Liverpool cruised to a 5-2 victory in the Merseyside derby against Everton as they consolidated their lead at the top of the Premier League, despite a much-changed team.

Meanwhile, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho endured an unhappy return to Old Trafford as his side lost 2-1 to Manchester United - the Portuguese has not won there as a visiting boss in his past five attempts.

Defending champions Manchester City thrashed Burnley 4-1 as Pep Guardiola made it eight wins in his nine games against the Clarets.

A midweek round of Premier League fixtures brought a range of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are below.

KLOPP ECLIPSES SHANKLY, PAISLEY AND DALGLISH 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will likely need to deliver the Premier League title to secure his place in the pantheon of Anfield greats.

However, the German has put down a few markers suggesting he is ready to join the Kop's hall of fame by becoming the fastest Liverpool manager to 100 league victories. Klopp completed the feat in 159 games – quicker than Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish.

Liverpool secured the win over Everton thanks to a brace from Divock Origi, and one goal apiece for Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shaqiri and Georginio Wijnaldum.

They are now unbeaten in their past 32 Premier League games which is their longest run without defeat in top-flight history.

Marco Silva's final match at the helm saw him become the first Everton manager to concede five league goals against Liverpool in a single match since Howard Kendall in November 1982.

 

MORE OF THE SAME FOR MOURINHO 

United's 2-1 win over Tottenham, secured courtesy of two goals from Marcus Rashford – taking his tally to nine in 10 games – made Mourinho's return to his old club a miserable one.

Mourinho has won none of his past five away Premier League matches against the Red Devils (D3 L2), failing to beat four different managers in that time – Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It was also Tottenham 35th Premier League defeat against United – more than they have suffered against any other team. 

Spurs' defence must also be a concern for Mourinho. They have conceded twice in their four matches in all competitions under the Portuguese – they only had a run of conceding two or more goals in four consecutive games once under Mauricio Pochettino, doing so in February and March 2015.

Midfielder Dele Alli has started to rediscover some of his old form, though, and his equaliser for Spurs was his third goal in as many appearances for the club in all competitions – the first time since March 2017 he has enjoyed such a purple patch.

 

CITY THREE AND EASY UNDER PEP

Gabriel Jesus' brace and one apiece for midfielders Rodri and Riyad Mahrez gave City some much-needed confidence with a 4-1 thrashing of Burnley – although they remain 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Jesus is now the third highest-scoring Brazilian player in Premier League history (32 goals), trailing only Philippe Coutinho (41) and Roberto Firmino (52).

It was the 36th time City have won a Premier League game by three or more goals under Guardiola – the most of any team in the competition since the start of the 2016-17 season.

David Silva's creative skills remain key for City and he took his tally to six assists from open play in the league this season – just one fewer than he managed in 33 games last season.

Burnley have now conceded 11 goals in their three home games against 'big six' opposition in the Premier League this season, compared to only two goals in five home games against the rest.

 

LJUNGBERG'S LOSS A DROUGHT-BREAKING BOOST FOR BRIGHTON

Managerless, beaten at home by Brighton and Hove Albion and now nine games without victory in all competitions – Gunners fans have every right to be gloomy.

Arsenal's 2-1 loss to the Seagulls made this their longest winless streak since a run of 10 between February and March of 1977.

Mesut Ozil registered his first assist in the league since February when his corner was met by Alexandre Lacazette, but the French forward's 25th English top-flight goal at Emirates Stadium failed to avert a first defeat for interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Adam Webster had opened the scoring before the interval and Brighton were able to celebrate their first Premier League away win over 'big six' opposition following Neal Maupay's 80th-minute header.

Arsenal, booed off at full-time, have faced 52 shots on target in home league games this season, four more than in the entire Invincibles campaign of 2003-04.

Dele Alli put Tottenham's disappointing performance in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United down to arrogance borne out of the winning start they had made to Jose Mourinho's tenure.

Mourinho was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's successor last month and had overseen three successive victories in his first three matches at the helm.

Wednesday brought Mourinho's first return to Old Trafford as a manager since he was sacked by the club in December 2018, but Spurs failed to continue their recent resurgence.

Marcus Rashford produced a talismanic display for the Red Devils, scoring both of their goals either side of a spectacular strike from Alli, who arguably more than anyone else has been re-energised by Mourinho's hiring.

But Alli's goal aside, Spurs created precious few clear-cut opportunities and were fortunate to be on level terms at half-time, with the former MK Dons talent suggesting Tottenham had begun to believe their own hype following three wins on the bounce.

"We had to match their [United's] energy. We lost the game not by them outplaying us – just attitude," the England international told reporters.

