Mohamed Salah knows Liverpool are "not in the best shape" but says they must show fight for the remainder of the season after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

Salah scored his 25th goal of the season and Sadio Mane added a second four minutes later in the second half as the Reds beat RB Leipzig 2-0 to seal a 4-0 aggregate victory.

The Premier League champions travelled to Budapest for the second leg on Wednesday smarting from a club-record sixth consecutive home defeat in the league at the hands of Fulham.

Jurgen Klopp's men face a battle to secure a top-four finish after dropping to eighth spot and may yet have to win the Champions League in order to play in the competition next season.

Liverpool posed much more of an attacking threat at the Puskas Arena, where Salah and Mane also scored in the first leg, hitting the target with seven of their 12 shots and certainly not resembling a side devoid of confidence.

Leading scorer Salah says the six-time champions of Europe must not put too much pressure on themselves as they attempt to turn the tide.

He told BT Sport: "It is a big result for us. We came here after losing a few games in the Premier League. The team is not in the best shape but we want to fight in the Champions League and also fight in the Premier League and see what can happen.

"I would love to score more. I am happy I scored today and the team won, that is the most important thing.

"We have had a few injuries this season, we have been unlucky but the most important thing is we have to keep fighting. We just have to take each game at a time and not look to the big picture because if you look to the big picture there can be too much pressure.

"It has been tough in the Premier League, we don't want it to be tough. It is part of the game. The last couple of years we were winning and flying, this year we have had injuries, it is hard. Hopefully, now we have two or three or four centre-backs we can keep winning."

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane struck in the space of four second-half minutes as Liverpool beat RB Leipzig 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side travelled to the Puskas Arena smarting from suffering a sixth consecutive home defeat in the Premier League at the hands of Fulham, but there was a sense of deja vu as they moved into the last right.

At the same venue where Salah and Mane gave the Reds a 2-0 first-leg advantage in what was Leipzig's home leg, the Reds forwards were on target once again to seal a 4-0 aggregate win.

Liverpool wasted a host of chances, but Alexander Sorloth hitting the crossbar was the closest Leipzig came as last season's semi-finalists bowed out.

Mane volleyed over amid a bright start for the Premier League champions, who had Fabinho back in midfield, before Dani Olmo was denied by the alert Alisson at the other end.

Liverpool did not resemble a side devoid of confidence and Peter Gulacsi showed sharp reactions to palm Diogo Jota's powerful header from a corner beyond the crossbar.

Salah wasted a great opportunity to open the scoring when Thiago's sublime pass sent him clear, but the forward shot straight at Gulacsi before he and Mane were unable to finish following up.

Emil Forsberg dragged a shot tamely wide and Jota spurned a golden chance when he broke through the middle but failed to beat Gulacsi, with the Portugal international then only finding the side-netting when he should have scored following an Dayot Upamecano error on the stroke of half-time.

Jota allowed Gulacsi to save all too easily yet again 10 minutes into the second half and Salah blazed the rebound over the bar as the breakthrough remained elusive. 

Sorloth, introduced as a half-time substitute, headed Hee-Chan Hwang's inviting cross against the bar midway through the second half, with Leipzig battling to stay in the competition.

Liverpool had one foot in the last eight 20 minutes from time, though - Jota setting up Salah in a rapid attack and the Egypt international cutting into the penalty area before finding the bottom corner with his left foot.

Divock Origi then whipped in a brilliant cross for Mane to tuck home a second as Klopp's men breezed through. 

Steven Gerrard famously never won the Premier League as a player with his beloved Liverpool but he is delighted to have led Rangers to Scottish Premiership glory.

Gerrard came agonisingly close to top-flight success with the Reds, most memorably in the 2013-14 season when his slip against Chelsea proved costly for Brendan Rodgers' charges.

Liverpool ended their 30-year title drought last season, six years after Gerrard called time on his long and distinguished Anfield career, and their former captain has enjoyed a stellar campaign at the Gers helm this term.

The Ibrox club wrapped up their first title since 2011 at the weekend, denying bitter rivals Celtic a 10th championship in a row in Gerrard's third season in charge.

