Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel acknowledges it is "a rough time" for out-of-favour striker Tammy Abraham.

Abraham's chances of being selected for England at Euro 2020 appear to be slipping away, but Tuchel insists he cannot pick players on that basis.

With Chelsea away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, the prospect of a recall to the starting XI for Abraham seems slim.

The former Aston Villa loanee has not played for Chelsea since February 20 and has been subbed off by half-time the last three times he started in the Premier League.

Ahead of the Palace clash, Tuchel was asked about whether Abraham's recent return from injury and his hopes of representing England at the Euros meant he would play more before the end of the season.

"I cannot do a decision on the personal goals of players," replied Tuchel. "I've got to do what I believe is best for Chelsea. 

"Kepa has the goal to play for Spain but this can't influence my decisions. 

"Tammy has had a rough time. He started twice or three times and substituted for tactical reasons at half-time. 

"He's not had the impact we wish and demand from him. 

"He then got injured, lost the connection and possibility to play for his place the squad. Now suddenly we are in the decisive part of the season, where it's not so easy to bring injured players into the shape. 

"We've only got three changes and a big handicap. It's up to Tammy to do everything possible. 

"We have 22 players on the pitch and it's very hard to select 18 for Premier League matches. 

"In the offensive position, it's possible to have a huge impact in small minutes. We demand a lot of Tammy, he demands a lot of himself."

Chelsea lost 5-2 to West Brom in their last league outing, a first defeat under Tuchel after the German had made a fantastic start to his reign.

They bounced back well with a 2-0 win over Porto in their Champions League quarter-final first leg and now look to continue a strong recent run against Palace.

Palace have lost their past six Premier League matches against Chelsea, their worst ever losing run against the Blues in league football.

Tuchel added: "Crystal Palace are a physical team with two key players up front that we need to take care of. 

"It's a pleasure to be on the sideline with Roy Hodgson on the other side. It means a lot to be there. 

"We'll do everything we can to beat them but we expect a tough away game.

"I met him once years ago. He is a gentleman and open to sharing his experience in coaching. His teams are calm, experienced and very, very solid." 

Chelsea have won 1.82 points per game in Premier League London derbies, the best ratio amongst sides from the capital. 

By contrast, only Fulham (0.81) have averaged fewer points per game in such matches than Palace (0.93).

None of the past 19 Premier League meetings between Palace and Chelsea have ended as a draw. 

All eyes will be on Emirates Stadium on Sunday when Tottenham chase a first league double over Arsenal in the north London derby since 1992-93.

Premier League leaders Manchester City are also in the capital, giving struggling Fulham a tough task at Craven Cottage in Saturday's late kick-off.

The most intriguing tactical battle of the weekend could come at Elland Road, where Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United host Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea, while West Ham are likely to face a thorough examination of their top-four ambitions at Manchester United.

Here, we give a few pointers on which players could come up trumps in fantasy football terms.

DEAN HENDERSON

England goalkeeper Henderson has not played too frequently since opting to make a go of things with parent club Manchester United.

But when he has featured for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, the 24-year-old has generally impressed, even if his midweek outing against Milan in the Europa League contained an unwanted sting in the tail.

If David de Gea is absent once more against West Ham, Henderson's 19 saves from 22 shots faced in the Premier League this season suggests the United goal is in safe hands. His save percentage of 86.4 is the best of any goalkeeper to have played more than one game this season.

AARON CRESSWELL

Given the dearth of natural left-back options available to England manager Gareth Southgate, a strong season at West Ham for Cresswell could turn out to have been perfectly timed.

The full-back is also a threat in opposition territory, with his seven assists more than any other defender in the division. It is a left-back dominated list, with Lucas Digne up next on six from Andy Robertson, Luke Shaw (both five) and Southgate's first choice Ben Chilwell (four).

Seven assists also matches the most productive season of Cresswell's career in that regard, having provided the same number in 2017-18.

CESAR AZPILICUETA

Tuchel has overseen a defensive transformation since taking over from Frank Lampard, tightening up an unhelpfully leaky backline.

Club captain Azpilicueta has been a pillar of this turnaround. His eight clean sheets are the most for any Premier League defender in 2021.

