Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Naby Keita after the midfielder produced an influential performance in Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Keita assisted Mohamed Salah's sixth-minute opener after his pressing led to a turnover in possession, while he also started the move that led to Liverpool's second, scored by captain Jordan Henderson on Wednesday.

The Guinea international has struggled for consistency since joining the Reds from RB Leipzig in 2018, his career on Merseyside hampered by injury issues, but he has impressed since the resumption of the season.

Keita – who set up Sadio Mane's opener in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday – created four chances before being substituted in the 61st minute against Brighton, with Klopp particularly pleased with his contribution to Liverpool's first goal.

"He is getting better and better, step by step and game by game and that's really cool," Liverpool manager Klopp told the media when asked about Keita's display.

"I am really happy about that. Long may it continue, let me say it like this. When him and the boys stay fit then everything is fine with the quality they have, the way we play suits them.

"Tonight, being a player like Naby but winning these balls, as the coach I am I couldn't be happier about these kind of goals. Everybody is involved in that and I am really grateful for seeing things like this."

Victory on the south coast moves Liverpool up to 92 points, eight shy of Manchester City's Premier League record with four games remaining.

However, Klopp is not interested in looking ahead to reaching a century and is instead focusing only on Burnley, who the champions face at Anfield on Saturday.

"What can I say? When I think about the next four opponents and look at them and think we will get 10 or 12 points," the German said in his post-match news conference. 

"I never did that. I can't do that. We play against Burnley, who are a results machine. I couldn't respect more what they are doing. They played away, won against West Ham, they will come to us and will fight with all they have – so that is what we have to do as well.

"After that, we play Arsenal in a really good moment. After that, we play against Chelsea in a really good moment.

"How could I assume we will get all of these points? I think from now on about the Burnley game."

Jurgen Klopp is unsure over the severity of the injury Jordan Henderson sustained in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Reds' captain scored his side's second goal on the south coast on Wednesday, curling a shot beyond goalkeeper Mat Ryan just 127 seconds after Mohamed Salah had put the champions in front early on.

However, Henderson was substituted in the 80th minute having seemingly hurt his knee in a challenge and Liverpool will have to wait to discover the full extent of the problem.

"I don't know [how serious it is], I don't know, honestly," Klopp said in his post-match press conference.

"I didn't see the situation back on the pitch, but I know that it will not be nothing, probably. That's how it is, but we have to wait. I cannot say more."

Asked if the England international was on crutches, the German said: "I have had press since the game is over, so I have no idea how he left the dressing room."

Klopp handed Neco Williams his first league start at left-back but opted to replace him at half-time, bringing on Andy Robertson in his place.

The Liverpool boss explained the decision was due to the teenager being shown a yellow card rather than an issue with his overall performance.

"I know football is like this. When we take a player off after 45 minutes and everyone thinks it's not good," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't care about this. He had a yellow card and the situation was we didn't protect him well enough on that side. 

"I can’t tell him not to make a challenge any more. That's the only reason [why he was taken off]. I liked a lot how he played."

Liverpool's 30th win in the Premier League this season lifts them to 92 points, just eight shy of Manchester City's record for the competition with four games remaining.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful star midfielder Paul Pogba will sign a new contract at Old Trafford.

Pogba's future has dominated headlines throughout the season – the World Cup-winning Frenchman reportedly unhappy in Manchester and linked to former club Juventus and Real Madrid.

But Pogba, who has endured an injury-ravaged campaign, has been in fine form since returning from an ankle problem last month, striking up an exciting partnership with Bruno Fernandes in midfield.

Pogba is contracted to Premier League giants United until 2021, with the option for a further year, and Solskjaer is looking to negotiate fresh terms with the 27-year-old after Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay re-signed.

"I can't comment on discussions between player and the club but of course, we want to keep the best players around the club," Solskjaer said ahead of Thursday's trip to relegation-threatened Aston Villa.

"We want to build a squad for the future and Scott and Nemanja are a similar position but at different stages in their careers. One at the start, one really experienced one.

"We also need players in the mid-range group. Hopefully we can do something.

