All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

 

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

Another one bites the dust, as Queen once sang, with the latest weekend of Premier League action coming and going in the seeming blink of an eye.

There was controversy involving Brighton and Hove Albion's goal that never was thanks to referee Lee Mason in West Brom's win against the Seagulls – the Baggies' past five home wins have now been overseen by five different managers (Sam Allardyce, Slaven Bilic, Darren Moore, Alan Pardew, Tony Pulis).

Liverpool finally returned to winning ways in the Premier League by triumphing 2-0 at Sheffield United, becoming just the second side to rack up 7,000 top-flight goals in English football along the way (Merseyside rivals Everton being the other team to reach such a landmark).

And there were convincing wins for Tottenham and Arsenal against Burnley and Leicester City respectively.

But here are a few of the quirkier bits you might not have spotted, with a little help from the folks at Opta.
 

Raise your bat, Pep – 200 not out for Guardiola

For those of you not paying attention at the back, Manchester City are looking pretty unstoppable right now.

Saturday's 2-1 triumph over a West Ham side in decent nick themselves means the runaway Premier League leaders have racked up a mind-boggling 20 straight wins in all competitions.

For boss Pep Guardiola, it represented a 200th victory across all comps in only his 273rd match in charge of the Citizens, comfortably the best record by a manager of an English top-flight side to reach that landmark.

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea - 309 games), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool - 333), Don Revie (Leeds United - 344), Bob Paisley (Liverpool - 351) make up the top five.

Fewer clean sheets than a one-star hotel in Newcastle-Wolves

Once upon a time, Newcastle United were the great entertainers of the Premier League – particularly in the revered 'Keegan years'. 

Nowadays, the goals don't flow quite as freely under Steve Bruce but their 1-1 draw against Wolves produced a fact more in keeping with the history of those Halcyon days. 

Both teams have scored in each of the 12 Premier League games they have played against each other - the most played fixture in the competition with neither side keeping a clean sheet.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo also oversaw his 102nd Premier League game at Wolves, overtaking Mick McCarthy (101) as the most matches in charge of the club in the competition.

Rare blanks in Chelsea-Man Utd but Red Devils' away-day joy continues

Chelsea' goalless draw at home to Manchester United on Sunday wasn't exactly one to remember.

The reverse clash also finished without a goal, marking only the second time this fixture had produced two 0-0 draws in a campaign – the other coming way back in 1921-22.

For the Red Devils, though, the draw means they are unbeaten in 20 away league matches (W13 D7), a run that coincidentally started in the corresponding fixture last term.

It is the joint-fifth longest run without an away defeat in top-flight history. Arsenal (27 and 23), Liverpool (21) and Nottingham Forest (21) have all boasted longer streaks.

Manchester City showed few signs of slowing as they recorded another win at Arsenal on Sunday.

The runaway Premier League leaders remain 10 points clear of both Manchester United and Leicester City, who each enjoyed victories of their own.

West Ham complete the top four, meanwhile, after a long-awaited triumph for manager David Moyes.

We start at the London Stadium in recapping the best of Sunday's action with the help of Opta data.
 

West Ham 2-1 Tottenham: Moyes ends miserable run against Mourinho

Moyes finally got the measure of Jose Mourinho as West Ham climbed into the top four with a 2-1 home win against Tottenham.

This was Moyes' first victory over Mourinho in 16 attempts in all competitions, halting his worst winless record against any one coach.

Michail Antonio's fifth Premier League goal against Spurs and 42nd in total - all of which have come from inside the box - opened the scoring early on, before another swift strike in the second half took the game away from Tottenham.

Scorer Jesse Lingard, whose best spell of his United career came under Mourinho, has netted as many goals (three) for Moyes in four league games on loan at West Ham as he did in 36 appearances for Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Although Lucas Moura's header halved the deficit, Mourinho has now suffered 15 defeats and picked up only 81 points from his first 50 league games as Tottenham coach - the worst such returns of his career.
 

Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City: More Villa Park joy for Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers maintained his 100 per cent winning record away to Aston Villa as Leicester won 2-1 at Villa Park.

