn and an insouciant shrug.
AND ANOTHER!!! Southampton 2-2 Aston Villa (Osvaldo 64)
A tap-in, this one. Villa were ahead for all of five minutes. This is a very strange scoreline for Southampton, who don't usually get themselves embroiled in goalfests.
GOAL!!! Southampton 1-2 Aston Villa (Kozak 64)
Kozak! Who loves ya, baby? Paul Lambert, that's who: the Villa have, by all accounts, been given the royal runaround this evening, but for the second time they've scored against the run of play. Kozak this time with the second whammy.
GOAL!!! Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea (Hazard 62)
"Wouldn't all the hornets in the grenade be killed when the grenade explodes?" wonders Eliot Crowe, who has been thinking a bit too long about Niall Mullen's quip of a few minutes ago. "So, all you need to do once you've pulled the pin is to throw the grenade away?" Well, firstly, never go back to a freshly pulled grenade, did you not learn your Firework Code? But while I'm not really authorised to speak for Niall, I'm guessing he expected the grenade to be some sort of contraption stuffed with jolly baity wasps who would come out swinging when the top was whipped off, rather than packed with wasps and explosiv... hold on, Chelsea have taken the lead again! Eden Hazard! That's his eighth goal of the season, and Jose Mourinho is refusing to allow Arsenal to shake Chelsea off at the top! He's some player is Hazard.
Hazard has just sashayed his way through the Sunderland defence only to batter his shot straight at Mannone. No matter, here's Fernando Torres, ready to put the loose ball aw... ah. Let's not kick a man when he's down. Meanwhile it's half time at West Brom: 2-0 to the visitors Manchester City.
Got a lull going on here. What can you do.
GOAL!!! Sunderland 2-2 Chelsea (O'Shea 50)
Chelsea have faffed around at a corner, and O'Shea has just battered home from close range, latching onto a deflected Brown shot. As things stand, Arsenal will have a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League tonight! "To be fair, even typing 'I like yummy ice cream' below the line is like pulling the pin on a grenade stuffed with hornets," sighs Niall Mullen, one of the world's three reasonable internet commenters.
GOAL!!! Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa (Rodriguez 48)
It was all Saints in the first half, despite the scoreline. And now they've fixed that anomaly, Rodriguez smacking home a header to level the scores. It's half time at Fulham, by the way, where the home side are holding Spurs to a goalless draw.
GOAL!!! Arsenal 2-0 Hull City (Özil 47)
Arsenal started the first half at speed, and they've done it in the second too: Özil has just converted a Ramsey pass, and you'd think this one is over already. "People just don't have these reserves of pique for players on opposing teams?" parrots Alec McAulay of the 8.24pm entry. "Obviously you never read the below-the-line comments." No I don't sir, I'm afraid I don't. "Try this as an experiment - insert the fine old English name 'Shawcross' into a paragraph on the Arsenal game, and stand well back."
Half-time sermon (with Anne Williams)
"I loved the pigeons and pigeon guys on Sportsreel 1963! Thank you so much for that. Oh why can't they bring it back? Not just pigeon-racing, but those very fellas, all of them. And the black & white film and the sane and ordinary presenters ... sigh ... and all of it ..."
Preach on, sister!
If only Sky and the like would dump the swish computers and get the guy with the marker pen and bits of card back in to deal with the graphics (1m 03sec). An old-school desk name plate with the programme's name on it, too, please. And the pigeons and the pigeon guys. Obviously the pigeons and the pigeon guys.
GOAL!!! WBA 0-2 Manchester City (Toure 24)
City haven't been much cop away from home this season, but perhaps they've had enough messing around. They're totally in charge at the Hawthorns. Yaya Toure has just met a low left-wing cross with a gorgeous sidefoot into the bottom corner, one of those where a player opens up his body and lets the ball do all the work. That glided in like an air-hockey puck.
