Brentford head coach Thomas Frank has acknowledged managers like himself and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp must be aware of their touchline behaviour, but conceded sometimes emotions do get the better of them.

Klopp was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association on Tuesday over his post-match comments about Paul Tierney after he insisted the referee “had history” with the club, having raced down the touchline to celebrate wildly in front of fourth official John Brooks following Liverpool’s stoppage-time winner in the 4-3 victory over Tottenham.

The German has until Friday to respond and this weekend’s visit of Brentford may end up being his last on the touchline if the FA decides to ban the 55-year-old, with Klopp having already served a one-match suspension in November for confronting assistant referee Gary Beswick in their win over Manchester City.

Frank said: “I think we all as managers need to think about how we present ourselves on the touchline and of course we need to be aware of that.

“I try my best but I am not perfect. I have also done things that afterwards I am thinking I should have done a little better there.

“We’re only humans and there is a lot of emotion and pressure in those situations.

“This situation, I don’t know. I don’t know what exactly happened. I guess it is up to Jurgen to explain.

“I think in general Jurgen is coming across very well and then there are some times where we are very emotional and we maybe make a mistake.

“As I said, I try my best but sometimes the emotions and the pressure over time just gets you.”

Bees boss Frank was otherwise full of praise for his opposite number ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield, where the visitors will eye an unlikely first ever double over Liverpool.

Last season Brentford suffered a 3-0 loss on Merseyside and their manager reflected on the strangeness of football that Klopp’s side were so close to an unprecedented quadruple in the 2022-23 campaign while now they are set to miss out on the top-four.

“Sometimes I try to get my head around that Liverpool last year were so close to the perfect season,” Frank said.

“They played every possible game they could and just missed out by a point in the league. And they played a Champions League final they should have won, they were unlucky. Now this year they are, in their terminology, struggling a little bit and that is only losing (Sadio) Mane.

“Football is so strange.

“I think the job they have done there over the last four or five seasons should have brought even more titles for them. I think they have been quite unlucky.”

Brentford beat Liverpool at home in January with Yoane Wissa on target, and the forward agreed a new deal with the west London club on Thursday to keep him there until 2026.

Frank said: “He’s a very important player. It is a privilege to have a player that we know can always provide goals.

“I think that is a very important skillset to have in the squad and then it is up to me to find and put the best players on the pitch.

“He is very, very good to work with and fantastic for the group, so I’m very pleased we managed to extend his contract.”

Frank Lampard insists he still loves being at Chelsea and is relishing the challenge of turning the club’s fortunes around.

Lampard has lost all five of his games in charge since returning to the club earlier this month for a second spell as manager, this time as caretaker, after Graham Potter was sacked.

Chelsea were booed off at half-time during last week’s 2-0 home defeat to Brentford, which extended their winless run in all competitions to eight matches, and sit six points adrift of the Premier League’s top 10.

They play at title-chasing London rivals Arsenal on Tuesday and when asked if he still relished coming into work, Lampard said: “Absolutely. My eyes were open when I came into this job.

“I’m too experienced in football as a player and now as a coach to understand that things don’t necessarily change over night in terms of results and we’ve seen that.

“Our job is to work on performances and mentality of the group in training to try and bring back a good feeling. That only comes with hard work.

“I enjoy that challenge and I was very aware of it coming in. I’m very proud to manage the club. I love being here and I enjoy doing my job.

“The reality in football is your career will not always be full of success. People will always remember the success, but part of the job is the tougher moments, whether you’re a manager or a player.

“You can’t always control the results, but you can control how you work every day, so I enjoy that aspect of it.”

Chelsea’s Champions League hopes have also been dashed under Lampard after a 4-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid and the former Blues midfielder faces another huge test of his managerial credentials against the Gunners.

“We’re not in a great moment are we?” Lampard said. “But I’ve been able to live this now for a few weeks. I also lived maybe 10 years of incredible success here and saw it continue, and was part of it again, and saw it continue.

“It can be pretty normal, if you look at the history of all of the top clubs in the league, (there are) moments of tough periods.

“Our opponents (on Tuesday) are good example of that. They want to be challenging for Premier Leagues and they are again now and it’s been a while for them.

