Pep Guardiola hailed Ferran Torres' goalscoring instinct after the youngster plundered his first Manchester City hat-trick in the champions' 4-3 win at Newcastle United.

Torres, who joined from LaLiga side Valencia ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, put City 2-1 up with a sumptuous flicked finish after Joao Cancelo cancelled out Emil Krafth's opener.

A penalty from Joelinton and a Joe Willock goal – scored after the on-loan Arsenal man's spot-kick had been saved – put the Magpies ahead, but Torres scored twice in two minutes to seal an English record 12th straight away win for City.

Torres' Friday evening treble took him to 13 goals for the campaign, with team-mate Phil Foden (14 goals) the only player aged 21 or under to have scored more for a Premier League club across all competitions this term.

The St James' Park hat-trick hero also became the youngest ever player to score a treble for a team managed by Guardiola, at 21 years and 75 days.

Guardiola was full of praise for the Spain international, who he believes has all the attributes to be a successful central striker.

"It's his first season in England and his numbers are exceptional," the City boss told Sky Sports. "He came as a winger, but he has had to think about being a striker. When Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were out, he was there.

"He didn't have minutes, but when he played he had a sense of goal. I'm really pleased.

"He can be [a number nine]. We will use him, we used him and he was brilliant. His rhythm, especially defensively, has improved a lot.

"The movement he makes as a striker. The [third] goal hits the bar and he knew where it would go. Strikers know intuitively where it will arrive. He has this talent, the first goal is fantastic."

Asked if the emergence of Torres as a central striking option could mean City do not dip into the transfer market to replace the departing Aguero, Guardiola said: "I don't know what's going to happen. Maybe we buy a striker, maybe not.

"We have a guy, he's young. A good transfer. I can use him on the left, right, or as a striker.

"The season is too long, we can't play with just 11 players. The best striker we can buy can't play all the minutes."

Ferran Torres scored his first Manchester City hat-trick as the champions set a new English league record of 12 consecutive away wins with a pulsating 4-3 victory over Newcastle United on Friday.

City – playing their first match since a third Premier League title in four seasons was confirmed on Tuesday – fell behind midway through the first half when Emil Krafth headed past Scott Carson, who was making his first top-flight appearance since May 2011.

Pep Guardiola's side powered back through quickfire goals from Joao Cancelo and Torres, although Joelinton restored parity before the interval from the spot.

Newcastle went ahead again when Joe Willock slotted home after his own penalty was saved by Carson, but Torres scored twice in two minutes to seal a wild win for the champions.

Despite early pressure from City it was the hosts who opened the scoring after 25 minutes, Krafth heading his first Premier League goal from Jonjo Shelvey's corner.

Shelvey then crashed a free-kick against the crossbar before two goals in 185 seconds resulted in City taking the lead.

They pulled level in the 39th minute when Cancelo's strike from just inside the penalty area was deflected past Martin Dubravka by Jacob Murphy. Torres then added a second with a superb backheeled flick that looped over Dubravka from Ilkay Gundogan's free-kick.

The Magpies pulled level in first-half stoppage time, though, Joelinton slamming home from the penalty spot after he had been brought down inside the area by Nathan Ake.

Willock put Steve Bruce's side ahead in the 62nd minute, grateful for a tap-in on the rebound after Carson blocked his tame penalty, which was awarded after Kyle Walker tripped the on-loan Arsenal man.

Torres drew City level again two minutes later, diverting home Gabriel Jesus' low cross from six yards.

He then became the third youngest player, at 21 years and 75 days, to score a Premier League hat-trick for City when he expertly volleyed into the roof of the net after Cancelo's long-range strike crashed back off the post.

Jesse Lingard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for April, winning the award after also being nominated in February and March.

The attacking midfielder has thrived since joining West Ham on loan from Manchester United.

Lingard scored four goals and added an assist in four appearances over the course of the month as West Ham continued their push for a European place.

He has nine goals and three assists in 13 Premier League outings for West Ham so far since joining, having been out of the picture under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the first half of the season at Old Trafford.

The fine form he has shown earned Lingard an England recall in March.

