Defending champions Manchester City will travel to West Ham in the EFL Cup fourth round, while Arsenal host Leeds United.

Pep Guardiola's men are in search of an unprecedented fifth successive triumph in the competition and they will face Hammers, who beat City's rivals Manchester United 1-0 in round three on Wednesday.

Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 victory over League One AFC Wimbledon and they take on Leeds at the Emirates Stadium next after Marcelo Bielsa's side edged past Fulham on penalties.

There are five all-Premier League ties in total, with Leicester City pitted against Brighton and Hove Albion after being defeated at the weekend in the top flight by Graham Potter's men.

European champions Chelsea needed penalties to sneak past Aston Villa and they will host Southampton, who also required spot-kicks to defeat Sheffield United.

Burnley crushed Rochdale 4-1, but a much tougher task awaits them as they face Tottenham after their shoot-out triumph over Nuno Espirito Santo's former club Wolves, while Brentford meet Stoke City away from home in the next round.

Liverpool make the trip to Deepdale to do battle with Championship side Preston North End, who demolished Cheltenham Town 4-1 on Tuesday.

There will be at least one non-top-flight side in the last-eight stage as Sunderland face Queens Park Rangers after Mark Warburton's men upset Everton.

The fourth-round clashes are set to take place during the week commencing October 25.

EFL Cup draw:

Chelsea v Southampton

Arsenal v Leeds United

Stoke City v Brentford

West Ham v Manchester City

Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion

Burnley v Tottenham

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland

Preston North End v Liverpool

Pep Guardiola felt "guilty" that Manchester City misfired against Southampton but stressed it was not because they failed to sign a new striker. 

The Premier League champions were held to a goalless draw by Saints at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and only registered one shot on target, that attempt coming from Phil Foden in the 90th minute. 

Guardiola had infuriated some supporters by calling on more to turn up for the top-flight clash after a crowd of 38,062 attended the 6-3 Champions League thumping of RB Leipzig in midweek. 

There were 52,698 watching the stalemate against Southampton and Guardiola felt responsible as City were unable to put on a show. 

"[The fans] come to see a show, to see a game. When it doesn't happen I feel a bit guilty because we didn't play good,” he told the media. 

Guardiola reiterated that he was not being critical of fans following the rout of Leipzig. 

"I didn't say anything wrong after the Leipzig match," the Spaniard added. "I said we need support from our fans. I never complained about how many come or don't come. I've never done this in my life. 

"I am grateful for 100 people, 85 people extra in the stadium. I thank them for coming. Of course they were awesome especially in the last minute when we pushed more. It was difficult to ask them to get right behind us when we are not good or we have lost." 

City were linked with Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo during the transfer window after Sergio Aguero moved on, but they did not add to their forward line. 

Guardiola, who had Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling in the starting line-up, refused to put a frustrating result against Ralph Hasenhuttl's side down to their inability to land a striker. 

"Today we didn't not win because we didn't have a centre forward," Guardiola said. 

"We didn't win because our process in the build-up was wrong or the better balls for players up front were not good. When they are good, they can run, arrive in other positions. 

"That (a lack of a striker) is not the reason. The reason is because we didn't do our process from our back four and Fernandinho. The five guys who have to bring the ball to the other players were not good today." 

City were relieved when a second-half penalty awarded against Kyle Walker was overturned, ensuring the England defender stayed on the field after he was initially shown a red card. 

Sterling had a late goal disallowed for offside as City slipped up, leaving them three points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City were simply not good enough to beat Southampton in a controversial goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium.

The champions could only muster one attempt on target - from Phil Foden in the 90th minute - in a frustrating stalemate, their lowest tally in a Premier League match since March 2017.

City were relieved when a second-half penalty awarded against Kyle Walker was overturned, ensuring the England defender stayed on the field after being shown a red card.

Raheem Sterling had a late goal disallowed for offside as City slipped up, after Guardiola had called for a big turnout from fans following a 6-3 Champions League thrashing of RB Leipzig in midweek.

The City boss made it clear his side did not do enough to secure all three points.

He told Sky Sports: "We drew a game against a good opponent that defended really well. They have very good players in the middle like [Oriol] Romeu, one of the best midfield players in the Premier League.

