That's it from me ...
There are reports from the afternoon’s biggest matches up on the website already, while Scott Murray is providing minute-by-minute coverage of what should be an excellent match between Southampton and Liverpool. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Big news o' the day ...
The £18 in the Guardian and Observer Sport sweepstake has been split by Observer production editor Philip Cornwall and Big Website Big Cheese James Dart, who scored nine points each. Crucially, Dart predicted a 3-0 home defeat for his own team Plymouth Argyle, who won 5-0. A little more faith in the Pilgrims would have netted Dart the whole pot.
Quote of the day ...
“I tried to push him away with my head,” says Alan Pardew, of his butt on David Meyler. It reminds me of that time Alan Shearer tried to “push” Neil Lennon’s head away with his foot.
Alan Pardew speaks ...
With a smirk playing around his chops in a charm offensive on Sky Sports, he says he ‘massively regrets” sticking the hid on Hull City midfielder David Meyler and says he’ll be sitting down for matches in the future. This is typical Pardew: kick off on the touchline during a game, then give an interview as quickly as possible afterwards in a bid to escape a lengthy ban.
My sanctimonious two cents: We all do stupid things and saying sorry when you’re in the wrong is always a good thing, but the monotonous regularity with which Pardew gets himself in scrapes with rival managers, officials and - now - opposition players tends to render his post match apologies rather hollow.
League Two results
Burton Albion 2-1 Accrington Stanley, Cheltenham 2-1 Bury, Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Mansfield, Fleetwood 0-0 AFC Wimbledon, Hartlepool 3-0 Torquay United, Newport County 2-2 Scunthorpe, Northampton Town 0-0 Bristol Rovers, Plymouth 5-0 Morecambe, Rochdale 3-0 Oxford United, Southend 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers, York City 2-1 Exeter City.
League One results
Bradford 2-3 Stevenage, Bristol City 2-1 Gillingham, Carlisle 0-0 Brentford, Crawley Town 1-0 Peterborough, Crewe 1-1 Swindon, Leyton Orient 2-1 Colchester, MK Dons 0-1 Sheffield United, Preston NE 2-1 Walsall, Rotherham 6-0 Notts County, Tranmere 2-2 Oldham, Wolves 3-0 Port Vale. Click this link to see the League One table.
QPR 1-1 Leeds, Nottingham Forest 1-4 Wigan, Bournemouth 5-0 Doncaster, Bolton 4-0 Blackburn, Burnley 2-0 Derby County, Huddersfield 5-0 Barnsley, Ipswich 1-0 Birmingham, Leicester 3-0 Charlton, Millwall 0-1 Brighton, Reading 1-1 Yeovil, Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Middlesbrough, Watford 4-0 Blackpool. Click on this link to see the Championship table.
Premier League results
Everton 1-0 West Ham, Fulham 1-3 Chelsea, Hull City 1-4 Newcastle, Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal. Click on this link to see the Premier League table.
STOKE HAVE BEATEN ARSENAL!
The Potters hold on to record an unexpected victory that leaves Arsenal four points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League. Right, time for some results ...
GOAL! Hull City 1-4 Newcastle
Vurnon Anita adds a footnote to ensure three points for Newcastle. Alan Pardew will be
pleased completely indifferent.
Spare a thought for Bianca Westwood ...
Gillette Soccer Saturday’s gal on the spot at the Madejski Stadium has had been kept ridiculously busy, reporting on two goals and three sendings off. Yeovil are down to eight men, having lost Byron Webster, Joe Ralls and Kieffer Moore to red cards. Can they hang on?
Arsenal still trail at Stoke
They’re losing 1-0 and have just missed a great chance to equalise in the closing stages, I’m told.
Sheffield Wednesday lead Middlesbrough at Hillsborough ..
Dean Whitehead was sent off for handling the ball in the six-yard box and Atdhe Nuhiu converted the ensuing penalty. Meanwhile at the City Ground, Wigan Athletic lead Nottingham Forest 4-1.