"I know that since Paul's come back he's looking better and better. He's enjoying his football and let's see where it takes us."

Pogba has supplied three assists in 11 Premier League appearances for United this season.

United are fifth in the Premier League and can close to within a point of Leicester City if they beat lowly Villa on the road.

Mohamed Salah joined a trio of Liverpool legends in a prestigious club as he played a starring role in a 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Egypt international scored twice as the Premier League champions recorded their first away triumph since February 15, moving on to 92 points with four games remaining.

Salah steered the visitors in front in the sixth minute and then assisted Jordan Henderson's goal that arrived just 127 seconds later, laying the ball off for the Liverpool captain to curl a shot beyond Mat Ryan.

Leandro Trossard halved the deficit before the break, but Salah made sure of victory when he headed in Andy Robertson's corner, taking his tally in the league this season to 19 goals.

He has also now reached 100 goal involvements for Liverpool in the Premier League, tallying 73 goals and 27 assists to achieve the feat in only 104 appearances.

Only three players have reached the milestone previously for the Reds. Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler achieved the century in 148 and 158 games respectively, while Steven Gerrard's landmark came up in his 212th outing.

Jurgen Klopp's side also created history at Brighton by winning for the 30th time in their 34th Premier League fixture this season. No other side has reached that tally as quickly in the history of the English Football League.

Liverpool ended a five-game winless run on the road as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 3-1 triumph over Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. 

Salah and Jordan Henderson were on target inside the opening eight minutes as the Premier League champions quickly seized control on the south coast, albeit they were helped out by their opponents.

While a first away victory since a 1-0 success at Norwich City on February 15 was made trickier by Leandro Trossard's fine goal before break, Salah made sure of all three points when he headed in at a corner.

After going seven hours and 47 minutes without scoring an away goal in all competitions, a barren run stretching back to Sadio Mane's winner at Norwich City on February 15, Liverpool scored twice within 127 seconds.

Naby Keita was influential in both goals, setting up the opener as he robbed possession from Davy Propper to tee up Salah, who curled in a first-time finish with his left foot.

Brighton failed to heed the early warning as they were pressed into trouble again soon after, Keita springing the counter from a turnover. Roberto Firmino and Salah were also involved before Henderson ran onto the ball to send a shot across Mat Ryan and into the net.

To their credit, the hosts responded impressively following a shocking start.

Alisson kept out Neal Maupay with a point-blank save but the Brazil goalkeeper was left helpless by Trossard's half-volleyed finish from a Tariq Lamptey cross, the sweetly timed strike halving the deficit.

Dan Burn fluffed a glorious chance to equalise on the hour mark, scuffing his finish at the back post, and Salah made him pay.

The Egypt forward took his tally to 19 in the league this season when his run to the near post allowed him to meet Andy Robertson's set-piece delivery, flicking the ball in as Liverpool moved 23 points clear of City.


What does it mean? Reds closing in on century

Liverpool move into the nervous nineties as they chase Manchester City's points record in the competition.

This was an improvement on the tepid display against Aston Villa on Sunday but there are tougher hurdles to clear in the pursuit of a century, including a trip to Arsenal and a clash with Chelsea at Anfield. 

Positive signs for Keita 

Injuries and indifferent form have plagued Keita’s Liverpool career so far. However, after producing the assist for Mane’s opener at the weekend, the midfielder again demonstrated how he can make a difference in attack. He created four chances during his 61 minutes on the pitch.

Seagulls picked off 

Credit to Graham Potter’s side for trying to play out from the back, but their desire to do so proved costly. Propper had his pocket picked for the first, while Adam Webster overran the ball when in possession to leave a gap that Liverpool clinically exploited. 

What's next? 

Liverpool return home to welcome Burnley to Merseyside on Saturday. Brighton are at home on the same day, taking on the dethroned champions City. 

Stiliyan Petrov suggested Graeme Souness' criticism of Jack Grealish might be motivated by "bitterness" as he defended Aston Villa's captain.