"We weren't hungry enough and we were slow to every second ball, losing 50-50s. Maybe it was a little bit of arrogance and over-confidence. We’ve been playing well.

"We have to learn from this. Games like this bring your feet back down."

Victory moved United up to sixth and provided manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a much-needed boost ahead of Saturday's Manchester derby at bitter rivals and champions Manchester City.

Spurs slipped down to eighth with the defeat.

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United find it "easier" to play against teams like Tottenham after his perfect record as Spurs head coach came to an end.

A brace from Marcus Rashford saw United overcome Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday as Mourinho returned to Old Trafford to face his former club.

United have beaten Spurs, high-flying Leicester City and Chelsea for three of their five Premier League wins this season, while also holding Liverpool and Arsenal.

Mourinho, who had won his first three matches as Spurs head coach, said United's approach made it easier for them against other big clubs.

"You look at United's results this season against the best teams and they had good results," he told a news conference.

"I think at home when they play like they did [against] Chelsea, Liverpool and Leicester – also a great team this season – they always had this kind of attitude. I think it's easier for them.

"I think for the way they play it's easier for them, they're not afraid to be with a defensive approach, they are not afraid to be at home and to take their time, to be in control of the emotions of the game and then lots of young people with lots of energy and with a good mentality.

"When they are winning matches, they are comfortable in this situation of low block with a giant [Harry Maguire] there almost dominating in the air and being fast in counter-attack with Marcus, with [Daniel] James, with Jesse [Lingard], with [Anthony] Martial.

"I think the way they play it's easier for them when they play against the teams that are better teams, teams that want more of the ball, teams that want to have the initiative of the game so I think they did well."

Dele Alli brought Spurs level at Old Trafford before Rashford's second-half penalty secured three points for United, who moved into sixth.

Mourinho said Rashford's penalty four minutes into the second half was a blow after he felt Spurs were beginning to gain some control.

"We didn't lose because of an attacking setup, we lost because of the way we came to the game, by the emotional way," he said.

"They had more emotion than us, you see for example [Scott] McTominay's performance, the globality of his performance, it was dominant, it was dominant.

"But then as I was saying, half-time we finished the first half with a good feeling, the feeling of a positive result, the feeling that we were playing better than them, we had much more control in the last 10-15 minutes.

"And then in the second half when we thought we were going for it we make that mistake and after that the game is a different game and then after that one injury here, one injury there. They did well, the referee allowed them to do it, but they did well that control of the time and the emotion of the game."

Liverpool blew Everton away in the Merseyside derby and Jose Mourinho suffered his first loss as Tottenham head coach on his return to Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leaders have an eight-point cushion at the top after a 5-2 win at Anfield on Wednesday that increases the pressure on the Toffees' beleaguered boss Marco Silva.

Leicester remain the Reds' nearest challengers after Brendan Rodgers' side saw off his old club Watford 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison.

Chelsea, Southampton and Wolves completed a clean sweep of home wins with victories over Aston Villa, Norwich City and West Ham respectively.

 

Divock the derby hero again

Divock Origi and Sadio Mane were the stars for Liverpool as their 5-2 victory in the Merseyside derby left stricken Silva surely on the verge of losing his job.

A remarkable first half saw six goals – Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri helping the Reds race ahead, though Michael Keane pulled Everton back into contention.

Another for Origi – his fifth Merseyside derby strike – restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage with Mane slotting home their fourth before Richarlison reduced the deficit again.

That effort failed to lift Everton and Georginio Wijnaldum delivered a likely final blow to Silva as counterpart Klopp claimed his 100th Premier League win.

Unhappy return for Mourinho

Spurs had won three games out of three under Mourinho but fell to a 2-1 loss away to Manchester United with Marcus Rashford scoring both goals for the Red Devils.

Rashford scored either side of a superb individual effort from Dele Alli to take his Premier League tally to nine for the season, with Spurs well off the pace.

United move into the top six, leapfrogging Mourinho's men, thanks to a much-needed victory that ends their run of three matches without a win in all competitions.

Abraham nets again for Blues

Tammy Abraham returned from injury to help sink former club Aston Villa as Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory on John Terry's return to Stamford Bridge.

Back from a hip problem, Abraham opened the scoring with a first-half header and provided a chested assist that allowed Mason Mount to volley a superb winner after Trezeguet's fortuitous equaliser.

Willian excelled throughout on the right flank and Chelsea, who had lost their past two league games to Manchester City and West Ham, should have won by more against opponents who had Blues legend Terry on the bench as assistant manager.

Penalty drama for Leicester

A 2-0 home win against managerless Watford was routine for Leicester, but striker Vardy was booked for diving when he seemed to be clearly fouled, despite the incident being checked by the VAR.