Want to see Jeff Stelling's reaction to Alan Pardew's head butt?
Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff! Unbelievable Jeff!
This actually happened ....
In case you thought you were dreaming - Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has been sent from the touchline for STICKING THE NUT on Hull City’s Irish midfielder David Meyler. There seems to have been a bit of an argument between the pair moments before the incident, then Meyler went to retrieve went to the Newcastle technical area to retrieve the ball for a throw-in and was head-butted by Pardew.
GOAL! Everton 1-0 West Ham
Romelu Lukaku is back with a bang for Everton. About 10 minutes after coming on as a second half substitute, the big man converted a Leighton Baines pull-back from inside the penalty area to put the Toffees a goal to the good against West Ham.
GOAL! Fulham 1-3 Chelsea
Johnny Heitinga pulls a goal back for Fulham, but it’s unlikely to be more than a consolation for the Cottagers.
GOAL! Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal
Stoke have taken the lead against Arsenal courtesy of a Jon Walters penalty! Oof!
More excitement at the KC Stadium ...
Hull City midfielder David Meyler has just got in a shoving match with Alan Pardew, who head-butted him. There wasn’t much contact, but he definitely threw the nut at the Hull City midfielder. Pardew has been sent from the touchline and will be in huge trouble for this - a manager with a history of touchline bust-ups against assorted opposite numbers and officials, his usual smarmy post-match apology is highly unlikely to save his bacon this time.
GOAL! Fulham 0-3 Chelsea
Andre Schurrle will be taking the match-ball home after bagging his hat-trick. Let Opta Joe strafe you with his stat-gun ...
Meanwhile in the Championship ...
The league leaders have virtually assured themselves another victory; they lead Charlton 3-0. David ‘The Nuge’ Nugent with the third one there.
GOAL! Fulham 0-2 Chelsea
Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle combine once again to consign the Premier League’s bottom-feeders to almost certain defeat. With Chelsea on the counter-attack, Schurrle chased a perfectly weighted Hazard pass and fired past Maarten Stekelenburg for his second of the game.
Stoke go close at the Britannia Stadium
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesney tips a glancing Peter Crouch header around the post to put the ball out for a corner. From the ensuing corner, Stoke go close again courtesy of a Geoff Cameron rasper.
Huddersfield are running amok at the John Smith's Stadium
They lead Barnsley 4-0, courtesy of goals from Keith Southern, Daniel Ward, Adam Hammill and U2 bass player Adam Clayton.
Chelsea go close at Fulham ...
Fernando Torres has put the ball wide from four yards after getting his head to an Eden Hazard cross which came in the wake of a sublime piece of skill from the Belgian. His effort took a deflection on its way wide - chalk it up to good defending rather than a missed sitter.
Forest equalise against Wigan in the Championship
Jamie Paterson smashes the ball into the roof of the net to make it all square for Forest against Wigan. Which is all well and good, but you’re intrigued to know what’s going on at Celtic Park, where Celtic are entertaining Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Super Caley haven’t gone ballistic and Celtic are anything but atrocious - they lead 3-0.
GOAL! Hull City 1-3 Newcastle
Moussa Sissoko scores his second and the fourth goal of a splendid game at the KC Stadium.
GOAL! Fulham 0-1 Chelsea
André Schürrle has given Chelsea the lead early in the second half. He played a give-and-go with Eden Hazard, who played the ball over the Fulham defence for his German team-mate, who promptly beat Maarten Stekelenburg in a one-on-one.
More goals in the Championship ...
Leicester have taken a two-goal lead against Charlton at the King Power Stadium, courtesy of Danny Drinkwater, who has slaked his thirst for liquid finishing to make it 2-0. Meanwhile at Bolton, the home side are now 3-0 up against Blackburn, with Jay Spearing bagging their third. It’s also 3-0 at Huddersfield, where Adam Hammill has scored his side’s third without reply against Barnsley.
