Jurgen Klopp has reiterated his support for scrapping FA Cup replays ahead of holders Liverpool facing Wolves in the third round on Saturday.

Klopp has repeatedly called for FA Cup replays to be abolished in the past, and memorably allowed then-under-23s coach Neil Critchley to take charge of team made up entirely of youth players when Liverpool were taken to a second fixture by Shrewsbury Town in 2020.

FA Cup replays were removed for the 2020-21 season to avoid creating further fixture congestion in a campaign heavily impacted by COVID-19, and a report from The Times said leading figures in the English game discussed doing so permanently on Friday.

Klopp would be in favour of such a move, though acknowledged it would need to be accompanied by support for the smaller clubs that benefit from them financially. 

Asked if he would support the removal of replays at Friday's news conference, Klopp said: "Yeah, as always.

"We have to find other solutions. The lifeline for smaller clubs cannot be problems for the clubs that play every three days.

"There must be other solutions, and how often did it happen that a smaller club came through because of this extra game? 

"There's money involved, I understand that, and nobody wants to kill the smaller clubs, they have the same right to exist as all of us.

"But we cannot solve all the problems by playing more games – that's not possible and that's why I would be in favour of that, but I've said so many things in the last seven-and-a-half years and not many have happened."

Meanwhile, with Liverpool having a full week to prepare for their Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion after facing Wolves, Klopp is not planning to make sweeping changes.

Asked how he would approach his team selection for Saturday's game, Klopp said: "It doesn't change. The only time it will change is with the amount of games around, so if you play say, Saturday then Tuesday, you have to think about it.

"In our case, we played Monday last time, then Saturday, then Saturday again. So it's clear we will line up as good, as strong and as experienced as we can. There will not be rotation because of the competition or whatever, no."

Liverpool ended a 16-year wait to lift the FA Cup last season, beating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw at Wembley Stadium – as they did in the EFL Cup final.

However, Wolves have eliminated Liverpool from the competition twice during Klopp's time in charge, beating them 2-1 as a Championship side at Anfield in 2017 before winning by the same scoreline at Molineux two years later.

Cody Gakpo's decision to join Liverpool without a guarantee of Champions League qualification delighted Jurgen Klopp, who has "no doubts at all" about the forward ahead of his Reds debut.

Liverpool beat several clubs – including rivals Manchester United – to Gakpo's signature by agreeing a deal worth an initial £37million (€42m) with PSV shortly before the transfer window opened.

Gakpo was unable to make his debut in Monday's 3-1 Premier League defeat at Brentford after a delay in ratifying the move, but he is available for Saturday's FA Cup tie against Wolves. 

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of that fixture, Klopp said Gakpo's decision to join a team seven points adrift of a top-four place said a lot about his personality.

"We had information about him as a person from Virgil [van Dijk] so not only were there few doubts, there were no doubts at all," Klopp said. "We're very happy with the signing.

"There were easier moments to join Liverpool. Last year, we were not qualified already for the Champions League, but it looked likely. This year we can't guarantee that, but Cody never asked. 

"What I like about this is he's not a guy that wants to jump on a moving train, he's a guy that wants to push the train. So good for him, as well. It always helps in life if you are like that."

Gakpo scored three goals as the Netherlands reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar after providing 12 goals and nine assists for PSV through their first 14 games of the Eredivisie season.

While Klopp is excited to see the 23-year-old in action, he is unwilling to compare him to Luis Diaz, who made a terrific impact for Liverpool after his own mid-season arrival from Porto 12 months ago.

"With our situation, with injuries to the strikers, it's nice to have a player who is natural in lots of things and knows where the goal is," Klopp said of Gakpo. 

"He looks really good, he looks really promising. He looks fit. Is he 100 per cent fit? I don't know, he had a few times with us where he couldn't train with the team. Now he's with the team. The sessions have been intense for him because it's different.

"I'm very positive about him. I don't know if it's helpful to compare him with Lucho's impact – it was pretty special. We had injuries [last season] and it was extremely helpful. 

"Cody gets the same amount of time as any other player. He has to settle in offensively, he comes from a different league. I don't have to compare him to Lucho, but we expect a positive impact, definitely."

Klopp also dismissed suggestions he had been irked by Liverpool's failure to have Gakpo available sooner, adding: "If our Premier League game [at Brentford] had been last night, maybe he could have played, but for us in this moment, it's absolutely perfect. 

"Normally in January business happens later, but in this case we were pretty early, so I'm completely fine with the situation." 

