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Match of the Day: Why Danny Murphy's convinced Liverpool will be champions

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 23:06

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Find out why Liverpool's thrilling 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace has convinced Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy that the Reds will be Premier League champions.
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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool boss hails important 60-point milestone

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 20:20
Sadio Mane

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed an important milestone after his team's 4-3 win over Crystal Palace saw them hit 60 points and move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Only champions Manchester City (2017-18) and Chelsea (2005-06) have amassed more Premier League points than the Reds after 23 games.

"The result is massive. We have 60 points now it's crazy," Klopp said.

"It's an important number, I am really proud."

Liverpool were made to work for their three points though, having to come back from Andros Townsend's first-half strike and then again having to respond after James Tomkins equalised in the second period.

The league leaders also confirmed their victory after James Milner had been dismissed for his second yellow card in the 89th minute.

"It's a massive relief. We knew for different reasons the game would be difficult. They are really good at counter attacks and set-pieces," Klopp added.

"Wilfried Zaha is a world-class player and he gets into a one-on-one situation and we're one down.

"We had to stay positive, being one down is not a massive blow, we just needed to win the second half and did what we had to do. We got lucky for 3-2 and with all the set pieces they're still a threat so it stayed interesting until the end."

'I should be satisfied but losing 4-3 dents that'

On his return to Anfield, former England and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson felt his Palace side merited at least a point - despite admitting that they had "conceded some poor goals."

Hodgson was particularly aggrieved by the manner of Sadio Mane's winning goal for the Reds, which leaves Palace 14th in the table but just three points clear of the relegation.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

"The fourth shouldn't be allowed because there's a clear handball. So I'm not sure what's crazy about it, I'm disappointed for the boys that they've got got anything from it," Hodgson said.

"You know they have extremely good players, you know it will be a hard task and it will require a lot of discipline and we did well to come back to 2-2 and 4-3 at the end after conceding a very unfair goal.

"We showed a lot of composure, created opportunities at will. There's been so many games this season where we've taken encouragement and we've played better than the result has shown.

"That disappoints me more than anything - I should be extremely satisfied but the fact we've lost 4-3 dents that."

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Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace: Hodgson laments Speroni's 'really, really cruel' error

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 18:15

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has full sympathy for Julian Speroni after the goalkeeper's calamitous error led to Mohamed Salah's crucial second goal in Liverpool's 4-3 victory at Anfield.

MATCH REPORT: Liverpool 4-3 Crystal palace

Watch highlights of Saturday's Premier League games on Match of the Day from 22:20 GMT on BBC One and on the BBC Sport website.

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Wolves 4-3 Leicester: Nuno Espirito Santo sent off for Jurgen Klopp-style celebration

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 16:41
Wolves players and their manager Nuno Espirito Santo celebrate the winning goal against Leicester

When Diogo Jota completed his hat-trick in injury time to earn Wolves a thrilling 4-3 win over Leicester, manager Nuno Espirito Santo raced down the touchline to join in the celebrations.

It was not the first time we have seen an exuberant on-pitch managerial show of emotion this season. Jurgen Klopp against Everton, anyone?

Jurgen Klopp races on to the pitch at Anfield

But this time there was a very different outcome, despite the offence - and even the referee - being the same.

Nuno was sent off by official Chris Kavanagh, the referee who did not dismiss Klopp after he raced on to the pitch at Anfield to celebrate Divock Origi's injury-time winner in the Merseyside derby in December.

Klopp subsequently accepted a Football Association charge and was fined £8,000, saying: "That's what rules are for. I couldn't avoid it."

After that match, referees were reminded about enforcing the technical area code of conduct - managers coming on to the pitch can be seen as inflammatory by the opposition and therefore doing so is prohibited. The Premier League bosses themselves were given a presentation about touchline behaviour before the season started.

Like Klopp, Nuno said the emotion of the late winner got the better of him.

"I tried to avoid going inside the pitch but it is clear," he told Match of the Day. "I was sent off for it and it is the right decision."

Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: "I was sent off and rightly so. You cannot go on the pitch. I tried but someone saw me!"

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'You feel like the greatest man in the world'

The game was a thriller - and the ending did not disappoint.

Wolves were 2-0 up early on, through Jota's volley and Ryan Bennett's header, only for Leicester to equalise within six minutes of the break through Demarai Gray and a Conor Coady own goal.

