The goals continued to flow in the Premier League at the weekend, but not quite at the same rate as the previous matchday had seen.

There was a first for Pep Guardiola as Manchester City were thumped 5-2 by Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium, while Manchester United overcame Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 in a thriller that was decided by a penalty scored after the final whistle.

Chelsea came back from three goals down to earn a point at West Brom, while West Ham put four past Wolves and kept a clean sheet despite manager David Moyes not being present due to a positive coronavirus test.

Not everyone stayed on brand, though. Leeds United's first two games included 14 goals but they only edged out Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane, while Southampton beat Burnley by the same scoreline.

Still, at least there wasn't a single 0-0!

With the help of Opta, we took a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.
 

PROLIFIC WITHOUT PENALTIES

Richarlison took his Premier League tally to 32 goals in Everton's 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, but it was his first from the penalty spot. It is far from unusual for an attacker to rack up an impressive number of strikes without the assistance of spot-kicks, though. Les Ferdinand is the most prolific forward to not score a single penalty in the Premier League, with none of his 149 top-flight goals coming from the spot. In fact, rather than Richarlison, it's another player on Merseyside among the leaders in this category. Sadio Mane has scored 86 goals in the Premier League and not a single one was a penalty, putting him fourth on the list behind Emile Heskey (110) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (91).

KANE CHASING HENRY AND CESC

Harry Kane may have only scored one league goal this season, but the England captain has undoubtedly been in fine form. By setting up Lucas Moura's opener in the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Sunday he became only the third player to supply five assists across the opening three matchdays of a Premier League season – a feat only previously achieved by Ruel Fox for the Magpies in 1994-95 and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for United in 2017-18. Another assist against the Red Devils this weekend would see Kane match Thierry Henry (2004-05) and Cesc Fabregas (2014-15) with six from four matchdays, while two would be a new Premier League record.

WOLVES' PORTU-GEEZERS

A lot has been made of Jorge Mendes' influence at Wolves, which has seen an influx of Portuguese talent at Molineux. The latest such addition is defender Nelson Semedo, who became the 14th Portuguese player to appear in the Premier League for Wolves by debuting in the 4-0 loss to West Ham on Sunday. It is far from the greatest affinity between a Premier League club and players from a specific country, though. The 27 Frenchmen to turn out for Arsenal represents a joint record alongside Sunderland's 27 Irish players. Another appearance by a player from France would see Newcastle (26) draw level as well.

686 AND OUT

City's 5-2 hammering at the hands of City on Sunday represented the first time in 686 games as a manager that Guardiola has seen one of his teams concede five goals. Among Premier League title-winning bosses still active in the top flight, Guardiola lasted the longest by some distance. Carlo Ancelotti first saw one of his teams ship five in his 106th game as a coach (Parma's 5-2 loss to Sampdoria in January 1998), while it happened to Jurgen Klopp in his 209th match (Mainz's 6-1 defeat to Werder Bremen in October 2006). The first time it happened to Mourinho was in his 471st game, when Guardiola's Barcelona claimed a 5-0 victory over Real Madrid in November 2010.

INGS-DEPENDENT

Danny Ings was one goal away from sharing the Golden Boot with Jamie Vardy last season and he's continued his prolific form in 2020-21, scoring three times in as many top-flight appearances. Since the start of last season Ings has scored 25 of Southampton's 54 Premier League goals, which equates to 46 per cent. No other team has been as dependent on a single goalscorer, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (23 of 61 - 38 per cent) and Jamie Vardy (28 of 79 - 35 per cent) are in close contention.

3-1. 5-1. 4-0. 3-1. It is fair to say Liverpool have dominated Arsenal in their recent Premier League meetings at Anfield.

It is eight years since the Gunners won away at Liverpool in the top flight, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scoring the goals that day when Jamie Carragher and Stewart Downing were in the home squad.

