With the final international break of the season done and dusted, it was back to Premier League action on Saturday as teams prepare for the all-important run-in.

Having not had any changes of leader since the turn of the year, it was a novelty to see it change twice in one day, albeit with a familiar look at the end as Liverpool and Manchester City both recorded wins.

Something far less routine happened at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were clobbered by Brentford, while there was also a win for Wolves against Aston Villa and draws at Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds and Manchester United.

Stats Perform takes a look at some key Opta facts from a selection of the day's games…

Liverpool 2-0 Watford: Jota the slotter strikes again

It was a nervy afternoon at Anfield as Liverpool looked to leapfrog City to the top of the table.

Despite a determined performance from Roy Hodgson's Hornets, a first-half header from Diogo Jota and a late penalty from Fabinho secured the three points for the Reds.

It sent Jurgen Klopp's men to the top of the Premier League for the first time since December, albeit they were back to second later on after City's own win.

Liverpool are back in the title race after having won 10 consecutive Premier League games, becoming just the second side to embark on such a run on five separate occasions after City (also five).

It was another goal for Jota, his 20th of the season, and since making his Liverpool debut in September 2020, the Portugal international has scored more headed goals (nine) than any other player for a Premier League club in all competitions.

Burnley 0-2 Manchester City: Citizens retain top spot

Despite being displaced by their rivals, City eased to victory against Sean Dyche's side to take back their top spot just a couple of hours after losing it.

First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan saw Pep Guardiola's men to the win, continuing their exemplary record against Burnley.

This made it 14 wins from their last 15 games against the Clarets in all competitions (D1), winning each of their last 10 by an aggregate scoreline of 34-1.

City are the only side yet to drop a single point from a winning position in the Premier League this season, winning all 23 games in which they have led. No side has ever gone through an entire Premier League campaign without dropping points when ahead before.

Aymeric Laporte made his 100th Premier League appearance, picking up his 82nd win – the most wins by a player in their first 100 games in the competition's history.

Chelsea 1-4 Brentford: Tuchel's men toppled

It has been a turbulent time for Chelsea off the field, but until now they had kept their on-field form in check.

Brentford had other ideas at Stamford Bridge as they came from 1-0 down to ease to their first victory in nine meetings against the Blues in all competitions since a 3-1 away win in the top-flight in February 1939.

Chelsea went ahead thanks to an Antonio Rudiger piledriver from 39.6 yards, which was Chelsea's longest range Premier League goal since Frank Lampard against Wigan in January 2007 (45.1 yards).

However, goals from Vitaly Janelt (two), Christian Eriksen and Yoane Wissa turned things around to make it just the second time Chelsea have conceded four or more goals in the Premier League at home to a newly promoted side (also under Thomas Tuchel in the 5-2 defeat against West Brom in April 2021).

Eriksen scored his first Premier League goal since December 2019. He has now been directly involved in eight goals (three goals, five assists) against Chelsea in the competition, with all three goals arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City: Ronaldo-less Red Devils' top four hopes dealt another blow

It felt like an ominous sign for United when Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out of their game against Leicester through illness.

Ralf Rangnick's side ultimately rescued a draw having fallen behind to Kelechi Iheanacho's header, with Fred following in from a Bruno Fernandes shot, but it was still two points dropped in the race for the top four.

United have now won just one of their last six games in all competitions (D3 L2), after winning four and drawing three of the seven before that.

Fred is the seventh player to score on their 100th Premier League appearance for the Red Devils, and the first since Marcus Rashford did so, also against Leicester, in February 2019.

James Maddison laid on the assist for Iheanacho, and has now been directly involved in 21 goals in all competitions this season (13 goals, eight assists), four more than any other Leicester player; only in 2017-18 with Norwich has he been involved in more goals in a single campaign (26 – 15 goals, 11 assists).

Gary Neville said being left out of a depleted Manchester United attack will have "killed" Marcus Rashford after the Red Devils laboured to a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

Despite Ralf Rangnick's side being without Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani through illness and injury, Rashford remained on the bench for the first 55 minutes as United's top-four hopes were dented by the Foxes.

Rashford has recorded just four goals and two assists during a frustrating Premier League campaign, making half of his 20 league appearances from the bench.

