Premier League clockwatch – as it happened

Burnley fought back from 2-0 down to earn a shock draw against Man City, Arsenal edged a lively game at Upton Park and Leicester won their first match since October with a 1-0 victory at Hull

Late result

In Scotland, it finished Inverness 0-1 Aberdeen, with the Dons claiming bragging rights over a giant swathe of the Highlands as a result.

Blackburn 0-0 Middlesbrough

Blackpool 1-1 Rotherham

After taking an aerial battering late in the second half, Arsenal hang on for the win, with Danny Welbeck’s goal proving decisive.

Burnley fight back from two goals down at the Etihad to claim a point! Magnificent effort. The gap at the top stays at three points. Oh, City...

Remember when Leicester beat Man United 5-3? They seal their first win since then thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s goal, with Konchesky and Quinn sent off in the closing moments.

Sunderland’s 11th draw of the season, as they fail to break down Villa despite Delph’s second half red card.

Attritional fare at Loftus Road, but Palace caretaker boss Keith Millen gets a point.

Just one win in nine for West Brom as they go down with a whimper at Stoke. Mame Biram Diouf got both, one of which was deliberate.

Jordi Gomez hits the post at Sunderland, where it remains 0-0. At Upton Park, Adrian goes up for a corner, but it comes to nothing. In the Championship, it’s Huddersfield 2-1 Bolton, and indeed Wolves 2-1 Brentford.

Two yellow cards for Paul Konchesky, and Leicester have to hang on with ten men for five or so minutes. Hernandez misses a presentable chance for Hull. Hold onto your hats.

A bad day at Cardiff – it’s now 4-1 to Watford, and there are reports of widespread disgruntlement in the stands. Elsewhere in the Championship, it’s Blackpool 1-1 Rotherham. In League One, it’s Crewe 1-1 Preston, and MK Dons 0-3 Walsall.

Holy hell. Burnley have been the better team throughout this second half, and Ashley Barnes buries the ball into the top corner after a free kick isn’t cleared!

Chances all over the shop in the Premier League – Welbeck blazes over after a mix-up in the West Ham defence, while Pantilimon extended himself fully to keep out Ron Vlaar’s header at Villa Park. For Wolves fans, the good news: It’s now Wolves 2-0 Brentford. The bad news? Kevin McDonald is off for a second yellow card. For Reading fans, the bad news: It’s now Reading 2-1 Norwich. The good news? There isn’t any.

Here’s Simon McMahon, with a rather sparse Scottish update:

Afternoon Niall. Feeling a bit left out today, with only the Inverness - Aberdeen game taking place up here. Whilst I agree it’s a tasty fixture, ‘derby’ might be pushing it a bit. Can’t wait until New Years Day when the world famous Dundee United FC play Dundee at Tannadice. Now that’s a derby.

With the possible exception of poor old West Brom, every other top-flight team has something to play for with twenty-odd minutes to go. Here’s the latest:

Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland

In a game outside of the traditional clockwatch remit, it’s Newcastle 0-1 Everton early on. Join Barry Glendenning for more.

A rare opening for Sunderland against ten-man Villa, as Wickham tries a backheel against Brad Guzan, who isn’t falling for it. A tough few minutes for ineffectual false nines: Milner and Zaha are both off, with Jovetic on for Man City and Frazier Campbell on for Palace.

Diouf gets his second without having to move, as Arnautovic’s shot cannons off the static striker and into the net. Moments ago, Gareth McAuley hit the post for West Brom. Ack.

Sam Allardyce makes a change – Enner Valencia is on for Sakho. At Loftus Road, Leroy Fer’s long-range missile is brilliantly repelled by Speroni. At the Etihad Stadium, Burnley pass up a decent chance to equalise - Danny Ings fires just wide.

Tom Heaton denies Samir Nasri with an excellent save, as Man City push for a third. Better news for Bristol City, who have scored three – they lead 3-1 at Gillingham. Spare a thought, meanwhile, for Blackpool. Two wins all season, and they’re 1-0 down at home to Rotherham.

Game on at Upton Park, as James Tomkins crosses the ball for Kouyate, who finds the net with a looping header that deflects off Debuchy. Arsenal have had that slightly spawny two goal lead halved.

