Erling Haaland still needs time to settle into the "unique" Manchester City "process" after suffering an unwanted Premier League first at Tottenham, says team-mate Kyle Walker.

The Norway international has enjoyed a record-breaking start to life in England, scoring 25 goals in the Premier League for Pep Guardiola's champions.

But the former Borussia Dortmund striker was largely a passenger in City's 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday, failing to register a single attempt on goal in a tepid outing.

Haaland had only 27 touches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with none of those in the box for the first time in the league this season, but Walker dismissed questions around the 22-year-old's struggles.

Right-back Walker told Sky Sports: "It's a process – he's come to Manchester City and it's a difficult team to fit into as the manager demands so much, and the way we play, it's unique.

"Erling has been fantastic. No one says anything when he's scoring goals and winning. All of sudden now when we don't win and he doesn't score, they say, 'is it the problem, do we play better without him?' 

"I hear it all the time. But no one is complaining when he's scored his 25th goal of the season. This is the team we've got now until the end of the season. We'll fight until the end."

City will indeed have to "fight until the end" after a missed opportunity at Spurs left them still trailing leaders Arsenal by five points, despite the Gunners falling to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

It marked a fourth straight away league defeat to Tottenham for Guardiola's side without scoring, as City achieved that unwanted feat against a single opponent for just a third time in the Premier League.

With City having played a game more than title hopefuls Arsenal, Walker believes his side need to start creating more clear-cut chances to translate their possessional dominance into victories.

"I'm not being negative with anyone, but there are certain things we can do better around the box," the England full-back added.

"Making that clear-cut chance, making the goalkeeper make a save, just creating more clear-cut actions, rather than having possession around the box. Sometimes you need to have shots and shots on target."

City will look to bounce back when they host Unai Emery's Aston Villa on February 12 ahead of visiting Arsenal three days later.

Pep Guardiola says his admiration for Harry Kane has not dwindled since missing out on the Tottenham star, who he considers one of the greatest strikers he has ever seen.

Manchester City fell short in their pursuit of the England international ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, with Tottenham standing firm on their huge valuation at the time.

The reigning English champions instead turned to Erling Haaland a year later and the 22-year-old is currently the most prolific striker in world football.

While pleased with the impact Haaland has made since arriving from Borussia Dortmund, Guardiola still remains a fan of Kane.

"We are extremely happy with Erling and, of course, I think Tottenham are extremely happy with Harry Kane," Guardiola said.

"What an exceptional player – the numbers and, more than the goals, the quality. That they didn't win a title [doesn't mean] he is not a good player. I think he proved that.

"Harry Kane remains one of the best strikers I have ever seen in my life."

Haaland has scored 31 goals in 27 matches for City this season – six more than Europe's next highest goalscorer, Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe (25).

Kane has himself been in good form this campaign for an inconsistent Spurs side, with his tally of 18 goals bettered only by Haaland, Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski (23).

He has scored 16 goals in the Premier League this season and is now just one short of overtaking club legend Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's all-time record goalscorer.

The 29-year-old also needs one more goal to become the third player after Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) to reach the 200 mark in the Premier League.

Those records will be in Kane's sights when Spurs host City on Sunday, a little over two weeks on from the sides facing off in a thrilling clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola criticised his side after they recovered from two goals down at half-time to win 4-2, but they have since won back-to-back matches without conceding.

"From the results since then, if we'd lost or drawn it would have been seen as a bad approach," Guardiola said.

"But I explained my feelings. I know my team, I know the players. It doesn't matter what happened.

"The decisions we take are to do our best and for our benefit. I take responsibility for that, that's why I'm in charge. I didn't know what would happen when I said my comments. 

"I just expressed my feelings, first to the team and then in public and that's all. It's just three games after that and we have to continue."

Guardiola has lost all four of his visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions, making it the away ground he has managed at the most without winning.

Jadon Sancho was flooded with support from team-mates and Premier League rivals after declaring he was "so happy" to be back in action for Manchester United.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger had been absent due to what manager Erik ten Hag described as "circumstances with fitness and mood".

