Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed the "intensity" shown by his side after they fought back from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 Premier League win at home to Southampton.

City defender Kyle Walker scored an 86th-minute winner for City on Saturday after Sergio Aguero cancelled out James Ward-Prowse's opener for the struggling Saints.

The victory ensured City kept pace with Premier League leaders Liverpool, who secured a dramatic 2-1 victory of their own away at Aston Villa.

Defending champions City remain six points behind Liverpool, who they face at Anfield a week on Sunday.

"We did everything we could and in the end our intensity, and our players, paid off," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

"They are top quality players, they are fast players. It was our job to try and beat Southampton and we did.

"It is not about what Southampton do or play but it is about how we reacted to that.

"Today we have to do everything. We have to take the rhythm that we needed in every sense of the world – from how we pick the ball out of the net to how we take throw-ins or corners.

"We did everything, it was so difficult to attack when they defend with 11 players. It was a good comeback."

City defender Walker was pleased with the resilience shown by his team-mates.

"We stuck at it, we kept knocking on the door," Walker said to Sky Sports.

"Thankfully for me the door came open and I was the one that got the goal.

"It’s tough when teams put 11 players behind the ball. We have players who can spin a game on its head and we did that today.

"It was a crazy game to play, scoring was one of those crazy moments.

"They slowed down our pace down which makes it difficult but we stuck to our game plan and it came out okay in the end.

"Every three points is vital. We have the quality - it is about the mental state of the players. We have to keep positive."

An incredible day of Premier League drama saw both leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City rescue all three points with late fightbacks.

Liverpool trailed at Aston Villa while City were behind at home to Southampton, although Pep Guardiola's men looked set to profit when they turned their match around as the Reds continued to flounder.

Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane clinched a stunning away victory, though, and Liverpool remain six points clear of City at the top after both sides won 2-1.

Elsewhere, Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion all won, while Wolves held Arsenal.

 

INCREDIBLE DRAMA AT THE TOP

Villa away and Southampton at home - particularly after the Saints' horror show against Leicester City - looked like straightforward enough fixtures for Liverpool and City respectively.

However, it appeared for long spells on Saturday as though both would come away empty-handed.

At Villa Park, Trezeguet netted after 21 minutes and not until the 87th minute did Robertson level matters. Liverpool still appeared set to see their advantage cut, only for Mane to strike deep into stoppage time.

City were also given a scare as Southampton led through James Ward-Prowse early on.

But Sergio Aguero struck with 20 minutes remaining and then Kyle Walker, like Robertson an unlikely scorer, stole victory with just four minutes left on the clock.

 

BOOS FOR EMERY'S ARSENAL AGAIN

At Emirates Stadium, pressure continues to grow on Unai Emery after a third Premier League game without a win.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - captaining the Gunners in Granit Xhaka's absence - put them in front, the striker scoring his 50th Gunners goal in his 78th appearance.

But again Arsenal dropped points despite leading, Raul Jimenez heading home Joao Moutinho's cross with 14 minutes to go to extend Wolves' unbeaten run to six league games.

Although Emery had restored fan favourite Mesut Ozil to the XI, boos rang out at full-time.

 

UNITED BEATEN BY BOURNEMOUTH

An entertaining day of Premier League action had kicked off with Bournemouth beating Manchester United, ending the Red Devils' brief resurgence.

After three straight away wins looked to have turned United's season around, former Old Trafford youngster Joshua King grabbed the only goal of the game at Vitality Stadium.

King turned away from Aaron Wan-Bissaka late in the first half, before slamming past David De Gea acrobatically for what proved to be the decisive strike.

 

NEWCASTLE HOLD ON, BLADES WIN BIG

Even the games on the slate not involving 'big-six' teams were full of thrills and spills.

Newcastle won 3-2 at West Ham, ending the match clinging on after dominating for an hour. They scored through Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey, and the Magpies should have netted two or three more before the Hammers mounted something of a fightback, but ultimately fell short.

There was no such response from Burnley, as they went down 3-0 at Sheffield United, with John Lundstram on target twice as all three goals came in the first half.

Brighton ended the day all the way up in eighth after beating Norwich City 2-0.

