Graham Potter cannot wait for Chelsea's luck to change in front of goal to turn around their poor run of form.

A 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday was the latest in a disappointing string of results that has seen them win just one game in nine matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.

Karim Adeyemi's goal means Chelsea have a deficit to overturn at Stamford Bridge on March 7 if they are to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, though the Blues were perhaps unfortunate not to be taking a positive result back to London after an encouraging attacking display.

Potter's side had 21 shots, with eight on target, accumulating an xG (expected goals) of 2.2, while Joao Felix also rattled the woodwork. It was the most attempts Chelsea had registered in a Champions League knockout match without scoring since the 2011 quarter-final first leg against Manchester United.

Potter appreciated his team's increased attacking threat against Dortmund, but also feels there is more his side can do having now drawn a blank five times in their last nine matches.

"I don't like to use luck as something to wait for as you can't control it," Potter told reporters. "Clearly you need it.

"The Dortmund game was a positive in terms of chances created. The criticism for us and the fair criticism is that we haven't attacked as well as I would have liked us to. It was closer.

"We feel there's progress, but you play a game and you need to win it. There is a lot going on, integrating new players and all of the time playing good opponents. That's where we're at."

Despite Chelsea's recent bluntness, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not started a game since early November with Kai Havertz largely preferred to the former Arsenal captain through the middle.

Yet Potter said of the striker: "Pierre remains an important part of his squad. His attitude has been really good.

"There's David [Datro] Fofana too who is a young player with potential. There are other forwards as well."

Chelsea will look for just a second win in 2023 when they host Southampton on Saturday, aiming to beat a side bottom of the Premier League and without a manager having sacked Nathan Jones last weekend.

Asked whether the game is a must-win fixture to keep hopes of European qualification alive, Potter replied: "It's a game we want to win. There's no point in focusing on four months away.

"We're focused on Southampton. We have to be ready for that challenge, to play at home and try to get three points.

"I thought the Dortmund performance away from home was another step forward, but we have a different challenge at the weekend. [We are] satisfied but [there is] always room to improve.

"Anything can come at you because they [Southampton] have a caretaker manager [Ruben Selles] and a week to prepare. We have no reference, that's the challenge. I think there's a big challenge coming our way."

Eddie Howe has detailed how he "absolutely detests" losing matches – something Newcastle United have not done in the Premier League since August's trip to Liverpool.

But ahead of the reverse fixture at St James' Park on Saturday, Howe's focus is on winning, rather than preserving a record unbeaten run.

Newcastle have suffered only a sole defeat in the league this season – the fewest in the division – and that loss came in particularly painful circumstances as Liverpool's Fabio Carvalho scored a 98th-minute winner at Anfield.

Since then, the Magpies are unbeaten in 17 in the league, a sequence that has tied their best ever streak, set in the Championship in 2010.

Newcastle have also advanced to the EFL Cup final, but they suffered an upset in the FA Cup, losing to Sheffield Wednesday to remind Howe just how much he hates that feeling.

Asked if the previous Liverpool match had aided his team, the Newcastle boss replied: "Possibly it may have helped us in some strange way. You go through that experience and you're desperate not to feel that again.

"Certainly the Sheffield Wednesday game was another example.

"I don't need any reminding of how painful losing is – I did most of that in my playing career, and I hated that feeling. I tried to do everything I could to not feel that going into the next game.

"As a manager, it's probably 10 times worse, maybe 100 times worse. I hated it as a player, and I absolutely detest it as a manager.

"You're preparing and working to try to stay away from that feeling for as long as possible."

The length of that unbeaten run in the Premier League would have kept Howe happy then, but Newcastle have drawn eight of those 17 matches, ending remote hopes of a title challenge and putting them under pressure in the Champions League chase.

While another draw against Liverpool – their sixth in seven and fourth in a row – would see Howe's players make history with the outright record, he only wants victory.

"To go on that kind of unbeaten run in this league is so tough, because it only takes one bad 10 minutes and that record is gone," Howe said, before adding: "I don't want the players to become focused on it, though.

"That can be the danger with unbeaten runs sometimes – it becomes about staying unbeaten, rather than winning the game.