Indeed, all four of the 24-year-old's league goals this season have come from the bench, a league-high tally, and Rashford was left out of Gareth Southgate's latest England squad as a result of his poor form.

Acknowledging Rashford's recent slump, Neville questioned what being left out of such a depleted Red Devils team said for the striker's role at the club, during a stark assessment of United's display.

"I was struggling with it [the system] before the game, without a centre-forward," Neville told Sky Sports.

"That's killed Marcus Rashford, not playing in that team.

"I know he's been in poor form, I know he's lacked confidence, but for Cristiano Ronaldo to pull out this morning, and then for Paul Pogba to be put in to change the system, not to just put Marcus Rashford in as a straight swap, after he's trained with the players for the last 10 days.

"Overall, there are too many things at this club that are uncertain: talks about Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cavani, the new manager, Ralf Rangnick – is he going to be a consultant at the end of the season, or is he not?

"They just need to get to the end of the season, but it isn't going to be easy. Everybody's watching, it's Manchester United and there's no hiding place. It was so flat today."

The interim boss, however, defended his decision to bench Rashford, who did not take a shot after entering the fray as a substitute, and said his selection of Pogba in a more advanced role was a tactical choice.

"The only one [striker] we had was Marcus," Rangnick told Sky Sports. "We knew this morning Cristiano could not play and decided to start Paul Pogba.

"After 60 minutes we made the change and had a central striker on the pitch. It's no secret that he [Rashford] was not full of confidence in the last couple of weeks.

"He was training with us, and in training he is looking well. That was the question yesterday, between Paul and Marcus, and we decided to go with Paul."

United have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions, recording three draws and two defeats during that run, having won four and drawn three of their previous seven.

Ralf Rangnick labelled Harry Maguire's performance in Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Leicester City "flawless" after the defender was booed while playing for England, as Bruno Fernandes suggested the media were partly responsible.

Interim United manager Rangnick also praised the reception given to Maguire by the Old Trafford faithful, with the 29-year-old having been booed during England's friendly against Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

Maguire has attracted criticism for his displays in a United defence that has kept just seven Premier League clean sheets this season, a tally worse than nine other top-flight sides.

Rangnick, however, was impressed with Maguire's solid display against his former team on Saturday.

"The reaction of our supporters [to Maguire] was as it always is," Rangnick told Sky Sports.

"They are one of the best [fanbases], if not the best, in England. 

"Harry played well, he had a flawless game today both defensively and offensively. It was a solid performance from him."

Midfielder Fernandes came to his team-mate's defence, claiming the media's coverage of Maguire's displays could have contributed to the jeers heard at Wembley.

"It's tough that your own country boos you in a game for the national team," Fernandes told Sky Sports. "It's maybe because of the media. 

"It wasn't because of his performance, he played really well in that game. Sometimes the media should think a little bit more when they do things."

Maguire's display may have been perfect in the eyes of Rangnick, but it did not help United claim three much-needed points against Leicester.

Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring for the visitors before Fred equalised, though VAR spared United's blushes when James Maddison had a goal disallowed in a game that ultimately finished 1-1.

United have won just one of their last six games in all competitions and are three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played two games more.

Rangnick's team are also winless in their last four league meetings with Leicester, having won seven of the previous eight.

Though their chances of securing Champions League qualification look slim, with West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham all still to play, Rangnick has pledged to fight hard.

"The second half was the better one," he said. "I think for most of the first half we were struggling to find our rhythm, maybe because of the long [international] break.

"The second half was better, but giving a goal away on a transitional moment didn't make it easy.

"I think the reaction after the goal we conceded was good, we came back and scored a goal, then had two or three good moments where we could have scored the winning goal, but we didn't.

"In the end we are not happy with the result, but the second half was okay.

"As long as it [fourth place] is possible mathematically, it is possible. It is our job and duty to do our best to finish on the best possible note."

Manchester United's hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four were further dented as they were held 1-1 by Leicester City, who were denied a winner by VAR.

United were without Cristiano Ronaldo due to illness and Ralf Rangnick's decision to go without a recognised striker did not pay off for large parts of Saturday's contest at Old Trafford.

The hosts found themselves behind when former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho headed in from a James Maddison cross, but Fred levelled just three minutes later.

