Manchester United were stunned by bottom club Sheffield United in a seismic result for both ends of the Premier League table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were expected to regain top spot and end Manchester City's stay at the summit after 24 hours, although Chris Wilder's basement boys had other ideas.

Former City youth product Kean Bryan gave the visitors the lead at Old Trafford but normal service looked to have been resumed when former Blade Harry Maguire headed home.

But Oliver Burke had the final word in the 74th minute, giving Sheffield United a 2-1 triumph – only their second win of the Premier League season.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham could not add to their pair of wins after a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium and sit 10 and five points better off than Wilder's men respectively.

It was the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel's reign got off to an underwhelming start against Wolves, while Everton against Leicester City also ended all square and there was a thrilling win for Burnley over Aston Villa.

Here are the pick of the Opta facts from some results that might look crucial in the final reckoning.

Manchester United 1-2 Sheffield United: Bryan and Burke land title-race body blow

It was a case of familiar frailties returning to haunt United's title bid as Bryan headed home John Fleck's corner.

Since the start of last season, no team has shipped more goals from corners than the 14 let in by Manchester United, Brighton and Chelsea.

Maguire also made the most of slack set-piece marking to net his sixth league goal for the club and his first at home.

But the hosts' defending from open play left a similar amount to be desired as Burke settled matters via a deflection off Axel Tuanzebe.

Bryan and Burke are the first players to net their maiden Premier League goals in the same match against United since Esteban Cambiasso and Jamie Vardy did likewise for Leicester in 2014.

Four defeats in 10 home matches means the Red Devils have amassed their highest number of league losses at Old Trafford since going down in seven in 2013-14.

Sheffield United became the first team from Yorkshire to win a Premier League game at Manchester United and only the third side in the Premier League era, following Leeds United in January 2010 (FA Cup) and York City in September 1996 (League Cup).

Chelsea 0-0 Wolves: Possession without penetration for Tuchel's Blues

A day after being installed as Frank Lampard's successor, Tuchel saw his swiftly remodelled Chelsea dominate but fail to find the net against Wolves.

Struggles against Nuno Espirito Santo's side are nothing new, no matter who is in charge. This is the second time in three seasons that Wolves have gone unbeaten versus Chelsea, having also won at Molineux and drawn at Stamford Bridge in 2018-19.

The visitors certainly had to work to keep their opponents at bay as the Blues hogged 78.9 per cent of possession and racked up 820 passes. Since Opta began collecting this data in 2003-04, both are the highest totals by a team in their coach's first match in charge.

Tuchel is on a run of four consecutive league clean sheets after Paris Saint-Germain completed shutouts in his final three Ligue 1 matches.

Before this season, Thiago Silva was a key part of his backline in the French capital. Reunited in London, the Brazil veteran is now unbeaten in 25 home league appearances under Tuchel (W22 D3).

Wolves have not been so assured defensively of late and this was their first league clean sheet since a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on October 30, ending a run of 12 straight games without one.

Burnley 3-2 Aston Villa: Wood heads for the heights to lift Clarets

Chris Wood netted a 79th-minute winner as Burnley twice came from behind at Turf Moor to beat Aston Villa and move nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Wood rose to nod home a cross from winger Dwight McNeil for something of a trademark goal. Since his top-flight debut for Burnley in August 2017, no player has scored more headed goals than the New Zealand striker, who is level with Harry Kane on 15.

McNeil pulled Sean Dyche's side level after Jack Grealish netted his sixth league goal of the campaign. Combined with his eight assists, the England star has 14 goal involvements in 18 Premier League matches – the same number he managed last season (eight goals, six assists).

Ollie Watkins matched Grealish's goals mark from 2019-20 when he opened the scoring, making it eight Premier League goals in 18 outings.

Ashley Westwood got the assist for Ben Mee's initial equaliser, meaning he has 16 assists for Burnley in the competition. Only Johann Gudmundsson (17) has more.

Everton 1-1 Leicester City: Long-range lone ranger James shines again

James Rodriguez continued his fine form for Everton with a spectacular strike to put Carlo Ancelotti's men in front.

The Colombia international has scored 19 goals from outside the box in Europe's top five leagues – three for Monaco, 11 for Real Madrid, three for Bayern Munich and now two for Everton.

This was his first with his right foot and added to an impressive personal haul of four goals and three assists. Only Dominic Calvert-Lewin (11) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Everton this season.

However, another specialist made sure the points were shared. All five of Youri Tielemans' goals for Leicester in the league this season have come away from home.

The Belgium international has netted the most away goals of any player yet to score at home this term.

Everton might well have a further say in the title battle to come. They are unbeaten in the three league games they have played against opponents starting the day above them in the table this season – a 1-0 win over Chelsea and 2-0 defeat of Leicester last December.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Fulham: All square in tense basement battle

High stakes did nothing for the entertainment value in this relegation six-pointer, completing a pair of 0-0 draws between Brighton and Fulham this season.