Rodgers has won all six of his Premier League games at Villa Park as manager, the past two with Leicester ensuring the Foxes have enjoyed back-to-back away top-flight wins against Villa for the first time since October 1960.

James Maddison's eighth Premier League goal of the season broke the deadlock and made this his best scoring campaign in the top tier, before Harvey Barnes added his 13th in all competitions in 2020-21 - second only to Jamie Vardy (14) among Leicester players.

Bertrand Traore got a goal back and has now been involved in eight in the league for Villa since his debut, but the absent Jack Grealish, the only man at the club this season to better that tally (10), was sorely missed.

0.9 - Under Dean Smith, Aston Villa have averaged 1.5 points-per-game in league competition when Jack Grealish has featured compared to 0.9 points-per-game without him, losing all three Premier League matches without the Englishman since the start of last season. Centrepiece. pic.twitter.com/QafEdQ7IKY

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 21, 2021  

Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City: Records stacking up for Pep's class of 2021

City equalled their own record for consecutive away wins across all competitions by a team from England's top flight, landing a 1-0 success at Arsenal.

An 11th straight victory on the road - tying their 2017 run - also made City the first visiting team to ever enjoy four league wins in a row at Arsenal without conceding.

In all, Arsenal have lost eight league matches on the bounce to City, tying Leeds United's benchmark streak against the Gunners from 1973 to 1976, and a familiar foe proved their undoing.

Raheem Sterling has scored in three consecutive league games at Emirates Stadium and no player in the division has more than his 20 on the road since the start of last season.

City stood firm at the other end with a 15th league clean sheet of the campaign and more achievements might be on the horizon, as a 25th game without defeat across all competitions takes them closer to their best run under Pep Guardiola of 28 in 2017.
 

Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United: Red Devils dominate Magpies again

United's dominant home record against Newcastle United only briefly looked at risk as they won 3-1 in Sunday's final match.

Newcastle have won on just one of their past 36 league visits to Old Trafford, where Marcus Rashford's 40th goal in all competitions since the start of last season broke the deadlock - his tally is only bettered in that time by Mohamed Salah (47), Harry Kane (45) and Sterling (44).

Allan Saint-Maximin soon equalised - his fifth goal involvement of the campaign - but Dan James restored the home advantage from Bruno Fernandes' pass.

Fernandes secured the points from the penalty spot and now has 15 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League this season, the third player to reach double figures in both goals and assists in Europe's 'top five' leagues (also Kane and Thomas Muller).

United, who have just one defeat in 19 in the league, have now scored 53 times in 25 league matches, their best return at this stage of a season since their title-winning 2012-13 campaign (60).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United will focus only on themselves while preparing for any "surprises" in the Premier League run-in.

United beat Newcastle United 3-1 on Sunday to stay second, ahead of Leicester City on goal difference but 10 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's City would appear clear favourites for the title having capitalised on United's slip-ups over the past month.

Prior to seeing off Newcastle with goals from Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes, Solskjaer's side had just one win in five league matches.

But victory at Old Trafford, where United have lost to Newcastle only once in the Premier League era, got the Red Devils back on track and maintained their outside interest in the championship.

"We can't control any other team; we've just got to control ourselves and be the best possible Man United every single game," Solskjaer told BT Sport.

"That's the demands, the season is going to be demanding. You never know - things happen. There are many surprises in football."

Allan Saint-Maximin equalised six minutes after Rashford's opener and Newcastle finished the first half having had more attempts (six) than United (five).

Indeed, David de Gea finished the match with more saves (five) than opposite number Karl Darlow (four), but Solskjaer was much happier with the second-half display.

"We had to up the tempo a little bit – especially in the last third – and I felt we managed to do that," the manager said.

"It's always difficult after an away game in Europe to get going. We've had enough games this season. It took until half-time really.

"Even though we dominated possession and had all the ball, we still couldn't create too many big opportunities.

"It was about moving the ball quicker, be a bit clever in our positioning, and I felt second half we found our positions better – and some good goals."

The decisive goal came from James, who improved his tally to five for the season in all competitions.

Those strikes have come from just 13 outings, while the Wales winger netted only four times in 46 games in 2019-20.

After reaping the rewards of James' first league start of 2021, Solskjaer added: "He's never disappeared. He's been working hard behind the scenes, always been available.

