Manchester United’s wild defeat to FC Copenhagen put their Champions League progress in doubt and increased the scrutiny on manager Erik ten Hag.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the records of United’s managers since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

David Moyes

Played 51: Won 27, Drew 9, Lost 15. Win rate: 53 per cent

Trophies: Community Shield 2013

The Scot took just one game to win a trophy, the Community Shield against Wigan, as Ferguson’s hand-picked successor. There was little else to celebrate, though, as he failed to even see out the first of the six seasons on his contract. He was sacked after 10 months, with Ryan Giggs finishing the campaign as caretaker manager. Moyes struggled subsequently at Real Sociedad and Sunderland but has rebuilt his reputation with West Ham, winning last season’s Europa Conference League.

Louis Van Gaal

P103: W54, D25, L24. Win rate: 52 per cent

Trophies: FA Cup 2016

United’s previous Dutch boss never truly convinced the Old Trafford faithful after a dreadful winless start against Swansea, Sunderland, third-tier MK Dons and Burnley. His side did improve and Van Gaal signed off with an FA Cup win, beating Crystal Palace in extra-time, but his win percentage was the lowest of the post-Ferguson era until Ralf Rangnick’s spell in interim charge.

Jose Mourinho

P144: W84, D32, L28. Win rate: 58 per cent

Trophies: Europa League 2017, League Cup 2017, Community Shield 2016

Mourinho is probably United’s most successful manager since Ferguson – winning 58 per cent of his games, with a runner-up finish in the Premier League and adding a League Cup and Europa League double in 2016-17. His, though, was an erratic and ill-tempered spell, with a defensive style of play and fallings-out with players, leaving the fans cold.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

P167: W91, D37, L39. Win rate: 54 per cent

Trophies: None

The much-loved former United striker proved almost the inverse of his predecessor, with a fluid and attacking style but inconsistent results. A stunning spell as caretaker – winning 14 games out of 19 – deservedly earned him the job on a permanent basis but he came nowhere near emulating that 74 per cent win rate from then on. He left in November 2021 after United won just three of his last 10 games and conceded 15 goals in the last six, the first United manager since Frank O’Farrell in the early 1970s not to add to the club’s trophy cabinet.

Ralf Rangnick

P29: W11, D10, L8. Win rate: 38 per cent

Trophies: None

After Michael Carrick’s three games as caretaker, in November 2021, Rangnick was tasked with seeing out the season as interim boss before moving into a consultancy role with the club – which was ultimately cancelled as he took charge of the Austria national team. He began with five games unbeaten but drew far too many – losing on penalties to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup – as he became the first United boss since Dave Sexton’s 1981 departure to win fewer than half of his games in charge.

Erik ten Hag

P79: W49, D9, L21. Win rate: 62 per cent

Trophies: League Cup 2023

Ten Hag’s win percentage exceeds even Ferguson’s 60 per cent, though a run in the second-tier Europa League arguably helped to inflate that figure. There have been embarrassing losses from his second game in charge – 4-0 against Brentford – via conceding six to Manchester City and seven to Liverpool, to the 4-3 shock against Copenhagen, with his side conceding more goals per game than under any post-Ferguson manager other than Rangnick.

With Luton and Everton next up before a key European clash with Galatasaray, Ten Hag will know the tide must turn.

What the papers say

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey reportedly wants out of the Premier League club with Italian giants Juventus considering tabling an offer in the January transfer window, the Daily Mail reports. The 30-year-old has played 85 games for Arsenal since his arrival in 2020.

Chelsea and Manchester United are interested in Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries but – according to the Daily Mail via Italian newspaper CalcioMercato – the club has slapped a £43million asking price on the 27-year-old Netherlands international.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Lloyd Kelly: The 25-year-old Bournemouth defender has attracted interest from Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle and AC Milan, but his club will reportedly turn down any approaches for him, Teamtalk reports.

Andre: Liverpool, Arsenal and Fulham have sent representatives to watch the 22-year-old Fluminense midfielder in the Copa Libertadores final. The Brazilian reportedly has an agreement to leave the South American champions in January for around £30million, Portuguese outlet Globo Esporte says.

Manchester United have lost the air of "invincibility" which characterised Alex Ferguson's trophy-laden reign at Old Trafford.

That is the view of former England striker Emile Heskey, who sees Erik ten Hag's Red Devils as a group of expensively assembled individuals, rather than a coherent team. 

United have made an underwhelming start to their second season under Ten Hag, sitting eighth in the Premier League table after 11 matches despite Saturday's last-gasp 1-0 win at Fulham.

In Europe, the Red Devils began their Champions League group-stage campaign with back-to-back defeats to Bayern Munich and Galatasaray before needing Andre Onana to save a stoppage-time penalty in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Copenhagen.

