If games and seasons turn on moments, Son Heung-min's strike against the woodwork at Anfield might prove huge for both Tottenham and Liverpool.

From a tight angle early in the second half, Spurs forward Son went agonisingly close to handing the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Liverpool would have been deflated, Spurs elated. Yet come the final whistle, with that single-goal deficit overturned, it was the Reds chalking up another victory.

They remain bang on target for a first Premier League title, while Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham lurk uncomfortably in mid-table.

Liverpool, then, are back to winning ways in the competition they yearn to capture most of all, chasing another streak of successes after their 17-match sequence came to a halt with the draw against Manchester United in their previous game.

As setbacks go, drawing at the home of your fiercest rivals is more molehill than mountain. But Liverpool would understandably have been disappointed with their display in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The Reds are winless in their past six Premier League visits to Old Trafford, despite last week facing the poorest United side in decades.

If toiling but getting the job done at home to Leicester City and then taking an eight-point lead into the international break felt significant, so too did seeing that advantage immediately cut to six by a Manchester City outfit determined to respond.

In recent title tilts, Liverpool have made a habit of seizing control, only to swiftly let their firm grasp of the situation slip.

The 2013-14 season saw Liverpool lead City with three games remaining. Brendan Rodgers' men, having won 11 matches in a row, then dropped five points across their next two and even made hard work of nine-man Newcastle United on the final day, falling two points and several goals short.

Last season, City lost three of four games in mid-December and dropped to third, seven points behind Liverpool, but beat the leaders in the first game of 2019 en route to winning 18 of their remaining 19 matches. Liverpool drew four of six games at one stage in that stretch, meanwhile, and were trailing again.

At Anfield, where they are still waiting for a first title of the Premier League era, and where they know pesky City have punished their every error in seasons past, these slumps can feel cataclysmic.

There may have been no disgrace in drawing at United, but a failure to beat Tottenham in Liverpool's final home game before welcoming City in early November really would have really piled on the pressure.

Desperate for a victory, this felt for 45 minutes like a day when fate was conspiring against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Moussa Sissoko, who missed a huge chance at Anfield last season and crucially handled within 30 seconds of the first whistle in the Champions League final, drove Spurs forward to prompt another early goal in this fixture, this time for Harry Kane after just 47 seconds.

Liverpool were gifted victory by Hugo Lloris in the corresponding fixture last season but found Paulo Gazzaniga, the deputy, improbably unbeatable before the break.

"Where's your European Cup," chanted the Kop early on, provoked by the Tottenham supporters, but only after a decisive five-minute second-half spell were Liverpool roared on in pursuit of the trophy they all really want.

Jordan Henderson - talismanic in the European final - lashed beyond Gazzaniga and celebrated in the fashion one might a title-defining effort, before Mohamed Salah thrashed in another penalty against Spurs to settle the contest with 15 minutes to play.

As against Leicester, the scoreline was unconvincing but here the performance was not. Liverpool's momentum is unchecked after that Old Trafford blip.

Tottenham, on the other hand, a threat on the counter but still so flimsy at the back, sit 11th and could not even play the role of spoilers as they had in a draw at Etihad Stadium in August.

They will scarcely be considered interested spectators when Liverpool and City face their next big Premier League tests, against one another, in a fortnight.

Scott McTominay had the honour of scoring Manchester United's 2000th Premier League goal as the Red Devils defeated Norwich City on Sunday and became the first team in the competition's history to hit the milestone.

A look back through the Old Trafford archives offers a striking masterclass from some of the greatest marksmen to have graced English football, with the likes of Mark Hughes, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy having plundered goals for the club.

Every United fan has their own favourite goal from the Premier League era, with unforgettable hits lighting up each of the 13 title triumphs achieved under Sir Alex Ferguson.

We've picked out eight of the very best, all of which came during the Ferguson era - a time when goals were easier to come by than they have been of late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.


David Beckham v Wimbledon, August 17, 1996

It was the opening day of the 1996-97 season and Ferguson gave the number 10 shirt to the 21-year-old midfielder David Beckham.

United were already 2-0 up and heading for a straightforward victory at Selhurst Park when Beckham received the ball from Brian McClair and, from just inside his own half, launched it audaciously into the air, over the head of Dons goalkeeper Neil Sullivan and into the net.

It was one of the most memorable goals in Premier League history and one Beckham himself names as the pick of his career.

Eric Cantona v Sunderland, December 20, 1996

Four months after Beckham's famous lob, United were 4-0 up against Sunderland at Old Trafford when Eric Cantona - in what was to be his final season at the club - collected the ball just inside the Black Cats' half.

The enigmatic Frenchman drove forward in possession, exchanged passes with Brian McClair, and then produced an exquisite chip over the stranded Lionel Perez that clipped the inside of the post on the way in.

He then turned, flipped his collar, and spawned a celebration that would be imitated by United fans everywhere for years to come.

Paul Scholes v Bradford City, March 25, 2000

Paul Scholes has spoken about the understanding he shared with Beckham during their days at United, and that intuition paid off in spades at Valley Parade in 1999-2000.

Beckham sent a corner straight to the edge of the Bradford City penalty area where Scholes was waiting with his hammer of a right foot, which arrowed a volley into the Bradford net with scorching ferocity.

Ruud van Nistelrooy v Fulham, March 22, 2003

Given his reputation as a penalty-area predator, it is understandable that Fulham's defenders might not have taken the threat of Van Nistelrooy running towards them from just inside his own half too seriously.

The Netherlands international had the last laugh, though, waltzing past a host of flat-footed Cottagers before tucking the ball past Maik Taylor with his customary composure.

Paul Scholes v Aston Villa, December 23, 2006

This entire list could feasibly be made up of the gifted midfielder's goals, given his penchant for strikes sent from the heavens.