Manchester City's battling 2-1 win over Southampton meant they stayed in touch with Premier League leaders Liverpool ahead of a blockbusting trip to Anfield next weekend.

The gap at the summit remains six points after Sergio Aguero cancelled out James Ward-Prowse's first-half opener from a rare Ederson error, before Kyle Walker proved to be an unlikely matchwinner.

But Pep Guardiola's champions are undeniably some way short of the supreme form that saw them amass 198 points over the course of back-to-back Premier League titles, having laboured for long periods against a Southampton side that shipped nine goals eight days ago.

A repeat of Wolves' win at the Etihad Stadium last month appeared on the cards until Aguero intervened.

Liverpool retained their advantage at the top thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Sadio Mane at Aston Villa, coming after Andy Robertson set up the 2-1 win with an 87th-minute equaliser.

It means that if City's visit to Merseyside is not quite "must-win" it is almost certainly "must-not-lose". Guardiola raged at the officials during the closing stages against Saints, but here are some of the issues with his own players that will be causing concern.

Slow starts

"The intensity must be there from kick-off," Guardiola implored in vain in his matchday programme notes. Aside from the 8-0 demolition of Watford in September, the fast starts with which City frequently blitzed opponents during their title-winning seasons have been largely absent this time around.

Their goalless effort before the break in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend was dubbed a "relegation" performance by their manager. Atalanta scored first at the Etihad Stadium before being beaten in the Champions League and if the sluggishness beginnings against Wolves, Villa and Saints are on show at Anfield, City are likely to pay dearly.

Defensive stability

Since Aymeric Laporte was laid low by a meniscus injury at the end of August, City have conceded in six of 12 matches in all competitions. Not a howling record by any means, but Guardiola is still searching for solutions without his ball-playing defensive lynchpin, both in and out of possession.

Fernandinho is having to acclimatise to a new position quicker than was originally planned, while Nicolas Otamendi's nightmare showing against Wolves appears to have cost him Guardiola's trust.

John Stones and left-back Benjamin Mendy – the latter rested against Southampton – are working their way back to form and match sharpness, while Walker is only recently back from a bout of illness. Overall, the picture painted is not one of the robust unit required to repel Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Under-performing attacking stars

If City were at their free-scoring best in attack, it would mask plenty of the defensive deficiencies. The problem is, they aren't. Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are the only members of City's creative department who can claim to have reached top form this season, and both were way short of their best against Southampton.

Aguero pilfered the equaliser to move on to 13 goals from as many appearances this term but it is notable that Gabriel Jesus is pushing him harder for a starting place than he has for at least 18 months.

Riyad Mahrez's impressive start to the season has tailed off, while Bernardo Silva – City's player of the season in 2018-19 – was often utterly awful as Southampton's massed defensive ranks inflicted an afternoon of rain-sodden anxiety upon the champions.

Guardiola: Season four

This is only the second time the famously meticulous and intense Guardiola has entered a fourth season in charge of a club. The last time that happened in 2011-12, Barcelona were unable to hold off a relentless Real Madrid and conceded their LaLiga title.

This is a different time in a different league with a different set of players, with Guardiola older and wiser. But the common features of City's poor performances this season – predictable attacks, edginess under pressure and an endless parade of crosses (although those belatedly paid off on Saturday) – indicate the message from the dugout might be at least a little careworn.

Manchester City kept pace with Premier League leaders Liverpool after Kyle Walker struck late on to give them a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Saturday.

A goalkeeping blunder by Ederson allowed James Ward-Prowse to give Southampton a surprise 13th-minute lead at Etihad Stadium.

City initially struggled to break down a resolute Southampton defence before Sergio Aguero eventually equalised when he fired past goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

However, Walker latched on to Angelino's cross to slide the ball home and secure a win that means the champions remain six points behind Liverpool.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola hailed "exceptional" Ilkay Gundogan as one of the best players in Europe and admitted to being surprised by his versatility.

The 29-year-old was given a rare breather in midweek for the EFL Cup win over Southampton but been a regular this season.

He has been used in a variety of positions during his three years at the Etihad Stadium and has recently been deployed in a holding role in midfield, where he also helped out in last term's treble-winning campaign.

