Mauro Icardi's Inter saga could be at an end after Paris Saint-Germain made the headline-grabbing move of transfer deadline day.

Frozen out by Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte, Argentina striker Icardi was facing a bleak few months until PSG came in and managed to complete an initial loan move.

PSG reportedly have an option to buy the 26-year-old for €70million, while the Ligue 1 champions also signed three-times Champions League winner Keylor Navas from Real Madrid in a deal that saw another goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, move in the other direction on loan.

Serie A was a hive of activity on Monday, while plenty of Premier League players took the opportunity to move elsewhere – the window for incomings having closed in England's top flight last month.

Roman holiday for Mkhitaryan as Fiorentina aim for renaissance

Roma completed loan moves for Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic, but there was a youthful edge to Fiorentina's late spree.

Wantaway Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan will now ply his trade at the Stadio Artemio Franchi alongside Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal – a loan signing from Leicester City.

The Viola also paid Fluminense in the region of €14m for Pedro, another player to replenish Vincenzo Montella's squad after Giovanni Simeone joined Cagliari on loan with an obligation to buy over the weekend.

Simone Verdi has joined Torino in similar fashion, ending an unhappy spell at Napoli – where free transfer Fernando Llorente bolsters Carlo Ancelotti's options at centre forward.

Napoli are joined in the Champions League by Atalanta this season and Simon Kjaer will be on hand to bolster their defence following a loan from Sevilla, although Martin Skrtel's swiftly terminated contract preceded him leaving Bergamo for a one-year deal with Istanbul Basaksehir.

Matteo Darmian was the latest member of Manchester United's defensive surplus to switch to Serie A, the Italy international joining Parma on a four-year deal after Chris Smalling was loaned to Roma. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made the considerably shorter trip to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

The road from Watford to Udinese is incredibly well travelled and striker Stefano Okaka is back after a loan at the Stadio Friuli last season.

 

Italian flavour to Bundesliga business

AC Milan secured Croatia winger Ante Rebic on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, for whom Andre Silva will seek to reignite his career and serve as a suitable replacement for Luka Jovic over the same period.

Bundesliga pacesetters RB Leipzig also have a talented attacker seeking a kickstart after Patrik Schick joined on an initial loan from Roma.

Vincenzo Grifo returned to Freiburg on a four-year deal from Hoffenheim, who also loaned Leonardo Bittencourt to Werder Bremen.

Marius Wolf left Borussia Dortmund for Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan and BVB's rivals Schalke sold Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Rafinha on the move again as Hernandez and Bono conclude Sevilla's transfer frenzy

Had events panned out differently, this might have been the day Barcelona triumphantly welcomed Neymar back to Camp Nou.

As it was, a Brazilian left – Rafinha moving to Celta Vigo on loan after signing a contract extension with his parent club.

Barca have also agreed to sign 16-year-old midfielder Pedri from Las Palmas, who welcome back club stalwart Jonathan Viera on loan from Beijing Guoan for their Segunda promotion push.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez and Morocco goalkeeper Bono were arrivals 12 and 13 of the window at Sevilla.

Maxime Gonalons was a loanee at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season and has joined Granada on a temporary basis from Roma.

Almeria were another hive of activity, with Nottingham Forest's Arvin Appiah and Joan Munoz concluding their incomings.

Real Sociedad signed Monaco's Spain Under-17 international Robert Navarro and loaned Kevin Rodriguez to Leganes.

Chelsea duo Baba Rahman and Kenedy were loaned to Real Mallorca and Getafe respectively.

Galatasaray's deadline-day delight

Radamel Falcao followed a rapturous reception following his arrival in Istanbul by signing a three-year contract with Galatasaray, who also secured Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and Brighton and Hove Albion forward Florin Andone on loan.

Gala's rivals Fenerbahce were not to be outdone entirely as they brought in Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Marseille on a four-year deal.

Sporting CP were already buoyed by keeping hold of the highly rated Bruno Fernandes, who will look to supply an attack reinforced by the loan arrivals of Jese from PSG and Yannick Bolasie from Everton.