Maddison thought he had struck a winner 10 minutes from time, though it was ruled out for an Iheanacho foul on Raphael Varane in the build-up, following the intervention of VAR.

Harvey Barnes was wayward on a few occasions in an underwhelming first half that saw United go closest to scoring when Kasper Schmeichel stretched out a leg to deny Bruno Fernandes.

Rangnick held off from changing things too drastically until introducing Marcus Rashford for Scott McTominay with 55 minutes played, coinciding with the game sparking into life.

Leicester opened the scoring when Iheanacho got in front of substitute Alex Telles and guided in Maddison's delivery.

United's response was a quick one, with Fred lashing into the roof of the net after Schmeichel helped Fernandes' powerful drive into the midfielder's path.

Leicester thought they had won it when Maddison beat David de Gea at his front post, only for VAR to adjudge Iheanacho had kicked Varane's leg from under him.

United came close to making their good fortune count, but Jadon Sancho snatched at a chance before James Justin denied Rashford a stoppage-time tap-in.

Cristiano Ronaldo was not part of Manchester United's squad for Saturday's Premier League home game with Leicester City due to illness.

The 37-year-old played both World Cup qualifying play-off games for Portugal during the international break, but he was struck down by flu on Friday and was not ready to face City.

Ronaldo has scored 18 goals in all competitions since returning to United in August, with 12 of those in the Premier League, including a hat-trick against Tottenham in his most recent outing in the competition.

Confirming the reason behind Ronaldo's absence, Rangnick told MUTV pre-match: "He had some flu-like symptoms before training yesterday and didn't feel well enough to train.

"We sent our doctor to his home this morning to check if he felt any better, but he didn't, so he's not in the starting XI as he was supposed to be."

Prior to the visit of Leicester, United had failed to win any of the five top-flight matches they had started without Ronaldo since the five-time Ballon d'Or winner rejoined.

Despite the absence of Ronaldo, and with Edinson Cavani again being ruled out through injury, Marcus Rashford had to settle for a place among the substitutes.

Rangnick instead went with the same system and side that started last month's 4-1 loss to Manchester City when Ronaldo was last absent.

Captain Harry Maguire, jeered by a section of England supporters during a friendly in midweek, retained his place in defence.

As for Leicester, who had won their past three games against United in all competitions, they paired Wesley Fofana and former Red Devils man Jonny Evans together in defence for the first time this season.

Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani will miss a "couple of weeks" with the injury he suffered on Uruguay duty, Ralf Rangnick has confirmed.

Cavani was substituted during a 2-0 win over Chile during the international break, as Uruguay cemented third place in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers after a run of four successive wins.

In a pre-match media conference looking ahead to Saturday's Premier League clash with Leicester City, Rangnick confirmed the news while discussing the various positions in which Paul Pogba has been deployed in recent weeks.

"Since the game against West Ham on January 22, we have lost three strikers," the interim Red Devils boss said.

"Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and even Edinson Cavani, who is injured again, unfortunately, and will be out for the next couple of weeks."

Cavani has managed just two Premier League goals during a frustrating campaign, seeing 614 minutes of league action all season.

Manchester United have lost two of their last three games in all competitions (winning the other). They had lost just one of their previous 20 following Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's November dismissal, recording 10 wins and nine draws in that time.

Ralf Rangnick is confident Harry Maguire will not face abuse from Manchester United after he was jeered while on international duty with England.

Maguire's name was booed ahead of England's 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday, a reaction that was widely criticised by Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions players.

Southgate described the response at Wembley as "an absolute joke", while Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice all came out in defence of Maguire.

Given the centre-back has played a key role in England's runs to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, the vocal criticism appeared to relate more to his club form.

Maguire, who is the United captain, has come under scrutiny in a tough season at Old Trafford.

However, interim United manager Rangnick does not expect he will experience a similar reaction from his home fans at club level.

Asked if he had yet spoken to Maguire about the incident, Rangnick replied: "Not yet, but I speak regularly since I'm here, so he knows my position towards him.

"He's been a very valuable player for the team and the club, the captain.

"I didn't understand what happened at Wembley, it won't happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and our captain. He's been playing well for Manchester United and England in the last couple of years.