"It was a tight game, we were not comfortable in our build-up and lost more balls than usual and we created a feeling that was not good, that's why we struggled."

Guardiola added: "Every game is completely different. all the time when you play Champions League, the game after is difficult, especially with this opponent.

"We didn't have this pace, calm and precision with the ball like we normally have and that's why we struggled."

Guardiola said he did not have a clear view of either of the incidents that resulted in huge calls following VAR checks.

"I didn't watch both, not even now in the locker room. The penalty was maybe disallowed because it was not a penalty and the goal because it's no goal." the Spaniard said.

Manchester City scraped a controversial goalless draw at home to Southampton on Saturday at the end of a difficult week for manager Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League champions were far less impressive against Saints than they had been in beating RB Leipzig 6-3 in midweek – a victory that was overshadowed by Guardiola's post-match comments.

The Catalan coach upset fans by appearing to question the attendance for another big home triumph, urging "all our people to come" for a clash against "so, so dangerous" Southampton.

Guardiola later insisted his comments about fans had been misinterpreted, but Southampton certainly lived up to his pre-match lofty billing and were left disappointed to head home with only a point after a second-half penalty awarded against Kyle Walker was overturned – albeit Raheem Sterling also had a late goal struck off.

Chances were few and far between up until the penalty incident, although Che Adams dragged wide as pressure built on the City goal.

It appeared as though Southampton would have a huge opportunity to win at the Etihad Stadium for the first time since 2004 when Walker barged Adam Armstrong to the ground and was shown a red card on the hour mark.

But referee Jon Moss was called to the pitchside monitor and ruled in City's favour, giving Walker an unlikely reprieve.

City were well supported throughout – despite the empty seats clearly visible in the stands – but could not capitalise on their narrow escape, even with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden introduced from the bench.

Sterling did appear to have stolen victory as he turned in the rebound when Alex McCarthy got down to Foden's 90th-minute header, yet another VAR review found the England forward just offside.

Pep Guardiola stood by the comments he made about Manchester City's support after the win over RB Leipzig, despite facing criticism from a fan group.

City beat Leipzig 6-3 in their Champions League opener on Wednesday, yet the Etihad Stadium was far from full.

Guardiola said afterwards that he hoped fans would come and back the team in their next outing, against Southampton on Saturday.

This led to anger from City's official supporters' club, whose general secretary Kevin Parker told Sky Sports: "[What he said] did surprise me. I'm not sure what that's got to do with him.

"He's absolutely the best coach in the world but, in the nicest possible way, I think maybe he should stick to that."

The subject was broached again in Friday's pre-match news conference, and a spiky Guardiola said: "Did I say after the game against Leipzig that I was disappointed because the stadium was not full?

"An interpretation is an interpretation, I am not going to apologise for what I said. I am surprised. It is not the first time I have said it in my career. When you play a game like in the Champions League, so tough like it was, with three days with a lack of preparation, and Southampton have had a full week, we know how difficult it will be.

"So to make an approach to do something together again the next Saturday. What I said is we would love, we need the support, of 10,000 people, 40,000 people, 50,000 people, it doesn't matter how many people come. But I invite them to enjoy another game because we need their support.

"After five seasons, if people can't understand my behaviour about the fans, it's because they want to misunderstand what I said. I'm not going to apologise for a second.

"We would be incredibly happy for you to come against Southampton because I know how difficult it will be and I prefer it to be with the people than without the people. But if they don't come for whatever reason, it is perfect, I never say why you didn't come. If you don't come, don't come. So I will not apologise, absolutely not."

It was a subject Guardiola seemed unwilling to drop, even when asked how satisfied he was with so many different players getting on the scoresheet so far this term.

"When we lose a game, it will be said that we need a striker. What we have to do is to try to play better, to do it in another way," he said.

"We know we don't have a player who scores 25 goals, we don't have this player with this quality so we have to do it as a team. It is important that everyone is involved. We are going to try and do it again against a really tough opponent.

"[Southampton] played against [Manchester] United at home really well, United was lucky. And some of the toughest games we had last season. At home we won 5-2 in the end, but in the first 30 minutes they were the team that created more problems. They were so brilliant, incredible and I know Ralph [Hasenhuttl] from when he was in Germany and it will be a similar game as against Leipzig.