Virgil van Dijk will be out of action for over a month after sustaining a hamstring injury in Liverpool's defeat to Brentford earlier this week, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

Defender Van Dijk was one of three players substituted at half-time in Liverpool's damaging 3-1 loss at the Brentford Community Stadium, which saw them lose ground in the race for a top-four Premier League finish.

Klopp described Van Dijk's withdrawal as precautionary after the game, but reports later in the week suggested the Netherlands captain's injury was worse than initially feared.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against Wolves, Klopp provided an estimated timeframe for Van Dijk's return and described his absence as a significant setback.

"On Virg, it's a surprise and obviously a big blow, as he didn't feel a lot," Klopp said at Friday's pre-match press conference. 

"I took him off actually, to avoid the risk, maybe he would have tried [to play on] and stuff like this.

"In the end, the diagnosis was pretty harsh. They talk about weeks – more than a month. 

"We have to see how it goes but we have other centre-halves. Everything is okay for the team but for Virg, it's hard for him. He's played an incredible amount of games over the last few years.

"We cannot use him on the pitch, only off the pitch, so we will do that."

Asked whether the congested festive fixture list had caused Van Dijk's injury, Klopp responded: "It's his hamstring. 

"He never had an issue with muscles or mentioned anything, between the games he was recovering.

"There's nothing to say about it, we did nothing different. It was one sprint."

As well as Saturday's meeting with Wolves, Van Dijk now appears likely to miss Premier League fixtures against Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea before the end of January.

Klopp will be desperate to have Van Dijk available for a crucial spell next month, in which Liverpool face Merseyside rivals Everton and fellow top-four contenders Newcastle United before playing the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid.

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United are where they wanted to be midway through his first season in charge, though he refuses to be distracted by thoughts of ending their trophy drought.

United are among the favourites to seal a top-four Premier League finish after winning each of their three games since returning to action at the beginning of the festive period.

The Red Devils have swept aside struggling sides Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth without conceding a single goal since the World Cup, and Ten Hag is satisfied with their progress.

"Let's say this – I think we are in a good position, we are where we want to be," Ten Hag said at Thursday's press conference ahead of their FA Cup tie against Everton.

"The focus is from game to game, we play in many competitions, so we have to not think too far ahead.

"We have to go from game to game and work on progressing. It's all about the team firstly, and the individuals second. When the team plays well, the individuals will get better."

While a return to the Champions League is a key aim for United, the club are also desperate to end a six-year trophy drought, having last lifted a piece of major silverware when they won the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

Asked what it would mean to land a trophy in his first season at Old Trafford, Ten Hag said: "I don't think about that. 

"In this stage of the season, it's not what you are looking at. You have to look to get into a position where you can win something. There are so many games to play.

"When you think too far ahead, you get distracted. We have to think about the team's performance, the team's development. We have to concentrate on that and work together to get it better."

Ten Hag led Ajax to two KNVB Cup triumphs in his four-and-a-half-year spell with club, and the Dutchman is excited for his first taste of FA Cup football.

"For me, the cup is always special. I know in England the FA Cup has even higher expectations and standards than in the Netherlands, but I liked it in the Netherlands as well," Ten Hag said.

"In not so many games, you can achieve a lot. There also has to be a winner, with a replay if it's a draw. It's a knockout and I like that."

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed Jack Butland is set to join the club on loan from Crystal Palace, as he eyed further opportunities to strengthen his squad in January.

United signed Martin Dubravka on a season-long loan deal to provide backup to David de Gea in the last transfer window, but they were left in need of a replacement when the Magpies recalled the Slovakia international on Sunday.

On Thursday, reports suggested the Red Devils were close to sealing a similar deal for Butland – who has made just 10 Premier League appearances since joining Palace from Stoke City in 2020.

Ten Hag confirmed the move was imminent in a press conference looking forward to Friday's FA Cup tie against Everton, emphasising the importance of having a third experienced shot stopper alongside De Gea and Tom Heaton.

"Martin was recalled, and in our setup we need a squad with three experienced goalkeepers," Ten Hag said. 

"We have some young ones and they are doing well, but we have so many games, we need three good goalkeepers in training. If there are problems, we need experience in goal.

"I'm really happy with David, that is quite clear – he's our number one and he's performing really well. But as I always say, something can happen with David.

"You have to be prepared for when you are unlucky. Last year I had a situation with Ajax where we had three goalkeepers injured. 

"You don't want a situation at the end of the season – when hopefully you can play for trophies – where you have to put in a young goalkeeper.