Royal Antwerp snapped up Steven Defour after the playmaker's release by Burnley and also added Wesley Hoedt on a season-long loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, Celtic signed Kilmarnock left-back Greg Taylor, Manchester City teenager Jeremie Frimpong and Manchester United youngster Lee O'Connor – all on four-year deals. Rivals Rangers bought Ryan Kent from Liverpool for a fee that could reportedly rise to £7.5m.

Fellow Europa League contestants Qarabag secured former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan from Bournemouth.

Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho said he "wouldn't mind" a move to the Premier League as he also talked up the possibility of experiencing LaLiga in the future.

Sancho has been heavily linked to Manchester United after establishing himself as one of the most exciting attackers in football since joining Dortmund from Manchester City in 2017.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was determined to bring Sancho to United in the off-season and the Red Devils are reportedly set to target the 19-year-old England international again at the end of the campaign.

While Sancho is keen to win the Bundesliga with Dortmund, the former City youngster hinted at a future return to England and a move to Spain.

"I can't tell the future but I wouldn't mind," Sancho told Sky Sports News ahead of Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria.

"LaLiga I wouldn't mind also, but we don't know yet."

Sancho added: "I don't really try to take notice of all the media. I just try to stay focused on my game.

"Obviously being in Germany has taken off the pressure of the media and I think that's really helping me a lot and keeping me focused."

Sancho made Bundesliga history this season – his 15th league goal seeing him become the youngest player to reach that figure in history.

He scored 12 goals and supplied 14 assists as Dortmund finished runners-up to Bayern Munich last term, while Sancho already has two goals and three assists in 2019-20.

"I am just happy that I'm playing and that's the main thing," Sancho said. "I'm just helping my team and learning every day when I'm on the pitch.

"It's a great start. I am just happy to have two goals and three assists. Hopefully I'll just carry on."

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has won his first senior call-up for France after Paul Pogba withdrew from the squad to face Albania and Andorra due to a sprained ankle.

Pogba has completed 90 minutes in each of Manchester United's Premier League games so far this season, including Saturday's 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Guendouzi has been similarly central to head coach Unai Emery's plans at Arsenal and impressed during Sunday's north London derby – supplying a superb floated pass for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to seal a 2-2 draw for the Gunners.

Overall, his numbers during the opening weeks of the campaign have been highly impressive, with the former Lorient man's nine interceptions, five tackles won and 43 kilometres covered the most for any Arsenal player, according to data collected by Opta.

Guendouzi's 19 recoveries and 46 duels put him second in those categories.

The 20-year-old featured three times for France's Under-21 team at this year's European Championship in Italy.

Didier Deschamps' need for midfield reinforcements was underlined by Lyon's Houssem Aouar withdrawing due to an adductor problem, with another replacement to be announced in due course.

Romelu Lukaku urged footballers to unify against racism and demanded social media companies do more to combat discrimination after the striker was abused by Cagliari fans on Sunday.

Inter won 2-1 in Sardinia thanks to Lukaku's second-half penalty, but monkey chants could be heard coming from fans behind the goal as the Belgium international prepared to take his kick.

After scoring, he glared back at the supporters in question instead of celebrating.

It was the fourth high-profile incident involving Cagliari fans in just over two years, with Sulley Muntari, Blaise Matuidi and Moise Kean all targeted in the past.

Lukaku's former Manchester United team-mates Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba have been targeted by racial abuse on social media this season, and Lukaku is demanding a greater effort from necessary stakeholders to stamp out discrimination.

"Many players in the last month have suffered from racial abuse," Lukaku wrote on his official Instagram account. "I did yesterday [Sunday], too.

"Football is a game to be enjoyed by everyone and we shouldn't accept any form of discrimination that will put our game in shame.

"I hope the football federations all over the world react strongly on all cases of discrimination!!!

"Social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) need to work better as well with football clubs, because everyday you see at least one racist comment under a post of a person of colour. We've been saying it for years and still no action.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it's 2019. Instead of going forward, we're going backwards, and I think as players we need [to] unify and make a statement on this matter to keep this game clean and enjoyable for everyone."