Azpilicueta is one ahead of rejuvenated club-mate Antonio Rudiger, while Manchester City centre-backs John Stones and Ruben Dias and Manchester United duo Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka similarly have seven apiece.

WILFRIED ZAHA

Relegation-haunted West Brom would be forgiven for dreading the sight of Crystal Palace winger Zaha.

In his past four outings against the Baggies, the Ivory Coast international has scored four times.

That run includes a second-half brace from when Palace hammered the Baggies 5-1 at The Hawthorns in December – a result that would prove influential in Slaven Bilic's sacking later that month.

RAHEEM STERLING

England forward Sterling sat out City's 5-2 win over Southampton in midweek after his latest disappointment in the derby against United.

His native London is a far happier hunting ground, with the 26-year-old amassing 16 goal involvements (10 goals and six assists) in his previous 16 Premier League starts in the English capital.

Sterling continued that streak last time out at Emirates Stadium, heading the only goal early on in a 1-0 win over Arsenal.

GARETH BALE

This weekend, another wide forward on a hot streak will be foremost in Arsenal's thoughts.

A revitalised Bale scored twice in a 4-1 win over Palace last weekend, meaning he has had a hand in six goals in his past four top-flight appearances (four goals and two assists).

And, if you believe the form book stays on this side of the window on derby day, the Wales star has five Premier League goals against Arsenal – more than against any other side in his career.

DOMINIC CALVERT-LEWIN

As the battle for a top-four finish hots up, sides in the chasing pack will need players to weigh in with 'heavy' goals.

Thankfully for Everton, no player's goals in the Premier League this season have been worth more in terms of points gained than Calvert-Lewin's.

The centre-forward, who was rewarded with an England breakthrough following a sensational start to the campaign, has netted 13 times in the league this season – strikes that have won a total of 14 points.

Burnley, this weekend's visitors to Goodison Park, could be the next team to add to his tally.

All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

 

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

Jose Mourinho will not worry too much about the race for Champions League qualification and prefers to focus on enjoying moments in the season, such as reaching 100 goals with his "very negative" Tottenham.

Spurs beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in the Premier League on Sunday to climb to sixth in the table, albeit with seventh-placed West Ham set to play on Monday.

The fourth goal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Harry Kane's second, was the 100th Tottenham have scored in all competitions this term.

Only European and world champions Bayern Munich (106) have previously passed this mark across Europe's 'top five' leagues in 2020-21.

That achievement was one aspect Mourinho chose to focus on when asked about his side's chances of climbing into the top four, occupied by Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester City and Chelsea on Sunday night.

"We have just to try to get the best number of points we can, try to win the most matches we can and the most number of points that is possible," he said.

"If possible playing well, if possible scoring goals, if possible not conceding many, and try to see what can happen.

"I don't forget the Europa League, I refuse to forget. I refuse just to say Thursday is not important because for me it is important.

"The cup [EFL Cup] final is there waiting for us but still a couple of months.

"We just have to work, to work hard, stick together, go through the difficult moments like we did already, try to enjoy the good moments but enjoy in a soft way because we know how difficult it is going to be next.

"For us, in the Premier League next is Arsenal away, Aston Villa away, Newcastle away. This is what is waiting for us around the corner.

"We try to be happy when we can. Today we can after three victories in the same week.

"If the stats I was given are correct, 100 goals scored in the season, which for a very defensive team, for a very negative team, is not bad."

Mourinho was apparently referring to criticism of his style of play, but Tottenham thrilled the neutral in their latest victory.

Kane was involved in all four home goals, the first two of which were scored by Gareth Bale, who has six in his past six games in all competitions.

The depth of Mourinho's attacking options was on show as Son Heung-min teed up Kane's second and Lucas Moura provided a nuisance factor, contesting 23 duels and winning three fouls. Dele Alli did not even make it off the bench.

Next for Tottenham is the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Dinamo Zagreb, at home on Thursday when Mourinho will hope to see more positive forward play.

Mourinho said: "We are a team with a lot of talent in these areas.

"This Gareth is an extra for us. This Gareth didn't start the season. This Gareth is playing this way for a couple of months and of course the quality is amazing. He's a fantastic player."

Gareth Bale is not sure he can return to the consistent standard he set in his first Tottenham spell despite enjoying a rich vein of goalscoring form.

