Bournemouth head coach Gary O’Neil knows just how valuable finishing the season with a win at relegation battlers Everton could prove for the club’s summer transfer budget.

The Cherries’ top-flight status is already secure ahead of a dramatic final day as Everton, Leicester and Leeds all battle it out to avoid joining Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship.

Following a run of four wins from five games last month to pull clear of the relegation zone, Bournemouth currently sit 15th.

Another three points, coupled with results elsewhere going in their favour, could see the south-coast club finish in 13th – and with that receive an additional £4.4million in merit payments.

O’Neil understands how welcome any extra revenue would be for future plans.

“From a head coach’s point of view, you are aware of the financial implications of staying in the league and where you finish, but that was never a motivating thing for me,” said O’Neill, who replaced Scott Parker at the end of August and has gone on to win 11 Premier League games.

“The whole way through the season was all about what the players need and how well we can perform.

“Of course a win and climbing to 13th place would be great for everyone at the club.

“But it would also be great for me and the players to know that we have gone to a real tough place and put in a real good showing to beat a side who are desperate to win in front of their own fans.”

O’Neil added: “From the club’s view, then going into a summer where we will try to do something on the transfer front, finishing higher up the league and the financial implications would be beneficial.”

Everton sit two points clear of the drop zone, so have their fate in their own hands, while the teams below must win and hope for Bournemouth – in the bottom three themselves at the beginning of April – to do them a favour.

O’Neil is under no illusion about what his side will be running out into at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.

“Of course they will be well up for the game,” the Bournemouth boss told a press conference.

“They will try to make it as tough and intimidating as possible, but it is an exciting task for me.

“I have been in a few of those as a player, but it is a first for me as a coach.

“We have been to a few tough places, but this will be on the extreme side of that because of what it means to Everton and the size of the football club.

“They really test you and are a vocal support and it is a close-in stadium, so it feels a real intense atmosphere and I am looking forward to it.”

Bournemouth head coach Gary O’Neil feels Sunday’s trip to relegation-battlers Everton can provide a marker as to just how his own squad will shape up for the challenges ahead next season.

The Cherries looked set to be fighting an uphill battle to retain their Premier League status when sitting in the bottom three at the beginning of April.

However, rookie boss O’Neil – who replaced Scott Parker following a 9-0 loss away to Liverpool at the end of August – masterminded an upturn in fortunes with a run of four wins from five games to pull clear of the relegation zone.

Although three straight losses followed a rousing 4-1 home victory over Leeds, other results have meant Bournemouth’s future was secure ahead of what is set to be a nerve-shredding final day of the survival battle.

Unlike Everton boss Sean Dyche – whose side sit 17th, two points clear of the dropzone – O’Neil can plan for next season again with certainty as he looks to keep his club moving forward.

“Everton will be direct and the atmosphere will be tough,” O’Neil said.

“But what a great opportunity for the players to go and show what a good side we are, to see how well we can stand up to the questions that are undoubtedly going to be asked of us.

“So (it is) a real good marker for me, with last game of the season, going into a summer break and then pre-season to just see where we are against what will be a real good test.”

O’Neil told a press conference: “I have not really been looking at any other part of the picture (in the league) other than our own.

“I am aware of the situation with Everton, involving Leeds and Leicester is something I am aware of because we were involved in it for a big part of the season, but up until this moment, it is just pure focus on us.

“We have been on 39 points for a while and have given our best in the last three games to add to that.

“We are just looking to go and be ourselves, to put in a good showing and finish the season on a high.”

Bournemouth will have midfielder Philip Billing available after back issue kept he Denmark midfielder out of last weekend’s home defeat by Manchester United.

Hamed Traore should also be in contention again following his foot problem, but midfielder Joe Rothwell’s thigh injury continues to be assessed.

“We have another training (session) to go. We will see how they come through, but hopefully (the squad will be) as close to full strength as possible,” O’Neil said.

Everton manager Sean Dyche insists he has no problem with the relegation-threatened club potentially already looking for his replacement.