One of his best was undoubtedly against Aston Villa in December 2006 when he met a cleared corner with a volley that crashed in off the underside of Gabor Kiraly's crossbar.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Portsmouth, January 30, 2008

He can often be wayward from dead balls but when Cristiano Ronaldo gets it right, it is usually a thing of beauty.

His free-kick against Portsmouth in 2008 was a case in point, the Portuguese superstar crashing a free-kick past David James with the kind of speed and accuracy that most players can only dream of.

Wayne Rooney v Manchester City, February 12, 2011

United's all-time leading scorer with 253 goals, Wayne Rooney did not score many as important - or indeed as special - as his overhead kick against Manchester City in February 2011. Combine the two and it is clear to see why this acrobatic volley is regarded as one of the most iconic in Premier League history.

Rooney reacted to a slight deflection off Pablo Zabaleta on Nani's cross by checking his run and sending his shot flying past Joe Hart.

The moment of magic arrived 12 minutes from time at Old Trafford after David Silva's deflected equaliser cancelled out Nani's opener, giving United a 2-1 win and putting their title assault back on track.

Robin van Persie v Aston Villa, April 22, 2013

Brought to Manchester United by Alex Ferguson in August 2012 with the sole aim of wrestling the title back from Manchester City, Robin van Persie did exactly that with 26 Premier League goals in his maiden campaign at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman's flying volley against Aston Villa in April 2013 was the pick of the bunch, with the strike helping to seal his side's 20th league title with four matches to spare in a 3-0 victory.

United were a goal to the good when Van Persie, watching strike partner Rooney's searching ball all the way, smashed an unstoppable left-footed volley past Brad Guzan.

Van Persie scored all three goals at Villa Park that day, but only one of those strikes - one worthy of sealing any title - truly stands the test of time.

Leigh Halfpenny disabused any notion of solidarity with Willie le Roux when he caught his opposite number in mid-air after half an hour of Sunday's attritional Rugby World Cup semi-final in Yokohama.

Wales and South Africa's fullbacks had an abundance of work to get through in swirling conditions as the opening 40 minutes produced 40 kicks from hand.

After the thundering intensity and brilliance of England's Saturday dethroning of New Zealand, this felt like a different sport at times. Opposition 22s were not usually places to set up camp but visit fleetingly.

This clash of two brutally physical packs meant such an encounter was always on the cards, placing huge onus on a pair of fly-halves whose route to a defining match has been nowhere near as smooth as they would have hoped four years ago.

When South Africa beat Wales 23-19 in the 2015 quarter-final at Twickenham in an eminently more watchable affair, a 21-year-old Handre Pollard landed five penalties and a drop goal.

A career on the line

Already named IRB Junior Player of the Year for 2014, Pollard's cool-headedness and nerveless accuracy had him marked out for greatness. However, a shoulder injury sustained playing club rugby in Japan set off a career-threatening chain of events.

He decided to try to nurse the problem through the 2016 Super Rugby season with the Bulls, but that plan was shelved after he suffered a snapped anterior cruciate ligament during training.

Pragmatically, Pollard elected to have surgery to fix his shoulder while incapacitated, only to contract an infection in hospital.

"It got to the point where the doctors raised the subject of amputating my arm, although it wasn't an immediate option," he told The Guardian. "I spent six weeks in hospital pumped full of antibiotics about seven hours a day."

The treatment worked and an absence from the international stage of almost two years ended against New Zealand in North Shore. Pollard was a replacement in a 57-0 mauling at the hands of the All Blacks, yet he was playing with the perspective that things could have been so much worse.

It helps to know a World Cup semi-final is at once much more than a game of rugby but still only a game of rugby. South Africa anticipated a tight contest and bet on Pollard's goal-kicking. He was perfect in a game where they were never behind.

A career forever questioned

The responsibility of leading the catch-up operation fell to Dan Biggar, who kicked 14 points to Pollard's 18 in that Twickenham meeting.

Acclaim has rarely arrived so easily for Biggar as it does for his counterpart, though. His 11-year international career has been a fight for approval against celebrated compatriots, while measuring up uncomfortably to the aesthetic demands of a Welsh 10.

From competing against James Hook and Rhys Priestland during his early years to recent jousts with Gareth Anscombe, Biggar has been a loyal servant to his country, always striving to belong.

When an injury to Halfpenny four years ago thrust kicking duties upon him, many doubted Biggar's chops for the task. His 23 points sent England on the way to heartbreak at their own party.

Anscombe being ruled out of this competition persuaded Wales great JJ Williams to declare his country could not win a World Cup with Biggar at fly-half.

"I've had it my whole career,” Biggar told WalesOnline. "There could be another ex-player calling for someone from Penclawdd to play number 10 next week! It's one of those things."

There was similar defiance in each swipe of the boot that took Wales from 3-0, 6-3 and 9-3 behind to parity early in the second period.

Glory and despair

Unfortunately for Biggar, the Springboks had decided to target him at the gain line and he missed Damian de Allende as the South Africa skipper burst through for a game-breaking try.

It was his last involvement, as Rhys Patchell came on in his place – the words of Williams and others perhaps unfairly pounding in Biggar's ears.

Josh Adams went over to level matters once again after a monumental Wales effort by the South Africa line, but the glory would be Pollard's.

Wales brought a maul to ground right in front of referee Jerome Garces and, after a frivolous drop goal attempt, Pollard took it back to the tee.

Ice cold as usual, he bisected the posts with a certain inevitability. Of course, his presence on such a stage was anything but inevitable when faced with the consuming darkness of that hospital bed.

Christian Pulisic was handed a first Premier League start since August when Chelsea visited Burnley on Saturday and the United States star certainly did not disappoint.

A £58million (€64m) signing from Borussia Dortmund - the deal agreed in January before the Blues were hit with a FIFA player registration ban - Pulisic has been forced to bide his time during the early stages of Frank Lampard's reign, with the Stamford Bridge hero electing to blood Chelsea's homegrown youngsters.