Despite his failure to clinch the top prize in England, Gerrard's playing career yielded domestic trophy triumphs in the FA Cup and EFL Cup, while he also led the way in Liverpool's Istanbul revival to secure the Champions League trophy in 2004-05.

The 40-year-old found it hard to compare those achievements with the feat of guiding Rangers to the title.

"To be honest with you, I haven't really had time to reflect to think about the last two or three days and compare it to other achievements in my career," he said.

"I don't think it's fair to compare achievements. What I achieved as a player was fantastic, of course it was, but I'm on a different journey, I'm on a different career path, I'm at a different club.

"It's not really about me, from a personal point of view. Me making up for highs or lows or comparing stuff. It's about Rangers, it's about achieving our first massive goal together. It's all about the players and the supporters for me.

"In this position, I'm extremely proud of both. First and foremost the player for doing the majority of the job and doing it in style, but also the backing we've had since the first day I came in has been incredible as well."

Rangers are still vying for further silverware in the Scottish Cup and Europe League, but Gerrard conceded he would have to make allowances for his players to enjoy their success.

"Obviously the size of the achievement and the emotions that came with that, I think the players deserve to celebrate," he said.

"They've worked ever so hard during this journey, sacrificed a lot, put a tremendous amount of effort in to get this done and get this over the line.

"We also as a group have had some criticism along the way and we've been down at times along the way as well, so when you finally get this over the line the feeling is difficult to describe."

Next up is Thursday's first-leg Europa League showdown with Slavia Prague in the round of 16.

Gianluigi Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season, so where will he be playing in 2021-22?

The Milan and Italy goalkeeper – still in discussions with the Rossoneri – has attracted interest from across Europe.

Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly circling.

 

TOP STORY – DONNARUMMA WANTED IN ENGLAND

Manchester United and Chelsea are considering signing Milan star Gianluigi Donnarumma as a free agent, according to The Transfer Window podcast.

Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season, though Tuttosport reports he and Milan remain in contract discussions.

Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1 titleholders Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked.

Sky Sports says United are also targeting Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak amid doubts over David de Gea's future.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are eyeing Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. The United States international has found himself out of favour under new manager Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

- The wish list of new Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been revealed. Sport reports aside from Manchester City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Laporta is also targeting Sergio Aguero and Bayern star David Alaba, as well as in-demand Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

Arsenal want to sign Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi as a replacement for Hector Bellerin, according to the Telegraph. Bellerin has been linked to PSG and Barca.

- Sport Bild reports Bundesliga champions Bayern will let veteran defender Jerome Boateng leave amid his links with Chelsea.

Barcelona's Champions League campaign feels all but over as they head to Paris Saint-Germain nursing a 4-1 last-16 deficit.

Kylian Mbappe made merry at Camp Nou last month, netting a brilliant hat-trick after Lionel Messi gave the hosts a first-half lead.

The fact the defeat came on their own patch makes Barca's hopes even more remote, but they've been on both sides of incredible recent Champions League comebacks – most famously in this very fixture.

Here, we look at some of the nights in Europe's top competition where logic left town.

2019: Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (4-3 on aggregate)

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool had been well beaten at Camp Nou, with the 3-0 scoreline flattering Barcelona but making the Catalans clear favourites to complete their semi-final task on Merseyside.

Liverpool were without injured forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for the second leg, yet two goals each from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum saw the hosts defy the odds in sensational style.

They were Origi's first goals in the competition, while only 122 seconds separated Wijnaldum's pair in a pivotal period that left Anfield rocking.

Origi had the final word thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold's quick thinking from a 79th-minute corner.

It meant a Barcelona side boasting Messi – who was involved in all of Barca's eight attempts on goal with five shots and three key passes - and former Liverpool stars Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez were left devastated, while Klopp's men celebrated reaching the Madrid final.

2019: Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5-3 on aggregate)

Despite an impressive display in their 2-1 first-leg defeat, few thought Ajax could turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid's Sergio Ramos certainly did not - he earned a first-leg booking to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, receiving an extra-game suspension from UEFA in the process.

In the absence of their captain, Madrid capitulated against a fearless and thrilling Ajax. Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.

Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone's free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out on the back of their heaviest margin of defeat in a European knockout game. It was the first time Madrid had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie, while Ajax would themselves be stung by a comeback in the semi-finals.