Bale has supplied six goals and three assists over his past six appearances in all competitions, having only appeared for 70 minutes or less in each of those outings.

Prior to this superb stretch, the on-loan Real Madrid winger had netted just four times while failing to register a single assist across 16 matches.

Bale's most recent goals came in Sunday's 4-1 win over Crystal Palace in which an outstanding all-round display also included four key passes.

But, asked at full-time if Spurs fans could expect him to replicate the output that saw him involved in 37 goals in 44 games in 2012-13, earning his move to Madrid, the 31-year-old was hesitant.

"Time will tell," Bale told Sky Sports. "I'm not 21 anymore. It is what it is.

"I'm just going to keep working hard every game, taking each game as it comes, and we'll go from there.

"Your body changes over time. You haven't got that kind of youthfulness where you can recover quickly and keep going sprinting for 90 minutes.

"You learn your body as you get older and that's what I'm having to do."

He added: "I feel good. It takes a bit of time sometimes, but I'm experienced enough to be patient. It is what it is.

"You have to feel good, and you have to feel good then to take your opportunities.

"Football's a strange thing; you can go through bad form and good form. It's just about being patient, and when you get your chance, try to take it."

Harry Kane scored Tottenham's final two goals, having created each of Bale's efforts. He became the first Spurs player since Jurgen Klinsmann in 1998 to net at least twice and assist at least twice in the same Premier League match.

The link-up between Kane and Bale would have encouraged coach Jose Mourinho, but the England captain also combined with Son Heung-min for the fourth goal.

Son's assist meant the pair have laid on 14 goals for one another in the top flight this season, a new competition record.

And Bale was amused by the suggestion Son, without a league goal in a month, might be jealous of the partnership the Wales superstar and Kane are enjoying.

"[Kane] is fantastic, an incredible striker," Bale said. "He showed that again tonight and he's been so consistent.

"It's a fantastic performance again from him. We're lucky to have him here.

"Sonny's fine. Obviously all of us want to score, but we all know the most important thing is we score for the team to help the team to get three points and we keep moving on."

Dele Alli, resurgent in recent weeks, did not even make it off the bench, and Bale said of Mourinho's attacking options: "That's why I came here.

"The attacking players we have is amazing – not just the ones who played tonight, but the other ones as well on the bench. We're all pushing each other and it's nice to get the three points again.

"There's a lot of fighting for places. You have to stay on your toes, keep working hard, and we're in a good moment, getting the confidence back and hopefully we can keep it going."

Gareth Bale continued his recent goalscoring run with a brace matched by Harry Kane in Tottenham's 4-1 Premier League win at home to Crystal Palace.

Loan star Bale had netted just four times in his first 16 games back at Spurs, but his double on Sunday took his tally to six across his subsequent six appearances.

Kane assisted both goals, either side of a Christian Benteke header that only briefly pegged Jose Mourinho's men back, before the England captain added a sensational third and then the fourth for a double of his own.

Son Heung-min laid on the striker's second for the pair's 14th goal combination of the campaign, a new Premier League record, as a third straight victory took Tottenham into the top six.

The star of the show from the outset, Bale had already crafted a clear opening for Son Heung-min, nodded wastefully straight at Vicente Guaita, when he netted the opener after 25 minutes.

Lucas Moura led the Spurs press and pinched the ball from Luka Milivojevic before feeding Kane, who drilled in a low centre that found Bale with an open goal and a simple finish.

Unfortunately for Tottenham, Benteke was clinical from Palace's very first attempt on the stroke of half-time as he directed Milivojevic's left-wing cross into the top-right corner with a thumping header.

But Bale picked out the same corner at the same end four minutes after the restart, climbing highest when Kane nodded Sergio Reguilon's delivery back across goal.

Following two assists, Kane then supplied the pick of the goals, a first-time effort from 20 yards that flew over Guaita's head just 138 seconds after he had last been beaten.

Wilfried Zaha, returning from injury as a half-time substitute, was unfortunate to strike the post with a left-footed shot, but Palace were soon picked apart again as a gorgeous Erik Lamela pass teed up Son's volleyed cross onto the waiting head of Kane.