However, ahead of Monday's visit to Merseyside, there is fresh optimism in unbeaten Arsenal's ranks given the north London club have beaten Liverpool twice - once at Emirates Stadium and once at Wembley in the Community Shield - in the past two months.

Mikel Arteta has certainly improved Arsenal, but how? And how might that help them at Anfield? We take a look at the Opta data.

 

Possession isn't everything

Some of Arteta's formative years were spent at Barcelona and he earned his coaching stripes at Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, but his Arsenal are not the possession-obsessed unit like those at his former stops.

Dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season, Arsenal's possession figure in Arteta's 22 games in charge (52.9 per cent) is lower than the 18 matches they played under Unai Emery and caretaker Freddie Ljungberg (55.4 per cent).

The Gunners had just 31.1 per cent of the ball in their 2-1 win over Liverpool in July - their lowest figure dating back to the start of last term - while they had 40.3 per cent of the ball in the Community Shield, and it could be a similar figure this time around given the Reds' recent acquisition of midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara.

Moreover, under Arteta, Arsenal have a lower ratio of passes in the final third (17.0 per cent compared to 20.4) and a lower ratio of passes in their opponents' half (55.6 per cent compared to 58.1).

 

A clinical side

So where have they improved? In front of goal.

Their shot conversion rate with Arteta in charge is 17.3, way up on the 11.3 figure of the combined Emery and Ljungberg games.

They have scored 13 more goals in four more fixtures, with their xG (expected goals) rising from 23.27 to 27.48. The difference between their goals and expected goals since Arteta took over is stark. Before it was just 0.73, now they are outperforming their xG by a whopping 9.52, in part because they are creating far better chances.

Could Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's changing role be a reason for that?

 

Aubameyang: Out of left field?

One of the most remarkable stats to emerge from Arsenal's 5-1 thumping at Liverpool in December 2018 was how ineffectual Aubameyang was. The Gabon international had just 13 touches, six of which came from a kick-off, as the game completely bypassed him while he operated in a central-attacking berth.

He ended that season with the Premier League Golden Boot - and matched his tally of 22 goals in 2019-20, too - so making sure he is heavily involved at Anfield is obviously paramount.

Aubameyang's role has changed since Arteta came in, with the Spaniard preferring to deploy his prized asset almost exclusively on the left.

In 2018-19, 18.07 per cent of Aubameyang's touches came on the left third of the final third, while 19.15 per cent came in the middle third of the final third.

In 2019-20, the share of touches he has on the left third of the final third has risen to 28.53 per cent, while it has dropped to 13.1 per cent in the middle third.

Aubameyang can therefore be expected to stay out on the left side of Arsenal's attack, which could cause Liverpool problems given it puts him in direct competition with the attack-minded Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Aubameyang will certainly hope to have more of an impact than he did two years ago, and the signs are good, both for him and Arteta's Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp has vowed success will not change Liverpool's tune as the "heavy metal" Premier League champions tackle an Arsenal side he once described as an "orchestra".

Opposite number Mikel Arteta has added a greater tempo to an Arsenal side who strived for sweet music but often hit bum notes in the latter years of Arsene Wenger's reign, as well as under successor Unai Emery.

The orchestral connection was made by Klopp seven years ago, when he was head coach at Borussia Dortmund but already a keen student of the English game.

Since then, Klopp has brought his loud brand of football to Anfield, with the Reds' in-your-face, high-octane style of play bringing Champions League and Premier League titles.

Liverpool are defending the latter trophy this season and have brought Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara to the club in an effort to freshen up a championship-winning squad.

But Klopp insists it must be business as usual, while believing he can bring even more out of his new signings than they showed at their respective previous clubs, Wolves and Bayern Munich.

"We have an identity, and we stick to that," Klopp said. "We think we have a wide range in the way we play, but intensity is always part of it. There's no reason not to be intense and we think for us there's no other chance for us to be successful.

"We cannot just want to play like another team and save some energy in this or that moment. We have to do what we have to do on a high intensity.