With Ten Hag attracting criticism from supporters and pundits, Heskey believes his tenure shares many similarities with those of his predecessors Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.

Asked why Ten Hag has failed to revive United's fortunes, Heskey told Stats Perform: "It's the million-dollar question, isn't it? You look at Ole… he never got [United into form], Jose never got that either. 

"There's a consistency with… I wouldn't say this bunch of players, but with the club bringing players in that they're not able to string together and gel. 

"I don't see them as a team, I don't see them as a team that's going to fight for each other. Look at Spurs, a team that's going to really dig down and fight for each other. 

"It happens with eras, you go through that. They've lost that invincibility. 

"[United] won the game before the actual game started in my era. Teams that would go there and you're already set up to lose. 

"[Now] teams are actually going to Old Trafford and saying, 'Well, we're going to win this, this is how we're going to set up'. They've lost that invincibility."

Forward Marcus Rashford is among the United players attracting scrutiny after failing to reach the heights he hit last term, when he scored 30 goals across all competitions. 

Rashford was criticised by Ten Hag for going out to celebrate his birthday just hours after 3-0 defeat to rivals Manchester City recently. Having missed Saturday's win at Fulham through injury, he then hit out at what he described as "malicious rumours" regarding his future on social media.

Rashford signed a new five-year contract with United in July, but Heskey does not believe that has impacted his form, saying: "I don't think it's anything to do with the contract. 

"As fans, we're looking for something. The reality is there's a lot of onus on him being a local lad, there's a lot of pressure on him. 

"He needs to figure out how to deal with that pressure again, like he did last season, because there was a lot of pressure on him but he managed to still get the goals. 

"The fascinating thing is he's probably giving the same sort of performance as last season, but he was finishing his chances. 

"Now, when you're not finishing your chances, everyone's looking at the money, everyone's looking at your lifestyle. Everyone's looking at what you do here, what you don't do there.

"You just want to concentrate on football. But if you just concentrate on football and it eats away at you and you have a mental breakdown, then you're saying, 'why didn't you go and do something else outside of football?'

"I think for Marcus, he just needs to figure out, 'what's good for me?'"

Rashford has only scored once in 14 appearances for United across all competitions this season, despite attempting 38 shots totalling 3.82 expected goals (xG) in those matches.

The Premier League has joined forces with former Hillsborough Family Support Group chair Margaret Aspinall to highlight the pain and upset that tragedy abuse can cause.

Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son James was one of the 97 people who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989, has participated in a video to explain the hurt caused by tragedy chanting and urged people to report any incidents.

An in-classroom lesson is to be made available to more than 18,000 primary schools and 60,000 teachers in England and Wales and outline to children the significant distress such abuse creates, and comes in the aftermath of Sunday’s Premier League match between Luton and Liverpool.

The Football Association has asked Luton and Bedfordshire Police for their observations after taunts indirectly referencing the Hillsborough disaster were heard during the 1-1 draw, while the PA news agency understands Liverpool have also written asking what measures are to be taken.

Aspinall said: “Football brings so much joy to so many people all over the world, but there is no need for people to be chanting in the way they do.

“The pain it causes is unbearable. We do not deserve to hear these chants.

“If you hear that chanting, go to a steward, report it as, through the proper authorities, you can change things. Anything that offends or hurts anybody is never acceptable.”

Liverpool published Aspinall’s comments and details of the in-classroom lesson, which will be made available as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, on their club website.

They said: “Liverpool Football Club condemns any and all form of tragedy abuse in the strongest possible terms.

“We are committed to continuing to work with the relevant authorities, stakeholders and other clubs to eradicate it from our game.”

Luton issued a statement on Monday saying they were “saddened” and “extremely disappointed that a small number of supporters soured the occasion with chants that may be interpreted as being in relation to tragedies that have affected Liverpool FC in the past”.

The Hatters said they were reviewing CCTV evidence to identify individuals, who could face stadium bans and criminal prosecutions.

However, part of Luton’s statement suggesting fans may have sung the chants without knowing the full meaning of what they were singing is understood to have not been received particularly well on Merseyside.

“The Premier League strongly condemns all forms of football tragedy abuse and is appalled by the chanting heard at Sunday’s match between Luton and Liverpool,” the organisation said in a statement.

“It causes distress to the victims’ families and other supporters. We, alongside clubs, the FA and EFL (English Football League) are working together to address it as a priority.

“This video will feature in new education resources being launched to help children understand the impact of such abuse.

“The game’s authorities alongside law enforcement are committed to taking action against those responsible. If you see or hear any offensive behaviour, report it.”

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said Tottenham went down with “the flag held high” in their 4-1 loss to Chelsea and has backed the squad to cope with the absence of key personnel.