Jose Mourinho agrees with Jurgen Klopp that club duty must be the top priority for players but is waiting to see how the coming weeks pan out amid uncertainty regarding the upcoming international break.

Liverpool manager Klopp said he could not allow Reds stars to join up with their national teams if it meant a period of quarantine and missing Premier League matches.

"The players are paid by the clubs so that means we have to be the first priority," he said.

Premier League players travelling to 'red list' countries during this month's break would be forced to quarantine for 10 days when they return to England.

Klopp's sentiments have been met with approval by other top-flight coaches, including Spurs boss Mourinho.

But the Portuguese is still waiting to see the impact of the international matches, believing late changes to the schedule could yet ease the burden.

"In this moment, I don't want to speak," Mourinho said. "In this moment, I want to see what is going to happen.

"Do you know, for example, if Argentina-Brazil is going to be played in South America or if it's going to be played, for example, in London? I don't know.

"I know little things; I know Portugal will play in Turin, I know Norway will play in Spain. I don't know much.

"Let's see what is going to happen, where the matches are going to be played.

"Of course, the clubs have the right to protect themselves, because Jurgen is right: the clubs pay the players."

The break comes after a key stretch in Tottenham's season, with Thursday's narrow win at Fulham their first of six games prior to the international fixtures.

Spurs are five points off the top four and Sunday's meeting with Crystal Palace is their only home league match this month.

Palace – 11 points clear of the bottom three – at least tend to make for polite guests, last winning away at Tottenham in 1997. Manager Roy Hodgson has only one victory from 18 attempts against Spurs in the Premier League.

"I think we need the points more than them," Mourinho said.

"If their objective is to be quiet and stable in the middle of the Premier League, they're going to have that anyway. If we want to go up the table, we need points.

"Of course, March is going to be so hard for us: only one match at home, Palace, and then everything after that is away, plus two Europa League matches, plus national team with all the controversy and the problems we may face with that.

"March is going to be very, very hard. If we can add three points to our table, that would be great."

Mourinho expects Serge Aurier to be back involved this weekend, but Giovani Lo Celso is not anticipated to return until Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg against Dinamo Zagreb.

Meanwhile, Palace may be able to call on Wilfried Zaha for the first time since he hobbled out of a victory at Newcastle United on February 2.

The Eagles' league win rate this season drops from 42.1 per cent to 12.5 per cent when without Zaha, their leading scorer with nine goals, and Mourinho suggested his potential return for this match was typical of Tottenham's misfortune.

"He's a very good player," Mourinho said. "It doesn't surprise me that he's fit to play against us because everybody plays against us.

"Everybody is fit and the goalkeepers always play amazing against us. It doesn't surprise me."

Zaha has not scored or assisted a Premier League goal in his 11 career games against Spurs.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is weighing up whether to block Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes from travelling with Portugal during the international break due to COVID-19 quarantine.

Portugal are scheduled to play three World Cup qualifiers this month – at home to Azerbaijan (March 24), away to Serbia (March 27) and on the road against Luxembourg (March 30).

Linking up with Portugal would mean Fernandes would be subject to a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel upon his return to the United Kingdom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It would also leave Solskjaer without the services of Fernandes against Brighton and Hove Albion (April 3) and Tottenham (April 10).

Asked about the situation following Wednesday's goalless draw away to Crystal Palace, United manager Solskjaer told reporters: "We have not sat down and made a proper call on that one but it doesn't make sense if you lose your player for 10 days' isolation.

"We are the ones paying the players, from what I understand, that [being allowed to ban players travelling] is the rule. 

"FIFA have given the rule that they don't have to be released, so it is going to be a hard call to make to let them play in red-list countries.

"I want Bruno ready for Brighton and hopefully we will be through in Europe and against Tottenham after that break, of course I do."

United were held to their third successive scoreless draw across all competitions after firing another blank against Palace midweek.

Solskjaer's faltering United produced another toothless display at Selhurst Park, where the Red Devils slipped 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City ahead of Sunday's derby.

United registered their sixth goalless Premier League draw of the season – the club's joint-most ever in a campaign, along with 2004-05 and 2016-17.

The Premier League giants have also drawn three consecutive matches 0-0 in all competitions for the first time since October 2015 under Louis van Gaal.

