Neymar continues to dominate the headlines and Barcelona look set to finally get serious in a move for the Paris Saint-Germain star.

The Brazil international, 27, has been linked with a move from PSG, but progress has seemingly been slow amid links to Barca and Real Madrid.

It appears Juventus are now ready to join the race, too, as Barcelona prepare to submit an offer.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO SUBMIT NEYMAR BID

Barcelona have decided to submit a formal offer to PSG for Neymar, according to RAC1.

The cover of Sport reads 'Offer Offical' as Barcelona continue their pursuit of the star they sold to PSG for €222million two years ago.

They say Barca are hoping to get a deal done and have an option to buy Neymar next season.

 

ROUND-UP

- There may yet be a bit to play out in the Neymar saga. AS report Juventus have opened talks with PSG and are keen to sign the Brazil star, willing to offer Neymar the €37m per year net he currently makes at PSG.

- Paulo Dybala could be part of a Juventus move for Neymar. Dybala was reportedly close to a Premier League switch earlier this month and is valued at €80m and a target for PSG, according to Sport and the Daily Mail, giving the Ligue 1 champions an ideal replacement for Neymar.

- Christian Eriksen's Tottenham future remains unclear. However, ESPN FC report the Denmark international is only interested in moving to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Juventus if he leaves Tottenham.

- As Barcelona try to find a deal for Neymar, Nelson Semedo has been one of the players mentioned as part of a potential package. However, Marca report the defender does not want to go to PSG and Barca are aware.

- Roma are still trying to strengthen their defence and Arsenal's Shkodran Mustafi has emerged as a target, according to TuttoMercatoWeb. The Serie A giants would consider an initial loan move for the defender.

- Franck Ribery could be close to making a decision on his future. According to Fabrizio Romano, the former Bayern Munich star is in advanced talks with Fiorentina.

Mauricio Pochettino suggested Tottenham have to shape their squad in a different way to their rivals in order to compete at the top of the Premier League.

Spurs had gone 18 months without making a signing before bringing in Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke and immediately sending the winger back on loan to Elland Road in July.

Clarke was indicative of the of business Spurs conducted in the window, with the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon amassing plenty of experience yet still burgeoning talents that Pochettino will look to hone in the coming years.

Pochettino, who has guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes, says the development of young talent remains Spurs' best chance of continued success.

"We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn't win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player," he said.

"Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player and, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.

"When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it's a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.

"I don't like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid. 

"Now we've sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing. 

"Maybe he was the fourth or fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it's important people realise we're building players and that they're still young.

"He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday] and the best team. 

"So, it's a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.

"They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes VAR is here to stay but feels the Premier League must adapt how it applies the use of technology

City found themselves on the wrong end of a marginal call on review during their 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus' stoppage-time winner was disallowed after replays showed the ball deflected off team-mate Aymeric Laporte's arm before the Brazilian controlled and thrashed past Hugo Lloris – sparking jubilant celebrations at the Etihad Stadium.

But, as was the case when City were eliminated from the Champions League last season against Spurs, the joy proved short-lived.

During the first half versus Mauricio Pochettino's men this time, Rodri was not awarded a penalty despite replays appearing to show he was man-handled by Erik Lamela in the area – with Guardiola joking "VAR was taking a coffee".

But, despite that complaint, he cited an initial hard line against shirt-pulling during the 2016-17 season and the subsequent relaxation as evidence the Premier League can plot its own path as it plays catch-up with the rest of Europe's major leagues in implementing VAR.

Asked whether use of technology should be suspended in the wake of the latest controversies, Guardiola replied: "No, no, no. We have to continue.

"I remember the first season when I arrived here that in the boxes when you touched like this [pulled a shirt] it was a penalty. After they re-adapted.

"But if it is hands, it's hands. For me it is not clear, when I watch it from different angles it is not clear."

The result should probably have been beyond doubt despite Lamela and Lucas Moura twice pegging back goals from Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero, as City dominated with a shot count of 30-3 – or 30-2 according to Guardiola's assertion that Harry Kane's audacious attempt from halfway during the second period "is not a shot".

The City boss has no doubts about his side's capacity in front of goal despite an early setback in their quest for a third consecutive Premier League crown.