Cagliari released a statement on Monday condemning the chants and vowed to ban those responsible.

 

Matteo Darmian has ended a difficult period at Manchester United by completing a permanent move to Parma.

Italy international Darmian returns to his homeland after agreeing a four-year deal with Roberto D'Aversa's side.

The full-back was quoted over the weekend as telling Sky Sport Italia the move was an "important opportunity" to revive his national team career, Darmian having last been capped in 2017.

Darmian's appearances in the Premier League waned from 28 in his first season to six in his last at Old Trafford.

He becomes the fourth United player to finalise a switch to Serie A in recent weeks, after Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez both joined Inter and Chris Smalling signed for Roma on loan.

Parma, ninth in the table after two games, have reportedly paid around €1.5million (£1.4m) to sign the 29-year-old.

Harry Maguire wants Manchester United to become more arrogant and imposing on the ball following Saturday's draw with Southampton at St Mary's.

United were forced to settle for a second successive away point after Jannik Vestergaard cancelled out Daniel James' first-half opener.

Kevin Danso's dismissal gifted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men a numerical advantage for the final 15 minutes but the visitors failed to capitalise on the opportunity.

Their winless run now stands at three matches leading into the international break.

"It's another game we deserved to win," centre-back Maguire told reporters. 

"We created the majority of the chances and we've dropped two points.

"We are playing attacking football but don't get me wrong, we can still improve a lot - especially on the ball.

"We gave the ball away far too much, especially towards the end of the first half and in the second half we need to improve on that and show arrogance on the ball and be confident on the ball.

"We're Man United and we want to control games."

Maguire believes United "did enough" to find a winner amid a series of attempts on goal throughout the closing stages.

Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn made one particularly smart stop from Marcus Rashford, who was otherwise muted in the absence of injured forward Anthony Martial.

Though he has fired three blanks since the home win over Chelsea on the opening weekend, Solskjaer remains confident England international Rashford can be trusted with key chances. 

"He'll get it. He's getting there," the United boss said.

"We keep on practising them finishes and crosses and if we can build the pressure as we did today I'm sure we'll be okay."

Real Madrid look set to finally land a midfielder before the transfer window closes.

The LaLiga giants have been linked to numerous midfielders and, after a slow start to the season, they may make a signing ahead of the window shutting on Monday.

Madrid are reportedly close to strengthening their squad by completing a move for Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CLOSE TO SEALING FERNANDES DEAL

Real Madrid have almost completed a deal for Fernandes, according to ESPN.

The Portugal international, 24, was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham earlier in the window.

Now, the Sporting captain looks set for Madrid, who have reportedly targeted United's Paul Pogba, Spurs' Christian Eriksen and Ajax's Donny van de Beek during the close season.

It comes just days after Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said Fernandes was heading to Madrid for €70million.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Neymar saga will finally end – for now – with the Paris Saint-Germain star staying with the Ligue 1 champions. L'Equipe reports the Brazil international will remain with PSG, while Sport reports Barcelona will resume their pursuit of Neymar in 2020.

- That could mean a few more eyes on Mauro Icardi on Monday. PSG are in talks with Inter over a potential loan deal for the forward, according to RMC Sport and Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Pogba may still be hoping to eventually get his move to Real Madrid. The Mirror reports the France international will resist signing a new deal with Premier League giants Manchester United, with his current contract running until 2021, although the club have an option to extend that by a year.

- Javier Hernandez should get a deadline-day move from West Ham. The Premier League club have agreed to sell the forward to Sevilla for close to €8.9m (£8m), according to Sky Sports News.

- Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench during Arsenal's draw against Tottenham on Sunday and he could be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium a day later. Roma are pressing hard to sign the midfielder on loan with an option to buy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

- Phil Foden may have to wait for his chances at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions are keen to keep the teenage midfielder in their squad. The Sun reports City rejected loan bids from Rangers and Roma for the England youth international.

The Premier League table is taking on a familiar look after matchweek four, with undefeated Liverpool and Manchester City setting the pace following comfortable victories.