"Of course we're not happy when you don't create chances enough to win a game," Solskjaer said. "Of course, it's been a week with no goals, and sometimes three games sounds a lot without scoring.

"It was not considered either but a week in a season like this sometimes is... yeah, you just don't hit the form that you normally had, that you have had for many, many months, so it's a bit of a worry. Of course it is.

"But, I know that the boys are given everything. And that's the thing with we play every three days, and I know they given everything they've got so attitude and approach I'm very happy with the quality. We need to get back to what we know we can do."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he is worried by Manchester United's goal drought following their 0-0 Premier League draw away to Crystal Palace.

United were held to their third successive scoreless draw across all competitions after firing another blank against Palace on Wednesday.

Solskjaer's faltering United produced another toothless display at Selhurst Park, where the Red Devils slipped 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City ahead of Sunday's derby.

United registered their sixth goalless Premier League draw of the season – the club's joint-most ever in a campaign, along with 2004-05 and 2016-17.

The Premier League giants have also drawn three consecutive matches 0-0 in all competitions for the first time since October 2015 under Louis van Gaal.

United manager Solskjaer conceded he is concerned post-match, with his team only a point clear of third-placed Leicester City through 27 matches.

"Of course it's a concern," Solskjaer told Match of the Day. "When you have three clean sheets in a row, that will help you win games but we haven't produced the quality.

"We just have to find a spark again, the quality again and try and win the games."

He added: "It's not good as you know if you want to move up the table, you need to win. You have to earn the right, you have to win tackles, you have to fight, you have to play passes better. We kept giving the ball away.

"The tempo was missing, once in a while it happens. It wasn't one of our best nights that's for sure.

"[Palace manager] Roy Hodgson always sets his teams up to be really hard to play against and it just showed again tonight.

"A couple of times when we had the tempo in the right positions, we created decent opportunities but I don't think we deserved anything more than one point."

United goalkeeper Dean Henderson started in the absence of star David de Gea, who was sidelined due to personal reasons.

Henderson impressed midweek, the England international staking his claim for a regular starting berth with a superb save to deny Patrick van Aanholt late in the second half.

"That's a Man Utd goalkeeper, sometimes you have to keep concentrating," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. "He's growing in that position. I thank him for one point and not zero."

Asked when De Gea will return, Solskjaer replied: "That's a private matter. It'll take the time it takes."

Manchester United were held to a third 0-0 draw in a row in all competitions as they failed to find a way past Crystal Palace on Wednesday. 

There was a paucity of quality in misty conditions at Selhurst Park as Ole Gunnar Solskaer's men handed Manchester City another boost in the Premier League title race. 

City's 4-1 win over Wolves on Tuesday stretched the gap at the top to 15 points, but United could not respond in kind against a Palace side who beat them 3-1 at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture. 

The Red Devils failed even to have a shot between the 27th and 81st minute and have now gone three games without scoring a goal, having recently been the leading scorers in England's top flight this term.

United started scrappily but twice came close to an opening goal inside the first 20 minutes, Nemanja Matic's deflected shot brilliantly saved by Vicente Guaita before Marcus Rashford skewed a clear chance wide. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka's cross nearly provided Edinson Cavani with a tap-in, but it was mostly a lifeless first-half display from the United attack, in keeping with their previous back-to-back goalless draws. 

There was little change early in the second half and Palace came close to snatching the lead through a half-volley from Andros Townsend that bounced wide. 

Substitute Dan James missed the ball when presented with a free header from a Luke Shaw cross, and Mason Greenwood fired over from the edge of the box, but that was as close as the visitors came. 

Patrick van Aanholt should have won the match when he was found by Luka Milivojevic, but Dean Henderson, in for the absent David de Gea, saved superbly at the feet of the left-back.

 
What does it mean? United being cut adrift by City 

Solskjaer insisted United would not let City run away with the title, but the gap between the top two now stands at 14 points ahead of Sunday's derby. 

Victory in that game would surely end any lingering United hopes of winning the trophy, and the Red Devils will need to improve significantly to get anything against Pep Guardiola's men. 

Palace have an 11-point gap to the bottom three and, despite having played a game more, they are beginning to look safe. 