Vardy later converted from the spot, scoring for the seventh straight league game, and Leicester's winning streak also stretched to seven matches in the league after Maddison netted deep into added time.

Elsewhere, Southampton moved out of the bottom three at Everton's expense with Ralph Hasenhuttl's side sealing successive home wins with first-half strikes by Danny Ings and Ryan Bertrand setting up a 2-1 victory over Norwich at St. Mary's.

Wolves are fifth after goals from Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone downed West Ham 2-0. Nuno Espirito Santo's side are now unbeaten in 10 Premier League matches.

Jose Mourinho accepted Manchester United deserved to beat Tottenham on his return to Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford's double either side of a superb Dele Alli goal meant Mourinho's Tottenham lost 2-1 in the Premier League on Wednesday, ending his 100 per cent record since succeeding Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs lacked intensity but Mourinho rued a penalty needlessly given away by Moussa Sissoko that allowed Rashford to score what proved the winner early in the second half.

"I think they [United] deserved the victory by their first half, we didn't start well at all," Mourinho told Prime Video. 

"I think for the first 30 minutes they were the best team and because of that, a strong 30 minutes, we were not there. Also, the way we conceded the second goal, I think they deserved to win.

"If I look even to the previous three matches where we won, we didn't start well. The team is not starting matches well, finding it a little difficult to find the intensity, the aggression of the game.

"I told them about Old Trafford, about some of the players like [Scott] McTominay who show aggression immediately in the game, Rashford even going to press the keeper, this type of attitude showing initially intensity, but we were not in the game in the beginning. 

"After that, we had the ball, played and scored and we could create even more, then in the second half I thought really we could be in control of the game like we finished the first half. 

"We conceded a goal that is impossible to concede if we are to win, we are sleeping, we have no control. Then what happened inside the box is a consequence of everything that comes from the sleeping."

Spurs will look to bounce back at home to Burnley on Saturday having seen United leapfrog them in the table and move into the top six.

"I need to work because until now I almost didn't work, with two days between matches," Mourinho, who was sacked by United a year ago, added. 

"Everything is very passive, not like intense training sessions, it's about recovering and trying to give tactical principles. But we need to work, they [the players] feel exactly what I feel, they didn't start the game. 

"Then we were lucky to finish the first half at 1-1 then, when we thought we had the best conditions in the second half to be in control and try to win it, you concede that goal and it is not a good one to concede."

Jose Mourinho might well have had empathy for his Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had Tottenham raided Old Trafford for maximum spoils.

The Portuguese knows more than most about the scrutiny and pressure that comes with the United manager's job, himself seen off by an awful stretch this time last year that provided neither style nor substance.

For Solskjaer, Mourinho's return will be followed by a trip to Manchester City, and the twin fixtures looked a daunting dual threat to a team and manager who before the Tottenham game were winless in three across all competitions.

At kick-off, Solskjaer was second favourite with the bookmakers to be the next Premier League manager sacked, trailing only Marco Silva, the struggling Everton boss who could not ended his team's Anfield derby hoodoo.

But rather than bury the United great, Spurs - this uncharacteristically unpredictable early Mourinho outfit - granted Solskjaer a reprieve, with his future prospects also belatedly boosted by a determined home display.

Supporters certainly seemed to have Solskjaer's back, still raucously chanting his name throughout, and United had, in Marcus Rashford, the star of the show.

Greater concerns surely belonged to Tottenham fans.

The usual stingy defending of a Mourinho team has not yet replaced the haphazard backline efforts of the final throes of Mauricio Pochettino's reign, while even the encouraging attacking endeavours of matches one, two and three - 3-2, 4-2 and 3-2 wins - did not materialise here.

Dele Alli scored a masterful 39th-minute equaliser, teed up with a touch reminiscent of his breathtaking 2016 goal against Crystal Palace, but the rest of his work was of underwhelming 2018-19 humdrum.

Unable to get his recent star performer into the game, just about everything went against Mourinho besides that leveller.

At the same end of the stadium where little over a year earlier, three weeks before his departure, Mourinho fumed at a Rashford miss against Young Boys and drew the ire of United commentators, the England striker laid early siege to Paulo Gazzaniga's Spurs goal.

Rashford's first strike provided the opener, creeping under Gazzaniga at the goalkeeper's right-hand post. A free-kick from Rashford was then whipped wide, and Gazzaniga touched a magnificent long-range effort against the crossbar before batting away a fourth attempt from United's main threat.

Mourinho, meanwhile, took a blow to the knee as Harry Winks cynically chopped down Daniel James in front of the dugout - an incident that granted the Spurs head coach a greater role in proceedings to that point than Alli, stifled and increasingly frustrated.