"You can't expect it from a young goalkeeper and it can kill your season. That's what you have to be prepared for."

United are also reportedly in the market for attacking reinforcements, with only Marcus Rashford (seven) scoring more than three Premier League goals for the side this term.

The likes of Joao Felix and Olivier Giroud have been linked with loan moves to Old Trafford as United seek a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ten Hag says the club will look to be active. 

Asked if United were looking to make more signings, Ten Hag said: "We always have to look for that. We push the players because good is not good enough.

"Also as an organisation, we have to push each other. When there are opportunities, at the top, you always have to be ready. My main focus is to get a better team, to improve the team."

Frank Lampard knows Everton need results but has not sought any reassurances over the security of his job.

After a 4-1 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, Everton slumped into the Premier League's bottom three following West Ham's draw with Leeds United and Nottingham Forest's victory over Southampton.

The Saints are Everton's next opponent in the top flight, on January 14, though the focus is now on an FA Cup trip to Manchester United that, according to some reports, the Toffees must win in order for Lampard to keep his job.

Appointed as Rafael Benitez's replacement in January 2022, Lampard managed to keep Everton up last season, though has won just nine league games out of 36 and a relegation scrap looks likely again this term.

Lampard claimed after the Brighton game that he was confident he could turn Everton's form around, and ahead of Friday's trip to Old Trafford, he said: "I've never and would never seek reassurances.

"Part of my job is to focus on the job at hand, day to day, game to game. That's an absolute reality. I don't need reassurance.

"I come to work to try and improve a little bit every day – myself, the team, the squad, everything. I'm not hunting around for any reassurances.


"I feel that we're in that process. I'm not silly, we need to get results, we want to stay in this league.

"We've just slipped into the bottom three, that's not my major concern, when you're around here, that's the reality. If we win our next league game, we'd be out of the bottom three, probably.

"That's part of the process, I can't affect anything other than that. I was very aware of what I came to do, I want to be a success at this club and any challenges that come I'll take them head on and try and enjoy them – I enjoy working at this club, it's a real honour for me.

"I take my responsibility as a manager of the club. We had a strategic review because we wanted to look at how we could be better in every department. I'd be superman if I could be in charge of every department, they're not all my roles. There's a lot of work to do to be better in every way, on and off the pitch, that's what great clubs do."

Everton reportedly had a loan move for Danny Ings rejected by Aston Villa on Wednesday, and Lampard reiterated signings are needed.

"Loans or buying players, all things are on the table," he said.

"We want to improve and help the squad but my job is to work with the players we have now and how we can get a result against United and Southampton. If we can improve and help the squad, great. It's not an easy window but it feels like we need it."

Antony has returned to Manchester United training after missing Tuesday's Premier League win over Bournemouth.

The winger was absent for Erik ten Hag's side at Old Trafford, with the manager simply stating he was injured.

But ahead of Friday's FA Cup clash with Everton, the club revealed Antony had been training on Wednesday, putting concerns to rest over any lingering problems.

Antony netted in his first three Premier League games for the Red Devils following his arrival at the start of the campaign, although he has not scored again since then.

The Brazil international's most recent goal came against Everton, and he will hope to be involved against the Toffees this week.

However, it appears former Everton loanee Donny van de Beek is set for a spell on the sidelines.

In just his second league start of the season, the midfielder was on the receiving end of a brutal challenge from Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi.

Ten Hag was unable to disclose the extent of the issue in his post-match comments, acknowledging: "We need to wait 24 hours. But it is not looking very good."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is proud of his team's achievements in 2022, including reaching a Champions League final he acknowledged was not one to remember.

The Reds finished second behind Manchester City in the Premier League last season, with the title race coming down to the final day.

Liverpool also won both domestic cup competitions, beating Chelsea on penalties on each occasion at Wembley Stadium.

However, their season ended in disappointment when their league heartbreak was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in Paris.

That match was marred by an incident outside the Stade de France, where Liverpool fans were accused of using fake tickets to access the ground and subsequently caused a bottleneck that resulted in riot police firing tear gas at spectators attempting to gain entry.

Liverpool's fans have since been cleared of any wrongdoing, and Klopp wanted to signal out the day after the Champions League final, when the Reds paraded the FA Cup and EFL Cup through the city, as the highlight of the year.

"From a sports point of view, 2022 was a pretty successful year I would say. It started with the EFL Cup final. The FA Cup final was special, I enjoyed it so much," he said in a video posted to Liverpool's website.