He played his first game since October 22 when he came off the bench in Wednesday's EFL Cup win against Nottingham Forest.

Ten Hag said Sancho's issues had been physical and mental, and the club have been careful not to rush him back. After three months out of action, however, Sancho will be hoping to repay United's patience on the pitch.

He wrote on Instagram: "Wow! Just want to say a massive thank you to everyone for the support I've received over the past few weeks especially to the fans. My focus is to give my all to my team and the club, I'm so happy to be back out on the pitch, see you soon."

Sancho played the last 27 minutes against Forest, receiving a huge ovation from the Old Trafford crowd, and Ten Hag spoke afterwards of the England international's "really high standards" and "great capabilities".

United team-mates Lisandro Martinez, Diogo Dalot and Christian Eriksen sent messages of approval in emoji form, the modern footballer's conversational currency.

There was also backing from Sancho from rivals Manchester City, with Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland sending emojis signalling thankfulness and congratulations as he welcomed his former Dortmund team-mate back to the field.

City's Jack Grealish also sent emojis of applause and love to Sancho, while Aymeric Laporte posted a similar message, and Riyad Mahrez sent a heart and the message: "Welcome back bro."

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior noted his approval with applauding hands and a white heart.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson, Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, Forest's former United man Jesse Lingard and Roma striker Tammy Abraham added to the groundswell of goodwill, while Sancho's good friend, Newcastle United's Joe Willock, wrote: "Love you bro."

Erling Haaland holds "the key to the door" when the striker decides he wants to leave Manchester City, according to his agent Rafael Pimenta.

The Norway international has taken the Premier League by storm since signing for Pep Guardiola's side from Borussia Dortmund ahead of this season.

Haaland has 25 goals after just 19 top-flight appearances for City following his fourth league hat-trick of the season in a 3-0 thumping of Wolves on January 22.

After already surpassing the tally that Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min (23 each) recorded to win the 2021-22 Golden Boot, the 22-year-old is the most clinical finisher in world football.

Real Madrid have repeatedly been credited with an interest in the forward, whose agent suggested Haaland has the freedom to choose to leave City whenever he pleases.

"I am in favour of freedom. It's my battle," Pimenta told Spanish outlet AS. "I always say that one of my priorities as an agent is to offer the player what I call 'the key to the door'.

"When a player goes to a club, I do everything I can to create the conditions for the key to the door to be in his hands. And if tomorrow you can't stand being there anymore because you don't like it, or you're not paid well, or because your wife wants to live in Paris? Then you leave, right?

"I don't like it when my player is not free to decide. I've done every contract in this agency for the last 25 years. There wasn't a single time a player said 'I want to leave' and couldn't do it."

Haaland's main focus at present, though, will be surpassing Alan Shearer and Andy Cole's single-season Premier League record of 34 goals, with 18 league games remaining for title hopefuls City.

Erling Haaland needs support from his Manchester City team-mates to deliver the Premier League title, says Sergio Aguero, who believes only Lionel Messi can carry a side to major honours on his own.

Haaland reached 25 goals for the Premier League season with a hat-trick as City thrashed Wolves 3-0 in their most recent outing in the competition.

The Norwegian's fourth Premier League treble took him beyond the tally of 23 goals managed by last term's joint Golden Boot winners Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min with 18 games of the campaign remaining. 

Despite Haaland's exploits, Pep Guardiola's side trail league leaders Arsenal by five points having played an additional game, and City great Aguero says the striker cannot do it alone.

Asked whether Haaland can inspire City to a fifth league title in six seasons, Aguero told "We'll have to see that yet.

"There's still plenty of the season to go. Haaland, who has been racking up numbers that will break historical records, will play a major part in it. 

"In any case, except Leo, there's no one player who can win a league on their own. 

"It's about the team, and City have got a very talented roster and exceptional staff. They've given plenty of evidence of their great stature, and you know they'll fight until the very end."