"I don't know how many goals we scored last season. I don't have doubts that we have a team to score a lot of goals," he said. 

"Obviously, if we arrive with 30 shots [it is] to score five or six. We play for that.

"Of course you have to improve but I don't have doubts that we can score a lot of goals. In the last two seasons we were the team with the most goals. I don't have doubts about that.

He added: "I said to the players it's emotional and frustrating to lose two points in that way but football is like this. It is the only sport where you can shoot 30 and the other two and you can draw or lose.

"That's why this game is fascinating."

Guardiola expects centre-back John Stones to be out for around a week to 10 days after a thigh injury left him unavailable to face Tottenham.

Kevin De Bruyne, who suffered a succession of injury problems last season, was back to his brilliant best at the weekend with a pair of wonderful assists.

"We are incredibly happy for him because last season he suffered being injured," said Guardiola. 

"We are happy he is back and can help us to play."

Arsenal and Liverpool can boast 100 per cent records after two games of the new Premier League season, while four sides have failed to pick up a point from their opening pair of matches.

Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Southampton and Watford all suffered defeats on matchday two, while Manchester City and Chelsea dropped points at home.

With every team desperate to get into a winning habit, Opta's data helps us take a closer look at the patterns unfolding after the weekend's big games.

 

REDS WIN AGAIN TO EQUAL RODGERS' RECORD

Liverpool racked up their 11th consecutive top-flight victory with a 2-1 win at Southampton, equalling the club record set under Brendan Rodgers in April 2014.

Sadio Mane's third goal in four days sent Jurgen Klopp's men on their way just before half-time at St. Mary's and the Senegal international has scored 20 goals for the club in 2019 - eight more than Liverpool's next sharpest shooter, Mo Salah (12).

Roberto Firmino doubled the European champions' lead 19 minutes from time to ensure Danny Ings' late goal - courtesy of Adrian clearing the ball into his shin - was nothing more than a consolation as the Reds made sure they started the season with two wins for the second consecutive campaign, a feat they last achieved in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

Mane also became the first player to score in his first Premier League start of four consecutive seasons since Mark Viduka did so between 2002-03 and 2005-06.

CITY DROP POINTS DESPITE DELUGE OF SHOTS

Manchester City failed to win a Premier League match for the first time in 16 games, despite attempting 30 shots in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.

The last time Spurs faced as many shots in a Premier League fixture was against Fulham (31) in November 2011, but they emerged with a point after Gabriel Jesus' late strike was ruled out by a VAR handball decision in the build-up.

Raheem Sterling put City ahead after 20 minutes with his fifth goal in four matches against Spurs at the Etihad, and, after Erik Lamela equalised for Tottenham, Sergio Aguero scored his 97th Premier League goal at the champions' home ground.

Only Thierry Henry (114 at Highbury), Wayne Rooney (101 at Old Trafford) and Alan Shearer (97 at St. James' Park) can boast equal or better scoring records at a single Premier League stadium than Aguero, who was teed up by Kevin De Bruyne's third assist in two league games - one more than he managed in the whole of last season.

But City's hopes of extending a Premier League winning streak that began on February 3 were undone when Lamela turned provider for Lucas Moura to equalise.

Lamela has scored and assisted for Tottenham in three different Premier League matches, all of them against Manchester clubs (twice against City, once against United).

PUKKI TREBLE EXTENDS MAGPIES' TRAVEL WOES

Newcastle United have won just two of their last 29 Premier League away matches in the month of August (D10 L17) after Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick as Norwich City beat the Magpies 3-1 at Carrow Road.

The last time Newcastle won their first away league game of the season was in 2011-12 against Sunderland and they failed to cope with the threat of Finland international Pukki as Canaries boss Daniel Farke became the first Norwich manager to win his opening Premier League home game since Mike Walker in 1992.

Norwich fans had to think back 26 years to remember the last time they had a player score a Premier League hat-trick, Efan Ekoku doing so against Everton in September 1993.

Pukki, who also scored in Norwich's opening day defeat at Liverpool, has scored 33 league goals for the club since the start of last season, more than any other player across the top four tiers of English football.

LEICESTER LEAVE LAMPARD WINLESS IN THREE

Leicester City came from behind to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and make Frank Lampard the first Blues boss since Rafael Benitez (2012-13) to fail to win any of his first three games in charge.

