There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday's action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance - his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton's Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern - the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time - but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce's side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley's goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

Pep Guardiola compared Manchester City's teenage midfielder Cole Palmer to Phil Foden after the 18-year-old made a strong debut in a 3-0 EFL Cup win over Burnley.

Manchester-born playmaker Palmer, who has been at the club since joining City's under-8s, slotted into Guardiola's midfield alongside Kevin De Bruyne and showed his creative abilities while attempting two shots of his own.

A Raheem Sterling brace and Ferran Torres' first goal for the club put City into the quarter-finals of the competition they have won in three straight years, but Guardiola picked out Palmer for praise, comparing his finishing prowess to that of first-team regular Foden.

"He started a little bit shy, but that's normal," Guardiola told the club's official website.

"He is an incredible young lad in the training sessions. Since two months ago he has showed us a lot of things. He has a good future in this club.

"He is a humble guy. He is a guy with incredible finishing, like Phil. He had his chance to score. His debut in this competition against a Premier League side, it will be good for his future.

"Again, thank you to the academy for these players. We get players from the academy's work."

Guardiola handed a second start to £20.9m (€22.1m) winger Torres at Turf Moor and the 20-year-old rewarded him with a well-taken goal.

The Spain international joined City from Valencia in August and has since featured twice in the Premier League.

Guardiola praised his performance at Burnley while offering constructive criticism, saying: "He is a young player and still needs a little bit of time to understand what we want to do.

"He's clever in the final third, with his passes. He doesn't cross to cross, he passes the ball."

On City's overall performance, which came after a 5-2 home defeat to Leicester City on Sunday, Guardiola said: "It was good. This competition is special for us.

"Two games, this one and Leeds before the international break. After our result [against Leicester] it was important to win."

Manchester City bounced back from their Premier League humbling by Leicester City with a 3-0 EFL Cup victory over Burnley, with Raheem Sterling scoring twice and Ferran Torres netting his first goal for the club.

A 5-2 home reverse on Sunday left Pep Guardiola's men in need of a result and a performance to steady their burgeoning season.

Sterling thrived on the industry of Kevin De Bruyne, Torres and teenage debutant Cole Palmer throughout a one-sided match and scored with neat finishes in either half at Turf Moor.

Guardiola, who is aiming to win the competition for a fourth successive time, saw his £20.9m (€22.1m) signing from Valencia make it 3-0 with a cool finish in the 65th minute as City reached the quarter-finals.

Burnley found themselves under pressure from the outset and Sterling volleyed a Torres cross narrowly wide from six yards out.

The Clarets had goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to thank for keeping them in the game, the Northern Ireland international twice getting down quickly to save low shots from Sterling.

There was no stopping the England winger when Benjamin Mendy's low pass from the left found him 12 yards from goal and he slammed the ball into the corner of the net with no hesitation.

Sterling doubled City's lead three minutes into the second half, neatly turning Torres' cross into the bottom corner of the net from close range after De Bruyne's surging run carved Burnley open.

Less than 10 minutes later Riyad Mahrez's pass was touched on by Sterling into the path of Torres, who carried the ball into the box before rattling it low into the far corner of the net from 18 yards.

It was another day of drama as Chelsea became the first team for nine years to avoid a Premier League defeat after being three goals down at half-time and Manchester United rocked Brighton and Hove Albion.

West Brom led Frank Lampard's side 3-0 after only 27 minutes, but Tammy Abraham's stoppage-time goal rescued a 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.

A Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into stoppage time snatched a 3-2 victory for United at Brighton following a VAR check, which took place after the final whistle had blown, for handball against Neal Maupay.

Everton have made their best start to a season for 27 years after a controversial 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, while Southampton striker Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game at his former club Burnley.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on a pulsating Saturday.

 

Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United: Fernandes stuns luckless Seagulls

To say it was one of those days for Brighton would be a massive understatement, with Fernandes snatching all three points from the penalty spot right at the death.

The midfielder, who has now been involved in 17 goals in 16 Premier League games (9 goals, 8 assists), slotted in the latest goal in the top flight since Juan Mata's strike for Chelsea against Norwich City after 100 minutes and three seconds nine years ago.

Brighton hit the woodwork five times, more than any team since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, and were left to rule their luck after it seemed Solly March had secured a draw five minutes into time added on.

