David Silva played his 309th and final Premier League match on Sunday, helping Manchester City end the season with a rout of Norwich City. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, the 5-0 thrashing was still a fitting farewell for a player who must be considered one of the best to ever to play for the club. 

His future remains unclear, but the 34-year-old's legacy in English football is safe: four league titles, two FA Cups, five EFL Cups and, just maybe, a Champions League triumph next month. 

Opta provides a clear insight into the brilliance of Silva over the past 10 years...

BORN TO PLAY - AND WIN

Silva reached 200 Premier League wins in just 289 appearances, faster than any other player in the competition's history. Indeed, City won 69.2 per cent of all league games when 'El Mago' was on the pitch - 214 in total.

City's very own Mr Reliable has only made fewer league appearances since his debut than two goalkeepers, David de Gea (312) and Ben Foster (322), while only Kyle Walker has played more Premier League minutes in that time.

Of course, Silva has never just been making up the numbers in City blue. He managed 93 assists, at least 17 more than any other player since his debut in 2010.

Unsurprisingly, his 793 chances created is also far clear of his closest rivals - Eden Hazard is next on 595.

Overall, he has provided 153 goals and assists combined, the fourth-highest since he came to English shores, behind just Wayne Rooney (155), Harry Kane (163) and Sergio Aguero (226).

AN ALL-TIME GREAT

Silva is in esteemed company in Premier League history. He is sixth on the all-time assist table, one ahead of Steven Gerrard and behind only Dennis Bergkamp (94), Frank Lampard (102), Rooney (103), Cesc Fabregas (111) and Ryan Giggs (162).

For City, he is unsurprisingly top of almost every chart.

He has played more games, won more games and provided more assists than any other City player in the Premier League, while behind only Aguero for goals and assists combined. While hardly prolific, only Yaya Toure (62), Raheem Sterling (67) and Aguero (180) can better his tally of 60 goals.

 

EL REY

Only De Gea and Fabregas (350) have played more Premier League games than Silva when it comes to Spanish players, and none have won as many matches or can compare to his win rate.

Fernando Torres (85) is the only Spaniard with more goals, while just Fabregas is above Silva for assists and combined goal involvements (161).

 

CONSISTENCY KING

Silva's best season for goals and assists was in 2011-12 - City's first title triumph - when he registered 21. He has managed at least 11 goal involvements in each of his league campaigns in England.

The midfielder created more than 60 goalscoring chances in every season except 2019-20 and twice surpassed a century, reaching 104 in 2011-12 and then 105 the following term.

He completed 18,794 passes in the Premier League with an accuracy that averaged more than 87 per cent.

Liverpool's achievements during a "beautiful" title-winning season will take time to sink in for Divock Origi, who helped the Reds sign off in style on Sunday.

After the Premier League trophy presentation at Anfield following the 5-3 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, Jurgen Klopp's squad completed their 2019-20 campaign with victory at Newcastle United.

Origi was among the scorers as Liverpool rallied from conceding inside the opening minute to triumph 3-1, meaning they finish on a club-record total of 99 points, 18 clear of second-placed Manchester City.

For the Belgium international, ending the club's 30-year wait to be crowned champions again is still so fresh that he is yet to fully comprehend the achievement.

"It's beautiful. I think it's something that, with time, we will be able to enjoy more and more," Origi told Liverpool's official website.

"It has been a very special season and things like this are so big that it needs time to digest.

"We celebrated it well, we're excited to be able to be with the fans, seeing them and being able to celebrate it together. Now, I think we can go on vacation with a perfect feeling."

Origi's goal against Newcastle was his first in the league away from Anfield since scoring in the same fixture last season, when Liverpool won 3-2 at St James' Park in May during an epic title race with City, who eventually went on to secure the trophy by a solitary point.

The forward has once again served as a back-up to the starting trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, though understands his role.

"Whenever I come on, I just give everything. As a striker, you enjoy scoring and assisting but eventually, as a team, you can see that we all work for each other," he said.

"Some boys sometimes don't score for a while and then they score many goals. Eventually, the team tries to keep winning and we had a lot of wins this year and a lot of joy."

Manchester United deserve to be in the Champions League but should now be fighting for multiple trophies, according to Bruno Fernandes. 

The Portugal star scored a penalty to help the Red Devils to a 2-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday, a result that secured third place in the Premier League. 