Jota's second restored the lead midway through the second half, only for Wes Morgan to head in what seemed to be a dramatic equaliser with three minutes left.

But then, having already missed one chance in injury time, Jota produced a precise finish to claim all three points and take Wolves above their opponents in the Premier League.

"In a game like this when you win you feel like the greatest man in the world," said Jota.

"This is the kind of game I watched as a kid and now I am a part of it."

More misery for under-pressure Puel

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For Leicester manager Claude Puel - already under pressure from some fans who question the team's style of play - the result was a painful one.

"It was an unbelievable game," said the Foxes boss. "I think we have a lot of different feelings in this game. We started with poor intentions and conceded two early goals.

"It was crazy, we came back into the game with good quality and good chances. We lacked quality in our play but we came back with fantastic spirit in the second half. We had desire, aggression and put Wolves under pressure.

"We didn't manage the game at the end and we were naive in our goals and our management of the game.

"This game is finished at 3-3 - we needed to keep our position without trying to score another goal because there was a lot of tiredness. It was a fantastic feeling to come back and of course it is a big disappointment at the end."

Leicester captain Wes Morgan added: "There were a few strong words said at half time and as a team we expect better from ourselves.

"We knew if we got one goal, we could get another. At 2-2 either team could have come away with the points, and at 3-3 we thought it was the end of the game.

"It's a great game from a neutral point of view, seven goals and plenty of action and drama - but for us to come away with nothing is hard to take."

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Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool defender close to new five-year deal

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 08:26
Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is close to signing a new five-year deal until 2024 with the club.

Talks are not completed yet but are at an advanced stage and a new contract should be announced in the coming days.

It will reflect the 20-year-old's remarkable progress since his last contract in 2017.

He has established himself as the club's first choice right-back, broken into the England team, and played at the World Cup.

The deal follows Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson signing a new five-year deal with the club last week.

Earlier in the week, it was announced Alexander-Arnold is expected to be sidelined for at least a fortnight with a knee problem after being injured in the warm-up before Saturday's 1-0 win at Brighton.

He does not require surgery but will miss home games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

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Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 10:37
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Jurgen Klopp Anfield invite for 104-year-old Liverpool fan

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 09:33

One of Liverpool FC's longest serving fans is being treated to a day watching his beloved Reds for his 104th birthday.

Bernard Sheridan was presented with a personalised note signed by manager Jurgen Klopp and an invitation to this Saturday's Premier League match at Anfield against Crystal Palace.

Mr Sheridan has been faithfully following the club for 96 years.

He said: "The icing on the cake will be when we beat Crystal Palace."

Representatives from the club paid a surprise visit to Mr Sheridan at The Tithebarn care home in Great Crosby, Sefton, Merseyside, this week to present him with his birthday gifts.

They included a shirt with the number "104" printed on the back, a cake and the letter from Klopp thanking him for his support since 1923.

Mr Sheridan, who has seven grandchildren and fourteen great grand-children, will attend the match with family, including a son who is travelling to Liverpool from Canada.

He began watching Liverpool and local rivals Everton in 1923 when an uncle started taking him to games on the tram from their home in Wavertree each week and a love affair with the Reds soon formed.

Mr Sheridan added: "I've been a proud Liverpool supporter since I was a boy and have supported the club through thick and thin, so I'm absolutely thrilled to be off to the match on Saturday."

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Liverpool v Crystal Palace live in the Premier League

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:26
Liverpool v Crystal Palace live in the Premier League - Live - BBC Sport window['searchboxIEVersion'] = 8; window['searchboxIEVersion'] = 9;

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Andy Robertson: Liverpool & Scotland defender signs new contract until 2024

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 18:17
Liverpool's Andy Robertson

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has signed a new contract keeping him at the club until the summer of 2024.

The 24-year-old Scotland captain joined the Reds from Hull in July 2017 for an initial fee of £8m.

Joe Gomez and Sadio Mane have recently agreed new deals at Liverpool, while Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah signed contract extensions last summer.

Liverpool have a four-point lead at the top of the table as they bid to win the Premier League for the first time.

Robertson has made 56 appearances in all competitions for the Anfield club, and his one goal to date came at home to Brighton in May.