"He's always a player that you can use in a few different positions with his energy and pace. He's learning the game, so I'm very happy for him.

"We worked with him. We try to help everyone, but of course, Dan came from the Championship up to Man United, hit a few goals in the first games, it's bound to take some energy away from you, all the headlines and media attention.

"But he's knuckled down and he's really worked to get back to full fitness and, maybe more so, confidence to believe in himself.

"That's the main thing. As soon as you come away from that little doubt, now he knows he's a good player."

Daniel James repaid Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's faith with another goal in Manchester United's 3-1 Premier League win at home to Newcastle United.

James had netted in United's victories against Southampton and Real Sociedad - his most recent two appearances - and kept his place in the XI for Sunday's game.

It was a decision that worked for Solskjaer, who needed someone to step up in a stuttering second half at Old Trafford after Allan Saint-Maximin had cancelled out Marcus Rashford's strike.

James lashed in just before the hour mark and set the stage for a more straightforward finale in which Bruno Fernandes added a third from the penalty spot to ensure United would lose no more ground on Manchester City, who are still 10 points ahead as clear title favourites.

Newcastle had scored first in six of their previous seven meetings with United and again started the brighter of the two sides, with Joelinton's deflected shot requiring a touch over the crossbar from David de Gea.

But United's first effort of note provided the opener after half an hour when Rashford ran at Emil Krafth, cutting inside to fire in a low finish that squeezed past Karl Darlow at his near post.

It was a short-lived lead, however, as Saint-Maximin, denied by De Gea moments earlier, seized on Harry Maguire's poor headed clearance and side-footed into the roof of the net.

De Gea clung to a fierce Saint-Maximin drive at the start of the second half, before a rare United foray in the 57th minute saw James restore the hosts' advantage, blasting beyond Darlow when Fernandes' vital touch evaded Jamal Lewis.

Darlow stood tall to parry from Anthony Martial, but the Newcastle goalkeeper could not repeat his St James' Park penalty save from Fernandes, who made the most of Joe Willock's trip on Marcus Rashford in the area.

An agile Darlow save following Maguire's header at least capped the scoring at three, scant relief for the relegation-threatened visitors.

Members of Manchester United's coaching staff have been forced to self-isolate but Sunday's Premier League game against Newcastle United will go ahead as planned.

United announced unnamed members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's backroom staff are isolating in a brief statement.

The club did not disclose whether or not the personnel in question had tested positive for coronavirus.

Nicky Butt and Mark Dempsey will join Solskjaer on the Old Trafford bench for the Newcastle game.

Assistant manager Mike Phelan and first-team coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna are usually the main members of the United boss' matchday support staff.

United are second in the Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, who travel to Arsenal earlier on Sunday.

Former France international Yohan Cabaye has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

The midfielder had not made a competitive appearance since starting for Saint-Etienne in a defeat to Lyon on March 1, 2020.

Cabaye posted on Twitter: "It is with great emotion that after more than 17 years of passionate love for football, with emotions greater than any other, memories that will remain forever and unforgettable human and sporting encounters, I announce the end of my professional football career.

"If this decision may seem obvious, logical and inevitable to some, having spent 35 years in the world of football, it remains very difficult to take and to accept because my love for football is immense."

Cabaye debuted with Lille in 2005 and won a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in his final season with the club in 2010-11.

His performances over his final two campaigns with Lille, in which he scored 18 goals, provided 18 assists and created 140 chances across 90 games in all competitions, earned international recognition and a move to the Premier League with Newcastle United.

Cabaye quickly found his feet in England, scoring five goals and delivering six assists in his debut season as Newcastle fell just short of Champions League qualification.

His form attracted the attention of Arsenal, but Cabaye failed to force through a move in August 2013 and instead enjoyed one of the most productive spells of his career as he scored seven times and laid on a pair of assists in 20 games before departing for Paris Saint-Germain in January 2014.

Two further Ligue 1 triumphs followed, along with success in the Coupe de France and twice in the Coupe de la Ligue, but he failed to establish himself as a regular starter in Paris.

Just 30 of his 57 PSG appearances came from the start and he soon left for Crystal Palace, spending a further three years back in the Premier League before ending his career with Al-Nasr and finally Saint-Etienne.