“I think we have to put perspective on it and understand that we’ve got to work on all aspects of the club to get back the feeling and position of where we want to be.

“It’s not a given in this league and there’s a lot of work to do.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could feature again after stepping off the bench against Brentford and Kai Havertz is back in contention after injury.

But Kalidou Koulibaly (calf) is still out and could miss the rest of the season.

Mason Mount (pelvis) and Reece James (hamstring) are also unlikely to appear in Chelsea’s last six matches and Marc Cucurella faces two more weeks on the sidelines.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says there is “no ill feeling” with Jonjo Shelvey after their recent falling-out and the midfielder will be available for the visit to Brentford.

Shelvey, who has been carrying a knock, was left out of Wednesday’s win over Brighton as a result of his tantrum at also being omitted from the previous match at Liverpool.

Cooper says the incident has been blown out of proportion and their relationship is fine ahead of the crucial run-in.

Asked whether he was left out against Brighton as a result of his behaviour prior to the Anfield trip, Cooper said: “And a knock to be honest. Sometimes things are not exactly what they are and we have to accept that.

“Everyone is good, we are looking forward. He is really well liked in the dressing room and we need everybody in the situation we are in, with the injuries we are picking up.

“There is no ill feeling in any way, shape or form, regardless of what may or may not have been said. We need everyone to stick together and get behind everybody and that’s what we’re doing.

“Jonjo is available. He was carrying a knock last week and there was one or two other things, it is not a big a drama as was said, in some ways it was a training ground thing, but it is past us and we are looking forward to going to Brentford. He is 100 per cent available.”

Neco Williams will not be available after he suffered a fractured jaw in the win over Brighton and will miss the rest of the season following surgery.

The injury came just as the Wales international had regained his place in the team.

Cooper said: “Not good, when you saw the collison on the pitch, you feared the worst and unfortunately it is bad news, with the fractured jaw.

“He has had an operation and it has gone well in a difficult situation for him and it rules him out for the season and now he is on the road to recovery.

“It is a difficult situation for him, he got himself back into the team recently and was playing well and a confidence about him and had a spring in his step. It’s a blow for us and a blow for him.”

Forest will assess Moussa Niakhate, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Seagulls, and Taiwo Awoniyi, who suffered a shoulder problem.

On Niakhate, Cooper said: “It is still inconclusive with that one, we will have to see with regards to tomorrow but we definitely did the right thing, he felt something in the game and we were able to make the change but regarding the extent of his availability we will have to see on that.”

Chelsea are reportedly investigating a potential transfer for Sadio Mane after the forward's highly publicised bust-up with Bayern Munich team-mate Leroy Sane.

Mane, 31, won the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool before joining Bayern in a £27million (€32m) transfer in June.

His first season in Germany has resulted in 10 goals and five assists in his 30 combined appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League, making 22 starts.

While he has been far from a disappointment, his future at the club is now up in the air after a widely reported incident where he punched his team-mate after a 3-0 Champions League defeat against Manchester City.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO OFFER MANE A RETURN TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE

According to Football Insider, Sadio Mane "is now believed to be on the radar of Chelsea", and the Stamford Bridge club are now "ready to consider a shock move".

The report states Bayern will only be looking to recoup the majority of the fee they paid for the Senegalese star, and would provide a far cheaper alternative to Napoli's 24-year-old sensation Victor Osimhen.

It also adds that Mane's former club Liverpool have no interest in bringing him back to Anfield.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting that West Ham's 24-year-old midfielder Declan Rice is Arsenal's top priority in the next transfer window.

Aston Villa are planning a bid for 27-year-old Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who also has interest from Manchester United, per Football Insider.

– According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan would like to secure 30-year-old Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata as a replacement for injury-prone veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

– Former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wants to reunite with 28-year-old midfielder Mateo Kovacic at Bayern Munich, per Sport1.

Barcelona's determination to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou is going to be a major storyline during the next transfer window.

But their pursuit of the 2022 World Cup winner is complicated given the Blaugrana's financial situation.