While City have struggled to keep pace with Arsenal so far this season, five-time Premier League winner Aguero remains confident Guardiola's men can overturn the Gunners' lead.

"I wouldn't say that Man City aren't clicking. The Premier League is the most competitive league there is," he continued. 

"It's perfectly normal to see the top contenders get reinforcements and go back to their historical standards. 

"City have won four out of the last five Premier Leagues. They're still in the fight, and that needs to be recognised. [They are] prowling from the second position, ready to strike. Anything can happen."

City will travel to Arsenal for the duo's first league meeting of the season on February 15, after facing Tottenham and Aston Villa in their next two fixtures.

Pep Guardiola defended Erling Haaland's position within Manchester City, arguing the Norway international is not holding his team back this term.

Haaland scored his fourth hat-trick of the Premier League season to blow past last term's Golden Boot tally and reach 25 in Sunday's 3-0 win over Wolves.

Despite his remarkable figures, City are playing catch-up in the title race as Arsenal continue to set the pace.

Some have pinpointed Haaland as a potential issue, with City sometimes adapting to suit his needs rather than vice-versa, but Guardiola knows the talisman's quality. 

"When we lost the Community Shield, all the debates were that he would not adapt to the Premier League," he said.

"When we do not score goals, [people] say he is the problem in this team. We know his quality. We have to adapt some movements for him.

"He is not a player who will take the ball. He has to [have] the balls delivered around him. He's got fantastic players around him. He lives 24 hours for his job.

"He’s not stressed much when it's going well or when it's going bad. His numbers are incredible. But the reality is still that we are behind."

Guardiola issued a scathing attack upon his side's commitment following their 4-2 win over Tottenham earlier this week, having been force to come from two goals down.

Reflecting on a more comfortable victory, the Spaniard acknowledged he had seen improvements, but stressed he would not be getting carried away yet.

"We spoke a little bit what we have to do with the ball," he added. "Without the ball, we didn’t train anything because I would say we didn’t have energy.

"We talk a little bit these days about what we think we miss. It’s just one game. We will see in the future.

"Our football was really, really good. Today we improved. That was just today. We will see what happens in the next games."

John Stones declared "we are the champions for a reason" after Erling Haaland's fourth Premier League hat-trick of the season gave Manchester City a 3-0 win over Wolves.

City boss Pep Guardiola urged his players to show more desire after a 4-2 victory over Tottenham on Thursday, when they were booed off at half-time having fallen 2-0 down at the Etihad Stadium.

There was no discontent from City fans as they outclassed relegation-threatened Wolves, Haaland opening the scoring late in the first half before adding a second from the penalty spot and completing yet another treble early in the second half.

Haaland already has two more goals than the tally of 23 that earned Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min the golden boot last season and the Norway striker has an astonishing 31 in all competitions in his first City campaign.

City moved two points behind Arsenal ahead of the leaders' clash with Manchester United and defender Stones says they are ready to roll up their sleeves in the battle for the title.

He told Sky Sports: "I think it's just about us, I've said it plenty of times. We can be our own worst enemies at times. We have to be focused. We can see where we are and keep taking it game by game.

"We are the champions for a reason and we want to be champions again, so we have to put ourselves in the best place possible. Keep winning games and getting clean sheets and see where it takes us."

Stones felt City showed a great response to a rallying cry from Guardiola.

He added: "We had to be patient to get that goal today and break them down. I thought we did so well after the other day. Especially in the first half we weren't at it and the manager made that clear.

"We knew we had to hit the ground running and get off to a good start, playing with tempo and that set the game.

"I didn't see the comments from Pep. But I knew what he said to us at half-time and what he wants from us and what he knows we can do and us as players when you are not playing as well as you can and in the second half we came out and showed it and got the win.

"We knew that we had to do that from the off and we did. The patience and desire was there and we were scoring goals and creating chances. Obviously a clean sheet is massive now."