"Then the league was pretty spectacular. We were close again, I know that's not that much appreciated, I get that, when you come close.

"But from a coach's point of view I am pretty proud of that.

"The Champions League final, [Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut] Courtois had a pretty good day. We did quite well but it didn't feel [right] that night, it didn't feel for different reasons which we didn't know exactly directly after the game when we were already down.

"But when we heard the stories from our families what happened around the stadium, it was a clear it was a special night for the wrong reasons. So it will not be a Champions League final we will remember for the rest of our lives.

"What we will remember for the rest of our lives was the day after the Champions League final. You give your absolutely everything and you get a lot but not everything.

"If that's not worth a celebration, it would be the worst sign you can give to the outside world.

"That's why we celebrated two cup competitions, two cup wins, two big, big campaigns and that we are together and we are alive and we love each other. 

“This club is so special and if anybody didn't know it before, this day was proof of that. It was outstanding, I have no words for it. Now when I am speaking about it I get goosebumps."

Liverpool restart their season with a trip to Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

Manchester United's players must prove they deserve silverware as they continue to battle on multiple fronts under Erik ten Hag, according to midfielder Christian Eriksen.

The Red Devils defeated Burnley 2-0 on their return to action on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, where third-tier Charlton Athletic await.

Ten Hag's side are also still in the Europa League, albeit with Barcelona up next in the knockout round play-offs, while their FA Cup campaign begins against Everton next month.

Having not won a trophy since their Europa League success in the 2016-17 campaign, Eriksen accepts United are not in a position to prioritise certain competitions.

"It's been a few years since winning a trophy the last time," Eriksen, who arrived at United as a free agent in July, told talkSPORT. 

"From where the club were to where we are now, the aim is to focus on every competition and see where we are in the end.

"It hasn't specifically been said that we have to win this or win that – all of the players just want to win as much as possible.

"But to get there we first need to prove that we deserve to be there. It's about every tournament. Like you saw against Burnley, even the [EFL Cup] is important for us."

Eriksen played the full 90 minutes against Burnley and opened the scoring at Old Trafford, before Marcus Rashford doubled United's lead in the second period.

That was United's first match in six weeks due to the World Cup break, which saw an early exit for Eriksen and his below-par Denmark side at Qatar 2022.

Fifth-placed United now face Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth in the space of a week as the Premier League resumes, and Eriksen is glad to be back playing.

"I think it's nice to be back," he said. "It was important to get through to the next round in the cup and get the feeling of everyone being back and getting the win."

Manchester City will face Chelsea in the pick of the FA Cup third-round ties, while Manchester United meet fellow Premier League side Everton.

Pep Guardiola's top-flight champions visit Graham Potter's side in the league on January 5, just a matter of days before hosting the Blues at Etihad Stadium in the prestigious cup competition.

Everton will be another side travelling to Manchester as Frank Lampard's side face Erik ten Hag's United, with current holders Liverpool drawn at home to Wolves in another all-Premier League tie.

Arsenal make the trip to League One's Oxford United, while the in-form Newcastle United visit another third-tier side in Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Tottenham will also face League One opposition when they host Portsmouth, with Brighton and Hove Albion going up to Middlesbrough and Bournemouth facing a home tie against Championship leaders Burnley.

Two more all-Premier League clashes see Brentford at home to London rivals West Ham and new Southampton manager Nathan Jones will have to get past an away game against top-flight rivals Crystal Palace.

Aston Villa will welcome Stevenage, who are second in League Two chasing promotion, with Fulham and Leeds United visiting Championship sides Hull City and Cardiff City respectively.

Dagenham and Redbridge will invite Leicester City to Victoria Road if the National League side can defeat Gillingham in a December 6 replay.

All ties are scheduled to be played between January 6 and January 9.

FA Cup third-round draw in full:

Preston v Huddersfield Town
Middlesbrough v Brighton and Hove Albion
Chesterfield v West Brom
Manchester City v Chelsea
Charlton or Stockport County v Walsall
Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley
Tottenham v Portsmouth
Derby County v Barnsley
Cardiff City v Leeds United
Brentford v West Ham
Bournemouth v Burnley
Coventry City v Wrexham
Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
Aston Villa v Stevenage
Luton Town v Wigan Athletic
Oxford United v Arsenal
Fleetwood Town v Queens Park Rangers
Liverpool v Wolves
Grimsby Town v Burton Albion
Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
Dagenham and Redbridge or Gillingham v Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers v Birmingham City
Bristol City v Swansea City
Hartlepool United v Stoke City
Hull City v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Millwall v Sheffield United
Shrewsbury Town v Sunderland
Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
Manchester United v Everton
Reading v Watford
Ipswich Town v Rotherham United

Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in July 2016 with the aim of "winning games to make the fans happy and proud".