But there are some unexpected sides among the chasing pack, with Leicester City and Crystal Palace completing the top four after home wins, while Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham sit outside the top six.

At the other end of the table, promoted Aston Villa and Norwich City are struggling to get going and both suffered away defeats, while the division is propped up by last season's FA Cup finalists Watford, who picked up their first point.

A delve into the Opta data on the weekend's action reveals the milestones being passed and records being set as the 2019-20 season unfolds.

FIRMINO REACHES 50 AS REDS MAKE HISTORY

Liverpool's 3-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor marked a historic milestone for the Anfield club, who have won 13 league games in a row for the first time in their history.

Those 13 victories have all featured more than one Liverpool goal and the Reds are the first side to achieve that feat since Tottenham's glorious team of 1960.

After Chris Wood's own-goal opened the scoring at Burnley, Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool's lead with his 30th in all competitions since the start of the last season, pulling him level with Mohamed Salah over that time period.

Roberto Firmino's strike 10 minutes from time wrapped up a straightforward victory for the European champions and made him the first Brazilian player to score 50 Premier League goals. He is the ninth player to reach that milestone in the Premier League era for Liverpool, who have more half-centurions than any other club in the division except Manchester United, who have also had nine 50-goal players.

DERBY TURNAROUND DENIES SPURS MUCH-NEEDED AWAY WIN

Tottenham looked on course for their first league win away from home in eight attempts when goals from Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane put Mauricio Pochettino's men 2-0 up over north London rivals Arsenal.

But Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back for the hosts just before half-time and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang drew Arsenal level in the second half to leave Tottenham with a record of two draws and six defeats from their last eight Premier League away games - their longest winless streak on the road since December 2011 to April 2012 (also eight games).

Pochettino's record in away visits to fellow 'big six' opponents is poor, with Spurs having won just three of their 27 such trips since he took over in 2014-15.

Arsenal went behind when Bernd Leno parried the ball to Eriksen's feet - the goalkeeper's sixth error since the start of last season - and Granit Xhaka conceded a penalty for the fifth time since his Premier League debut to allow Kane to make it 2-0.

But Lacazette narrowed the deficit before Aubameyang scored in his seventh successive Premier League start at Emirates Stadium - an Arsenal record bettered only by Thierry Henry, who scored in nine successive starts at Highbury.

AGUERO ONE SHORT OF HOME CENTURY

Sergio Aguero scored twice in Manchester City's 4-0 demolition of Brighton and Hove Albion, taking the Argentinian to 99 Premier League goals at Etihad Stadium.

Only Thierry Henry at Highbury (114) and Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford (101) have scored more goals at a single venue in Premier League history than Aguero, whose second goal was assisted by David Silva.

That came after former Spain playmaker Silva also laid on Kevin De Bruyne's opener, and he has assisted 87 Premier League goals since his City debut in August 2010 - 27 more than any other player.

Bernardo Silva scored the fourth goal as the champions capped a result that leaves Brighton winless in every game they have played away at City, drawing two and losing on eight of their 10 trips.

SOLSKJAER'S SIDE MAKE SLOWEST START IN 27 YEARS

Manchester United roared to a 4-0 win over Chelsea in their season opener but head into the international break with just five points from four games, their lowest total at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 1992-93.

Saturday's subdued 1-1 draw at Southampton extended United's winless run away from home to eight competitive matches, the club's worst in almost five years.

Daniel James, scorer of a sublime opener, continues to be a bright spark and has now netted as many for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side as he did in his final 22 Championship appearances for Swansea City.

But the Wales winger's third of the season was not enough for victory, Jannik Vestergaard forcing a share of the spoils with his first goal for Saints in his 27th league appearance.

Kevin Danso provided the cross for centre-back Vestergaard to equalise, although the Austrian later undid some of that good work by becoming the first Premier League player to be sent off on a home debut since Yannick Sagbo of Hull City in August 2013.

Romelu Lukaku's goalscoring record should have earned him more respect in England, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

Manchester United sold 26-year-old Lukaku to Serie A side Inter in August for a reported €80million.