So, I've just seen the Suarez hat-trick. It is simply sensational. The 40-yard effort is a screaming swerver into the top right, the second may be from close range but he had to reshape himself adroitly to hammer home, and the third ... well, it's not quite at Le Tissier level, but that's hardly a stick with which to beat a man. It's a dainty juggle down the inside-left channel followed by an unerring drive. He's walked off the pitch at half-time with a huge grin on his grid, and who can blame him? That really is something else.
Some half-time news
It's half-time at Old Trafford, where Everton are holding their hosts Manchester United to a goalless draw. Saints are trailing Villa at the break, 1-0. Stoke and Cardiff are also goalless at half-time, though Assaidi has had a goal (apparently incorrectly) ruled out for offside. Chelsea are leading 2-1 at Sunderland. And Swansea have taken the lead against Newcastle, just before the break. The half-times, unless stated otherwise ...
Arsenal 1-0 Hull City
Fulham 0-0 Spurs (L)
Liverpool 3-0 Norwich City
Manchester United 0-0 Everton
Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa
Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City
Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea
Swansea City 1-0 Newcastle United
WBA 0-1 Manchester City (L)
It's been a rare old start to tonight's Premier League action. Expect more goals: Hazard is causing more bother to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, while the Fulham-Spurs match has turned into a proper ding-dong end-to-end affair. Having said that, half-time approaches in the majority of the games, and the first whistle's gone at Arsenal, who lead Hull 1-0 at the break.
GOAL!!! WBA 0-1 Manchester City (Aguero 9)
But for all Suarez's pyrotechnics, Sergio Aguero is almost neck and neck with him as striker of the season so far. Suarez has 12 goals in 10, while Aguero now has 17 in 17, and if you factor in the late kick-off time in the Midlands, he's got 30-odd minutes to improve that ratio. The chase is on!
GOAL!!! Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea (Hazard 36)
This is a magnificent turnaround by Chelsea at the Stadium of Light. Eden Hazard with his seventh goal of the season. "For your readers not watching the Liverpool match, I think it is important that you let them know Joe Allen is awful," opines Bryan Tisinger, who surely must be a Liverpool supporter, people just don't have these reserves of pique for players on opposing teams. "I don't think Liverpool could pay another team to take him. On another note, Luis Suarez is pretty good."
HAT-TRICK FOR SUAREZ AGAINST NORWICH! IS THIS EVEN NEWS? Liverpool 3-0 Norwich City (Suarez 35)
He's Le Tissier'd one into the net now. A juggle, a pelt, a complete nonsense, really, when you think about it. What a player this guy is.
The match at the Hawthorns has begun, too. Manchester City have been keeping hold of the ball quite a lot. Nasri has had a pelt from distance, but that one won't be finishing until approximately midnight, so plenty of time left for both teams to do something interesting there. Meanwhile ...
Allan McGregor, who was the boss of Liverpool's Victor Moses at the weekend, has just stepped up to the plate again. The Hull keeper's denied Aaron Ramsey in spectacular fashion, which is not something too many goalkeepers have been able to say this season. Arsenal are still on top at the Emirates, but the flood of goals everyone expected after Bendtner's early strike hasn't arrived.
GOAL!!! Liverpool 2-0 Norwich City (Suarez 29)
Norwich have had a couple of chances to score, apparently, with Flanagan again floundering. But they'll rue passing them up, for it's that man again: Luis Suarez has tapped in from close range (i.e. for him, inside 35 yards) to put a bit of
daylight floodlight between the teams. He's now on a hat-trick; if he gets it, it'll be the third he's scored against the Canaries.
The kind folk working on our picture desk have been working on some pictures, for your leisure and pleasure. Here's their gallery of the David Moyes Respect Memorial game at Old Trafford.
