Arsenal are still desperate to add a new face in central midfield and will reportedly make late runs at Chelsea's Jorginho and Leicester City's Youri Tielemans before the transfer deadline.

Tielemans is one of Leicester's top talents, appearing in all 20 of their Premier League games this season while contributing three goals and an assist from his 18 starts.

Jorginho is in his fifth season at Stamford Bridge and remains an integral part of Chelsea's squad, making 15 league starts this season, including wearing the captain's armband in their two most recent fixtures.

However, both players are in the final six months of their contracts and are set to become available via free transfers at the end of the campaign, and their clubs may be willing to accept a significantly reduced figure for highly valuable assets.



According to Football London, Arsenal's pursuit of 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion standout Moises Caicedo appears to have been unsuccessful, and they now view Jorginho as an acceptable alternative.

The report states Chelsea are willing to let the Italy international leave, indicating he will become expendable if the impending arrival of Benfica's Enzo Fernandez comes to fruition.

Football London also adds Arsenal will make another push at both Caicedo and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi, but they are considered unlikely options.

Meanwhile, 90min claims Leicester would be more open to allowing Tielemans to leave if they were not locked in a relegation battle, but as it stands they would need a "huge" bid to prioritise a transfer fee over their Premier League survival.



– Calciomercato is reporting Leeds United will try to secure Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo after he snubbed Bournemouth, but Roma are unlikely to accept unless the full transfer fee is paid up front.

– According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, who would prefer a loan to France instead of a fellow Premier League side.

– Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has rejected a loan approach from Inter and will instead opt to fight for his place, although he will re-evaluate his future at the end of the season, per the Daily Star.

– El Nacional is reporting Liverpool will make a run at signing Chelsea's N'Golo Kante when his contract expires after the season.

– According to Football Insider, Southampton have agreed to meet the £26.2million (€30m) release clause for 22-year-old Braga forward Vitinha.

Eddie Howe was amused by the suggestion he might be the "new Diego Simeone" following accusations of Newcastle United employing Atletico Madrid's "dark arts" this season.

Newcastle are enjoying an outstanding season, third in the Premier League and on the eve of the home leg of an EFL Cup semi-final.

Having been more concerned with a relegation battle this time a year ago than any cup progress, the Magpies need only avoid defeat against Southampton on Tuesday to make a first major final since 1999.

Liverpool were the last top-flight team to beat Newcastle way back in August, their sole league reverse this season, but their approach both in that match and in subsequent tussles with elite opposition has been the source of some debate.

Newcastle, whose coach Howe spent time studying Simeone's Atletico after leaving Bournemouth, have received five yellow cards for time-wasting this season, fewer only than Aston Villa and Fulham.

In relation to this trait, Howe was asked if he was the "new Diego Simeone" and laughed before replying: "It's so funny how things can be blown out of all proportion.

"Yes, I did go and see a couple of Diego Simeone's training sessions, and I have huge respect for him as a coach and a manager.

"But literally they're one-hour training sessions and then you go. Certainly I took nothing of the 'dark arts' from Diego.

"I'm very much the same manager [he was before]. I've changed slightly because I've got older and I've got new ideas, and I'm always looking to evolve my work and improve.

"I'm still fundamentally the same manager with the same principles and the same beliefs in style of play.

"I just think I've become different from managing Newcastle. I think, naturally, managing this club is a huge challenge, so you evolve in that way."

Newcastle's strong defensive record is also comparable to Simeone's best Atletico sides, keeping a Europe-leading 16 clean sheets in all competitions.

But Howe is not planning to protect a draw against Southampton as he urges his Newcastle team, who have been wasteful of late, to attack their opponents in the manner popular former manager Kevin Keegan did.

"The template is to entertain – of course, within the Kevin framework," he said. "We want Newcastle supporters to come to the game excited about what they're going to see.

"It's to attack, it's to be front-foot, and it's also to try to win."

Southampton were the last team to score against Nick Pope, back in early November, and boss Nathan Jones does not believe a win on Tyneside is beyond the Premier League's basement side, who lost 1-0 in the first leg.

