Max Verstappen felt "terrible" after hitting the wall on his final flying lap in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, handing title rival Lewis Hamilton pole position. 

Championship leader Verstappen went fastest in the first two sectors but hit the barriers on the last corner and had to stop, meaning he will start Sunday's race from third behind Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. 

The Dutchman will hope the crash did not result in any damage to his gearbox, having taken a new one ahead of the grand prix in Jeddah. A replacement would result in a five-place grid penalty that could have huge ramifications on his title challenge. 

Asked about his crash, Verstappen said: "It's of course terrible. It was a good qualifying. I knew the pace was there and it showed in the last lap. 

"I don't really understand what happened but I locked up and I still tried to keep the car and finish the lap but clipped the rear and had to stop. 

"P3 today is a bit disappointing knowing what lap I was on, but it shows the car is quick and let's see what we can do in the race. 

"I don't know [if the gearbox was damaged]. I immediately stopped so let's see." 

Hamilton has won the past two races to close the gap to Verstappen in the drivers' standings to eight points and evaded a serious punishment for impeding Nikita Mazepin and failing to comply with yellow flags during FP3 earlier on Saturday. 

The seven-time defending champion paid tribute to the efforts of Bottas in the build-up to qualifying and expects Verstappen's Red Bull to be a significant factor on Sunday. 

"We were quick through practice but particularly FP3 and qualifying were just lacking pace, struggling with the tyres, so for us to get a one-two I'm really proud of Valtteri and the men and women in our team who have been working so hard. It's a great result," said Hamilton. 

"This was the goal. We worked so hard through simulation, set-up. Collaboration has been epic with Valtteri, he's the best team-mate there has even been in this sport, for sure. We've worked together to get the car where it needs to be. 

"Those guys [Red Bull] were just so fast. That Bull round this track is just something else, but given where we are and what we've managed to pull out I'm happy. 

"We always get closer in race pace. I anticipate there'll be a close battle on Sunday, but Valtteri and I will be on it." 

Bottas will have getting the win in the back of his mind but his priority will be helping Mercedes clinch the constructors' championship and Hamilton maximise his title chances. 

"Of course I want to get a race win, but first things first we need to concentrate on the team championship and Lewis is still fighting for the title, I'm not," said Bottas.

"I'll do my best with whatever I can and at the same time try to enjoy it." 

Jurgen Klopp described Divock Origi as a Liverpool "legend" after the Belgian's stoppage-time strike snatched a dramatic 1-0 win against Wolves at Molineux.

The Reds had been frustrated by a stern home defence on Saturday, before the super-sub came on to fire the only goal of the game after good work from Mohamed Salah.

The win saw Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea in the Premier League table after the Blues lost 3-2 at West Ham earlier in the day.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Klopp was effusive in his praise of Origi, saying: "Divock Origi, the legend, finished it off and it's a great story. He's an incredible striker. For different reasons he did not play that often, but I hope one day he finds a manager that plays him more than I do.

"He's one of the best finishers I've ever seen in my life. In this great team, with our [front] three, he doesn't play all the time, but he is a very positive boy, loves the club, wants to contribute, and he did in an incredible way."

Origi's powerful close-range strike in the fourth added minute was his 10th goal as a substitute in the Premier League for Liverpool – no player has netted more from the bench for the club in the competition.

It was also Liverpool’s 39th winning goal scored after 90-plus minutes in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other side has managed.

Liverpool manager Klopp insisted Chelsea's result had no bearing on how his team approached the Wolves game, and he appreciated the fight his players showed.

"Other results are not really important, we just want to win football games," Klopp said. "We played three days ago and the derby [when Liverpool earned a 4-1 win against Everton] is easy to focus on as it's the game of the year, then we start the machine again and I like how we fought today."

Liverpool have scored in each of their last 25 Premier League outings, since losing 1-0 against Fulham in March. Their 18-game record run of scoring two or more goals in every match across all competitions has now ended, but victory tasted no less sweet for it.

Origi was asked by Sky Sports what instructions his manager had given him before he replaced captain Jordan Henderson in the 68th minute. He said that Klopp's words had been: "Be Divock. Try and contribute and in the end, help the team."