"Our football, because I'm a pretty simple person, is pretty simple. It's not rocket science. It's not that complicated, it just takes time to get used to it – the counter-press, stuff like this.

"It will not take ages I assume, but it will take time and we will see how long."

Thiago is a signing that many feel could give Liverpool a marginal gain this season, given his immense success over the last seven years as a midfield mainstay with Bayern.

Klopp does not expect a busy final week of the transfer window, particularly in terms of incoming players, and he was giving nothing away on the prospect of the likes of Rhian Brewster possibly departing.

Monday's Anfield clash with Arsenal could see Thiago make his first start after a lively 45 minutes against Chelsea.

Klopp is not rushing to enforce a culture change in the midfield that powered Liverpool to a first domestic league title in 30 years, but he is still relishing the sight of his new recruit going through his repertoire.

"We had a pretty good midfield before. All of sudden we announce Thiago Alcantara, and it's completely normal that people go crazy and mad, draw all the different pictures and asking how we can look now," Klopp said.

"Football is not like this, you cannot put in a player and say we are 20 per cent better. It's difficult to improve this team. It's difficult but it's possible.

"It's clear Thiago has natural skills which made him the special player he's been throughout his career. That's of course the technique, that's of course the vision, that's of course the passing, and that's of course the way he can demand rhythm. That is something where he is really special."

Jurgen Klopp expects an "open race" as multiple teams compete for Premier League glory this season, insisting it will not just be a shoot-out between Liverpool and Manchester City.

The German brought the top-flight trophy back to Anfield for the first time in 30 years last term, with the Reds finishing 18 points clear of Pep Guardiola's side, who themselves were 15 ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea.

Despite that huge gap, Klopp believes it will be a close-run thing this term, with the Liverpool boss including Tottenham and Monday's opponents Arsenal in the mix.

The Gunners finished a distant eighth, 43 points shy of the champions' incredible tally of 99, and yet Klopp considers Mikel Arteta's side, who beat Liverpool in the Community Shield on spot-kicks, challengers.

"They came eighth because they did not have a time to sort the situation," he said, referencing the fact Arteta was not appointed until December.

"They were not the eighth best team in the league, they could've qualified easily for Europe [via the league], if not even the Champions League.

"The Premier League and these teams are too good, you can't decide the season before it starts. It just doesn't work like this.

"Man City, I think maybe people thought they could have some struggles at Wolves because Wolves are really good ... and in the second half they could have got a point.

"Nobody is safe from this kind of thing, so we have to work incredibly hard. And over the other teams we have no influence. When we face them, we want to beat them.

"It's an open race, Chelsea will be there, [Manchester] United will be there, Arsenal, Tottenham – these teams will always be there.

"There are tough moments for us and other teams and it's about how you react and are you doing it in the right way.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to go through a lot of moments. I don't know why today we talk about winning the league, I have no idea who will win but I know a lot of teams will try."

Liverpool have started their title defence with wins over Leeds United and Chelsea, scoring six goals in the process.

Thiago Alcantara will take Liverpool to "another level" as Jurgen Klopp seeks to build a new era of dominance at Anfield.

That is the view of Reds team-mate Sadio Mane, who was thrilled to see the midfielder swap European champions Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 Premier League winners.

It is a signing that has captured the imagination of Liverpool fans and players alike, with Mane – who also welcomed Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas – delighted to have the Spain international on board.

"I think not only the fans are excited to see Thiago," he told the club's official website.

"For sure, especially me and my team-mates were really happy to have this kind of quality in our squad. It only makes us better.

"I can see from day one in training and the game against Chelsea what he is doing. And I'm sure he will take us to another level, for sure.

"And we're looking forward to seeing Kostas and Diogo Jota as well, who is a really good signing for us. I'm really happy to have him as well.

"They are good players and they will also take us to another level, which for us is something incredible, and for the fans as well."

Mane scored both goals in the 2-0 win over Chelsea which marked Thiago's debut off the bench, and it was a lively cameo from the newcomer.

