Romelu Lukaku thanked Inter's supporters and fitness staff after ending his long wait for a goal from open play in Serie A with a double in Sunday's 3-0 victory at Empoli.

The Belgium striker opened the scoring early in the second half at Stadio Carlo Castellani with a precise finish past Samuele Perisan and doubled his tally with an angled drive.

Those were Lukaku's fourth and fifth league goals of the season, and his first from open play since netting against Lecce on the opening weekend, some 253 days ago.

Lukaku, who also played in substitute Lautaro Martinez to round off the scoring in a routine win, is glad he can start repaying the support of those around him during a tough time.

"We must thank the fans – they give faith to the players to do better," he told Sky Sport Italia. "This has been a complicated season and we thank the fans for their support.

"I'm quicker in the change of pace and we are doing great work with the fitness staff. My previous injury was the most serious of my career, one that had never happened before."

Lukaku, who has scored 39 per cent of Inter's goals in all competitions (7/18) since the start of February, added: "I am getting more confident and want to keep helping the team."

The Chelsea loanee was recalled to the starting line-up as Simone Inzaghi rotated his side between facing Benfica in the Champions League and Juventus in the Coppa Italia.

After overcoming Benfica to set up a showdown with Milan, focus now turns to the Coppa Italia semi-final with Juve, which is poised at 1-1 heading into Wednesday's second leg.

Inzaghi has a big selection call to make in attack after Lukaku was cleared to play against Juve with his first-leg red card rescinded, but it is a headache he welcomes.

"It's a problem I want to have in every area," Inzaghi told DAZN. "I'm happy to have Lukaku available and we hope, with the exception of [Milan] Skriniar, everyone will be ready.

"We know how much [Lukaku] has suffered – unfortunately these things happen. He's working well and it's nice for a coach to have an abundance of problems like this."

 

Inter may be impressing in cup competitions, but they have struggled in the league of late, with Sunday's win snapping a five-game run without a victory since early March.

It is the first time Inter have won by a three-goal margin since defeating Bologna 6-1 in November, and they kept a clean sheet away from home for the first time in nine games.

While happy with the performance of his side against lowly Empoli, Inzaghi is not happy with the quick turnaround in games in what is an intense period of the campaign.

"We can't think further than our next match, which is just 72 hours away," Inzaghi said. "The calendar is insane because we play a lot. However, we can't have any excuses.

"This was the response we needed today. Players who haven't played for a while did well, though I never had any doubts over that.

"Now we have the Coppa Italia semi-final and we want to give our all in that game."

Bayern Munich's bid to retain their Bundesliga title suffered another blow on Sunday as left-back Alphonso Davies was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Thomas Tuchel's men are winless in four games after capitulating to a 3-1 defeat at Mainz on Saturday, a result which handed Borussia Dortmund the initiative in the title race.

Dortmund took advantage of Bayern's latest slip-up by thrashing Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 to go one point clear at the summit with just five games of the season remaining.

Bayern's woes were compounded by the sight of Davies limping from the field just nine minutes into their defeat, with the Canadian clutching his left hamstring after pulling up unchallenged. 

Reports in Germany subsequently suggested the 22-year-old could miss the rest of the season, and Bayern have now confirmed he will be out of action "for the upcoming games".

A statement on the club's website said: "Alphonso Davies will be out of action for FC Bayern for the time being. 

"Scans have revealed that the 22-year-old Canadian suffered a muscle strain in his left hamstring during Saturday's away match at 1. FSV Mainz 05. Davies went to ground following a running duel in the ninth minute and was forced off early."

Davies' injury represents the latest blow to befall Bayern, who have suffered as many defeats in seven games under Tuchel (three) as they did in their 37 matches under his predecessor Julian Nagelsmann this term. 

Liverpool's ability to react to adversity in their 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest proves the Reds are rediscovering their belief, according to two-goal hero Diogo Jota.