He has started all but two Premier League games for the leaders this term.

"As soon as the club came to me, it was a no-brainer for me - I want to stay here, so as soon as they put an offer on the table it was signed as quickly as that," he said.

"It was a pretty easy contract for me and I'm sure for the club as well. We both agreed very quickly, that's why it's been done so quickly. Hopefully we have a lot of good days ahead."

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Premier League predictions: Lawro v NBA star Mario Hezonja

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 18:05
Lawro's predictions

Arsenal's game with Chelsea on Saturday is a crucial clash in the battle for the top four, but who will come out on top?

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson says: "The Gunners were beaten at Stamford Bridge at the start of the season but they had a very good spell in the game when they battered the Blues.

"The Gunners have defensive issues but they showed against Tottenham before Christmas what they are capable of in big games like this.

"With the crowd behind them, it would be typical if they went out and beat Chelsea - they have definitely got enough quality in midfield and attack to win this one."

Lawro is making predictions for all 380 top-flight matches this season, against a variety of guests.

This week he is up against New York Knicks basketball star Mario Hezonja.

Mario Hezonja tries to go past Jabari Parker of the Chicago Bulls

The Croatian small forward is set to play in Thursday's NBA London game against Washington Wizards.

Hezonja, 23, is a Newcastle fan and is backing them to beat fellow strugglers Cardiff on Saturday.

While playing for Barcelona at the start of his basketball career, Hezonja was asked if he had been to see Lionel Messi in action at the Nou Camp.

"Let Messi come to see me", was his response.

So, which NBA stars does Hezonja think are the best football players?

He told BBC Sport: "From what I've seen, Joel Embiid (of the Philadelphia 76ers) and Tony Parker (of the Charlotte Hornets). I have to say myself too!"

Premier League predictions - week 23ResultLawroMarioSATURDAYWolves v Leicesterx-x2-00-1Bournemouth v West Hamx-x2-10-1Liverpool v Crystal Palacex-x2-02-0Man Utd v Brightonx-x3-02-0Newcastle v Cardiffx-x2-02-1Southampton v Evertonx-x1-10-0Watford v Burnleyx-x0-10-0Arsenal v Chelseax-x2-11-2SUNDAYHuddersfield v Man Cityx-x0-20-2Fulham v Tottenhamx-x0-20-2

A correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth 10 points. The exact score earns 40 points.

LAWRO'S PREDICTIONS

All kick-offs 15:00 GMT unless stated.

SATURDAY Wolves v Leicester

Wolves v Leicester (12:30 GMT)

Leicester lost to Southampton last week despite Saints playing the whole second half with 10 men, and some Foxes fans are clearly not happy with manager Claude Puel.

That has been the case for a while now, despite Leicester's wins against Manchester City and Chelsea over Christmas, and it is another reason why I do not understand why Puel picked a weakened team for his side's FA Cup defeat by Newport County.

If he had put a stronger team out and won that tie, it would have given Leicester's supporters something to look forward to. Instead, Puel managed to annoy some of them even more.

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I read a very good interview with Wolves' executive chairman Jeff Shi in the Sunday Times (subscription required) where he spoke about the club's plans, and he clearly understands their history and fan-base too.

Wolves were beaten by Manchester City on Monday, but there was not much they could do about that once Willy Boly had been sent off after 19 minutes. I think they will get back on track here.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Mario's prediction: 0-1

Bournemouth v West Ham

Bournemouth v West Ham

West Ham got a great result in beating Arsenal on Saturday, while Bournemouth's defeat at Everton last week means they have lost nine of their past 12 league games.

I don't think the Cherries have played especially badly in that time, which is one of the reasons I think they will return to winning ways on Saturday. They have a decent recent record against the Hammers too.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Mario's prediction: 0-1

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Saturday would have been the 100th birthday of former Liverpool boss Bob Paisley, and the club are going to mark the occasion in a variety of ways.

The Reds will be up against another former Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, who did not have a very happy time at Anfield, during a difficult period for the club.

Liverpool got through last week's trip to Brighton with three points, which was the important thing - it is those type of games that decide whether you end up as champions.

I don't see them having many problems in winning this one too. Trent Alexander-Arnold is out, but Jurgen Klopp will just play James Milner at right-back, and he will not moan about it.