2019: Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (3-3 agg)

Ajax looked certain finalists when they extended their 1-0 first-leg lead to 3-0 on aggregate in Amsterdam, thanks to first-half goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Ziyech.

Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs took inspiration from Liverpool's stunning fightback against Barcelona 24 hours earlier, though, and Lucas Moura stepped up to emerge as their hero.

The Brazilian winger was thrust into a central attacking role and scored an improbable hat-trick – just the fifth time the feat had been accomplished in a Champions League semi-final - in the second half, the vital third goal coming deep into stoppage time, as Spurs won on away goals.

2018: Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg)

Barcelona were stunned in the Italian capital as Roma completed one of the most unlikely quarter-final turnarounds.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side came back from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the last four on away goals after a thrilling 3-0 win in front of their home fans.

Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured the 4-4 aggregate draw and sent the Stadio Olimpico into raptures, as Barca fell to pieces.

2017: Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (6-5 agg)

Before being humbled by Roma and Liverpool, Barcelona pulled off an astonishing Champions League comeback of their own - the greatest so far in terms of the deficit overhauled and one that PSG fans will still shudder to be reminded of this week

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, Suarez and Messi scored either side of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, only for Edinson Cavani to grab what was expected to be the decisive away goal for the visitors.

However, two quickfire Neymar goals against his future club – the second a highly controversial penalty after Suarez took a tumble – levelled the tie at 5-5.

Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Sergi Roberto struck to create a slice of Champions League history – no side had ever turned around a four-goal first-leg deficit before.

2004: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 Milan (5-4 agg)

Deportivo were among Spain's major forces just after the turn of the century and one of their finest moments in Europe came in April 2004 when, despite being 4-1 down from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Milan, they stunned the Rossoneri at the Riazor.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque had Depor ahead on away goals before half-time, with veteran Fran Gonzalez scoring the fourth to make sure of their passage.

Depor were eliminated by eventual winners Porto in the semi-finals, but this comeback stood as arguably the very best in Champions League history until Barca went one better.

2000: Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (aet, 6-4 agg)

Another time Barcelona overturned the odds.

A 3-1 first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge – having trailed 3-0 – had Barca in danger of being on the wrong end of a major Champions League upset prior to Chelsea's Roman Abramovich era, but in the return match the Catalan giants showed their true class.

Tore Andre Flo's 60th-minute goal was sending Chelsea through despite Rivaldo and Luis Figo scoring before the break, but Dani Garcia headed home in the 83rd-minute to force extra time.

Rivaldo atoned for an earlier missed penalty by converting from the spot after Celestine Babayaro was sent off and Patrick Kluivert finished the game off, crushing Chelsea's dreams.

Last season's beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain are red-hot favourites to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals when Barcelona visit the Parc des Princes for the second leg of their last-16 clash on Wednesday. 

Mauricio Pochettino's side hold a three-goal advantage after Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick helped them seal a stunning 4-1 win over Barca in the first leg last month.

Liverpool are in a strong position to join them in the last eight, with Jurgen Klopp's side taking on RB Leipzig at Anfield after running out 2-0 winners in the reverse fixture. 

The German club, though, might just fancy their chances of causing an upset against the Premier League champions, who have lost six of their last eight matches across all competitions. 

We used Opta numbers to preview the two clashes.

Paris Saint-Germain (4) v (1) Barcelona: Blaugrana out to make history

Barca will have to make history if they are to book the most unlikely of last-eight places, with no side ever having progressed in the competition after losing the first leg at home by a margin of three goals.

The game marks the first Champions League meeting between the sides at the Parc des Princes since February 2017, when the Ligue 1 team recorded a 4-0 victory. 

That remains PSG's biggest margin of victory in a home knockout game in the competition, while it is also Barca's joint-heaviest defeat in a knockout game away from home in the competition (also 0-4 against Liverpool in May 2019 and against Bayern in April 2013).

While the onus is on Barca to score freely, do not be surprised to see the hosts do just that themselves. They have netted at least once in each of their last 22 Champions League games at home (61 goals), in a run that dates back to December 2015. 