The non-football continues at Villa Park, with Delph dismissed for a clumsy late lunge on Jordi Gomez.

Mame Biram Diouf cuts onto his right foot and smacks the ball beyond a wrong-footed Ben Foster. Pulis may need to turn the car around.

Hmm. Just seconds after the resumption, an offside-looking George Boyd prods home an Ashley Barnes cross. It’s on!

Half-time in a couple of tasty derbies – it’s Inverness 0-1 Aberdeen in Scotland, and in the Conference, it’s Grimsby 1-2 Lincoln. Here’s Estelle Drew tucking away an open goal:

I’m watching Villa v Sunderland, so yes, I’ve forgotten that there is football on.

Full-time at St. Mary’s: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea. Barring an almighty Burnley comeback, the gap at the top is down to a single point. Not forgetting Southampton, of course, who now look odds-on to be a top four team with half the season’s games already played.

Anybody out there?

You didn’t... forget the football was on today, did you?

Four added minutes at St. Mary’s, and Southampton are down to ten men. Join John Ashdown, who will be there until the bitter end.

Blackburn 0-0 Middlesbrough

Blackpool 0-0 Rotherham

Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland

Hull 0-1 Leicester

Goal frenzy in the Championship: Watford now lead Cardiff 2-1, Harry Arter has made it Millwall 0-2 Bournemouth with a goal that looked a touch offside, and it’s Huddersfield 1-1 Bolton, as we end the first half as we began.

Bubble well and truly burst at Upton Park. Arsenal work it neatly down the right, Oxlade-Chamberlain cuts into the area and pulls the ball back, and that guy, Danny Welbeck, can’t miss.

A quick update from around the Football League: In the Championship, leaders Bournemouth, well, lead at Millwall. It’s also Cardiff 1-1 Watford, Reading 2-0 Norwich and, in a League Two glamour tie, Luton 1-1 Portsmouth.

After soaking up most of the pressure, Arsenal lead! It’s largely thanks to a Victorian bit of defending from Winston Reid, who raises a leg to take down Cazorla as he’s tumbling over. The Spaniard buries the penalty to Adrian’s right.

Andy Carroll is booked at Upton Park after a stray elbow catches Mathieu Debuchy, who crumples in a heap. It didn’t look deliberate from Carroll, but neither party did their rep much good there.

It’s been nearly forty minutes since any football kicked off, so you’re probably getting withdrawal. Fear not: Barry Glendenning is on hand for Newcastle v Everton, which gets underway at 4.15pm.

Things feel less uncertain at the Etihad, where after Samir Nasri is repelled by the Burnley defence, the Brazilian midfielder grows weary of such frippery, and smashes the ball in off the crossbar.

Lovely goal from Riyad Mahrez, cutting inside before curling the ball into the far corner. A welcome lead for Leicester, though there’s plenty of time for things to go awry...

In his previous four seasons at City, David Silva managed four, six, four and seven goals respectively. He’s now up to six for this season already.

That’s more like it. After a decent spell for Burnley, they are brought crashing back down to earth. Jesus Navas finds David Silva with a pull back, and the playmaker controls, swivels and fires the ball home.

A couple of chances at the Etihad for Burnley – first Ashley Barnes narrowly misses a Kieran Trippier cross, and then Marney stings Joe Hart’s palms from distance. At Upton Park, Andy Carroll works Sczeczny with a header – but perhaps he should have done better. Still no goals in the 3pm kick-offs. What kind of festive feast of football is this exactly?

Penalty box drama at St. Mary’s, as Cesc Fàbregas is booked for a dive, which looked, admittedly at first glance from a distance, a risible decision. Penalty spot drama at Bloomfield Road, where Rotherham have missed from twelve yards – it remains 0-0.

Jesus Navas does his thing, streaking past his man and whipping one in for James Milner, who can only fire over. Speaking of false nines, Wilfried Zaha has started up front for Crystal Palace at QPR - extra marks for experimentation from caretaker boss Keith Millen.

Here’s Gary Naylor with a salient point:

At the Etihad Stadium, Man City are already causing Burnley plenty of problems. Burnley fans fearing a hiding today would do well to recall this classic from 2009. City have, of course, marginally improved as a defensive unit since then. Penalty shout at Upton Park, as Sakho tumbles under the attention of Debuchy. It would have been harsh.