"They are clear with what they have to do. With a lack of rest, playing Champions League is so demanding. They have had a long week to prepare the game and that's why we need everyone to help us to do our best, and I know our fans will be there tomorrow to support us and hopefully Mr Parker will be there to watch us."

Southampton drew 1-1 with United last month but have yet to win a Premier League game this season, picking up three points in four games so far.

Guardiola went on to insist he is happy with the support his City team have received during his time at the club.

"We are who we are, we are proud about who we are," he said. "I know the history, I learned the history about how in the lower divisions and what it means to travel and support the team. I respect it a lot.

"I don't want to be like United, like Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern, Madrid, all the big clubs. We are who we are, I like it. Don't put words in my mouth, I don't like that. I never have a problem with the fans, I am one of them since day one. I like to play in the stadium with my fans.

"I was incredibly happy after Leipzig, I saw how exhausted my team were and I was thinking in that moment of Southampton, in three days, and I said, 'Come to join us guys, come to do it together', because I know how difficult it will be. This is my message.

"If guys want to misunderstand the situation or my comments, this is the problem, but I'm here to defend what I said. If I make mistakes, I will say, 'Sorry guys, I apologise'. In this case, I will not apologise for exactly what I said and my intentions. I know who we are, and the team and I like the fans that we have."

Liverpool fans enjoyed their return to Anfield for Saturday's 2-0 win over Burnley, and Jurgen Klopp's subsequent comments ensured the focus remained on the Reds.

Discussing Burnley's approach, Klopp said: "Watch wrestling if you like that kind of thing."

Indeed, the Clarets' physicality is "too dangerous", according to the Liverpool manager.

Some of the most intriguing Opta facts from the Premier League weekend emerged from that feisty encounter, while there were predictable developments as Manchester United visited Southampton...

No reds against Reds despite 'wrestling' claims

The clash at Anfield was not quite WWE, but there was also limited football on display. The ball was in play for just 49 minutes and 47 seconds.

That was the second-shortest such length of time for a Liverpool league game under Klopp, longer only than the 48 minutes and 46 seconds against Watford in 2015.

The Hornets won that game 3-0, so it can be an effective stifling tactic, but it did not work on this occasion as Liverpool scored in either half through Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane.

Klopp's men have now won seven consecutive Premier League games while scoring in both halves in each of them. Liverpool's own run of 11 victories with goals before and after half-time in 2014 was the last longer streak.

Burnley are on their own impressive run, though – one at odds with Klopp's frustrations.

Sean Dyche's side are now 95 Premier League matches without a red card since Robbie Brady's late dismissal against Huddersfield Town in January 2019, surpassing the previous competition record that saw Ipswich Town go 94 games without having a player sent off prior to December 1994.

Home comforts at last for City star Laporte

In Manchester City's 5-0 demolition of Norwich City, Aymeric Laporte scored his ninth goal for the club but first at the Etihad Stadium.

Laporte had turned out at City's home stadium 44 times previously without hitting the net, with each of his eight prior strikes coming at different grounds.

The Spain centre-back had goals at the AMEX, Emirates Stadium, Goodison Park, Groupama Stadium, Metalist Stadium, Molineux, Wembley and Vicarage Road before finally celebrating in front of the Etihad supporters.

Another Villa pen makes for Premier League first

Danny Ings' outrageous overhead kick lit up a tight affair between Aston Villa and Newcastle United, but it was a controversial second from the penalty spot that put the game beyond the Magpies.

Ings had scored from 12 yards on his debut against Watford – his volley against Newcastle making him the fourth Villa player to net in each of their first two Premier League games for the club – and so was expected to step up again when Jamaal Lascelles was adjudged to have handled.

Instead, Anwar El Ghazi grabbed Villa's second, maintaining his perfect penalty record in the competition with six from six.

Ings was overlooked despite missing just one of his nine attempts, meaning Villa became the first side in Premier League history to have two different players score spot-kicks in the first two games of a season.