The striker hit 27 competitive goals in his first season at Old Trafford but that figure fell to 15 last term as critics questioned aspects of his game and conditioning.

Martinez managed the former PFA Team of the Year member at Everton, where he spent four prolific years, and believes his overall impact in the Premier League went undervalued.

Only 18 players have ever scored more goals in the competition than Lukaku's 113 from 252 appearances.

"Romelu hasn't been appreciated for most of the time he's been in the British game," Martinez told the Daily Mail.

"And the reason is very clear. Everyone analyses what he hasn't got as a number nine. Everyone wants to tell him the first touch should be better, that he should be stronger in the air, that he needs to make more room.

"But what they miss is his outstanding trade as a goalscorer. Look at his stats. He is one of the most significant scorers at his age.

"Like any player, if you are going to highlight the things they don't do well, you wouldn't get the feeling of a good player.

"But in Romelu's case, he's always been a top goalscorer."

Lukaku's move made him the third high-profile member of Belgium's starting XI to leave the Premier League during the close season, after Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany.

Kevin De Bruyne remains at Manchester City and has enjoyed an exceptional and injury-free start to the new season.

Asked whether there is a better midfielder in world football, Martinez replied: "No, no, no, definitely not.

"Kevin De Bruyne is a modern playmaker. Xabi Alonso at Liverpool or Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona – when they received the ball, everything had to slow down and this allowed them to execute the pass.

"De Bruyne, he executes passes before the flow of the game has seen it, before people have seen it."

Will he, or won't he?

Neymar has dominated headlines throughout the transfer window, with the Paris Saint-Germain star eyeing a Barcelona return.

However, it seems he will not get what he wanted before Monday's deadline…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR GIVES UP ON BARCA MOVE

Neymar will remain at Paris Saint-Germain after failing to secure a move to Barcelona, according to reports.

The PSG superstar wanted to return to LaLiga champions Barca, just two years after his world-record move to Paris.

Barca had tried to negotiate a deal with PSG, however, L'Equipe says Neymar has already notified the club and family that he will stay at the Ligue 1 holders.

 

ROUND-UP

- Juventus are gearing up for a late move for Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, according to The Express. Juve have reportedly joined PSG in trying to sign Eriksen prior to Monday's deadline.

- The Mirror says Real Madrid have also turned their attention to Eriksen after they were unable to prise Neymar from PSG. Madrid have also been linked to Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes.

- Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Dinamo Zagreb's Dominik Livakovic are potential targets for Manchester United, who are worried David de Gea will leave for free at the end of the season. That is according to The Sun.

- According to the Daily Mirror, Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the situation regarding Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan. The 18-year-old reportedly had a move to Fiorentina blocked by Liverpool, prompting his agent to accuse the Reds of "bullying", accusations the club called "inaccurate" and "inflammatory".

- Fiorentina are desperate to lure Matteo Politano from Inter, reports Calciomercato. La Viola have offered €30million but Inter want €35m as they reportedly line up Eintracht Frankfurt star Ante Rebic as a possible replacement.

Keylor Navas is poised to swap Madrid for PSG and he might not be only the goalkeeper to move to Paris. Cadena Ser claims Sevilla's Sergio Rico will swap LaLiga for Ligue 1 on loan with the option to buy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated Manchester United have no intention of selling Paul Pogba to Real Madrid in the closing stages of the transfer window.

Spanish giants Madrid have been strongly linked with Pogba in recent months and have until Monday to finalise their business.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has refused to rule out a move for the 26-year-old and, speaking at a news conference on Saturday, said "everything can happen" when asked about any late incoming activity at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Pogba played 90 minutes of Saturday's disappointing 1-1 draw with Southampton to continue his run of starting every game this season, however, and Solskjaer is certain he will remain a United player.

"Paul Pogba will be playing for us," Solskjaer told reporters when Zidane's comments were put to him.

The France international regularly gave the ball away and picked up an injury as United were held to a draw by 10-man Southampton, Daniel James' stunning first-half strike being cancelled out by Jannik Vestergaard just before the hour mark.