As a result, Barca's squad are on notice, with expectations that key players may need to be offloaded.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE TRIO TO SWOOP FOR RAPHINHA

Raphinha is set to be sold by Barcelona in the off-season with three Premier League clubs circling for his signature, according to reports.

The Blaugrana will need to let Raphinha go to free up space for Messi to return given the club's financial issues, claims Fichajes. Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season.

Raphinha joined from Leeds United last year and his stay could be short. AS claims Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United are all interested in the 26-year-old.

 

ROUND-UP

– Milan forward Rafael Leao has declined offers from both Real Madrid and Chelsea, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic is drawing interest from Manchester United , according to Croatian outlet Jutarnji, with the Red Devils uncertain on David de Gea 's future.

Chelsea are tracking Brentford pair David Raya and Ivan Toney, reports Football London.

– Football 365 claims Aston Villa are circling for Emile Smith Rowe,  who is "disappointed" with his lack of game time at Arsenal.

– Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu's planned move to Atletico Madrid is signed and sealed, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Turkish defender's contract will run until 2027.

– Sky Germany's Florian Plettenberg claims Yann Sommer could leave Bayern Munich in the off-season, with new head coach Thomas Tuchel set to restore Manuel Neuer to the side when he returns to full fitness.

Frank Lampard lamented Chelsea's luck after the Blues' losing streak hit five games in all competitions with a 2-0 defeat to Brentford.

An own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta in the first half was followed by Bryan Mbeumo's deflected effort on the counter late in the second, leaving Chelsea winless in their last eight.

Lampard has tasted defeat in each of his three Premier League matches since returning to take temporary charge at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea still languishing in the bottom half of the standings.

The manner of the latest loss to Brentford will be difficult to swallow, as Chelsea dominated proceedings for the majority of the game but were unable to convert.

Lampard believes a lack of confidence is the reason for that, with everything going against his side.

"It's a difficult one; I feel for the players a bit. They've lived it longer than me and there is low confidence," he told BT Sport.

"In terms of the game, we controlled possession. Brentford are good at what they do. They turn you round, they get throw-ins, they get corners, they scored from a deflected corner in a stalemate first half.

"We dominated the second half and they scored on a breakaway, so the details of the game are pretty clear. We're lacking the belief when we get to the top end of the pitch.

"In this moment, it's not a sob story, but everything is going against us. That game is a clear one. Even though we're not creating big chances, we had control of the first half.

"We have difficult games, a really difficult run-in. Some players came into the game and did okay, so maybe it is time to see those players a bit more.

"At the moment, everyone is 20 per cent down on confidence, so that moment to beat a player, to deliver on that half chance we get, we're not taking it, so that's the story for me."

Chelsea fell to a fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions after a 2-0 Premier League reverse against Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Cesar Azpilicueta's first-half own goal put Brentford ahead at the break, with the Blues unable to muster much of a threat thereafter.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's half-time introduction did at least provide some energy to Chelsea's attack, though the hosts never truly looked like scoring.

Any hope of a late comeback was thwarted by Bryan Mbeumo, his deflected effort clinching a win to boost Brentford's European hopes.

Frank Lampard urged Chelsea's players to show "personal pride" and finish the season strongly as the club target Mauricio Pochettino to become their new head coach.

Injuries are set to keep Reece James and Mason Mount out of action for the rest of the season, Lampard revealed on Tuesday.

The loss of the England internationals comes as the latest blow in a wretched season for the club that has seen two head coaches, Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, lose their jobs.

Interim boss Lampard could also be replaced before the campaign ends, having overseen four defeats in four games since the club legend was asked to lead the team.

With Pochettino a firm contender to take charge, there may be a new man at the helm in the coming days or weeks.

What seems nigh-on certain is that Lampard will lead Chelsea in Wednesday's home game against fellow west London outfit Brentford.

The Bees are remarkably five points ahead of the wealthy Blues ahead of that fixture, and Lampard wants to see battling spirit from his 11th-placed side.

He broke the dismal news of the fresh injury setbacks at the beginning of Tuesday's pre-match press conference, saying: "Reece James is unavailable probably for the season, Mason Mount the same – potential for the last game of the season but probably not – so that's obviously disappointing for us.