There had been previous examples of two team-mates converting penalties in the same game – Fulham's Louis Saha and Steve Marlet on the opening day in 2002-03, and Southampton pair Dusan Tadic and Charlie Austin on matchday two in 2017-18 – but never in different matches at the start of a campaign.

Dom spot on at Leeds as Gray makes amends

There was a personal penalty first at Elland Road, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin kickstarted Everton's 2-2 draw with Leeds United. It was the England striker's 55th Toffees goal but his first from the spot.

Demarai Gray had Everton in front for a second time in the second half with his maiden strike for the club. Having netted in a 2-0 Leicester City win in 2017, he became the 34th player to score for and against Everton in the Premier League.

That puts Everton fourth in that regard, behind West Ham (46), Aston Villa (42) and Liverpool (39). Villa's Ings and Liverpool's Mane are both included.

Saints brush off Fred the Red's helping hand

It is a fixture best known for a famous grey-clad Manchester United loss, but Southampton's slip-up against a Red Devils side unmistakably dressed in blue and yellow went entirely to script.

Saints led through a Fred own goal, the fourth time United have netted for Southampton in the competition. Only against Newcastle (five) have United scored more own goals.

But Mason Greenwood's equaliser ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are now unbeaten in a record-equalling 27 away league fixtures.

For Southampton, this was nowhere near as bad as last season's clash when they collapsed from 2-0 up to lose 3-2 – or, of course, the 9-0 Old Trafford humiliation – but it was still painfully familiar. They have now dropped 42 points from winning positions against United in the Premier League, fewer only than Tottenham's 45 against Arsenal.

Since the start of last season, Saints top the charts for squandering leads, giving up 28 points – three ahead of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Harry Kane made his first appearance for Tottenham this season on Sunday amid speculation about his future.

Kane has been linked with a big-money move to Manchester City, having reportedly told Spurs he wanted to leave late last season.

Spurs have postured that they are steadfast in wanting to keep their star forward, though it has been claimed they may be tempted if City up their bid to around £150million.

TOP STORY - CITY TO MAKE FRESH KANE BID THIS WEEK

The Telegraph claims that Manchester City will make another push to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy remains stubborn.

City want to bring in Kane to bolster their attack but have reportedly been unsuccessful with a £100m bid previously.

The report claims City will make a further bid this week for the England captain ahead of the closure of the transfer window at the end of the month.

 

ROUND-UP

Tottenham have reached out to Juventus to discuss a potential deal for United States international Weston McKennie, with Tanguy Ndombele expected to be involved in a player exchange according to Tuttosport.

- Corriere dello Sport claims that Napoli have contacted Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic about a move to Italy. Barca are reportedly hoping to offload several players to ease their financial situation, with midfielder Pjanic among them.

- Sport1 claims that RB Leipzig remain interested in signing Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba and may make a move if Marcel Sabitzer leaves the German club.

- Rennes will permit Eduardo Camavinga to leave for €35m as the closure of the transfer window approaches, reports Fabrizio Romano. Chelsea and Manchester United are among his admirers.

- Romano also reports that Chelsea will sell Davide Zappacosta to Atalanta, with personal terms already agreed.

Burnley will rival Southampton in their interest for Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie, claims the Daily Record. Italian club Sampdoria are also keen on the Scotland international.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated his desire to keep Paul Pogba after he once again caught the eye in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Pogba provided four assists in a 5-1 rout of Leeds United last weekend and the midfielder set up Mason Greenwood's equaliser at St Mary's on Sunday after a Fred own goal gave Saints a first-half lead.

Former Juventus man Pogba became the first player to provide five assists in the opening two games of a Premier League campaign.

The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract and has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but Red Devils boss Solskjaer hopes he will extend his stay at Old Trafford.

When asked about Pogba's future, Solskjaer said: "That's going to be the question every week now until he does [sign a new deal].

"As I've said all the time, Paul is a top player and the talks between the club and his representatives I'm not involved in but he knows how much I care about him and we want him to play well for us."

He added: "He's been very good. Paul has come in bright, with his own personality. He's lean, he's been working hard over the summer and he's enjoying himself.

"I think we've seen that Paul wants to contribute. Of course you don't see him in the dressing room or in training, but he's really determined, he shows his winning mentality and I'm very pleased with him."