United have been rewarded for a substantial upturn in form - inspired by Fernandes' arrival from Sporting CP in January - and will be back in the Champions League next season for the first time since 2018-19. 

While he is happy to have achieved their goal of a top-four finish, Fernandes insists it is silverware that should be the focus now for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. 

"Of course, playing Champions League is always special and I hope it can be with the supporters, that will be more special," he told MUTV. 

"We deserve to be in the best games, in the best European competition. Nothing against the Europa League, but everyone knows the best competition is the Champions League.

"We feel good, it's what we wanted. We trained hard and we worked hard for this moment. We know the only thing we could achieve this season was getting into the Champions League, so we fought hard for that. 

"But we are not happy enough because we know this club and these players, they can bring much more for the club. I think we have qualities enough to fight for some titles - more than one title, you know? I think we need to win some trophies and then we'll be really happy." 

United could yet end the prolonged 2019-20 season with a trophy as they will return to Europa League action next month. 

A 5-0 win over LASK in the first leg of the last-16 tie means they are firm favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, where they will face either Copenhagen or Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir in Cologne. 

"Now our focus is on the Europa League because this is a really good trophy and we want to win," Fernandes said. 

"I came to Manchester to win trophies. We need to play every game to win. If we go into the Europa League and win every game, we know we'll win the trophy." 

Jadon Sancho is expected back at Borussia Dortmund training this week amid renewed talk of a possible move to Manchester United.

The England star has long been linked with the Red Devils despite United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward having warned that significant transfer spending is difficult due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

United's close-season plans were strengthened on Sunday as they secured third place in the Premier League - and a return to the Champions League - with a 2-0 win at Leicester City.

With club finances to receive a boost from playing in Europe's top competition, and with prospective transfer targets now more likely to be tempted by a move to Old Trafford, United are expected to pursue a move for Sancho in the coming weeks.

For now, though, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc anticipates no real movement on the 20-year-old winger's future.

"We expect Jadon to return to Dortmund for the start of training on Thursday," he told Kicker.

Dortmund are said to want in excess of €100million for Sancho, a fee United are keen to reduce.

Alternatives to the former Manchester City youngster reportedly include Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman and Lille's Jonathan Ikone.

Sancho was one of the standout performers in the Bundesliga in 2019-20, with 17 goals and 16 assists in 32 appearances.

Dortmund finished second, 13 points behind champions Bayern.

Kai Havertz's reported move from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea should speed up, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set for a Milan stay.

Chelsea recorded a 2-0 win over Wolves on Sunday to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and a spot in next season's Champions League.

That result should open the door for the arrival of Havertz – and soon.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ TO CHELSEA SET TO SPEED UP

Chelsea's qualification for the Champions League should see a deal for Leverkusen star Havertz speed up, according to Sport Bild.

Leverkusen are in the Europa League last 16, but reportedly do not insist on keeping the Germany international for the rest of the tournament.

Havertz, 21, has scored 17 goals and provided nine assists in 43 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Coming out of contract at Milan, Ibrahimovic could be set to extend his stay. CalcioMercato reports the 38-year-old forward is open to accepting a deal worth around €4million, lower than his initial demand of €6m. The report also says Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose deal expires next year, could renew until 2023.

- What's next for Philippe Coutinho? The cover of Sport says the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, is considering options to join Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester City.

- Brescia star Sandro Tonali is linked with a big-money move. CalcioMercato says Inter have agreed terms with the Italy international midfielder and are nearing a €35m agreement with Brescia, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the 20-year-old.

- With Dejan Lovren reportedly set for an exit, Liverpool may have found a replacement. Sport Bild reports the Premier League champions have started talks with Schalke to sign 20-year-old centre-back Ozan Kabak.

- With uncertainty over Kepa Arrizabalaga's future at Chelsea, the Premier League club are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper. Voetbal International reports Chelsea and Leverkusen have strong interest in Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

- Edinson Cavani may be close to deciding his future. Todofichajes reports the former Paris Saint-Germain striker is close to agreeing a deal with Benfica.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded Bruno Fernandes' "massive impact" after his performance helped guide the Red Devils to third in the Premier League and a spot in next season's Champions League.

Fernandes scored a 71st-minute penalty and substitute Jesse Lingard netted in the eighth minute of stoppage time as United defeated Leicester 2-0 on the final day of the Premier League season.