Perhaps it was not for the want of trying – with 26 shots combined (16 for Brighton and 10 for Fulham), only Aston Villa v Burnley (33) last month and Leeds United v Arsenal (34) in November have produced more shots without a goal being scored in 2020-21.

It was the first time Fulham have played out two goalless draws against the same opponent in a single season since a pair of 2001-02 stalemates with Leicester.

Brighton have become bore-draw specialists, playing out 14 0-0s since their promotion to the top-flight in 2017-18, which is more than any other side in that period.

As their positions in 17th and 18th illustrate, both teams are finding victories hard to come by.

Fulham are winless in nine, with six draws and three losses, since beating Leicester 2-1 in November, while Brighton's 2-1 triumph against Arsenal in June is their only win in the past 19 matches at the Amex Stadium. Since then they have lost and drawn seven apiece on home turf.

New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says his focus is on bridging the gap to fourth place and not mounting a Premier League title challenge. 

Tuchel was appointed Blues head coach on Tuesday following Frank Lampard's dismissal and his tenure got off to an underwhelming start a day later as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Wolves at Stamford Bridge. 

Despite enjoying 79 per cent possession and completing 820 passes – the highest totals by a team in their manager's first Premier League game in charge since the 2003-04 campaign – the hosts could not find a way through against Nuno Espirito Santo's side. 

The result means Chelsea are eighth in the Premier League table having won just eight of their 20 games this season.

Tuchel scoffed at suggestions his side might be capable of closing the 11-point gap to leaders Manchester City – who have played a game less – and said his focus was on reining in fourth-place West Ham, who are five points clear. 

"The title, ooh, far away, we have to be realistic at the same time," he told a media conference.

"When you sign for Chelsea as manager it's absolutely right you sign for the expectation to fight for titles like the Premier League, Champions League and cups. 

"It's absolutely clear, but at the same time we have to be realistic that there are a lot of teams and points between us and fourth.

"So maybe it's the best time now to step up in the middle of the season, don't lose focus and look too far ahead.

"Stay now and work on a daily basis on details and progression in our game, and points will follow.

"I'm absolutely sure we have the capacity with this squad to hurt everybody in every league and competition. It's my job to bring evidence of that as fast as possible but now the approach is doing it step by step."

The result means Tuchel is the first Chelsea manager since Rafael Benitez in November 2012 to draw his first game in charge of the club, with the Spaniard held to a 0-0 draw by Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Despite their failure to claim all three points, Tuchel was encouraged by what he saw. 

"Yeah, it was well deserved for all the effort that the guys put in," he added. "But I have to say I just walked in the dressing room and told everybody there's no room for disappointment or doubt. 

"I'm very happy with the performance. We had good intensity and were very structured, we did not allow any dangerous counter-attacks. So we were very well organised, we were brave, we had courage and we played as a team.

"There was good input from the bench and a very good attitude from the players on the bench that did not come on. A very good spirit. 

"I think the supporters could have helped in all the half-chances. It was hard work but we never lost intensity and I'm very happy that this was our starting point, and very excited about where we'll end up.

"This is the level now and we can start working on the details. We can prepare for Burnley and that's what we'll do."

The sight of Thomas Tuchel marching in sprightly fashion onto the Cobham training pitches to take his first training session, a few hours after being confirmed as Chelsea's latest head coach, oozed urgency.

Perhaps, just 24 hours later, as Chelsea played out a goalless draw Wolves, everyone was just a little bit tired. It had been a tumultuous few days in west London, after all.

Frank Lampard's sacking by the club where he is the all-time record goalscorer has prompted an understandably emotional reaction.

Identity and how a fanbase relates to their club is one of those intangible things that matters more than most in football, despite and maybe even more so with these times of isolation.

Chelsea fans have seen a parade of managers, popular or otherwise, slung out of the door whether or not they won trophies. But then came Super Frank, one of their own, and a team where the club's best-in-class academy talents were given a chance.

For many, this just felt right. Being part of something, belonging, was even enough to anesthetise against the damaging reality of two wins and five defeats in the past eight Premier League games for a Champions League club that splurged on a £200million close-season refit.

Lampard, all eloquent charm for the most part in public, also comes from good football stock and is a good interview. As such, his defenders in the British sports press have lined up this week to condemn Roman Abramovich's most heinous sacking to date.

These twin fronts have acted to obscure an inarguable fact: Tuchel, winner of the only trophy in the post-Jurgen Klopp years at Borussia Dortmund, a two-time Ligue 1 winner and a Champions League finalist at Paris Saint-Germain, is an obvious upgrade on a much-loved figure whose only season in management before being handed the reins at Chelsea was a sixth-place finish in the Championship with Derby County.