The former Burnley boss arrived late in January as Frank Lampard’s replacement with the challenge of avoiding the drop.

Things have not gone entirely to plan with the Toffees just two points above the relegation zone, although their fate remains in their own hands as they seek to extend their stay in the top flight into a 70th season by matching the results of Leeds and Leicester.

And reports this week suggested Everton were already thinking about what comes next.

“It’s fair to say ‘interesting’ reports, but I don’t know where they come from,” said Dyche.

“At the end of the day, good businesses should be succession planning. I’ve got no problem with that, even if that were true.”

Everton go into their relegation-decider at home to Bournemouth without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin or defenders Nathan Patterson and Ben Godfrey.

“They won’t be fit. We haven’t had Dom for two-thirds of my time here. We have still won games, still got points on the board and performed,” he said.

“Patto has come into the side more latterly and performed well. We lose him as well.”

Dyche holds out some hope Vitalli Mykolenko – his only remaining full-back on either flank – could return after a two-match absence.

“He’s a bit better so we will see how he reacts tomorrow to training today,” Dyche added.

Dyche was already without Seamus Coleman, Ruben Vinagre, Tom Davies and Andros Townsend so more injuries just increase the pressure in an already-tough atmosphere on Sunday.

“I think it is part of being a professional footballer. You have to use the feeling in the stadium to your advantage and I think we have a decent experience level for the ups and downs of football to understand that,” added the manager.

“We want players to focus on the game, which is not as easy as it sounds, but focus on the game and the idea and don’t worry about the noise. That’s the clear intention.”

The fight for Premier League survival reaches its climax on Sunday with three clubs still scrapping for their top-flight lives.

Two of Everton, Leicester and Leeds will join already-relegated Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship next season on what is set to be a dramatic final day of the campaign.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what each club needs to happen if they are to avoid the drop.

Everton

Opposition: Bournemouth (h)

Position: 17th

Points: 33

Goal difference: -24

The equation is simple for the Toffees: win and their fears are over regardless of what happens elsewhere. Anything less could prove fatal.

A draw would open the door for Leicester to leapfrog them on goal difference with a win, while Leeds could also overhaul them on goals scored with victory by three or more.

However, Everton would be safe even in defeat if both the Foxes and Leeds failed to win.

Leicester

Opposition: West Ham (h)

Position: 18th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -18

Victory is the only option for Dean Smith’s men and even then, it might not prove enough.

Leicester also need Everton not to win – defeat for the Toffees would keep them up by a point, while a draw at Goodison would edge City to safety on goal difference.

Leeds

Opposition: Tottenham (h)

Position: 19th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -27

Like the Foxes, Leeds must win and even then, they would have to keep their fingers crossed that both Everton and Leicester did not.

In the event that Everton drew, they would need to make up three clear goals to leapfrog them.

At the same time, Sam Allardyce’s men would have to achieve an improbable goal swing – they head into the weekend nine worse off – to edge past Leicester if they managed to beat West Ham.

Erik ten Hag says Casemiro has exceeded expectations since arriving at Manchester United after his goal to beat Bournemouth took the team to within a point of Champions League qualification.

The 1-0 win puts United on the brink of a return to Europe’s top club competition next season, with Liverpool’s draw against Aston Villa meaning Ten Hag’s side need only a draw from their final two games.

Casemiro’s brilliantly improvised strike was the difference at the Vitality Stadium, the Brazilian finishing off Christian Eriksen’s cross with a wonderful overhead volley after nine minutes.

United were not at their best but did enough to contain Bournemouth, who went close to levelling late on through Kieffer Moore after David De Gea had denied them with a string of reflex saves.

Ten Hag’s team need only to avoid defeat against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday to ensure they will go into the final game with their objective in the league this season secured before turning attentions to the FA Cup final.

The manager singled out match-winner Casemiro’s contributions as being key on the south coast and throughout his time at the club.

“He keeps surprising us, Casemiro,” said Ten Hag. “He’s such a brilliant football player. We know him as very good (at) organisation, positioning, anticipating, intercepting a lot of balls, winning duels, a fighter. Also in possession, his passing and distribution, but also finishing. Just a great football player.