Six and a half years on from his appointment, it is fair to say the Catalan has achieved what he set out to do in that regard.

While a lack of Champions League success continues to blight his CV, Guardiola has otherwise conquered English football.

With four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and one FA Cup, Guardiola has won at least five major trophies more than any other City manager.

After signing a new deal on Wednesday that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 campaign, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind Pep's reign.


Guardiola has managed 374 matches as City manager, winning 271 of those, drawing 49 and losing 54 for a win rate of 72.5 per cent.

Most of those games (242) have come in the Premier League, followed by the Champions League (70, inc. qualifying), FA Cup (30), EFL Cup (28) and Community Shield (4).

The 605 Premier League goals scored by City under Guardiola averages out at 2.5 per game, with less than one a game conceded over the same period.

It is in the EFL Cup that Guardiola boasts his highest win percentage (75 per cent), having won 21 of the 28 matches he has managed in that competition, losing just twice.



Unsurprisingly given City have won the title in four of his six seasons, no manager – not even Manchester United great Alex Ferguson – can better Guardiola's win rate.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has won 74 per cent of his games in the competition, with Ferguson, who managed 810 matches, next best on 65.2 per cent.

Among those to have taken charge of at least 20 games, Antonio Conte (65.7 per cent), Jurgen Klopp (63.2) and ex-City boss Roberto Mancini (61.7) make up the top five.

With four English top-flight titles, Guardiola needs one more to overtake Kenny Dalglish, though he has a long way to go to catch up with Ferguson, who won 13-such crowns.


Guardiola is one of 119 managers to have taken charge of at least 50 Premier League matches, and he leads the way in a number of the top metrics.

He boasts the most points per game on average (2.4), the highest win percentage (74), most goals per game (2.5) and the fewest goals conceded (0.8).

That is reflected in an accumulated Premier League table across his six and a half seasons at the helm, which has City on 568 points – 38 more than next-best Liverpool.

Chelsea and their various managers have accrued the next highest number of points since the start of the 2016-17 season with 463, followed by Tottenham on 455.


For all of Guardiola's undoubted success on the domestic stage, though, he has been unable to add to the two Champions League trophies lifted while managing Barcelona.

Guardiola has won 44 of his 68 games in the competition for a win rate of 65 per cent, a return only Hansi Flick can better (89 per cent) from his short spell at Bayern.

However, his side have repeatedly fallen short on the continent, with their run to the final in the 2020-21 season – when defeated by Chelsea – the best they have managed.

"I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies," Guardiola said upon signing his new contract.

On course for yet another Premier League triumph, albeit with a five-point gap to make up on Arsenal, conquering Europe again is now the undoubted main aim for Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola's wildly successful reign as Manchester City manager is set to continue until 2025 after he agreed a two-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.

Since swapping Bayern Munich for the Premier League in 2016, Guardiola has enjoyed incredible success, winning four league titles, as many EFL Cups and the FA Cup.

However, not everything has gone to plan for Guardiola in the past six years, and his desire to end a long wait for continental glory was likely a key factor in his decision to stay with the club.

Guardiola has undoubtedly enjoyed more highs than lows during his time with City, but there have been a few bumps in the road along the way.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look back at Guardiola's major triumphs with the Citizens, as well as some of his rare failures.

Low: An underwhelming start, 2016-17 

When Guardiola agreed to take the reigns at City in 2016, hopes were high that he would make an immediate impact – his three years at Bayern had seen him deliver three Bundesliga titles, posting two of the club's three highest points tallies in their history (90 in 2013-14, 88 in 2015-16). 

However, Guardiola's focus on instilling his possession-based style attracted criticism from some, particularly when he opted to replace two-time Premier League winner Joe Hart with the more cultured if erratic Claudio Bravo.

City racked up 78 points as they finished third in 2016-17, an improvement of one place and 12 points on Manuel Pellegrini's final campaign in charge, but more was expected from the former Barcelona coach.

In a sign of things to come, City saved their most disappointing display for the Champions League, exiting on away goals after a wild 6-6 aggregate draw with Monaco in the last 16.

High: City's centurions, 2017-18 

If Guardiola's first season with City was largely forgettable, his second campaign at the helm was memorable for all the right reasons.