The attacking midfielder's stunning strike should have roused Tottenham but half-time intervened, and then so too did Moussa Sissoko, a man who painfully knows a thing or two about conceding penalties early in halves.

The felled Rashford tucked away the spot-kick for his 12th club goal of the campaign and, again, it was difficult not to be reminded of Mourinho's failure to get the best out of such a gifted player. The striker represents one check next to Solskjaer's name.

Much huffing and puffing followed from both teams, with United just about on top, but neither outfit truly convinced that their issues are behind them.

Unlike at times under Mourinho, United were indeed united, battling until the final whistle - led by Fred and the returning Scott McTominay - to protect the advantage secured by Rashford. Three points should ensure Solskjaer sees out the week, while a reality check might serve Tottenham well.

There is work to do for both United and Mourinho, long since separated, but each at least seem happier than at this time 12 months ago.

Marcus Rashford netted a double as Manchester United earned a 2-1 Premier League win at home to Tottenham on Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford.

Spurs had won their three matches across all competitions since Mourinho was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement last month, but they slipped to defeat on Wednesday after a below-par showing.

Rashford put United ahead and, after a superb individual effort from Dele Alli levelled the scores, the striker converted a penalty to end United's three-game winless run.

Victory moves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men above Spurs and into the top six in the table, denying Mourinho - sacked by United a year ago - the chance to be the first Tottenham manager to win his first three Premier League games in charge.

United took the lead in the sixth minute, Rashford profiting from a series of ricochets to beat Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post, the goalkeeper making a poor effort to keep the shot out.

Gazzaniga improved by blocking a Mason Greenwood strike before tipping Rashford's swerving long-range drive on to the crossbar as United continued to dominate.

Spurs equalised out of nowhere before the break, though, Alli's sensational first touch deceiving both Fred and Ashley Young, with the midfielder then slotting in his fourth goal in three games.

Rashford restored United's advantage early in the second half, tucking away a penalty he won himself by being clumsily brought down by Moussa Sissoko.

Fred made a good block to repel a Son Heung-min shot, but it was United who continued to make the running, Gazzaniga denying Daniel James twice in quick succession.

David de Gea was called into action late on but comfortable saves from Serge Aurier, substitute Tanguy Ndombele and Alli ensured United closed out victory.
 

What does it mean? Mourinho suffers first Spurs loss

Spurs had a perfect record under Mourinho, but in this game they were well off the pace, needing a moment of magic from the resurgent Alli to undeservedly go into the interval all square.

But Sissoko's lack of concentration immediately after the restart allowed Rashford to restore United's lead and thereafter the result was not in doubt.


Reliable Rashford maintains hot streak

Anthony Martial's latest injury meant Rashford played off the left to accommodate teenager Greenwood in a central role, but the England striker continued to be United's main man in attack.

In his past 10 games for club and country, Rashford has scored nine times, drawing only two blanks.


Gazzaniga tries in vain to atone for error

Still deputising for injured captain Hugo Lloris, Gazzaniga made a series of saves that would usually have made for a good individual performance. Unfortunately, his misjudgement of Rashford's early strike left Spurs with it all to do at Old Trafford.


What's next?

Solskjaer's side make a short trip for a derby clash with Manchester City on Saturday. Spurs host Burnley on the same day.

Mason Greenwood replaces the injured Anthony Martial in the Manchester United team as Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time since his sacking.

Martial was substituted towards the end of United's last match, a 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV the France forward could be out for "a little while".

Taking Martial's place in the United attack is 18-year-old striker Greenwood, who starts a Premier League game for the first time this season, while Scott McTominay is fit to come into midfield.

Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and Brandon Williams drop out of the team that started against Villa, with Ashley Young, McTominay and Jesse Lingard drafted into the XI.

Menwhile, Mourinho's selection sees Harry Winks return to the Tottenham midfield at the expense of Tanguy Ndombele, who drops to the bench.

Eric Dier has also been left out following the win over Bournemouth at home, Lucas Moura coming into the team instead.

"Respect, respect, respect" was the call from Jose Mourinho that echoed through football the last time he was involved in a Manchester United versus Tottenham clash at Old Trafford.

Here was a manager on the cusp of a crisis, in full confrontational mode at a post-match news conference that passed boiling point - riled when it was pointed out many home supporters had walked out before the final whistle.

Here was Mourinho defending his patch ferociously, standing up for his players, for the supporters and, lastly, for himself. Showing three fingers, and pointing to how he has won three Premier League trophies.

United's 3-0 home defeat to Spurs in August 2018 was a result that demanded answers and Mourinho had plenty.

Conspiracy theorists might contend otherwise, but Mourinho would maintain he intended to see out his United contract, if not stay for longer. That he was planning to still be in charge today rather than take his leave early, sacked by Christmas last year with a tidy pay-off banked.

