Gabriel Jesus credited Manchester City and Brazil team-mate Fernandinho for helping him to get back on the goal trail.

Jesus netted an impressive brace in City's 4-1 Premier League win over Burnley on Tuesday, ending a run of 10 matches without a goal for club and country that featured two missed penalties.

A pair of assured finishes suggested a return to form for the 22-year-old, who is expected to lead the line for Pep Guardiola's men once again in Saturday's Manchester derby, as Sergio Aguero remains sidelined with a thigh injury.

"I had a talk with Fernandinho. He has been helping me a lot. He has always been very important since I arrived at the club," Jesus said.

"With his experience throughout his career, he is giving me advice. The day before the game, we had a nice chat.

"He always looks after all of us, especially the young ones. As a countryman, he came to talk to me and tell me to remain calm.

"I was calm, more confident and I managed to score two goals, that was very important to me."

Following Jesus' brace, City's record signing Rodri crowned his best performance for the club with a blistering 22-yard strike.

The Spain international turned in an accomplished display in the holding midfield position Fernandinho – now operating at centre-back – had made his own under Guardiola.

Ahead of Wednesday's Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, City cut the deficit between themselves and Jurgen Klopp's league leaders to eight points.

A run of one win in five matches across all competitions before their trip to Turf Moor meant it was a victory worth celebrating.

"We needed this victory,” Rodri told reporters. "It was a good performance.

"Sometimes when you lose or draw, your confidence can go down, and after this victory, we were really having a party in the dressing room because we needed it to bring up the mentality and confidence of the team.

"Everyone is human, and when you don't get the results, you need to get people's confidence up. This was an important victory. We will fight until the end because that is our mentality and identity."

Pep Guardiola thinks it is "crazy" for Manchester City to think about catching Liverpool – although his declaration that the Premier League title race was over following his side's 4-1 victory at Burnley was laced with sarcasm.

City headed to Turf Moor on a run of one win in five matches across all competitions, but last season's domestic treble winners looked something like their old selves as a fine Gabriel Jesus double set up a commanding triumph.

Rodri's blistering strike from outside the area was the pick of the bunch and substitute Riyad Mahrez also got in on the act before Robbie Brady netted a late consolation for the hosts.

The result brought City back to within eight points of Premier League leaders Liverpool before Jurgen Klopp's men entertain Everton in Wednesday's Merseyside derby.

Asked if City's performance showed they were not giving up on a title they have won in each of the past two seasons, Guardiola replied: "The title is over. What I read, nobody gives us a chance. It's done."

In a less acidic assessment at his post-match news conference, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added: "For the distance we have against Liverpool, it would be a little bit crazy to think about the title, honestly.

"We have to think about the derby, go game by game because it is not just the Premier League. There are other competitions, like FA Cup and Carabao and Champions League.

"The important thing is to take this rhythm in our games for the next fixtures."

City were close to their sublime best at times, passing their opponents into submission either side of half-time.

Guardiola is keen to see them double down on that familiar style, one he feels has deserted them over recent weeks, with Manchester United up next in Saturday's derby at the Etihad Stadium.

"I'm glad for the fact we passed the ball more than usual over the last games," he said.

"In the last games there is no regret, but the only [negative] feeling I have is the lack of more passes.

"We are built to have the ball and pass and pass and pass. Sometimes we start left and want to finish left and you have to move the ball more. That is the only way against a well-organised defence like Burnley.

"You have to find the spaces inside and outside. We did that really well."

Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City's squad harbour no doubts over Gabriel Jesus' ability to step up and fill the void left by the injured Sergio Aguero.

Jesus ended a five-match scoreless run in the Premier League with City's first two goals in a 4-1 rout of Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday.

Aguero has missed the past two league matches with a thigh injury sustained in a 2-1 win over Chelsea, and is also set to be out for the Manchester derby on Saturday.

However, Guardiola is adamant none of City's players or coaching staff had any concerns over Jesus' form.

"Of course it's not easy [replacing Aguero] but the team doesn't have doubts about him," Guardiola told Amazon Prime.

"As a striker sometimes you score, sometimes not. We need the quality of the players up front to make the difference.

"Of course we need him. The strikers are there to score goals and we need him. His effort, commitment, which is always there, but of course, strikers like him and Sergio live for goals, it was important.

"We played a good game. Controlled them, didn't concede much, except one action in the first half and a goal in the last minutes. We played really well. The quality of our players made the difference."