"They're big players. Reece has a hamstring injury and Mason has been carrying this pelvic injury for quite a while. He's been trying typically, and medical staff have been trying, but we've got to the stage now where he will have minor surgery and then a four-week recovery."

Asked about the potential arrival of former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss Pochettino, Lampard said: "I'm not going to get involved in any future manager talk, because it's all speculation."

 

Lampard is unsure whether his short-term position will soon be affected by the club's efforts to appoint a coach, or whether he will continue to lead the team until the end of the season.

"I wouldn't expect anything in football, but I think it's very clear we've come into this club when it's in big difficulties," Lampard said.

He vowed he and his coaching staff would continue to try to draw the best from the expensively assembled Chelsea squad and called on the players to raise their games.

Two Champions League losses to Real Madrid and Premier League defeats to Wolves and Brighton have made it a disappointing start for Lampard.

"I have a big link to this club and pride, and so should the players," Lampard said, when asked whether Chelsea's season was effectively over.

"If you want to take it down your route, it's over, but on my route it's absolutely not over.

"I don't have a mentality that there's nothing to play for. I was fortunate to be a part of teams that were challenging normally for stuff towards the end of the season, but that's not a given. It's important that if you have a long career you won't compete absolutely every season, it's not a given.

"It comes down to your personal pride, responsibility, wearing the shirt. We've got seven games, four against the top four, three away from home.

"The run-in's really tough, there's no doubt about that. There's always something on those games. I understand that and the players have to understand that."

Manchester United are reportedly keeping a close eye on Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar as a possible transfer target following the expected change of ownership in coming months.

Neymar, 31, is one of the biggest names in the sport, boasting over 100 goals for both former club Barcelona and with Paris Saint-Germain, as well as 77 goals in 124 international caps for Brazil – tying Pele for the country's international goals record.

While his resume as an all-time great is secured, Neymar is battling injuries yet again this season, with a serious ankle injury in February marking a premature end to his campaign.

After becoming the most expensive transfer in world football history back in 2017, Neymar holds all the cards for when, and if he will leave Paris, but he has fans in England if he decides to chase a new challenge.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED VIEW NEYMAR AS POTENTIAL MARQUEE SIGNING FOR NEW REGIME

According to Foot Mercato, United have been keeping an eye on Neymar's situation "for several months", having enquired about him around the January window, but they will not be able to progress in any negotiations until a sale of the club is finalised.

The report states that the belief is multiple significant stars would be brought in to Old Trafford in the event of a sale, and that Neymar would be near the top of that list.

Meanwhile, The Mirror adds Chelsea also have interest in the Brazilian talent, but ultimately the final decision will be made by Neymar, with his contract including a player option to extend through 2026.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Guardian is reporting Crystal Palace are prepared to offer 30-year-old winger Wilfried Zaha a new contract worth £200,000 to fend off interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

– According to journalist Ekrem Konur, Premier League sides Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal are all fans of 20-year-old Brentford left-back Aaron Hickey.

Eintracht Frankfurt's top priority in the upcoming transfer window is 17-year-old Paris Saint-Germain centre-back El Chadaille Bitshiabu, who is valued at €15million, per Foot Mercato.

– Football Insider is reporting 26-year-old forward Allan Saint-Maximin could leave Newcastle United after the season if he does not receive assurances about his playing time, and Milan are said to be keen to snap him up.

Chelsea's disappointing season has created speculation about several of their key players' futures.

The Blues are mid-table in the Premier League and will miss out on Champions League qualification next term.

It has been a tumultuous season, with Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter both axed under their new ownership led by Todd Boehly.

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID OPEN HAVERTZ TALKS

Real Madrid have commenced negotiations with Chelsea about a possible off-season move for Kai Havertz, reports 90min.

Los Blancos view the 23-year-old German forward as a potential successor for veteran striker Karim Benzema.

Madrid are eager to reinforce their offensive options in the next transfer window. Bayern Munich are known to be admirers of Havertz too.