 

United felt they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Bruno Fernandes by Jack Stephens just before Saints' opening goal.

Solskjaer was puzzled that referee Craig Pawson and the VAR saw nothing untoward and thinks the officials are being too lenient early in the new season

He said: "We should do better. If we don't get the foul, we should make sure we block the shot, put your body on the line and make sure they don't get a shot on target.

"That being said, it's a foul. He goes straight through Bruno with his own hip and his arm across him and I'm a bit, not worried, but we have to look at it because you can't go from one extreme going from volleyball or basketball last year to rugby now.

"I've liked the more lenient way, more men's football but it's still basically a foul. You can see early on they got the crowd going with a few tackles and we did suffer a few tackles, which was their thinking early on it looked like."

Solskjaer also revealed winger Amad Diallo could go out on loan before the transfer window closes.

The former Norway striker said: "He's a top player and what he's done in training in the last week or so since he came back from the Olympics has been really impressive. If we find the right place for him we will probably let him go, if not he will be in the squad very soon.

"He's training with us and doing really well, I'm sure if he stays he will contribute but if the right offer comes for him we have to consider it of course."

Mason Greenwood felt Southampton's goal should not have been allowed to stand as Manchester United had to settle for a 1-1 draw at St Mary's.

Saints took the lead with what went down as a Fred own goal after Che Adams' shot deflected off the midfielder before flashing into the corner of the net on the half-hour mark.

Greenwood equalised with his second Premier League goal in many games, but the Red Devils were unable to fashion a winner.

Bruno Fernandes was furious he was not awarded a free-kick for a challenge from Jack Stephens prior to Saints' opening goal, but referee Craig Pawson and the VAR saw nothing untoward.

Greenwood felt United had been hard done by.

The forward told BBC's Match of the Day: "I think it's come through the back of him. I thought it was a foul but it's the referee's decision at the end of the day and we can't dwell on it.

"I understand they're going to let more challenges go so the game keeps flowing which is a good idea, but if there's a foul there's a foul."

Mason Greenwood's second goal in as many Premier League games secured a record-equalling 1-1 draw for Manchester United at Southampton on Sunday.

Saints took the lead in the first half with what went down as an own goal by Fred, who saw Che Adams' shot strike him before finding the corner of the net at St Mary's Stadium.

The Red Devils put Southampton under huge pressure after the interval and Greenwood equalised following great work from the excellent Paul Pogba, who had struck the crossbar in the first half.

A point ensured United are unbeaten in 27 Premier League away matches, matching a record in the English top flight set by Arsenal between April 2003 and September 2004.

James Ward-Prowse tested David de Gea with a well-disguised free-kick in the first minute but United soon got into their stride.

Pogba's header looped up and struck the crossbar, with Anthony Martial's attempt following up cleared off the line by Mohammed Salisu.

Salisu came to the rescue again when he blocked a shot from Pogba, who headed a Luke Shaw free-kick over as Saints continued to look vulnerable from set-pieces.

It was Southampton who were in front on the half-hour mark, though, as Jack Stephens robbed Bruno Fernandes and Adams' left-footed shot from just outside the penalty area struck Fred before flashing beyond De Gea.

The Red Devils were level 10 minutes after the break as Greenwood's scuffed left-footed shot in a crowded box squirmed under Alex McCarthy after Pogba and Fernandes combined to create the opportunity.

Pogba was causing Saints all sorts of problems and he flashed a shot just wide after Jadon Sancho had replaced Martial.

Greenwood nodded wastefully over the bar and McCarthy palmed away a downward header from Fernandes as United dominated.

De Gea produced a sharp reflex save to deny Adam Armstrong against the run of play after Harry Maguire was dispossessed by Ward-Prowse, with Saints' new striker somehow failing to nod home at the back post from the resulting corner.

Jesse Lingard was introduced late on, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were unable to snatch all three points at a ground where they came from two goals down to win last season.

Lionel Messi was the topic of plenty of speculation in recent weeks before inking a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

The 34-year-old left Barcelona as a free agent after two decades with the Catalan club, unable to stay despite wanting to continue his career there.