Therefore, another theory goes that he is in some way a reluctant Tottenham head coach, and would sooner, in a perfect world, be commandeering the home side than Spurs on Wednesday.

His United service was due to run until the end of this season, yet Mourinho will be in the enemy trenches as he brings Tottenham to a familiar parish.

Here is a look at what Mourinho might expect on his return as a rival manager.

UNITED ARE A CHANGED TEAM

Under his successor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the start of a United clear-out occurred in the off-season, and four of the players who played a part in Mourinho's final game have moved on.

Romelu Lukaku, Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini, who was a substitute in Mourinho's sorry 3-1 swansong defeat at Anfield, have new homes, and Solskjaer has changed the face of the first team.

Appropriately, it is baby-faced in places, with the manager putting his trust in the likes of young Welsh winger Daniel James and pricey but promising full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, along with raw teenagers such as Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood. Harry Maguire, finding his feet, is a player Mourinho wanted but could not get.

Whether the facelift has done the craggy model any favours, however, is already up for question. James has consistently looked the part, and other newcomers have shown top-level ability in flickers.

But 18 points from 14 games is a shabby return for a club of United's status, and Mourinho will know United are ripe to be still sitting on that same haul after their 15th game.

 

"THE BEST JUDGE IN FOOTBALL ARE THE SUPPORTERS"

Moments before his demand for "respect" last year, Mourinho stood up for United's supporters and pointed out how they had appreciated United's efforts in the heavy defeat to Spurs, and it was true enough - especially before the goals flowed.

This time they will judge him, and it remains to be seen how Mourinho is greeted on his Old Trafford return.

He was received enthusiastically when back as a television pundit earlier this season, but now that his allegiance has switched so the affection for the Portuguese could be in short supply.

The United faithful willed Mourinho to do well, and many bought into the sense of siege mentality that pervaded the latter stages of his reign, but with time and reflection comes clear thinking and reasoned reckoning.

Solskjaer is now the man they are willing to succeed, and any warmth towards Mourinho may well prove short-lived.

THE NEW HOME'S AN UPGRADE

Never mind swapping a five-star Manchester travel tavern for London's home comforts, there might be another thought that strikes Mourinho when he arrives back in the north-west on Wednesday.

When he walks out at Old Trafford, he will surely notice how 20th century it looks compared to the gleaming Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion Mourinho has landed on his feet with a supreme opportunity, inheriting a team equipped to compete for honours and a club with their compass pointing to progress.

Tottenham have been built for success, largely by Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy, and Mourinho might get them over the line with a trophy.

Another Old Trafford statement result by Spurs would go some way to persuading sceptics that Mourinho still has what it takes to deliver silverware to his new club. Along with three points, a polished performance would positively demand respect.

For struggling Solskjaer, such an outcome would bring reminders United are no strangers to December dismissals.

Jose Mourinho says he has every intention of playing an integral role in chairman Daniel Levy's vision for Tottenham.

The Portuguese took over the reins at Spurs on November 20 – just one day after Mauricio Pochettino's dismissal – and has overseen an impressive turnaround in fortunes.

His side have defeated West Ham and Bournemouth in the Premier League and came from two goals down to beat Olympiacos 4-2 in the Champions League.

Few believe Mourinho will stick around in north London for the long haul, but the former Manchester United boss insists he is invested in Levy's plans for the club.

"He [Levy] is the boss, he's the man with the vision," he told reporters. "He's the man that started with that vision more than a decade ago and now I'm part of the process.

"I want to participate in that vision and that ambition. The coach of the first team can have a real influence on that process and that is my job.

"For me, as a coach, I have to participate in many areas where the club can develop.

"Can I help in other areas? Can I have a little input? Can I contribute and be available to people that lead different areas in the club? If I can, good."

Mourinho takes his new side to Old Trafford on Wednesday, marking his first return to United as an opposing manager since he was sacked in December 2018.

He holds no grudges over his dismissal and insists he is a better manager for his two-and-a-half-year spell at the 20-time English champions, with whom he won the EFL Cup and Europa League.

"You win or you learn, you don't lose," he explained. "I feel my time there was good because I managed to win something. I learned and I think I am a better coach now.

"From my experience, the important thing is that after you are sacked, you don't blame anyone. You need to try and understand why, understand what you can do better and try to prepare for the future by analysing what happened in the past. That is what has happened with me."

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho anticipates a warm reception from Manchester United supporters on Wednesday but says his time at the club is a "closed chapter".

Mourinho was sacked by United in December 2018 after a two-and-a-half-year spell in which he guided the club to EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs.