The game's started at Fulham. And it's not a particularly auspicious start for new boss Rene Meulensteen, Stekelenburg forced to turn a dangerous Paulinho piledriver out for a corner in the opening exchanges. I would suggest the only way was up, but Spurs could score, couldn't they. Here's Alec McAulay: "When I used to go up to Govan for my holidays - let me repeat that ... Govan ... holidays ... the TV sport was one of the key signifiers of the foreignness of it all, along with the sight of father drinking lager, not bitter, poured out from a can, not a bottle; square sausage; tomorrow'sDaily Record and yesterday's Daily Worker on weekdays (but the Sunday Post for the fitba); and wicked uncle Archie who used to go up the road to Ibrox instead of across the city to Celtic Park just because the football was better."
IT REALLY IS ALL HAPPENING! Sunderland 1-1 Chelsea (Lampard 17)
Who would second-guess Jose's return to Chelsea? Not us, that's for sure! The ever-dependable Frank Lampard, the Bobby Tambling de nos jours, has put Chelsea on level terms. They didn't sit around sulking, did they? (OK, Jose might have sat around with a face on for a bit, but that's what he does, it's part of his unique charm.)
IT'S ALL HAPPENING! Liverpool 1-0 Norwich City (Suarez 15)
This one's whistled in from 40 yards. He does this just about every time against Norwich! They must be thoroughly sick of the sight of Suarez, though they're hardly unique in that respect.
GOAL!!! Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa (Agbonlahor 15)
It's been all Saints on the south coast, but Aston Villa have just broken away and taken the lead against their usually parsimonious hosts.
GOAL!!! Sunderland 1-0 Chelsea (Altidore 14)
Here we go, then. Sunderland, struggling at the bottom of the table, have just taken the lead at the Stadium of Light against Jose's Half-Arsed Project. Never go back, some may say.
On the flip side, Redmond has just gone on a sortie which got Mignolet and Flanagan into all sorts of bother, so Norwich will be as happy with their start at Anfield as the hosts are. Which is to say: a bit. A little bit happy. "Could you even get odds on Bendtner and Chamakh scoring on consecutive days?" wonders Peter J Mumola, not really giving the nation's bookmakers much in the way of credit, though of course he's writing in the name of satire, and in any case the nation's bookies are treating us like we're five years of age with their cavalcade of witless banter-based adverts, so they deserve pretty much all the abuse anyone fancies throwing at them.
Liverpool have started in the lively manner. Philippe Coutinho, who wasn't on long enough at Hull to deserve to be lumped in with the dross, has just embarked on a twinkletoed dance through the Norwich defence. The run ended in ultimate failure, but that will give the under-fire home side a wee bit of hope.
EARLY GOAL!!! Arsenal 1-0 Hull City (Bendtner 2)
Early success for Norwich City at Anfield, who win the toss and send Liverpool kicking towards the Kop in the first half. They're not fans of that. But never mind that! Nicklas Bendtner has just sent a header wheeching past Allan McGregor! An opening goal for the league leaders within the first 90 seconds. That Arsene Wenger, huh? He knows, as they like to say.
The match at West Bromwich Albion has been delayed by 15 minutes. It'll not be starting until 8.15pm now. Which reminds me, I've clean forgot to give you the kick-off times. All the games in tonight's Premier League get going at 7.45pm, apart from the aforementioned organisational shambles at the Hawthorns, and the London derby between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, which is an 8pm kick-off. "I miss sports magazine type shows like Sportsnight," sobs Simon McMahon. "They remind me of being young and carefree. The one that used to be shown on Friday afternoons ('Sport on Friday Afternoon' or something) was good too. And what about TransWorld Sport? If there was a better way to spend your youthful Friday afternoon and Saturday morning than having some ice-skating, bowls, triathlon and sumo wrestling bookend a dozen pints and a kebab then I've yet to hear it." Seeing we're on a nostalgia trip, no doubt you'll remember the pigeon racing on Sportsreel, too. What? Eh? And like me, you'll be wondering when the BBC dropped the pigeon racing. All those poor birds furiously flapping beak-first into a headwind, yet making it all the way from Cheltenham up to Ecclefechan in under seven hours - and for what? Never mind losing the football to Sky or the cricket to Channel 4: the decision to get shot of the pigeons was when the once seemingly impregnable BBC Sport empire started to look vulnerable.