After Anthony Martial was fouled by Jonny Evans inside the penalty area, Fernandes stepped up to convert the spot-kick with 19 minutes remaining at the King Power Stadium, where Lingard completed the scoring at the death on Sunday.

Fernandes has transformed United since his January arrival from Portuguese outfit Sporting CP – the star midfielder's eight league goals and seven assists helping Solskjaer's side complete an unlikely comeback in the top-four chase, having found themselves fifth, 14 points and 20 goals worse off than Leicester in second following the January 1 defeat to Arsenal.

"We have to admit that he's come in and been a massive influence. He's made a massive impact," Solskjaer told reporters.

"He's been fantastic scoring goals, creating goals, but also his enthusiasm and mentality around the place has helped. Maybe today you can see a tired Bruno, and that's natural because he's played too much.

"You can see his passion. He's moaning a little bit here and there, so we'll have to take that away from him sometimes. But he's stepped up, calm as you like, and slotted away the penalty."

Solskjaer added: "I need to go and watch him myself [before signing a player]. I've always known, I've seen him on telly and that stuff, when I went to see him live he was exceptional in his enthusiasm, the way he wanted to win, winning mentality. That was fantastic when I saw him.

"But I have to go back to all the chief scouts. The scouting network has been really good, so it's not like I can just pick someone and if five of them say no, I'll force things through. It's a team effort there as well. But of course, Bruno has come in and been fantastic for us."

Frank Lampard will wait until the end of the season to assess his Chelsea squad after dropping goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Kepa, 25, has come under fire for his performances this season and was replaced by Willy Caballero in the starting XI as Chelsea beat Wolves 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, securing a top-four finish.

Chelsea face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday and then meet Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, having lost the opening match 3-0.

Lampard said he was not making a decision on his goalkeepers just yet, with the club linked with a move for Atletico Madrid shot-stopper Jan Oblak.

"The idea that we haven't kept enough clean sheets is definitely not just a reflection of the goalkeeper, that's something that we have to work on as a team, look at how we train and maybe how we recruit going forward," the Chelsea head coach told a news conference.

"I don't want to pinpoint it on Kepa. Kepa decision was a choice, probably on recent form and recent situation, a tough time for him.

"I felt like Willy coming in with confidence, off the back of a strong performance against Man United last week was what we needed for the game.

"I don't want to jump forward beyond the Arsenal game next week. It would be wrong. The squad is really strong at the moment as a unit, how they are on and off the pitch.

"I want that to stay for one more week domestically, then Bayern Munich. Looking to next season after that."

Kepa became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he arrived at Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6million (€80m) in 2018.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revelled in highlighting his critics' misjudgement as he celebrated Manchester United's third-place finish and qualification for the Champions League.

United beat Leicester City 2-0 on the final day of the Premier League season to pip their opponents to a top-four position.

Solskjaer's side have enjoyed a fine run of form in 2020 after looking a long shot for Europe's elite club competition earlier in the campaign.

The manager kept his belief, though, and referenced his doubters in his post-match news conference at Leicester's King Power Stadium.

"It didn't seem like you were expecting that," he said. "All the predictions were sixth or seventh. That's alright."

But Solskjaer accepts United face an even tougher ask next season when they must again improve in the league while taking on the continent's very best.

He explained: "The season next year with Champions League instead of Europa League will be different, because we want to move up the league table, so we can't take our eye off the league and rest players in the Europa League.

"There'll be more demands on the players. They'll have to work hard over the summer - of course, we've got Europe, which will be a foundation as well.

"Next season will be even more testing and challenging for them. If you play the top teams in the Champions League, you've got to get used to playing 45, 50 games for this club every season if we are to be successful."

The result meant Leicester dropped to fifth and into the Europa League despite spending much of the season second or third.

But manager Brendan Rodgers maintained his enthusiasm looking forward to their European campaign.

"Listen, we finished in the second-highest position in Premier League history for Leicester," Rodgers said. "That takes us into European competition.

"I'm really, really excited by that. I think it's that next step for this squad of players. We've probably arrived a bit earlier than what we thought, but the boys have had a very, very good season.

"Now that takes us into Europe and those experiences - playing at that level of competition, also playing in midweek - gains you that experience that make you more robust.

"Those experiences will really help this squad, so I'm excited by that. We'll look to hopefully have a great experience in [the Europa League] as well."

The Premier League's longest season yet concluded on Sunday with Liverpool champions for the first time.