Mason Greenwood was one of the other members of an eight-man shortlist which also contained Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stuart Dallas, Kelechi Iheanacho, Matheus Pereira, Allan Saint-Maximin and Chris Wood.

"I've been nominated for the past two months and even getting nominated is a great feeling for me," said Lingard, who recently received praise from Bruno Fernandes when the United playmaker labelled him the top-flight's best player over the past 10 games.

"I want to be up there as the best I can be and the best in the world.

"David Moyes has shown faith and given me the freedom in each game to go and perform."

Meanwhile, Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is April's manager of the month.

He beat Sam Allardyce, Marcelo Bielsa and Solskjaer to the award after a month which saw Newcastle draw with Liverpool and Tottenham while recording wins over Burnley and West Ham.

It was a run of form that secured Newcastle's Premier League safety.

Bruce won the award for the first time after 19 years and 465 matches in the competition.

Pep Guardiola asked "why should we stop" as his Manchester City side look to celebrate their latest title triumph by beating Newcastle United.

City were crowned Premier League champions for the fifth time – and the third under Guardiola – when Manchester United were defeated by Leicester City on Tuesday.

Guardiola's team lost 2-1 to Chelsea in a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Champions League final last time out, but are unbeaten in 22 away matches (W20 D2), the longest ever run by an English top-flight team, heading into Friday's match with Newcastle at St James' Park.

With three matches remaining of the Premier League season before City take on Chelsea in Porto, the final having been moved from Istanbul, Guardiola was perplexed as to why any team would want to stop dominating the silverware on offer.

"It's so addictive. Winning's so nice. You sleep better, you eat better, you laugh more, your relations with your family is better, everything is better, your friends," Guardiola told a news conference.

"It is addictive. Why should we stop when we can still do it? Why should we not try to win again? Why should we not improve our game plan when we can do it?

"In training I see things I still don't like and we have to improve for the final. That makes you do it. When you have the feeling that it's enough, that the pleasure to win the Premier League doesn't make you feel something special, or you have achieved something with them, that is the moment to say bye-bye.

"But seeing as I have this desire to win and the players of course love to play football, we're going to continue to try to do."

As well as three league titles, Guardiola has won an FA Cup, four EFL Cups and two Community Shields during his stint at City, albeit the Champions League has so far eluded him.

Asked to explain how he motivates his players, Guardiola simply pointed to the quality at his disposal.

"Without good players it is not possible. I said it many times," he said, before comparing the situation with the famous NBA teams that Phil Jackson oversaw.

"We won nine titles at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here, and it's easier to do it here than when you are in another club with less potential, that's for sure.

"I always say Phil Jackson won with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal. Without them it would have been difficult.

"Our tactics and ideas just work because of the quality of the players and the quality of the financial support and we have it."

City have won their last 11 away Premier League matches and a win in this match would see them break the all-time record in the top four tiers of English league football, currently held by Chelsea in 2008 and City themselves in 2017.

Pep Guardiola wanted Manchester City to play the Champions League final in Istanbul for Ilkay Gundogan's sake but said the move to Porto was not a problem for the club.

City manager Guardiola has led the team to a first final in Europe's premier club competition, and they will face Chelsea on May 29 for the trophy they crave.

UEFA declared on Thursday that the game would move to Portugal, in the wake of Turkey being added to a travel 'red list' by the UK government due to COVID-19 concerns.

With UK tourists set to be allowed to visit Portugal from May 17, without the need to quarantine at any stage of their journey, it means supporters will be able to take up the allocation of 6,000 tickets per club.

"If UEFA decides that, we are going to go there," Guardiola said.

"I had a pleasure to go to Istanbul, because since my career as a football player with Barcelona, I never had the opportunity again to go there. Not even ever in the Champions League."

City midfielder Gundogan is a Germany international but his parents are Turkish, and he has strong affection for the country.

"For Gundogan, for Ilkay, I wanted to go there," Guardiola added. "Unfortunately, UEFA decided to go to Portugal. No problem."

Guardiola will hope Kevin De Bruyne is ready to play in the Champions League final, but the Belgian playmaker will miss Friday's Premier League game at Newcastle United due to a muscle injury.