"The way he's played he deserves a starting place regularly in the last few weeks, but so do others and that's what I keep saying it's the nice problem that I have," Lampard said ahead of the trip to Turf Moor, the 21-year-old having laid on Michy Batshuayi's late Champions League winner at Ajax in midweek as part of a lively cameo.

It will certainly be very hard to take Pulisic out of the Blues' first XI anytime soon after he scored a perfect hat-trick in an impressive 4-2 win, while proving a thorn in Burnley's side throughout the contest.

Here, we take a blow-by-blow look at a breakout Premier League performance.

4th minute – The sight of Pulisic shimmying infield from the left to put the Burnley defence on their heels would quickly become familiar, but this was more of an exploratory mission as he was tracked tenaciously by Jeff Hendrick and laid the ball off to Mateo Kovacic.

9th minute – Another indication that Pulisic was still feeling his way into the Chelsea attack as Tammy Abraham held up play on halfway. He ignored the American's run through the middle, opting for an unsuccessful diagonal ball to Willian on the right.

14th minute – The first sign of what was to come. Pulisic launched into a driving run from the left to leave Burnley scrambling. Ben Mee caught the playmaker late after he offloaded possession to Mason Mount.

21st minute – GOAL! Pulisic gave the ball away initially but his pressure contributed to Matthew Lowton losing his footing. The Chelsea man did not need a second invitation, tearing towards the penalty area and beating James Tarkowski with a stepover before arrowing across Nick Pope left-footed.

28th minute – Some wonderful chest control from Willian's crossfield pass forced Pope to save from a shot that deflected off Lowton.

35th minute – Chelsea endured some tricky moments, with Ashley Barnes passing up opportunities to equalise. Pulisic helped to get them back on the foot and Tarkowski had to block his attempt after Marcos Alonso's cross was not dealt with.

39th minute – Again, Pulisic sashayed towards the area, drawing four defenders. That created space for the pass inside to Abraham, who shot wide from the edge of the box.

45th minute – GOAL! Pulisic wrapped up an irresistible first-half display by seizing upon another loose moment in possession from Burnley. The home defence backed off, allowing their tormentor to create an angle for a right-footed strike. This time a deflection, off Mee, worked in his favour and Pope was beaten at his near post.

54th minute – Given room to advance towards an increasingly beleaguered Clarets backline, Pulisic looked to slide a throughball to Abraham but Mee checked the forward's run.

56th minute – GOAL! Mount's left-wing corner was cleared back to him and Pulisic found space at the near post to flick the second delivery backwards and into the net – replacing Abraham as Chelsea's youngest Premier League hat-trick scorer. He is only the second American to score a hat-trick in the competition after Clint Dempsey.

68th minute – Ten minutes after Willian made it 4-0, Pulisic popped up on the right flank and twisted beyond Erik Pieters. Lowton headed his chip to the far post behind with Abraham in close attendance.

86th minute – A perfect hat-trick but not quite the perfect performance. Lampard will not need to remind Pulisic that him giving the ball away allowed Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez to thrash a fabulous long-ranger into the top corner.

88th minute – Pulisic got the jump on Pieters but could not convert Callum Hudson-Odoi's cross. Dwight McNeil's deflected attempt gave Burnley the final goal of an action-packed contest, but Pulisic's contributions will live longest in the memory.

For a player who built his reputation as a youthful Rolls-Royce of a centre-back, there has been a jarring element of slapstick around Manchester City's John Stones of late.

During the closing stages of an eventually comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa, the England international blocked a shot flush in the face and had to be groggily helped to his feet by City's medical staff.

It was a scene that suited a cracking black eye collected at the end of last week's win at Crystal Palace.

Similarly, Stones sporting the shiner when Pep Guardiola tore into him for not putting his shin pads on quickly enough to replace an injured Rodri during the midweek thrashing of Atalanta created something of a class-clown vibe.

The 25-year-old was back in City's starting line-up against Villa for the first time since his second ill-timed thigh injury of a season yet to click fully into gear.

Stones' first setback denied him the chance to put down an early marker in City's post-Vincent Kompany era. Then, in September, he followed knee-injury victim Aymeric Laporte into the treatment room.

Concerns about match fitness would have been natural, but the sight of Fernandinho and Rodri – two career midfielders – starting ahead of the specialist Stones over the past week spoke of a discontentment on Guardiola's part that goes deeper than how quickly the Yorkshireman is able to dress himself.

Despite once famously commending Stones' testicular fortitude, Guardiola has shifted the man he made his first major defensive signing at City to the margins during their back-to-back triumphant title run-ins.

At the end of 2018-19, he started two games in all competitions after limping out of a 1-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth at the start of March. An unprecedented domestic treble arrived with Stones relegated to the supporting cast.

Circumstances have now aligned to make this a pivotal moment in the career of a player who should be coming into his prime.

Kompany left, Harry Maguire did not join, Laporte got injured and Nicolas Otamendi – who will never appear less accident-prone than Stones, even if the black eye lasts a lifetime – suffered a bad back.

Rodri pulled a hamstring and Fernandinho's introduction to the heart of defence, although impressive for the most part this week, cannot really escape a penalty conceded in the first half versus Atalanta and an avoidable red card against Villa in the final analysis.

Battered and visibly bruised, Stones is Guardiola's last man standing, with a season-defining trip to Anfield on the horizon.

His felt like a mixed bag against Villa. Before second-half goals from Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan ensured City's ambitious and pugnacious visitors ran out of road, Stones almost gave them the lead.

A pass straight to John McGinn recalled those awfully absent-minded moments that still come too frequently, such as when England's Nations League Finals ambitions came crashing down against Netherlands in June.

A brilliant Ederson save and the scrambling efforts of Fernandinho and Joao Cancelo bailed him out. Stones' own brave block shortly afterwards ricocheted against his arm and survived a VAR review.