Nevertheless, battlelines are drawn and people will polarise accordingly. This is the 21st century, after all.

The first check on the outragometer came an hour before kick-off. Mason Mount, Lampard's star pupil - benched! Antonio Rudiger, reported chief agitator against Our Frankie - starting!

Where the brave, young Chelsea Lions in this Bundesliga-flavoured XI? Actually, Callum Hudson-Odoi was given license from right wing-back. Kai Havertz roved alongside Hakim Ziyech behind the centre-forward, who was Olivier Giroud, not Timo Werner.

The Germany striker, along with Tuchel's former Dortmund charge Christian Pulisic, had to be content with places on the bench.

Chelsea looked to paint pretty patterns early on, with their first-half passing map something of a Jackson Pollock. A total of 433 passes was the most they have ever recorded in the first half of a Premier League game, with Mateo Kovacic dictating matters nicely.

The trade-off was a home team lacking incision, save for one lung-bursting surge through midfield and into the area by Havertz and the constant threat posed by Hudson-Odoi in an unfamiliar role.

This was only the England international's fourth Premier League start of the season, showing Lampard did not simply select by passport and birth certificate. On this evidence, he will feature prominently under Tuchel.

Giroud was agonisingly close to turning in an early low delivery, while he saw Ben Chilwell blaze over another cross on the volley. The 20-year-old delivered 11 crosses overall and attempted five dribbles.

Hudson-Odoi was right back into the faces of a deep-lying Wolves defence after the break, while it was to Tuchel's slight misfortune that the next clear opening again fell to Chilwell. Havertz was the provider with a 61st-minute cutback, the former Leicester man again woefully off target.

The Chelsea wing-backs were pegged high and a back three remained even after Pulisic replaced Chilwell, although Pedro Neto lobbed against the bar for Wolves in a rare 71st-minute attack.

Tammy Abraham and Mount were the other substitutes as Werner remained unused, much to the disappointment of writers punting for an easy end to their narrative arc.

Kovacic, who completed a remarkable 146 of 150 passes, clipped the side netting with a late curling effort and the relentless Hudson-Odoi forced Rui Patricio into a full-length save.

Had that or a stoppage-time Havertz header gone in, a new era would have had lift-off. But, as heavy rain cloaked Stamford Bridge and the banner in honour of Lampard remained, a sense of mourning lingered.

In Tommy We Trust? Not just yet.

Thomas Tuchel's tenure as Chelsea head coach got off to an underwhelming start on Wednesday as the Blues failed to make the most of almost complete domination in a 0-0 draw with Wolves.

Tuchel had only taken charge of one training session ahead the game following his appointment as Frank Lampard's successor on Tuesday, and although Chelsea saw far more of the ball, they lacked cutting edge and slumped to a disappointing draw.

Frustratingly for the hosts, their two best chances fell to full-back Ben Chilwell in either half, and otherwise there were few instances of Chelsea carving open the Wolves defence.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men went on to go closest to a winner when Pedro Neto hit the crossbar in the latter stages, leaving the Blues perhaps fortunate to hold on to a point.

Chelsea showed good intent at the start and should have had a fifth-minute lead when Callum Hudson-Odoi beat Rayan Ait-Nouri and delivered a teasing cross, but Olivier Giroud failed to get a touch on the ball.

That was not the start of a Chelsea onslaught, though, as they had to wait another 26 minutes for their next notable opportunity – Chilwell volleying off target from another good Hudson-Odoi centre.

Rui Patricio was eventually tested just before the half-time, the Wolves goalkeeper keeping Antonio Rudiger's header out of the bottom-right corner as Chelsea struggled to make the breakthrough despite completing more first-half passes (433) than in any other Premier League game since 2003-04.

The hosts' sharpest move led to their best chance just past the hour but again Chilwell could not capitalise, the left-back blasting over after Mateo Kovacic fed Kai Havertz and the German cut the ball back into the danger zone.

Neto was then presented with a wonderful chance to steal an unlikely win 19 minutes from time when he was played through after linking up with Daniel Podence, but his scooped effort over Edouard Mendy was kept out by the bar.

Chelsea piled the pressure on towards the end, with Kovacic going close from distance and Hudson-Odoi drawing a save from Patricio, but a winning start ultimately eluded Tuchel.

Thomas Tuchel has already started to mould Chelsea to his liking as they set a new club record for first-half passes in Wednesday's clash with Wolves.

The German only had one training session with his players before the game after being appointed on Tuesday, but it seems he is already having an impact on their style of play.

Chelsea dominated the first-half proceedings at Stamford Bridge, as they had 78.5 per cent of the ball.

As a result, they completed 433 passes in the first half, which is the most by the Blues in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game since Opta began collecting such data in 2003-04.