Asked about Pogba's underwhelming display, Solskjaer said: "I think we as a team after about half an hour started giving sloppy balls away and Paul was one of them. He wasn't any different to anyone else.

"We as a team didn't play well, but in the last 20 minutes or half an hour he did create loads for us going forward.

"Everyone expects everything from him every game, he has to defend, he has to attack, he has to win headers, he has to dribble past people, he has to make passes. That's just Paul and he'll thrive on that. And he got a bad knock on his ankle.

"He twisted it, I think, but he'll go away and hopefully it's not too bad and he can play for France because I know how much he loves his country and playing for them."

United head into the two-week international break without a win in three matches, having drawn with Wolves and Southampton either side of a home defeat to Crystal Palace.

Despite being a point worse off than at this stage last season when they finished sixth, Solskjaer is remaining optimistic.

"We have a clear plan and we believe in the players and believe in the way we do things," he said. "You can say it's long-term but we deserved to win the last three games as well.

"And the one thing you cannot control in football is results and outcomes. You can control the effort, attitude, what we're doing in training. We're on the right track, we're working and, as I said to the boys, we need to learn to win these games."

Liverpool set a new club record on Saturday, beating Burnley 3-0 to record a 13th consecutive top-flight victory.

Jurgen Klopp's men finished the 2018-19 campaign with nine straight Premier League wins and have taken maximum points from their first four games of this season.

As a result, they have surpassed the 12-game winning run previously achieved under Kenny Dalglish in 1990.

How does Liverpool's ongoing winning streak compare to the record runs of the rest of the Premier League's 'big six'? With the help of Opta, we take a look...

 

Manchester City: 18 wins in a row

Liverpool would need to win each of their next five Premier League matches - against Newcastle United, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Leicester City and bitter rivals Manchester United - to equal the 18-game streak City put together from August to December two years ago.

Pep Guardiola's side needed a 97th-minute strike from Raheem Sterling to beat Bournemouth in the first game of that run, which featured 5-0 wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace, a 6-0 triumph at Watford and a 7-2 mauling of Stoke City.

It was Palace who eventually brought an end to City's stunning string of wins, earning a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park that could have been even better, with Ederson saving an injury-time penalty from Luka Milivojevic.

City subsequently won 14 matches in a row to pip Liverpool to last season's title and also claimed victory in their first game of 2019-20 before drawing 2-2 with Tottenham in a match they dominated.


Arsenal: 14 wins in a row

Arsenal's 'Invincibles' famously completed an unbeaten Premier League season in 2003-04, but the Gunners' longest winning streak in the competition did not come in that campaign.

Their best run of 14 straight wins was achieved in 2002, when a team spearheaded by Thierry Henry secured a league and FA Cup double.

A 2-0 win over Birmingham City in August saw Arsene Wenger's magnificent side set a new benchmark for consecutive top-flight wins, at least until City's recent dominance.


Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham: 13 wins in a row

In winning 13 successive games, Liverpool have drawn level with the best runs of Chelsea and Tottenham.

The Reds' current streak began against Burnley in March and stretched to 13 matches with Saturday's 3-0 win over the same opponents.

Chelsea recorded 13 wins in a row from October to December in 2016 and went on to be crowned champions the following May.

You have to go way back to 1960 for Tottenham's longest winning runs in the top-flight, which was achieved under Bill Nicholson in another season that ended with the league trophy being lifted.


Manchester United - 12 wins in a row

Somewhat surprisingly given their years of sustained success under Alex Ferguson, United sit bottom of this particular list.

They have never won more than 12 league games in a row, reaching that mark in August 2000 - three months after winning the Premier League yet again.

Indeed, the longest winning runs of United, City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all come, at least in part, during title-winning campaigns.

After coming so close to glory last term, Liverpool will hope they follow suit next May.

Manchester United and Chelsea fell further off the pace in the Premier League as they lost leads in disappointing draws on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were unable to retain their advantage as they drew 1-1 at Southampton, while Chelsea slipped from 2-0 up in a dramatic encounter with promoted Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City thumped Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0, while Liverpool will meet Burnley in the last game of the day.

Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Ham were also winners, while Newcastle United and Watford drew 1-1.

 

BLADES COMEBACK STUNS CHELSEA

Frank Lampard is still waiting for his first home win as Chelsea boss after the Blues somehow failed to hold on against Sheffield United.

Kurt Zouma's own goal one minute from time saw the Blades claim a famous point. Callum Robinson had earlier reduced the deficit for the visitors, while he and substitute Lys Mousset were involved as the ball diverted in off Zouma's shin with the clock ticking down.

Tammy Abraham had scored twice before half-time to seemingly put Chelsea on course for victory, but instead they remain behind their opponents in the table on just five points from four games.


MAN UNITED DENIED AFTER SUPERB JAMES OPENER

Daniel James produced an excellent finish to score his third Manchester United goal and give his side a 10th-minute advantage at Southampton.

But the 10-man hosts ensured Solskjaer has now gone three straight league games without a win as Jannik Vestergaard sent in a towering header just before the hour mark.

United could not find a winner even after Kevin Danso's dismissal in the 73rd minute, the left-back picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Scott McTominay.


LAPORTE A WORRY AS AGUERO INSPIRES MAN CITY

City's win over Brighton was straightforward from the moment Kevin De Bruyne gave them the lead after 68 seconds.

The Belgium international then set up the first of two goals for Sergio Aguero either side of half-time, the other created by David Silva, who had also laid on the opener.

Aguero, who now has six goals in four games, then turned provider with 11 minutes remaining as he set up Bernardo Silva.

However, City's win came at a cost, with defender Aymeric Laporte leaving the field on a stretcher due to a suspected knee injury after colliding with Adam Webster.

City later confirmed Laporte had been hospitalised, with a diagnosis on the severity of his problem to follow.

 

VARDY BOOSTS IMPRESSIVE LEICESTER 

Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy's double inspired Leicester to a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the King Power Stadium.

He scored in each half as well as assisting Youri Tielemans' goal for the unbeaten Foxes, with the former England striker's first effort a wonderful lob. Callum Wilson netted for Bournemouth, who have won only one of their first four games.

Crystal Palace followed up their win over Manchester United last week with a 1-0 home victory over Aston Villa, which arrived courtesy of Jordan Ayew's strike 17 minutes from time. Trezeguet was sent off for the visitors early in the second half.

It is three wins in a row across all competitions for West Ham after in-form Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko gave them a 2-0 home triumph over Norwich City.

Will Hughes scored after 78 seconds for Watford, who had to settle for a first point of the season rather than a maiden victory after Fabian Schar cancelled out his effort for Newcastle.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United's form is heading in the right direction despite a third Premier League game without a win.

United were held to a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Saturday, with Jannik Vestergaard's second-half header cancelling out a fabulous 10th-minute opener from Daniel James.

It meant Solskjaer's men ceded a lead for the second away game in succession and were unable to effectively bounce back from the shock 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace last weekend.

But, far from denting the opening weekend optimism prompted by a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, Solskjaer believes his team's game is in better order overall.

"The strange thing about it is the three games we haven't won were better than the Chelsea one," he told BT Sport.

"Chelsea pressed us and pushed us back. We counter attacked.

"In the other three we have been dominating, creating chances but haven't been clinical enough to win the games.

"We've missed some penalties, we've missed some chances. It's not a dip in form, it's a dip in results."

James' performances have been an undoubted bright spark for United in the opening weeks of the season.

The 21-year-old Wales winger now has three goals in his first four Premier League appearances since joining from Swansea City.

"We know his qualities and coming in off the left he's got a great strike in him," Solskjaer added.

"It's a good goal today and he runs in behind and creates space for other players around him.

"He's really come in and made an impact for us."

Southampton had to weather some pressure after falling behind but grew into the game after half-time and Vestergaard felt they deserved a share of the spoils – having also run Liverpool close in their previous game at St Mary's.

"It's long overdue but I'm happy to final score and help the team. I thought we deserved to get something from this game. We did against Liverpool as well," the centre-back told BT Sport.

