Full-time: Chelsea 2 Villa 0
Great result for Chelsea as they go six points clear of Manchster United and look like securing third spot in the Premier League. It was edge of the seat stuff for a while but they have proved once again why they are the biggest threat to Liverool and Manchester City.
This will hurt Villa as they wil be not moving out of the relegstion zone tonight. 10 mins to go and Giroud will be cursed in Birmingham tonight.
GOAL: Chelsea 2 Villa 1
Gimme a chance! Chelsea turn the game on its head inside 60 seconds as Olivier Giroud pounces to put the London club in command.
GOAL: Chelsea 1 Villa 1
Here we go. Christian Pulisic gets Chelsea back in the game with a fine strike.
Back under way. Almost every game since 'Project: Restart' has been 0-0 all half-time. Goal-fest here we come.
Half-time: Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 0
Stalemate so far, Villa will be happy. Chelsea not so much...
I think Frank Lampard doesn't want Champions League football next season as his boys gift Villa the lead. A comedy of errors results in Kourtney Hause stabbing home. Chelsea keeper Kepa (unfortunate name at the moment) fumbles as Villa are in the lead. Vila assistant and Chelsea legend does not celebrate. Suck it up. Keinan Davis tries his hardest but Hause does the business. Game on.
Goalkeepers are earning their stripes as we stay goalless at Villa Park. Orjan Nyland makes a brillant stop from Mason Mount.
Great stop by Villa keeper Nyland, who denies a Chelsea opener from Willian and in the process their first goal in 104 days since the lockdown.
Nothing much to report so far from Villa Park as Chelsea try to get the size of their opponents, who are one game better off in the whole post-coronavirus restart.
Interstingly, that win takes Newcastle up to 12th in the table, ahead of Everton, who have the task of facing champs-in-waiting Liverpool this evening. No pressure for the Toffees, then...
What is it with 'Project: Restart' games and a flurry of late goals? Time for a breather before Chelsea and Frank Lampard hope to dent Aston Villa's Premier League survival hopes.
Full-time: Newcastle 3 Sheffield 0
This is a big result for Newcastle, but Sheffield shouldn't be too downhearted as, despite the loss they still have a great shot at Champions League football next season. They are only two points off Manchester United in fifth, a slot which may be enough if Manchester City's Uefa ban is upheld.
sUefa ban is upheld.
GOAL: Newcastle 3 Sheffield 0
BREAKING NEWS: Joelinton has scored. Repeat, Joelinton has scored. 45 hours of graft since his last strike way back in August! Miguel Almiron squaeres and a delighted Brazilian has taken a weight off his shoulders. 2-0 against 10 men. Now we know his level (joking Joe-Joe).
GOAL: Newcastle 2 Sheffield 0
What a rocket from Matt Ritchie at make it 2-0. Provider becomes scorer as he breaks into space after shrugging off a challenge, looks up an has a go. Bam! Back of the net! Sheffield will be looking at damage limitation now as they are down to 10 men.
Don't forget we still have Aston Villa against Chelsea coming up, ahead of the big Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton.
GOAL! Newcastle 1 Sheffield 0
I'm getting good at this timing thing! That is just pure comedy from the Sheffield defence as a harmless-looking cross from Matt Ritchie on the break flummoxes Enda Stevens, who lets it run between his legs before falling on his nose, and Allan Saint-Maximin is there to snaffle up an easy opener. Maybe Dean Henderson should have done better, beaten at his near post. I reckon John Egan is feeling pretty bad right now.
Red Card: John Egan - Sheffield
Egan will be regretting that early handbags tangle with Joelinton as he is forced to pull back the Brazilian forward as he attempts to break free on goal. Cue the second yellow from referee David Coote, followed by a red. Early bath John, and Joelinton has contributed to the Newcastle cause at last!!! Now, go get that goal Joe-Joe (it might catch on).
Santi Mina gets on the scoresheet for we've-gone-goal-mad Celta Vigo. Alaves on the wrong side of a 6-0 whipping in La Liga, making up for the lack of goals at Newcastle. The result hoists Celta away from the danger zone and Barcelona should be taking notes after their toothless display in the 0-0 draw against Sevilla the other night if they want to keep Real Madrid at bay in the title race.
Half-time: Newcastle 0 Sheffield 0
No goals and little to shout about other than a couple of fine stops from Sheffield's Dean Henderson in goal and a moment of pure comedy from Joelinton. Why does Steve Bruce persist in starting the guy? He has had enough punishment. 40 million quid well spent, Mike Ashley.
I don't know what they had for breakfast, but an invigorated Celta Vigo make it 5-0 against Alaves over in La Liga. They may have had little to cheer about this season, but they would bave chewed your hand, arm and shoulder off to be 5-0 up today and steering themselves away from the relegation zone. Former Barcelona and Manchester City man Nolito adds the fifth. Martín Aguirregabiria was sent off for the visitors, but Celta will not give a hoot!
Good work from the Newcastle 'sound-piping operator' as an empty stadium is filled with boos from the Tannoy system after Sheffield's John Egan and Joelinton go into the book.
Is Joelinton the worst Premier League signing ever? The much-maligned Newcastle striker wins no fans when he tees up a strike only to kick the ground and fall over instead. Joe-Joe, as no one calls him, hasn't scored in 35 hours on the pitch for Newcastle. Still zip-zip at St James.