"That's not in my mindset at all. Tomorrow, we go out to try to win, and all our focus has to be on that."

Tottenham are in need of a lift following back-to-back defeats, and history would suggest it might come at the expense of West Ham in the absence of Antonio Conte.

Head coach Conte made a swift return to the touchline last weekend following gallbladder surgery and watched his side suffer a 4-1 Premier League defeat at Leicester City.

The Italian then oversaw a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Milan on Tuesday, but he has remained on his homeland in order to take time to make a full recovery from his operation.

Cristian Stellini will once again step up to take charge of Tottenham for the foreseeable future, and Conte's assistant's first task is to mastermind a home derby victory over West Ham this weekend.

Stats Perform previews the clash between the London rivals by picking out the standout Opta data.

Five-in-a-row frustration for Hammers

West Ham have lost five consecutive away London derbies since beating Crystal Palace 3-2 on New Year's Day in 2022.

That is their longest such run since a streak of six defeats on the bounce between April 2009 and October 2010.

David Moyes' men draw 1-1 at home to Spurs in August but only once in the past eight seasons have they avoided defeat in both Premier League meetings with Spurs – that being in the 2020-21 campaign.

More home comforts for Spurs?

While Tottenham are smarting from back-to-back losses in all competitions, they beat Premier League leaders Manchester City 1-0 in their last home game.

Although they lost 2-0 in their own backyard to fierce rivals Arsenal in their last London derby, they were unbeaten in five encounters with fellow capital clubs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before that painful setback.

Not since November 2004 have Spurs lost consecutive home London derbies,

Antonio to torment Tottenham again?

Michail Antonio should be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Tottenham.

The striker has scored in four of the Hammers' past five wins over Spurs, including the only goal of the game in three of those contests.

No player has ever scored in four 1-0 victories against the same opponent in Premier League history.

Hammers can snuff out Spurs set-piece threat

No side have scored from more corners in the Premier League this season than Tottenham's 11.

They might be hard pressed to bring up a dozen this weekend, though, as West Ham have not conceded from a corner this term.

If they are to turn the corner this weekend and get their bid for a top-four finish back on track, Spurs may have to be more creative in open play after firing a blank at San Siro.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk "looks absolutely ready" to make his return from injury against Newcastle United this weekend.

Netherlands international Van Dijk has not played for Liverpool since sustaining a hamstring injury during the 3-1 loss to Brentford on January 2.

The 31-year-old's injury proved to be worse than initially feared, and he spent six weeks out of action prior to returning to the substitutes' bench for Monday's 2-0 win over Everton.

Having been an unused substitute in the Merseyside derby, Klopp is ready to use Van Dijk against Newcastle after stepping up his recovery on the training ground this week.

Asked if he is in contention to start Saturday's game at St James' Park, Klopp said: "I think so. Yesterday he looked absolutely ready. 

"I think [on Friday] he will look the same, and we will then make a decision."

Van Dijk's return is a major boost for Liverpool, who are without fellow centre-back Ibrahima Konate ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg with Real Madrid.

Luis Diaz and Thiago Alcantara remain sidelined for Liverpool, while Klopp confirmed young defender Calvin Ramsay is out for the season after undergoing surgery.

"Even if he could come back a bit earlier, it makes no sense," Klopp said of highly rated Ramsay, who has made two senior appearances since joining from Aberdeen.

"We've had to build him up physically, so he can have a new start [next season] when we go again. He's a great talent, a real talent who's had the most unlucky start possible."

Liverpool also welcomed Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota back from injury earlier this week to bolster their options ahead of travelling to Newcastle in a big Premier League game.

The Reds can close the gap on their fourth-placed opponents to six points with a game in hand should they win.

However, Newcastle have lost just once in the league all season – to a 98th-minute Liverpool goal in August's reverse fixture – and boast the best defensive record in the division.

"This is a massive game. If you want to reach something this season, we have to chase everybody, especially those who are ahead of us in the table," Klopp said.

"It will never be easy, but we have to try. It'll be tough; Newcastle are the best defence in the league, lost just once to us, we needed a late goal. 

"They are very consistent and that is the first step to success.