“Absolutely (he has exceeded expectations), by far. One of the things that came when we analysed, we missed a player in the midfield. We searched and it was not easy because there are not many in the profile whose standard fits the standard of Manchester United. We’re happy we found him and his contribution is massive.”

United had been within minutes of wrapping up their place in the top four with two games to spare, only for a late equaliser for fifth-placed Liverpool against Villa at Anfield to ensure that, mathematically at least, Jurgen Klopp’s side remain in the hunt.

But it would take a total collapse from United during the Premier League’s final week to deny them from here.

If they take a point at home to Frank Lampard’s side it will render the result of the meeting with Fulham on the final day irrelevant and mean preparations can begin for the showdown with Manchester City at Wembley on June 3.

Ten Hag said he had not been aware of the score at Anfield but stressed their goal had been in their own hands all along.

“It’s not important, I’m telling you already for weeks it’s not about our opponents,” he said. “We are in the lead, it’s only up to us, we have everything in our hands, we don’t have to look behind. We have to make our performance. It’s nothing to do with any other team. It’s to do with the opponent on the day.

“Very happy. First 25 minutes was a very good performance from our team, maybe one of the highest levels this season. It’s the way we want to play football.

“Pin the opponent back, good on the ball, a lot of movements, good counter-press. Against a good team, Bournemouth, they can really play very good structures, I like them and their way of play.

“You can see they’re already safe two games before the end. They didn’t have any chance to play out because we dominated them totally. We created chances and we scored a brilliant goal.”

Bournemouth boss Gary O’Neil, whose team went into the game already secured of their top-flight status for next season, felt the Cherries matched United on the day and reflected on his side having beaten the drop with room to spare.

“I was pleased, I thought it was a good performance,” he said.

“United are full-throttle at the moment and we were obviously understrength. Five key players missing, a little bit short today. I didn’t think there was much in it, our chances were as good as theirs. I don’t think anyone could have complained if Kieffer Moore had scored and it had finished 1-1.

“I think everyone felt the Everton game (next week) would be pivotal. The fact that it isn’t shows what a big achievement it’s been from the players to stay up with four games to spare.”

Manchester United moved a step closer to playing in the Champions League next season as Casemiro’s brilliant overhead kick earned a 1-0 win away at Bournemouth.

Victory on the south coast, together with Liverpool’s failure to beat Aston Villa, strengthened United’s grip on a top-four spot with two games to play and meant Erik ten Hag is close to achieving his primary objective in his first season in charge.

This was not Ten Hag’s side at their best, but once they were in front they limited a spirited and organised Bournemouth to a handful of chances, with David de Gea in form to deny Gary O’Neil’s side whenever they threatened.

A point against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday will ensure the team go into the final day with the top-four job complete.

United took the lead after nine minutes, partly through good fortune, but the goal owed much to the quick thinking and improvisational brilliance of Casemiro.

Christian Eriksen’s floated ball into the box was flicked on inadvertently by the boot of Marcos Senesi. The defender’s intervention played Casemiro onside and in one movement he swivelled acrobatically and whacked an effort on the turn past Neto to give United the perfect start.

The game settled down, United largely controlling the ball and probing for gaps in behind Bournemouth, most of which were plugged well by O’Neil’s side.

The next real chance fell to Dominic Solanke. A long, reaching pass arrived invitingly at his feet, though the opportunity looked to have gone when Aaron Wan-Bissaka hustled him off the ball. But Solanke would not be deterred and, winning it back, he cut inside United and made space for a low drive which De Gea turned aside brilliantly.

Casemiro tried once again to execute the spectacular when he hit a thumping drive first time from 35 yards which Neto got down well to and held.

On the whole, though, the first half ended with Bournemouth in the ascendency, Solanke reminding United once again of his and his team’s threat by planting a header fractionally over with the last action before the break.

David Brooks, making his first start since being diagnosed with cancer in 2021, tested the reflexes of De Gea minutes after the restart, the goalkeeper throwing up an arm to turn a fizzing drive over the bar.