"Gareth Southgate said something after the game and Harry Kane. I didn't watch the game, but I heard what had happened after they announced the starting line-up. It's difficult to understand.

"I don't speak to them in person, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen in our stadium. For it to happen in an international game is pretty unusual."

Rangnick was then asked if he could explain why Maguire in particular received such criticism for his United displays.

"I don't think this is a personal thing," he responded. "It hasn't anything to do with Harry himself.

"We know there are one or two players who have been criticised in the last few months. For example, Fred, a very important player for this team, playing regularly for the team and Brazil. I watched his game and he did well.

"Maybe it's still got to do with the high expectations around this club and maybe people tend to compare with former players and legends.

"Fred, we can also speak about Scotty [McTominay] and Harry, they are important players and players with the right attitude."

While Rangnick reserved plenty of time ahead of Saturday's game against Leicester City to discuss how Maguire and Fred fared during the international break, he was less interested by a Paul Pogba interview during his time with France in which he described this as another "dead" season at United.

"I've got enough to do now to prepare the team for the next game," Rangnick said. "Tomorrow's game is another important one, and I don't think it makes sense to interpret or just judge what he has maybe said in an interview, it doesn't make sense.

"That's something you can do if you want. For me, it's only important to judge him."

Roma will seek redemption against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League quarter-final, while Leicester City will face PSV.

Jose Mourinho's Roma were hammered 6-1 at Bodo/Glimt in the group stage of this competition, and the Norwegian side now stand in their way of a potential semi-final meeting with Leicester or PSV.

Brendan Rodgers' Leicester overcame Rennes 3-2 on aggregate in their last-16 clash, while PSV ran out 8-4 aggregate victors in a thrilling tie with Copenhagen in the last round.

Another two teams that met in the group stages will face off on the other side of the draw, with Feyenoord hosting Slavia Prague in the first leg and the winners will meet Marseille or PAOK in the other semi-final.

The two-leg quarter-final clashes are set to take place across April 7 and April 14, with the semi-finals to follow on April 28 and May 5.

Europa League quarter-final draw

Bodo/Glimt v Roma

Feyenoord v Slavia Prague

Marseille v PAOK

Leicester City v PSV

Semi-final draw

Leicester City / PSV v Bodo/Glimt / Roma

Feyenoord / Slavia Prague v Marseille / PAOK

Brendan Rodgers praised Wesley Fofana’s mentality, following his goal to put Leicester City through to the Europa Conference League quarter-finals.

Leicester lost 2-1 on the night, but Fofana’s goal upon his return put Leicester through 3-2 on aggregate.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has not played since breaking his leg in pre-season, but along with his goal to separate the teams on aggregate, quickly adapted to a tense European atmosphere.

Rodgers highlighted it was the mark of a top player.

"He’s an amazing player, that’s what top players do,” Rodgers told BT Sport post-match. "He’s only been back in training a few weeks but they want to go and head it and show that determination. That’s what we’ve missed for a lot of the season.

"That’s a top player’s mentality, he’s such a top prospect. Now he’s just got to try and build his fitness up. He was exceptional on the night."

With Lovro Majer back in the Rennes starting XI for the second leg, it was an unsurprisingly fast start and Benjamin Bourigeaud put them up after only eight minutes.

Fofana equalised on 51 minutes, handing Rennes a sizeable task to eventually turn the tie around. Rodgers was still critical of his side’s performance, but was nevertheless relieved progression was secured, given the opposition.

"I think with the ball we were really, really poor," he said.

"Our football in the game, especially in the first half, was nowhere near what I would expect. What we did show tonight was real character, especially with the players missing and lots of young players tasting this level for the first time. It’s character building for them.

"We had to show resilience. You can see they’re a good side, Rennes, so to get through is a fantastic feeling. We knew they were going to make a fast start and come after us.

"They got the early goal as well, but we showed a good mentality, a good concentration level."

A supremely busy Premier League Sunday may not have included either of the top two, but there was certainly no shortage of talking points.

There was particular focus towards the bottom of the table, with Norwich City and Everton losing yet again, while in the top-four race, Arsenal took another step towards sealing the final Champions League spot.

Chaos continues to engulf Chelsea, but they carry on winning, claiming a dramatic 1-0 win over Newcastle United, who were reminded again what it is like to lose following an impressive unbeaten run.