But rumours are swirling already about Messi's next move after PSG, even though he has yet to even make his debut for the Ligue 1 side.

 

TOP STORY - BECKHAM HOLDS MESSI TALKS

Inter Miami owner David Beckham has held talks with Messi about joining the MLS club after his PSG contract expires, reports The Mirror.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder has promised to bring a superstar player to the club, with links to Cristiano Ronaldo in the past.

According to the report, Messi purchased six luxury penthouse apartments in Miami a few weeks ago, adding fuel to the fire.


ROUND-UP

- Manchester City will need to up their bid for Harry Kane to Tottenham by £50million to convince Spurs to sell, reports The Mirror. City have reportedly tabled an improved bid since their £100m offer and are said to be willing to go as high as £120m.

- Newcastle are ready to make a move to sign Everton's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez, according to fichajes.net.

- Milan are interested in a move for Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva for £45m (€52m) according to Star on Sunday.

- The Sun claims that Southampton are looking to complete a bargain deal for Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged Paul Pogba and Manchester United to make sure they build on their statement performance against Leeds United.

The Red Devils started their Premier League season with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds at Old Trafford last week, with Bruno Fernandes scoring a hat-trick in a convincing victory.

Pogba recorded four assists as part of a stellar performance, one more than he managed in the whole of the 2020-21 league season.

The France star became only the seventh player in Premier League history to set up four goals in a single match, and the first for United.

There remains uncertainty about Pogba's future, with his contract expiring next year, although Solskjaer insists talks are ongoing between the club and the midfielder's representatives.

For now, the United manager is keen for his players to keep up their high standards when they head to Southampton on Sunday, facing a team they beat 9-0 in their previous meeting in February.

"That's negotiations with Paul's representatives and the club," Solskjaer said of Pogba's contract talks. "Me and Paul work together every day here and keep on trying to improve, improve the team and enjoy ourselves. When you win games, you enjoy yourself more.

"We've got to make sure that this one game and we get big headlines and all the praise we get... it's about bringing more energy to the next one and being better. One swallow never makes a summer."

Another United player tipped to leave before the transfer window closes is Jesse Lingard, who thrived on loan at West Ham last season and has been linked with a permanent move back to the club.

Solskjaer, however, has encouraged Lingard to find a way back into the regular United line-up.

"Jesse's first priority is to get into our team," the United manager said. "Whenever you're employer is Man United, that's your priority. Together, we can have great moments.

"With players in a squad like I've got now, it's difficult to say that, this weekend, you're not playing. I've got to leave players out never mind from the starting XI, but from the squad. But they have to know that they're going to play a part if we're going to be successful.

"He's come back bubbly and he's got a big part to play."

Solskjaer still expects to see players leave on loan in the coming days. Wales international Dylan Levitt has joined Dundee United for the rest of the season, while James Garner is expected to return to Nottingham Forest, where he spent some of 2020-21.

However, Solskjaer suggested Amad Diallo could stay at United after impressing during training following his return from Olympic Games duty with Ivory Coast.

"I'd definitely think Jimmy will go on loan, that's more or less done, he's done really well in pre-season and really impressed me," Solskjaer said. "For his career, another six months or a season in the Championship will help him.

"With Amad, I have to say he's doing really well, really well in training, he's come back a little later after the Olympics and he's looking really good. I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed. It has to be the right loan, right move, right club, right way of playing for every player."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Raphael Varane has held Manchester United in his heart for the past 10 years as the defender prepares for a possible debut against Southampton.

The France international was presented to fans at Old Trafford ahead of the 5-1 win over Leeds United last week, having signed a four-year deal after Real Madrid accepted an initial fee of around £34million.

The 28-year-old was wanted by United when he was a rising star at Lens, but he chose to join Madrid in 2011, where he went on to win three LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among a host of honours.

Solskjaer says Varane has conducted himself impressively in training this week ahead of the game with Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday and believes Varane has fulfilled something of an ambition by joining the Red Devils.

"If you follow football the last 10 years, that's the reason we wanted to sign him, what he's done over his career," the United manager said on Friday.

"It's no secret we were close when he went to Real Madrid 10 years ago, Sir Alex [Ferguson] was there speaking to them.