Manchester United will be taking note as Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson, on loan from Old Trafford, blocks brilliantly just when it looed like Newcastle would open the scoring. Talented lad Henderson, who has been in the news after United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tipped him to be No. 1 for the Red Devils and England in the future.
Right on cue, Henderson gets down well to smother another Newcastle attack. The home side look up for this today...
Sheffield get us under way after the minute of silence in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the coronavirus pandemic and the 'take-a-knee' demonstration for Black Lives Matter and a statement against racism.
So Cardiff win the early Championship match 2-0, a result that will have Leeds fans worrying it will be the same old story in their endless pursuit of Premier League football.
Celta Vigo, where have you been all season? Rafinha strikes twice inside 60 seconds to open up a 4-0 advantage over Alaves at half-time. It will be party time already in ... Vigo? Not only will they bag three points, if they keep this up it will do their goal-difference a world of good.
Team news is in from St James Park:
Newcastle XI Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Joelinton. Subs: Schar, Carroll, Gayle, Muto, Krafth, Yedlin, Lazaro, Darlow, Bentaleb.
Sheff Utd XI Henderson, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, Sharp. Subs: Zivkovic, Lundstram, Luke Freeman, Jagielka, Kieron Freeman, Mousset, Osborn, Moore, Rodwell.
Oh dear, Leeds. Having missed out on promotion to the Premier League so many times (they are the play-off failure masters) Marcelo Bielsa's side are doing things the hard way once again. Cardiff City have doubled their lead, thanks to a fine finish from Robert Glatzel, to add to David Hoilett's opener.
Now the title hasn't been won yet, but one Liverpool fan has started the celebrations early if her front garden is anything to go by. Emily Farley - and the general populace of planet Earth - is confident Jurgen Klopp's men will not throw away a 22-point lead at the top of the Prem and they will surely claim their first title in 30 years. Win against Merseyside rivals Everton later today and they will be one win away from officially starting the party. I hope it doesn't rain, Emily...
Good old Celta Vigo must have been reading! They have taken an early lead against Alaves in La Liga. Three points today could prove crucial in their relegation dogfight, as it will pull them clear of Mallorca, Leganes and Espanyol. The catchily named Jeison Fabian Murillo Ceron got the goal. Scotland's Oliver Burke plays for Alaves... I did not know that. Every day is a school day, and all that.
Make that 2-0! Celta are flying. Iago Aspas doubles their lead from the penalty spot. I am taking all the credit for this.
There was some sad news today as Iraq World Cup Mexico 86 hero Ahmed Radhi has died from complications linked to COVID-19. Radhi, 56, is an Iraqi football legend and scored what remains Iraq’s only World Cup goal in 1986 against Belgium, and he passed away on Sunday just hours before he was to be flown for treatment in Jordan.
Celta Vigo will need to give their all against Alaves as they are only one point above the drop zone in La Liga. That game is just kicking off as we speak. Alaves are safe in mid-table and have secured La Liga footy for next season.
The Championship in England is also back on the menu, and Cardiff City have upset the applecart somewhat by taking the lead against Leeds United, who are hoping to gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time in one billion years (or so it seems). We are at half-time there and Leeds will be desperate to rectify things and capitalise on West Brom's draw with Birmingham on Saturday and get back to the top of the table.
It's not all about the football as the resumption of the top leagues allows friends to socially-distantly get together to enjoy the games, bringing communities back together after three months of solitude and stress thanks to COVID-19.
Many fans in Dubai are taking the opportunity to catch their favourite teams at cafes and hostelries around town as the UAE takes strides to get back to social normality.
"The football returning is great in so many ways," says Craig Leader, manager of the Crown & Lion at Byblos Barsha Heights. "Of course the cusomers returning is great, but we get that real community feel back that has been missing for so long. The Crown is a big central part of community life here in Barsha Heights and the smiling familiar faces really lets us know we can get through this together."
In La Liga, Atletico got their Champions Legue bid back on track with a stylish win over Real Valladolid, while Getafe saw their own hopes diminished thanks to a 1-1 draw with Eibar.
Over in Germany, Bayern showed why they are champions of the Bundesliga for the EIGHTH time in a row with a Robert Lewandowski (who else?) inspired demolition of Freiburg. The Pole now has 33 goals this season in the league alone. Blimey.
Werder Bremen are in big trouble and could go down for the first time in 40 years after losing to Mainz. End of an era unless they get a miracle in the last day's play...
Liverpool begin the second part of their relentless march to the Premier League title/biggest implosion in football history (delete as appropriate) when they take the short trip to Everton's Goodison Park tonight. But before all that we have Newcastle United v Sheffield United, followed by Aston Villa v Chelsea.
There were a few upsets yesterday as Arsenal made it two losses on the trot as they were sunk by Brighton and their Champions League hopes are dwindling fast. Brighton on the other hand were thrilled to grab the three points that pulled them away from the relegation battle.
The news was not as good for Bournemouth and West Ham, who went down 2-0 to Crystal Palace and Wolves respectively.
Afternoon all. We have had our Super Saturday of football now that all the major leagues across Europe are back up and running following the coronavirus break. But I hope you have left some room for, erm, Super Sunday as there is still plenty more on-pitch action coming your way today.
La Liga kicks off first with Celta Vigo v Alaves at 4pm, before all eyes turn to St James Park in Newcastle as the home side resume their Premier League campaign against Sheffield United. The Blades have already been in action this week as they were held 0-0 by Aston Villa on Wednesday evening. They will be hoping for a better result today against Steve Bruce's men as they make a push for Champions League football next term.