It's not in Clockwatch's nature to queer the patch of other MBMs. So those of you with particular interest in Manchester United v Everton and Swansea City v Newcastle United should follow the links in the time-honoured internet style. As for the other games, feel free to knock yourselves out with the following team news:
Arsenal prefer Nicklas Bendtner to Olivier Giroud, for 60 minutes at least: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal,
Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Cazorla, Bendtner. Subs:
Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Giroud, Walcott, Fabianski, Gibbs.
Hull City name James Chester in the suspended Curtis Davies' stead: McGregor, Elmohamady, Chester, Bruce, Figueroa, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady, Sagbo, Graham. Subs: Rosenior, Koren, Fryatt, Boyd, Gedo, Harper, Faye.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)
Fulham's existential wanderer Dimitar Berbatov is back: Stekelenburg, Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Karagounis, Parker, Kasami, Dejagah, Kacaniklic, Berbatov. Subs: Sidwell, Ruiz, Stockdale, Duff, Taarabt, Zverotic, Boateng.
Tottenham Hotspur boss AVB has finally got fed up with the misfiring Roberto Soldado: Lloris, Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen, Capoue, Sandro, Lennon, Paulinho, Lamela, Defoe. Subs: Soldado, Holtby, Naughton, Townsend, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Friedel.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Liverpool tell Joe Allen it's time to make up for that miss in the Merseyside derby: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan, Allen, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Sakho, Lucas.
Norwich City keep Gary Hooper on the bench: Ruddy, Martin, Ryan Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Howson, Johnson, Fer, Redmond, Hoolahan, Elmander. Subs: Whittaker, Turner, Hooper, Garrido, Becchio, Nash, Murphy.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
Southampton welcome back Rickie Lambert to the starting XI: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert. Subs: Fonte, Osvaldo, Cork, Chambers, Hooiveld, Gallagher, Cropper.
Aston Villa drop Christian Benteke: Guzan, Bacuna, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Luna, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Kozak, Agbonlahor. Subs: Weimann, Albrighton, Steer, Sylla, Benteke, Tonev, Lowton.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Stoke City leave Jonathan Walters out of their starting XI for the first time in 102 games: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Whelan, Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Adam, Assaidi, Crouch. Subs: Muniesa, Pennant, Palacios, Jones, Walters, Sorensen, Ireland.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, John, Medel, Cowie, Mutch, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Campbell. Subs: Connolly, Hudson, Cornelius, Odemwingie, Kim, Noone, Lewis.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Sunderland drop star striker Steven Fletcher: Mannone, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Dossena, Ki,
Giaccherini, Gardner, Colback, Borini, Altidore. Subs: Larsson,
Fletcher, Johnson, Celustka, Pickford, Roberge, Cattermole.
Chelsea recall Frank Lampard and Willian: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires,
Lampard, Willian, Mata, Hazard, Torres. Subs: Cole, Essien,
Mikel, Schurrle, De Bruyne, Ba, Schwarzer.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Brunt, Yacob, Morrison, Amalfitano, Long, Berahino. Subs: Popov, Lugano, Anichebe, Daniels, Vydra, Gera, Sessegnon.
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Kolarov, Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero. Subs: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Milner, Negredo, Javi Garcia, Rodwell.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)
Welcome to Midweek Clockwatch Special. As Harry Carpenter once said, our main action tonight features football,
boxing and skiing.
So, to reiterate, just the football then.
Arsenal v Hull City
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Norwich City
Manchester United v Everton
Southampton v Aston Villa
Stoke City v Cardiff City
Sunderland v Chelsea
Swansea City v Newcastle United
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
And to make up for the lack of boxing and skiing, here's a second number written by Tony Hatch.