"He is still injured but he's getting better," Guardiola said in a news conference on Thursday.

"When he is fit, he will come to training and the guys who are completely fit with 100 per cent mentally and physicality will have a chance to play in the final.

"Before that we have three games to get information about how the team is and the players to play in the last game of the season."

Pep Guardiola savoured his latest slice of success with Manchester City as the Premier League champions tucked into late-night pizza.

Now Guardiola is targeting the Champions League for dessert, having clinched the trophy he regarded as the most important for the club.

City were able to celebrate on Tuesday evening after Leicester City won at Manchester United, a result across the city that was the cue for a party at the Etihad Stadium.

"It was so nice," Guardiola said. "Normally the unexpected parties are the nicest ones.

"After Leicester won at Old Trafford, all together we came here in our bubble, everybody safe.

"We drank a little bit, we danced, we hugged a lot, and we remembered how good it was, and especially at around 11.30-12 arrived 10-15 pizzas and that was the best moment of the night.

"I was not in my perfect conditions to decide which one I ate. Here in England the party's just alcohol, it's not food, I don't understand why."

Guardiola said City's league title, his third in five years since arriving at the club, was further confirmation of the strides the club have taken over the past decade.

"In the last 10 years we've won five, the last eight we've won four, the last five we've won three," Guardiola said. "That's incredible. That is more important than winning this title.

"It's massive and it means a lot of managers, top players, sports directors, many people working to achieve what we've achieved.

"We sustained the success and work ethic ... to win three in the last five years I never expected it when i arrived."

Guardiola predicted a Liverpool revival next season and said Arsenal would "make a step forward", describing City's march to the 2020-21 championship as "a massive achievement".

He thanked chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for showing faith in him, even when City were showing rocky form early this season. Guardiola signed a new contract in November, since when the team have been almost unstoppable.

They tackle Chelsea in the Champions League final in Porto on May 29, with that the one major trophy that City still long to win.

"The culture of the manager is so volatile: if you don't win, you'll get the sack," said Guardiola.

"Of course the players trust you, especially if you win. Given what we have done so far in the recent past, if you start to lose they start to believe or they start to doubt to believe

"The best way to convince them is to try to win games.

"Personally there is a special gratitude of course to my sporting director Txixi [Begiristain], he's a friend of mine, and especially Khaldoon.

"I travelled to see him in November and we had long discussions together and he convinced me we still have a lot of work to do.

"I trust him a lot. Part of my happiness here and the success we've had has been because of his determination to convince me.

"That is the big difference what I found when I had the feelings sometimes in other clubs. I've always been supported at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, [but] I've had the feeling that the manager would only be supported when he has success."

Speaking ahead of Friday night's Premier League clash with Newcastle United, Guardiola added: "I cannot forget in my first season here when I didn't win anything, the behaviour of my chairman, and I cannot forget the big disappointment personally against Lyon the support I had from my chairman. That's why he is part of our success.

"Now we have two weeks ahead of us and a dream come true to play in the final of the Champions League

"And the show must go on next season. So we're going to try to be strong next season."

The Premier League has confirmed away fans will not be allowed to attend fixtures staged in the final two rounds of the 2020-21 season.

With a further relaxing of coronavirus restrictions scheduled in the United Kingdom on May 17, up to 10,000 supporters will be allowed inside grounds to watch games again.

The penultimate set of top-flight fixtures had been pushed back to midweek dates as a result, thereby making sure all clubs have one home outing under the new guidelines.

However, visiting fans will not be permitted inside the stadiums, a decision taken to make sure there is consistency across the board for all 20 teams.

"The Premier League last week confirmed fixtures have been rescheduled to provide an opportunity for each club to host one home game with supporters before the end of the season," a statement from the governing body said.

"Match round 37 will now be played on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 May with the final matches of the season kicking off at 16:00 BST on Sunday 23 May, as planned.

"Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges across the league and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising the opportunity for home-fan attendance.

"The safety and security of supporters is of paramount importance. Clubs have a proven track record of providing Covid-safe environments and have operational plans in place ready to safely welcome supporters back to their stadiums.

"Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and this marks a key step towards full stadiums, including away fans, from the start of the 2021-22 season."

Gareth Bale's future is uncertain as his loan spell at Tottenham from Real Madrid draws to an end.

Bale has said he intends to return to Madrid for the final year of his contract.

Spurs' interest in keeping the Wales star beyond this season is not clear as they are in the market for a new head coach after Jose Mourinho's dismissal.

 

TOP STORY – NEW SPURS BOSS TO DECIDE ON BALE

The Daily Mail reports that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will let the club's new head coach decide whether or not to re-sign Bale.

The option remains for a second loan deal for the Welshman to re-join Spurs from Madrid next season.

Spurs have first option on a second loan but they would require Bale's agreement, although he appears out of favour in Madrid.

Triggering the clause will cost Tottenham £12million.

 

ROUND-UP

- Borussia Dortmund's asking price for Jadon Sancho is down to £87m (€100m) according to ESPN, which may interest Manchester United and Liverpool. Dortmund previously demanded more than £100m (€115m) for the England midfielder.

- Arsenal are interested in signing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara, with a five-year deal on the table, according to Football Insider.

- The Athletic claims Brentford striker Ivan Toney is drawing interest from Leicester City and Everton as well as a "host of clubs" preparing bids for his services.

- Newcastle United are considering a move for Vitesse defender Danilho Doekhi, reports De Telegraaf.

- Bayer Leverkusen are in the mix to sign Santos' teenage forward Kaio Jorge, claims Kicker.

Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku appear to be the top forwards on English clubs' shopping lists this off-season.

But Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski may enter the frame amid rumours about his future.

Manchester City and Chelsea are known to be eager to bolster their attacking options and have the funds to finance a major move.

 

TOP STORY – ENGLAND ON LEWANDOWSKI'S RADAR

SportBild reports that Robert Lewandowski's likely next destination will be the English Premier League, if Bayern Munich opt to sell their Polish forward.

The report claims that Lewandowski's agent Pini Zahavi is trying to put pressure on Bayern for a lucrative contract extension or to sell him to one of England's financially powerful clubs.

Lewandowski still has two years to run on his Bayern contract and the Bavarians are believed to not be ready to negotiate.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Romelu Lukaku is not planning to leave Inter amid interest from Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona, pointing to comments he made following the club's Serie A title triumph on Sunday.

- Romano also claims that Watford, who have won promotion to the Premier League, have begun talks with Inter's Ashley Young who may be available as a free agent.

- Marca reports that PSG are increasingly concerned that Neymar will not sign a contract extension with the club amid talk of a Barcelona move.

- Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is being tracked by Premier League club Newcastle United, claims the Daily Record.

- Tottenham are interested in Brazilian teenager Rodrigo Varanda who is currently with Corinthians, says The Sun.

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal's dominant 2-0 win over Newcastle United was the perfect preparation for Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal.

The Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Spain on Thursday, but they returned to winning ways against Steve Bruce's side at St James' Park.

Mohamed Elneny's first Premier League goal in his 66th appearance in the competition got them on their way after just five minutes, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a sixth consecutive win against the Magpies without conceding a goal.

Aubameyang's second-half goal meant he became the first Arsenal player to score in five consecutive matches against an opponent since Olivier Giroud netted in six straight games against Aston Villa between 2013 and 2016.

The only blot on the Gunners' copybook was a hamstring injury to David Luiz, which could keep the Brazilian out for the remainder of the season.

Arteta made nine changes to the side that lost in Spain and was pleased with his side's dominance, the Gunners taking 19 shots and restricting the hosts to just a single shot on target.

"Apart from David's injury, that was all we wanted," Arteta told a media conference.

"We wanted to keep the team fresh and pick players with the right attitude to play this game. The focus was on today. It was a strong performance from the beginning.

"We dominated the game and won the three points, which we needed. It helps for Thursday as well."

Aubameyang has now scored in all three of his appearances against Newcastle this season, becoming the first Arsenal player to score in three separate matches against an opponent in a single season since Alexis Sanchez against Hull City in 2014-15.