Around all that, the centre-back won all five of his duels - proving to be quietly dominant in the air – conceded no fouls (take note, Fernandinho), made five clearances, won possession four times and completed 91.9 per cent of his passes. It amounts to a performance he can and must build on.

Into stoppage time and after the face block, McGinn's shot on the rebound bounced back off the post and hit City's number five – stationed in the goalmouth – on the back of the knee. The ball spun through his legs and into Ederson's grateful grasp. Perhaps Stones' luck is finally starting to turn.

If you are going to face down an All Black Haka in a V formation prior to a Rugby World Cup semi-final, with your captain wearing a confident grin, you had better deliver a performance to back up your actions.

It is safe to say England did just that in Yokohama on Saturday.

Eddie Jones' men will return to the same venue for the World Cup final in seven days after producing one of their finest displays to beat the mighty New Zealand 19-7.

Their job is not yet done, but this contest will live long in the memory.

With the exception of one horrendous line-out throw from Jamie George, which gifted Ardie Savea a second-half try, England barely put a foot wrong against the two-time defending world champions, who had not lost in 18 World Cup matches dating back to a 2007 quarter-final against France.

And you can forget Jones' pre-match comments suggesting his side were under no pressure. That is simply not possible in games of this magnitude.

England never play without expectation in any case and, while New Zealand were clearly the favourites, Jones will have known his players had to come up with a display befitting of such a huge occasion. It is to their immense credit that they served up just about the most complete 80 minutes imaginable.

The build-up to the game had been intense and it certainly felt like something special was in prospect as England faced down their opponents' Haka, Owen Farrell smiling as they did so.

"We wanted to not just stand there and let them come at us," said Farrell in a post-match news conference. "We wanted to keep a respectful distance and be respectful to that but we didn't want to just stand in a flat line letting them come at us."

In the only previous knockout clash between these sides at a World Cup, back in 1995, Jonah Lomu had laid waste to the men in white, scoring four tries in the most iconic individual display in the tournament's history.

Yet on this occasion, it was England's pace and power that proved decisive, the likes of Maro Itoje, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry particularly outstanding as Jones' men dominated at the breakdown for a second match in succession.

In England's quarter-final trouncing of Australia, Curry and Underhill comprehensively outplayed the celebrated back-row pairing of David Pocock and Michael Hooper.

Player of the Match Itoje and Courtney Lawes were able to win a similarly key battle on Saturday as they got the better of fellow locks Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, a man who had never lost a World Cup game until now.

England's forwards were not the only heroes, though. George Ford - seemingly the calmest man on the field - excelled at fly-half having been restored to the starting line-up and successfully took over kicking duties after a first-half knock for Farrell, while Anthony Watson shone on the right wing.

"We just couldn't get into the game," said All Blacks skipper Kieran Read. Not only were New Zealand beaten, they could have absolutely no complaints about the result.

Earlier this week, Jones outlined how special it would be to beat Steve Hansen's men, stating: "When you've been involved in rugby the country you want to knock off is New Zealand, because they've been the best. And the reason you're involved in this game is you want to be the best."

One more win and England can claim to be just that. Either way, this was a performance that will go down in history as one of their very best.

Jamie Vardy's injury-time penalty against Southampton gave Leicester City a piece of Premier League history by sealing a 9-0 win at St Mary's.

Vardy and Ayoze Perez both scored hat-tricks in a triumph that equalled the previous best in the competition's history, while also representing the biggest top-flight win away from home in 131 years of league football in England.

Here, we look back at the matches that proved to be the stuff of wildest dreams or darkest nightmares for the teams on the respective sides of a yawning gulf in class.

 

Southampton 0-9 Leicester City – October 25, 2019

Ryan Bertrand was sent off for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener but that was scant excuse for the manner in which Ralph Hasenhuttl's side unravelled. Youri Tielemans was granted ample room to double the lead, then Perez began romping towards a hat-trick he completed a minute before Vardy's headed second made it 7-0 in the 58th minute. A James Maddison free-kick and a Vardy penalty took this defeat in to uncharted territory for a home side.

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town – March 4, 1995

No longer the outright worst after a quarter of a century out on their own, Ipswich's beleaguered XI from this Old Trafford outing might well raise a glass to Vardy and his colleagues. Andy Cole scored five after Roy Keane began the rout in the 15th minute. Former Southampton manager Mark Hughes hit a quickfire second-half double and Paul Ince also got in on the act. Peter Schmeichel watched it all unfold from the other end, just as his son Kasper did in goal for Leicester on Friday.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan Athletic – November 22, 2009

Wigan had a slither of hope when Paul Scharner pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 before the hour at White Hart Lane. Ultimately, the only significance of that strike was to keep them off the top of this list. Jermain Defoe was the Cole of the piece, rattling in five goals from the 51st minute onwards, while Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Nico Kranjcar piled on the pain. Remarkably, Peter Crouch's ninth-minute header was the only goal of the 10 scored before half-time.

That same season, Wigan lost 8-0 at Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa by the same margin at Stamford Bridge two years later. Newcastle United claimed the division's first 8-0 scoreline at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday in 1999.

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland – October 18, 2014

The St Mary's faithful at least know what it feels like to be on the joyous end of what they endured against Leicester. The boot was on the other foot five years ago, although what exactly Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini and his boots were trying to achieve when he inexplicably walloped into his own net after 12 minutes remains anyone's guess. But that was 1-0 at that stage, with Graziano Pelle scoring the first of a brace six minutes later. Jack Cork, Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane also scored, with Liam Bridcutt joining Vergini in putting through his own goal.