Cabaye played for his country on 48 occasions, scoring four times.

His first international goal came against Ukraine at Euro 2012 and he was a regular again at the World Cup two years later. France's home European Championship in 2016, where they reached the final, saw Cabaye appear only twice and once as a starter.

Manchester United will holds talks with Edinson Cavani "in the near future" as his short-term contract nears its end, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared.

The Uruguayan striker joined in October on a season-long deal as Solskjaer found an experienced frontman to complement the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

At the time of his arrival, United announced they had an option to extend Cavani's stay for a further year, and the former Paris Saint-Germain player is reportedly eager to remain at the club.

He has scored six times in eight Premier League starts and nine substitute appearances, at an average of one goal every 140.83 minutes.

That is the best minutes-per-goals ratio in the United squad, in terms of this season's Premier League, with Bruno Fernandes (144.21 minutes per goal) in second place.

Solskjaer has said he considers Cavani as "definitely a starter" and has included the 34-year-old in United's line-up for their last four Premier League games.

"I can only say Edinson has done well," Solskjaer said, ahead of Sunday's home game against Newcastle United.

"I've been impressed by him. He's really gelled in the group and we'll sit down with him and speak with him in the near future to see his plans and our plans.

"It's a good discussion. You always speak to your players, and with his contract situation at the moment, we're very pleased with what he's done."

With his words and his actions, Solskjaer appears keen for Cavani to stay at Old Trafford.

Having become PSG's record scorer with 200 goals, Cavani has helped United mount a title challenge in England, albeit one that now appears to be fading.

Manchester City have streaked 10 points clear of United and Leicester City in the Premier League, heading into the weekend, and it would take some turnaround for Pep Guardiola's team to be denied a third Premier League crown in four years.

"We can't hide the fact we have dropped off on our form in the last few weeks," Solskjaer said.

United's Norwegian boss said the team needed to rediscover their verve, saying: "Newcastle will be a very important game for us."

To acknowledge the title is heading to City at this stage would be a weak move for any manager of United.

"I don't think anyone would say they're not going to go for it," Solskjaer said. "We're going to go for a win in every game we play.

"Whatever other teams do, we can't control. We've just got to control ourselves. We are second, and of course your ambition then is to not end any lower than that.

"We're going to have to get a good run together if we're going to put pressure on City, and it should start on Sunday of course."

Cavani and Donny van de Beek missed the 4-0 Europa League win at Real Sociedad on Thursday with muscle injuries but could come into contention for the Newcastle game, but Paul Pogba remains sidelined.

Solskjaer says United's players must give their all at this stage of the campaign, saying: "Of course it's relentless. You've got to put your body on the line."

Thomas Tuchel believes Timo Werner's goal against Newcastle United will give the Chelsea striker the "last percentage of belief".

Werner ended his wait for a first Premier League goal since the November 7 win over Sheffield United, scoring Chelsea's second in a routine 2-0 win.

The former RB Leipzig forward had set up the opener for Olivier Giroud and doubled the lead by scoring for the first time in 1,000 minutes and after a run of 31 unsuccessful attempts.

"For the strikers, the last percentage of belief comes from goals," Tuchel told a media conference. 

"He worked very hard, he was very decisive. Again today with an assist and a goal, this is a super, super point for him."

Tuchel, though, believed Chelsea were not ruthless enough in the box, pointing to that as a key area for improvement with fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Manchester United on the horizon.

He told Sky Sports: "I liked the first half where we played with courage and had a lot of touches in the box and lots of shots, 12 to three and kept them away from our box and did not allow any chances.

"During the whole match we lacked precision in the box and the decision-making can be more deadly, more precise and decisive to create more from our half chances."

The win moves Chelsea into the top four, with Werner eager to keep the focus on the team rather than the end of his miserable run in front of goal.

"First half was really good from us, we played very good football," said Werner to Sky Sports. "Happy that I scored finally and there's still a long way to go but if we keep going like this it will be a good end for us.

"As a striker you always want to score, the last month was hard, I was not happy with not scoring. But it's a team sport, when we win everything is good. Helping my team with assists and glad I scored today.