Jesus got things started for City with a sensational strike midway through the first half, before the Brazil forward prodded home from Bernardo Silva's cross shortly after the break.

Rodri – who was impeccable in central midfield – slammed in a brilliant third, before substitute Riyad Mahrez helped himself to a 50th Premier League goal late on, although there was still time for Robbie Brady to snatch a consolation for Burnley.

Guardiola again stuck with Fernandinho in defence, though City's boss has no plans to change that tactic any time soon.

"We are open to accept [media] opinions, but we know the quality of the players much better than all of you, and know what the team needs in this moment," Guardiola said.

"Fernandinho for his quality, his personality and his character is an important player and I like him to play [in defence]. I said it when we lost games and I say it when we win. When we win it's a perfect decision, when we lose it's a bad decision.

"[Rodri] was incredible, in his position, offensive, defensive, so clever. He has much better, the picture of our game, a picture of the players where they are.

"Fantastic player, so young, and he's adapted perfectly to this country. He's got it. He's a guy who wants to learn, listen, every training session he's ready and that's why always we can count on him without a problem."

City's win takes them – temporarily at least – above Leicester City and into second place, though they are still eight points shy of Liverpool, who welcome struggling Merseyside rivals Everton to Anfield on Wednesday.

"We are far away [from Liverpool] so we cannot think about that," Guardiola said when asked if City had demonstrated the quality needed to stay in the title race.

"Our level was so good in most games. I don't have the feeling we played bad in any single game. Sometimes you need something more and there are situations we cannot control. In general the level of the team I am more than satisfied."

Gabriel Jesus feels the pressure is on to score in every game at Manchester City.

Brazil international Jesus ended a 10-game drought for club and country with a superb brace as City returned to winning ways with a 4-1 win at Burnley on Tuesday.

A thigh injury to the club's all-time leading scorer Sergio Aguero has granted Jesus an extended run in Pep Guardiola's first XI – an opportunity the 22-year-old knows is weighted with a burden of expectation.

"I know I can score every game but it's difficult – football is not like this," he told Amazon Prime.

"I have Sergio with me. I have to learn with him because he is a legend of football and of the club.

"I have to score when I play because Sergio scores every time. That is my ambition, to play and score every time."

Jesus's Turf Moor brace marked a timely return to form, with Saturday's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium up next.

City edged to within eight points of Premier League leaders Liverpool, who face their own local argument against Everton at Anfield on Wednesday.

"It was an important game. We're eight points behind now, that's good for us," Jesus said.

"That is the level of the Premier League, every time it is like this. We know Burnley has good players and they play so good with the set-pieces.

"We played good again and tonight we could score the chances."

He added: "That is the challenge. We have to fight. The Premier League is so difficult and Liverpool are having a great season."

Gabriel Jesus might have beaten Nick Pope to delight fans of both sublime finishes and easy wordplay, but it was Burnley who were truly counting their blessings after the first half of Tuesday's Premier League encounter with Manchester City.

But for Pope's point-blank stop to deny Raheem Sterling from a devilish Kevin De Bruyne cross and another reaction save with his boot when Bernardo Silva roved into the Clarets' box, Sean Dyche's men would have been playing for pride alone during the second half at Turf Moor. In the end, it mattered little.

After a sapping run of one win in five matches across all competitions, compounded by Liverpool streaking away into the distance, Pep Guardiola's champions looked something like their old selves in a commanding 4-1 win.

There was a pop and fizz to their work, as has always been the case with Guardiola's best sides. In the period between Pope thwarting Silva and the peep of Jon Moss' half-time whistle, Burnley found themselves struck on what Alex Ferguson once dubbed the "passing carousel" after his Manchester United were left discombobulated by Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final.

Cracked confidence was being fused back together, never more evidently than when City's number nine curled a beautiful finish past the keeper's fingertips from the left-hand side of the penalty area – the ball caressing the side netting on its way in.

Feast follows famine as Jesus ends drought

When it comes to his goalscoring prowess, Jesus' form certainly moves in mysterious ways.

His opener against Burnley was his first goal in 11 matches for club and country – a run that included two comedically terrible penalty misses. If the San Siro goalposts had collapsed after he slotted wide from 12 yards against Atalanta at the start of last month, he would have recreated Diana Ross' USA 1994 opening ceremony masterpiece to perfection.

If that left self-belief dwindling, apologetically scuffing a penalty wide compounded matters when Brazil lost to their old enemies Argentina a week later.