Manchester City 8-0 Watford – September 21, 2019

United's outright record surprisingly remained intact despite their neighbours racing into a 5-0 lead inside 18 minutes against Watford last month. David Silva netted from close range inside a minute, with Riyad Mahrez winning a penalty for Sergio Aguero before scoring himself. Bernardo Silva opened his tally on the way to a hat-trick, with Nicolas Otamendi a more unlikely first-half goalscorer. Kevin De Bruyne masterfully orchestrated the destruction of a side City demolished 6-0 in May's FA Cup final and wrapped up the scoring with an emphatic strike into the top corner.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 – February 6, 1999

The biggest away win the Premier League had seen until Leicester went about their savagery. This seemed fairly standard stuff for Alex Ferguson's majestic treble-winning side as Dwight Yorke and Cole scored twice against an overmatched Forest, who would finish the season bottom of the table. Standard, that was, until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerged from the bench and pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes at the City Ground.

Leicester City claimed a slice of Premier League history when they crushed an abject Southampton 9-0 at St Mary's on Friday.

Ryan Bertrand's red card for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener put Ralph Hasenhuttl's Saints at a disadvantage, but the collapse that followed was humiliating.

Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy both netted hat-tricks, with Youri Tielemans and James Maddison also getting in on the act as Brendan Rodgers' Foxes ran riot.

Here, with some help from Opta, we look some of the remarkable statistics thrown up on a stormy English night when it rained goals.

9 – Leicester's nine unanswered goals made this the joint-biggest Premier League win of all time, level with Manchester United's 9-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town in March 1995.

0 – Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet for the Foxes – just like his father Peter did for United when they demolished Ipswich 24-and-a-half years ago.

131 – The margin of victory is the largest by a top-flight side away from home in the 131-year history of league football in England. It was also Southampton's biggest defeat of all time.

2 – Leicester became the second side to have two players score a hat-trick in the same Premier League game after Arsenal duo Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires in May 2003 – also against Southampton.

5 – Rodgers' men were 5-0 up at half-time, making them the second away team in the Premier League to accomplish this feat after Manchester City did so at Burnley in April 2010. The latter game at Turf Moor finished 6-1.

3 – Perez made it back-to-back trebles against Southampton. He claimed all Newcastle United's goals and the matchball in a 3-1 win over Saints in April this year. The last player to score successive Premier League hat-tricks against the same opponent was Luis Suarez for Liverpool against Norwich City in April and September of 2012.

50 – Perez's second goal was his 50th in all competitions in English football.

19 – Leicester led 3-0 after 19 minutes. They had not scored three unanswered goals so quickly in a top-flight game since racing ahead inside eight minutes versus Derby County in April 1998.

20 – After 10 games, Leicester have 20 points – one more than at the same stage of their 2015-16 title-winning campaign.

3 – Bertrand's dismissal meant Southampton had their numbers reduced in a third straight meeting with Leicester. Newcastle were shown four red cards in a row versus Liverpool, a streak of shame that concluded in May 2014.

Liverpool's dream of clinching a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League victory fell flat in their 1-1 draw at Manchester United, but the visit of an erratic Tottenham side provides an ideal chance to bounce back.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino might have hoped for a big win at Old Trafford for the table-topping Reds, who could have something of the wounded animal about them at Anfield on Sunday.

Tottenham have won just one of their last four league games but enjoyed a 5-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in midweek, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela all scoring.

Pochettino will need his entire team to be at their best to get a result at Anfield, where Liverpool are unbeaten in 44 Premier League games since Crystal Palace beat them 2-1 in April 2017.

FIT-AGAIN SALAH ADDS TO TOTTENHAM'S TROUBLES

Liverpool looked strangely toothless for long periods at Old Trafford, with Mohamed Salah's absence keenly felt in Jurgen Klopp's attack.

The Egypt international is expected to be fit to face Spurs and his inclusion on the team-sheet will be enough to dampen spirits in the visiting changing room.

Salah has scored six goals in his last eight starts in all competitions against Tottenham, plundering goals past Spurs for Basel, Fiorentina and Liverpool.

The threat of an upset at Anfield relies largely on the shoulders of Kane, who has been directly involved in seven goals in nine Premier League appearances against the Reds.

Kane netted three goals in two games against Liverpool in 2017-18, but his failure to score in either of last season's league fixtures between the two sides coincided with a pair of defeats for Spurs.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ROBERTO FIRMINO V HARRY KANE

While Kane has scored six goals in his last seven games in all competitions for Tottenham, Firmino has just one in his last eight for Liverpool.

But a glance at the stats dating back from the start of 2018-19 gives a better indication of how well matched these two strikers are, and how much more creative Firmino is than the Tottenham number 10.

Firmino has created 54 Premier League chances and provided nine assists since the start of last season, while Kane has mustered just five assists from 36 chances created.

Firmino makes an average of 42 passes per game, with an accuracy of 80.2 per cent, dwarfing Kane's average of 20 per game at 72.5 per cent accuracy.

But when it comes to goals, Kane is very much the man: he has scored 22 in 37 appearances since the start of last season, averaging 0.6 per game, while Firmino has scored 15 in 43 appearances for Liverpool (0.4 per game).

FORM GUIDE

This fixture could hardly have come at a worse moment for Tottenham, who are in their worst period of Premier League away form for 18 years having failed to win any of their last 10 games on the road.

They are up against a Liverpool side who, despite their blip last weekend, remain in imperious home form and have won all of their last 11 Premier League games at Anfield.

One glimmer of hope for Spurs could lie in the fact that Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in their last four home league games, conceding once each against Norwich City, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Leicester City.

Scoring goals has not been Tottenham's major shortcoming - they scored five goals in their last four Premier League away games - but shoring up a defence that has conceded 10 goals in five league games on the road is a complex challenge.

HISTORY SAYS...

Spurs are winless in their past eight league visits to Anfield (D3 L5), with their most recent victory on the ground coming all the way back in May 2011 when Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric scored in a 2-0 win.

Liverpool won this fixture in March thanks to a last-minute own-goal from Toby Alderweireld, but the points were shared in 2017-18 when Kane converted a penalty in second-half stoppage time to secure a 2-2 draw.

Victory for Liverpool on Sunday will take them within one win of equalling their longest top-flight winning run at home of 13 games between April and November 1985.