Erling Haaland scored his fourth Premier League hat-trick of the season as Manchester City beat relegation-threatened Wolves 3-0 to apply the pressure on leaders Arsenal.

Lethal striker Haaland opened the scoring with a header from close range in a one-sided first half at the Etihad Stadium.

He was on target again from the penalty spot early after the restart and completed his hat-trick four minutes later following a terrible mistake from Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa, taking his goal tally for the season to a staggering 31.

City boss Pep Guardiola had demanded more hunger from his side in their quest for more trophies and they responded, moving two points behind the Gunners ahead of their huge clash with Manchester United later on Sunday.

Wolves defended resolutely in the first half, but it seemed only a matter of time before they went behind and Haaland got the breakthrough by rising above Nathan Collins to head Kevin De Bruyne's cross beyond Sa in the 40th minute.

Collins was fortunate not to concede a penalty for a challenge on Jack Grealish, before the centre-back showed great anticipation to head away a rasping drive from the England midfielder that looked destined for the back of the net.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui made a triple substitution at half-time, bringing Pablo Sarabia on for his debut along with Matheus Cunha and Joao Moutinho.

Haaland gave City breathing space five minutes into the second half, sending Sa the wrong way from the spot after Ruben Neves upended Ilkay Gundogan.

The Norway goal machine had his treble soon after, Sa inexplicably passing straight to the excellent Riyad Mahrez, who unselfishly presented Haaland with a tap-in.

Haaland was then replaced by Julian Alvarez before Mahrez had a goal ruled out due to being marginally offside and Gundogan headed over from close range as City cruised to victory.

Erling Haaland's extraordinary first season for Manchester City has seen him beat last season's Premier League Golden Boot haul after just 19 games in the competition.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker reached 25 league goals for the season with a hat-trick against Wolves on Sunday.

A first-half header was followed by a penalty early in the second half, before Haaland stroked in a third as Wolves' defending unravelled.

Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min shared the Golden Boot last season, as the Liverpool and Tottenham forwards each managed 23 goals.

Yet Haaland has taken the art of goalscoring to a new level this season, emerging as the league's premier predator.

The Norwegian has scored 18 in 11 league games at City's Etihad Stadium, already a club record for home Premier League goals in a single season.

He went past Sergio Aguero's best home season haul of 16 on Sunday, with Haaland showing no signs of slowing down for Pep Guardiola's side.

This was also Haaland's fourth Premier League hat-trick, making him by far the quickest player to hit so many trebles.

Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy was previously the fastest to bring up four hat-tricks, doing so in 65 games.

Manchester City recovered from two goals down at half-time to defeat Tottenham 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium and close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Spurs took advantage of some poor City defending – with Ederson in particular at fault – through goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Ederson Royal just before the interval.

But City's response was just as swift as they were level eight minutes into the second half thanks to Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, who ended his mini goal drought.

City survived a scare when Perisic hit the post, but Riyad Mahrez put them ahead and added another late on to move his side within five points of Arsenal, who have a game in hand.

Like he did in Spurs' 3-2 win here last year, Kulusevski opened the scoring after Rodri poked the ball into his path when put under pressure following Ederson's poor pass.

Emerson headed in a second for Spurs moments later after Kane won a tackle against Rodri and had an angled drive pushed back into danger by Ederson.

Guardiola opted against making any changes at the break, but his side's response was instant, with Alvarez firing home a loose ball after Riyad Mahrez's cross was not dealt with.

City, who left Kevin De Bruyne on the bench all match, were on level terms two minutes later through Haaland's close-range header after Mahrez headed the ball back across goal.

Ivan Perisic had a shot blocked right in front of goal by Rico Lewis, with the loose ball hitting the post, and that would prove a big moment as Mahrez completed the comeback.

Mahrez first fired a low, hard shot past Lloris at the Spurs keeper's near post, before capitalising on Clement Lenglet's poor touch to race in and double his tally at the death.

Pep Guardiola has taken responsibility for Erling Haaland's recent scoring blip, but is relishing the challenge of getting both the striker and his Manchester City side firing again.