Before that slapstick-embossed drought, the 22-year-old scored in each of his first five starts for City this season. Yet, the extended first-team run guaranteed by Sergio Aguero's thigh injury looked nothing other than a burden at Burnley until the moment Raheem Sterling and David Silva combined to release him to beat Pope.

Like enthusiastic punters at a Christmas fairground, Burnley were back on the carousel after the half-time break.

Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass… WALLOP.

City shuffled their opponents back and forth across the edge of the area, Bernardo Silva floated an inviting cross to the far post and Jesus volleyed a chance into the top corner that he might conceivably have shinned into his own face at any time in the past week.

Jesus then spun James Tarkowski and came agonisingly close to a deserved hat-trick, his self-belief resurrected in timely fashion as the Manchester derby awaits on Saturday.

Rodri provides the prime cut

Burnley were unable to assert themselves as an attacking force, with the often-maligned Nicolas Otamendi acquitting himself well against Chris Wood – the Burnley striker cutting a forlorn figure as his usual partner in crime Ashley Barnes spent the first hour on the bench.

Given the UK audience were enjoying the first Premier League fixtures to be shown live on Amazon Prime, Otamendi – a man with the stars of several Netflix dramas tattooed across his back – might have been an ill-fitting hero.

As it was, record signing Rodri crowned his most accomplished outing in City colours with the blockbuster moment.

Having broken up and distributed play with astute judgement throughout, the former Atletico Madrid player dispensed with subtlety to lash a bouncing ball high into the net with brutal force from 22 yards.

Riyad Mahrez and Robbie Brady exchanged late goals on a night when City arrived at Turf Moor with their dressing room plunged into darkness by faulty electrics. The yawning gap at the top is down to eight points for now – perhaps the lights have not gone out on this title defence just yet.

Gabriel Jesus rediscovered form in style as his double helped Manchester City to a 4-1 victory over Burnley that closed the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola described last season's 1-0 win at Turf Moor as being like a "trip to the dentist", though Jesus' brace ensured no pain for City this time around.

Thrust into City's line-up in the wake of Sergio Aguero's injury, Jesus scored either side of half-time to put the visitors in complete control, in the process ending his five-match scoreless streak in the league.

Jesus could have rounded off a hat-trick soon after netting his second, though his rare moment of profligacy did not prove costly – Rodri's thunderbolt making sure of the points.

Robbie Brady snatched a consolation for Burnley after Riyad Mahrez had added further gloss for City late on, as the defending champions moved, temporarily at least, into second, eight points shy of Liverpool.

Jesus thought he had flicked City ahead early on after turning in Angelino's strike, but the goal was rightly disallowed for offside.

There was no doubting City's opener, however.

Kevin De Bruyne's charge set City away and, with referee Jonathan Moss allowing play to roll on despite a hefty challenge on the Belgian from Jack Cork, David Silva took charge to supply Jesus. After cutting in on his right, the Brazilian curled a sensational finish into the top-right corner.

Nick Pope denied City a second prior to half-time, though Burnley's goalkeeper was helpless to prevent Jesus brilliantly prodding home Bernardo Silva's cross after the restart.

Jesus looked all set to complete a hat-trick three minutes later but, after an exquisite turn, the youngster failed to apply the finish from a tight angle.

Ashley Barnes' introduction handed Burnley fresh impetus, yet hopes of a comeback were extinguished when Rodri thumped in a venomous first-time strike.

The rout was complete with three minutes remaining – substitute Mahrez drilling in a low effort from the edge of the area for his 50th Premier League goal – before Brady slammed in from close-range to get Burnley on the scoresheet.

 

What does it mean? Ideal derby prep for City

Denied by Jonjo Shelvey's spectacular strike in Saturday's draw with Newcastle United, City were more ruthless at Turf Moor as they claimed a 10th win of the league campaign.

Now, Guardiola's focus will switch to United, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side visiting the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Jesus resurrects stalling form

With Aguero injured, Jesus now has the chance to shine for City, though he looked devoid of confidence in the early stages. His first goal was taken with exceptional style and prowess, and his second a brilliant, acrobatic effort.

Ahead of the Manchester derby, Jesus – who has scored eight goals in his last nine starts away from home in the Premier League – looks back to his best.

Clarets offer little resistance

Guardiola has openly acknowledged how tough his side found the corresponding fixture last term, though Sean Dyche's side were rather easily swatted aside this time around.

It is now two home defeats on the spin for Burnley, and five defeats from their last seven games in total in the league.

What's next?

It is the small matter of the Manchester derby up next for City. Burnley, meanwhile, travel to Tottenham.