Leandro Trossard was particularly unfortunate, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork in a Premier League match three times since Cristiano Ronaldo versus Newcastle United in 2006.

Lewis Dunk will also want to forget the five-goal thriller in a hurry, having scored his fifth own goal in the competition - two more than any other player since his Premier League debut in August 2017.

 

Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton: Richarlison keeps Toffees perfect

Everton have won their first three games of a Premier League season for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign but they were fortunate to beat Palace.

All the goals came in the first half at Selhurst Park, the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin putting Carlo Ancelotti's side in front to become the first player to score in each of Everton's opening three games of a season since Steven Naismith six years ago.

Cheikhou Kouyate brought Palace level but Richarlison won it with a penalty after a hugely contentious decision saw Joel Ward adjudged to have handled.

Brazil striker Richarlison has scored 31 of his 32 Premier League goals from inside the penalty area and the winner was his first from the spot in the competition. One concern for Everton is that they have shipped more goals (18) from set-pieces than any other side since the start of last season.

 

West Brom 3-3 Chelsea: Abraham completes comeback after Blues' defensive horror show

Chelsea looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats when a Callum Robinson double and Kyle Bartley put Albion three up.

Marcos Alonso and Premier League debutant Thiago Silva gave the Baggies a big helping hand with errors that took Chelsea's number of mistakes directly leading to goals this season to three, as many as they made in the entire 2019-20 campaign.

The Blues have only kept one clean sheet in 21 Premier League away games under Frank Lampard, while they have conceded more goals (42) on their travels than any other side since the start of last season.

They were able to salvage a point, though, courtesy of second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Abraham.

Slaven Bilic's side are the first team to ship 11 goals in the opening three games in the top flight since Arsenal in 1963-64 (12).

 

Burnley 0-1 Southampton: Ings returns to haunt toothless Clarets

Prolific striker Ings was on target early on to give Southampton their first Premier League points of the season.

It was Saints' first win at Turf Moor in the league since back in 1971, ending a six-match winless run.

Burnley fans will not want to know that the last time they lost their opening two matches of a Premier League season was in a 2014-15 campaign that saw them relegated.

The 400th match of Sean Dyche's managerial career proved to be one to forget, with Ings netting his 10th goal in 12 Premier League appearances since the resumption in June following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool ruthlessly capitalised on playing against 10 men in the second half as they eased to victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

The reigning champions have won two from two at the start of the new campaign, as is also the case for Leicester City after they saw off Burnley in the late kick-off.

Brighton and Hove Albion are up and running after a worthwhile journey north, while Tottenham leaned heavily on two of their superstars to put Southampton to the sword.

With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on another busy day in the Premier League.

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool: Thiago makes debut as champions triumph

A close contest at Stamford Bridge changed complexion when Andreas Christensen was sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Sadio Mane, the player fouled by the defender, went on to score twice after the break, making him just the third Liverpool player to get a brace of goals at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League era. The others? Steve McManaman, back in December 1995, and Philippe Coutinho, who did so in October 2015.

However, the scorer was overshadowed somewhat by new team-mate Thiago Alcantara, who replaced the injured Jordan Henderson at half-time having only completed his move on Friday.

Still, the Spaniard managed to complete more passes (75) than any Chelsea player in the entire match. Indeed, since full passing data became available for the Premier League in the 2003-04 season, his total number of successful passes is the most by a player who featured for a maximum of 45 minutes.

Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea too, his first failure in nine attempts for the Blues in all competitions. Alisson not only produced his first save from the spot for Liverpool since joining the club but also his first save of the season.

Southampton 2-5 Tottenham: Bale force! Son and Kane steal the show 

Saturday was all about a returning hero for Spurs fans, as the club confirmed Gareth Bale was coming back from Real Madrid on a season-long loan. Less than 24 hours later, Son Heung-min became the headline act for Tottenham, aided by Harry Kane playing a sublime supporting role in a comprehensive win.

Son scored four of his side's goals at St Mary's Stadium. All of them were set up by Kane, who became just the sixth player to assist four goals in a single Premier League game. No Englishman had previously achieved the feat.

To put that into context, Kane – who also scored Spurs' fifth in the rout – only provided two assists in the 2019-20 season, albeit he did miss a large chunk of that due to injury. 

All this came after Southampton had taken the lead, though their failure to hold onto the advantage given to them by Danny Ings should hardly be a surprise. Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, no side has squandered more points from winning positions in the Premier League. 