"It's not 'mission impossible' by a long chalk. It's a game of football," Jones said. "Anything can happen.

"We have to be the best versions of ourselves – we know that's what we have to do. We have to have a game plan, we have to be good, and we have to execute it.

"Newcastle are in good form, but they're not going to go the rest of their lives without getting beaten, so why not get beaten tomorrow night? That's what we have to attempt to do.

"We'll go there in good spirits, we felt we played well in the first leg. If we'd had a bit more belief in the first half and been a bit more aggressive, it could have been something different.

"We had a really good chance to take the lead. There's a lot of positives to come out of it.

"It's definitely not 'mission impossible', and not even 'improbable'. It's a really acutely poised cup tie. That's how we're treating it."

Nick Pope was described as the world's best goalkeeper by Bruno Guimaraes after his 10th consecutive clean sheet helped Newcastle United put one foot in the EFL Cup final.

Pope recorded yet another shutout as Newcastle earned a 1-0 win in the first leg of their semi-final tie against Southampton on Tuesday, with Joelinton scoring a second-half winner before Saints had Duje Caleta-Car sent off.

While Newcastle dominated for long periods, Pope made two crucial saves to deny Che Adams when the game was goalless, the first an excellent one-on-one stop with his legs.

Pope has now kept 10 successive clean sheets across all competitions – a feat not managed by any other Premier League goalkeeper in records dating back to the start of the 2012-13 season.

Guimaraes reserved lofty praise for his team-mate after the win, telling Sky Sports: "I would like to say thanks for Nick Pope – he's been brilliant for us. 

"I think he's the best goalkeeper, right now, in the world.

"We controlled the game but missed some opportunities which we cannot miss. But we are happy, it is just the first game. I'm proud of the team today."

Newcastle also had a late VAR review to thank for their clean sheet as former Magpies striker Adam Armstrong was ruled to have bundled the ball home with his arm, leaving Pope relieved.

"A lot of work goes into it. I've let one in and VAR has helped us out," the England international said.

"We're really happy with that aspect of our game at the moment. We look really solid at the back and the boys work hard to make that happen."

Newcastle have now kept 16 clean sheets in all competitions this season – more than any other team across Europe's top five leagues, and boss Eddie Howe was delighted with Pope's display.

"I can't be critical of the team in any way," Howe said. "I thought we defended well again, I thought Nick made a couple of really good saves near the end again.

"The two saves he's made are big saves in the game. Adams' one-on-one was at a huge time in the game when Southampton were beginning to get on top.

"Nick stood up for us and made a great save, and then he made one shortly afterwards as well. He's been outstanding for us this year. Whenever he's needed, he's produced the goods for us."

Howe was also asked about Newcastle's pursuit of Everton's Anthony Gordon, amid reports suggesting the Magpies are working on a deal worth £40million for the winger.

However, Howe insisted he was purely focused on guiding Newcastle to their first EFL Cup final since 1976, responding: "I can tell you absolutely nothing. I've been focused on preparing for this game for the last two days."

Joelinton's close-range finish gave Newcastle United a 1-0 aggregate lead in their EFL Cup semi-final tie against Southampton.

The Brazilian's 73rd-minute goal settled Tuesday's first leg at St Mary's Stadium in Newcastle's favour though Southampton, who had Duje Caleta-Car sent off late on, had an equaliser disallowed.

Joelinton had a goal contentiously ruled out for handball in the first half and then missed a glorious chance shortly after the restart, but atoned when he converted Alexander Isak's cross.

VAR denied former Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong a leveller less than four minutes later, with Southampton's hopes further dented when Caleta-Car picked up a second booking.

Joe Willock wasted two good opportunities early on, hitting a wild effort over the crossbar following good work from Miguel Almiron before miscuing a volley from Kieran Trippier's cross.

Willock was also involved when Newcastle were denied an opener. Gavin Bazunu parried his shot out to Joelinton, who was contentiously penalised for handball as he fired home the rebound.