Spurs lost their unbeaten start to the Premier League season in a pulsating London derby in which five goals were disallowed and the hosts played the final 35 minutes with nine men.

To add salt into fresh Tottenham wounds, Micky van de Ven was forced off with a hamstring injury and James Maddison had to be withdrawn due to an ankle knock, while Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie, who were both sent off, will sit out this weekend’s trip to Wolves.

Ange Postecoglou’s side battled admirably, first with 10 men from the 35th minute and then when down to nine early in the second half, but Nicolas Jackson grabbed the first of his three goals with quarter of an hour left to finally break the hosts’ resolve.

Hojbjerg said: “I think we went down with the flag held high. We gave it our all but the result hurts a lot.

“We showed what we had in our hearts but the result hurts.

“Tuesday we have a day off and when we see each other on Wednesday, we’ll gather the pieces and focus on the next game, as we have to.

“Everyone has to show their availability and show they are prepared to do what it takes.

“A good squad is not 11 players. It is 18 or 25 players and this is what we have to show. The result hurts a lot but we have to keep going.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s first return to Tottenham had initially started in the worst possible fashion when Dejan Kulusevski’s curled effort deflected off Levi Colwill and beyond the helpless Robert Sanchez after six minutes.

The wheels started to fall off during a 57-minute first half where four goals were chalked off by video assistant referee John Brooks at Stockley Park, who decided that Romero’s tackle on Enzo Fernandez was worthy of a red card and a penalty in the 33rd minute.

Spurs’ uphill task increased further when Udogie was shown a second yellow after 10 minutes of the second period, but Postecoglou deployed a high line and Guglielmo Vicario starred in the sweeper-keeper role before Jackson made it 2-1.

Tottenham remained resolute and started to create chances with substitute Eric Dier marginally offside when he volleyed home soon after Jackson’s first goal before Rodrigo Bentancur and Son Heung-min squandered opportunities.

 

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Jackson made the points safe in stoppage time when he lashed in from Conor Gallagher’s pass, but Spurs supporters greeted the goal with a standing ovation for their crestfallen players.

Kulusevski said: “It was unbelievable, honestly. Some things are bigger than life, bigger than football, bigger than the wins.

“Honestly I was really proud of that moment and the fans. I was grateful and it makes me want to give more back.

“It has to give us fuel. We lost the game, we hate to lose, it was the first of the season, but we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again and play 11 v 11 because then it is much harder to beat us.”

The consequences of this defeat could be long-lasting with Romero set for a three-match ban, which will rule him out of matches with Wolves, Aston Villa and Manchester City.

Of bigger concern is centre-back partner Van de Ven after he pulled up at the end of the first half in a sprint with Jackson, which saw him helped off the pitch and he was later seen on crutches.

Udogie will also miss Saturday’s clash at Wolves and with Ben Davies nursing an ankle knock, Postecoglou could use Under-21 defenders Ash Phillips or Alfie Dorrington this weekend.

“It will be a test for sure. They (Van de Ven and Maddison) are amazing players and I hope they are back very, very soon, but as you saw the players that came in were amazing,” Kulusevski said.

“We train really hard every day and everybody is ready. You saw Eric Dier, he came in, did his first appearance and was unbelievable. The guys are ready.

“Everybody wants to play and it is so high level the training. So, if (Phillips) will be called, he will be ready.”

Chelsea ended Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with an extraordinary 4-1 win over their London rivals on Monday evening.

A hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson helped Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy a successful return to his former club, but only after a pulsating contest with two red cards and five disallowed goals.

Here, the PA news agency looks at 10 of the greatest games in the Premier League era.

Manchester City 3 QPR 2 (May 2012)

Perhaps the most significant of all. City started this game knowing a win would earn them a first Premier League title but when they went 2-1 down – even against 10 men – it looked as though rivals Manchester United would take the trophy. However, Edin Dzeko scored in the second minute of time added on to level and Sergio Aguero (or, to quote Sky commentator Martin Tyler, “Agueroooooooooo”) won both the match and the title with 93:20 on the clock.

Arsenal 4 Tottenham 4 (October 2008)

Best remembered for David Bentley’s stunning opener for Tottenham against his former club, this game saw Spurs come back from 4-2 down to earn a point. Trailing to Bentley’s amazing volley, the Gunners exposed Spurs’ weakness at defending set-pieces to lead through Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas. Emmanuel Adebayor added a third for the hosts before Darren Bent pulled one back. When Robin van Persie restored Arsenal’s two-goal cushion it had looked all over, but Harry Redknapp’s men showed a new resilience and Jermaine Jenas’ late strike gave them hope before Aaron Lennon struck at the death.

Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 (April 1996)

Sure to feature on everyone’s classic list, this was the game which saw Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan slump over the front of the dugout as his side’s title chances went up in smoke. Liverpool came back from 2-0 down to level, only to see Faustino Asprilla make it 3-2 seconds later. Stan Collymore soon levelled and then won it two minutes into added time, with Tyler again taking over with his line of “Collymore closing in”.

Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4 (February 2011)

The game that demonstrated why supporters should never leave early. When Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal 44 seconds into this game it set the tone for a blistering period of away play, with Johan Djourou and Van Persie, who netted twice, putting Arsenal 4-0 up. However, the game turned as Abou Diaby saw red for Arsenal and Newcastle mounted a stellar comeback. Two penalties from Joey Barton and a Leon Best goal gave them a foothold, but they still needed a brilliant 87th-minute volley from Cheick Tiote to get a point.

Leicester 3 Arsenal 3 (August 1997)

Perhaps best remembered for Dennis Bergkamp’s brilliant solo goal, this game had far more to it. The Dutchman’s wonder goal, which sealed his hat-trick, was actually to put Arsenal up after Matt Elliott had scored in the third minute of stoppage time for Leicester to make it 2-2, but there was still time for Steve Walsh to score another dramatic goal and make it 3-3.

Norwich 4 Liverpool 5 (January 2016)

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp lost his glasses amid wild celebrations on the touchline after Adam Lallana’s last-minute strike gave Liverpool an astonishing first Premier League win of 2016. Klopp’s men had trailed 3-1 with under 30 minutes to go, then led 4-3 before Sebastien Bassong’s stoppage-time goal levelled matters. But there was still time for substitute Lallana to mis-hit a shot into the ground and secure a 5-4 victory.

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 3 (October 1999)

Nigeria forward Kanu took centre stage as the Gunners mounted a terrific comeback against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Headers from Tore Andre Flo and Dan Petrescu got Chelsea 2-0 up, but then Kanu took control. He pulled two back from close range in regulation time and then, in stoppage time, broke free, skipped past goalkeeper Ed de Goey by the corner flag and then curled in the winner from an improbable angle.

Tottenham 4 Leicester 4 (February 2004)

Just 18 days after squandering a 3-0 half-time lead against 10-man Manchester City to be dumped out of the FA Cup, David Pleat’s Spurs needed a late equaliser from Jermain Defoe to avoid another embarrassing defeat in the league. Defoe had put the home side 2-1 up after 13 minutes and Robbie Keane made it 3-1 before half an hour had elapsed, but Les Ferdinand pulled one back against his former club before James Scowcroft was sent off. Leicester’s 10 men improbably took the lead through goals from Ben Thatcher and Marcus Bent before Defoe’s leveller.

Tottenham 4 Arsenal 5 (November 2004)

Four years before the 4-4 thriller at the Emirates, White Hart Lane hosted a similarly high-scoring affair prolific tie between the two local rivals. The home side took the lead through Noureddine Naybet, but Arsenal equalised through Thierry Henry and then went 3-1 ahead through Lauren, who converted a penalty won by Freddie Ljungberg, and Patrick Vieira. Jermain Defoe pulled one back almost immediately before Ljungberg and Ledley King traded goals and, although Robert Pires added Arsenal’s fifth nine minutes from time, Freddie Kanoute’s goal made for a frantic finish.

West Ham 5 Bradford 4 (February 2000)

West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop suffered a broken leg just minutes into the game to hand a debut to 18-year-old Stephen Bywater, who conceded four goals but still ended up on the winning side. The comeback from 4-2 down started with 25 minutes left when Frank Lampard and Paolo Di Canio argued over who would take a penalty, Di Canio eventually winning the tussle and converting from the spot. Joe Cole soon equalised and Lampard scored the winner from the edge of the box with seven minutes remaining.

Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson promised to work even harder after his hat-trick earned boss Mauricio Pochettino a statement victory at former club Tottenham.

Jackson’s second-half treble settled a pulsating London derby where five goals were disallowed and red cards were shown to Spurs pair Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie either side of half-time.

While Chelsea were far from vintage on their way to a 4-1 victory, Jackson eventually made the difference.

The Senegal attacker side-footed home his first goal in the 75th minute from Raheem Sterling’s cross before he grabbed a similar second after Conor Gallagher’s pass and completed his treble in the seventh minute of stoppage time when he rounded Guglielmo Vicario.

After receiving more yellow cards (five) than goals (three) during the first three months of the campaign, the £31million summer signing from Villarreal was pleased to start to pay back his price tag on Monday night.

Jackson: “Yeah, very happy. It was a difficult time for everybody in the team, but now we are coming back slowly, slowly and I am very happy to score three goals.

“It has been very difficult (for me) but life is like this. Now my first hat-trick and I am very happy I did it in the biggest club in England and everywhere.

“Always need to improve, always need to work harder. We continue working and now this (hat-trick) is the past, so we forget about it and move forward.