Still, this was a day to admire the victors, not the vanquished. Son and Kane were simply too much for Southampton; the dynamic duo have now combined for more league goals (24) than any other pairing in the competition since the South Korean joined in August 2015. 

Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls soar thanks to Maupay

What a difference a week makes. Newcastle United were so impressive in their opener at West Ham, while Brighton were well beaten at home by Chelsea. However, the Seagulls' long journey provided plenty of positives, Graham Potter's team running out comfortable winners against accommodating hosts who failed to muster a shot on target. 

Neal Maupay had Brighton two ahead inside seven minutes, the earliest brace for a player in the Premier League since Manchester City's Edin Dzeko scored twice in the opening four minutes against Norwich City back in December 2012. 

Maupay also set up Aaron Connolly for a third goal late on, with the only disappointment for the visitors the late red card shown to the impressive Yves Bissouma, who had more touches (65) than any other player while also recording a 92 per cent passing accuracy. 

Leicester City 4-2 Burnley: Flying Foxes make it two from two

Could history be repeated this term? Leicester have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since their famous title-winning campaign in 2015-16.

For Brendan Rodgers, there was a personal milestone. The Foxes boss recorded his 100th victory in the Premier League, becoming the 23rd different manager to reach a century and needing 210 games. Alex Ferguson (162 games), Kenny Dalglish (197) and Kevin Keegan (209) are the only British managers that did it faster.

James Justin scored his first league goal for Leicester while Harvey Barnes was also on target, meaning he has now been directly involved in five goals in his past three Premier League games against Burnley.

The visitors did not help themselves with Erik Pieters' own goal, Burnley's sixth in the Premier League since the start of the 2018-19 season; the most of any current team in the competition.

Joe Hart has thanked Tottenham for showing faith in him as he looks to bounce back from what he describes as a "difficult" spell in his career.

The goalkeeper signed a two-year deal with Spurs on Tuesday, joining captain Hugo Lloris and Paulo Gazzaniga as Jose Mourinho's options between the sticks.

Now 33, Hart's career has been on a downward trajectory since Pep Guardiola took over as Manchester City boss in 2016.

He lost his starting spot at City, with whom he won two Premier League titles, having loan spells with Torino and West Ham.

It was hoped a move to Burnley would represent the revival of his fortunes but he lost his place in the team to Nick Pope and did not play a single top-flight game in the 2019-20 season.

Capped 75 times for England, he has not played for his country since 2017, but after a period of reflection Hart insisted he has plenty to offer Tottenham on and off the pitch as he eyes a fresh start.

"I just want to say thank you to the club for seeing something in me," Hart said to Spurs' website after completing his move.

"No getting away from it, it's been a difficult couple of years for me personally on the football field, but I feel I've got so much to give.

"I feel like I've got a lot of quality, a lot in the bank, but not much game time recently.

"[The last couple of years] have been a process, something I've certainly not had to get used to, because I didn't want to ever get used to it.

"But I've lived it, I've worked hard, kept the same standards I've kept throughout my career, right from Shrewsbury Town. 

"I've tried to grow as a person, tried to grow as a player, tried to use my time, tried to look at it differently.

"If I'm not playing on the pitch, what can I get out of myself off the pitch? I still feel like exactly the same player, and I still feel like I've got more to give.

"I can only look at things positively. I’m ready to go. I feel like I’m starting again, and I quite enjoy that feeling. My body is certainly ready for me to start again."

Hart believes the quality of Spurs' squad and the club's infrastructure give him reasons to be ambitious about what can be achieved.

He added: "I love the idea of European football, two games a week - it all excites me.

"You can't help but get excited at this club. Off the field, doing everything right, tremendous training ground, one of the world’s greatest stadiums, some of the best players you can get in football. 

"We can work together as a team and work together as a unit and the sky is the limit, it has to be."

Tottenham have completed the signing of former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart on a two-year contract.

Hart, 33, was a free agent after his deal with fellow Premier League side Burnley expired.

"We are delighted to announce the signing of Joe Hart on a contract until 2022," Spurs said on Tuesday.

Hart lost his place in the Burnley team to Nick Pope and did not play a league game in the 2019-20 season.

He conceded in May he was likely to have to look abroad for his next opportunity, having previously represented Torino in Serie A.