After a Premier League opening day defeat at Manchester United and a UEFA Super Cup loss on penalties to Liverpool, Chelsea took the lead through Mason Mount's home debut goal only to be pegged back by Wilfred Ndidi's second-half equaliser.

Mount's opportunist strike made him the first English player to score on his first home Premier League appearance for Chelsea since Paul Hughes netted against Derby County in January 1997, while Ndidi's bullet header was his fifth goal in 90 Premier League appearances.

Ndidi scored from a corner by James Maddison, who has created 50 chances from set-pieces in the Premier League since the start of 2018-19 - at least six more than any other player in the division.

First Romelu Lukaku. Now Alexis Sanchez?

Lukaku left Manchester United for Inter and former team-mate Sanchez could join the powerhouse Belgian in Milan.

Antonio Conte's Inter are set to be active before the transfer window closes.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHEZ SET FOR INTER

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has agreed terms with Inter, according to Sky Italia.

Sanchez has endured a nightmare spell since joining United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2018, managing just five goals in all competitions.

While United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has publicly declared Sanchez will play a significant role this season, the Chilean is reportedly poised to join former Red Devils striker Romelu Lukaku at Inter.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Real Madrid will make a late €65million (£60m) bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, The Sun reports. The Danish star has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Juventus, while Madrid have been talking to Ajax about Donny van de Beek as they struggle to prise Paul Pogba from Manchester United.

- Le Parisien says Neymar remains convinced he will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window shuts. It comes as Sport claims Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has taken command to re-sign the Brazilian, who left for a world-record fee in 2017.

- According to the Mirror, Manchester United are ready to pay defender Marcos Rojo to leave Old Trafford. With two years remaining on his contract, Rojo was linked with a deadline-day move to Everton. The Argentina international is now reportedly pushing for a loan switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

Bayern Munich want to re-sign Mario Mandzukic from Juventus, claims Bild. Mandzukic spent two years at Bayern, where he won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the Champions League.

- It comes as Soccerlink reports Serie A champions Juve have turned to Lyon forward Moussa Dembele, with Inter outcast Mauro Icardi proving difficult to sign.

Napoli are preparing to relaunch a €60m bid to sign Icardi, according to Corriere dello Sport. Juventus are willing to offer Paulo Dybala in a swap deal but Inter are reluctant to deal with the Bianconeri. Napoli are also reportedly set to complete the signing of PSV's Hirving Lozano, who will undergo a medical on Wednesday.

AC Milan have asked Tottenham for full-back Serge Aurier on loan with an option to buy, claims Soccerlink.

Aymeric Laporte and several of his Manchester City team-mates have expressed frustration over Gabriel Jesus seeing a late strike against Tottenham disallowed by VAR.

City and Spurs were drawing 2-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when Jesus struck in added time, firing into the bottom-right corner from inside the box.

But celebrations were cut short by VAR with replays showing the ball hit Laporte on the arm during the build-up - and the goal was duly disallowed.

A frustrated Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports "they need to fix" VAR, City having seen video replay decisions go against them in a game with Spurs for the second time this year following April's Champions League drama, when Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

And Guardiola's players steadily followed suit on social media following the game, led by Laporte.

"Tough game! Learning to get used to external factors! Keep working!" the centre-back posted on Twitter.

Jesus was visibly upset by the call, despite referee Michael Oliver attempting to calm him down on the field.

"Great game, lads. Well played, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win," the Brazil striker said. "We scored the goal we needed, but....."

Kyle Walker was at fault for the second Spurs goal, losing Lucas Moura in the City box, but he also pointed a finger of blame at the technology.

"Vary frustrating today. But both teams fought well," he said on Twitter, with a deliberate typo. "Well done to Spurs. Always good to see the boys and fans."

Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, agrees with Guardiola's suggestion that rules involving VAR need to be amended for the good of the game.

"Today's VAR decision is really hard to take," the midfielder wrote on social media.

"Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free-kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.

"In my opinion, this rule needs to be changed."

Mauricio Pochettino accepts Tottenham remain vulnerable to losing players while the European transfer window remains open.

Although the deadline to sign new players has passed for Premier League clubs, teams on the continent can still add to their squads.