"Eddie Howe has done an exceptional job, absolutely exceptional. The financial possibilities they have, or will have, are exceptional, but it is not because of that, not at all. 

"He arrived in a difficult situation, they stayed comfortably in the league and now the team is unrecognisable. He's turned them around, and they are a proper threat."

Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City are in the position he "dreamed" of at the beginning of the season as he urged Kevin De Bruyne and Jack Grealish to keep them top of the Premier League.

It remains a nip-and-tuck title race, but Guardiola is more than happy with City's standing within that battle for silverware after they nudged into top spot with victory at Arsenal.

He insists Arsenal remain firmly in the hunt but would have settled for this situation, being confident his City team can apply a kick finish and leave their rivals scrapping over second place.

Manchester United could yet have a big say in the destiny of the title, being just five points adrift, but City and Arsenal are the frontrunners for now, locked on 51 points.

"Arsenal still have one game in hand, so nothing has changed much," Guardiola said initially at Friday's press conference ahead of the weekend trip to Nottingham Forest.

He later pointed to City's mindset in Premier League campaigns and their view that nothing is won early in the season.

The gap to Arsenal reached eight points at one stage, but it has been clawed back, with the Gunners suffering a dip in form.

City have the scent of a third successive Premier League title and a fifth in six seasons.

"We were aware we had to put the shoes on again and try to be close to the top of the league, and now we are there, we are close," Guardiola said.

"There are still 15 games left, a lot of games, but we want to arrive at the last eight, 10 games, being there, close, top or close to the top of the league."

Guardiola added: "We have to make the last rush, the last effort. The last weeks have helped us, for the results of Arsenal but especially for the victories we have done.

"We are in the position I would have dreamed at the beginning of the season.

"I could not expect to be a lot of points in front; after winning back to back, it's almost impossible."

All the same, Guardiola is not buying into talk of City momentum.

"Momentum is where you win 10 games in a row, and that didn't happen this season. We lost three games ago in London against Tottenham, so momentum is tomorrow at 3pm be ready mentally against a team who have lost one game in their last six," he said.

De Bruyne and Grealish, City's midfield pearls, both scored in the 3-1 win at Arsenal on Wednesday.

Neither man has been guaranteed a start, with De Bruyne notably benched for the Tottenham game.

But Guardiola spoke of the influence both can now have, hailing Grealish's "ambition and his aggressivity" to attack defences.

"The quality was always there but his commitment to take a risk in important decisions is making the difference. But he has to continue," Guardiola said.

It was a similar message for De Bruyne, whose form Guardiola described as "really good".

"It's like Jack and like everyone, I'm so pleased for everyone, but I want more," Guardiola said. "So I still have the feeling Kevin can do more, Jack can do more and can do better.

"They can do it. Of course, he made a fantastic goal, but I know the demands we have here until the end of the season and a tough and aggressive opponent, and we need the players to have the feeling we can do better."

The manager also said it was healthy for City's players sometimes to have discussions without him present.

"It's good," Guardiola said, "because at the end they play, and they are the artists, and they have to take the solutions and decisions and everything that is going on on the pitch, and I cannot be involved in that."

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United must put themselves in a strong position in April before considering whether a Premier League title challenge is possible this season.

United approach Sunday's meeting with Leicester City five points adrift of both Manchester City and Arsenal, although the Gunners have a game in hand on both of their rivals.

The Red Devils have beaten both City and Arsenal at Old Trafford this season, albeit while losing both away fixtures.

After losing the first two matches of the league season, United have since earned more points than any other team, prompting discussion of an unlikely title tilt in Ten Hag's first season.

But the manager is not yet ready to look so far ahead, saying ahead of the Leicester game: "We don't think about it so far.

"What we have to do is to put ourselves in the right position in April. 

"Our thinking can only be on the next game. We always have to be better than the previous game and think about it game after game, to put that energy and focus in.

"It does mean that we have to win on Sunday and that we have to collect the three points against Leicester. And that demands a lot of energy and demands high standards."

United produced another positive display on Thursday as they earned a 2-2 draw at Barcelona in the Europa League.

Success in that competition represents another potential route to Champions League qualification for a United side seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League, and Ten Hag recognises his team are in a good position to rejoin Europe's elite.