A couple of early surprises in the Football League, as Wolves lead Brentford 1-0 (they lost the return fixture 4-0 just a month ago) and Walsall lead at MK Dons. It’s also Huddersfield 0-1 Bolton, which is less surprising.

Scenes at Upton Park, as from a cleared corner, Alex Song lashes home a volley for West Ham, but the assistant rules it out, on account of three Hammers lurking in an offside position. It brings to mind Cheik Tiote’s non-goal for Newcastle last season, although it’s fair to argue that in this case, the offside trio did impede Wojcech Szczesny’s view of the ball. Would he have saved it? Maybe.

It’s started at a pedestrian pace at Upton Park, and presumably elsewhere, as there’s no goals, in the top flight at least. A morsel of action at the Britannia, where Brown Ideye gets in behind the Stoke defence, but pounds his shot skywards.

You know what time it is

It’s 3 o’clock, which means six top-flight games are kicking off simultaneously. Apropos of nothing, 51 Premier League games will be played during the Bundesliga’s five-week winter break.

Another goal at St. Mary’s as Eden Hazard levels it up – join John Ashdown for the latest. While we’re at it, all today’s latest scores can be perused here.

More piping hot team news: at Villa Park, Andreas Weimann replaces Gabby Agbonlahor, and Charles N’Zogbia is in for centre back Jores Okore, in one of the more maverick decisions of the day. For Sunderland, it’s Wickham, Bridcutt and Brown in, and Alvarez, Cattermole and Coates out.

And finally, to W12, where Keith Millen names his first Crystal Palace team since he was last in charge, bringing in Wilfried Zaha in place of Frazier Campbell, which seems logical. For QPR, the selection merry-go-round continues to spin, with (deep breath) Clint Hill, Richard Dunne, Joey Barton, Leroy Fer, Junior Hoilett and Bobby Zamora coming into the line-up.

Stepping away from team news for a moment, for there’s been a goal at St. Mary’s. John Ashdown will fill you in.

A couple of games have fallen foul of the brisk weather – Sheffield Utd v Scunthorpe is off due to conditions around Bramall Lane, while Accrington v Burton has just been called off, much to the chagrin of travelling Brewers fans.

Team news from two games with pressure bearing down on the dugouts. For Hull, Jake Livermore is back from suspension, just in time to replace the suspended James Chester. Nigel Pearson makes two changes, with Matthew James and Esteban Cambiasso in for Andy King and Danny Drinkwater.

The big news from the Britannia Stadium is that Saido Berahino drops to the bench, with Brown Ideye, fresh from his first goal of the season on Boxing Day, starting in his place. The only change for Stoke sees Peter Crouch start, rather than begin on the bench.

At the Etihad Stadium, Man City seek a club record tenth straight win in all competitions against Burnley, but start with James Milner up front for the third game on the spin. Stevan Jovetic is on the bench, as is Frank Lampard, while Yaya Toure is rested. For Burnley, Sean Dyche keeps it no-nonsense, naming the same team for the fifth consecutive game.

Team news

At Upton Park, Big Sam has rather lazily shuffled his back, with all three subs who featured against Chelsea – Diafra Sakho, Morgan Amalfitano and Alex Song – all coming into the starting eleven. For Arsenal, Lukas Podolski is on the bench despite Olivier Giroud’s absence, with Mathieu Flamini and Francis Coquelin forming a teak-tough central midfield pairing.

Good afternoon. It’s not Saturday, and it’s not Boxing Day. Neither is it New Year’s Day, for those not keeping up at the back. Regardless, there is another bumper fixture list today as the relentless, unforgiving feast of festive football continues apace.

Six Premier League games kick off at 3pm, featuring two London derbies with much at stake: West Ham host Arsenal with the chance to build a four-point lead on the Gunners, while managerless Crystal Palace head to Loftus Road, looking to consign the Neil Warnock era to the dustbin for good with an away win. Do so, and they’ll climb above QPR and, in all likelihood, out of the bottom three.

Niall will be here shortly with all the team news and build up before the 3pm matches in the Premier League. In the meantime, here’s the latest injury news.

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