"He's so intelligent as a player," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday's home league meeting with Southampton.

"One of the qualities I appreciate the most for my players is being intelligent, understanding everything that happened in the game, during the game and solve it - offensively, defensively, as quick as possible. 

"He can play in many roles. When he plays close to the box, he's a guy who scores goals and has personality. 

"I didn't expect after one year, two years he would be so consistent as a holding midfielder, defending that position. He's an exceptional player, honestly. He's one of Europe's best players, in fact."

Big-money signing Rodri is nursing a hamstring injury and Fernandinho has been asked to fill in at centre-back of late, leaving City light of options in midfield.

Gundogan has stepped up to fill the void and is on the Premier League Player of the Month shortlist for October, though Guardiola was not aware the ex-Borussia Dortmund man was so comfortable when lining up in a deeper position.

"Sometimes it happens when you don't have more alternatives," Guardiola said. "I used other players in that position in the past but not Gundogan because I didn't realise. Look how wrong I was!

"When I didn't have another alternative in that position, I put him in and said, 'Wow'. Look how aggressive he is without the ball, he knows exactly the movements during the game he has to do.

"Of course, he's not the typical holding midfielder, but we need not just someone who can defend. When Fernandinho was out last season, Gundogan played there and was incredible, outstanding in all aspects of the game."

Raheem Sterling's development into one of the Premier League's leading players is down to a change of lifestyle off the pitch and taking more responsibility on it, according to Manchester City team-mate Fernandinho.

Sterling, 24, joined City to much fanfare in 2015 after breaking into Liverpool's first-team as a teenager, his potential costing the Blues a reported £50million.

While he continued to show signs of his capability in the first two seasons at the club, Sterling also attracted criticism for his lack of composure in front of goal and erratic final pass.

But in 2017-18 he found another level, scoring 18 Premier League goals. He then went on to net 25 across all competitions the following campaign, helping City retain the league title.

He is on track to easily surpass that figure this term, having already scored 13 in 14 games on all fronts, and Fernandinho puts his success down to off-field maturity, having often been the subject of negative headlines as a youngster.

"I think this is maybe a case of us all being human beings," Fernandinho said ahead of Saturday's visit of Southampton. "Sometimes we fail in some actions, sometimes we make some mistakes, that's normal, especially when you are young.

"He's improved outside the pitch. He changed his style of life, style of living, it helps him a lot on the pitch. He's taken more responsibility on the pitch.

"He's a father too. You start to see the world in a different way and you start to see things changing [when you're a father]. I think he's done very well and, as I say, we are so happy for him.

"I think he is taking the chances we create as a team and that's good because the way we play as a team, we create a lot of chances in the box.

"The players know we're going to create chances, he understands it really well. He's improved a lot, the way he finishes, he scores goals and the way he grew up as a player and a person, he got more experience.

"That's good for him and I hope he can continue to grow up and improve more."

At 34, most players would be considering their future in professional football.

And while Fernandinho is not about to set an age target for his retirement, he is no rush to hang up his boots while his body remains able to meet the demands of top-flight football.

"To be honest, I just thank God for giving me a body that I can do this," he added. "Every three days, I have to be mentally ready and improve my body to be ready.

"Of course, I take care of myself, but we have great staff taking care of us behind the scenes which helps because first you have to get the mind ready and then the body and just go on.

"I always say I'll play until my mind will allow me to play. When I feel happy and motivated to play every day, this is important, to train happy and fresh every day.

"So, until I don't feel like this, I will play, but I don't want to say until 37, 38…40; we shall see."

Jurgen Klopp is open to fielding two entirely different teams in the EFL Cup and Club World Cup next month but says Liverpool's star men would be in Qatar.

The European champions are due to play a Club World Cup semi-final on December 18 - the day after a scheduled domestic quarter-final at Aston Villa.

Klopp suggested after Wednesday's remarkable last-16 victory over Arsenal that his side may have to pull out of the EFL Cup altogether, but an alternative solution may yet be found.

The Liverpool boss made 11 changes against Arsenal and, in a bid to fulfil nine fixtures in December, he might consider leaving a young squad of fringe players behind to face Villa.