"For a striker it's worse when you can't get in the right situations and have the chances. I've had a lot of chances which I've missed, my team brought me a lot of situations where I could score today, when I keep going the goals will come like today and the assists as well."

Timo Werner scored his first Premier League goal since November as his instrumental display helped Chelsea to a 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United.

Werner's drought, which stretched back to a 4-1 win over Sheffield United on November 7, has been well documented but he got the goal his performance deserved in a routine victory.

His strike followed a 31st-minute Olivier Giroud opener set up by Werner, with Newcastle never threatening a fightback after two goals in the space of eight minutes.

Chelsea comfortably completed a league double over Newcastle and move into the top four as a result of a fifth successive win under Thomas Tuchel, who is unbeaten in six since taking over from Frank Lampard.

A bright Chelsea start saw Dwight Gayle forced to head Cesar Azpilicueta's goal-bound header behind for a corner from which Tammy Abraham sent a free header well wide.

Abraham was forced off through injury in the 20th minute having earlier gone down under a strong but fair challenge from Jamaal Lascelles, with VAR rejecting claims for a penalty.

Werner spurned an excellent chance when he stretched to meet Marcos Alonso's headed pass but only succeeded in skewing it wide.

But he succeeded in creating Chelsea's opener on the half-hour, his low cross falling into the path of Giroud, who lashed into an unguarded net on his 100th Premier League appearance as a substitute.

Werner then lifted a half-volley narrowly over the crossbar but his drought was finally ended as Mason Mount's corner deflected into his path at the far post and he got just enough contact to turn the ball over the line before Karl Darlow could claw it away.

Newcastle were more of a threat in the second half, Kepa Arrizabalaga forced into a diving save from Joe Willock, but the three points were never in doubt for Chelsea.

What does it mean? Tuchel continues turnaround

Tougher tests await Chelsea, who were in command here from the kick-off, notably next week when they will face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League before meeting Manchester United.

But the manner in which they swept Newcastle is cause for further optimism that the good form under Tuchel can be sustained. A meek display from the visitors suggests at a prolonged fight against relegation, with Fulham gaining ground on the 17th-placed Magpies.

Wait over for Werner

Werner's goal was his first in exactly 1,000 minutes and ended a run of 31 attempts without finding the net. It was just reward for an energetic all-round display from the Germany international.

Newcastle offer nothing

Newcastle have experienced something of a revival in fortunes in recent weeks but their lack of an attacking threat here was stark. Steve Bruce's men failed to muster a shot on target in the first half and signs of life after the restart failed to yield anything tangible.

What's next?

Saturday sees Chelsea visit Southampton, Newcastle visit Old Trafford to take on Manchester United a day later.

Real Madrid are reportedly planning a €90million move for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland ahead of next season.

Haaland, 20, is being targeted by Europe's biggest clubs after starring for the Bundesliga outfit.

Madrid are ready to make a move for Haaland ahead of 2021-22.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID PLAN €90M HAALAND MOVE

Real Madrid are plotting a €90m move for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to ABC.

The report says the LaLiga giants will attempt to get Luka Jovic, who is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, or Mariano Diaz to be part of the deal.

Haaland has scored 23 goals in as many games for Dortmund this season.

ROUND-UP

- After landing Dayot Upamecano, Bayern Munich have other targets in mind. Bild reports the Bundesliga giants are also interested in Norwich City full-back Max Aarons, Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, Rennes' Eduardo Camavinga and Lucien Agoume, who is on loan at Spezia from Inter. The Daily Mail also says Bayern are stepping up their pursuit of Aarons.

- David Luiz looks set to extend his Arsenal stay. The Independent claims the Premier League side are set to offer the defender another extension, with his deal expiring at season's end.

- Staying at Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette's future at the club seems uncertain. The Daily Express reports Arsenal have been told they can sign Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard for just £15m.

- Without a club since leaving Trabzonspor in March last year, Daniel Sturridge has been offered to Newcastle United, according to 90min. West Brom and Sheffield United are also reportedly interested in Sturridge.

Roses are red, violets are blue, have we got the perfect Valentine's Day content for you!

