Slovakia 0-0 England – As It Happened (Euro 16 Diaries, Vol. 9)

Slovakia 0-0 England – As It Happened (Euro 16 Diaries, Vol. 9)


  • England dominant but cannot score
  • Russia 0-3 Wales – Ramsey opens scoring for Wales, Neil Taylor gets a second, Bale pokes home number 3, to send Wales through
  • Group B:
  • 1. Wales
  • 2. England
  • 3. Slovakia
  • 4. Russia

 

21.53 – England deeply frustrated by an organised Slovakian defence, but whilst everyone will be very irritated, I’m optimistic. A good performance again means we have dominated every game so far, and although we haven’t been that great in goalscoring terms, we certainly have the players to get some goals. The next game shouldn’t be too hard and from what we have seen from the last three games, we definitely have the potential to go far. No team in the competition has been ‘incredible’ so far, they have all lacked something at times, and on group performance, England are up there with the elite. The next month could well be an exciting, successful one for all us England fans… Goodnight!

Full Time: 0-0

90 + 5′ Nathaniel Clyne’s cross is easily collected, and England have one last attack? No.

Wales have beaten Russia 3-0 and gone through to the Round of 16.

90 + 3′ England constantly being blocked, charged down or forced wide. Dele Alli fires too high, and Slovakia will take their time with this goal kick.

90 + 3′ No.

90 + 1′ 5 minutes additional time. In the 92nd minute, Sturridge scored against Wales. Can we score in it again?

90′ Martin Skrtel looks in pain, as he clears a ball on the stretch. The clock is ticking away…

88′ Another big moment! Henderson yet again surges forward and pings in a delicious ball for Kane, who can only nod it wide. If it stays like this, England will play whoever comes second in Group F – any one of Portugal, Iceland, Austria or Hungary.

86′ How many corners have England have? A nice run from Henderson gives Rooney another opportunity to cross, but it is wasted again. A Ryan Bertrand diagonal ball is just not friendly enough to control for Harry Kane. England running out of time…

85′ Robert Mak, of Slovakia, looks as if he has pulled his hamstring, and the England fans are frustrated as the physios take their time…

83′ The ball is permanently in the Slovakia half. Rooney scuffs a shot wide. If we don’t win this then I will be soooooo annoyed…

82′ England queue up to hit shots at the Slovakia goal, the final one is blocked and it goes out for a corner which is again wasted. Talk about parking the bus, Slovakia are parking the cruise ship…

80′ 19 attempts, 56% possession, four strikers, no goals.

79′ England win yet another corner, which I can confirm Harry Kane will not be taking. Again Skrtel is there, and again it comes to nothing. You get the feeling this may well be another game that has a late goal, like lots of others this tourney. Can England finally get a goal? 10 minutes to go…

76′ Again it is aimed at Gary Cahill, but he hasn’t made decent contact all game and this time it is easy for the Slovakia keeper. England fall into a diamond formation, Rooney in behind Vardy and Kane, which didn’t work against Portugal in a friendly but has to work now…

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75′ Sturridge, Vardy and Rooney combine! The latter’s shot is blocked and it;s out for a corner, which Skrtel can only head out for a corner. Here comes Harry Kane for the tiring Daniel Sturridge. England corner.

74′ Dier produces a terrific pass to set through Sturridge, and any contact would’ve put England ahead, but he kicks the air and it somehow remains 0-0.

73′ It can’t be coincidental that England always seem to dominate but never score! Could it be time to change manager?

72′ Harry Kane is getting ready…

70′ England keep applying pressure, but can’t find a goal. They promise much, show all the signs of a dominant, tournament-winning team, but can’t score a goal!!! Marcus Washford time?

69′ Gareth Bale pokes home to make it 3-0 to Wales. They have won, so England really need a win to finish above their neighbours. Bale is top scorer so far, with one in each group game…

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68′ Anyone fancy an Eric Dier free-kick?

67′ Slovakia substitution – one unknown player on for another. How aren’t England beating this lot?!

65′ I just worry that without Lallana there is less width, and Dele Alli, Wayne Rooney and Jamie Vardy all seem to be drifting infield too much – gone are the threatening forward runs down the flanks…

63′ Joey has some interesting things to say;

“This match sums up England completely – we can’t finish! We should be 2-0 or 3-0 up by now, and if we draw it will only make the competition harder.”

61′ What an impact! A super pass from Sturridge sets away Henderson who clips it back and Alli is only denied by a heroic goal-line clearance from Martin Skrtel! He was nearly the instant hero…

60′ We’ve got Alli, Dele Alli, I just don’t think you understand. Interesting sub, as Alli comes on for the excellent Lallana. Half an hour remains, and it’s still 0-0.

55′ End to end stuff as Slovakia break again, but the shot is low, soft and straight at Joe Hart. On comes Wayne Rooney for England, in place of Jack Wilshire. Can he make the difference? He has been very impressive in his new creative role so far this tournament… And now a defensive change maybe for Slovakia, with a striker coming off for a left-back?!

54′ A beautiful ball from Daniel Sturridge sets Clyne free and in on goal, but is shot is tipped over the bar. Big chance! and from the resulting corner Gary Cahill can’t get proper contact on the header. Somehow still 0-0!!!

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53′ A cross is flighted into the empty England box, and Chris Smalling tries to chest it down to Hart, but Robert Mak is there and only just misses the ball. A lucky escape…

52′ Ryan Bertrand gives away a silly free-kick in a good position, and Martin Skrtel looks imposing… but Hart is there and plans it away.

50′ It looks like Slovakia will go through as one of the top third placed teams if this game remains a draw, as four points should be enough. England won’t want to settle for second though…

48′ Joshua, like all of us, thinks we’ve been great so far but has no idea how it is not at least 1-0 England… England start in the same vein as before, testing the opposition.

46′ And so the second half begins to a rapturous rendition of the national anthem… again!

Kickoff

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He’s having a party…

21.01 – And here come the England players… Come on lads!!!

20.59 – Freddie is very upset that England still haven’t scored – he even put in a crying emoji in his comment!!!!!

20.56 – The verdict from a super goalscorer… Alan Shearer says England have played well, but lack the quality final ball and need to finish off their opportunities…

20.54 – A great match overview from Max:

“A good game so far! England have played well and have dominated possession!”

No goals though…

20.52 – Rio Ferdinand, and surely most other people, think it’s only a matter of time until England do get a goal. Certainly there is another entertaining half to come and hopefully some goals!

20.48 – Jeddy:

“It’s been a good game so far, Slovakia getting a bit better but England have had some real chances. It’s quite an open game, either team could score. It’s my bedtime now, but Louis will keep you updated with all the big moments. Goodnight!”

Half Time

45 + 1′ One added minute, and Slovakia will be delighted that they have made it through the first 45 minutes relatively unscathed… England totally dominant but again no goals to show for it…

44′ Again another crisp strike, this time from Jordan Henderson, and this time it is blocked by a defender…

42′ Jamie Vardy is threatening the Slovakia defence and is hauled, rugby-style, to the ground for a free-kick in a good position… but again Henderson’s set-piece can’t find a red shirt. England have had 66% possession so far, and all the shots this game has offered…

40′ For the first time this game, Slovakia try to force the issue, prompting and probing, but they can’t penetrate the tightly packed England penalty area. Roy’s boys have set up very well but will be disappointed to go in at the break at 0-0, unless they can get a goal…

39′ Sturridge smartly takes down an Eric Dier pass, but some good recovering from the Slovakian defence means it is only a corner – which is wasted again.

33′ Clyne with a lovely run again, and rolls it back to Lallana, who’s fierce shot is pushed away from the goal. Then England win a corner. The Three Lions look very dangerous, but that corner was overhit and will not pose any threat to Slovakia’s backline.

29′ Henderson sets Clyne off again, who hooks back a cross and Wilshire can’t quite make it. And then again, they combine and Clyne’s second cross is tipped away from the Slovakia goalie… Clyne has been fantastic so far, as good as Kyle Walker has been in the last two games.

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28′ The corner is easily cleared.

28′ Liverpool duo Henderson and Clyne combine to win a corner. The news from the Wales game is a clear incentive for England to win – come on boys, we gotta beat Wales!

24′ Gary Cahill gets a foot on a low cross ahead of the lurking Hamsik, and on the counter Vardy is hacked down for a yellow card. Free kick – but the cross is too big and is collected easily by the Slovakia keeper.

23′ “Kuronicus III” claims Slovakia need to try and control more possession, but in response, England aren’t threatening too much in possession so Slovakia will be perfectly happy.

21′ Wales get a second goal! 2-0 to them! Neil Taylor gets through on goal, and gets a second bite at the cherry and smashes the ball into a gaping goal after his first shot is palmed away by Akinfeev. Wales solidify their position on top of Group B!

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20′ A worrying sign for England, who only have three out-and-out centre backs in France, as Cahill goes off with a knock – he should be OK to carry on, though.

17′ Classic Jamie Vardy move, Henderson hits a long ball over the top of the stumbling Martin Skrtel for Vardy, who’s shot is smartly stopped by the Slovakia ‘keeper. First big chance.