Thiago's 75 completed passes represented the highest tally any player has recorded in a maximum of 45 minutes in the Premier League since Opta began collecting such data in 2003.

He will hope to catch the eye again when Arsenal head to Merseyside on Monday, with Klopp's men having also beaten Leeds United to make it a 100 per cent start to their title defence.

Alisson believes Liverpool are "on the right path again" after admitting the reigning Premier League champions had let their lofty standards slip.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds were crowned with a record seven games to spare in the 2019-20 season but, perhaps unsurprisingly, their form dipped in the closing weeks, winning just five of their nine league fixtures upon the restart in June.

The new campaign began with a shaky 4-3 victory over newly promoted Leeds United, yet Liverpool looked more like the team who ran away with the title when seeing off Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Sadio Mane scored twice and, playing against 10 men, there was a welcome clean sheet for goalkeeper Alisson, who saved a second-half penalty from Jorginho.

The Brazil international was particularly pleased with the way his team-mates approached what was a difficult game against opponents who finished the previous campaign in the top four.

"We know that we dropped a little bit, we don't know why," Alisson told Sky Sports.

"It wasn't something we wanted to do but we knew we had to go back to our path if we want to be competitive this season for the title, because I believe this season the level is higher.

"It is just the beginning of the season, we had a difficult game against Leeds, it was an open game where anything can happen. It was 4-3 and a good game for anyone who is watching football, but a really hard game to play

"Then you have Chelsea away and it's a tough opponent and then the way we went to the pitch from the mental perspective, I really liked this. I liked the intensity of the game, I liked the way we defended also, the opponent had some opportunities to score but it was from the quality of the opponent.

"But what I liked was our mentality on that game. I think we are on the right path again."

Liverpool will aim to maintain their 100 per cent record in the league in the early stages of the 2020-21 season when they host Arsenal on Monday.

The Gunners recorded a 2-1 home victory over Klopp's side back in July, then also prevailed on penalties in the Community Shield following a 1-1 draw at Wembley Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp wants another goal rush from Liverpool this season as questions continue to surround the Anfield future of young striker Rhian Brewster. 

When winning the Premier League title last season, Liverpool rattled in 85 goals across 38 games, a total only beaten by runners-up Manchester City. 

The front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have fresh competition after Diogo Jota arrived from Wolves, and Klopp would love to see Liverpool prove as potent as ever this term. 

Whether Brewster had a part to play remains to be seen, with Klopp leaving the 20-year-old out of his squad for Thursday's EFL Cup win at Lincoln City, where a host of fringe and young players were given a chance to impress. 

England Under-21 forward Brewster has been linked to Crystal Palace and Sheffield United recently after impressing last season while on loan at Swansea City. 

"Look, it should not surprise you. Transfers, these kind of things, we do not talk about," Klopp said on Friday, when asked about Brewster's status. 

"He was not in the squad [at Lincoln]. You can make of it what you want. Nothing really to say. No news."

With or without Brewster, Liverpool's attacking strength in depth looks strong, but Klopp says their goalscoring success and fluent football only comes through hard work from throughout his squad, speaking proudly of a shared "identity". 

"I don't think we were unplayable last year, it didn't feel like that," Klopp said. "I don't know if we can be better than last year. We always try to do the right thing in the right moment. 

"We are offensive-orientated, but without a very good defensive structure you have absolutely no chance. We try to do our absolute best in each game, and that’s something I loved in both games so far and something I loved especially [at Lincoln]. 

"if the team last night would have worn a different shirt I would still have known it was us, and I like that a lot. This kind of identity, we really want to make sure everybody can see that." 

Klopp's team are unbeaten in their last 60 Premier League games at Anfield, with Arsenal the next team to put that record to the test when they visit on Monday. 

The Reds manager says he is "absolutely not interested" in the statistic. 