Brooks was substituted shortly afterwards and left to a standing ovation from the Vitality Stadium.

United were without top scorer Marcus Rashford, out with an unspecified illness after also missing the previous victory against Wolves, and their attack lacked a focal point in his absence.

A goalscorer of Rashford’s instincts might have brought Bournemouth an equaliser when Solanke ran the ball to the byline and sent over a cross that rolled inches in front of the goal. No one in red and black had kept pace with the forward and the ball drifted to safety.

Illya Zabarnyi was in the right spot at the right time to turn Bruno Fernandes’ first-time effort over the bar from Wan-Bissaka’s cut-back as United probed for a second.

Fernandes stung the palms of Neto with a volley from outside the box, the keeper requiring two strong palms to beat it away.

Dango Ouattara came off the bench and caused problems down United’s left, bursting past Luke Shaw and crossing one moment, linking up well with Solanke the next. If Bournemouth were going to find a way back, it looked likely that it would be via the substitute.

Instead it was another of O’Neil’s replacements, Kieffer Moore, that spurned the hosts’ best chance.

Moore’s movement was clever to run in behind, but, with only De Gea to beat, his shot was straight at the keeper, who saved with his leg.

United hearts were in mouths when Senesi volleyed on to the roof of the goal in added time.

But the visitors saw the job out and one more point will ensure Ten Hag can turn attentions to an FA Cup final meeting with Manchester City at Wembley.

Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil has challenged his side to continue pushing for points ahead of Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.

Despite being in the mix for relegation for most of the season, the Cherries secured Premier League survival last weekend and they now sit 14th in the table with 39 points.

Their survival bid saw them pick up some vital wins, including memorable victories against Tottenham and Liverpool.

They now face a tricky test against a United side pushing for Champions League football, but O’Neil believes the game offers a perfect opportunity for his team to respond to last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.

He told a pre-match press conference: “We’ve lost our last two games so 39 points is a good tally, but it was better two weeks ago so we’ve been stuck on it for a couple of weeks.

“We set ourselves a goal and we’ve achieved it, but does that mean that we’re just happy to just stop, park up and finish on 39 points? Definitely not.

“Last weekend was a good reminder that if you drop your level a little bit, it can look like a lot at this level; the Premier League is ruthless.

“We’re looking for a response from last weekend and Manchester United at home is a great fixture for the boys to go and show what they can do.

“We’ve got full focus on Manchester United, we’ve managed to get some good work done on preparing for what is going to be a very tough game against a good side that are still pushing hard to make sure they qualify for the Champions League.

“It’ll be a good test for us tomorrow.”

Jefferson Lerma could be involved on Saturday and is expected to wear protection after breaking his nose against Crystal Palace, while Hamed Traore is still ruled out.

O’Neil also confirmed that Antoine Semenyo has undergone surgery to a shin injury and is hoping for a “speedy recovery” ahead of pre-season.

“Antoine has had surgery so he will be out until next season,” O’Neil said.

“We’re hopeful he gets back and can have a decent little spell with the team before the season starts but it will depend on how quickly he recovers.

“Everything went well and we’re hoping he has a speedy recovery because he can be a big help again for us next season.”

Bournemouth have completed the permanent signing of on-loan Sassuolo midfielder Hamed Traore.

The Ivory Coast international initially joined on a six-month deal from the Serie A side on the last day of the January transfer window, with a five-year deal to be triggered if certain conditions were met.

The 23-year-old has played only three times in the Premier League as Gary O’Neil’s side have secured survival, with injury having kept him out of contention for the last month.

He has signed a deal to keep him at the Vitality Stadium until 2028, having played 140 times in Italy’s top flight for Sassuolo and Empoli.

Traore told the club website: “Everyone has been really welcoming with me. Everything is good here and I’m just happy to be here.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries so I’m looking forward to next season, but right now I’m working hard and hope to come back before the end and help the team.”

Chief executive Neill Blake added: “We’ve been really impressed by Hamed since his arrival in January, and we’re delighted to have him with us for the long term.