16′ Lallana makes a great run and sits it up to Henderson, who turns and shoots and wins a corner after the block. It is a loopy ball in from Bertrand that comes to nothing.

13′ Great passing and movement from England results in a snapshot from Adam Lallana that dribbles wide of the Slovakian goal. England playing some good stuff…

12′ Goal for Wales! Aaron Ramsey links it over Akinfeev in the Russia goal, and as it stands Wales are going through on top of Group B.

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10′ Jeddy’s thoughts so far:

“England have started very brightly. Slovakia will have to try and get some more chances away or they’ll never score.”

8′ Henderson’s deflected cross bounces off the heads of Lallana and Vardy, and Daniel Sturridge can’t quite reach it to force it forward. England have had the better start.

7′ Slovakia’s number 22, don’t know his name, smashes a wayward shot over Joe Hart’s goal, to the disappointment of his fellow countrymen. The England contingent in the stands erupt into another chorus of God Save The Queen.

5′ Superb run by Clyne, gets the better of his man and whips in a pacy ball, which ricochets of Jamie Vardy’s knee and bounces over. England’s, and Vardy’s, first sight of goal so far.

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Come on England!!!

3′ A settled start from England, in the red strip, going from right to left. Still no clear-cut chances, though.

KICKOFF

19.57 – A hearty rendition of God save the Queen! Let’s listen to the Slovakian anthem… Oooh, I like, it has a sense of Harry Potter magic in it… and some Hunger Games tension. And there is big Skrtel, the scariest guy in footy, singing his heart out! What a sight!

19.55 – The players are out of the tunnel, Jamie Vardy looking very pumped up ahead of the big game. His selection is popular, with Max saying;

“Finally! Vardy is starting! Good move!”

19.48 – Remember,  Slovakia will qualify with a win, and will finish second with a draw if Russia beat Wales.

However, Slovakia would definitely be eliminated in fourth place if they lose and Russia win.

19.42 – Tonight’s live blog has been met with some interesting reactions! Adam says;

“Very excited for this blog, relying on it for updates.”

And Joey says;

“Looking forward to what genius/rubbish Louis comes up with tonight.” 

Oi! Kurun observes;

“Should be an interesting match.”

What an expert…

19.33 – Roy seems to disagree with Jeddy, and he thinks that the starting team is not a gamble. He talks of the experience of the likes of Henderson and Wilshire and that he believes fully in the team chosen.

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I’m not going to cover the Wales game, as I can’t really be bothered and also it will be too hard (!!) but I will let you know when any goals go in.

19.30 – Jeddy has more to say;

“Rooney has been playing well recently but I did think the England team could do with a change, to freshen things up. However, I’m not sure this team is the best possible England team and perhaps Slovakia could silence the England fans tonight.”

19.26 – So, we’re all settled and my friends are pretending that they are looking at my blog to try and get me to shut up. So, below is a vote on what you think the score will be…

19.20 – Big news: Crouchy is in the ITV studio!!!!!

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19.10 – So what will happen after this game? If England win then they will certainly top the group, and then they will play a third-placed team from either Group A, C or D – Albania, then maybe Northern Ireland, or Turkey, or Czech Republic. If they draw, then Wales have to win to come top. if they don’t win, then England still come top. If England come second, they will play second place in group F. If England lose, and Wales win, then England may drop to third. Then, if they do come in the top 4 third-placed teams, they will play Germany or Spain most probably.

The most important thing is that if England get a point, they will get into the next round.

19.06 – Martin Skrtel and Marek Hamsik are the two biggest names on the Slovakia team sheet, and the two biggest threats potentially, but remember Slovakia showed fantastic team spirit and fight against Russia and are not to be underestimated. my prediction? 2-0 England. Sturridge goal, and late joe Hart bicycle kick.

19.03 – This tournament has been the competition of late goals – 13 after the 87th minute! Will there be any more drama tonight?

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18.57 – The England team is in! Hart, Clyne, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand, Wilshire, Dier, Henderson, Lallana, Sturridge, Vardy

So, as expected, the super subs Sturridge and Vardy start and will try and nail down a place if England get through. 6 changes, including Rooney on the bench, mean it is a new look team from the one that beat Wales.

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18.25 – As always, my expert analyser, my little brother Jeddy, is on hand during the big match build-up, and here are his words of wisdom ahead of tonight’s match:

“Slovakia are a good team, always up for the game. They’ll probably challenge England tonight, however, an in-form England side is very hard to beat and if England can do what they did against Wales, they’ll probably be too much for Slovakia. I think the score will be 3-1 England.”

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Woy’s Wigowous Twaining in Fwance

17.18 – Hello, and welcome to live coverage from my sofa in London. I will be reporting, analysing (and watching) England as they face off with Slovakia in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (best Euro stadium name 2016). At the same time, Gareth Wales and some Russian hooligans will also do battle, with every team still in with a chance of making it through Group B and into the next round. I will be here every so often to give you some clever facts or dumb puns up until the 8 o’clock kick-off when I will be settling down with a bar of chocolate, my laptop, and ‘Will Grigg’s On Fire’ blaring out of the speakers as Clive Tyldesley will guide me through all the finer details, and I will be relaying the general picture of the match to all my trusty followers on here.

COME ON YOU THREE LIONS!

Full Time: West Ham 1-2 Man United

Full Time: West Ham 1-2 Man United


FT: West Ham 1-2 Man United

Man United to play Everton in the FA Cup Semis

Marcus Rashford brilliance gives United the lead

Fellaini deflects in a second

Tomkins nods in goal for West Ham

Kouyate goal disallowed for offside

The bigger the text, the bigger the chance!


Full Time: After an incredible night of football, Man United come out on top after a beautiful finish from Marcus Rashford and a Fellaini goal. West Ham fought their hardest and got one back through James Tomkins, and put 90 minutes energy into the last 10. However, David De Gea made a number of unbelievable saves and that was the difference. West Ham fans can go home proud of the effort their team have put in, in the last cup match at Upton Park, despite the result.

94′ Emenike cuts the ball back… but De Gea collects it. We are into ‘Fergie Time’

94′ Randolph lumps it forward, but a combination of Carroll and Kouyate can only put it out for a goal kick. Man of the match? It has to be the lively Marcus Rashford, who scored a beautiful goal.

93′ And it comes out to Noble who scuffs his volley wide! Have West Ham blown it?

92′ West Ham win a free kick in an incredible position, perfect for Payet. He steps up…

But it is deflected off the wall and out for a corner!

91′ Four minutes added on, as West Ham send ball after ball into the box.

89′ Two Man United defenders can’t clear and Kouyate forces a world class save from De Gea, before Carroll smashes it goal wards and De Gea makes another incredible save. Kouyate then puts the ball in the net, but the flag is up and the goal is disallowed. A rollercoaster ride at the Boleyn Ground!

88′ Andy Carroll leaps above half a dozen players and powers it goal wards, but is a whisker wide. So close! Both sets of players are giving everything!

85′ You have to praise Louis Van Gaal for his trust in youngsters – so many have made their debuts this season and quickly become star men in the line up. It’s very brave from the Dutch boss, and has been one rare plus point about his time in charge.

84′ United have a free kick by the corner flag, and they look for Fellaini, but his knock down is again towards nobody.

82′ Emenike turns and shoots from a crazy position, and it flies into the stands. Anyway, West Ham are now the most likely to score and take this tie to extra time.

80′ Clever ball goes into the United box from Payet, who has moved central, which is knocked back to De Gea by Smalling. All West Ham’s now!

79′ GOAL! From the second corner, Carroll knocks it down, and Tomkins shows incredible bravery to dive in and nod it into the net. Fellaini and the rest of the United defence switched off and all the momentum is with West Ham now!

78′ Payet’s low corner to the near post is poked on by Antonio but De Gea somehow manages to keep it out. Stunning save!

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76′ However, West Ham’s free kick comes to nothing. West Ham come again and there is a tussle in the box, but Roger East deems it not enough for a penalty. West Ham are rallying and aren’t going down without a fight.

75′ Ander Herrera, who has just been booked, is hurt and then brings down Antonio – he is lucky to not be sent off. Mark Noble then carries him off the pitch, to huge cheers from the West Ham faithful.

73′ Lanzini twists and turns, but his short is blocked by Blind and De Gea can collect. Herrera is then booked for a high boot. Lanzini goes off to rapturous applause and is replaced by Emmanuel Emenike.

71′ Lingard squeezes it past Ogbonna after brilliant play from Fosu-Mensah, but Martial can’t quite reach it. United are buoyed by their second goal and they look the most likely to get another goal.

70′ United fans chanting that they are going to Wembley, and you can’t really argue with them. United get another corner, and play it short. They work the ball into Lingard, but again Randolph is in the right place to block him off.

67′ GOAL! Fellaini doubles United’s lead, and it’s more luck than skill this time. Martial brings down a cross but fires his shot against Tomkins. However, the spinning ball hits the onrushing Fellaini on the knee and from 2 yards out in spins into the net! West Ham now have a momentous task, but you have to credit United for their performance and their courage to come to such a fortress and dominate.