The Portuguese returned to management on November 20, taking over at Tottenham just a day after Mauricio Pochettino was dismissed by the north London outfit.

He has masterminded three consecutive wins across all competitions since his appointment and takes his resurgent side to United in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Mourinho – who has returned to Old Trafford as a television pundit this season – looks back fondly on his time at the club but says his focus is now solely on Tottenham.

"This is a closed chapter for me," he told a media conference. "I left the club and took my time to process everything that happened.

"I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge. Honestly, Manchester United for me now is in my book of experiences; it's in my history book.

"I feel good. I like to play big matches; I like to play against the best teams and that is the most important thing. Going back to Old Trafford is to go back to a place where I was happy. I can say that I was happy. I have a great relationship with Manchester United supporters.

"I went back as a pundit, which is a different perspective. I was really humbled by such a beautiful reception.

"On Wednesday, I go back as the coach of the team that is going is try to beat Manchester United and that maybe gives a different perspective."

Tottenham have confirmed goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm remain out with elbow and calf injuries respectively, while Ben Davies (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hamstring) will also miss the trip to United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Jose Mourinho will receive a warm reception from Manchester United supporters when he takes his Tottenham side to Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The Portuguese returns to United as a manager for the first time since being sacked by the Red Devils in December 2018.

He was appointed Tottenham boss on November 20 – just a day after Mauricio Pochettino's dismissal – and has steered his new side to three consecutive wins across all competitions.

Mourinho guided United to EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs during his two-and-a-half years in charge and Solskjaer has no doubts he will be well received on his return.

The Norwegian told a media conference: "[He will receive a] very good reception; that's just a testament to this club and these supporters.

"Of course, they remember the two-and-a-half years when he won trophies. So, for me, I'm 100 per cent sure our fans, staff and club will welcome him."

United have endured a difficult start to the campaign and are languishing in ninth after just four wins from their opening 14 games.

Solskjaer acknowledges his side must improve but does not think his players need the motivation of playing against their former boss to get back to winning ways.

"I don't think whoever the manager of the opposition team is will change [the players'] motivation," he added.

"They're motivated to do well for Manchester United, for themselves, for us as a group going forward. They also know it's about improving every day in training, but every time you step onto that pitch, it's a chance to be a part of this long-term.

"And that's always been the case at Manchester United when you put the shirt on; it doesn't matter who you play against, you've got to give it your all. The boys are a bit disappointed after Sunday [when they drew 2-2 with Aston Villa] but now it's all eyes on Wednesday."

In August 2018, Mauricio Pochettino guided Tottenham to a 3-0 victory over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United at Old Trafford.

In hindsight, it was a defeat that appeared to signal the beginning of the end for Mourinho at United, with the Portuguese coach sacked four months later, replaced – initially on a temporary basis – by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pochettino was heavily linked with the United hot seat, but Solskjaer's impressive run earned him the job permanently. But while Spurs went on to reach a Champions League final, the Red Devils' form dropped off dramatically.

Now, 16 months on from that clash at Old Trafford, Mourinho returns to his former stomping ground for the first time since his December 2018 sacking, having taken over from Pochettino at Spurs – who dismissed the former Argentina international following a poor start to 2019-20.

Two 3-2 wins on the bounce in the league, either side of a 4-2 comeback victory over Olympiacos in the Champions League, have seen Tottenham climb up to fifth place, two points above United, who could only draw with Aston Villa on Sunday.

Can Mourinho show his old side just what they are missing, or will Solskjaer prove his credentials in a match over which the spectre of Pochettino could loom large.

 

THE 'SPECIAL ONE' RETURNS

Glory in the EFL Cup and Europa League made Mourinho's first year in charge of United a successful one, though those were the only major trophies he won during his stint in Manchester.

After finishing second – well behind neighbours Manchester City – in Mourinho's sophomore year, United's form tailed off at the start of the former Chelsea boss' final campaign in charge.

Their home defeat to Tottenham followed on from a loss at Brighton and Hove Albion, while they also went down to both West Ham and City as they suffered four defeats from their opening 12 matches.

A run of three successive draws against Crystal Palace, Southampton and Arsenal paved the way for a 3-1 reverse at Liverpool to result in Mourinho's departure.

But after almost a year out of management, he was handed a way back into the big time with Spurs, who seem rejuvenated – albeit still with some glaring weaknesses – and Mourinho is now aiming to become just the third manager to win a Premier League away game at Old Trafford with two different clubs.

United, on the other hand, have managed just four league victories this season and head into Wednesday's encounter without a victory in three matches across all competitions.

In fact, since Solskjaer was appointed on a permanent basis on March 28, United have claimed all three points in just six Premier League games.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: MARCUS RASHFORD V HARRY KANE

One shining light for United in recent weeks has been the form of Marcus Rashford, who seems to have taken up the mantle of leading the Red Devils' youthful attack.