Origi said: "I try to be in the moment, play by play. Play in the moment. Sometimes you score goals like this and today was a good day!

"We worked so hard to get the three points and being able to get there and keep the momentum going is the best feeling.

"We prepare so much. Honestly, it's the feeling that we had a successful week."

Stefano Pioli hopes Milan have the quality to exploit the Liverpool defence in their crucial Champions League clash at San Siro on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri ended a three-game winless run at home in all competitions with a routine 2-0 victory over Salernitana three days before their crunch meeting with the Reds.

After beating Atletico Madrid 1-0, Pioli's side enter the final round of games in third place in Group B, a point behind Porto in second.

Should they beat Liverpool – who are already through to the last 16 as group winners – and Porto draw with Atleti, Milan will progress to the last 16.

Although the odds are against them – Milan have not beaten English opposition in Europe since February 2012 – Liverpool could elect to field a weaker side, while their defence has not looked as impregnable as it sometimes has under Jurgen Klopp.

While their 12 clean sheets before December 4 was the joint-most in Europe's top five leagues this season, they have conceded 17 goals from an expected goals against total of 23.4, suggesting they should have let in at least six more given the quality of chances faced.

Pioli hopes to exploit any possible weakness in the Reds rearguard, telling DAZN: "Having faced them already gives us more information about them.

"Liverpool have a thousand strengths: they have fantastic strikers, and one of the strongest teams. We'll try to do our best in a great atmosphere that we'll try to make the most of.

"We wanted to be in this position and now we can only try to give our best. We know Liverpool will inevitably cause us some problems, but spaces can open up too because they are certainly not unbeatable or impenetrable in defence."

Milan dominated Salernitana on Saturday and should really have added to their two goals, firing in 22 shots and eight on target while facing just two from Serie A's bottom side.

They attempted 14 in the first half alone, the most they have managed in the opening 45 minutes of a game this season, as they eased to a win that moved them two points clear at the top ahead of Inter's trip to Roma.

"I leave with the satisfaction of a good performance and a good victory. Of course, scoring a few more goals would have been better," Pioli said.

"I'd predicted a balanced league. It looks like the top four are becoming separated. I expected Juventus, Roma and Lazio to be closer but, in a league, it's the details that will make the difference.

"To win the title, you need great consistency and that's what we're trying to achieve. We need to keep the level high all year round. We're satisfied with what we're doing but we don't need to look at the table while staying focused to have a great Christmas."

Xavi had his first taste of defeat as Barcelona boss with Juanmi securing Real Betis a famous 1-0 victory at Camp Nou on Saturday. 

Barca defeated Espanyol and Villarreal in their first two LaLiga matches under Xavi, which came either side of a goalless draw at home to Benfica in the Champions League. 

The lacked a serious attacking threat against Betis and were punished on the break by Juanmi with 11 minutes remaining. 

Ez Abde missed a glorious chance to salvage a point for the Blaugrana, who could find themselves seven points adrift of the top four and 16 off top spot if Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid win later in the day. 

Philippe Coutinho sent a tame effort from Jordi Alba's cross towards the near post in the 11th minute and Rui Silva held it at the second attempt. 

Gavi had to go off after the ball was kicked against his head by Hector Bellerin, meaning his status for the crunch Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in midweek could now be in doubt. 

After Juanmi had a goal disallowed for a narrow offside decision, Xavi sent Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele on with Barca toiling. 

Dembele was lively but could not find the target and Betis put them to the sword with a swift break that finished with Juanmi sliding home a pass from former Barca winger Cristian Tello. 

Barca pushed for a winner but Ez Abde blazed their best opportunity over from eight yards with 10 minutes remaining. 

Ronald Araujo was deemed to have fouled Andres Guardado despite appealing for a stoppage-time penalty, leaving Xavi to cope with the bitter taste of a first defeat.

Divock Origi hit a stoppage-time winner to send Liverpool above Chelsea in the Premier League table as the Reds overcame Wolves 1-0 at Molineux.