65′ A tussle involving Lanzini on the ball results in just a corner, which Fellaini heads away.

64′ Victor Moses has come on for Enner Valencia, and that has injected some pace into West Ham’s attack.

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63′ Man United try to set Rashford away again, but Darren Randolph smothers the ball.

62′ Kouyate fires a shot over the bar – it was venomous but it was always rising. Remember, the winner of this will play Everton at Wembley, and if United don’t progress it will mean the first time since before the Ferguson era that they haven’t won a major trophy for three years.

61′ Fiery tackles going in all over the park, the Rashford goal and the resulting chances have ripped apart the tight first half and replaced it with a high tempo, enthralling contest!

57′ This game has burst into life, the atmosphere is electric. West Ham have a penalty shout, but Roger East deems Blind’s challenge on Payet as fair. There is contact, and in my opinion that should have been a penalty to West Ham.

56′ As I said in the first half, this game needed something special to unlock it, and now it is open, end-to-end. West Ham test De Gea down one end, before Lingered plays in a great ball across the face but there is no-one there.

54′ GOAL! This fella is something special. Marcus Rashford picks it up, brings it inside the box, shimmies and bends a beauty into the top right corner of the net. Right in the postage stamp! A special goal for United, and from the way this half has begun, it is no less than they deserve.

50′ A vicious strike from Lingered is straight into the side netting. All United so far this half.

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47′ We are back underway in London, with United starting positively.

 

HALF TIME – Andy Carroll is booked for a bad tackle shortly before the half time whistle. At the break, it is 0-0 and is an intriguing contest. Louis van Gaal will be the happier manager so far.

3′ And in Lisbon, an early Benfica free kick is straight at Neuer.

3′ We are underway in Madrid, and Gabi snatches at an early chance, sending it way wide. 

45′ United have done very well to take the sting out of the game here, the atmosphere has drooped a little and the away side have posed a constant threat going forward.

43′ One last Jeddy thought before bedtime!

Both teams are creating chances now, I was wrong when I said United won’t get a goal in the whole game, I will stick with my prediction at the start – 1-1 with West Ham wining on penalties. Unfortunately I have to go to bed now, but Gouis23 will keep you company throughout the rest of the evening. Goodnight!

42′ Fosu-Mensah skims in a low cross, which Rashford mis-hits wide. If only he caught that well, it would’ve been spectacular.

40′ Brilliant build-up by United. The ball is pulled back to Herrera, who lets it run to Martial, who’s shot is blocked. It comes out to Michael Carrick, who’s volley is driven narrowly wide.

38′ West Ham have another free kick, with Payet naturally standing over it. However, he drills it too far and it goes straight out. He should be doing better, a player of his calibre.

35′ United’s two youngsters combine, Rashford setting through Lingered 1 on 1, but Jesse Lingard’s shot is weak and straight at Randolph. Big chance. West Ham leaving themselves exposed at the back.

33′ Man United win another corner, but again West Ham dominate in the air and put it out for yet another corner. This time, Carroll is the man who clears it.

32′ Lanzini is set through, but the United defence crowd him out and put it out for a throw.

31′ Carroll pokes it through to Valencia, who is making runs from his wide position into the centre, but again he rolls it into the keeper’s gloves!

27′ Yes. But, the ball drops down to Lanzini who completely skies it! Here is what Jeddy has to say;

West Ham have been really pressing high so far, Man United are struggling to keep the ball. But still Man United are getting into this game a bit more.

26′ Michael Carrick gets the first booking of the game, blocking off Dmitri Payet. Free kick just outside the shooting range of Payet?

24′ A great whipped ball in to Carroll, who knocks it down but there is nobody there to apply the finish. 

23′ A quarter of the game gone and it has been interesting, but not enthralling. You get the feeling it needs a moment of magic to spark it into life. Step forward, Dmitri Payet?

21′ Exciting from Marcus Rashford, who shows good movement and great skill to win another corner, but yet again the big West Ham side deal with the danger.

18′ United are growing into this game, and Rashford slices open the West Ham defence but Fellaini’s effort is tipped over by Randolph! Again, though, the corner comes to nothing.

15′ West Ham are playing good stuff, but seem vulnerable on the break. A blocked Rashford effort results in a corner, which is easily cleared.

11′ A gorgeous reverse ball from the lively Lanzini, intended for Noble, doesn’t quite make it. All West Ham so far, and I have a feeling it will be this way for some time. Here is what our expert, Jeddy, has to say;

It’s all West Ham so far, Man United haven’t had a single shot at goal yet. I doubt Man United will score at all this game.

9′ De Gea, anticipating a cross, was standing at his far post and Payet tried to smartly beat him, but De Gea was alert and comfortably collected the ball.

8′ But West Ham come again, and win another set piece in a similar position after a foul on Payet…

7′ A silly free-kick given away by Man United, and now you have one of the best free kick takers trying to find one of the best headers of a ball in the game. It bobbles around in the box however, before being cleared.

4′ Lanzini sets Enner Valencia away past Fosu-Mensah, but Valencia’s shot is weak and straight at David de Gea.

1′ West Ham kick off, and immediately attack, an Antonio cross well cleared for a corner. Payet aims for Carroll, of course, but it comes to nothing.

6.55 – West Ham legend Sir Trevor Brooking said this about Upton Park;

Evening games at Upton Park have always been great. 

We have had some good moments this season but probably the goal in extra time against Liverpool in the FA Cup was a special moment. 

Tonight it is Manchester United and having gone there and got the draw, everyone is hoping the Hammers can get through to the semi-finals.

6:39 – My expert friend, Jeddy, will be staying up for the first half of the cup game, and will be watching it and assisting me. Here is his thoughts ahead of kick-off in 20 minutes time:

It’s a big game. Two very similar teams in quality are battling it out tonight, and also they are quite tight in the Premier League – 5th and 6th. If I had to guess, I’d go for a 1-1 draw, with a West Ham win on penalties.

6:29 – It is quite a sentimental evening for the Hammers, as this will be their last ever cup tie at the Boleyn Ground/Upton Park. Here is Manchester United’s starting 11:

Man Utd XI: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Herrera, Martial, Rashford.   

Wayne Rooney is on the bench on his return from injury, as is Mata. Fellaini starts, perhaps trying to counter the aerial threat that Andy Carrol poses. Fosu-Mensah also starts after his good performance against Spurs. West Ham have gone for this team:

West Ham XI: Randolph, Antonio, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Creswell, Kouyate, Noble, Valencia, Lanzini, Payet, Carroll

Darren Randolph comes in for Adrian in goal. Andy Carroll is rewarded for his superb hat-trick against Arsenal with a start, so it looks like Enner Valencia will play out wide. Antonio starts again as a full-back though he struggled defensively against the Gunners. Dmitri Payet will be the danger man tonight.

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6:21 – Tonight, West Ham host Man United in the FA Cup Quarter Final replay, with both teams trying to reach Wembley where they’ll play Everton. 

Live Blog: FT: PSG 2-1 Chelsea

Live Blog: FT: PSG 2-1 Chelsea


  • UEFA Champions League Last 16 First Leg – PSG v Chelsea

  • Ibrahimovic’s deflected free-kick gave PSG the lead

  • Mikel fired in an equaliser with the last kick of the first half

  • Substitute Cavani smashed in from a tight angle to win it for PSG


Vote:


Edison Cavani’s slick finish has given PSG a slim advantage going in to the second leg in London, but no doubt Guus Hiddink will take this considering the onslaught they faced in the second half. Chelsea just need a 1-0 win to reach the quarter finals, but let’s not forget that it’s Paris Saint Germain with the slender advantage after an intriguing game at Parc des Princes. Oh, and by the way, Benfica won 1-0 thanks to a late header from Jonas against Zenit. That’s all from me for now, make sure you follow blametheblogger for all the latest sport and tech news! Goodnight.

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2-1

21.36: Full Time! After a marvellous 90 minutes, the referee calls a halt.

90 + 2′ Beautiful pass from Willian and Pedro brings it down before firing into the side-netting, though half the ground thought it was in. Even my mum gasped!

90 + 1′ Ibrahimovic runs onto a cross but can’t do much more than hit it straight at Courtois, perhaps that should have been the vital goal. 2 minutes added on.

90′ Costa lines up a shot but is bundled out of the way, and you can hear the Chelsea fans screaming at the telly!

89′ Michael Owen is right in saying that the scoreline is a fair reflection of the whole match, and to be honest Chelsea won’t be too unhappy with this result, and PSG will be satisfied but may regret they haven’t scored more come the return fixture at the Bridge. Fascinating stuff.

cavani87′ Willian stands over a free kick outside Chelsea’s box, to the left… But the cross is easy for Kevin Trapp, who has had a good game, to collect. Three minutes plus stoppage time left for U. Simon and my predictions to be proved right and it to finish 2-2!

85′ U. Simon, who guessed 2-2 at half time, has had this to say about the latest goal,

Cavani only knows how to do one thing – score goals. 2-2 is still on…

84′ Marquinhos tries to pass it into the back of the net but Gary Cahill is there again to block, and the resulting corner is cleared. A driven cross from Marquinhos falls to Thiago Silva, who shows why he is a centre-back with a wild, wayward shot.