“We were dreaming about this, playing big games and winning big games. Now we continue to work hard and the confidence is coming slowly, slowly.”

Chelsea’s youthful side had struggled for consistency during the early months of Pochettino’s tenure, with battling draws against Liverpool and Arsenal married with home defeats to Nottingham Forest and Brentford.

Pochettino watched the Blues struggle to make their numerical advantage count against Tottenham until captain Reece James played through Sterling, who squared for Jackson to slide home with quarter of an hour left in N17.

Next up for the 10th-placed Blues is the visit of champions Manchester City on Sunday, which means a reunion for Cole Palmer against his old club.

Palmer, who took his Chelsea goal to three with the equaliser against Spurs, told Sky Sports: “This was a big game, we knew it was before we came into it. Big stadium and obviously they were unbeaten, but we thought we could come here and get a result and we did that.

 

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“Obviously it is easier to play against nine men, but we knew we needed to win the game when they went down to 10 and then when they went down to nine especially.

“We knew we needed to score and if we kept pressing, making the runs in behind, because their line was so high, we would get in and we did eventually.

“It has obviously been a difficult start for Nico, no hiding from it, but he was brilliant.

“He just needs to work hard on the training pitch and keep his head down. Then I think he will get many more hat-tricks.”

Ange Postecoglou lamented that VAR has diminished the authority of referees after he watched nine-man Tottenham lose 4-1 to Chelsea.

A frenetic meeting between the two rivals saw five disallowed goals, two red cards, a penalty and two Spurs players forced off during the first half with injury, as Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino marked his return to north London by ending the Premier League’s last unbeaten record.

But the match was dominated by VAR’s involvement with the red cards two of nine decisions referred to the video referee.

Even with nine men the hosts continued to take the game to Chelsea and were well in the contest before Nicolas Jackson twice sprung their high line in stoppage time to add his team’s third and fourth goals and complete an unlikely hat-trick.

Postecoglou’s team had been comfortably on top in the first half before Cristian Romero’s red card in the 33rd minute, dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Enzo Fernandez and conceding the penalty from which Cole Palmer equalised Dejan Kulusevski’s deflected goal.

Destiny Udogie followed 10 minutes into the second half, receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Raheem Sterling, but it took a further 20 minutes before Chelsea finally took the lead for the first time through Jackson.

Spurs’ night was compounded by the loss of James Maddison and Micky van de Ven to injury, on top of what is likely to be a three-game ban for Romero.

But it was VAR’s impact that dominated Postecoglou’s thoughts after the game after a total of 21 minutes were added on at the end of each half.

“It’s hard to analyse from a football perspective,” he said.

“We’re left with a result which is disappointing, but (I’m) super-proud of the players’ efforts and will and desire to get something from the game.

“(Lengthy VAR pauses) are going to become the norm, I think it’s where the game is heading. Unfortunately it’s how we’re going to have to watch and participate in football from now on.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the standing around, the whole theatre around waiting for decisions. But I know I’m in the wilderness on that.

“In my 26 years, I was always prepared to accept the referee’s decision, good, bad or otherwise, and I’ve had some shockers in my career. I’ve had some go my way as well.

“I’ll cop that because I just want the game to be played. But when we’re complaining about decisions every week, this is what’s going to happen.

“People are going to forensically scrutinise everything to make sure they’re comfortable it’s right, and even at the end of that, we’re still not happy.

“It’s just diminishing the authority of the referee. You can’t tell me referees are in control of games. They’re not. Control is outside of that, but that’s where the game’s going. You have to accept it and try and deal with it.”

Pochettino reflected on a game in which, despite a host of contentious decisions, he felt his team were deserved victors.

“I think we deserved to win,” he said.

“We forced them to make too many mistakes. Tottenham were better in the first 15 minutes but then we matched the game. Our performance was good.

“Everything you can see during the game I think was fair. We compare to the Tottenham/Liverpool game, a similar game like today. Liverpool complained. But today, everything that happened was fair. That’s why I think 4-1, the performance was good.”

What the papers say

David Moyes could remain at West Ham even if his contract as manager expires in the summer, it has been reported. According to the Daily Mail, the 60-year-old is being lined up by Hammers bosses for a job ‘upstairs’, although details of the exact role are not clear. Moyes has been in charge of the club since 2019, but there are reports his future as manager is in doubt following a run of four defeats in five games.

Bristol Live, via Sky Sports, says Liam Manning is closing in on becoming the new Bristol City manager. Manning’s Oxford are second in League One, but the opportunity to go up a division with Bristol City is believed to be too good for the 38-year-old to turn down.