 

ROUND-UP

– Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juventus are planning a move to bring Chelsea's Kalidou Koulibaly back to Italy as he is unhappy at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool's interest in RB Leipzig's Josko Gvardiol has cooled given the German club's £80m valuation which they believe is too high, according to Football Insider.

– The Mirror reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering selling Neymar in the off-season with his contract up in 2025. Chelsea and one other Premier League club are interested.

Real Madrid are preparing a new contract offer for Eduardo Camavinga amid links with Premier League clubs, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Frenchman wants to remain with Madrid.

– The Sun claims Manchester City are plotting a move for Brentford full back Aaron Hickey who is expected to cost around £30m.

– There is no truth to speculation linking Barcelona with a move for Chelsea's Reece James, according to Fabrizio Romano. James signed a long-term deal last year.

Lionel Messi's club future remains uncertain, with his Paris Saint-Germain contract at the end of this season.

The two parties have not reached any agreement on a new deal, while there has been speculation linking the 35-year-old with a return to Barcelona.

Messi has also been linked with big-money moves to clubs in Saudi Arabia and the United States.

TOP STORY – PSG WILLING TO MOVE ON FROM MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain are willing to let Lionel Messi exit on a free transfer in the upcoming off-season, reports the Sunday Mirror.

Contract talks between Messi and PSG have stalled in the months following Argentina's World Cup triumph, having reportedly been close to penning an extension.

The report claims PSG are "in no rush" to extend Messi's deal as interest, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi looking to run the club in a more sustainable way, relying less on star power.

 

ROUND-UP

Bayern Munich's number one striker target in the off-season remains Napoli's Victor Osimhen following talks with officials and new boss Thomas Tuchel, claims BILD. The German champions are also keen on Tottenham's Harry Kane, Atalanta's Rasmus Hojlund and Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani.

Barcelona are considering off-season moves for Chelsea duo N'Golo Kante and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang , reports The Mirror.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Liverpool and Manchester United will both hold talks with Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister will take place "very soon".

– Brentford’s David Raya, Porto’s Diogo Costa and Valencia’s Giorgi Mamardashvili are all on Manchester United's goalkeeper shortlist to replace David De Gea, according to GiveMeSport.

– Football Insider claims Aston Villa are readying a £55m combined bid for Manchester City pair Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips.

– Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is on Chelsea's shortlist to be their new permanent manager, reports The Guardian.

A day after a dramatic night before following Arsenal and Southampton's nail-biting 3-3 draw, there were five more games primed to excite the masses in the Premier League.

After Fulham handed Leeds United another damaging defeat, Nottingham Forest were denied any points as well despite an impressive effort at Liverpool.

Roy Hodgson's winning return to Crystal Palace came to an end after a determined Everton took a point from Selhurst Park, though it was not enough to stop them from slipping into the relegation zone after Leicester City beat Wolves, with Timothy Castagne hitting the winner at the King Power Stadium.

Douglas Luiz won a late point for Aston Villa at Brentford to maintain Unai Emery's impressive record since arriving at the club.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the more interesting Opta facts from Saturday's Premier League action.

Fulham 2-1 Leeds United: Cottagers add to Whites woes

It has been quite a return to the Premier League for Fulham, who have won 13 games this season, their joint-second highest tally in a single campaign (14 wins in four different seasons). In fact, it is one more victory than they managed in their previous two top-flight campaigns combined (seven in 2018-19 and five in 2020-21).

Leeds came into this having conceded 11 goals in their last two games, both at home, but have now also kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 Premier League away games.

Harry Wilson scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since his first ever two appearances in the competition in August 2019.

With two more at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Andreas Pereira has had more shots on target from outside the box than any other player in England's top-flight this season (17). However, all four of his goals this season have been from inside the box, including his goal here.

Only Liverpool and Brighton (four) have benefitted from more own goals in the Premier League than Leeds this season (three), with Joao Palhinha turning into his own net. Only in 1997-98 (four) have the Whites ever benefitted from more own goals in a single Premier League campaign.

Brentford 1-1 Aston Villa: Bees stung by late Villa leveller

An 87th-minute equaliser for Aston Villa meant they have scored in all 19 of their Premier League games under Unai Emery, the longest consecutive scoring run any team has had from the start of a manager/head coach's tenure in the competition's history.