The Gabon international, who was recently struck down with malaria, came off the bench for the final five minutes against Villarreal in Spain and proved his fitness with an impressive display on Sunday.

"We thought he wasn't going to manage it on Thursday. Two days before, he was struggling," Arteta explained. "He could only manage to play 10 or 15 minutes.

"The day after, he started to feel better. It's good to see he was fine today. He scored a goal, he played well, so it's a real boost."

Gabriel Martinelli enjoyed an eventful game, laying on Aubameyang's goal with a fine cross and drawing a foul from Fabian Schar in the 90th minute which resulted in a red card for the Newcastle defender.

"Gabi's improving every week," Arteta said. "He's taking his minutes in the right way.

"He's developing in the way we all believe he can. Today he had an assist, some good moments on the left and we're trying to play him as a number nine as well."

Arsenal returned to winning ways as goals from Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Sunday. 

The Gunners had picked up just one point from their previous two Premier League games against Everton and Fulham before they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday. 

However, they sealed all three points at St James' Park thanks to Elneny's early goal and Aubameyang's second-half finish, the fifth consecutive game in which the Gabon international has scored against the Magpies. 

The result lifted Arsenal up to ninth, while Newcastle finished with 10 men after substitute Fabian Schar's rash lunge on fellow Gabriel Martinelli.

Steve Bruce's side remain 17th, nine points clear of the relegation zone with four games remaining.

Arsenal wasted little time stamping their authority on the game, opening the scoring after just five minutes through Elneny's first Premier League goal in his 66th appearance in the competition.

Aubameyang horribly miss-kicked Hector Bellerin's right-wing cross but the ball fell fortuitously to Elneny, who struck a half-volley past Martin Dubravka from 18 yards.

Mat Ryan – one of nine changes from the defeat to Villarreal – tipped over Allan Saint-Maximin's deflected effort soon after, while Dubravka pawed away Granit Xhaka's long-range drive at the other end.

Miguel Almiron denied Elneny a second shortly before the half-hour, clearing the Egyptian's header from a corner off the line.

Arsenal doubled their advantage in the 66th minute when Aubameyang showed superb athleticism to volley home Martinelli's left-wing cross inside the six-yard box. 

Any faint hopes the hosts had of setting up a grandstand finale were dashed in the 90th minute when Schar saw red, as Bruce's men fell to just a second defeat in their past nine Premier League games.
 

Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal thought long and hard about sending Joe Willock out for his fruitful loan stint at Newcastle United.

Willock is ineligible to face his parent club when Newcastle host the Gunners at St James' Park on Sunday.

That in itself surely stands as a boost to Arteta, given Willock has come off the bench to score in each of Newcastle's past three Premier League games – strikes worth a total of four points to Steve Bruce's team, who are now nine points clear of the relegation zone with five matches remaining.

Willock is the first player to score on three consecutive substitute appearances in England's top flight since Adam Le Fondre did so for Reading in 2013.

Although his development is a boon to Arteta and others in north London, it is also possible to wonder what a player in such form might have done for an Arsenal side that have won just two of their past nine matches following Thursday's 2-1 Europa League semi-final first leg defeat at Villarreal.

"It was a difficult decision to let him go because we really like the player," Arteta said.

"But he needed more game-time and needed this type of experience.

"He has stepped in at big moments for them and scored some crucial goals so that is really good news because it is great for his development."

Nicolas Pepe might well have scored a crucial goal when it comes to salvaging something from Arsenal's season, having netted to reduce the arrears at El Madrigal from the penalty spot, despite Dani Ceballos being sent off before the hour.

It has been another mixed campaign overall for Arsenal's record signing  but Pepe has netted six times in 12 Europa League appearances, alongside five in 25 Premier League outings.

"I think he's come a long way in the last few months. His work ethic has been phenomenal and he's deciding many more games and doing what he can do in the final third in a much more consistent way," Arteta said,

"So I'm really happy with his performances and now he needs to continue like this.

"Confidence in every player is crucial and every time you step on that field, if they feel secure, if they feel protected, if they feel like they're supported by their manager and their team-mates, it's something that is crucial to be able to perform.

"Then with the things that he could do better, he's doing much better with as well. But it's all a mix that is reflected in his performance."