"His performances on the pitch, his demeanor off the pitch tells me that's a Man United player. I think that's been in his heart ever since he went to Real Madrid, that he had a little bit of a feeling for Man United. The Champions League wins, the World Cup win, everything about him is class. He's quick, strong, good in the air, can play with both feet.

"He's been humble, inquisitive, he asks questions, he doesn't want to learn by a mistake in the game, he wants to learn it on the training field before he comes on the pitch. Everything about him has been impressive."

There is also a chance that Edinson Cavani could return to action this weekend, having missed the victory over Leeds after spending additional time away from Manchester for personal reasons.

"Edinson's joined in, Raphael's joined in, so we're getting fitter and fitter. We've had a very good week. Let's see who's making the flight down to Southampton on Saturday," Solskjaer said.

"Edinson's always looked after himself. He's lacking in team training but he's been looking after himself, you can see that. He had different reasons why he was late, there were some personal reasons, but his body can tolerate a lot so it [the break] was something that was required not physically but for a different matter. He's ready to go."

David de Gea is set to continue in goal as Dean Henderson continues his recovery from coronavirus, with the England goalkeeper not expected to return to action until after the international break.

Solskjaer confirmed the message from the club is for every player to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19, although some have not done so.

"The whole situation around COVID is still unknown and that's the scary bit," he said. "You hear people have it, less fit people than footballers, and no symptoms, and fit footballers [have it] and you get after-effects and side-effects, tiredness, so it's a scary virus. 

"With regards to Dean, he was tired after training and we needed to check him up. Now, he's much better, he's passed all the tests we've gone through with him and he's training, he's building himself up again because he lost a few weeks. He's not in full team training yet but it won't be too long.

"They're not all double-jabbed. I am and I encourage the lads to take the vaccination, but we can't force anyone to do that. To my understanding, we're wanting everyone to be double-jabbed and it's up to them."

James Ward-Prowse has ended speculation over his future by signing a new five-year deal with Southampton.

Tottenham and Aston Villa had been linked with the Saints captain, who has made 323 appearances for the Premier League club after graduating from the academy.

The England international will not be on the move after committing his future to Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

Ward-Prowse told the club's official website: "I'm over the moon. I think I'm probably the happiest man in the world right now. To come to this decision, I think has been massive and is a big step forward.

"To commit my future again to this football club is something I'm incredibly proud of and a new chapter begins now for me.

"It's probably the first time in my career that I've had that link away and that talk, but I think I was very keen to sit down and talk to the club and it's worked both ways; they've sat down and told me their admiration for me and the way they want me to lead the team – and this club has done so much for me, I can't put into the words the opportunities and chances that they've given me and I'm incredibly grateful for the club for doing that.

"I'm not finished yet here, I still have a lot left to give to this football club and I want to be there leading this team and ensuring I can give everything back and repay that faith the club have shown in me since I was eight years old."

Ward-Prowse is only the 28th player to play 300 or more games for Southampton and has scored 33 goals - 14 of those coming in the previous two seasons.

The 26-year-old's decision to remain with Saints will be a huge relief for Hasenhuttl after Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard joined Villa and Leicester City respectively.

Paul Pogba assisted four of Manchester United's goals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side started their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds United.

Bruno Fernandes netted three of them, with Mason Greenwood and Fred also getting in on the action as United issued a statement of intent.

Chelsea followed up that victory with a 3-0 win over Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, while Liverpool rounded out the day by beating newly promoted Norwich City by the same scoreline.

Leicester City, Everton, Watford and Brighton and Hove Albion also claimed wins to get their seasons started in style.

Using Opta data, we take a look at the key statistics from across Saturday's fixtures.

 

Manchester United 5-1 Leeds United: Pogba and Fernandes leave Whites reeling

Pogba became the seventh player in Premier League history to assist four goals in a single game on Saturday, as he and Fernandes helped United seal a record 20th opening-day win. 

Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes, Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor, Santi Cazorla and Harry Kane had previously teed up four goals in a Premier League match.

Two of Pogba's assists were for Fernandes, whose hat-trick was the 10th scored on the opening weekend of a Premier League season, while the playmaker was the first United player to achieve the feat since Lou Macari in 1977.