Grealish has been linked with both Manchester City and Manchester United after a fine Premier League campaign in which he has scored seven times and created six assists for a Villa side fighting relegation.

However, the 24-year-old's suitability for a leading top-flight side was questioned by ex-Liverpool skipper Souness, who accused him of being a "passenger" when his team do not have the ball.

"Everyone rolls their sleeves up to be the first, second or third one to press. That is something that is not in his game right now," Souness said in his role as a Sky Sports pundit.

"I'm not denying he has talent - but for me there's a big question mark."

The Scot went on to suggest Grealish is the Premier League's most fouled player because he holds onto the ball too long, with the midfielder biting back on Twitter when he retweeted the statistic that showed he has created the second-most chances in the division.

Former Villa skipper Petrov has no doubt that Grealish could cut it with a bigger club.

"Everybody has a view or an opinion about certain players. I have a completely different view of Jack," he told Stats Perform News.

"I believe he has enormous potential to be a great player. At the moment, Jack believes that everything depends on him. He tries to do everything on his own. He tries to create, he tries to assist, he wants to score. So literally he tries to do everything.

"If Jack moves to a bigger team, there will be certain elements of his game that are going to improve. Jack has everything to be a top player. At the moment, with the current situation at Aston Villa, he is the one everyone looks up to. He wants to be everything for Aston Villa, which is great.

"We forget he's only 24. I don't agree. Yeah, he holds the ball longer because he has to, he needs to do it, and he knows that. But if he moves on to play with better players he knows how to play, he knows how to adapt. Good players do that and he's certainly a good player.

"So I wouldn't really agree with what Graeme is saying. I think sometimes it can be a little bit bitterness, could be a challenge from Souness – he may believe that he's a good player and he's challenging him with what he's saying.

"I can see his point of view is very different to what I think. I believe Jack would be a big asset for a big club."

Petrov, who spent 13 years with Villa, then highlighted Pep Guardiola's praise of Grealish, who the Manchester City boss called "one of the best players in the league" earlier this season.

"That compliment comes from one of the best managers in the world," Petrov added.

"Those managers don't waste their words saying these things. That's why Pep comes out and said he's one of the best and said his performances have attracted attention. It's completely normal."

Pep Guardiola claimed he has never seen a player like David Silva following the midfielder's performance in Manchester City's 5-0 hammering of Newcastle United.

Silva set up goals for Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling and scored a fine free-kick as City made light work of Steve Bruce's men in Wednesday's Premier League clash.

The Spain playmaker now has 121 assists in his City career and has reached 10 in all competitions in each of his 10 seasons with the club.

Silva will have just two more home league games before leaving City at the end of the season, with his farewell dampened by the fact supporters cannot attend games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Manager Guardiola still expects a packed house for Silva's planned testimonial, though, as he believes the 34-year-old is a player unlike any other.

"The level he is having I think is the best of this season," Guardiola told BT Sport. "He's playing really, really good. Okay, the fans are not here, but he's coming back to make the farewell game in front of the fans.

"He's an incredible legend. He's a huge competitor. In small spaces, in the pockets, I never saw a player like him."

City's resounding win came after their shock 1-0 loss to Southampton, their ninth in the league this season.

Guardiola was happy with his side's clinical edge given he felt they created better chances in the defeat at St Mary's Stadium, with his main focus now on the coming FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal and the Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid in August.

"We played good, the same level of the last game," he said. "It was a good performance and today we scored the goals that we missed in the last game.

"We created more chances in the game against Southampton but we could not convert. We are preparing for the games against Arsenal and Madrid.

"Everyone wants to play. I try to let them play as much as possible all the time. They deserve it. I don't just want to select 11 players. We try to convince them that all of us are going to achieve what's ahead this season."

David Silva’s sublime display against Newcastle United saw him lay on a 10th assist of the season, a tally he has reached in all 10 campaigns for Manchester City.

The departing Silva set up the first and last goals, scored by Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, in City's 5-0 home Premier League thrashing of Steve Bruce's side on Wednesday.

He also netted a 25-yard free-kick as he continues to sparkle prior to his exit at the end of the season, though surprisingly this was the first game in which the midfielder had both scored and assisted a goal in since January 2016.