"We are in the right direction, but we have to fight for it," Ten Hag said. "There are two ways. One is the Europa League and the other way is the Premier League. 

"So, we know what to do, and we will see it from game to game and fight to get back in the Champions League."

With United still involved in four competitions, they could play as many as nine matches before the next international break in late March, but Ten Hag believes his players are relishing the challenge.

"The players in our squad like it. They like to play big games, and they also know as a team and as individuals, you grow from such games," the Dutchman said.

"[Against Barcelona] we played better players and a better team, so that will help us in our process. We are in the right direction, so we have to keep this process going. 

"We will analyse again, we will criticise what went well and what went wrong, and we move on to Sunday. Next game, next big game."

Erik ten Hag will let Manchester United's money men get on with the process of selling the club as the Dutchman waits to see how it affects his leadership.

A 'soft' deadline is said to be coming on Friday at 22:00 GMT, with a Qatari contingent expected to lodge an offer, while British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe may also bid.

Others could come forward, with United looking set to perhaps pass entirely out of the hands of the Glazer family, who have controlled the club for 18 years.

Ten Hag has delivered a turnaround of fortunes on the pitch this season, with United just five points off the top of the Premier League after 23 games, sitting third.

They have an EFL Cup final against Newcastle United coming up on February 26, offering the chance to win a first trophy since the 2016-17 season.

Asked about the prospects of new investors coming in and the possible distraction a sale process may bring, Ten Hag said: "I've been following it, it's our club. And of course, we are committed. But we are focusing on football, training and our way of play on games.

"That is what we are focusing on, and we really enjoy it in the moment with togetherness, and it's enjoyable to work, and we are focusing on games. Others in the club will have to take decisions and give efforts in the process, but it's not up to us."

It will be for the likes of United chief executive Richard Arnold to answer questions about the club's future.

Ten Hag was asked whether he had spoken to Arnold and the Glazer family about what could occur with the prospective takeover.

"No," he said. "From the start, they informed me how the process will go. I focus on football, they are focusing on other departments of the club, how to get everything, for instance, financed."

Manchester United have appointed David Harrison as their director of football operations.

Harrison joins from fellow Premier League side Everton, where he has spent the past 27 years of his career.

He will succeed Alan Dawson, who is departing United in July after 11 years, and will report directly to football director John Murtough.

"David is known as one of the most able and respected operators in football and we are delighted that he has chosen to join Manchester United," Murtough said.

"He will bring deep experience and knowledge to this important role, and add further strength to the support structure we are building around our football teams, to give our players and staff the best chance of success."

Harrison, who started his career working in United's ticket office, said: "I'm excited to be taking this role at a time of such opportunity and promise for Manchester United.

"I will always cherish my memories of 27 years at Everton and wish everyone at Goodison and Finch Farm all the best for the future.

"Now, my focus is on helping Manchester United create the best possible operating environment to support success on the pitch."

Mikel Arteta felt there were "a lot of positives" to take from a defeat to Manchester City but wants his Arsenal side to be more efficient.

City replaced the Gunners at the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 win at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Arsenal, who have a game in hand on the champions, are without a win in four matches in all competitions and need a response when they travel for a reunion with former boss Unai Emery and his Aston Villa side on Saturday.

However, manager Arteta is confident Arsenal can rediscover the sort of form that had at one stage given them an eight-point cushion over City at the summit.

"I know the right things we have to do to continue to be there [at the top]," the Spaniard said.

"We have seen where the level is and what we have to do to be at that level. There are a lot of positive things to take, for sure, from the season so far [and the loss to City].

"We know that the level of efficiency has to be good with every single game to beat them [City] at the end.

"We are highly motivated to do that."

He added of the defeat to Pep Guardiola's men: "You have to give credit to a team when they beat you, but when you analyse the game again, I think we lost it."

Arteta says Arsenal are relishing the opportunity to return to the top of the table when they face Villa.

He said: "It is normal that you want to get maximum points, which we didn't in the last few games. We have to improve because we want to win more games.

"So we are highly motivated for tomorrow's game because we want to perform well and win the game."

Meanwhile, Arteta condemned the behaviour of fans who threw objects at City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who opened the scoring in the blockbuster midweek clash.