81′ Double substitution from PSG as Rabiot and Pastore come on for Matuidi and Verratti. Cavani, a £55 million substitute, shows his worth and why Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in stealing him from the French giants.

78′ Gooooolllllaaaaaaaa! Just as I say that Chelsea are playing very well, a dagger in their hearts, a killer blow! Cavani is sent through with a great pass and is onside, and smashes it through Courtois’ legs from a tight angle. Maybe the Belgian shot stopper should’ve done better, but an inspired substitution from Laurent Blanc!

78′ Chelsea should be delighted with this performances, their midfielders and defenders have all turned up and performed superbly and if they can hold on it will be one of their best performances of the season.

77′ Oscar is set through by an incredible ball just after coming on, and it just needed a touch from the Brazilian, but Trapp just reached it in time to knock it away.

76′ Chelsea have a spell of possession, and get some breathing space, but then Mikel gives it away. Some of the pressure just lifted there, simply by playing it around a bit.

75′ It’s still 0-0 in the other game, and it hasn’t been what you’d call a thriller.

74′ Less than 20 minutes to go, and if I was Laurent Blanc (PSG’s manager) I’d be seriously worried about going to Stamford Bridge without a goal’s advantage. On comes Edison Cavani for Lucas Moura, who has been a threat all day long. Cavani offers more goalscoring ability, though.

70′ PSG have had 65% possession and they really are dominating, but still haven’t regained the lead. Lucas yanks back Baba Rahman who was breaking down the left and will pick up a yellow card. David Luiz also gets one for a foul on Costa after which the advantage was played. The free kick comes to nothing however. They really should have done better, and now they return to their half to defend again.

67′ Di Maria curls it round the wall, and Courtois beats it away very well and it’s out for another corner.It’s cleared away easily again, though. PSG haven’t made the most of all their corners so far.

67′ Lucas Moura’s cross is whipped in and cleared away, but a high foot from Pedro is penalised and it’s a perfect distance to test Courtois…

hiddink2

66′ Another cross put into the 18-yard box of Chelsea, and this time it’s knocked out for a corner. PSG will be furious if they don’t win this game!

65′ The onslaught of Courtois’ goal continues as Maxwell gets in behind yet again and the cross is blocked, yet again!

64′ Desperate stuff from Chelsea, as Di Maria finds the head of Ibrahimovic, before the follow up shot by Matuidi is blocked heroically by Ivanovic!

63′ From our poll so far, everyone is backing Barcelona to retain their Champions League crown, and to be fair, who can see them lose?

61′ Important stop from Courtois as he beats away Lucas Moura’s low shot after another direct run from the Brazilian. Courtois is on great form tonight.

courtois

60′ Yet another corner for PSG as Marquinhos wins it this time. However, it’s easily cleared. Chelsea are holding firm and looking to counter but it’s still all PSG and the French side are slowly cranking up the heat.

58′ Courtois sharply smothers a through ball as PSG continue to test the defense. The resulting corner is whipped in well but beats everyone, and Di Maria volleys a mile wide from the follow-up cross.

57′ Di Maria wins a corner after his cross is blocked, but pushing and shoving results in a Chelsea free kick.

56′ PSG prompt and probe, and Pedro is caught ball-watching but Cahill saves him with a last ditch interception of the low cross.

53′ Wasteful from Chelsea up the other end as they break (which seems to be their game plan) as Costa’s feeble shot is easy for Trapp to reach. Then possession switches hands and PSG attack, with Ibrahimovic forcing a save from Courtois. This game is superb for the neutrals, completely wide open! Chelsea corner. The corner is wasted, though.

52′ Courtois with a fantastic acrobatic save to keep out Di Maria’s ferocious shot! This half has started as fast-paced as the last one ended! The resulting corner is headed clear.

51′ Well, three Premier League teams in the last 16 is pretty good for recent standards, but even if Chelsea progress Arsenal still have to play Barca and City face Dynamo Kiev.

49′ Chelsea with a superb counter attack, Willian playing in Costa brilliantly but Trapp comes to smother the ball. Great play from Willian, and Chelsea look a different side to Mourinho’s men.

46′ And we’re back underway! Chelsea would be delighted if they can bring a draw back home to the Bridge with them.

20.45: Will this man add to his tally and put Chelsea to the sword?

zlatan

20.42: Sadly our expert Jeddy is heading off to bed, I think he’ll use the Zenit-Benfica game to help him get to sleep!

It’s been lovely watching the game with you and seeing some of your predictions, but unfortunately I have to go to bed now. But my brother will keep you updated throughout the rest of the game! Goodnight!

20.38: Half time predictions!

Me – 3-1 PSG, one from Di Maria and one from Lucas Moura

Jeddy – Now it’s 1-1, and I think it will end as 2-2, with Hazard and Di Maria scoring.

U. Simon – 2-2, and before the Chelsea goal he said Ibra will get a second and he backed Costa and Pedro to get the goals!

What do you all think?

20.36: Well what an end to an exhilarating first half! The same can’t be said about the other match, with Zenit and Benfica still goalless. It turns out Mikel was the player Zlatan’s free kick deflected off, but didn’t he make up for it with his sixth goal in ten years!

pedro

20.33: Half time! The last kick of the game and it’s fair to say that Chelsea deserved it, and what a vital goal it will prove to be – an away goal for Chelsea, and at the break, it’s 1-1.

45 + 1′ Goooooollllllaaaaaaa! Of all people, it’s John Obi Mikel who gets the equaliser! Calamitous defending from PSG as three defenders miss Costa’s flick on, as Mikel brings it down and smashes it into the bottom right corner!

45′ Fabregas is set through by Willian and his cross isknocked out for a corner…

44′ Not this time, it deflects off the wall for a corner, which Willian runs over to take. The corner is poor however and it’s cleared.

43′ Jeddy keeps you updated,

Willian takes a tumble and Chelsea get a free kick in a dangerous position. Great response from the Blues.

39′ Goooooollllllaaaaaaaa! Uptown funk blasts out around the stadium as Ibrahimovic’s free kick takes a nick off the wall and flies past the stranded Courtois. A slice of luck but arguably no more than PSG, and Zlatan, deserve.

38′ The first booking of the game as Lucas, with another direct run, takes a tumble over Ivanovic’s outstretched leg. An even better position for Zlatan this time…

36′ Chelsea come forward but Hazard’s shot is blocked, and PSG break away, Di Maria shimmying and stuttering before swiping a shot across the keeper and wide by a long way. Waste. Possession is back up to 60-40 in PSG’s favour, though.

33′ Huge chance for PSG as Ibrahimovic loses his man in the middle, but his header is down into the ground and bounces agonisingly over the top! It really should be 1-1, but we are still goalless!

32′ Hazard with a cheeky dummy before whipping it in but Ivanovic hits the side-netting with his second bite at the cherry. This game has erupted into life!

31′ Verratti hacks down Fabregas for a free-kick and dead-ball specialist Willian stands over it. A whipped ball in is nodded clear by Thiago Silva, the superb Brazilian centre-back. Chelsea continue to grow in confidence and in dominance.

28′ It’s now end-to-end stuff here at Parc De Princes but no more clear-cut chances apart from that golden opportunity for Diego Costa.

26′ Our expert, Jeddy from Jeddy’s Favourites, has something to say about that incredible save from Trapp,

PSG have been dominating but Chelsea have started to pick up the pace, but what a stop from Trapp! Beautiful reflex save.

24′ A beautiful cross in from Baba Rahman and Diego Costa sneaks in behind David Luiz and gets a header in, but Kevin Trapp knocks it onto the bar and it goes behind. He then collects the resulting corner. Great save, but the Spaniard really should have scored.

23′ Chelsea beginning to get into the game more, pressing forward and creating chances.

17′ Plenty of wayward passes in the last few minutes but that one wasn’t, a beautiful pass threaded through the Chelsea defence but Lucas Moura was out-muscled and it comes to nothing. Chelsea are growing into the game but still PSG are bossing it.

13′ Great break down the left from Maxwell and his low cross is dangerous but easily collected by Courtois.

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12′ And it went just past the post. Good strike, but he perhaps could’ve hit it harder instead of curled it.

11′ That’s one thing you don’t do, Chelsea. Give Zlatan space. A Mikel error nearly lets PSG in, but they scramble it away. A free kick goes PSG’s way, and Ibrahimovic stands over it…

8′ Lucas Moura, the talented Brazilian, is at the centre of things again, running off Zlatan Ibrahimovic only to find his shot blocked. However, the team from Stamford Bridge come off unscathed.

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5′ Another superb strike, this time from Lucas Moura, whistles past Courtois’ post. Not the best start from Chelsea, but we’re only 5 minutes in.

3′ Chelsea haven’t had a kick yet and Marco Verratti tested Courtois for the first time, a swerving shot palmed away. From what we’ve seen so far, it won’t be the last save…

1′ A wake-up call for Chelsea straight away as Lucas Moura drives at the defence before being blocked. Let’s hope for Chelsea’s sake that’s not a sign of things to come…

1′ And PSG start the game off!