September 2 is the last day clubs from Europe can buy players, with Christian Eriksen among the Spurs stars linked with exits.

Eriksen is into the last year of his contract and is reportedly a target for Real Madrid, while Jan Vertonghen's deal is also expiring.

Pochettino, though, is unwilling to blame uncertainty over his squad for Spurs being outplayed at Manchester City on Saturday, his side claiming a 2-2 draw at the home of the champions after Gabriel Jesus' late goal was disallowed by VAR.

"I think it's not an excuse. I am not complaining about the situation, only explaining it," he told reporters. "Of course, we still need to wait to see what happens with our squad. Maybe some players are still in a situation where things can happen.

"We are not a closed squad where nobody is going to move. Maybe nobody will move. The circumstances are that things are still open. The market in Europe makes things difficult in the way that we work and this type of situation doesn't help the coaching staff to create a good dynamic.

"Of course, we are going to start our sixth season at Tottenham and I think we're world champions at adapting ourselves to different circumstances. It's a great experience. We are going to be one of the best coaching staffs in the world at adapting to circumstances.

"Today when you play against a team like Manchester City, with all the circumstances we have inside our team, I think 2-2 and a point is massive.

"Credit to the team and everyone who is working hard, trying to keep going, working, trying to not be focused on the circumstances, just positive, faith and hope. That is massive.

"I don't know if people realise or not. I don't care about that. Only that the circumstances are not the best and the challenge is massive. So happy because the will of the players, their commitment and with all the circumstances we're trying to get a good result for the club and for our fans."

City thought they had claimed all three points in added time when Jesus finished well, but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check found the ball hit Aymeric Laporte on the arm in the build-up.

"I accept now that the VAR is in football. I was a little bit critical in the past," Pochettino added. "That wasn't nice for the people to hear from me. I love football that was 30 years ago or more.

"Still I am watching football from the past. I love it and the way the referee was the boss. It's not another person who can make a decision. It's up to him if he sees it or not, not whether it was wrong or right.

"Now we give it to technology and the new era in football. We're going to accept the rules. I will accept in the future because for sure in the future some decisions will be against us. I'm going to accept it in the same way with the same face. The rules are the rules and the VAR is here."

Pep Guardiola insists the use of VAR must be more consistent after Manchester City were denied a late winner in the 2-2 draw against Tottenham.

Gabriel Jesus thought he had slammed in a last-gasp third goal for City, only for VAR to chalk the strike off due to a handball from Aymeric Laporte - in scenes similar to those from the epic Champions League clash against Spurs last season.

While the video review system came to Spurs' rescue, it did not aid City earlier in proceedings, when Erik Lamela clearly man-handled Rodri from a corner.

Guardiola was swift to point out the discrepancy, joking VAR was taking a break during the incident. 

"In the first half, the penalty? Ask the two referees around the corner. Then go to London to ask the VAR," he said in a news conference.

"Go to London, ask the big bosses. I'm not VAR. They make an example to Premier League manages, which I saw. But what can I say?

"It was a penalty. Lamela goes over Rodri, and it was a penalty. Maybe in that moment, VAR was taking a coffee.

"Why is it not handball with [Fernando] Llorente in the Champions League quarter-final last season, but why is it hands today? Why?

"That is what needs to be clarified. Why is [Andreas] Christensen not hands, and the Wolves game is hands? 

"It's a pity because it's the last minutes. We lived through the Champions League and today it's the last action and we scored a goal. But ask the VAR guys."

Jesus replaced Sergio Aguero, who appeared to argue with Guardiola as he left the pitch, but City's boss shrugged off any suggestion of a serious dispute.

"He believed that I was unhappy with him for the goal we conceded," Guardiola said.

"But it was just the fact that I wanted movement in that moment and Aguero could not do that. But it's part of our game, it's emotions and we talked after and talked during. I love him a lot."

Pep Guardiola said the use of VAR has to change after Manchester City dramatically drew 2-2 at home to Tottenham in the Premier League.

Gabriel Jesus seemed to have struck an injury-time winner for the champions on Saturday but a VAR check ruled Aymeric Laporte had handled the ball in the build-up.

For City, there were clear parallels with the Champions League quarter-final against Spurs in April, where Raheem Sterling's late winner was also cancelled by VAR as Mauricio Pochettino's side progressed on away goals.