Without any further ado, Stats Perform looks at the key Opta facts from some of the day's games…

Chelsea 1-0 Newcastle United: Havertz decisive again

It was a particularly strange day at Stamford Bridge, with much of the pre-match noise focused on the two clubs' owners and fans.

But once the game started it was quickly remembered that this was going to give the clearest indication of the true extent of Newcastle's recent improvement.

As it happened, Chelsea clinched a late winner through Kai Havertz, who appeared to channel Dennis Bergkamp as he brought down Jorginho's pass and prodded home almost in one action.

That was the German's sixth goal involvement in five league games and saw him net in three successive top-flight matches for the club, with the former Bayer Leverkusen talent well and truly establishing himself as one of the competition's standout attackers.

It brought Newcastle's nine-match unbeaten run in the league to an end, with it also the first time since December that the Magpies have failed to score in the competition, though it was another encouraging performance from Eddie Howe's team.

Arsenal 2-0 Leicester City: Gunners finding their groove

Everything's looking rather rosy right now at Arsenal, with the Gunners making a pretty convincing case for the top four – this victory puts them a point clear of Manchester United, with Mikel Arteta's men crucially having three games in hand.

Leicester never looked like interrupting Arsenal's flow here, with the hosts in fine shape and playing eye-catching football.

This was their fifth successive league win, with Arsenal the only team outside of the top three to achieve that feat this season.

Their home form has proven a major help. They have lost just once at the Emirates Stadium since losing to Chelsea in their season opener, winning 10 of those 13 games.

Martin Odegaard in particular seems to have found another level lately, and he was excellent again, creating six chances. Five of those came in the first 45, making it the most by an Arsenal player in the first half of a game since October 2017 (Mesut Ozil, six).

Leeds United 2-1 Norwich City: Marsch madness twist leaves Canaries looking doomed

Leeds fans were devoted to Marcelo Bielsa. His replacement, Jesse Marsch, has been received well, but the jury is out on him.

A first win will surely aid his hopes of inspiring a bit of Marsch madness in the fanbase, and it came in dramatic circumstances too.

Joe Gelhardt scored a 90th-minute winner, making him the youngest player (19 years 313 days) to score a last-minute decider in the Premier League since February 2017 (Gabriel Jesus, 19y 308d) – the drama appeared to floor Marsch, who went tumbling to the ground amid the jubilant celebrations.

The joy on the Leeds bench was juxtaposed by the despair among the Norwich players and staff.

That was the Canaries' 20th Premier League defeat of the season in 29 games – never before in a league campaign have they reached 20 losses in fewer games.

Everton 0-1 Wolves: Lage's men continue exceptional 2022 form

What a season this is turning out to be for Wolves. When Nuno Espirito Santo left, there were certainly those who feared for the club's Premier League status given the stability that had served them well for several years was about to be truly tested.

Yet, they needn't have worried. Here we are in March and Wolves are challenging for European football and are one of the two form teams in the league in 2022.

This was their seventh Premier League win of the calendar year, secured by Conor Coady's goal, and leaves them with 21 points since January 1 – only Liverpool (eight wins, 25 points) have a better record than Wolves in 2022.

The reality is rather grimmer for Everton, however. Defeat here leaves them on 22 points from 26 matches, the lowest tally they have ever recorded at this stage of any league campaign (assuming a win equals three points).

This latest disappointment will likely bring fresh questions of manager Frank Lampard given only Norwich (one) have accumulated fewer points than Everton (three) since the former Chelsea boss' first game in charge.

In-form Arsenal moved back into the Premier League's top four as Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette scored in a 2-0 win over Leicester City.

Partey opened the scoring for Mikel Arteta's men following a corner, before hitting the angle of post and crossbar during a first half in which Leicester managed just three shots.

Caglar Soyuncu's handball allowed Lacazette to double the advantage from the penalty spot, sealing another win for one of the Premier League's strongest current sides.

The result lifted Arsenal back above Manchester United in the table, as they chase a first top-four finish since 2016.

After making a bright start, Arsenal took the lead in the 11th minute, exploiting Leicester's continued frailty from set-pieces when the unmarked Partey headed in Gabriel Martinelli's corner.