Spearheading their attack will be Mbappe, who will become the youngest player to reach 25 goals in the Champions League if he scores (aged 22 years and 80 days), taking the record from Lionel Messi. 

Barca talisman Messi has only ended on the losing side in four of the 75 Champions League games he has scored in. However, half of these have come against PSG – the first-leg defeat and a 3-2 loss at the Parc des Princes in September 2014.

Should Messi and his team-mates slip to defeat it will mark the first time the LaLiga giants have lost three Champions League matches in a row.

Liverpool (2) v (0) RB Leipzig: Reds have the edge over German opposition 

With a two-goal advantage from the first leg, Liverpool will expect to continue their run of never having been eliminated from a Champions League knockout tie after winning away from home in the first leg.

The game will be the 21st time the Reds have hosted German opposition across all European competitions. They are unbeaten in the previous 20 of those (16 wins, four draws), scoring 52 goals and conceding just nine.  

Central to their chances of extending that run will be two players who have enjoyed themselves in the Champions League in recent seasons. 

Since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Roberto Firmino is one of only three players in double figures for both goals (15) and assists (11) in the competition, along with Messi and Mbappe. 

Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, is Liverpool's top scorer in the competition, netting 23 goals in 40 games for the Reds. If he scores a brace in this game, he will reach 25 goals for an English club in the second-fewest appearances, following Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United (27).

If Leipzig are to have any chance of causing an upset they will need to improve dramatically on their last away clash with an English side, the Bundesliga club suffering their heaviest defeat in European competition against Manchester United at Old Trafford back in October (0-5).

Only four of their 12 wins in the Champions League have been achieved by more than a one-goal margin (33 per cent).

However, the last time they won by two or more goals in the knockout stages of the competition was against Spurs last season (3-0 in the last-16 second leg).

Georginio Wijnaldum admits he would be "devastated" if he leaves Liverpool at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old Dutch midfielder is due to reach the end of his contract in June, and there is no sign of a breakthrough in talks over a renewal.

Wijnaldum has been linked with clubs including Barcelona and Inter, and his Anfield career could be close to an end.

Speaking on Tuesday, ahead of Liverpool's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with RB Leipzig in Budapest, Wijnaldum said it would be tough to leave the Premier League giants.

"The only thing I can say is I'm really happy at the club - really happy with the team, the staff and really happy with the fans," Wijnaldum said.

"It's not that easy, like everyone thinks it is, to make some decisions for your future because you have to think about everything. You have to negotiate with the club and it's so difficult to deal with all kinds of things and that's why it takes so long.

"And also, with the situation we're in right now, it's not the most important thing right now: the most important thing is to get back on track, to start winning games again, and then we will see.

"My family is happy here, but beside that there is no news."

Asked how difficult it would be to walk away from Liverpool, Wijnaldum said: "Really difficult, because if that happened you would leave a team you really love.

"I would be devastated that I don't get to play with this team any more, that would be for sure."

Liverpool hold a 2-0 lead against Leipzig as they return to the Puskas Arena, and the Champions League is now seemingly their last hope of silverware this season after a shocking dip in form in the Premier League.

"Of course, the Champions League can rescue this season," said Wijnaldum. "But I think a lot of people only say it's rescued if you win the Champions League and everyone knows how difficult it is."

He opened up about the strain that Liverpool's drastic mid-season dip has taken on the team.

"It hit us hard, everyone can see it," Wijnaldum said. "There is confidence in the team and in the players and in each other, but I think it's less than we're used to, because of the situation we're in with the injuries, players getting COVID, and also the results have not been in our favour.

"It's a new situation we are in right now. We were used to winning games and winning trophies and now it's totally the opposite, so I think the confidence is less than in previous years."

He said Liverpool's form at Anfield, where they have lost six consecutive Premier League after a run of 68 unbeaten home matches, has been "really shocking" to the players.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still sees cause to be optimistic about the team's future, and he is eyeing success in Europe to counter what has been a grim run of domestic form.

Klopp listed the reasons to be hopeful, saying: "The team, the moments we had on the pitch, the competition, the quality of the boys and football in general, because you will always have a chance in the next game and that's already enough."

The German manager added in Tuesday's news conference: "I have no doubts about us for tomorrow, not that I know we will go through 100 per cent but I know we will give Leipzig a proper fight."