A dramatic breakthrough arrived in the fourth added minute when Mohamed Salah raced down the right and pulled the ball back for Origi, who controlled, turned and fired past Jose Sa to decide a game that looked certain to finish goalless.

The Reds, who had scored at least twice in each of their last 18 games, dominated possession and had two particularly presentable chances, but they were mainly handled well by a strong Wolves defence until the late drama.

A determined home side grew into the game, and threatened on occasion, with Adama Traore particularly troubling the Liverpool midfield and backline with his power and pace, but ultimately it was not enough to avoid defeat.

After a quiet start, the game came to life around the half-hour mark as Trent Alexander-Arnold and former Wolves man Diogo Jota missed opportunities from crosses, but it was Salah who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.

The Egyptian was about to tap in an Andy Robertson ball across the box when Romain Saiss somehow nicked the ball away from the Premier League's top scorer at the last moment.

The visitors continued to probe for an opener in the second half and could not believe they were not ahead on the hour. Jota seized on a mistake between Jose Sa and Saiss but inexplicably smashed the ball straight at Conor Coady on the goal-line.

After trying to blow the Wolves' door down, the winner finally arrived when Salah squared for Belgian substitute Origi, who made no mistake to send his team top of the table for at least a few hours.

Mason Mount pointed to "tired minds, tired bodies" as he assessed the mistakes that cost Chelsea in their 3-2 Premier League defeat at West Ham.

Jorginho's poor back-pass played Edouard Mendy into trouble, leading to the goalkeeper conceding a penalty which Manuel Lanzini converted, before the shot-stopper made another error late on, allowing Arthur Masuaku's cross to sneak inside the near post.

Mount, who scored a superb volley to make it 2-1 to the Blues shortly before half-time, hinted the fact Chelsea have already played 23 fixtures across all competitions is starting to catch up with them.

"We have had a difficult week and the game midweek [a 2-1 win against Watford] we came away with three points where maybe we shouldn't have," Mount told the BBC.

"We made mistakes, the same today. We are making mistakes we haven't done for a while and need to bounce back now.

"A lot of games, it can take a toll, but that's not an excuse we can use – we come out here and want to win, it's a derby. We don't concede many, so that is something we need to look at."

He suggested the errors were only recently creeping in, and added: "Tired minds, tired bodies, but we need to keep the standard high. We regroup and come back next game."

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel also bemoaned individual errors but felt his side's display was still good enough to have earned all three points.

"I don't think we did a bad match, it was okay, we can win with this performance," Tuchel told BT Sport.

"It is tough to play here, we did too many individual mistakes, we did already against Manchester United and Watford and got punished. If you want a result at this level you have to minimise mistakes. We talked about it before, it's obviously not helped."

Looking at the mistakes that led to conceding the penalty, Tuchel said: "Everybody is involved, the pass is not the best decision, the orientation is not the best. We can save it, but the decision-making is also not the best from Edou in this moment.

"We created a lot of half-chances, a lot of touches in the box, but sometimes you need a bit of luck, a deflected shot or loose ball that falls to our feet. Their third one is a strange one, the two big chances they had in the first half were our mistakes.

"We could not finish it with clear and better chances, be more ruthless; we struggled also in defending some situations.

"Every loss is a bump in the road, that will not hold us back from what we demand from us, but we need to play more accurate, more stable and reduce big mistakes."

The scoreline marks just the third time Chelsea have conceded more than once in a game in 53 outings under Tuchel and was the first such instance this season, with the Blues having shipped just six goals in the 14 league outings prior to the defeat by the Hammers.

Milan ended a three-game winless run at home with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Serie A's bottom club Salernitana on Saturday.

First-half goals from Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers eased the league leaders to three points at San Siro.

It should have been a more one-sided scoreline, the Rossoneri spurning a host of second-half chances through Brahim Diaz and Junior Messias to extend their lead.

The contest was firmly in Milan's control almost from the off. Kessie squeezed a left-foot shot into the bottom-right corner with just five minutes played, and both Saelemaekers and Brahim were whiskers away from adding a second.

Milan suffered a blow when Pietro Pellegri was forced off injured after a quarter of an hour, but a deserved second goal soon followed, Saelemaekers given time to consider a cross before placing a fine finish beyond Vid Belec's reach from just inside the box.