Real Madrid have made Fabian Ruiz their top transfer target.

According to reports, "negotiations have accelerated" as the Spanish heavyweights aim to take advantage of the disarray at Napoli.

But the midfielder also has high-profile admirers in England and France.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID STEP UP FABIAN INTEREST

Napoli midfielder Fabian is a man in demand.

Madrid appear to be in pole position, with Cadena SER claiming the Spanish giants are "very serious" about taking the 23-year-old to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Negotiations over a contract extension at Napoli are said to have stopped and the Spain international is reportedly warm to the idea of joining up with Zinedine Zidane's side.

However, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain could look to force a three-way bidding war for the Spain international, who has previously been linked to Barcelona.

ROUND-UP

- Ex-Valencia head coach Marcelino has emerged as a left-field managerial candidate for Arsenal and Everton, according to the Daily Mail. The 54-year-old lost his job at the Mestalla in September following a reported falling out with owner Peter Lim.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears he will be sacked if Manchester United lose their next two games against Tottenham and bitter rivals City, says The Sun.

- Former Premier League striker-turned-reporter Jan Aage Fjortoft claims Liverpool are favourites to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho – but the winger will cost the Premier League leaders €130million.

- Chelsea have offered little-used striker Olivier Giroud to Serie A sides Milan and Inter, according to CalcioMercato.

Barcelona are keeping tabs on 16-year-old PSG midfielder Edouard Michut, reports Le Parisien.

Pep Guardiola is happy with his Manchester City squad and says he will not delve into the transfer market in January.

The reigning Premier League champions are enduring a difficult defence of their title this season and are already 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool after just 14 games.

Guardiola, however, says he will not be forced into bringing in new players next month, citing the refusal of clubs to part with key players midway through the season.

Speaking ahead of City's Premier League visit to Burnley on Tuesday, Guardiola said: "I don't want any players in January. When they come for an incredible opportunity in January for the next four, five or six years maybe we could think about it, but that is not possible.

"Normally, the players we think could be interesting and add something to our squad, their clubs are not going to sell."

While Guardiola looks set to keep his powder dry in January, he is likely to bring in new faces ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, with David Silva's impending departure already confirmed and Fernandinho's future yet to be resolved.

Fernandinho's contract expires at the end of the season and Guardiola says they will not make a decision on the Brazil international before then.

Asked if he would like Fernandinho to stay, Guardiola said: "I think we are going to decide at the end of the season what the situation is for the players who have finished their contracts.

"We will then decide what we have to do or what is best for the club for the next season."

Guardiola refuted suggestions that he faces a rebuilding job at the end of the campaign, suggesting the squad will instead only require some minor tweaks.

"Well, we don't have to rebuild too much," he added. "Three players [Kompany last season, Silva and Fernandinho] does not mean you rebuild the team.

"Rebuilding the team is when you have seven or eight, like we did in the second season when seven players finished their contracts. Buying two or three players is not rebuilding; it's just substituting positions."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been crowned the first ever winner of the Yachine Trophy at 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.

The 27-year-old beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson to be crowned the best keeper in the world.

Alisson played a crucial role in Liverpool's Champions League success and started six times for Brazil in their triumphant Copa America campaign.

He also won the Golden Glove in the Premier League last season with 21 clean sheets as the Reds fell just short of Manchester City in the title race.

Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen finished second in the voting, while Alisson's compatriot Ederson was third.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Samir Handanovic, Manuel Neuer, Andre Onana and Wojciech Szczesny were also in the running for the inaugural award.

Liverpool have been drawn at home to Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round, while holders Manchester City will start the defence of their title at home to third-tier Port Vale.

The Toffees face Jurgen Klopp's side on Wednesday in the Premier League and will make the short trip to Anfield for a second time this season during the first week of January.

Pep Guardiola's City thumped Watford 6-0 in last season's final and have been given a favourable draw to kick-start their 2019-20 campaign, with John Askey's League Two side pitching up at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United face a difficult away tie against Premier League rivals Wolves, who knocked them out of the competition last season's quarter-finals, while Arsenal welcome Championship leaders Leeds United to the Emirates Stadium.

New Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho takes his side to Middlesbrough, managed by former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate, and Chelsea host Nottingham Forest.

Ties will take place between January 3 and 6.

Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann has been voted 18th in the final list for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, a fall of 15 places from last year.

Griezmann finished behind only Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo 12 months ago after winning the World Cup with France and impressing for Atletico Madrid at club level.