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions he could succeed Joachim Low as Germany head coach.

The Liverpool manager said on Tuesday that he remained committed to last season's Premier League champions.

Low announced earlier in the day that he would end his 15-year career as Germany boss after the Euro 2020 finals.

Klopp's name led the way in polls conducted in Germany to judge the public view of who should replace Low, but the 53-year-old former Borussia Dortmund coach counted himself out.

When asked whether the job may have come too soon for him in his career, Klopp said: "Maybe you should ask the question differently, if I'm available for the job of manager or coach of the German national team after the summer - no.

"Joachim Low did an incredible job for so many years. I think he's the longest servant we've had in Germany and one of the most successful. He did an incredible job.

"I understand he wants to have this highlight at the European Championship and try to squeeze anything out he can in this tournament and then somebody else will do the job.

"I'm pretty sure that with the amount of really good German managers at the moment, the German FA will find a good solution."

Speaking to German reporters, Klopp indicated the timing was not right for him to move into international football, given he has three years remaining on his Liverpool contract.

Klopp's team face RB Leipzig in the Champions League in Budapest on Wednesday, guarding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

Julian Nagelsmann does not expect Jurgen Klopp to be tempted by the Germany job after Joachim Low announced he would step down after Euro 2020.

The search for Low's successor is underway, and a poll by Germany's Sky Sport News broadcaster on Tuesday showed Liverpool manager Klopp would be a popular pick.

With over 7,000 votes counted, some 54.6 per cent selected Klopp as the right man for the job, with Ralf Rangnick next in line with a 15.4 per cent share.

Klopp's Liverpool are enduring a deep dip in the Premier League after last season's title triumph, and six successive defeats in the competition at Anfield have seen them slip to eighth place.

But Klopp has enjoyed huge success during his Liverpool reign, winning the Champions League in 2018-19 before the Reds ended a 30-year wait for the domestic title.

He was also highly successful during his time with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, where he twice won the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann, whose RB Leipzig side face Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday, said: "Jurgen Klopp is an outstanding coach. But I think that both Liverpool and Jurgen are extremely satisfied with each other."

At the age of 33, Nagelsmann appears unlikely to fancy a switch from club management into the international game.

He has performed wonders with Leipzig since being appointed in 2019, achieving a Bundesliga win percentage of 58.62, with 34 victories and just seven defeats in 58 league games in charge.

If he sustains his early coaching performance, the Germany job may be one that Nagelsmann looks at in the future.

For now, he is keen to see how Low bows out, hoping a 15-year reign can end on a high note.

"First of all, it's sad news, but he is still in office," Nagelsmann said. "That's the most important thing: that he will continue and be on the touchline for this big tournament.

"He's had an extreme impact in German football and especially on the national team. He's had great success and defined an era with titles, a development and a second rebuild during his spell."

Nagelsmann pointed to Low bringing through different generations to form new Germany sides, and said he was optimistic the latest incarnation can be trophy contenders at the European Championship.

"I am sure of it, because we have a lot of talented players, which is also an achievement of his," Nagelsmann said. "It's thanks to him making difficult decisions during crucial moments.

"He has also been criticised for this but had a great career as the coach of the German national team nonetheless. I hope he will find a glorious end and then I'm keen on finding out where he will leave his footsteps next."

Germany great Lothar Matthaus backed former Schalke and Leipzig boss Rangnick, who is currently without a club, telling Sky Sport News: "He's free. He's someone who can build something."

The next Germany coach will be expected to lead the team at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, although the qualifying process is set to begin on Low's watch, with games against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia coming up in late March.

Rudi Voller, the former Germany striker who went on to manage the team from 2000 to 2004, is thankful Low is being afforded the chance to go out on his own terms.

Voller said: "Jogi Low's decision deserves respect. He and his teams have given us great football in many tournaments and by winning the title at the 2014 World Cup, achieved great things for German sport.

"Now Jogi has the chance to go to the European Championship this summer and to achieve a wonderful conclusion. We will all keep our fingers crossed for him."