Klopp's men would be more than happy with a repeat of the last time the two sides met: a 2-0 Liverpool victory in the Champions League final in June.

When Stephen Curry takes to the Chase Center court on Thursday, he will be all alone.

He'll have team-mates, coaches, a tough opponent in the revamped Los Angeles Clippers, as well as hordes of screaming fans packed into the Golden State Warriors' lavish new arena but, in terms of superstars, he will be the lone representative for a Dubs team in the unfamiliar position of starting a season without the prohibitive favourites tag.

With Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson on the sideline, perhaps for the entire season, with a torn ACL, this is unequivocally Curry's team.

Of course, it always was. Durant conceded he never felt like "one of the guys" at Golden State, who already had a tight-knit core led by Curry when the Warriors recruited the 2014 MVP to the Bay Area, and that was likely a huge factor in his decision to join the Brooklyn Nets this offseason.

Though D'Angelo Russell, acquired in the sign-and-trade deal that sent Durant to Brooklyn, will share some of the load, Curry will not have to cede possessions to anybody. The offense, freed of the need to accommodate Durant, will revolve around two-time MVP Curry, who will carry the majority of the burden of leading an undermanned Warriors team to the playoffs. 

Curry will relish the pressure on his shoulders, and he should also see a season in which there is a lot less expected of the Warriors as an outstanding opportunity to claim a third MVP.

With the Warriors roster lacking quality depth, Curry can expect to spend significantly more time on the floor, bolstering hopes of putting up the kind of numbers that will put him firmly in the conversation for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.

What will he need to do to become only the ninth player to win three MVPs? To answer that question we looked at the Stats Perform data from his previous two award-winning seasons and the competition he will likely face in 2019-20.

 

BACK-TO-BACK MVP YEARS

Curry won back-to-back MVPs in 2014-15 and 2015-16, as he proved instrumental in helping the Warriors claim a first NBA title since 1975, which they then followed up with a record-breaking 73-9 regular season, only to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in the NBA Finals.

The point guard produced incredible statistical seasons to take the most coveted individual prize in the league in successive seasons. In 2014-15, he averaged 34.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 11.1 assists per 100 possessions while playing 32.7 minutes per game. He also shot 44.3 per cent from three-point range.

In the following campaign, as the Warriors did the unthinkable and surpassed the mark of 72 wins set by the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96, Curry became the first unanimous MVP as he laid waste to defenses across the league. He joined the 50-40-90 club, shooting 50.4 per cent from the field, 45.4 per cent from beyond the arc, and 90.8 per cent from the free-throw line.

Per 100 possessions, Curry averaged 40.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 9.1 assists while playing 34.2 minutes per game. He will need similar numbers if he is to reclaim the prize.

THE COMPETITION

Since Curry's last MVP, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo have received the honour.

It is Antetokounmpo's win that provides the biggest indication of what Curry will need to do statistically to take it from 'The Greek Freak'.

Last season Harden averaged a whopping 48.2 points, 10 assists and 8.9 rebounds per 100 possessions and still did not repeat as MVP.

Instead Antetokounmpo was rewarded for leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Per 100 possessions, he put up 39.3 points, 8.4 assists and an incredible 17.7 rebounds.

With Westbrook joining up with Harden at the Houston Rockets, LeBron James and Anthony Davis forming a potentially formidable duo for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Paul George teaming up with reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard on the Clippers, Antetokounmpo appears to be Curry's primary competition as the sole superstar on a contending team.

The level to which Antetokounmpo can dominate in every facet of the game means Curry will have to reproduce his 2015-16 brilliance to have a shot of dethroning him, and - as Harden can testify - even then it may not be enough.

However, that Warriors team had the likes of Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala on the bench, with their presence allowing Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green to get plenty of rest.

In 2019 Curry does not have that luxury. He will likely have less rest, but more of a window to put up the Harden-esque numbers needed to challenge Antetokounmpo. If he does so and the Warriors perform better than anticipated, Curry may be delivering another MVP acceptance speech come the end of the campaign.

Antoine Griezmann scored his fourth goal in eight LaLiga appearances for Barcelona as the Spanish champions beat Eibar 3-0, and he leads the line in this week's FIFA 20 FUT Team of the Week.

The France World Cup winner is joined by an all-star cast in this week's line-up, including Paris Saint-Germain's in-form winger Angel Di Maria.

After scoring twice in his side's 4-1 victory at Nice in Ligue 1, Di Maria was in scintillating form as PSG beat Club Brugge 5-0 in the Champions League.

Not all of this week's selection are competing towards the top of their respective domestic leagues, with Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure earning a place for his goal-scoring performance in the Premier League basement club's 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Monaco are 14th in Ligue 1 and they will need more of the same from Wissam Ben Yedder if they are to turn their season around - he scored a brace in their 3-2 win over Rennes.

Find out who else made FIFA's Ultimate Team line-up below.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne) - 86

CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) - 88

CB: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) - 84

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 82

CM: Dani Parejo (Valencia) - 87

CAM: Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk) - 84

CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) - 84

RW: Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari) - 85

LW: Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) - 90

RW: Angel Di Maria (PSG) - 87

ST: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco) - 85

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Alfred Gomis (Dijon) - 81

CB: William Troost-Ekong (Udinese) - 81

CDM: Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague) - 82

LM: Petros Mantalos (AEK Athens) - 81

ST: Lautaro Martinez (Inter) - 84

ST: Angel (Getafe) - 82

LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) - 81

RESERVES

LM: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb) - 79

LM: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) - 78

ST: Andreas Cornelius (Parma) - 80

ST: Daniel Candeias (Genclerbirligi) - 79

ST: Henok Goitom (AIK) - 78

Marcus Rashford was on target for Manchester United in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Liverpool, offering a timely reminder of his ability in front of goal.

The England international finished neatly after being picked out by a fine Daniel James cross to make it four Premier League goals for the campaign.