Spurred on by that, Arsenal twice came close to doubling their advantage in the 18th minute, with Partey curling a fantastic attempt against the goal frame after Granit Xhaka's shot was blocked at close range.

Home goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was forced into his first serious save after 35 minutes, acrobatically turning away Harvey Barnes' flicked header, but Leicester struggled to create chances in a strong opening period for the hosts.

But the Gunners were awarded a penalty after a VAR review just moments later when Soyuncu handled Partey's header, allowing Lacazette to fire into the top left corner in the 59th minute.

Kieran Tierney denied Barnes with a last-ditch challenge, and Emile Smith Rowe went close from a tight angle, before the Gunners confidently saw out their ninth win in 11 league matches.

What does it mean? Arsenal in fine form at the perfect time

After seeing off the challenge of Leicester, Arsenal have taken 28 points from the last 33 available to them in the Premier League, with no team able to better their return over that period.

Arteta's men lead top-four rivals Manchester United by a single point in the table, and they also possess three games in hand over the Red Devils as they emerge as favourites for Champions League qualification.

Partey time as Arsenal exploit Foxes' weakness

Partey's early header represented the Ghana midfielder's second goal of the Premier League season, and was an all-too-familiar sight for Brendan Rodgers.

It also underlined Leicester's dire set-piece record. Excluding penalties, the Foxes have now conceded 15 Premier League goals from set-piece situations this season, the most of any side.

Martinelli improvement continues with assist

After swinging in the corner for Partey's opener, Martinelli has been directly involved in eight goals in 18 Premier League appearances this season, registering five goals and three assists.

That total represents two more goal improvements than he registered in his first two campaigns in the competition (six goal involvements in 28 appearances).

What's next?

The Gunners will host Liverpool in a huge Premier League clash on Wednesday, while Leicester turn their attentions to Europe the following day, travelling to Rennes for the second leg of their Europa Conference League tie.

Mikel Arteta acknowledged that Arsenal playing in Europe next season "changes a lot" to attract transfer targets and he is demanding more from his in-form side.

Arsenal have taken 25 points from their last 30 available to them in the Premier League (W8 D1 L1) – no side has earned more points over their past 10 top-flight games – to leave them fourth in the league.

The Gunners, who are a point ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United and have played three games fewer, host Leicester City on Sunday as they search for a fifth straight league victory.

But Arteta warned his players that they must further extend their winning run to compete with the top teams, while he commented on how potential signings will be impacted by Arsenal's position come the end of the season.

"To be with the top teams you have to win consistently and do it in a convincing way," he told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference. 

"I need even more than that amount of victories [four in a row] because there are teams in this league who do that for 10, 11, 12 or 18 times, so still the margin is pretty big."

On any potential transfer dealings, he added: "There are two things: the amount of games that you have to play and the amount of players you need in the squad.

"The players you are losing or retaining in that squad, and then the [players] that are available, which playing in the European competitions changes a lot."

Arsenal appear favourites to secure the last spot in England's top four, but Arteta insists he is taking each game as it comes heading into a crucial period of the campaign.

"I don't know, the only matter for me is how we train tomorrow and how we play on Sunday," he responded when asked if his side were top-four favourites. 

"The rest, this is football and it's so unpredictable: nobody knows what can happen. Our only focus is on performing and winning matches."

Stand-in captain Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has provided more assists than any other Arsenal player in the Premier League this campaign (seven).

His two assists in the 3-2 win at Watford last time out took him to 100 goal involvements in all competitions in his Arsenal career (70 goals, 30 assists in 196 games), and Arteta has been pleased with the Frenchman, whose contract will be discussed in the close season.

"We have discussions as you know and at the end of the season, once we know where we are, we will make a decision altogether," Arteta said of Lacazette's situation. 

"I don't want anyone to think about something else that is not that. The decision, we agreed, is to do it in the summer and we're going to do it as soon as the season is finished.

On his lack of goals, Arteta responded: "I think he’s been very close and that’s why we have to keep pushing him and giving him support that he plays with that confidence and hopefully on Sunday he can do it."

The Arsenal boss has also been impressed with Lacazette's fellow attacker, Gabriel Martinelli, who has stepped up after the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona in January.