Rade Krunic was denied by Belec and Kessie side-footed wide just before the interval, with Alessio Romagnoli heading wide just after the restart.

It began to look a case of when rather than if Milan would score again: Fikayo Tomori nodded wide and Messias was denied by a fine one-handed save from Belec, who also smothered the ball at the feet of the lively Brahim.

Messias stung the palms of Belec from the edge of the box and both Brahim and Sandro Tonali prodded wide with the goal at their mercy, but the risk of a Salernitana comeback was never on the cards.

What does it mean? Rossoneri put pressure on chasing pack

Having lost 11 of their first 15 league games this season, few expected Salernitana to spring a surprise at San Siro and the contest looked over as soon as Kessie broke the deadlock.

The result leaves Stefano Colantuono's side bottom, while Milan's lead at the top is at two points ahead of Inter's tricky trip to Jose Mourinho's Roma and Napoli's home game with Atalanta.

A fitting tribute

Saelemaekers celebrated his goal by holding up a Simon Kjaer shirt in support of the centre-back, whose season has been ended by injury.

It was a moment to cap a lively overall performance. Saelemaekers attempted the most opposition-half passes (41) and open-play crosses (three) from the right of the Milan attack.

Sinking feeling

Nadir Zortea tested Mike Maignan late in the first half, after which Salernitana failed to trouble the Milan keeper with a shot on target.

It is hard to see how they will haul themselves out of trouble if their attacking play does not improve.

What's next?

Milan host Udinese next Saturday but, before then, there is the small matter of a home Champions League clash with Liverpool that offers the chance to qualify for the last 16.

Jarrod Bowen insists West Ham "never know when we are beaten" after the Hammers came back from behind to earn a shock 3-2 victory over London rivals Chelsea on Saturday. 

Chelsea twice took the lead in the first half through Thiago Silva and Mason Mount, but Manuel Lanzini and Bowen netted equalisers before Arthur Masuaku's cross caught Edouard Mendy out at his near post and won the game for West Ham.  

Bowen explained the Hammers pride themselves on their spirit and never-say-die attitude - which has helped them to fourth in the Premier League this season. 

"That is what we are about as a team, the character, the belief," Bowen said to BT Sport after the game. "We hung in sometimes when it was difficult. 

"We never know when we are beaten, we went behind twice but showed that reaction and a lot better performance. 

"We wanted to be on the front foot and press them aggressively and not let them play, which they are good at. We wanted to limit what their game plan was. 

"We haven't won in a few games and have been disappointed in ourselves, but to come back and beat Chelsea, what a performance." 

West Ham manager David Moyes was critical of his side's performance despite the positive result, but praised the clinical finishing of his team, who scored three times from just five shots on target. 

"Truthfully, I didn't think we played that well today," Moyes said. "But we got the goals and in other games I don't think we played any worse or any better but we haven't got the goals. 

"Today we got the goals to go with it, and to get them against a team that don't concede many is a great credit to the lads. 

"We were much better [in the second half]. We were too passive and submissive in the first half. 

"They are quality, that is why they are European champions because of the level they can play at. Whether you press them or stay off them, they are very good at both." 

Moyes felt Masuaku was attempting to cross the ball and was lucky to see it go in for the first Premier League goal of his career. 

"I said to [Masuaku] that I thought it was a great cross," Moyes added. "It was very fortunate, the goal, but in football you need a bit of fortune sometimes. In the last few games we have lost it a little bit, but today we got it back." 

Arthur Masuaku scored a late winner as West Ham fought back to beat Premier League leaders Chelsea 3-2 in a thrilling London derby.

Thiago Silva's header put the European champions in front at the London Stadium, but Manuel Lanzini thumped a penalty home in the 40th minute to level following mistakes from Jorginho and Edouard Mendy.

Mason Mount's magnificent volley at the end of the first half put Chelsea back in the lead, but Jarrod Bowen curled in a superb low strike to pull the Hammers level once again.