"We have discussed it already," Klopp said at Friday's news conference before playing Villa in the Premier League. "We have to because there's not too much time to make that decision. 

"There's not a final decision yet but, if we would play while we are in Qatar, it would be two different teams. We cannot leave any [senior] players at home for the EFL Cup - we have two games [in Qatar] in a very busy period. 

"It's not that we can go there with 11 players and say these 11 guys play the two games in Qatar and the other [senior] guys play at home in England against Aston Villa. We have to make a decision and we will make a decision but not yet."

Klopp also criticised the scheduling of Liverpool's festive fixtures last year and has previously taken aim at UEFA for putting further demands on his international players with the introduction of the Nations League.

When asked if there is a concern his players are being pushed too far, Klopp offered an impassioned reply as he highlighted some issues with the English football calendar.

"Let's have a look how they deal with it," he said. "If you see the schedule that's coming up, it's all okay.

"The Premier League, what a competition, sensationally cool; then the EFL Cup, nice competition, what a game we had on Wednesday night. 

"But then at the end of January, after a very busy schedule in December, there are two semi-finals. It's an easy decision for me to say if you keep that competition then why don't you make just two semi-finals?

"We still have, in February, March and April, FA Cup games at the weekend.

"I'm four years in and, before I knew about it, people discussed it already. That's the difference to other countries - Italy has 20 teams as well.

"England is the only country where nobody wants to touch it, or maybe wants to touch it - the FA wants to touch the League Cup, the Football League wants to touch the FA Cup - but nobody really wants to discuss it. 

"Then, on top of that, UEFA decides to make the Nations League to give the boys who are already pretty busy - some very successful players, good players - another couple of intense games. 

"I said it before and it always sounds like it's my problem. I'm not involved in Nations League games, I don't play international games at all. I have a couple of days off, it's not my problem. I only discuss from the same perspective that you should discuss it but you don't."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola backed Klopp's stance on fixture congestion and called on the relevant governing bodies to do more to protect players.

"I completely agree," he said. "How do we pay bigger squads? We need less fixtures, less competitions, more recovery. We play [December] 27 or 29 in winter time.

"In UEFA meetings, always they talk about it. I'm with Jurgen when he makes these kind of statements about too many games."

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola offered sympathy to beleaguered Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka following his confrontation with Gunners fans, acknowledging an understanding of the midfielder's emotions.

Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Crystal Palace on Sunday in their most recent Premier League match, throwing away a 2-0 lead, but the match was marred by a second-half incident that saw Xhaka react angrily when fans ironically cheered – and then booed him - as he was substituted.

Xhaka sarcastically encouraged the jeering by throwing his arms up and cupping an ear, before shouting expletives at the crowd and taking his shirt off as he headed straight for the tunnel.

Coach Unai Emery, who said Xhaka was wrong to react in such a way, left him out of the squad for the EFL Cup clash with Liverpool and the upcoming Premier League visit of Wolves.

It remains to be seen if Emery keeps Xhaka as his captain, or indeed if he ever plays for the club again, but Guardiola sympathised with the Switzerland international, who revealed on Thursday he and his family have received abusive messages for months.

"We have to respect our supporters," Guardiola told reporters. "But it is not easy for the players sometimes.

"I understand Xhaka, the emotions, the moment. I don't know what's going on inside, but maybe I'm not the right man to say, because sometimes I cannot control my emotions, but you have to try it.

"At the end, it's just a game, to have fun, to do their best, and I'm sure all the players, Xhaka included, do their absolute best for Arsenal, do the best for his mates and for winning games. He is the captain because he has something special in the locker room.

"It's happened because sometimes you lose control. It will be forgotten, they'll move forward and hopefully the fans can forgive Xhaka and he can show what an incredible player he is."

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool will be without Joel Matip for "a few weeks" more due to his knee injury, meaning he is expected to miss the potentially vital clash with Manchester City.

Matip began suffering from discomfort in the win over Sheffield United at the end of September, though he managed to feature in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United on October 20.

Despite that return, the 28-year-old defender did not look completely sharp at Old Trafford and has missed the Reds' three matches since.