Brentford are now winless in six Premier League games (D3 L3), only between January and February 2022 have they been on a longer run without victory in the competition (eight games).

Ivan Toney registered his 40th goal involvement in the Premier League (31 goals, nine assists), on his 65th appearance, with only Harry Kane (40), Mohamed Salah (39) and Erling Haaland (32) netting more than Toney since the start of last season.

Seven of Douglas Luiz' nine goal involvements in the Premier League this season have come under Emery (three goals, four assists), with only Ollie Watkins involved in more goals (20) for Villa this season.

 

Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton: Holgate sees red but Toffees stick to it

The Eagles failed to score in a Premier League game for the first time since Hodgson returned to the club, having averaged three per game across his previous three matches in charge.

Palace are unbeaten in four Premier League games in that time though (W3 D1) and have kept clean sheets in each of their last two, having kept just two clean sheets in their previous 14 league matches.

Everton slipped into the bottom three despite a well-earned point, and are now winless in their last 12 Premier League away matches (D4 L8) and have failed to score a goal in nine of those matches. However, they kept their first clean sheet away from home since October.

Mason Holgate saw red late on after two yellow cards. Everton have now received two red cards in their last four league matches having previously not received one in the league since May 2022, when both Jarrad Branthwaite and Salomon Rondon were given their marching orders against Brentford.

Leicester City 2-1 Wolves: Foxes outwit Wolves

A massive win for Dean Smith's side in the fight against relegation saw them end their nine-game winless run in the Premier League (D1 L8), with this their first victory since February against Tottenham.

Wolves have won just one of their last 26 away league games against Leicester (D9 L16) and remain winless in their last seven at the King Power Stadium, last succeeding in a 4-1 victory in the Championship in May 2007.

No side has conceded more goals from outside the box in the Premier League this season than Leicester's 14 after Matheus Cunha's opener for Wolves (level with Nottingham Forest). The Foxes last conceded more goals from distance in a single top-flight campaign back in 1994-95 (18).

Only Raheem Sterling (23) has won more penalties in Premier League history than Leicester's Jamie Vardy (22), who gave Kelechi Iheanacho the chance to level things from the spot.

Iheanacho (30 goals and 20 assists) became the seventh player to reach 50 Premier League goal involvements for Leicester and the third non-Englishman to do so after Muzzy Izzet (59) and Riyad Mahrez (66).

 

Liverpool 3-2 Nottingham Forest: Forest beaten despite finally finding scoring touch on the road

It was a nervy afternoon at Anfield for Liverpool, who have now lost only one of their previous 36 Premier League games against newly promoted sides at home (W29 D6), winning each of their last five, and scoring 20 goals during that run.

However, they needed to score three here after Forest scored twice in a Premier League game for the first time since May 1999 against Blackburn (2-1 win), and the first time they have done so and not won since December 1998 against Sheffield Wednesday (also a 3-2 defeat).

Forest have lost each of their last six away league games for the first time in the Premier League, and for the first time in the top-flight since December 1979 under Brian Clough.

After a run of 20 league games without a goal, Diogo Jota has scored four in his last two appearances for Liverpool, and is the first Reds player to net at least two goals in successive games in the competition since Salah in November 2017.

Salah has now scored in three successive Premier League games for the first time since October 2021 (a run of seven), while in 2023, only Watkins (14) and Haaland (13) have more goal involvements in the competition than his 12 (nine goals, three assists).

 

Unai Emery was "so happy" to see Aston Villa scramble a 1-1 draw at Brentford after losing World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to illness at half-time.

Sickly Argentina shot-stopper Martinez started the game at the Brentford Community Stadium but was replaced by Robin Olsen at the break.

When Olsen conceded in the 65th minute as Ivan Toney converted Bryan Mbeumo's cross, it was looking like being an afternoon to forget for sixth-placed Villa, but they rallied for what could be a priceless Premier League point.

Douglas Luiz slotted their 87th-minute leveller, and although Villa's five-match winning run ground to a halt, the result in west London was one that satisfied head coach Emery.