Most points (100), most away points (50), most wins (32), most consecutive victories (18) and best goal difference (+76) were among the Premier League records City claimed during an incredible season.

Buoyed by the signings of future stalwarts Kyle Walker, Ederson, Bernardo Silva and Aymeric Laporte, City ultimately finished some 19 points clear of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

Guardiola did not even have to wait until May to get his hands on silverware, leading City to an EFL Cup final thrashing of Arsenal in February 2018.

Low: Champions League final heartache, 2021

The main criticism levelled at Guardiola throughout recent years has been his failure to win the Champions League since leaving Camp Nou in 2012.

City's nearest miss to date came in Porto in May 2021, as Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea produced a defensive masterclass to frustrate the Premier League champions en route to a 1-0 win. 

Kai Havertz's goal handed the Blues their second European crown at the Estadio do Dragao, but one of the defining images was that of Kevin De Bruyne leaving the field in tears following a heavy collision with Antonio Rudiger.

The defeat was Guardiola's first in a final with City, and just the second major final loss of his entire coaching career – after a 2011 Copa del Rey reverse to Real Madrid.

High: Domestic cup dominance, 2018-2022

While Guardiola's success is best measured in league titles, City have made several superb memories by dominating the cup competitions under his management.

Under Guardiola, City have captured the FA Cup once and the EFL Cup four times – for context, the club had only won the latter competition three times in their history before his arrival.

Guardiola's lone FA Cup triumph – sealed with a 6-0 final win over Watford in 2019 – made City the first English team to lift both domestic cups and the top-flight title in the same season.

Their rout of the Hornets also represented the biggest margin of victory in an FA Cup final since Bury beat Derby County 6-0 in 1903.

Low: Collapse at the Bernabeu, 2022

The final defeat in 2021 may be the closest Guardiola's City have come to European glory, but last season's collapse against Real Madrid was undoubtedly their most painful failure in the competition.

Holding a 5-3 aggregate lead over Madrid as the second leg entered stoppage time at the Santiago Bernabeu in May, it seemed impossible for City to fall short of a place in the final.

However, Rodrygo's incredible last-gasp brace was followed by an extra-time penalty from Karim Benzema, teeing Madrid up to claim their 14th European crown later that month.

The result handed Guardiola his sixth semi-final elimination from the Champions League – the joint-most of any coach, alongside Jose Mourinho.

High: Edging out Klopp's Reds, 2018-19 and 2021-22

All great teams need a great rival, and in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Guardiola's City have certainly had one.

Since the start of the 2016-17 campaign, City have amassed an incredible tally of 568 Premier League points, putting them 38 clear of Liverpool's own impressive total.

The closest title battles between the duo came in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons, with City edging out the Reds by just a single point on the final day of both campaigns.

Two of Guardiola's four league titles have thus come at the end of close-run races with Liverpool, helping him become the most decorated manager in City's history with nine major trophies.

Chelsea's dismissal of Thomas Tuchel has caught the footballing world by surprise, with his exit coming just a week after the close of the transfer window and a lavish spending spree.

The Blues are on the hunt for a new manager yet again, Todd Boehly swinging the axe in the same sort of fashion that predecessor Roman Abramovich would have – although Boehly's approach seems far more fierce.

Defeats to Leeds United, Southampton and Dinamo Zagreb were certainly disappointing for the Blues but, with just six games gone in the Premier League and one game down in the Champions League, there was plenty of time to turn things around.

The hunt for Tuchel's successor will be a difficult one, particularly given the strong record the German has boasted during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Here, Stats Perform dives into Opta's insight into Tuchel's spell in west London.

Delivering on all fronts

Tuchel leaves Chelsea with a 60 per cent win percentage across all competitions, with a 55.6 per cent percentage in the Premier League standing as the fourth highest in Blues' history among managers to have taken charge of at least 50 matches.

In the Champions League, where Tuchel led Chelsea to glory just months after taking the job in XXX, the German boasted an impressive 66.7 per cent win percentage in the competition.

It was in the FA Cup where Tuchel had the best return, with an 80 per cent win percentage having led the Blues to back-to-back finals, though they suffered defeat in both to Leicester City and Liverpool.

In 589 days in charge of Chelsea, Tuchel led the club to four major finals (2x FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League) and no manager has even taken charge of the Blues in more, with Jose Mourinho also boasting four.