Arsenal's goal threat would be further enhanced by having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to full fitness.

The club captain returned to training this week following a bout of malaria and featured as a late substitute against Villarreal.

"He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start," Arteta said, hinting a place on the bench is again most likely for Aubameyang at Newcastle.

"We will see again how he is. He could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us."

A week on from the drama, controversy and anger surrounding the European Super League, it felt like football – rather than its potential ruin – was at the front of the agenda this weekend.

However, the spectre of the Super League continued to loom over much of the action, with many of the so-called "big six" seeing it used as a stick to beat them with as they largely stuttered to underwhelming results.

Of those in league action over the weekend (Manchester City beat Tottenham in the EFL Cup final), only Chelsea emerged victorious, as Manchester United and Liverpool were held, while Arsenal lost at home to Everton.

Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches…

Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United: Reds to join exclusive list?

It was another underwhelming weekend for defending champions Liverpool, as their 1-1 draw at home to struggling Newcastle United saw them lose further ground in the fight for Champions League places.

Jurgen Klopp's men are four points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, after the Blues beat top-four rivals West Ham 1-0 at the London Stadium.

Liverpool have five matches to close the gap otherwise they face the prospect of an ignominious achievement.

Only five times before have the reigning Premier League champions failed to qualify for the Champions League the season after winning the title.

Manchester United were the first in 1994-95, also doing so in 2013-14. The other teams do this were Blackburn Rovers (1995-96), Chelsea (2015-16) and Leicester City (2016-17).

Wolves 0-4 Burnley: Wood and New Zealand join the United Nations of hat-tricks

Chris Wood enjoyed a weekend to remember as he netted his first Premier League hat-trick in Burnley's 4-0 win over Wolves.

In doing so, he became the first New Zealand national to score a treble in the competition, meaning there have been hat-tricks scored by 46 countries in the Premier League.

New Zealand has joined Gabon, South Korea, Venezuela, DR Congo, Japan, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Paraguay, Iceland, Sweden, Costa Rica and Serbia on one.

England, unsurprisingly, leads the way with 154 hat-tricks from 69 individuals. Joint second with 18 each are Netherlands and Argentina, while France (17) and Spain (11) are the only other countries into double figures.

Leeds United 0-0 Manchester United: 'Boring, boring Man United'

Fans expecting a repeat of Manchester United's 6-2 thrashing of Leeds United will have been sorely disappointed, not just with the 0-0 draw, but also given it was a fairly drab encounter.

Sure, United have excited on occasion this season, that previous win over Leeds and the 9-0 demolition of Southampton immediately coming to mind.

But Sunday's stalemate was United's seventh 0-0 draw of the season, more than any other team in the Premier League.

On top of that, 2020-21 has now seen United play out more goalless draws than any other Premier League season.

They previously played out six in 2004-05 and 2016-17, but 2020-21 now leads the way.

West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: Tuchel's at home on the road

Thomas Tuchel has made a fine impression at Chelsea since replacing Frank Lampard in January. The achievements seem to be piling up.

Chelsea's latest win saw them leave London rivals West Ham with a 1-0 win that moved them back into the top four at the expense of David Moyes' boys.

As such, he became the first Chelsea manager to avoid defeat in his first 10 away games across all competitions.

The previous club record was set by William Lewis over 100 years ago in 1906-07, when they went nine unbeaten on the road.

Tuchel also matched the record set by Luiz Felipe Scolari for the number of clean sheets (10) in his first 14 Premier League matches.

What's even more impressive about that is it's a league record, rather than just relevant to Chelsea.

Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry have been announced as the first players to be named in the Premier League Hall of Fame.

Former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers striker Shearer remains the leading goalscorer in the competition's history, having scored 260 times across 14 seasons for both clubs.

A champion with Blackburn in 1994-95, Shearer scored 112 goals in 138 Premier League games for Rovers before a move to boyhood side Newcastle for £15million in 1996, breaking the world transfer record.

The former England captain, who won the Golden Boot three times, went on to net 148 goals in 303 league games for the Magpies and remains the only player to have scored 100 Premier League goals for two different clubs.