He told BBC Sport: "For 90 minutes we didn't control the game. It was a very difficult time. Only two teams have won here this season. Our game plan was to be strong in our mentality for 90 minutes.

"We didn't create big chances, but we were defending well. Our reaction in the last 15 minutes was very good."

 

Emery said his players must look to recover from a tough afternoon against the Bees in order to be at their sharpest for Tuesday's home game against Fulham.

"Brentford made it difficult," Emery added. "We are very demanding, but we have to understand the matches being difficult. I told the players I'm so happy with this draw because it was difficult.

"We can play better and we have to demand to play better for the next matches. Today here we tried to keep our game plan strong."

Emery made the point that Villa have set up the chance to earn a European place, and must now kick that ball over the line.

They have scored in all 19 of their Premier League games under Emery's leadership, which is the longest consecutive scoring run any team has had from the start of a manager's tenure in the competition's history.

"The most important thing was our reaction. Try to compete and be a candidate to play in Europe," Emery said. "We're there. Now is the key moment, the difficult moment, to get to the next step."

Regarding Martinez, Emery is hopeful the goalkeeper's discomfort will prove to be just a fleeting problem.

"Before the match, the last meal, he was feeling bad with his stomach," Emery said. "He started the match and played the first half."

By the break, Martinez "wasn't feeling good", said Emery, who added: "Hopefully he'll recover for the next match."

There is no margin for error when it comes to selecting your fantasy team with just six weeks of the Premier League season to go.

Whether you are battling to win the league, striving to climb off the bottom or desperate to catch or family member above you, it is vital to pick up precious points before it’s too late.

While you may have been picking up points galore in recent weeks and reluctant to make changes, be wary of missing out by keeping the faith.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform have picked out four players to get in your team for the latest set of matches.

 

David de Gea (Nottingham Forest v Manchester United)

Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea has the joint-highest number of top-flight clean sheets this season, racking up 13 along with Newcastle United's Nick Pope.

Seven of the Spaniard's shutouts have come in 2023 and that can rise to eight when the Red Devils face struggling Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Forest have failed to score in all three games against United so far this season, with De Gea playing in two of those matches.

 

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Leeds United v Liverpool)

Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold produced a third assist this year for Roberto Firmino to equalise late in a pulsating 2-2 draw with leaders Arsenal last Sunday.

Only Kieran Trippier (420) and Kevin De Bruyne (298) have played more passes into the opposition box than the England international's 287 this season.

Alexander-Arnold has provided assists in each of his previous two trips to Leeds United in the top flight and, with the Whites suffering a 5-1 hammering at home to Crystal Palace last time out, he can capitalise on their defensive frailties on Monday.

Michael Olise (Southampton v Crystal Palace)

Olise caused Leeds all sorts of problems in that rout at Elland Road on Sunday, becoming only the second Palace player to provide three assists in a Premier League match.

Leeds were unable to contain winger Olise, who has produced 13 assists since the start of last season. Only De Bruyne has more assists than Olise per 90 minutes of the players who have featured in at least 3,000 minutes during that time.

Olise can torment bottom-of-the-table Southampton at St Mary's on Saturday.

Ivan Toney (Wolves v Brentford)

Brentford striker Toney has scored 18 Premier League goals and provided four assists this season.

Only Erling Haaland (35) and Harry Kane (25) have more goal involvements in the division in the 2022-23 campaign.

Toney has scored twice and laid one goal on in his Premier League encounters with Wolves, a tally he can add to at Molineux on Saturday.

Manchester City put pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal ahead of their trip to Liverpool on Sunday with an emphatic 4-1 victory at Southampton.

Erling Haaland's double took him to 30 Premier League goals in 27 games, just 70 shy of Son Heung-min's career total in his eighth season in England after the South Korea international made history on Saturday.

The race for the other top-four places behind Arsenal and City saw Manchester United and Newcastle United both win, while Tottenham remain three points back after riding their luck against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Stats Perform looks at some of the more notable Opta numbers to come out of the pick of Saturday's Premier League action.

Manchester United 2-0 Everton: Wasteful Red Devils still win comfortably

After goals from Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial either side of half-time, United have won 39 Premier League games against Everton, the joint-most one side have against another in the competition's history (also 39 wins for United against Spurs).