Haaland is on his longest run without finding the net since joining City from Borussia Dortmund ahead of the 2022-23 season, having failed to score in three straight games.

He netted 27 goals in his first 21 matches, breaking a number of records along the way, but failed to get a shot on target against Chelsea, Southampton or Manchester United.

Rather than focus on what Haaland is doing wrong all of a sudden, however, Guardiola says it is on him to ensure the prolific striker is being supplied by his team-mates.

"We have our game, we have our principles but the way we played in last two games didn't help Erling to score," Guardiola said.

"In the build-up you can be wider, but in the final third you have to have players in the middle. If Erling is not there, we are not going to score goals.

"In the past we have always had incredible movements in the final third, in the small spaces. Now, in the last two games, we haven't had it. 

"I would say it was my fault. I didn't make them understand the way we have to attack. We need runners, not just Erling. 

"If we had just Erling he would be controlled by two or three central defenders. We need more players in those positions, definitely. We have done it. We have to do it more often."

Only once has Haaland gone more than three league games without scoring across three years with Dortmund and City – a run of five between March and April last season.

The 22-year-old's slight dip in form has coincided with a tough run for City, who have lost back-to-back matches ahead of facing Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday.

City, who are aiming to avoid a third straight home league game without a win for the first time since December 2016, trail Arsenal by eight points and cannot afford another slip-up.

"I prefer to be eight points in front but I like to handle this situation, I love it," Guardiola added. "I have to find something to make the team better. I'm the man responsible. 

"When the players don't play good, if they don't have the desire to do it, it is because something is wrong in my decisions. We have to find it.

"People don't think about the memories, how good we were. When I die, people will talk about how good Pep was. That's for sure.

"But since we are here, people expect us to perform well, win the games and try to find the way. Otherwise – Pep out.

"This is how our jobs work – and I want Pep in! I want to stay here, this is what I want, and for that we have to win games and be there in all the competitions."

Despite exiting the EFL Cup to Southampton last week before letting a lead slip in their league loss at United, Guardiola insists his players are not struggling for motivation.

"The situation is that, by our standards, people believe and believe and oh... what's happened? Why are City not on the top of league? But it can happen," Guardiola said.

"The mentality – it's not about that. You see the game against United or Chelsea, we play really well. The quality of the dressing room is exceptional. I don't have doubts."

Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to find a way to get Erling Haaland more involved in their all-round play.

City went down 2-1 to local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, paving the way for Arsenal to take an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League thanks to their victory at Tottenham a day later.

Haaland, who has scored 21 league goals in 17 appearances for City, had two shots against United, with an accumulative expected goals (xG) of 0.16, and generally struggled to make an impact.

His tally of 20 touches was the fifth-lowest total he has managed in a Premier League match this season, while in only three games has he had fewer than the five touches he had in United's box.

Haaland has had 419 touches in the league this season, which ranks ahead of only Julian Alvarez (178) when it comes to City players to have featured at least 10 times in the competition, and while he has averaged a goal every 66 minutes, Guardiola knows City have to get the 22-year-old regularly involved.

"Yes," Guardiola told reporters when asked if City needed to get the ball to Haaland quicker.

"At the moment we have that process because when teams are sat in the 18-yard box it's more difficult but then we have to find him a little bit more.

"[Against United] he had enough touches but it's true that we go wide sometimes we have to look at him. But we will do it."

When asked whose responsibility it was to ensure Haaland is receiving the ball more regularly, Guardiola said: "Everyone.

"When you have the ball, everyone is allowed to attack and when you don't you have to defend."

City have been unable to hit their stride since the season restarted following the World Cup break.

A win over Leeds United was followed up by a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Everton on December 31. 

Successive wins over Chelsea, the latter of which was a 4-0 FA Cup thrashing, seemed to have got them back on track, though their derby defeat represented a second loss in the space of four days after their EFL Cup exit at the hands of Southampton. 