"When you look at some of the unbelievable players to have graced the Premier League – week in, week out, year in, year out – I feel very honoured to join the Hall of Fame. I have to thank all of my team-mates, as well as the managers and coaches that I've worked with," said Shearer.

"All I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer. It was my dream to do that, my dream to win trophies and my dream to score at St James' Park, to wear the number nine black-and-white shirt and it was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Henry is sixth on the all-time goalscoring list in the competition, having hit a club-record 175 in just 258 games for Arsenal.

The ex-France star, a record four-time Golden Boot winner, scored more than 20 goals in five consecutive seasons from 2001 until he left for Barcelona in 2006.

Twice a title-winner with the Gunners, including in the unbeaten 'Invincibles' side of 2003-04, Henry also registered 74 assists in the competition. His tally of 20 in 2002-03 remains a joint record for a single season, with Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne matching that tally in 2019-20.

"To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special," Henry said.

"When I was young, I was just trying to make sure I could get a pair of boots and now we're talking about the Hall of Fame. During my career I wanted to play hard and make sure I was fighting for the cause, because that's all the fans want to see.

"If you asked me at the start of my career about entering the Hall of Fame, I wouldn't have believed you. It's an amazing honour."

Jurgen Klopp issued a warning to his Liverpool players after their Premier League top-four hopes were hit by the concession of an injury-time equaliser against Newcastle United, declaring: "We learn, or we don't play Champions League."

The Reds headed into stoppage time having found the back of the net with just one of their 22 shots on the visitors' goal across a one-sided game at Anfield - Mohamed Salah's well-taken third-minute strike.

The hosts were given a huge let-off by VAR in the 92nd minute when a Callum Wilson equaliser was - somewhat harshly but correctly - ruled out for handball after he had bundled home from close range.

But Klopp's men failed to heed that warning, and surrendered two points with almost the final kick of the game as Joe Willock powered the ball home after finding space.

Reflecting on the performance, Liverpool's manager told BT Sport: "I don't think you can create much more chances, better chances than we did and not finish the game. 

"Obviously we scored a wonderful goal, didn't finish the game off, and didn't play enough. With a few passes, we came always through, you just have to do it again and again. 

"That they have from time to time a counterattack, that can happen, you just have to keep playing and keep the ball and let them run. 

"We kept them alive and in the end they deserve the goal because they scored two minutes before another one which is - with the new rules - unlucky handball. 

"Then we don't even take this present! It didn't happen a lot that we were lucky with VAR this season but we were and then we give another chance away, it makes no sense. It's really tough to take."

Klopp went on to suggest that his players were guilty of letting their heads drop too easily after missing chances to add to their lead.

He also lamented a failure to keep possession away from Newcastle in the final moments of the game.

He continued: "Why it happened, I don't know. How it looked, I saw. We just have to keep the ball. 

"In the specific way, we don't fight enough. When we make a mistake, we fight and try to get it back and stuff like this, but [you need] to keep yourself in a position to dominate the game which was possible. 

"We had 70% of the ball and we should have 80. There are still moments when Newcastle, they are not bothered about that and they have a counterattack in these moments and you have a goalie and you have to defend it, that's all fine. 

"We created a lot of chances, didn't score with them, we have to create more and use them. In our situation, when you score with the first but not with the second or the third it has this kind of impact that you see that it drops there a little bit, here a little bit. 

"Instead of just going and who cares? Missed chances are just information, nothing else. But we don't do that well in the moment, I have to say, that's why I say in the end it's deserved. 

"People can look at the stats and think how can that happen? But it happened, we saw it, they fought for it and got it and we got nothing pretty much. Well, a point, but it feels like a defeat."

Liverpool would have moved up into the fourth and final Champions League spot with victory over Newcastle, but now sit in sixth ahead of many of their rivals playing.

On the prospect of qualifying for Europe's top competition, the German added: "If you deserve it, you deserve it. I didn't see today that we deserve to play Champions League next year. 

"We have another five games, we will see what we can do until then, we have a few days until we play Manchester United so it will be a tough one again. But we learn, or we don't play Champions League."

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