And the Daily Mail reports Steven Gerrard‘s Al Ettifaq are gearing up for a spending spree across Europe as the side looks to dramatically improve their fortunes in the Saudi Pro League. Former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson joined Al Ettifaq over the summer, while ex-Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is also on the books.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Bruno Fernandes: The Manchester United midfielder is wanted by several Saudi Pro League clubs, according to journalist Rudy Galetti.

Rayan Cherki: Football Insider reports the Lyon forward is on the radar at Manchester United and Newcastle.

A hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson helped Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino enjoy a successful return to Tottenham, but only after a pulsating contest with two red cards and five disallowed goals.

Chelsea’s 4-1 victory ended Spurs’ unbeaten start to the Premier League season and earned Pochettino the first statement result of his reign – but it only told half the story.

Dejan Kulusevski fired Ange Postecoglou’s team in front during a 57-minute first half, where Cristian Romero earned a straight red card and Cole Palmer netted from the resulting penalty.

Tottenham also lost Micky van de Ven and James Maddison to injuries, while three goals were disallowed with video assistant referee John Brooks a busy man.

Spurs were reduced to nine men soon after half-time when Destiny Udogie was dismissed and the visitors’ numerical advantage finally told when Jackson slotted home in the 75th minute before he completed his treble with two stoppage-time strikes to bring an action-packed London derby to an end.

While all the pre-match focus centred on the reception Pochettino would get from the home fans, he walked out with the PA system booming so his main greeting turned out to be a bear hug from opposite number Postecoglou.

This match rarely disappoints for drama and Moises Caicedo’s crunching third-minute tackle on Maddison set the tone.

The rivalry between the clubs had always been there, but it ramped up a notch during Pochettino’s Tottenham tenure and especially after the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ in 2016.

Almost four years to the day since his sacking, this was Pochettino’s first return to N17 and he watched his new team concede after only six minutes.

Maddison was behind it with a wonderful pass under pressure into Pape Sarr, who recycled into Kulusevski and his curled effort deflected off Levi Colwill to beat Robert Sanchez.

Chelsea should have been level five minutes later when Raheem Sterling played in Jackson, but after he impressively side-stepped Van de Ven, he was thwarted by Guglielmo Vicario.

The breathless nature of the contest showed no sign of slowing with Son putting the ball in the net in the 13th minute after a slick move, but a VAR check showed he was marginally offside.

It would not be the first time Stockley Park was required with a check on Udogie’s tackle on Sterling soon after, but the left-back avoided a red card despite flying in two-footed.

Sterling was in the thick of the action with 21 minutes played when he finished well from an excellent Reece James pass, but Chelsea’s celebrations were cut short. A lengthy VAR check disallowed the goal for a handball by Sterling and Romero’s swipe at Colwill in the build-up was surprisingly ignored.

Caicedo’s long-range effort nestled into the bottom corner in the 28th minute  but the Stockley Park duo of Brooks and Daniel Robathan were required again.

After Brooks eventually decided Jackson had interfered with Caicedo’s strike and ruled out the goal, the check turned to two penalty shouts with Van de Ven’s air kick on Sterling fine, but Romero’s tackle on compatriot Enzo Fernandez deemed a spot-kick.

Tottenham received a double punishment though with Romero’s challenge that saw him crunch into the shin of Fernandez worthy of a red card in the opinion of referee Oliver, who reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Following a near-five-minute delay, Cole Palmer converted the penalty, but only after Vicario pushed his effort onto the post and in.

Spurs suffered when Maddison injured his foot while trying to press James, before Van de Ven pulled up in a sprint with Jackson. Suddenly Spurs were without three of their most crucial players.

The sight of 12 minutes of stoppage-time was the last thing Tottenham wanted and despite a flashpoint between Sarr and Colwill, which resulted in yellow cards for both, it remained 1-1 at the break.

Pochettino replaced Colwill during the interval, but Postecoglou kept on his cautioned full-back and it proved costly.

Udogie lunged in on Sterling and Oliver produced a second yellow card, which meant Spurs faced at least 35 minutes with nine men.

Substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg somehow diverted Jackson’s close-range header over, before Vicario bravely dived at Marc Cucurella’s feet to deny Chelsea again.

However, the Italian had no answers with quarter of an hour left. James released Sterling down the right and he squared for Jackson to tap home for his fourth goal since his summer switch.

After VAR produced a relatively quick check, it was needed again three minutes later when Dier volleyed home from a flick on by sub Rodrigo Bentancur – but Spurs celebrations were ended by the offside flag.

There was still time for Bentancur to head wide from six yards and Blues keeper Robert Sanchez to save from Son before Jackson scored twice from Palmer and Conor Gallagher passes to settle an absorbing clash.

Marcus Rashford has told a Manchester United fan channel to “stop spreading malicious rumours” over his future.

Popular fan channel The United Stand published a video on Monday titled: ‘Rashford’s future in doubt?’, with one contributor questioning his commitment to the club.