Silva, 34, has racked up a total of 121 assists for City in his decade at the club since signing from Valencia in 2010.

Federico Fernandez scored an own goal, while Riyad Mahrez also notched to ensure City became the first team in Premier League history to have five different players score at least 10 goals in a single season.

Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero have all reached double figures in 2019-20.

The match was also notable for City completing an astonishing 93.7 per cent of their passes (787 out of 840 attempts), the highest level recorded since Opta began gathering data in the 2003-04 season.

Wolves' Champions League aspirations were further dented as they suffered a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Sheffield United, while Burnley beat struggling West Ham by the same scoreline.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men could have moved level with fifth-placed Manchester United with a win on Wednesday but, having seen Ruben Neves hit the crossbar with a free-kick in the first half, were undone by John Egan's 93rd-minute winner at Bramall Lane.

Egan headed in Oliver Norwood's corner, having rescued a point at Burnley last time out, to give the Blades a victory that moves them a point behind sixth-placed Wolves.

Burnley are a further two points behind after their success at London Stadium, which keeps West Ham just four points above the bottom three.

Jay Rodriguez's deft header in off the crossbar in the 38th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides, keeping the pressure on the Hammers with four games left.

Manchester City put their defeat to Southampton behind them with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Newcastle United on Wednesday.

The 1-0 loss at St Mary's Stadium was City's ninth of the Premier League season and left them a demoralising 23 points behind new champions Liverpool at the top.

That gap was closed back to 20 - while the distance to Chelsea in third was stretched to nine - as Pep Guardiola's side brushed aside Newcastle through goals from Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and a Federico Fernandez own goal.

Newcastle were happy to cede possession and keep their defensive block in place, but the game plan was undone just 10 minutes in when Jesus finished from David Silva's cut-back after some slack marking.

The visitors were unable to cope with City's high press and, when they lost the ball again 35 yards out, De Bruyne ran onto Phil Foden's simple pass and squared for Mahrez to side-foot home.

That goal meant City became the first team to have five players hit 10 goals in a single Premier League season and there should have been another when Jonjo Shelvey gave up possession but Foden shot wide.

Foden somehow prodded wide with the goal gaping soon after the restart, but City had only to wait until the 58th minute for their third goal, Matt Ritchie kicking the ball in off Fernandez while trying to stop Jesus.

Silva made it 4-0 with a precise free-kick from 25 yards out, the disjointed Newcastle wall summing up the Magpies' scant overall resistance, and the Spaniard set up substitute Sterling for a simple fifth after intercepting a pass.

What does it mean? City consolidate second... and wonder why

City's latest goalscoring record took them to 86 in the league this season, 14 more than leaders Liverpool, but did little more than make finishing second almost certain.

The kind of attacking interplay and unshakeable dominance of the game against Newcastle only adds to the bemusement as to how they have lost nine times and let Jurgen Klopp's side have such a simple time of things in the title race.

It was a first league loss for Steve Bruce's side since February 22, keeping them six points outside of the top eight but comfortably 16 clear of the drop zone.

Silva still shining as City clock winds down

Silva got his ninth and 10th assists of the season in all competitions and a sublime goal to cap a typically creative, stylish performance. Surprisingly, it was the first time he had scored and set up a goal in a league match since January 2016.

He has just two more home league games to come as a City player. It is a shame they will be held without the crowd ovation he deserves.

Krafth work strikes a sour note

Newcastle's 4-5-1 shape was never likely to work if the players were so quick to lose focus. The first-half goals both came from the position Emil Krafth should have been occupying, although he was given next to no protection out wide by DeAndre Yedlin and Valentino Lazaro.

What's next?

City head to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, the same day Newcastle face a Watford side still fighting for Premier League survival.

Manchester City became the first team in Premier League history to have five different players score at least 10 goals in a single season on Wednesday.

Riyad Mahrez moved to double figures for 2019-20 when he slotted home Kevin De Bruyne's cut-back to make it 2-0 against Newcastle United at the Etihad Stadium.

