Finally we have a fully-fledged super Saturday of football, with action back under way from the four top leagues across Europe. We have games aplenty in the English Premier League as many clubs restart their season following the coronavirus-enforced hiatus. There is also a full card in the Bundesliga Germany, and La Liga matches, too, before the Italian Serie A finally begins once again this evening. Stay here for updates throughout the day...
Espanyol have it all to do in La Liga after they went down 3-1 at home to Levante. The result leaves them bottom of the table.
A big day of late upsets today and plenty more to come tomorrow as Liverpool take on Everton amid a day we all want to see as they Merseyside rivals go head to head. ..
What a big sucker-punch that is for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. Now Arsenal are as far awat from the top four as they are from relegation, while three big points takes Brighton up to 15th.
FULL-TIME: BRIGHTON 2 ARSENAL 1
GOAL: BRIGHTON 2 ARSENAL 1
Before today I had friends who were Arsenal fans. My kiss of death here means they will not talk to me again. That'll be 2-1 to Brighton with the last kick of the ball from Neal Maupay as he taps home, much to the chagrin of the Arsenal players. Cue a melee with the ref but the result stands.
Must be time for another goal as I am calling this game as a 1-1 draw. Things are petering out in Brighton and Arsenal can have no complaints. They have been held by average opponents and will not he playing Champions League football next season. Arteta has a big job on his hands.
GOAL! Brighton 1 Arsenal 1
I will never curse a late bus again! Brilliant leveller from Brighton to stun Arsenal with 15 minutes to go. Lewis Dunk plays pinball with the Arsenal defence and wins via VAR.
Full time in the Bundesliga as Bayern storm to another win, but Dortmund defeat Leipzig 2-0 thanks to strikes from Erling Haaland to take charge of second place. At the other end it looks grim for Werder Bremer after they went down 3-1 to Mainz.
GOAL! BRIGHTON 0 ARSENAL 1
What a way to wake up the guys in charge of the piped cheers! From nowhere, Nicolas Pepe conjures up a moment of brilliance on the wing - jinking inside and sending a goal-of-the-season contenter into the top corner!
We are in a lull right now and it highlights two things: Brighton have not won a match in 10 matches in all competitions and should be really worried. And 'Big Four' Arsenal could be bottom-half by the end of the weekend...
Can't fault Brighton for trying as they keep asking questions of that Arsenal defence. While Emiliano Martinez is only the sub, he is still a pretty tidy keeper and he is mopping up all the attacks that are coming his way so far.
It is cooking along nicely in the conveniently timed Bundesliga, where the organised Germans have all their games at one time. It is business as usual for champs x8 Bayern as they are leading Freiburg 3-1. Dortmund cling on to a 1-0 lead over Leipzig - and with it second place in the standings. Werder Bremen are 2-1 down against Mainz in a crucial crunch at the bottom. Around 20 mins to go there, give or take...
HALF-TIME: BRIGHTON 0 ARSENAL 0
Much like the first half of our earlier game, the 'bigger' team have enjoyed the better chances away from home against opposition looking over their shoulders at the relegation fight. But that injury to keeper Leno means an already fragile Arsenal defence has lost its commander and we could be in for an intriguing 45 minutes.
Oh, that is a bad one for Arsenal No.1 Bernd Leno, who falls nastily and does his knee. Off on a stretcher he goes to add to Arteta's injury woes and on comes reserve keeper Emiliano Martinez just before the break.
Great stop by Mat Ryan in the Brighton goal to prevent Arsenal taking the lead. Spreads hilself well to halt the diving header of Alexandre Lacazette while it looked all the while like the visitors were going 1-0 up.
For all their endeavour, Arsenal are still to really worry Brighton since that early woodwork rattler from Bukayo Saka. Out-of-favour Mesut Ozil - who did not make the squad for the Manchester City game - is on the bench and Arteta would need to swallow his pride a little should he come on to provide the winner. Arteta had earlier said Ozil will only make it back into his team when he proves himself worthy.
Over in Germany, Dortmund have taken a 1-0 lead into the break over Leipzig. Victory should secure second spot for the perennial Bunesliga bridesmaids. At the other end Mainz look like pushing Werder Bemen closer to the drop as they lead 2-0. Bremen are second-bottom and in danger of losing their status as the club with the most years spent in Germany’s top flight. They sit one point behind Fortuna Duesseldorf, who occupy the relegation play-off spot. Lose today and they must win their last match to stand any chance of staying up. Bleak... Oh. 3-1 Bayern, BTW!
Arsenal definitely look lively in the opening stages without the suspended error-prone David Luiz (he was arguably one of the best players for City in the 3-0 game midweek despite being an Arsenal player) and the Gunners very neary take the lead through Bukayo Saka, who hold up play and unleashes a shot that comes back of the crossbar.
So Arsenal get us going in our second game of the day in the English top flight down on the sunny south coast against Brighton. Mikel Arteta will be looking for his side to pick themselves up after their midweek humbling by Manchester City, while Brighton would love three points to inch them away from the relegation scrap.
The goals are popping in around the Bundesliga for Hoffenheim, Augsburg and (deep breath) Borussia Moenchengladbach, but we are stll goalless in those two key matches: Leipzig v Dortmund and Mainz v Werder Bremen. Dominant champions Bayern have scored their mandatory opener against Freiburg through Joshua Kimmich.
A dramatic end to the first match of the day in the Premier League, then. No time to catch your breath yet as the Bundesliga has just kicked off and we are awaiting the action from Brighton and Arsenal (in around 20 mins or so). Don't forget Leipzig and Dortmund are in a tussle for second spot in Germany while Mainz and Werder Bremen lock horns in a relegation belter.