Mason Greenwood benefitted from a sublime Pogba pass shortly after Luke Ayling's sensational equaliser – the full-back's first top-flight goal – and he is now the fifth-highest scoring teenager in the history of the competition with 18 goals.

United netted five goals in their opening game of a Premier League game for only the second time, after beating Fulham 5-1 in August 2006, while Leeds shipped five in an opener for the first time.

Norwich City 0-3 Liverpool: Records tumble as Salah stars

Liverpool might have relinquished their Premier League title last season, but Mohamed Salah picked up where he left off last term as he scored and provided two assists in Liverpool's 3-0 win at Norwich.

Salah teed up both Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino before netting himself in the 74th minute. It means he has scored on matchday one in all five of his Premier League seasons with Liverpool, while he is the first player in the competition's history to find the net on five consecutive opening weekends.

Norwich have now lost 11 successive top-flight games – only Sunderland have had a longer losing streak in the competition.

Firmino came on from the bench to score Liverpool's second. It was the 49th league goal scored by a substitute under Jurgen Klopp, the most of any side in the competition since the German joined in 2015, while the Brazil international also brought up the Reds' 8,000th league goal in the process.

Chelsea 3-0 Crystal Palace: Pulisic predictably punishes Eagles again

This trip to Stamford Bridge played out in painfully familiar fashion for Palace, who have lost more Premier League games against Chelsea (19) than versus any other side in the competition's history.

In a routine 3-0 opening-day victory, the Blues became the third team – after Tottenham (nine) and Liverpool (eight) – to win eight in a row against Palace in the Premier League era.

The nature of the first two strikes was predictable, too, with Marcos Alonso netting Chelsea's 50th direct free-kick goal in the competition – trailing only United (64) – before Christian Pulisic grabbed his fifth in five games against Palace, more than versus any other opponent.

The third was slightly more surprising, as centre-back Trevoh Chalobah's superb strike made him the second youngest Chelsea player to score on their Premier League debut for the club after Paul Hughes (22y 40d for Chalobah, 20y 274d for Hughes against Derby County in 1997).

Everton 3-1 Southampton: Benitez off to a winning start

Rafael Benitez was a contentious appointment at Everton but his tenure started with a 3-1 win over Southampton. It was the first time the Toffees have won a league match in which they trailed at half-time since September 2015.

On the other hand, since Ralph Hasenhuttl took over at Southampton in December 2018, they have lost 60 points from winning positions in the Premier League, more than any other side.

Adam Armstrong opened his Southampton account to put the visitors ahead at Goodison Park. Since the start of 2019-20, only Ivan Toney (55) has scored more goals in the top four tiers of English football.

Fresh from Olympic glory with Brazil, Richarlison scored the equaliser and has now netted in each of his last four league games against Southampton.

With Abdoulaye Doucoure lashing Everton ahead, Dominic Calvert-Lewin made it 3-1 with a diving header. He has now netted 12 headed goals in the league since the start of 2019-20, four more than any other player.

Elsewhere, Leicester City saw off Wolves 1-0 thanks to Jamie Vardy's first-half effort. The Foxes have lost just one of their last 25 home league games against the Midlands club.

Only Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer (all eight) have scored more goals on the opening weekend of Premier League campaigns than Vardy (seven).

Watford 3-2 Aston Villa: Ings on the spot but post-Grealish era starts in defeat

Watford have now lost their opening league match in just one of the past 15 campaigns (W8 D6), after the Hornets overcame Aston Villa 3-2.

Emmanuel Dennis became the fourth different Nigerian player to score on his Premier League debut to put Watford ahead, with Ismaila Sarr registering his 20th goal for the club before Cucho Hernandez became the first Colombian to net on his debut in the competition.

John McGinn scored his second goal in the space of four league appearances, as many as he had in his previous 55, to pull one back, before Danny Ings converted a late penalty.

He is the 24th player to score on his Premier League bow for Villa, while his spot-kick was the 2,000th penalty scored in Premier League history.

Meanwhile, Burnley are now winless in their last 11 home league games (D5 L6) since beating Villa 3-2 in January, equaling their longest run without a win at Turf Moor, after Brighton came from behind to win 2-1.

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