"Our fans were extraordinary in the game with their level of support and the way they helped to inspire the team," he said.

"There was an incident at the end that no-one is going to tolerate within this stadium and the club is investigating."

"Is there any history between Newcastle and Liverpool that I don't know about? The atmosphere was like there was something that happened in the past."

Jurgen Klopp's question was understandable at the end of an enthralling 3-2 Liverpool win at St James' Park back in 2019.

A raucous Tyneside atmosphere had been ramped up further by controversy on the pitch and fights off it, with the presence of Liverpool fans in the Newcastle United sections – hoping to see their side take another step towards Premier League glory – playing its part.

Of course, when Newcastle were going for the title in the 1990s, Liverpool tried and succeeded to spoil the party with a pair of epic 4-3 Anfield wins, even if that meant helping rivals Manchester United to twice take top spot.

Newcastle's class of 2019 had similarly given their all – but not because it was Liverpool, with Rafael Benitez's men and their supporters relieved not to be relegated rather than worrying about settling scores.

For Newcastle, there is rather more riding on the outcome of Liverpool's visit this weekend for another Saturday night match. This one, Klopp might note, will have a little more history.

Liverpool are the only team to have beaten Newcastle in the Premier League this season, and that reverse fixture, back in August, was another hot-tempered affair.

A marginal offside call denied Alexander Isak a second goal, before Liverpool rallied to win with a 98th-minute winner having been repeatedly frustrated by the Newcastle time-wasting that led to the game dragging on so long.

It felt like a big moment for Liverpool as they went ahead of Newcastle with just their second victory in five matches at the start of the campaign. Meanwhile, the visiting players were booed off the pitch.

Heading into the return match, however, Liverpool are back below Newcastle. In fact, they are nine points below this weekend's hosts – the largest margin in the Magpies' favour ahead of a fixture between the two sides in the Premier League era. This is the first time since 1995-96, with that Stan Collymore winner, that Newcastle have led Liverpool going into both home and away meetings.

As Liverpool's season went on a downward spiral almost from the moment Fabio Carvalho broke Geordie hearts with his best Collymore impression, Newcastle – then missing a number of key men – were emboldened by the furious reaction of the Anfield crowd.

"My ideal is that we're booed off every week when we go to away grounds, because you don't want to be popular," Eddie Howe said afterwards ahead of a 17-match unbeaten league run, Newcastle's joint-longest in their history.

"We're here to win, we're here to compete," Howe added, "and we'll do whatever it takes to try to win."

Except Newcastle's undefeated streak has included only nine wins, topped up by eight draws – including five in their past six and three in a row.

Progress to the EFL Cup final has maintained Newcastle's momentum, but frustration has just started to fester since the semi-final, which was followed by stalemates against strugglers West Ham and Bournemouth that saw the Magpies fall to fourth.

While Newcastle may have a nine-point cushion to Liverpool, they equally could be level on points with the Reds by the time they play again in the league if Saturday's result goes against them.

Manchester City, winners at Arsenal in midweek, have shown how quickly such a gap can vanish.

The four-match winning run Liverpool would require for such a rapid turnaround – including Monday's defeat of Everton – seemed highly unlikely at the start of the week, but such a streak has proven very much within their capabilities in the past.

Liverpool won four in a row in the Premier League as recently as December, their 12th sequence of four or more consecutive victories under Klopp. Those include 17- and 18-match winning runs.

That is the threat Newcastle must attempt to guard against – along with challenges from Tottenham, Brighton and Hove Albion and the rest of the chasing pack.

As for Arsenal on Wednesday, a draw might well suit Howe's men. The form book suggests that result is likely, too, but an atmosphere akin to that of four years ago will not allow Newcastle to play conservatively.

They have the final next, then a trip to City. Liverpool face Real Madrid on Tuesday and host Manchester United at the start of next month.

A season-defining stretch for both teams might itself be defined first by what happens at St James' Park.

Kevin De Bruyne served up a reminder of his match-winning brilliance as Manchester City usurped Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, so Nottingham Forest will be on high alert.