"It's nice to get some reward for the hard work.

"They're a quality team but we knew beforehand they probably have more quality in every position. We had to defend them as a team and a unit.

"They scored a beautiful goal but we stuck with it and fought very hard. It's a deserved point."

Southampton were forced to play the final 17 minutes with 10 men after Kevin Danso collected his second booking for a rash challenge on Scott McTominay.

"It's a problem if a defender is booked. Normally I should substitute him, it could be an option for me," Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl told BT Sport.

"He's a young guy and I think did a good job today. The position [left-back] isn't really his best position. It's something you have to learn and he will get that with experience."

Daniel James' brilliant opener in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Southampton continued a stunning start to life in the Premier League for the Wales youngster.

James capped an opening weekend thumping of Chelsea and was also on target in last weekend's 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.

Three goals in his first four United appearances places the 21-year-old in some elite company but being prolific in your opening games for the club does not necessary mean long-term success.

Here are the other Red Devils who got off to a flyer in the Premier League era.

Robin van Persie – four in three

Van Persie's decision to shun Manchester City to move to United from Arsenal instantly endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful. His debut from the bench could not avert a 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park, but he thrashed in a sublime volley in a 3-2 win over Fulham before a hat-trick saw off Southampton by the same margin. The Dutch forward maintained his prolific form, scoring 26 Premier League goals as United sent Alex Ferguson into retirement with one more title.

Louis Saha – four in four

Rarely do January signings prove such an instant hit as Saha, following his switch from Fulham midway through the 2003-04 campaign. He opened the scoring in wins over Southampton and Everton, completing a double in the latter game. The France international did likewise at Fulham before his old employers battled back to a 1-1 draw. Saha collected a pair of Premier League medals and also became a Champions League winner during his time at United, although injuries frequently interrupted his progress.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – four in four

Never likely to tolerate a quiet introduction to English football, Ibrahimovic drove in from long range to cap a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on his debut in 2016. His double to sink Southampton ensured a memorable maiden turn at Old Trafford, where he also found the target in a derby loss to Manchester City. Ibrahimovic scored 28 times in 46 appearances as United claimed EFL Cup and Europa League glory. However, a serious knee injury meant he was a spectator for the latter triumph and an underwhelming return the following season preceded his move to LA Galaxy.

Romelu Lukaku – four in four

It would have been very hard to envisage Lukaku being hastily bundled out of Old Trafford to Inter without a replacement being sought after he produced an instant return on Jose Mourinho's £75million investment in 2017. The Belgium striker hit a brace in a 4-0 opening-weekend win over West Ham. He also scored as Swansea were beaten by the same margin and netted in a 2-2 draw at Stoke City to go four in four. It was part of a hot streak of 16 goals across 13 appearances for club and country – something Antonio Conte clearly has designs on Lukaku rediscovering at Inter.

Dwight Yorke - three in four

Some eyebrows were raised when Ferguson paid a then club-record £12.6m to bring in Yorke from Aston Villa in August 1998. Although he drew a blank in a 0-0 debut at West Ham, a brace against Charlton Athletic – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also at the double in a 4-0 win – got him off and running. The opener in a 2-0 victory against Coventry City next time out ensured United had a new hero who would prove pivotal in that season's historic treble.

Anthony Martial – three in four

Like James, Martial came off the bench to delight Old Trafford on his debut, dispatching an unforgettable solo effort to down bitter rivals Liverpool. Southampton, who would seemingly do well to avoid attackers in the early stages of their United careers if possible, then copped for a brace at St Mary's. Now restored to a central striking role in a depleted attack, the onus is on Martial to make good on that early promise this season.

Marcus Rashford – three in four

The remaining member of United's first-choice attack also flew out of the blocks. Rashford was Louis van Gaal's most successful punt on youth during his time in charge – a brace against Arsenal on his 2016 Premier League bow actually followed a Europa League double versus FC Midtjylland the preceding midweek. On his fourth league appearance, Rashford brilliantly scored the only goal to sink City in the derby.

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