19.42: The Champions League anthem rings out and the players shake hands, and all of a sudden it feels very exciting. The Champions League is back, and there’s just 2 minutes ’til kick off!

19.40: The players are in the tunnels, so it’s time to hear from our expert , little Jeddy from Jeddy’s Favourites, on the big debate:

I think that European football doesn’t have too much of a difference on the Prem, and you get vital experience from playing big teams.

19.39: Ok Chelsea fans, you may be buzzing after a 10 match unbeaten streak, but PSG haven’t lost in 21…

19.37: What does Guus Hiddink think?

“Everyone knows what Chelsea’s season is. We’re getting to do our best to recover a bit in the Premier League. If we can go on in the Champions League that would be a huge achievement.

“Terry and Zouma were stable in the centre. Of course, we could mourn a long time but we don’t do that.

“It’s a very tactical game. They like to impose their game but you must be very careful not to go in their trap. I think it’s very important to try to harm them and we have players who can harm.”

19.32: Settle down in front of Gary Liniker, Rio Ferdinand and Glen Hoddle on BT Sport with your phone keeping an eye on the latest blametheblogger action. Will it be a third straight thriller? You’ll find out after the break!

19.24: I’d get your predictions in quick before the game gets underway in 20 minutes!

18.59: And PSG start with what looks like a 4-3-3:

Trapp, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva (c), David Luiz, Maxwell, Verratti, Thiago Motta, Matuidi, Moura, Ibrahimovic, Di Maria

18.56: The Chelsea team is in, and it looks like their usual 4-2-3-1.

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic (c), Baba Rahman, Fabregas, Mikel, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Diego Costa.

17.08: What about the rest of the Champions League fixtures? Here is the last 16 draw:

draw.png

13.44: OK, so things are getting exciting with the big debate, Does European football hinder teams’ domestic campaigns? Tweet your opinion to @blametheblogger, or comment on Instagram and Facebook @blametheblogger. Your message might evem get onto the blog!

12.27: Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink says his team need to take the initiative tonight and not just sit back in defense. More HERE

hiddink

12.19: The verdict from my brother Jeddy, from Jeddy’s Favourites:

I think it will be 2-0 to PSG. Ibrahimovic will be the danger man and he’ll get a goal, as well as Di Maria. In the second leg, it will be 1-1 and so PSG will go through to the quarter finals.

There we have the verdict from a true expert!

12.10: The Group Stages of the Champions League consisted of 96 matches played out by 32 teams in 8 groups. Bayern Munich were the standout performers, scoring the most goals and having the most possession. However, they aren’t unbeaten (they were famously beaten by Arsenal), only Real Madrid and Barcelona have that title. Maccabi Tel Aviv and Astana were the only teams not to win a single group game! PSG have conceded just one goal, whilst Valencia put in the most crosses. On an individual level, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the most with 11, followed by Robert Lewandowski on 7. As for tonight’s teams, Chelsea’s top scorer was Willian with 5 and for PSG it was Di Maria with 3. Don’t worry, Zlatan got a couple too!

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12.07: Here are some stats for you then. Chelsea have lost just one of their last six meetings with PSG, winning 2 and drawing 3. However, PSG have lost one of their last THIRTY-SEVEN home games in Europe, and they haven’t conceded a home goal in the Champions League this season! Some of those records will be broken tonight!

10.31: As for PSG and Chelsea in the groups, they both progressed on 13 points, Chelsea topping Group G ahead of Dynamo Kiev, FC Porto and M’bi Tel Aviv, whilst PSG finishing 3 points behind unbeaten Real Madrid in Group A, ahead of Shaktar Donetsk and Malmo.

10.24: Tonight’s other game is Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg, and we’ll keep you updated with all the goals. The latter, managed by Andre Villas-Boas (formerly of Spurs and Chelsea), haven’t played for two months after the Russian winter break. They won their group, ahead of Gent, Valencia and Lyon, whilst Benfica, who came second in their group behind Atletico Madrid, had won 11 straight matches before losing to Porto on Friday.

benfica v zenit

9.41: You can follow blametheblogger on Facebook or Twitter with the links on the right, or on Instagram @blametheblogger. If you do follow me on Insta, you’ll know I think tonight it will be 2-2 with Costa getting 2 for Chelsea, and Zlatan and David Luiz getting the PSG goals. You can enter your predictions above.

9.25: Hello and welcome to the live blog of the return of the Champions League! Tonight sees Chelsea head to Parc de Princes for the third successive year in the knockout stages, and their only real hope of qualifying for the Champions League next year is to win it this year, with top 4 pretty much out of the question. PSG have no such woes, cruising at the top of Ligue 1 by 24 points and showing no signs of halting.

psg v chelsea

Live Blog: FA Cup Final – Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

Live Blog: FA Cup Final – Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa


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That’s all from me, I’ll leave you with that fantastic result for Arsenal! They have retained the cup!

FULL TIME! ARSENAL WIN THE FA CUP!

Goal! Giroud makes it four with a trademark low flick in the 94th minute. Why not score again?

90+2. The name of Arsenal is inscribed on the trophy next to… Arsenal!

90+1. Santi Cazorla is man of the match, or maybe Sanchez. 3 minutes of stoppage time.

89. Sanchez is brought off by Arsene Wenger to a fantastic reception. If only Liverpool had signed him…

86. And then Grealish has a thumping effort blocked by Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal are defending – a sight rarely seen so far.

86. Another penalty shout, and it looked a stonewall penalty as Jack Grealish appears to be strangled!

11-0

83. Vlaar and Giroud caught in a tangle that results in an Arsenal free kick and perhaos an injury to Ron Vlaar. He looks ok, and the free kick is to no avail.

80. Penalty shout for Villa turned down incorrectly as Coquelin brought down Agbonlahor. Definitely a foul, but probably outside the box.

79. Ramsey wriggles his way through but Vlaar clears. 

76. A killer ball by Ramsey falls to Walcott who cannot find the target. Not great. He then makes way.

72. This game is slowing to nearly a standstill as Arsenal slow things down and Villa look like the team that were thrashed 6-1 by Southampton.

69. Still nothing developing for Villa, Arsenal totally in charge.

66. My dinner’s ready, and Aston Villa have no chance. I’m off to have some fish and chips, but I will keep an eye out if Villa actually get a good passage of play…

64. Do Arsenal’s best players EVER deliver? Today they do. Also, the German centre-back’s last 3 Arsenal goals have come in the cup. All over now, for sure. No dream finale for Tim Sherwood, I’m afraid.

Goal! – 62. Mertesacker simply knocks it down into the corner with a free header. Easy peasy.

62. Surprise, surprise – an Arsenal corner… Mertesacker rises to meet Cazorla’s cross…

61. Arsenal counter, and Walcott appears to be through one-on-one but Jores Okore recovers excellently.

60. For the first time today, Villa prompt and probe around the Arsenal 18-yard-box, but they are forced back.

57. And they come again, as Sanchez hits one against Okore, and Cazorla then finds space to hit a fizzling shot that is palmed away by Shay Given.

56. Another couple of crosses from Villa are cleared by a solid Arsenal defence. Solid Arsenal defence? It’s a miracle!

56. The ball comes into the box and Walcott smashes it against Given and Sanchez follows it up by hitting the back of the net, only to discover the pacy Englishman was offside.

55. Villa put a cross into the box and a combination of Mertesacker and Shezny (why does he have such a weirdly spelt name?) clear it.

54. Sanchez, who else, wins another corner, but it is cleared.

52. A booking for Westwood, as Nzogbia is replaced by Agbonlahor. Free kick to the Gunners. It however comes to nothing.

GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! WHAT A GOAL!

50. Alexis Sanchez shows just quite how good he is. His best goal of the season, one of the best goals of the season! 25 yards or so out, he dips and swerves a crashing effort into the roof of the net with the help of the cross bar. Arsenal have 2, and they must be nearly home and dry now.

47. Ramsey tried to cheekily catch out Given but his shot was again deflected and trickled into his arms.

46. No Agbonlahor yet for Villa, but he will no doubt come on sooner rather than later.

We’re ready for half number 2.

Villa need to bring on Agbonlahor to give the Arsenal defence something to worry about.

Arsenal are dominant and they could have 5 or 6. Villa are in big big big big trouble. The trouble is in fact relatively large…

Half Time: 1-0 to Arsenal

45+1. And they have another corner after a wonderful move. Again, though, it comes to nothing.

44. Arsenal have a corner thanks to Kieran Richardson’s challenge on Walcott. The result is nothing but a Villa throw in.

43. Villa have only been behind once this FA Cup campaign, and that was for just 6 minutes…

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL:

40. Theo Walcott thunders in a knock-down by Sanchez from 10 yards out and it has been coming. A superb strike on his weaker foot! Bang!

36. An acrobatic volley catches Cazorla and he goes down in pain. He should be OK though.

35. The goalies have forgotten how to punch as Shay Given wobbles a corner away from his 6-yard box. Then he heads a long ball away from the box. I doubt the Villa fans will have any nails left after the biting going on here.