Before the next international break later this month, Liverpool face Aston Villa, Genk in the Champions League and then Manchester City, their biggest threat in the Premier League title race.

While Naby Keita's situation appears less certain after he sustained a minor strain in the EFL Cup clash with Arsenal, Matip looks set to miss the next three matches, meaning Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are likely to be called upon.

When asked about the fitness of Keita and Matip, Klopp told reporters: "Naby, I don't know yet, we'll see.

"And Joel, he is not ready for the next few weeks, unfortunately. A couple is two [weeks] – a few is more than three [weeks]. He needs more than a couple."

Meanwhile, Klopp is contemplating the idea of resting midfielder Fabinho against Villa on Saturday due to the Brazilian being one booking away from missing the City clash through suspension.

The German said: "I don't know yet. I will have to see. I know he is [one booking from suspension]. No challenges at all!

"It's not possible to play against Aston Villa and play without making tackles, we know that. We have to deal with this information, either him or me with the line-up."

Gabriel Jesus is happy to occupy a wide position for Manchester City while continuing to learn from "legend" Sergio Aguero.

Pep Guardiola made the rare decision of starting the two forwards together for the 3-1 home victory over Southampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, although Jesus was shunted out onto the flank as Aguero played through the centre.

The 22-year-old was initially deployed on the wing when he made his breakthrough at Palmeiras and featured from the right in Brazil's triumphant Copa America campaign this year.

Jesus, who has been named in Guardiola's starting line-up just seven times this season, would not be averse to featuring in that role more regularly for City, and with Southampton visiting the Etihad Stadium again in the Premier League on Saturday he may get another opportunity to do so.

"I like this position and I know always I'm going to respect the manager's decision," said Jesus.

"Since the Copa America I've played for Brazil as a right winger. I like it.

"I started with the position in Brazil in my old club and after I got to play like a striker, but I like to play both positions. It's very important you can play more than one.

"It was my first game as a winger with five at the back for Southampton, so it's difficult when you dribble past one defender and have another one.

"So it's more difficult, but I like to play like a winger and I like it as a striker as well. I don't have a preference."

Aguero has scored 12 goals in as many appearances in all competitions this season and Jesus acknowledged there is plenty he can glean from City's all-time leading marksman about being a clinical a finisher.

"It's difficult to describe Sergio. Sergio is the top scorer of the club and every game he shows us why he is the top scorer," said Jesus.

"I have to learn from him because he's a legend. Every game he scores. I want to score every game but I think it is different, me and Sergio.

"I'm 22 years old, I have to improve my football, practise my finishing and I have to learn from Sergio.

"This is City, the competition is very high, but I think City has good players and an amazing team, so whoever is playing I think is going to do a very good job."

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is back in Argentina's squad for next month's friendlies against Brazil and Uruguay after serving a three-month suspension.

Messi was banned by CONMEBOL in August and fined $50,000 for accusing the governing body of corruption following his side's semi-final loss to Brazil at the Copa America.

The 32-year-old has missed Argentina's past four matches - all friendlies - but is in line to make his return in November after being named in Lionel Scaloni's latest 26-man squad.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is also included for the first time since Argentina's 2-1 third-place play-off victory over Chile in the Copa America, while Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso returns after sitting out of this month's draw with Germany and victory over Ecuador.

There is still no place in the squad for Paris Saint-Germain's in-form striker Mauro Icardi, however, with his most recent cap coming against Mexico in November 2018.

Club team-mate Angel Di Maria, absent since the Copa America, is also missing again.

Argentina meet Brazil in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 15 and then travel to Tel Aviv, Israel, to face Uruguay three days later in the final international break of the calendar year.
 

Argentina squad in full:

Agustin Marchesin (Porto), Emiliano Martinez (Arsenal), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Juan Musso (Udinese); German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Juan Foyth (Tottenham), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nehuen Perez (Famalicao), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Renzo Saravia (Porto), Walter Kannemann (Gremio); Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Guido Rodriguez (Club America), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Nicolas Dominguez (Velez Sarsfield), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Rodrigo de Paul (Udinese); Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Lucas Alario (Bayer Leverkusen), Nicolas Gonzalez (Stuttgart), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City).