Liverpool were tested by the relegation candidates as goals from Neco Williams and Morgan Gibbs-White cancelled out Jota's brace, but Mohamed Salah's close-range finish ensured the Reds edged a back-and-forth encounter at Anfield.

While competing for a top-four Premier League finish looks a tall order for Jurgen Klopp's men, they have now clinched back-to-back victories after enduring a five-game winless run.

Liverpool also recovered from two goals down to draw with league leaders Arsenal before their victories over Leeds United and Forest, and Jota hopes to build on their improved run of form.

"Twice [we had to respond]. I think that is important, that shows that the team is believing more in ourselves each time, and that's really important to take for the future," he told the club's website.

"It gives confidence to the team. We believe in what we are doing and against Arsenal the win was there for us, but unfortunately in the end we could not take it. 

"But it's two in a row already and this is the only way we can fight to be in the highest possible position in the table."

Having also scored twice in a 6-1 rout of Leeds on Monday, Jota has hit four goals in his last two Premier League games after failing to score in his previous 20 appearances in the competition.

Reflecting on the end of his goal drought, Jota said: "I said before the first goal, it's always hard when it doesn't arrive so easily, but then everything seems to flow."

Erik ten Hag claimed Manchester United are now a "different team" to that which began his reign with a dismal defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against the same opponents.

Last August, Ten Hag became the first United boss to lose his first Premier League game in charge since Louis van Gaal in 2014, as Pascal Gross scored twice in Brighton's 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

That result was swiftly followed by a crushing 4-0 defeat at Brentford, but United have since recovered to lift the EFL Cup and lead the race for final two top-four places.

On Sunday, Brighton will attempt to deny United a place in a record-equalling 21st FA Cup final, and Ten Hag believes the Seagulls will be facing a much-improved team at Wembley Stadium.

"I've heard from many experts and the fans that we've made progress and developed," Ten Hag said. "We're a different team now, but we know we have steps to go. That's quite clear.

"I can speak after Seville, it's quite clear. No team always plays at the highest level, I know, but even if you don't play at the highest level, you still have to win. That is what we have to learn."

The FA Cup represents United's last chance to win a second piece of silverware in Ten Hag's debut campaign, following Thursday's dire Europa League elimination at the hands of Sevilla.

Having described United's performance in that game as "unacceptable", Ten Hag was asked whether he replicates Alex Ferguson's use of the 'hairdryer treatment' following poor displays.

"Sometimes yes, I can go strong in certain situations," he said. "It's a tool, but it's about the timing. 

"You need to know when to use it. As a coach, you can pick many communication styles, and this is one of them.

"[On Thursday], you could tell I was really mad. For me, it was so unacceptable. You can make a mistake, but you have to carry on.

"If you play in the quarter-final of the Europa League, you have to give everything and we didn't.

"For any club in my view, that is unacceptable. As a manager, I cannot accept that my team is not giving its best. I would never accept it and the players were made aware of this."

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.

Mikael Uhre netted a hat-trick as Philadelphia Union snapped their five-game MLS winless run with a 4-2 victory over Toronto on Saturday.

Union took an early lead after Lukas MacNaughton's 16th-minute own goal before Denmark international Uhre bagged a double before half-time.

Uhre added a third in the 56th minute to round out his hat-trick, tapping in Julian Carranza's low ball across goal and put the contest to bed.

Toronto pulled one back through Italy international Lorenzo Insigne in the 66th minute, before Richie Laryea's stoppage-time consolation.

New England reinforced their grip on top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 home win over Sporting KC, who are last overall.

Giacomo Vrioni netted a first-half brace for the Revs, but Sporting pulled one back in the 50th minute from Johnny Russell, only to be reduced to 10 men when Andreu Fontas was sent off 10 minutes later.

The Revs are ahead of second-placed Cincinnati on goal difference, with Cincy winning 2-1 over Portland Timbers after strikes from Sergio Santos and Brandon Vasquez.

New York City moved up to fourth in the East with a 3-1 home win over Dallas sparked by Santiago Rodriguez's double.