The Reds were comfortable in ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title, but there was drama until the closing minutes of the final day.

Manchester United and Chelsea can celebrate Champions League qualification as the division's strugglers reflect on their contrasting fortunes.

Meanwhile, with the help of Opta data, we look at some of the quirkiest numbers from the 2019-20 campaign.


5 - David Luiz conceded five penalties in the Premier League this season, the most a player has ever given away in a single season in the competition.

167 - Jack Grealish was fouled 167 times in the 2019-20 Premier League, the most fouls won by a player in a single campaign on record (since 1998-99).

24 - Scott McTominay now has the fastest Premier League yellow card on record. He was booked just 24 seconds into Manchester United's December home win against Newcastle United.

2000 - It was a season of milestones for McTominay, who scored Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal against Norwich City in October. They became the first club to the landmark.

27 - The Norwich class of 2019-20 became the only side not to record a single point from a losing position in Premier League history. They lost all 27 matches in which they fell behind.

4 - Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard's fourth-placed finish is the highest finish for an English manager in their debut Premier League season since Frank Clark's Nottingham Forest came third in 1994-95.

2 - Lampard's season ended well, but September's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool made him just the second Chelsea boss - after Bobby Campbell in 1988 - to lose his first four home matches in all competitions.

33 - At the age of 33, Jamie Vardy became the oldest player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 23 goals in 2019-20.

5 - Virgil van Dijk became just the fifth outfield player to play every minute for a Premier League title-winning side, following Gary Pallister (1992-93), John Terry (2014-15), Wes Morgan (2015-16) and Cesar Azpilicueta (2016-17).

2013 - Anthony Martial's June hat-trick against Sheffield United was Manchester United's first in the Premier League since Robin van Persie scored three against Aston Villa in April 2013.

7 - Martial and Marcus Rashford assisted one another a combined seven times in this season's Premier League, the most of any pairing in a single edition of the competition for Manchester United.

49 - All 49 clubs to have played in the Premier League have conceded at least one hat-trick after Raheem Sterling's three-goal haul against Brighton and Hove Albion in July.

14 - Manchester United won 14 penalties in the 2019-20 season, the most a team has ever won in a single Premier League campaign.

29 - Harry Kane is the only player to face more than one club in the Premier League and score against them all, with Sheffield United the 29th he netted against.

15 - Kevin De Bruyne ended the season with a joint-record 20 assists - tied with Thierry Henry - but he became the first player to set up 15 goals in three separate Premier League campaigns.

93 - Tottenham went a record 93 games without a goalless draw before they were held 0-0 by Watford in January.

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal will need to strengthen in central defence after revealing Shkodran Mustafi will miss the start of next season through injury.

Mustafi damaged his hamstring in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City and was initially considered doubtful for next week's final against Chelsea.

Arteta confirmed the full extent of the injury following Sunday's 3-2 win against Watford, however, with the Germany international ruled out for weeks rather than days.

Asked if Mustafi will miss the start of next season, which is due to begin on September 12, Arteta told reporters: "Yes, he will. 

"It is a nasty one. He pulled the tendon of the bone of his hamstring and that's normally a lot of weeks."

Arsenal have also had to make do without fellow centre-backs Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari due to long-term injuries, with both players in a race to be fit before the end of the year.

And despite the arrival of William Saliba from Saint-Etienne, Arteta understands the need to bring in another player during the close-season.

"I already mentioned to you three central defenders that are not available and we haven't had them available for a long time anyway during this season," he said. "We will have to address that."

After concluding a disappointing Premier League campaign with three points against Watford - a result that relegated their opponents - Arsenal's focus now turns to their cup final showdown with Chelsea next Saturday.

Arteta has some big selection calls to make but has already decided Emiliano Martinez will start in goal, despite Bernd Leno's return to training this week following a month-long absence.

"Emi has earned his place with another brilliant performance again today," he said. "When the team needed him he made some fantastic saves.

"Bernd is still recovering from his injuries so Emi's the one now. Let's hope that he's available for the game and if that's the case he will start the final."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal to their victory over Watford with a couple of first-half strikes, either side of Kieran Tierney's first goal for the club.

Troy Deeney and Danny Welbeck pulled a couple of goals back for the visitors to set up a nervy finish, but Arteta is expecting a different type of performance against Chelsea.

"It was a crazy game right from the start," he said. "We allowed them too many balls in the box - this is where they're really dangerous. 