Tuchel has previous in overseeing such possessional dominance, though one of his teams has not completed as many passes in the first half of a top-flight game since his Borussia Dortmund side made 503 against Cologne in May 2016.

Nevertheless, that control of the ball did not lead to a first-half breakthrough, as Wolves kept it to 0-0 at the interval.

Thomas Tuchel hands starts to Jorginho and Olivier Giroud for his first game in charge of Chelsea, but Timo Werner has to make do with a place on the bench for the game against Wolves.  

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach Tuchel was named on Tuesday as the replacement for Frank Lampard, who was sacked following a run of just one win in the Blues’ past five Premier League fixtures. 

Mason Mount scored the winner in that solitary triumph, a 1-0 victory away to London rivals Fulham on January 16, yet the midfielder has been left out of the XI for Wednesday's game at Stamford Bridge. 

Tuchel – who has had just one training session with the squad following his appointment – has opted for Jorginho next to Mateo Kovacic in midfield. There is a place for Kai Havertz too, as well as Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi. 

Cesar Azpilicueta is also in the starting line-up, potentially as one of three centre-backs in a 3-4-3 formation. 

Up front, Giroud is included ahead of Tammy Abraham, who is joined among the substitutes by fellow England internationals Reece James and Mount, plus Werner.

Wolves have reinforced their forward options with the loan signing of Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose.

The Brazilian moves to Molineux for the rest of the season with Wolves retaining the option to make the move permanent.

The deal remains subject to international clearance and Willian Jose obtaining a work permit, and Wolves said on their website they do not expect to have him available for Wednesday's clash against Chelsea.

Wolves have bolstered their numbers in attack with their main centre forward Raul Jimenez having suffered a fractured skull against Arsenal at the end of November.

Patrick Cutrone was recalled from a loan spell at Fiorentina and head coach Nuno Espirito Santo now has an additional option.

The 29-year-old Willian Jose, formerly a loanee at Real Madrid, joined Sociedad in 2016 and has scored 62 goals in 170 appearances for the LaLiga side.

Willy Boly had an eventful derby and there was a penalty double for Matheus Pereira as West Brom boss Sam Allardyce maintained his unbeaten record against the team he used to support as a boy.

Albion claimed a huge victory in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League at Molineux on Saturday, beating bitter rivals Wolves 3-2.

There was no such entertainment at Anfield on Sunday, with a hugely hyped clash between Liverpool and leaders Manchester United ending goalless, while Antonee Robinson's red card was costly as Fulham were beaten by Chelsea.

Ilkay Gundogan matched his best Manchester City goal tally for a season in a 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace, while Tottenham captain Harry Kane made his mark in Yorkshire yet again 

With the help of Opta data, we take a look at some of the quirkiest stats from the top-flight action over the weekend.

 

Boly in thick of the action as Wolves pay the penalty 

West Brom ended an eight-match winless run to claim three precious points against their big rivals Wolves.

Defender Boly became the first Wolves player to concede a penalty, provide an assist and score in a Premier League game since Adlene Guedioura in May 2011 - which was also against West Brom at Molineux.

Baggies midfielder Pereira was on target with two spot-kicks, becoming the fifth player to score a brace of penalties in a top-flight game this season. The last time there were so many penalty doubles was back in the 2010-11 campaign.

Allardyce was a Wolves fan as a youngster, but his allegiances have long gone out of the window, as the Albion head coach has not lost in 12 Premier League games against Wanderers - his longest unbeaten streak against any side.

 

Gun firing on all cylinders

Kevin De Bruyne sparkled once again as in-form City hammered Palace to go second in the table.

The midfield maestro laid on one of two goals for John Stones, taking his tally of assists for City to a landmark 100.

Gundogan is another midfielder who has caught the eye this season and the Germany international was on target with a sublime long-range finish at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Borussia Dortmund playmaker has scored four goals in his past six Premier League games, as many as he could muster in his previous 55 matches in the top flight. His tally of six for the season is the joint-most he has scored for City.

 

Kane comes up smelling of White Roses again

Prolific Spurs skipper Kane led by example yet again in a 3-1 win at bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.

Kane scored his 19th goal of what is proving to be another outstanding season in Tottenham's first league win at Bramall Lane since 1975, having failed to secure maximum points in their previous seven visits.

England captain Kane has scored in each of his past six Premier League games in Yorkshire, a run that former Leeds United striker Mark Viduka was the last to achieve in 2003.

Leeds will have to be wary of the talismanic striker when Jose Mourinho's men return to the White Rose county for a clash at Elland Road on May 8.

 

Dire States: Rash Robinson costs Fulham

Fulham full-back Robinson was sent off late in the first half of the London derby at Craven Cottage for a rash lunge on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea had to be patient as they pushed for a winner, but Mason Mount struck to consign Scott Parker's relegation-threatened side to a 1-0 defeat.