De Bruyne himself has 11, as does Gabriel Jesus, who opened the scoring against Steve Bruce's side. City's top two scorers in the league this term are Raheem Sterling with 13 and Sergio Aguero on 16.

City are the first team in England's top flight to have at least five players reach the 10-goal mark since Everton in 1984-85.

Those goals from Jesus and Mahrez took Pep Guardiola's side to 83 in the league this season, nine more than newly-crowned champions Liverpool.

Despite breaking new ground in goalscoring, City found themselves 23 points behind Liverpool with five matches remaining after going down 1-0 at Southampton on Sunday - their ninth defeat of the season.

Fulham have confirmed Anthony Knockaert has joined the Championship promotion contenders on a permanent deal from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Frenchman initially moved to Craven Cottage on loan for the 2019-20 season, during which he has scored three goals in 28 appearances.

He has now not committed his long-term future to Fulham, signing a contract until 2023 with the option of a further year.

"I'm happy to continue the adventure with Fulham for three more years," Knockaert told the club's website.

"I'm really excited for the remainder of this season and hopefully we can achieve our goal of being promoted to the Premier League.

"I've had a good time here since I joined the club and I’m looking forward to the future."

Knockaert helped Brighton secure promotion to the Premier League three years ago, having also done the same with Leicester City earlier in his career.

"The move has worked out well for Anthony, and I would like to wish him well for the remainder of the season and for the future," Brighton head coach Graham Potter said.

"There's no doubting his contribution to this club, as part of the promotion-winning team in 2017, and those first two seasons in the Premier League.

"On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his achievements."

Jose Mourinho's fear of getting "in trouble" put the Tottenham boss on the defensive regarding the subject of Eric Dier's four-game ban.

Spurs midfielder Dier was hit with the sanction, along with a £40,000 fine, by the Football Association on Wednesday after his altercation with a fan following the penalty shoot-out FA Cup defeat to Norwich City in March.

The England international climbed into the stands having been angered by the actions of a supporter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Dier was handed a misconduct charge in April and, though he denied his actions had been threatening, an independent regulatory commission found otherwise.

Asked to give his response to the punishment and whether the club would appeal, a guarded Mourinho said: "If I answer, I'm going to be in trouble and I don't want to be.

"I don't think [there will be an appeal], honestly, because if you appeal you have other risks. At least let's start next season without a suspension.

"And we all know how it works, you have access if you want to the record of appeals, successful appeals and unsuccessful appeals. I don't think so, I don't think we're going to appeal."

The suspension means Dier will be absent for all but one of Spurs' remaining five games, with Mourinho revealing a certain ambivalence towards the 26-year-old.

"I think he had a strange last season. A very strange current season," he said, admitting there was some debate over Dier's best position.

"We made a decision together, I told him immediately since my arrival, let's go together in a certain direction, but I think you are not ready.

"So, let's go back to a certain level of being a midfielder, but also with an eye to transforming to a centre-back, where he feels more comfortable.

"Even when we were working on Zoom, we were working with him, totally focused on being a centre-back, so he develops a number of skills, becomes much more adapted to that position.

"Then we decided [against] Manchester United, first match [after the resumption], we'd go with him in that position. Using this period to fight for points and objectives in relation to the table but also looking forward to the next season.

"And I think he played a very good match against Sheffield [United]. We all made a few mistakes but defensively the team was very consistent. And he was very consistent playing against some of the best strikers.

"I think he's doing very, very well, we look forward to next season, where we have no doubts that he's there as a centre back and I think an important player for us."

Jose Mourinho has told his Tottenham players that showing the right attitude is "not negotiable" as he looks to create a stronger sense of unity within the squad.

Mourinho accused his players of a lack of desire in a 3-1 Premier League loss to Sheffield United and claimed the sight of his team being beaten through a basic will to win "destroys me a little bit on the inside".

Monday's 1-0 victory over Everton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium included a clash between Hugo Lloris and Son Heung-min shortly before half-time, in which team-mates had to keep them apart, although Mourinho insisted he was "very happy" to see such a level of passion.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's game against relegation-threatened Bournemouth, the Spurs boss says he has made it clear to his players that such displays of character are essential to "winning teams".