"They had some really good quality moments with the ball in the final third but we weren't at the races without the ball like we've been doing in the last few games.

"But it will be a completely different game next week. First of all from the mental side it will be equal - how much they want it and how much we want it. 

"I don't think that was the case today because of the necessity they had, the way they had to go to the game was different to ours.

"Normally you can see that when you don't have the ball. Hopefully it will be different."

Pep Guardiola is encouraged to see Manchester City's assist king Kevin De Bruyne scoring more goals himself.

The Belgium midfielder set up Raheem Sterling in Sunday's 5-0 win over relegated Norwich City, claiming his 20th assist of the campaign to match Thierry Henry's single-season record in the Premier League.

De Bruyne also netted twice himself – particularly sumptuously before half-time – as City broke through the 100-goal barrier.

It meant he finished with 13 Premier League goals, his most prolific return in England's top flight.

"We know the assists and the quality he has for this but we need his goals," Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

"Today he scored two brilliant goals. Of course, the first one is special."

Guardiola had no concerns over De Bruyne's pursuit of an individual record harming his overall performance.

"We tell them, play simple, play as you know. Don't be focused too much on achieving it because it will come along," he said.

"He made one assist but could have easily broken the record. Now he is going to share it with Titi Henry. He played really good.

"The individual target, the focus to achieve something. It's good. Athletes always want to overcome and be better and benefit for the team."

De Bruyne was not the only City player to chalk up leading individual numbers this season, with Ederson's 16th clean sheet winning him the Premier League Golden Glove.

It is an honour Guardiola felt the Brazil international earned in a sharp outing at the Etihad Stadium – his save in a one-on-one from Teemu Pukki particularly impressive.

"It's so nice, but I think today he deserves it because he made two incredible saves. Without him it would not be possible," Guardiola added.

"He made a really good season and he deserves what he has done. We are so happy for this award."

David Silva was granted a warm ovation from his team-mates and City's backroom staff when he made way on his final Premier League performance.

The former Spain playmaker still has a shot at Champions League glory next month as he brings down the curtain on a glorious decade in Manchester and, when fans are allowed back into stadiums, Guardiola is sure Silva will be granted a more fitting farewell.

"It was the smallest standing ovation of all time," he chuckled. "He will come back to receive the standing ovation he deserves from our fans.

"I have the feeling that they want to do it. I think what the players and staff have done shows the gratitude and honour that he has to have for these incredible 10 years he has done at this club.

"We wanted to say thank you for what he has done for this club."

Frank Lampard has challenged his Chelsea side to step up next season after the Blues qualified for the Champions League on Sunday.

In their final Premier League fixture of the campaign, Chelsea defeated Wolves 2-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to quickfire goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud.

The victory meant Chelsea finished in fourth place, with Manchester United clinching third thanks to a 2-0 win over Leicester City.

But Lampard is not resting on his achievements so far, with Chelsea facing Arsenal in the FA Cup final next week ahead of returning to Champions League action against Bayern Munich in August, prior to the new Premier League season in September.

"I am very pleased and I don't want to sing my own praises," Lampard told a news conference when asked what it meant for Chelsea to secure a top-four finish.

"I have said a lot before and there were unknowns. You have seen so many breakthrough seasons from players, so it's a team effort of staff and players.

"I am proud, but we want to challenge for titles in the future. We have been inconsistent at times.

"Myself and the staff want to improve every time, the challenge now is to see what more we can do next season.

"I have learnt a million things [this season] but I just want success for this club. It feels like we have an element of achievement, but we have a big game next week."

Chelsea's new signing Timo Werner watched on from the stands at Stamford Bridge, and Lampard believes the Germany international will have been impressed by what he saw.

"I hope he'd see a team who played with a lot of spirit," Lampard said.

"With a moment like Mason Mount had and we have things we want to improve on, but there's talent in the squad. Hopefully it was a nice first viewing for him."

While Werner and Hakim Ziyech have already been brought in, one player leaving Chelsea is Pedro, who came on as a late substitute for what Lampard confirmed will be his final appearance for the club.

"Pedro has played his last game for the club, but what he has done for this club has been very special, he has been serenaded in the dressing room," Lampard added.

Jurgen Klopp insisted Virgil van Dijk needed no further praise after completing an ever-present season for Liverpool, although he acknowledged the defender had surpassed expectations.