The Blues - bolstered by Romelu Lukaku's presence off the bench at half-time - pressed for a winner, but slumped to their second top-flight defeat of the season after Masuaku's cross caught Mendy out at his near post with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Jurgen Klopp has claimed the improvement he has seen in Nat Phillips reminds him of Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski.

The Liverpool boss managed Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund between 2010-2014, where the Poland striker scored 103 goals in 187 games before moving to Bayern.

Klopp was forced to rely on Phillips for much of last season after injuries decimated his defensive options.

The Bolton-born centre back - who also has some German football experience from a loan period at Stuttgart two seasons ago - became a regular part of Liverpool's backline after Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip had all been sidelined with long-term injuries.

While the Reds fell away from the title race in the second half of the campaign, with the help of Phillips, they were able to secure third place and Champions League football thanks to a late-season resurgence.

Phillips particularly showed his aerial prowess, winning 96 aerial duels in his 17 Premier League games. Only nine defenders won more, all of whom played at least 13 more games than the 24-year-old.

Klopp sees a lot of similarities in the improvements shown under him by Lewandowski and Phillips.

"People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership, and I say Robert Lewandowski," he said.

"That's probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department.

"I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he's one of the smartest players I ever worked with. I told him, 'You know you are not the easiest on the eye, eh?'

"He improved in pretty much everything since, and he's not playing. Life is sometimes not fair and I can't blame him."

Phillips has been linked with a move away from Anfield in the January transfer window after making just three appearances this season, with Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip all back from injury and Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig at the end of last season.

"We cannot keep him forever, that's clear," Klopp added. "We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he's a great guy.

"His development is absolutely insane. You saw it last year, you would have said 'Nat Phillips, oh my god, he plays in the last line?'

"People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. He's a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him."

Sydney FC surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle Jets on Saturday and prolong their winless start to the season.

The 2020 champions looked in control against a side they had beaten nine times in 12 previous home games, Adam Le Fondre opening the scoring from the penalty spot before cleverly setting up Elvis Kamsoba for a 2-0 half-time lead.

However, Valentino Yuel puled a goal back before the hour mark and struck again seven minutes later, firing high into the net after a strong run into the box.

Le Fondre thought he had scored a winner 13 minutes from time only for VAR to intervene due to an offside in the build-up.

While Sydney remain without a win in three games, reigning champions Melbourne City have fared little better, losing 1-0 at home to Western United on matchday three.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls followed up his winner over Perth Glory on November 26 with the only goal of the game at AAMI Park, firing home after being played in by Alessandro Diamanti.

Adelaide United drew for the third game in a row as Brisbane Roar claimed their first point of the season, with six saves from visiting goalkeeper James Delianov ensuring a goalless draw at Moreton Daily Stadium.

When the Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed contract back in 2018, they believed they were landing a quarterback who put them over the top and could help them deliver a first Super Bowl title.

What they actually acquired, however, was perhaps the league's ultimate enigma at quarterback.

Nobody could look at Cousins' raw numbers and deem him a bad quarterback. Yet throughout his career both with the Vikings and beforehand in Washington, he is a player who has continued to confound, most notably with an apparent inability to deliver in 'clutch' situations with the game on the line.

Cousins' time as a pro was arguably encapsulated by his showing in Week 12. In the most important game of a season in which he has the best touchdown to interception ratio in the NFL, Cousins came up dismally small, a series of poor throws and a turnover dooming the Vikings to defeat against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings are not without their problems in other areas. However, with the weapons around Cousins, theirs is an infrastructure seemingly conducive to quarterback success.

In terms of his statistics, Cousins has largely succeeded in 2021. Yet baffling performances like the one that dropped the Vikings to 5-6 last week only serve to give rise to the debate around Cousins and whether he is holding his team back.

Cousins' San Francisco slump

Already over 3,000 yards passing with six games still to play, with 23 touchdowns and a career-low three interceptions to his name, statistically the 2021 campaign ranks among Cousins' finest seasons.

Delivering an accurate, well-thrown ball on 80.8 per cent of his pass attempts, above the league average of 78.4, and throwing a pickable pass on 10 out of his 385 attempts, Stats Perform's advanced metrics also reflect well on Cousins.