Western Conference leaders St Louis City were denied victory after Michael Barrios' 90th-minute equaliser as they drew 1-1 at Colorado Rapids.

St Louis remain top in the West but only on goal difference from Seattle Sounders who condemned Minnesota United to three straight losses with a 1-0 victory.

Denis Bouanga netted his seventh goal of the MLS season as LAFC drew 1-1 at Nashville, while LA Galaxy snapped their winless start to the campaign with a 2-0 home victory over Austin.

Inter Miami's losing run extended to six in a row, compounding the pressure on boss Phil Neville, as they went down 1-0 at Houston Dynamo.

Real Salt Lake beat San Jose Earthquakes 3-1, Charlotte defeated Columbus Crew 1-0, struggling Montreal edged New York Red Bulls 2-0 and Christian Benteke scored as DC United won 3-1 at Orlando City.

Thibaut Courtois insisted Real Madrid have not given up hope of catching LaLiga leaders Barcelona and dramatically retaining their title.

It would take a Barcelona collapse and consistent winning from Madrid to transform the situation at the top of the Spanish top flight.

Although Madrid won 2-0 on Saturday against Celta Vigo to trim Barcelona's lead to eight points, the Catalans had a home game against Atletico Madrid coming up on Sunday.

Were Barcelona to win that, their lead would be back to 11 points with eight rounds of games remaining. Even if Barcelona were to lose, their lead would still be such that they would remain firm title favourites.

Still, Madrid see no reason to give up hope, with goalkeeper Courtois telling broadcaster DAZN: "We are going to fight until the last game, until it is mathematically impossible."

He said it was "a pity" Madrid had dropped points at times this season but signalled that Champions League commitments can impact on domestic results.

Last season saw Madrid pull off a Champions League and LaLiga double, and they are through to the semi-finals in Europe once again this term, with home and away games against Manchester City coming up in May, plus a Copa del Rey final against Osasuna.

That cup showdown comes on May 6, and Courtois said: "We want to win on the next three matchdays and when the time comes for the cup final, we'll see how far away we are.

"We want to keep winning and have a good feeling ahead of the Champions League. It's key that we're all well. Hopefully we end the season well."

Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to his starting XI, four days on from his team's 2-0 win at Chelsea that clinched a 4-0 aggregate quarter-final win against his former club in the Champions League.

Marco Asensio, one of those brought in, rifled the opening goal, and his corner set up Eder Militao to head the second.

"Making an XI is complicated, because we are lucky to have a plugged in dressing room," Ancelotti said. "We must rotate, because this part of the season is very demanding."

The veteran coach was concerned about the playing surface and said the Santiago Bernabeu pitch "has to improve", while Ancelotti also paid tribute to the all-action Eduardo Camavinga, thriving at left-back after the 20-year-old was recently switched from midfield.

Camavinga had a team-high 113 touches and completed six of seven dribbles, with both aspects being the most he has achieved in a LaLiga game for Madrid.

"He has extraordinary quality. He has energy and is complete," said Ancelotti. "As such, he can play any position successfully."

Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri has called for resignations over the decision to overturn Juventus' 15-point deduction in Serie A.

The Bianconeri were hit with the penalty in January after an investigation into a capital gains case, with the club found guilty of alleged breaches in relation to historical transfers.

However, Juve's appeal to have the deduction revoked proved successful, with the Collegio di Garanzia announcing on Thursday the penalty has been annulled.

The Italian Football Federation (FICG) could yet punish Juve again after re-evaluating the case, but for now they have jumped to third in Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri's men have the chance to leapfrog Lazio into second should they beat leaders Napoli on Sunday, but Sarri is not happy with how the situation has been handled.

"From a legal point of view, I don't have the knowledge to be able to give an opinion," he said following Lazio's 1-0 home loss to Torino on Saturday.

"But from a sporting point of view, the championship is distorted. For months there was a ranking, but now it's different and could change. 

"I hope someone in sports justice has the good taste to resign."