"I would say the inconsistency was in terms of some results but not in the performances," Guardiola said when it was put to him that incorporating an out-and-out striker was leading to the team's indifferent form.

"The inconsistency was against Southampton but in general, the consistency in our games was good, I think. But, of course, against Everton, we played much, much better. One shot on target and we draw. They punished us.

"Before we always found a way to get good results by playing good or bad. We always had the chance and I think I would say this is our strength and you have to improve but in terms of performance, we've been consistent in general.

"The margin is so minimal, but I want to recognise my team. I want to see that we do what we work [on], [what] we talk and plan and I saw it."

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are among the leading candidates for The Best FIFA Men's Player award after unsurprisingly being named on the 14-strong list of nominees on Thursday.

FIFA's awards ceremony will take place on February 27 and recognise the sport's high achievers from 2022 across several categories, with The Best FIFA Men's Player prize being the headline attraction.

Messi, who won the 2019 award and came a close second to Robert Lewandowski for 2021, will be the firm favourite after inspiring Argentina to World Cup success.

It was the Albiceleste's first such title since 1986, and Messi played a crucial role in the triumph as Argentina beat France on penalties after a 3-3 draw last month.

Messi scored five goals and set up another three to win himself the Golden Ball, and he nearly took home the Golden Boot as well.

Of course, his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe won the latter prize thanks to his hat-trick against Argentina in the dramatic final, and he will likely be Messi's closest rival.

Had it not been a World Cup year, Manchester City's Erling Haaland might have fancied his chances of staking a claim after a sensational start to life in the Premier League.

Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema is among the nominees and may be expecting a top-three finish after carrying Real Madrid to another Champions League crown, though his lack of World Cup involvement could prove detrimental.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is in the running for The Best FIFA Men's Coach gong, though Argentina's Lionel Scaloni will likely be the favourite of the five-man shortlist.

Argentina are also represented in The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper category by Emiliano Martinez among the five nominees.

For the women's prizes, Euro 2022 champions England have several nominations.

Beth Mead, Keira Walsh and Leah Williamson are all up for the players' award; Sarina Wiegman will be the favourite for the coaches' accolade; and Mary Earps is in contention to be named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper.

The voting process will involve international captains and coaches, journalists, and fans selecting their winners in the various categories.

Voting closes on February 3 and FIFA will announce three finalists from each section thereafter.


The Best FIFA Men's Player
Julian Alvarez (Argentina/River Plate/Manchester City)
Jude Bellingham (England/Borussia Dortmund) 
Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid) 
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Norway/ Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City)
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco/Paris Saint-Germain) 
Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich/Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool/Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)
Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool) 
Vinicius Junior (Brazil/Real Madrid)

The Best FIFA Men's Coach
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid)
Didier Deschamps (France/French National Team)
Pep Guardiola (Spain/Manchester City) 
Walid Regragui (Morocco/Wydad AC/Moroccan National Team)
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina/Argentinian National Team) 

The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper
Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool) 
Yassine Bounou (Morocco/Sevilla)
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid)
Ederson (Brazil/Manchester City)
Emiliano Martinez (Argentina/Aston Villa) 

The Best FIFA Women's Player: 
Aitana Bonmatí (Spain/Barcelona)
Debinha (Brazil/North Carolina Courage)
Jessie Fleming (Canada/Chelsea)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Lyon)
Sam Kerr (Australia/Chelsea)
Beth Mead (England/Arsenal)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands/Arsenal)
Alex Morgan (United States/Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave)
Lena Oberdorf (Germany/Wolfsburg)
Alexandra Popp (Germany/Wolfsburg)
Alexia Putellas (Spain/Barcelona)
Wendie Renard (France/Lyon)
Keira Walsh (England/Manchester City/Barcelona)
Leah Williamson (England/Arsenal)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach
Sonia Bompastor (France/Lyon) 
Emma Hayes (England/Chelsea)
Bev Priestman (England/Canadian National Team)
Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Brazilian National Team)
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany/German National Team)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands / English National Team)

The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper
Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany/Chelsea Women)
Mary Earps (England/Manchester United) 
Christiane Endler (Chile/Lyon)
Merle Frohms (Germany/Eintracht Frankfurt /Wolfsburg)
Alyssa Naeher (United States/Chicago Red Stars)
Sandra Panos Garca-Villamil (Spain/Barcelona)

Marcus Rashford joined Erling Haaland in being nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Month award for November and December after a strong run of form for Manchester United.