Robinson was the eighth player from the United States to be given his marching orders in the Premier League.

The former Wigan Athletic left-back's dismissal also made Fulham the first club to have two players from the USA see red, Carlos Bocanegra being the other.

The Premier League's relentless schedule continues with matchday 19 this weekend.

Keeping on top of your fantasy teams has been tough with the intense fixture list and increasingly regular postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To make things a little bit easier, we have used Opta data to highlight a few candidates for selection in your side.
 

NICK POPE

Burnley may only be four points clear of the drop zone, but when Pope is in the team they are difficult to beat.

Since the start of November, no goalkeeper to have featured at least four times has conceded fewer than Pope (four).

He has kept five clean sheets during that run and has the best save percentage in the Premier League at 90 per cent.


JOHN STONES

Manchester City are starting to look like Premier League title contenders once again, and a resurgent Stones has played a key role in that.

He has helped his side keep six clean sheets in his eight Premier League appearances this season, the highest percentage among defenders to play more than four games in 2020-21.
 

MARCUS RASHFORD

A mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash between Liverpool and Manchester United is scheduled to take place on Sunday and Rashford will again hope to prove influential in this fixture.

He has scored three goals in his past four Premier League appearances against Liverpool, earning his team four points in the process.

Only Wayne Rooney (six), Andy Cole (four) and Ryan Giggs (four) have found the back of the net against Liverpool more times for United in the Premier League than Rashford.


PEDRO NETO

Wolves host second-bottom West Brom in a West Midlands derby on Saturday.

With Raul Jimenez out due to a fractured skull, Neto has done his best to keep Nuno Espirito Santo's side pushing for a place in the top six.

He has the most Premier League goal involvements (four scored, three assisted) this season of any player aged 21 or younger, while his 32 chances created are twice as many as Bukayo Saka in second.

TOMAS SOUCEK

There is no doubting that Soucek has made himself an important part of David Moyes' West Ham side.

The Czech Republic international is the Hammers' highest-scoring player with five goals. He has also been involved in the most goal-ending open play sequences (seven) for the team this season.

CHRIS WOOD

Burnley may not be the most prolific team in the Premier League but Wood does not find it hard to score against West Ham.

The New Zealand striker has scored six goals in as many top-flight appearances against the Hammers, averaging a goal every 58 minutes.

He has not scored more than four against any other Premier League opponent.

Manchester City star Sergio Aguero is reportedly wanted by Barcelona.

Aguero's future at City is uncertain with the 32-year-old coming out of contract at the end of the season.

And the forward is unsurprisingly wanted by Europe's biggest clubs.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA WANT AGUERO

Barcelona are eyeing Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, according to The Sun.

Aguero has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain as City's all-time leading goalscorer entered the final six months of his contract.

The Argentina international has scored two goals in nine games this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Barcelona and Eric Garcia looks set to join the club from City. The cover of Mundo Deportivo says Garcia is poised to move to Barca in January in a deal worth €5million (£4.5m) plus variables.

- Also facing an uncertain future is Fernandinho. The Telegraph reports Fernandinho is undecided about his future, with the City man having offers from South America.

- Matteo Guendouzi is set to see out his loan spell at Hertha Berlin. Fabrizio Romano says the midfielder will not return to Arsenal in January, with the Bundesliga club wanting him to stay until season's end.

- Wolves seem unlikely to sign a forward in January. The Mirror claims they have aborted interested in Liverpool striker Divock Origi and Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- With Frank Lampard under pressure at the helm of Chelsea, help could be incoming. Sky Sports reports Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is considering bringing back former manager Avram Grant to work with Lampard.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo fears another halt to Premier League action amid the coronavirus pandemic could give the country's biggest clubs the opportunity to launch a European Super League.

The English football authorities are carrying out regular tests on players and club staff, and the number of positive cases is rising, with 40 declared in the Premier League last week.

This has led to a number of games being postponed, while Tottenham will play Fulham - not Aston Villa - on Wednesday as part of the rearranged schedule.

Spurs had been due to travel to Villa Park for a midweek fixture, but their opponents requested a new date due to their players and staff either testing positive for COVID-19 or being placed in isolation as close contacts.

Instead, Jose Mourinho's side are to host Fulham in a fixture that was originally postponed on December 30 due to a spike in reported coronavirus cases at Craven Cottage. 

The rise in cases has led to growing calls for a circuit break – a tight set of restrictions, likely including the suspension of games, designed to reverse the tide of the pandemic. 

Nuno, however, is concerned about the future of the Premier League should they be forced to stop playing like they did for three months during the second half of the 2019-20 season. 