Guardiola feels changes have to be made to the way VAR is used in football, particularly when it comes to applying updated rules such as hand ball and goalkeepers needing to stay on their lines for penalties.

"Deja vu. I thought we left that situation in Tottenham in the Champions League last season. But it is the same," Guardiola said to Sky Sports. 

"The referee and VAR disallow it. It's the second time [it's happened] - it's tough. It's honestly tough but it's the way it is.

"They have to fix it. The whistle inside matches now isn't quite clear. But they believe it's hands. Sometimes it's not - against [Spurs striker Fernando] Llorente in the Champions League.

"It was incredible it wasn't a penalty in the first half [when Erik Lamela tussled with Rodri in the box] but VAR said it wasn't and then at the end they did [disallow Jesus' goal]."

Expanding on his theme in a post-match news conference, Guardiola added: "It was hands for the Llorente goal in the quarter-finals in the Champions League.

"At Wolves it was hands, but [Andreas] Christensen in Liverpool v Chelsea [the UEFA Super Cup] was not hands. And then the goalkeepers must stay on their lines in penalties, and the last penalty Adrian was not on the line.

"Always we will have these types of situations, so that's what it is, accept it."

Guardiola and opposite number Pochettino were engrossed in conversation during the VAR ruling and the Spurs boss was more accepting of the technology's use.

"I'm very pleased with a point and but also knowing we need to improve," Pochettino told BBC Sport. "We are in a process where we need to improve in all areas and the team is going to improve step by step, but we need time.

"It was an unbelievable goal [Lucas' equaliser]. Always when you play a team like Manchester City, you have to play your best.

"We need to accept that [VAR]. I was a little bit critical of VAR but now we have to accept the rules. Now it benefits us. No doubt it won't benefit us at other times. It's a rule we need to accept."

Manchester City are not perfect after all. VAR can stop them.

Last weekend's 5-0 demolition of West Ham at London Stadium led to some suggestions the 2019-20 Premier League title race could become a procession, with Pep Guardiola's side in irrepressible form and Raheem Sterling hitting a hat-trick.

But despite being completely outplayed at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Tottenham were able to claim a 2-2 draw that may offer hints as to how this City team, winners of an unprecedented domestic treble last term, can be halted.

It is fair to say City could and probably should have been out of sight with a rampant first-half display, the 2-1 scoreline hardly a fair reflection of their total dominance in the opening 45 minutes.

Kevin De Bruyne ran the game, as he did in spectacular style in that remarkable Champions League quarter-final second leg against the same opposition in April, when VAR also came to the fore in memorable fashion.

But Erik Lamela cancelled out Sterling's headed opener by converting the only shot Spurs managed before the break, the visitors displaying a clinical edge Guardiola's men lacked.

City retook the lead before the interval, De Bruyne providing his second assist by laying a low cross on a plate for Sergio Aguero, but Spurs could expose defensive weaknesses in the champions even though they were mainly camped in their own half.

Set-pieces have been City's soft underbelly throughout Guardiola's reign but the arrival of Rodri, a club-record signing from Atletico Madrid and a towering presence at the base of midfield, was supposed to help them defend corners better.

A mere 19 seconds after his introduction for Harry Winks, though, Lucas Moura rose above Kyle Walker in City's problem near-post area to flick home the equaliser for Spurs.

It was the first corner the champions had conceded, and they defended it dreadfully. Walker turned to look for someone to blame but it was the right-back who did not properly track the run of Lucas as City's preferred zonal marking system failed.

Mauricio Pochettino's side rarely looked like going on to win the match but they managed to keep City out despite some erratic goalkeeping from captain Hugo Lloris, who was making his 300th appearance for the club.

And a flashpoint on the sidelines when Guardiola hauled off Aguero after 65 minutes, the striker replaced by Gabriel Jesus, perhaps indicated everything is not quite rosy in the City garden.

Aguero made his displeasure clear and, while it is never a surprise to see a player unhappy to be withdrawn, the dissent he showed to a clearly annoyed Guardiola was notable. Such rows are typically kept to the dressing room rather than played out in front of the world's watching media.