33. Awful tackle from Alan Hutton on Sanchez results in a booking.

32. Woohoo! Purple! Delph’s cross comes in towards – guess who? – Benteke and Shezny (that’s his new name) goes for a wild punch that nearly goes horribly wrong. Better from Villa.

31. You may be thinking that I’ve forgotten the html for purple, but actually it’s another Arsenal chance. Bellerin’s cross is thwacked away by Ron Vlaar. Again.

28. The colour is red again as Ramsey runs clear but Vlaar deflects his shot into the arms of Shay Given. 62% possession for Arsenal.

25. And just as I speak, Theo Walcott has a gaping goal but an incredible block again frustrates Arsenal. Pat on the back to Kieran Richardson. Arsenal are knocking on the door, relentlessly…

24. A trademark effort from Sanchez is blocked by Alan Hutton. Arsenal upping the tempo but still a goalless cup final. It’s nv=ever going to stay that way.

20. Delph runs into trouble, uncharacteristically, and Ozil ball is poor, however Vlaar cannot clear and Aaron Ramsey puts it agonizingly over the top – another chance the Welshman has missed.

19. A looping ball falls to Benteke as the Arsenal fans wince, but his touch is not great.

possession

17. Hector Bellerin dribbles well into the box and rolls it along the ground, but Aaron Ramsey can only find the side-netting. A good spell for the Gunners, and this cup final is enthralling so far.

15. The ball makes it’s way to Laurent Koscielny after a free kick straight off the training ground, and Shay Given produces one of the stops of the season to deny him. Up the other end, a poor ball from Jack Grealish is collected by Shezny.

14. The yellow card does come out this time, for a bad tackle by Tom Cleverley. Not cleverly done there.

13. Kieran Richardson dinks a ball into the box towards Benteke, but Shezny (I’m going to stick with that spelling) punches it well.

12. Poor free kick from Ozil which is cleared.

10. Arsenal get another corner as Cazorla is making them tick this game. It is cleared but comes back out to Cazorla. Benteke brings him down with a striker’s challenge and is lucky not to get booked. Confident start from Arsenal.

9. Arsenal win another corner after the first one is cleared. Koscielyn rises well but his header is a long way wide. The first clear-cut chance.

8. Lovely work from Sanchez and Cazorla as Arsenal get their first sniff of a chance, but Ron Vlaar puts the low cross behind.

6. Flag goes up for offside against Benteke after a scrap around the centre circle. It’s been 12 in 12 for Benteke, will he make it 13?

4. Alan Hutton’s deflected cross is gobbled up by Shezny (how do you spell it?) at his near post. Fabian Delph with some good play – he is now an England regular.

2. Villa give away a silly foul after a wobbly first couple of minutes. However, the resulting free-kick comes to nothing.

And we have lift off! The Final has begun!

John Moss is the referee, and he brings the whistle to his mouth…

The fans are drowning out anything else as the teams switch ends.

Jack Grealish is the youngest player on the pitch, at 19, and Shay Given, at 39, last appeared in a cup final in 1998 with Newcastle.

The formalities reach the climax with a rapturous national anthem.

IT’S NEARLY TIME FOR KICK OFF AS THE PLAYERS EMERGE

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The Villa flags are waving and Abide With Me begins…

Crazy things going on out on the Wembley turf and there is 15 minutes remaining before kick off…

Aston Villa are surely the underdogs, but it’s entirely possible that they will surprise everyone today. Will it be known as the Benteke final? Or the Sanchez final? Let’s see. Less than 20 minutes to go…

PREDICTIONS:

Me – 2-1 to Arsenal AET

Mark Lawrenson – 2-0 to Arsenal

Ginny the Psychic Penguin at Sea Life, Birmingham – Aston Villa to win

James DeGale – Arsenal win, Sanchez to score

Next season, The FA Cup will be known as The Emirates FA Cup, as the company have agreed a deal to become the tournament’s first title sponsor.

Benteke has been fantastic this season under Tim Sherwood and is in the form of his life. Per Mertesacker & Laurent Koscielny have their work cut out to stop him.

THE TEAMS ARE IN:

teams

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In other footy news, Sepp Blatter will stay on for a fifth term as FIFA boss, Liverpool have had a £10 million bid for Nathaniel Clyne rejected, and Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from football.

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In the semis, Aston Villa defied the script by knocking out Liverpool and preventing Gerrard from finishing off his Anfield career in the final. Meanwhile, Arsenal overcame Reading.

The Best Cup Final Goal Ever?:

Arsenal came out on top of the pile in last year’s tournament, with Aaron Ramsey’s extra time winner beating Hull City 3-2. Villa, however, haven’t won for 58 years, and haven’t even been in a final of the FA Cup since 2000.

The FA Cup 2015 has been a fantastic spectacle – Bradford’s heroics, Villa’s dream run and who on earth are Blyth Spartans? But now it boils down to this – 22 players, one football, and one prize. Who will triumph – Arsenal or Aston Villa? I’ll be blogging every minute of this long-awaited fixture, so keep an eye out! And enjoy the game!

Live Blog: Blackburn 0-1 Liverpool – FA Cup Quarter Final Replay

Live Blog: Blackburn 0-1 Liverpool – FA Cup Quarter Final Replay


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That’s all from me! It has been a good match and Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Reading are the teams battling it out to have their name engraved on the trophy come the 30th of May.

The Reds are off to Wembley. It sets up a clash with Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup Final on Steven Gerrard’s 35th birthday and last game for Liverpool. Thanks to Philippe Coutinho they made it over the line, and they dominated most of the game. However, Kolo Toure and Simon Mignolet are the defensive heroes for the Reds.

Full Time – Blackburn 0-1 Liverpool

90 + 4″ Blackburn long throw and Eastwood is forward. And it came to Eastwood and it’s saved by Mignolet at the second attempt. A great strike from the Blackburn keeper and a decent save from his opposite number.

90 + 3″ Blackburn have a free kick in their own box but it’s cleared. Sterling is booked for kicking the ball away. Rudy Gestede heads in down and Toure clears it again – he has been great.

90 + 1″ A penalty appeal for Liverpool as Allen goes down, but it is soft and it’s turned away.

90″ Again the ball goes into the box and a fantastic defensive header from Kolo Toure, who has been impressive, clears the danger. Four minutes of added time.

89″ Blackburn have a series of long balls into the box but they don’t capitalise and Liverpool counter –  and Sterling’s dink grazes the top of the bar as it goes over.

88″ Liverpool keep the ball in the corner but not for long as Eastwood collects.

87″ A disappointing effort from Rickie Lambert with his head and with his first touch – he heads wide from the free kick. Liverpool have a corner after Olsson deflects it behind.

86″ On comes Rickie Lambert in place of Daniel Sturridge as Liverpool have a free kick on the edge of the area. Sturridge hasn’t been great tonight.

85″ 5 minutes plus stoppage time remain and at the moment the wind is only blowing one way – towards the visitors.

84″ The biggest crowd for 4 years is here but they haven’t had much to cheer about yet, and Liverpool want to keep it that way.

82″ Liverpool have regained their stranglehold on the game and Blackburn’s frontmen have not done that much. The Rovers fans are getting agitated as the ball is played all the way back to Eastwood by Spurr, Baptiste’s replacement.

81″ Tom Cairney tries to work some space in the Liverpool penalty area but skews his shot high above Mignolet’s goal.

79″ It’s a stray arm from Williamson to the face of Sterling. It would be harsh to punish the Blackburn man.

78″ Alex Baptiste will be coming off due to hamstringtrouble. Sterling has gone down off the ball and Kevin Friend is being lectured by him as to what happened. We suspect foul play.

77″ It’s end to end stuff. Blackburn have a good counter attack and the cross is cleared, and Sterling runs free but skies his shot from 25 yards. It’s been a top quality match this second half.

76″ What a chance for Sturridge! A gorgeous ball from Sterling but Sturridge goes for the dink, and puts it wide. Liverpool come again and again Baptiste is the one to clear.

74″ Luckily Lucas is fine. It was a little bit of quality that Liverpool needed and now they have the upper hand – and they don’t look done yet. Coutinho-o-o is the shout, and the little Brazilian is proving himself to be some player!

72″ A free kick from Blackburn is put in and Mignolet punches to prevent a Blackburn response. Lucas Leiva is down injured. that goal was a killer blow for the Blackburn fans, but they can’t say it hasn’t been coming.

Goal: Coutinho – 71″

Henderson and Coutinho combine with a fantastic one-two and Coutinho thumps the ball into the bottom-left hand corner, off the post. No goalie in the world could stop that!  

70″ Johnson pushes forward and wins a corner off Olsson. Coutinho puts it in but it’s cleared by Rhodes.

67″ The ball is whipped in towards Gestede but Mignolet is there – luckily. Sterling tries to break but is hauled to the ground for a free kick at halfway. Corey Evans is booked for it.

66″ Jordan Rhodes pulls away to the far post but Kolo Toure lunges in to block. A corner for Blackburn. It is not, however, very effective.

65″ Could this be the decisive moment? Gestede on for Conway to the sheer delight of the Blackburn fans. Rovers have two strikers – two big strikers – on the pitch.