Palace's protective Ward 

Rashford and Shaw were kept discernibly quiet down the United left thanks largely to Palace right-back Joel Ward. 

He made seven clearances and won back possession eight times for the home side in a diligent display, albeit one in which he was rarely stretched. 

Rotten Rashford 

Rashford's early miss set the tone for a dreadful performance in which he offered negligible threat down the United left. 

As the fog descended more thickly, Rashford seemed to fade further from the contest, which he ended with one shot, one cross and 29 completed passes. 

What's next? 

United head to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to meet the leaders, with Palace in action at Tottenham later that day. 

Manchester United are hopeful Edinson Cavani can return against Crystal Palace as they look to kickstart their season.

Cavani has missed United's past four games with a muscular problem.

United were held scoreless in two of the matches he missed, drawing 0-0 with both Real Sociedad and Chelsea last week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men still sit second in the Premier League ahead of their trip to face Palace on Wednesday, though rivals Manchester City are now 12 points clear.

"We have had a training session this morning," Solskjaer, whose side are on a 20-match unbeaten away run in the top flight, told reporters on Tuesday. 

"Edinson trained, he's joined in, that's good, let's hope there's no reaction after the session and hopefully he will travel with the squad.

"Of course, it was a light session and we are looking okay. 

"There are a couple of doubts from the Chelsea game plus the wear and tear of the season. So we have to give them as much time as possible."

He added to MUTV: "It looks good. Edi has got the desire and hunger and, of course, he wants to join in, even if it's from the bench. 

"Hopefully he will say [on Wednesday] that there has been no reaction."

Paul Pogba has been out for a month but there is no immediate prospect of his return, even though the midfielder is making progress.

Solskjaer also hopes Phil Jones will be able to play at some point this season as he battles a knee injury.

The United boss added: "Paul is still not ready for us.

"He is feeling better but he's not been training with the team yet, so he's definitely not travelling down to London.

"With Phil, obviously we hope [he will play again this season]. 

"He's working really hard, he's had a couple of setbacks and it's just that kind of injury you have to be patient with and give him time. I know all about these [knee] injuries.

"I'm not sure [when Jones will be back], how long is a piece of rope? That's how I felt as well, when I came back. We'll give him absolutely every chance this season, if not the start of next."

Palace have won two of their past three league meetings with United, as many as they had in their previous 27. 

United, though, have curiously fared much better in away games with Palace. They have never lost in 11 Premier League away games (eight wins) against the side from London.

That is the most one team has played at another without ever losing in the Premier League.

All of Solskjaer's focus has been on the upcoming clash, rather than the penalty United were denied for a handball claim against Callum Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea.

"That is water under the bridge," he added.

"You move onto the next one. We all know it’s a high-pressure situation and you have to accept the situations.

"We move on. All my focus after the game has been on Palace.

"I think the refs have a difficult enough job without extra pressure, so we should leave them to make as many good decisions as they can."

Manchester United lost further ground to Premier League leaders Manchester City as they played out a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. 

The Red Devils are now 12 points behind Pep Guardiola's seemingly unstoppable side, who are well on their way to a third title in four seasons. 

Elsewhere, Liverpool returned to winning ways against Sheffield United and Arsenal came from behind to beat Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. 

A Gareth Bale-inspired Tottenham cruised past Burnley 4-0, while Crystal Palace and Fulham played out a dour 0-0 draw.

Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United: Red Devils' 'big six' struggles continue

While this result stretched United's unbeaten away run in the league to a whopping 20 matches – the joint-fifth-longest run in top-flight history – there was still a sense of disappointment at full-time. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have now failed to score in their last six league meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Tottenham, with each of their last four such matches finishing goalless. 

This fixture has now finished 0-0 in both matches in a single league campaign for just the second time, the other occasion coming back in 1921-22. 

It marked the first time Chelsea have drawn 0-0 against an opponent home and away in the Premier League in the same season for the first time since 2008-09 against Everton, while United last did so against Aston Villa in 1996-97.

Thomas Tuchel can at least toast becoming just the second coach to not concede a single goal in his first four home matches in the Premier League after Brendan Rodgers in 2011-12 with Swansea City. Including his final two such matches in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel has gone six games without conceding at home in league competition.

Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool: Klopp's men get back on track

After four consecutive top-flight defeats champions Liverpool got their top-four bid back on track at Bramall Lane. 

Curtis Jones opened the scoring with his second goal for the Reds. In doing so, he became the youngest Liverpool player (20 years and 29 days) to score an away Premier League goal since Raheem Sterling in December 2014 against Burnley (20y 18d).

Their second – an own goal by Kean Bryan – was their 7,000th in the English top-flight, becoming only the second team to reach that tally after Merseyside rivals Everton (7,108).

Adrian was in goal for Jurgen Klopp's men and the Spaniard has now been on the winning side in 10 of his 12 Premier League starts for the club, although this was only his third clean sheet. 

The Blades, meanwhile, have now lost 21 games this season. They are the first side since Newport County in the fourth tier in 1970-71 to lose as many as 21 of their first 26 matches in an English Football League season.

Tottenham 4-0 Burnley: Brilliant Bale torments sorry Clarets

Bale was at his best as Tottenham registered their biggest Premier League home win since they thumped the Clarets 5-0 in December 2019. 

His first came after just 68 seconds, which was the fastest goal Burnley have ever conceded in a Premier League match. The previous quickest was a Yerry Mina effort after 99 seconds for Everton in December 2018.

Harry Kane doubled Spurs' advantage to continue his fine run against Sean Dyche's side. No player has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley than Kane (eight, level with Riyad Mahrez), with the England striker involved in 10 goals in his last six league appearances against them (seven goals, three assists).

Lucas Moura added a third before Bale wrapped up the scoring to take his goal involvements to seven in his last four appearances in all competitions. 

At the back, Hugo Lloris celebrated his 100th clean sheet in the competition. He became the 16th goalkeeper to reach that landmark, while he is the ninth quickest to reach it (285 games).

Burnley, meanwhile, have now lost 12 of their last 15 away top-flight matches against Spurs, shipping 48 goals and conceding at least four goals in seven games.

Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners storm back to end 'top three' hoodoo

Arsenal ended a four-game winless run against the Foxes in the Premier League, securing their first victory against them in the competition since October 2018. 

It started poorly for Mikel Arteta's side, though, with Youri Tielemans scoring his sixth goal of the season early on. That is as many as he had scored in his first two seasons at the club combined. 

David Luiz pulled the Gunners level before Alexandre Lacazette put them ahead from the penalty spot. The France international has converted all five of his penalties for Arsenal across all competitions, while only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (13) has now netted more goals for the Gunners than Lacazette (11) this term.

Nicolas Pepe sealed the three points and has now equalled his Premier League goal tally from last season, scoring five this campaign in 13 fewer appearances (18 this term, 31 last season).

The result marked Arsenal's first away victory against a team starting the day in the top three of the Premier League since January 2015 (2-0 v Manchester City) – they were winless in their last 14 such games ahead of this clash (D3 L11).

Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham: Lucky Eagles escape with a point

It should come as no surprise that this game ended goalless given Fulham's penchant for draws this season. 

Just one of the Cottagers' first 21 Premier League games under Scott Parker ended level, but the stalemate at Selhurst Park was their 10th draw in their last 15 top-flight matches. 

They were comfortably the better side and attempted 16 shots. Fourteen of those came in the second period – the most they have had in the final 45 minutes of a Premier League away game since 2003-04 without scoring.

Palace, meanwhile, have somehow managed to pick up four points from their last two league games despite attempting just six shots (facing 41), having only nine touches in the opposition box (compared to 70 by their opponents), and completing just 442 passes (compared to their opponents' 1065).

Indeed, they managed just 33 attempts in their five Premier League matches in February – the lowest recorded by a team in a single month of at least five games since the start of the 2003-04 campaign.

Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and now Manchester United are all reportedly chasing Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Days out from his 22nd birthday, Donnarumma has reportedly closed a deal with the Red Devils.

Is David de Gea's future in doubt?

 

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS SWOOP FOR RECORD-BREAKER

Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has agreed to a provisional deal with Manchester United, according to Todo Fichajes.

The report claims the deal would make the Italy star the best paid goalkeeper ever in world football.

United have had goalkeeping issues this season, with number one keeper David de Gea making a number of errors, while understudy Dean Henderson has made a handful of appearances.