With the 2022 World Cup necessitating a seven-week break for elite club football, performances from either side of the tournament contributed towards the nominations.

Having scored three times during England's campaign in Qatar, Rashford hit the ground running on his return to club football by claiming a goal and an assist against Nottingham Forest before netting the winner at Wolves in United's final game of 2022.

Rashford – who was named Player of the Month in September – will face fierce competition for the award from Haaland, who scored four goals in four games for rivals Manchester City either side of the World Cup break.

Casemiro joins his United team-mate Rashford on the shortlist after helping Erik ten Hag's resurgent side win three of their four games throughout November and December.

Meanwhile, leaders Arsenal have strong representation from two nominees, with captain Martin Odegaard on the shortlist after recording six goal contributions (three goals, three assists) during this period – the most of any Premier League player.

Bukayo Saka is also in contention after netting in the Gunners' crucial victories against West Ham and Brighton and Hove Albion over the festive period.

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier, Brentford defender Ben Mee and Fulham's Joao Palhinha complete the eight-man shortlist for the prize, which will be awarded next week.

Erling Haaland needs to "play with passion" against defenders who attempt to unsettle him, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Haaland scored his 21st Premier League goal since arriving from Borussia Dortmund during the 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.

But images emerged after the game of the Norway international arguing with Toffees centre-back Ben Godfrey, while James Tarkowski and Conor Coady were also involved in confrontations with the striker.

Guardiola was pleased with how the 22-year-old Haaland handled himself against three experienced Premier League defenders trying to wind him up, although he stressed he had to draw a line somewhere.

"I like it," Guardiola told reporters ahead of City's league visit to Chelsea on Thursday. "He just needs to limit his behaviour, not him [but] everyone.

"The decisions, you have to use here [points to head] but play with this passion. It is necessary. I prefer that than to be flat.

"Strikers have to handle tough central defenders. Tomorrow he'll have a battle with [Kalidou] Koulibaly, Thiago Silva. That's why the Premier League is so special."

Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since joining City in June, becoming the fastest player to score 20 goals in the competition, doing so in just 14 games, seven fewer than previous record-holder Kevin Phillips.

However, Guardiola feels Haaland can become even better, saying: "A lot of things he has to improve.

"As much as he continues scoring goals, he still has margin to improve on many things. Of course, he's young, and he'll be better in the future."

Guardiola left it until the 87th minute against Everton before making a change, with substitutes Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and returning World Cup winner Julian Alvarez unable to steal three points late on.

Asked whether this was an error looking back, Guardiola replied: "Yes, definitely. What was the result? Yeah, a mistake.

"But even with substitutions 15 minutes earlier, maybe we would've lost. Maybe I should've done it earlier, but in that moment I took a decision."

Arsenal took advantage of City's draw with Everton by beating Brighton and Hove Albion to extend their lead at the Premier League summit to seven points, although a goalless draw at home to Newcastle United on Tuesday means Guardiola's men can close the gap to five points with victory at Stamford Bridge.

The Gunners may have missed the opportunity to momentarily open a 10-point gap, but Guardiola was still impressed with their performance – albeit he is also pleased with how his team have played since returning from the World Cup.

"The way they [Arsenal] played yesterday impressed me a lot," Guardiola added. "They dropped two points, but not in the quality they played.

"The way we played the last games, the feeling is good. My target always as a manager is try to do better than the opposition. First of all, be yourself, [but] if it doesn't happen, it's football.

"What I want to see is we still want to fight. We don't give up, until the last chance we can fight and win the Premier League."

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