GOAL! Hull City 1-2 Newcastle
The KC Stadium has gone score crazy, which is odd considering the bookies had it as the Premier League game least likely to produce goals this afternoon. Hull City have got back in the game, with Curtis Davies heading into an empty net after Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul came to collect to a Tom Huddlestone free-kick and missed it completely.
Scottish Premier League half-time latest ...
Aberdeen 1-0 St Johnstone, Celtic 2-0 Inverness CT, Motherwell 2-0 Hearts, Ross County 1-1 Partick Thistle, St Mirren 0-0 Kilmarnock.
League Two half-time latest ...
Burton Albion 1-0 Accrington Stanley, Cheltenham 1-1 Bury, Dagenham & Redbridge 0-0 Mansfield, Fleetwood 0-0 AFC Wimbledon, Hartlepool 1-0 Torquay United, Newport County 1-0 Scunthorpe, Northampton Town 0-0 Bristol Rovers, Plymouth 2-0 Morecambe, Rochdale 1-0 Oxford United, Southend 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers, York City 2-1 Exeter City
League One half-time latest ...
Bradford 2-1 Stevenage, Bristol City 1-0 Gillingham, Carlisle 0-0 Brentford, Crawley Town 0-0 Peterborough, Crewe 0-0 Swindon, Leyton Orient 1-0 Colchester, MK Dons 0-1 Sheffield United, Preston NE 2-1 Walsall, Rotherham 4-0 Notts County, Tranmere 1-1 Oldham, Wolves 0-0 Port Vale.
Championship half-time latest ...
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Wigan, Bournemouth 2-0 Doncaster, Bolton 2-0 Blackburn, Burnley 1-0 Derby County, Huddersfield 2-0 Barnsley, Ipswich 1-0 Birmingham, Leicester 1-0 Charlton, Millwall 0-1 Brighton, Reading 0-1 Yeovil, Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Middlesbrough, Watford 3-0 Blackpool. Result: QPR 1-1 Leeds United.
Premier League half-time latest
Everton 0-0 West Ham, Fulham 0-0 Chelsea, Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal, Hull City 0-2 Newcastle. Not one of the division’s more exciting Saturday afternoons - I haven’t heard a peep from the Britannia, which suggests Stoke’s match against Arsenal is hardly a classic.
Bolton double their lead against Blackburn
The Trotters lead their Lancashire rivals 2-0, Joe Mason with the second there, moments before half-time.
Red card at Burnley!
Derby County striker and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has just received his marching orders for a second bookable offence: diving. By all accounts it was an incredibly harsh dismissal as he didn’t dive, he just slipped. Burnley lead 1-0 and are playing against 10 men.
GOAL! Hull City 0-2 Newcastle
Loic Remy has just doubled Newcastle’s lead at the KC Stadium, latching on to a dreadful back-pass from Maynor Figueroa before finishing neatly. The goal came against the run of play; a couple of minutes previously Ahmed Elmohamady missed a sitter that would have levelled affairs at 1-1.
Meanwhile at the City Ground ...
Martyn Waghorn has just rolled home to put Wigan Athletic one up against Nottingham Forest. Other Championship latest scores: Bournemouth 1-0 Doncaster, Bolton 1-0 Blackburn, Burnley 1-0 Derby County, Huddersfield 2-0 Barnsley, Ipswich 0-0 Birmingham, Leicester 1-0 Charlton, Millwall 0-1 Brighton, Reading 0-1 Yeovil, Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Middlesbrough, Watford 2-0 Blackpool.
Just the one goal in the Premier League so far ...
Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko is the only player to have scored this afternoon, in his side’s match at Hull City. Nikica Jelavic has just gone close to equalising for the home side, rattling the woodwork with a splendid free-kick.
A goal in today's special guest game ...
It’s Luton Town 1-0 Alfreton Town, where Luke Gutteridge has scored his fourth goal in three games to give the home side a first half lead. Interesting fact: Luke’s middle name is Horace.