"The virus was something that we had never experienced so there were a lot of doubts," he told a media conference ahead of Wolves' clash with Everton on Tuesday. "Now, after the re-start, I think everybody made a big effort and there were protocols, meetings, decisions. 

"We were assured that, no matter what, we were playing because we only needed 14 players to play a match. Now things have changed and we start thinking about stopping again. 

"I don't know for sure what is better but I think and I am afraid that the decision is to stop football. This is my biggest fear. The schedule will go crazy. [It will be] impossible to even finish the league. 

"What I feel is that if we stop, everything will change. The Super League' will probably come, and other competitions which will help clubs survive.

"Basically, my opinion is based on the economy of the clubs, the idea that you start feeling other competitions emerging because the industry needs to find ways to survive and move forward.

"Based on what we have now, probably, if you make a quick comparison with what's happening in the economic industry, if you have a crisis, the strong will survive, what about the rest? 

"What is happening now will have an effect on the future, everybody is aware of that. Young boys are not training, playing football. I think it's clear."

Liverpool and Manchester United were reportedly approached in talks over a FIFA-backed European league last October, while the rejected "Project Big Picture" was viewed in some quarters as a cynical attempt by the biggest clubs in England to use the new realities of the pandemic as a means by which to increase their power base.

Wolves have recalled forward Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell with Fiorentina, bolstering their attacking options while Raul Jimenez recovers from a serious head injury.

Mexico striker Jimenez sustained a fractured skull in a clash of heads with Arsenal's David Luiz during a 2-1 win at the end of November and does not appear close to a return.

Since then, 18-year-old Fabio Silva, a pre-season recruit from Porto, has filled in as Wolves' main centre-forward and looked lively, if unspectacular.

The youngster has featured seven times in the Premier League and scored once, his eight shot attempts fewer than Ruben Neves, Romain Saiss (both nine) and Pedro Neto (10).

Wolves' options in that part of the pitch are limited, making Cutrone's recall less of a surprise.

The Italian joined for a reported £16million (€17.7m) from Milan in 2019 but he scored just three times in 24 appearances across all competitions before being sent to Fiorentina on a planned 18-month loan in January last year.

However, he fared no better with the Viola, netting only four times in 30 Serie A outings and laying on just six chances for team-mates.

He will hope to take advantage of a clearer run at a first-team spot with Wolves, as Jimenez still has not been given a return date.

Tottenham got their title push back on track with a first win in five outings and Arsenal maintained their recent revival with a third win on the bounce in Saturday's Premier League action.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were again among the scorers for Spurs in their victory over Leeds United, while Alexandre Lacazette helped himself to a double in the Gunners' even more straightforward success at West Brom.

Crystal Palace also picked up three valuable points with what is a now-customary victory over doomed Sheffield United, who set an unwanted record with their latest setback, but there was nothing to separate Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolves in the day's other game.

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Saturday's Premier League fixtures.

Tottenham 3-0 Leeds: Son and Kane combine again in convincing victory

Son scored his 100th goal for Tottenham in all competitions to help his side on their way to a routine victory over Leeds in the early kick-off.

The South Korea international swept in Kane's pass to become the 18th Spurs player to reach the milestone figure on what was his 253rd appearance.

Kane has now assisted 17 goals for Son in all competitions, while the pair have combined 13 times in the Premier League alone in 2020-21 - no two players have linked up more in a single season in the competition.

Prolific striker Kane had earlier given Tottenham the lead and in doing so he became the first player to reach double figures for both goals (10) and assists (11) in Europe's top five leagues this season.

Kane has also now scored against all 30 opponents he has faced in the Premier League - the best 100 per cent record in the competition among players to have faced more than one team.

Toby Alderweireld added a third goal early in the second half and Leeds were unable to respond - the first time they have failed to score in an away league game this term, leaving Aston Villa and Manchester United as the only perfect sides in that regard.

The only blemish for Spurs was the stoppage-time dismissal of Matt Doherty for a second yellow card, meaning they have already had more top-flight red cards in 2021 than they had in the whole of 2020.

Palace 2-0 Sheffield United: Eze does it for Eagles as visitors lose again

Bottom club United have now officially set the record for the longest ever winless run from the start of a Premier League campaign after going down 2-0 to Palace.

The Blades' 17-match winless run to begin a season is the worst in the English top flight since Bolton Wanderers' run of 22 without a victory in 1902-03.

Stretching back into 2019-20, Chris Wilder's men are winless in 20 Premier League games - failing to keep a clean sheet in any of those - making them the fifth side to reach that figure and the first since West Brom between August 2017-January 2018.

Jeffrey Schlupp opened the scoring at Selhurst Park with just 188 seconds on the clock, which was Palace's earliest goal in the division since James McArthur's strike against Everton after 51 seconds in November 2017. 