Erik ten Hag's men have won 23 of their 28 home games in all competitions this season (D3 L2), their highest total of wins in a single campaign at Old Trafford since 2010-11 (26).

As they continue to fight relegation, Everton have won just one of their last 17 away Premier League games (D7 L9) and remain winless on the road since a 2-1 victory at Southampton in October (11 games since).

McTominay's strike was his fifth in five games for club and country, as many as in his previous 106 appearances for United and Scotland combined.

Ten Hag bemoaned his side's wastefulness as United failed to convert seven big chances – six of which came in the first half – their joint-highest total on record (since 2010-11) in a league match (also seven vs Sunderland in December 2012).

 

Brentford 1-2 Newcastle United: Bees stung by Magpies

Brentford started well in this one but ultimately failed to win a Premier League game in which they had opened the scoring for the first time (P26 W19 D6 L1), while Newcastle have lost just one of their last five away league games in which they have conceded first (W2 D2), winning the last two.

Eddie Howe has won exactly 100 Premier League points as Newcastle boss (P56 W28 D16 L12), with only fan favourite Kevin Keegan needing fewer games (51) to reach that milestone.

Ivan Toney became just the fourth player to score home and away against Newcastle in a Premier League campaign having previously played for them in the competition, following Louis Saha (2001-02), Craig Bellamy (2008-09) and Abdoulaye Faye (2008-09).

Before netting from the spot, though, Toney failed to score a penalty for the first time since October 2018 for Peterborough United against Barnsley when he saw his first effort saved by Nick Pope, having scored 24 successive penalties before Saturday (excluding shoot-outs).

A David Raya own goal drew Newcastle level, then Alexander Isak scored his eighth Premier League goal to take the points. Seven of those have either drawn Newcastle level (two) or given them the lead (five).

Tottenham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Son reaches landmark while Seagulls are left to fume

Brighton suffered their first defeat in eight Premier League games on the road (W4 D3) since a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in October, although they will be tempted to lay a lot of the blame at the door of the officials.

Seagulls boss Roberto Di Zerbi was furious with two goals being ruled out for alleged handballs, while Kaoru Mitoma was also denied what looked like a very good shout for a penalty. The Italian then became the first manager to be sent off twice in the Premier League this season. Cristian Stellini was also dismissed.

For Son, though, it was a landmark day as his terrific opener made him the first Asian player to score 100 Premier League goals, while he is just the 10th player in the league's history to score 100 goals and register 50 assists for one team – and the first to do so for Spurs.

Lewis Dunk equalised in his 200th Premier League appearance, with each of the last four players to mark that milestone in such a way now having been centre-backs  (also Kurt Zouma, Virgil van Dijk and Ben Mee).

But after the controversy at the other end, Harry Kane won it for Tottenham with his 10th goal in 12 appearances for the club against Brighton in all competitions. The Seagulls are the ninth team he has reached double-figures against in his career, along with Leicester City, Everton, Arsenal, Southampton, West Ham, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Stoke City.

 

Southampton 1-4 Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne was back to his sensational best at St Mary's, registering his 100th Premier League assist, making him the fifth player to reach that mark and doing so in fewer appearances (237) than any of the previous four.

Haaland's brace, including an outrageous bicycle kick, meant he has scored 44 goals in all competitions for City this season – the joint-most ever by a Premier League player in a single campaign, level with Ruud van Nistelrooy (2002-03) and Mohamed Salah (2017-18).

De Bruyne laid on the opener and has assisted seven Premier League goals for Haaland this season, the most one City player has ever assisted for another in a single campaign.

Jack Grealish teed up the other Haaland goal and also got on the scoresheet. He has now been involved in 10 goals in 15 league games since the World Cup (four goals, six assists). Only Haaland (14) has been involved in more for Pep Guardiola's team in that time, while it is three more than Grealish managed in his first 34 appearances for City (four goals, three assists).

Julian Alvarez replaced Haaland and dispatched a second-half penalty, becoming the fifth different City player to score as a substitute in the Premier League this season, with only United and Wolves (six) having more.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.