Questionable rhymes aside (okay, very questionable), love is in the air as long-standing couples and newly formed relationships celebrate the day of romance on Sunday.

The world of football is certainly no stranger to the language of love, so before you crack open a bottle of red and exchange cheap knock-off gifts with your significant other why not get some inspiration for love with our Valentine's Day facts with some help from Cupid!

(Well not Cupid, Opta – but the team at Opta are full of love!)

MATT LE KISS-IER LOVES TO SCORE ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine's Day is of course a day for love (and overpaying for those last-minute flowers and cards you forgot to buy…).

Two players have been particularly good at spreading the joy on February 14th with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen each scoring three times in the Premier League on this date – the most of all players.

Here's something even more interesting about that stat, though – each man's tally is a result of scoring a Valentine's Day hat-trick.

Le Tissier registered three against the Reds back in 1994, while Owen took home the match ball with a treble versus Sheffield Wednesday four years later.

Owen's three goals are part of 12 Liverpool have tallied on the day of love – comfortably the most by a team. Arsenal follow on seven, with Aston Villa and Southampton on four.

A ROSE FOR THE LADY?

Flowers are synonymous with Valentine's Day but none more so than the rose.

Two players named Rose have plied their trade in the Premier League – Danny (194 appearances) and Matthew (five appearances). The former, of course, is an England international who with his marauding runs from full-back has often been a, ahem, thorn in the side of opponents…

There are other love-themed names to have featured in the top flight. Valentino Lazaro played 13 times in the Premier League for Newcastle United on loan last term, while Valentin Roberge made 10 appearances for north east rivals Sunderland.

The Black Cats also had Donald Love on their books, the defender having previously represented Manchester United once in the top flight.

FOXES RACK UP THE CARDS

Whether from a partner or a secret admirer, it's always nice to receive a card or two on Valentine's Day.

Unless of course you're playing in the Premier League, in which case you want to see the referee keep their cards in their pockets.

In this regard, Leicester City have not been overly successful – the seven yellow cards representing the most received by a team on Valentine's Day. Arsenal follow closely behind with six, with Manchester City on four.

The Foxes also fare badly when it comes to red cards, having picked up two on February 14th – Danny Simpson and Hamza Choudhury account for those dismissals. The only other player to have been sent off on Valentine's Day is Everton hero Duncan Ferguson ... no, we weren't shocked either.

THE BEST BROMANCES

It goes without saying that we don't need to confine our love sharing to one manufactured day of the year…

No, we should be spreading the joy in our hearts all year round and these strike partnerships certainly succeed in that category.

Going back to the start of the 2015-16 season, no two players have combined for more goals than Spurs duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min (33).

In fact, Kane features three times in the top-five – also ranking third with Christian Eriksen (19), and sharing 18 with Dele Alli.

Manchester City pairing Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are second with 20, while Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez (18), who fired Leicester to shock title glory in 2015-16, also feature.

Thomas Tuchel is confident Chelsea will get to see the best of the "incredibly talented" Kai Havertz but warned there is no quick fix to help him reach his full potential. 

Havertz was a big-money signing by the Premier League club prior to the start of the season, having starred in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen in recent years. 

However, after a solid beginning to his career at Stamford Bridge, the 21-year-old has found it tough going in recent months, not aided by contracting coronavirus in November. 

Having scored one goal and set up another in his opening five league games, Havertz has managed just one solitary assist since, creating a total of 13 chances in his 18 appearances, albeit only 12 of those have been starts. 

The Germany international has missed Chelsea's previous three games through injury and while Monday's clash with Newcastle United may come too soon, Tuchel is willing to be patient with his compatriot. 

"I'm pretty sure we will see him," he replied when asked if Chelsea will see the same Havertz who dazzled for Leverkusen.  

"It takes time, there is no short answer – if there was, I'd go and talk to him in that way to bring out his full potential. What we know and can rely on is that all this potential is in him and it's logical that he can show it on the pitch.  

"For every transfer, for every change of club for the player, it's different. Sometimes it needs a little more time to adapt, sometimes it can be quick, sometimes it can be between one match and another, sometimes a process.  

"All we can do is push him, support him, give him what he needs. We figure this out with us right now. 