"The only moment when I think about that number is when somebody asks me about it," he said. "We did what we did; we tried to win football games in different circumstances: at night time, at lunchtime, with supporters, without supporters. 

"It's our home, we feel well there, but there's no secret recipe. We don't expect to lose but we don't expect either to win."

Jurgen Klopp has described Mikel Arteta as an "exceptional football manager" as he targets his first win over Arsenal since the Spaniard launched his north London revolution. 

Liverpool manager Klopp saw his championship-winning side fall to a rare Premier League loss in July when they faced Arteta's Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. 

Arsenal then inflicted a penalty shoot-out defeat on Liverpool in the Community Shield at the end of August, leaving Klopp still searching for that elusive victory over Pep Guardiola's former assistant. 

On Monday, the teams resume their intriguing recent rivalry at Anfield, and while Klopp is confident Liverpool can extend their 100 per cent start to the season, he can see Arteta instilling a culture at Arsenal that is built for success. 

After nine months at the helm, a club that was blighted by instability before Arteta's arrival looks to have a firm footing and a sense of direction. 

"Mikel Arteta has shown in a pretty short period of time that he seems to be an exceptional football manager. The structure of the team is absolutely exceptional," Klopp said. 

"You can see the balance between defence and offence is really good. There's good organisation, freedom for the players and he uses the players in the right position. 

"Since he's been there, he's done a pretty impressive job, changed the whole mood in the club. I don't think a lot of people thought he would have won any competition, but he did that by winning the FA Cup and also the English 'Super Cup' [the Community Shield]. 

"That’s pretty impressive. So it's a tough, tough opponent.

"They defend properly, all the players are involved. They defend in a 5-4-1 which is a pretty tricky situation. I can say a lot of positive things about Arsenal because it's true, but I think we still have a chance on Monday night." 

Liverpool will be without captain Jordan Henderson for the Arsenal game after he was substituted in the win at Chelsea last Sunday because of a thigh problem. 

That could open the door for Thiago Alcantara to make his home debut from the start, following his arrival from Bayern Munich. 

Klopp was cautious on that prospect, yet the recent Champions League winner would be an obvious candidate given how well he performed after replacing Henderson at Stamford Bridge. 

"We will see," Klopp said. "We have a few days to train, so we will see how we set up. I have an idea, but why should I make a decision today? But he’s in contention, so let’s see."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara ahead of two matches between the teams in the space of four days.

The Gunners, who have won each of their three matches in all competitions this season, face the Premier League champions at Anfield on Monday, before an EFL Cup tie at the same venue on Thursday.

Thiago came off the substitutes' bench to make an impressive debut for Liverpool in their win at Chelsea last weekend, Jurgen Klopp's men also coming into the double-header on the back of a 100 per cent start.

Midfielder Thiago signed from Bayern Munich for around £25million and had also been linked with Arsenal and other English clubs, though Arteta would not discuss his own side's reported interest.

"Yes, I think he is a great signing for Liverpool," he said about Thiago at his pre-match news conference. 

"Incredible personality, great talent, very special, great qualities to play in midfield.

"We don't discuss the things we try and do in the market, but I like him from my time in Barcelona."

Discussing Arsenal's wins over Liverpool in their last two meetings, Arteta added: "The games we played at the Emirates [in July] and the Community Shield were very different.

"I think it will be different again. We know the standards they have set in this league and how consistent they have been.

"They dominate almost every aspect of the game. We need to compete really well and hopefully the boys are ready to do that on Monday.

"There is some variability depending on what they do, how we have to control those aspects, how we can attack in different ways as well.

"It is like quick waves all the time with them, without much time to breathe. It is a really quick game, it doesn't see long sequences of passes against them. We have to be at our best, that is for sure.
 
"It is normally difficult enough to play the same team in four days and for the players as well to adapt. Obviously, the first game has a big impact on the second one and it is really tough to beat the same opponent twice in that short period.
 
"When you talk about Liverpool that challenge is much bigger but I just want to focus on Monday.