"I always say that in winning teams, and I told the players that I can speak about winning teams because I belong to some of them, that there are things that are not negotiable," Mourinho said.

"What is not negotiable is a certain attitude, soul, DNA, character. Then you can, in a better day or not, face an opponent who makes it easier or difficult for you.

"[There is] unpredictability in football games, sometimes you deserve to win and sometimes you don't, but some things are not negotiable. Character: being demanding with yourself, with each other. Sometimes [you must] be an external source of motivation for the guy who plays in the same team as you. That leads many times to disagreement, discussion, but I think it's a really, really important thing.

"So, I was very happy with the team attitude during the game. Of course, I would prefer the little discussion to happen inside the dressing room, not outside - people can interpret [it] a different way. But I think it was a new thing in the team, a thing players do more times internally, be demanding with each other and grow up together."

Part of the problem in modern sides, according to Mourinho, is it is too easy for players to isolate themselves on social media or using games consoles even when staying at team hotels.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss is determined to improve the communication between his Spurs stars, although he insists that will not involve lectures on his part.

"If I think overall, comparing examples of my time as assistant coach, Barcelona, Porto, 25 years ago or so, the players they used to be together all the time," he said.

"No Xbox, PlayStation, social media. Quite the beginning of mobile phones. But players used to spend all the time together. Even when you go to hotels, together all the time, [it is] much easier to develop intimacy, trust, build a certain dynamic in the group.

"In a hotel, every player has his own bedroom, they go there, they are not alone, they are on Zoom, FaceTime, they are on social media 'together' playing some Xbox or PlayStation, but they don't need to share the same space. Just a society thing - the interaction is different. But probably at a personality level, you don't get same kind of communication that you had.

"We need to stimulate it all the time, not to be closed in their own shell. It's a team effort, team group, team sport - you don't play alone. A team has to be more than the sum of the individuals. You need to interact, communicate, share ideas. You need to discuss what happened in the game, need to motivate each other. I believe this; I believe there are some managers that don't do that.

"I am upset with silence. I hate the silence in a dressing room, in a meeting, I hate monologues, I don't like to be in front of the players, speaking for 20 minutes without interaction. Something I stimulate, my way of being, my way of leading. My team the other day showed me the other day they need to improve at that level."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels David de Gea has been the world's best goalkeeper for a decade.

De Gea is poised to overtake United great Peter Schmeichel as the overseas player with the most appearances for the club, having initially joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

A number of high-profile mistakes, including a calamitous error in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham, have led to questions over the Spain international's future as number one, especially with Dean Henderson thriving on loan at Sheffield United.

But after Schmeichel insisted De Gea is the right goalkeeper for United over the long-term, Solskjaer was in agreement.

"David has had some fantastic seasons here now and next year is his 10th," Solskjaer said ahead of United's away Premier League game against Aston Villa on Thursday.

"He has proven [former goalkeeping coach] Eric Steele right, that we believed in him. 

"He had a little bit of a tough ride early on, with the physicality of football in England, but, for me, he has been the best goalkeeper in the world over the last nine or 10 years.

"Just to work with him closely, you see he's still keen to learn, he's still working hard. 

"Richard [Hartis] coming in with Craig [Mawson] as the coaches, I think they've reignited a little bit of a spark in David and he's working really hard in training."

The back problem sustained by centre-back Victor Lindelof against Bournemouth was described as "not bad" and he may be able to play a part against Villa.

If not, Eric Bailly is likely to step in, with Solskjaer not feeling pressure to rotate his squad as he ponders whether to name an unchanged starting XI for the fourth straight top-flight game.

"There are not many that haven't played in the last two weeks," he said of his players not in that team. "They all know they are fit and available, that they are valued. It's not an issue. 

"There are so many things to play for. Trophies - the FA Cup, the Europa League - but also the top four in the league. The group is very tight knit and they all know they've got a part to play."

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