Andy Carroll coming on for West Ham at Everton
Carlton Cole is injured and being substituted at Goodison Park, where he will be replaced by Andy Carroll, who many believe should have started the game.
League One update ...
Sheffield United’s impressive recent run of form continues away at MK Dons, with Stefan Scougall tapping in from 12 yards out to put the Blades 1-0 ahead. At Rotherham, Alex Revell has just put Rotherham 3-0 up against Notts County, who are facing a pasting.
More news from the Championship ...
... where Yeovil have taken a surprise lead at Reading. Shane Duffy rose highest to get on the end of a Luke Ayling cross from the right and send a looping header into the back of the net. Meanwhile at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton Wanderers have gone a goal up against Blackburn in their Lancashire derby.
Some latest scores ...
Premier League: Hull City 0-1 Newcastle
Championship: Watford 1-0 Blackpool, Leicester 1-0 Charlton
League One: Bradford 1-0 Stevenage , Preston 1-1 Walsall, Rotherham, 2-0 Notts County, Tranmere 0-1 Oldham
League Two: Cheltenham 1-1 Bury, Plymouth 1-0 Morecambe, York 1-0 Exeter
SPL: Aberdeen 1-0 St Johnstone, Celtic 1-0 Inveress Caledonian Thistle, Motherwell 1-0 Hearts, Ross County 1-1 Partick
No goals anywhere else ... yet.
Brede Hangeland has had to be replaced at Fulham
It was he and not Kieran Richardson who was hurt in the clash of heads I mentioned previously and the Fulham stopper is unable to continue. Prior to his substitution, Fernando Torres charged down an attempted clearance from Fulham goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who responded by pushing the striker over. Chelsea’s appeals for a penalty left the referee unmoved.
GOAL! Leicester City 1-0 Charlton Athletic
Jamie Vardy has just put the Championship leaders in front at the King Power Stadium.
GOAL! Hull City 0-1 Newcastle United
Moussa Sissoko has just rifled the ball into the top corner to put Newcastle ahead against Hull City at the KC Stadium. Moments previously, Tim Krul had pulled off a spectacular double-save to deny Alex Bruce and from the ensuing counter-attack, Newcastle scored.
More excitement at Fulham v Chelsea
Brede Hangeland has just gone up for a header and accidentally nutted his team-mate Kieran Richardson, who went to ground like a sack of spuds. He’s been receiving treatment and apparently looks fit to continue.
It's Leicester 0-0 Charlton at the King Power Stadium ...
It’s top v (third from) bottom in the Championship too, where it’s shaping up to be a cracker, according to Chris Kamara on Sky Sports News . Diego Poyet is playing in midfield for Charlton. He has a famous dad, you know? A famous dad who has a big match at Wembley tomorrow afternoon.
Early excitement at Fulham v Chelsea ...
Fulham striker has squandered an early opportunity to put the Premier League’s bottom side a goal up against the the top tier’s leaders. Clint Dempsey has just glanced a free header wide of the upright from six yards out
An email from Simon McMahon
“Afternoon Barry,” he says. “5-1 Fulham. That’s not a prediction, just the price that was available at my local bookies this morning. Should I have taken it?”
An email from Gary Naylor ...
“If your photo (see above) is anything to go by, I’m not sure I’m too impressed with Kevin Mirallas’ reaction a being left on the bench,” he writes. “Not sure Roberto should be tickling him either.”
Luton v Alfreton line-ups
Luton: Tyler, Henry, Franks, McNulty, Griffiths, Ruddock, Guttridge, McGeehan, Howells, Benson, Gray.
Subs: Justham, Charles, Lawless, Shaw, Robinson.
Alfreton Town: Worsnop, Jones, Fenton, Wylde, Franklin, Bradley, Shaw, Wood, Poku, Law, Harrad.