"He had a pretty good start with us, he had good matches, and I have the feeling that I see a guy that is totally clear, totally self-aware, very humble and incredibly talented. There are no doubts that he will show this – the sooner the better. 

"Now, unfortunately, he missed some training sessions and games for us, but hopefully he can come back in the next few days, because I'm absolutely convinced he will have a big impact at this club."

Tuchel appreciates he is not short of options within his squad, particularly in midfield where Jorginho, N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are seemingly vying for two positions. There is also Billy Gilmour too, showing the strength in depth at Chelsea.

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach is pleased with the competition for places and understands he will have to manage expectations when it comes to first-team minutes.

"If we have difficult decisions to make, everything is good as we have a full squad available," Tuchel said.

"If I have a difficult decision to make, it's my job to manage them. It's my job to trust also the guy from the bench. Is it possible to achieve our goal with 12, 13, 14 players? No, it's simply not possible. 

"To have the three guys is a big gift for me for the two positions. To have a fourth guy like Billy Gilmour is absolutely necessary on this kind of level we expect from us, what the supporters also expect from the team. 

"We need exactly this kind of quality and I'm not worried about the management, because I feel a group that is strong, I feel a bond between the players.

"Yes, we will have to prove it when things become a bit difficult, a bit complicated. But, until today, I feel a very good atmosphere, and it's my job to manage that, to focus on that and create it. 

"They can be competitive with each other but we need to be allies, need to be close and understand this is an effort of the whole team."

Tuchel confirmed Timo Werner is expected to be back to face Newcastle, while Thiago Silva is targeting a return to action against Southampton on February 20.

The game will mark a first for the Chelsea boss, who has never previously managed a top-flight match on a Monday. His last match in any competition on that day was back in August 2016, when he led Borussia Dortmund to a 3-0 win in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.

Steve Bruce has called for social media companies to better police "absolutely vile and obscene" online abuse from "idiots and morons", having revealed he has been targeted himself.

Newcastle United head coach Bruce does not use social media but learned this week of death threats through his son Alex. 

Bruce, a Premier League-winning captain with Manchester United, was discussing the topic after top-flight referee Mike Dean reportedly asked not to officiate a match this week due to threats directed his way. 

Dean sent off West Ham's Tomas Soucek in the final seconds of their draw with Fulham last week, a decision that was later overturned. 

His dismissal of Jan Bednarek for Southampton earlier in the week, in a 9-0 defeat at Manchester United, was also rescinded on appeal. 

Football authorities are attempting to clamp down on online abuse amid a series of incidents - many of them including racist comments. Facebook, which also owns Instagram, has announced new penalties relating to the matter. 

Bruce, who came under scrutiny as Newcastle endured an 11-match winless run in all competitions across December and January, condemned the threats on Thursday. 

"Social media is a really, really powerful weapon for everybody concerned," Bruce said. "For me, these big companies have got to police it better. 

"The abuse that I've had - death threats, all this sorts of stuff - and then you see a referee wanting to come away from it because he's made a mistake, people threatening him with his life and all the rest of it, it's just absolutely obscene and totally ridiculous. 

"They need to clamp down on it and they need to police it better, and we need to stop it, basically. If there are vulnerable people out there, it's absolutely - in my opinion - vile, some of it." 

Asked to confirm he had been the subject of similar abuse, Bruce told reporters: "I don't go on it [social media], but of course people close to me do, who are sensitive towards their father, of course. Yes, we've had that to deal with." 

The Newcastle boss added: "When I see some of the nature of it, it is totally and utterly vile. Some of the stuff that I've had is absolutely obscene. It fuels a hatred. I don't know. 

"When I see an experienced referee - like him, loathe him, whatever you want with Mike Dean - nobody deserves that because he gets a decision wrong. 

"Let's be fair, as well, it was in the last 30 seconds of the game, nothing really hinged on it, yet he feels he has the need to step down this weekend. 

"For everybody, these big companies have got to police it better and find out these idiots and morons who write such vile abuse and make them be punished. 

"In conversations I've had with the family over the last few days - we were talking about Mike Dean and the situation he feels - it was brought to my attention that I've had it, too. 

"Horrible stuff, which I couldn't really get my breath with: they hope that I die of COVID and all this. It's absolutely vile and obscene. 