Guardiola put the incident down to "emotion" and something of a misunderstanding, but the pair have seemingly had an uneasy relationship. Guardiola often preferred to use Jesus in attack during his first season with City before Aguero's increased work rate and continued weight of goals convinced his manager he should be first choice.

It was Jesus who forced a late winner only for VAR to rule Aymeric Laporte handled the ball in the build-up to his cool finish. City fans, who had to watch VAR cancel out a late Sterling goal for offside in the European tie between the sides four months ago – a moment that sent Spurs into the semi-finals – could hardly believe it.

In the first half City, could also have easily been given a penalty when Lamela appeared to drag Rodri down in the Spurs box. Guardiola will hope VAR decisions even themselves out over the course of the season.

With an element of fortune, Spurs held out despite allowing the champions 30 shots to their own meagre haul of three, with City now already two points behind last season's title rivals Liverpool.

That heavy win over West Ham never really proved anything new, but the title race is certainly alive now.

Tottenham winger Lucas Moura made an instant impact by scoring 19 seconds after coming off the bench against Manchester City.

The Brazil international was brought on for Harry Winks in the 56th minute and glanced home Erik Lamela's cross with his first touch of the ball to make it 2-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

But Lucas is still some way short of the eight seconds it took Sammy Ameobi to score for Newcastle United as a second-half replacement against Spurs in 2014.

Below are the quickest ever goals by substitutes in Premier League history, using data supplied by Opta.

Sammy Ameobi, 8 seconds: (Newcastle v Tottenham at White Hart Lane, 26/10/2014)
Antoine Sibierski, 15 seconds: (Wigan Athletic v Derby County at Pride Park, 12/01/2008)
Andrew Johnson, 17 seconds: (Fulham v Wolves at Molineux, 23/04/2011)
Gerard Deulofeu, 17 seconds: (Watford v Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, 09/03/2019)
Yakubu Aiyegbeni, 18 seconds: (Everton v Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, 17/04/2010)
Apostolos Vellios, 18 seconds: (Everton v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, 15/10/2011)
Lucas Moura, 19 seconds: (Tottenham v Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, 17/08/2019)
Andre Bikey, 19 seconds: (Reading v Chelsea at the Madejski Stadium, 15/08/2007)
Stelios Giannakopoulos, 19 seconds: (Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham at White Hart Lane, 26/04/2008)
Matt Derbyshire, 22 seconds: (Blackburn v Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, 11/08/2007)
Shane Long, 22 seconds: (Reading v Newcastle at the Madejski Stadium, 27/10/2007)
Chris Smalling, 22 seconds: (Manchester United v Burnley at Old Trafford, 11/02/2015)
Sam Vokes, 22 seconds: (Burnley v Watford at Vicarage Road, 07/04/2018)

Manchester City were denied a last-gasp winner by VAR as Lucas Moura's goal secured a 2-2 draw for Tottenham, ending the Premier League champions' winning run.

Lucas scored 19 seconds after coming on from the bench to level things up at 2-2, but Gabriel Jesus thought he had settled Saturday's thriller in stoppage time. 

In scenes reminiscent of April's Champions League epic, however, City were denied a 16th straight league win when VAR spotted a handball by Aymeric Laporte.

City had hit the front through Raheem Sterling, with Sergio Aguero nudging the home side back ahead after Erik Lamela's equaliser.

And, with Bernardo Silva having hit the crossbar and Danny Rose making a goal-line clearance, City's misery was compounded when Jesus' would-be winner was chalked off.

John Stones missed out on Manchester City's squad to face Tottenham due to a thigh injury, the Premier League champions have confirmed.

England international Stones lost his starting place during the closing months of last season but was selected by Pep Guardiola for the Community Shield triumph over Liverpool and the 5-0 thrashing of West Ham last weekend.

Nevertheless, Nicolas Otamendi will partner Aymeric Laporte at the heart of the City defence against Spurs on Saturday, with Stones on the sidelines.

"John Stones has suffered a rectus femoris strain and will miss today's game at home to Tottenham Hotspur," read a club statement.

"The defender will be assessed and a prognosis is likely next week."

Otamendi comes in as one of four changes made by Guardiola, with club captain David Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus making way for Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero.

Christian Eriksen starts for Spurs after his telling impact from the bench during the 3-1 win over Aston Villa last time out. Lucas Moura drops down to take his spot among the replacements.