Best of the rest

Unable to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool at the summit of English football, Chelsea firmly established themselves as the best of the rest under the guidance of Tuchel.

Under Tuchel's guidance, Chelsea picked up 122 points from 63 Premier League matches with only City (152) and Liverpool (136) picking up more.

Chelsea's return of 168 goals across all competitions under Tuchel was again beneath only the duo, with City netting 240 and Liverpool scoring 201.

With 49 clean sheets in 100 matches, Tuchel's side stand head and shoulders above all their rivals though, City ranking second with 44 and Liverpool in third with 43.

Had them in the first half

Quickly finding steam with Chelsea, leading them to Champions League glory and the FA Cup final just months after taking the reigns, Tuchel's return in the first half of his stint with the Blues is impressive.

In all competitions, Tuchel's first 50 games yielded 32 victories, 11 draws and seven defeats, with just 24 goals conceded.

A notable decline came in the final 50 matches of Tuchel's spell, however, with four fewer wins (28), two more draws (11) and nine losses – though the most alarming stat is conceding 53 goals, over double the amount from his first 50.

Thomas Tuchel has been dismissed by Chelsea following Tuesday's Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb, ending a near-20-month stay at Stamford Bridge.

The German arrived midway through the 2021-22 season as Frank Lampard's successor, and steered the Blues to an improbable Champions League triumph just weeks later.

But despite success for the former Paris Saint-Germain boss in Europe, domestic glory has been harder to come by.

This week's defeat to Zagreb was the final straw for new owner Todd Boehly, after a slow start to the new Premier League season that has seen Chelsea win just three of their first six games.

In the wake of his departure, Stats Perform takes a look at the highs and lows of the Tuchel era at Stamford Bridge...

HIGH: European glory from the ashes

Having stepped in to replace Lampard with Chelsea ninth in the Premier League and slipping away from European qualification, Tuchel did more than steer them back on track – he pulled off a shock silverware smash-and-grab.

Not only did he drag them to an eventual fourth-place finish, he oversaw two-legged wins over Porto and Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final – and there, shocked favourites Manchester City to claim the Blues' second title in Europe's biggest club competition.

LOW: Ignominy on the continent

For that high-water mark, however, Chelsea have also had issues at continental level, perhaps best exemplified by two disparate results – this week's loss to Zagreb and last season's Champions League quarter-final exit to Madrid.

Defeat to the Croatian side came with a toothless attack that failed to gel for the German, but the crash against Madrid – when they allowed Karim Benzema to find an extra-time winner – showcased their struggle to close out games.

HIGH: Final delights...

In the time Tuchel has been in charge at Stamford Bridge, he reached all three domestic cup finals available to him, with FA Cup showpiece appearances in 2021 and 2022, and an EFL Cup trip to Wembley, too.

That saw him stand alone in the history of the club and cemented his reputation as something of a cup specialist.

LOW: ...and failures

But on each occasion, he failed to guide the Blues over the line, losing last season to underdogs Leicester City before suffering a pair of defeats against a quadruple-chasing Liverpool side this year.

While he has enjoyed greater success abroad, the struggles at Wembley have haunted his reputation – and may well have played a part in his ultimate dismissal.

HIGH: Champions of the world

Chelsea's Champions League triumph qualified them for a shot at two more major prizes last season – and credit is due for Tuchel guiding them to both, allowing them to stake a claim as the greatest club team in world football.

A nervy Super Cup win over Villarreal was aided by Kepa Arrizabalaga's penalty shootout heroics, while Kai Havertz' extra-time penalty helped the Blues sink Palmeiras to be crowned Club World Cup winners.

LOW: Lukaku lethargy

If there is to be a player that marks Tuchel's legacy at Chelsea outside of his Champions League triumph though, it will almost certainly be Romelu Lukaku – one of the worst transfer flops in recent memory.

Returning to Chelsea after a Serie A title win with Inter, hopes were high for the Belgian's homecoming, but his poor form and difficulties within the German's system saw him frozen out over the latter half of the season.

Lukaku returned to Inter on a year-long loan over the off-season, with just eight Premier League goals in 26 games, and it remains to be seen whether he ever steps foot back in Stamford Bridge again or, if like Tuchel, his time at the club is now over.

"They're not used to Erling's natural runs yet, like we're not used to Darwin's. They'll need some time for Erling, but that doesn't mean he can't score."

Jurgen Klopp's assessment of Erling Haaland and Manchester City on Friday could easily have gone against the Liverpool manager.