Rashford was not involved in United’s 1-0 Premier League win at Fulham on Saturday as manager Erik ten Hag said the England forward had picked up an injury and failed a fitness test on the morning of the game.

“Please STOP spreading malicious rumours,” Rashford wrote on social media in response to The United Stand video.

Rashford scored 30 goals last season but his form has dipped this season amid United’s own struggles.

The 26-year-old has scored only once in 14 appearances across all competitions and was criticised by Ten Hag after going to a nightclub party following the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 29.

Ten Hag said the post-derby night out was “unacceptable” but Rashford was involved in the Carabao Cup tie with Newcastle three days later, coming on as a 65th-minute substitute in another 3-0 home defeat.

United are next in action on Wednesday, away to Danish club Copenhagen in the Champions League.

The rebel group holding Luis Diaz’s father claim military action in the local area is not only delaying the release of their hostage but putting him at risk.

Diaz’s parents were kidnapped over a week ago – his mother was subsequently freed quickly – and despite pledges from the National Liberation Army of Colombia to expedite the return of Diaz Sr, it is taking longer than expected.

“On November 2, we informed the country of the decision to release Mr Luis Manuel Diaz, father of the player Luis Diaz,” said a statement, signed by unit leader Commander Jose Manuel Martinez Quiroz, released to Colombian media.

“From that date, we began the process to accomplish this as soon as possible. We are making efforts to avoid incidents with government forces.

“The area is still militarised, they are carrying out flyovers, disembarking troops, broadcasting and offering rewards as part of an intense search operation.

“This situation is not allowing for the execution of the release plan quickly and safely, where Mr Luis Manuel Diaz is not at risk.

“If operations continue in the area, they will delay the release and increase the risks.

“We understand the anguish of the Diaz-Marulanda family, to whom we say that we will keep our word to release him unilaterally, as soon as we have security guarantees for the development of the liberation operation.”

Diaz made an emotional plea for his father’s return after coming off the bench to score a late equaliser for Liverpool at Luton before lifting his shirt to display the message ‘Libertad para Papa’ (‘Freedom for dad’).

 

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A post shared by Luis Fernando Diaz Marulanda (@luisdiaz19_)

 

The winger, who was making his first appearance since the kidnappings, then posted a message on Instagram in which he said: “I ask the ELN for the prompt release of my father, and I ask international organisations to work together for his freedom.

“Every second, every minute, our anguish grows. My mother, my brothers and I are desperate, distressed and without words to describe what we are feeling. This suffering will only end when we have him back home.

“I beg you to release him immediately, respecting his integrity and ending this painful wait as soon as possible.

“In the name of love and compassion, we ask that you reconsider your actions and allow us to recover him.

“I thank Colombians and the international community for the support received, thank you for so many demonstrations of affection and solidarity in this difficult time that many families in my country find themselves living.”

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool’s players have created a “safe place” for Luis Diaz in the days since his father was kidnapped in Colombia.

The 26-year-old came off the bench in the 83rd minute of the team’s 1-1 draw with Luton on Sunday and scored a dramatic equaliser deep into added time.

It was his first appearance since his father, Luis Manuel Diaz, was abducted in the town of Barrancas on October 28.

The striker was absent for Liverpool’s wins over Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth but marked a sensational return to action by heading in Harvey Elliott’s cross five minutes into stoppage time at Kenilworth Road.

The group responsible for the abduction, the National Liberation Army, has asked for “security guarantees” in exchange for his father’s release.

Following the game against Luton, Van Dijk said: “He’s been training with us, knowing that it’s so fresh, what’s going on. He feels like being with us is a safe place, so it helps him.

“We’re here for him. We mentioned it last week, it’s an absolutely horrible situation. Hopefully there will be a solution. We’ll be here for him and everybody should support him. Hopefully it will be sorted as soon as possible.”

Liverpool had looked set to fall to a shock defeat before Diaz’s late intervention, falling behind 10 minutes from time to a goal by Luton substitute Tahith Chong.

“He’s still disappointed because he also wanted to win,” said Van Dijk. “There’s a lot of emotions in his head. It must have been (meant to be) that he should have scored. I’m happy for him, but hopefully we can get his father back as soon as possible.

“You can’t imagine it, that’s the scary part. The only thing we can do is hope they will find him safe and sound and they get him back to his family.

“When it happened it was a shock to everyone. We spoke about it and it should give us extra motivation. He doesn’t want us to suffer from what he’s going through, he wants us to take fuel from it.”

In front of a raucous home support, the visitors struggled to break down Luton for long periods as they sought the win that would have put them second in the Premier League.

Darwin Nunez in particular was guilty of wasteful finishing when chances came, hitting the bar in the first half before conspiring to balloon an effort over from three yards out after the break.