Van Dijk played every minute for Liverpool in the Premier League this term as they ended as champions, finishing 18 points clear of previous title-holders Manchester City.

The Netherlands international had similarly started each match of the 2018-19 season as City pipped the Reds on the final day.

Van Dijk has been recognised as one of the league's most accomplished, consistent centre-backs since signing for Liverpool from Southampton, yet Klopp has been just as impressed by his mindset and manner.

"I'm not sure if he needs another hour of praise," Klopp told reporters after Van Dijk scored against Newcastle United in a 3-1 win. "He's good, pretty good. He's a good centre-half.

"No, he's special, his combination of skills is special, his mindset – on top of that – is special.

"This makes him a pretty good centre-half and a good guy as well, which I like a lot. I would work with him as well if he was a little more difficult to be with, but he's really low maintenance.

"He's really nice to have. We knew when we signed him we'd get a really good player, but the package is so special, and we had no idea about that. That makes him really, really exciting."

Of Van Dijk's ever-present record, the manager added with a smile: "He takes his breaks in the games from time to time, which drives me crazy.

"But I get it, I get it. It was his big target, I think, that he could do that again. Hopefully that will be possible for the rest of his career. That would be absolutely special.

"We've tried to rest him but it's difficult. So far, it's went well, and we hope it stays like this, but now he has two weeks off as well, so he doesn't need more, I'm sure."

Klopp was asked how he might describe Liverpool's season and settled on "absolutely exceptional".

"It was exceptional, absolutely exceptional, [a club-record] 99 points," he said.

"Really, how we think about it, it starts on June 1, 2019, because, yes, it was the last game of the last season [the Champions League final win over Tottenham], but for us it was the first game of a pretty special time.

"So, after that, the European Super Cup, the Club World Cup and now the Premier League is absolutely exceptional. Getting 99 points after having 97 last year is absolutely exceptional."

With the Premier League set to restart on September 12, he added: "We have two weeks off and then we still have to write a couple more chapters of the book of this team."

Jose Mourinho is looking to improve Tottenham's squad ahead of next season after finishing 2019-20 on a high by qualifying for the Europa League.

A 1-1 draw with London rivals Crystal Palace proved enough for Spurs to finish above Wolves, beaten 2-0 by Chelsea elsewhere on the final day, in sixth place.

And after winning four and drawing two of their final six games, Mourinho feels his side are capable of finishing in the top four next term with a bit more luck on the injury front and some new faces.

"When all the players are available we showed in this last period where we belong," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"After lockdown we finished third or fourth in the table. That is where we belong. I want to have my team, my players, not a medical room full of players, a pitch full of players. 

"We want to keep our very good players and after that improve the squad. Are we going to buy 10 players. No? Are we going to pay £100million for a player? No.

"But let's see. The market is very strange. I don't know if we will start working pre-season with any new players or something that is going to go through the whole period.

"We are going to keep the structure of the team because we have absolutely no interest in selling our best players.

"I enjoy working with [chief scout] Steve Hitchen and we are very connected with [Daniel] Levy and the board.

"We're going to do what is possible and hopefully next season we can give the fans a very good season."

Harry Kane's fifth goal in three matches gave Tottenham the lead inside 13 minutes at Selhurst Park, only for Palace to hit back through Jeffrey Schlupp early in the second half.

Mourinho concedes that his side were not at their best in Sunday's clash, which he puts down to the gruelling nature of an elongated campaign that has spanned 12 months.

"The game was hard," he said. "We didn't play well at all. I understand though that to play an entire season in one game is difficult. 

"There was a lot of pressure. The players deserve it. I also have to say that Palace did very well. They played with incredible professionalism. This is England.

"I think it is down to pressure and the typical fatigue of a season of 12 months. 

"People can say 'oh for two or three months you didn't play' but those months were probably even harder, to be at home, closed in and training on Zoom. 

"It's a 12-month season so really, really difficult. It's an accumulation of things.

"I also have to say that Palace did very well. They played with incredible professionalism. This is England. This is England, I repeat."

After four successive years in the Champions League a season of Europa League football now awaits for Spurs, but Mourinho is focusing on the positives.

"I am quite happy that next season we play in Europa League," he said. "It's just a question of motivating ourselves for that competition and motivating the fans to support us and try to do something beautiful.

"Of course everybody that one day plays in the Champions League doesn't want to go back and play Europa League but it was the only thing possible after such a difficult season for the club, for the players and in my case also for myself."

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