Anything Palace get from this game is a bonus, and I just don't see it happening.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Mario's prediction: 2-0

Man Utd v Brighton

Man Utd v Brighton

Brighton have back-to-back games against Liverpool and Manchester United so this is a tough week for them - but even if they lose this game too, they already have points in the bank because of their form at the turn of the year.

The Seagulls may have lost against Liverpool but they did make things difficult for the Reds, which is something they are good at.

Chris Hughton's side will have the same approach at Old Trafford but I don't see it working - United are just flying at the moment.

Lawro's prediction: 3-0

Mario's prediction: 2-0

Newcastle v Cardiff

Newcastle v Cardiff

Newcastle replaced Cardiff in the bottom three last week, but it is hard to see either of these teams pulling clear of the relegation battle. Whatever happens in this game is not going to change that.

Cardiff are trying to bolster their attack by signing Emiliano Sala for around £18m from Nantes, and loaning Oumar Niasse from Everton.

All the clubs at the bottom of the table are short of goals and at least the Bluebirds are trying to do something about it. If Sala keeps them in the Premier League, he is worth every penny - so it is worth the gamble.

There is no sign of Newcastle doing anything similar in the transfer market but I am still going with them to win this game.

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Whether or not Magpies boss Rafa Benitez really wanted to progress in the FA Cup or not, I think their win at Blackburn on Tuesday is a big thing.

If your kids can win, like Newcastle's did, you think 'hold on a minute, maybe we are not that bad'.

Lawro's prediction: 2-0

Mario's prediction: 2-1

Southampton v Everton

Southampton v Everton

Both of these teams had good results last weekend, although I still thought Everton looked ordinary against Bournemouth.

The Toffees need to kick on, and they should use last week's win over Bournemouth as a platform for an improved performance this time.

I just think there is something missing with Marco Silva's side at the moment. It is strange - they should be better defensively with the players they have got, and they don't seem able to get Richarlison or Gylfi Sigurdsson on the ball enough for them to be in control of games.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1

Mario's prediction: 0-0

Watford v Burnley

Watford v Burnley

Sean Dyche goes back to his old club with his Burnley team in decent shape again, after four wins on the bounce, and they are inching away from the relegation zone.

Watford got a good win at Palace last week but they are so up and down that it is always hard to know what they will do next.

I am going to go with Burnley. They managed to beat Fulham last time out without having a shot on target which was a nice trick to pull off, and I just think they will nick this.

Lawro's prediction: 0-1

Mario's prediction: 0-0

Arsenal v Chelsea

Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 GMT)

Arsenal need to strengthen at the back otherwise it is going to be the same old story, and they are just going to be fighting for fifth.

Manchester United's run means they are back in the race for the top four and it could be even closer after this weekend.

 1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Tottenham, 4th Chelsea, 5th Arsenal, 6th Man Utd

I am expecting United to beat Brighton and if Arsenal beat Chelsea too, then there will only be three points separating the three teams.

We are also not sure how Tottenham will get on without the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who is away with South Korea at the Asian Cup, so the next few weeks are going to be very interesting.

Lawro's prediction: 2-1

Mario's prediction: 1-2

SUNDAY Huddersfield v Man City

Huddersfield v Man City (13:30 GMT)

Huddersfield will not replace David Wagner until next week but, even if their new manager was already in place, I don't think it would make any difference to the outcome of this game.

Manchester City are on a roll at the moment and they beat Wolves on Monday without really having to play. It was more like a training exercise.

City had to come from behind to win here last season, through a late Raheem Sterling goal, but I think things will be more comfortable for Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Mario's prediction: 0-2

Fulham v Tottenham

Fulham v Tottenham (16:00 GMT)

Things could not have gone much worse for Tottenham last time out, with Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko both injured in their defeat by Manchester United.

But even without those two, and Son, I still think Spurs will have far too much for Fulham, who have only signed one player - former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel - this month.

Lawro's prediction: 0-2

Mario's prediction: 0-2

How did Lawro do last time?

From last week's Premier League games, Lawro got five correct results, including two perfect scores, from 10 matches, for a total of 110 points.

He beat Strictly dancer Oti Mabuse, who got three correct results, with no exact scores, for a total of 30 points.