“He’s shown he’s already capable of performing well at the top level, and we’re excited to see him develop even further.

“The permanent signing of Hamed is another mark of our ambition for the coming years, building on this season’s success to compete once again in the Premier League.”

Bournemouth’s place in the top flight for next season was confirmed at the weekend despite their 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Gary O'Neil believes Bournemouth need one final push to secure their Premier League status, with the Cherries closing in on safety ahead of Sunday's meeting with struggling Leeds United.

Bournemouth clinched their third successive away victory on Thursday, beating Southampton 1-0 to leave Saints staring at relegation and take themselves seven points clear of the bottom three.

With the most intense relegation battle in recent memory set to go to the wire, O'Neil is keen to ensure Bournemouth do not rest on their laurels.  

"It's still about avoiding the bottom three," O'Neil said. "I still believe 36 points could be relegated.

"I think maybe the world felt we were fine when we left the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and then you get a performance against West Ham where we let ourselves down, so that's a real good lesson for the boys.

"You think everything is rosy and then you get a kick up the backside.

"Hopefully that prepares us well for what will be a tough ask against Leeds, to go off the back of a huge effort last night, with two days' fewer recovery against a very intense team."

While Bournemouth are closing in on safety, Leeds are growing increasingly desperate amid an alarming drop-off.

Javi Gracia's side followed up 5-1 and 6-1 defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool by drawing a six-pointer against Leicester City on Tuesday, Patrick Bamford missing a glaring chance for a late winner.

With Leeds one point clear of danger and facing several challenging fixtures, Gracia has attracted fierce criticism from areas of the club's fanbase.

Asked if he was worried about his own future on Friday, Gracia said: "I'm just concerned about the situation of the team.

"When I arrived, we were in a worse position.

"We wanted to get more points but we are focused on trying our best in the five games left, and that starts with Bournemouth."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke

Having scored 17 goals in 23 home league games for Bournemouth in the Championship last season, Solanke has netted just once in 14 appearances at the Vitality Stadium this campaign.

However, the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker has 12 goal involvements overall in the Premier League this term (five goals, seven assists) – at least three more than any of his team-mates (Marcus Tavernier has nine).

Leeds United – Jack Harrison

As well as leading the way for chances created (50) and assists (seven) for Leeds in the Premier League this season, Harrison has made more ball carries (309) and carried the ball a greater distance (3,479 metres) than any other player for the Whites in the competition this term.

Meanwhile, only Rodrigo (11) and Luis Sinisterra (five) have bettered Harrison's tally of four league goals for Leeds this campaign. With Gracia's men on the slide, they need the winger to provide some attacking inspiration.

 

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

Leeds have won 10 of their 13 previous league games against Bournemouth (D2 L1), including nine of the last 10. That represents their best win rate against any opponent they have faced at least 10 times in their league history (77 per cent).

However, only Nottingham Forest (six) have won fewer away points than Leeds' nine in the Premier League this season, and the visitors have only kept one clean sheet in their last 18 road trips.

While Bournemouth's need for points is less pressing than that of Leeds following their midweek victory, the Cherries have taken 15 points from their last eight league games (W5 L3), so they will be hopeful of picking up a result to inch them closer to safety.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Bournemouth - 34.7 per cent

Leeds United - 37.1 per cent

Draw - 28.2 per cent

Just as Premier League managers toy with their options for crucial run-in games, fantasy bosses are weighing up who should slot into their teams this weekend.

Some will be looking to consolidate lofty positions, but many will be eyeing a gamble in a late attempt to shuffle up the standings.

It comes down to analysing form, whether recent or over a longer course of time.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform selects four players you might consider for the latest set of matches.
 

Jose Sa (Leicester City v Wolves)

In a midlands battle between hosts in the relegation mire and visitors who are creeping clear of trouble, Wolves may need goalkeeper Jose Sa to be at his sharpest.

Only three teams have recorded more Premier League shutouts than Wolves in 2023 (5), while Sa is the eighth different goalkeeper to have recorded at least 20 clean sheets since the start of last season.