City go to Forest on Saturday, looking to stay at the summit, and their Belgian playmaker is set to be a key figure once more, and potentially a big points winner when it comes to fantasy leagues.

In an unlikely top-seven battle, Brighton and Hove Albion will look to in-form left-back Pervis Estupinan to contribute at both ends of the pitch against Fulham, while Wolves and Brentford will be hoping for big contributions from Ruben Neves and Ivan Toney as they tackle Bournemouth and Crystal Palace respectively.

Stats Perform, using Opta data, has chosen these four players for your selection consideration ahead of the weekend games.

Pervis Estupinan (Brighton v Fulham)

With three assists in his last three Premier League appearances, including last time out against Palace, Ecuadorian Estupinan is making a huge impact for the Seagulls.

Only three defenders have provided more assists than him in the competition this season, while Estupinan is one of only four such players to create at least 20 chances from open play (21).

Head coach Roberto De Zerbi has welcomed the efforts of the former Villarreal player, saying: "He's very important in build-up, but he's becoming a complete player now."

Kevin De Bruyne (Nottingham Forest v Manchester City)

Dropped to the bench at Tottenham recently, De Bruyne has responded by showing his value to City.

After scoring the opener, De Bruyne assisted for Erling Haaland's clincher in the 3-1 win at Arsenal, meaning the Belgian has been involved in 16 Premier League goals this season (4 goals, 12 assists), bettered by only three players.

Since the start of the 2019-20 season, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (14) has both scored and assisted in more games in the competition than De Bruyne (13).

Forest beware: De Bruyne has assisted Haaland six times in the Premier League this season, more than any other player has assisted another.

Ruben Neves (Wolves v Bournemouth)

Wolves midfielder Neves has scored five goals in this Premier League season, equalling his best tally from the 2020-21 campaign.

Four of those five goals have come at Molineux, including in his last such appearance against Liverpool, so he will fancy his prospects of adding to that haul and setting an outright personal best for goals when second-bottom Bournemouth visit.

He is Wolves' joint top scorer in the league, matching Daniel Podence's total, and Neves brings abundant creativity too.

Ivan Toney (Brentford v Crystal Palace)

The visit of Palace should bring the best out of Toney, given he has scored in his last three London derby appearances (against Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham), helping Brentford to a healthy five points.

Only Haaland (30) and Harry Kane (18) have been involved in more Premier League goals this season than Toney (17 – 14 goals, 3 assists).

Another factor in his favour is that among players with 30-plus shots this term, only Haaland (33.3 per cent) has a better shot conversion rate than him (23.7 per cent).

Neymar's interest in a move to the Premier League is gaining momentum, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool among the teams alerted about his potential availability.

The 31-year-old star had reportedly come up in a recent conversation between Chelsea owner Todd Boehly and Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and with a deal not being ruled out, Neymar's team have contacted more of England's top sides.

Neymar is tied for the Ligue 1 assist lead with 10, while he has 12 goals in 19 appearances.

Now in his sixth season in France since arriving for a world-record €222million fee, and on the brink of another disappointing Champions League exit, Brazil's joint all-time leading scorer is eyeing a new challenge.



According to 90min, Neymar's "intermediaries are believed to have spoken with Chelsea, Liverpool, City, United, and Newcastle United" – informing the clubs of his desire for a Premier League transfer.

The report claims Paris Saint-Germain are not desperate to part ways with Neymar, but would be open to facilitating a deal.

Chelsea owner Boehly is believed to be "intrigued" about the potential for such a high-profile signing, although it remains to be seen who else would be willing to meet what is expected to be an enormous contract demand.



– ESPN is reporting Liverpool, City and United are closely monitoring Mason Mount, who only has one more season on his current Chelsea contract, and is hesitant about signing the kind of long-term deals Chelsea have been handing out.

Newcastle, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and City all want 22-year-old Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but the Serie A leaders have no interest in selling, and are in the process of rewarding the Georgian with a big new contract, per 90min.

– According to Tuttosport, Real Madrid, Barcelona, City and Chelsea are keeping an eye on 17-year-old Velez prospect Gianluca Prestianni, who is the third-youngest debutant in the history of Argentina's top flight behind Diego Maradona and Sergio Aguero.