But it is that apparent season-long consistency that makes displays like his showing against San Francisco all the more bemusing.

Cousins has done an excellent job of taking care of the football this season, yet his third interception of the year came in the third quarter against the Niners as he somehow failed to spot linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair crowding his throwing lane on an attempted pass to Adam Thielen. As far as failures to correctly read the field go, that was as bad as it gets.

That interception set the Niners up to take a 28-14 lead, a gap the Vikings were unable to bridge in large part because of inaccurate throws by Cousins.

He led the Vikings on a touchdown drive on the next series only to then miss a wide-open Justin Jefferson on a two-point conversion try with a low throw.

Jefferson was the target on a fourth-down throw in the fourth quarter that sailed well over his head, that play coming after Minnesota burned a timeout due to Cousins lining up behind the right guard instead of the center.

Cousins is not the first quarterback to accidentally line up in the wrong spot in the heat of the moment, but such a gaffe gives the impression of a signal-caller ill-equipped to deliver when the pressure is at its highest.

And, given the performance of the surrounding weapons, it is no wonder Jefferson was left throwing his arms up in disbelief at some of Cousins' misses.

Stacked supporting cast

Any thought of Jefferson taking a step back after a historic 2020 season that saw him break the rookie record for receiving yards has been put to bed.

Jefferson is on pace to surpass his tally of 1,400 yards from last year and, among wide receivers with at least 25 targets, he ranks seventh in burn percentage, which measures the rate at which a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, while he is 11th with a big play rate of 39 per cent.

Thielen, who had a pair of touchdowns against San Francisco, has also excelled at creating big plays, doing so on 34.6 per cent of his targets.

With K.J. Osborn emerging as a legitimate third receiving option and Tyler Conklin enjoying a career year at tight end, Cousins possesses one of the best groups of pass-catchers in the NFL and is supported by a run game that has produced 37 runs of 10 yards or more, the 12th-most in the league.

The potential absence of Dalvin Cook with a shoulder injury may reduce the assistance Cousins gets from the ground attack, but he is certainly in no position to complain about a stacked supporting cast, though he may be frustrated by a lack of help from other areas.

The Vikings' fatal flaw

Cousins' sack numbers have drastically improved this season. After taking 39 sacks last year, he has suffered only 15 across 11 games in 2021, pointing to an improvement on the offensive line.

Yet a deeper assessment at the O-Line's performance suggests there may be a hint of fortune about the Vikings' success in preventing sacks.

Indeed, Cousins has attempted 136 passes under pressure, second only to Matt Ryan (145), while the Vikings rank a lowly 28th in pass protection win rate.

More often than not, the Vikings are losing the battle in the trenches, and that is the case on the defensive side of the ball, too.

Continually bullied off the ball by the 49ers' superb rushing attack, the Vikings gave up 208 yards on the ground at an average of 5.3 yards per attempt.

Though San Francisco's run game has dominated several teams this season, the Vikings' inability to stop them was in keeping with a theme of their season.

They rank 26th in opponent yards per play allowed with 5.87 and are giving up 4.83 yards per rush, the most in the NFL. In Stats Perform's rush yards under expected allowed, the Vikings are also 26th.

Minnesota's severe underperformance in containing opposing run games has a two-pronged effect. It has contributed to a defensive effort that has the Vikings giving up 25.1 points per game - with only eight teams conceding more - and allowed opponents to control the clock as the 49ers did last Sunday.

Cousins' inability to make the key throws and that dismal interception undoubtedly played a critical role in Minnesota coming up short in Week 12, but the massive disadvantage in time of possession that resulted from San Francisco's run game dominance, along with a fumble from Cook as he suffered his injury, limited opportunities for the passing game to turn things around.

That a quarterback of Cousins' experience and undoubted talents continues to throw in these sporadic head-scratching showings is a legitimate problem for the Vikings. However, they are too infrequent for him to be considered as holding Minnesota back.

The reality is that, between the amount of points they are giving up and Minnesota's ineffectiveness against the run, the Vikings - for all their strengths on offense - aren't in a position to survive Cousins' off days.