He is targeting a third successive clean sheet this weekend, and since the start of last season, only Alisson (14.2) and Bernd Leno (9.9) have prevented more goals than Sa (6.4), based on Opta's xG model.

Eberechi Eze (Crystal Palace v Everton)

We've seen an April shower of goals from Crystal Palace this month, and now lowly Everton are the visitors to Selhurst Park.

Since the start of April, only Manchester City (11) have scored more goals in the Premier League than Palace (9), with Eberechi Eze netting three of those.

With seven goals and three assists this season, he has already equalled his best tally for goal involvements in the Premier League season (also 10 in 2020-21), and under Roy Hodgson's leadership he is clearly thriving again.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool v Nottingham Forest)

Setting penalties to one side, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been showing some serious form of late, hitting a double last time out at Leeds United.

Only Ollie Watkins (14) and Erling Haaland (13) have been involved in more Premier League goals in 2023 than the Liverpool forward, with Salah totting up 11 involvements (8 goals, 3 assists), nine of which have come since the beginning of March.

In his last 10 Premier League games against teams that have come up from the Championship, as Forest did at the start of this campaign, Salah has been involved in nine goals (6 goals, 3 assists).

Dominic Solanke (Bournemouth v West Ham)

When Dominic Solanke gets hot, the opposition soon know about it.

He has become just the fifth different player for Bournemouth to record at least five goals and five assists in a Premier League season, achieving that by scoring once and providing two assists last time out against Tottenham.

The 25-year-old former Liverpool player had a stunning 2021-22 campaign in the Championship with the Cherries, and while he has not consistently hit the same heights in the top flight, the Tottenham game was the third of the Premier League season in which he has both scored and assisted. Nobody in the league has done so on more occasions, heading into this weekend's round of games.

Hugo Lloris has described the boos Davinson Sanchez was subjected to by Tottenham fans during a stunning 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth as "sad for the club".

Sanchez replaced the injured Clement Lenglet 10 minutes before half-time when Spurs were 1-0 up in the Premier League clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but his appearance was only brief.

The Colombia international inadvertently provided Dominic Solanke with the opportunity to put the relegation-threatened Cherries 2-1 up after the break, prodding the ball into the striker's path before he beat Lloris.

Centre-back Sanchez was soon back on the bench in the 58th minute after making way for Arnaut Danjuma, who equalised before Dango Ouattara scored a last-gasp winner for Bournemouth.

Sanchez was booed by Tottenham supporters when he was hauled off and captain Lloris was not impressed with the way he was targeted.

The France goalkeeper beIN Sports: "It started earlier. It's when he came on the pitch. I've never seen this in my career.

"I feel really bad for Davinson. He's a team-mate, he's a friend and he's been fighting for the club for many, many years now.

"It's just sad. The story is sad for the club, for the fans, for the player. It's something you don't want to see in football."

Spurs interim boss Cristian Stellini stressed the importance of the club must rallying around Sanchez.

"I understand it's a tough moment for everyone and we have to analyse this moment," he said. "Everyone needs to analyse how important it is to support a player.

"I take the responsibility for the decisions I make. I thought it was too early in the game to use another striker because we were 1-0 up in the first half.

"When we were 2-1 down I thought it was the moment Davinson has to [come off]. It was only a tactical decision. We need to support him because it's a tough moment for him and also for all the team."

Kevin De Bruyne became the second player to reach 100 Premier League assists for one club as the Manchester City playmaker teed up Erling Haaland for the hosts' third goal in a 3-1 win over Leicester City.

The result cut Arsenal's lead to three points at the top of the table, ahead of the Gunners' trip to West Ham on Sunday.

Saturday's games saw Ollie Watkins remain in eye-catching form for Aston Villa, but there were grim home defeats for London giants Chelsea and Tottenham as Brighton and Hove Albion and Bournemouth celebrated impressive victories.

Here Stats Perform, guided by notable Opta match facts, unpicks the finer detail from the day's Premier League action.

Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City: Haaland and De Bruyne star as City keep pressure on

Armed with a 3-0 lead after 25 minutes, Manchester City took their foot off the pedal and Leicester gained a foothold, but the Foxes rarely get much from this fixture. It is 11 wins in their last 13 league games against Leicester now for Pep Guardiola's team, and five wins from as many meetings.

City are on a 10-match winning streak across all competitions, which they have bettered only twice during the Guardiola era, having a run of 21 wins from December 2020 to March 2021, and an 11-game run from August to October in 2017.

Haaland scored twice to take his goals tally to 32 in the top flight, ever closer to the Premier League record of 34 in a single campaign, while De Bruyne's pass that set up the Norway striker's second meant he completed 100 assists for City. Ryan Giggs, with 162 for Manchester United, is the only other player to reach a century of assists for one club in the Premier League.

De Bruyne has now assisted 10 goals for Haaland across all competitions this season, and that is the most assists any one player has had for the young goal machine with a top-flight club, beating Jadon Sancho's nine when he and Haaland were team-mates at Borussia Dortmund in the 2020-21 campaign.

Leicester remain deep in relegation trouble, with the 2015-16 Premier League champions having taken just eight points from 16 games in the competition (W2 D2 L12), losing eight of their past nine.

 

Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle United: Watkins and Villa hit half-century marks as Emery revival gathers pace

Aston Villa were hovering precariously closely to the relegation zone when Steven Gerrard was sacked in October. A sensational recovery continued as they steamrollered third-placed Newcastle on Saturday, with their winning run in the Premier League now at five games.

They last reached five wins in a row in the competition on this corresponding weekend 25 years ago, when John Gregory was boss, and Saturday's result means Newcastle's Eddie Howe has lost his last four league clashes with Villa manager Unai Emery, who was previously in charge of Arsenal, by an 11-2 aggregate.

Villa have reached 50 points from 31 games, the earliest they have achieved that tally since they got there in 29 matches in 2009-10, and Watkins has been a key figure in the team's resurgence.

The England striker added to Jacob Ramsey's opener, which came from Watkins' headed assist, by netting a second-half double to take the game away from the Magpies.

Watkins' 50th, 51st and 52nd goal involvements for Villa (39 goals and 13 assists) came in his 102nd Premier League game for the team, with only Christian Benteke (88 games) having reached 50 in fewer games in the competition for the club. Watkins has 12 goals and three assists on Premier League duty since the World Cup, with only Haaland (16) having more goal involvements during this time.

Chelsea 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls swoop for Stamford Bridge scalp

Brighton substitutes Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso did the damage, and Chelsea could have no complaints. In terms of expected goals (xG), Brighton bossed this, ending with 2.28 compared to the hosts' 0.60.

After failing to win against Chelsea in 14 Premier League matches, Brighton have done the double this season, having won 4-1 at home in October.

Chelsea's winless run at home in the league now stands at four matches (D2 L2), and that is their worst streak since taking just one point from their final five games at Stamford Bridge in the 2015-16 season.

Only Manchester United (10) have had more goals from substitutes than Brighton (8) in the Premier League this season, and those two sides meet next weekend in the semi-final stage of the FA Cup.

Tottenham 2-3 Bournemouth: Echoes of Balotelli as Outtara stuns Spurs

Tottenham have Aston Villa and Brighton in hot pursuit after this shock reverse, with Dango Ouattara getting Bournemouth's winner four minutes and 11 seconds into stoppage time.

It was the latest winning goal Bournemouth have ever scored in the Premier League, as well as being the second-latest winning goal scored against Spurs by any team on record since 2006-07, after Mario Balotelli's strike for Manchester City in January 2012, which came after four minutes and 39 seconds of added time.

This was Bournemouth's first away league win against Tottenham, after losing on all five previous attempts, and it marked the first time Spurs have lost at home when taking the lead since a 3-2 setback against Southampton in February of last year.

Bournemouth have won five of their last nine Premier League games and have remarkably leapt six points clear of the bottom three, having won just five of their previous 25 matches. Dominic Solanke scored the Cherries' second and provided assists for their two other goals, scoring and assisting in the same Premier League game for the third time this season, with no player having done so on more occasions.