However, he will instead remain in England with Spurs, who also have captain Hugo Lloris and Paulo Gazzaniga as goalkeeping options for manager Jose Mourinho.

Hart spent 12 years with City, winning two Premier League titles, but had loan spells with West Ham and Torino after losing his place following Pep Guardiola's appointment in 2016.

He has 75 caps for England but has not played for his country since 2017.

The arrival of Hart comes after midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg completed his move to Tottenham from Southampton last week.

Liverpool dominate the nominations for the Premier League Player of the Season, Young Player of the Season and Manager of the Season awards for 2019-20.

Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year Jordan Henderson, along with team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane, are up for the league's Player of the Season prize.

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy, Southampton striker Danny Ings and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope are the other nominees.

Alexander-Arnold is also up for the inaugural Young Player of the Season, as are Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Chelsea duo Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount.

There are four Manchester United players on the shortlist: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp leads the nominees for the Manager of the Season prize, with Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers and Sheffield United's Chris Wilder also selected.

Frank Lampard, who took Chelsea to a fourth-place finish and lost the FA Cup final to Arsenal, is the other nominee.

Each award will be decided through a combination of fan votes and input from a panel of experts.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was named the Player of the Season in 2018-19, while Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won the manager's accolade for the past two campaigns.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manchester United and Chelsea claimed the final two Champions League qualification spots on the Premier League's final day, while Watford and Bournemouth were relegated to the Championship. 

Frank Lampard's side beat Wolves 2-0 while United grabbed the other Champions League berth thanks to a 2-0 victory over Leicester City, who missed out on a top-four finish despite spending most of the campaign in the table's upper reaches.

A 1-1 draw at West Ham saw Aston Villa retain their top-flight status, with Bournemouth's 3-1 victory over Everton not enough to prevent them and Watford - beaten 3-2 by Arsenal - joining Norwich City in being demoted.

 

FOXES MISS OUT ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RETURN

Brendan Rodgers' men were 14 points clear of United as recently as January but Bruno Fernandes' 71st-minute penalty and substitute Jesse Lingard's stoppage-time strike meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished above Leicester after 38 games.

A draw would have been enough for Leicester to finish fourth had Chelsea been beaten by Wolves, but first-half goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud ruled out that possibility early on.

Jamie Vardy, who won the golden boot with 23 goals, headed against the crossbar in the second period before Fernandes converted United's record 14th penalty of the campaign and Lingard added another to ensure a return to Europe's premier club competition, with Leicester's misery compounded by Jonny Evans' late dismissal.

 

VILLA SURVIVE DESPITE LATE DRAMA

Villa captain Jack Grealish's 84th-minute strike looked to have been enough to preserve their Premier League status - and, though Andriy Yarmolenko's deflected effort brought West Ham back level moments later - Dean Smith's team held on to avoid going straight back down at the first attempt.

Instead it was Bournemouth - a Premier League club since 2015 - who went down despite their win at Goodison Park.

Watford, who were promoted five years ago too, were also relegated having fallen 3-0 down to Arsenal inside 33 minutes, with goals from Troy Deeney and Danny Welbeck not enough to save them.

 

SPURS SEAL EUROPA LEAGUE SPOT

A 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace ensured Tottenham sealed a top-six finish and the final qualification place for next season's Europa League, as Wolves dropped down to seventh on goal difference.

As well as scoring twice, Kevin De Bruyne also equalled Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record with his 20th of the season as Manchester City thrashed Norwich 5-0 to reach 102 goals for the season.

Champions Liverpool came from behind to beat Newcastle United 3-1, Brighton and Hove Albion won 2-1 at Burnley and Southampton defeated Sheffield United 3-1.

The Premier League season concludes on Sunday, with Liverpool completing their victory lap at Newcastle United.

A dominant campaign from Jurgen Klopp's men means the destination of the big prize has long been decided, although there are still the matters of Champions League qualification and relegation to address.

The remaining top-four berths will go to two of Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United – with the latter two playing each other at the King Power Stadium in Sunday's standout clash.

At the other end of the table, two of Aston Villa, Watford and Bournemouth will be joining Norwich City in the Championship next season.

However, as we examine below, there are individual awards and achievements still up for grabs.

 

Vardy leads the way in Golden Boot race

A goal from Jamie Vardy against United could represent a huge step towards Europe's elite competition for Leicester City, while it will almost certainly mean the Golden Boot for the former England striker.