Sarri's mood was not helped by what he thought was a poor display from the officials in the loss to Torino, with Ivan Ilic's first-half goal proving the difference.

"The refereeing had an impact," he said. "[Elseid] Hysaj should have had a penalty, and Torino's goal came from a throw-in metres inside the pitch. It influenced the game. 

"I wonder how seven people didn’t see these things. The boys were good – there was a risk of being reduced to nine or 10 men with these referees."

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham vowed to "give absolutely everything" in the club's pursuit of Bundesliga glory.

A 4-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday moved Dortmund to the top of the standings, holding a one-point lead over Bayern Munich after their 3-1 defeat at Mainz.

Having lost 4-2 to Bayern at the start of the month, Dortmund's title dreams looked dead in the water, but Edin Terzic's side are unbeaten in the league since (W2 D1).

Meanwhile, Bayern have won just one of their three Bundesliga matches in that time (D1 L1) to flip the title race on its head and put Dortmund in the driving seat.

BVB top the Bundesliga table after 29 games for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, the last time they won the title.

Bellingham, heavily touted for a mega-money transfer away from Signal Iduna Park at the end of the season, is ready to put it all on the line in pursuit of clinching the title.

"To be honest, it would mean everything. It would mean the world to me," he told Sky Sport Germany.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself and talk about it too much, to end up feeling like I've already won it, as there's five really tough games to come.

"But it would be massive, I would love more than anything to win the league with this club, after everything it's given me. I'll give absolutely everything to try and make that happen."

Marco Asensio and Eder Militao ensured there was no Champions League hangover for Real Madrid as Carlo Ancelotti's side scored a comfortable 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in LaLiga.

Buoyed by a 2-0 win over Chelsea in London that secured a place in the European semi-finals, it was back to the grind of domestic league duties on Saturday.

A glamorous semi-final against Manchester City awaits Madrid next month, after a Copa del Rey final clash with Osasuna, but in the league Los Blancos have been off the pace this season.

They trimmed Barcelona's lead at the top to eight points with this win, secured by Asensio's strike late in the first half and Militao's header soon after the break. Curiously, this was a fourth successive 2-0 victory for Madrid.

Aurelien Tchouameni headed waywardly from an early chance for the hosts, before Karim Benzema took aim from 25 yards and found row Z.

Asensio had a shot deflect over the Celta bar and Nacho ripped a strike over the angle of post and crossbar as pressure grew and the men in white swarmed.

Madrid were missing the midfield brains trust of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, both rested to the bench, but they broke through in the 42nd minute when Vinicius Junior's low cross from the left was clipped into the right corner by Asensio. It was his eighth goal of the league campaign, and a seventh assist for Vinicius.

A thumping header from Militao doubled Madrid's lead in the 48th minute as he darted in to convert Asensio's inswinging corner from the right.

Iago Aspas squandered a chance to trim the lead as he shot over the Madrid bar, before Benzema almost made it 3-0 when he got on the end of a swift burst from the hosts. Vinicius tore down the left and flicked a smart cross to the near post, but Benzema's powerful header was brilliantly blocked by goalkeeper Ivan Villar. It hardly mattered, with Madrid effectively already home and hosed.

What does it mean? Madrid test their resources and the results bode well

This outcome was not exactly unexpected. After all, Madrid came into the game having not lost any of their last 17 matches against Celta in LaLiga (W15 D2).

Coming four days after clinching progress in Europe, however, it was one where Madrid needed to show they have a sharp enough focus, whatever the occasion.

Coach Ancelotti made five changes, with only one of them forced on him by an injury to David Alaba, and those who came in, including Asensio, proved worth their place.

Considering Madrid will need to draw on their squad depth over a hectic run of games in the next six weeks, this was a good sign.

Asensio takes his chance

Promoted to the starting line-up as Rodrygo reverted to bench duty following his double at Chelsea, Asensio made the most of his opportunity.

His strike looked to take a deflection on its way in, but they all count, and it was his corner that set up Madrid's killer second goal.