Leipzig full-back Angelino insists the pressure is on Liverpool and believes the German side can still win their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool won the first leg 2-0 in Budapest three weeks ago, with the second leg to be played on Wednesday in the Hungarian capital again.

The first leg was tighter than the scoreline suggested with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane pouncing to score early second-half goals.

That combined with the Reds' recent domestic struggles will offer Leipzig confidence they can turn around the tie.

"I would say the pressure is more on them than us. We’re the underdogs," ex-Manchester City man Angelino said.

"If we don’t make big mistakes and put our chances away, we can turn the situation around. There are still 90 minutes to go.”

All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

 

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

Matthijs de Ligt was linked with Manchester United before his move to Juventus in 2019.

United have reportedly renewed their interest in the 21-year-old Dutch defender.

Could he end up in Manchester?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WANT DE LIGT

Manchester United are set to target Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, according to TodoFichajes.

United were heavily linked with De Ligt before the Netherlands international swapped Ajax for Serie A champions Juve in 2019.

With United reportedly not advancing in their pursuit of Real Madrid pair Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, the Red Devils are eyeing De Ligt.

United have also been linked with RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate, Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Paris Saint-Germain are poised to offer David Alaba a €25million-per year deal in an attempt to prise the Bayern Munich star to the French capital. Out of contract at season's end, Alaba has been tipped to join Madrid. Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester City have also been linked.

United have been left alone in the fight to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, claims TodoFichajes. Unwilling to match Villa's valuation, City have reportedly exited the race for Grealish. The report also says United could sell Marcus Rashford to fund the move.

- Madrid stars Lucas Vazquez and Isco are wanted by Everton, according to Calciomercato. After prising James Rodriguez from the LaLiga champions, Everton are targeting another two players from the Spanish capital, though Milan and Juve are also keen.

- Diario AS reports Madrid are prioritising a move for in-demand Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. Chelsea, United, City, Juve, PSG, Barca and Bayern have all been linked but Madrid are reportedly shifting their attention from Kylian Mbappe to Haaland.

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed Harrison Reed's claim that desire was the difference between Liverpool and Fulham as the Cottagers won 1-0 at Anfield.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the Cottagers gave their survival chances a huge boost on Sunday afternoon, midfielder Reed summed up his side's performance by declaring: "We wanted it more."

The visitors were certainly good value for their three points, which came as a result of a performance that saw them create the best openings and rarely troubled at the back.

But Klopp disagreed with the suggestions that his players, whose hopes of European football next term are fading fast, did not want to win just as desperately.

He said: "Believe me, these boys want [it] but it doesn't work in the moment and there are some reasons for it: we don't score goals and we concede at least one, which in the moment looks like it is enough against us. 

"You can discuss whatever you want, obviously, I cannot just answer and say, 'Yeah, we don't have mentality.' We have mentality, it's just not the mentality we are used to probably, but the boys want to win games. 

"They wanted to win this game today. I saw that. We made mistakes still, that's the problem, but that's not about you don't want it - the boys don't want to make mistakes, we just made them. 

"We have to make sure the mistakes we make are not accountable anymore, so like you can concede a goal – we conceded goals in our best phases, the best periods of our lives, but the only thing is then you are not bothered about it. 

"That's where we have to come. We have really tight results in the moment, pretty much always against us, and we have to make sure we win football games again. 

"If it's a 1-0, it's fine, fight for it with all you have and then you can gain confidence and momentum maybe again. In the moment we don't have that."

Klopp did, though, acknowledge that his team's performance was not worthy of taking even a share of the points.

He added: "It was not good enough. Conceded a goal, didn't score, lost the game. It was not good enough. 

"I had a few interviews and tried to explain it. We had to make some changes and wanted to make some more, and it is then clear that it takes a little bit of time to adapt - especially when you know that Fulham is in a really good moment and is anyway a good football-playing side. So that was clear. 

"We started OK with our direction, especially when we sent Mo in behind. We had moments, didn't use them, they had their moments when they played behind our last line, of course, but we didn't concede a goal [then]. 

"We conceded a goal in the moment when obviously we didn't expect it and it was only a few minutes before half-time. But we got then more and more used to each other and played some good stuff, created chances, had chances, didn't score. 