After all, add in a great goalscorer to an already great team and surely the result can only be more greatness? But in   Saturday's Community Shield game – taking place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium – Klopp's words rang true, and instead it was City's Julian Alvarez and Liverpool's Darwin Nunez who each made their mark.

Liverpool ran out the victors in this latest instalment of English football's new number one rivalry, as City lost the season's curtain-raiser for a second successive year. It was new signing Nunez – named as a substitute when Haaland had been given the nod from the off for the Reds' opponents – who added gloss in a 3-1 victory that makes it advantage Klopp in the rivalry stakes for the coming season.

It was easy to forget, due to the vociferous atmosphere emanating from both ends, that this match amounts to what is essentially an exhibition, even if Pep Guardiola has often cited the Community Shield as a major trophy – one that Klopp had not previously won.

The intensity in the stands was matched by the players, especially in one spell midway through the first half when the tenacious Bernardo Silva sparked a flurry of robust tackles in midfield.

Liverpool dominated the opening stages, enjoying 57 per cent possession in the first 15 minutes and going close through Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson.


It has been an off-season of change for City. Kalvin Phillips and Alvarez have joined Haaland through the door, but Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko have left, and a lack of fluidity to the Premier League champions' play was noticeable as they laboured to get out of first gear.

There was a moment prior to Trent Alexander-Arnold's 21st-minute opener, when Kevin De Bruyne spun clear of his marker and Haaland looked all set to burst through and square up Liverpool's stand-in goalkeeper Adrian, yet the Belgian's pass was just too close to Virgil van Dijk.

That summed up a hugely frustrating first half for City's new number nine, who only had three touches prior to the half-hour mark, all of which came in his own half.

Alexander-Arnold's strike, his 10th Reds goal from outside the area, led to red smoke bombs being thrown onto the pitch from a jubilant Liverpool end, and City at that stage looked punch-drunk.

Then, the chances came. First, Haaland drilled at Adrian while off-balance, before he just failed to get proper purchase on a cross from the left – Riyad Mahrez heading into Adrian's arms on the rebound.

In normal pre-season circumstances, Guardiola might well have taken Haaland off when he made his first changes just before the hour, but it was instead Mahrez and Jack Grealish who made way for Alvarez and Phil Foden. At the same time, Klopp introduced Nunez for his domestic bow.

Nunez's impact was near-instant, getting in behind City's line and drawing a desperate lunge from Ederson in the area, but the linesman flagged for offside rather than a Liverpool penalty. Soon after, City's goalkeeper made a brave stop to deny the former Benfica forward.

Where one substitute went close, another then hit the net. In an interview in the matchday programme, Alvarez insisted his focus was not on matching Haaland, but instead on improving his own game. It was the Argentine forward who bundled in City's equaliser after Phil Foden forced Adrian into a save, with VAR overturning an incorrect offside call.

If City and Haaland might need time to gel fully, then the opposite should be true for Alvarez, who was a livewire from the moment he came on, becoming the third Argentinian to score in the Community Shield, after former City strikers Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Though where VAR had come to City's aid for Alvarez's goal, it helped Liverpool 10 minutes later, when a Nunez header struck the arm of Ruben Dias, which referee Craig Pawson deemed to have been in an unnatural position upon checking the screen.

For all the talk of new striker signings at both club, it was perhaps fitting that a familiar face in Salah stepped up for the penalty to remind everyone involved of his quality with a firm finish into the bottom-right corner.

Arguably the most important business Liverpool could have done in the close season was their July 1 move to tie Salah down to a new contract, and the 30-year-old has been directly involved in 13 goals for Liverpool against City, his most against a single side for the Reds.

Haaland had the ball in the net at the other end early in seven minutes of stoppage time, but it did not count – Foden had failed to keep it in. Moments later, Nunez stooped low to head in Robertson's cross. He is the fourth player to have scored on his competitive Liverpool debut under Klopp, after Salah, Van Dijk and Salah.

If there was any further evidence needed that this day would not be Haaland's, the 22-year-old hit the crossbar with the goal gaping with very nearly the last kick of the match to send Liverpool's fans into further delirium. It was the best chance of the match from open play, with an xG (expected goals) rating of 0.54. He was at least able to laugh it off as a bad day at the office, but goalscorers as prolific as him do not take misses like that well.

The former Borussia Dortmund player had just 16 touches over the 90 minutes.

Haaland's day will come, perhaps even against West Ham in City's Premier League opener, but on Saturday's evidence, Liverpool have adapted to their new striker swifter than their great rivals have theirs.


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