Asensio's run-out lasted 76 minutes, in which time he managed four attempts on goal, two of which went on target, but a team-high six key passes.

Familiar story for Celta defence

There was scant chance of a shutout for the visitors here. Indeed, the result means Celta have still kept just one clean sheet in their 57 away games against Madrid in LaLiga (W6 D6 L45), and that clean sheet came as far back as March 1977, in a 0-0 draw.

They have scored in just one of their last 11 league visits to face Madrid, and this was a sixth successive defeat on LaLiga duty against Los Blancos, the third time that has happened.

What's next?

Madrid travel to Girona on Tuesday in their next LaLiga assignment, while Celta host league whipping boys Elche on the following day.

Liverpool "have nothing to do" with the top-four race in the Premier League at this moment in time, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Anfield in a thrilling game on Saturday to move to within six points of fourth-place Newcastle United, albeit having played a game more.

Despite showing signs of old with back-to-back wins this week against Forest and Leeds United, Klopp does not believe finishing in a Champions League spot is currently feasible.

"Honestly, top four at the moment, we have nothing to do with it," he told BBC Sport. "We will see about that in a few weeks. The rest we have no influence.

"We take it game by game and we have West Ham next which is really tough and then we go from there. I am happy we got all three points again."

Liverpool follow up their trip to West Ham on Wednesday with three successive home games, providing an opportunity to build the type of momentum they have lacked all season.

The Reds have registered more than two wins on the spin only once this season – a run of four that ended at the turn of the year.

Mohamed Salah's 70th-minute effort sealed victory against Forest after Neco Williams and Morgan Gibbs-White both cancelled out goals from Diogo Jota.

Forest's two goals came from long throw-ins, and Klopp accepts his side were far from perfect against the relegation-threatened side.

"I liked that we stayed in the game and all this chaos around the throw-ins which you have to try to avoid," Klopp said.

"Too many situations, we couldn't clear properly but apart from that I am really pleased with a lot of things.

"We gave away two goals too easy and in a game like this you have to control possession. You don't have to force it and sometimes we forced it."

Oliver Kahn criticised Bayern Munich's players for their display in Saturday's 3-1 loss at Mainz but absolved head coach Thomas Tuchel of any blame for their current slump.

Bayern dropped points for the second Bundesliga game running to relinquish top spot to Borussia Dortmund, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 later in the day.

Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann last month but has already overseen Bayern's exits from the Champions League and DFB-Pokal at the quarter-final stage of both.

Despite winning just two of his opening seven games in charge, Bayern CEO Kahn does not believe Tuchel deserves any criticism for results over the past month.

"Thomas Tuchel is the last person we need to talk about now," Kahn told reporters. "He is doing everything he can to help the boys progress. 

"There are 11 men on the pitch who have to work hard to achieve the goals of this club. What the team showed on the pitch is not enough."

Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic are under growing pressure, with Bayern at risk of missing out on the Bundesliga title for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

"I have no problem with criticism," Kahn said. "I have been through a lot in my career and I know what it means when things are not going well at Bayern. We are all responsible. 

"Despite this poor performance, we can still become German champions this season. My only objective is to finish the season as champions and to set off again next season."

Sadio Mane gave Bayern the lead at Mainz, but goals from Ludovic Ajorque, Leandro Barreiro and Aaron Martin in the space of 14 second-half minutes stunned the visitors.

Bayern have now gone four games without a win across all competitions, and Kahn was particularly concerned by his side's collapse at Mewa Arena.

"We played a catastrophic second half," he said. "Who was the team that wants to become champions? It will be very difficult to become champions with such performances."

According to German outlet Sport1, Kahn, Salihamidzic and president Herbert Hainer spoke to the Bayern squad for 15 minutes in the dressing room after the game.

Echoing the views of Kahn, Hainer accepts something has to change with Bayern's mindset if they are to catch Dortmund – one point better off – in their final five matches. 

"We had the game completely under control in the first half, were 1-0 up and forgot to score the second goal," he said. "After their equaliser we broke up completely.