Joelinton missed a huge chance seven minutes after the restart, somehow blazing over an open goal from six yards out.

He made no mistake from his next chance, finishing into a gaping net after fantastic play from Isak down the right.

Armstrong thought he had denied his old club with a scruffy finish, only for a VAR review to rule he had handled the ball, and a frustrating outing for the hosts was capped when Caleta-Car received his marching orders for fouling Allan Saint-Maximin.

Newcastle spurned chances to further their advantage in stoppage time, but head into next week's second leg knowing a draw would be enough to book their place in an EFL Cup final for the first time since 1976.

Chelsea are reportedly looking to make a significant investment in a young midfielder, and remain strongly linked to Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as well as Moises Caicedo of Brighton and Hove Albion.

Fernandez, 22, burst onto the world stage as he forced his way into Argentina's starting XI en route to their 2022 World Cup victory, earning the Best Young Player honour in Qatar in the process.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Caicedo has looked right at home in his second Premier League season, starting in all 18 of his appearances this campaign to help propel Brighton up to a surprising sixth on the table.

With Jorginho's future at Chelsea up in the air and fellow 31-year-old N'Golo Kante having not played since August due to a serious hamstring injury, Chelsea are looking for a long-term solution in the centre of the park – and are once again willing to pay up.



According to Portuguese publication Record, Chelsea will attempt to secure Fernandez before the end of January, but are aware Benfica will not budge below the player's £106million (€120m) release clause.

The Guardian adds an improved offer for Caicedo "remains a possibility" after their recent bid of £55m was rejected by Brighton, although it is now believed the Seagulls are "scouring the market for potential replacements" for the Ecuador international.

Caicedo is not the only Brighton player their former head coach, now Chelsea boss, Graham Potter has fond memories of, also enquiring about 24-year-old midfielder and Fernandez's Argentinian team-mate Alexis Mac Allister.



– Talksport is reporting Newcastle United have interest in 21-year-old Everton forward Anthony Gordon as a replacement for Chris Wood after the big striker left on loan to Nottingham Forest.

– According to Sky Sports Germany's Florian Plettenberg, Manchester United have been put off by Napoli's £88m (€100m) asking price for 24-year-old striker Victor Osimhen and will seek a cheaper alternative.

Jude Bellingham is expected to reject the latest contract extension offer from Borussia Dortmund, and, per the Daily Star, five clubs will be competing for his services via transfer: Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

– The Athletic is reporting Bournemouth are working on an offer of £17.5m (€20m) plus add-ons for 21-year-old Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson, who is also a Southampton target.

– After rejecting approaches from Aston Villa, Fulham and Bournemouth, Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie could get his wish to head to a top club as Arsenal have reportedly entered the race for the £22m-rated (€25m) United States international, per Gazzetta dello Sport.

Southampton's Premier League clash with Aston Villa was briefly suspended following the appearance of a drone at St Mary's.

The drone was spotted flying above the stadium in the 42nd minute of the match, which was goalless, with play subsequently halted by referee Michael Salisbury.

The players returned to their dressing rooms while several supporters left their seats as Southampton's safety officer surveyed the situation.

However, play resumed nine minutes later with the hosts looking for a victory that would lift them out of the relegation zone.

Everton manager Frank Lampard says the club's tense off-field situation had no impact on him and his players in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Southampton where they let a first-half lead slip.

The defeat worsened the Toffees' relegation concerns, having won only once in their past eight games, leaving them 19th ahead of only Southampton on goal difference. Everton's last league victory was on October 22.

That situation has created a tense environment, with Everton's board of directors opting not to attend Saturday's fixture due to a "real and credible threat to their safety and security".

Disgruntled Everton fans staged a 'sit-in' protest after the game against how the club has been run.

"I'm completely focused on what we're doing on the pitch," Lampard told BBC. "The off-field noise is there but the things we can control as staff and players is on the pitch - and today we got beaten.

"It's a difficult period. There is so much passion at this club for the right reasons, everyone wants the best for the club.