63″ Coutinho drills the ball in towards Sturridge but it is – guess what – cleared. The Liverpool fans are getting frustrated and agitated. Rudy Gestede looks like he may well be coming on.

62″ The corner is poor and is cleared. Blackburn and Bowyer will be content with the lack off quality from Liverpool’s frontmen.

61″ Liverpool have another corner and they’re turning up the heat and applying the pressure – but will they makr a breakthrough.

59″ Moreno copies Sterling but it ends up as another Blackburn goal kick. Baptiste looks like his hamstring is hurting him too. And another heavy touch from Sturridge – is he still rusty from his long spell out on the sidelines.

57″ Sterling again takes the ball down the left but is out-muscled by Henley – again. The ball is bouncing off Sturridge like he is a statue.

56″ A fantastic run from Olsson is halted by Dejan Lovren and it trickles out for a Blackburn corner. However, it flashes past everyone and yet again we have no deadlock-breaker. It remains 0-0.

53″ Henderson’s delivery is good and Lovren nearly makes contact but Matt Kilgallon does well. The game has suddenly come to life!

52″ Sterling is always a bright spark and wins a corner off Henley.

51″ The corner comes to nothing eventually. This 5 minute spell has been more enthralling than the whole first 45!

50″ Up the other end, Henderson attempts to wriggle his way through but is wrestled off the ball. Liverpool have a corner. Great start to the second half!

49″ What did Gary Bowyer feed them at half time? Jordan Rhodes turns and shoots, and it’s blocked. Blackburn are a changed team.

47″ And look at that, a Blackburn chance. Mignolet with a good save to put the ball out for a corner… And the header from  Marshall is deflected off Allen, Mignolet and the post. Possible handball shout off Allen? And this match has lift off!

2nd Half Kick Off

Time for my half time orange, back soon 🙂

The first half has given us no help working out who will progress, as Liverpool dominate but haven’t been able to break Blackburn down thus far, and Blackburn look dangerous whipping the ball into Jordan Rhodes. Rudy Gestede will be a very good substitute to bring on without Sakho’s aerial prowess, but does Gary Bowyer want to risk him getting injured? We’ll find out as the second half of this intriguing encounter begins soon.

Half Time

45 + 1″ Liverpool waste yet another good opportunity from a free kick, but again it comes to nothing. Neither manager will have much to moan about at half time. A poor shot from Glen Johnson brings the half to a close.

45″ Liverpool are looking a little clueless and they won’t mind the half time whistle so they can regroup. The blue and white shirts – a sea of them – are forcing the Merseysiders off the ball. One minute added time.

43″ Coutinho is on the ball again but whips in a disappointing cross which Sturridge can’t quite reach.

40″ A fantastic ball into the box is punched away by Mignolet and that is his first test today. Down the other end Coutinho has yet another shot which is deflected and bobbles into the hands of Simon Eastwood.

38″ Sterling’s pass to Coutinho comes to nothing – like many other moves. A crunching tackle by a Blackburn player rouses the crowd. Coutinho then gets a shot away which flies up to Row Z.

36″ The ball drops to Coutinho who’s tame shot is scrambled away by Eastwood. Eventually Liverpool’s pressure evaporates to a goal kick for Blackburn.

35″ Sterling fizzes a ball across the 18 yard box but it’s cleared by Williamson out for a corner.

34″ Kolo Toure aimlessly whacks a ball away from the danger area – Sakho couldn’t do that – as Blackburn are looking better and better.

33″ Sturridge demonstrates a good technique as he strikes towards goal, but Eastwood collects the ball in his grateful arms. Gary Bowyer’s boys are looking organised and professional.

31″ A weak strike from Glen Johnson is stopped by Eastwood and Blackburn are finally starting to settle.

30″ Liverpool need to bring back the quick, Barca-style passing which was a feature of last season’s great form. Luis Suarez would be a big help at times right this.

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27″ Jordan Rhodes flashes a header over. Only a half-chance. Sakho’s hamstring is not looking good and on comes Kolo Toure who got destroyed at the Emirates on Sunday.

26″ The word I’d use to describe this game is scrappy. And Sakho looks in pain – his hamstring!

24″ A poor ball from Sturridge is bundled away but here come the Reds again…

23″ Nothing much going on so far, let’s hope the tempo picks up…

19″ Daniel Sturridge has a sizzling shot but it’s just over the crossbar. It should be a corner but the referee gives just a Blackburn goal kick. A long ball to Sterling nearly pays off but Alex Baptiste is looking good tonight. It’ll take a bit of magic from Liverpool to open the scoring – Brazilian magic, perhaps?

18″ A corner comes in to the Blackburn box from which Coutinho volleyed which was deflected behind. The resulting corner was cleared.

16″ Liverpool have 65% possession, but they need to turn it into goals… Lovely play up front between Sturridge and Henderson and the latter tries to find Sterling but overhits the through ball. More direct from Liverpool, which is better.

14″ Sakho caught unaware and the ball is nicked away from him, but he recovers well to concede just a corner – which he then clears. Liverpool’s back 4 is probably not what Brendan Rodgers originally wanted but due to the suspended Skrtel and Can, he has had to revert back to what he used back in 2014.

12″ And finally the ball enters the Liverpool area via a cross, but Alberto Moreno is there to give Liverpool back the ball – and that’s where it’s been for the majority of the time.

11″ Liverpool are prompting and probing and look most likely to make the first breakthrough. They keep possession well and try to work it into the box but to no avail so far.

10″ 20 years ago was Blackburn’s historic Premier League win under the guidance of Reds favourite Kenny Dalglish. Sterling tries to pounce on a loose ball but despite his pace he cannot quite reach it.

7″ Blackburn finally get near to the ball, to the delight of their fans. Brendan Rodgers obviously wanted to try something different after the calamitous result at The Emirates and it will be interesting how he works the 4-3-3 formation.

6″ Raheem Sterling goes for a blockbuster but it is off target. Liverpool have started slightly better.

5″ After an uneventful start, the ball drops to Joe Allen on the edge of the area but he scuffs it wide.

1″ Blackburn have won the FA Cup five times, Liverpool 7, so neither team should be underestimated. Liverpool are in a blip at the moment so we’ll see how it pans out. It is looking like a 4-3-3 for The Reds.

Kick Off

Ewood Park is ready, the players are ready and the fans are ready. It’s almost time to start the rollercoaster ride, and the FA Cup dream hangs in the balance… here we go.

Steven Gerrard’s birthday is conveniently on the day of the FA Cup final so he’ll be dreaming of a dream send-off, but he is suspended for tonight’s game.

Rudy Gestede is on the bench for Blackburn which will be a huge blow to the home team, and Liverpool have no place for Mario Balotelli who is ‘ill’. It is unclear whether Brendan Rodgers is playing his usual 3-4-2-1 formation or if he has switched to a 4-3-3 with Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho up front.

After a disappointing 0-0 draw at Anfield, this replay has been seen as a vital game as both club’s seasons have boiled down to this competition. A victory will set up a semi-final clash with Aston Villa at Wembley.

The teams:

Blackburn Rovers

  • 13 Eastwood
  • 02 Henley
  • 15 Baptiste
  • 04 Kilgallon
  • 14 Olsson
  • 29 Evans
  • 12 Marshall
  • 32 Conway
  • 17 Williamson
  • 10 Cairney
  • 11 Rhodes

Substitutes

  • 03 Spurr
  • 20 Songo’o
  • 24 Nyambe
  • 26 Lenihan
  • 30 Steele
  • 31 Mahoney
  • 39 Gestede

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 06 Lovren
  • 17 Sakho
  • 18 Moreno
  • 14 Henderson
  • 21 Lucas
  • 24 Allen
  • 31 Sterling
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 10 Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 04 K Touré
  • 09 Lambert
  • 19 Manquillo
  • 29 Borini
  • 32 Brannagan
  • 50 Markovic

Tonight it’s Blackburn vs Liverpool in the hunt to reach Wembley in the FA Cup Quarter Final Replay. Keep following this post to here updates from the game.

X Factor Final 2013 Results – Live Blog


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Sam overcomes Nicholas to win!

Luke Friend comes third!

What a series! See you soon!!!

Sam Bailey has won and all this year’s acts have surrounded her! Mrs O has won on her return to the X Factor.

Sam Bailey’s hit Skyscraper (originally by Demi Lovato) will be in the race for the Christmas Number 1!!!

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With tears in her eyes, Sam is wowing the crowd for the last time on the X Factor!

Here we go!

And now for an emotional winner’s single from Sam, the tenth X Factor champion!

If I was going to lose, it would be to Sam!

Nicholas McDonald

I love that boy to pieces!

Sam Bailey on Nicholas McDonald

Sam had over one million votes!

The winner of X Factor 2013 is… SAM BAILEY!!!

The public have spoken. Who is the tenth champion?

Welcome back Nicholas and Sam!

The acts are about to hear their fate. Who will get that music contract, and go on tour with Beyonce?

The atmosphere is electric!

Dermot O’Leary

Here we go…

Twitter Watch:

https://twitter.com/katiebailey1990/status/412330193768808448

Will it be Sam or Nicholas?