"The second half was disappointing – I have to say that very clearly. When you see two halves that are so different and we collapse like that, it's really difficult to explain.

"You've seen that a few times in the last few games, and I don't know why. The coach will work on it. You can tell there's no security. There's more when they're a goal down."

Bayern return to action a week on Sunday with a home match against bottom side Hertha Berlin.

Riyad Mahrez's Wembley treble was the highlight of Manchester City's 3-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Sheffield United, but he was more focused on avenging a different sort of hat-trick.

City had suffered defeat in the semi-finals of the competition for the past three years, part of a sequence that had seen them lose four out of five at Wembley – as many as they had in their first 18 at the ground since it reopened in 2007.

A cagey first half saw City head into the break just one goal ahead, with Mahrez on target, and he stole the spotlight in the second half to send the Championship promotion hopefuls packing.

His goals ensured he became the first player in history to score an FA Cup semi-final treble at Wembley and the first overall since Alex Dawson for Manchester United against Fulham in 1958.

However, the most important aspect for Mahrez was ensuring a previous City treble did not become an unprecedented quadruple.

"It's very good [to score a hat-trick] but the most important thing, after two or three years in a row where we always came here in the semi-final, we always lost and we didn't really play good. Today, we wanted to make sure we put in a good performance and got to the final," he told ITV Sport.

"It means a lot. Every season we start, with the team we have got and the coach we have got, we really want to go as far as we can in every competition.

"Getting into the final of the FA Cup is amazing in this country. Now we need to concentrate on the league and the next game against Arsenal."

City now turn their attention to the midweek tie against Arsenal in the Premier League, where victory would move them just two points behind the leaders with two games in hand.

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).

 

Romelu Lukaku was dramatically cleared to face Juventus in the second leg of Inter's Coppa Italia semi-final as Italian football chiefs rescinded the red card he received for standing up to racist abuse.

An intervention on Saturday from the president of the Italian FA (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina, brought about the cancellation of Lukaku's second yellow card in the first leg of the Juventus tie.

That was despite the FIGC on Friday announcing the ban would stand, which was followed by an outraged response from Inter.

Inter reacted with dismay and "great sorrow" to Friday's ruling, saying it appeared Lukaku had been judged "the only guilty party" despite being the victim.

Gravina's decision to subsequently quash the verdict was warmly welcomed by Lukaku, who said in a statement on Inter's website: "I am really happy about this decision from the president of the FIGC, who has shown great sensitivity to the situation.

"I believe that thanks to his intervention, justice has been done and this sends out a great message to the whole world of sport and beyond. This has shown that the desire is there to fight racism."

The initial decision to uphold the red card and suspension had all the attributes of an embarrassing own goal for the FIGC amid efforts to show they take racism seriously.

Belgian striker Lukaku converted a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Inter a 1-1 draw in the semi-final first leg on April 4 at the Allianz Stadium.

He then used his finger to shush the home fans' vitriol and that reaction was deemed a bookable offence by referee Davide Massa. Lukaku had already been booked for a foul in the 80th minute, so the second yellow card saw him dismissed.

The Inter frontman, who is on loan from Chelsea, subsequently demanded action from Italian authorities after the latest case of him being targeted for abuse, while team-mate Edin Dzeko described the treatment from the Juventus fans as something "that should never happen".

FIFA president Gianni Infantino labelled the abuse "unacceptable" and called for those responsible to be punished.

A partial stadium closure was initially imposed on Juventus as a result of Lukaku being targeted, with the section from where the abuse came ordered to be shut for one game, but that decision was overturned, without an explanation being offered.

The second leg will take place on Wednesday at San Siro, and Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi will be relieved to have Lukaku available.

Saturday's apparent common sense decision from the FIGC was announced in a statement to Italian media, which announced Lukaku had been pardoned "in an exceptional and extraordinary way".

The FIGC statement added: "The principle of the fight against all forms of racism is a fundamental element of the sports system."

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