Subs: Kempson, Clayton, Meadows, Akinde, McFadzean.
Referee: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)
Everton v West Ham line-ups
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Deulofeu, Osman, Pienaar, Naismith.
Subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Mirallas, Lukaku, Barkley, Browning.
West Ham: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney, Downing, Noble, Taylor, Jarvis, Nolan, Carlton Cole.
Subs: Reid, Armero, Carroll, Diame, Jaaskelainen, Joe Cole, Nocerino.
Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)
Championship: QPR 1-1 Leeds United
QPR needed a Jermaine Jenas goal to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds as their winless run stretched to five matches. The stuttering pre-season promotion favourites fell behind to Ross McCormack’s 24th goal of the season. But midfielder Jenas ensured they avoided a fourth straight defeat when he slotted in the equaliser just before half-time.
Under-pressure Rangers manager Harry Redknapp came out fighting this week, denying suggestions his position is under threat while claiming their recent form is nothing more than a ‘blip’. However, that blip was in danger of turning into a full-blown crisis when McCormack fired Leeds ahead with a deflected free-kick, just moments after he had missed a penalty.
The visitors were gifted the chance to take a 10th-minute lead when Richard Dunne’s clumsy challenge sent McCormack tumbling in the penalty area. But McCormack’s spot-kick was a weak effort which Rob Green saved low to his left.
However, the in-form frontman made amends four minutes later, from about 10 yards further out, with a curling free-kick which clipped the Rangers wall on its way past Green.
Leeds, themselves looking to climb into the play-off picture, could have doubled their lead but Green denied Cameron Stewart and Connor Wickham, on his debut following his loan switch from Sunderland, fired wide.
Rangers looked woefully short of ideas for the majority of the first half and a Jenas header which looped straight into the arms of goalkeeper Jack Butland was the sum total of their efforts, until a minute before the break.
And it was Jenas who hauled them level when he collected Kevin Doyle’s lay-off from Ravel Morrison’s pass and dispatched it past Butland from the edge of the area.
The goal briefly sparked Rangers into life when they came out for the second half and Armand Traore’s shot was well turned behind by Butland.
Leeds twice came close to regaining the lead through Wickham, who was inches away from a debut goal when his shot flew across Green and narrowly wide of the far post.
Then a minute before the end Wickham had a free header in the Rangers penalty area only to plant it straight at Green.
But there was drama in stoppage time when Rangers defender Clint Hill thought be had snatched an unlikely winner only to be flagged offside.
Stoke City v Arsenal
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Walters, Adam, Arnautovic, Crouch.
Subs: Muniesa, Palacios, Guidetti, Etherington, Wilkinson, Sorensen, Ireland.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.
Subs: Vermaelen, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini, Fabianski, Sanogo,
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)
Fulham v Chelsea line-ups
Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riether, Hangeland, Heitinga, Richardson, Sidwell, Parker, Dejagah, Dempsey, Kasami, Bent.
Subs: Riise, Kvist Jorgensen, Holtby, Stockdale, Karagounis, Rodallega, Burn.
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Oscar, Schurrle, Torres, Hazard.
Subs: Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Mikel, Ba, Willian, Schwarzer.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Hull City v Newcastle line-ups
Hull: McGregor, Elmohamady, Bruce, Davies, Figueroa, Rosenior, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Jelavic, Long.
Subs: Chester, Koren, Boyd, Sagbo, Harper, Aluko, Quinn.
Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett,
Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran, De Jong, Remy.
Subs: Cisse, Gosling, Haidara, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Alnwick.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)
QPR's Championship pain continues!
QPR and Leeds are drawing one goal apiece in added time of their lunchtime kick-off at Loftus Road. Harry Redknapp’s men thought they’d won it at the death with a stunning strike from Clint Hill (no, really), but the veteran centre-half was correctly flagged for being a mite offside. Ouch! That match has just finished 1-1, the goals coming from Ross McCormack, who had previously missed a penalty, and Jermaine Jenas.