"Of course, over the years we've come in a direction where we were in a relegation battle last year and again this year."

Everton had taken the lead in the 39th minute from Amadou Onana, but the Saints responded with James Ward-Prowse equalizing shortly after half-time, before netting a trademark free-kick for the winner in the 78th minute.

"It's obviously difficult and disappointing, especially when you go 1-0 up," Lampard said. "It's a tough game, there's a lot of tension for both teams I think.

"We deserved to be 1-0 in the first half with the passion in our game. It wasn't a tactical game, it was more of a fighting game.

"We showed spirit and then an early goal in the second half changes the tone of the game. We came back, created some things, we hit the bar but then, typically at the moment, we concede a free-kick and it goes in our net.

"Obviously, it's disappointing. It was a big game for us and we lost."

Marcus Rashford hit the winner and played a part – some might say – in Manchester United's first goal as the Red Devils beat City in Saturday's derby.

The in-form England international moved into early-career Cristiano Ronaldo territory by scoring in a seventh consecutive game for United, who have won nine in a row across all competitions.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Liverpool's campaign continued to unravel as they were battered 3-0 at Brighton and Hove Albion, and their neighbours Everton remain in deep relegation trouble after a home loss to fellow strugglers Southampton.

Another derby saw Nottingham Forest get the better of Leicester City, with Steve Cooper's team beginning to get a foothold in mid-table.

With the help of Opta data, Stats Perform examines key statistics from the Saturday's standout Premier League games.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City: Making his Marc again

Rashford has been a shining light for United since returning from the World Cup, scoring in all seven games for Erik ten Hag's team.

He is the first United player since Ronaldo in March-April 2008 to put together such a streak, while his run of goals in nine consecutive games at Old Trafford makes him the club's first player since Teddy Sheringham in September-November 2000 to enjoy that level of home form.

Bruno Fernandes got the equaliser, after an opener from City's Jack Grealish, with Rashford not flagged offside in the build-up after chasing the ball but not getting a touch prior to his Portuguese team-mate lashing past Ederson.

Rashford's close-range winner soon after, in the 82nd minute, was set up by Alejandro Garnacho, who at 18 years and 197 days became the youngest player to provide an assist in a Premier League Manchester derby.

City had just one shot on target, their joint-fewest in a Premier League match under Pep Guardiola.

Kevin De Bruyne set up Grealish's headed opener, reaching double figures in Premier League assists for a fifth season, with only Cesc Fabregas (6) doing so in more campaigns, but that was of no consolation as City saw their title hopes dented.

Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 Liverpool: Worth the wait for Seagulls

Jurgen Klopp's reaction summed it up, when he said: "I think everybody with a Brighton shirt on or a Brighton heart enjoyed the game a lot and I don't think anybody with a Liverpool heart enjoyed it for a second."

This was a horror show for the Reds, suffering their first league defeat at Brighton since January 1961 (3-1). Liverpool had gone 10 unbeaten away to the Seagulls in the league before Solly March's double and Danny Welbeck's sublime goal left them reeling.

Liverpool have suffered six defeats now in 18 games in the competition this term, three times as many losses as they incurred in the entire 2021-22 Premier League campaign. It was a fifth league loss away from Anfield, their worst season total since also losing five in 2017-18. This season is not yet at its halfway point for Liverpool, who sit ninth.

This game kicked off at 3pm locally. It was the first Saturday 3pm league game Liverpool have lost since going down 2-0 to Hull in February 2017, ending a 32-game undefeated streak in that slot.

March has four goals in his last four games, which is as many as he managed in his first 156 in the Premier League.

Everton 1-2 Southampton: Ward-Prowse piles on misery for Lampard

Sitting second-bottom now, Everton are having a dismal time of it under Frank Lampard's leadership, losing four league games in a row at home for the first time since a seven-game streak in 1958. They are winless in seven in the league, their worst run since an eight-game sequence under Rafael Benitez in October-December 2021.

Amadou Onana put the hosts ahead, becoming the fourth Belgian player to score for Everton in the Premier League, after Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini.