However, an underwhelming end to his Atletico career and a tough start to life at Barcelona - who he joined in a €120million deal in July - has seen him drop down the list.

It marks the second time the 28-year-old has slipped from third to 18th, having done likewise in 2017.

Griezmann's Barcelona team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen finished 24th and Frenkie de Jong, who spent the first half of the year with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, was voted 11th in the standings.

Three Liverpool players missed out on the top 10, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino in 26th, 19th and 17th, respectively.

Fellow Premier League side Manchester City were also heavily represented in the 30-11 rankings, as were Dutch champions Ajax following their run to the final four of last season's Champions League.

Lionel Messi and Virgil van Dijk are the frontrunners to win the most prestigious individual accolade in world football during Monday's ceremony.

Ballon d'Or 30-11 list in full:

=28. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

=28. Donny van de Beek (Ajax)

=28. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)

=26. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

=26. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

=24. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli)

=24. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

=20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

=20. Dusan Tadic (Ajax)

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

18. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

16. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

14. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

11. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

Aymeric Laporte has targeted a return to Manchester City's first team within two months.

The France centre-back sustained a serious knee injury in the 4-0 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion at the end of August and required surgery.

Laporte, who joined from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018, is unsure exactly when he will be back but provided a positive update for City fans.

"[My recovery] is going very well," he told The National. 

"I still need time but I hope as soon as possible I can come back and play with my team-mates. I can't say when exactly but more or less one-month-and-a-half to two months."

City's decision not to sign a centre-back to replace club legend Vincent Kompany came under further scrutiny following Laporte's injury.

In his absence, Pep Guardiola's defending champions have fallen 11 points adrift of unbeaten leaders Liverpool in the Premier League.

But Laporte insists City can once again pip Liverpool to the title having beaten the Reds by a solitary point in a thrilling race last term.

"Yes, of course [City can win the title]," Laporte added. 

"Last year was quite similar when they had a similar lead but we still have time this year to recover, to catch them and to again try to win the Premier League, so we hope we can do that.

"We need to make sure we work a lot and don't lose any more games."

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says he has no plans to stop selecting midfielder Fernandinho in central defence, despite the availability of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

The Premier League champions were thrown into a defensive crisis when Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for six months after damaging the lateral meniscus in his right knee in September.

Stones and Otamendi endured a torrid time in the first game following Laporte's injury against Norwich City, with the latter particularly at fault in a damaging 3-2 defeat.

Guardiola has selected Brazil international Fernandinho as one of his two central defenders for every Premier League game since then and insists he has no intention of stopping.

Asked why he has not played Stones and Otamendi together, Guardiola told reporters at his media conference ahead of City's visit to Burnley on Tuesday: "Because I like Fernandinho in that position. I prefer him in that position; that's why he plays."

Pressed on why he continues to choose a midfielder in defence, Guardiola responded: "I prefer [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri in midfield."

Guardiola also reiterated that Sergio Aguero will miss Saturday's derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentina international sustained a thigh injury in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on November 23, with Guardiola saying: "He is not ready for the derby but after the derby we will see."

City's 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday means they are now a whopping 11 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola acknowledges his side will have to be at their best to avoid dropping more points against Sean Dyche's outfit.

"It is always difficult for teams [to play against Burnley]," he added. "What they do they do perfectly. They are so good in the second balls and are free-kick scorers so we need to adapt and play our way.

"They attack really well and in defence they are so aggressive."

Pep Guardiola insists his Manchester City players are not lacking for either confidence or effort even though their Premier League title defence continues to falter.

City were twice pegged back during Saturday's 2-2 draw at Newcastle United, leaving them third in the table and 11 points behind leaders Liverpool after 14 games.

Jurgen Klopp's men have only dropped two points so far this term to establish their dominant position, but Guardiola rejected the suggestion that belief is fading among his own squad ahead of a Tuesday trip to Burnley that precedes the Manchester derby.

"I think honestly you have to see how the players run, how they fought, how they tried to do it, the body language," he said, after Jonjo Shelvey's superb long-range effort cancelled out a similarly emphatic Kevin De Bruyne strike two minutes from time at St James' Park.

"We never give up. The team is always there. That is my feeling. You analyse the results, the 2-2. Of course, it is not good for us. It's good for Newcastle.

"I know it doesn’t count but I have to analyse the performance and the performance was good."

City set a Premier League record of 18 victories in a row when they lifted the title in 2017-18, while they needed 14 wins in succession to hold off Liverpool last time around.