"Then the longer the game goes, obviously in our situation it's not that you get stronger and stronger and stronger. It gets a little bit lesser again and that's why we lost."

Against Fulham, Liverpool named their 20th central defensive partnership of a season that has been defined by injuries not only limited to that position.

Asked if his team's fortunes will remain the same until the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are back, Klopp replied: "For winning one football game, no. For being the successful team again, for being the team we can be in the best possible way, of course we have to be complete. 

"More complete than we are in the moment, that's all clear, but that's not what we are thinking about in the moment. 

"We really think from game to game and when you are winning then people think, 'Why do you say that all the time?' but that's the only way. 

"You have to think and to concentrate and focus on the next game and to go again. The next game is in a different competition where we didn't too bad so far, but it will be a tough one, obviously, so we have to make sure we are ready for that. 

"If we can go through, which is not guaranteed, then that could give confidence. Then we have Wolves, which is a tough one and then we have a couple of weeks off because of the Chelsea game and the international break and all these kind of things. 

"We have to use that time, we have to hope all the boys who go to their national teams come back healthy, like always. Then I think there are another nine or 10 games to go, sounds like 27 or 30 points, so a lot to go for and we will try."

Liverpool slumped to a sixth successive home defeat on Sunday as relegation-threatened Fulham claimed a 1-0 win.

The worst part for Jurgen Klopp's beleaguered side was the fact that, from the moment Mario Lemina put the visitors ahead at half-time, the writing was on the wall to an extent.

The Reds' slump includes January's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City, when Mohamed Salah scored from the penalty spot.

That was the only defeat where they have found the net, with the losing run immediately preceded by a 0-0 draw against Manchester United.

It means, following 16 attempts without reward against Fulham, Liverpool have racked up 115 shots since they last scored from open play at Anfield in a 1-1 draw against West Brom on December 27.

That amounts to the longest run of open-play shots without scoring at home since Opta began collecting the exact times of shots.

Portsmouth (114 in January 2008) and Manchester City (101 in August 2007) are the only other two clubs to have chalked up this unwanted century.

Fulham boosted their survival hopes as they inflicted a sixth consecutive Premier League home defeat on Liverpool, winning 1-0 at Anfield.

Mario Lemina's strike close to the half-time break earned the visitors a deserved three points that means only goal difference separates them from safety.

It also extended a dreadful run of form for the Premier League champions, whose hopes of qualifying for any form of European football next term now look under huge threat.

No doubt encouraged by their hosts' woeful recent form, Fulham made the brighter start.

They twice went close when Josh Maja flicked an unorthodox effort just past the post before Ademola Lookman drove wide after cutting into the box too easily.

And, though Liverpool looked to respond through Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian was unable to hit the target after getting in behind on two occasions.

Fulham kept the pressure on, with only a brave Alisson stop and an excellent Neco Williams block denying Maja and Lookman respectively.

And the Reds could not deny them before half-time, with Lemina picking Salah's pocket at the edge of the box before arrowing a brilliant low effort into the far corner.

Liverpool showed improvement following the break, Diogo Jota stinging the palms of Alphonse Areola with a well-struck left-footed volley just inside the box.

But their desperation to get back into the game led to gaps opening up, which Ivan Cavaleiro almost exploited in shooting wide after pinching the ball in midfield and breaking at pace.

Shortly after that chance, Jurgen Klopp looked to his bench for inspiration, introducing Sadio Mane in place of Georginio Wijnaldum.

And the Senegalese nearly levelled just minutes into his cameo, sending a looping header onto the post from Naby Keita's cross.

But that was as close as Liverpool came across a final 25 minutes that featured surprisingly few uncomfortable moments for Fulham, who were good value for their win.

What does it mean? Fulham give themselves a chance

Having looked dead and buried earlier in the season, Fulham are now only in the Premier League's bottom three by virtue of goal difference.

As the form team in that part of the division, Scott Parker's side will now fancy their chances of reeling in Brighton and Hove Albion or Newcastle United before the campaign comes to a close.

What's next?

Liverpool must shake off another Anfield defeat quickly as they head to Budapest for the 'home' leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Fulham, meanwhile, have six days to prepare for hosting Premier League champions in waiting Manchester City at Craven Cottage.

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