Arnaut Danjuma believes Tottenham must "come to terms" quickly with their dramatic 3-2 loss against Bournemouth as they chase a top-four finish.

Spurs were on the wrong side of a five-goal Premier League thriller on Saturday, after Dango Ouattara's 95th-minute strike sealed victory for the Cherries.

Danjuma had equalised at the end of normal time to seemingly rescue a point after Matias Vina and Dominic Solanke had cancelled out Son Heung-min's opener.

As a result, fifth-placed Spurs missed the chance to move level on points with Manchester United and third-placed Newcastle United, who suffered a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

"We have to come to terms with it," he told BBC Match of the Day. "I think we did our best to pursue an extra goal. If you are Spurs, you should always try to go for the win.

"Inevitably, you leave some space for Bournemouth to counter-attack. It is a bit quiet [in the dressing room] but as quiet as it is, we are still excited about upcoming games.

"We saw Newcastle dropped points. The game has not been good for us, but we go back to the drawing board and work hard in training."

Danjuma, who is on loan at Spurs from Villarreal, previously spent two seasons with Bournemouth and was the club's player of the year during their 2020-21 Championship campaign.

Reflecting on finding the net against his former team, he acknowledged his mixed emotions, adding: "It is always a bit dubious scoring against your old club.

"I have nothing but love for Bournemouth. They treated me well and gave me a very good three years. Football is a business, though. I am at Spurs now, and I give my all for the club."

Spurs next play top-four rivals Newcastle a week on Sunday, before a subsequent clash against United in what is a decisive stretch for their Champions League ambitions.

Dango Ouattara's dramatic late strike snatched a 3-2 win for Bournemouth over Tottenham in a Premier League thriller on Saturday.

Arnaut Danjuma looked to have salvaged a point for Spurs with an 89th-minute equaliser after goals from Matias Vina and Dominic Solanke put the Cherries in front following Son Heung-min's opener.

But Ouattara had the final say with a superbly composed finish in the fifth minute of stoppage time to hand Gary O'Neil's side three precious points in their battle to stay in the top flight.

Defeat is the latest setback for Spurs in their quest to qualify for the Champions League, with key clashes against rivals Newcastle United and Manchester United to come.

Cristian Stellini has called on Tottenham to take more risks as they approach the first of "eight finals" in the race to secure a top-four Premier League finish. 

Tottenham approach Saturday's meeting with Bournemouth three points adrift of Newcastle United and Manchester United in the battle for Champions League qualification, having played one game more than both sides.

Despite only Arsenal and Manchester City bettering their tally of 55 Premier League goals this term, Spurs attracted criticism for a perceived negative approach under Stellini's predecessor Antonio Conte.

With Tottenham facing an uphill task to reach Europe's premier club competition for a second season in a row, the club's acting head coach is aware they need to step things up in attack.

"We have to play the eight final games like eight finals," Stellini said. "We started with Brighton and now we have eight games. We have to play attacking football. 

"We are trying to push more to create more chances, to try to shoot more on target, to create something that can create a good atmosphere in the stadium, and to get the crowd behind us.

"I think we played many games in the past that were really attractive. For me, it is important to win games in this moment and not only to think about how attractive our football is."

Tottenham's last game – a controversial 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – was marred by a mass confrontation involving members of both teams' coaching staff, which saw Stellini and opposite number Roberto De Zerbi sent off.

Both teams were charged by the Football Association in the aftermath of that incident, though Stellini and De Zerbi both appear to have avoided touchline bans.

Reflecting on the incident, Stellini said: "What we created in that moment was not a good impression for anyone. Maybe for the atmosphere we created, the decision is good.

"We have to be better and personally, I am happy we showed we are a team, we are linked, we are close and we defend ourselves and our club. 

"At the same time, I am happy because I feel I was not involved in anything, so it is a good decision that I stay on the touchline for tomorrow."

Asked if he had spoken to De Zerbi since the game, Stellini said: "No. This type of thing stays on the pitch, you forget this type of situation immediately after the game. Everything is fine for me."

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