Vardy is on 23 goals, in a landmark campaign that saw him being up 100 in the Premier League. Of the 29 players to have reached a century in the competition, only Ian Wright (28 years, 286 days) made his debut at an older age than Vardy (27 years, 232).

The main competition comes from Danny Ings, whose 21 goal makes him the third Southampton player to score 20 or more in a Premier League season, following Matt Le Tissier (25) in 1993-94 and James Beattie (23) in 2002-03.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is next in line on 20. The Gabon international has also enjoyed a landmark campaign, becoming the sixth fastest player to 50 Premier League goals in history as he did so on his 79th top-flight outing for Arsenal.

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling are the outsiders on 19 apiece. If Sterling nets against Norwich, he will become the first Englishman to score 20 times in a top-division season for Manchester City since Brian Kidd – now a member of Pep Guardiola's backroom staff – did so in 1976-77.

 

De Bryune hunting Henry's assist record

One man in particular will be keen on Sterling adding to his haul – provided it comes from one of his passes!

Kevin De Bruyne has 19 assists in the Premier League this season, placing him one shy of Thierry Henry's competition record.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil also assisted 19 times during 2015-16.

De Bruyne has been directly involved in 30 league goals this term, scoring 11 alongside his creative exploits. This is the most for a central midfield since Frank Lampard scored 22 and supplied 14 assists for Chelsea in 2009-10.

The efforts of Sterling and De Bruyne have gone a long way to placing City close to an impressive collective feat. If Guardiola's side score three times against Norwich, they will reach 100 goals for a third consecutive Premier League season.

 

Ederson and Pope battle it out for Golden Glove

Another City player looking after number one on Sunday is their number one. Ederson is on 15 clean sheets, putting him level in the Golden Glove standings with Burnley's Nick Pope.

The Clarets end another excellent season at home to Brighton and Hove Albion and if Ederson and Pope cannot be separated at full-time the award will be shared.

Both men have a similar save percentage, with Pope stopping 70.7 per cent of efforts sent his way compared to Ederson's 69.6, but the Englishman has been far busier.

Pope has made 118 saves from 164 shots faced, compared to Ederson's 64 from 92.

Although impressive, neither man has been flawless, with Ederson committing three errors leading to goals and Pope culpable for two.

Barcelona players reportedly want Patrick Kluivert to take charge of the LaLiga giants.

Quique Setien is under growing pressure at the helm of Barcelona after giving up the league title to rivals Real Madrid.

Amid uncertainty over Setien, it seems Kluivert would be a popular appointment.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAYERS WANT KLUIVERT AS COACH

Barcelona's dressing room want Kluivert as head coach, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The club's former striker returned to Barcelona last year, becoming the academy director.

The report says Kluivert is seen by players as Barcelona's answer to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who starred at the Santiago Bernabeu during his playing career.

Kluivert, 44, has limited experience as a head coach, having previously been in charge of Jong FC Twente and Curacao.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could be busy during the next close season. Tuttosport reports City are targeting Juventus forward Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain. The report says City could pay around £36.5million (€40m) to £45.6m (€50m) for Costa.

- While Gianluigi Donnarumma is coming out of contract at Milan next year, the goalkeeper is expected to re-sign. However, CalcioMercato says the shot-stopper is in no rush to get a deal done.

- Victor Osimhen is close to sealing a move to Napoli. L'Equipe claims the Lille forward, who scored 18 goals in 2019-20, will sign a six-year deal with Napoli. The Serie A club will pay €81m for the 21-year-old.

- After two impressive seasons with Atalanta, Duvan Zapata is catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Juventus are interested in the Colombia international forward.

- Mario Gotze has plenty of interest. After leaving Borussia Dortmund, the 28-year-old is a target for Fiorentina, according to Corriere dello Sport. Meanwhile, Sport Bild reports Gotze is also on the wish list of Monaco, where Niko Kovac has been named coach.

- On loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, Dean Henderson has impressed. The Daily Express reports Chelsea are yet to decide whether they will make a move for the goalkeeper, amid constant speculation over their own shot-stopper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

- As he departs Liverpool, Adam Lallana looks set to stay in the Premier League. The Sun reports Leicester City, Everton, Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion are all targeting the midfielder.

Norwich City had two players sent off and scored an own goal as they fell to a 2-0 loss to Burnley at Carrow Road on Saturday. 