The versatile wideman hobbled off injured and it was his replacement, Eberechi Eze, who added a second goal with a wonderful solo effort as he became the fourth Palace player to score his first two goals for the club from outside the box - the others being Ricky Newman, Gareth Southgate and Simon Rodger.

United, who saw 16-year-old Antwoine Hackford become their youngest ever Premier League player in the second half, could not find a response as the Eagles kept a first clean sheet in the competition in 16 matches since September.

Brighton 3-3 Wolves: Seagulls battle back after Burn horror shown

Dan Burn endured a first half to forget but Brighton recovered from two goals down to claim a point against Wolves at the Amex Stadium.

The centre-back put into his own net and brought down Adama Traore for a penalty that Ruben Neves converted, having earlier conceded a corner in the build-up to Romain Saiss' opener - the Wolves defender's second goal in three league games, which is as many as he managed in his previous 40.

In doing so, Burn became the first player to score an own goal and give away a penalty in the same Premier League game since Eliaquim Mangala for Man City against Hull City in September 2014.

Brighton refused to roll over and had a lifeline when Neal Maupay converted from the spot 50 seconds after the restart - the earliest penalty scored in the second half of a Premier League game since Opta records began in 2006-07.

Lewis Dunk then nodded in to snatch a draw - the fourth occasion Albion have rescued a point in a Premier League game in which they have been two goals behind.

West Brom 0-4 Arsenal: Lacazette at the double for revived Gunners

Arsenal turned on the style with a runaway victory over a struggling West Brom side as they made it three wins in a row in the Premier League, following a previous run of two victories in 12.

Kieran Tierney scored a sublime opener for the visitors, becoming the first Scottish player to score an away goal for the north London side in the competition since Charlie Nicholas against Ipswich Town in March 1986.

The strike itself was impressive and it came at the end of a 20-pass move that pulled West Brom apart. Indeed, since Mikel Arteta's first game in charge on Boxing Day 2019, the Gunners have scored more goals following a sequence of 20 or more passes (three) than any other Premier League side.

The impressive Bukayo Saka scored the second at the end of another flowing team move - the 22nd league goal he has been involved in since the start of last season (seven goals, 15 assists), which is the second most by a teenager currently playing in the division after Manchester United's Mason Greenwood (25).

West Brom had a goal ruled out for offside and their heads dropped from that point on as Lacazette netted a quickfire brace, taking his tally for the season to five away goals in the Premier League - already his best seasonal tally since joining Arsenal.

It was another damaging defeat for West Brom, who are the first side to lose consecutive Premier League home games by at least four goals since Wigan Athletic in August 2010.

The size of the task at hand for Sam Allardyce has now become even clearer, meanwhile - at no club has he won fewer points (one, level with Crystal Palace) or conceded more goals (13) after his first four Premier League games in charge of a club.

Goals proved hard to come by - The Hawthorns aside - on a day of low-scoring games in the Premier League.

One goal was enough for Arsenal, Manchester United and Burnley to beat Brighton and Hove Albion, Wolves and Sheffield United respectively.

Meanwhile, Southampton's home meeting with West Ham finished goalless, but Leeds United clearly did not get the memo as they hit five against lowly West Brom.

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Tuesday's action in the Premier League.

Brighton 0-1 Arsenal: Super-sub Lacazette inspires Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette scored from the bench to make it back-to-back victories for Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time since their first two games of the season.

The French forward's strike – his third in a row in all competitions, after netting once in his previous 12 – arrived just 29 seconds after replacing Gabriel Martinelli, making it the quickest goal by an Arsenal substitute since Opta records began in 2006-07.

The assist was as impressive as the composed finish, with Bukayo Saka storming down the right to tee up Lacazette – the 15th goal he has set up for a team-mate in all competitions since the start of last season, which is the most of any Arsenal player.

Arsenal held firm at the other end to record a fourth away clean sheet this season in the Premier League – only Aston Villa boast a better such record, with five in total for the Villans.

Relegation-threatened Brighton end the year with just one Premier League home win to their name in 17 games – the lowest total of victories on home soil in a calendar year by any side in the history of the competition.

Burnley 1-0 Sheff Utd: Blades equal unwanted record

Another game, another defeat for Sheffield United, who have now lost 14 of their 16 Premier League matches this term, drawing the other two.

The Blades' 16-match winless streak to begin the season is the joint-worst in the competition's history, equalling the record set by QPR in 2012-13.

Oliver Burke has played in 10 of those games. Indeed, the winger has not ended on the winning side in any of his first 25 Premier League appearances, seeing him surpass Gareth Bale (24) for the longest winless start for a player in the competition.

Ben Mee scored what proved to be the winner with a header from a corner after 32 minutes to separate the division's two lowest-scoring sides – the Burnley skipper's first Premier League goal at Turf Moor in 76 matches since January 2015.