"Let's try to get the best possible preparation against them, go there, and most importantly have the belief that we can go there and win. We all have to believe that we are capable of doing that.

"We know the challenge ahead of us, so let's embrace it, let's go for it."

With all 20 Premier League teams now back in action, fantasy football managers around the world are tinkering and tweaking as they look to find that perfect balance of solid but deadly.

It's fair to say that we've already had a few surprises (for the fantasy football world, at least) this season, with Manchester United players barely making a splash at home to Crystal Palace (looking at you, Bruno Fernandes), Liverpool shipping three to promoted Leeds United on day one and Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the scoring chart.

Everything's been all over the place – you need as much help as you can get, and hopefully that's where we can help.

Using Opta data, here are a few tips that might enable you get back on track, or even – for those of you lucky enough – build on an emphatic start…

RUI PATRICIO

Despite the disappointing 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, Wolves appear set for another encouraging season, having seemingly recruited well and retained most of their key players.

Among those is Rui Patricio, who is second only to Ederson (0.45) in terms of goals conceded per game (0.82) since the Premier League resumed in June, while the Portugal international's six clean sheets in that time is also the second best in the division.

Up next for Wolves is a trip to West Ham, who have lost both of their first two games of the season, scoring just one goal in the process.

MICHAEL KEANE

Goal-scoring perhaps isn't a key factor for many when considering which defenders to choose in their fantasy team, but picking one who has a habit of finding the net can give you the edge.

Michael Keane heads into the weekend having scored twice since the June resumption, a record beaten by no other defender, while he also boasts the best shot conversion rate (40 per cent) among defenders to have attempted at least five in that time period.

Everton are looking impressive at the moment, and with quality deliveries from James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne floating in regularly, who's to say Keane won't find the net again at Crystal Palace?

SADIO MANE

This one's quite simple – Sadio Mane loves playing against Arsenal.

In 12 matches against the Gunners, he has scored six times. He has only managed more in meetings with Palace (nine in 11), and he goes into the game on the back of a match-winning brace at Chelsea last time out.

Matches between two of the big guns can prove a little risky in terms of captain selection, and Mane's certainly not cheap – but few have his record in such games.

MATHEUS PEREIRA

It's been a difficult readjustment to the Premier League for West Brom, who host Chelsea next having conceded eight times in two matches and scored just twice.

But those two goals should pique the interest of fantasy fans, given Matheus Pereira was involved in both (one goal, one assist) and won't break the bank.

The Brazilian will surely be key if the Baggies are to avoid the drop this term, having had a hand in 11 more goals (nine scored, 17 set up) than any other player for the club since the start of 2019-20.

RAUL JIMENEZ

Two games, two goals – Jimenez has picked up right where he left off last season, the Mexican continuing to be the go-to man in attack for Wolves.

There's every chance that will continue at West Ham as well, given his penchant for scoring against the Hammers.

Jimenez has three goals in his past three Premier League clashes with West Ham, including a brace in January.

He also has four in six domestically, though a word of caution – Jimenez hasn't netted in three successive games since November last year.

GABRIEL JESUS

With Sergio Aguero out for the time being, Gabriel Jesus has the chance to find some form and enjoy a run of regular starts – he'll likely be encouraged by what's to come as well.

Leicester City are the visitors to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and in five previous league outings against the Foxes, Jesus has four goals.

Only against Everton (seven) has Jesus netted more frequently, and given City's impressive season-starting 3-1 win at Wolves, they will be favourites when Brendan Rodgers' table-toppers (on goal difference) come to town.

On the face of it, Jesus looks a strong choice for the captaincy this week.

 

DANNY INGS

Under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Danny Ings really is in the form of his life.

Since the start of last season, his haul of 24 goals is second only to Jamie Vardy in the Premier League, while he has scored 45 per cent of Saints' league goals in that time.

Up next is former club Burnley, and although notoriously difficult to play against, they conceded four to Leicester last time out.