Fifa's Fun Police strike again
Players in this summer’s World Cup will be banned from displaying any messages on under-shirts. New rules come into force from June 1 saying players should not display any personal slogans at all on shirts they are wearing under their kit. The decision was taken at a meeting of the International FA Board, the game’s law-making body, in Zurich.
Fifa’s secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference in Zurich: “It is definitely decided that players must not have any slogan or statement, and we are making the decision that it will apply to the World Cup and it will be enforced from June 1 and not July 1.”
The Football Association had proposed the ban to make sure there was a consistent message and its general secretary Alex Horne said: “The idea is to get some consistency. The simplest rule for the image of the game is to start from the basis that slogans will not be allowed.”
Personal messages on shirts have been used by players to pay tribute to dead colleagues, as well as light-hearted slogans such as Mario Balotelli’s ‘why always me’ T-shirt. Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said some IFAB members did consider whether an outright ban would be “a little bit churlish”.
He added: “Everyone agreed about political or religious statements but on personal statements some of us did consider how far are we going. We decided however it was easier for us to say it has no place in the game.”
Referees will not, however, book players who display messages - disciplinary action will be down to competition organisers after the match.
Luton Town v Alfreton Town preview
These are exciting times for runaway Skrill Conference Premier leaders Luton Town, and not just because local lad done good Sean Ingle travelled to Kenilworth Road during the week to write this big feature on their long overdue revival. Today they take on Conference surprise package Alfreton Town, the part-timers from Derbyshire scaling the dizzy heights of fourth in the table after notching up 18 wins, a tally bettered only by today’s opponents.
Stoke City v Arsenal preview
Arsenal’s ambitions remain in the balance as they head for a stadium that has not been kind to them in the past – the scene of some bad-tempered defeats and, of course, Aaron Ramsey’s broken leg. This will be a first visit post-Tony Pulis, but Mark Hughes and Arsène Wenger have not always seen eye to eye and Hughes’s side sit nervously just three points above the relegation places. Paul Chronnell
Hull City v Newcastle preview
Hull come into this on the back of two wins, a 4-0 hammering of Cardiff followed up by a 2-1 win over Brighton to advance to the FA Cup sixth round, but they remain six points above the relegation places despite residing in 11th, so are not safe just yet. Newcastle ended a run of three defeats in dramatic fashion against Villa and are destined for mid-table despite a poor run of form. Alan Smith
Fulham v Chelsea preview
Felix Magath’s first home game in charge pits a potentially reinvigorated Fulham side againsta Chelsea team weary after midweek exertions in Europe. Bottom against top will not feel quite as daunting given José Mourinho’s team were not back from Istanbul until 4am on Thursday morning and have had only one full training session in preparation for this derby. Yet, while Arsenal are their closest challengers, Chelsea will recognise that victories in their next two games will open up a nine-point lead over Manchester City. That represents an opportunity. Dominic Fifield
Everton v West Ham preview
Everton have lost this fixture only once since 1983 but with West Ham arriving on four wins out of four for February and Roberto Martínez’s side slipping down the table since Romelu Lukaku was injured in the loss at Anfield, they will fancy their chances more than usual. Lukaku is available for the first time since while Andy Carroll has served a ban but may start on the bench. Mark Tallentire
Good afternoon everybody ...
Welcome, welcome, welcome one and all to this afternoon’s stunning edition of clockwatch, which will be bringing you news of team selections, goals, bookings, red cards, yellow cards, controversial refereeing decisions and anything else of interest that happens in assorted grounds the length and breadth of the UK between 2pm and 5pm. There are just the four 3pm Premier League kick-offs this afternoon: Everton v West Ham, Fulham v Chelsea, Hull City v Newcastle and Stoke City v Arsenal, but we’ll have news from assorted other divisions in England and Scotland, plus updates from today’s special guest game: Luton Town v Alfreton Town in the Conference Premier.