Meanwhile, Harry Kane's goals were not enough to save Pochettino's job, but the England captain is still as reliable as ever when presented with a chance.

Both players are on seven league goals for the season, with Rashford's 14 appearances one more than Kane.

Rashford has also played slightly more than Kane in terms of minutes, racking up 1,219 compared to the Tottenham striker's 1,165.

Kane is proving more efficient, with the 26-year-old scoring his seven goals from a total of 36 shots, resulting in a conversion rate of 19.44 per cent, while Rashford's rate stands at 16.67 per cent.

Not much separates the pair in terms of goal frequency – Kane edging this one with a strike every 166 minutes, compared to Rashford's 174.

However, Kane is the clear winner when it comes to expected goals. By this metric, Rashford (8.66) should be on at least eight goals for the campaign, while his opposite number at Spurs has only been expected to score five goals from the chances he has had this term.

FORM GUIDE

Pochettino managed two draws in his final matches in charge of Spurs, meaning Mourinho's side are now unbeaten in four league games.

Should Tottenham win, Mourinho will become their first manager to win his first three top-flight matches in charge. 

Dele Alli seems to have recaptured his best form, scoring twice and providing an assist in the two Premier League matches since Mourinho's arrival – as many as he had in his final 12 appearances under Pochettino.

United's haul of 18 points from their opening 14 Premier League matches this season means the Red Devils have endured their worst start to a domestic season since the 1988-89 campaign, when they also had 18 points and went on to finish 11th.

Both United and Tottenham are equal in one sense, however, with both having dropped 12 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.

HISTORY SAYS…

United's hopes will not be boosted by the fact they have lost three of their past seven home league meetings against Spurs, after losing only two of their previous 36 at Old Trafford.

However, Tottenham have lost more Premier League games to United than against any other side, though Mourinho can take solace in knowing the away team won in both top-flight meetings last season.

Jose Mourinho made it two wins out of two as Tottenham manager while Chelsea suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time this season on a weekend of mixed fortunes at the top of the table.

Manchester City's failure to beat Newcastle United left them 11 points behind league leaders Liverpool, who won again, but Leicester City's late winner against Everton kept them within eight points of Jurgen Klopp's title favourites.

With a packed December schedule looming for all Premier League clubs, maintaining the form and fitness of key players is even more vital than ever for those chasing honours.

The absence of one of the division's hottest marksmen hurt Chelsea while the return to form of a top playmaker gave Spurs a boost, as our Premier League Data Diary reveals.
 

BLUES FIRE BLANKS IN ABRAHAM'S ABSENCE

Tammy Abraham has scored 10 goals in 13 Premier League appearances this season, but a hip injury ruled him out of Chelsea's 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham on Saturday.

Frank Lampard's side started the game brightly, treating Stamford Bridge to the kind of spirited attacking football that has won them admirers across the country this season, but their 19 shots yielded nothing for the home crowd to celebrate.

Aaron Cresswell's third goal of the season made this his highest-scoring top-flight campaign to date and earned West Ham their first Premier League away win at Chelsea since September 2002, ending a run of 13 without a league victory at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard saw his side rally in the last 20 minutes following the introduction of N'Golo Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi, but the Blues are yet to gain a single point from a losing position in the Premier League this season. This game became the fourth they have lost after falling behind.

VAN DIJK AT THE DOUBLE AS REDS SURVIVE LATE SCARE

Virgil van Dijk is up against Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, and he tormented Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday as Liverpool won 2-1 at Anfield.

Netherlands international Van Dijk scored twice in six first-half minutes to become the highest scoring Premier League defender since the start of the 2018-19 season, with seven strikes, but the Reds endured a nervy end to the game as Brighton mounted a fightback.

Alisson became the first Liverpool goalkeeper to be sent off in a Premier League match since Doni against Blackburn Rovers in April 2012, and Lewis Dunk scored with 11 minutes left to tee up a frantic finish.

But Brighton failed to muster an equaliser and are now without a win in their past six Premier League away matches (D1 L5), while Liverpool have equalled their longest ever unbeaten top-flight run (W26 D5) by matching the 31 undefeated games achieved between May 1987 and March 1988.

ALLI REVIVAL FUELS BACK-TO-BACK WINS

Dele Alli's loss of form was among the problems Mauricio Pochettino failed to overcome before being sacked by Tottenham, but the England playmaker is bouncing back under Mourinho.

After assisting Son Heung-min's opener in a 3-2 win at West Ham a week earlier, Alli scored a brace as Spurs beat Bournemouth by the same scoreline, meaning he has been involved in three goals in two games under Mourinho - as many as in his last 12 league games for Pochettino.