Jadon Sancho has been tipped to swap Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United, but he remains in Germany.

Sancho's valuation has proved a stumbling block for United, who have made the England international their number one transfer target.

United, though, are not giving up hope as they reportedly make one last attempt to sign the 20-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED SET FOR FINAL SANCHO OFFER

Manchester United will make a take-it-or-leave-it offer for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star and the Mirror.

United have so far been unable to prise Sancho from Dortmund, who refuse to budge on their €120million (£108m) asking price.

But United are preparing a final and non-negotiable £90m (€98m) offer, with £75m (€82m) up front with an additional £15m (€16m) in add-ons.

 

ROUND-UP

- AS reports Real Madrid face competition for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga. Eyeing a move for Camavinga in 2021, Madrid are set to face a battle from Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Kylian Mbappe could be available for around €100m, says L'Equipe. The PSG star, who is reportedly seeking an exit, is wanted by Madrid and Liverpool.

- The Sun claims Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is set to leave Stamford Bridge on loan following Edouard Mendy's arrival.

- Madrid forward Borja Mayoral has agreed to join Serie A side Roma, reports DiMarzio.

- Alfredo Pedulla says Juventus are weighing up a €60m move for Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, who has also been linked to Milan.

- If Milan Skriniar leaves for Tottenham, DiMarzio claims Inter could target Schalke star and Liverpool target Ozan Kabak.

- According to Marca, Barcelona are making a late push to sign long-time target and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez following Luis Suarez's switch to Atletico Madrid.

Barca are confident they will sign Ajax full-back Sergino Dest ahead of Bayern, says Fabrizio Romano.

- Romano also reports that Atletico will not negotiate with Arsenal regarding Thomas Partey as they believe he will stay in the Spanish capital.

Liverpool fans can look forward to having fun watching the "exceptional" Curtis Jones, according to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp. 

The 19-year-old was superb in Liverpool's 7-2 EFL Cup third-round win over Lincoln City on Thursday, scoring twice as the Premier League champions set up a fourth-round clash with Arsenal next week. 

It was only Jones' 16th appearance for Liverpool's first team but Klopp suggested the midfielder can expect to feature more regularly if he continues to produce such impressive displays. 

"I think each game is ideal for Curtis to play in because of the quality he has, the skills he has," Klopp told a media conference. 

"First half, really good. Start of the second half, really good. And then there is still space for improvement, obviously. 

"Both goals were difficult. I think the second goal, the first touch was absolutely exceptional. It was slightly deflected, but that's just exceptional. 

"I think everybody knows my opinion about Curtis. He is an exceptional talent and we will have some fun with him, I'm pretty sure, in the future."

Takumi Minamino also impressed for Liverpool, adding to Xherdan Shaqiri's opener with a sublime effort from outside the area and then claiming his second shortly after the interval. 

While Klopp was pleased with his potency in front of goal, he was also quick to praise the Japan international's relentless energy. 

"I loved Taki's game tonight; it was absolutely outstanding and he was involved in so many situations," Klopp added.

"More and more, I think we all realise where his qualities are. Wherever he will play in the end, he will end up in the centre. If he plays on the left wing or the right wing, he will play in the half-spaces or the centre because that's where he has his real strength. 

"The opponent had to kick off seven times [after Liverpool's goals] and the first guy who chased the opponent again when they received the pass was Taki.

"He set the rhythm for all these pressing and counter-pressing situations, so I really, really liked his game tonight."

Liverpool face Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday before hosting them again at Anfield later in the week, although no date has been set yet.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described his side as "easy on the eye" in their 7-2 rout of Lincoln City in the EFL Cup on Thursday. 

Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino hit doubles, while Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Grujic and Divock Origi were also on target against their League One opponents to set up a fourth-round clash against Arsenal next week. 

Klopp, who made 10 changes from the side that beat Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend and brought Diogo Jota on for his debut in the second half, was delighted with how his fringe players performed. 