Gareth Bale looks set to get another chance at Real Madrid after he was named in their starting XI for the opening LaLiga game of the season at Celta Vigo.

Bale seemed certain to depart Madrid after six seasons with coach Zinedine Zidane, whom the Wales star has a rocky relationship with, making it clear during pre-season he wanted the forward to leave.

But, after a move to Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League collapsed and no other realistic suitors emerged, Bale has been reintegrated into the Madrid squad.

The Cardiff-born forward has consistently delivered across a trophy-laden spell, but he often lived in the shadow of the imperious Cristiano Ronaldo – who was worshipped above all others at the Santiago Bernabeu before his departure to Juventus last year – and suffered with injuries.

There is no club in world football with higher expectations of its players than Madrid and Bale has at times been forced to toil under what many would consider unfair scrutiny and criticism, but an examination of his record in the Spanish capital shows his value.

Goal return to rival Ronaldo 

Bale left Tottenham as a once orthodox winger who had blossomed into a goal-scoring force on the flank and has continued that development in Madrid.

He scored 22 times in all competitions during his first season and added another 80 over the next five to join an exclusive club of players to have hit a century of goals for Los Blancos.

Among that group is Brazil legend Ronaldo, a beloved figure but one who finished his Madrid career with only two more goals (104) than the oft-maligned Bale's 102. Just 12 others have struck more for a club with a glittering 117-year history.

Bale has laid on 55 more - more than the talented Isco - during his time in Madrid, and has been responsible for the sixth-most goal involvements in LaLiga, even as the club stuttered to three third-place finishes and a single title.

Standing tall on Europe's grand stage

Madrid's success under Zidane has come largely in Europe, for which Bale can take a good portion of credit.

The Wales international fired his team ahead in the 2014 triumph over rivals Atletico Madrid, notched an assist and a successful spot-kick against the same opposition two years later, and then returned from injury in time for the crushing victory over Juventus in Cardiff in 2017.

That is all without mentioning his match-winning impact in Kiev.

Bale scored twice off the bench in 2018, the first a bicycle kick that dented Liverpool's nascent comeback and the second a speculative long-range shot that smashed it into pieces.

The brace elevated him to what is now a selection of seven players - including Ronaldo - to have struck two goals or more in a Champions League final.

 

Breaking new ground for British footballers

Criticism of Bale for failing to communicate with the media in Spanish dwarfed the plaudits directed his way for venturing where few of his compatriots had gone before.

Then aged 24, the Southampton academy product spurned reported interest from Premier League heavyweights Manchester United to become the third Welshman - and first in more than 25 years - to play in LaLiga.

He is the leading British scorer (78 goals) and appearance maker (155) in the competition's history, relegating David Beckham to second place in the latter category.

Yet, while Bale has struggled to gain Zidane's acceptance, reportedly in part because of his reluctance to assimilate to life in Spain, the France legend praised Beckham for being a "truly great professional" as recently as 2013.

That was despite him once admitting his "friendship with David is little. On the pitch, we understand each other perfectly, but as I don't speak English and he doesn't speak Spanish we are a little bit lost."

Bale might justifiably feel his efforts deserve greater affection - but now he has another chance to win supporters and Zidane over.

Mauricio Pochettino says winning a trophy this season is a purely personal objective and not a barometer for Tottenham as a club.

On the eve of his sixth campaign in charge, Spurs boss Pochettino admitted the time had come for him to deliver silverware.

The comments contrasted with his previously held view that a trophy was less important than cementing a place in the Premier League's top four.

Tottenham achieved that top-four aim last term while reaching the Champions League final, which they lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

Pochettino claims his goals have not changed since that result and are not necessarily an accurate measure of success.

"Of course it was always my priority [to win trophies], but it was a big priority to help the club," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"It doesn't change that. Always my priority is to win, to win games and trophies.

"I think a few days ago someone asked me what my aim was for this season.

"My personal objective is to win a trophy, but that doesn't mean that winning a trophy is compulsory, or that it will be an unsuccessful season if we do not win a trophy.

"But personally, if at the end we do not win a trophy, for myself that is going to be an unsuccessful season.

"But that does not mean that it will be unsuccessful for the club. That is for myself, not the collective."

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