"Gabi is playing in a different position because Auba certainly in the last few months played as a nine, but Gabi has shown big signs of where he’s moving," he continued. 

"Certainly the capacity that he has to score goals and be a threat in the final third and I think his contribution all around in his game has been exceptional. He totally deserves the amount of minutes that he’s been playing."

Manchester United's search for a new permanent manager continues.

The Red Devils parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year after an underwhelming campaign despite the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick has taken over on an interim basis, buying United time to get the right man for the job.

TOP STORY - MAN UTD 'SOUND OUT' TEN HAG

Manchester United have "sounded out" Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag through intermediaries with no formal approach yet, claims Sky Sports.

Ten Hag along with current Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino are believed to be the two lead candidates for the top job at Old Trafford.

The report claims the Dutchman would be keen to speak to United if they make a formal approach.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italian champions Inter are ready to allow Alexis Sanchez to exit the club in mid-year reports Calciomercato. The 33-year-old's contract at San Siro runs until 2023 but Inter are keen to get his hefty wages off their books.

- England international Joe Gomez will seek a move away from Liverpool at the end of this season, claims 90min, as he seeks more regular game-time, having been a bit-part player this term. Leicester City, Tottenham, Newcastle United and West Ham are all interested.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are leading the race to sign Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz from promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers, claims TEAMtalk. Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and West Ham are also interested.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that West Ham are interested in signing former Barcelona, Milan and Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu from Udinese.

- Fichajes claims Wolves are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk's Pedrinho about a move to England, with players from Ukrainian clubs able to seek free transfers.

Jamie Vardy is set for another layoff with a knee injury after Brendan Rodgers confirmed the Leicester City striker will be out for "a few weeks", while Wesley Fofana's return from a long-term absence has been delayed.

Vardy, 35, has already spent a lot of time on the sidelines in 2022, with his substitute appearance in the 2-0 win at Burnley on March 1 being his first outing of the year following a two-month spell out with a hamstring injury.

He subsequently started Leicester's 1-0 defeat of Leeds United four days later, but during that match he sustained damage to his knee.

Rodgers was somewhat vague when outlining how long he expects Vardy to be out, but it would seem Leicester will be without their top scorer for potentially up to a month.

"He got a knock to his knee, but hopefully in the next three to four weeks it responds okay," Rodgers said ahead of Thursday's Europa Conference League last-16 clash with Rennes.

"He's going to be out for a few weeks, which is a shame."

Rodgers had been hoping to give centre-back Fofana his first competitive minutes of the season during the visit of Rennes.

The young Frenchman returned to training in February after breaking his leg in a pre-season clash with Villarreal last August.

But he will have to wait a little longer for his long-awaited return after a bout of COVID-19.

"[Fofana] has picked up COVID, which has been our season right the way through with injuries and unfortunate circumstances," Rodgers said.

"He is not going to be able to feature [Thursday] but we are hoping for the weekend now.

"It is really unfortunate for the two guys, and in particular Wesley, who has been building up to this moment. We just have to cope with the set-backs that come along."

Antonio Rudiger's future at Chelsea has been the topic of plenty of speculation.

The 29-year-old centre-back has been with the Blues since 2017 when he joined on a five-year deal.

Rudiger is yet to extend his contract with Chelsea, with plenty of interest in the Germany international.

 

TOP STORY – NEWCASTLE AND MAN UTD IN FOR RUDIGER

Newcastle United are ready to compete in the race to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, claims the Telegraph.

The Germany international has drawn interest from Real Madrid while the Express reports that Manchester United are also considering a move for the defender.

Rudiger's contract with Chelsea expires at the end of this season, although he has not ruled out staying at Stamford Bridge.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Express claims Harry Kane has informed his Tottenham team-mates that he will remain with the club should they clinch a top-four spot and Champions League football.

Arsenal may move to re-sign Serge Gnabry from Bayern Munich, who previously spent four years with the Gunners, according to Football.London. Gnabry is valued at €75million (£63m).

Arsenal, along with Leicester City, have sent scouts to track Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi, according to Nicolo Schira. The Italians are asking for €30m for their club captain, with interest from Napoli and Milan also.

- FootMercato claims Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are considering moves for Manchester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez.

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