Donnarumma, who celebrates his 22nd birthday on Thursday, became the youngest player in Serie A history to reach 200 appearances in Sunday's 3-0 derby defeat to leaders Inter.

The 21-year-old's current deal with the Rossoneri expires at the end of this season and he has been linked with a host of clubs including Serie A champions Juventus, Champions League holders Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Former France international Yohan Cabaye has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

The midfielder had not made a competitive appearance since starting for Saint-Etienne in a defeat to Lyon on March 1, 2020.

Cabaye posted on Twitter: "It is with great emotion that after more than 17 years of passionate love for football, with emotions greater than any other, memories that will remain forever and unforgettable human and sporting encounters, I announce the end of my professional football career.

"If this decision may seem obvious, logical and inevitable to some, having spent 35 years in the world of football, it remains very difficult to take and to accept because my love for football is immense."

Cabaye debuted with Lille in 2005 and won a Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double in his final season with the club in 2010-11.

His performances over his final two campaigns with Lille, in which he scored 18 goals, provided 18 assists and created 140 chances across 90 games in all competitions, earned international recognition and a move to the Premier League with Newcastle United.

Cabaye quickly found his feet in England, scoring five goals and delivering six assists in his debut season as Newcastle fell just short of Champions League qualification.

His form attracted the attention of Arsenal, but Cabaye failed to force through a move in August 2013 and instead enjoyed one of the most productive spells of his career as he scored seven times and laid on a pair of assists in 20 games before departing for Paris Saint-Germain in January 2014.

Two further Ligue 1 triumphs followed, along with success in the Coupe de France and twice in the Coupe de la Ligue, but he failed to establish himself as a regular starter in Paris.

Just 30 of his 57 PSG appearances came from the start and he soon left for Crystal Palace, spending a further three years back in the Premier League before ending his career with Al-Nasr and finally Saint-Etienne.

Cabaye played for his country on 48 occasions, scoring four times.

His first international goal came against Ukraine at Euro 2012 and he was a regular again at the World Cup two years later. France's home European Championship in 2016, where they reached the final, saw Cabaye appear only twice and once as a starter.

Manchester City are counting the cost of the current financial climate and have slashed the budget assigned to lure Lionel Messi away from Barcelona.

The 33-year-old Barca captain could depart his boyhood team in the 2021 off-season after publicly trying, and failing, to force an exit from the Catalan club last August.

A reunion with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City has been the subject of much speculation, but Messi may have to compromise to make the move happen as the Premier League leaders' bargaining power has taken a hit.

 

TOP STORY – CITY FORCED TO LOWER MESSI CONTRACT OFFER

City had already tabled a five-year contract designed to tempt Messi to switch LaLiga for the Premier League – but the numbers have now changed, reports The Sun.

A package worth £600million (€693m) had reportedly been prepared in order to tie the six-time Ballon d'Or winner down for the rest of his career, should he opt to leave Barca at the end of the season.

But The Sun says City will now not match the terms set in August, and the offer has dropped to £430million (€496m), potentially opening the door for Paris Saint-Germain to swoop.

ROUND-UP

Chelsea have already made contact with winger Jonas Hofmann, according to Bild, as the Borussia Monchengladbach exodus threatens to begin following the news that coach Marco Rose is leaving for Borussia Dortmund next season. Hofmann played for Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund.

Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is also in Tuchel's sights, and the Blues could offer Fikayo Tomori to the Serie A giants on a permanent deal as part of a player-plus-cash exchange, reports Il Milanista.

- Everton loanee Moise Kean has netted 14 goals in 25 games for PSG and his parent club will not part with the Italy international for any less than £60m, says Fabrizio Romano, while Juventus want to bring the striker back to Turin, according to Le 10 Sport.

 

Everton 'will demand £70m for Moise Kean transfer' after impressing at PSG https://t.co/3PvjhBQ1rf

— Sun Sport (@SunSport) February 18, 2021

- 'If there are opportunities, I will have a look at them,' is what Wilfried Zaha told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, reports The Sun. The Crystal Palace winger has been previously linked with Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Gunners midfielder Lucas Torreira, currently on the fringes while on loan at Atletico Madrid, is close to securing a move to Fiorentina for next season, claims Gazzetta Dello Sport.

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