Total scores after week 22Lawro1,910Guests1,700Lawro v GuestsP22W11D2L9 Lawro's League Table +/- DENOTE POSITION DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAWRO'S TABLE AND ACTUAL POSITIONTEAMPWDLPTS+/-1Man City22193060+12Man Utd22183157+4=3Liverpool22139048-2=3Tottenham2214624805Chelsea22144446-1=6Everton22121937+4=6Leicester22114737+28Arsenal22103933-39Newcastle2285929+9=10Fulham22831127+9=10Burnley2276927+512Watford22821226-513West Ham22731224-4=14Bournemouth22651123-2=14Crystal Palace22651123016Wolves22631321-517Southampton22521517-118Cardiff22351414-119Brighton22261412-620Huddersfield222416100GUEST LEADERBOARD 2018-19SCOREGUEST LEADERBOARD160David Ginola140The 1975's Ross MacDonald120Joe Thomas110Yatez90Jim Glennie, Karl Pilkington, Chris Stark87Lawro (average after 22 weeks)80Richard Ashcroft, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg James, Mark Wahlberg60Idris Elba, Dolph Lundgren, Mumford & Sons, Dillian Whyte50Bring Me The Horizon, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Theo Ellis.40Tom Grennan, Josh Warrington30Oti Mabuse

Lawro's best score: 260 points (week seven v Karl Pilkington)

Lawro's worst score: 40 points (week three v Idris Elba, week eight v Chris Stark and week 12 v Mumford & Sons)

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Petr Cech: Retiring goalkeeper's incredible save for Chelsea in FA Cup Final v Liverpool

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 15:15

BBC Sport looks back on Petr Cech's incredible save in the final few minutes of the 2012 FA Cup final, which kept the score at 2-1, foiling Liverpool's Andy Carroll and securing the trophy for Chelsea.

READ MORE: Cech to retire at the end of the season

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Trent Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool defender out for at least two weeks with knee injury

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 13:01
Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool have suffered an injury blow with England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold expected to be sidelined for at least a fortnight with a knee problem.

The 20-year-old was injured in the warm-up before Saturday's 1-0 win at Brighton.

He was able to play the full 90 minutes but now faces an extended spell out.

Alexander-Arnold does not require surgery but will miss Liverpool's home games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

His absence creates a problem for manager Jurgen Klopp after his natural deputy Nathaniel Clyne was allowed to join Bournemouth on loan until the end of the season.

Alexander-Arnold may yet struggle to be ready for the visit to West Ham United and the Anfield meeting with Bournemouth.

James Milner has proved able at right-back in the past but with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren also out injured, it means Klopp's defensive resources are being stretched, although Joel Matip was back on the bench at Brighton.

Liverpool have another injury concern over midfield man Georginio Wijnaldum, who also took a knock on the knee at the Amex Stadium and is a serious doubt for the game against Palace at Anfield on Saturday.

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Pep Guardiola tells Man City players to forget about Liverpool's fixtures

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 00:20
Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has told his players to forget about leaders Liverpool in their pursuit of a second straight Premier League title.

City beat 10-man Wolves 3-0 on Monday to reduce the gap between themselves and the Reds to four points.

"We can't do anything about Liverpool's games, they belong to them," said Guardiola.

"The only way to put that pressure on is by being there and maybe one day they fail."

A Gabriel Jesus double and Conor Coady's own goal earned City a comfortable victory over Wolves - who had defender Willy Boly sent off after only 19 minutes - at Etihad Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side had briefly moved seven points clear with a 1-0 win at Brighton on Saturday and Guardiola wants his team to "be there until the end".

"I say to them don't look at the calendar for Liverpool's games, forget about it - because normally when that happens you lose your games," said the Spaniard, whose side had a run of three defeats in four league games in December, enabling the Reds to open up a lead at the top of the table.

"It is not easy to maintain this consistency because it was incredible the numbers we had last season. Liverpool are one team and they have done better so far.

"We have spoken many times in the last hours with our players. We cannot control what they do; we can control what we do.

"If we don't win, they will be champions - so that is why we have to put pressure on by winning our games."

How tight is this season's title race?

Normally Liverpool's impressive start would mean a sizeable lead.

However, a four-point cushion is the smallest of any team with at least 55 points after 22 matches of a Premier League season.

Never before have two teams had more than 51 points at this stage in the competition but this term Liverpool have 57 and City have 53.