“I don’t think it was down to the atmosphere,” said Van Dijk. “We had the first chance after half-an-hour. Score that one and it’s a completely different game.

“We didn’t and then they need one opportunity. Their results here this season have been very small margins. That’s down to how they play, they defend compact and solid.

“I respect that, but we could have made it a lot easier.”

Newcastle’s sporting director Dan Ashworth believes the club is on “an upward trajectory” as he revealed their aims for the next few years.

The Magpies continued to show their strength competing in the Premier League’s top six after handing Arsenal their first league defeat of the season on Saturday.

Newcastle still have plenty of other competitions to challenge in and this season marked their return to the Champions League, where they face Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night.

Eddie Howe’s side also earned a huge victory at Old Trafford last week, beating Manchester United to secure a spot in next month’s Carabao Cup quarter-finals, and Ashworth said challenging for trophies is something the club are aiming to achieve.

“The next number of years is to fight and get into the top six on a regular basis and compete for trophies,” he said.

“But in football it can flip around really quickly as well. You can lose two or three on the trot and all of a sudden…we lost three games on the trot at the start of the season and it was ‘okay, what’s happened?’

“Football is peaks and troughs, success has never been a straight line. I know it’s a bit of a corny phrase, but especially in the Premier League where anyone can beat anybody – things can happen really quickly.

“We’re on an upward trajectory, but there are definitely some bumps in the road and that’s the nature of football, but we’re on the right pathway.

“What’s really difficult is to be able to compete commercially as well, some of those clubs have been a global brand for decades. That’s one of the big challenges for Peter (Silverstone), Darren (Eales) and the team as well.

“We’ve all got to try and work together to try and get ourselves into a situation where not only are we a top-six club on the pitch, but also a top-six club off the pitch and really try and drive the revenues and interest in the club as well, which gives us more ammunition in order to be able to compete on the pitch.”

Since officially joining the club in June 2022, Ashworth’s time with the club has seen quite the turnaround.

As well as finishing fourth last season, the Magpies reached their first major final since 1999 earlier this year against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final, where they were beaten 2-0.

Newcastle’s women’s team also reaped success after earning promotion to the National League Northern Premier Division and became the first full-time professional football club operating in the league.

Improvements have also been made to the training ground and Ashworth is determined to keep driving the club forward.

He said: “Complacency is a dangerous thing isn’t it? Certainly there’s no complacency here, we want to keep striving and keep pushing.

“Whether that’s with our academy from under-9s, whether that’s our women’s first team, whether that’s improving the provision and psychology and player care around the team, whether that’s making improvements to the training ground, we’ve got to keep pushing.

“If you start to stand still in professional sport, you’re stuffed. It’s about keep pushing, keep pushing, keep driving in all areas of the football club.”

Ange Postecoglou feels he already has a very healthy relationship with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, but will not go white water rafting with him any time soon.

Postecoglou will on Monday night come up against former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who once revealed in his book ‘Brave New World’ that a staff-bonding exercise in Argentina resulted in himself, Levy and his coaches taking to the water.

While Postecoglou laughed off any prospect of a repeat occurring, he did acknowledge the importance of gaining Levy’s trust and gave credit to the previously under-fire chairman for a strong start to the new season.

“Nah, it’s not happening. Nothing against Daniel but I’m not going white water rafting,” Postecoglou said.

“Look my relationship with Daniel is pretty consistent with the relationships with all the people I’ve worked with at other clubs that have major influence as decision-makers.

“I need them to believe in me. That’s the basic core of it and you can get to that space in many different ways. It doesn’t mean you have to socialise with them, it doesn’t mean you have to talk to them every day.

“It’s about gaining their trust and belief, because without their trust and belief, I can’t do what I want to do. I can’t make decisions around staff, bringing players in, all these things unless the people above me have total faith and trust.”

Chants calling for Levy to leave Spurs were a regular occurrence during the second half of last season, but the discontent has quietened following a flying start to the campaign, although protests over ticket pricing has continued.

Postecoglou, whose side will return to the top of the table if they beat Pochettino’s Chelsea on Monday evening, said: “It’s not an unusual position. When I walked in at Celtic, the board weren’t too popular at the start either, but they backed me.

“They believed in me and when they do that, yes of course they deserve the credit because they’re the ones that have made the decisions and backed me to bring the club to where it is currently.

“So, of course they should get the credit, but I’ve treated those relationships all the same.

“The number one task I have when I go into a club is to get people to believe in me, trust me. Whether that’s the person working on the floor down here or the person who runs the club. It’s the same.

“I’ve got to get all of them to believe in me because I can’t do what I want to do by myself. It just doesn’t work that way.

“I’ve had a really healthy working relationship with Daniel and hopefully I’m gaining more of his trust to continue to do what I want to do.”

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