Manchester United have been granted a golden chance to advance to the EFL Cup's semi-finals after being drawn against fourth-tier Colchester United in the last eight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won 2-1 against Chelsea on Wednesday and will now host the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Manchester City, comfortable 3-1 winners against Southampton in the last round, have a similarly promising path into the final four as Pep Guardiola's men seek to secure the trophy for the third successive season.

The holders are set to visit Oxford United, who sit fifth in League One, at Kassam Stadium.

The other two ties are both all-Premier League clashes.

Liverpool were drawn away to Aston Villa following a see-sawing shoot-out triumph over Arsenal, while Everton and the under-pressure Marco Silva will welcome high-flying Leicester City to Goodison Park.

Each of the four quarter-final ties are scheduled to take place in the week beginning December 16.

European champions Liverpool are simultaneously due to be in Qatar for the Club World Cup, further complicating an already congested fixture list.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp threatened to boycott the next stage of the EFL Cup if an appropriate solution to the logjam cannot be found.

"If they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 03:00am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it," Klopp said after the Arsenal encounter, which ended level at 5-5 after 90 minutes.

"They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things."

EFL Cup quarter-final draw in full: 

Oxford United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Colchester United
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Leicester City

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Juventus are not resting on their laurels.

Despite their domestic dominance, Juve are craving European glory as they eye a first Champions League crown since 1995.

So much so that they have three Premier League stars on their mind.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WATCH SALAH, SON & ERIKSEN

Juventus scouts watched Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Tuttosport.

Seeking a ninth successive Scudetto, Serie A champions Juve are prepared to spend heavily in pursuit of Champions League glory.

With money no obstacle as they reap the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's presence, Liverpool star Salah and Tottenham duo Son and Eriksen are reportedly on Juve's list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Jose Mourinho wants to become the first manager to win major trophies with three English clubs as the former Manchester United boss is linked to Arsenal. Gunners head coach Unai Emery is under pressure at the Emirates Stadium amid growing fan frustration.

Manchester United are hopeful of completing a deal for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January, reports Soccerlink. With Dembele's future uncertain, Lyon are lining up Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United's name has again been thrown into the mix for Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old Italy international is fast becoming one of the most sought-after players in Europe, attracting interest from Juventus, Manchester City and Inter. Now, The Suns says United are weigning up a £40million move for Tonali after sending scouts to watch him once more.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are considering a January move for Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal to sign Strasbourg's Ibrahima Sissoko. The 21-year-old French midfielder is poised to make the switch when the transfer window opens in January.

Pep Guardiola was impressed with the performances of youngsters Eric Garcia and Tommy Doyle in Manchester City's EFL Cup victory over Southampton.

Holders City eased into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win on Tuesday – Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero getting on the scoresheet before Jack Stephens snatched a consolation for the visitors.

With City suffering an injury crisis in defence, teenager Garcia partnered Otamendi at centre-back, while Doyle played in a holding midfield role behind Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden.

Their displays drew praise from manager Guardiola, who believes the EFL Cup provides the perfect opportunity to test City's fringe players.

"Eric Garcia has once again played a high level, like has this season and last season in the EFL Cup," Guardiola told City's official website.

"He didn't make one mistake. Tommy, as well, played well in a position that isn't his natural his position.

"We had just one holding midfielder available - Ilkay Gundogan - and he's played a lot of games.

"I thought he played really well. Congratulations on his debut. We have Fernandinho who can play there but he is playing centre-back and was suspended.

"That's why Tommy played. I didn't have another alternative. He was with us in pre-season and I've seen him in the academy. I didn't have any doubts he would play a good level."

Success in the EFL Cup has provided City with a springboard to win further trophies in the previous two campaigns, and Guardiola's side seem well placed to push on again this term, with two of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool to drop out of contention on Wednesday.

"This competition is good to move the team on. We played seriously; the quality of our passing was high," Guardiola said.

"It's not easy to attack the system Southampton had, with eight players back and fast players up front. It was a good game and we go through to the quarter-finals.

"You cannot win four titles in one season when you don't play games so seriously. For the players who didn't play the last games it's good for me to see the rhythm they have and I was happy with what I saw."

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