– Calciomercato is reporting Bayern Munich will continue their pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane, but are unwilling to meet their £100m (€112m) valuation. 

Arsenal have sent scouts to watch 17-year-old Athletico Paranaense forward Vitor Roque, who is reportedly valued at over £50m, per CaughtOffside.

Former Juventus, Athletic Bilbao and Spain striker Fernando Llorente has retired from football at the age of 37.

Llorente – who has been without a club since the end of last season – made the announcement to Movistar Plus, confirming the end of an 18-year senior career.

When asked about continuing to play football, he replied "No" and suggested he will instead "keep fit by playing padel."

Llorente began his career with Athletic, where he played for nine seasons for the first team, scoring 84 goals in 262 LaLiga games.

He then earned a move to Serie A giants Juventus, where he scored 16 in 34 league games in his first season, though was unable to repeat that form before he left on a free transfer back to Spain with Sevilla in 2015.

After one season at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, where he scored just four goals in 23 LaLiga appearances but won the Europa League, Llorente moved to the Premier League with Swansea City.

He netted 15 league goals in 33 games for the Swans before signing for Tottenham after an impressive year in Wales.

Llorente struggled for game time at Spurs, though, with Harry Kane the established striker at the club.

Nevertheless, he did play a key role in their run to the 2019 Champions League final, scoring the goal that put Spurs through to the semi-finals at the expense of Manchester City.

Llorente was unable to get back to his previous best in spells at Napoli or Udinese, before playing what turned out to be his final season back in Spain with Eibar in the Segunda Division.

He won three Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia crowns and a Europa League during his club career. Llorente was also part of the Spain squads that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, earning 24 caps for his country in all, scoring seven goals.


Liverpool and Everton have been charged by the Football Association (FA) following a "mass confrontation" late in Monday's Merseyside derby.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds won the Premier League game 2-0 at Anfield thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.

Usually a feisty encounter, proceedings were largely under control until a flash point in the 86th minute.

Andrew Robertson handled the ball but continued playing after the referee's whistle and then kicked the ball towards the Everton box, which was seemingly perceived as a blatant act of time-wasting by the Toffees.

Everton players swiftly confronted Robertson, who laughed in the face of Jordan Pickford before being held at the neck by Conor Coady.

The incident subsequently resulted in many other players – including substitutes – becoming embroiled in heated tussles on the touchline, though Pickford and Robertson were the only individuals booked.

Confirming the beginning of disciplinary proceedings, an FA statement read: "Liverpool and Everton have been charged following a mass confrontation during the 86th minute of their Premier League match on Monday, February 13.

"It's alleged that both clubs failed to ensure their players and/or benches conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour.

"Liverpool and Everton have until Monday, February 20 to provide responses to their charges."


Manchester City defender Nathan Ake believes Arsenal remain favourites to win the Premier League title despite his side moving top of the table on Wednesday.

Reigning champions City defeated Arsenal 3-1 at Emirates Stadium to overtake their opponents at the summit for the first time since November.

Pep Guardiola's side trailed the Gunners by eight points less than a month ago, but a return to form – coinciding with a wobble from Arsenal – has seen that margin evaporate.

While City are top by virtue of a superior goal difference, Arsenal still have a game in hand and travel to the Etihad Stadium for another blockbuster fixture in April.

Asked if City are now favourites to finish above Arsenal, Ake said: "No. They still have a game in hand so they still have three points on us. We don't want to get carried away.

"We will keep doing what we are doing, go game by game and take it from there. 

"We knew beforehand it was going to be a very big game and we just wanted to win the game and get the three points and we did."

City's victory was their 11th in a row against Arsenal in the league, with Guardiola having now won eight of his nine meetings with Mikel Arteta in all competitions.

Second-half goals from Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland earned the win for City after Bukayo Saka's penalty had cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne's opener.

City's quality ultimately told as they look to add to the four titles won in the past five seasons, success that Ake feels will stand them in good stead.

"We know there is still a long way to go. They have a game in hand but for us it is good to come to a tough place like this and get the win – that is important," the Netherlands international said.

"It's small margins. It was so tight and both teams can create something out of nothing. We still have a long way to go but we do have that [title-winning] experience."

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