Whether or not such heroics are beyond them this season, Guardiola does not think it is helpful to think in those terms.

"I am not thinking about how many games we have to win, just try to win the next one," he added.

"Last season when we were here, we were not talking about the Premier League and how many games you have to win.

"It's not about that. Just now recover, prepare and try to win against Burnley. After that the derby and make these steps."

Jose Mourinho made it two wins out of two as Tottenham manager while Chelsea suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time this season on a weekend of mixed fortunes at the top of the table.

Manchester City's failure to beat Newcastle United left them 11 points behind league leaders Liverpool, who won again, but Leicester City's late winner against Everton kept them within eight points of Jurgen Klopp's title favourites.

With a packed December schedule looming for all Premier League clubs, maintaining the form and fitness of key players is even more vital than ever for those chasing honours.

The absence of one of the division's hottest marksmen hurt Chelsea while the return to form of a top playmaker gave Spurs a boost, as our Premier League Data Diary reveals.
 

BLUES FIRE BLANKS IN ABRAHAM'S ABSENCE

Tammy Abraham has scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League appearances this season, but a hip injury ruled him out of Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham on Saturday.

Frank Lampard's side started the game brightly, treating Stamford Bridge to the kind of spirited attacking football that has won them admirers across the country this season, but their 19 shots yielded nothing for the home crowd to celebrate.

Aaron Cresswell's third goal of the season made this his highest-scoring top-flight campaign to date and earned West Ham their first Premier League away win at Chelsea since September 2002, ending a run of 13 without a league victory at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard saw his side rally in the last 20 minutes following the introduction of N'Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but the Blues are yet to gain a single point from a losing position in the Premier League this season. This game became the fourth they have lost after falling behind.

VAN DIJK AT THE DOUBLE AS REDS SURVIVE LATE SCARE

Virgil van Dijk is up against Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, and he tormented Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday as Liverpool won 2-1 at Anfield.

Netherlands international Van Dijk scored twice in six first-half minutes to become the highest scoring Premier League defender since the start of the 2018-19 season, with seven strikes, but the Reds endured a nervy end to the game as Brighton mounted a fightback.

Alisson became the first Liverpool goalkeeper to be sent off in a Premier League match since Doni against Blackburn Rovers in April 2012, and Lewis Dunk scored with 11 minutes left to tee up a frantic finish.

But Brighton failed to muster an equaliser and are now without a win in their past six Premier League away matches (D1 L5), while Liverpool have equalled their longest ever unbeaten top-flight run (W26 D5) by matching the 31 undefeated games achieved between May 1987 and March 1988.

ALLI REVIVAL FUELS BACK-TO-BACK WINS

Dele Alli's loss of form was among the problems Mauricio Pochettino failed to overcome before being sacked by Tottenham, but the England playmaker is bouncing back under Mourinho.

After assisting Son Heung-min's opener in a 3-2 win at West Ham a week earlier, Alli scored a brace as Spurs beat Bournemouth by the same scoreline, meaning he has been involved in three goals in two games under Mourinho - as many as in his last 12 league games for Pochettino.

While Mourinho has made a strong start at Spurs, helping the club register back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April, the fact his side have conceded four goals in two league games will have troubled him.

Tottenham conceded 20 shots against Bournemouth, who scored in the 73rd and 96th minutes - the exact timings of West Ham's strikes against Spurs a week prior.

The last time Spurs conceded as many shots against them in a Premier League home game was in September 2015, when Manchester City peppered their goal with 22 attempts.

SHELVEY STRIKE STALLS CITY'S TITLE CHARGE

Kevin De Bruyne's stunner looked to have earned City a victory over Newcastle, but Jonjo Shelvey ultimately had the final say.

Newcastle are now unbeaten in each of their past four home league games against reigning top-flight champions, winning two and drawing two, for the first time since a run of five ending in February 2003.

Of players with at least 15 Premier League goals, only David Ginola (66.7 per cent) and Laurent Robert (65.2 per cent) have scored a higher ratio from outside the box than Shelvey, who has netted 11 of his 17 top-flight goals from that range.

Miguel Almiron assisted Jetro Willems' equaliser after Raheem Sterling had put City ahead at St James' Park – the first assist the Paraguayan has registered from what was his 23rd chance created in the Premier League.

City have found the net in each of their past 22 Premier League games against Newcastle – their joint-longest such run in the competition – yet De Bruyne's sensational strike, his sixth goal involvement in six league appearances against the Magpies, was not enough to clinch victory.

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