But Saints captain James Ward-Prowse then took over, netting twice including the 16th direct free-kick goal of his Premier League career, putting him just two behind David Beckham's competition record.

It was his 12th such goal in away games, more than any player has managed in the Premier League, and only Matt Le Tissier (44) has managed more away goals in the Premier League era for Southampton than Ward-Prowse's haul of 28.

Nottingham Forest 2-0 Leicester City: Johnson's derby delight

Brennan Johnson hit both goals in the East Midlands showdown, doubling his Premier League tally for the season and becoming the second-youngest Forest player to score twice in a Premier League game (21y 236d). Roy Keane, who struck a double against Leeds in December 1992 (21y 117d), remains the youngest.

Morgan Gibbs-White, at 22 years and 352 days, became the youngest to have two assists in a Premier League game for Forest.

Leicester are free-falling, with this a fourth consecutive league defeat. Remarkably, it is not yet their worst run of the campaign, having lost six in a row in August and September.

They have yet to win a point this season from a losing position, the only Premier League team to fail on that count.

Pep Guardiola feared a Manchester City performance of the like they delivered in losing to Southampton was coming this season after years of success, and he is now calling on his team to "recover who you are".

City exited the EFL Cup, a competition they have won four times under Guardiola, with a 2-0 defeat at St Mary's Stadium on Wednesday.

That quarter-final elimination was concerning beyond simply the result, however, as Guardiola's side failed to record a shot on target for the first time in almost five years.

City have little time to recover as they face rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday. Guardiola said his team had gone through "normal preparation for the next game" despite his concerns at what he saw against Southampton, but he had a response when it was suggested fans might be concerned by Ilkay Gundogan's post-match comments.

Gundogan, the City captain, suggested they were missing "a special recipe" as "the desire and hunger is maybe not as it was in recent years".

"City fans cannot complain about what this team is able to do, has done and will do," Guardiola said in a press conference on Friday.

"We cannot talk on behalf of the City fans, because there are millions; I don't know what every single City fan thinks.

"Saying that, what happened didn't surprise me. We tried to avoid it. It happened, unfortunately.

"Hopefully it's not going to happen again, but it's happened because we've done four Premier Leagues in five years. Sometimes you have to reset.

"This competition, the [EFL] Cup, showed me exactly in terms of consistency that we were able to do it. This was our strength as a team, as a club in the previous seasons. After back-to-back two times, this could happen.

"It's normal it happens. We were not ready to go there and be ourselves. I'm not talking about winning the [EFL] Cup, I'm not talking about winning games, we must be ourselves, behaves how we have to in every single game.

"Unfortunately, I was a little bit concerned this season that it could happen. Unfortunately, it happened; I don't know if it's going to happen again.

Guardiola is at least confident there will be no repeat against United, adding he was "not concerned at all" about City's desire ahead of the derby.

But the wider implication of what the match might mean for the Premier League title race was not of interest to the City manager.

"After what happened after Southampton, the last thing I'm worried about is titles, these kind of things," he said. "It's to recover who you are game by game."

Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only returned to London in September to join Chelsea, but his time at Stamford Bridge could soon be up.

The Gabon international has scored three goals in 16 games but has only started four times in the Premier League under Blues boss Graham Potter.

Chelsea have been active in the January transfer window, already bringing in Joao Felix, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is eager to leave Chelsea and wants to return to Barcelona, reports Spanish newspaper Sport.

Aubameyang reportedly had interest from Atletico Madrid too, but FIFA rules state a player can only be registered for a maximum of three clubs in a season, but only play for two.

Any move for the Gabon international, who played for the Blaugrana earlier this season, could hinge on Atletico's interest in Barca's Memphis Depay


Atletico Madrid are weighing up a move for Leicester City's Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, reports Italian journalist Matteo Moretto. Wolves are pushing to sign Brazilian centre-back Felipe from the Spanish club, according to the Daily Mail.

– Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters has interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, reports Talksport.

– The Sun reports Manchester United are also interested in World Cup stars Goncalo Ramos and Mohammed Kudus from Benfica and Ajax respectively.