FULL-TIME: WATFORD 1 LEICESTER 1
It's like waiting for a bus sometimes... Watford grab a well-deserved point with some true relegation-dogfight grit to hoist them on to 28 points, one more than their nearest relegation rivals West Ham, Bournemouth and Aston Villa, who have all played a game less. This battle to beat the drop will go all the way, I reckon...
GOAL! WATFORD 1 LEICESTER 1
Ask and ye shall receive! 93 minutes of frustration: Check! Agonising goal against: Check! Crazy pinball cross and overhead leveller with a minute remaining: Check! Watford rescue what could be a vital point in the relegation battle as Craig Dawson gets all acrobatic to beat Schmeichel at last!
GOAL! WATFORD 0 LEICESTER 1
Agony for the home side. After all that hard work it looks like they will come away with nothing. From nowhere Ben Chilwell pounces on 90 minutes to snatch the lead for the visitors. Only injury time remaining for Watford to salvage something here.
The rule-makers ruin it again as the compulsory drinks break and a multitude of substitutions (five each now thanks to COVID-19) take the sting out of the game. Both teams looking for a winner but it is turning into a bit of a midfield scrap after some real action at both ends.
Team news from Brighton v Arsenal (6pm)
Brighton: Ryan, Schelotto, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Propper, Bissouma, Mooy, Gross, Trossard, Maupay. Subs: Lamptey, Duffy, Stephens, Mac Allister, Murray, March, Montoya, Button, Connolly.
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac, Pepe, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Saka, Lacazette, Aubameyang. Subs: Tierney, Ozil, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Martinez, Willock, Nketiah, Martinelli, Medley.
My word! How did that stay out? The live webcams of Leicester fans show a multitude of blue-clad Zoom users with their heads in their hands as Marc Albrighton can only watch as his effort crashes off the post and James Maddison is denied on the follow-up.
Still Watford push - roared on by their virtual crowd. It will take something special to deny Kasper Schmeichel the man of the match in my book as he has made at least four vital stops. While a draw against Leicester is still a fine effort, 0-0 is such a fragile scoreline and Caglar Soyuncu almost gives the Foxes an undeserved lead at the other end but puts his effort wide.
You've got to love the business end of the season - even if it is delayed by three months. You can see how Watford are fighting for every ball now, knowing one goal today could greatly enhance their survival prospects. It makes you wonder how teams who are fighting to avoid the drop can manage to raise their game when their Premier League status is on the line but they cannot deliver the goods for a whole season.
We are back up and running and Nigel Pearson - sporting his mandatory fashion-statement 'gilet' or body-warmer to you and me - must have fired up his boys as they roar out of the traps. It is that man Kasper Schmeichel to the rescue once again as Etienne Capoue plays in Ismaila Sarr, but the giant Dane gets a hand to his shot from close range and Leicester breath again...
Over in Spain, Espanyol are fighting for their La Liga lives and have levelled against Levante. The home side really crave the three points to haul themselves closer to safety as they sit second bottom.
HALF-TIME: WATFORD 0 LEICESTER 0
The ref blows for the break and after a bright start it is probably Brendan Rodgers' Leicester who will be more relieved for the breather. Nigel Pearson's men have weathered the early storm and only Kasper Schmeichel has prevented them from taking an advantage into the interval.
The Hornets are buzzing now as they try to get the opener before the break. Craig Dawson catches the Leicester defence napping with a tasty ball into the area but Kasper Schmeichel is again on hand to deny Roberto Pererya.
Spoke to soon. Watford have suddenly woken up and it's Leicester are on the back foot. After some probing and passing, Abdoulaye Doucoure unleashes a screamer, which Kasper Schmeichel does well to keep out.
No goals yet at Vicarage Road as Leicester continue to press and show just why these two teams are at opposite ends of the table. Looking ahead: the Bundesliga has a full slate of games coming up, with two corkers as Leipzig take on Dortmund in the battle for second behind champions Bayern Munich, while Mainz and Werder Bremen slug it out in a fight-to-beat-the-drop six-pointer (games begin at 5.30pm).
Despite being the away team, Leicester have started the better, pinning Watford in their own half in the opening exchanges, with goal-machine Jamie Vardy looking in the mood up front for the Foxes. With no fans at Vicarage Road, crowd noise is being piped into the stadium (with a bit more success than the hit-and-miss efforts at the Spurs-United game last night, where the goals were 'celebrated' after a distinct pause).
While there are many places around Dubai to watch the games - everyone has their favourite - strict protocols are still in place regarding hygiene and social distancing. The Crown & Lion in Byblos Barsha Heights has temperature checks on patrons and appropriate spacing between tables and diners as they take in the game. Here are five more spots to view the action around the city.
Leicester are flying high up in third and look good once again for a Champions League spot. Watford will be a lot hungrier for three points, mind, as they are dangerously close to the relegation zone, with goal difference keeping them safe at the moment.
So fans around the UAE and around the globe are settling into their seats - be it at home, at the coffe shop or down at their favourite footballing hotspot (socially distanced, obviously) - with relieved grins on their faces as a full Saturday feast of football returns after three long months. Leicester and Watford get us rolling following a minutes silence in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back to today, and the Premier League gets us up and running, with Leicester City travelling to Watford in the first of four games back-to-back. Brighton host Mikel Arteta's out-of-sorts Arsenal at 6pm, before West Ham take on Wolves and Bournemouth face Crystal Palace. All results and fixtures here...
18 : 00
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United played out a thrilling 1-1 draw in London, with penalties, VAR and a livid Roy Keane taking a swipe at United keeper David de Gea.
We have already had plenty of weekend drame in the EPL, with Norwich looking doomed to the relegation drop following a mediocre performance at Carrow Road - going down 3-0 to Southampton. The result leaves them five points adrift at the bottom and at least six from safety, with a stiff run-in to come. Championship beckons, I'm afraid.