Manchester City star Ederson does not believe he has been a huge influence on the way goalkeepers in England play as he bids to keep a 100th clean sheet for the club.

The Brazil international will reach a century of shut-outs on Saturday if he does not concede against Watford, a team who have never beaten City in the Premier League and lost the previous 10 meetings by an aggregate score of 37-4.

Since signing from Benfica in 2017, Ederson has been an integral part of Pep Guardiola's set-up, his distribution proving both a valuable counter-attacking weapon and a vital component to City's possession-based approach.

However, he feels the importance of keepers using their feet is simply part of the evolution of the game.

"Nowadays, having a goalkeeper with good feet is essential in any team that likes to build up play from the back," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't think I influenced much. In fact, I have been influenced by other goalkeepers with good feet in the past. But football evolves and players need to evolve with the game as well.

"I just play naturally. It's a matter of concentration. If a goalkeeper misses a pass, there is nobody there who can help you. The goalkeeper is key in our team because we can't make any mistakes in the build-up. But my team-mates offer me a lot of options for the pass, so I'm very relaxed."

Since his City debut, Ederson has created six goalscoring chances, a tally bettered by two keepers in that time: Ben Foster (nine) and Nick Pope (10), each of whom have played for teams with a more direct style.

His contribution to his side's overall approach dwarfs that of any other keeper, though. Ederson has been involved in 226 sequences to end in a shot in the Premier League, with Alisson (138) and David de Gea (127) the next highest on that list. Thirty-four of those involvements have ended in a goal, which is at least 14 more than any other keeper has managed.

Ederson has also started 66 shot-ending sequences, 22 more than anyone else in his position since his debut, having made 3,390 passes in that time – again, by far the most among keepers.

There may be an element of risk to the way Ederson plays, but it is not without its reward: no keeper comes close to his 78 clean sheets in the league since his arrival in England, and his brilliant save to deny Carney Chukwuemeka helped City win 2-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday.

"The most important things for a goalkeeper are concentration and decision-making," he said. "In most of the games, we control the ball and we only concede one chance to the opposition team, so concentration is key.

"It's something that comes with my personality: calm and concentration," he adds. "I'm aware that, if I lose focus during any moment of the game, it can end up in a goal for the opponent.

"We can't be attacking all the time, so we need to know how to defend during some stages of the game too. We all know, myself and my team-mates, how important it is to be focused."

On the prospect of 100 clean sheets in what would be his 211th appearance, he added: "It's an important achievement for me, because it means I have kept a clean sheet in almost half of my games for Manchester City.

"The forwards, the midfielders, the defenders, they all do exceptional pressing and defending. The clean sheets involve the whole team, not just me."

Monty Williams was still looking at the bigger picture after the Golden State Warriors ended the Phoenix Suns' long winning run at Chase Center on Friday.

The 118-96 loss snapped the Suns' 18-game winning streak and saw the Warriors return to top spot in the Western Conference with a 19-3 record.

Phoenix beat Golden State 104-96 on Tuesday, but were unable to pull off a repeat three days later, as they were left in second spot on 19-4.

Suns head coach Williams insisted on looking at the bright side and praised his players for the focus they have shown since losing three of their first four games of the season. 

"I'm too in it to reflect on it properly," Williams told reporters when asked about the streak ending. "I think every win is special. To me, it was the collective focus that we've had throughout this season, not just the streak. It's only been 23 games, right? So there's a lot of basketball to be played.

"When we were 1-3 there was no panic, or 'what are we doing?' We just kinda hung in there and simplified some things and played good basketball.

"We arguably played the best team in the league tonight, them or us. We're not quite sure who it is but it's good to be in that category.

"Just the focus and the programme growing, that's what I'll remember."

The Suns were down 51-48 at half-time, but could not build on a strong second quarter and fell away to eventually lose by 22 points, with Deandre Ayton top scoring for the visitors with 23.

Williams said: "I thought they did a good job of speeding us up. We did that to them the other day. That's part of the chess match.

"It was physical. I thought they won that battle tonight. It was just one of those tough games.

"We learned a ton. Both teams about even in turnovers. It was just a slugfest."

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