"We played a really good football game tonight," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It was easy on the eye. We passed the ball and finished situations off. The boys wanted to play football and showed an exceptional attitude.

"That's how it should be [Liverpool's second string playing like the first team]. Wear the shirt and show who you are. I'm happy with everything.

"The two goals we conceded were not nice, but it's not a massive problem. You can have struggles in a game like this."

Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino struck braces as a much-changed Liverpool cruised past Lincoln City 7-2 in an entertaining EFL Cup third-round clash on Thursday. 

Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes from the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, with only Virgil van Dijk keeping his place, but they still had more than enough firepower to swat aside their League One opponents. 

Xherdan Shaqiri got the visitors on their way inside the opening 10 minutes, whipping a superb free-kick into the top-right corner, before a fine strike from Minamino and a double from Jones made it 4-0 at the break. 

Minamino added a fifth immediately after the restart before Tayo Edun pulled one back for the Imps on the hour mark.

Marko Grujic and Lewis Montsma then exchanged quick-fire goals, while Divock Origi added a seventh late on as Liverpool – who handed Diogo Jota a debut from the substitutes' bench in the second half – set up a fourth-round clash with Arsenal at Anfield next week. 

Liverpool, who included debutants Rhys Williams and Konstantinos Tsimikas in their starting XI, wasted little time asserting their authority as Shaqiri registered his first goal since December 4 with a sublime free-kick from 22 yards in the ninth minute.

The Reds doubled their advantage after 18 minutes when a sloppy pass out from the back by Montsma found its way to Minamino, who sent a strike into Alex Palmer's top-left corner from 20 yards. 

Jones added a third shortly after the half-hour mark, curling home from inside the penalty area after being picked out by Divock Origi's downwards header. 

The 19-year-old claimed his second just four minutes later when his effort from outside the area clipped off Timothy Eyoma and flew past Palmer.

Any thoughts that Klopp's men would take it easy in the second period were extinguished after just 18 seconds when Minamino volleyed into an empty net after Harvey Elliott had been denied by Palmer.

The Imps started to pour forward in search of a consolation and it duly arrived on the hour mark when Edun coolly slotted past Adrian from inside the area.

Grujic plundered his first Liverpool goal from 20 yards in the 65th minute before Montsma took advantage of Adrian's woeful goalkeeping to head home Lincoln's second just a minute later.

Origi then wrapped up the scoring a minute from time when his strike from 15 yards slipped through the grasp of Palmer. 

Thiago Alcantara has an unparalleled level of ambition in his game, according to Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian.

After signing from Bayern Munich in a deal worth £25million last week, Thiago put on a passing clinic as he made his debut in Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Spain international replaced Jordan Henderson at half-time and completed more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match – it was also the most by a Premier League player to have played a maximum of 45 minutes since full passing data became available in 2003-04.

His vision and ability with both feet has hugely impressed compatriot Adrian, who has been blown away by what he has seen from Liverpool's new midfielder in training.

Adrian told Liverpool's official website: "You can see that he's a different player. He uses right and left like the same leg, he has ambition like totally another person from another planet. You can see him doing passes that nobody sees and shooting with that quality, with that spin he has in both legs.

"Also he's a hard worker – playing in midfield for us is going to help him. For sure, everyone is trying to help him to adapt as quick as possible to our system, to the movement of the players on the pitch but he's clever enough to adapt to play quick.

"You can see him now around Melwood [Liverpool's training ground] like this is the new home of him – the first one coming in, leaving as the last one."

Adrian added: "Thiago is a world-class player. I knew him before when we went to the national team and because we have a few friends between us. He's a top player, he has quality, he has [a] great pass, great shot, vision of the game – a different one.

"So he gives us a lot of help. This season is going to be tough and he gives us that quality that he has.

"Obviously part of this is a great player, fits really well into the dressing room, speaks very good English, so no problem at all. I think he's going to enjoy this season, the first season with us."

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