Three of those have come in United's meetings with 'big six' rivals - two against Chelsea on opening weekend and then his effort against Liverpool, either side of a blank in the stalemate with Arsenal.

For his career, 35.5 per cent of Rashford's Premier League goals have been scored against the established big boys - Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal - but why exactly does he perform so well in those fixtures, yet seemingly struggle more against the rest of the top flight?


MAKING HIS MARC IN THE BIG GAMES

First, let us break down the stats.

Rashford has scored 11 times in 32 appearances against big-six opposition, compared to 20 goals in 88 outings against the rest of the Premier League opponents he has faced.

Even more impressive is the 21-year-old's conversion rate - 23.4 per cent against the division's elite, yet it dips to 11 per cent against the others.

Make no mistake about it - Rashford appears to be a player who welcomes the spotlight.

LESS IS MORE!

Rashford introduced himself to the Premier League when facing one of United's main rivals back in February 2016, scoring twice against Arsenal on his debut in the competition.

United won that match 3-2 with just 39.2 per cent of possession, and that in many ways could be the key to unlocking exactly why the forward is so successful on the grandest of occasions.

Take a closer look at the possession percentage stats for each of the eight matches he has scored in against the big six and a clear theme begins to develop. The numbers since that Arsenal brace are as follows (all listed are in per cent): 45.5, 46.2, 35.4, 32.1, 38.8, 46.3, 32.0.

The Red Devils had less possession than their opponents in each of those games, most notably in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool (32 per cent) when the Red Devils were only denied victory by a late leveller from Adam Lallana.

Whether he starts out on the left, as was the case against Chelsea on the opening day when scoring twice, or through the middle, which we saw against Liverpool last time out, Rashford has demonstrated he does not need to see a lot of the ball to make an impact on proceedings, as if counter-attacking play suits him more due to the space available.

HOW DOES RASHFORD COMPARE TO THE REST?

Since that impressive introduction against Arsenal over three years ago, only five players have scored more goals against those seen as being the top six in England than Rashford. 

His total of 11 goals in 32 appearances places him level with Mohamed Salah, having played in 10 fewer such fixtures than the Ballon d'Or contender. Salah's Liverpool team-mates Roberto Firmino (12 goals in 33 appearances) and Sadio Mane (14 in 33) have managed more, along with Harry Kane (15 in 33). Sergio Aguero (18 in 29) sits second in the top 10, behind Leicester City frontman Jamie Vardy (22 in 39). 

Not until back-to-back matches against Tottenham and Manchester City in early December do United face another major rival in league action.

Fitness permitting, though, you can be sure that Rashford will be one of the first names on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team sheet for those fixtures.

The offseason has been all about the major moves.

Kawhi Leonard left the Raptors after delivering an NBA title to Toronto, Anthony Davis linked up with Lakers star LeBron James in Los Angeles, while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both wound up at the Brooklyn Nets.

However, we take a look at some of the under-the-radar aspects of the 2019-20 season - from rotations you might not think about to potential Sixth Man of the Year contenders.

TEAMS

Utah Jazz - The Jazz have been to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons after finishing fifth in the stacked Western Conference on each occasion.

But there may not have been a move that went more unnoticed than Bojan Bogdanovic signing in Utah, and there may be no move that will quietly have a big impact than Mike Conley arriving in a trade.

Conley allows Donovan Mitchell to play off the ball, which makes him better, and Bogdanovic adds another layer of scoring to a team that really struggled to put the ball in the basket when Mitchell was off his shooting game last season. This team has a real chance to win the West and still no one is paying much attention.

Miami Heat - Any team that adds Jimmy Butler instantly becomes competitive. The Heat needed to start anew after the first and second eras of Dwyane Wade, and Butler could be just the guy to do that.

Add Tyler Herro to the mix to give Miami some much-needed shooting and a bigger role for Bam Adebayo in the middle after the departure of Hassan Whiteside and this team is at the least interesting, at the most a contender for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.

PLAYERS

Bogdan Bogdanovic - Bogdanovic often gets lost in the shuffle on a team with good, young talent, but he is the sparkplug that makes the Kings' second unit go.

He might not average 25 points a game, but he is more than capable of putting up a 25-point performance off the bench on a regular basis, and that probably is why the Kings are reportedly offering him a max contract extension as he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Jrue Holiday - It's hard to be under the radar if you're an All-Star and a two-time NBA All-Defensive member, but everyone seems to forget about Holiday.

He is now the alpha dog on a New Orleans Pelicans team that lost Davis, and he is coming off a career year. 

Holiday could easily one-up himself this season and maybe even get the Pelicans fighting for a playoff spot with a good young core of Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball now in the fold.

ROTATIONS

Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder have been understandably written off after trading Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, but this team could actually be pretty exciting this year.

In acquiring Chris Paul, the Thunder have an All-Star point guard who can get the ball to Steven Adams for some easy dunks in the pick-and-roll.

Then adding guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is a very exciting young player, and Danilo Gallinari, who has always been entertaining, gives the Thunder a very interesting starting rotation. Then add guys off the bench like Dennis Schroder and Hamidou Diallo and Oklahoma City fans certainly will have something to cheer for this season.

It should be noted though that is all on paper as the Thunder may try to move Adams and Paul as they try to rebuild, but for now the team should be fun to watch early in the season. We'll see if that translates into wins though.

Atlanta Hawks - No one will pay attention to the Hawks until they get a few more years into this rebuild, but like the Thunder, Atlanta has some fun pieces to watch and build around.

Trae Young very well could have won Rookie of the Year last season, John Collins had an argument to be an All-Star and Kevin Huerter became a good rotation player by the end of the season. Add rookies De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish into the fold along with veteran Evan Turner and this team looks like it will be more competitive this season. We'll see how the depth does in the long run though.

Zion Williamson may be set to miss the first two months of his maiden NBA season, but the New Orleans Pelicans rookie looks destined to be a hit.