That goal should have come as little surprise to the visitors given that they have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 19 league outings since a 3-0 victory over Chelsea in July.

Burnley have now won three of their last four home top-flight matches – as many as their previous 13 combined – with this marking their first successive wins at Turf Moor since October 2019.

Southampton 0-0 West Ham: Successive stalemates for shot-shy Saints

Southampton played out a second successive goalless draw in the Premier League for the first time since October 2018 in a low-key affair at St Mary's.

The Saints were also held by Fulham on Boxing Day and are now winless in four league matches, which is their longest such run since going eight without a victory from September to November 2019.

Top scorer Danny Ings returned for the hosts but had minimal impact as he failed to have a shot or a single touch in West Ham's box – the first time in 54 Premier League games the striker has played a full 90 minutes in which that has happened.

Ralph Hasenhuttl was absent from the dugout after a member of his household tested positive for coronavirus, but for opposite number David Moyes it was the 12th time in his last 13 top-flight encounters that he has avoided defeat against Southampton.

It was a well-earned point for West Ham and an occasion to remember for Craig Dawson, who at the age of 30 years and 237 days became the oldest outfield English player to make his Premier League debut for the club since Roger Johnson in 2014.

West Brom 0-5 Leeds: Baggies blitzed by Bielsa's boys

Romaine Sawyers' comical own goal set the tone early on as West Brom followed up a draw away at champions Liverpool with a humiliating 5-0 loss at home to Leeds, who equalled their biggest margin of victory in a Premier League game.

The midfielder passed the ball into his own net from 25 yards and subsequently became the seventh WBA player to score an own goal since the start of 2019-20 – no side in English football's top four tiers has scored more, tied with Southend United.

Ezgjan Alioski's crisp finish, Jack Harrison's strike from close range and Rodrigo's deflected effort had Leeds four up at the interval in a top-flight game for the first time since May 2001 versus Bradford City.

Raphinha rounded off the scoring in the second half to take Leeds to 30 goals in the Premier League this season – the second-most ever for a newly promoted side after 16 matches, behind only Newcastle United in 1993-94 (31).

Leeds, who have won by five goals in the competition on five previous occasions, move up to 11th in the division, while West Brom are 19th with eight points – only in 1985-86 (six when converted to three points for a win) have they amassed fewer.

Man United 1-0 Wolves: Solskjaer's men leave it late

A rare Marcus Rashford strike at Old Trafford earned United a late victory against Wolves as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men made it seven wins in their last nine league matches.

Rashford scored with 92 minutes and 51 seconds on the clock – United's latest winning goal in a Premier League match at Old Trafford since September 2009, when Michael Owen netted at 95:27 against Manchester City.

The goal – Rashford's first on home soil in the league in 845 minutes since July – was set up by Bruno Fernandes, who has now been directly involved in more goals in the competition than any player since his debut in February (18 goals, 14 assists).

Wolves, who named their youngest starting XI for a Premier League game since April 2012 at an average of 25 years and 109 days, were seconds away from a precious point but have now conceded in each of their last nine top-flight matches.

That is their joint-longest run without a clean sheet in the competition under Nuno Espirito Santo, with this third away loss in a row leaving them in the bottom half of the division.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea lauded the last-gasp win against Wolves but refused to get carried away with growing title talk as he urged focus.

Marcus Rashford's 93rd-minute goal lifted in-form United past Wolves 1-0 and up to second in the Premier League on Tuesday.

The turgid contest appeared to be petering out for a draw at Old Trafford before Rashford popped up in stoppage time with a deflected strike after Bruno Fernandes had played through the England international.

United are in the midst of a nine-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League to be within two points of defending champions and leaders Liverpool.

"It was a massive win, we scored at the end of the game, a tight game against a good team, this is the way to be at the top of the league, but the most important thing is to be ready for Aston Villa and recover well," United star De Gea told MUTV.

"They're a very good team, they defend very well, have good counter attacks, players with pace up front, it was a tight game, they have good chances, but scoring in the last minute is always good, the three points are massive for us."

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Alex Ferguson's final season in charge of the club.

"We need to be calm, there's still a lot of games to play, we have many games with the cups as well, be focused on not looking too far forward, looking at the next game," De Gea added ahead of United's New Year's Day clash with Aston Villa.

United's stoppage-time winner at 92 minutes, 51 seconds was their latest winning goal in a Premier League game at Old Trafford since September 2009, when Michael Owen scored at 95:27 against rivals Manchester City.

Since his Premier League debut in February, Fernandes has been directly involved in more goals in the competition than any other player (32 – 18 goals and 14 assists).

"The players have to recover well, we play a lot of games, they run a lot, one of the most important things is to recover well," De Gea said.

"You have to fight until the end, we have to keep on going until the end, you keep believing and keep trying we can score winning goals like today."

Page 1 of 19
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.