The lines have CLOSED for the last time in 2013 – they won’t open

again!

Gary has been a great friend for 20 years!

Sir Elton John

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Sir Elton’s voice is still great, considering his age!

And they do sound great together, singing their very own song!

Gary looks like he is having fun!

Lines closing in 5 minutes!!!

Next is Gary Barlow and Sir Elton John!

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For me, Sam has to win!!!!!!!!

I am looking forward to the Leicester match on Tuesday!

Sam Bailey

This is your time.

Sam’s Mum

Twitter Watch:

https://twitter.com/itscourtneey_/status/412325113514979328

Sharon is in hysterical tears! She can’t contain herself, and is lost for words!!!

You are the voice of so many others!

Nicole Sherzinger

It’s a pleasure to be part of your journey!

Gary Barlow

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The crowd at Wembley Arena has been fed so much talent – but Sam is absolutely incredible!!!!!!!

Her astounding voice is piercing through everything!!!

Now Sam is going to sing her winners single!

Down to the bottom two!

Nicholas McDonald – It is the TOP two!

That is Nicholas’ last performance on the X Factor 2013!!! The winner’s single! He absolutely smashed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nicholas as a boy:

nick4

Congratulations on getting this far!

Sharon Osbourne

Nicholas has pulled out a fantastic performance that should earn him many more well-deserved votes!!!

nick3

Please Note: Nicholas is wearing a tartan suit!

The audience are waving bright lights to go with Nicholas’ song!

I’m never gonna make it!

Nicholas McDonald – At his first audition

Nicholas will perform once more next!

Less than 1 hour until results!!!

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The stage, however, looks incredible!

Unconditionally  is first up from Katy! She doesn’t sound great either, like One Direction.

Twitter Watch:

katy1

Next up: Katy Perry, pop genius!!!

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Gary is leaving tonight, and is saying goodbye by performing with Sir Elton John!!!

Vote for Sam Bailey!

Louis Walsh – Nicholas’ mentor wants everyone to vote for… SAM?!

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The noise level in Wembley Arena is off the charts!

After that performance, in my opinion, Sam just HAS to win after that (even though I love Nicholas too)!

She is smashing all the high notes!!!

She is singing ‘The Power of Love’ like her first week!

sam bailey

Here comes Sam!!!

Twitter Watch:

https://twitter.com/laurenhaaay/status/412312935894384641

jaffa cakes

Just got out the biscuit box!!! Settle down with your Jaffa Cakes and enjoy the show!

Xfactor

Next, Sam sings her favourite song she performed in the tenth series of the x factor!!!

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The boy grew into a man!!!

Louis Walsh

My Nicky Blue-eyes!!!

Nicole Scherzinger

Seventeen Year Old!!!

Sharon Osbourne

He was fantastic!

Nicholas is singing Angel! He sung that in week 3, in movie week!!!

The pair are singing their favourite song they’ve performed over the series!

nick1

Even louder screams for Nicholas!

If one direction didn’t blow the roof off, then the screams after did!!!

It doesn’t sound too good… The sound system or the boy band?

1d

The girls are screaming – here comes 1D!

Next up: Nicholas McDonald and One Direction

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Please Note: Sam Callahan still can’t sing!!!

Here are the X Factor finalists singing Roar by Katy Perry!

judges

Here come the judges!!!

Tonight performing are 1D, Katy Perry, Gary Barlow and Sir Elton John!

Who will be victorious?

Hiya everyone again! Tonight, Sam and Nicholas will lock horns – who will win the X Factor 2013? This year’s final has been called the ‘worst’, but these two have TALENT! The whole of Scotland will be backing Nicholas, but Sam has girl power on her side! Who will be victorious?

X Factor Final 2013 – Live Blog


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Luke eliminated!

Sam and Nicholas progress!

0901205051__ on landline

65051__ on mobiles

Nicholas – 01

Sam – 02

 

See you all soon – Luke has gone home!!!

↑↑ I think we all agree! ↑↑

Lines re-opened!!!

The first big decision of the weekend!

Luke is going to have an amazing career. Watch this space!!!

Louis Walsh

What a time he has had on the X Factor 2013 – the first auditionee on TV!!!

Luke is going home!!!

The act through to tomorrow night is… Nicholas

McDonald!

One of Luke and Nicholas is going home!

The first act through to tomorrow night is… SAM

BAILEY!!!

The public have chosen. The acts are ready to receive their fates.

The first night is almost over. Who won’t be here tomorrow?

home

Next up: Who is going home?

Twitter Watch:

https://twitter.com/Paicey1984/status/411975322784256000

https://twitter.com/itszoeex/status/411975322301915136

https://twitter.com/TulipMagoo/status/411975319810478080

And now for Mr. Brightside!!!

The classic song sounds great in the huge arena!

Are we humans or are we dancers?

killers

Here comes ‘The Killers’ for a guest performance!

LINES FROZEN!!!

Into the final part!

Only five minutes before one act gets eliminated! Only two lock horns tomorrow night!

Five minute warning!

That was mad!

GGGGAAAAAHHHHH! IT’S RYLAN! WHAT IS HE

WEARING! HIDE!!!

Johnny Robinson and two shoes as well.

logo1

Now for the highlight acts all performing together (the mad ones) fromn every series! Remember Kitty, Wanger and Jedward. And Rylan!

Series 10 has been fantastic!

Everyone has been incredible tonight so far!!!

nicole

We love you Mrs O!

Nicole Scherzinger

Sam had another great vocal performance. The only bad thing about her is her age… can she go far in the music industry?

Nicole and Sam’s voices go well together.

And I’m Telling You that they are singing And I’m Telling You!

Twitter watch:

Next is Samazing with Shamazing! Sam Bailey  with the one and only – Nicole!

shane1

Shane was part of picking Nicholas to go through from Judge’s houses!

Vocals, as ever, pitch perfect from Nicholas!

Nicholas is singing Flying Without Wings with Shane Filan from Westlife!

ellie

Ellie and Luke were great! Ellie praised Luke’s confidence!

They didn’t survive!

Ellie Goulding is a huge name in music, and Luke will try to get there too!

Will this be good? Anything could happen! (PS that is the song name)

Firstly, Luke Friend with Ellie Goulding!

ROUND 2 – THE DUETS

Showing

Showing X Factor highlights!!!

Twitter Watch:

Random, but hilarious – Newcastle v Southampton earlier:

Absolutely Fantastic!!!

Steve Friend (Luke’s Dad)

Nicole says it was unique!

He was fantastic! Sharon agrees, and she is so happy he is here. Chorus better than the verse says Gary.

Tonight, he is young!!! We are young by Fun, an interesting song for Luke!

luke1

Next up is Luke!!!

Twitter Watch:

https://twitter.com/Dream_Of_Peace/status/411959300836569088

sam1

Emotional from nan.

She was class.

Sharon hopes the fans back Sam!

Class Act!

Louis Walsh

Gary says she showcased her voice, and Nicole quotes she sung her pants off! Samazing!

That shook the roof off –  now for the judges.

Now here is Sam Bailey singing Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga! She is absolutely smashing it out there – great song out there, she is turning it into a slow ‘Sam’ song!

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Nicholas exits the stage after seeing his friend’s ‘Vote Nick’ pants!

And Gary wrote that song…

Sharon congratulates him on reaching the final. Gary criticises his song choice! It ‘doesn’t show off his voice’. Nicole agrees that it was ‘bizarre’! Apparently it was ‘Candy Land’. Louis Walsh states that Gary ‘has no acts’ and asks Scotland to show Gary who is boss!

Here comes Nicholas McDonald with Candy by Robbie Williams!

Twitter watch:

https://twitter.com/lisa_love_lee/status/411952271745089536

https://twitter.com/touchthosecurls/status/411952264560250880

This year’s winner gets a PRIZE from Beyonce… they get to go on tour with her!!!!!

The three acts are performing together and believe me… It sounds good!!! Lifted by Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande!

Here come the judges!!! Louis has TWO acts in the final tonight! He might win! Sharon also has an act!

PLEASE WELCOME… DERMOT O’LEARY

A live audience of over 10,000 here at Wembley!!!

ITS TIME – TO FACE – THE MUSIC

Rough copy were eliminated so now just three battle it out…

Xfactor

From across the UK, thousands auditioned. Now we are down to three!!!

Hello everyone! We are about to kick off! Good luck!!!

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See you just before 8 for the kick off!!!

What is everyone singing tonight?

Luke Friend:

We Are Young by Fun

What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction

DUET: Anything Could Happen with Ellie Goulding

Nicholas McDonald:

Candy by Robbie Williams

Angel by Sarah McLachlan

DUET: Flying Without Wings with Shane Filan

Sam Bailey:

Edge Of Glory by Lady Gaga

The Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush

DUET: And I’m Telling You with Nicole Scherzinger

Sam Bailey, Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend will battle it out tonight…

Hi guys! Welcome to a live blog of… The X Factor Final! Your Saturday night starts right here!!! Remember to keep checking back for updates, and to refresh the page, press the refresh button above! Have a fun night, and if you are out, keep coming back for updates and more!