There was no doubt that Zion would be taken with the first overall pick in the 2019 draft and the Pelicans were fortunate enough to get that selection in the lottery despite only having a six per cent chance.

New Orleans will have to navigate the start of their new, post-Anthony Davis era without the Duke product, who underwent surgery on a knee injury sustained during preseason.

Zion will surely remain a potentially world-beating talent upon his return, but how have the other No.1 picks from this decade fared in the league?

 

2010: John Wall (Washington Wizards) - Miss

Wall is undoubtedly a hugely talented point guard but he has struggled with injuries and played just 73 regular season games in the past two years. The Wizards have only made the playoffs four times since selecting him and have not gone beyond the second round. He may not return from a torn Achilles until 2021 either.

2011: Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers) - Hit

After being named Rookie of the Year in 2012, Irving went from strength to strength and claimed a championship alongside LeBron James four years later. However, he was unsuccessful in a leading role with the Boston Celtics and will hope to put problems with his knee behind him and gain another ring with Kevin Durant at the Brooklyn Nets.

2012: Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets) - Hit

Davis was unquestionably the right pick and he led New Orleans back to the playoffs after a three-year absence in 2015, though they fell in the first round to eventual champions the Golden State Warriors. He only managed to guide them into the postseason once more, as part of a formidable front court with DeMarcus Cousins in 2017-18, but links to the Los Angeles Lakers disrupted his final campaign with the Pelicans.

2013: Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers) - Miss

The first Canadian to go first overall in the NBA Draft did not have the career that was projected. He averaged just 4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 12.8 minutes in his debut campaign and was quickly moved on by the Cavs. After stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and Nets he dropped out of the league, with the highlight of his career being a EuroLeague title at Fenerbahce in 2017.

2014: Andrew Wiggins (Cleveland Cavaliers) - Miss

The Cavs sacrificed Wiggins and Bennett in order to get Kevin Love from the Timberwolves, who formed part of their championship-winning 'big three' alongside James and Irving. The Canadian signed a mammoth five-year contract worth almost $150million after averaging 23.6 points in the 2016-17 season, but he has failed to repeat those scoring exploits and looks destined not to live up to expectations.

2015: Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) - Hit

Towns won Rookie of the Year in 2016 and has proved a much more useful piece for Minnesota, who are in possession of one of the NBA's so-called 'unicorns'. Big things are expected of the 23-year-old center this season after the two-time All-Star expressed excitement at being able to "use all my talent" under new head coach Ryan Saunders.

2016: Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) - Hit

Having missed the 2016-17 season through injury, Simmons was the runaway Rookie of the Year in the following campaign after leading the Sixers to a 52-30 season and the Eastern Conference semifinals - ending the barren years in which Philadelphia's mantra was 'Trust the Process'. He showed a lack of progression in his second year and needs to add a decent jump shot to his game, but were the towering guard to become available there would be plenty of interest.

2017: Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers) - Miss

Fultz was selected by Philadelphia because of the threat he offered on the perimeter, but in one of the most bizarre stories in recent NBA history he appeared to completely forget how to shoot. He played just 33 games across two seasons before being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, and the Sixers cut their losses and dealt him to the Orlando Magic in February.

2018: DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix Suns) - TBC

The Suns appear to have secured a hit with their maiden first overall pick in Ayton, the center having become just the third rookie this decade to average a double-double. He managed to impress on a 19-win team but needs more time before his worth can be properly judged.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be team-mates once again in this NBA season, and the Houston Rockets pair have certainly evolved since their days together at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It has been seven years since Westbrook and Harden wore the same NBA uniform, a series-deciding Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals when the duo each scored 19 points.

Harden's contribution came from the bench - as it often did that season - and he soon moved to Houston to become the main man, a distinction he will be expected to keep despite Westbrook's arrival this offseason.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we look at how productive Westbrook and Harden were together in OKC, and how their roles have changed since.

 

A PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP

In their final year together with the Thunder in 2011-12, Westbrook had the best season of his career in terms of field goal percentage (45.7 per cent), while Harden had what remains his best campaign in terms of both field goal percentage (49.1 per cent) and three-pointers made (39 per cent).

Ten-time All-Star Kevin Durant was on the roster then too, of course, but a deeper dive into the numbers shows just how much better offensively the Thunder were in that campaign when Westbrook and Harden shared the floor.

Per 100 possessions, they averaged more points (113.8 to 102.8), more offensive rebounds (13.2 to 10.2), more assists (19.4 to 19.2) and scored more points off fast breaks (17.7 to 16.0).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a drop-off defensively when Westbrook and Harden were on court together, as OKC conceded more points on average per 100 possessions (103.4 to 97.8).

HARDEN: FROM SIXTH MAN TO MAIN MAN

In the 2011-12 season, Harden's last with the Thunder, 'The Beard' was voted the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for his performances off the bench, when he averaged 16.8 points per game.

That first year in Houston, Harden averaged a whopping 25.9 points per game – the increase of 9.1 representing the fourth-largest jump of all time among players who switched teams after averaging at least 15 points per game in the previous season.

Moreover, among all Sixth Man of the Year winners, Harden has the five highest scoring seasons of all time - including last term, when he poured in 2,818 points in 78 games at a staggering average of 36.1.

ALL-ROUND RUSS

It was after Durant's departure for the Golden State Warriors in 2016 when Westbrook ascended from second fiddle to superstar.

Westbrook's numbers greatly improved in his first year without Harden and Durant. He averaged 31.6 points per game (up from 23.5 in the previous season), 10.7 rebounds per game (up from 7.8 in the previous season) and 10.4 assists per game (the same as the previous season).

That season - when Westbrook was named the league's MVP - he averaged a triple-double, a feat he also achieved in the following two campaigns, despite Paul George's presence on the Thunder's roster between 2017 and 2019.

Last season, Westbrook only tried 28.7 shots per 100 possessions when George was out, down from 35 attempts in 2017-18.

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