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Man Utd revival, Mohamed Salah, David Luiz - Premier League stats

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 09:54
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

The first Premier League weekend of 2019 provided everything from crucial own goals in the relegation battle to another Liverpool clean sheet in the title race.

Manchester United avenged an early-season defeat by Tottenham with victory at Wembley, while Mohamed Salah continued to buck a penalty trend and David Luiz's creative streak shone through once again.

Here are the best stats from the weekend.

The numbers behind Man Utd's revival

A swift Manchester United counter attack, finished by Marcus Rashford, saw Solskjaer's men overcome title-chasing Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley.

The result ensured the Norwegian equalled Sir Matt Busby's record of winning his first five league games in charge of the club - although Solskjaer's record stands at six consecutive victories, having beaten Reading in the FA Cup third round during that run.

Here are the numbers to indicate their upturn in fortunes:

  • Marcus Rashford has scored in three consecutive Premier League games for the first time in his career.
  • Paul Pogba has been directly involved in 53% of United's 15 Premier League goals since Solskjaer took charge (four goals, four assists).
  • David de Gea made 11 saves in Sunday's match for United - only against Arsenal in December 2017 has he made more in a Premier League match (14). This was also the most saves he's made in a top-flight league game while also keeping a clean sheet.

Questions had been raised about the level of United's opponents during Solskjaer's reign, but he passed his test at Wembley with flying colours.

United are now six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and if they can maintain their momentum, they could even book their place in next season's Champions League despite a difficult first half of the season.

Luiz - from PlayStation to playmaker

While defending is his main responsibility, Chelsea's Brazilian centre-back David Luiz is renowned for his ball-playing ability when his side are in possession.

The 31-year-old was influential in the Blues' opener against Newcastle on Saturday as the defender floated the ball into Pedro's path, for the Spaniard to nonchalantly control and finish over the onrushing Martin Dubravka.

Luiz's latest assist follows his pinpoint pass to N'Golo Kante to strike the winner against Crystal Palace in the Blues' last away game of 2018.

Remarkably, the Brazil international has played 31 through balls in the Premier League this season - more than double the total of any other player.

Luiz must be a fan of the L1+triangle combination when he is controlling himself on Fifa 19.

Highest number of through balls in the Premier League 2018-19Player (club)Number of through ballsDavid Luiz (Chelsea)31Jorginho (Chelsea)14Felipe Anderson (West Ham)13Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) 12Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton)12Burnley win without a single shot on target

Burnley achieved an impressive feat in their crucial relegation battle with Fulham at Turf Moor, claiming all three points without registering a shot on target.

The Cottagers had taken the lead with a stunning Andre Schurrle strike, but two own goals in three minutes saw Sean Dyche's side take the win.

Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi both diverted the ball into their own net as the Clarets became the first side to win in the Premier League without a shot on target since Crystal Palace beat Watford in March 2017.

Denis Odoi

Burnley are also the first top-flight side to score two goals without producing a shot on target since Opta began keeping such records in August 2003.

Claudio Ranieri's Fulham are the first side to score at least two own goals in the first half of a Premier League match since Everton did so against Southampton in April 2014.

The Italian, understandably, is keen to add defensive reinforcements in January to boost his side's chances of survival.

Salah prowess from the spot

Mohamed Salah's decisive penalty saw Liverpool open up a seven-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

The Egyptian stepped up to smash the ball past David Button with a confident strike - and the stats suggest it was never in doubt.

Of the last 10 penalties taken by a left-footer in the Premier League, six have been missed and four have been scored - with Salah being responsible for all four that have been converted.

Jurgen Klopp's men, who kept their 13th Premier League clean sheet of the season, have conceded just 10 goals in 22 matches in the top flight. Only Chelsea in 2004-05 (eight goals) have conceded fewer after 22 matches of a Premier League campaign.

It looks set to be a two-horse title race between Liverpool and Manchester City, but a steely determination at the back will certainly help Klopp's men.

Mohamed Salah Was the writing on the wall in South Wales?

Huddersfield's visit to Cardiff City ended goalless - but did the numbers suggest beforehand that might happen?

The visitors travelled to the Welsh capital as the division's lowest scorers (13), having failed to find the net in 50% of their matches. Only they and Newcastle had managed fewer league goals than Cardiff (19).