"It has to be stopped. These big companies have to start policing it better than they've been doing, that's for sure." 

Bruce was speaking at a news conference ahead of Newcastle's trip to Chelsea, where he confirmed 10-goal striker Callum Wilson is facing up to eight weeks out with a hamstring tear. 

A knee injury for Fabian Schar had already been announced, with a similar lay-off anticipated for both the Switzerland defender and Javier Manquillo, who suffered an ankle issue. 

It was raining goals at Old Trafford and St James' Park in another dramatic day of action in the Premier League.

Manchester United appeared certain to pick up another three points just four days on from their record-equalling 9-0 hammering of Southampton having led 2-0 and 3-2 against Everton.

But Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a dramatic last-gasp equaliser to seal a 3-3 draw for the Toffees.

Newcastle United won by the odd goal in five in a 3-2 triumph against the free-falling Saints, while Arsenal were beaten by Aston Villa and Saturday's other two games finished all square.

Manchester United 3-3 Everton: Red Devils in late hell thanks to DCL

Manchester United squandered a two-goal half-time lead in the Premier League for just for the fourth time, having done so against Tottenham (December 1998) and West Brom twice (October 2010, May 2013).

Indeed, it was only the fourth time United led by two goals at Old Trafford in the competition and failed to win, Everton now responsible for each of the last two occasions.

Only Toffees' late hero Calvert-Lewin (five) has more headed goals than Edinson Cavani's four this season, while Scott McTominay has scored in back-to-back league games for the first time.

Everton scored with each of their three shots on target, the last of which was the 12th home goal United have conceded this term – one more than in the whole of the previous campaign.


Aston Villa 1-0: Villans channel class of '92-92

Arsenal's recent resurgence has ground to a shuddering halt as they followed a midweek defeat at Wolves with a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

Ollie Watkins' second-minute goal secured the Villans a first league double over the Gunners since the inaugural Premier League campaign in 1992-93 when Ron Atkinson was in charge.

Dean Smith's men now have 35 points from 21 games, equalling the tally they managed in the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign. It also represents their best return in the top flight after 21 matches since 2009-10 when they finished sixth.

Arsenal, for who Mat Ryan became the fourth goalkeeper to concede within two minutes of a full debut for a Premier League club, have lost 10 of their 23 games - the earliest they have reached such an unwanted tally in a domestic campaign since 1983-84.

Burnley 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls still soaring despite draw

After defeating Tottenham and Liverpool in their past two matches, Brighton and Hove Albion had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.

Still, Graham Potter's side are now unbeaten in their past five in the Premier League – matching their best unbeaten run in the competition, last going on such a streak in March 2018.

Lewis Dunk was on target for the Seagulls and has scored nine goals in the Premier League since Brighton were promoted to the top flight for the 2017-18 campaign. Only three defenders can better that effort (Marcos Alonso -14, Patrick van Aanholt -11, Virgil van Dijk-10).

Newcastle United 3-2 Southampton: Debut Magpies joy for Willock

Newcastle United ran out 3-2 winners over Southampton in a corking game at St James' Park, despite having Jeff Hendrick sent off after 50 minutes.

Joe Willock became the 11th different player to score on their Premier League debut for the Magpies and the third this season after Hendrick and Callum Wilson. His only other goal in the competition also came against the Saints.

James Ward-Prowse scored his fourth direct free-kick of the season. Only David Beckham and Laurent Robert (both with five) have ever scored more in a single Premier League campaign.

For Newcastle, this was the first time they had scored three goals in the first half of a Premier League game since October 2015 against Norwich City.

Fulham 0-0 West Ham: Fulham draw a blank again

Fulham's goalless draw with West Ham was their fourth in the Premier League this season, the most in the competition this term alongside Manchester United.

The Cottagers have now failed to score in 11 of their league matches - only Burnley with 12 have failed to score in more.

West Ham may not have been able to get the job done but they now have 39 points in 23 games, as many as they racked up the whole of last term.

Fulham have gone 12 games without a victory for the first time since April-September 2014, and this is their longest run without a win in the top flight since November 2007 to January 2008 (both were also runs of 12).

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