While Mourinho has made a strong start at Spurs, helping the club register back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April, the fact his side have conceded four goals in two league games will have troubled him.

Tottenham conceded 20 shots against Bournemouth, who scored in the 73rd and 96th minutes - the exact timings of West Ham's strikes against Spurs a week prior.

The last time Spurs conceded as many shots against them in a Premier League home game was in September 2015, when Manchester City peppered their goal with 22 attempts.

SHELVEY STRIKE STALLS CITY'S TITLE CHARGE

Kevin De Bruyne's stunner looked to have earned City a victory over Newcastle, but Jonjo Shelvey ultimately had the final say.

Newcastle are now unbeaten in each of their past four home league games against reigning top-flight champions, winning two and drawing two, for the first time since a run of five ending in February 2003.

Of players with at least 15 Premier League goals, only David Ginola (66.7 per cent) and Laurent Robert (65.2 per cent) have scored a higher ratio from outside the box than Shelvey, who has netted 11 of his 17 top-flight goals from that range.

Miguel Almiron assisted Jetro Willems' equaliser after Raheem Sterling had put City ahead at St James' Park – the first assist the Paraguayan has registered from what was his 23rd chance created in the Premier League.

City have found the net in each of their past 22 Premier League games against Newcastle – their joint-longest such run in the competition – yet De Bruyne's sensational strike, his sixth goal involvement in six league appearances against the Magpies, was not enough to clinch victory.

Liverpool remain on course for a first ever Premier League title after a nervy 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, while Manchester City could only manage a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United.

Jurgen Klopp's side endured a tense finish at Anfield after goalkeeper Alisson was dismissed with 14 minutes remaining, but they held on for a 13th win in 14 games this season.

City, meanwhile, were far from their fluid best at St James' Park and were denied a vital win by Jonjo Shelvey's superb late strike.

Jose Mourinho racked up a second consecutive Premier League win since taking over at Tottenham, Dele Alli proving to be the star man in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth, while West Ham pulled off a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

REDS SURVIVE ALISSON RED CARD

Runaway leaders Liverpool survived a nervy finale to equal their longest unbeaten run in the top flight and capitalise on City's slip-up.

A Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick set up the opener for Van Dijk in the 18th minute and the same combination soon provided a second goal as Brighton were found wanting at a corner.

Brighton were given an unexpected lifeline when Alisson was sent off for handling outside his box – meaning he will miss Wednesday's derby clash with Everton – and Lewis Dunk caught out replacement goalkeeper Adrian with a quick free-kick.

The Seagulls could not find a late equaliser, though, and while Leicester City can cut Liverpool's advantage at the summit to eight points by beating Everton on Sunday, there looks to be no stopping a team who have now gone 31 league games unbeaten, matching their record streak from May 1987 to March 1988.

CITY'S TITLE HOPES SLIP AWAY

City's hopes of claiming a third consecutive Premier League title suffered a fresh blow, with Shelvey's late intervention leaving them 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's side looked set to cruise to all three points when Raheem Sterling scored his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign midway through the first half, but they were pegged back by Jetro Willems' fierce drive three minutes later.

Kevin De Bruyne restored City's lead with a sumptuous half-volley in the 82nd minute, the Belgium international using his chest to control a headed clearance before unleashing a stunning effort that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

Newcastle bounced back in style to ensure a share of the spoils two minutes from time, though, when Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards after Christian Atsu had picked him out with a short free-kick.

MOURINHO'S PERFECT START CONTINUES

Tottenham beat West Ham and Olympiacos in Mourinho's first two matches and were good value for their latest triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite another late collapse.

The hosts made a slow start but took the lead midway through the opening period through Alli, who slotted the ball underneath Aaron Ramsdale after being teed up by Son Heung-min's first-time pass.

The England international scored a second early in the second half before Moussa Sissoko added a third with his first league goal in his past 69 appearances.

Harry Wilson pulled two goals back for Bournemouth in the closing stages - one of which was a superb free-kick - but Tottenham held on for back-to-back league wins for the first time since April to climb to fifth, six points off a Champions League place.

PRESSURE EASES ON PELLEGRINI AFTER FINE WIN

Aaron Cresswell scored the only goal of the game as West Ham eased the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini and ended their seven-game Premier League winless streak at Chelsea.

The Hammers became only the second side to win at Chelsea in the league this season and Frank Lampard's side, who lost at Manchester City a week prior, could have few complaints about the result.

Cresswell scored the winner early in the second half and West Ham could have extended their lead before surviving a late rally from the hosts to secure their first victory since they beat Manchester United on September 22.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor courtesy of goals from Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp.

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