– Foot Mercato reports Fiorentina's Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat would prefer to join Atletico Madrid instead of Liverpool or Tottenham. Fiorentina appear set to sell him for more than €50million after impressing at the World Cup.

– The Daily Mail says Marseille could receive a bid from Aston Villa for ex-Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. New Villa boss Unai Emery worked with Guendouzi at Emirates Stadium.

– Leeds United have agreed a deal that could be worth up to £35.5million (€40m) to sign Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter, claims Sky in Germany.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City "don't have a chance" of beating rivals Manchester United at the weekend if they repeat the performance that saw them eliminated from the EFL Cup.

City started with the likes of Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Ederson among their substitutes for Wednesday's quarter-final tie at Southampton and were made to pay in a 2-0 defeat.

Sekou Mara put the Saints ahead when beating Kyle Walker to a cross, before Moussa Djenepo profited from Stefan Ortega's poor positioning to add a second before half-time.

De Bruyne was introduced as part of a triple substitution at the interval, while Haaland followed soon after, but City failed to register a shot on target for the first time this term.

Next up for City is a trip to in-form United in the league on Saturday, and Guardiola accepts a big improvement is needed from his side at Old Trafford.

"It's a different competition, but of course if we perform in this way we don't have a chance," he said in his post-match press conference. "I know the momentum they have. 

"For many years they're looking forward to being in this position. We know exactly what to do to play better and we're going to try to do it."

Asked about his decision to leave out Haaland and De Bruyne for a second game running, Guardiola said: "Who knows if with Erling and Kevin it would have been different? 

"But when you play for four competitions it's important to use every player in the squad."

City suffered defeat inside 90 minutes of an EFL Cup tie for just the third time in 30 matches under Guardiola, who has won the competition four times in seven seasons.

The loss – City's fourth in 28 games this campaign – came just three days on from a superb performance in seeing off Chelsea 4-0 in third round of the FA Cup.

And Guardiola accepts there could be no complaints with his side's two-goal reverse at St Mary's Stadium.

"It was a bad night. I know them quite well. We didn't get close to what we are," he said. "Three days after facing Chelsea... I've nothing to say. 

"They were better, we congratulate them and accept it. We have to be prepared every single game when you play for Manchester City. Today we were not."

City defeated United 6-3 when the sides last met in October and are seeking a Premier League double over the Red Devils in a single season for the sixth time ever.

Ilkay Gundogan, who played the full 90 minutes against Southampton, is hoping the cup setback can spark some life into City heading into the derby.

"There's no room for any mistakes [against United], or for any poor performances like today," he told the club's official website.

"Hopefully, if there is something good we can take out of this game today, it was something like a wake-up call at the right time.

"Even though it is sad and disappointing to be out of this cup, hopefully, at the end, in a few weeks we can at least look back and take something good out of this game."

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City were deservedly beaten by Southampton as they were "not prepared" for Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie.

Below-strength City were defeated 2-0 by the Premier League's bottom side at St Mary's Stadium through goals from Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo.

City made five changes for the contest, which followed three days on from an FA Cup third-round win against Chelsea and precedes Saturday's derby against Manchester United.

The visitors failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a game this season, while their overall tally of seven shots is also a new low for the campaign.

After City suffered defeat inside 90 minutes of an EFL Cup tie for just the third time in 30 matches under Guardiola, the Catalan coach accepted his side were second best.

"The better team won," he told BBC Sport. "We didn't play good. We didn't play well in the start. There are many games you can start not good but recover and we didn't do it.

"When you are not prepared to play this game, you arrive one inch late and don't score a goal. When you are prepared, you score the goal.

"Tonight was a bad night, the opponent was better so we have to congratulate them. To win games you have to deserve it and tonight we didn't deserve it."


Kevin De Bruyne was brought on at half-time as part of a triple substitution, while Erling Haaland entered the fray soon after, but neither could make an impact for City.

Defeat for City was just their fourth in 28 matches this season, and their first since returning to action following the World Cup break.