Emiliano Buendia was shown a straight red card in the 35th minute for striking Ashley Westwood with his arm after referee Kevin Friend watched a replay of the Argentinian's reaction to the Burnley midfielder's challenge. 

Norwich were then reduced to nine men when Josip Drmic lunged in on Erik Pieters, with Chris Wood rubbing salt into the wound by scoring an overhead kick in the attack from the resulting free-kick. 

Daniel Farke's team held firm for most of the second half but, despite being under no pressure, Ben Godfrey inexplicably touched Pieters' cross into the bottom-right corner to seal a miserable defeat. 

By inflicting Norwich's ninth straight Premier League loss, Burnley extended their unbeaten run to seven games to move two points adrift of sixth-placed Wolves.

Wolves' slim Champions League hopes were dealt a huge blow after Chris Wood's stoppage-time penalty earned Burnley a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.

After Romain Saiss and Diogo Jota passed up decent opportunities in the first half, Raul Jimenez slammed home his 17th Premier League goal of the season with a deadly volley in the 76th minute.

Burnley's hopes of snatching a draw appeared to be over after Wood failed to head Matej Vydra's back-post knockdown into a gaping goal from inside the six-yard box, but referee Mike Dean awarded the hosts a penalty for a handball by substitute Matt Doherty.

Wood atoned for his earlier miss by firing the spot-kick into the top-right corner in the 96th minute, meaning Wolves will find themselves six points adrift of the top four with two matches remaining if either Leicester City or Manchester United win their game in hand on Thursday.

Burnley players blocking Alisson at set-pieces was the reason for Jurgen Klopp remonstrating with referee David Coote after Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Burnley on Saturday.

Klopp was disappointed with the lack of protection received by the Brazil goalkeeper as Liverpool's 24-game home winning run in the Premier League was ended by Sean Dyche's side.

Andy Robertson headed the Reds in front during a dominant first half, but they were unable to add to their tally with Nick Pope in inspired form.

Jay Rodriguez fired a 69th-minute equaliser in for Burnley and they would have won it had Johan Gudmundsson not been denied by the crossbar late on.

The draw dented Liverpool's hopes of surpassing Manchester City's record haul of 100 points – they must now win their remaining three games to do so.

Klopp, joined by Robertson, fumed at the referee and his assistants on the pitch at the final whistle and explained the reason for his actions in a post-match news conference.

"I spoke [to the referee] about the goalkeeper situations," said Klopp.

"I feel like we've lost the game, we didn't, I know that, and maybe it's not the best time to talk about these things … but how can you let it happen? When a corner comes in, three players are allowed to block the goalie - that's just not how it should be.

"But for the ref it was not a foul or not a problem and that's why he didn't whistle in these situations. That's what I told him, but it had no influence on the result."

Roberto Firmino hit the post early in the second half and remains without a Premier League goal at Anfield this season.

However, the Brazil international created six chances for his team-mates and Klopp does not think his lack of home league goals could become a serious issue for him.

"It cannot become a psychological problem for him because Bobby played an outstanding game today and we don't judge him, so I hope he won't read your newspaper if you make a story of it," said Klopp.

"We just don't think about it. It's not important who scores. We need Bobby for other things. We need Bobby in exactly the spaces where he was today. We need him as the link-up for all the other things.

"We only have chances because Bobby plays the way he plays, and he will score, there's absolutely no doubt about it. We are not worried at all about that, because he played an outstanding game today and was involved in so many decisive situations.

"Nobody scored apart from Robbo [Robertson] with a header, so it will not become a problem."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was proud of his players for riding out the storm and coming away with a point to boost their hopes of a return to European football.

"I thought, [in the] first half they [Liverpool] were terrific, as they have been virtually all season. Not just with the ball, they press, they harry you, they hardly give you a chance to get in the game, which we didn't, we had to just defend," said Dyche.

"That's the way it is sometimes against the top sides. We just about hung in there. The keeper made a couple of big saves and big moments. We did have one golden chance for Jay Rodriguez and a couple of moments from set-pieces, so we'd done enough to at least ask a question.

"At half-time I said to them, 'Look, even for top sides I think it's difficult for them to keep that up for what ends up being a 95-minute game.'

"They didn't quite manage that, still very good second half, but I thought we just about found a foothold in the game and started asking more questions.

"I thought we were a threat from set-pieces all day and then we found a big moment, which we have done lately."

Page 1 of 10
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.