The worst Premier League attacks of 2018-19TeamNumber of goals scoredHuddersfield13Newcastle16Cardiff19Fulham20Crystal Palace20

However, it was Huddersfield who posed a greater threat in front of goal.

David Wagner's side had 14 efforts, while the hosts had as many players booked as they managed shots - three.

Cardiff had the first shot of the match after just 29 seconds, but they had to wait until the 70th minute for their next.

The reverse fixture between these two in August also ended goalless. Should both teams stay in the Premier League, it may not be the first match fans circle on the calendar when next season's fixtures are released.

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Hillsborough disaster: David Duckenfield's trial due to begin

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 00:55

The manslaughter trial of the police officer in command during the Hillsborough disaster will begin later.

Former Ch Supt David Duckenfield has pleaded not guilty to the gross negligence manslaughter of 95 Liverpool supporters.

Mr Duckenfield, who was match commander during the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989, is due to appear at Preston Crown Court.

Family members of those who died are also expected to attend the hearing.

Mr Duckenfield, of Ferndown in Dorset, was charged in relation to the deaths of 95 people who were in the crowd at Sheffield Wednesday's ground for the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Under the law at the time, there can be no prosecution relating to the death of a 96th person, Tony Bland, because he died more than a year and a day after his injuries were caused.

Former Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell will also face trial, having pleaded not guilty to contravening a term or condition of the stadium's safety certificate and one health and safety offence.

Mr Mackrell was the club's designated safety officer for the Hillsborough stadium.

It is the first time a prosecution has been brought under the 1975 Safety of Sports Grounds Act.

The trial of the two men is expected to run for several months.

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Jamie Carragher & Neil Warnock share their strongly opposing views on Brexit

Sun, 01/13/2019 - 12:46

Former Liverpool footballer Jamie Carragher and Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock share their strongly opposing views on Brexit, with Warnock saying the country will be "better off" out of the European Union and Carragher believing if a second vote took place the outcome would be very different.

WATCH MORE: Keeper scores from 70-yard free-kick

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Brighton 0-1 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp says Reds were 'absolutely' deserved winners

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 18:04

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool "absolutely" deserved to win after their 1-0 victory at Brighton, and says the game was their "most mature performance so far".

MATCH REPORT: Brighton 0-1 Liverpool

Watch highlights of Saturday's Premier League games on Match of the Day from 22:20 GMT on BBC One and on the BBC Sport website.

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Brighton 0-1 Liverpool: Chris Hughton 'proud' of Albion performance

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 17:50

Chris Hughton says he is "incredibly proud" of his Brighton players despite their 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, describing Albion's opponents as the best team in the country.

MATCH REPORT: Brighton 0-1 Liverpool

Watch highlights of Saturday's Premier League games on Match of the Day from 22:20 GMT on BBC One and on the BBC Sport website.

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Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp is manager of month as Virgil van Dijk wins player award

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 15:58
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and defender Virgil van Dijk hold their trophies

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and manager Jurgen Klopp have been named the Premier League's player and manager of the month for December.

It is the first time Netherlands captain Van Dijk, 27, has won the award and he is the first defender to win it since Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen in March 2013.

Klopp was first named manager of the month in September 2016.

"It's nice, the icing on the cake," said the German.

"It was a very successful but difficult month. Each game felt like the most important one of the season. It was unbelievable. The intensity was massive but that's what made it a special month."

The Reds were unbeaten throughout December with Van Dijk playing in all eight of their matches, scoring in their 2-0 win against Wolves.

Liverpool are four points clear at the top of the Premier League and play Brighton on Saturday.

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Thomas Muller: Bayern Munich forward suspended for Liverpool tie

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:20
Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller is set to miss both legs of their Champions League last-16 tie against Liverpool after he was given a two-match European ban.

Muller, 29, was sent off in December's 3-3 group-stage draw with Ajax for kicking Nicolas Tagliafico in the head.

The German - who has scored 42 goals in 107 Champions League appearances - has appealed against the decision.

The sides meet at Anfield on 19 February and in Munich on 13 March.

The sending-off was the first of Muller's career and after the incident he posted on social media: "I would like to apologise to Nico Tagliafico for the incident. It was unintentional. Get well soon."

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