While it was a hugely disappointing outing for City, Southampton celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time under Nathan Jones, who had been under pressure following a poor start to his tenure.

Following Southampton's second win in 16 meetings with City under Guardiola, Jones wants his players to push on in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

"We want to be hard to beat. This has to be our benchmark, the level we attain to. We had a lot of good situations today. It's a step in the right direction," he told Sky Sports.

"I'm really proud of the players, of myself and the coaches. We've gone through a lot recently, people questioning a lot of things. 

"That goes a little way to justifying why we're here and what team we're trying to create. I'm really proud of the club tonight and how we've come through a tough time."

Manchester United will face Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup semi-finals, while Newcastle United meet Southampton.

Erik ten Hag's side beat third-tier Charlton Athletic 3-0 in the last eight and will travel to the City Ground for the first of the two-legged semi-final clash, as United search for a first trophy since 2017.

Forest have struggled in the Premier League as they battle to avoid the drop but edged past rivals Wolves on penalties after a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, moving just two games away from the Wembley Stadium showpiece.

Newcastle were dominant in a 2-0 win over Leicester City to reach the competition's semi-finals for the first time since 1976 and will visit the Premier League's bottom side Southampton for the first leg.

Nathan Jones' side registered an unlikely 2-0 quarter-final win over Manchester City, becoming just the third side to defeat Pep Guardiola's City in the EFL Cup, after West Ham and Manchester United (twice).

The first leg of the last-four clashes will be played on the week commencing January 23, with the second leg to follow the week after.

Pep Guardiola's decision to name an understrength starting line-up backfired as Manchester City were beaten 2-0 by Southampton in Wednesday's EFL Cup quarter-final tie.

Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ederson were among City's substitutes at St Mary's with Saturday's league game against Manchester United in mind.

That proved costly as Sekou Mara and Moussa Djenepo – profiting from some poor Stefan Ortega positioning – had the Premier League's bottom side two goals up at half-time.

The arrivals of De Bruyne and Erling Haaland gave City slightly more of an attacking edge, but they could not find a route back into the game as they suffered a shock exit.

Ortega did well to turn aside Duje Caleta-Car's low effort, but there was no stopping Mara's first-time shot after the forward got in front of Kyle Walker to convert Lyanco's cross.

Southampton had a second five minutes later when Djenepo cut inside, spotted Ortega well off his line and executed his lobbed finish from 30 yards to perfection.

Guardiola took action at the break by making a triple substitution, with Haaland also brought on 10 minutes later, but City's response did not arrive on the south coast.

The visitors failed to register a single shot on target as they lost for the fourth time in 28 matches this season, and the first time since the World Cup break.

Pep Guardiola is confident Kalvin Phillips can find his stride after a slow start to his career at Manchester City.

In December, Guardiola said the England international returned from the World Cup "overweight" and "not in the right condition to train", with Phillips yet to find his feet at Etihad Stadium following a move from Leeds United.

Six appearances this season have all come off the bench, including 32 minutes in Sunday's FA Cup victory over Chelsea – only the second time he has played more than 15 minutes for the club.

It has been reported Phillips will make his long-awaited first start for the club against Southampton and, while not confirming whether that is true, Guardiola expects him to reach City's requisite standard. 

"He's always ready. He needed a little bit of time but he's ready," Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have to see [if he will start] but he's intelligent and normally a holding midfielder. He has an incredible work ethic, was educated at Leeds under Marcelo [Bielsa].

"He's committed in every game, there are patterns and movements that need time and games though. He arrived and had injuries, which meant he couldn't be there, but step by step he will get there."

Guardiola also feels facing Southampton, under Nathan Jones, leaves his side having to adjust to the new approach their opponents will adopt.

"It's an away game, so obviously it would have been better at home. They're in a difficult position, they have a new manager and are still getting used to it," he added.

"We knew Ralph [Hasenhuttl's] style of play, and now they have a changed style and different patterns, so we will have to adapt to that. We have to do our best to reach the semi-final."

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